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class="style1">"That Seventies Look"

>Published : 7th March 2007

>Hi Everyone,

>I am about to shoot a 30 Sec TVC that needs a real 70's look much like the old kids toy commercials, badly transferred etc.

>It's set in full sun during a kids back yard cricket match.

>Ideas I have thought of are:

>• Use a quick stock (500) and overexpose by five or six stops, then bring it back in TK.
• Shoot on Standard 16mm
• shoot and transfer at 18 or 16 fps. (more of a super 8 thing maybe not right)
• White ProMist in a 1/4 or ½
• Add dirt to the final image.
• Use a really old crappy zoom
• Telecine a dirty print
If anyone has had any successful experiences playing with the image/processing/stock etc to get this look I'd be extremely grateful for your ideas and thoughts.

>Regards

>Callan Green
Cinematographer
Sydney, Australia


>If you have time to shoot tests and mess with it then all those sound like good starts.

>If you don't have as much front end time then I'd be tempted to shoot it clean and muck about with it in post.

>You can start doing some post mucking with some footage you already have and see what you can do to it there. Since you are going to TV and not the big screen, you should be able to get the look you seek in post.

>Good Luck
Marty Brenneis
No longer at ILM
Now the camera droid at Kerner Optical LLC


class="style2">>>I am about to shoot a 30 Sec TVC that needs a real 70's look

>Hey Callan!

>Some of were working in the 70s and are still alive.

>I don't think our work then was that bad

>Telecineing from a print is probably a good idea, and so is shooting a grainy stock.

Go for the dirt, grain etc if you want a backyard home movie look, but otherwise, lay off!

>P.S. Have a look at the doco 49UP, currently screening in digital (e-cinema) release around Australia. Apart from tracking those British kids from 1964 through to the present day, it's also a good showcase of film/TV images from then to now. Starting with b/w, then to really grainy 16mm images, progressively through less grain up to the video images of the newest footage.

But there's not much dirt!


Dominic Case
Atlab Australia


>Callan Green wrote:

class="style2">>>I am about to shoot a 30 Sec TVC that needs a real 70's look much

>I assume you want to imitate a bad commercial, not a good one.

>Find a 25-250 Angenieux zoom. -- an old beat-up one. Shoot a stock like 5247, transfer from a print. Don't shoot a fast stock, it's not grain you are after, but a lack of resolution. Light badly -- open face quartz with bad shadows and flat as hell -- 2:1 ratio. If you can find an Arri 35 IIc, shoot with that. Operate badly -- zoom in and have to correct the frame, or frame with too much headroom, zoom in, and correct it. Don't use a modern zoom motor, or a zoom motor at all.

>Oh, full sun? Get some old shinyboard reflectors and overuse them.

>You could fill with uncorrected open-face quartz, so there's a blatant colour temperature shift from people to background.

>Overlight the foreground and let the background go dark. If you can transfer on a film chain, that would help. Audio should sound like it's transferred off an optical track -- and get an old fashioned narrator (ok, not your department). Titles and graphics should be period.

>Don't use fake old film programs, they suck. Shouldn't be scratched, tho.

>Jeff "if you are imitating a good one, disregard the above" Kreines


>How about low contrast filters for desaturated colour and blooming highlights? Very 70s.

>Greg Lowry
Scopica Inc. / Scopica3D
Vancouver


>See if you can find some ancient technology for your film to tape. An old Bosch FDL60 should do nicely--lots of noise! How about sending it through some crappy analog video dubs, such as 3/4" or even a few passes of VHS? That should drop your resolution and blend your colour sampling into great bland fields of pink skin tone.

>It's not that the footage looked so bad in the day, it's that the records we have of it now look so poor. Just like silent movies that were full of rich silver back then but live now as sped up transfers of horribly duped dirty prints.

>Mitch Gross
NYC DP/TD
Abel Cine Tech


>Most Bosches these days have been upgraded, and look pretty good with properly exposed film. Find a badly aligned Rank... with a bad tube.

>...But since the Rank began to become popular in the very late 70s, a film chain would be more fitting.

>...But it's gotta have a tube camera and a multiplexer. And transfer from print.

