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S16 to 1080p - when to pull


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#1 Steven Carubia

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:26 AM

I am preparing to shoot a short on 500T with the SR2 (1.78). The film will ultimately be scanned to 1080p (16x9), digitally corrected during an overnight session, and delivered digitally. Since the director and I have established a fairly low key look, I plan on derating the negative by 2/3 for added density. My quandary lies in when exactly to bring it back down. I could pull process the film or simply process normally and darken it in the color bay, prior to anything else. What are the pros and cons for each option? I'm eager to hear what those of you who are experienced prefer.
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 07:35 AM

I'd keep your neg thick and and bring it down in post during the grading. If you go too far under exposed during the filming, your blacks may go milky when you try to bring them up again during post.
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#3 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:44 AM

Agreed, and another con would be cost; special processing will raise your per-foot rate. For doing indies it's better to get into the practice of treating film post like you shot digital, to save on film's overall costs.
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 01:40 PM

You're using the wrong terminology. What you're talking about is underrating. Rating a 500T stock at EI 320 and then pulling 2/3 of a stock (not that most labs even go in increments less than a full stop) for the most part nullifies the effect of underrating it.

You UNDERRATE S16 2/3 of a stop to tighten up the grain; you don't PULL it 2/3 of a stop.



If you really want tight grain, you'll find the light to shoot on 200T stock of slower. Big numbers, like 500T! Vision3! only add up to BIG GRAIN on a small format like S16.

Consider shooting slower film, and using the money you save per foot towards a bigger lighting package.

Edited by K Borowski, 07 February 2011 - 01:42 PM.

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#5 Steven Carubia

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 12:40 AM

Thank you for the responses. We've established that I'm underrating. Having read your posts and spoken to someone whose opinion I value, my plan of action is to process normally; having shot a gray card for each setup, and then have the colorist bring the overexposure down by balancing to the card. Initially, I considered underrating by 2/3 of a stop, but I'd like to open this up to those of you who are inclined to answer. How much do you generally underrate your color negative for the purposes of creating density and tightening grain before bringing it back down chemically/digitally?
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#6 Chris Burke

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 12:46 AM

Thank you for the responses. We've established that I'm underrating. Having read your posts and spoken to someone whose opinion I value, my plan of action is to process normally; having shot a gray card for each setup, and then have the colorist bring the overexposure down by balancing to the card. Initially, I considered underrating by 2/3 of a stop, but I'd like to open this up to those of you who are inclined to answer. How much do you generally underrate your color negative for the purposes of creating density and tightening grain before bringing it back down chemically/digitally?



two thirds of a stop is the typical amount. You usually wouldn't bring it back down, but rather leave it as is. for super 16 you might even rate it one stop over depending upon the scene.
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#7 Steven Carubia

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:16 AM

two thirds of a stop is the typical amount. You usually wouldn't bring it back down, but rather leave it as is. for super 16 you might even rate it one stop over depending upon the scene.


Failing to bring it back down would leave everything over-exposed 2/3. That is contrary to my intention unless I'm missing something here. Also, are you suggesting that I underrate 1 stop on the darkest of scenes?
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#8 Steven Carubia

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 01:51 PM

This probably warrants a new topic in the beginner's section, but I've included it here so that I need not reiterate the above information.

1. We had discussed my intention to derate the negative 2/3 and bring it back down in the color bay. I know that I need to shoot a grey card for each setup, but I'm not clear on what light it needs to be in and how to expose for it.

2. Do I need to inform Technicolor that my negative is derated when I bring it for processing, or do I reserve that information for the supervised timing?

3. If the grey card is meant to be a reference for the timer in bringing my derated film (overexposed) back to normal, wouldn't that sabotage any additional overexposure/underexposure that I may want to do in a given scene?
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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 06:09 AM

Your gray card should be 'normally' exposed for the scene. So, if you are overexposing by 2/3 stop, your gray card should also be overexposed by that amount. It should not take into account any over or underexposure that you are doing for effect

You don't need to inform the lab about your exposures unless they are also providing rushes. Exposure makes no difference to how the lab process your film unless you specifically ask for push/pull processing.

The gray card is just a reference for what was a 'normal' exposure. Printing down the card just compensates for the slight overexposure you introduced by underrating the film. if you have intentionally under or overexposed the film for effect in addition to this, it will still be there.
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