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Lost in Translation look. Low light, low sat, low contrast, all on a canon 5D or 7D?


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#1 James Shoop

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:12 PM

first off; I've been totally in love with the natural beauty of Lance Acord's films.

What I want to do is create the same look and feel of Lost in Translation, yet instead of 35MM, i'm going to be shooting on a 5D or 7D.

heres a previous thread talking about the settings/style.
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=12251

So if anyone has some suggestions and/or has a prior experience with these consumer cameras (which I will be getting my hands on shortly). then please hit me up on my email, which is shooop@rocketmail.com


or just post here with tips on how to shoot like a lance acord...


Thanks everyone! :D

Edited by James Shoop, 08 August 2010 - 11:16 PM.

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#2 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:20 PM

You're kidding, right? I hope.
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#3 James Shoop

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:25 PM

You're kidding, right? I hope.

not really dude. i'm new and what not, and i haven't used that camera before. I used my other cameras, but i want some overall tips on how they shot that film. ie: lighting, etc...

thanks.

I think this post should be moved to the canon hd section.
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#4 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:34 PM

I'd suggest studying basic photography for a while and working on student films. After a few years, you'll start to understand what you are getting into and can make more sense of any advice you might get then.

It's like you have only made PB&J sandwiches so far but you are asking advice about what a master chef uses to spice up his food with. You will not cook anything like him by knowing, and probably shouldn't anyway.

Find your own style and way of doing things after you have a foundation to build on.
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#5 James Shoop

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:39 PM

I'd suggest studying basic photography for a while and working on student films. After a few years, you'll start to understand what you are getting into and can make more sense of any advice you might get then.

It's like you have only made PB&J sandwiches so far but you are asking advice about what a master chef uses to spice up his food with. You will not cook anything like him by knowing, and probably shouldn't anyway.

Find your own style and way of doing things after you have a foundation to build on.


yeah man, thanks for that tip.

all i'm asking is for some basic tips on the certain style/color/settings for the camera that would sort of give that look. like I said, i'm not a hack pro doing this for a living.

I shoot my stuff jay duplass and aaron katz style... it's the way i've always done it.
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#6 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 01:57 AM

So you are asking about:

1) Style- Something that took someone like Lance many, many years and 1000's of shots to develop into his own.

I don't know how to help you there.


2) Color- Could you be talking about how color has more to do with production design, costumes and locations? Or the way film records colors (along with massive depth that a DSLR doesn't have). Or could you be talking about how a professional colorist helps to grade a movie like you are referring to?


3) Settings- Are you talking about DSLR menu settings that mimic 35mm, along with how the grading was handled?

No setting will get you there. Those cameras have lots of issues too which will make mimicking even harder.


I understand your energy to just go out and do it, but the days of being able to push a button and make what you want spit out of a little camera just haven't materialized yet, nor will they. People thought that time had come with the whole RED movement but soon found out that even $30K+ can't buy it.

So much more goes into what makes a movie look the way it does. Refusing to accept that you need a foundation to learn on will make it a tough road.

I don't give advice very well since people usually don't like blunt, somewhat impatient, replies but I was being sincere and do understand where you are coming from but this is classic "Cart before the horse" stuff.
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 05:59 AM

I'll back up what Vincent is saying.

Camera settings (or choice of filmstock, or whatever) is only one of a dozen elements. When you're talking about achieving "a look", the place you start is in front of the camera. When Matrix was new and popular, we had a million people on this forum asking for advice on making the picture look green. The simple answer is shoot green objects! This may mean going to a suitable location, painting and dressing a set, choosing costume and props, or any combination thereof.

Once you've got your subject designed, then you worry about what you're going to shoot, from what angle, using what lens. What people constantly overlook is not what the subject of the shot is, but what's in the background? What's in the background if I go over here? Ah, we can see the big pink neon sign from this angle, is that interesting... am I going to use camera movement, track and dolly, handheld, tripods, etc, etc. If you're on a tiny budget and can't afford big location fees, you'll almost always end up wanting to fill the frame with an interesting actor, so get someone good - not just one of your friends.

Then you worry about lighting - electric light if you're doing it, or just picking the right time of day and waiting for the right weather conditions. People wait around for days for the weather to be right. Think what Top Gun would've looked like if they'd shot all their day exteriors when it was overcast. Plan weather cover, so you can go and do interiors if the weather isn't right outdoors.

Then you think about filtration, if any.

And only then do you get down to the gritty details of what the camera is doing.

Camera settings are a tiny fractionary part of what you're after. For what it's worth as far as I know [i]Lost In Translation[i/] was shot pretty straight - in fact some of the more memorable stuff, such as the view overlooking the pedestrian crossing in Shibuya, I believe was stolen through the window of a McDonald's. You will probably want to go for one of the reasonably low-con setups but I hesitate even to mention that. If you don't get everything else right, all you'll get is crap photography that just happens to be low in contrast.

P
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:08 AM

IIRC it was a starbucks ;) they stole it from.

And to follow up with Phil the biggest issue you're going to have on the camera side is the fact that the DSLRs are a lot punchier than the film stock they used on Lost in Translation; which I believe was 5263 Kodak 500T (no longer made) and 5277 (320T Kodak, for daylight, also no longer made)-- both of which are very low contrast soft and creamy stocks which allowed a lot of natural light shooting. (I'm pulling this from my copy of New Cinematographers, by Ballinger, pg. 32). But, it's not as thought these locations are unlit. They're chosen for their existing light and then there is supplemental light most shots, which just looks natural.

I think someone must ask the question why do you want it to look like Lost in Translation? For color you'll need to think about extending the dynamic range of your DSLR (there is maybe 1 way to do this), then you'll need to really control production design and get pastel colors, muted tones, then on top of that you'll need to keep things overcast for exts (as most of lost in translation seems to be) then you'll need to choose very well lit locations that you don't need to supplement too much. And then on top of all of this you'll need actors who can hold a scene in which not much happens or is said.
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:28 AM

I suggest reading and looking at everything on Shane Hurlbut's blog. He's pretty much the "Old Master" now when it comes to getting high quality results with Canon HDSLR's.

http://hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/
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