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Film Flashing, what is it and how do you do it?


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#1 blain murphey

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 03:26 PM

Hey everyone,

I was wondering what film flashing was and how to do it. Is it in the processing.

Thanks
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 04:26 PM

Hey everyone,

I was wondering what film flashing was and how to do it. Is it in the processing.

Thanks


http://web.mac.com/m...7EAF52708E.html
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:04 PM

Flashing is a weak overall amount of light that fogs the film -- it can be white light or colored light. It can be done by the lab before processing though many labs won't offer that service, being risky. It can be done in-camera using certain devices (Panaflasher on a Panaflex or ARRI Varicon in a 6x6 mattebox) or done by double-exposing the roll, flashing it once and then rewinding it and shooting the scene -- though you'd need to line-up on the exact perfs for the second pass.
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:55 PM

How do you do it?

VERY CAREFULLY. Doing it in the processing would be a sure way to fog the whole film.

Especially now that DI has become ubiquitous, I'm sure you will have difficultly finding labs that will be willing to do it anymore.

As David mentions, Panaflasher or the like are probably the best method for a DIY approach.

Forget the DP on here and the band, but I saw some nice work done here for a music video "Take It Like A Man" very subtle yellow colored flashing.

Will see if I can stil find it. . .

I honestly can't remember if it is the reason why I like the film, because I saw it so long ago (before my repetoire of cinematic knowledge even included flashing), but I believe "The Little Princess" employed this technique.

Anyone know of any other good examples?
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#5 blain murphey

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:13 PM

Flashing is a weak overall amount of light that fogs the film -- it can be white light or colored light. It can be done by the lab before processing though many labs won't offer that service, being risky. It can be done in-camera using certain devices (Panaflasher on a Panaflex or ARRI Varicon in a 6x6 mattebox) or done by double-exposing the roll, flashing it once and then rewinding it and shooting the scene -- though you'd need to line-up on the exact perfs for the second pass.



Thanks everyone for the input

I will look into the Arri Varicon.
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#6 Mike Lary

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:43 PM

Anyone know of any other good examples?

On the extreme end there's 'McCabe and Mrs. Miller', though flashing the neg was only one factor that contributed to that unique aesthetic. Vilmos Zsigmond also underexposed the neg.
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#7 Russell Richard Fowler

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:13 PM

I am working on some early 1970's footage on Ektachrome reversal film that was flashed by Western Cine many years ago to cut down contrast for printing....
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:14 AM

Some flashing examples:

Picnic (1955) -- according to James Wong Howe, he had the lab post-flash the Eastmancolor negative. I don't know if this was for day work only but it's one of the earliest examples of flashing for a color movie.

The Deadly Affair (1966) -- This is generally cited as one of the first uses of flashing, if you ignore "Picnic". I don't know if the whole movie did it though, I think it was only for selected scenes. But I don't have the American Cinematographer issue that covered this movie.

Camelot (1967) -- most of the movie was flashed using pre-flashed camera rolls.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) -- lab post-flashing
Young Winston (1972) -- colored light flashing using the Colorflex, later Lightflex, later Arri Varicon
The Long Goodbye (1973) -- lab post-flashing
Sugarland Express (1974) -- lab post-flashing
The Wiz (1978) -- Lightflex
Heaven's Gate (1979) -- lab post-flashing, prints also flashed
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) -- Lightflex
Dune (1984) -- Lightflex
La Bamba (1987) -- Lightflex
Fat Man & Little Boy (1989) -- lab post-flashing
Glory (1989) -- Lightflex
The Man in the Moon (1991) -- Lightflex
Maverick (1994) -- Panaflasher
The Little Princess (1995)
The Straight Story (1999) -- Panaflasher

Some of "Amistad" and "Saving Private Ryan" used the Panaflasher, as did parts of "Seven". I think "Evita" and "The Beach" used the Arri Varicon to flash some scenes.

The early college scenes in "A Beautiful Mind" were shot on Fuji film flashed with yellow light.

I used the Panaflasher on "Twin Falls Idaho" and "Northfork".
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#9 Ivan Lebedev

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:50 PM

And what is the basic point of doing it (thinking of contemporary stocks and DI technology), what is the main effect??
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 09:13 PM

And what is the basic point of doing it (thinking of contemporary stocks and DI technology), what is the main effect??


A fogged/flashed image has lighter blacks, lower contrast, softer colors. Is it worth the bother if you are doing a D.I.? Probably not except in some extreme high-contrast situations, though flashing maybe only brings out another half-stop of detail in the shadows at the most, after that, you're just milking the blacks up.

Colored flashing, fogging the low-end information with a color cast, is slightly harder to replicate in a D.I.
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#11 blake williams

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:32 PM

A fogged/flashed image has lighter blacks, lower contrast, softer colors. Is it worth the bother if you are doing a D.I.? Probably not except in some extreme high-contrast situations, though flashing maybe only brings out another half-stop of detail in the shadows at the most, after that, you're just milking the blacks up.

Colored flashing, fogging the low-end information with a color cast, is slightly harder to replicate in a D.I.

Any examples of colored flashing other than Young Winston? Did Tony Scott ever do any yellow toned colored flashing on any of his films?
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:28 PM

Any examples of colored flashing other than Young Winston? Did Tony Scott ever do any yellow toned colored flashing on any of his films?


I don't think Tony Scott ever flashed his movies. Besides, "Young Winston", other movies that used the Lightflex device often colored the flash -- "Dune" for example, or "The Wiz". Roger Deakins flashed Fuji film (at the lab) with yellow light for the early college scenes in "A Beautiful Mind".
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