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#1 michael brierley

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 03:05 PM

I am about to strart pre-production on a film. We are scheduled to do a DI in post. I want to shoot Super 35, but the producer feels there might be addtional costs and sound issues involved with the Super process and is insisting on shooting 1:1 185.
What are the issues and implications in post surrounding shooting in Super?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:27 PM

I am about to strart pre-production on a film. We are scheduled to do a DI in post. I want to shoot Super 35, but the producer feels there might be addtional costs and sound issues involved with the Super process and is insisting on shooting 1:1 185.
What are the issues and implications in post surrounding shooting in Super?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


What he's REALLY saying is that he wants to ability to NOT do a D.I. just in case he runs out of money, hence asking you to shoot in standard 1.85.

Super-35 can be any aspect ratio, although framing for cropping to 2.39 is the most common for theaterical, and for TV, framing for 1.78 for 16x9 transfers. But some people have framed for 1.85 across Full Aperture rather than within Academy Aperture. Doing this requires then a D.I. or optical printer "blow-down" to standard 1.85 for making theatrical prints.

Super-35 is Full Aperture photography, using the area reserved for the soundtrack on one edge for picture information. 4-perf Super-35 Full Aperture is 1.33 : 1 and 3-perf Super-35 Full Aperture is 1.78 : 1.

There aren't really extra posts costs for framing Super-35 for 2.39 versus 1.85 -- the big cost is the D.I. Whether you record out in the end to standard 1.85 or anamorphic 2.39 doesn't really matter as long as you composed for it.

There may be some issues with 3-perf because it's hard to make a print off of the negative and project it in 3-perf to check a scene. Plus you may not be able to get all of your cameras in 3-perf and might end up mixing 3-perf and 4-perf shots, which requires extra deligence on everyone's part in post. But on the other hand, you save 25% on your stock costs with 3-perf over 4-perf.

In other words, the producer doesn't make sense if he's OK with the costs of a D.I. but has issues with the idea of shooting in Super-35. That's sort of backwards thinking since the D.I. addresses all his concerns about shooting Super-35. In fact, it makes less sense to shoot with a sound aperture in standard 1.85 if you know you are doing a D.I. because why not use all of the negative possible?

The cost issues of shooting Super-35 are mainly that it might require a D.I. to convert it to a sound format for projection, so if he's OK with doing a D.I., I don't understand why he has problems with Super-35. It sounds like he wants to hedge his bets and have you shoot in a format that doesn't require a D.I.

But you should know all of these things already if you were going to shoot a movie in Super-35 and use a D.I. You should ask the producer what "sound problems" he's talking about. A noisy camera?
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 11:07 PM

David,

If I can ask a question related to this thread: I have been doing my lighting work on two different films lately that are both shooting 4 perf super 35 and framing for 2.35 with sperical lenses.

But Scorcese movie is using a common head and Spike Lee is using the 2.35 frame centered.

In your opinion what are the pros and cons of each method.

The thing I can already see is that the framing for TV in the full frame exposure of the Scorcese movie wouldn't have any headroom issues and Spike's movie might have to reframe for TV.

What are your thoughts?

Best

Tim

PS Scorcese is making a film inspired by the Hong Kong movie "Infernal Affairs" shot by Michael Balhaus and Spike is shooting a bank robbery movie shot by Matty Libatique.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 11:14 PM

Yes, with center crop you'd want to reframe more and lose the excess headroom in the TV version, which means you lose more of the sides too.

But the problem with common topline is that you aren't centered optically in the vertical dimension, so lens flares don't travel from the center and whenever you zoom the lens, it looks like you are tilting as well unless to compensate by tilting the other direction. Plus you aren't extracting the 2.35 image from the best part of the lens, which is the center. And in very wide-angle shots, your barrel distortion can look a little odd in the 2.35 frame, like just the top corners being rounded inwards.

But the sound person will love you more with common topline...

Cameron came up with a variation of common topline for "Terminator 2" which is more like a "T" shape, with the 2.35 being higher than centered but still slightly lower at the top than Full Aperture. You just have to make sure you shoot a framing chart for whoever is doing the conversion to 2.35 anamorphic.

Here's a framing guide for the groundglass installed for "T2" from Otto Nemenz. First thing you'll note is that the cameras (at least A-camera) was given a hard matte to reduce the area exposed from 1.33 : 1 to 1.54 : 1, something that early Super-35 films did before they got comfortable with the idea of exposing all of the 4-perf area for a 2.35 extraction.

You'll also note that CGI shots were delivered with a 2.00 : 1 matte.

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