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David Mullen ASC

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David Mullen ASC last won the day on October 15

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About David Mullen ASC

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  • Birthday June 26

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    Cinematographer
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  1. Probably a luminance key of the skin, then defocusing, perhaps some DNR (noise reduction).
  2. Technicolor didn't strictly want a high-saturated look, not at first -- they were worried about audiences getting tired of looking at color for a feature-length movie so they recommended more muted color schemes. However, they did like a lot of contrast and variety in the colors to show off the range not possible with 2-color Technicolor -- the color blue in particular was something they wanted to show off. Some early Technicolor movies were designed on the more pastel side, dramas like the first "A Star is Born" or "Trail of the Lonesome Pine". But considering the expense of the process, the studios and most of the directors wanted a bolder use of color, to show it off, and this particularly made sense for musicals. The Technicolor color consultant, Natalie Kalmus, wanted control over the colors according to her tastes, but she didn't push heavy saturation, she just had very particular ideas about color coordination. Technicolor's objection to diffusion and smoke was mainly because they struggled to maintain sharpness in the dye transfer printing process -- because any misalignment printing the passes of yellow, cyan, and magenta would affect the sharpness. So they were very conservative about that. Same goes for exposure.
  3. Sshhh... it's supposed to be a secret that we don't keep secrets...
  4. It's a mix of everything, from the 3 b&w negatives used in the camera through filters to record red, green, and blue information, to the dye transfer printing process where you could use better (and more archival) cyan, magenta, and yellow dyes than color-coupler technology, to the contrast of the dye transfer print process (more contrast + deeper blacks = better color saturation)... And outside of that, and even more importantly, there is the color design of the movies and the lighting used to bring out the color. And yes, the process was designed around skin tones... but heavy pancake makeup by Max Factor helped. The dye transfer print process didn't really use gels, it was dye coated onto positive b&w matrices that was then transferred onto a clear base with a dye mordant, one color layer at a time, like printing a book with color photos. It was not a photochemical process. However, to color-correct the b&w positive matrices from the b&w negatives, you had to time the densities of each record individually to create the balanced color in the final image. I don't think gels were involved since it was a b&w to b&w system for color-correction. You are probably thinking of RBG / YCM printing for color negatives onto color print stock.
  5. https://youtu.be/osNTNQxzsuI Season 3 trailer just got released.
  6. Semler did that for “Dances with Wolves” too — keep in mind that both were shot in anamorphic where the focal length has a 2X wider view, so a 400mm anamorphic would be like a 200mm spherical.
  7. A lot of exterior scenes in “A Bridge Too Far” used 10:1 anamorphic zooms with doublers plus telephoto lenses. But they are most b-roll cutaways. There is that silhouette dialogue scene on the beach swing set in “Tequila Sunrise” with long lenses for the coverage but I don’t know the focal length. There are plenty of movies with giant sun ball shots on telephoto lenses, sometimes with actors or action in the foreground... too many to list. The end shot of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” for example.
  8. Should be OK — not 100% sure — but much higher and you’ll want larger filament tungsten fixtures.
  9. Just depends on the look you want -- a 2/3-stop underexposure in two layers is not extreme (or if you rate the stock 2/3-stop faster, then you have one layer that is 2/3-stop over and the other two are normal.) It's within a correctable range especially for printing. I've done a number of features in 35mm using tungsten stock without an 85 correction filter, but my attitude is to use that technique for movies that I want on the cold side in terms of color-correction, i.e. I'm not completely correcting back to neutral. So winter movies in particular. But in 16mm where grain is more pronounced, you have less flexibility to push color channels around so it becomes more advisable to get the balance correct on the original. You could use a partial correction like the 81EF or the even milder Tiffen LL-D (low-light daylight), which is somewhat of a super skylight filter, correcting out the excess UV (because the 85 filter is also a UV filter) and keeping your blue channel from getting quite as dense relative to the rest. Keep in mind that with old stock, the sensitivity of the layers is becoming less even. I find that when I shoot outdated stock, I tend to get blue in the blacks, which perhaps is another reason to not go for a blue-biased image on the negative. On the other hand, I think overall density matters the most so if you can overexpose the stock by skipping the 85, I would tend to do that.
  10. If you only need a 24 fps version, not much reason to not shoot 24 fps in average situations. But there are technologies where you take 120 fps footage and can manipulate the temporal resolution / strobing artifacts when converting to 24 fps. Might be useful for action movies or for panning shots of artwork. The real advantage is just when you need the material to be higher in frame rate for some reason, like for slow-motion work or some sort of HFR presentation.
  11. Film stored as b&w separations in a climate-controlled vault should last 500 years... of course, I'm talking about processed film, not unexposed stock. There is a proposed long-term storage format called DOTS: http://www.group47.com/Group_47-DOTS_Technology_Overview-WEBSITE.pdf
  12. Not sure why you have to filter the camera differently than for a 3200K tungsten lamp or a 5600K HMI lamp. I've used Litemats and other LED's on film before, like on HBO's "Westworld" -- we just used a 3200K LED like we would a 3200K tungsten, etc. We used daylight LED's in daytime or for a blue cast in tungsten interiors. Certainly camera filtering doesn't fix the issue of mixing color temperature lamps if you're not going for a mixed color temperature look.
  13. Sorry I thought your question was how to light an overcast day shot to look sunnier. If you want an overcast look and it’s overcast, then you don’t really have to do anything. You could hold a white card under the face to bring up the eyes. You could walk some large black flags to darken one side of the face.
  14. The wide shot with the windows looks more like optical filtration to me -- blue-ish halation around windows is harder to recreate digitally though possible. The blue cast to the glow tends to be an artifact of whatever mist particles are being used in the glass. You'll note that breathing on the lens also creates a halation with a blue bias, so clearly water droplets have a tendency to shift the color in that direction. I suspect older optics were employed in those photos too. The images almost look like they were rephotographed off of a groundglass on the back of a large format camera., there is so much fall-off.
  15. The early Pictorialism movement in photography diffused the image in various ways -- soft-focus lenses, nets and gauzes over the lens, glass diffusion, etc. It had an impact on cinematography of the mid-1920's through early 1930's, after still photography had become sharper in style. And you had in the 1970's that David Hamilton style of foggy photography for commercials and art. I've used filters sometimes in front of the lens, or just breathed on the lens just before taking the photo, like here:
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