Jump to content

The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, Rodrigo Prieto, De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, Keitel, Romano, Cannavale, etc)


Recommended Posts

 

I'm sure most of you have seen this beauty by now. Dropped out of nowhere yesterday and set the entire Internet ablaze. First of all, do yourselves a favor and avoid watching the trailer on YouTube or any other source than Netflix itself obviously. The trailer is apparently in 4K on the platform, I watched it on a big screen and it's obviously much less compressed and much more representative.

The deaging can be seen from the opening of the trailer with Pesci and De Niro and at the end of it. Looks pretty darn impressive when viewed properly on Netflix. De Niro's skin looks a bit smooth on more compressed versions, it does not on Netflix itself. 

Otherwise, I've been checking out a bunch of set photos to determine how much was film and digital. The producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff pulled some numbers a while ago which were incorrect for some reason, ie 30% of the film being shot on 35mm, and that everything involving the deaging required shooting digitally.

However, Thelma Schoonmaker said half of the film has them deaged. So that means half Alexa (as listed on IMDB) and half 35mm film. 

IMDB lists the following info: Arri Alexa Mini, Zeiss Master Prime and Cooke Panchro/i Classics Lenses 
Arricam LT, Zeiss Master Prime and Cooke Panchro/i Classics Lenses

 

I don't know if anyone here knows Prieto or someone else involved with the film and can provide maybe more technical info? I also saw that Prieto tested some special rigs consisting of multiple cameras at a rental house. And you can see one of the rigs on the set photos, seemed like several Red cameras which are presumably there to capture facial data for the deaging. And the Alexa which is now being regularly used by Prieto and Scorsese for low light work (Wolf, Silence). 

Gorgeous work as expected and a film that's been in the works for a decade, Schoonmaker and others close to the project have said it's a different animal than Goodfellas and Casino despite the obvious initial similarities. The film is opening at NYFF late September too, presumably released in November on Netflix, Scorsese has been said to make a push for a wide release of sorts with possibly an exclusive theatrical window of a few weeks. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any idea why they had to shoot digital to do de-aging? For the multi-cam stuff or to get a cleaner image to start with?

I was planning to do a project with simple 2D de-aging and shoot on super 16. Now I'm contemplating shooting those shots digitally–in fact, I had been before–but I can't imagine it would matter much since I'm just doing 2D de-aging. (Yes, I have done this in the past.)

My needs are modest, I think I can get by shooting super 16, but I'm very curious about this if anyone has more information about the de-aging process they've used here.

It's funny, I can see some tells here (signs of frequency separation: too smooth base, too much fine texture), but this blows me away:

Whereas the CGI-based de-aging largely doesn't. The Tony Stark work was very very excellent, though, and I believe combined 2D and 3D. 

Edited by M Joel W
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

I don't think much would be shot with the Alexa, just the night stuff since a cleaner image is better for heavy VFX work. It's all about the noise floor and with film, yes it looks fine a night, but if you're doing heavy VFX, it's way better to have a completely noise free plate to work with. Then you can add in the noise to make it match the rest of the movie in post. Where it does suck they needed to resort to using a digital camera, I understand it for VFX work at night, low-noise floor is critical. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I don't think much would be shot with the Alexa, just the night stuff since a cleaner image is better for heavy VFX work. It's all about the noise floor and with film, yes it looks fine a night, but if you're doing heavy VFX, it's way better to have a completely noise free plate to work with. Then you can add in the noise to make it match the rest of the movie in post. Where it does suck they needed to resort to using a digital camera, I understand it for VFX work at night, low-noise floor is critical. 

Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Well maybe I will shoot 7213 rather than 7219 for this sequence at the very least. 

Of course, film grain is also the best thing there is to help sell a composite. 😉

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like I said, one of Scorsese's usual producers, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, said all the deaged stuff had to be shot digitally. Prieto was also apparently on stage when they premiered the trailer that the actors had to get used to the multiple cameras being on set and there are set photos where the rig with Red cameras, etc is visible. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, M Joel W said:

My needs are modest, I think I can get by shooting super 16, but I'm very curious about this if anyone has more information about the de-aging process they've used here.

I think 16mm is difficult for VFX in general, its not just the grain. The image is also a little less stable and you have less overall resolution and picture information to work with.

If your keen to preserve a film work flow, bumping upto 35mm would give better results. If you use the same stock colour and gamma would match perfectly and you'd have more flexibility in post. If budgets tight even 2 perf 35mm is 1.6x larger then s16 when working at 16:9 and 3x larger at 2.40. 

Or just do de-aging the old school way, with an excellent makeup artist and careful lighting. I once did short where we needed an actor to look about 15 years younger on a flashback and we got pretty close to convincing, they had this concealer that filled the wrinkles in. Although it can look terrible if you push it too far and it needed lots of touch ups. If you do it this way the softness and grain of s16 would help sell the makeup. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Phil Connolly said:

I think 16mm is difficult for VFX in general, its not just the grain. The image is also a little less stable and you have less overall resolution and picture information to work with.

If your keen to preserve a film work flow, bumping upto 35mm would give better results. If you use the same stock colour and gamma would match perfectly and you'd have more flexibility in post. If budgets tight even 2 perf 35mm is 1.6x larger then s16 when working at 16:9 and 3x larger at 2.40. 

Or just do de-aging the old school way, with an excellent makeup artist and careful lighting. I once did short where we needed an actor to look about 15 years younger on a flashback and we got pretty close to convincing, they had this concealer that filled the wrinkles in. Although it can look terrible if you push it too far and it needed lots of touch ups. If you do it this way the softness and grain of s16 would help sell the makeup. 

Thanks. The original plan was shooting 4:3 16mm... I might still...

The best vfx I saw this year (the Thor fat suit) were mostly practical. But if you do it wrong practically it's much harder to do it right in comp. Vfx deaging imo requires the cleanest source possible and that's not just grain, but practical effects and makeup that muddy it. Smaller things like wigs present good questions...

I just need to shoot tests, which I don't want to do since 16mm is expensive, but whatever. I think shooting coverage a little tighter will help sell the effect because I'll have a little more meat to work with and/or shooting additional plates digitally in close up for the wide shots (to composite in over film). Figuring out how to stack the lenses to obviate parallax might be an issue, though. I lack resources to Timecode sync my digital camera and a film camera, I think. Or maybe I don't. Not sure. I'm very very curious about the deaging workflow on Irishman and how they used multi-cam (for tighter coverage to cut in with, for motion capture, etc.) but it has little to do with what I'm doing personally, so I won't pretend it does. They're working on a much higher level. I'm working entirely in 2D for a quick scene. Still, could be an inspiration for how to tackle a tricky problem.

But just from this thread I've decided to light flat and user a slower stock, so it has been useful, thanks everyone. And I'm sure I'll be asking about timecode syncing a digital and film camera... or might just roll 120p for digital and hope to get some overlap.

Very curious to see the breakdowns here, too.

Edited by M Joel W
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

New trailer. The film just premiered at NYFF to absolute RAVES from mostly everyone, similarities obviously with Goodfellas, Casino but then becomes very much its own thing with comparisons drawn to Silence in the final 30 minutes. Pacino singled out by many, De Niro and Pesci also superb apparently, no surprise there ! 

 

Do watch the trailer on Netflix itself you can, looks so much better. It looks to me like most of what's seen in the trailer is shot on film but Scorsese mentioned they used 9 cameras most of the time (for the deaged portions I imagine) as they had that insane rig with several digital cameras to capture the information I guess for the VFX guys. 

It seemed from interviews that only digital was used for the deaged portions, but this trailer clearly shows a lot of film being used in those sections too. Is it possible that they captured all the deaged scenes on film AND digital and basically used the Alexa rig solely for facial capture information AND then did a sort of composite with the 35mm image? 

And of course, they probably used digital for low light situations just like on Wolf and Silence. 

Prieto (whose work looks gorgeous here as always) has done a little segment on Film Comment about the film:

 

https://www.filmcomment.com/article/killing-for-a-living/

 

A little taste: "There were a few notions that Scorsese mentioned as we were starting to prep the movie. One of them very early on was about wanting to have a feeling of the photographic memory of the past. He mentioned Super 8 or 16mm home movies, and just asked me in the general sense how I thought we could achieve that feeling without literally shooting with grainy, handheld film. So I got more into emulating the still photography look of the different decades, in particular the ’50s, and then the ’60s, and then of course a lot of the story happens in the ’70s. I decided to separate those decades with those looks, emulating those emulsions: Kodachrome in the ’50s, and toward the ’60s we transition to Ektachrome (also saturated in color, but more a blue-green tendency, and the shadow)."

 

"Then for the ’70s, I transitioned into a whole different look, which is not still photography: ENR, a process that was developed in Technicolor by Vittorio Storaro, in which the silver is retained on the print of film for motion pictures, and the result is high contrast and desaturation of color. I started applying levels of this ENR look, so that basically the film starts getting drained of color in the later decades. That gives a feel of nostalgia, maybe, for the past, even though the events that are happening are not necessarily the prettiest."

 

He's also doing a masterclass of sorts at the NYFF, I guess he might talk some more about that and I assume there will be coverage in American Cinematographer too. 

Edited by Manu Delpech
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rodrigo talked about the process a bit more, briefly, at the NYFF talk. Super interesting, he mentions the rig they had, that he calls the three headed monster, had two Alexa Mini as witness cameras (to capture the depth, and track the facial information in infrared) and a Red Helium camera. Which surprised me considering Prieto used the Alexa previously on Wolf and Silence. So it seems they used that rig for all deaged portions and he says 40-50% of the film is 35mm film, they shot as much of it as possible. 

The intention for the look was film throughout, and there was a lot of massaging that had to be done at times to make the digital look like film. I gotta say the trailer fooled me on certain shots, although it's obviously still compressed, such as De Niro speaking to Romano in his office at the beginning, a few other scenes in the trailer showing Pesci and De Niro deaged. He does say though that there IS a difference in the last portion of the film with the 35mm. 

 

Photo of the rig below !

 

 

Rodrigo-Prieto-1-1600x900-c-default.jpg

Edited by Manu Delpech
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Sustaining Member

So I saw it last night on the big screen in it's limited release. Lets see... where do I begin. 

"I hear you paint houses" (which is the actual name of the film) felt super disjointed, as if they took a 300 paint script and tried to knock it down to a 209 minute movie, there was just too much left on the floor. It should have been a mini-series, it would have been A LOT better.

On the inset, it seems fine, the first two hours introduce a lot of plot lines, characters and subplots, many of which are unnecessary to tell the story. Long scenes with DeNiro and Pacino arguing about things that really don't move the plot forward, more aggrandizing the actors, rather than spending it on their wives for instance, who had long-term bond that was never talked about after the 2nd act. I also never really felt for DeNiro's or Pesci's characters at all, we never got to see their past and the struggles they went through, outside of a single flashback to DeNiro in Germany during the war. A lot of the historical elements were muddled and rushed, great moments that could have been on screen for a few seconds longer, were cut short in favor of other scenes that aggrandized the actors. It's as if the film was originally long vignettes and they cut them down and re-arranged them in order to make it somewhat interesting. I don't think that was the case at all, I just think the restrictions of the technology, prevented them from doing some of the dialog scenes in a more complicated/interesting way. For sure it was an editorial nightmare and there were some very clever devices used to make it all work, but what I saw was a lot of off-screen ADR to re-direct the story because they had to tweak it so much. I saw lots of static dialog scenes with very little emotion and outside of Pacino's story, I didn't really care about anyone else. 

Cinematography wise it seemed ok, nothing like the "classic" Scorsese look. I think a lot of that was due to the fact they had to use this de-aging rig that limited what they could do. The typical "Scorsese" push, was hard to do, so they did many of them in post and it looked really bad. They did pans in post too, they'd punch in and then swoosh pan over to another shot, again because the VFX was hard to deal with otherwise. They tried to do some steadicam work, but much of the main dialog scenes are pretty static. You could tell quite a bit of the film was shot digitally, the motion blur, the clipped highlights, etc. When the actors are their current age OR older, that was all clearly shot on 35mm. Then you saw the typical swooping shots and steadicam shots. Either digital or on film, I just wasn't in love with the very "tuned towards white" grading, a definite departure from "Silence" which had such a beautiful, dark and brooding look. This film's look over-all was just uninteresting, missing all the color and luster of "Wolf of Wallstreet" or his more classic gangster titles. I kept wanting the film to be more like Casino, with those beautiful swooping shots, lots of color and luster, but it wasn't to be. It was "lit" very well however, nothing but admiration for the crew and their work, it just didn't add to the story. The night/dark restaurant lighting was in general the best stuff.  There were SO MANY visual effects shots; dialog scenes, driving scenes, flying scenes, even entire city buildings were fake and the camera goes through a window of a solid structure to shoot inside. Yea it's "cool" but it also pulls you out of the moment because you realize how fake it is. 

In the end, I completely understand why the studio's passed on this project time and time again. It wasn't due to the de-aging cost, they could have used younger actors and simply aged them up. Na, it was due to the fact the script was pretty weak over-all. There was very little for the audience to hang onto, because they failed in humanizing the characters. We're suppose to feel for DeNiro as an old man, being the only survivor of his time, but honestly, I felt nothing at all. I just didn't care about him and that's the sad part. All I wanted to do was see if something happened, to see if there was an ending, but there wasn't. The final act, felt drawn out, with multiple possible endings that left the movie feeling slow by the end. With the length and lacking the connection to the lead protagonist, it's really a hard sell. Also, we the audience knew what was going to happen, way before it actually happened. There were no twists, no got ya's, "it is what it is" as Joe Pesci so rightly says. 

I'm sure many people will harold it as one of his best movies, the crowning achievement of the actors and director's career. I get this, it's a more "adult" film, without the whiz bang elements. I will just hand up 10 other films that blow the doors off this one with the same actors, giving much better performances. With the same director and editor, pushing the limits of compelling storytelling. With more interesting cinematography, from before Rodrigo Prieto and Scorsese met (Robert Richardson being one of my favorite DP's and I miss him working with Scorsese). To me, I just left the theater wondering why any of what I just saw existed. Yes it was cool to tell the proposed story, but why not make it a mini-series? I just hope Scorsese keeps chewing away and can at least make one more great film before he retires. I feel the directors I grew up with, are slowly making more adult movies, which kinda ruins the fun they use to have. We're going to the movies to see entertainment, we should be entertained and I sadly wasn't. 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You never disappoint Tyler 😄 Anyway, your opinion is really, really in the minority there considering Scorsese is getting the best reviews of his entire career. 

You really have a really peculiar approach to film and I never can understand your point of view 😄

 And yes, all the deaged stuff as I said was shot with the Red Helium (and two Alexa just for VFX to capture depth), and Prieto talked about it at NYFF, they had to match (and it took some work) the digital to the 35mm used when deaging is no longer necessary. 

Watching the trailer on Netflix itself on a big screen, it surprises me how successful it looks, although there is for sure a visible difference when the 35mm shots come on. 

It's bizarre that you expected a certain look for it, this is a different film obviously, Prieto spoke of the different looks (that I posted about above):

 

"

There were a few notions that Scorsese mentioned as we were starting to prep the movie. One of them very early on was about wanting to have a feeling of the photographic memory of the past. He mentioned Super 8 or 16mm home movies, and just asked me in the general sense how I thought we could achieve that feeling without literally shooting with grainy, handheld film. So I got more into emulating the still photography look of the different decades, in particular the ’50s, and then the ’60s, and then of course a lot of the story happens in the ’70s. I decided to separate those decades with those looks, emulating those emulsions: Kodachrome in the ’50s, and toward the ’60s we transition to Ektachrome (also saturated in color, but more a blue-green tendency, and the shadow)."

 

"Then for the ’70s, I transitioned into a whole different look, which is not still photography: ENR, a process that was developed in Technicolor by Vittorio Storaro, in which the silver is retained on the print of film for motion pictures, and the result is high contrast and desaturation of color. I started applying levels of this ENR look, so that basically the film starts getting drained of color in the later decades. That gives a feel of nostalgia, maybe, for the past, even though the events that are happening are not necessarily the prettiest."

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member
6 hours ago, Manu Delpech said:

You never disappoint Tyler 😄 Anyway, your opinion is really, really in the minority there considering Scorsese is getting the best reviews of his entire career. 

I've been reading the "user" reviews and many people struggled with the same problems I did. 

Quote

You really have a really peculiar approach to film and I never can understand your point of view

I don't just go to the cinema for entertainment, I go to study the craft of filmmaking. When you're livelihood surrounds the industry, both in cinematography and editorial in my case, it's very hard to sit down and watch anything without analyzing it. I currently am in the middle of a huge ADR mess with one of the films I edited and "The Irishman" had some horrible ADR, scenes where the mouths of the characters didn't even get close to the words coming out. Heck, there were two moments where the cut happened later than it should and the character started talking, but their mouth was closed. I can't get over sloppy filmmaking like that, it bothers me tremendously and it pulls me away from the movie. So do things like "video-looking" motion blur, which was very constant throughout the "digital" portions of the movie. It just feels cheap and hastily thrown together, which of course is NOT the case. I just feel they had a longer cut and they had to rush in order to cut it down for theatrical.

Also, as a filmmaker, I like it when films surprise me with their form. When I sit down and watch something and every single cut lands where I feel it should land. Where there is a rhythm to the cutting that makes sense. Where the cinematography is used to benefit the story, rather than simply "show" the story. Where the story itself surprises me and takes me somewhere other than the trailer. I kind of perk my ears up and pay attention. When I sit down and watch a movie and the rhythm is all over the place, the pacing is whack, the cinematography is boring and the story is basically the trailer, I have to look around and wonder why I wasted my time. 

I'm not saying "The Irishman" is like that, as it's not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination. However, unlike "Silence" which was a masterpiece in Cinematography, Editing, Acting and storytelling (even though semi-boring), "The Irishman" is like a poor copy of a "classic" Scorsese movie. It tries SO HARD to be something that it simply can't be, due to the complexity of the story and characters over such a long period of time. Had it been a mini-series for TV only, I would have been all for it. As a piece of theatrical entertainment, I just don't feel it works well.   

Quote

 And yes, all the deaged stuff as I said was shot with the Red Helium (and two Alexa just for VFX to capture depth), and Prieto talked about it at NYFF, they had to match (and it took some work) the digital to the 35mm used when deaging is no longer necessary. 

Yea I saw the BTS video's, it looked like quite the contraption! 

Quote

Watching the trailer on Netflix itself on a big screen, it surprises me how successful it looks, although there is for sure a visible difference when the 35mm shots come on. 

Sadly I didn't bring my glasses to the screening, so I couldn't see the film grain. 

Quote

It's bizarre that you expected a certain look for it, this is a different film obviously, Prieto spoke of the different looks (that I posted about above):

I don't think that concept played well because most of the 'old' story is told indoors or at night and most of the current story is told outdoors in the daylight. So when you watch the movie, you just naturally know which part of the story your watching based on that. So nearly all the film stuff was desaturated and pretty blah looking. This was very evident in the last part of the timeline, but other then that, I don't think it really made that much of a difference. I get why they did it, because as you get older you're not as colorful? lol 😛 

 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Absolute masterpiece, De Niro, Pesci, Pacino all at the top of their game, amazing supporting cast, INSANE VFX work by ILM, fantastic script, Prieto's work is exquisite on every level. I've rarely seen digital (especially with the Red Helium) match this well with film, although as Rodrigo said in a one hour discussion recently, he could feel which shots (anything not involving deaging) in the edit were film because they just felt different and yeah, the digital matches beautifully but I could just feel when it was 35mm, and obviously after the deaging transitions to regular to no makeup at first, it's all film. 

A stunning film truly with such a raw power. 

I hope Criterion (who's releasing Roma) releases this on Blu Ray, this deserves it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Phil Connolly said:

It may be entertaining but is it cinema?

Yes no buff guys and gals in tight fitting costumes ... with magic powers ..  and lighting up eyes.. the lame idea of making a film from a book, instead of a comic..  fools.. first and last film for this Martin dude.and OK boomer DoP... and the sync problem ..!! wasted some good film stock there.. and supply is running out .. for the love of god lets  not give film to these clowns ever again. ..

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Yes no buff guys and gals in tight fitting costumes ... with magic powers ..  and lighting up eyes.. the lame idea of making a film from a book, instead of a comic..  fools.. first and last film for this Martin dude.and OK boomer DoP... and the sync problem ..!! wasted some good film stock there.. and supply is running out .. for the love of god lets  not give film to these clowns ever again. ..

Tell me they at least, they included a post credit scene...

I saw the trailer for the Irishman, they can't even do CGI correctly. I barely spotted it, what's the point of CGI if its not visible? The marvel films are much better on this front, you really tell which elements are CGI.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Manu Delpech said:

What sync problem are you talking about Robin?!

I think, Robin is talking about the basic sync errors caused by the amateur hour editing. The pace was out of wack - some shots lasted longer than 3 seconds it was so booooooooooooooooooring

This Scosesis person, should fire that Schoonmaker person and get Michael Bay to supervise the edit of his next Joint. If he's ever given chance to make a second film (which I doubt) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

Forum Sponsors

CineLab

FJS International

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Film Gears

VidGear.com - Broadcast Video Warehouse

Serious Gear

Visual Products

Cinematography Books and Gear



×
×
  • Create New...