Jump to content


Photo

Getting a saturated, smoky image like Kar-Wai's


  • Please log in to reply
54 replies to this topic

#1 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 27 May 2008 - 03:04 PM

Hey!
For my next film I would like to create a smokey, saturated look. Pretty much like Kar-Wai often creates, "Chungking Express" for an example:
chungking.jpg

I guess to get that saturation you would have to push the film at least two stops?
I will probably use a lot of low-key lightning.
What's the best film stock for this look? (16mm)

If you want another example, Takashi Miike uses this look in Odishion aswell:
bscap0068fb.jpg
  • 0

#2 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 28 May 2008 - 09:38 AM

If I'm asking a totally ridiculous question, please enlight me.
  • 0

#3 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:11 PM

Hi Hampus,

pushing is a good place to start. You could also increase saturation in post. And for the slightly halated my guess is it's some kind of light diffusion filter. You could also try nets and/or haze in the air, but that will weaken the colors if not light by colored light...

Cheers, Dave
  • 0

#4 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:50 PM

Hi Hampus,

pushing is a good place to start. You could also increase saturation in post. And for the slightly halated my guess is it's some kind of light diffusion filter. You could also try nets and/or haze in the air, but that will weaken the colors if not light by colored light...

Cheers, Dave


Cheers Dave,
yeah I think I'll push the film for saturation. So you think the look is more a lightning matter?
But what about the "muddy", almost greyish blacks? That's something that you can achieve in post maybe?
  • 0

#5 matt cooke

matt cooke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London, UK.

Posted 29 May 2008 - 12:13 PM

You could try a combination of push processing (for contrast and saturation) and underexposure + printing up (for smoky blacks). So for example, if you are shooting on Fuji 8553 you could rate it at 800-1000asa, rather than 250, develop with a push 1 process and then print up for correct exposure. Just be careful not to let your shadows go too dark while shooting or you may miss some details.
I would suggest shooting on 35mm if the added grain produced by the pushing and under exposure are a worry for you. Hope that helps.
  • 0

#6 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 29 May 2008 - 03:42 PM

Thanks matt,
There's no way I can afford 35mm tough. It's going to be a serious project, absolutely, but I'm a relatively new director and filmmaker and so the budget are limited to 16mm.
I also don't think I'll shoot with Fuji stocks, because Kodak are probably going to sponsor us. Almost forgot that there are other companies who manufacture film.
Sorry, but what do you mean by printing up? I'll probably have the negatives scanned to hardrive, rather than printed.
So you think underexposing will give me those kind of muddy blacks? Won't that ruin details for me?
Oh well I gues I have to comprimise somewhere. Again, cheers.
  • 0

#7 Jamie Metzger

Jamie Metzger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco

Posted 30 May 2008 - 01:09 AM

Hampus:
You might want to consider that Chris Doyle shot those movies and presumably did not finish with a DI or Telecine. It looks like a photochemical finish, which yields tons of possibilities....With film, we always suggest testing, in many different scenarios, with different wardrobe and lighting situations. I do agree with what david said about underexposing, and then printing up; which in your case would be underexposing and pushing the film in the lab, or developing normal, and trying to pull the detail out of the mids and low end in telecine. This requires testing on your film stock as well.

The new kodak 500T is promising to be even better with detail then before, so check it out. You can also go 1 1/2 to double saturated with the colors on your gels, use a type of diffusion, and then pull back on the saturation in post.


Too many options.
  • 0

#8 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 30 May 2008 - 02:14 AM

You might try testing 7279, rated at 500 pushed 1 stop with a white promist to start with, though no matter what you do, you're probably gonna get significantly more grain with pushed 16mm. You could experiment with lightly flashing the film to give you muddier gray blacks although I'm not sure how much that would kill your color saturation. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 30 May 2008 - 02:16 AM.

  • 0

#9 Jamie Metzger

Jamie Metzger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco

Posted 30 May 2008 - 02:28 AM

You might try testing 7279, rated at 500 pushed 1 stop with a white promist to start with, though no matter what you do, you're probably gonna get significantly more grain with pushed 16mm. You could experiment with lightly flashing the film to give you muddier gray blacks although I'm not sure how much that would kill your color saturation. B)

Yet another way to "achieve" that look. James; he can double saturate on his colors and lights....
  • 0

#10 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 30 May 2008 - 03:37 AM

Thanks everybody!
Well, I guess everybody has made their points. It's a matter of trial and error to get the kind of look that you want.
But I'll check out your suggestions and see what gives me the most satisfying reslut.
More grain is not a problem. I find it hard to use Pro Mist without the Sunset Beach-look.
Cheers! Really appriciate it

Edited by Hampus Bystrom, 30 May 2008 - 03:41 AM.

