FRINGE EP 15
Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:08 AM
For fans of the show its a follow up to Episode 15 of season 2 and takes place back in the 1980's in both Universes. The story involves the effect of Walters abduction seen in 2-15 on his family and young Peter. We also get to meet young Olivia at the daycare where Walter was doing his experiments.
As far as period cinematography goes, I followed the lead of the episode last year. Rear nets were chosen by Tom Yatsko then for two reasons. Firstly they helped with the de-aging of John Noble trying to look 25 years younger and secondly because their slight star effect evoked a period feel. I stuck with the same net material on rings behind most of our lenses. I also used a combination of other filters for the very wide lenses when the nets would appear too soft or on lenses which had no rings. Cementing directly on the back of a lens is tricky business and on a tight schedule having them come off unexpectedly can cause big delays.
I was warned in prep that any digital de-aging of John Noble as had been added last year would be impossible this year due to post/vfx schedule, so I erred on the heavy side diffusion wise and tried to complement the lighting as much as possible.
A few times its actually much too heavy, but once I realized that I did make some adjustments later in the shoot. Nets cane be notoriously unpredictable as their effect depends on so many factors. I've used them before on other projects but still encountered new anomalies.
The entire episode was on location, which is unusual for Fringe and makes for a complex scheduling challenge with a young cast who can work limited hours.
We even had some extreme weather to deal with as you'll see in a couple of scenes including the teaser. The later scene was incorporated into the script and was actually a magical addition. It was snowing.....in Florida!
I didn't use too much color mixing in this episode. It seemed to help with the period considering the palette of the sets and locations. Ep 313 I used all kinds of color in the 'Bug Lab' and its nice that the show has so many different worlds.
I was in LA the week of color correction so I managed to be present for the first pass which was a first.
Any questions I'll be happy to answer.
Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:18 AM
Posted 27 February 2011 - 02:54 PM
I noticed it quite a bit for most of the early scenes between Peter and his "mother". Obviously more noticeable on the wider focal lengths, but I really liked the look on the longer lenses. An almost dreamy, hazy memory type of feel to it.
Yes, the same problem shots were still a problem. I'd mix in the use of some front nets next time after more extensive testing.
Noticed a few things in the broadcast. De-aging of John worked well, especially seeing him at his real age in the preview for the next episode. Color wise the broadcast comes across as slightly brighter and snappier than in the color suite. A few scenes had been graded quite differently after I left. The scene between Walter and his wife in the vanity mirror was intended to be much warmer and slightly golden, but came up looking exactly the same as the previous room.
Now this gets into the sensitive topic of Post color correction and the Director of photography. I found myself in the unique position on FRINGE of coming into an established show and learning from the other DP's and their previous episodes about the 'look' of the show. Tom Yatsko who has been with the show from the beginning was very encouraging to let me experiment and try new things as the show develops and to add my ideas. It was a fun collaboration.
I had one other area to learn from and that was the color correction based on the broadcast. After shooting a few episodes I started to learn the tastes of the Post Producers who end up with the final say on the final grade based on the finals I was seeing. There is no sense in my lighting or using colors that I know they will change later. The amount of contrast they apply also varies, and that is the hardest to deal with because if thats inconsistent, then lighting extreme contrast or very dark scenes becomes very difficult to judge. There had been obvious differences of opinion previous to my arrival.
Now the scene I'm referring too in last nights episode I knew might be too golden for their tastes, but I decided to try it anyway and keep it subtle enough. The colorist and I actually discussed that in the suite. He is often obviously caught in the middle but ultimately answers the the Post Producers. So the end result is a very normal skin balance and actually not as warm as the living room scenes earlier. Not my intention, not my choice but a different one that you could easily make an argument in favor of.
The last part of the image handling which I found very surprising is the path of the material to final color. They do not master of of HDCAM SR or an uncompressed format , but export out of the AVID in a highly compressed film format ( RXM 115?). This explained a lot of what I assumed was digital noise due to broadcast compression, but actually is compression artifacts introduced at this point. It also greatly reduces the color and contrast range available to grade. I was very surprised to say the least. FRINGE is not a cheap show to produce and the tiny cost savings vrs the compromise in quality seem like a terrible trade off. You can really see the difference when you compare it to an HBO show shot on film for example where they keep everything as close to original quality as possible.
Posted 08 March 2011 - 11:17 PM
Posted 10 March 2011 - 08:19 PM
As always its a team effort and you need to involve all your collaborators when tackling such a challenge. I could have done a little more skin smoothing with more time in the suite, but not on their schedule.
I think you pulled off the "old school" de-aging of actor John Noble very well and the overall look let the viewer know that this was not set in the present time as a typical episode. You must have been under pressure to pull it off, but it must have also been fun to accomplish.
Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:22 PM
Posted 19 March 2011 - 06:22 PM
Just checking the IMDB page, do they have enough people with producer credits?
R,At least 4 are in Post. Like many tv shows with several companies involved it gets busy very fast. I only interact with a handful of them involved in the day to day. I just finished 4 days of reshoots on a feature....with a single producer with us. Nice change!
Posted 25 March 2011 - 07:15 AM
Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:15 AM