Varicontrast from Arriflex
4 replies to this topic
Posted 17 June 2011 - 01:56 PM
Hola Amigos, who can help me with this: the varicontras from Arriflex is a filter, lens or diffusion?
thank you very much
thank you very much
Posted 17 June 2011 - 07:59 PM
What kind of device is it?
It's a 6x6 piece of glass with lights along one edge that cause the glass to glow internally, thus fogging the image. The glass may be a very light UltraCon filter rather than clear. The even amount of illumination fogs the image and can be dimmed up or down, and it can be gelled to create a colored flash. The effect is mainly seen in dark areas of the frame, just as with flashing, but in this case, you can see the effect through the eyepiece.
It has to be used in conjunction with a 6x6 mattebox.
It replaced the original Lightflex device, which reflected a small light box at the top of the device; the reflection was stretched over a curved piece of plastic to basically create a controlled and even amount of glare over the surface that fogged the image. Again, it could be dimmed or gelled for a colored flash effect, but the whole device was a bit bulky overall. It was used mainly by Freddie Francis on movies such as "French Lieutenant's Woman", "Dune", "Glory". It was also used on "The Wiz" and "Dark Crystal" by Ozzie Morris. It was invented by Gerry Fischer for the movie "Young Winston" -- his original device was called the Colorflex and was a light box reflected into a piece of glass at a 45 degree angle to the lens. The light was usually gelled to color the flash. By replacing the flat glass with a curved piece of plastic, he was able to make the unit smaller and lighter.
After ARRI bought the rights to the device, they totally re-engineered it to become a glowing piece of glass, making it even smaller, but by this time, flashing the image had started to decline in popularity. Freddie Francis used the Varicon on "The Straight Story" and Darius Khondji used it on some of his movies ("Delicatessen", "Evita", parts of "The Beach".)
This is a good article by Mark Woods about using the Varicon: