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Which DPs have used the Varicon flashing system


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#1 Ashley Barron

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 11:33 PM

Hi all,

The topic title is pretty self explanatory.

So, if you can think of a film (Kaminski's Saving Private Ryan's one) that used the Varicon flashing system, throw it in!

Cheers,
Ash.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:50 AM

Some scenes in "Saving Private Ryan" used a Panaflasher, not a Varicon.

Darius Khondji has used a Varicon on parts of some of his movies, "Delicatessen", "Evita", "The Beach", probably "City of Lost Children". I believe Freddie Francis switched from the Lightflex to the Varicon by the time of "The Straight Story".

The article says that "Love is the Devil" used the Varicon on some scenes:
http://www.theasc.co.../gutter/pg2.htm

The recent HBO "Grey Gardens" used the Varicon for the 1930's scenes:
http://greygardensne...hotography.html

Tami Reiker used the Varicon on "High Art":
http://www.cinematog...DoPh/reiker.htm
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#3 Karel Bata

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 05:38 AM

I posted this elsewhere here, but since that was in a another sub-forum and context...

I've used Freddie Francis' Varicon (a step on from his lightflex) and loved it!. You can see what's happening in the viewfinder and dial in degrees of the effect. Here's a pic quite strangely showing it upside down, as this way up it would fall out (unless you gaffer taped it in!):

Posted Image

As well as lifting the shadows, you can slip gels in to color your shadows. Here's a still with some orange in. With the Varicon switched off half that bookcase would be black. Saves a lot of trouble rigging fill lights, particluarly in awkward corners. You have to keep scrupulous notes as you go along, otherwise you'll have difficulty matching shots later. Let's see if this uploads...

Posted Image

Ah! :D Freddie Francis won Best Cinematography Oscar using it on Glory. Such a nice man too. Very much missed.

Because you can actually see the effect you simply creep the level up till your happy. There's no '10%' or whatever on a Varicon, like you get in flashing (and technically I'm not really sure it's the same thing, more like a variable fog filter). I would imagine with flashing (never done it) you'd be more inclined to err on the side of caution. Freddie Francis took it to the limit on Dune, and the subject suited that, but he was much more subtle on Glory. I like the fact that you can switch colors for different scenes too.

Here's the Lightflex (which was the precursor to the varicon) on Dune used lightly (well realatively so!)

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And here it's turned up quite a lot!

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Be hard to achieve those different effects with varying levels of conventional flashing on a film, I would have thought. With a Varicon you just dial it in! Anyway, I loved it, but like a lot of other neat tricks we took the trouble to learn, it's largely been made redundant by DI...

http://web.mac.com/m...7EAF52708E.html
http://www.cinematog...ges/VARICON.HTM
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Metropolis Post

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Aerial Filmworks

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Tai Audio

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

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