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creative film grading


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#1 rajavel

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 07:43 AM

hi all
i am gonna be doing the final film grading for my feature film. haven't really done one before. could someone give some tips on how to go about it and the creative possibilities at this stage of film making. i would like to try some whacky things too. awaiting ur reply.thanks. cheers!!!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 10:17 AM

If you're talking about standard printing from a negative to a print using printing lights, you don't have the same sort of image manipluation as possible with digital color-correction.

You can make the image brighter or darker, and more red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, magenta overall.

You can use slightly more saturated print stock like Vision Premier.

You can use special print processing like Skip-Bleach to desaturate color and increase contrast. There are extra costs for this.

That's about it without getting into optical printing to special stocks, etc.

Try and the look worked out in the first answer prints, as earlier as possible. If they have a pre-answer print process like a proof print (single frames printed to a strip) then use that to tell the timer about the special looks you need. Because by the second and third answer prints, you shouldn't be making new requests for a look ("let's try this now!") -- you should be refining the look you already have agreed on.

I once visited a producer friend of mine at a timing session for an answer print and it wasn't until the THIRD answer print that the DP mentioned to the timer that the movie was supposed to have a strong yellow tone!
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#3 Dominic Case

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 05:50 PM

i would like to try some whacky things too

If you want "whacky" you should have planned for "whacky" when you lit and shot the film. Conventional film grading is about three things:
1. correcting exposure or filter errors
2. restoring colour continuity to the film (ie making the c/u shot in the late afternoon match the wide shot from midday)
3. giving a mood or a look to the scene

The limitations that David describes are not limitations at all if you stick with that philosophy: ie that you put the look into the negative, and use print grading to fine tune what you have already shot.

Be careful of "whacky". Unless you are really careful, what seems exciting and fresh and meaningful on the monitor will simply look like bad grading when you see the print - and you will be paying for another print to straighten it out.
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#4 rajavel

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 12:28 AM

thanks Mr.David and Mr.Dominic. thanks for ur time and energy spent towards my question. as u said 'whacky' should have tried while shooting yes..but may be i can work on the third point u suggested...to create a mood or look to the scene. could u give me tips on that...or suggest some sites or films that inspire ideas. thanks.
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#5 rajavel

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 12:35 AM

[quote name='David Mullen' date='Jul 11 2005, 08:47 PM']
If you're talking about standard printing from a negative to a print using printing lights, you don't have the same sort of image manipluation as possible with digital color-correction.

Thanks Mr.David for ur suggestions. there is one more song which i have to shoot for the same film. they (producers) are suggesting that i can try digital color-correction (DI- they are the same right?) for this song alone. but asking if i could shoot it in digital format...HD or like to cut cost. but am worried that i might loose quality ..for the sake of digital....which one would u sugggest for me to ......
1) shoot it on film....do the digital color correction (DI) and put it back on film

or

2) shoot it on digital...do the digital color corretion and convert it on to film.

what difference will it make. thanks .cheers!
raj
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Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

CineTape

Glidecam

Opal

Aerial Filmworks