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Old August 28th, 2006, 04:11 PM   #1
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Trying to achieve a fairy tale look

I am trying to achieve a fairy tale look for this short I want to put together - I know that there are not that many directors that have that style like Edward Scissorhands/Tim Burton. Any ideas how he achieves that atmosphere and style ?
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Old August 28th, 2006, 06:02 PM   #2
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Well, I am nowhere near Tim Burton, LOL, but I might be able to help you out a bit. You definitely don't want hard edges or strong contrast, but for a fairy tale, I would suggest bright/soft pastel like colours and depth. Maybe you can make it seem less real, and change up certain colours. The sky, pink or purple instead of blue. The trees, yellow or blue instead of green.

If you are fortunate enough to have coloured lights to shoot with, shoot the characters with the light, then in post, hue and saturation to make their skin look normal, but everything around them abnormal colours. Blur the edges of the videos, to focus on the fairy tale characters, go for depth of field if the backgrounds are not so great.

You could use the Photoshop method that I posted before:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=74154
Here is a new sample tailored to a fairy tale look:
http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/7599/skybw6.jpg

You should create some tests to see what you can do. You'll be surprised and you will feel more comfortable when shooting the actual video. But remember, what I suggested is all in post, meaning it is just what it looks like. To create a real style, you need certain angles, timings, acting. That is what makes the style. The colouring is like decorating, it makes it look better, but it is how it is performed and how it is presented that makes the style.

Justin
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Old August 28th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #3
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Try to make it "airy"; have a preponderance of light tones, and diffuse the highlights is post.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #4
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Thank you for the info. I was also trying to figure out what kind of camera moves, crane shots, dollies etc that fairy tale-like films employ to get that effect - do they use alot of shots that are POV of a child to achieve a fairy-tale look? I will have to go back and rent a few movies and see...and suggestions on movies as well?

Justin, what technique did you use specifically to get that look in the jpg? Was it AE for the video?
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Old August 29th, 2006, 07:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Delaney
Justin, what technique did you use specifically to get that look in the jpg? Was it AE for the video?
Well, I converted the video to jpg frames, then ran a batch through photoshop using a preset I created. Then compiled them again into video, then synced the audio back to the video in the editor. I used Video Mach to convert the frames to video and vice versa. You might be able to do this with the editor you are using now.

http://www.gromada.com/videomach.html

If you have AE, you can probably do the same thing. I have no experience using AE because I don't own it, that's why I use a photoshop work around.

For the types of shots... it's really a matter of what you want. You can shoot a fairy tale using regular shots, or you could go with something different. If I were to create a fairy tale video, and had lot of time to plan etc, I would shoot everything below eye level. That way the environments seem larger.

I really don't have much experience with that sort of stuff, normally I just shoot 'what looks best'. Each video I try and improve. Maybe, look at the trailers for the new Willy Wonka movie or the Edward Scissorhands movie.

Justin
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Old August 29th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Delaney
Thank you for the info. I was also trying to figure out what kind of camera moves, crane shots, dollies etc that fairy tale-like films employ to get that effect - do they use alot of shots that are POV of a child to achieve a fairy-tale look? I will have to go back and rent a few movies and see...and suggestions on movies as well?
David, I suggest "City of Lost Children" dir. by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. Jeunet of course having since done "Amelie" and "A Very Long Engagement", so expect very stylized set design and photography.

But "City..." is a dark fairy tale. Notice in Jeunet's films, a lot of unusual atypical camera angles, and oblique close-ups. Something I notice in Burton films like "Edward Scissorhands" and "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory".

Of course I have to recommend "The Princess Bride" dir. by Rob Reiner, the effects are somewhat cheesy but the whole thing still works and I don't know anybody who can't quote that movie.

Good luck & happy viewing, please share your work when it's done...
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Old August 30th, 2006, 12:26 PM   #7
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It's theatre but Cirque Du Soleil would make a good starting point for things fairy tale.
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