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Dear Cinematographers

I just shot a roll of Fuji 1600 Natura film and was exceedingly pleased with the texture and color-contrast. The muted colors were prominently mute and the bright colors prominently bright; and on account of this and the high granularity the photographs almost resembled watercolor pictures. And so my question is - is there any way to replicate this effect on modern motion-picture stock, especially 16mm stock?

 

Sincerely Grateful,

 

Kurt Cassidy-Gabhart

Edited by Kurt Cassidy-Gabhart

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Yes. 16mm being a smaller gauge film will make it rather easy to replicate the grain. As to the color, given the advent of the DI, you could match the look of a print you might have, rather easy to do. Push processing the 500T stock 7219 one or even two stops will give you plenty of grain.

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500T/7219 pushes pretty well, and remains relatively fine grained. If you push two stops, you'll find little in the way of a contrast shift but a slight increase in grain. Natura is a great film, I use it all of the time, and honestly you'd be pleasantly surprised if you experimented with 7219. I recommend shooting a stills roll of Cinestill 800T, which is respooled 5219 processed C-41 which yields slightly higher gamma and therefore tends to warrant the 800 ASA rating. Maybe even push it a stop or two and see what you find. When you have it scanned, zoom in 200% and that will be your 16mm frame and grain, roughly.

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Dear Mr. Suleimanagich and Mr. Burke,

 

Thank both of you for the assistance! I just ordered two rolls of the 7219, Mr. Suleimanagich. I cannot thank you enough for telling me about Cinestill. I had always wanted to do some still tests but could not find the film for it, assuming that it just didn't exist. Do you think it is possible to achieve highly saturated colors, specifically the reds and blues, by analog means, despite having the 7219 pushed a stop or two? If you could continue helping me with this, I would appreciate it enormously!

 

Sincerely Grateful,

 

Kurt Cassidy-Gabhart

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'19 actually gets a bit more saturated when pushed, particularly the reds.

 

Are you only planning on making a 16mm print and projecting that? Because otherwise, there is always a digital step where you have the opportunity to adjust contrast and saturation.

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Dear Mr. Mullen, A.S.C.,

 

I was, indeed, only planning on projecting prints. For I cannot help but find any digital intermediacy distasteful. I do not wholly understand the process of timing, but are there not means in it of achieving high saturation and contrast? Thank you for the help! Again I cannot thank all of you enough for the prompt and educational replies; such a complex subject as cinematography is a forest not to be traversed alone.

 

Sincerely Grateful,

 

K. Cassidy-Gabhart

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In straight negative to positive printing, you cannot really manipulate saturation and contrast much. Pushing the negative stock helps add contrast, and some labs will even push the print stock too. Printing at higher printer light values because your negative is denser than normal will get you deeper blacks which improves color and contrast, just don't over do the overexposure. But you could try, for example, pushing 7219 by one-stop but rating it at 500 ASA still to get a denser negative, or pushing it 2-stops but only rating it at 1000 ASA to compensate.

 

There used to be a more high-contrast higher-saturation print stock for 35mm -- Vision Premier -- but Kodak discontinued it.

 

Now if you want to get really fancy (and spend more money) you can experiment with things like making a print and then using that to make a dupe negative and then a new print from the dupe -- it will get pretty hi-con with funky saturated colors though you'd expect to see some dirt & dust problems from using a print as a dupe element.

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Dear Mr. Montgomery,

 

I was just going to use Cinelab. I have worked with them before and they were extremely diligent. I reckon that ellipsis is unnecessary, moreover, considering these places will be around for as long as film archivablity is found necessary; and not even to consider the film renaissance - which will come about, as with the cultural movement, just as everyone realizes how downright shitty everything has gotten - and I think that that will be not five years hence.

 

Go Broke, Shoot Film,

 

Kurt Cassidy-Gabhart

 

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