Thread: Film Look

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    Film Look
    #1
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    Hi,
    I'm going to buy, probably, an brevis35 Kit for my cameras (Z1 &/or XHA1) but I wish to know what other (post production or other) I can use to have a really FILM LOOK in my future videos.
    Thank you.


     

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    #2
    Admin Luis Caffesse's Avatar
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    The best thing you can invest in is time to learn lighting techniques.
    THAT is what is going to make the most difference.


     

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    Director of Photography TimurCivan's Avatar
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    OK.... Im sticking this....

    This question has been raised alot, and its literally like saying, what car can i buy to become a F1 driver? Well its not the car.... its the pit crew, the training, the practice, the funding, the management... etc.. its alot of work.

    The "Film Look" can mean several different things. There is the "Hollywood movie" look, then there is the "big budget Commercial" look. Then there is the physical attributes of capturing images on Film.

    Lets try to seperate and dissect the idea. The "Film Look" most people are interested in really has little to do with the camera and lenses. At least 50% of the look of a film is determined by the Art director, location scout, and set designer. Thats a MAJOR element in the "film look". The simple answer here is TEXTURE TEXTURE TEXTURE. The more visual texture the set has more it will look "Film".

    Notice how every surface is "painted" literally or at least with light.... And the image is racy too so it helps the mood

    notice the surface textures.....

    This is From "Escape From New York" notice how eery square inch of the set is covered in something.....


    Remeber that the human eye will forgive alot of imperfection when it is engaged in something visually interesting, especially when its seeing it with the live eye. That sunset you saw last week that was so beautiful, suddenly looks crappy in that digital photo you took of it, because thoes power lines running across, and the ugly building on the left didint seem to bother you when you were looking at it with you naked eye. In a 2D world, all thoes little detials matter. This is why you must be very partcular when composing shots and selecting locations.

    Now that you got yourself a ROCKIN location, you artdirector has put up some beautiful textured wallpaper and found you vintage furniture, now the next phase in the "film look" comes into the equasion. The light. Essentially, what youre trying to do is just exaggerate the natural lighting so that its bright enough to reach an exposure in your camera.

    Now here is the real "art" part of being a cinematographer. the trick is to balance the lighting to your set, artdirection, wardrobe, and visual pallete of the director. Here is when your camera choice begins to have an effect on your film. And believe me, the differences between an Sony EX, HVX200 or XHA1 arent going to make or break your film at this point. Essentially, if your working with lets say 35mm film, you know that you have a good 10 stops of safe exposure to work with. Your middle grey is properly exposed (most flesh tones are near middle grey), and now you can start crafting your image by creating shadows and highlights with kicker lights and flags. If you want a naturalistic look, keeping the contrast low, with minimal highlights is desireable for some. If the film is a horror film, a starker, more moody lighting scheme is neccesary. maybe as high as 10:1 if you liek the whites a bit blown out, and the blacks DEAD black. However, if your shooting the same scene in Video, your dynamic range is more limited. the camera is probably only able to safely handle 5-6 stops of dynamic range. So in this case the conservative 4:1 lighting ratio from film will start to look more contrasty, and moody on video. THIS is a big reason why many cinematographers choose shoot on Film, they have more room to play with light in the higher dynamic range of film. It offers you more control.

    An example of a high Contrast image:


    A lower contrast image:


    Notice how the blacks arent as rich in the second image, and there is almost nothign over exposed in the B&W picture.

    Essentially its important to try to keep the exposure of the picture within the limits of your chosen recording medium. This is why sometimes you see when shooting exterior scenes on pro shoots the DP chooses to put up a 10K and a scrim to fill in the actors a bit when they are being lit by the sun. its keeps the contrast ratio on the face within acceptable limits.

    Finally, there is lens choice and Camera choice. SD cameras can help hide some of the flaws in an actors face, poor set design, and pancake make up.

    Where as HD and Film can exaggerate these short comings because of the clarity and resolution of the mediums. This is also why shallow DOF is desireable. The soft background can help sell the world the charachters live in.

    This is why the 35mm adapters are becoming so popular amongst the "small HD" camera owners. The adapters mimick the look of 35mm film cameras, the medium of choice for high end production.

    So all in all the "Film Look" is an assemblage of many tightly woven factors. Its alot of work, but can lead to great results.



    Heres an example of minimal art direction. A film i shot in a white walled apartment. I did what i could with framing a nice chinese screen in the background... but every other space in the room was all white.



    and a shot with a bit more art direction.... A fully built set, made from flats, painted canvas and tons of antique furniture.



    [
    Last edited by TimurCivan; 10-12-2007 at 07:47 PM.
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    www.timurcivan.com 917-589-4424


     

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    #4
    Custom Title! Jeff Anderson's Avatar
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    wow great post Timur - I've never given that much thought to set dressing and such playing such a big role in the "film look". Definitely given me alot to think about... Thanks for taking the time to post all this!


     

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    #5
    Actor!!!!!! Tom Marshall's Avatar
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    Great post, Timur. Thanks for taking the time to put that up.
    Actor / Musician


     

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    #6
    Director of Photography TimurCivan's Avatar
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    no prob you guys. Its important stuff.
    Cinematographer
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    www.timurcivan.com 917-589-4424


     

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    #7
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    Good post, Timur. You should put up a few examples of a not-so-film-look for comparison. Drab/white walls, empty sets, that sort-a thing; for comparison.
    Comet Color Page
    Allow me: fanboy of great images.



     

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    #8
    Director of Photography TimurCivan's Avatar
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    Funny you mention that Kholi, cause i did exactly that...
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    www.timurcivan.com 917-589-4424


     

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    #9
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    Thank you very much Timur!
    Anyway any other suggests about post prod filters? anyone use Digital Fusion?


     

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    #10
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    Cool stuff,thank you Timur!


     

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