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David Mullen ASC

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About David Mullen ASC

  • Birthday June 26

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    Cinematographer
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    Los Angeles

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    http://www.davidmullenasc.com

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  1. Seems fine for a wide master if you don't want just flat softlight overhead. In the singles I would have lowered and softened the light to feel more like they were coming from table lamps. Also a face doesn't always have to be at full exposure if the source isn't that close to them.
  2. FCP color processing of motion picture print stock is very automated / standardized, it's not really designed to be manipulated but maybe a small lab would be willing to try. I'm not sure why you are so against pushing the negative but want to push around the print stock... Anyway, Fotokem once had a demo of a high-contrast print image created I think by using a color print as an interpositive (still requiring a dupe negative be made for printing.) I could be mistaken. I still think all of these ideas are going far beyond recreating the look of 1950s/1960s color negative stocks -- they weren't THAT weird in color and contrast... Plus all of this is just to get a 16mm contact print that you can project? There's no need for a digital master, no D.I., you're going to A-B roll cut the negative, etc.? Because as soon as you have the option of digitally color-correcting the image, then changing saturation and contrast is relatively simple.
  3. Polarizers help reduce glare off of reflective surfaces which can improve saturation so sure, try that. The only other filter that increases saturation are color enhancers but those mainly work on warm tones; they make fall leaves look more intense but they can also make faces look a bit plum-colored now and then so be careful. The truth is that increasing color saturation is fairly easy with digital.
  4. You can expose whatever you want to 3383 (16mm) but it was designed to create a projection contrast positive from a negative or dupe negative that has an orange color mask. So if you exposed a positive 3383 print image onto it, you'd get a high-contrast negative image with no orange color mask. You could print that again to 3383 to reverse it back to a positive image but then it would be very high in contrast, probably with some off colors. Film copying is always a negative to positive to negative, etc. process unless there is reversal film & processing involved. You also have to factor in that contact printing is usually emulsion-side to emulsion-side.
  5. I think suggestions like using reversal or dupe stock or print stock as camera negative are too extreme to match color negative film of the 50's, unless you're trying to create some sort of degraded-over-time effect, like a transfer from an old print or something that got duped badly. It would be simpler to just push slower-speed camera negative stock a stop to reduce some dynamic range and add contrast, and then play with it in post. After that, it's really about lenses, filters, lighting, production design -- matching the general aesthetic values of people of the past in what they considered "proper" cinematography. That's the problem with creating the look of these old movies, it's all tied up in what we saw -- an old print (fading to magenta), a new print of an old negative (with yellow dye fade), a digital restoration from the negative, from YCMs, or a mix, from old IP, did we see it projected in 35mm, digitally (2K, 4K, laser, etc.), on blu-ray, etc. Too many variables.
  6. Here is a shot from dailies for "The Love Witch" -- in this case 250D instead of 200T because I couldn't gel the daylight windows. Zeiss Super Speeds (so a bit sharper than the Cookes and Baltars of the 50's and 60's) but with some diffusion on the lens (a light net combined with a 1/8 Classic Soft filter.)
  7. You could look at something like this blu-ray transfer of "Written on the Wind" (1956) for example. Probably not a scan of the original negative. Despite being shot on 25 ASA stock (5248), it's not super fine-grained for example, and not super sharp either -- despite being shot under full sunlight.
  8. The older color negative stocks were softer and grainier for their speed than modern stocks, and had less dynamic range. And the print stocks of the day didn't help in that regard. To some degree, pushing something like 200T one-stop (maybe without underexposing it) would help get closer to the look if combined with softer lenses. But the problem with replicating 1950's film stocks is that you have no accurate references -- these negatives have either faded a lot, particularly the yellow dye layer (blues), or you're seeing something made from a YCM separation that preserved the color but often at the expense of more contrast and grain. Recent digital restorations have gotten closer, sometimes by combining the cyan and magenta layers from a scan of the original negative with the yellow layer (blue) coming from one of the YCMs. But many blu-rays are transfers using older interpositives, etc. At some point, it's more about creating the feeling of these old stocks rather than a technical recreation of them.
  9. Seems like a natural reflection. Actually the darker background in the room makes it easier to get reflections on the foreground yard compared to having lighter toned curtains, so probably they covered part of the yard being reflected with some black flags to keep it off of the actor area in the room. Of course, one could add reflections in post instead. Yes, you need to bring up the interior quite a bit to balance with the reflections.
  10. Depends on a lot of factors, like what is cutting the light into a shaft, is there a window frame? How large? Does the light have to fill it? Or is this is empty space where the light itself has to contain itself into a shaft? How much of a spread do you want? How much intensity? How far can you place the light? How even in exposure do you want the area where the light hits?
  11. It would be easy to take stills to see the effect of using two 85 filters on a blue sky and correcting back to neutral versus normal filtering, but again, assuming digital color-correction, it's just as easy to darken the blue channel in post if that's what you want.
  12. In that example, there was a lot of overall contrast added somewhere in the chain, probably in color-correction. And of course, in digital color-correction, you can isolate the blue channel and darken it. The first 85 filter on tungsten stock just gets you to neutral, as if you shot daylight stock. The second one warms up the image quite a bit; that will slightly darken a blue sky but it's more that by making the image more orange, the blue sky stands out a little more (of course, the orange filter also makes it less blue, it shifts a bit to the green.) If you have a really blue sky like that, a pola filter will do more to darken and saturate it, but if you like the orange highlights, then go ahead and use the extra 85 filter. Or do both, or use an 85/Pola combo so there is only one piece of glass. But keep in mind that your reference photo is higher in contrast than normal, and increasing the contrast tends to increase the saturation.
  13. There can be multiple reflections in the eye, just as in real life. If anything, the traditional center point eye light is what is unnatural.
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