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Saturated Flashbacks

>Published : 21st November 2005

>Hello,

>I will be shooting a short film in a few weeks and the director and I would like the flashback sequences to have a distinctive look (short running time and no dialogue makes it imperative to tell the story quickly and visually).

>we had an idea of this look in our heads (soft 16mm reversal feel, but with over saturated reds and greens) based on some old slides and Polaroid transfers, and then came across "Innocence" (dir.Paul Cox. 2001). The flashbacks in this film are almost exactly what we had in mind. the reds and greens are almost artificial looking.

>My plan at this stage is to use a lower contrast stock, perhaps a light supafrost (remember those?). I have shot some tests with an enhancer, and love what it does to the reds (wardrobe choice will play a large part in this look) but I am worried about its effect on skin tone. perhaps I could overexpose the skin to neutralize the magenta cast? or use some kind of green correction filter that is light enough to neutralize the skin tones without losing all the saturation in the wardrobe/location?

>We are shooting super35mm, exterior daylight. at this point we are finishing on tape, but the director would like to have the option of a print at a later date, so I am trying to achieve as much of our look as possible in camera. less-than-low budget means no DI.

>Suggestions?

>IMDB has production stills from "innocence." note the red beret and the couple on the swings shots.

>Thanks.

>Christine Panowyk
1st AC
Toronto


class="Paragraph">>IMDB has production stills from "innocence." note the red beret and the >couple on the swings shots.

>Can't find these stills. Do I need IMDB Pro or something ?

>I'm not sure re the balance of saturation & low contrast you are talking about... also I think I'd be cautious about adding green overall as a means to cut magenta in skin tones.......

>Sam Wells


>I did some flashback sequences for a comedy a few years back where we wanted a similar look. I used a filter pack of an Enhancer, a Polarizer, a Wratten Red #15 (really more orange/amber), and a #1 White ProMist. At about 3.5 stops and we needed a tilting-stage mattebox to help prevent reflections, but the effect was quite nice.

>This group might kill some of your greens but the combo of filters with some appropriate timing back could give you the look you want. It was easy to see what we were getting and I locked the look on a visit to the rental house by stacking filters over photos sitting on a lightbox (milkglass).

Mitch Gross
NYC DP


class="Paragraph">"Mitch, I am curious about the cc red: did you mean to enhance the enhancer (so to speak), or to hold back the green?"

>This was to give an overall warm cast to the image, like a slightly faded photograph.

class="Paragraph">"What direction do the skin tones go??"

>Very warm and rich. Simple adjustment to time back in printing if it is too extreme to your taste. The "red 15" is really somewhat orange/amber.

class="Paragraph">"What film stock did you use? Am I to assume you used a daylight stock since there is no 85 colour correction?"

>This was for a film shot mostly on 5246 so no 85 needed. For one or two flashbacks (they were little snippets throughout the film) that were shot indoors I used 5274 and added an 85 filter. At least I think--it's been a few years.

>Mitch Gross
NYC DP


class="Paragraph">> lots of hyper red sweaters or canoes etc.

>That 'red enhancer' is called Kodachrome.

>Sam Wells


>Sam Wells writes :

class="Paragraph">>That 'red enhancer' is called Kodachrome

>Still available of course-shoot it in S16...but where to process?

>John Babl
DP
Miami


>Or so it seems Dwayne's and Kodak can process Kodachrome(?) I'd love to shoot some of it myself(in S16)

>John Babl
DP
Miami

>Dwaynes in KS:

>http://www.k14movies.com

>Kodak Premium Processing
16-31 Route 208
P.O. Box 7000 Fair Lawn NJ 07410-7000
Tel: 1-800-345-6973


>John Babl wrote:

class="Paragraph">>Still available of course-shoot it in S16...but where to process?

Dwaynes and I think Switzerland through Kodak.


Steven Gladstone
CML East Coast List Administrator
Gladstone Films
www.gladstonefilms.com


>Yes, I had some 5285 on hold, but nobody processes 35mm reversal in Toronto anymore.

