Jump to content


Photo

Oswald Morris, BSC


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 26 May 2005 - 02:56 PM

I've just finished watching the 70's thriller The Odessa File shot by Ozzie Morris, BSC. And I'm royally impressed! It looks great, with a timeless look to it and some fantastic compositions. Not that familiar with Morris work before, but this was fantasticly good. I recommend everyone to buy the DVD in widescreen.
  • 0

#2 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 26 May 2005 - 04:04 PM

Yes, the man from A Really Useful Company Ltd did manage an awful score. Thankfully, it's not used much - lots of silent suspense-building moments in the film (it seems no one else except Robert Zemeckis these days knows how to build suspense with silence).

The 70's... *dreaming*
  • 0

#3 Ignacio Aguilar

Ignacio Aguilar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 398 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Madrid, Spain

Posted 26 May 2005 - 04:08 PM

I liked that film and its cinematography when I saw it some years ago. I believe that Morris used a little diffusion (probably nets) throughout the whole film.

Again, circa 1970: HAD to be the most exciting time for cinematography.


I find the whole decade very exciting because of the "collision" between the old studio cameramen and the new wave of the late sixties/early seventies, whose style took a while to be recognized. People like Ernest Lazlo, Robert Surtees, James Wong Howe, Lucien Ballard, Geoffrey Unsworth or even Freddie Young were beginning to share awards with new talents like Vilmos Zsigmond, Laszlo Kovacs, Owen Roizman, Haskell Wexler, Richard H. Kline, Gordon Willis, Bruce Surtees, etc. Films from that era vary from a high-key studio lighting to some films shot with low light levels, pushed developed and source motivated to achieve a more natural look, or even films combining styles.

Take a look at the Academy Award Nominations for the Best Cinematography of 1971:

Winner:

Fiddler on the Roof (1971) - Oswald Morris

Nominees:

French Connection, The (1971) - Owen Roizman
Last Picture Show, The (1971) - Robert Surtees
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) - Freddie Young (I)
Summer of '42 (1971) - Robert Surtees

The least "classical" film of the bunch in terms of cinematography of course was "French Connection", and some "modern" looking films of that year that didn't get a nomination were "Klute" (Willis), "A Clockwork Orange" (Alcott), "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (Zsigmond), among others. With the evolution of cinematography during that decade, ten years later probably this films would have been nominated instead.

Edited by Ignacio Aguilar, 26 May 2005 - 04:09 PM.

  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:50 PM

Ozzie Morris is one of the most innovative color cinematographers in history; it's just that some of his experiments predated the 1970's when everyone was noticing.

Five must sees:

"Moulin Rouge" -- 3-strip Technicolor shot through Fog Filters, smoke, and colored lighting to create the textures of a painting by Toulose Latrec.

"Moby Dick" -- Eastmancolor photography but desaturated through unique Technicolor dye transfer process involving making b&w matrices with broad-cut instead of narrow-cut filters, causing separations to contain the other two colors, creating a pastel image when recombined. Then a silver key image was added in a fourth pass.

"Taming of the Shrew" -- one of the earlier examples of shadowless soft set lighting to create low-contrast painterly look. Colored soft lights and fog filters.

"Fiddler on the Roof" -- shot entirely through a brown pantyhose (stretched over the lens and held with a rubberband) for a soft, earthy palette.

"The Wiz" -- one of the most elaborate uses of colored flashing using a Lightflex device, combined with front-lighting sets & costumes using Scotchlite front-projection material (same as was done for Krypton scenes in "Superman: The Movie.")
  • 0

#5 Ignacio Aguilar

Ignacio Aguilar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 398 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Madrid, Spain

Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:22 AM

Ozzie Morris is one of the most innovative color cinematographers in history


And yet he proved that he could shoot really well in black & white even for Stanley Kubrick in Lolita (1962).

I would add The Man Who Would be King (John Huston, 1975) as a must see for its daytime exteriors.
  • 0

#6 Mathew Collins

Mathew Collins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • India

Posted 22 January 2016 - 08:20 AM

Ozzie Morris is one of the most innovative color cinematographers in history; it's just that some of his experiments predated the 1970's when everyone was noticing.

Five must sees:

"Moulin Rouge" -- 3-strip Technicolor shot through Fog Filters, smoke, and colored lighting to create the textures of a painting by Toulose Latrec.

