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Sending in Stills with film to colorist


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#1 Scott Bryant

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 04:22 PM

Is it generally acceptable to send in a still or two from a shot taken with a dslr or something that has been color corrected already to give the colorist something to work with? Oh, this may be comical but is it possible to do it for a one light transfer. Just to maybe set the first scene to the right levels then have a starting point for the other ones on my own? I seem to be able to achieve the look i want with still photography in photoshop but i haven't been able to really feel comfortable in Color yet. I thought this might be a way to give me a starting point to work with.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 04:35 PM

I do this often when i'm doing a supervised transfer, or when i'm just talking to the colorist at the get go about looks (generally some stills i take which approximate the look, often from the scout). I don't think it would be done on one-light, though maybe a best light, or if the colorist really likes you. This is primarily something you'd do with them while you're there because the DSLR shot and the actual negative of film won't really be all that close, so the look gets modified, of course.
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#3 Mike Williamson

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 06:08 PM

I'd say that it's worth a try. If you send a basic reference still there's no reason the colorist can't look at it and work in that direction. Worst case scenario is that they don't look at the image and blast through the transfer, but that puts you in the same place as if you didn't send anything.
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#4 John Brawley

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 06:47 PM

Is it generally acceptable to send in a still or two from a shot taken with a dslr or something that has been color corrected already to give the colorist something to work with?



I think you'll find most colourists really appreciate as much help with the *dialogue* between dp and colourist. It's often hard to desribe a look verbally, so any form of image, be it emailed, printed or referenced will help. I really like actual prints, because you have a form of quality control from them. When I do a print on set, i tweak the image taking into account the way my printer works. I then send that along with the rushes. If you email it, you have no idea how that image will then be viewed at the other end. There are other more formal ways of calibrating this process, but i usually find this works well most of the time.

I use a kodak dye-sub printer on set BTW.

jb
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#5 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 08:04 PM

That is the best thing you can do short of being there. Some labs will even send YOU some stills over email for you to sign off on, but that is usually at the more expensive places. As the fellows before me have said, anything that makes you and the colorist communicate/ work better together is never to be overlooked.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 18 April 2008 - 08:05 PM.

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#6 Scott Bryant

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 11:15 PM

Thanks alot, I'll try it next time i send in some footage and see what happens.
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#7 Dan Goulder

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:46 AM

The proper answer to your question would have to take into account your prior level of experience putting film through telecine. Unless you're aiming for an unusual or unique look that may be difficult to describe, or unless you already possess enough expertise to supervise a telecine colorist, you may be inadvertently imposing your own limitations on the colorist. It also appears that you're aiming more for a "best light" than a "one light" transfer. Personally, I would take the work of an unsupervised first-rate colorist over a supervised second-rate colorist any day.
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