Greenish hue in "Amélie" at

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Old February 1st, 2003, 07:13 AM   #1
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Greenish hue in "Amélie"

Does anyone have any idea how they achieved the greenish-hue in "Amélie"?

In certain scenes, such as the subway tunnel, I'm wondering if they white balanced for daylight or tungsten, then shot with fluorescents, causing the greenish look? It seems that way since she appears green until she walks up close to the camera and obviously into a new, warm key light, causing her to contrast completely with the green lighting in the background.
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Old February 1st, 2003, 10:12 AM   #2
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Hi, John,

I read a german article about it some time ago. In short it said that the filmmakers planned that look already in pre-production to achieve it with digital color-grading in post (it was beyond the capabilities of chemical color-correction).
It was not just color-balancing or tricking with the lighting, even the sets, the costumes and the make-up were designed to get that look. Blue tones were extremely desaturated, which meant everything on the set that was supposed to look blue had to be in an extreme blue so the color would not get lost in the grading-process. The actors make-up was often ashen to ensure their faces would not fall off into a golden-greenish color.

Here is an interview with someone who knows probably better than me: the cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel: (go to page 8)

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Old February 1st, 2003, 12:27 PM   #3
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If you watch the "making of" section of the DVD they explain how they achieved the color work.
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Old February 1st, 2003, 04:39 PM   #4
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In the Extended Edition DVD of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring one of the documentarys is about Color Grading. VERY interesting stuff...

I believe that a version of this could be accomplished with postproduction color correction if you have it in mind as you go to shoot.

This is just another example of the importants of production design in the pre stages. On the Matrix the Brothers were very specific going in with design: the Matrix is green.
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Old February 1st, 2003, 08:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys. Peter, great Arri article...Bill, I'll see if I can get my hands on the DVD (no place to rent DVDs near me unfortunately)...and Kevin, the Matrix is definitely the mother of all green films.

It's interesting that a green hue is so appealing. I love it...but I'm not sure why exactly. The use of it in films like "Snatch" really add to the visual appeal.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 07:27 PM   #6
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The subway scenes, if you look closely, one can actually see the powerwindows.

Powerwindows, for those who don't know, is a feature of DaVinci color-correction systems where you have the ability to isolate pieces of the frame (like a very soft-edged oval, perhaps) and treat the color within in a different way.

In the subway scene, for example, opens with a shot of Amelie coming down the long flight of stairs. If you look close, you can see around the edges of her face the "window", where the world is green and her face is relatively normal.

Stuff like this is used extensively in high-end music videos and spots...

You can also do this in programs like FCP and AE, but it takes much longer to get things set right, and then you have to render. A DaVinci system does it all in real-time.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 06:03 AM   #7
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DaVinci is a very nice system. I had the pleasure to watch several
people work on them on last years IBC here in Amsterdam and
it was just jaw dropping. Unbelievable. It might also have something
to do with their experience, ofcourse. But the system has some
very very nice features. Price is not one of them though...

Rob Lohman,
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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