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Didint shoot color chart


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#1 Chris Dingley1

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 08:00 AM

I just got off a midnight to 6 am shoot, and we were supposed to shoot the color chart at the end of the roll and we all forgot due to exhaustion(considering we have all been up since early that mourning.

the problem is we used tungsten lights and tungsten rated kino's but there are florescence there and we were going to have the lab time out the green spikes,

is there a way to have them print for 3200 and take out the green without the color chart? what should i write on the report sheet?

it is a kodak 7217 200 speed film.
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 12:42 PM

Some colorists will automatically correct for it, as I can attest, even when you shoot color chart that was lit for them not to. :blink: They usually don't like green, so they time it out, despite instructions (or a color chart) not to, I guess.

I had never heard of shooting a color chart at the end of a roll though, unless you make a note and even then it doesn't make much sense. I mean by the time the colorist gets to it, he will have transfered and timed all the footage, or if noted on the camera report he/she will have to fast forward to the end of the roll, set his levels and rewind . . . Not very streamlined thinking.

But in your case, I would just write just that on the camera report with big letters: tungsten balanced, time out green spikes. I don't know that there is a specific way to write that other than plain English.
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#3 tylerhawes

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 01:29 PM

I don't time dailies personally, but if we received film with no chart and an obvious green imbalance, we would neutralize it by default unless the notes said otherwise.

Also, I recommend you put the color charts at the beginning of the film so right away the colorist sees the reference, and also then you can forget about it because it's done.

Lastly, a good colorist doesn't need a chart really, unless you're charting before a filter goes on and you want to retain the filter's effect. I'm not saying charts aren't useful - they are, especially when I want an assistant to do a first-pass balance grade before I get into it. But they are expendable in most situations. (Thankfully, since most indie productions are very inconsistent with their use of charts anyway).

All that said, I like to chart everything when I'm moonlighting as a Director.
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#4 Frank Barrera

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 02:10 PM

But they are expendable in most situations.

I was told by a colorist years ago that only a grey card is required and even not having that wouldn't cause too many issues with getting a good best-light transfer. That is of course unless you are using special lighting or filters that need to be left uncorrected. However, I always use a chart (Macbeth) for my own use. ie: if there is something "not right" about the color in the video transfer I have a reference to begin to track down the problem.

so yes, make a note and you'll be fine. of course you should also speak to the lab.

good luck

f
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#5 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 02:52 PM

Its funny, I just finished a feature as a 2nd where the colorist told the DP (many times, apparently) that he wasn't using the chart, there was no reason for the chart, stop using the damn chart! Obviously that made me even more adamant about shooting one!

While I know that most good colorists can work without the reference, I couldn't understand why this particular one was so vehemently against having it on the roll? Sorta became the running joke in camera dept:

2nd: "Quick, lets pop in the chart!"
DP: "Aw hell, their not using the damn thing anyway." [camera rolls]
1st or Op: "Got it!"
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#6 tylerhawes

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 03:50 PM

While I know that most good colorists can work without the reference, I couldn't understand why this particular one was so vehemently against having it on the roll?


Just a theory, but maybe he worried about some Producer or such coming in and asking to see the chart, and then comparing different charts and asking why the charts don't match after he graded them. A non-colorist might think that a good job would be if, after grading, all the charts look the same - completely ignoring the subjectivity involved in making it look good, and not just technically "right".

Just a theory (seen it before).
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#7 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 07:43 PM

Interesting theory? I'd like to have been a fly on the wall when the incident you speak of happened though? Personally, I think it was just a point of professional pride, that the colorist felt it was unnecessary and had no qualms about letting us know that.

But you've got me thinking now? Perhaps what's needed here is a Producer's Manual similar to Hart and Elkins' AC Manuals. Chapter 1: You are NOT Always Right; Chapter 2: Sorry, You're Usually Wrong; Chapter 3: Just Sign the Damn Checks, Please?

Edited by Rory Hanrahan, 16 April 2008 - 07:43 PM.

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#8 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 12:36 AM

I think it's a good idea if you know that you cannot be present for best light transfer. Otherwise, I don't use one, and I know lots of people thinking the same way. Again though, it's a great idea to cover your ass and shoot one though. Takes very little time.
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#9 Chris Dingley1

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 12:18 PM

Thanks everyone. makes me feel alot better. the reason i really still wish i shot one was i have had colour problems with this lab before and I sent them the chart.

-Chris Dingley-
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#10 Joe Christofori

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 03:34 PM

Ive been on tons of shoots where shooting a chart was overlooked and Ive never had an issue
or had a production call up after the fact and ask why we didnt shoot one.
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#11 Andrew Koch

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 05:34 PM

I just got off a midnight to 6 am shoot, and we were supposed to shoot the color chart at the end of the roll and we all forgot due to exhaustion(considering we have all been up since early that mourning.

the problem is we used tungsten lights and tungsten rated kino's but there are florescence there and we were going to have the lab time out the green spikes,

is there a way to have them print for 3200 and take out the green without the color chart? what should i write on the report sheet?

it is a kodak 7217 200 speed film.



When you say print for 3200, this is a bit confusing. Printing for 3200K could mean printing for a tungsten projector rather than something like a Xenon projector. I assume you are referring to timing the print to make the tungsten units used on set to appear white. To take out the green spike will mean that the colorist will have to add magenta to the print. This will alter the look of your tungsten units unless the DP used plus green on the lights to match the fluorescents. If everything is equally green, you can easily time out the green, but since you have a mix of colors, it will be much more difficult for the colorist to time out the green spike without messing up the color of the tungsten lights.

I have heard some mixed opinions about color charts. If you are making a print, I feel it's wise to shoot one at the head of every roll. If you are doing a supervised telecine you should at least shoot one in the beginning. This calibrates the session based on your original intentions on set rather than trying to guess.
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#12 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:48 AM

if you don't film a reference : a grey chart in you reference light then the colorist will time the roll the way HE thinks it's the best.
if he likes it a bit cool he will time it cool even if, in the scenario that's the romantic kiss in the sunset, he doesn't know what you tried to achieve.
if you worked hard to light a night sequence 3 stops under with a touch of green in the blacks he will time it at 0 stops under and white maybe with a touch of yellow because he thinks it looks good!

a grey chart is a comunication tool between the dop and the timer in case they can't talk with reference pictures or on the phone

if you light everything flat and white yes a agree you don't need a grey chart

my 2 cents
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#13 Jim Keller

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 03:36 PM

There's a really funny story, I think I read it in William Shatner's autobiography, about when Star Trek decided they needed a green woman.

They mixed up some green makeup, and shot a test. The footage came back and she looked perfectly normal.

So they mixed up some greener makeup, and shot a test. The footage came back and again the green hadn't photographed at all.

Finally they mixed up some makeup that was ridiculously green and downright noxious, and shot a test. The footage came back and again, the actress still didn't look green.

So they called the lab to see if something could be done in post. They explained the situation, and there was a long pause, after which the voice on the other end said, "You mean you wanted her green?"

The moral of the story is that you can trust your lab to default to making the colors look conventional. A quick note that says "shot tungsten with some fluorescent" wouldn't hurt. When you need the extensive notes is when you're going for something unusual. The color card just makes their job a bit easier, and gives you a standard reference when you're talking to them. But as long as you trust their judgment, you'll be fine without it.
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