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Films with good color correction.


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#1 Mei Lewis

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 04:21 PM

I'm looking for some movies to watch that have good examples of color correction so I was wondering what you all recommend.

A few I like off the top of my head where the color work seems to have a big impact are Ameile, Saving Private Ryan and the Matrix.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 04:55 PM

I'll get shouted at for this, but I quite like all the Tony Scott stuff - Man on Fire, Domino, etc.

Perhaps because it's such an antidote to what I associate (ironically) with being feeble british-style stuff, flat and colourless.

P
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#3 Mei Lewis

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 09:55 AM

The Man on Fire trailer on youtube looks interesting
I'll have to watch the film.

Bonus points for them using Nine Inch Nails in the trailer!
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 10:45 AM

O Brother Where Art Thou
Pleasantville
Fellowship of the Ring all spring off of the top of my head.
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#5 Dean Werner

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 04:27 AM

What Domino and Man on Fire? Are you crazy? Just kidding. Although I think it worked better in Man on Fire than Domino.

A Very Long Engagement
Far From Heaven
Dark City
Bound
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#6 Mei Lewis

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 03:30 PM

I've seen bound a few times, the color really emphasises the story in that. It feels like a very compact film.
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#7 Josh Bass

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 03:08 AM

Vaguely related to this topic:

Is it me or does every movie have the same "look" these days? Talking the mainstream stuff, of course, but not only limited to these. Seems like every movie now is super contrasty, deep orange skin tones, blue everything else, etc. Maybe it's my TV? Maybe it's the way they all look on my TV? Even something a little off the beaten path like "Cedar Rapids" had a somewhat aggressive desaturated look to it. Can't anything just "be" any more? Everything has a "look" to it. No more natural looking colors anywhere.
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#8 Ian Hedley Wakefield

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 12:12 AM

Vaguely related to this topic:

Is it me or does every movie have the same "look" these days? Talking the mainstream stuff, of course, but not only limited to these. Seems like every movie now is super contrasty, deep orange skin tones, blue everything else, etc. Maybe it's my TV? Maybe it's the way they all look on my TV? Even something a little off the beaten path like "Cedar Rapids" had a somewhat aggressive desaturated look to it. Can't anything just "be" any more? Everything has a "look" to it. No more natural looking colors anywhere.


http://theabyssgazes...lease-stop.html

Read and laugh/weep. I'm definitely in agreement with you regarding the popped skin and teal skies.

At the end of the day we don't go to the cinema's to see the world as we see it... maybe that discussion is for another thread :P
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#9 Josh Bass

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 01:10 AM

I'm assuming that link is the orange/teal rant? yes, I've read it, and it is cute. And I realize basic color theory says these colors work well together and it's not like you can go purple/magenta instead, but still. . .it's like every trailer, horror, comedy, drama, doesn't matter. . .same gritty aggressive orange/blue look.
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#10 Mei Lewis

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 04:48 PM

Someone put together shots from a lot of 1970s movies on flickr:


the firts thing I thought when I saw the page of thumbnails was that they have this orange/teal look.

Was film ertain film stock actually designed that way?
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:19 PM

No, of course not, color film manufacturers all strived for accurate color reproduction. First of all, real life is full of orange and teal colors, faces in warm light have a lot of orange in them and teal has always been a fashionable color. Also, for the scenes from movies, pancake makeup generally back then aimed for a somewhat "tanned" look. And finally, you don't know when or how or who did the color-correction on these images, nor what the source material was (faded publicity stills retimed, frames from new video transfers, new video transfers of old prints versus old negatives, old video transfers, etc.)

There weren't that many color film stocks back then used for moving images. Most would have been shot on the only Kodak 35mm color negative available at the time (5254 from 1968 to the mid 1970's, then 5247 after that, with a two-year overlap). A few might be 16mm Ektachrome documentary images, some might be from a publicity stills photographer shooting Ektachrome or Kodachrome slide film of the same scene being shot by the movie camera using 35mm color negative.
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#12 Ian Hedley Wakefield

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 12:53 AM

No, of course not, color film manufacturers all strived for accurate color reproduction. First of all, real life is full of orange and teal colors, faces in warm light have a lot of orange in them and teal has always been a fashionable color.


Looking at the images from the flickr feed, these don't appear to display as much pushing to the extremes of the teal and orange spectrum as we are seeing in modern cinema.

As you said further down in your post David, the source material is unknown - I suppose the only way to really tell would be to go back to the masters or digital remastered versions and grab frames from there?


