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Underexposing KV3 7219


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Posted (edited)
On 3/9/2021 at 2:24 AM, Stuart Brereton said:

So the process is that they let each roll run from beginning to end. No interruption, no alterations. So it's not that they are "missing" your underexposed shots, or not trying hard enough, it's just that individual corrections are not part of the service. That's kind of what I thought would be the issue.

No it is the issue, because the labs aren't following the instructions written on the paper that state to build the rolls which need special treatment separately. 

You're so hell bent on blaming the filmmakers, that you're overlooking this very basic thing I stated from my first comment. Labs are NOT following the instructions written on the paperwork. 

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Gray scales are used to communicate exposure and color filtration information to other people further down the post production line. How is someone supposed to know how your flat scan should look if there's nothing to reference? Even if it's a personal project, running a gray scale takes only seconds and you never know when someone else might need to see it. It's just basic professional practice.


Shooting a gray card on film is a lesson in futility, because reality is, the only way to make it work is if it's the first frame the tech see's. That's honestly pretty impossible unless you run the camera at the head of the roll for quite a long time with just the card in frame. I don't know about you, but when we change mags, we're back shooting again in seconds, not minutes. The camera team doesn't have time to schlep across the set, hold a card in front of the actors face and shoot 10 seconds of film, then walk back again and continue our shoot. We also don't want to disrupt the actors,, the downtime of the camera is literally seconds, just enough time for the director to give notes. Heck, I've been on shows where the AD has rolled sound with slate in frame whilst we're closing the camera door and running it. Sets these days are fast bro, we don't have the luxury to drop everything we're doing during a roll change and calibrate things. 

Furthermore, as I've stated above, I've just never been able to calibrate a scene properly simply based on a gray card. Generally in the myriad of shows I've seen gray cards used, they've been either too cold or too warm color temp wise. They've never "just right" and if you handed off a scan simply using middle gray as your only means to calibrate exposure, you'll be wrong 90% of the time.

Now a white card? Now you're talking. Why do you think I use an old school white slate and get it right in front of the actors face? That's so when I calibrate using RGB parade, I can set my white balance in line with the color white AND I also have a reference in every single shot that's slated. It doesn't even need to be perfect exposure wise, just having any solid white in frame, allows easier calibration of colors with RGB parade. 
 

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Of course it's your job. The AC is not writing those notes for fun. It is the DP's responsibility to communicate to the labs via those notes. When I was an AC, I worked for DPs who would make you write the whole report out a second time if you made a mistake on it. They wanted every detail on there so that both the lab and editorial knew exactly what their intentions were, so there were no mistakes. I certainly wouldn't want to work with a DP who didn't care enough about their images to even make sure the camera reports were correct.


Yea well, welcome to modern filmmaking on motion picture film. People just don't take it seriously and even if you try to explain how important those notes are, quite a few jobs we do these days are one or two days. You get paired with random people you've never met before. They all want YOUR job and are bitter that you got to be the DP. Do you really think they care about how accurate their notes are? I had an AC not long ago on a huge music video, who did not listen to me at all. So during lunch break and end of day, I simply made the camera logs myself. I have no control over where those logs go, I'd insure they were taped to the can's, but honestly I've found unless you fill in the order form properly at the lab, those camera logs are pretty useless. I've prepped on 100's of shows thanks to being one of the top private film camera rental places in LA and I always hand people the Fotokem camera log paperwork, I have stacks of it. When they give me back the camera, I always ask if anyone took the time to do the logs and they always say "what logs". 

On my shows, I always log things. We actually do it digitally and print them out. At the lab, I actually do different paperwork for each type of film. So for instance, the "A" roll on my most recent show was all 250D daylight. The "B" was all 500T interior night. The "C" was all 200T interior day. The "D" was all push processed 200T. The "E" was all pickup 250D. ETC. Then each one of those work orders, had every roll broken down into details if need be. We'd even attach the logs to the paperwork. 

What we get back is incorrect order of lab rolls. So when the scanning tech (usually me) threads up the first frame, it's 500T and then 400ft in, it switches to 250D. You actually can't scan that way. You have to separate the tungsten stock from the daylight stock because the stocks have entirely different characteristics and scanner settings. 

So yea when the lab mucks up your notes... which is the only thing I'm trying to say here, then it really sucks. 

That's literally all I'm saying in all of this back and forward, it's just hard to find labs that don't make any mistakes. Between issues with processing, issues with lab rolls, issues with scanning, even shipping problems. Working on film has become harder and harder over the years, to a point where many filmmakers who would choose to shoot on film normally, take the easy route and not bother. Our next show will be digital because the lab messed up so much on this last one. 

 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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9 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Shooting a gray card on film is a lesson in futility, because reality is, the only way to make it work is if it's the first frame the tech see's. That's honestly pretty impossible unless you run the camera at the head of the roll for quite a long time with just the card in frame. I don't know about you, but when we change mags, we're back shooting again in seconds, not minutes. The camera team doesn't have time to schlep across the set, hold a card in front of the actors face and shoot 10 seconds of film, then walk back again and continue our shoot. 

You shoot gray scales at the beginning of each scene. You don't need to do it after reloading unless it's also a new scene. It’s been done without problems for decades.

9 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Sets these days are fast bro

Thanks for the heads up, I had no idea.

 

9 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I've prepped on 100's of shows thanks to being one of the top film camera rental places in LA

I'm sure Panavision are terrified about the competition.

 

We're obviously firmly in Fantasyland now, so I'll leave you to it.

 

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35 minutes ago, Stuart Brereton said:

You shoot gray scales at the beginning of each scene. You don't need to do it after reloading unless it's also a new scene.

Then it makes ZERO sense, because the first new scene isn't magically at the beginning of your lab roll. What is the lab going to cut one of your rolls in half when you move the camera to a new scene? Then have the lab find the gray card and put it at the head of each new lab roll? What if you shoot 10,000ft of the same scene? The tech has to re-calibrate every roll they put on the machine, but now you don't have a gray card at the beginning of every lab roll. 

See how none of it makes any sense? 

Meanwhile, every single shot has a slate and slates are white. Much easier to calibrate. 

 

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Stuart Brereton said:

We're obviously firmly in Fantasyland now, so I'll leave you to it.

Oh yea, I live in a completely fantasyland. 

Who else gets to direct and shoot on motion picture film, using their own cameras, their own scanners, their own coloring bay and has a business setup to provide cameras to young filmmakers from Super 8 through 35mm. Heck, I don't even have to work, I make enough money sitting on my ass every day thanks to my business. 

I think a lot of people would die to be in my shoes right now. Kicking back listening to vinyl all day and writing my next film. 

 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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On 3/11/2021 at 11:09 AM, Tyler Purcell said:

Who else gets to direct and shoot on motion picture film, using their own cameras, their own scanners, their own coloring bay and has a business setup to provide cameras to young filmmakers from Super 8 through 35mm. Heck, I don't even have to work, I make enough money sitting on my ass every day thanks to my business. 

How do I join? LOL

Lucky bum! BTW what scanners do you have?

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2 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

How do I join? LOL

Lucky bum! BTW what scanners do you have?

Our main machines are; Spirit 4k, Imagica 4k, Arriscan 6k. 

I personally just bought a FilmFabriek HDS+ 4k Super 8 and 16mm scanner so we can do faster 16mm scans, because that's one of our biggest businesses and the Spirit just doesn't cut it sadly. Our office also has a Blackmagic Cintel II with HDR gate that we can use anytime we want. 

We also have a cleaner. Film recorders for various formats. Multiformat printers and high speed duplicators. Plus a growing fleet of cameras.

We physically have enough equipment to be one of the top labs in LA, but sadly we can't afford to set it all up and get it running. So we got the scanners and some of the printers working, but we'll need to buy our own building to get the photochemical strings up and running. Once we have a 16/35 ECN string and a 35mm + 70mm print string, we'll be in great shape. I'll happen eventually.  

 

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5 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I personally just bought a FilmFabriek HDS+ 4k Super 8 and 16mm scanner so we can do faster 16mm scans

How much does the 4K version cost? I heard the 2K one costs $25K. How does the FilmFabriek scans compare to the Cintel and and Arriscan, image quality wise?

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8 hours ago, Raymond Zananiri said:

How much does the 4K version cost? I heard the 2K one costs $25K. How does the FilmFabriek scans compare to the Cintel and and Arriscan, image quality wise?

It's $40k with all the accessories. 

The FilmFabriek is a triple flash monochrome CCD imager with 12 bit processing. It also has a wet gate which is very nice. 

I haven't gotten ours yet, but you'll see tuns of tests on here when we get it. 

