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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Trailer


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#1 Joe Lotuaco

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 04:55 PM

I couldn't find any other mention so far about this, but if it has been discussed already, I apologize.

I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie last night, and they played the trailer for the film in front of it and honestly, it was the best part of the night. The film looks absolutely amazing. The textures and the contrast of the image were what stood out for me at first, but the story itself looks extremely interesting. I was very excited to see Claudio's work and it was stunning. I can't wait to see this one, it's right up there with The Dark Knight on my "Must See" list.
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#2 John Hoffler

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 10:18 AM

I saw the trailer as well, and was very intrigued. I was also surprised to see it was a David Fincher film.....it looks different than anything else he has shot. Good to see him continuing to branch out from his dark roots.

Was it just me or did anyone else have 7 previews before Indy? "Button", "Wall-E", "Australia", "Eagle Eye", "Hancock", "Hellboy II", and "Step Brothers"..... that was more than I've ever seen before a film...add the welcome reel, the funny Scorsese Cell Phone skit, the Regal Cinemas promo for an Anime Night and the Metropolitan Opera House it took 20 mins or so to get to the film..... <_<
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#3 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 11:34 AM

I just saw the trailer today and as you guys I was stunning and pleasant surprise. Great composition, contrast, night ambiance, everything looks good... I follow Claudio career since I don't know when I found his name at the web, then his site... I think this guy it would be one of the best contemporary cinematographers. Perhaps this year it could arrive a nomination... I know Claudio post here sometimes and I want to congratulate him for create an inspirational images, unbelievable work and keep walking...

Xavier Plaza
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#4 Danny Haritan

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 10:20 PM

Just saw the trailer, and it looks great. Though I haven't seen Zodiac, this seems like another great Fincher film.
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#5 Tim Terner

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 01:51 AM

Good reading about the Viper workflow here http://www.studiodai...issue/7847.html
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#6 Claudio Miranda ASC

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 11:52 AM

Good reading about the Viper workflow here http://www.studiodai...issue/7847.html

I am glad you liked the trailer.

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to proofread the article before it went out. There are a few errors. It is always best when the writer sends myself a copy before the article goes out. Since this article I make sure I get a chance to proofread. Wayne and myself corrected a few statements below but not all.
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 02:01 PM

Was it run through the anti-ringing utility? There are a couple of artifacts around bright light sources that could just be h.264 compression artifacts but could be Viper highlight inversion.

P
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#8 Benjamin_Lussier

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 07:24 PM

Agreed, the film looks absolutely fantastic.

I first heard of the film during production in Montreal. They shot a few things in the old port right next to my office... I looked it up the net, found out they were using the viper.

When I saw the trailer in theatres... it blew me away !!!

I mean, saying that I LOVE film would be a huge understantement... but seeing this trailer shook me to the core!

This is digital... and it looks absolutely flawless!

I always assumed that HD would eventually take over the industry... something I dreaded but accepted... Thinking that eventually people would get used to the look and embrace it, but that I and a few others would remain skeptical and bitter. hehe

But with a film like this, I mean, the average viewer really can't tell the difference. I can hardly tell too! The motion blur has these nice organic streaks, the highlights and shadows are detailed... it's like a perfect negative.

I'm actually excited about the transition thats taking place now! Great job guys!
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#9 Gus Sacks

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 08:25 PM

I am glad you liked the trailer.

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to proofread the article before it went out. There are a few errors. It is always best when the writer sends myself a copy before the article goes out. Since this article I make sure I get a chance to proofread. Wayne and myself corrected a few statements below but not all.


Claudio, I love your work and can really see this being a ground-breaking film, both aeshetically and by way of its storytelling. Your work is a real inspiration to me (and I'm sure many). And your site is really informative and excellent.

Thank you for putting the calibre of work out that you do ! :)

Gus
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#10 Claudio Miranda ASC

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 11:17 PM

Was it run through the anti-ringing utility? There are a couple of artifacts around bright light sources that could just be h.264 compression artifacts but could be Viper highlight inversion.

P

I am not aware of an anti-ringing utility used. The white pixels flashing around highlights is probably due to sharpening in the noise reduction process (DTS) and definitely not Viper (I just checked original footage). Could be the H.264 conversion, but I have not seen it there before. I have seen the same happen with another noise reduction software where the sharpening setting was too strong. The RED and/or Green fringing occurs most prominently on a bright and dark hard transition in the Viper and it is more pronounced towards the edge of frame. Both of these issues will be fixed on the release of the movie. The red and green shift problem is in every Viper. Some more than others. I picked 2 out of 5 cameras for the movie where this issue is minimal. Some focal lengths show it worst than others. Also the green channel is the first to clip, which is one of the reasons I use a slight magenta filter. When the green channel fails the others keep on going and can produce artifacts in highlights. This artifact you can see more with a bright sky in the background (especially with the sun).

We are still working on the movie and final color correction will not happen for awhile.

