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Baltasar Thomas

Blue Fogging

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Hi everyone,

I recently shot my first short narrative film, written and directed by a friend of mine. It was shot on 16mm (an Aaton LTR). 

I found the analog workflow quite challenging but it was a lot of fun at the same time and hearing the film run through the camera with my ear to the magazine was quite something :).

Initially I was happy with how the film came back from the lab, it seemed exposed properly! However, right now it’s with the editor and they’re discovering some weird things that I had not accounted for.

The biggest issue is some sort of blue fogging in a crucial scene. It comes and goes.

https://vimeo.com/431845218/3386d6d51a

Does anyone recognize this sort of fogging? Any idea of the cause and do you think something magic can be done in grading to correct it?

Thanks for looking.

 

 

 

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Looks like the film got flashed or fogged. Since the whole frame is evenly exposed it’s probably not a light leak in the magazine, which would tend to expose one edge of the frame more than the other. And it’s exposed at a fairly low level, so the exposure time is probably fairly short. Otherwise, I’d expect the film to be grossly overexposed and go white.

Is it possible that you might have pulled your eye away from the eyepiece while the camera was rolling? Any stray light that enters the eyepiece can bounce back onto the film in the gate, so you have to either cover it with something or use the built-in eyepiece shutter.

Other possibilities include accidentally opening the film mag door in the light, or an error in the lab. Or using pre-flashed film without knowing it, which is a possibility when buying re-cans and short ends.

If you were shooting on a camera where the loop has to be threaded in the camera and not in the magazine like on most 35mm cameras, then there would be the possibility that the camera’s film door was open. But that’s not possible with an Aaton. 
 

 

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Re: color correction 

I guess you could try key framing a contrast, color temperature, and color saturation change in your color grading software. But I don’t think it would work that well, as there’s not likely not enough color info left on the film negative in the flashed portions to correct it back to normal.

The best solution would be for the editor to cut around the problem if possible. Use alternate takes, or play the scene with your other coverage. Or if you have no choice, then re-shoot the shot. 

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This light flash is so even that I think it’s possible that it’s not on the film negative.

 

find the shot in the original negative and tale a look on a light table. If the edges of the film don’t show a light leak, scan the negative again.

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3 hours ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

Is it possible that you might have pulled your eye away from the eyepiece while the camera was rolling? Any stray light that enters the eyepiece can bounce back onto the film in the gate, so you have to either cover it with something or use the built-in eyepiece shutter.

Other possibilities include accidentally opening the film mag door in the light, or an error in the lab. Or using pre-flashed film without knowing it, which is a possibility when buying re-cans and short ends.

Hi Satsuki, thanks for taking a look. I was afraid that it might be light coming through the eyepiece. I read about the possibility of that happening last week, but I was definitely unaware during shooting. I actually remember taking my eye of the eyepiece a few times during the making of this film, there's a lot of fixed shots so I felt confident to look around for a bit at times. 

I was very careful while loading and unloading the magazines so I would be very surprised if that would be the problem. All the film was fresh stock. 

3 hours ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

Re: color correction 

I guess you could try key framing a contrast, color temperature, and color saturation change in your color grading software. But I don’t think it would work that well, as there’s not likely not enough color info left on the film negative in the flashed portions to correct it back to normal.

The best solution would be for the editor to cut around the problem if possible. Use alternate takes, or play the scene with your other coverage. Or if you have no choice, then re-shoot the shot. 

Yes, I agree, I suspect it's too far gone to save the shot so creative editing or re-shooting would be my best options. 

3 hours ago, Bruce Greene said:

This light flash is so even that I think it’s possible that it’s not on the film negative.

 

find the shot in the original negative and tale a look on a light table. If the edges of the film don’t show a light leak, scan the negative again.

Thanks Bruce, it's definitely worth taking a look so I'll ask the lab :). Fingers crossed. 

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