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new Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

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#1 dio zafi

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 08:40 AM

Did anyone see the new Mission Impossible yet??

 

picture of Tom behind the wheel...

 

Kodak Motion Picture Film


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 09:10 AM

Yea, saw it last night. I rather enjoyed the film and Elswit did a great job shooting (as always).

They did a few things that were unnecessary with visual effects. The ol' "Wouldn't it be cool if" syndrome. There was one horrid VFX sequence that was flat-out stupid and straight out of a Sci-Fi film. They also added fake vehicles to the highway chase, which was totally noticeable. However, outside of a few poorly placed VFX shots, the film was entertaining.

I will say one more thing… (mentioned in a different thread) the DCP of this movie looks horrid. They added too much noise reduction, which softened it up to much. There was no crispness to any of the shots. It's as if they're purposely trying to make film look like digital, rather then letting the grain structure and sharpness of film negative shine through. If this is the way film to digital transfers are going to be, cinematographers are going to give up on film entirely because they're purposely making it look like crap.
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#3 JD Hartman

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 09:41 AM

...and the storyline?  Was it awful?  Special effects and stunts instead of a story that's compelling and makes sense?


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 10:18 AM

Story was good, it made sense and it worked well. Actually, the film only has 3 action sequences and none of them were very long.
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#5 James Compton

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 12:15 PM

 I really enjoyed this movie. It was well balanced with just enough comedy for an action movie.

Regarding the cinematography...... I have never been a fan of Robert Elswit, but I like the way he lit this film. I especially like the way he took a few risks on this one. In several interior scenes, Ving Rhames' face was underexposed about 4 stops, with the eyes catching a small amount of eyelight. Bold, yet it looked really nice at the same time. In another scene, there was also a very cool anamorphic bokeh of a flickering torch that almost hypnotized me. This movie, is for sure one for my home video collection.


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 07:23 PM

I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, and liked the noir-ish moments in the night exterior work the best, particularly at the end.

 

I saw it in Digital IMAX -- was glad that I could see it that way in 2D rather than a 3D conversion -- but it's a bit sad that four years ago I saw "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" in real 70mm IMAX film projection with sequences shot in real IMAX, and the 35mm anamorphic footage finished at 4K and then bumped up using DMR to 65mm IMAX... and now in 2015, the new movie was finished in 2K from 35mm anamorphic (with a few other formats now & then) and bumped up to 4K using DMR for Digital IMAX.  So why is it that in this period of transition to 4K delivery, we have a major studio film finishing in 2K?


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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:22 PM

I don't think there was a 3d conversion of "Rogue Nation".

I agree David, it's amazing how the industry isn't even at 4k yet. It goes to show you, they really are delivering a sub-standard product to cinema's today.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:45 PM

It was finished in 2K, but Digital IMAX releases get the "IMAX treatment", which basically means uprezzing, de-noising, and sharpening so that it looks better on a larger screen.  But since Digital IMAX is only 4K, they only had to uprez the 2K master to 4K, I think if they were going to film this out to 15-perf 65mm, they usually uprez to 6K at least.


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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 09:35 PM

Yep, 'Interstellar' 15 perf was scanned in and out at 6k. The 70mm 5 perf prints were blown up from 35mm and I assume they 'cut in' scanned-out 5 perf material for the IMAX shots. If it were my film, I would have done made the 5 perf prints entirely photochemically with blow down 15 perf to 5 perf. I would have also done the compositing photochemically as well, but that's me. LOL

Digital intermediate has truly destroyed films potential quality. The mere concept of doing something in lower resolution to save money on a 200 million dollar film, is an outrage. I've done the math, I've met with the right people, I've been to Panavision and FotoKem and had discussions, there is absolutely no reason why these big movies going to IMAX, can't shoot 5 perf 70mm and do a photochemical finish. This way our "final" will be as much quality as 5 perf 70mm, which as we've argued many times… is between 6k and 8k… a lot more then 2k.

