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"Fifth Street"


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#1 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 10:58 AM

“Fifth Street” was shot entirely on Fuji’s new Vivid 160 Tungsten stock, in Super 35mm 4 perf, using an Arricam ST, Arri 435 and Cooke S4’s. For all the scenes, bar one, I push procesed the stock one stop, for extra contrast and saturation, rating it at 320 asa throughout the shoot. For a flashback scene set in Daylight in an aircraft hanger I shot uncorrected and again rated the stock at 320asa, but this time i bleach bypassed the negative instead of force developing it.

The short film takes place around a Poker table, featuring five characters some of whom have flashbacks to other events. The poker table was toplit with a Large chinaball, containing a 1k bulb, and gelled with Lee Yellow 101 and half plus green. This allowed some degree of flexibility in how we covered the dialogue around the table, most of which was shot on a constantly drifting dolly on circular track.

The rest of the bar was lit with a combination of tungsten practicals, dimmed for extra warmth, VNSP parcans gelled with the same yellow/green colour pack and kinoflo wall o lights, again gelled yellow/green. Off set I had a 4K Molebeam gelled with Lee 048 Rose Purple blasting a hot shaft of light into the set. Because the unit would never be featured on camera we placed a large fan infront of the molebeam to give the light some movement as it pierced the smoked set.

The use of the purple molebeam would tie into the night exterior of the continuing scene, set in an alleyway outside the poker club. Rather then use a blue/white colour for night I decided to use a comnination of purple and yellow/green. The purple was completely unjustified – I just thought it would look good and suit the story. The yellow/green id used before and really like the look it gives. A 20K gelled with the Rose Purple provided a ¾ backlight for the constant rain required in the scene and smaller 5K’s and 2k’s on the street level gelled with the yellow/green gelpack provided a contrasting wash over the background. A few problems with the location on the night of the shoot ment I couldn’t rig all of the lights where I had originaly hoped but we adapted and the results still turned out well – Ill definitley be using that purple again! All the night exteriors were shot with a 45 degree shutter angle to accentuate the raindrops.


A series of different flashbacks provided an excuse to vary the look a little bit; A sequence of a character cleaning and building a handgun was shot uncorrected under kinoflos (daylight tubes) gelled with full CTB and Full Plus green. Another scene where a man is tortured while the room he is in is set on fire was lit using a just a single VNSP parcan as a hot top light and the FX teams flame bars for fill.


This was a hectic shoot, using a large-ish crew, shooting 2 cameras for some of the sequences at different frame rates so I learned a lot from it but the biggest lesson I learned was about dealing with Labs.
Unfortunatley Ive never had as bad an experience with Labs as I had on this project. My practice has always been to shoot clean and carefully exposed greyscales to preserve the extreme colours and brightness/darkness levels ive grown fond of. However when we received the rushes back for this project all the colour had been removed! When I spoke to the lab and asked had they changed anything the reply was no – that’s the way the neg is. Obviously this wasn’t the case and after several stressfull days they eventually agreed to re-telecine all the rushes, which this time I supervised. Lo and behold as the first frame was lined up, a purple night exterior, the colourist ignored my greyscale and went straight to work pulling out all the purple to fix the footage?!
Now after a few minutes he quickly got what I was going for and left everything alone, but I did find it very disapointing to see my carefuly shot greyscale ignored not once but twice – doesn’t anybody use them anymore? In future, in addition to my greyscale, im going to start emailing my set reference photos to the dailies colourist, as well as copius notes. Im also considering investing in Speedgrade. All this effort to protect the original work!
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#2 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:34 AM

Stephen'
Wow this looks amazing. Highly stylized, I've been waiting to see how the Vivid160 looks. Thanks for all the great info on you lighting set ups. Those colors are amazing. Will you be able to post any video clips? I would love to see this stock move. How does it compare to 100D in your opinion?

Toby
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#3 Matt Workman

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:41 AM

Wow that is a pretty bad-ass looking short film.

Anyway, I like the colors at the poker table a lot. That purple is pretty cool, can you post any footage yet? Looks like you had some atmosphere as well?

How exactly did you expose the greyscale to communicate you wanted the purple to be left in? Not that it worked with that lab. Did you expose for it under normal tungsten and then continue to shoot with the purple? My experience talking with labs about specifics in color is very slim.

I'm used to P2 shoots where I can load them into final cut and do a rough color correct on set, so the "colorist" has the settings already roughed in so systems like SpeedGrade are very interesting to me. Have you used Speed Grade OnSet yet? For a film shoot I assume you are relying on RAW photos from a DSLR? For Viper/D20 it sounds like you take stills from the actual footage. I'm very interested in trying this method. Do you know what labs support .look? They say you can export .lut for other systems, I somehow doubt it is that simple.

Thanks for sharing.

Matt
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#4 John Holland

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 12:43 PM

Stunning stuff Stephen , could you let me know name of the lab please ? not here but email ?
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#5 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 01:51 PM

Rock on!
Love the colors! Not a lot of people use strong colors on film anymore. Did you have to fight production for that?
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#6 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 03:43 PM

Stephen - WOW. This all looks great - the color combinations really work and I love the high contrast, dim lit look. Really fantastic. Did you shoot 2:35 common top or centered? Was there ever a discussion of 3-perf or anamorphic?

