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What happened to look of movies


fatih yıkar
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I thought your argument was that you could see the inherent look of the original camera film stock by watching a Blu-Ray?

 

Not in any absolute way. I feel there is a common denominator that comes through which I can view in a large number of materials shot with a single stock, transfered and graded differently and say: Ok I see where this is going. Like for example every single film shot on 5294 I've seen has this certain rough feel to it compared to every single film shot on Vision stocks. But that judgement is nowhere near that specific as it might have sounded to you when I first stated my point.

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Actually, now I'm really curious what you guys think about color grading.

 

Is it an art in its own right? Or is it best seen as a completion of the cinematographer's work? Should there be a 'Best Color Grade' Oscar?

 

 

 

 

That's a good point. There probably should IMO, because it came a long way from setting 3 values for printer lights. On the other hand I prefer films where color is manipulated in front of the camera using light, art direction and production design.

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I saw 'Wonder Woman' a few days ago, I actually liked the movie, primarily because Gal Gadot is actually marvelous to look at, but she's also genuinely funny and would've been a worthy rival to Marilyn Monroe or Sophia Loren in old Hollywood. Modern cinematography is indistinguishable from one another, and I think the greatest error is that every cinematographer is OBSESSED with getting the perfect, flawless image. Heaven forbid if there is slight grain in the image, everything is becoming eye candy as opposed to using cinematography as a form of expression. One of the best shot films in my opinion is Wim Wenders' 'Alice in the Cities' by Robby Muller, it's not perfectly shot in the sense that it looks visually beautiful, but it feels right, you feel something, and that's worth more than a pretty image. It seems the digital technology of today is overkill for filmmaking. I can understand an 8k camera that is used to film the outer solar system, it has more scientific use, because you would want to capture the celestial objects in outer space with the greatest resolution. Cinema isn't like that, I'm sure actors don't want their faces seen at such a high resolution. For instance Sandra Bullock's legs were actually touched up for the film 'Gravity', because of the high resolution of the picture.

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I don't think it's the DPs who are obsessed with perfection. After all, they're the ones often trying to add life back into the image by using vintage lenses, diffusion filters, film grain, handheld cameras, custom LUTs, etc.

 

I think the root cause is a more pervasive edict being pushed by producers and studios in order to sell their content based on specs like '4K', 'Deep Color', 'HDR', etc. It's much easier to sell product based on fixed specs than on more intangible qualities like, well, 'quality.'

 

That kind of mentality leads to studios like Netflix mandating camera specs on their productions without any consideration for story. Or theatrical exhibitors mandating only 1.85 and 2.39 aspect ratios in the film days. Or some studios mandating that black and white films be shot in color for the foreign markets. I think this tendency toward conservative hedging in all the creative aspects of filmmaking is keeping the product from being as good as it can be.

 

And that, in my opinion, is part of the reason for the decline in the cultural significance of modern cinema. Because it doesn't really represent the full range of human experience, creativity, and imagination, many consumers are becoming content creators and filling that creative void on avenues like YouTube. The goal there is not perfection - it is truth, which is ultimately what audiences crave, alongside the spectacle. At least, that's my take on it.

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Not in any absolute way. I feel there is a common denominator that comes through which I can view in a large number of materials shot with a single stock, transfered and graded differently and say: Ok I see where this is going. Like for example every single film shot on 5294 I've seen has this certain rough feel to it compared to every single film shot on Vision stocks. But that judgement is nowhere near that specific as it might have sounded to you when I first stated my point.

Fair enough, I can agree with that.

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For what it's worth, I don't think that this is a particularly unpopular point of view. People are widely irritated by the excess of CG in modern movies, although only when it looks bad. It doesn't always look bad. When a huge proportion of the film is made entirely out of CG material, as is currently common, there's sometimes a very visible lack of polish on each shot that films with sparser effects don't suffer.

 

Nobody's really disagreeing with the problem here, especially on movies (this one sticks in my mind) like John Rambo, which should really have been a celebration of practical effects, given the history of the franchise and the sort of content people are going for. Dropped-in blood squibs are not the way to go.

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Using CGI isn't unusual these days, that's not to say they they won't build and use effects just the same as in "Ben Hur" and "Indiana Jones and the last Crusade" The chariot race in the recent "Ben Hur" remake just looked like a video game compared to the 1959 version. There is a greater range of tools available today and they get used in combination, not just blue/green screen CGI, depending on the demands of the production.

 

You'll find production stills from Mary Poppins (1964), which uses a sodium screen to combine live action with animation. .

 

Physically has a production value of its own in a world with CGI..

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Actually, now I'm really curious what you guys think about color grading.

 

Is it an art in its own right? Or is it best seen as a completion of the cinematographer's work? Should there be a 'Best Color Grade' Oscar?

that's truly a good point

 

Another great example from hostel movies what i'm trying to tell...

