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cinealma
11-02-2007, 10:54 PM
Ok, so it wouldn't be a DVXUser fest without some asinine commentary by me about something to drag out a discussion and where some people will disagree with me vehemently. :thumbsup:

So, I want to say something about black and white films. Specifically, black and white films shot on DV.

This fest had a LOT of them. And you know what, I applaud those that did. Now some will say, yeah, cinealma, go figure. But, no, really, from a filmmaking point of view, it makes all the sense in the world.

If you notice in all the threads of films that are finished in black and white, everyone pretty much makes a statement how good they look. Why? Because standard definition DV color sucks. Plain and simple. (I won't go into the tech about this, just do a search for discussions/debates about it).

But the most important thing is that people aren't going to be focusing on whether or not your color correction looked good, or stuff looked washed out, or these two shots in the same room didn't match, or etc. etc.

And then simply, the focus is on the characters and the story.

Another good thing about black and white is that it hides a lot VFX imperfections, so you can get away with a lot more if you go that route (*wink *wink).

Now I'm not saying "color correcting" black and white is easy. But for the beginning filmmakers especially, it's going to look better and not distract.

My first fest film was Cure for Writer's Block: No. 9. A black and white film. At one of the smaller film festivals that it got into, I was able to stick around and talk to one of the organizers. I was able to talk him into letting me do a test on another day and I brought in a copy of the film in color. I had a friend of a friend who did post-work for a living color correct the shit out of one scene. It looked absolutely beautiful on the monitor. Jeremy's photography didn't need much, I tell you, but it was finished quite nice.

LONG STORY SHORT: I had both versions projected up on that big fucking screen at the Fairfax theater and you know what: the color version looked like shit!

The black and white version was magic. I had a lot of people come up to me after the original screening and tell me it looked like film. That was not my intention, but hey, ok.

So I guess what I am saying is this: DV and black and white go together great. 24p, (and if you can add in a 35mm adapter, ya!) and I tell ya, pure magic.

And then people will focus on your characters, and your story.

Oh, so you better have good characters and good story!:thumbsup:

AND LET ME SAY THIS:

I'm NOT saying that those who's films are in color look bad. There are some talented people shooting stuff here and I really have not come across a film in this fest that looks terrible. I'm just making a filmmaking statement that I think people are going to be a lot less forgiving with the technical aspect of "look" in a color film shot on DV than a black and white one. That's all I'm trying to say. And I'm making an out-of-the-box suggestion that those picking up cameras and shooting for the first time to do it in black and white and not get caught up in the numerous color issues associated with DV.

Cheers!

Billy Pilgrim
11-02-2007, 11:36 PM
And apparently, black and white in video gives you a tad more resolution. I <3 Black and White.

Justin Kuhn
11-03-2007, 12:05 AM
Can't say I disagree too much.

Barry_Green
11-03-2007, 07:24 AM
When working with DV, your black and white resolution is 720x480, and your color resolution is 180x480 (or, in PAL, it's 360x240). So yes, the B&W elements in the image are much higher rez than the color.

That said, B&W is its own art form and needs to be embraced as such. If someone makes a pic and says to themselves "well, this looks lousy, let's try it in B&W and see if that fixes anything" then I think they're going about it the totally wrong way. The B&W aesthetic can be wonderful, but it should be approached that way from the beginning.

cinealma
11-03-2007, 08:55 AM
That said, B&W is its own art form and needs to be embraced as such. If someone makes a pic and says to themselves "well, this looks lousy, let's try it in B&W and see if that fixes anything" then I think they're going about it the totally wrong way. The B&W aesthetic can be wonderful, but it should be approached that way from the beginning.

I agree. Flicking on the B/W filter in your NLE isn't a magic button to make your film look better. And it is definitely you plan for in the beginning when it comes to lighting and production design.

And a lot of people will tell you that lighting for B/W is harder than color. :)

Justin Kuhn
11-03-2007, 08:58 AM
I don't know about harder. Just...different.

Rock Punk!
11-04-2007, 08:21 PM
I chose B/W because I had a BROWN phone on a PEACH wall and a bright ORANGE Tide bottle in the background.

Seriously, though, when I saw that entries were to be "creepy", I knew I wanted B/W. I wanted Jill? to have some of same vibe that Eraserhead, Alfred Hitchcock show, and the old Twilight Zone shows had.

Drew Ott
11-04-2007, 08:42 PM
I enjoy viewing B&W as long as it is clearly motivated by the story.