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Kiruba Nidhi
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hello everyone,

 

I'm a final year cinematography student of ftit, chennai, tamilnadu. Within a month, I'm going to do my diploma film, the academic exercise.My director wants a blue tone overall the movie. so somebody give me suggestions to achieve it since i'm a budding cinematographer. Herewith I'm attaching all the equipments i would be provided : Arriflex III, 500T (2 nos), 200T (4 nos), lenses- 24mm-290mm zoom, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, light- 1kw, 2kw, 5kw. I know many methods would be available like using filters and all, but i would like to know the effective method that would be apt for the mentioned requirements. By the way, the diploma genre is a thriller.

 

Regards

 

Kirubanidhi

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Guest Christopher Sheneman

I know silent era films sometimes had an overall "blue" color , I think it was an Iron toner added to the print chemistry? Of course, you'd need to be shooting B&W. I would strongly suggest fixing color with computer software. It'll be the easiest, fastest and most consistent way to get what you want.

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Shoot outdoors stuff without the 85 filter on and then shoot indoors stuff with the 85 filter on this way everything outside will be blue and inside as well as you making the film tungsten balanced which is blue shifted. But I would recommend doing everything in the DI color grading step instead.

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Shoot outdoors stuff without the 85 filter on and then shoot indoors stuff with the 85 filter on this way everything outside will be blue and inside as well as you making the film tungsten balanced which is blue shifted. But I would recommend doing everything in the DI color grading step instead.

Hello Mr. Paul, Thankful to you. I would like to clarify two things that I forgot to mention in my post actually. One is DI not allowed. Then only tungsten lights will be provided. Also I have one doubt regarding your post that u mentioned to shoot indoor stuff with the 85 filter. Isn't it shooting tungsten film with 85 filter indoor with PAR lights shift the film to daylight & with tungsten lights increases warm tone actually?

 

Awaiting your reply & clarification. Hope you never mind.

 

Regards

 

Kiruba

Edited by Kiruba Nidhi
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I know silent era films sometimes had an overall "blue" color , I think it was an Iron toner added to the print chemistry? Of course, you'd need to be shooting B&W. I would strongly suggest fixing color with computer software. It'll be the easiest, fastest and most consistent way to get what you want.

Hello Christopher,

 

Thankful to you. I would like to clarify two things that I forgot to mention in my post actually. One is DI not allowed. Then only tungsten lights will be provided. Could you please suggest me other possibilities though fixing color with computer software is the easiest & consistent way?

 

Awaiting your reply.

 

Regards

 

Kiruba

Edited by Kiruba Nidhi
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Yes you would need to use a filter for indoors tungsten lightning to bring it down from 5600k to 3200k its goin to be quite a strong cast tho you should look into. Flashing or say a set of lee filters. Can you do color timing? Can you shoot some test first?

Hello Mr.Paul

 

Color timing is possible...but test is not

 

regards

 

Kiruba

Edited by Kiruba Nidhi
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Yes you would need to use a filter for indoors tungsten lightning to bring it down from 5600k to 3200k its goin to be quite a strong cast tho you should look into. Flashing or say a set of lee filters. Can you do color timing? Can you shoot some test first?

Hello Mr.paul,

 

To answer your question color timing is possible, but test is not. One more thing I would like to get clarified that u specified about a strong cast. May I know what kind of cast? That will be helpful to manipulate the color if you give a hint about it from your vast experience.

 

Thank you once again.

 

Awaiting Your reply. Hope you never mind.

 

Regards

 

Kiruba

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I'd go 81EF myself for filtration outdoors, and then 1/2 CTB and/or Photoflood bulbs for indoor stuffs. but that's just me, assuming T stock.

Hi Mr.Adrian

 

u specified about using 81EF filter for outdoors stuff. Isn't it 81EF filter converts the film from 3850k to 4140k with 2/3 stop increase in exposure? Then how it increases the blue actually?

 

Regards

 

Kiruba

Edited by Kiruba Nidhi
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The 81EF filter, in this application on a tungsten balanced film, would warm up the daylight-- about a 1/2 correction from 5600K. As such, it would still keep the blue out-door cast, however it wouldn't be as in-your-face-my-god-they-didn't-color-balance and shooting without it on a tungsten film stock or tungsten white balance (if on video). If you were already using daylight film, or a daylight color balance, then yes, it would remove any blue and warm everything up.

 

The reason why I like to do it this way is to try to avoid clipping on the blue channel (on video) or starving the image of reds (film.) Also, since it's 1/2 there I have the option, as does production, to more readily/easily time out the blue if needed, or pump it up more if needed.

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The 81EF filter, in this application on a tungsten balanced film, would warm up the daylight-- about a 1/2 correction from 5600K. As such, it would still keep the blue out-door cast, however it wouldn't be as in-your-face-my-god-they-didn't-color-balance and shooting without it on a tungsten film stock or tungsten white balance (if on video). If you were already using daylight film, or a daylight color balance, then yes, it would remove any blue and warm everything up.

 

The reason why I like to do it this way is to try to avoid clipping on the blue channel (on video) or starving the image of reds (film.) Also, since it's 1/2 there I have the option, as does production, to more readily/easily time out the blue if needed, or pump it up more if needed.

thankful to u Mr.Adrian. very informative & helpful.

