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Film Processing

Published : 16th January 2004


Hi all,

I'm an old hand at video but I'm a bit of newbie when it comes to film. So, I've got a film shoot coming up this week (a series of idents) and as ever we're on a tight budget. Were shooting on S16 and using primes, the TK is being done on a Sprit. The director wants a really silky look - should have done it on 35mm but there really wasn't the budget for that - and is concerned about grain. Doing all my sums and taking all the various factors into account, I've plumped for using 7274.

So here's my question: If I rate the 7274 at 100ASA, would it decrease the grain to any major degree. I've done stuff like this on B&W (Ilford HP5 at 1600 ASA then dev in a May and Baker developer for 20 mins!) but never in colour.
Due to time and budget I don't have time for a camera test and will probably stick safe but I'd be interested to hear any comments from anyone.

Many, Many thanks to all.

Michael Sanders
www.glowstars.demon.co.uk



Michael Sanders wrote:

>Doing all my sums and taking all the various factors into account, I've >plumped for using 7274.

Why not 7218 instead?

Jeff Kreines



Michael Sanders wrote :

>The director wants a really silky look [.....] If I rate the7274 at >100ASA,would it decrease the grain to any major degree.

I'd be careful. I always down-rate stocks if it's going to print with the notion that it'll give a slightly finer grained result but it's not the same deal in TK. With grossly overexposed neg you can actually increase noise as the transfer machine cranks up the gain. There's a school of thought that says that a slightly thinner neg transfers better than a thicker one in TK.

Having said all that, what's 1 stop between friends? If rating a stock slightly slower (1/2 stop is plenty) gives you peace of mind then go for it - as long as you don't also add a bit of 'belt & braces' overexposure every time you take a light meter reading!

You should ask your director to show you an exact example of what they mean by 'silky' too. What they're after might also involve a 1/8-1/4 black ProMist diffusion shoved into the telecine gate. Make sure, if that's the case, that the transfer house has the relevant filters and that YOU get the credit for the idea!

Tom Townend,
Cinematographer/London.



Tom Townend wrote :

>With grossly overexposed neg you can actually increase noise as the >transfer machine cranks up the gain.

I second that notion, having been there and done that with 7274.

Especially be careful if your telecine is of the Rank derivation. I have found these to get nosier with grossly over exposed areas than the Spirit types.

Mark Smith
Oh Seven Films
143 Grand St
Jersey City, NJ 07302



>The director wants a really silky look... and is concerned about grain. ... >I've plumped for using 7274.

Hi Michael and List,

I've never had much of a problem with grain on a Spirit. I'd say you're safe with most stocks currently on the market (of course, I kinda like grain. Let's start a movement to "reclaiming grain"), but it doesn't hurt to err on the side of a finer grain stock. I can't imagine you'll have a grain problem with 7274, properly exposed or a little off. I also agree with Jeff Kreines suggestion of 7218.

But when someone says "silky" to me, I think of lower contrast stocks. Perhaps Fuji 400, or the 7229 that Mitch just mentioned. I also agree with Tom that a little diffusion on the lens or TK will help with the "silky."

Cheers,

Frazer Bradshaw
Director of Photography
San Francisco
www.seaworthy-cine.net



>Why not 7218 instead?

That's what I would suggest. If you're thinking of pushing '74, you're much better off just shooting '18. I'm shooting some stuff on 5274 and wish I had some '18 myself...

John Babl
Miami



Hi,

Michael, overexposing the 7274 will give you brighter highlights overall and will lift your dark areas on the film curve. If you pull process it, thus slightly decreasing the contrast might give you the effect you are after. Are you going to a film finish or tape? Combining the image control in processing with the usage of filters on the lens might give you the silky effect you are after.. unfortunately, can not take chances without shooting tests first.

Good luck.

Kamal Bou Nassar
Cinematographer



Thanks for all the posts, unfortunately I only got a chance to skim read them the night before the shoot as the pre-light went over by a good number of hour's - not my fault, the set builders screwed up!

I found the suggestion of using 7218 very interesting. I would have though that a 500ASA stock, even Vision 2, would more grainy than 200 ASA stock.

Anyway, all seems OK - the one lighter's got some sparkle which the lab say is there fault - Oh well...

Michael Sanders


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