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Carlos M. Icaza

The NARC Look

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Hello forum lighting gurus,

 

I am shooting a miniDV short this upcoming week and I want it to give it the look of the movie NARC. Blue cast with the practicals only being in yellow, and just like in parts of NARC I want to have a light arc to go from Yellow to BLUE to Yellow. We begin in a very warm environment, go through a cold phase and then back to warm.

 

I have access to about 5 banks of of 4' and two sets of 2' long daylight balance kinos which I plan to use to light the interiors. I have two 1200w HMI Pars for lighting a night beach party scene and I have two 1000w, one 650w, and two 300w ARRI's, and 3 250w bulbs (daylight balance) for a 24" chinese lantern.

 

The beach scene is a bon fire, so the 1000w arris I plan to use to punch up the fire and I'll punch up with 1/4 cto, while the 650 and the two 300 to punch up the fills and maybe use some blue gels. One 1200w par will be blue gelled for backlight and the other 1200 par blue gelled to bring out the ocean. The 24" chinese lanter willl have the 250w daylight bulb and I'll use them it for my closeups and walking in front of me with the steady stick. Since this is all the lights I have to work with, this is what I am planning. But for the interior apartment scenes I plan to use the kinos with 1/4 ctb to blue the apt and use the house practicals for the natural lights.

 

I am also planning to light a doctor's waiting room scene which I am thinking of blowing it out like in Minority Report. Using the 1200w pars to punch up the daylight source coming in from the windows through silk and inside the room to use as much kinos as I can.

 

Any suggestions ? Am shooting using the canon xl-1. (got to start somewhere....) PS: I know I can use Magic Bullet, but I want to do this all on camera and probably have Magic Bullet help me tweak the look in post . I also feel if I let Magic Bullet do all the work, I won't learn as much and I don't want to fall into the trap of "fix it in post". I know that a lot of work can go into the lighting and that's what I want to learn not let some post tool do it for me. I have already done three videos in which I let post do the work. I feel cheated.

 

C.-

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Good luck, given the fact that NARC was shot in 35mm.

That "cold, blue" look, you're describing was from shooting tungstun stock outdoors with no 85 filter, and it has its own unique look when you do that (in other words, you can slap a blue filter on your camera to try & duplicate that look, but it's not really the same thing exactly).

 

As for "blowing out", that also is something that film & video do not look the same as a result of.

Perhaps using a bit of diffusion on the lens will get you a bit closer, but I'd shoot lots of tests if I were you.

 

Matt Pacini

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If the blue look of Narc was from using a tungsten-balanced stock outdoors without an 85 filter, then couldn't you simulate that with the XL1s by offsetting the white balance?

 

I'm not a cinematographer, so somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

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From what I remembr about Minority Report Kaminski shot at lot of it on 5289 and used bleach bypass, which adds a silky sheen to blown out highlights. Kaminski also likes to use Dior filters behind the lens quite often I'm not sure if this was used on Minority Report.

 

A lot of things were done that are not really inhrent to video. Yeah I guess you just have to test various physical filters and DVE filters to see what can best apporximate this look.

 

Otherwise the next bes option is to shoot film and follow the same steps Kaminski did.

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Thank you all for your reply. I know that I cannot achieve film look with mini dv. But I wanted the "blue" look, and yes, I know that NARC was shot on 35.

 

I shot the short this weekend and got the look that I was going for. NARC look for the main character when he is by himself, and the Minority Report look when he is the hospital scene. The rest of the people in the movie, since they were not afflicted as the main character were balanced to either daylight or tunsten depending on the scene. And for the main character, since he was troubled, most of the shots handheld.

 

I'll post digital grabs of the film later and let you see what I did.

 

 

 

 

C.

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Could someone explain what Bleach-Bypassing is please? Also, how does de-interlacing - in FCP- improve slow-motion on DV (supposedly)

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We've discussed Bleach-Bypass (aka Skip-Bleach) many times on the forum so look it up in the archives. The short answer is that it leaves the metallic (black) silver normally removed in the processing of color film, so you get an overlay of silver grains where the color dye grains are formed, causing an increase in contrast and a loss of color saturation.

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