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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old November 11th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #1
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Clint Eastwood Look.

Hi,

I'm going to be shooting a music video in a few weeks time. The song is called golden spells and it has a pretty dreamy summery feel.

I really want to find look that gives the sense of the sun beating down. For time reasons, Limiting our shoot to mid-late afternoon is not really a practical option.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this is old western movies, the film stocks they used just make you feel hot.







Given that we cannot simply choose an appropriate film stock, how would you go about getting this kind of hot look? What filters, white balance, picture style, and Colour grading would you put together to try and achieve this?

I'm pretty amateur at Colour grading, so if it is an either or scenario, I would prefer to do it in camera.

Thanks for any help in advance.


Edit: Would warming, Gels/Gold reflectors be used in this scenario outdoors?
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Old November 11th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #2
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This would best be done in post, but if you want to play around a bit.

I would not desaturate as much as normal (for me) and I would custom white balance to a "warm card" (a slightly blue card) you can buy these from Vortex or you can print them yourself.

You can play around with different amounts of blue on the cards. Bear in mind that you need a good calibrated monitor to tell what you really have.

The other thing that you can try and this is how most of these films were made is by the use of filters in front of the lens. Both graduated and solid color. This can get expensive, good filters and a mattebox are not cheap.

In post you can use Photoshop to create any filter you want and then superimpose it at any opacity in the timeline of most NLE's.

A program like Color makes this real easy as does Colorista. And it is really fun to play with.

Experiment a bit.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #3
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Don't forget about Magic Bullet...
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Old November 11th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #4
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As Sam alludes to in the original post, the best way to achieve this look is to shoot during the golden hour: the couple of hours after sunrise & before sunset. If you look at the shadows in the sample photos, it is clear that this is what Sergio Leone was doing.

There are a few things I would suggest to simulate this look with the 7D:

1. Shoot in "hard light" - that is, if possible shoot under a cloudless sky. You can't control the weather, but you can choose when to schedule your shoot.

2. Set the camera to daylight (or white balance using a grey card) and use a filter to get the desired golden hew. I would experiment with filters until you find the right look. My philosophy is to shoot as close as possible to the look you want. You don't want to have to drastically alter the image in post if you can avoid it.

3. Picture Style: Start with the Neutral style and dial the Sharpness all the way down, but leave Contrast and Saturation alone. This should get you very close to the desired look, but it is best to shoot tests before the day to dial-in your settings.

4. F-Stop: Use a relatively high f-stop to achieve maximum depth of field. This is another visual cue that is evident in the sample photos.

5. Test, test, and test some more.

Good luck with your shoot, and do post the finished video!
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Old November 17th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #5
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there's also a degree of sepia in those old film stocks.

another thing is if you look at the lighting they're using the sun as a backlight then using a TON of bounce light to fill in the characters, and it's a harsh bounce from a shiny board not a white bounce. it might even be a gold shiny board or possibly just a faded and dirty dusty silver one.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 12:21 PM   #6
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Agreed on the bounce lighting. You'll probably have to do even more of this with video vs. film since the dynamic range isn't as great and you're shooting in a high contrast environment.

Sam, what post-production tools will you be using? I would do it there vs. filters. You'll have a lot more control over the look.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 06:18 PM   #7
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Thanks for the pointer on bounce lighting and where the sun is. Its obvious now you mention it, but hadn't clicked yet for me.

Do you think gold spray paint on polystyrene board would do the trick?

Editing with Premiere Pro CS5, I have access to the whole Creative Suite I'm yet to get my head around when to use After Affects or Photoshop-video. Thanks for the tip, I think ill keep my filters to polarizers and ND's.

I am considering sending it off to someone more experienced to do a final color and mastering as the first/last video I did, while I was happy with how it looked online, by the time it went onto digibeta tapes and got broadcast the colors which were supposed to be natural cool greens and blues ended up looking like a dirty green/ultra contrasty "look". :-P

To go off on a tangent,
I'm guessing this happened as a result of editing on backlit LCD and watching it on a CRT but the DVDs we made were ok. Or do things also change slightly in the transfer to tape and broadcast?
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:04 PM   #8
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A little bit of backyard experimenting

Please excuse my terribly serious facial expressions.



No reflector




Gold Reflector




Foil. Perhaps a bit to hard.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 09:45 PM   #9
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the 2nd headshot is definitely getting there, but you'd have to shoot it with the sun backlighting and the bounce catching that direct sun to know for sure.

also, if you tweak the white balance a tiny bit further into the warm spectrum, maybe use the cloudy day setting in direct sun.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 09:48 PM   #10
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also, if you look at the screen grabs the bounce is coming from slightly below eye level, which isn't very natural but it lights the underside of the hat brims and under the chins.

When i worked at a film school my students would often be lazy and hold the bounce boards at chest level and i'd give them trouble for not holding it above eye level for a more natural light source, but in this case it works quite well at filling them in under the hats.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 07:20 AM   #11
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The most popular way to shoot exteriors back in those days was with arc lights, which were the original daylight balanced lighting unit before HMI's came into general use in the '80's. While they required skilled lamp operators to strike and maintain, the quality of the light output was considered superior to HMI's and had something to do with the look of film exteriors while they were in regular use. I'm quite sure they were in use for the stills shown here. Particularly in the closeup you can detect at least one if not two hard, specular sources in reflection in the eyes, nose and ear; while it could have been a shiny board (reflector), I'd be willing to gamble that an arc was the culprit. I'm sure shooting Westerns in the beating sun with hot lights in your face was what got Clint to start his signature squinting!

Jeremy, I'll have to disagree with you on two counts; these were clearly not shot at golden hour, the sun is reasonably high in the sky (at least the first two--the closeup is hard to tell). And I wouldn't call the first and third still deep focus. This film was probably shot 35mm anamorphic which has a depth of field similar to the 5D (inherently shallow), and the first and third stills show quite a variance between foreground and background, presumably to isolate Eastwood's character from the environment. The second one is pretty deep however.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #12
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@Charles - I stand corrected. The depth of field does vary from shot to shot, and I was judging more by the first, wider, shot (which would have more DOF anyway.) As far as the time of day, I was judging by the shadows in the wide shot, which look fairly long to my eye. The reality probably is that they shot all day long and adjusted bounce / electric light as needed. I believe these old spaghetti westerns were fairly low budget affairs, so shooting only during golden hour would probably have busted the budget!
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Old December 10th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #13
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in America i'd say they're arc lights, in a spaghetti western shot in spain I bet they're bounces.
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