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The Crow, Dark City look


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#1 Jose Figueroa Baez

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 03:21 PM

I have been a big fan of both films for a long time. The look on both films is very similar, of course this might be because they had the same director and DP, Alex Proyas and Dariusz Wolski. The think is I have always wondered how they achieved the washed out, high contrast look the films have, almost all the color is washed out of the scenes. How much of it is post, how much of it is on set lighting, how much is film processing? Notice how the films are very contrasty yet they dont blow out the highlights like in most recent action films. It almost reminds me of something Conrad Hall would do, like in Road to Perdition, but not as soft, sharper edges on the light.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 04:57 PM

The desaturation is 90% art direction -- the cinematography is contrasty, noir-ish, but doesn't particular resort to unusual tricks to get rid of the color, except perhaps some prints may have used the ENR process perhaps.

If the sets and costumes just have grey tones in them, the cinematographer doesn't have to do much to desaturate the image.

The lighting in those movies is fantastic, but it's not the main reason the movies look so desaturated. It is the reason why the movies remind you of film noir -- the heavy chiaroscuro -- that and the camera angles and semi-period touches in art direction and wardrobe.
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