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Chocolate Cake - in postproduction


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#1 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:46 PM

Hello,
for a last few months I had a chance to work with one great team on a interesting project (short feature). I gained lots of new knowledge, especially how good planing is very important. So, I decided to share some of those experiences with you here.
Working with director Dorotea Vucic and a producer Barbara Jukopila during the planing and preproduction was a pure joy. We held meetings every 2 days for a month, and every day for the last two weeks. Also it was a great joy working with our lead actress Mirjana Karanovic, who is very experienced actress well known in this area. Later I'll come to my technical crew who were all really, really great and did their best.

The movie itself is about a lady whose husband dies just before desert, and she find herself in a situation where there is nobody to cook for. Her husband is coming back in her dreams and asks for more deserts, until one day she finds a "friend" in a small neighborhood crook.

First of all, as you can see, most of things are happening in her apartment. It was very important to find a nice suitable (big) apartment that we don't need to change a lot (budget).
We went on a few location scouts, and the last one we saw was just what we were looking for.

After we found the apartment, we got Ivona Malcic on the project as a art director, to make as much as possible without much money. And, i believe she did great.

We decided to film this movie in s16 mm (that later showed as a big problem when you don't have a budget). I also decided to use new Vision 3 500T stock as, to be honest I wanted to test out the new stock. I had 10 rolls of 400' of 500T, roll of Vision 2 100T and one roll of 50D. Plan was to develop negative on Croatian national television as they are the last lab in Croatia that still develop 16 mm film. Telecine was arranged in ALKA Film, also here in Croatia. Master was afterwards supposed to be on DIGIbeta.

I went over all locations with my gaffer to try and make the smallest light package as possible (for interiors) because we had no power for exteriors. In the end we menage to put together a really small package (Barbara was very happy with that).

The shooting itself went very nice and smooth. It was a 5 day shoot with, like I said, small crew. First assistant Ranko Mitic and myself were working great together, gaffer and electricians did great job, and had no problems as we planed everything in advance. Three days we had access to all dolly and grip equipment we needed. Guys from GRIP FILM and one of the best key grips in Europe Josip Siladi, made an awesome job.

After a great shoot, problems started to show up unexpectedly. Biggest of them was that lab had a problem and they made a mess of our negative. Only solution was to do one light telecine, edit it in Avid or Final cut, export EDL and put it to scan and clean up negative digitally. As most of you know, DI is still very expensive, and our budget was nowhere near to cover DI. So I went and beg for some time and kindly, Jozo Patljak from Alka Film accepted to help us.

Few days ago, negative was scanned in 2K on ARRIscan. And I have to say it looks great. This week we are starting color correction on Baselight and Apple Color. I still don't have that high resolution material so I'll post some frames from one light (no CC) telecine just to give you sense what to expect. :) Next week I'll post some high resolution photos.

You will see, on this stills, there are some interesting rigs and camera angles. I overexposed 2/3 of a stop whole material (except 50D) just to get those nice blacks.

These photos are low resolution and compresed with NO color corecction
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Posted Image One of the night exterior POV

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Posted Image This was a very interesting rig

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#2 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:47 PM

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Those last three are the beginning, middle point and the end of an 90 degree dolly shot.
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#3 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:04 PM

If you have any questions be free to ask :)
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 11:15 PM

Sweet! I really like the overhead shot and the third image from the top, in particular, the color palette and art dept choices are nice. I would be interested in seeing some of the stills from the Arri Scan, as these look grainy and low res, it almost looks like 500T S-8 at times.
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#5 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:45 AM

Sweet! I really like the overhead shot and the third image from the top, in particular, the color palette and art dept choices are nice. I would be interested in seeing some of the stills from the Arri Scan, as these look grainy and low res, it almost looks like 500T S-8 at times.


Thank you, here is the on set photo, of the rig for those overhead shots, one for the kitchen table, other one for the bed.

I am really amazed how good art department, director and myself were working together. I believe lots of good things came from long and good planing. Only mistake we made, with witch I was not completely satisfied is that blueish thing on the kitchen window. It was not really working for the night scenes in the kitchen.

I'll get the stills next week, till than, you are right, this stills look awful, they were recompressed three times ... mpeg --> cinepack avi --> jpeg
Talking about grain, I was really surprised how grain looks good on 2k scan (till I get to them, you will have to believe me)

here are 3 more photos
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and this last one is from the sequence you like :)
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#6 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 03:45 PM

I've seen 2K scans today, and I have to say I AM AMAZED, how good they look. Tomorrow I will try to export some stills from Color.


