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The Look of Supernatural


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#1 Timothy Riese

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:51 PM

I'm really liking the look of the WB's new show, Supernatural. IMDB states the cinematographer is Serge Ladouceur. I'm really interested in learning how the look is achieved. The blacks and contrasts look very crushed. Is this from some sort of pulling or pushing of the film? At the beggining of the show it says it's available in HD. Does anyone know if this show is shot in HD or if it is shot with film with an HD telecine?

Thanks a Bunch everyone...
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#2 Michael Most

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 10:33 AM

Does anyone know if this show is shot in HD or if it is shot with film with an HD telecine?


Film.

The only dramas on network television that are shot on HD video are Just Legal (WB), Night Stalker (Genesis, on ABC), and Sex, Lies, and Secrets (UPN, production was halted today). In addition, the "single camera" half hours Everybody Hates Chris (UPN) and Arrested Development (Fox) are also done on HD video. Every other drama on every broadcast network is shot on film, primarily 35mm (3 perf), with some 16mm.

Note: This is not necessarily the case for syndication and cable shows, although having said that, all original dramas on HBO are shot on film.
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#3 Mark Allen

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 11:42 AM

Bernie Mac is single camera comedy shot on HD.

Edited by Mark Douglas, 03 October 2005 - 11:44 AM.

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#4 Michael Most

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 09:11 AM

Bernie Mac is single camera comedy shot on HD.


That's true, I forgot about that one (maybe because it seems to have fallen a bit off the radar lately). Doesn't change my statement about dramas, though.
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#5 Paul Maibaum ASC

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 01:20 PM

That's true, I forgot about that one (maybe because it seems to have fallen a bit off the radar lately). Doesn't change my statement about dramas, though.

"RELATED" on TheWB...1 hour dramedy.
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#6 Michael Most

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 04:51 PM

"RELATED" on TheWB...1 hour dramedy.


Sorry about that, Paul. I think that's actually the second time I've forgotten.

In the name of accuracy and timeliness, "E Ring" has switched from film to shooting on F950's as of last week. I was told Marvin Rush has been brought in to shoot that show, but I can't confirm that (Marvin shot "Enterprise" on F900's last season). I was also told that changing to HD video was part of a cost cutting move as a condition of its back 9 pickup, but I can't absolutely confirm that either. And, of course, "Night Stalker" (which was on the Genesis) has been cancelled.
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#7 Timothy Riese

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 10:39 PM

Ok film it is then...

What film techniques do you all think is used. The blacks seem really crushed sometimes, is this created by overexposing and then using pull processing?

Thanks for your input...
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#8 Michael Most

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 12:38 AM

Ok film it is then...

What film techniques do you all think is used. The blacks seem really crushed sometimes, is this created by overexposing and then using pull processing?

Thanks for your input...


It's primarily done in color correction, as are the CSI's and numerous Jerry Bruckheimer shows. Lab techniques are rarely used by television programs, with the exception of Cold Case.
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#9 Christopher Wedding

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:44 PM

How do you guys know all the formats used on these shows?? Any insight into such resources is greatly appreciated!
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#10 Michael Most

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 04:49 PM

How do you guys know all the formats used on these shows?? Any insight into such resources is greatly appreciated!


When you work in the industry and have a lot of friends who also work in the industry, you tend to just know these things, in part because inevitably the question comes up as to who's doing what. In addition, industry publications such as the ICG magazine (published by the Cinematographer's Guild and distributed both to members and the public) have listings in each issue as to who's shooting what, and formats can generally be inferred by the crew listing - i.e., if a Digital Imaging Technician or a Video Utility is listed as part of the crew, it's being shot on a video format of one sort or another. Conversely, if a Film Loader is listed, it's on film.
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#11 Mark Allen

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:32 PM

How do you guys know all the formats used on these shows?? Any insight into such resources is greatly appreciated!


For the Bernie Mac show, my biggest clue was the 30 or so HD tapes sitting in my office labled "Bernie Mac." :)


By the way, one of the only shows I've seen on TV (actually on DVD since I don't have TV reception or cable) is Battlestar Gallactica - which is definitely shot on HD for the series. You can tell just by the way the highlights look, but they also talk about it in the commentary. I think it's a great looking show. I think it has really owned it's look irregardless of the capture format.
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#12 Scott Larson

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 03:36 PM

Lab techniques are rarely used by television programs, with the exception of Cold Case.

Cold Case uses a bleach-bypass technique? Is that one reason why it looks so distinctive?
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#13 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:12 PM

Cold Case uses a bleach-bypass technique? Is that one reason why it looks so distinctive?


I think Mike was referring to special processing in general, rather than any particular technique.
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