 

Both shot with 35mm and same dp Milan Chadima but we got totally two different looks .

About second movie Who is the genius make horror movie to much colorful, high saturation? just why

Like i said first one has more depth,texture,natural colors, more intense,cinematic look i think so many people will like the first ones look..

Written in imdb both photochemical finish (Super 35) but that's not true info, second is must be digital intermediate i need to change..
Cgi is problem but not the main problem, people think cgi ruined movies but thats not true.
In my opinion digital cameras, digital intermediate and a little bit film stocks must be blame...

 

2005 2007

post-69480-0-86978700-1497283181_thumb.jpg

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Using CGI isn't unusual these days, that's not to say they they won't build and use effects just the same as in "Ben Hur" and "Indiana Jones and the last Crusade" The chariot race in the recent "Ben Hur" remake just looked like a video game compared to the 1959 version. There is a greater range of tools available today and they get used in combination, not just blue/green screen CGI, depending on the demands of the production.

 

You'll find production stills from Mary Poppins (1964), which uses a sodium screen to combine live action with animation. .

 

Physically has a production value of its own in a world with CGI..

 

I think it´s also a problem for the actors. It´s a difference if an actor actually sees a landscape, or if he sees a blue screen in a studio, with the director saying "Pretend this wall to be a beautiful landscape".

 

Or another thing: creatures in movies back then and today.

 

In 1981, Ray Harryhausen made a great Medusa in "Clash of the Titans", that is still scary today.

 

 

medusa_5-283x193.jpg

 

tumblr_myg738IyIs1tns3yho6_r1_400.gif

 

And in the 2010 remake they did this:

 

ml076_0470_v022.1059.jpg?itok=Ll_TFmk3

 

Seriously??

 

When I see that I say "Quick, give me a controller, I want to fight against that thing ... oh wait, this is not a game, it´s supposed to be a movie, that thing is supposed to look real and actually there".

 

Those Harryhausen creatures look so great, because they ARE real, real puppets. Let alone of the glossy look of that remake ...

 

Or in Cronenbergs "The Fly" from the 80s: they worked on actual puppets so the actors have something to act with. They can SEE what the fly looks like at the end, they could react to it, they could look at it. And what had the actors to do in "The Mummy" from 1999? Looking at NOTHING, because the mummy was digitally put into the movie later. Staring into the air, pretending there is a horrible looking creature in front of you. Filmmaking today, ladies and gentlemen.

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra

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Well, the 2007 film is obviously digitally graded. It's got the crushed blacks, clipped highlights, and generally a heavy contrast curve while still being lit softly, a bit of the teal/orange thing, orange saturated skin tones. The color balance, shot-to-shot, is all over the place - they look like frames from four different movies.

 

This was a very popular grading trend in the last decade. I'm sure we've all seen movies from the era that look like this as people became very excited about digital grading and sometimes went too far. Thankfully, we seem to have moved past that these days.

 

In contrast, the 2005 film looks more or less other movies of the same era that were shot and finished on film. It does not appear that Lift/Gamma/Gain color wheels or Contrast Curves were used shot-to-shot. Or if they were, then with a very light touch, with no more effect than lab color timing. The result is that contrast and color is much more consistent from scene-to-scene as you are seeing essentially what the DP shot, with no interpretation overlaid on top.

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Well the second one does look a bit contrasty but you can't just assume it's DI because of that. It could just be that the transfer to video looks like that because the director wanted it that way.

If the filmmakers were going to do such an extreme creative grade, it's sensible to assume that is going to happen in the DI suite from the film scan, not in a telecine transfer from the IP for home video release. Don't you think?

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To be fair, the Harryhausen thing does look like a bit of slightly clunky stop-motion, which is just as fake as the CGI.

 

Of course the Harryhausen-Medusa has it´s flaws, but it looks better, because it´s "real". And her way of moving can also be frightening. I would rather say, the Harryhausen-Medusa looks less fake, not just as fake as the CGI. But today you could make much better creatures with puppets. I saw the bonus material of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" recently, where they show how they build some of the creatures. It´s amazing how real a mechanical creature-face looks, all the little movements of the "muscles" in the face. They could do great stuff now, if they wanted to (and had the money).

 

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra

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It´s quite funny: many people (not here, I mean generally!) think that this new Ben Hur is a remake of the 1959 movie. But the 1959 version was a remake of a remake, because there was the 1925 version, and the 1907 version.

 

I think the 1925 version is in general better, because it fits more to the movie. Charlton "from my cold dead hands" Heston is much too old to be Ben Hur, who is about 16 in the beginning of the story in the book. On the other hand, Haya Harareet is more convincing as his girlfriend then the blonde Mary Pickford in the 1925 version.

