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ENR on Super16

ENR silver retention Super16 16mm special processing

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#1 Matthew Padraic Barr

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:20 PM

Im finally shooting on film again in a few months on a short film. Our budget will only allow us to shoot 16, but Im considering using ENR -- which I might fund myself -- because the dark storyline could be enhanced by slightly bleak and contrasty cinematography. Ive never heard of anyone using any silver retention processing on 16, so naturally Im curious if there is any precedent.

Has anyone heard about or tried this?

Im going to test this, obviously, but it would be nice to know as much as I can before testing. Its been so long since Ive shot film that Im not even sure ENR is still offered at FotoKem (LA) or Technicolor (LA) anymore. Last I heard skip bleach and ENR are still an option.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:10 PM

ENR is a print-only process that Technicolor Labs created; Deluxe had a similar process called ACE.  It was more complex than basic silver retention from skipping the bleach step, a process that can be done to either a negative or a print.  The advantage to ENR or ACE was that the amount of silver left in the print was adjustable, whereas with a skip-bleach process, you left all the silver in the print.

 

When you leave silver in a print, as with skip bleach, ENR, or ACE, you get stronger blacks, darker shadows and colors, and more contrast.  Plus the addition of silver grain along with the color dye clouds.

 

When you leave silver in the negative, you get hotter whites that burn out more quickly, plus even stronger silver grain (since the grains in negative stock are larger than in print stock), and more contrast.

 

It's likely you can still do a skip-bleach process at any lab, but since the ENR and ACE process required extra processing tanks added to the print processing line, I don't know if it is still offered.


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#3 Matthew Padraic Barr

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:35 PM

That was my reservation with doing skip bleach: it's all or nothing. Whereas ENR has the option of variable amounts, which, since I know I dont want to use a full ENR look -- like Saving Private Ryan -- I was thinking more in the realm of William Friedkin's Jade, which only used a little ENR. Id like to do just a bit more than what Ive seen in Jade, but I really liked the subtle effect of the ENR; It added just a bit more in the blacks and the image didnt loose too much color.
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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:24 AM

The obvious answer is the DI but, you can get most of your "look" in camera.  You could print it and then scan the print.  I highly suggest you check out Northfork for ways to get your look starting in camera. Check the archives here for lengthy threads about it. I know some kind of skip bleach was used.

David??....


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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:08 AM

Like I said, ENR is for prints only (Kodak ECP-2D processing, as opposed the ECN-2 used for negatives), and probably was for 35mm prints only, I doubt Technicolor ever installed those extra b&w developer tanks to a 16mm print line.  So any movie with that ENR look that you've seen on DVD generally has had to recreate that look digitally since the video transfer was not done from a print, but from an IP or o-neg, etc.

 

I used the ACE process from Deluxe on "Twin Falls Idaho" and did a full skip bleach for the prints of "Northfork" but had to simulate that look for home video using digital color-correction (basically crushing the blacks a bit and lowering the color saturation.)

 

Since most people who shoot Super-16 don't project 16mm prints, then your project is going to have to go through some sort of optical or digital conversion anyway, and more than likely today, it will be digitized, so you might as well just create the look digitally.

 

The ENR look is basically (1) more contrast, (2) deeper blacks (if you are recreating the look of an ENR print), (3) less color saturation, and (4) extra grain.  The last is the only thing that a basic color corrector can't do, but considering you are shooting in Super-16, I'm not sure you really need more graininess anyway.


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#6 Matthew Padraic Barr

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:53 PM

It seems to me that this could easily be digital capture and that look may be achieved with the use of the right LUT instead of doing more prints on film since thats clearly not an option on 16.
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#7 Matthew Padraic Barr

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 06:57 PM

Like I said, ENR is for prints only (Kodak ECP-2D processing, as opposed the ECN-2 used for negatives), and probably was for 35mm prints only, I doubt Technicolor ever installed those extra b&w developer tanks to a 16mm print line.  So any movie with that ENR look that you've seen on DVD generally has had to recreate that look digitally since the video transfer was not done from a print, but from an IP or o-neg, etc.
 
I used the ACE process from Deluxe on "Twin Falls Idaho" and did a full skip bleach for the prints of "Northfork" but had to simulate that look for home video using digital color-correction (basically crushing the blacks a bit and lowering the color saturation.)
 
Since most people who shoot Super-16 don't project 16mm prints, then your project is going to have to go through some sort of optical or digital conversion anyway, and more than likely today, it will be digitized, so you might as well just create the look digitally.
 
The ENR look is basically (1) more contrast, (2) deeper blacks (if you are recreating the look of an ENR print), (3) less color saturation, and (4) extra grain.  The last is the only thing that a basic color corrector can't do, but considering you are shooting in Super-16, I'm not sure you really need more graininess anyway.


Thanks for the info, David.
I greatly admire your work.
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#8 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:26 PM

It seems to me that this could easily be digital capture and that look may be achieved with the use of the right LUT instead of doing more prints on film since thats clearly not an option on 16.

