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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

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Old March 3rd, 2009, 04:34 PM   #1
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F.I.L.M. Fine Indigenously Lackluster Media

Hi guys and gals,

I hope everyone is doing wonderfully on whatever project (or projects) they may be working on at this time. As for me, I am currently working on a project that requires a “film look” to it. I apologize if this subject has been covered multiple times on DV Info but I can’t seem to find any threads with my specific situation in regards to equipment, etc.

The “film look” I am trying to achieve can be described as follows:

* jittery and somewhat bouncy, but not too bouncy
* grainy
* scratchy
* speckled
* faint vertical lines littering the frames sporadically

I know that there are ways to achieve this “look” by buying plug-ins and filters and the like, but I’m looking for a low-cost option. With that said I am shooting with a Canon XH-A1 and editing with Adobe Premiere Pro. Has anyone out there been able to achieve this “film look” by just using the onboard effects in Premiere? And if so, can you please tell me how you did it as soon as possible? I’m shooting in two days with only a 24-hour turnaround time so promptness is greatly appreciated.

Thanks a million folks and like I always say (and many others before me have said)…keep shooting for the stars!!!

~ Lars

Last edited by Jerome Niko; March 3rd, 2009 at 07:13 PM.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 06:44 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Houston, TX
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Please don't ask on a public message board for people to privately email an answer to a topic of general interest. If you want a private answer, ask privately. (And please don't cross-post...the other similar thread was removed as a Terms of Service violation).

If anyone has any insights, please share them here in this thread so all can benefit from the shared knowledge.

Parenthetically, not keen on the acronym. Good luck.
Pete Bauer
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 07:12 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I'm so sorry Pete, I didn't mean any harm here. I should have read the Terms of Use policies more closely. I was wondering what had happened to my earlier posting. Please excuse my ignorance for this one posting. Again, I sincerely apologize.

And as for the acronym, it was only in jest. I love film myself!!! I find it funny that many seasoned video folks are looking for ways to modify their perfect digital video images into something that looks older and tattered. The aformentioned being done for artistic and nostalgic purpose is wonderful in my opinion.

Thank you so much for leaving my posting up the second time, I do greatly appreciate it. I will keep in mind that publicly asking for private e-mail messages is forbidden. Thanks again Pete!!!

~ Lars
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Old March 6th, 2009, 03:37 AM   #4
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This may be too late for you ( just read you have a 24 hour turnaround so this probably isn't relevant )but, if I were you I would do the most obvious and that is shoot on film. A Super 8 camera doesn't cost the earth and a few rolls of film and processing come to about the same amount as a "pro" level film look plug in. It will look more like the old, dirty flickering look that you're after, if you treat it correctly, because it is film.

Another quick fix is to use a short clip of blank Super 8/16mm. I have some low res clips here Scratchtapes Demos/Clips if you want to try this. There is also a tutorial for this on my site.

In short, take a grainy/scratched/dirty clip that is blank ie: is just white or orange or something, composite this clip over your footage using add/screen/multiply etc. then loop the clip to cover the time of your original footage and voila, you have a very basic dirty film look. You might want to play with deinterlacing/black levels and colour correction in your original clip. If you combine this technique with a film look plug in, then IMO this as close as you will get without actually shooting on film.

Hope that helps,

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Old March 14th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the great advice. I may try what you suggested for future projects. I ended up using a DigiEffects plug-in that worked well. I don't think any digital effect can fully replicate the look of film. But for this project it worked great and the client was happy so all's well that ends well I guess. Thanks again for your help Adrian and keep shooting for the stars!!!

~ Lars

Last edited by Jerome Niko; March 14th, 2009 at 02:57 PM. Reason: Goof
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