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra

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Set Extensions, either via 'glass/canvass/board' mattes, or later optical processing, have been done for years before the modern era. At any time, it has been far more expensive to build the full 'real' set, unless one has a large set of unemployed tradesmen.

 

For example,

 

img-2.png

 

From the 1930s. In many cases the seam between the real set, and the extension, was 'obvious', in some cases not so obvious, but in most cases it would become 'visible' to the trained eye.

 

We don't have films that list 'cast of 1000's' in the promo ads... as it is quite expensive to have such casts... Many were shot in places where one could have 'cheap casts of thousands'... as well had cheap but quality craftworkers, Italy being one popular place for such things. This ranged from actual matte paintings on glass, placed in the field of view, while the live action took place, or later, optically. I don't know that in those days, seeing vast vistas of hill lines, ever made the actors more 'connected' to the matte painted castle or other elements, than the current CGI added elements.

 

Like most things, the use of multiple prints, eventually culminating in the projected image on the local theater screen, 'mushed' the image such that the lines between matte and real were 'blurred', helped in the past.

 

But in the modern digital age, the effect requires more care, just as 'make up' on the talent needs more care to avoid unseemly 'lines' or shortcuts.

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If the filmmakers were going to do such an extreme creative grade, it's sensible to assume that is going to happen in the DI suite from the film scan, not in a telecine transfer from the IP for home video release. Don't you think?

 

Yes it is :D I was just reacting to his intention to immediately submit an edit to the imdb page based on just visual observations.

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To be fair, the Harryhausen thing does look like a bit of slightly clunky stop-motion, which is just as fake as the CGI.

 

Neither is ideal, and they both look like the British prime minister.

 

P

 

I still find stop motion (or animatronics, or masks for that matter) more scairy than CG. The reason for that is because my brain registers it as a real object. Sure there is something "wrong" with it; either it's jerky or not quite organic enough etc. but it's a physical object. With most of the CG, my brain is fighting to decide whether it's a physical object or not. There are exceptions of course.

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I love matte paintings! There was sitting a person and drawed a picture, and the camera is filming this "picture". So it´s still kind of real to me, because the camera films something that is actual there, while with CGI you film nothing and add everything later digitally.

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra

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fatih yikar; one thing I have noticed in the last fifteen years or so, is that there's more post manipulation of color than there ever was during during the 70s, or even before the 2000s.

 

My personal opinion is that commercial foreign (mostly European) films still have a kind of artistic presentation to them, where American commercial films tend to be a bit more dynamic. It depends on the genre, but to me it feels like what you're observing is the amount of post-production work that's gone into American films (maybe Australian and some UK films as well) verse actual technical differences in terms of camera technology.

 

Indy films are still made, and to me they don't feel much different from indy films made in the 90s. Studio films are different in that there's a lot more market research that's gone into them in order to tailor them to the right audience. This is to make sure they get the biggest chunk of the target audience to come pay and see the film. Unfortunately this truncates cross audience appeal. So you don't get artistic action films anymore, but action films that have very clear images. If you compare Mad Max or Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior here in the US) against the Fast and the Furious series, you'll note a distinct difference in not just film stock, but the actual shooting style and color timing.

 

It's why I brought up the Superman example some posts back. Donner treated the film like a serious project. The recent superhero movies are treated like big budget teenage b-films. Two other contrasts, "What's your Number" verse "9 to 5", both female films, but "9 to 5" has a very plain look to it, whereas "What's your Number" has a lot of subtle color timing and manipulation to it.

 

If you look at some of the TV shows, say Castle or one of the CSI franchises, and compare it to something like Miami Vice from the 80s, you'll note the same thing. Miami Vice has a very 80's take on a classic niore look, and the older stock softens the image some. That verse today's detective or police shows that again seem to have lots of detailed images with a lot of color manipulation, regardless of whether it's film or digital.

 

In short, there's more tools in post, so people use them.

 

Having said that there does seem to be a tendency to use more contrast in today's shooting styles than in previous generations.

 

 

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Making a movie in 1959 (Ben Hur)

 

007.jpg

 

 

Yes Sandra, I also think matte paintings are or rather were? great. And foreground miniatures too. I'm interested in this picture you posted earlier. I've often wondered how much of that set was real and what proportion was matte painting/miniature crowd. I remember seeing the 70mm Cinerama release yet couldn't locate the matte lines on that vast screen, though maybe the fast cutting helped. It's amazing I think that the film-makers in those days put such confidence in the skills of the artist who painted the glass panel in front of the camera, knowing that if the result didn't work the cost of a retake would be enormous.

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The remake's director is an owner of a large post house, a known CG fan with an advertising background - what do you want? :)

 

I want something carries a sense of real risk for the characters, owning a post house isn't a reason for a director losing that..

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