While many films coming out in the last little while have been using the teal and orange look, it's not quite genre specific but there seems to be a selection of films that are using this look, can we define the look's placement in a genre/small selection of genres? Certainly the post apocalyptic films steer well clear of this, going for the bleaker grey look.

Posted Image

Is the issue with the whole teal and orange push or how far it has been pushed in the last few years?
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#13 Mei Lewis

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 02:22 AM

No, of course not, color film manufacturers all strived for accurate color reproduction.


I wasn't aware of that. I assumed it would be the same as with stills film where most stocks seem to be highly un-real looking. I think there were even different stills stocks to flatter certain subjects, like some that gave good skin tone ('portrait' films), some that worked best for landscape etc.

There's a lot of very specific discussion about movie film stock on here. I always thought it was people discussing how a certain look was achieved or what looked better, not what came closest to reality.
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 08:14 AM

You were asking about film stock manufacturers, not visual artists -- in the past there weren't that many color stocks in general they all tried their best to reproduce basic colors accurately particularly skintones, not that they all succeeded equally. It wasn't until much later when you had multiple color stocks for movie work that the manufacturers tried to vary the look a bit in terms of contrast and thus saturation, but even then, they generally aimed for accurate color reproduction, they left the biasing to the artists using the stocks.

The fact that you think color still photography looks unreal doesn't mean that the manufacturer of the stock agrees with you. Even the most vivid high-saturation slide film tried to accurately reproduce the colors on a MacBeth chart, for example, just at a higher saturation and contrast level than would look "natural", but the colors themselves were supposed to be close to the real thing, red didn't come out purple, blue didn't come out green, yellow didn't come out orange -- that's generally what is meant by color accuracy.

Of course, there were variations between manufacturers due to limitations in technology and personal taste, etc. But it wasn't due to a deliberate attempt to design stocks that created unreal color responses (except infrared stocks I guess), they all tested their stocks on faces and color charts. If they couldn't reproduce the colors in front of the camera, then it was likely that a lot of people wouldn't buy the stock.

Kodak only sold ONE type of 35mm color negative movie stock at a time from 1950 until the early 1980's, other than the overlap when one stock came in and another went out. And the majority of movies worldwide used that one Kodak stock, do you really think they intentionally design it with an inaccurate color bias for artistic effect?
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#15 Albert Smith

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 07:19 PM

Getting back to the original topic, just something to consider....this seems obvious I suppose but hasn't been said.... films that are heavily color corrected and films that are color corrected well are very different things.


A lot of work has benefited hugely from the collaboration between the DP and Colorist and most of the color grading goes completely un-noticed which is usually what makes it great. I don't want to see or know the colorist put a power window over this or that to pull my attention there or fix this or that...... I don't know too much about the process used for the Tree of Life other then it did have a DI and that the DP used very limited movie lighting. After seeing it on a big screen it seemed to me they did a great job in that DI process finding the look for the film.....really remarkable looking film and I'm sure they were pulling alot of info out of the film since minimal lighting was used.

Edited by Jake Zalutsky, 25 September 2011 - 07:21 PM.

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#16 Mei Lewis

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 05:43 AM

... do you really think they intentionally design it with an inaccurate color bias for artistic effect?


Yes I did (!) Probably my naivete.

More for commercial reasons rather than artistic effect. I assumed people would use the film that looked best, not what was most accurate. Maybe having film balanced a hundred kelvin warmer than is strictly accurate would make skin tones look better so people would tend to use that and buy more of it.

I had no idea there was just one Kodak film movie film, I thought there'd be a handful for different applications.


I don't know anything about movie stocks and know only a little about stills film. I'd naively assumed that movie stocks were similar to stills in that there were multiple types available and visual artists chose between them for the particular look they gave (and on price, availability etc.)

I _think_ when film was more commonly used for stills Kodak, Fuji etc would offer multiple stocks with slight variations intended for portraits (good skin tones), landscapes (saturated greens and blues) and say scientific used (as accurate as possible).
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#17 Mei Lewis

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 05:43 AM

I was also using the word 'color' very loosely to include contrast and saturation as well as hue. I realise that was a mistake sorry. It's partly me being sloppy and partly because I think contrast and saturation do have an effect on color, if not in the colorimetric sense then at least in how most people would see and describe colors.

Posted Image


So here I'd say the red and the orange are both pretty much the same color (they're not, they have different hues) but the pink was quite different (it's actually the same color as the red if you're just interested in hue).
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