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My Own Private Idaho look


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#1 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 07:26 PM

Hi there!

I'll be shooting a S16mm music video (Arri Sr3+Zeiss) this time next week in Edmonton, Alberta, during the dead of fall. The colors here are very muted and grey, but we have a wonderful (though short) golden hour (more like minute).

We're very interested in attaining a look similar to the intro to my own private idaho,I'm having trouble describing the look. It's saturated, slightly golden, the fleshtones seem really warm and saturated. The film looks sharp yet...soft? Pleasing to the eye. I understand attaining this look can be done partly through clothing and set design, but, would anybody be able to point me in the right direction in regards to film stock? I'm mostly interested in what film stock they might have used, and what you think I should use. But i'd also be curious to hear about any lens choice, filtration, etc. that you may think would be useful in attaining this look.

I understand fuji stocks are typically more saturated than kodak, maybe I should head in that direction? Would there be any benefit between tungsten or reversal, look wise? Should I shoot filtered or unfiltered? (maybe an 85 if i shoot tungsten, or something warmer??) I've only ever shot Kodak 50D and 250D so its difficult for me to make this decision all by myself without the aid of a test shoot, which we can't afford. Any info you can give me regarding my the differences between stocks and the process' i can use, (eg. maybe I should overexpose by a stop to tighten the grain and saturate the colors more?) would be very beneficial. Thankyou as always!

Edited by Evan Andrew John Prosofsky, 04 November 2010 - 07:28 PM.

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#2 Chris Burke

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 08:10 AM

Hi there!

I'll be shooting a S16mm music video (Arri Sr3+Zeiss) this time next week in Edmonton, Alberta, during the dead of fall. The colors here are very muted and grey, but we have a wonderful (though short) golden hour (more like minute).

We're very interested in attaining a look similar to the intro to my own private idaho,I'm having trouble describing the look. It's saturated, slightly golden, the fleshtones seem really warm and saturated. The film looks sharp yet...soft? Pleasing to the eye. I understand attaining this look can be done partly through clothing and set design, but, would anybody be able to point me in the right direction in regards to film stock? I'm mostly interested in what film stock they might have used, and what you think I should use. But i'd also be curious to hear about any lens choice, filtration, etc. that you may think would be useful in attaining this look.

I understand fuji stocks are typically more saturated than kodak, maybe I should head in that direction? Would there be any benefit between tungsten or reversal, look wise? Should I shoot filtered or unfiltered? (maybe an 85 if i shoot tungsten, or something warmer??) I've only ever shot Kodak 50D and 250D so its difficult for me to make this decision all by myself without the aid of a test shoot, which we can't afford. Any info you can give me regarding my the differences between stocks and the process' i can use, (eg. maybe I should overexpose by a stop to tighten the grain and saturate the colors more?) would be very beneficial. Thankyou as always!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JsqDa_-M-c



I know that this may seem like an obvious answer given the current economic climate, but why can't you afford a test? Will the lab that is handling your processing and transfer not do a test for free or almost free? Most I know will do that. four one hundred foot daylight spools is what you need, 250D and 50D, 160T and 500T. I don't know about one brand be generally more saturated than another, unless you are speaking of the Fuji Vivid stocks, which should be in your test. On a short I did, both the lab and the camera rental house did it for free, cause I was already spending money with them. I shot the test at the rental house.

Kodak stocks tend to be warmer and sharper, Fuji, softer and more realistic. if this is being finished on video as it is a music video, a lot can be done with the timing in post. 250D is probably going to be the most versatile with 50D or 64D being used for the beginning when you have more light.(you're only shooting at magic minute?) You could shoot with 250D and use a tungsten light to warm up the faces of the cast. Kodak's newest stocks are very sharp and may be too much for your project. fuji with zeiss super speeds renders an image that is plenty sharp, yet has a subtle softness that might be to your liking. Shooting unfiltered tungsten stock will give you an over all cool, very bluish look. Shoot daylight stock or use an 85(which many prefer to daylight stock).
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 11:50 AM

The colors here are very muted and grey, but we have a wonderful (though short) golden hour (more like minute).


