I am shooting a spot which includes a brief glamour / fashion
piece with a female model. I am considering using Velvia in
this section of the spot. I am looking to say "High Fashion"
and don’t have time (or cash) for tests. Has anyone
out there have experience with the stock in this regard? Any
suggestions and warnings?
> Has anyone out there have experience
with the stock in this regard?
We used the stock in an Arri 435 shooting a fashion spot on
the beach in cold, damp weather (Naturally, it was a Summer
clothing spot). The Velvia got very "sticky" and
the 435 didn't like it one damn bit. Repeated jams and shut-downs
as the camera thought the film was jammed even if it wasn't,
just very sticky going through the gate. Traded the 435 for
a 535B and continued the day but I had to pull the 535's gate
every 3 or 4 takes and scrape the emulsion off of the gate
and pressure pad with my thumbnail. Vawwy skawwy!
Footage looked gorgeous. No scratches or bad thingies. It's
very expensive to purchase and process.
Motion Picture First Camera Assistant
So how dead on do you have to be with this stock if you take
it to telecine?
Try to be as consistent as possible, the stock is not very
forgiving(after all, it's reversal) I would take incident
readings and be careful not to overexpose. Underexposing starts
giving your model a tan.
In a bind, bracket to be sure. Looks nice when cross processed
and skip bleached at the same time. I believe in that case
you underexpose 1 to 2 stops( if I remember correctly) Kodak's
'285 is nice too, available in S-16.
just shot cross processed Fuji Provia 35mm stills-give that
a try if you can. (Why didn't they make a MP version?) And
Kodak has a new 100 very saturated 35mm stills stock I'd like
WE have seen quite a bit of Velvia and the Kodak 5285 reversal.
Velvia is one stop slower, (ASA 50) and to my taste has a
bit of a red bias in the skin tones. Especially when you underexpose.
I think the 85 has more neutral and for me, pleasing skin
tones. It is also ASA 100. You do not have any more than 2
stops latitude in either direction, for either film. If you
overexpose by more than a stop and a half, because it is reversal,
you are left with clear film, no detail, no nothing. I remember
the common wisdom with still film slides was to under expose
1/3 of a stop.
We worked with one cameraman, shooting Velvia, who took his
incident reading, spot metered the sky, and pegged the sky
two stops over key, and lit accordingly, (for exterior on
a LA overcast day at the beach.) It worked very well. IN telecine,
you are transferring a positive image and it is a bit different.
Again, when you have overexposed, hot areas, you can not get
any detail, but it is not clipped, has its own look. The shadow
areas also block up with no detail at 2 stops under, one and
a half is better. We are able to crank up the chroma however
(or not) and can give the reversal a very unique look. We
can emulate that look with negative, but it takes a lot more
work, and doesn't quite match the contrast curve. Both are
beautiful when treated correctly, and can be horrendous when
It's so much fun to play with. My own preference is to rely
mostly on spot readings (and the zone system) to make sure
key elements land where you want them to be. If there's time
and money to test and experiment, I'd go for it (unless you
expect high humidity per Rod Williams' post.) Otherwise, I'd
take the '45 stock and jam it on the Spirit.
>The Velvia is one stop slower,
(ASA 50) and to my taste has a bit of a >red bias in the skin
I've gotten some nice results in stills on Velvia with the
skin tones about 1/2 stop over, actually...
But as the man says, you're kind of walking a tightrope then,
Also, when it sees red, it "Sees Red" oh yeah...
It does *beautiful* turquoise skies...
>It's so much fun to play with.
My own preference is to rely mostly on spot >readings (and
the zone system) to make sure key elements land where >you
want them to be.
What are the limits? 1.5 or two stops over to white, and 2
stops under to black? I'm just guessing. I'd think there'd
be a little more exposure latitude than that but not much.
Art Adams, DP [film|hdtv|sdtv]
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"
I love Velvia for stills...For my money, the best thing to
do is buy a few rolls and experiment with stills first - you'll
get a much better feeling for the exposure latitude, and when/if
you are able to do real tests, you'll be fine-tuning.
The only reason the stills won't give you the full answer
is that you need also to go on a Spirit and see what you can
do there -- with a great colorist. As to the question about
latitude, I don't know how to answer that in an intelligent
way. To me, there is no such thing as "over / under exposed."
The issue is, what do you want your image to look like? Sometimes
it's just great to have all the whites blown out and just
a fragment of detail in the image. Sometimes it's great ....
etc. If you want a "normal" image, go with normal
stocks. If you want to push the envelope, then try Velvia
and other extreme stocks.