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Got 35mm rushes back - very upset


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#1 Phil Thompson

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 04:53 PM

Hi,

last week we shot a day using 35mm fuji 64D one 1,000ft load thats probably 4 or 5 years old and not sure how stored. I got it developed at Delux soho and then scanned at the mill 2k. i attach some screen grabs. Can anyone tell me what happened. did we simply just mess up with exposures? or does anyone imagine something else happened?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 04:59 PM

Hi,

last week we shot a day using 35mm fuji 64D one 1,000ft load thats probably 4 or 5 years old and not sure how stored. I got it developed at Delux soho and then scanned at the mill 2k. i attach some screen grabs. Can anyone tell me what happened. did we simply just mess up with exposures? or does anyone imagine something else happened?


Nothing was attached but if the stock was 4 or 5 years old, I'd expect it to have a lot of blue fogging, color shifting, grain, and general murkiness.
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#3 Phil Thompson

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:04 PM

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#4 Phil Thompson

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:09 PM

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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:27 PM

Looks to me like a messed up exposure coupled with older film... What were you shooting at? In sun, on 64 you'd be between an F11 and F16 w/o any filtration @ 180 degree shutter.
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#6 Phil Thompson

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:49 PM

Looks to me like a messed up exposure coupled with older film... What were you shooting at? In sun, on 64 you'd be between an F11 and F16 w/o any filtration @ 180 degree shutter.



YEs we had no filters because the man didnt want to put on the heavy matte box so we were shooting at f11 with that shutter. Why does it look so **(obscenity removed)** poop? I was expecting to be blown away by the 35mm vibes. it looks like **(obscenity removed)** poop.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:51 PM

Could've been oolld film. If it wasn't kept properly, well bad things can happen.
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#8 Phil Thompson

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:04 PM

If you paid a cameraman to turn up with his camera and shoot for you. And he turned in results like this. What would you do? I spend 300 bucks getting the neg dev'd and lucky for me i got the TK done for the price of a computer game...
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:14 PM

If you paid a cameraman to turn up with his camera and shoot for you. And he turned in results like this. What would you do? I spend 300 bucks getting the neg dev'd and lucky for me i got the TK done for the price of a computer game...


Well, who's decision was it to use outdated stock? If it was the cameraman's, then you may have some cause to complain. On the other hand, I don't know why the cameraman didn't want to use ND filters, though in this case, overexposure wasn't the problem. Aged stock loses its sensitivity, so the underexposure could be due to the stock or it could be an exposure mistake, I can't tell from the footage. It looks almost like the same exposure was used in full sun, full shade, and overcast, so only the full sun stuff is close to being correctly exposed, but that could be due to problems with the stock. Or it could be a bad video transfer. You kinda have to be in the telecine suite yourself and have the colorist play with the footage to get a sense of what the negative is like.

Shooting film is about reducing the variables - variables like the stock, the processing, using unfamiliar equipment, etc. On a feature, that's what the day of prep and testing is for, so you don't get any surprises on Day One. But for a short term project, often people don't want to spend the money and time on tests. But in that case, you have to eliminate all potential problems up front -- for example, if I couldn't shoot tests, I'd insist on using fresh stock, I'd make sure it went to a reputable lab, and I'd sit in on the video transfer.
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#10 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:17 PM

That's pretty cheap, $300. There's nothing to be done about it now. In future, if you're going to shoot old stock (e.g. older than a year) you want to do a snip test with the lab as well as over-expose the negative (rating the 64 as a 32 for starters, or more, depending).

We've all boned film up once or twice (you should see my first roll of BW reversal on a bolex...)
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#11 Phil Thompson

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:24 PM

I think the problem was the constantly shifting weather. One moment it was overcast then full sun, then overcast etc. The guy wasn't on the ball and the telecine kid also stuck it on auto or something too. Will try and get a sit in session next time. ! you live and you learn!! Fresh stock. Yes! It was my idea as i won 10,000ft of 2007 fuji stock. Almost feel like throwing it in the bin. And been very lean with fresh stock. Fuji sell 400ft stock clearance Eterna for 60 bucks which isn't bad for a 400ft load. Less is more with film. Im all about the 1:1 ratio. So annoying though, all that work! The struggle on the day in the dustbin!!! :(
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:30 PM

Honestly, don't trash the stock. You could still use it, in future. Throw it into the freezer, get a snip test next time (free normally, if you're processing @ the same house) and overexpose all old stock at least 1 stop.
As for the TC, they might've corrected for just one shot and let the rest ride (cheapest option) but that'd mean there's one good shot in there.
Normally I'll ask for a "Flat Scan" when trying to save money to ProRes 4:4:4:4 in 1080p or 2K, depending, to get as much info off of the neg as possible and as most editing systems can easily handle.