"Moby Dick" -- Eastmancolor photography but desaturated through unique Technicolor dye transfer process involving making b&w matrices with broad-cut instead of narrow-cut filters, causing separations to contain the other two colors, creating a pastel image when recombined. Then a silver key image was added in a fourth pass.

"Taming of the Shrew" -- one of the earlier examples of shadowless soft set lighting to create low-contrast painterly look. Colored soft lights and fog filters.

"Fiddler on the Roof" -- shot entirely through a brown pantyhose (stretched over the lens and held with a rubberband) for a soft, earthy palette.

"The Wiz" -- one of the most elaborate uses of colored flashing using a Lightflex device, combined with front-lighting sets & costumes using Scotchlite front-projection material (same as was done for Krypton scenes in "Superman: The Movie.")

 

>"Moby Dick" -- Eastmancolor photography but desaturated through unique Technicolor dye transfer process involving making b&w matrices with broad-cut instead of narrow-cut filters, causing separations to contain the other two colors, creating a pastel image when recombined. Then a silver key image was added in a fourth pass.

 

David,

 

Could you explain,

-broad-cut  and narrow-cut filters

-causing separations to contain the other two colors

-when recombined

-a silver key image was added in a fourth pass


  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 22 January 2016 - 11:47 AM

"Broad" and "narrow" refer to the wavelengths that the filters allow to pass through.  Typically for a 3-color camera, or in post making b&w separations from a color negative, your red, green, and blue color filters would be narrow cut in terms of what color wavelengths pass through -- just the red, or green, or blue information for each strip of b&w film.  

 

But with a broad cut filter, the red filter, let's say, allows some green and blue information to pass through too (basically it is a weaker filter).  So each color separation onto b&w film is not pure, it has some exposure from the other two colors.  So when recombined through filters onto a new color film, or in this case, when using the dye transfer process to make prints, you get washed out colors.

 

There's a video here on the dye transfer (aka imbibition) printing process:

http://100years.tech...inting-process/

 

When making a dye transfer print, you run the b&w positive image (the matrix) dipped in either yellow, cyan, or magenta dye (yellow dye for the blue information, cyan dye for the red information, and magenta dye for the green information.)

 

See:

https://en.wikipedia...btractive_color

 

With regular color print film like from Kodak, the yellow, cyan, and magenta dyes are formed in processing after exposure using color dye coupler technology.  

 

Technicolor dye transfer printing wasn't like that, it's not a photographic process -- there is no light-sensitive emulsion on the print stock, it's just clear film with some compound on it that absorbs dye (called a mordant), and then the three color dyes are basically pressed onto it, just like printing a color illustration for a paper book or magazine.

 

Besides the three color dyes, which are enough all together to create black (see Subtractive Color again), Technicolor had a fourth pass in their early machines that printed a b&w silver image over the three colors to increase the density of the blacks, but it was dropped after a few years as being unnecessary, they got decent blacks with just the combination of the three color dyes.  But in color printing for books, etc. this fourth black "key" printing pass is still used, hence the term CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Key).

 

See:

https://en.wikipedia...MYK_color_model

 

But Ozzie Morris was able to take advantage of this fourth silver pass in the printer to take his washed-out color images on the Technicolor print (washed-out from making his b&w matrices from a color negative that passed through broad cut filters), and restore some contrast to the print by adding back the blacks.


  • 0

#8 Mathew Collins

Mathew Collins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • India

Posted 22 January 2016 - 09:34 PM

"Broad" and "narrow" refer to the wavelengths that the filters allow to pass through.  Typically for a 3-color camera, or in post making b&w separations from a color negative, your red, green, and blue color filters would be narrow cut in terms of what color wavelengths pass through -- just the red, or green, or blue information for each strip of b&w film.  

 

But with a broad cut filter, the red filter, let's say, allows some green and blue information to pass through too (basically it is a weaker filter).  So each color separation onto b&w film is not pure, it has some exposure from the other two colors.  So when recombined through filters onto a new color film, or in this case, when using the dye transfer process to make prints, you get washed out colors.

 

There's a video here on the dye transfer (aka imbibition) printing process:

http://100years.tech...inting-process/

 

When making a dye transfer print, you run the b&w positive image (the matrix) dipped in either yellow, cyan, or magenta dye (yellow dye for the blue information, cyan dye for the red information, and magenta dye for the green information.)

 

See:

https://en.wikipedia...btractive_color

 

With regular color print film like from Kodak, the yellow, cyan, and magenta dyes are formed in processing after exposure using color dye coupler technology.  

