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#1 Filip Plesha

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 06:52 PM

Have there been major (cinema, world distributed, popular etc.) films in true black and white since Ed wood? And was Ed wood even real black and white?
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#2 John Lasher

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 07:00 PM

I read somewhere that modern black and white movies are shot in color and converted in post because people in many countries (outside of the US) pay a lot of money for color TV sets, and when they tune in and the program is in black and white, they start making angry calls to the station to tell them that there's "something wrong with the feed".
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#3 Robert Hughes

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 07:06 PM

One of the reasons b&w held on so long was economic; color was a lot more expensive to shoot and process. Color stock is still more expensive than b&w, but the processing costs have about evened out in the past few years. Forde actually charges less for color negative processing than that for b&w. Additionally, all the new stocks and r&d have been for color film; Kodak doesn't even sell a T-grain b&w stock for motion pictures.
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#4 Filip Plesha

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 07:06 PM

John

What does that have to do with the capture medium (color or true BW) ?
If the end product is black and white, people are going to call either way.

Edited by Filip Plesha, 25 June 2005 - 07:07 PM.

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#5 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 08:12 PM

Pi
Dead Man
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#6 John Lasher

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 08:39 PM

John

What does that have to do with the capture medium (color or true BW) ?
If the end product is black and white, people are going to call either way.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Because, if it's shot in color, a separate color version can be made for the international market (the same article said that the Coens did this on "The Man Who Wasn't There")
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#7 Boone Hudgins

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 08:39 PM

John

What does that have to do with the capture medium (color or true BW) ?
If the end product is black and white, people are going to call either way.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The release the video versions in color in some countries. The Man Who Wasn't There was contractually obligated to have a color negative.
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#8 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 09:01 PM

I read somewhere that modern black and white movies are shot in color and converted in post because people in many countries (outside of the US) pay a lot of money for color TV sets, and when they tune in and the program is in black and white, they start making angry calls to the station to tell them that there's "something wrong with the feed".

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes but films still shot in B&W look best regardless.
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#9 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 09:22 PM

Just for the record. The way black and white film responds to the reality is that it is made to offer as much mid tones as possible. It reads light differently that color film does. Where color film is 3 layers of emulsion all deidicated to a certain area of the color spectrum, Color film will just not be gathering the same information as a true silver based B$W film would. With Black and white you can have everything in silky latitudes of the mysterious colors of grey ,black and white.

The amazing thing about Black and White is that you have to be good Cinematically.Poor cinematography and the film will be almost unwatchable, Great cinematography and the film will sing with nostalgia and mood and temprement that modern color has little place for. Truely the mood of the piece will remain more vibrant in well composed images. Black and white offers little excuses
for poorly composed images.

Today internal coversion to Black and white is getting better.With sophistocated color correction tools in house with today editiing programs one can modulate the Faux black and white quite nicely.Still the image must be striking or well composed to have maximum effect.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 10:36 PM

Yes, "Ed Wood" (1994) was shot with b&w neg; "Suture" and "Schindler's List" the year before.

There was also "Institute Benjamenta", "Living in Oblivion" (not sure if that was b&w neg), and "In the Bleak Midwinter" (1995). A U.K. movie called "Twenty Four Seven" (1997). "Pi" and Woody Allen's "Celebrity" (1998). "Judy Berlin" (1999).

Portions of "Nixon" (1995), "Jude" (1996), "Caveman's Valentine" & "Memento" (2001), and recently "Kinsey" (and others.)

There have been some films released in b&w that were shot in color like "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "The General".
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#11 boy yniguez

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 02:35 AM

Yes, "Ed Wood" (1994) was shot with b&w neg; "Suture" and "Schindler's List" the year before.

There was also "Institute Benjamenta", "Living in Oblivion" (not sure if that was b&w neg), and "In the Bleak Midwinter" (1995).  A U.K. movie called "Twenty Four Seven" (1997).  "Pi" and Woody Allen's "Celebrity" (1998). "Judy Berlin" (1999).

Portions of "Nixon" (1995), "Jude" (1996), "Caveman's Valentine" & "Memento" (2001), and recently "Kinsey" (and others.)

There have been some films released in b&w that were shot in color like "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "The General".

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


yep, "Schinder's List" may have been shot in b&w but i suppose print was in color stock for the red color spotted onto certain scenes. that is where i believe the film lost a lot of its tonalities.
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#12 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 08:08 AM

Veronica Voss by Fastbinder? Is truely a delight of Black and White. I find it somehow very refreshing seeing old movies in a latitude of Greys that give you something color doesn't understand.
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 10:28 AM

yep, "Schinder's List" may have been shot in b&w but i suppose print was in color stock for the red color spotted onto certain scenes. that is where i believe the film lost a lot of its tonalities.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Original release prints were on b&w print stock and the color shots were spliced into each print by hand. Theaters had trouble with these prints so then some were remade entirely on color print stock. But what I saw in the theaters was a real b&w print with only portions on color print stock.

"The Man Who Wasn't There" also was a mixed release, with some people getting b&w prints (using a soundtrack stock lowered in gamma) made off of the original color negatives, while most theaters got color prints made off of a b&w intermediate.
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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 02:43 PM

Hi,

I would anticipate focus problems with colour and mono stocks spliced together. Considering that with laser-burned subtitles we can choose to have either the subtitles or the image in focus, I would expect the difference in thickness to cause fairly major problems. You could sit and watch it, and know when to tweak by hand, but few places would be willing to do it and there would unavoidably be some kind of bounce anyway.

Phil
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#15 Matt Pacini

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 11:53 AM

What I don't get, is why so many films shot on color neg, & converted to B&W look sorta "blue".
Why is that?
Bad transfer?
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#16 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 12:31 PM

Yes, intercutting a print with dye images and a print with a B&W silver image can present issues during projection. Silver images absorb much more infrared energy than dye images, so thermal effects on B&W prints (e.g., "focus flutter") can be aggravated, especially at higher power levels:

http://www.kodak.com...ytlak/heat1.pdf

http://www.kodak.com...ytlak/heat2.pdf

Likewise, prints with deliberate "silver retention" can be more sensitive to heat-related projection issues.
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#17 Dominic Case

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 09:06 PM

What I don't get, is why so many films shot on color neg, & converted to B&W look sorta "blue".
Why is that?
Bad transfer?

When you print B/W images onto colour print stock, the slightest deviation from a neutral b/w image is very apparent. In the instances that you mention, shooting on colour stock then removing the colour requires going through a colour-to-b/w intermediate process. There are no stocks made that are ideal for this: the lab has to improvise, and it's usual that you get slightly crossed curves, resulting in (for example) blue shadows and yellow highlights. WHat you are seeing is either this, or the result of the grade being entirely on the blue side to remove any hint of yellow highlights (so the film appears less"crossed" but also less "neutral".

Of course this problem can be avoided by going via DI, but many of the films mentioned are pre-DI days, or would not have had the budget for that.

The other alternative is to print onto b/w print film: but this costs more, and labs generally are not set up for large release print quantities of b/w. Worse, the sound is poor.
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