I've found that if I'm working with a new lab/colorist (and I can't shoot any tests as is often the case with shorts) then I'll sneak in a little test with my framing chart; I'll shoot my framing chart, followed by a gray-card & chip-chart, then maybe a couple of shots with lighting ratios similar to what I'll be doing for the shoot or color combinations. Since I'm shooting the framing chart at prep, the next day I can see if they're matching to my gray-card and chip-chart or not.
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#7 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 04:13 PM

Toby
I havent shot that much of the 100D and any time i have its been cross-processed which obviously gives a very different result, so i cant really compare them. I should be able to post a very short teaser trailer sometime in the next few days actualy so that might help you. I can say that i was very happy with the stock, and its the second short ive shot using it, both times pushing for extra contrast and saturation.

Matt,
Yes i had atmos in the interiors and some of the exteriors. Ive played around with speedgrade on set and 3CP and Kodak's KLMS but never used them on a working production - that might have to change:-) My system at the moment is to shoot High res Jpegs, run them through photoshop and burn them onto a Cd for the colourist; i shoot at the same asa, t-stop, shutter speed and with the same filters as on my film/hd camera. I have my laptop and workstation monitor calibrated with Spyder Pro2.

John,
Sent you a PM.

Saulie,
No the director was 100% supportive and behind me on use of colour and contrast. The purple night/rain was an idea i wanted to use on another project with the same director that fell through. When he wrote the script for this project he remembered the idea, liked it alot and wrote it into the script. Speaking of support the Director was so supportive of me that even when we were having problems with the first batch of rushes he never doubted me (even though i began to doubt myself) - if not for that things might not have turned out as well as they did.

Jason,
I would love to have shot in anamorphic but unfortunately it was never an option purely down to finances. We had originaly planned on shooting 3 perf but at the last minute the cameras became unavailable so we had to stick with 4 perf and just buy more stock:-) We shot centered. I might have to steal that test idea from you on the next one!:)

Thanks for all the kind words guys!
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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:35 PM

Those colors are awesome! Props for going bold!
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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 01:07 AM

WOW! Purdy colors! As mentioned by many others, I love the colors, but I also love the first two frames you posted, which are darn near black and white. It seems you've gone to both ends of the spectrum with this film, and I don't think I've seen that approach lately. It seems most DP's want to have a very even look throughout their films, which is great, but this is a whole different approach, and I think it's great too. It's exciting to see someone push the envelope and do something different. Congrats!
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 01:13 AM

Maybe the title should be "Purple Rain"? Or has that one been used already?

Looks great, really rich. Rain backlit with a strong color is always beautiful.
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#11 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 02:35 AM

Hi mr Murphy

great colors you have there
i recently saw a film "le deuxieme soufle" from alain corneau dp yves angelo with strong colors in your style. it was shot on genesis thow.

i worked recently with a dp who is used to take stills on set with a nikon D70 and printing them every days to send them to the lab with the neg, he is carrying a small printer from location to hotels to avoid the problem you had.
he is doing grey scales to.
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#12 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 05:15 AM

Maybe the title should be "Purple Rain"? Or has that one been used already?

Looks great, really rich. Rain backlit with a strong color is always beautiful.


hmmm... Purple rain..prurple rain.....Nah - It'll never catch on-)
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#13 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 05:56 AM

http://rapidshare.co..._H.264.mov.html

This is a link for a rapidshare download to the short teaser trailer.
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#14 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 12:20 PM

Stephen'
Thanks for the link.
It looks amazing. Please let us know when and if it's available on DVD or at Film Festivals. I need to try this stock!
Thanks again.

Toby
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#15 Matthew Buick

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 05:07 PM

Wonderful looking shots, Stephen. I especially like the first two grabs. Sort of what I'd like to achieve with my 81EF's. Hmm, I may put an 80A on as well.

Excellent. You have amazing skills.
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#16 Chris Keth

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:04 PM

http://rapidshare.co..._H.264.mov.html

This is a link for a rapidshare download to the short teaser trailer.


Downloading now. I'm looking forward to it.

So you pushed a stop the whole time. Did you rate at a straight 320 or did you give it a little overexposure?
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#17 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:33 PM

Chris,
Pushed everything a stop except the scene that was bleached. Rated everything at 320 asa.
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#18 Chris Keth

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 08:23 PM

Chris,
Pushed everything a stop except the scene that was bleached. Rated everything at 320 asa.


Thank you Stephen. I've watched the video a few times now. That yellow plays great against the purple. It's really a treat to see work so stylized nowadays.
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#19 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 01:49 PM

Yeah, looks great. Like Chris mentioned, purple plays great with the yellow...Probably works best because of how close they are to being complimentary colors. Again, great work!
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#20 Emmanuel Lariviere

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 02:47 PM

Stephen, what was your view on using the Arricam? How did you like it, compared to other cameras you used?
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