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Old September 6th, 2004, 05:00 PM   #1
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Location: Lincoln, UK
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Best Retro Look?

I've noticed people over time have attempted to recreate looks from different eras (Ed Wood, for instance and most recently the disappointing attempt in Down With Love) but have rarely if ever come across an authentic simulation of old filming methods. For instance, Ed Wood doesn't look like an old 40s/50s film to me, it looks like a 90's film with high contrast, b&w filter and some transitions to help ease it into that atmosphere... it doesnt seem to LOOK like an old movie.

With the advantage of being able to post-process without losing quality, directors could really experiment with trying to acheive an old-style look - I for one would love to see a film with an 80s look, simply because it would be so subtle.

And finally, which movies would you say looked the closest to whatever era they were intended?
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Old September 6th, 2004, 07:00 PM   #2
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Frankly I thought "Down with Love" was the most accurate retro feel to it. The script of course, was a tongue in cheek send up, but the cinematography was dead on. Everything was shot in a studio, the process shots inside cars, the split screen editing... yeah, go rent a Doris Day Rock Hudson film and see how they captured it exactly. Or rent "Boeing Boeing" with Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis. (I don't think it was Martin
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Old September 7th, 2004, 01:46 AM   #3
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I agree with you, but I feel that they didn't go as far as they could in my opinion to give the footage or the motion retro. The contrast isn't as low and motions aren't as rigid as they was in the 60's movies, but I think this is partly because they wanted to keep one foot in the 21st Centuary, as the director mentions on the commentary.

Check the B-roll, and the shot where Barbara is at the photo shoot... for some reason, that looks absolutly spot on. Bost of the B-Roll shots do too, I'm guessing because of the lower quality of the them.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 01:48 AM   #4
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I think the point may often be not be to entirely ape a period look as much as suggest it, while infusing a more contemporary or individualized style to the material.

One good example is the film "The Rat Pack", which was made for HBO a few years back. The look is period due to the production design, wardrobe and a net behind the lens, but with extreme highlights that bring the period style forward into the current day.

With current telecine and/or DI, it's possible to exactly recreate or match footage from different eras. I've been impressed with that ad (can't remember the product, which is an unfortunate sign with an otherwise memorable spot!) that shows our two heros inserted into various historical events: the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall, etc. The accurate recreation of an 80's era tube video camera image for the Berlin Wall shot, complete with the funky color and smearing, was astonishing.

Regardless, I do agree, Steve, that it would be kind of fun to see a full-on 80's look with the long lenses, smoke and desaturated colors utilized today.
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