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Peter Hadfield

The post production 'film out'

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Hi all,

Wondering if anyone has tried a 'film out'. What i mean by that is printing a locked edit to 16mm or 35mm, then rescanning that film to get a film look into the edit, then colouring from there.

Any experience with that? I've been thinking trying that process with a music video I shot recently, and wondering if there are any lessons anyone has learned that they'd like to share.

 

thanks

Peter 

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Not sure exactly what you are asking. Traditional paths for something shot on film that was cut digitally would be:

- Generate EDL (time code and key code info) for negative cutter to conform camera rolls to edit and then answer print OR

- Generate EDL for digital intermediate facility to pull selects from camera rolls for rescanning at higher resolution than original dailies, then conform scans to EDL and color-correct to create digital master.  If a planned transfer back to film intermediate (usually as negative image) using a laser recorder is desired, then D.I. should be color-corrected with film print emulation LUT in D.I suite.

 

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If I understand you correctly, you already have a music video shot digitally, and in order to get the real film grain, you want to record it onto film and then scan the film to have a digital copy with real film grain.

The recording to film will be quite expensive. You can get scanned film grain from true film stock and add it to your digital video.

Some digitally shot film are recorded to film to add the film grain and texture, in order to be projected on a film projector for the audience. Early digitally shot films were also recorded to film, as film projection was the standard before digital projectors were added to cinemas.

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This is exactly what we are doing on a daily basis. Recording digital to camera negative, not intermediate, and scanning back to digital. Choice of 50D, 200T or 500T for desired texture.

Sample can be seen on Amazon Prime "Guava Island" : Alexa footage made to look like 1960.

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Yes I've recorded to film and scanned the film in order to give a "print" look. But you'd be surprised how good prints are these days, you can easily mimic the look digitally. 

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Have a look at the display prep demo by Steve Yeldin

http://www.yedlin.net/DisplayPrepDemo/

Shows you can pretty much nail the film look with post production tools.

Doing a film out would also add some film artifacts, but as others have said it's expensive and print stocks are very finely grained so the look might be quiet subtle. 

I have also seen more homebrew film outs done by filming off a monitor, to get some interesting grungy looks - if you can the sync to work. 

This film's process was Hi8 video, filmed off a CRT monitor to super 16 and then telecined to HDCAMSR. At the time we all thought the director was mad.

we were probably right

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12 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Yes I've recorded to film and scanned the film in order to give a "print" look. But you'd be surprised how good prints are these days, you can easily mimic the look digitally. 

Hi Tyler!

Thanks for the response. Where you printing to Kodak 2383 and doing a 2K or 4K scan of that?

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On 2/5/2020 at 2:50 PM, David Sekanina said:

If I understand you correctly, you already have a music video shot digitally, and in order to get the real film grain, you want to record it onto film and then scan the film to have a digital copy with real film grain.

The recording to film will be quite expensive. You can get scanned film grain from true film stock and add it to your digital video.

Some digitally shot film are recorded to film to add the film grain and texture, in order to be projected on a film projector for the audience. Early digitally shot films were also recorded to film, as film projection was the standard before digital projectors were added to cinemas.

Hi David!

Thanks for the response.

Yeah, you've got it. I want to infuse the film grain into a digital file, and I've played with digital film stock grain quite a bit with some good results. The other reason I'm interested in doing a film out is to change the digital colour space to an analog one so that the highlights have nicer roll off, and I get the nice red and orange tones that film can produce. I shot under a lot of sodium vapour and fluorescent green street lights, and am curious to look at a vectorscope and see how much the colour space changes once a digital image is exposed to film. Ideally, I'm hoping to get those juicy reds and oranges and harsher greens.    

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8 hours ago, Phil Connolly said:

Have a look at the display prep demo by Steve Yeldin

http://www.yedlin.net/DisplayPrepDemo/

Shows you can pretty much nail the film look with post production tools.

Doing a film out would also add some film artifacts, but as others have said it's expensive and print stocks are very finely grained so the look might be quiet subtle. 

I have also seen more homebrew film outs done by filming off a monitor, to get some interesting grungy looks - if you can the sync to work. 

This film's process was Hi8 video, filmed off a CRT monitor to super 16 and then telecined to HDCAMSR. At the time we all thought the director was mad.

we were probably right

Hey Phil! 

Thanks for the response.

I've hit my head against the wall with the Display Prep Demo for months. I even went as far as recruiting Charles Poynton's help (he's a digital image specialist in Toronto) to try and help me figure out what the hell Yedlin is doing. I took the Display Prep Demo and compared it with Alexa and film footage with a colourist friend in Toronto. We went through it, looking at the scopes and asking Charles his opinion. We came up with a bit of a special sauce that I've applied to a few projects, but I guess the film out is another tool I'm interested in adding to my box. I still don't know how Yedlin got results that good, but I do really like his argument over what the 'film look' actually is.

 

Yeah, that clip from Grace of God just looks like Hi8. Not super nice... 

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