>Jeff Kreines


class="style2">"if you are imitating a good one, disregard the above"

>I've been watching Rockford Files 2nd season DVD's. Looks like a new transfer from decent but not perfect film prints with optical soundtrack (ah, the days of film finish for television!). I'd totally agree with Jeff's comments, especially lighting. A Lowell Tota-Lite kit at close range might be called for (but don't bounce it ). Take a slightly naive but very practical approach to camera motion, and don't spend more than fifteen minutes on any setup.

>I hate zoom motors myself, but then I hate to zoom. I just like to crash from one framing to another during pauses in the performance, variable prime, really, but I like how it cuts together.

>Tim Sassoon
SFD vfx & creative post
Santa Monica, CA


>I was about to start buying the show. Would conformed negatives of those shows still exist? I know the original Star Trek DVD's are a beauty to behold.

>I can't imagine what it would look like to see a Land Of The Giants, Lost In Space, Star Trek or Space: 1999 episode projected in a theatre from a freshly struck print? I wonder why nobody has ever done that especially out here in LA.

>Joe T. McDonnell III
Cinematography/ High Definition
IATSE 600
New Orleans, La
Los Angeles, Ca


>Callan,

>I might try shooting with C-mount lenses (Kinoptics or Switars) and shooting reversal film. Or if your colourist is pretty good stick with a mid speed Fuji stock

>Best,

>Tom Camarda
LA DP
IA600


class="style2">>>"I can't imagine what it would look like to see a Land Of The Giants, >>Lost In Space, Star Trek or Space: 1999 episode projected in a theatre >>from a freshly struck print? I wonder why nobody has ever done that >>especially out here in LA."

>Fear of an overly-geeky audience, obviously.

>Jeff "has never seen any of these shows" Kreines


>Ahem I crewed on some toy commercials in the late 70's

>Geez man it wasn't THAT bad

>Well not in the States....

class="style2">>> • white ProMist in a 1/4 or ½

>Not bad call I think; this was the era (again US anyway) where double fogs might as well have been welded on some lenses - you could just use them.

>Crank the gain on a Spirit I bet you could get a "Bosch FDL-60 look"; I'm sure you could find similar tricks with Cintel - especially as there seem to be plenty of older ones out there in use, again at least here in the US.

>But the FDL-60 is a little later ? I forget.

>EUE did some pretty nice transfers with the RCA - TK29C ?

>Sam Wells
film/strange career arcs are me/nj/usa


>I was on staff at Wakeford/Orloff production company running their stage and overseeing the cameras they rented and leased. At the time is was the largest independent production company on the West Coast (they also had a NY division).

>We had quite a few directors on staff and name Directors of Photography who shot the commercials. People like Ron Dexter, Bob Regan, Joe Hanwright, Alan Daviau, John Hora, Woody Omens, Caleb Deschanel, and others. The photography was beautiful on the P&G commercials, the beer spots, car ads, TV sets, etc. I think what gave the images "that seventies" look was the bad film to tape transfers.

All of the commercials in the early seventies were finished on film (generally shot on 35mm) and distributed to the TV stations on 16mm. How the TV stations transferred the 16mm is a question for some of the more technical people here on the forum. But I would sacrifice the cinematography -- clearly it was very good even by today's standards. But take the images through the film finish and optical print down to 16mm and then find out what the TV stations used to transfer the film to an electronic signal for broadcast.

I have good memories of seeing the work prints being edited on upright Movieolas.

>W/O had it's own editorial division along with it's Tape division. Beautiful images....

>Mark Woods
Director of Photography
www.markwoods.com
Pasadena, California


>I agree with Mark Woods that much of the "look" of local television commercials in the 1970's was because they were often broadcast from a film PRINT (often 16mm for local broadcast), transferred on a tube type telecine like the RCA TK-27. The negatives from those commercials, if retransferred using today's technology (e.g., Spirit telecine), would look very good.

>John Pytlak
Eastman Kodak Company


>John Pytlak writes :

class="style2">>>the "look" of local television commercials in the 1970's was because >>they were often broadcast from a film PRINT (often 16mm for local >>broadcast), transferred on a tube type telecine like the RCA TK-27.