You might consider 7285 for a saturated color look. That's an easy stock to test since Ektachrome E100VS 35mm still film is the same emulsion.
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#4 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 01:09 PM

I know that this may seem like an obvious answer given the current economic climate, but why can't you afford a test? Will the lab that is handling your processing and transfer not do a test for free or almost free? Most I know will do that. four one hundred foot daylight spools is what you need, 250D and 50D, 160T and 500T. I don't know about one brand be generally more saturated than another, unless you are speaking of the Fuji Vivid stocks, which should be in your test. On a short I did, both the lab and the camera rental house did it for free, cause I was already spending money with them. I shot the test at the rental house.

Kodak stocks tend to be warmer and sharper, Fuji, softer and more realistic. if this is being finished on video as it is a music video, a lot can be done with the timing in post. 250D is probably going to be the most versatile with 50D or 64D being used for the beginning when you have more light.(you're only shooting at magic minute?) You could shoot with 250D and use a tungsten light to warm up the faces of the cast. Kodak's newest stocks are very sharp and may be too much for your project. fuji with zeiss super speeds renders an image that is plenty sharp, yet has a subtle softness that might be to your liking. Shooting unfiltered tungsten stock will give you an over all cool, very bluish look. Shoot daylight stock or use an 85(which many prefer to daylight stock).



Shooting reversal film is actually a good suggestion. I didn't think of that. Does anyone have/know of any examples shot on S16mm reversal? Specifically ones that might render a similar look that I'm going for? I understand reversal has a much less lenient exposure latitude, what can I expect compared to typical negative stocks?

As much as I'd love to shoot a test the budget is literally 1000 dollars including camera/lights, developing/telecine, film purchase, cast/crew, etc.

Evan
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#5 Chris Burke

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 01:47 PM

Shooting reversal film is actually a good suggestion. I didn't think of that. Does anyone have/know of any examples shot on S16mm reversal? Specifically ones that might render a similar look that I'm going for? I understand reversal has a much less lenient exposure latitude, what can I expect compared to typical negative stocks?

As much as I'd love to shoot a test the budget is literally 1000 dollars including camera/lights, developing/telecine, film purchase, cast/crew, etc.

Evan


reversal will give you a saturated look with fine grain that is hard to mimic. I don't know of any specific examples. The exposure latitude while a good deal less than color neg, isn't that bad. However, if you are shooting with bright skies, it may be an issue with dark backgrounds. Expose for the highlight, throw light into the shadows. The bad news is that reversal cost more, you'll be better off with negative film, for cost and ease of production. They have so much latitude that you really don't have to nail down the exposure as you would with reversal. The Fuji Vivid stocks come to mind as far as matching the saturation of reversal, only more grain. Overexpose them one stop, they love it.
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#6 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 02:03 PM

Thanks for the info! Just called my supplier (certified film). No fuji available whatsoever. He does however have a good deal on Kodak 7217 200T. I'm hoping this would be a nice flexible stock for shooting. Put in the 85, shoot near magic hour, do a little CC in post. What do you think?
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#7 Chris Burke

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 10:13 PM

Thanks for the info! Just called my supplier (certified film). No fuji available whatsoever. He does however have a good deal on Kodak 7217 200T. I'm hoping this would be a nice flexible stock for shooting. Put in the 85, shoot near magic hour, do a little CC in post. What do you think?



probably the best possible solution ya got there. 7217 is the gold standard of super 16 as far as I am concerned. the 13 will take over, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with 7217. Please post your results when your done.
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#8 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 09:14 PM

probably the best possible solution ya got there. 7217 is the gold standard of super 16 as far as I am concerned. the 13 will take over, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with 7217. Please post your results when your done.

Thanks. I definitely will. I'm interested though, you say 7217 is essentially the gold standard? This intrigues me. I've always assumed that 50D would be the sharpest, essentially "best" 16 stock. Anyone care to chime in on this? I often hear (read) Roger Deakins say that he prefers the look of tungsten stocks over daylight, but I've never understood this. I just don't see how a 200 speed stock could beat a 50. I'd love to know why you think 200T is the 'gold standard' and if anyone could care to explain Mr.Deakins views that would be wonderfully interesting for me.
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#9 Tom Jensen

