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KNOWING director Alex Proyas on RED camera


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#1 Victor Khong

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:28 PM

http://blog.wired.co...ng-directo.html

Disclaimer: Do not assume I am a RED fan just because I am posting this link :)
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#2 Keith Walters

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:11 AM

http://blog.wired.co...ng-directo.html

Disclaimer: Do not assume I am a RED fan just because I am posting this link :)

Thanks for the link.
Disclaimer: Do not assume I am a RED basher just because I point out that there's nothing here we haven't heard a dozen times before :rolleyes:


It doesn't really sound like the writer has actually interviewed Proyas; it sounds like more good old fashioned house-of-mirrors copy-and-paste Internet "journalism".

It would be great to read a real interview with Proyas, conducted by someone who actually understood cinematography.

Edited by Keith Walters, 21 March 2009 - 03:13 AM.

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#3 Joe Taylor

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 09:41 PM

Yeah, but what did you think of the movie?? "Knowing" is the dumbest piece poop since "Every which way you can," not to be confused with "Every which way but loose," which was actually smarter. And at least you are supposed to laugh at the ape.
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#4 Keith Walters

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 11:38 PM

Yeah, but what did you think of the movie?? "Knowing" is the dumbest piece poop since "Every which way you can," not to be confused with "Every which way but loose," which was actually smarter. And at least you are supposed to laugh at the ape.

"Knowing" hasn't been released in Australia yet, so I can't comment on something I haven't actually seen. This isn't Reduser you know :lol:
Having said that, preliminary reviews indicate it might be the greatest steamer since "Signs" :P

In any case, no matter how excremental the movie itself might be, that shouldn't impact on the performance of the camera.
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:45 AM

Yeah, but what did you think of the movie?? "Knowing" is the dumbest piece poop since "Every which way you can," not to be confused with "Every which way but loose," which was actually smarter. And at least you are supposed to laugh at the ape.


I'm still going to see it. I just hope I'm not going to be disappointed by the cinematography. Honestly though, from the trailer, I didn't really notice anything objectionable about the look.

I wonder if it'd be better to go see it at those all-digital theatres or just go see it on 35. . .
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#6 Tim Tyler

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

I saw a print last night in a multiplex with poor projection. The top third of the frame was soft, especially near the middle, so I was consistently distracted by that.

Going in, I did not remember that it had been shot with Red cameras. I did not notice anything about the image that said digital or video. I thought the photography looked pretty average as far as most stufio films in that genre look. I do not like the Genesis look, and this was not like that.

As far-fetched as the story was, I kind of liked it in a B-movie sort of way. I felt that Nicolas Cage's performance was above par for him.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 06:32 PM

I just saw it digitally projected at the Scotiabank Theatre here in Vancouver. I saw the trailer digitally projected some months ago and I can say that the final version looks better -- they cleaned up a lot (all of it, actually) of blue channel noise that was visible in some dark scenes, like when the police looks for the missing girl in the dark elementary school near the opening.

Overall, it looked great -- very clean, noise-free, "film-like" blacks, contrast (just a bit of clippiness around flashlight beams or bright windows, and a bit crunchiness of shadow detail). As sharp as any Super-35 photography I've seen on the big screen (I saw "Watchmen" and part of "The International" playing at the same theater.)

Main defect is some odd fleshtones, some of which is simply a creative decision in timing... but it does point to some inherent weaknesses to the RED image, which is a rather muted color response, especially in blue-purple-violet. You can certainly crank up the saturation to correct that, but at the risk of some noise, or faces going more deep brown-bronze than normal skin color. But I also have to say that I've run into this issue with other digital cameras too. You'd think that a lack of blue saturation and some crosstalk between colors would not have much of an effect of skintones, but you'd be surprised at how many subtle shades are in skin, and without them, you can end up with that brown-tan BandAid look in faces that so many movies today have.

They did keep the fall colors of the foliage fairly rich though, looks like a lot of post touch-up work in exteriors to maintain those autumn leaf colors.

I'd love to read more about the D.I. process because whoever did it did a top-notch job. I'd like to hear more about any denoising work they did.
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#8 Jake Kerber

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 10:13 PM

I wonder if it'd be better to go see it at those all-digital theatres or just go see it on 35. . .
[/quote]

FWIW, Jim Jannard mentioned that the D.P. on the film much prefers the digital projection over the film print version.
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#9 Evan Winter

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:08 PM

Just saw "Knowing" projected on film tonight and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed "Signs" too though.

In terms of cinematography, if I hadn't known this was shot digitally I wouldn't have guessed. It looked like S35 through a DI to me. Whoever mentioned Genesis is right - "Superman Returns" had a digital look (although I didn't particularly mind) but I didn't sense the same thing in "Knowing".