>Do you think the TV series of that era, example ROCKFORD FILES was also broadcast this way in local markets?

Cheers,
Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
US based DP
www.barklage.com


>So how do you fake that tube telecine look?

>Josh Brown
New York, NY


class="style2">>>the "look" of local television commercials in the 1970's was because >>they were often broadcast from a film PRINT (often 16mm for local >>broadcast), transferred on a tube type telecine like the RCA TK-27.

>You might want to transfer on a older rank (maybe with a dubner Colour Corrector) to 3/4" Umatic.

>Robert Houllahan
Filmmaker
VP Cinelab inc.
www.cinelab.com


class="style2">>>Do you think the TV series of that era, example ROCKFORD FILES >>was also broadcast this way in local markets?

>I was on a tour of NBC Burbank in the mid or late 70s. They had rows of 35mm film chains.

>When Rockford Files was broadcast on network it was from a 35mm print at the network headquarters. Maybe with a print on each coast.

>Once a series was in syndication 16mm prints were shipped to the local stations. The same for movies.

>A friend who edits news at a local station told me that the video editors are or were in the stage hands union because the original function of a film editor at a local station was to splice commercials into the 16mm prints.

>Leo Vale
Pgh PA


>Hi,

>Turning the beam current way down on a MK 3 Rank can certainly help with that look.

Stephen Williams DoP
EU Based

www.stephenw.com


>Turning the beam current down will bring up the noise a bit - it will also help if you find a machine with a thin faceplate (more flare) and have the astigmatism, electronic focus, afterglow and black balance misadjusted.

>Richard Torpey
VP Engineering
Rhinoceros/MultiVideo Group
50 East 42 Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 986-1577
(212) 986-3833 fax


>>>When Rockford Files was broadcast on network it was from a 35mm >>print at the network headquarters. Maybe with a print on each coast.

>My original Rockford Files point (which I may not have stated very clearly), was that watching the newly released DVD's, are obviously a recent high-quality transfer, whether from print or neg I can't say, but regardless, it still looks like the 1970's on screen. And it's still some of the best written (and most entertaining) television ever to air. But I would say, to recreate the 1970's look, concentrate your efforts to what's in front of the lens and shooting technique, rather than post.

>Tim Sassoon
SFD vfx & creative post
Santa Monica, CA


>Think about the lights available at that time period: no HMI's, all tungsten and arc's.
So it usually had to be hard lit, multi-shadows.
Think 5K's, 10K'S, 9-lights, etc...
no hampshire diffusions...almost always spun.

Cheers,
Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
US based DP
www.barklage.com


class="style2">>>My original Rockford Files point (which I may not have stated very >>clearly), was that watching the newly released DVD's, are obviously >>a recent high-quality transfer, whether from print or neg I can't say, but >>regardless, it still looks like the 1970's on screen.

>A relatively minor point by the actual stock which the shows were shot on has a different flavour than what is available from Kodak or Fuji today.

>Robert Houllahan
Filmmaker
VP Cinelab inc.
www.cinelab.com


>Agreed about the bad film chain look.

>Take a 16mm workprint to your local camera store and ask them to send it out for video transfer. They'll send it to some local outfit who will use a film chain, and it will look very much as you want. No tube camera artifacts, but you get the focus issues and the contrast control issues bigtime.

>Scott Dorsey
Kludge Audio
Williamsburg, VA.


>Hi Everyone,

>First of all I'd like to say a huge thank you to all of you that provided me with some great ideas for achieving a 16mm "seventies look" bound for TV.

>After viewing the test today I have concluded that in my judgement :

>Kodak 50D Standard 16mm with a #1 White ProMist and an enhancer over exposed by 4 stops and pulled back in TK is the way to go. We then desaturated the colour a bit and headed in a warmer direction but kept the green, as well as pushing the contrast to give a printed look.

>It would have been cool to try out an old transfer machine but there aren't any around in Sydney that are easily workable..(In bits in basements)

>Thanks again everyone…You have all made my 1st CML experience a true pleasure.

>Callan Green
Cinematographer
Sydney, Australia