But you're right, live and learn and take the tax deduction.
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#13 Phil Thompson

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:35 PM

they gave me dpx files onto harddrive. Like I said, i get the scanning done almost free as I have a friend who works at the facility. (I have to buy him a computer game) so for a 15 min 35mm sequence it costs 40 bucks. 2K dpx. not a bad deal hay? So i think you maybe right. If you look here


this seems to be ok. Do you think the spirit looked at this and used it as a a bench mark?

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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:38 PM

Yep. If that was one of the first shots, it looks as though they may have just set for that and left the settings for the rest of the scan. I'd maybe pick up a 6 pack (or more) and ask the friend to let you sit in and go through the neg again (not transferr it, yet, just see how much info is on it straight away). If it's looking Ok with some tweaking, say thank you, go home, edit, and later rescan just what you need in a supervised session.
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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:50 PM

Salvageable, surely:

fixed.jpg

In any case, welcome to film. It can go wrong; it can wreck your shoot, and you won't have any idea until it's far too late to fix. People ignore this inconvenient truth all the time, but really it's the elephant in the corner of photochemical origination.

I'm sure now isn't the time, but why are you shooting extremely expensive 35mm material of some grotty London marketplace?
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#16 John Sprung

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:59 PM

What I'm seeing here does look very bad -- so bad in fact that it couldn't be entirely due to old stock. To screw up the saturation like that takes a computer. So, the good news is, hanging the existing film on a proper telecine with a competent colorist I'll guarantee will get you a better looking picture. Probably so much better that you'll be happy with it. So, pick a good video house, walk in the front door, and ask a sales guy about doing a little test on this roll of film you have in hand.

Another rule of filmmaking: Never throw anything away. No matter how bad it looks, there may be a way to save it.




-- J.S.
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#17 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 12:31 AM

On a telecine or scanner, the Fuji 64T reacts differently from any of the modern Fuji stocks. Proper adjustment during transfer is essential. If the scanner/telecine is adjusted for (say) 500T then the images would probably look like yours do. If you didn't use an 85 filter the blue must be taken out, the film itself also needs its own settings to work properly on a scanner.

On the other hand, a scanner is usually adjusted to D-MIN (neutral values of black) and any exposure or filtration errors would show up on the DPX but are easily correctable in digital grading.
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#18 Phil Thompson

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 02:22 AM

Salvageable, surely:

fixed.jpg

In any case, welcome to film. It can go wrong; it can wreck your shoot, and you won't have any idea until it's far too late to fix. People ignore this inconvenient truth all the time, but really it's the elephant in the corner of photochemical origination.

I'm sure now isn't the time, but why are you shooting extremely expensive 35mm material of some grotty London marketplace?



cheers Phil. Well we can't all shoot magic hour sunsets with 35mm. Some stories call for us to be in all manor of locations and this one a market. Is that hard to get ones head around? I hope not. How did you manage to pull that frame back? Basically I got the scan as a freebie. You think i should approach a different lab and pay to get it scanned again?
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#19 Mark Dunn

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 03:39 AM

How did you manage to pull that frame back?


Levels and curves in Photoshop, I expect. I got something similar. Presumably the same could be done in film post-processing.
David could explain this better as always, but the 64T, being tungsten-balanced, is more sensitive to red, so shooting without an 85 means the reds will be somewhat underexposed so they will be rather noisy in transfer.
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#20 Stephen Williams

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 03:59 AM

On a telecine or scanner, the Fuji 64T reacts differently from any of the modern Fuji stocks. Proper adjustment during transfer is essential. If the scanner/telecine is adjusted for (say) 500T then the images would probably look like yours do. If you didn't use an 85 filter the blue must be taken out, the film itself also needs its own settings to work properly on a scanner.

On the other hand, a scanner is usually adjusted to D-MIN (neutral values of black) and any exposure or filtration errors would show up on the DPX but are easily correctable in digital grading.


It's a Daylight stock Fugi only make F64D, there is no tungsten version. Interestingly Fuji Switzerland were giving me the same batch for at least 4 years. If it's been in a fridge low ISO stocks last a long time.

Shooting a colour chart on the front can save a lot of pain, especially if the grader is not experianced.
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