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Achieving a cold daylight look on film.

super 16 kodak 7213 arri sr3 81ef 85c

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#1 Matthew Rogan

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 08:12 AM

Hi all.

I am 4th cinematography student. I am about to shoot a short commercial on s16. I have shot on film a few times before but I would like hear other opinions on how best to a achieve a cold daylight look on film.

Basically the story is that a couple wakes up very early in their city apartment and leaves for the countryside. I want the piece to start off very cold looking in their apartment and then gradually get warmer as they leave the city in their car and arrive in the country.

I have only one roll to shoot this piece on. It's a thirty second ad so that should be loads of stock. Bug that brings into question how I can get a varying level of "coldness" on the one roll.

I will be shooting on Kodak 200t 7213.

My initial thought is to shoot the grey card with an 85 in. The remove that for the early scenes. Then later for the car scenes to use a 81ef so a slightly warmer, but still cold look. Then finally for the countryside scenes to put the 85 back in.

Does this seem like a good plan to achieve what I am looking for?

Very open to suggestions and opinions, or indeed any help at all.

Thanks.


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#2 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 08:24 AM

Provided you will be using only daylight sources, that plan could work.  Just bear in mind that if you have any tungsten sources in the frame when you are using the filters, they will appear very orange (especially with the 85.)  If I were you, I'd just shoot the entire roll as unfiltered tungsten and color correct in post.  This way you don't have the chance of making the mistake of putting the 81 in when you really wanted the 85 or vice versa.  It'll also remove a step of the shoot which may save a few minutes here and there.  And if you're working with natural light, every minute counts.

 

Personally, I'd be more concerned with the amount of film you have to work with.  I assume it's a 100' roll you have.  What happens if it jams, gets flashed, etc.?  I'd purchase at least one more as a contingency roll.


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#3 Jay Young

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 08:35 AM

Oh man, I was hoping he had a 400' roll.  What's your shooting ratio?  Even at 3:1 you have at least three scenes and if each scene is 10 seconds x 3 takes x 3... 100' is cutting it close!


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#4 Matthew Rogan

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 09:08 AM

Oh no don't worry its a 400' roll! I'd worrying if it was only 100! The reason we only get one roll is that it is for the Kodak Student Commercial competition and thats the rules. 

 

I had thought about shooting it all unfiltered. But as I would be the one grading it and I am not too sure about my grading skills just yet so much as to trust the whole look to that. I prefer to get it as much in camera as possible. I will be shooting mostly natural light, atleast in the car and countryside, there will be lighting setups in the apartment.

 

I have been thinking though that shooting uncorrected tungsten in daylight for the apartment scenes, although set in very early morning, will be too blue for what I am looking for. Maybe if I shoot that scene with the 81ef then move on to another filter for the car scenes, what is there in between the 81ef and 85 that would give me a still slightly cold look?


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#5 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 09:20 AM

What kind of lighting package do you have?...


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#6 Matthew Rogan

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 09:23 AM

Its all the colleges gear, so we have a full tungsten package from 2k to 150s and 4 foot kinos. I want to try and keep the lighting package as small as possible, to be honest, I am going to try and shoot it all natural light if possible.


Edited by Matthew Rogan, 15 October 2015 - 09:30 AM.

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#7 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 09:52 AM

Its all the colleges gear, so we have a full tungsten package from 2k to 150s and 4 foot kinos. I want to try and keep the lighting package as small as possible, to be honest, I am going to try and shoot it all natural light if possible.

 

Before you write off shooting unfiltered tungsten, take a look at page 2 of this forum topic and pay particular attention to David Mullen's comments. 


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#8 Matthew Rogan

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 10:03 AM

That's very helpful. Thank you. I think I will shoot unfiltered tungsten then correct in the lab. Then build it from there.


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#9 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 10:06 AM

That's very helpful. Thank you. I think I will shoot unfiltered tungsten then correct in the lab. Then build it from there.

 

You should be fine with that game-plan.  And welcome to the forum!


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#10 Matthew Rogan

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 12:00 PM

Thank you! Long time lurker. Thought it was about time to get involved!


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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:14 PM

Hey Matthew, welcome to the board!

Here's a short film I shot on 16mm called 'Slanted' about four years ago that I think is relevant to your question:

I also was going for a cool day exterior look using only natural light. We shot on 7217 200T color negative. What I ended up doing was using the 85 filter to shoot a grey card at the head of the roll, then removing it for the shoot. I then wrote this note to the colorist, along with graded jpegs from the location scout and production stills with my 7D:

-------------------------

TELECINE NOTES, "SLANTED" - 2/3/11

Please open sample jpegs in Apple Preview. (View in color space: Adobe RGB).

Telecine Format: 1920x1080, 23.98P. Prores 422 (HQ) Direct-to-Hard Drive. No Keycode.

Aspect Ratio: PILLAR-BOXED 1.33:1 within 1.78:1 (16x9) frame. Please transfer the full Normal 16mm frame height.

Look: The general look is cool 1/2 blue and 75%-80% desaturated, with medium-level grain reduction and light sharpening, in that order. Highlights should be controlled generally and not clipped (approximately 90 IRE). Midtones should be lowered. Blacks should be rich and deep but not overly crushed. Skin tones should be cool-to-neutral and err on the side of magenta instead of green.

*The slider scene consisting of two shots, a wide and tight of The Man walking uphill away from camera (see attached frame 'SLANTED-5') should be timed a bit warmer than the other shots, as shown in the sample frame. Also, the last roll is all title sequence and also should be timed warmer than the other footage.

When in doubt, please refer to the sample frames provided and keep the footage looking like part of that general world.


And thank you! :)

-----------------------

If I had wanted two variations of cool color temperature, I think I would have shot a second grey card with the 81EF and pulled it, just as you were planning to do. I did not end up using the 85 again for scenes with normal warmth, but just asked the colorist to time it warmer. If you want to take the guesswork out of it, then it may not be a bad idea to shoot with the filter in. You should definitely send graded still frames, I think they're very helpful to communicate intent.
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#12 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:18 PM

Sorry, just realized I had disabled embedding for the video. However, the link still works so you can watch it on Vimeo.
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#13 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:26 PM

Hey Satsuki, that's a really cute film!  Nice homage to the Silent Era.

 

I'm curious, are your notes to the colorist always that detailed?  Those seem like the kinds of instructions you would send for the final color grade...


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#14 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:47 PM

Satsuki,  that was a lot of fun.  I kept hoping that a little kid would do a glide through on their scooter or tricycle.


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#15 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:55 PM

Thanks! The notes were super detailed because I couldn't be there to supervise and and we were getting a discounted rate from the post house so we only had an hour to color 300' of film. I didn't want to leave anything to chance. This was in effect our final grade, though I did end up warming up the two shots at the end a bit more in Apple Color.

Also, I'm anal that way (but getting better at letting people do their thing)!
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#16 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:57 PM

Thanks! The notes were super detailed because I couldn't be there to supervise and and we were getting a discounted rate from the post house so we only had an hour to color 300' of film. I didn't want to leave anything to chance. This was in effect our final grade, though I did end up warming up the two shots at the end a bit more in Apple Color.

 

Ah, makes sense!  :)


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