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Transferring a workprint of negative for a "reversal" look

16mm film super-16 workprint telecine reversal

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#1 Bo Price

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 03:59 PM

Hey everybody,

 

On another thread awhile ago I saw somebody looking for advice on how to achieve that "Kodachrome look" when there aren't many reversal options left.  There was a great suggestion to try making a print of the negative, and transferring THAT.  

 

Has anybody done this, and does anybody have any links to the results? 

 

20 years ago in film school, I remember getting a 16mm work print transferred to VHS (!) and I remember it looked cool, but that was a long time ago and I don't still have it.

 

I would love to see iif this is worth doing, or if it's too much hassle / expense for something that could maybe be achieved just as well or better in a standard telecine with the right colorist, etc.  

 

I'm shooting a Super-16 film later this month and I, too, would love that heavily saturated reversal "look".  

 

Thanks so much for any advice,

Bo Price

 

 

 


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#2 David Cunningham

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 05:01 PM

It does work but you need to employ a good multiflash scanner to do it. The Director at Metrpolis Post in NYC is the best I personally have seen with scanning print films. I would try them. Call Jack. Tell him Dave Cunningham sent you. :)
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 05:06 PM

Sure, transferring a print would get you a bump in contrast, which would make some of the colors a little more punchy, and you'd get positive dirt & dust (black) though you might also see white dirt and dust that was on the original negative.  The image would be a little bit softer since prints are usually made on a continuous contact printer.

 

The question is whether you could just increase the contrast and saturation of the scan off of the negative in color-correction and get similar results, just a bit cleaner and sharper.


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 05:33 PM

Definitely sounds like you should shoot a test. :) Let us know how it turns out!
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#5 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 01:27 PM

We used to transfer prints as SOP many years ago. They were graded prints and either printed on special low contrast stock or printed 2 to 3 points lighter. This helped with shadow detail. You could pull the shadows down until you got it just right. From a standard projection print it was always a struggle to get sufficient shadow detail. Now we only transfer from prints if nothing else is available, meaning original negative, interpositive, duplicate negative.

If you really must transfer from a positive that is yet to be printed, ask for a lighter print by at least 2 printerpoints.


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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 02:46 PM

On another thread awhile ago I saw somebody looking for advice on how to achieve that "Kodachrome look" when there aren't many reversal options left.  There was a great suggestion to try making a print of the negative, and transferring THAT. 

The "real" Kodachrome look, gotten when Kodachrome is PROJECTED, is really hard to recreate. If you view a projected print and see any transfer to video of the same print you'll find they are very different. Kodachrome slides are diffcult to scan and re-produce accurately digitally and the same can be said about the motion picture version.

 

However, if you work with a good colorist, they can probably get to where you're happy with it from a print or a negative. These days the possibilities are endless.


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#7 David Cunningham

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 06:24 PM

I think the big difference with the "look" is the fact that modern lcd displays have a 60 or 120hz refresh rate where in between frames is just the transition to the next frame where a projected image has actual blackness between frames. Although impossible to "see" it is perceived and very different. You'll never be able to reproduce that digitally without much higher refresh rates and actual blackness between frames.

I have watched interstellar on a 35mm print where the non cgi scenes are actual contact prints, not a DI, and the blu Ray. The difference is night and day. The perceived look it totally different. I'd actually forgotten since this was the first movie i'd seen with a photochemical finish in many years.
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#8 Will Montgomery

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 09:41 AM

I think the big difference with the "look" is the fact that modern lcd displays have a 60 or 120hz refresh rate where in between frames is just the transition to the next frame where a projected image has actual blackness between frames. Although impossible to "see" it is perceived and very different. You'll never be able to reproduce that digitally without much higher refresh rates and actual blackness between frames.

I'm sure that's part of it, but there's something in the nature of Kodachrome's process that creates those amazing colors. Actually, even newly shot Ektachrome 100D has a beautiful "pop" that I've never gotten from even the best transfers & colorists possible. Whenever I project film (very rarely these days) I'm just amazed.

 

 

I have watched interstellar on a 35mm print where the non cgi scenes are actual contact prints, not a DI, and the blu Ray. The difference is night and day. The perceived look it totally different. I'd actually forgotten since this was the first movie i'd seen with a photochemical finish in many years.

 

I took a non-film person friend to see the 70mm version then we saw the digital version a few days later. The richness of the 70mm was obvious and massively apparent to him. Even though it was shot on film, the digital projection looked "video-ish" even to a layman. I didn't catch which format the digital projection was...I hope it wasn't the latest and greatest.

 

I will say the digital theater had better sound by far, but I assume that was just because the digital theater was more modern. The audio signal was probably identical, just the equipment setup was lacking.


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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 09:46 AM

There's an article here about scanning Kodachrome slides and the issues associated with it. About halfway down talks about color shifts and density issues that can be fixed with multiple scans but I'm know sure there's an equivalent fix in the telecine world. Probably just more time in Resolve.

 

http://www.filmscann...Kodachrome.html


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#10 David Cunningham

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 08:16 PM

There's an article here about scanning Kodachrome slides and the issues associated with it. About halfway down talks about color shifts and density issues that can be fixed with multiple scans but I'm know sure there's an equivalent fix in the telecine world. Probably just more time in Resolve.
 
http://www.filmscann...Kodachrome.html


There is no reel solution in telecine. But in scanning you can do HDR via multi exposure. This is how the Director at MteroPost is able to get fantastic results from E100D, Kodachrome and prints. But. It still never looks as good as the projected film. :(
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#11 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 07:23 AM

It's worth noting that in most cases, HDR scanning is mostly useful with film that has the extreme ends of the range represented - that is, lots of shadow and lots of highlights, at the same time, in the same frame. What HDR scanning does is let you pull that shadow detail out, while preventing the highlights from blowing out. 

 

Modern print stock, even older print stock, is typically fine on non-HDR scanners and you can pull tons of detail out of the shadows with a good sensor. Reversal tends towards the extremes, with deeper shadows, so it's harder to get that detail out. That's why the Director does a good job on reversal that has areas of deep shadow as well as areas with nearly clipped highlights, in the same frame. 

 

That said, scanners like the ScanStation have approximately 13 stops of dynamic range, and don't typically have an issue with workprint or release prints, because those tend to be less extreme than OCR. 

 

-perry


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#12 Will Montgomery

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 09:01 AM

Isn't there something in the nature of Kodachrome...perhaps the multilayers of dye or something that gives scanners issues? I've done a lot of slide scanning and any slide (Velvia, Provia, Ektachrome, ect.) other than Kodachrome is usually easy. Throw Kodachrome up and it never looks just like the actual film without work (and even then not perfect.)


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#13 David Cunningham

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 09:32 AM

Isn't there something in the nature of Kodachrome...perhaps the multilayers of dye or something that gives scanners issues? I've done a lot of slide scanning and any slide (Velvia, Provia, Ektachrome, ect.) other than Kodachrome is usually easy. Throw Kodachrome up and it never looks just like the actual film without work (and even then not perfect.)


I believe it has something to do with the density of the film layers associated with the multiple b@w layers to witch dye is added after the fact rather than removed.
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