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Jackie -- Lens and Post Details?


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#1 Luke Hudson

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 01:47 PM

I caught the trailer for Jackie this weekend.    When it first came up, the film acquisition format was unmistakable, but I was kind of stunned to see that Super16 (Arri 416) was the only acquisition format listed on IMDB.  The reason this was surprising (as someone who has shot millions of feet of 16mm) was the apparent resolution and detail in the wide shots. 

I would have pegged it more to be well-shot 2-Perf 35mm or a Super35 blow-up with older optical technology.  I have never seen that much apparent resolution coming from a Super16 neg when projected on a big screen.

 

Does anyone have any details on the workflow?  Who did the post?

What lenses were used?
 

I thought S16 was a great (and bold) choice for a piece set in the 60's.  Seems like the DP really got the most out the neg.  Was curious on the particulars. 

 

 


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#2 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 06:40 PM

Hello,

I was the "A" camera 2nd AC for the US portion (8 weeks were shot in France, and 2 in the US.)

We shot single camera almost al the time. A 416 as you noted. The lenses were a set of Superspeeds (we used mainly primes), a 14mm T2 Zeiss, an 8mm Optex. We also had an 11-110 Zeiss Vario Sonnar that we used mostly for footage of recreations, if I recall correctly (it's been a while).

For filtration we had NDs, 85 sets, diffusion, polas, an 81EF set, and maybe some more, but we were almost exclusively NDs, 85s, and diffusion quite a bit.

The DP, Stephane Fontaine, had a dimmable LED light that he mounted diffusion in front of, that he often mounted directly above the lens, as a beautiful glow.

We shot 7213 200T, and 7219 500T. For the US portion, every day at our film break, the runner took the film to NY where it was sent to Paris to go in the bath, at the same lab that was used throughout production. As for the DI and more detailed workflow iformaiin, I'm not sure what was involved.

It was almost all handheld. Steadicam played some days in, sometimes in very involved and lengthy shots. The steadicam operator, Manolo Rojas, was incredible.

There was a Red used for plates, as well as a 1980s Ikegami that the director owned that was used for the recreations of certain older video shots.

It was an incredibly difficult job, with weather being awful, but, based on the trailer, it looks like it was all worth it!
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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 11:33 PM

Hey Mike, thanks for the insight! Looking forward to seeing it on the big screen! :)
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#4 Luke Hudson

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 06:45 PM

Mike, thanks so much for all the detailed info!  Very interesting they chose to send a latent image all the way to Europe.   I suspected they used newer lenses based on how they looked. 

 

Just saw the new extended trailer and I'm still amazed at how much they got out of the 16mm neg.  The particular scanner and the rest of the post path, (in addition to the great photography) must have had a lot to do with it.

 

Thanks again


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#5 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 12:06 PM

Luke, did you see "Carol"? 


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#6 Luke Hudson

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 08:23 PM

No, I did not catch Carol

 

Back in the early 2000's when everything was being transferred to SD, I was grading a film at a big post house.   Apparently the techs had just installed a new HD monitor and the Spirit we were on was outfitted for HD.  Back then you could get well-shot S16 to resemble 35mm when transferred to SD (with good lenses and especially the slower stocks).  My colorist asked me if I wanted to check out my footage on the new HD monitor for fun.  My heart kind of sank when she flipped the switch.  All the nice silky tones fell apart and was left with a very noisy and chunky image that did not seem commercially viable unless you were going for a very art house feel.  At that point, I think I wrote off S16 coupled with HD distribution.   (I had even asked her to add grain suppression and noise reduction which did little to help).

 

Given the fact that a film like Jackie was shot with the same optics I was using back then (and a comparable camera), there have been major advancements in the post processing that allows for what I now re-consider to be a very commercially viable format again.  In fact, there were many voices that predicted years ago that filmmakers would be hungry and open to formats that would differentiate their films from the increasingly ubiquitous digital capture.  Exciting to see filmmakers embrace this, especially when the S16 acquisition is justified by, for example, the film's period.

 

Also, what many may have forgotten (or never knew) is just how simple and liberating 16mm can be.  If you have enough pre-loaded mags, you could easily get by with just a first AC and virtually NO electronics other than a simple monitor and one BNC to the tap.   No video village.  No data transfer stations.  No DIT.  No hard drives.  No tenting in monitors.  No dozens of cables.  And no digital loaders guarding the stinger to their transfer station while sitting all alone watching the flashing LED lights on the hard drives long after all the other departments have left.

 

I shoot mostly digital now and am definitely not anti-digital.  But it is nice to appreciate an old alternative---especially one that is used so effectively as we are seeing today.


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#7 Alain Lumina

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 10:03 PM

Hello,

I was the "A" camera 2nd AC for the US portion (8 weeks were shot in France, and 2 in the US.)

We shot single camera almost al the time. A 416 as you noted. The lenses were a set of Superspeeds (we used mainly primes), a 14mm T2 Zeiss, an 8mm Optex. We also had an 11-110 Zeiss Vario Sonnar that we used mostly for footage of recreations, if I recall correctly (it's been a while).

For filtration we had NDs, 85 sets, diffusion, polas, an 81EF set, and maybe some more, but we were almost exclusively NDs, 85s, and diffusion quite a bit.

The DP, Stephane Fontaine, had a dimmable LED light that he mounted diffusion in front of, that he often mounted directly above the lens, as a beautiful glow.

It was almost all handheld. Steadicam played some days in, sometimes in very involved and lengthy shots. The steadicam operator, Manolo Rojas, was incredible.
 

 

Wow what a gold mine of info for 16mm fans. Triggers optimism for me and a lot of further questions for OP or anyone. 

 

1) If you have something in the SuperSpeeds in the 14mm range, what differentiates the 14mm t2 Zeiss so that you want to use that as well? 

 

2) What factors in the shooting and/or scanning are responsible for it looking so clear?

Is the camera-mounted light a possible (big) factor in getting the negative more saturated to reduce grain? Is it noise reduction in post? very high resolution the downsized or a particular scanner used? 

 

3) What are some tips can we do to make 16 just look overall sharper? Just like digital audio, I know I am getting accustomed to higher clarity in images (In audio particularly in bass), which is technically sharpness I guess, with digital, but it still lacks the feel of film. 


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 10:06 PM

I just saw the trailer in a big theater and it looked lovely but it was also clearly a Super-16 movie like "Carol" was, it was not exceptionally sharp and clean like 35mm.  Looks very striking though.


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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 02:48 AM

It's out here in Hollywood starting today. I'm going to try and catch a screening at the dome on those beautiful new HDR 4k laser projectors they have.
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#10 Giray Izcan

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 02:00 AM

I just watched the movie at the dome. I agree with David that it looks nothing like 35. It is not sharp or clean but I like the way it looks for sure as I love s16. I guess you could say that close-ups could pass as 35, but wide shots, definitely not.

Edited by Giray Izcan, 05 December 2016 - 02:04 AM.

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