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Chris Doyle's Filter use?


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#1 Joseph Cocklin

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:57 AM

Hello there;
since recently seeing In The Mood For Love, and revising again and again Chunking Express I have fallen in love with Chris Doyle's colours, as have many of us. And though there is much inspiration and idealism to be gleaned from his words in interviews he seems adamant on not disclosing any of his technique.

I frequently see mention of his 'innovative use of filters', having so many as 5 on the camera at one time, yet I can in no way decipher (as still a learning student) how he uses these, and if they be colour filters how does he maintain skin tone selectively? To me his colours looks to be the work of processing but all reading suggests filter use.

Also as a side note, does anybody know how much he works with existing practicals in his films or if he has the foresight to have them installed.

Thankyou
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

Hello there;
since recently seeing In The Mood For Love, and revising again and again Chunking Express I have fallen in love with Chris Doyle's colours, as have many of us. And though there is much inspiration and idealism to be gleaned from his words in interviews he seems adamant on not disclosing any of his technique.

I frequently see mention of his 'innovative use of filters', having so many as 5 on the camera at one time, yet I can in no way decipher (as still a learning student) how he uses these, and if they be colour filters how does he maintain skin tone selectively? To me his colours looks to be the work of processing but all reading suggests filter use.

Also as a side note, does anybody know how much he works with existing practicals in his films or if he has the foresight to have them installed.

Thankyou


I think there is a lot of work with the production designer to add practicals. If you look at Doyle's still photography too, you see a lot of use of mixed lighting sources that create color.

He sometimes uses diffusion, I've seen things similar to ProMist on some movies and Classic Softs on some others. Don't know about colored filters or colored grads.
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#3 Joseph Cocklin

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:39 AM

Thanks very much :)
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#4 Jason Outenreath

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:07 PM

I've been a Chris Doyle afficionado for years, and have probably with no false modesty seen/read every existing interview with the guy.

I can't comment specifically on the filters, but I know he loves cross-processing his film stocks, and looking at still photography that uses similar technique, you see a lot of resemblance in color. Cross processing will raise the contrast, put a lot of blue in the blacks, and desaturate the colors while slightly "shifting" them. There's also as was mentioned by David his famous love for mixing light sources which I can only imagine enhances this effect.

I completely agree with the absurdity of the notion--that he himself sells--of having very little technical skill. He's clearly a master and knows his stuff. That might have been how he got started, but he quickly moved beyond that. I remember him telling this hilarious story in a documentary about his career where he first picked up an 8mm camera when he was in his thirties to shoot some documentary in Thailand, before he knew anything about exposure. When he got the footage back all the outdoor stuff was washed out, and all the indoor stuff was black. He doesn't care: learning experience, learned that you have to adjust exposure for inside and outside. Haha. The guy is an entertainer.
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#5 Joseph Cocklin

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:08 AM

blue doyle.jpg
Yeah the past few weeks since I picked up a Wong Kar Wai boxset I've devoted myself to studying him; I usually argue against over reading of the techniques of artists should you end up being a carbon copy but I think his techniques and manner of working are a very good thing to learn and always a hoot to hear him talk or work.

Thanks for the cross processing knowledge. I imagine he used it in the attached image but I am struggling to understand how the colours of the girl on the right are so maintained and punch out of the blue

Also any interesting links you know regarding his technique - I'm particularly interested in his nature of lighting set-ups, as his modesty of 'existing light' leaves me thinking how, when I know there is some real poetic light construct here. Do overhead softs occur so often in china? - or stories that cant be found through the usual trawling through google would be great. I've tried to find both 'In the Mood for Doyle' and 'Stirred Not Shaken' as I've heard mention of them but they don't seem to exist within my search capacity.

Thanks again :)
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#6 Jake Kerber

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:59 AM

A.C. February 2001 has an article on In the Mood for Love. Mark Li Ping-bin also shot portions of the film.
Warm and black pro mists ranging from 1/8 to 1, which the article says Doyle has used on all his Kar-wai collaborations. Li used full corals on day exterior (instead of 85 filter) and 1/2 coral for interiors. Stock was 5279 and some 5289. Also mentions Zeiss primes--no specifics.
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#7 Joseph Cocklin

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:27 PM

Thanks very much :)trying to track that AC article now. Perhaps from your own or anyone's knowledge, in the first picture I attached, and in this one from Chunking Express could you tell me how there is a surrounding blue tone, but a 'correct' white on the woman's skin:

could it be tungsten film and mercury vapour lights in the building with tungsten lighting the lady.
or daylight film with a blue 80 filter and the same lighting.

I ask as a student and apologise if I seem naive. One reason I ask is I am very interested in the methods to isolate a 'correctly' coloured protagonist surrounded by a swathe of emotive colour.

thanks again

http://i2.ytimg.com/...M/hqdefault.jpg
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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:04 AM

I ask as a student and apologise if I seem naive. One reason I ask is I am very interested in the methods to isolate a 'correctly' coloured protagonist surrounded by a swathe of emotive colour.


This may upset you, but I'm convinced that is a filter held at a certain angle over the lens. Possibly with tape, or maybe he has a very steady hand! check out the angle in the join! ;)

love

Freya
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:31 AM

Thanks very much :)trying to track that AC article now. Perhaps from your own or anyone's knowledge, in the first picture I attached, and in this one from Chunking Express could you tell me how there is a surrounding blue tone, but a 'correct' white on the woman's skin:

could it be tungsten film and mercury vapour lights in the building with tungsten lighting the lady.
or daylight film with a blue 80 filter and the same lighting.

I ask as a student and apologise if I seem naive. One reason I ask is I am very interested in the methods to isolate a 'correctly' coloured protagonist surrounded by a swathe of emotive colour.

thanks again

http://i2.ytimg.com/...M/hqdefault.jpg


She's just got a tungsten spot over the top of her but the surrounding space is lit with Cool White fluorescents and perhaps some daylight (if it's a daylight scene, could just be the fluorescents). Having him wear a bright blue shirt adds to the effect.
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#10 Freya Black

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:32 AM

She's just got a tungsten spot over the top of her but the surrounding space is lit with Cool White fluorescents and perhaps some daylight (if it's a daylight scene, could just be the fluorescents). Having him wear a bright blue shirt adds to the effect.


Do you think? The colour temperature change half covers the arm of the guy at the front. If it's a spot it would surely have to be in front of him maybe overhead at an angle?

love

Freya
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