I'm sure someone in the IMAX theater would notice the bump in quality because what I saw looked bad. Jurassic World in contrast looked MUCH better.
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#10 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 12:20 PM

I saw this in Digital IMAX at a theater down in Ft. Lauderdale while on vacation.  I enjoyed the film and the cinematography very much, especially the Vienna night exteriors which apparently were very simply lit: high-sodium gels on a bunch of tungsten fixtures giving it that golden, Euro-urban look.  Really nice.

 

But I noticed the noise/grain right away.  So I completely agree with what Tyler has said in the past in that if you're spending that much money for a big-budget feature - AND it originated on film - why not spend a few more for the right finishing methods?  And according to AC, Tom Cruise is apparently the one who decided on film as he does not care for digital projection.  I applaud his views but, as a producer of the film, you would think he would through a few more dollars at the aspect of the workflow he seems to care very much about.


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#11 John Holland

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 04:44 PM

Grain. Grain Grain ! Film has some grain that is good texture, not plastic Digital images what ever the camera look the same .


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#12 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:28 PM

Grain. Grain Grain ! Film has some grain that is good texture, not plastic Digital images what ever the camera look the same .

 

A discerning eye would still see the grain even if they had delivered the film at a higher resolution.


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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:37 PM

A 4K D.I. would have made the film grain more slightly visible in fact, 2K D.I.'s have a mild de-graining effect.  On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if noise from digital color-correction choices is worse in a 2K D.I. because of the sharpening they do to the final output and the coarser pixel size.  But that's just a theory.

 

Anyway, the grain of the movie seemed normal for action shot at night on 500 ASA film.  Maybe it's a generational thing, but I've seen a number of comments from people saying that the grain was distracting, implying that if you can actually see the grain, it's a bad thing.

 

I don't know why they opted for a 2K D.I. in this day and age after doing a 4K D.I. on the last M.I. movie just four years ago, it sort of goes against the trends towards building a 4K library for the studios, but Paramount has always been a bit conservative in that regard.  They probably thought that a fifth M.I. movie would do a certain percentage lower than the previous and asked the production to trim the budget accordingly, and a 4K D.I. became a budget casualty.


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#14 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:50 PM

A 4K D.I. would have made the film grain more slightly visible in fact, 2K D.I.'s have a mild de-graining effect.  On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if noise from digital color-correction choices is worse in a 2K D.I. because of the sharpening they do to the final output and the coarser pixel size.  But that's just a theory.

 

Anyway, the grain of the movie seemed normal for action shot at night on 500 ASA film.  Maybe it's a generational thing, but I've seen a number of comments from people saying that the grain was distracting, implying that if you can actually see the grain, it's a bad thing.

 

I'm normally the first one to cheer at the sight of grain, but it seemed to be a bit excessive - almost as though there was a bit added digitally.  And the scenes where it was most noticeable for me were not night shots but interiors.  It didn't detract from the experience at all - it was just more noticeable.  But that could also just be from the fact that I saw it in IMAX - something I haven't experienced in years.


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#15 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 11:55 PM

Yea, the IMAX experience was poor. Honestly, IMAX has diluted itself so much, it really doesn't mean anything anymore. If Rogue Nation was finished on film and photochemically blown up to 15 perf 70mm, that would be a different story. However, Rogue Nation was not available to film theaters, only digital theaters. This means, most of the IMAX theaters that played it, were only 2k to begin with and that's my beef.

IMAX is "suppose" to be the ultimate format, the best resolution possible. Yet they're pulling 15 perf 70mm projectors out and replacing them with either double 2k projectors OR double 4k laser, neither of which is anywhere near the quality of 5 perf 70mm. It's not like IMAX has a lot of theaters, striking prints for them isn't the end of the world cost wise. So their excuse is that most audiences don't care and henceforth, they don't care. But if IMAX doesn't care, who will?
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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 02:22 AM

Almost all 35mm blow-ups to 15-perf 65mm IMAX has been done digitally using the DMR process, a direct blow-up would be distractingly grainy and soft on a five-story tall screen.  When did you ever see 35mm feature blown-up in an optical printer to IMAX?

