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Deciding between three stocks Tonight!


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#1 Miguel Bunster

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 09:21 PM

Hi,
I am in a tight situation where I need to decide what film stock I will be using for a project, I have to decide tonight even thou the project will be in production later. I am between three stocks which I wanted to test and see which represented better the look I want but that?s not an option any more so any recommendations / Observations on the following would be great! I thank you in advance for your time.

1-Ideally I want to use one stock for the whole production.

2- One of my biggest concern is a location which takes half of the story. Interior Office (all day interiors, steadycam) with a lot of windows, big windows which will be in the shot and many times we will shoot directly into them. I want to over expose the exterior for about two stops most of the time and the interior will be fluorescents balanced to daylight with HMI most of the time, in different parts of the story I will switch between warm exteriors, cold interiors and vice versa (like Network and Wall street). This will be through gels on windows and changing the interior light balance.

3-For the office in general I want to get a monochromatic look (a lot will be done in production design) which I plan to do through timing and light.

4-As well I want to get a contrast image and keep color saturation not to high for the office.

5-In the opposite of this the day exteriors will be colorful to an extreme with big contrast, popping greens etc.

6-As much as possible I don?t want to much grain and deep blacks.

7-Most probable thing I will be doing a ACE (50% silver retention, not 80%) on the positive at deluxe to take a little saturation out and get a more contrasty image, depending on tests I will print on premiere or vision.

8-The stocks I have been looking at were 5274 (Vision 200T) ? 5279 (500T) and 5218(V2 500T). in the case of the two later stock I am planning to overexpose 2/3 of a stop and print down. With the 200T overexpose ½ of a stop and print down.to get deep blacks. Ideally I don?t want to see much in to the blacks.

9-Most probable thing I will not pull (only maybe for one scene to desaturate the image, night interior plus over exposing 1-2 stops) and in few scenes push plus overexposing. But 90% if not a 100% of the time I will process normal.

10-5218 vs 5279. I go more toward 79 for this project because I feel 5218 may have too much latitude and the color saturation is lower which added to the ACE process will make the saturation low, as well 79 is more contrasty and more saturated but has more grain. I wasn?t able to compare both so I cant tell if the grain difference is huge. I have worked with 79 before not 18.

11-5274 I really like this stock but I am concerned with balancing and having enough light to get the interior exterior in the office in the range I want. In theory I will be able but depends on budget and etc. AS well I have never used the vision 2 200T any opinions on this Stock?

12-I don?t know which of this stock works better under mixed light condition and at the same time if I get the budget to balance light the way I want, I want to have a stock which separates color strongly. I feel 79 or 74 are good for this.

If anyone took the time to read this big thread thanks! Any help would be great.
Best and thanks in advance.
Miguel
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 09:48 PM

I think you are expecting too much from a single stock to accomplish all of that. You can't find a single stock that is fast but not grainy yet has contrast yet saturated sometimes and desaturated at others, etc. You'd have to do a D.I. to achieve all those looks and solve all those problems with one stock. And the ACE process is for entire reels, so how will you desaturate some interior shots but not others?

The least saturated of the stocks (and therefore the one to minimize color differences in mixed lighting) out of the three is 5218. The least grainy is 5274.

Premier stock will add more contrast to the print but also counteract the desaturation from the ACE (plus that is contrast on top of contrast.) It will help add more color to the day exteriors, but you'd have to seriously then desaturate the interiors to counteract the Premier.

I'd start out by picking a less saturated stock for the interiors and a more saturated stock for the day exteriors. Now you could consider flashing or pull-processing the less saturated scenes if you're really stuck on using one stock for the whole show, but the question is why? Why not two stocks for two looks?
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#3 Miguel Bunster

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 10:43 PM

David,

Thanks for your soon response!

I was planning to mix stocks but I got pressed at last moment to decide and I haven?t been able to test.

Ideally I am going for two looks. A glosy (not realy objective definition) metallic look and a high color vibrant look. I wanted to use one stock for exterior and one for interiors. My concern was asking for the right amount of stock of each kind with out a final script. Beside many other concerns.

You think working with 5218 and 5274 creates good differences in color saturation and contrast. I have seen both I think they do but I haven?t been able to actually test them.

Even I thought of shooting day exteriors with a daylight balanced stock or a 100T but all those decisions should be done after testing which is a privilege I don?t have anymore. Now I have to pick both stocks and then work out the look.

My big concern of 5218 is the big latitude of the film where I want to get a snappy look to represent a Wall street feel. Even thou the ACE will bring the contrast back to the blacks. Hmm

If I have to choose, mixed lighting is not my biggest concern because most probable thing I Will be able to balance the fluorescents to daylight or gel the windows to 3200K I would prefer a stock that actually shows different colors in mixed conditions because I am really planning to get the differences in exterior vs interior in color reproduction in some scene.

I been thinking about pull process but that depends on budget and I may prefer to use the ACE if I have to pick.
Another reason I wanted to go with a fast stock was to work on a higher stop for the steadycam shots and children to give space to focus.

I seen test of 5218 and made some myself some time ago and overexposing it and printing down gave a really nice look and little grain as well as color reproduction.

Now if I got 5274 for the interiors that changes a lot of things, like what stock I will use for exteriors. Most probable thing is 5218 now that I think more of it.

Any more suggestions are great!
Thanks!
Miguel
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 11:00 PM

You could consider 5245 for the day exteriors, even pushed one stop, for more contrast / saturation. I don't think you need to worry about 5218 being too low-con if you're going to use the ACE process on the prints. I'd consider shootingit unflitered in the day interior scenes for less red saturation and then time only half the blueness out, leaving it a little cold. When combined with ACE, you should get a more silvery coldness.

If you want to go really whacky outdoors, you could cross-process 5285 (Ektachrome 100D). But then, I'd consider doing a bleach-bypass to the negative for the desaturated interiors, and then using no ACE on the prints, just Premier print stock. Then your two looks are really baked into the original!
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#5 Miguel Bunster

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 11:08 PM

David,
Sounds interesting.
I considered 5245 for exteriors but my worries are the short days in November, production begins the 8 of that month (didn?t mention before)..well maybe the days are not that short.
Bleach bypass on the negative may be too much for this movie..but I will try to test the idea of timing the 18 the way you mentioned. Sounds great.
Now if I skip the ACE what is a good way of bringing a good contrast to 18 and lower saturation (beside good light)?
Sorry for being annoying but its been great help!
Miguel
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 01:11 AM

Printing onto Premier helps. You can also push 18 for a little more contrast, but then I'd probably switch to 17 to compensate, grain-wise, and push that instead.

Truth is though that almost all methods of desaturation (other than thru art direction) also lower contrast EXCEPT silver retention, which increases contrast while lowering saturation.
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#7 Miguel Bunster

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 01:22 AM

David,
Thanks so much for the info. I being going over all my notes, info and thigs, your comments are great.
IS true about switching to 17 isntead of going 18.THe color reproduction is similar right? I never comapred them before.
Still for day exterior I am worried of 45 because of time. I am not sure how shoret days are here in Novemeber but If I start running out of light is my concern and going to 250D is not an attractive opton. I seen screenings and some school tests and I don't Like it that Much.
Best
Miguel
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