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 10:41 PM

Evan,
You need to shoot a test. I can understand that you don't have the funds but it is important if you are trying to achieve a certain look. It sounds like you are going to telecine so you can achieve the look in post. First off, Eric Edwards was a Kodak guy who shot a lot of visual effects photography. Kodak film at that time was pretty much 5248 and 5296. It was more than likely 48 since it was the slower of the stocks and it was shot outside during the day. DON'T shoot reversal whatever you do and if you do you DON'T want to overexpose it. It has little latitude and if you are going to be off at all, it is better to be under than over. But you are going to telecine so there is absolutely no reason to shoot reversal. Secondly, he's using warmer filtration which desaturates the colors. He was probably using a chocolate or some other brownish filter. Look at the whites like the stripes in the road or on his shoes and they appear brownish, not white. I looked to see if he was using an enhancer filter but I didn't notice any of the oranges or reds popping so I don't believe he used one. He is also using a polarizer in some of the shots which you may want to consider. There might have been some diffusion on there but it would have been very slight. Maybe a pro-mist 1/8 or 1/4 at the most. I can't really tell on my computer but keep it simple and let the telecine guy work his magic. Show him a clip of what you want to achieve.

Edited by Tom Jensen, 07 November 2010 - 10:41 PM.

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#10 Chris Burke

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 05:25 PM

Thanks. I definitely will. I'm interested though, you say 7217 is essentially the gold standard? This intrigues me. I've always assumed that 50D would be the sharpest, essentially "best" 16 stock. Anyone care to chime in on this? I often hear (read) Roger Deakins say that he prefers the look of tungsten stocks over daylight, but I've never understood this. I just don't see how a 200 speed stock could beat a 50. I'd love to know why you think 200T is the 'gold standard' and if anyone could care to explain Mr.Deakins views that would be wonderfully interesting for me.



It is only my opinion, but what I meant was that as far as flexibility, reliably producing a great looking image, exposure latitude, very fine grain given its speed and so on..... it is my gold standard. Many people, Roger Deakins included, like the look of tungsten stock filtered in daylight over daylight balanced stocks. They produce perhaps a richer tonality and color. Daylight stocks can be cooler overall. Nothing wrong with any of them, one is better for one thing and another is better at something else. The 7217 is right in the middle and can do a great many things really well. It is just about everyone's go to stock for a lot of situations. You won't be disappointed. finer grain stocks aren't necessarily better just because they have fine grain. They look great but you need lots of light to expose them and are usually only usable outdoors. kodak's 7201 is not the sharpest, 7212 is which is a 100T. It has just been replaced by a 200T 7213.
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#11 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 07:27 PM

It is only my opinion, but what I meant was that as far as flexibility, reliably producing a great looking image, exposure latitude, very fine grain given its speed and so on..... it is my gold standard. Many people, Roger Deakins included, like the look of tungsten stock filtered in daylight over daylight balanced stocks. They produce perhaps a richer tonality and color. Daylight stocks can be cooler overall. Nothing wrong with any of them, one is better for one thing and another is better at something else. The 7217 is right in the middle and can do a great many things really well. It is just about everyone's go to stock for a lot of situations. You won't be disappointed. finer grain stocks aren't necessarily better just because they have fine grain. They look great but you need lots of light to expose them and are usually only usable outdoors. kodak's 7201 is not the sharpest, 7212 is which is a 100T. It has just been replaced by a 200T 7213.

Very interesting Chris thanks for your take on things. I understand Deakins often shoots Tungsten stocks unfiltered and then corrects during printing or the DI. I understand a main advantage would be the small amount of light gained from removing the 85, but, wouldnt he lose some color information by resorting to color manipulation? The "true" color of the scene isn't actually being captured. Can anyone think why Roger might do this so consistently? I understand doing it sparingly, eg. for a scene nearer nighttime when you want a 'bluer' colder look. But doing it for the whole film? Why?

Thanks for keeping the discussion going and helping me everybody
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#12 Chris Burke

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 07:39 PM

Very interesting Chris thanks for your take on things. I understand Deakins often shoots Tungsten stocks unfiltered and then corrects during printing or the DI. I understand a main advantage would be the small amount of light gained from removing the 85, but, wouldnt he lose some color information by resorting to color manipulation? The "true" color of the scene isn't actually being captured. Can anyone think why Roger might do this so consistently? I understand doing it sparingly, eg. for a scene nearer nighttime when you want a 'bluer' colder look. But doing it for the whole film? Why?

Thanks for keeping the discussion going and helping me everybody


someone might do it for an entire film because they like the look. I was referring to a filtered image, which many including myself, believe to be more appealing. 85 used with tungsten film outdoors.
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#13 Tom Jensen

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 09:33 PM

I don't think Deakins did it for the entire film just some scenes. He felt the tungsten film ungelled gave him a more monochromatic look. He said that the reason he did was to give the shadow areas a bluish cast.

Most people shoot tungsten film outdoors. You can pull the 85 to give you 2/3rds of a stop which is considerable as the sun sinks. Plus you can use the film under tungsten lights if need be. You would not normally shoot daylight film indoors. You could if everything were lit with HMI's but it's not the rule, it's the exception. Tungsten film is designed to be shot under tungsten lights. Tungsten lights are warm so the film is balance on the blue side to make the tungsten lights appear white. If you shoot outside the light is cooler so you add an 85 which is warm to make light appear white outdoors. At the end of the day the light is warmer so to pull the filter is not a huge shift and is easily corrected.

Edited by Tom Jensen, 08 November 2010 - 09:38 PM.

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#14 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 01:39 AM

Hey Tom. Totally agree with what you're saying about Deakins that makes good sense. Thanks.

I understand how Tungsten film works. And thats why I've always found it rather absurd that people shoot it indoors. The fact that it renders tungsten light 'white' is exactly why i wouldn't want to use it indoors! Tungsten lights dont look white to me, they look warm, they look orange! They look 'godfather-esque' if anything. Whats the point of shooting tungsten if you just have to gel all the lights warmer? Am I missing something? Daylight film makes so much more sense to me. Daylight looks like...daylight. And tungsten lights look like... tungsten lights (warmish).
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#15 Chris Burke

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 04:13 PM

Hey Tom. Totally agree with what you're saying about Deakins that makes good sense. Thanks.

I understand how Tungsten film works. And thats why I've always found it rather absurd that people shoot it indoors. The fact that it renders tungsten light 'white' is exactly why i wouldn't want to use it indoors! Tungsten lights dont look white to me, they look warm, they look orange! They look 'godfather-esque' if anything. Whats the point of shooting tungsten if you just have to gel all the lights warmer? Am I missing something? Daylight film makes so much more sense to me. Daylight looks like...daylight. And tungsten lights look like... tungsten lights (warmish).



the thing is, most interior lighting, tungsten or otherwise is not 3200K, which is the color temp for "tungsten" balance film. They are in fact warmer, around 3000 or 2500. So when you shoot with that sort of color temp and tungsten balanced film, the resulting image is warmer. Not always, but often when shooting with practicals and available light.
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#16 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 07:43 PM

the thing is, most interior lighting, tungsten or otherwise is not 3200K, which is the color temp for "tungsten" balance film. They are in fact warmer, around 3000 or 2500. So when you shoot with that sort of color temp and tungsten balanced film, the resulting image is warmer. Not always, but often when shooting with practicals and available light.



Fair enough, and a very valid point! Though I've often read of DP's having to put their practicals on dimmers and dim them down to get the desired decrease in color temperature. A lot more work and an increase in wattage and intensity of lighting used. Is it fairly common for DP's to shoot with tungsten film but keep the 85 in even during dark shoots to get desired color temperature that way? It seems all these different approaches have their advantages and disadvantages...
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#17 Tom Jensen

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 08:57 PM

I've never heard of anyone leaving an 85 on during dark shoots. The reason dimmers are used is to bring the light level down so the practicals don't blow out. It's for density purposes. It is also easier to gel a window with an 85 than you think. HMI's are pricey and you need a ballast. There are so many different tungsten lights to choose from that have a great quality to the light. Daylight film is already on the warm side so practical or tungsten light will be overly warm as well as skin tones. Don't try to second guess or reinvent the wheel when it comes to lights and their uses. There's a hundred reasons why most people use tungsten stocks and light with mostly tungsten light. HMI's are great and have their uses but they have their limitations as well.
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#18 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:50 PM

I'd really like to revive this thread. While I was given advice, I feel the look of "My Own Private Idaho" is beautiful and something still really worth discussing, as we didn't really discuss how to emulate the look. Someone mentioned the use of filtration, tobacco filters was it? How would one go about getting that specific look? If anybody has any input I'd love to hear, thanks very much
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#19 Will Montgomery

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:01 PM

How are you finishing? The colorist will get you to any look you need.
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#20 John Holland

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:22 AM

Typical Producers answer we can do it in post !.
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