 

IMAX is really only the "ultimate format" when something is actually shot in 15-perf 65mm and shown in a 15-perf 70mm print -- THAT'S the real loss of something special.  

 

Blowing up 35mm to 15-perf 70mm versus showing it in 4K is a compromise either way, it's just two different forms of compromise.  And since all the 35mm feature films blown-up to IMAX have been done digitally (before that, 35mm movies were only blown-up to 5-perf, not 15-perf), I just thought of the IMAX film print version as the ultimate 35mm print in a way, just steadier with the de-graining and sharpening making it hold up on a larger screen, albeit with the effect of looking digitally smoothed over.  For 35mm-shot material, I don't think the Digital IMAX is all that bad, it's just an improvement over the other digital screens in the theater.  But I do miss the black levels of the IMAX print version.

 

But what I really miss is true IMAX photography, shot in IMAX film and shown in IMAX film, that's amazing and unique.  And now with IMAX going to 4K digital projection, the tragedy is that if someone makes the effort to shoot on 15-perf 65mm, he will have a harder time getting it shown in 15-perf 70mm print projection.

 

But for 35mm and digital movies, blowing them up to 15-perf wasn't artifact-free anyway, you had to put up with the digital clean-up work, the only thing you got out of it was the rich blacks of a film print on a very large screen, which was nice, but it wasn't a "pure" film experience, only 15-perf photography could get you that.


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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 02:38 AM

There is a certain romanticization and nostalgia going on here... I can remember seeing first-run movies in film prints and it wasn't a perfect process either, if you didn't see the movie within the first week, odds were high that the print would have a scratch in it soon, and a certain amount of dirt, you could generally tell that it was film being projected by the jitter and weave and black dirt specks on the screen, anamorphic projection was terrible in half the theaters, the lenses were so bad that the projectionist couldn't hold both ends of the screen in focus at the same time.  I tried to figure out which theaters in Los Angeles were decent and stick to those and see a movie as quickly as I could before the print got beat up.  Now with digital projection, the quality is a lot more consistent across town and from city to city.  

 

Ten years ago when I was in Santa Fe, NM shooting "The Astronaut Farmer" I couldn't find a decent theater at all in town.  I went to see "The Brothers Grimm" at the local cineplex and only half the screen was in focus because clearly the projector had something stuck in the gate along one edge making the film lie un-flat but the management said they couldn't fix it.  Then two years ago I was back in Santa Fe and that multiplex had digital projection and first run movies looked good just as in any theater in Los Angeles, but I then went to see "The Grandmaster" at the art house theater in town which was still projecting prints.

 

Their scope projection was terrible and their sound was muddy, sounded like a mono optical soundtrack.  And the print was beat-up.  I would have been happier seeing it digitally projected.

 

With my own movies, I would travel to theaters showing prints and half the time the presentation was awful, bad release prints badly projected.  When "Jennifer's Body" came out in 2009, I was hoping that it would get a digital release so that people could see what I saw in the D.I. theater, but instead it was released in 35mm prints and I visited various theaters in Los Angeles and was appalled by the print quality and the projection problems.

 

35mm print projection is fantastic if the print is great and the theater is great, like at the American Cinematheque, and 70mm prints are even better, but on the whole, digital projection has been an improvement for the average movie.  The black levels are the only thing I miss about a 35mm print now.  A several years ago one of the "Underworld" sequels came out, shot on the Genesis camera, and the multiplex near my house was showing it in 35mm on one screen and digitally on another, and I would run back and forth between the two screens to compare the difference, and it was mainly that the 35mm print had better blacks, but the digital version was cleaner, sharper, and steadier.


