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Originally posted in FILM STOCKS

Im am curious to gather some opinions. I plan on shooting a short in the near future on 16mm. Naturally my choice of stocks are limited to Kodak, and for production purposes 250D would be my best option. Now, really hate doing color correction and DI. I dont like doing it myself, and I dont want to pay to get a colorist to do it for me. I am wondering, how accurate are the colors of 250D, raw out of the stock? What sort of work would I have to do in post to make them accurate. Are there options for me in filtration to normalize the stock?

 

My thought process is, that I want the stock to have an accurate color baseline for me to modify to fit my story. I am looking for a warm, medium contrast, and slightly diffused look. Something in between George Washington (2000) and The Long Goodbye (1973). For this, my idea of was to shoot with some TLS Rehoused Super Baltars, and apply a Tiffen Warm Black Pro-Mist 1/4. What do you think

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Film stocks are only as accurate as the color correction applied to them.

 

Theres no avoiding color correction, so make plans for it.

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I really dont want to do anything other than white balance adjustment. My desired method for this was to take a color temp reading with my exposures, note it on slate, and adjust the stock up or down accordingly. I dont want to do a grey card white balance, as I still want to include the natural warmth afforded by the Super Baltars and the Warm Black Pro-Mist. Really, Im asking what the color characteristics and contrast profile are of the stock. Does it run blue or green heavy? Is the contrast close to eyeball?

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If you really want a one light scan, shoot a color chart with an hmi lamp that you’ve measured to be close to accurate. Then, your lighting and filtration won’t effect the scan based on the chart.

 

But, if you are wise, have the scan done to log space, and include your chart for a starting guide to later color correction.

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Solid plan. I just really want ensure that my lens character remains uneffected through DI. I dont want to lose the naturalistic warmth the Baltars afford. This whole scanning and DI thing is a new process for me, as my background is primarily landscape photography with mostly B/W stocks and prints.

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Any input on my previously stated method of noting actual color temp on each slate and adjusting hot or cold in post? That, in combination with a color chart at 5500k should be plenty to make appropriate color adjustments while retaining the color qualities of lens and filter, right?

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I don't think noting the 'actual' color temp is going to be any help. Any warmth lost in your transfer can easily be added back in post. If you're determined to do as little post work as possible, maybe try shooting your grayscale with 1/8 CTB on it so when it's corrected it's slightly warm.

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I don't think noting the 'actual' color temp is going to be any help. Any warmth lost in your transfer can easily be added back in post. If you're determined to do as little post work as possible, maybe try shooting your grayscale with 1/8 CTB on it so when it's corrected it's slightly warm.

Im just trying adjust the white balance to keep the colors accurate. I still want to retain the color profile imbued upon the image by the lens and filtration. Is there no way in a post-production workflow to alter a white balance by a specific degrees Kelvin? Just to get the STOCKS white balance correct?

Edited by Zachariah C. Bensel

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Im getting more of feeling that Im just going to shoot my footage and then just eyeball color temp corrections as needed. There really isnt a way of adjusting an image an exact amount of kelvin is there? Its just eyedropper greycard balance or eyeballing to correction.

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Note: my processing method will be process and scan via CineLab. Scan will be on a Xena 5K at 2K with a Single Color Pass.

With a scanner you will 100% need to do color grading. The main reason is the operator sets everything up to a base setting, and then runs the film through. If you have anything in the material you shot that is outside of that base setting, you will have to work the image to get it back.

 

If you're just shooting 250D, if you're super accurate with your exposure... Shoot a color chart and gray chart at the head of your first roll. Make sure that's the first roll during the transfer process and tell the guys at Cinelab to adjust the color for charts, they should be able to do that. This SHOULD give you a pretty good base to go from.

 

The result will be a pretty flat LOG image, but all of the color information should be in there. All ya gotta do is adjust the contrast a bit and you should be OK. I've been pretty happy with the base color results from the Xena, it does a good job. If you don't need 4k, Cinelab has a great telecine option that will give you flawless colors with a scene to scene correction process.

