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Thread: Movie Look

  1. #1

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    Movie Look

    I was watching "The Lover" this evening and admiring the colours. Not very saturated, which I like. Another movie that has colour I like is "Out of Africa". Does anyone know how I can get similar colours? Movies use negative film, as far as I know. Would using a Kodak negative film give me a similar look? Or is it done in the lab?

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    Movies are filmed mostly on negative then printed on print film. Not to mention various optional processes might get used [bleach bypass for example]

    I'm sure somebody with a knowledge of those two films will step up and give a good answer -)

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    Nowadays, a whole lot of movies, while still shot on color negative film, are scanned and color corrected, enhanced, muted in the digital realm, then sent to a film recorder which outputs the file back to film to make a master corrected color negative for making prints. With this in mind, just about any effect such as high-contrast, muted color, b/w conversion, etc.,, is possible. In the past, cinematographers would sometimes use (and may still use in certain circumstances) warming or cooling filters over the taking lens, and special lab treatments of camera negative in processing to achieve unique looks.

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    In other words, good luck trying to reproduce it.
    I could scan negatives and have a try at it myself, I suppose.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Masuro View Post
    I was watching "The Lover" this evening and admiring the colours. Not very saturated, which I like. Another movie that has colour I like is "Out of Africa". Does anyone know how I can get similar colours? Movies use negative film, as far as I know. Would using a Kodak negative film give me a similar look? Or is it done in the lab?
    Movies have a MUCH bigger brightness range, whether projected or on a television, than prints.

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    Easier than all that post production stuff might be the tan stocking over the lens trick used by Oswald Morris for Fiddler on the Roof.

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    Out of Africa was made years ago, quite likely one of the previous negative films from Kodak. The bleach bypass that was mentioned has a more obvious look, which you can sort of preview if you watch the television show 24; the producers use bleach bypass on the prints for many of the shots. I am not familiar with the other film.

    If you want to try colour negative, I would suggest Kodak Portra NC films, which are low to medium contrast and subdued colours. If you want to try a similar look in transparency films, then I would suggest Fuji Astia 100F. You could experiment with slight overexposure, though I would probably stay with box rated ISO.

    Time of day is another factor. If you shoot in early morning light, then the effects can be softer. However, I recently shot some 4x5 Kodak E100VS at the beach in the middle of the day, and the lack of dynamic range gives a somewhat soft overall look to the images; basically lots of partially cloudy sky and soft tan/white sand, separated by brightly coloured umbrellas on the horizon. The odd thing about that is E100VS is a very saturated high contrast film, so when used in conditions without great contrast, and with few saturated colour elements, the characteristics change.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio

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    For more flexibility, do the bleach bypass on the PRINT not the negative...

    It also keeps open more ancillary markets for re-release.

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    Even without the digital process that Phototone pointed out, some films (hey, at least a few I worked on!) or colour timed in post-production by the lab techs. If you can, get a hold of one of them and ask them how they do it, they'll be happy to share.

  10. #10

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    Thank you for all the information. Very interesting stuff, even if I never get the look myself.

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