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Vibrant Colors?


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#1 kyle ragaller

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 08:16 PM

I was wondering what experience some people have had with getting very vibrant colors in camera and not using post. I am shooting on 16mm and have decided to have a vibrant and colorful look to my film but wasn't sure which stock to try or techniques to achieve this aesthetic. I have heard a few stories about over exposing by as many as 4 stops and having it printed down in the lab, does this work well? I have also been told that Fuji film can get better colors than Kodak. Obviously I will be doing tests but I was curious to hear other peoples stories about their experiences with color exposures before contacting film distributors.

thanks.
/kyle
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#2 Andrew Koch

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 02:46 AM

Fuji has a stock called Vivid. It's a Tungsten stock, 160 ISO. It is higher saturation and higher contrast than most negative stocks. I wouldn't recommend overexposing 4 stops. You will loose too much highlight detail, and if you are doing telecine, this can add quite a bit of noise. It will also be harder to print down if you are making a print because you will need to use very high printer lights, in some cases the maximum available in the hazeltine. There is a certain limit to how far down a basic print can go. 2/3 to a stop should be sufficient to getting a saturated image. High contrast images can help to make an image seem more saturated. You can help this with your lighting. One of the biggest things that will help you get saturated colors is production design. Fill the frame with darker colors, deep reds, deep blues, etc... rather than pastel colors. Complementary colors also help, such as someone wearing a yellow shirt against a blue wall.
Use sharp lenses with good coatings. Don't shoot with them wide open. You will usually get better optical performance stopped down about 2 stops from wide open. If the lens opens to a T2, shooting around 4 or 5.6 It will help with getting more punch out of your image. Take great care in preventing flares, because these will lower your contrast and make the image less contrasty and saturated.
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:29 PM

Have you considered shooting Kodak's E6 stock, 5285? It is available as slide film for you to test in a 35mm SLR, sold as E100VS. It is 100-speed, with very little latitude, and there are issues in getting it to print, as it produces a direct positive image, but it is definitely tops for saturation you can get from a motion picture film today. It is grainier than some of the more recently-introduced slide films, as it is a somewhat older emulsion.

Remember though that stock, processing, and printing are the last steps in, hopefully, a process that includes art direction, set design, lighting, filtration, and other factors to allow for a "look". Hitchcock considered the actual filming of a movie to be rather boring because he planned so meticulously in advance. Remember too that, for a long time, cinematographers really only had one stock to choose from, whatever Kodak's movie stock was. They managed to get a wide range of looks from this one stock until the early to mid '80s when multiple neg. stocks began to be offered at the same time by Kodak, Fuji, and, at that time, Agfa as well.

Hope this helps!
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:31 PM

Sorry, in 16mm it'd be *7* -285. Other than that, everything else I've said holds true. This is the only reversal stock you can use that is high saturation as 35mm obviously won't work in a 16mm camera. You could try to find K25 or K40A still floating around out there, as it has higher saturation than negative film as well, but you'd be limited to 100-foot rolls and I highly doubt you could find enough of it to shoot a film project, unfortunately.
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#5 kyle ragaller

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:53 PM

Yea, i have been in preproduction for a year and have been getting my designs to where the colors will "pop" but I was curious about the actual filming stage; which films have a higher saturation, etc. I was planning on shooting the film on a steady 5.6 for those reasons Andrew Koch mentions. The posts have helped and I invite more people to drop in with their comments and personal experiences.

Thanks.

/kyle
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:38 PM

Yea, i have been in preproduction for a year and have been getting my designs to where the colors will "pop" but I was curious about the actual filming stage; which films have a higher saturation, etc. I was planning on shooting the film on a steady 5.6 for those reasons Andrew Koch mentions. The posts have helped and I invite more people to drop in with their comments and personal experiences.

Thanks.

/kyle


7285, E100VS, the "VS" stands for "vivid saturation" or something similar, so it is probably your best bet, again, assuming you are good enough with a light-meter to expose it properly.

For neg., Vivid 160 is probably your best bet. I've never used it though. I'm of the opinion that *Kodak* has better colors. So whoever told you that Fuji was better is probably taking kickbacks from them ;-) In terms of "better", it has a better, i.e. cheaper price than Kodak. Remember the old saying though: "You get what you pay for."

IMHO, Kodak is tops for caucasian flesh rendition. Fuji always has an uncorrectable magenta bias that I abhor. Just me though. Some people like Fuji's pinkish bias and some people like Kodak's "orangish" bias.

You'd really need to do tests to determine which will best replicate the "look" you are going for. Don't blindly follow the advice of internet armchair experts. Lol. We have a lot of knowledge on this board, but for all you know, one of the responders here (not me) could be some 12-y.o.

Remember the old film shooter's adage of test, test, and test again.


Good luck!

Edited by Karl Borowski, 05 September 2008 - 01:39 PM.

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#7 Paul Bruening

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 02:37 PM

I'm stating the obvious. But, you invited us to kick-in. If you use a system of strong colors, keep in mind where the viewers' eyes will fall in the frame. You want to manage that. Too much set color can take attention off the subjects. Too much color on extras can do the same. Whatever is most important should have the highest chrominance (general rule of thumb, only).
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