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#18 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 12:40 PM

I agree David, the 35mm photochemical blowup to 15/70 wouldn't look as good with our modern darker films. However, if filmmakers didn't push the stocks so much, if they didn't shoot on 500 and only shot on lower-grain stocks, it may work. The DMR process ruins the whole experience in my eyes, all of a sudden the movie has digital noise which looks like MPEG noise. This is a result of a filter that is trying to remove grain, but instead is making the image look worse.

I know we've gone back and forth on the whole film vs digital projection, but I blame the projectionist for most of the problems not the format. When you go to Arclight cinema's and see their projectors, they are rock solid, I always go back to 'Interstellar' on 5/70 because it was pretty amazing. Yes the registration wasn't perfect, but everything else was. I've seen 'Interstellar' on 35mm, 5/70, 15/70 and digital. What I preferred the most was 5/70 because I like that aspect ratio and even though the IMAX 70mm screening blew my doors off, I didn't much care for the 35mm scenes, they were too grainy because the filmmakers in my eyes, choose the wrong stocks knowing they'd be blowing up to IMAX. You MUST shoot the film differently in my eyes for an IMAX blow up. 'Interstellar' had zero excuses to not shoot the dialog scenes in 5/70 and it still bugs me to this day. Would it have made a better movie? No… but it would have made those IMAX prints look amazing instead of just "OK".

With that said, when digital projection first came out, it looked great because the projectors weren't high resolution enough. They created a warm soft image and in most cineplexes, the film projectors were old, tired and theater owners were unwilling to fix 'em up. They saw digital projection as an answer to solving those problems, remove the film projectors and install digital and now they didn't need to modernize the film projection. So doing an A/B comparison would yielded digital being better for obvious reasons. Fast forward a few years and film projection is practically dead, but those theaters still projecting film, have done a stealer job making it look good. This is because the audience is so use to digital today, they've gotta work double hard to make film look good. This is what the film industry USE to be like, people caring about what they project.

Digital projection is a dead-end technology unfortunately. We will never be able to project a raw uncompressed 4k, 12 bit 4:4:4 file at your local cineplex. So everyone is seeing sub-standard compressed images at the theater. Where on film, you can theoretically see identical quality to the source material. The problem is, world-wide release dates and huge cineplexes with multiple screens, ruined the ability to make perfect prints. Movies started to become "one weekend wonders" and the cost of producing prints seemed illogical for only a week or two of theatrical running. It's this mindset that killed off film and it's the wrong mindset. Studio's are only interested in who has the biggest opening weekend and how quickly they can recoup their investment. In my eyes, cinema needs to rethink how it distributes and use the "theater" model. Make movies "special" again by using the roadshow method of distribution. Limited dates, limited locations, make the whole thing an experience that you will never forget.

But alas, my utopia won't exist until multiplexes are dead and the rate they're going now it won't be to long now.
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#19 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 07:13 PM

Saw 'Rogue Nation' at a digital screening at 32Ten Studios (formerly Kerner Optical/ILM). Thought it looked pretty good mostly, a bit soft and flatly lit at times. In the American Cinematographer article, the 1st AC mentioned that focus pulling was a bit tough because Elswit liked to shoot nearly wide open on the scope lenses, and Tom Cruise does not like to rehearse. I wondered how much sharper the film would have looked if they had simply used more light and stopped down to a T4/5.6. It's too bad they didn't get to use any 15-perf 65mm, a few scenes could have really used that wow factor. The underwater sequence shot on Alexa 65 didn't really jump out to me at all, other than lacking grain. The motorcycle chase sequence was spectacularly shot.
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#20 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:15 PM

In the American Cinematographer article, the 1st AC mentioned that focus pulling was a bit tough because Elswit liked to shoot nearly wide open on the scope lenses, and Tom Cruise does not like to rehearse.

 

That's the new school of film making.  No rehearsals and no light.  Ugh!!

 

G


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