I have no idea how much post work they had to put into this to get it to look as good as they did but I finally feel convinced by Red. After having DP'ed over 30 jobs on film I've now shot my first two projects on Red plus I couldn't find fault with its look in "Knowing".

I believe that if I ever can't afford S35mm I'll shoot Red and in many situations where I can afford S35mm I may still shoot Red.

Evan W.
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#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:51 AM

I keep seeing various versions of TV spots & trailers...in some it looks like the lamest film, others make it look pretty awesome, so I'm intrigued enough to probably check it out this week.

Just one thing, it seems like a combination of Nick Cage's "National Treasure" and "Next" characters & premises. I guess we'll see :)
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#11 Will Earl

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:39 AM

Park Road Post did the DI. Although aside from a couple of minor press releases there doesn't seem to be much information about it at the moment.

http://www.parkroad...._proyas_knowing
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#12 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 04:22 PM

I'm still going to see it. I just hope I'm not going to be disappointed by the cinematography. Honestly though, from the trailer, I didn't really notice anything objectionable about the look.

I wonder if it'd be better to go see it at those all-digital theatres or just go see it on 35. . .


The pootertoon plane and subway crashes were verging on a video game look in the TV spots.

This seems common in TV spots, yet the pootertoons look acceptable in the theatre.
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#13 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 04:48 PM

... yet the pootertoons look acceptable in the theatre.

Sorry Leo, what's a "pootertoon"?
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#14 Tim Tyler

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 05:06 PM

I think he means "computer cartoon", or computer graphic animation.

It's sometimes easy to forget that cinematography.com is a global web site with users who do not always speak English as a first language.
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#15 Joseph Arch

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:31 PM

It is not really as good as film but close. Ask them to recreate the same look in Saving Private Ryan using RED and they will fail. Every red user is getting an erection about this film when it is just standard looking. Not Oscar worthy like Saving Private Ryan or Passion of the Christ.

Doesn't do anything for me.
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#16 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:54 AM

It is not really as good as film but close. Ask them to recreate the same look in Saving Private Ryan using RED and they will fail. Every red user is getting an erection about this film when it is just standard looking. Not Oscar worthy like Saving Private Ryan or Passion of the Christ.

Doesn't do anything for me.



Hmm. Friends is shot on 35mm. Saving Private Ryan is shot on 35mm. But friends doesn't look anywhere near as good as saving Private Ryan! How can this possibly be!!!?????!!!!!!??????!!!!!!?????!!!!!


I am trying to comprehend how these statements can come from the same person:

"I really want Benjamin Button to win. The cinematography is out standing."

"I was rooting for Benjamin Button all the way."

"Why do studios feel the need to sacrifice film for digital? This is ridiculous. Digital is good for independent films, documentaries, commercials, music. Digital has no place in cinema."

"When it comes to cinema I am pro film for life."
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#17 K Borowski

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 05:24 AM

Not Oscar worthy like Saving Private Ryan or Passion of the Christ.


Passion didn't deserve any Oscars either. The DI was one of hte worst I've ever seen on that film, and it was, basically, about Jesus Christ getting the crap beat out of him for two hours :blink:

I don't have a problem with, or feel threatened by, a RED picture that gets accolades for not looking like poop. I also have a problem with the Genesis. It's looked super bad, shall we say, in every movie I've seen it used.

Not that I was paying attention, because it was a trailer, nor am I as expert as David, but even in the trailer, I didn't notice anything objectionable or problematic. Saw it in the trailer for "Twilight", in 35mm, and it looked fine in every way.

IDK why everyone is talking about a DI though. Linguistic semantics aside, there is nothing "DI" in a digital projection. While not technically correct to say, as a DI implies film in and film out, you would only deal with the DI process for a film out, no?

Yeah, I guess I'll have to see it in 35 and digital. Any way to communicate this with a ticket-tearer, or am I going to have to hit up one of the all-digital chains that I hate so much to see it that way?
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#18 Michel Hafner

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:13 AM

IDK why everyone is talking about a DI though. Linguistic semantics aside, there is nothing "DI" in a digital projection. While not technically correct to say, as a DI implies film in and film out, you would only deal with the DI process for a film out, no?

No. DI as a term means that a digital master element is made from which everything is derived, film prints, digital cinema exhibition masters, HD and SD video masters, archival masters (digital and on film). It no longer implies a film source or necessarily a film out, which is still the norm, though.
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#19 Stephen Williams

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:48 AM

It no longer implies a film source or necessarily a film out, which is still the norm, though.


If there is no film out it would be a Digital Finish rather than Digital Intermediate.
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#20 K Borowski

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:50 AM

The term "intermediate" implies a digital stage in amongst two analog ones. Or, it's an A-D-A sandwich, if you will.
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