 

Regards

 

Kiruba

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Are you only shooting interiors ? If so just use 1/2 CTB gels on your tungsten lights this will give you the blue look you want . And if you shoot out side leave the 85 of the camera and time the blue you want to match the interiors.

"time the blue"? sounds too technical. what does it actually mean? any step to proceed while color timing or about any method to calculate filter value to achieve the blue to match the interior?

 

regards

 

Kiruba

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Besides art direction, getting blue light for a 3200K balanced film stock means either: (1) gelling tungsten lights blue; (2) using bluer sources such as daylight-balanced fluorescents, LED's, or HMI's, and/or (3) timing a neutral 3200K image from the negative onto the print or for the video transfer bluer. If it's just a touch bluer, then timing is the easiest trick, just shoot a grey scale before the scene in warmer light than you are using, or use a warming filter on the lens, then pull the filter or warming gels for the scene, which will look cooler because the timer corrected the print or video transfer to make the grey scale look neutral. It's useful to shoot a sign before the scene, after the grey scale, that says something like "NOTE TO COLORIST: BLUE TONE FOR SCENE".



If all your lights are tungsten and you are lighting for a moonlight effect with no flashlights or table lamps on in the room, then you can just use a blue filter on the camera to shift all the lights to a cooler cast / higher color temperature.



If you have a mix of blue moonlight and warmer sources like flashlights or table lamps with tungsten light bulbs, then you have to gel your tungsten lamps being used for the moonlight effect with blue gel.



If gelling or filtering the scene blue, shoot the grey scale at the head of the roll in white light, no filters, so that the scene that follows looks naturally blue in comparison. Again, it doesn't hurt to shoot a sign which says that the look is BLUE MOONLIGHT or something like that.

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You are shooting negative film -- you aren't going to be looking at a negative image later for dailies, video or print, right? That means the negative image has to be either printed onto positive stock or it has to be converted to a positive image in the telecine for transfer to video, at which point it is also "timed" or "graded" (a printing term) or color-corrected (a video term), usually to just a neutral image. Even if you don't ask for a color-corrected transfer which each shot is adjusted by the colorist or timer, they usually have to do an overall base correction for all your rolls even if all you ask for is a "one-light" transfer (meaning it's set once and never changed for the footage).

 

So write on your camera report "time to grey scale at head of roll" and they will set up the image on all the rolls once based on making the grey scale look correct, assuming that what follows was shot correctly by you. In other words, let's say for a certain look, all your scenes are blue and dark, maybe 1.5-stops underexposed. If the first image on the first roll is blue and dark, and there are no notes as to intent, or indication like a grey scale what "neutral" is, then the colorist may or may not try to make the blue and dark scene look white and normal in brightness, because they won't know any better, so they'll assume you want it to look "normal". But if the first image is a grey scale shot under a neutral white light and normally exposed (for whatever ASA rating you want to give the stock), then if the scene that follows is blue and dark, they will assume that is intentional because they have the frame of reference from the neutral grey scale.

 

And taking that further, if the grey scale was lit with slightly orange light, for example, and you tell them to "time to grey scale", they will time/color-correct that orange cast out by adding blue, to make it neutral, so that the scene that follows, if shot under white neutral light, will end up looking blue-ish... and they will assume that is intentional too. It's similar to fooling a video camera by white balancing to a warm-lit grey card, or a warm card like a tan piece of paper, so that by making that paper turn white, everything that follows will be shifted to the blue.

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You are shooting negative film -- you aren't going to be looking at a negative image later for dailies, video or print, right? That means the negative image has to be either printed onto positive stock or it has to be converted to a positive image in the telecine for transfer to video, at which point it is also "timed" or "graded" (a printing term) or color-corrected (a video term), usually to just a neutral image. Even if you don't ask for a color-corrected transfer which each shot is adjusted by the colorist or timer, they usually have to do an overall base correction for all your rolls even if all you ask for is a "one-light" transfer (meaning it's set once and never changed for the footage).

 

So write on your camera report "time to grey scale at head of roll" and they will set up the image on all the rolls once based on making the grey scale look correct, assuming that what follows was shot correctly by you. In other words, let's say for a certain look, all your scenes are blue and dark, maybe 1.5-stops underexposed. If the first image on the first roll is blue and dark, and there are no notes as to intent, or indication like a grey scale what "neutral" is, then the colorist may or may not try to make the blue and dark scene look white and normal in brightness, because they won't know any better, so they'll assume you want it to look "normal". But if the first image is a grey scale shot under a neutral white light and normally exposed (for whatever ASA rating you want to give the stock), then if the scene that follows is blue and dark, they will assume that is intentional because they have the frame of reference from the neutral grey scale.

 

And taking that further, if the grey scale was lit with slightly orange light, for example, and you tell them to "time to grey scale", they will time/color-correct that orange cast out by adding blue, to make it neutral, so that the scene that follows, if shot under white neutral light, will end up looking blue-ish... and they will assume that is intentional too. It's similar to fooling a video camera by white balancing to a warm-lit grey card, or a warm card like a tan piece of paper, so that by making that paper turn white, everything that follows will be shifted to the blue.

Sir,

 

very much thankful to you for such an eloborate & clearful guidance. I shall do according to your suggestions. Also I hope for such helps in future too. Hope you never mind.

 

Once again Thank You for spending your valuable moments amidst your busy schedule.

 

Regards

 

Kiruba

 

Edited by Kiruba Nidhi
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