 

Or you could shoot Super 16 and scan it using a proper film scanner such as the Arriscan or Scanity. The files you get, whether DPX or prores, will give you a large amount of control over both contrast, blacks and color saturation. If you want to finish on film, you can always create the look digitally and record back to film with the arrilaser. I'd be interested in seeing how it all turns out.

 

Nolo Digital Film in Chicago will give you 2K scans at 2 cents a frame or 4K scans at 4 cents a frame. 16 or 35. The book rate with Fotokem, on other hand, is 15 cents a frame plus a data management fee.


Edited by Ben Brahem Ziryab, 28 July 2014 - 08:30 PM.

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#9 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:53 AM

Or you could shoot Super 16 and scan it using a proper film scanner such as the Arriscan or Scanity. The files you get, whether DPX or prores, will give you a large amount of control over both contrast, blacks and color saturation. If you want to finish on film, you can always create the look digitally and record back to film with the arrilaser. I'd be interested in seeing how it all turns out.

 

FWIW, there are many more scanners out there than the Arriscan and Scanity that are capable of producing scans with enough dynamic range to allow lots of flexibility in post.

 

Also, those rates are pretty high for 2k these days - just about double what we charge for S16 on our ScanStation (and we're not alone - there are others who charge rates similar to ours). ...Thank you, Dr. Moore.


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#10 Edward Herrera

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 05:29 PM

Im finally shooting on film again in a few months on a short film. Our budget will only allow us to shoot 16, but Im considering using ENR -- which I might fund myself -- because the dark storyline could be enhanced by slightly bleak and contrasty cinematography. Ive never heard of anyone using any silver retention processing on 16, so naturally Im curious if there is any precedent.

Has anyone heard about or tried this?

Im going to test this, obviously, but it would be nice to know as much as I can before testing. Its been so long since Ive shot film that Im not even sure ENR is still offered at FotoKem (LA) or Technicolor (LA) anymore. Last I heard skip bleach and ENR are still an option.

Hi Matt,

 

Obviously I'm chiming in super late, and you may have very well figured out your game plan. I just wanted to add that I tested a full skip bleach on super 16 for a feature I shot a few years back. The first batch came out pretty awful (as I suspected) with this sort of crunched up contrast. You couldn't make out any detail in the toe or the shoulder of the curve and the grain ate away at the detail in the middle grey areas. I was shooting with Fuji eternal 8673, and 8663. I tried looking for the footage in my drives but I think it's stored at the director's house somewhere. 

 

The follow up test came out pretty amazing- I countered the extreme contrast from the skip bleach with a one stop pull in the negative development and then followed by a separate batch of the same subject with a 2 stop pull. The material from the 2 stop pull was by far the most pleasing in terms of contrast and grain. It was actually pretty beautiful but the further tradeoff was that you zapped almost all the color from the image and the light loss involved from shooting that way. We scanned in all the footage at 2k in an Arri scanner and analyzed it in the suite. 

 

I was going to implement this into the film by shooting all day exteriors with that processing combination but shoot the night exteriors and all interiors with just a 1 stop pull. Then I was going to mimic the effect in the grade for the clean material. Long story short, because of the insane cost of setting up a skip bleach (every time you develop), we nixed the idea and I just worked out a great LUT with the colorist. 

 

Just figured I'd add to the thread in case you still had some time to test some other methods. I'm sure Fotokem does stuff like that. 

 

Good luck! 


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#11 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 10:43 PM

Hi Matt,

 

Obviously I'm chiming in super late, and you may have very well figured out your game plan. I just wanted to add that I tested a full skip bleach on super 16 for a feature I shot a few years back. The first batch came out pretty awful (as I suspected) with this sort of crunched up contrast. You couldn't make out any detail in the toe or the shoulder of the curve and the grain ate away at the detail in the middle grey areas. I was shooting with Fuji eternal 8673, and 8663. I tried looking for the footage in my drives but I think it's stored at the director's house somewhere. 

 

The follow up test came out pretty amazing- I countered the extreme contrast from the skip bleach with a one stop pull in the negative development and then followed by a separate batch of the same subject with a 2 stop pull. The material from the 2 stop pull was by far the most pleasing in terms of contrast and grain. It was actually pretty beautiful but the further tradeoff was that you zapped almost all the color from the image and the light loss involved from shooting that way. We scanned in all the footage at 2k in an Arri scanner and analyzed it in the suite. 

 

I was going to implement this into the film by shooting all day exteriors with that processing combination but shoot the night exteriors and all interiors with just a 1 stop pull. Then I was going to mimic the effect in the grade for the clean material. Long story short, because of the insane cost of setting up a skip bleach (every time you develop), we nixed the idea and I just worked out a great LUT with the colorist. 

 

Just figured I'd add to the thread in case you still had some time to test some other methods. I'm sure Fotokem does stuff like that. 

 

Good luck! 

 

Oh, well that's interesting! Can you talk a little bit about the differences in results you noticed between the photochemical process and the LUT you set up? Do you have any of the footage online?


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