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Elswit, Anderson, and Punch-Drunk Love


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#1 Colin Rich

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 03:07 PM

This film was briefly discussed on a previous post, but I was wondering if anyone knows (or could speculate) about how the film was lit. It has a very natural and soft look to it but the contrast is very high. I was also wondering about the lens flares, how such strong ones were achieved.

Thanks in advance for the info!
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 05:48 PM

The film was shot anamorphic, on older lenses, C and E series, so the flares come with the territory. But you can tell that they were looking to get flares, or at least not trying to avoid them.
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#3 Joe Taylor

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:30 PM

There is one beautiful flare that seemed to reflect the euphoria of falling in love. It happens as Adam and Emily are running hand in hand down a hallway and big powerful light outside the window swings out of the sky and a blue orb leads them down the hall.

Whoever's idea idea that one knew exactly what it is like to be finally in love.

That is the sappiest thing I have ever and will ever say-- but what they did works.
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#4 Ayz Waraich

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 12:04 PM

Some of the flares were added in post. They always knew they wanted to use flares as part of the story-telling... so some of them are very intentional.

I'd also love to read more about the photography, if anyone has any more info.
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#5 Max Jacoby

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 06:22 PM

Some of the flares were added in post.

What's your source on that if I may ask?
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#6 Colin Rich

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 10:25 AM

There really are many unforgettable images from this film. I love how controlled the pallet is, just a few colors are seen very often throughout. Also some very elaborate camera moves throughout long takes, reminds me of an Ophuls or Woody Allen movie. I wait eagerly for Anderson's next film.
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#7 Ayz Waraich

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 01:14 PM

What's your source on that if I may ask?


I remember reading an interview in which either Anderson or Elwitt said that some of the flares were created in post and timed for emotional effect at key moments. I can't seem to find the original article though -- maybe someone else remembers.

I'll post it here if I manage to find it.
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#8 Jon Schweigart

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 01:31 PM

The film was shot anamorphic, on older lenses, C and E series, so the flares come with the territory. But you can tell that they were looking to get flares, or at least not trying to avoid them.


To add - Using an anamorphic lens make those blue line flares that are everywhere in the film.
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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 01:47 PM

To add - Using an anamorphic lens make those blue line flares that are everywhere in the film.

Not just any anamorphic lenses. Only Panavision's lenses create that blue flare, and I think only a couple of series do it...but my memory fails me at the moment.
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#10 Christopher Arata

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 01:56 PM

A lot of that contrast you speak of is do to the great job they did with locations & what the PD did as well as wardrobe.
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 02:12 PM

Not just any anamorphic lenses. Only Panavision's lenses create that blue flare, and I think only a couple of series do it...but my memory fails me at the moment.


Tohoscope attachments usually produced red flares.

Perhaps the lens coatings determine the color of the flare.
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#12 Luc Allein

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 05:04 PM

Elswit is my hero.
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#13 Mihai Bodea

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 01:59 PM

hello!
Vantage sells a flare filter called Vantage Blue-VisionĀ®.
it simulates the anamorphic flare. it could be controlled with an off-screen light.
as for CG flare I am also very curious. I doubt Anderson used CG. I could not get my self anything to read about the cinematography of this movie so I can't tell. it would be nice to have a source.
I am also very curious about the end titles.
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#14 Joe Taylor

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 02:42 PM

hello!
Vantage sells a flare filter called Vantage Blue-VisionĀ®.
it simulates the anamorphic flare. it could be controlled with an off-screen light.
as for CG flare I am also very curious. I doubt Anderson used CG. I could not get my self anything to read about the cinematography of this movie so I can't tell. it would be nice to have a source.
I am also very curious about the end titles.



That looks pretty sweet. Any idea how much they cost? Web site says they only sell in sets of two for MB-14. I want one, fine-medium in 4x5.6.
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#15 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 11:50 PM

Hello,

Elswitt worked with us at the Sundance Director's Lab this summer and screened "Punch Drunk" one night. I will try and relay what I remember in regards to this film, however some small details may be slightly inaccurate.

The optics used were definitely Primo anamorphics, which are high-contrast lenses. Anderson insists on the slowest film possible and anamorphic photography, as he has an obsession with very clean imagery. Fuji 125T was used throughout, even night exteriors. It was chosen for its very clean grain, strong contrast and especially the color rendering/saturation of Sandler's blue coat and other colors in the production design as decided in testing. The production design was also very saturated and stark, with no 'teching down' of the white walls.

The soft overhead lighting in the warehouse and in the apartment was created by large bounced HMIs. Often he had to string heavy diffusion (gridcloth and/or muslin?) over the dressed "fluorescent banks" or unseen ceiling and just nail it directly and evenly with 6ks or 12ks to get a decent anamorphic stop with the slower film stock and 85 filter. An apartment was found that was actually an open-ceiling, 2-floor loft, so they could work above the shooting area. As far as flares, hot spots and reflections were created by very large HMIs in choice positions. You can sometimes see the lamps themselves reflected in windows in the film.

I seriously doubt Anderson and Elswitt used any CG or trick filters in the film. Anderson is quite the purist, denying Elswit DI correction for the climactic father/son scene in "There Will Be Blood." Elswitt stated that he "seriously screwed up the lighting levels between the windows and the interior," and thus scanned the scene in to brighten and properly colorize the window areas. Anderson never placed the "fixed" footage in, stating in reference to the minimal digital artifacts: "I could never do that to Daniel's performance."
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#16 Colin Rich

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 02:00 PM

I seriously doubt Anderson and Elswitt used any CG or trick filters in the film. Anderson is quite the purist, denying Elswit DI correction for the climactic father/son scene in "There Will Be Blood." Elswitt stated that he "seriously screwed up the lighting levels between the windows and the interior," and thus scanned the scene in to brighten and properly colorize the window areas. Anderson never placed the "fixed" footage in, stating in reference to the minimal digital artifacts: "I could never do that to Daniel's performance."


Very interesting. I must admit I never noticed the windows being off, probably because DDL's performance IS so enticing!
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#17 Mihai Bodea

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 02:47 PM

I could not say if that father and son scene was day or night, but hoped it was stylized night. As for Daniel vs. DI, I am sure he wouldn't mind and we wouldn't have noticed.
But I did notice, from the first time, the CG explosion at the oil rig.
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#18 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 03:05 AM

I could not say if that father and son scene was day or night, but hoped it was stylized night. As for Daniel vs. DI, I am sure he wouldn't mind and we wouldn't have noticed.
But I did notice, from the first time, the CG explosion at the oil rig.


I also noticed the fake bits at the oil explosion scene. Still Anderson kept CGI bits restricted to where they were absolutely necessary. Apparently, a crucial, extended, dramatic scene where the tonality and textural quality was altered was unacceptable to PTA.
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#19 Greg Traw

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:31 PM

No one has mentioned Godard's film "A Woman is a Woman" yet? P.T. Anderson rips off the lens flare and red/blue color palette (minus the introduction of green and gold) almost shamelessly but in a much more OCD way.
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#20 Colin Rich

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 12:56 AM

No one has mentioned Godard's film "A Woman is a Woman" yet? P.T. Anderson rips off the lens flare and red/blue color palette (minus the introduction of green and gold) almost shamelessly but in a much more OCD way.


Interesting point, I forgot all about the flares in that film. I'll have to check it out again.
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