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unfiltered film choices


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#1 Simon Jon Knight

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 04:55 AM

Going on from Eloise's thread about filters...

I have some Cokin P 80 and 85 filters to put on the front of my lenses for the Bolex and Arri...

So my question is, IF you are going down the route of just filming grey cards with the stock in the mag and then correcting in post, do people shoot with tungsten or daylight? Is there a preferred 'direction' that color correctors like to correct? Does it matter?

Or is good practice to shoot with a filter and reload every time?

I will be telecine-ing through i-dailies in London but have Final Cut Pro and Color in my studio so can correct it later - using Magic Bullet for the tastier effects.... Should I ask i-dailies to color correct at all? As they will be cropping for me to widescreen from a taped ground glass is it too much to ask for color correct as well?

Thanks for your time guys and gals..

Regards

Simon K
MediaHound Films

Edited by Simon Jon Knight, 11 November 2012 - 04:56 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:56 AM

There's no right or wrong choice. The main reason people use tungsten stocks outdoors is that they want to use the same stock indoors, or at least have that possibility, rather than carry two sets of stocks, or three, etc. It simplifies things if your stocks can overlap in duties -- if I'm only carrying 200T and 500T stocks and run out of 500T for interior scenes, I can light for 200T and use that stock.

You also can pull the 85 filter it gain another 2/3's of a stop or to get a blue-ish look.

Some people also feel that the tungsten stocks outside are slightly less contrasty though I'm not sure that is true.

The advantages of daylight stock outside is that you don't need the 85 filter (though often you need an ND filter anyway), you don't have to look through an 85 filter in the viewfinder. Daylight stocks are basically tungsten stocks with a slower blue later since there is an excess of blue light outside -- so the blues tend to be finer-grained on daylight stocks.

If you correct tungsten stock with an 85 filter versus shoot daylight with no 85 filter, the color-correction in post is about the same.

Dailies generally have to be balanced to something as a starting point, so having them correct for a grey scale at the head of the roll is standard, the only extra charge is when you want shot by shot correction (timed dailies) rather than transferring the whole roll at one setting (one-light dailies.)
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#3 Simon Jon Knight

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:21 PM

thank you David...
A much appreciated answer. So you prefer to always carry tungsten and filter for daylight - rather than carry daylight and filter for tungsten...

Oh well, at least ive got the filters so can get myself out of trouble either way..!

kind regards

Simon K
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:51 PM

No, I actually prefer daylight stocks for daylight because I don't like looking through an 85 filter nor losing 2/3's of a stop, but it really depends on the project and how often I need a slower-speed tungsten stock for some effects or looks, or how cool-ish I want to make the movie. If I am going for a colder look anyway, I tend to favor tungsten stocks because I can either not use the 85 filter for day scenes or use an 81EF filter. I also favor tungsten stocks for stage work.

My general rule is to not have to order or carry more than three stocks, and preferably carry only two stocks. So for a warm-toned sunny outdoors movie I might use 50D, 250D, and 500T -- but for a cool, wintery overcast movie, I may be more likely to shoot everything on 200T and 500T. It's always that middle-speed stock where I spend the most time thinking about whether 200T or 250D would serve me well in more situations, and it just depends on the script in my case. However, some DP's are prone to shoot most everything on 250D and 500T (such as Wally Pfister), and others more likely to use 200T and 500T (such as Roger Deakins). As I said, there is no right or wrong answer.

It's partly a question of inventory -- you try to guess how much of each stock you need, but there will aways be some overlap -- you may run out of one stock and have to switch to another, you may have to use up whatever remains near the end, etc. So you want to avoid overly micro-managing your stock orders unless you have quick access to a supplier and a camera assistant who is on top of the ordering.
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#5 Simon Jon Knight

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:04 AM

I can see this is going to be great fun... Thanks David for your thoughts... So much more to consider than put in the tape, press record and alter in post!
If you don't mind my asking David and established others... Do you add color correction in post using effects like magic bullet / looks / et al or do you rely on a good telecine-ist?

Thanks again... it's surprising how exciting it is starting down the film road at this time? Having a small amount of cash behind me means I can try things I couldn't if I was a film student and have the wealth of information available to me from people you guys/girls...

Simon K
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:27 AM

I haven't done any of my own colorist work, but then, I haven't had to.

Generally you try and get a decent transfer that looks close to what you want, then edit the material, and then color-correct the edited project to match shots better.
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#7 Simon Jon Knight

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:41 AM

Valid point David... i'm thinking with my digital head on - I shoot as clean as possible and then color grade to get the "look" I want... As opposed to film where you create the "look" you want with the film and then add color correction to match shots.
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#8 Chris Burke

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:03 PM

Valid point David... i'm thinking with my digital head on - I shoot as clean as possible and then color grade to get the "look" I want... As opposed to film where you create the "look" you want with the film and then add color correction to match shots.

Actually, it is because of cheap desktop color grading that most people grade much more in post rather than going for the look in camera. It doesn't really matter film or digital, CC workflows are pretty much the same except film gives you more room to wiggle.
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#9 zachary sala

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:13 AM

converting daylight to tungsten is something that doesn't come up too often as you really need to push the two stop difference on the 80A filter. Of course with 5500k balanced lights this isn't as much of a problem any longer. Any stock can be converted, and as long as there is a gray card at the start of each shot you should have no problem.

Even if you forgot to convert your stock with the proper filter, a colorist can correct the problem with a gray card as a guide.(at least in digital) However this is not the best option as it will be more costly and time consuming.

If your finishing on film itself it's nice to get it as close as you can, as it will be corrected from the dallies to answer print and more film means more corrections/prints.

David is totally right, it's all about choice from each location and what would give you more wiggle room.
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