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4 hours ago, Alberto Bañares said:

Hello there!

I just wanted to share with you the music video, where I pushed the 7219: underexposed 1 stop all the night scenes as well as the bar and pushed it on the color grade.

All the best!

Looks great! Was that only available light in the outdoors scenes?

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8 minutes ago, Heikki Repo said:

Looks great! Was that only available light in the outdoors scenes?

Hey Heikki,

We were able to work in the foreground in some scenes, mixing our light with the natural available light . In others we would add some color in the background and in others we would use astera tubes and other LED sources to "salt&pepper" the frame, and make it more cinematic. Our light package was extremely small, a 2K, one S60, one Kinoled, asteras and some small led RGB units.

Thanks!

 

A.

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13 hours ago, Alberto Bañares said:

I just wanted to share with you the music video, where I pushed the 7219: underexposed 1 stop all the night scenes as well as the bar and pushed it on the color grade.

Very nice, really great grade too. Very much proves you can go shoot and its not a big deal. 

I'm usually around a stop under when I shoot 500T most of the time and honestly, I never really care, I know I can bring it back. 

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17 hours ago, Alberto Bañares said:

Hello there!

I just wanted to share with you the music video, where I pushed the 7219: underexposed 1 stop all the night scenes as well as the bar and pushed it on the color grade.

That looks FANTASTIC. Light sources were captured very well, and the overall image quality is terrific. It goes to show that you don't need to push it in the lab.

I have said this before, but Downton Abbey, as nice as it looks, would have looked a little better if it were shot on 16mm. I truly think that it's too early to move to digital. Even 2021 is too early (Edit: i.e. for narrative, not for commercials or documentary).

I really do love this medium, although at the same time I'm thinking about an idea which might fix the last problem with digital: light sources. It doesn't matter how much DR there is in a digital sensor, it cannot capture light sources properly. If that gets fixed, the motivation to shoot film might be tempered. We'll see.

Edited by Karim D. Ghantous
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43 minutes ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

I have said this before, but Downton Abbey, as nice as it looks, would have looked a little better if it were shot on 16mm. I truly think that it's too early to move to digital.

It's just way too clean, life is not that clean. 

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On 3/15/2021 at 10:23 AM, Alberto Bañares said:

Hello there!

I just wanted to share with you the music video, where I pushed the 7219: underexposed 1 stop all the night scenes as well as the bar and pushed it on the color grade.

All the best!

 

 

 

Beautiful to look at! Well done and thank you for sharing.

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14 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

That looks FANTASTIC. Light sources were captured very well, and the overall image quality is terrific. It goes to show that you don't need to push it in the lab.

I have said this before, but Downton Abbey, as nice as it looks, would have looked a little better if it were shot on 16mm. I truly think that it's too early to move to digital. Even 2021 is too early (Edit: i.e. for narrative, not for commercials or documentary).

I really do love this medium, although at the same time I'm thinking about an idea which might fix the last problem with digital: light sources. It doesn't matter how much DR there is in a digital sensor, it cannot capture light sources properly. If that gets fixed, the motivation to shoot film might be tempered. We'll see.

Thanks Karim, I do hope we can shoot on film more and more...

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13 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

It's just way too clean, life is not that clean. 

Hey Tyler, vimeo compression reduced the natural grain of the film... when were grading it and checking it on a glorious calibrated monitor the grain had another intensity. But as we knew then, that was the only time we would see it that way.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Alberto Bañares said:

Hey Tyler, vimeo compression reduced the natural grain of the film... when were grading it and checking it on a glorious calibrated monitor the grain had another intensity. But as we knew then, that was the only time we would see it that way.

Oh I was referring to Downton Abbey 

Your film  looked great.
Pro tip; if you scan and upload to Vimeo in 4k, it retains a lot more grain. Also, sometimes take 2k scans and upscale them to 4k, just to retain the details on streaming platforms. 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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22 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Oh I was referring to Downton Abbey 

Your film  looked great.
Pro tip; if you scan and upload to Vimeo in 4k, it retains a lot more grain. Also, sometimes take 2k scans and upscale them to 4k, just to retain the details on streaming platforms. 

It's good to know, thanks Tyler!

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11 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

Well, I'm not so sure. I would not object to shooting in VV or 65mm!

For video release it seems kinda silly. But for theatrical, yea absolutely. Do a nice photochemical print. Beautiful! 

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