>I guess an option could be to use 100' bulk loads of 100VS and process in a stills lab. Or I could gather a bunch of merry elves and we could have a hand colouring party that scene will be about 2 minutes, 30fps....3600 frames....

>Christine Panowyk


class="Paragraph">>Still available of course-shoot it in S16...but where to process?

>I guess Dwayne's in Kansas - or Kodak in Switzerland.

>There was a thread on the Super 8 section of cinematography.com about Dwayne's and quality control, but honestly I'd be reluctant to take comments from some of them without a grain of salt...I know someone who shoots a lot of 16mm Kodachrome and AFAIK uses Dwayne's. (He's now faced with the dilemma of no more 7399 print stock so is looking into flashed 2272 IN etc -- I suggested time to think about 2K scanning.... at least it might ease the problem of contrast build up with optical printing, plus arguably could provide away to get more neutral skin tones - a drawback of printing from the otherwise very interesting Kodachrome... I've gotten nice skin tones from Velvia (stills not MP) by overexposing them ~ 1/2 stop, but it "only works when you can make it work" y'know ?)

>I get a "faux E-6 look" from pushing 7245 but "cloning" Kodachrome orig would be some kind of holy grail... well I'm weird, OK ?

>Sam Wells


>Sam Wells wrote:

class="Paragraph">> I get a "faux E-6 look" from pushing 7245 but "cloning" Kodachrome >orig would be some kind of holy grail... well I'm weird, OK ?

>I did a short on Super 16 Kodachrome.

>Telecine'd, it had such a different look. Almost as if there was a black layer on the skin tones.

>Gorgeous.

>Metropolis was doing some blow up tests. Unfortunately Kodak no longer makes the proper stock to which to print Kodachrome to.

>I think the art of this is all dying out.

>The thing about Kodachrome is, it will absolutely kick your ass. High contrast stock, with little latitude. It will not see into the blacks for you, oh and a 1K becomes an inky.

>But unbelievable looking.

>Steven Gladstone
CML East Coast List Administrator
Gladstone Films
www.gladstonefilms.com


class="Paragraph">> I did a short on Super 16 Kodachrome.
> Telecine'd, it had such a different look. Almost as if there was a black >layer on the skin tones.
> Gorgeous.

>Steve, what machine did you do this on ?

>I think I know what you mean by black layer, you can feel the silver sorta like...

>Did you see any underexposed Caucasian skin go orange, and if so could you correct ?

>Sam Wells


>Sam Wells wrote:

class="Paragraph">> Did you see any underexposed Caucasian skin go orange, and if so >could you correct ?

>Mark III Turbo, if I recall.

>I wouldn't say orange, underexposure did lend a certain ruddiness to the skin, but it was great. The interesting thing is, there were these amazing limits to the amount of manipulation you could get from the stock, before it started to get "electronically hyped" looking.

>So there really wasn't any "saving" a shot on this stuff. Which is how I would rather work (until of course it kills me ;-p )

>Just writing about Kodachrome is beginning to make me want to shoot it again. When I last used it, it was like $240 for 400 feet, but that included processing in Switzerland. - Warning you will really need to have it cleaned when it comes back, as it is not a professional service.

>I will have to check out Dwayne's, I think they could even push
Kodachrome (stills not sure about MP).

>Such a skin tone. Really, it is the most daring work on my reel.

>Steven Gladstone
CML East Coast List Administrator
Gladstone Films


>I shot 6 or 7 rolls of Kodachrome super8 about a year ago and had it processed at Dwayne's, and had the telecine done by Yale. It came out looking good, some of the stuff I shot at sunset on a mountain looked amazing. I also shot 6 or so rolls of Ektachrome, had it processed and telecined at Yale, and maybe it's just a style thing but it had more of that super8 'look' I was hoping for.

>Very grainy and pastelly, did very well in low-light. I loved how it came out.

>Kodachrome is one of those things that, in the perfect light it can look amazing, but otherwise it feels way too much like a home-movie. Neither lab seemed to make any major mistakes, but it's kind of hard to tell which were my f-ups or which were theirs.

>Jim Eagan
NY/NJ DP