 

Technicolor dye transfer printing wasn't like that, it's not a photographic process -- there is no light-sensitive emulsion on the print stock, it's just clear film with some compound on it that absorbs dye (called a mordant), and then the three color dyes are basically pressed onto it, just like printing a color illustration for a paper book or magazine.

 

Besides the three color dyes, which are enough all together to create black (see Subtractive Color again), Technicolor had a fourth pass in their early machines that printed a b&w silver image over the three colors to increase the density of the blacks, but it was dropped after a few years as being unnecessary, they got decent blacks with just the combination of the three color dyes.  But in color printing for books, etc. this fourth black "key" printing pass is still used, hence the term CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Key).

 

See:

https://en.wikipedia...MYK_color_model

 

But Ozzie Morris was able to take advantage of this fourth silver pass in the printer to take his washed-out color images on the Technicolor print (washed-out from making his b&w matrices from a color negative that passed through broad cut filters), and restore some contrast to the print by adding back the blacks.

 

At a time how many roles of film used in the camera for shooting? B/W film is used?

 

Are these filters are used at time of shooting or in post?

 

>When making a dye transfer print, you run the b&w positive image (the matrix) dipped in either yellow, cyan, or magenta dye (yellow dye for the blue information, cyan dye for the red information, and magenta dye for the green information.)

 

Could you explain this part? How this b&w positive image is made? Is it printed from from the original negative?

What is matrix?


  • 0

#9 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 22 January 2016 - 09:50 PM

Three-strip Technicolor cameras ran three 1000' rolls of b&w film simultaneously, two were in bipack with each other.  There was a prism block behind the lens that split the light in two directions -- one direction passed through a green filter onto b&w orthochromatic film.  The other direction passed through a magenta filter (red + blue) onto the two rolls that were bipacked (sandwiched together). The top layer was b&w blue-sensitive-only stock that captured the blue information.  The piece of film was dyed red and had no anti-halation backing so that light could pass through that piece of film, get filtered red, and then capture the red information on b&w panchromatic film.

 

But "Moby Dick" was made right after Technicolor discontinued the 3-strip Technicolor camera.  So that movie was shot on regular 35mm Kodak color negative stock, a single roll at a time in a normal camera. Three b&w separation positives were made (using filters) in an optical printer from the single color negative.  If they went "straight to matrix" then these b&w positives were not regular b&w dupe stocks but a special b&w matrix stock.  

 

The positive b&w image picked up color dye when run through a tank of that dye and then was run in contact with the clear film. As I said before, you'd have a cyan, yellow, and magenta dye image pressed onto the black film to build up a full color image.

 

I already sent you a link on Technicolor dye transfer printing.

 

There are lots of books and websites on the topic.  You can spend some time reading here:

http://www.widescree...echnicolor1.htm

 

Also read this:

http://www.digital-i...technicolor.htm

 

 

 

The three printing matrices begin life looking like conventional black and white films with differing tones because of their exposure to red, green or blue. The negatives are printed to the matrix stock and the silver image is washed from the resulting print. This leaves a gelatin "topographical map" impression of the colour content in each matrix. The gelatin is transparent and the image is nearly invisible.

  • 0

#10 Jonathan Flanagan

Jonathan Flanagan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 32 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London

Posted 24 January 2016 - 09:34 PM

As David has pointed out Oswald Morris was indeed a true innovator in colour cinematography and there are numerous examples of his talent. However his work in black and white is also equally striking. I would site two brilliant examples.
Firstly, The Hill (1965), starring Sean Connery, Michael Redgrave and Ossie Davis, and directed by Sidney Lumet. Set in a British military prison in North Africa during WW2 and run by sadistic NCO's. It was shot in scorchingly dry conditions in Spain, Morris's camerawork perfectly captures the oppressive atmosphere of the camp and you can almost feel the sweat running down your back in many scenes.
Also The Spy Who Came in From The Cold (1963) a Cold War drama starting Richard Burton, in one his best performances and directed by Martin Ritt. The harsh contrasty photography perfectly complements the downbeat, ultra real portrayal of the mundanity and isolation of the life of a spy- the very antithesis of Bond and meant to be.
Both films masterclasses.
  • 0

#11 Mathew Collins

Mathew Collins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • India

Posted 25 January 2016 - 07:54 AM

Thank you David and Jonathan.


  • 0


Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Tai Audio

CineLab

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

The Slider

Glidecam

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal