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Old September 7th, 2003, 08:02 PM   #1
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Three Kings Look?

While we are on the subject of filmlook. Anyone here ever tried mimicking the bleach of Three Kings?

I do know that it was done in post during processing (silver removed, yeah, yeah...).

My question is, has anyone tried this with DV (specifically XL1s). Are there any 'in camera' techniques as well as what to do in post?
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Old September 9th, 2003, 12:55 AM   #2
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while I've never actively tried to do it (yet) I'm giving it a shot in the next couple of weeks with my xl1 (no s). I believe in the three kings the particular shot you're talking about was doneby a film stock not so much a process, I think the film stock was called ecktochrome but I'm not positive. As far as shooting goes I'm going to use a polarizer to really make the sky blueusing a very wide open iris (2.4, 1.8) hopefully this will add to the bleach effect and compensate for the f-stop loss by the pola. I also plan on shooting at a high shutter rate between that and the pola it will probably be more dark then I like so I'm going to have to pull some of the luminence out. in post but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 10:50 AM   #3
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Nick - you're going about it in the right way. Three Kings was shot raw with polarizer, with the warmer/burnt colours added in post. I expect you'll be satisfied with the results from what you're planning.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 11:40 AM   #4
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I would be very interested in the results you achieve. If you will, please let me (us) know how it turns out. I'd love to see the images.

I think with DV it is good to use these methods as opposed to making your 'film' look like DANCES WITH WOLVES filmwise we can use tricks too make them look more like Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, Three Kings, etc. These stylized looking films may not have been 'acceptable' 10 years ago, but now they seem the norm.

Let us know and good luck.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 01:26 PM   #5
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Parts of "Three Kings" were shot on Ektachrome reversal and then cross-processed, weren't they? I'm sure there's an American Cinematographer article about this somewhere.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 07:35 PM   #6
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I don't have the DVD here but I remember they talked about the process on the commentary track, you may want to check it out. I'm pretty sure it was the combination of Ektachrome + color timing in post.
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Old September 13th, 2003, 04:24 PM   #7
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Maybe this will help you blokes understand the effect. Its stated as an effect caused by bleach process:

"Director David Russell purposely separated the film’s visual style into three distinct sections to evoke the varying tone of the story line...
Russell consulted with cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel to arrive at a visual technique to express this sense of dislocation. "David and I decided that the beginning of the film, when the war has just ended, should have a kind of colorless hard edge to it, like a documentary of the war we all saw," says Sigel."
"I also wanted this to symbolize the soldiers’ disenchantment with the end of the war," says Russell.

Sigel explains, "For this we used a process called bleach bypass, where you skip a bleach process in the developing of the film so it leaves a layer of silver on the negative."

taken from website -
http://www.workprint.net/prodnotes/threekingsprod.html
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Old September 13th, 2003, 04:30 PM   #8
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It seems that the same process of this Ektachrome film stock used in Three Kings was also used in X-Men for effect:


"As he had on both Fallen and Three Kings, Sigel used the unique look of cross-processed Ektachrome reversal film for another X-Men flashback, this time to represent the anguish of Wolverine’s nightmarish past. "Wolverine has a recurring nightmare based on what happened to him at a secret military lab," Sigel describes. "He doesn’t remember exactly what happened beyond a few fragments, so I wanted to photograph the sequence in a way that represented that feeling."

Toward that end, Sigel shot the scene with Kodak’s 5285, a reversal stock he actually had a hand in bringing to the market. "I’d previously used bulk loads of various still-photography films in doing this kind of work, including Kodak’s Ektachrome Professional Plus. But for Three Kings, I knew we were going to do a huge chunk of the film with it—the entire second act—so I asked Kodak to make us 1,000-foot loads of Ektachrome with edge-coding and Bell & Howell perfs. They were very hesitant to do it, but we ended up shooting 200,000 feet of it, so they were happy in the end. They decided that there was a market for the stock, and they now offer an advancement of it called 5285."

