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Old October 18th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #1
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Film Noir PP settings

I'm preparing to shoot a Film Noir, femme fatal movie. It will be a black and white classic film noir of the 1940's, much like Double Indemnity, etc. Using a Sony EX3 as the primary camera.

A couple of questions:

Would it be better to shoot the original footage in B&W or shoot color and remove color in post?

I believe if I set the Matrix to -99 it should remove all color. But are there other ways to get the Sony EX3 to shoot B&W?

Does anyone have any PP settings for Film Noir? I'm looking for something that will handle the high contrast but still give me some details in the darker areas. I'm most likely going to be capturing with a nanoFlash using the highest bitrate and I-frame only.

Thanks for you help,
Garrett
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Last edited by Garrett Low; October 18th, 2010 at 07:14 PM.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 07:52 PM   #2
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Hi Garrett,
You don't set Matrix to "-99", You need to set Matrix "ON" and set Level to (-99)!
I would suggest shoot colour, observe in your screen in B&W and later in post remove what you needs to be removed. This way you would have both worlds. Just my .02c
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Old October 18th, 2010, 10:11 PM   #3
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Hi Garrett,
You don't set Matrix to "-99", You need to set Matrix "ON" and set Level to (-99)!
Cheers
Thanks Luben. That's actually what I meant. I just think of it that way. I was wondering if there is any advantage of not recording any color.

Thanks for you input.

-Garrett
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Old October 18th, 2010, 10:43 PM   #4
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.... I was wondering if there is any advantage of not recording any color.....

-Garrett
Well, I only could say the disadvantage is if you wanna have colours at some point. Lets say, 3 years later...
BTW aren't you shooting with your NF? If you are try a test to see what NF would record with Level-99 and take it from there. you could have B&W and Colour. If you do the test, please let me know how does it go.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 11:17 PM   #5
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I will be shooting with my NF and an didn't think about dual capture modes. Good idea. I'll have to play with that.

One of the things I was thinking would be cool is to eventually have a look where everything except maybe one or two characters are a muted color and everything else would be B&W.

Thanks,
Garrett
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Old October 19th, 2010, 01:15 AM   #6
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One of the things I was thinking would be cool is to eventually have a look where everything except maybe one or two characters are a muted color and everything else would be B&W.
Exactly...
Seems to me if you shoot B&W, you'll be stuck with whatever you've got.
If you shoot color, your final options are unlimited.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 01:29 AM   #7
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Cin City

Hi Garrett,
That was my point... take a look at "Cin City" if you haven't seen it yet. You would love and learn a lot for B&W with a lot of colour for punching effects plus a lot of Green Screen - actually, the whole movie is Green Screen.....
IMDb Video: Sin City
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Old October 19th, 2010, 02:10 AM   #8
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OK. So I understand the versatility of shooting in color. But do I gain any latitude by shooting in B&W? One of the things I really need to achieve is a very smooth grading of greys. I'll need to have some shots where I've got a practical that's partially blown out, half of a face light fairy hot, and the opposite side in shadow but still have some details.

-Garrett
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Old October 19th, 2010, 02:31 AM   #9
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What is the budget? Do you have a good studio, light, DOP, Director? or you would be all of that? It sounds like you may need some animation too. Take a look at Cin City. Everything of what you said you wanna do, is there. B&W would hide and would expose a lot more that colour. The way you would expose the scene to light is very important.
look at Ch. Chaplin's movie. A very good tutorial for B&W. Again, Cin City is an eye opener what you could do with light, green screen and animation. Good luck.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 03:20 AM   #10
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What is the budget?
Very small but from past experience doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luben Izov View Post
Do you have a good studio, light, DOP, Director?
We've got location scouting going on now but most of the scenes will be shot on location. We do have a decent studio available if need be. I'll be DoP and probably Camera Op but that may change if I can find a Camera Op that I can feel comfortable with. The director is also the writer and he's finalizing the script now. We do have a great gaffer and we've worked together several times before so it's nice to feel confident that we'll communicate easily.

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or you would be all of that? It sounds like you may need some animation too. Take a look at Cin City. Everything of what you said you wanna do, is there.
We're aiming more for a 40's era classic Film Noir. It's going to be a murder mystery, femme fatale movie. Sin City isn't quite the look we're going for. It has a lot of very interesting effects but we're going for a little more traditional look. We've got a couple of digital animators who have said they'd be willing to help on the project but they can't commit to it full time. I'm not thinking we'll need that much animation. Mostly titles, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luben Izov View Post
B&W would hide and would expose a lot more that colour. The way you would expose the scene to light is very important.
That's exactly why we're doing B&W. This will really allow me to push the level of expression. I believe you can be much more creative with B&W. It also takes a lot more vision and creativity to make it really good. This will really let me experiment and the director is willing let me be creative.

This should be a lot of fun. We're still in the pre-production phase and are scheduled to begin shooting in February of next year. Right now I'm planning on doing a lot of testing and experimenting. Our Art Director will be doing story boards soon and then we'll sit down and start blocking out the shots.

Thanks,
Garrett
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