Thanks for reading :)
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#7 Rob Vogt

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 03:57 PM

What lenses did you use?
I really like the vibrant colors.
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#8 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 05:04 PM

Most of the film was shoot with Zeiss Mk. II set of primes, overhead shots of the table and bed were done with Angenieux HR 10-120mm (converted to S16). That is just because of the rig, it was more practical to use zoom. I was a bit afraid how will this Angenieux hold up, first of all, because it was converted, and because, for the table show I was using it at 10mm, and i didn't have chance to test it before the shoot.
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#9 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 01:21 PM

I remember your BTS shots from Cinematography.com's facebook page.
:)

...

As this page loads i first saw the screengrabs
and was puzzled how your 2k scans can look gorgeous ?!?

Then i red about how these are 1 light telecine w/o CC grabs ... :)

...

Just wondering, wouldn't digital acquisition fit in your budget?
RED, SI-2K, F900...?

Is the movie for TV or big screen ?


Best

Igor
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#10 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 03:07 PM

I remember your BTS shots from Cinematography.com's facebook page.
:)

...

As this page loads i first saw the screengrabs
and was puzzled how your 2k scans can look gorgeous ?!?

Then i red about how these are 1 light telecine w/o CC grabs ... :)

...

Just wondering, wouldn't digital acquisition fit in your budget?
RED, SI-2K, F900...?

Is the movie for TV or big screen ?


Best

Igor


This is becoming a small, too small world :)
Thank you, I have 2k scans but I am not sure how to export them from Color. I am getting small 600px over-sharpen too grainy jpeg-s.

I'll put them here for now, until I figure out how to export full resolution picture.


Both director (she shot a movie prior to this one, few months before that got Academy award nomination) and myself wanted to do it on film...there was a great opportunity for that to happen and we took it.
Well, budget of the movie.
This is a bit strange story, whole movie costed about 4000 dollars. Oh you will ask, how to fit all this in only 4000$? We got a great deal for camera and lenses package and stock, for free :) Key grip and his best boy got their equipment for free for 3 days we needed them.
Developing was bad, but free. Maybe that was the biggest problem.

Lets say it his way, those digital, at that moment in Croatia were (even at the moment are) more expensive than 16 (with 16 you have other problems).
In Croatia there is no SI-2K, Red goes for 1000 Euro/day, F900 goes for about 900 Euro/day... and we managed do shoot everything for 4000$ :)


Here are those small stills that are over-sharpen and to grainy (is it because of down-scaling?)

If anybody knows how to export big ones, please help.


Scan 1
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Scan 1 with auto balance option
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Scan 2
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Scan 2 with auto balance option
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Scan 3
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Scan 3 with auto balance option
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Scan 4
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Scan 4 with auto balance option
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Scan 5
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Scan 5 with auto balance option
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#11 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:53 AM

Here are few more,
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The interesting thing is, he is shot on 7212, buh her shot was on 7201. On screen you can see the difference. 7210 has more contrast and it is pretty much more saturated.
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#12 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 07:58 AM

Movie is more or less finished and we are hoping to have the premiere later this month. Next week you can see it in Cannes short corner :)
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#13 Dominic Gruenberg

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 12:08 PM

You kinda got me interested in seeing this little movie. How are the plans for release? Festivals, Internet?
Did you fit all the ext-shots on that one 50d roll? I'd love to see more making-of pictures. :)
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#14 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 04:03 AM

You kinda got me interested in seeing this little movie. How are the plans for release? Festivals, Internet?
Did you fit all the ext-shots on that one 50d roll? I'd love to see more making-of pictures. :)


Hey Dominc, sorry for taking this long to reply, it was a bit busy time for me now. Thank you for your interest in this movie.
If I am correct, Festivals are on the top of the list, than DVD and internet. I think I could make them to make a short trailer of the movie. And than show it to you and others.

About your question about exterior shots, i am afraid i cant say 100% sure, but I am sure it was a mixture of stocks for the exteriors. It did not fit on only one roll of 7201 (50D), part of it was on 7212 (100T), and maybe a shot or two on 7219 (500T). You can clearly see the difference between 50D and 500T.
7201 is a great stock, but i am not that sure i like it using it on tight close ups like i used it in this movie.

I can show you more making of photos.
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