The cinematographer wanted Wolverine to appear hot and feverish in the sequence, so he overexposed by about a stop, bringing out hot highlights along the character’s body. However, the cameraman notes that because of the 85’s dangerously low latitude, over- or underexposure can only be done with extreme judiciousness. "The stock has such a very narrow range that I’d always recommend someone do tests before using this technique," he notes, "but I’ve used it quite a lot. The 85 is daylight-balanced, so using HMIs or daylight will give you the most ’normal’ effect, even with the cross-processing. How far you want to shift away from that is up to you. You can to it with the color temperature of your lights or with your production design, because certain colors will really pop."
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Old September 13th, 2003, 04:31 PM   #9
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sorry the last notes can be found at : http://www.theasc.com/magazine/july00/suspense/pg2.htm
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Old September 14th, 2003, 03:30 PM   #10
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I recall that parts of the film were shot with 85 processed as reversal, and some other parts were shot with cross-processed 85. It's a really cool stock, I shot a bunch of promos/bumpers for HBO Latino that have run inbetween their programs for the past couple of years--mostly available light street scenes using the Kodachrome, and the color rendition is really punchy.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 01:35 PM   #11
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Doesn't really help the 'film look' process. Anyone have any ideas on HOW WE CAN DO IT?
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Old September 30th, 2003, 09:24 PM   #12
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supply a still of the cross processing Look you want ( 3 king ) and i'll give it a try next week ...


the skip bleach process .. vegas users start here and adjust to your liking .
put clip on video track 2 ..then make copy of it on track 1 .. track 1 make B&W i prefer channel blend FX using distribute red channel for B&W -- now use color curves and crush the blacks only .. make sure track 1 level remains at 100

solo video track 2 - use color curves fx to crush the blacks & bring up mid range gamma - can fine tune this later .. unsolo track 2

video track 1 switch compositing mode to OVERLAY ( you cannot solo track 1 as it will be black if you do)

video track 2 adjust mid range gamma using color curves FX. add color correction FX , back down color saturation 30-60% ( to your liking ) ..

now put track 1 compositing mode back to ALPHA .. solor track 1, add film grain FX to track 1 adjust more then you like ... now un-solo track 1 and put compositing back compositing mode to OVERLAY ..

if clip is too contrasty you can use the LEVELS on track 1 to flatten ...

skip bleach look is higher contrast, less color saturation & more grain...
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Old September 30th, 2003, 10:13 PM   #13
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<<I think with DV it is good to use these methods as opposed to making your 'film' look like DANCES WITH WOLVES filmwise we can make them look more like Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, Three Kings, etc.>>

John,

The "look" of Dances with Wolves" wasn't so much a "trend" decision as it was a "style" decision. Costner and crew took one look at the sea of yellow grass where they intended to film and knew right away that that would set the warmth and color scheme for the entire film. Besides, it's a romance/adventure genre film and should be warmer than a military satire/drama.

Instead of mimicking the look of certain films such as The Matrix, Black Hawk Down, etc. because it looks cool and is trendy, we should decide what look best complements the story.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 12:24 AM   #14
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Digital Film Tools features a very reasonably-priced set of AE and Final Cut Pro plug-in's called "55M". Among them is a "bleach bypass" filter that, I believe, simulates the process you're looking for.

I spotted these filters in the Sep 03 issue of American Cinematographer, downloaded and bought them. It's a good set well worth a look.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 01:01 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by John Locke : <<I think with DV it is good to use these methods as opposed to making your 'film' look like DANCES WITH WOLVES filmwise we can make them look more like Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, Three Kings, etc.>>

John,

The "look" of Dances with Wolves" wasn't so much a "trend" decision as it was a "style" decision. Costner and crew took one look at the sea of yellow grass where they intended to film and knew right away that that would set the warmth and color scheme for the entire film. Besides, it's a romance/adventure genre film and should be warmer than a military satire/drama.

Instead of mimicking the look of certain films such as The Matrix, Black Hawk Down, etc. because it looks cool and is trendy, we should decide what look best complements the story. -->>>

Your're right. I believe the look should compliment the story and I didn't mean to make it sound so "dumbed down". I just meant in shooting DV for the LONO budget and the INDI film, the format seems to be our favor. I tend to mimic, I admit. But not for lack of originality on my part. I am an Oil Painter and a Guitar Player as well and I have found in my 'learning' of these arts, that when I am inspired and mimic, say perhaps a painting style or guitar technique or sound, I tend to learn it and then expand and mutate it into my own version. Make sense?

Anyhow, you are correct, the look should def compliment the story. Which is why I will not be using a DVX100 to make a western film! :)
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