  • 0

#11 XiaoSu Han

XiaoSu Han
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 162 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 01 August 2008 - 04:33 PM

i think that you're going the wrong way there
especially with 16mm and DI i wouldn't push the film a stop.

just use the stock speed and tweak it in post, especially because i dont think that wkw and doyle did anything on this particular shot, they just used what's available (let the praticals burn and underexpose the faces a bit) and that's very contrasty it seems

they probably strengthened the blueish cast with printer lights, you can do that in the color correction program of your choice on the computer

dont forget to let us see the result!
  • 0

#12 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 01 August 2008 - 04:43 PM

Smoky images can be made with actually smoking the sets, flashing the film, fogging the film, fogging the print stock, use of filters, use of diffusion, use of silk stockings held in tight contact with the rear element of the lens, between back of the lens and film emulsion, flashing of IN, flashing of master positive, flashing of prints or some sort of silver retention.

Saturation would be mostly filters.

Oh, sorry for that huge runon sentence too, as I am in a hurry to get the hell off of this thing for the day. . .

Hope this helps!

~KB
  • 0

#13 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 02 August 2008 - 07:28 AM

Smoky images can be made with actually smoking the sets, flashing the film, fogging the film, fogging the print stock, use of filters, use of diffusion, use of silk stockings held in tight contact with the rear element of the lens, between back of the lens and film emulsion, flashing of IN, flashing of master positive, flashing of prints or some sort of silver retention.

Saturation would be mostly filters.

Oh, sorry for that huge runon sentence too, as I am in a hurry to get the hell off of this thing for the day. . .

Hope this helps!

~KB


How to you flash the negative? I've read about movies who did this and I find it very pleasing.
Cheers
  • 0

#14 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 02 August 2008 - 10:17 AM

Flashing a neg can either be achieved before you load it by "pre exposing" the film to a certain amount of light (TESTING IS NECESSARY) and then rewinding it all, and loading it in the camera and going.
Or, more simply, it's done with a rig on the front of the camera (Panaflasher? I believe is the name of it) which adds in a certain amount of light to the image while it is being exposed in the camera (so you don't pre-expose the film here but rather add what could be considered a even filter reflection, like some white opacity in photoshop over a black background-ish).
This will lower contrast overall and with it possibly some saturation as you are moving away from true blacks to a muddied/greyish black. I'm pretty sure the book Motion Picture Lighting covers this, but I'm not at home to check right now.
Shoot me an e mail if you'd like and tonight I can have a look on my bookshelf for pgs and books referencing flashing.
  • 0

#15 David Rakoczy

David Rakoczy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1579 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • USA

Posted 02 August 2008 - 03:45 PM

Panavision's Flasher Flashes the Film as it enters the Mag. I used them on a Feature and they work Great! You can also add Gels to warm or cool the Flash.. I used Blue to Flash the Night Scenes and Orange to Flash the Day Scenes. I believe it is Arri who has a front Flasher..

Adrian is right... always test any Flashing to be used or considered.

Edited by David Rakoczy, 02 August 2008 - 03:46 PM.

  • 0

#16 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 02 August 2008 - 03:47 PM

Actually, yes, I think you're right about it being Arri with the front mounted flasher.
One day I'll get my hands on one of them just to toy 'round with (sad that all our "toys" are incredibly expensive. . .)
  • 0

#17 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 03 August 2008 - 02:44 PM

Sounds great, flashing does, but it might be a tad too much for my first project.
The thing is, I shoot a lot of still film (Fuji Provia F and so on), and I just love the look that I get from pushing it +2 stops.
So why do you think it's wrong XiaoSu Han? Too much grain?
Maybe I'll save enough to shoot 35.
As much as I love WKW what I really should have made more clear is that I want the look that
Takashi and his cinematographer achieves in "Odishon".
Which is deeply saturated colors with really muddy blacks.

Edited by Hampus Bystrom, 03 August 2008 - 02:45 PM.

  • 0

#18 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 03 August 2008 - 02:54 PM

Grain is always something of note in S16/16mm photography. It's noticeable almost always when rating the film at it's normal E.I. and can become obtrusive as you push the film, or underexpose and try to pull it up in post without pushing. Testing is really required for all of that. Also, the grain issue is why a lot of people, myself included, overexpose the stock which tightens the grain structure when pulled down in post. It's not a great over-exposure, though. Normally I'll do 500 @320 or the like. So, yes, pushing film will increase grain, often times dramatically. In S16mm it's already there normally, so pushing can exacerbate it into a "problem." That's subjective, though. Some people (myself sometimes) love grain, so long as it serves the story a bit or the created world.
  • 0

#19 Hampus Bystrom

Hampus Bystrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Student
  • Stocktown

Posted 04 August 2008 - 12:21 AM

Yes! And this discussion really can't go anywhere without me testing things soon, I'll contact Kodak and Fuji and see if they'll sponsor a poor student
with some test stocks (in order to buy loads of more, you give some, take some.)

I just need to finish the script and see about how much you have to pay actors.
How much is that? You don't have to answer that, it was rhetorical, but it can really give a man a headache.
Again, many thanks, you've all been helpful
  • 0

#20 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 04 August 2008 - 01:39 AM

Hey Saul, were you shooting Estar films in your still camera at 24 fps? I'm putting it in a rather indirect manner, but that should answer your question.

BTW, I shoot Estar 70mm in still photography applications myself. It's 1000x better than acetate, more dimensionally stable, a thinner base, more consistent, just that it's just TOO strong for motion picture camera stock.
  • 0


Willys Widgets

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

CineLab

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Opal

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Technodolly

CineTape