Also for some reason Apple converted the 1080 and 480 at 29.97. The 720 version is correct. Apple should have these fixed shortly.
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#11 Max Jacoby

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 02:56 AM

The RED and/or Green fringing occurs most prominently on a bright and dark hard transition in the Viper and it is more pronounced towards the edge of frame. Both of these issues will be fixed on the release of the movie. The red and green shift problem is in every Viper. Some more than others. I picked 2 out of 5 cameras for the movie where this issue is minimal. Some focal lengths show it worst than others.

That seems to be an issue with all 3 Chip cameras. You can also see it on the shot of the woman looking out of the window. The shutters in the foreground exhibit this magenta/green fringing as well.

Are these things hard to get rid of? I mean can software do it by itself or do you need to have a human operator who checks every single shot?
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 06:17 AM

If you're talking about the magenta/green shift in the vertical axis of out-of-focus objects, that is (at least in my experience) at some level an inevitable artifact of three-chip cameras. It is slightly visible in the Benjamin Button trailer (shot looking at Blanchett through a blind) but only to an extent consistent with the level of show you're looking at!

Some lenses do it more than others; Digiprimes are very good lenses. It comes down to how parallel the light is at the point it hits the block.

There is an anti-ringing utility for viper footage which looks for high-con edges and uses thresholding to determine if they're caused by ringing. It's a freebie, as far as I can recall. There's a couple of moments in the trailer which I would consider might be Viper ringing but it's rather hard to tell off an h.264 stream.

P
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#13 John Hoffler

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:31 AM

now knowing that this was shot on Viper and not 35mm. I am all the more impressed. It just goes to show you that digital can be done well.

Great work, Claudio. Truly inspirational.

Can't wait to see the film!
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#14 georg lamshöft

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:07 AM

I'm not a professional cinematographer and have highest respect for Mr. Fincher and his crew (although Zodiac was boring ;-)
But what happens when 4k (projection technology) becomes standard?
Modern 35mm-technology (film stocks, lenses, scanners) can capture 4k, in a few years real 4k-cameras will be available (without color interpolation) and Mr. Fincher & Mr. Pitt could even finance 65mm!?
But what's then with all the 1080p/2k-movies? A technical curiosity?
Sorry, there is this fantastic film-equipment available but nevertheless video-cameras are used in big-budget-projects to imitate film-look!? I don't get it, reminds me of photographers throwing away their large format camera and using 35mm-digital with high-speed AF to capture architecture and landscapes...

Explain it to the stupid film-fetishist! :rolleyes:

By the way, I'm excited to see this movie!
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#15 Will Earl

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 11:17 AM

But what happens when 4k (projection technology) becomes standard?
Modern 35mm-technology (film stocks, lenses, scanners) can capture 4k, in a few years real 4k-cameras will be available (without color interpolation) and Mr. Fincher & Mr. Pitt could even finance 65mm!?
But what's then with all the 1080p/2k-movies? A technical curiosity?


What happens? Simple. All films less than 4k are burnt and forgotten about.
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#16 georg lamshöft

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:02 PM

Of course these movies will still be watched, but you can buy a well mastered Blu-Ray of "Benjamin Button" and use your home-cinema-system while well made 35mm "simply" goes through a 4k DI-process and is projected in an unsurpassed quality (not available on Blu-Ray-successor or IPTV for a very long time) - you can still buy a Blu-ray for home, but when you want the full quality you need to go to the cinema!

Isn't that the idea? 4k for future cinema, HDTV for home? Isn't that the reason why the D-21/Genesis/Viper is just 1080p - because it's for high-def TV?

Don't get me wrong, maybe I just don't see something Mr. Fincher has seen but to it looks like hype to me. "We have to shoot digital! Why? Because we're living in a digital time!"I see this trailer and try to imagine the work that stands behind such a project and they don't seem to use the best equpiment available to capture it. Am I missing something? Michael Mann used HD to create a certain look (if you like it or not) but "Benjamin Button" seems to be one of these "nearly looks like film"-projects... Zodiac looked nice, though - on a bad (copy of a copy...) 35mm-copy - won't you tell the difference when sophisticated 4k-beamers are out?
Of course filmmaking is not just about technology, it's about storytelling. But think of "2001" filmed in 1969... They could have shot it in 35mm or even 16mm - saves costs, is easier to handle and it still would be the same film, don't you think?

Just my two cents... :P
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#17 Ayz Waraich

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:33 PM

The movie looks amazing. That's really all that matters at the end of the day.
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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 02:12 PM

Projected 35mm is nothing like 4K. If we start using 4K systems such as Dalsa to capture movies that are maintained at 4K all the way through and then projected 4K, that will considerably outresolve current methods even to the point of creating quite severe problems for production design people.

Phil
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#19 Tim Terner

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 02:21 PM

The movie looks amazing. That's really all that matters at the end of the day.


I'll jump in to second that
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#20 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 03:03 PM

Don't get me wrong, maybe I just don't see something Mr. Fincher has seen but to it looks like hype to me. "We have to shoot digital! Why? Because we're living in a digital time!"


I suspect he may have thought it through a little more carefully than that.

R.
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