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Dream-ish sequence


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#1 stephen lamb

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 06:15 PM

Hey all,
I am shooting two short dream sequences soon, and had some questions about stock choice. We are shooting normal 16mm, one scene is outdoor early monring, and the other is a medium size college lecture hall. The director wants a very silky look, , a little blown out, kind of milky. I want to see the shots share a mixture of the silky, creamy look, but i also want to see very deep saturated colors in the rest of the image. I was playing with the idea of using reversal, kodachrome 40, but i have heard that reversal stock doesn't come across as well during telecine. any thoughts on that? also, i am thinking about using some kind of softening filter, either a real filter, or some kind of screen material, any tips for that? (sorry i know this is a stock post) and then along with that, would the film stock matter as far as picking up that softened look? any suggestions there? Thanks for your help!
Steve
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#2 Joseph White

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:40 PM

i think special processing can be an interesting device when imagining a dream sequence, but a cheaper and often much more interesting approach can be to try and emply a really drastically different lighting style than anything else in the film. maybe try using really big soft sources through windows and blowing them out or changing your key/fill ratios, or going a little crazy with backlight. all fun tools that are usually pretty quick to audition and see if the director is enjoying it or not.

some cool looks can be achieved shooting negative and pushing a stop or two since they want things to be colorful and contrasty. the murkiness can be achieved easily by using a variety of diffusion filters such as white pro mists, warm pro mists, black pro mists etc, but smoke/fog is always an interesting tool if you are in a location that is condusive to it (ie no smoke detectors, tons of ventilation, etc). pushing is also usually much cheaper than cross processing or skip bleach etc, and can give you some interesting results - especially with 16mm seeing as how its a smaller negative and can tend to fall apart - but beautifully.

in terms of shooting reversal, i like cross processing 52/7285 quite a bit. you really need to be dead on with your exposure, and really watch your ratios because its a very unforgiving curve - but it can look great on telecine as well.


best of luck!
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#3 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 03:46 AM

Hey all,
I am shooting two short dream sequences soon, and had some questions about stock choice. We are shooting normal 16mm, one scene is outdoor early monring, and the other is a medium size college lecture hall. The director wants a very silky look, , a little blown out, kind of milky. I want to see the shots share a mixture of the silky, creamy look, but i also want to see very deep saturated colors in the rest of the image. I was playing with the idea of using reversal, kodachrome 40, but i have heard that reversal stock doesn't come across as well during telecine. any thoughts on that? also, i am thinking about using some kind of softening filter, either a real filter, or some kind of screen material, any tips for that? (sorry i know this is a stock post) and then along with that, would the film stock matter as far as picking up that softened look? any suggestions there? Thanks for your help!
Steve


First of all,
Try to ask the director what needs excactly, or how he is imagine this,
it's difficult sometimes to have saturated colours with diffusion, not that it's impossible.
I would suggest go with 1/2 pro-mist and overexpose about 2/3 of a stop.
And then do some colour correction to get the rich colours.
You can use the 7245D film stock for the daylight scene, unless it's really ''early morning'' like magic hour?
I don't know if u are shooting a person, one really rare thing that was used in the old days form still photographers is the use of petroleum gel on a clear filter, u can just add gel only where your subject is, whille leaving the rest of the frame untouched.
This is really nice as effect if you don't go too far with the amount of gel, but it's really tricky when changing lenses, u will need different thikness on the gel layer.

DImitrios Koukas
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 10:04 AM

"Milky" and "saturated" are contradictions. It sounds like you and the director want too many things. If you want an image to be striking in some way, you have to simplify what effect you are trying to get. Do you want it to be low-contrast, milky, pastel? Or high-contrast, deep blacks, and saturated?

Either approach can use diffusion as well.

If you want a creamy, low-con, pastel look try overexposing and pull-processing Kodak Expression '29 or Fuji F-400T. If you want a contrasty, hi-con, saturated look try cross-processing E6 Ektachrome 100D '85.
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#5 stephen lamb

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:15 PM

Thanks for the input so far,
i think using words like milky etc was a poor choice. I do want deep black and saturated colors, when i said milky, what i meant was that i wanted lots of diffusion in front of the lens, so that the scene had a soft flowying texture to it, and the colors bled into each other some, with perhaps some overblown highlights. The colors themselves though i want rich and vibrant. Difficutl to achieve is ok with me, i feel like a good challenge is good. As long as im not asking for the impossible:) We are shooting several people outdoor just after the sun rise, so that we get some pretty nice bright light on them coming in from a very low angle (although it might snow on us too, so who knows!) We are also shooting indoors in a large classroom. We are shooting the ext first, so i can match the feel of whatever ext lighting we end up with for the int shoot. I think i like the idea of using Ecktrchome 100D, though im afraid after putting on an 80A filter for the Int, i won't have enough light. Are there any reversal stocks that are a bit faster than that? and then to make sure i have this right, cross processing is where you process reversal film as negative correct? what exactly does that do to the image? Regardless of what softening filter i use, is there anything i need to make sure and do exposure wise to shoot for cross processing? Thanks for all your input guys, much appreciated
Steve
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#6 stephen lamb

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:34 PM

I did some more looking, and it looks like the 7285 only comes in 400' rolls, which is too much for our short student film. I can only purhcase 200' of film. the kodachrome 40 comes on daylight 100' spools which is what i'd need (two of them to be exact), in your opioin, how does this film stack up to the 7285? are there any labs that process it? i read it uses a different developement process. K-14 i believe. How well would this film hold up in the telecine? If you think the koda 40 is not the best choice, then i'll probably just go with vision2 100T, and perhaps push it one stop? I think i will have access to Apple's Shake 4.0 to do some color correction digitally, so I hope i am not thinking about all this too hard now...though im not a big fan of the "fix it in post mentality". Anywho, I read some other threads, it looks like fuji doesn't make any reversal film for 16mm eh? bummer. Thanks for your help,
Steve
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#7 Mike Williamson

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:48 PM

I think there may be some practical concerns you're missing in considering your upcoming shoot in this way. First of all, how do you intend to display your film? On DVD? Projected MOS? If it's going to video, then it may not matter whether you shoot negative or positive film. However, if you have to project it, it may be cheaper to shoot reversal than negative (which you'd have to print).

Second, what's your timeframe to turn this project around in? I personally don't know where you'd go for Kodachrome processing, but wherever it is, I'm guessing it won't be very quick. Even E6 processing for 16mm film is tough to come across, so you might have to ship it and that may slow you down as well. Given these considerations, color negative may be a better solution in terms of saving you time.

It's also worth noting that all of the films you're talking about are fairly slow, which may pose a problem if the lecture hall you're shooting in is big, as I'm assuming you won't have huge lights to work with. It's also worth looking at what kind of color balance will work better for your lighting package. If you don't have large windows or big HMI's, then you're going to be better off shooting tungsten stock, possibly something faster 100T depending on how big an area you have to light. As you mentioned, putting an 80A filter on 100D film is not a good solution.

Further, I wouldn't recommend doing color-correction in Shake. You would be better served by making those corrections in telecine when you're initially transferring your film to video. You'll get better image quality and have a broader range of options in controlling the look. This is, of course, assuming your final format is some kind of video and not projection.

Currently the selection of reversal film for 16mm is pretty limited, black and white reversal films are probably the easiest to deal with for student projects. Even the color films exist primarily to be telecined to provide a different look for commercials and music videos. 7285, for example, is not engineered to be as rugged as 7266 (Tri-X), and will probably begin to scratch quickly if it goes through old projectors.

Hope this is helpful, see if you can find a stock that will work with the practical requirements of the project as well as the aesthetic ones, your film will come out better for it. Good luck with the project, let us know how it goes.
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#8 stephen lamb

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 09:35 PM

Mike,
I agree with much of what you said. having said that, i feel like our production slips through many of those practical problems you discussed. We have a fair amount of turnaround time for shippling/processing/transferring film, so that is not an issue. I believe i will be using Yale Labs as i saw on their website they do reversal, and i have worked with them before with much success. The final output will be MiniDV, so cost difference is not critical between neg and pos stock (though i know there is a small difference in purchasing price and processing fees ). The classroom scene is set in a medium/large room, and as you said, i have no access to any kind of large lights. However, the reason i still think i can pull it off is that the classroom scene is very stylized (spelling? sheesh) so that in essence we have a girl sitting in the front row shmoozing over the professor. Our basic lighting scheme is to throw spots on each actor, and use tungsten 100W or 200W (or bigger) bulbs hung from china balls to just barely fill in the background. With the small lighting kit we have, i think that i can get a good exposure for each of the characters and i feel the scene will work because those two characters are the only ones we are going to see anyways. As for color correction, i won't be able to oversee the transfer, so i'll have to trust the lab to do their best, and hopefully i won't have do to much in post. just some minor tweaks. So having said all that, i still think that shooting 100T reversal is going to work practically for us. On a side note, it turns out we do have the budget for a 400' roll, so using the 7285 is once again possible. My thoughts about these scenes now are, by the time we get through the telecine and onto MiniDV, am i going to see any real noticalbe difference between reversal and negative stock? I've never had an oprotunity to test them side by side, so i am just going by what i've read/heard. I think that for the cost, and because i've never tried it, i definetly won't be cross-processing. if i could test it out first perhaps...
Now that you have more facts from me, what do you think? i feel it is possible and i'd like to do it, but do you think i am just being stubborn now? :) Thanks for your input!
Steve
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#9 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 02:03 AM

Mike,
I agree with much of what you said. having said that, i feel like our production slips through many of those practical problems you discussed. We have a fair amount of turnaround time for shippling/processing/transferring film, so that is not an issue. I believe i will be using Yale Labs as i saw on their website they do reversal, and i have worked with them before with much success. The final output will be MiniDV, so cost difference is not critical between neg and pos stock (though i know there is a small difference in purchasing price and processing fees ). The classroom scene is set in a medium/large room, and as you said, i have no access to any kind of large lights. However, the reason i still think i can pull it off is that the classroom scene is very stylized (spelling? sheesh) so that in essence we have a girl sitting in the front row shmoozing over the professor. Our basic lighting scheme is to throw spots on each actor, and use tungsten 100W or 200W (or bigger) bulbs hung from china balls to just barely fill in the background. With the small lighting kit we have, i think that i can get a good exposure for each of the characters and i feel the scene will work because those two characters are the only ones we are going to see anyways. As for color correction, i won't be able to oversee the transfer, so i'll have to trust the lab to do their best, and hopefully i won't have do to much in post. just some minor tweaks. So having said all that, i still think that shooting 100T reversal is going to work practically for us. On a side note, it turns out we do have the budget for a 400' roll, so using the 7285 is once again possible. My thoughts about these scenes now are, by the time we get through the telecine and onto MiniDV, am i going to see any real noticalbe difference between reversal and negative stock? I've never had an oprotunity to test them side by side, so i am just going by what i've read/heard. I think that for the cost, and because i've never tried it, i definetly won't be cross-processing. if i could test it out first perhaps...
Now that you have more facts from me, what do you think? i feel it is possible and i'd like to do it, but do you think i am just being stubborn now? :) Thanks for your input!
Steve


Steve,
If you have the post beeing on a PC or Mac, then you don't need to worry so much about the shooting, especially if you are using a ''strong'' machine, (int terms of rendering speeds) then u can do almost whatever u like in colour and adding or redusing contrast with just adjustments of the Gamma control as a render effect.
I would use a higher stock like 200T or 250 D.
Overexposed it by 1/2 to 1 stop.And with a 1/2 promist for the CU while lower diffusion like 1/4 for the GS.
But anyway this is a general thought and after all I haven't read the script!

Dimitrios Koukas
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#10 Mike Williamson

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 02:11 AM

If you have a fair amount of turn-around time, then some of the issues I'm bringing up are moot. My point with that, as with the other questions, is just to make sure that you're asking these questions and making sure your working within whatever restrictions you have.

As a quick note, there is no 100T reversal stock that I'm aware of, only a 100D reversal stock (7285) and 100T negative stock (7212). Remember that any tungsten lights will come out orange on daylight stock, don't know whether that will work for your script or not.

I'd suggest shooting a grey card at the head of the roll so that the lab will have a reference as to what you consider to be "white light". That way you'll have a better chance of the lab getting the transfer closer to what you want. Good luck with it!
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#11 Mike Crane

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 10:34 PM

By the way Steve, although not listed on Kodak's web page, 7285 is now available in 100' loads. It looks gorgeous and I highly recommend it. The film offers a rich contrast and color, producing a nostalgic look that you can?t easily get anywhere else. However, it is more difficult to shoot as well. My best results by far for processing have been at Spectra Lab. Give this film a shot and you will not be dissapointed (as long as it is properly exposed).

Best of luck!
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#12 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 09:58 AM

By the way Steve, although not listed on Kodak's web page, 7285 is now available in 100' loads. It looks gorgeous and I highly recommend it. The film offers a rich contrast and color, producing a nostalgic look that you can?t easily get anywhere else. However, it is more difficult to shoot as well. My best results by far for processing have been at Spectra Lab. Give this film a shot and you will not be dissapointed (as long as it is properly exposed).

Best of luck!


7285 100-foot spooled product is listed on the Kodak website:

http://www.kodak.com...PCN080105_Q.pdf


KODAK EKTACHROME 100D Color Reversal Film 7285 Perforated One Edge SP455 / 16 mm x 100 ft roll / On Core / Winding B / 1R-2994 CAT Number 8936619


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#13 Mike Crane

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 11:18 AM

Hey John,

Thanks for the link. I was not able to locate it on the main web page.
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#14 stephen lamb

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 10:43 AM

Hey,
I ended up getting a 400' roll of 7285 because the director was very excited about the idea of reversal, and he loves to shoot lots, so we were both happy. The shoot was this past weekend. We had a disaster the first day when we shot on film, but made up for it in flying colors on the second day. Shooting on an Arri S, MOS, what happened the first day was that the film was loaded too tight in the loop (we think) and because of that, the camera tore some perfs, and jammed. We heard it, and checked it, but somehow didn't catch it, everything felt all right in the changing bag. So we put her back together and kept shooting the rest of the day (not hearing anything out of the ordinary). When my AC went to to download, we found to our horror that the film hadn't rolled an inch. THe whole day was for nothing. On the plus side, we saved about 350' of the film to use later. We rallyed the next day, and shot it all digital (including reshooting the dream sequences) and we were all VERY happy with what we got, and we did two days worth of shooting in literally the exact amount of time we had originally scheduled to shoot one. So lesson learned, not too much money burned, and in the end, a final product the director and i are happy about. I'll post a few screen shots on this thread within a couple of days. Thanks for all your input, much appreciated!
Steve
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#15 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 03:09 AM

Hey,
I ended up getting a 400' roll of 7285 because the director was very excited about the idea of reversal, and he loves to shoot lots, so we were both happy. The shoot was this past weekend. We had a disaster the first day when we shot on film, but made up for it in flying colors on the second day. Shooting on an Arri S, MOS, what happened the first day was that the film was loaded too tight in the loop (we think) and because of that, the camera tore some perfs, and jammed. We heard it, and checked it, but somehow didn't catch it, everything felt all right in the changing bag. So we put her back together and kept shooting the rest of the day (not hearing anything out of the ordinary). When my AC went to to download, we found to our horror that the film hadn't rolled an inch. THe whole day was for nothing. On the plus side, we saved about 350' of the film to use later. We rallyed the next day, and shot it all digital (including reshooting the dream sequences) and we were all VERY happy with what we got, and we did two days worth of shooting in literally the exact amount of time we had originally scheduled to shoot one. So lesson learned, not too much money burned, and in the end, a final product the director and i are happy about. I'll post a few screen shots on this thread within a couple of days. Thanks for all your input, much appreciated!
Steve

:blink: :blink: :blink:
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#16 Will Montgomery

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 10:21 PM

Kodachrome is processed by Dwayne's photo in Kansas, they handle Super 8, 16 & 35mm. I believe they are the only company in the hemisphere that still processes it.

They are very quick and offer good service. Target and Walmart use them for Super 8 Kodachrome.

www.k14movies.com
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