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BOY shot on 500t underexposes on purpose


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#1 Jay Young

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 08:11 AM

I didin't want to post this in "On Screen" section, since I haven't seen it and its still doing the festival rounds.  Apperently they did tests on the '19 and underexposed the whole image two or three stops, and left an ND 6 on the front the whole time.  Can you imagine! [I think they actually meant ND 0.6, as an ND6 would cut... 20 stops? HA! I don't even think such a thing exists] 

I am very interested to see what the daily looked like without grading.  I'm interested in seeing the finished film also, the story sounds great.   I recall John Seale stating he never shot on anything other than high speed film once it came out, as one could take it to the beach at noon, throw four ND12's on the front and it looked fantastic.

 

Anyhow, interesting indeed!
 
From the Kodak article found here: http://motion.kodak....ntId=4294992583
 
Cinematographer Bobby Shore, CSC and Director Connor Jessup explain:
 
They used a set of Ultra Speeds and a Panaflex Millennium XL from Panavision Toronto. They shot entirely on (KODAK VISION3) 5219 with an ND 6 filter in front of the camera the whole time, but metered as if Shore was rating the film at 500.
 
“We spoke a lot about the films of Hirokazu Koreeda and Edward Yang,” explained Shore. “Connor has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Asian cinema. I had tested (KODAK) VISION3 500T (Color Negative Film 5219) and tended toward the additional texture I got with the 5219 when it’s underexposed by two or three stops. The image becomes slightly lifted and almost creamy, but with a lot of texture as the inherently tighter grain structure of the VISION3 stock starts to degrade a bit.”

 

Here's a very short trailer:

 

 


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 10:24 AM

 It's customary to omit the decimal point. That midsummer-noon-on-Mercury filter would be an ND60.


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#3 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 11:25 AM

Having tested 500T for my last short, I can tell you that the stock can look rather nice 2 or 3 stops under.  I think I even tested it at 4 stops under, but that's pushing it.  Even three stops under can be a bit much but it all depends on what you're going for.  One of these days, I have to scan the test footage I've done and put it online.

 

Anyway, thanks for posting, Jay.


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#4 Carl Looper

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 04:18 PM

The film stock has such a wide lattitude anyway it's almost irrelevant whether you get a nominally "correct" exposure on the camera original, or not. But what is a correct exposure anyway? If you are going for a dark look (more details in the highlights at the expense of the shadows) you would want to shift the exposure in that direction in the first place. It wouldn't be under-exposed - it would be the correct exposure  -because that is the look you are after. A light meter doesn't give you "correct exposure". It just gives you some technical details on the distribution of the light, be it expressed in terms of foot-candles, lux, or a recommended iris setting, based on a statistically neutral distribution of light. Its up to you to decide what the correct exposure will be.

 

For example, if you are not going to bring up any details in the shadows during a grade there's no point exposing for details in the shadows during the shoot - as it will just be a waste of information. So you "under-expose" the shadows (under-exposed relative to the exposure that would otherwise give you those details). And you grade it accordingly, ie. you don't try to bring up details in the shadows that you didn't want in the first place, and didn't expose for. Only if you were to bring up the shadows in the print/digital could you then say the camera original was "under-exposed".

 

Otherwise it's not.

 

C


Edited by Carl Looper, 25 December 2015 - 04:21 PM.

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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 04:53 PM

Sure but underexposure can give the image a coarser look because after processing, the smaller grains that didn't get exposure get washed away, leaving only the larger grains in the image. Maybe it matters less with Vision-3 stocks because it is so fine-grained overall.

Also more shadow information allows you to grade the image with good blacks and have shadow detail fall-off more gradually -- if you are missing shadow detail and then grade for a good black level, the shadows can seem less "live" and block up faster. Which may be the look you want.

A lot of movies that consistently underexpose though tend to not bring highlights back up to full brightness nor do they set the blacks to zero, preferring a dim moody feeling with smokey blacks and some graininess for texture.
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