"Dirty Harry" look at DVinfo.net

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Old June 10th, 2006, 11:14 PM   #1
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"Dirty Harry" look

Hi I'm really new here, so no doubt I'll probably be asking questions that have been asked much before, but I had a quick search of the forums and couldn't really find anything to help me.

I'm currently in the middle of making a short film which is a take off of the original Dirty Harry movies, and I've been trying to get the look and colouring of the shots, but to no avail...
I now have Magic Bullet for premiere (as i'm using adobe premiere pro 1.5) but can't seem to find the look I'm searching for.

It would be greatly appreciated if anyone would be able to maybe recommend a new plug-in or program, or just assistance to attempt to recreate the film look.
Cheers! Tim
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Old June 11th, 2006, 03:17 AM   #2
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Tim,

The look of the films probably owes as much to sets, costumes, lighting, as to the film stock, coloring, etc. There's only so much you can do in post, but if you can find some stills online, we can take a look and make a recommendation.

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Old June 12th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #3
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One thing you can do is to analyze the Dirty Harry scenes with the scopes to get a "profile" of the Dirty Harry look. Look at my Miami Vice look thread.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 10:25 PM   #4
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Tim,

I poked around and didn't find much. There is this article that makes the followng statement:

Quote:
The bright cinematography by Bruce Surtees uses excessive primary colourings to enhance its imagery, in that it doesn't shy away from any visual or symbolic horror. We the audience are treated to blood in bright sunshine, almost as if crime has even breached daily routine.
The stills I have seen tend to confirm the mention of primary colors, although in general it looks undersaturated, so I'd try lowering the overall saturation a bit, while raising the saturation on blues and reds enough to bring them back to normal, and maybe a bit more.

This was the 70's, so slight overexposure was often the norm, so try bumping the gamma up a bit.

The film was in 2.35:1 anamorphic, so hopefully you shot in 16:9 and you can crop down to 2.35:1.

Not much more to say until I can see some good stills.

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Old June 13th, 2006, 12:15 AM   #5
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Ok thanks a lot. Unfortunately, the opening footage we shot was in 4:3 as we only had one camera which was (at the time) set at 16:9, bit of a stuff up, so we just kept the 4:3 footage. We were considering re-filming some of it but wasn't sure if it would be worth it.

The footage is mildly overexposed after fiddling with white balance a little bit.
These shots are from raw footage, hoping maybe someone could mess around with them a bit.

http://img123.imageshack.us/my.php?image=harry14zr.png
http://img98.imageshack.us/my.php?image=harry25zw.png

Some shots from Dirty Harry are:

http://www.norcalmovies.com/DirtyHarry/dh05.jpg
http://www.norcalmovies.com/DirtyHarry/dh12.jpg
http://www.norcalmovies.com/DirtyHarry/dh03.jpg

I hope those links work, if they don't just let me know.

Josh,
I slightly pushed gamma up and moderately reduced saturation and it seems to be looking better now. However, I'm not very good at navigating my way around this whole area of production so any help is appreciated.

Carl,
I had a look at your thread, and yes, I like the look that you were going for. Have you slightly blurred some of the shots? That is the kind of look that I am hoping for. I'll try follow what you said you did to the footage and see how mine turns out.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 10:50 AM   #6
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Tim,

Well, there is a big difference between slightly overexposed and completely blown-out skies as you have in your footage. To my eye, your footage is unusable.

You really need to use a polarizing filter and ND filters to control the overexposure. If you have zebras and manual exposure, you might try exposing for the highlights, and then adjusting in post. What camera are you using? Perhaps it doesn't have enough exposure latitude to handle these high-contrast outdoors situations very well.

Also, the 2.35:1 is a large part of the look. 4:3 just isn't going to feel anything like it.

Taking a closer look at those stills, it appears as I described. Everything is quite dull, except for the primary colors, with bright blues, reds, and yellows jumping out. There also seems to be a brown tinge everything else, which is partly production design, but also partly the photography.

You might well-served to reshoot with some of these considerations in mind.

If you'd like to post a number of raw frame grabs from your shoot, I'll try a hand at correcting them and let you know how I did it.

Later,
Josh
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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:44 PM   #7
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Those frame grabs were raw, untouched. The camera I'm using is a Panasonic GS250 with an Arkon UV filter, but that was for the second image. The first one was from another camera, not exactly sure what it was but I think it was an earlier model of the DCRHC26, and the white balance was significantly off and without filter, making the sky look awfull. I realised theres pretty much no way to fix it, so we were just going to run with it.

We filmed two other scenes in 16:9 and it looks really good, so I think the deep issue might have something to do with that. But also the other stuff was shot at night, and the cameras were balanced for the amount of lighting.

Thanks for your help mate, I'll just have to mess around with it a bit I guess and see what the best result is.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 10:52 PM   #8
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Looks as though you need to white balance as well, your footage has the blues. It seems to be balanced for indoor light. Underexpose slightly and use a color corector in post to bring the mids up a bit. You may want to desaturate as well a bit.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:02 PM   #9
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Here's what I was able to get to with iPhoto...part of their look is bright sunlight at obliques angles as well...great use of ambient light.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/attachmen...1&d=1150257560
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"Dirty Harry" look-dh-corrected.jpg  
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #10
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ok thanks that looks much better.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:06 PM   #11
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on the DH12 image, the sun is high left side and bounce filled on the dark side of the face to fill out the shadows and bring the light ratio down. The fill light is not so hard as a direct reflector, but more like a white bounce card to diffuse the fill. Contrasting the hard lines form the sunlight...It's also a cloudless day on that pic.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 11:46 AM   #12
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Tim,

OK, I took a pass at color correcting your stills. Here they are and I'll explain what I did to correct them.

I did the work in Photoshop, but most of these settings could be transferred to any NLE.

Levels: Adjusted levels on each RGB channel separately. Moved the black point slider up to meet the left edge of the histogram. This corrected most of the color balance issue and created a fuller image. We still have overexposure and lost image data at the highlight end.

Curves: Used one master curve. Assuming we are missing data on the highlight end, I brought the midpoint down slightly to bring the exposure down a bit. Budged the shadows up and the highlights down, just a bit, to lower the contrast slightly. Much more pleasing image at this point.

Hue/Saturation: Adjust the master and all color channels individually. Brought saturation down on the master -40. Brought Reds back slightly +20. Brought Yellows back +40, but narrowed the bandwith of the Yellow adjustment. Left Greens and Megentas alone. Bumped Cyans and Blues up +50 each. We didn't really increase the saturation of colors more than they were, except slightly on the Cyans and Blues. The principle is that by lowering other colors, the primaries would stand out more. This would be more dramatic if there were more primary colors in the image, but there is a certain technicolor look to the water in the first image.

Color Balance: Adjusted Shadow color balance only, +10 Red, -10 Blue. This was enough to add a brown tinge to the lower end.

If these shots were properly shot and exposed, with a polarizing filter, then you could toss out the Levels adjustment. Might still use Curves to lower contrast in a reverse s-curve slightly. Hue/Sat/Color Balance would all stay the same.

I would also recommend shooting with at least an ND.9 (3 stops) when shooting outside, maybe even more powerful ND than that. That will open up your iris more and give you shallow depth of field. Not film like depth of field, but at least you wouldn't have these shots where everything, even across the lake, is all in focus.
Josh
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Old June 15th, 2006, 12:59 AM   #13
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Great! Thank you so much, I just had a try myself with your instructions and got good results, I really appreciate your help!
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Old June 15th, 2006, 10:00 AM   #14
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Tim,

Please post it when it's done, I'm excited to see it.

Josh
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Old June 15th, 2006, 03:05 PM   #15
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For getting the in camera image closer to what you're looking for, I have a film vs. digital diatribe at:

http://www.seedwiki.com/wiki/indie_f...cinematography
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