Jump to content


Photo

washed out desaturated look


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Ger Leonard

Ger Leonard
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 72 posts
  • Director
  • dublin, ireland

Posted 17 August 2005 - 10:03 AM

I am fascinated by the washed out musty look of films like Ratcatcher and Buffalo 66, to cite two recent examples.. (70s films in general)

I find that unstable quality fascinating, I love when films look like they have been lying in the garage for years .. I hate glossy films.

I recognise that processing techniques should never by used in isolation to create a look.. Set design, costumes, lighting, framing must all work together coherently..

I recall reading that on Ratcatcher Alwin Kuchler used older fuji 500T stock, i think 8573. I presume he used tobacco filters as well.

Famously Vince gallo claimed to have invented a new stock and processing technique for Buffalo 66.. I believe he baked the stock, used an older reversal film.. Various articles purpose different theories as to what they did exactly and on what exact stock... all risky and he admits/claims if his producer hadn't been out of it on drugs he's never had chance to try this!

Frank G. DeMarco shot Hedwig and the Angry Inch used Kodak 5298 and used forced processing, pushed it a stop and a half to approximate the Buffalo 66 look the director wanted.
DeMarco felt using reversal stock was too unstable and I imagine the producers agreed..
(Kubrick pushed it 2 stops on Eyes Wide Shut)

Using older set of Zeiss prime lenses, I have heard help add to this feel.

We will be shooting tests of various techniques, stocks and processing but we have a relatively low budget .. any suggestions would be welcome

I am the writer/director and this is my first feature

Some notes on visual style for this film:
Light spaces not faces
Use of negative space, off balanced frames
Frame within frames (obstructions)
Abandoning angles (after more intimate shots)
Wide aperatures to add the danger of things going in and out of focus
Allow windows bloom and blow out
Let highlights overexpose
Conflict between artificial and natural light
Use available and practical light sources
Desaturate colors and increase contrast
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 17 August 2005 - 08:24 PM

I've posted a list of desaturation techniques before. I'm out of town right now and can't pull up my original file, but you can do a search here and find it.

"Buffalo 66" used an older (now obsolete) 1970's-era VNF Ektachrome stock, processed normally, although pushed occasionally -- by normal I mean into a positive image, not cross-processed into a negative. The positive original was then optically printed to a negative that was then flashed slightly to reduce contrast (and thus color.)

Using older lenses can help too, since they lack some of the modern coatings and thus tend to flare more and soften contrast.
  • 0

#3 John Pytlak RIP

John Pytlak RIP

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 3499 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Rochester, NY 14650-1922

Posted 18 August 2005 - 07:28 AM

"Buffalo 66":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_'66

http://www.galloappr...nt/filmmkr.html

http://www.citypages...article5516.asp
  • 0

#4 Ger Leonard

Ger Leonard
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 72 posts
  • Director
  • dublin, ireland

Posted 18 August 2005 - 12:05 PM

Thanks david and John... from reading posts here over the last few months, I've got to say I really admire and appreciate your knowledgeable contributions..
the www.galloappreciation.com site was one i had not yet come across.. fascinating interview ..thanks..

I wonder though about your views on this processing technique.
My producer and DP, both experienced, talented and good guys, understandably would rather use less risky/unstable techniques to approximate this kind of timeless(although to many intrinsically 70s) look..

When I saw buffalo 66 I immediately said yes thats the kind of look I've wanted for my films.
On a short film I directed before seeing Buffalo 66, I had asked for reversal film, but my producers balked and refused.. Claiming it was too expensive etc.. I later discovered that they had not even enquired through learning of a later (a year later) production that got a 50% reduction as they were the 1st to ask !!!

My producer and DP this time are guys I trust.. i appreciate their reluctance

Is is trully possible to achieve this kind of look thru' other means?
without it losing its soul.. to qoute gallo (yes he's controversial maybe even mad and Brown Bunny is a mess but it's great to hear his kind of unedited passion again in the film world)
  • 0

#5 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 18 August 2005 - 12:45 PM

Well, the VNF Ektachrome stocks are obsolete now anyway, so it's not even an option. The current E6 reversal stock, 5285, is very high-contrast and saturated, sharp and modern, not soft & grainy like the old VNF stocks.

The low-con stocks like Expression 500T and Fuji F-400T have a nice look, slightly soft & faded. You could try pushing them for more grain. Combine that with old lenses, maybe filters (light Fog or Double-Fog, for example -- popular in the 1970's.)
  • 0

#6 Mike Crane

Mike Crane
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 141 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 August 2005 - 09:11 PM

I heard that turning down the chroma knob in post works quite well for a desaturated look. ;)
  • 0

#7 LD Barbi

LD Barbi

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Student

Posted 14 May 2007 - 11:40 PM

Sorry to bring this topic up again, but i have a question that i think fits here.


I was wondering a bit on the cinematography of brown bunny, and although I found out in the forum that he used the old 7245 stock, I was wondering on the processes of the film.


Especially these washed out scene:

Posted Image


My first guess was that he overexposed a bit, but I'm not sure that alone did it. Could it be that the brightness was not in the camera exposure but in the print machine?

Or maybe I'm way off, and someone could shed some new info on the matter.

Much thx,
lucas
  • 0


Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Opal

CineLab

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Glidecam

The Slider

Opal

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio