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Printing


Gus Roos independent filmmaker in France owning his lab facility.

"Don' t need to be rich to make movies. You' d better be to get them released."

Hi everybody ! I' m writing from Paris, France, and despite of not being a DP, Geoff put me on this list, guess I' m expected to intervene. What I know is only two centimes worth, but then, there seems to be nobody better informed, so here goes :

As for 16mm, there's no longer any Fuji print stock. At least their French subsidiary Fuji S.A. don' t carry it any more. Neither do Agfa manufacture any 16 mm. So you' ll have to go Eastman, there' s no other choice for printing Fujicolor negatives than on Kodak 7386. (Same monopoly as for B & W.)

Now, as for 35mm, there is some competition remaining. Fujicolor LP Print keeps to be carried. I could never report any noticeable difference between Kodak and Fuji. There' s no need even to change pre-filters on the printer. (You've *got* to change these, when you switch between Kodak and Fuji *negative*, most of the differences you noticed in fleshtones come from this pre-filter issue, rather than from cultural differences between Asians and Caucasians). : -)

There remain two possibilities to use another color print stock for different palettes : Agfa (yes, Agfa) and Lucky ! Agfa still carry their CP 1 positive stock, but on polyester base only. This time the differences are notable. Some filmmaker won a price on the Carthago Film Festival, so Agfa offered him free stock to print four further release copies. I had to do the whole timing (grading) all over again. The Agfa prints looked as good as the original Eastmancolor, but were very, very, "different".

There is a third manufacturer over there in Beijing, Lucky. They sent me a 200 ft roll of unexposed sample, but I never ran the test. There are rumors that the fourth factory, Romanian Azomures, is resuming work. This one I tested, under the Ceascescu regime. : -). But the bottom-line is, why would any producer buy these exotic stocks ? Don' t keep thinking that it' s a price issue, it can't possibly be, as the Eastman row print stock is very inexpensive. It' s half a buck p. meter (FF2.5) and most rebate deals with labs trade down the release print to FF1.8 p. meter, i.e. much cheaper than the Kodak list price for the mere stock !!! Why then have any footage shipped from China ? Regards,

Art, >Could you elaborate on pre-filtration ? This is something I'm not terribly familiar with<

On the printer, before splitting the white light into 3 separate R-G-B beams by dichroic filters, you first have to fiddle with your bulb to be closest to white. Mine is at 3,2000 K by 92 Volts, but tests will show that for, say 25-25-25, it' ll be widely overexposed and much too blue :

Got to get rid of that orange mask which acts as a *subtractive* filter. Could, of course, dim my R-G-B, but that would bias my 25-25-25 to something asymmetrically uneven, making me lose control. Thus I fix a subtractive CC filter sandwich, say ND.80-M.20-Y.40, to be fitted in a holder in the middle of the white beam before it's getting split into 3 colors, moving from subtractive to additive. Once I' m happy with my settings for from Eastman to Kodak, there will be somebody showing up who would need from Fuji to Kodak.

With my bare eyes and/or the neg in the color-analyser, I can see that there is a slight difference between the two orange masks, Fuji's looking browner than Eastman's. This difference might be tiny enough not to alter my settings, ignoring it and going on as I used to do for Kodak negs. However, it would have needed a fine M.05CC-gelatine to be added to the pre-filter. As this would retain some more light, I couldn't so easily compensate by lowering the ND layer, 'cause M.05 weights only 1.5 DIN. Should I then lift my average from 25-25-25 to something like 27-27-27 ? The h*ll with it ! :-)

As for Noirencouleur, well, I missed The Island of Lost Children. Guess I' ll have to inquire tomorrow to find some answer. One case I do know, although it seems to be the other way round, is "La Haine", a Matthieu Kassovitz movie, where Pierre Aim had to handle the following : Matthieu wanted a black&white picture, while pay-channel Canal+ claimed a colored print, otherwise no $$FF$$.00 ! So they shot it on Eastmancolor, but printed the 300 release prints on half processed sound-negative stock. After the movie's success at Cannes and its Cesar Award, Canal+ finally broadcast a B&W print :-)

Ooops ! Typo in my latest post, sorry for that : >>However, it would have needed a fine M.05CC-gelatine to be added to the pre-filter. As this would retain some more light, I couldn't so easily compensate by lowering the ND layer, 'cause M.05 weights only 1.5 DIN.<< Written too hasty : M.05 actually weights only .5 DIN = 1/6 lens stop. As it is so little and *almost* insignificant, nobody corrects it. Thus some little differences...

Couldn' t get in touch, during the week-end, with the right people for the Island Of Lost Children. The only information I' ve got so far is significant : While the opticals of Caro&Jeunet's earlier film, Delicatessen, where made by ACME, an analogical optical house in Paris, this time the team went digital and signed up with DUBOI, who drive all their FX output through Cineon. Thus, anything becomes possible. One must not forget that the lack of bleaching can only be performed on full 1,200ft reels within a release print unless you splice in each separately processed part, like Spielberg did for Schindler's List, switching B&W and color prints by physical splicing of two different print stocks in every release print, rather than running A+B negs on 5386.