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With a scanner you will 100% need to do color grading. The main reason is the operator sets everything up to a base setting, and then runs the film through. If you have anything in the material you shot that is outside of that base setting, you will have to work the image to get it back.If you're just shooting 250D, if you're super accurate with your exposure... Shoot a color chart and gray chart at the head of your first roll. Make sure that's the first roll during the transfer process and tell the guys at Cinelab to adjust the color for charts, they should be able to do that. This SHOULD give you a pretty good base to go from.The result will be a pretty flat LOG image, but all of the color information should be in there. All ya gotta do is adjust the contrast a bit and you should be OK. I've been pretty happy with the base color results from the Xena, it does a good job. If you don't need 4k, Cinelab has a great telecine option that will give you flawless colors with a scene to scene correction process.

Scene to scene grading would be great, but out of my budget. I’m only working with about $7,000 total budget, and the $200 an hour to scene to scene grade would not be feasible for me. I’m assuming it’s $200 per labor hour not per hour of footage, right?

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Scene to scene grading would be great, but out of my budget. I’m only working with about $7,000 total budget, and the $200 an hour to scene to scene grade would not be feasible for me. I’m assuming it’s $200 per labor hour not per hour of footage, right?

 

So you can get around 20 min of footage transferred in an hour with a scene to scene telecine. That equates to around .32/ft if it's $250/hr which is pretty much the normal rate for scene to scene correction. Scanning in 4k is going to be more then .32/ft.

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So you can get around 20 min of footage transferred in an hour with a scene to scene telecine. That equates to around .32/ft if it's $250/hr which is pretty much the normal rate for scene to scene correction. Scanning in 4k is going to be more then .32/ft.

 

I had no idea a scene to scene was that time efficient! Really good to know.

That’s .32/ft for a scene to scene grade on top of the .16/ft processing and .40/ft for the scan itself.

 

Let me just put down my production numbers so you get an idea of what I’m working with

At .88 per foot for (assuming adding in scene by scene) I would be looking at around $2,000 for processing and scan of 2000ft (roughly 50min (6 Minute short, 6 to 1 ratio, plus short ends and slates). Add on another $1,000 for the stock itself. $225 per day for Arri SR2 & Shoulder mount kit via Cinequipt Minneapolis x 3 day shoot= $675. Basic sound kit also via Cinequipt Minneapolis = $330 for 3 days. TLS Super Baltar 20mm from LensWorks $150 per day = $450. Four speaking parts in the short @ SAG minimum rate for days used = $975. Locations and permits $750. All comes out to $6,180. Leaves just under $200 for “oh poop” money.

 

I was under the assumption a scene to scene would be slower than that. I just might be able to squeeze a scene to scene grade in.

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I think you're confused... It's $250/hr for a complete 20 min or so transfer, there is no more additional cost. They watch the 20 minutes or so back, it takes around 30 minutes to grade those 20 minutes and then they capture the 20 minutes. So in one 60 minute session, you will get back 20 minutes or so of finished, transferred material. That equates to around .32/ft or so. The numbers vary because some scenes may not need much added correction. Telecine's generally look pretty damn good without much work.

 

So here is the math I got.

 

7 min short * 6:1 ratio = 42 min of film = 3.9 rolls total. So basically 4 rolls of film = 1600ft

 

4 rolls * $189 (16mm retail) = $756 + shipping/taxes

 

Processing .16/ft = $256 + transfer is 3 hours @ $250/hr = $750 total. There will also be prep costs in here.

 

I see around $2k for film and processing/transfer.

 

This would give you a nice 2k telecine, full RGB 444 12 bit Pro Res XQ file with it beautifully graded.

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I think you're confused... It's $250/hr for a complete 20 min or so transfer, there is no more additional cost. They watch the 20 minutes or so back, it takes around 30 minutes to grade those 20 minutes and then they capture the 20 minutes. So in one 60 minute session, you will get back 20 minutes or so of finished, transferred material. That equates to around .32/ft or so. The numbers vary because some scenes may not need much added correction. Telecine's generally look pretty damn good without much work.

 

So here is the math I got.

 

7 min short * 6:1 ratio = 42 min of film = 3.9 rolls total. So basically 4 rolls of film = 1600ft

 

4 rolls * $189 (16mm retail) = $756 + shipping/taxes

 

Processing .16/ft = $256 + transfer is 3 hours @ $250/hr = $750 total. There will also be prep costs in here.

 

I see around $2k for film and processing/transfer.

 

This would give you a nice 2k telecine, full RGB 444 12 bit Pro Res XQ file with it beautifully graded.

 

Thanks for the clarification.

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