[Tig] What do colorists prefer? (was: Telecine 101)

C.J. Scheppers cjs
Thu Mar 6 00:46:57 GMT 2003

Hello Mr. Lovejoy and TIG,

Your message prompted me to go ahead and ask a few questions which might
draw some input over a period of time.  I am sometimes asked to be lighting
director on film projects and I have shot some of my own projects, too.

On other peoples' projects, I usually get into a "discussion" with the
cinematographer about filmstock, exposure rating, lighting ratios and
overall lighting level.  So that this message does not get too long or
complicated, could I just invite comments about film stock selection at
this time?  Is Kodak Vision II 5218/7218 the immediate answer to the
question of what filmstock will be used?  If the show is supposed to be a
dark, contrasty psycho-drama, is a soft contrast film the right way to
start?  Is much of the filmstock's benefit being put to waste in telecine?
Would it have an adverse effect on the quality?  Wouldn't it be reserved
for shooting scenes in uncontrollably lit, high-contrast settings?  If the
director is going for contrast, wouldn't a more contrasty film help get the
desired look and reduce the amount of work necessary to make such
high-contrast lighting schemes while on location?  Should filmstock be
selected carefully for better telecine later?

What do colorists prefer?

C.J. Scheppers

At 10:10 PM 2/27/03, Robert Lovejoy wrote:
>Hi Melissa,
>     Are you talking about agency clients, or budding film makers?  The
>agency types learn telecine by lots of repeat exposure, but the steady
>supply of youngsters graduating film school are always awed and intimidated
>by the arsenal in telecine.
>     With the budding of video as a democratic capture medium, you might
>want to consider naming the class Aspects of Color Enhancement for Film and
>Video 101.  There is such a mindset amongst videographers that they have to
>deliver a finished product from the tape inside their camera, when in fact
>they could learn to shoot flatter and shape their footage in a color
>correction suite just as those who shoot film do.  Power windows, defocus,
>and secondary correction can add a lot to any image, regardless of capture
>medium.  Certainly film still reigns as the superior medium because of its
>exposure latitude (though the Thompson Viper is being noticed), but video
>can greatly benefit from some creative tweaking.
>     Anyway, I tell first-timers what I'm doing as I go through the process.
>I point out how we can "dodge and burn" with the windows, what primary and
>secondary correction is, what that punch hole at the beginning of each flat
>is for - basically, a little demo of some of our major tweaks.  As they
>become return clients, the way they shoot changes as they learn to
>anticipate what they can do in a session.  To be in the room and see how we
>deal with the images has been the best experience for beginners.  In a
>classroom situation, I'd explain primary and secondary correction and
>windows to absolute beginners.  Perhaps it might be helpful if you could get
>a local facility to make up a DVD for you demonstrating these basic
>functions.  It shouldn't take too much effort to lace up some film on hand,
>demonstrate primaries by adjusting the RGB balance, then show a cursor
>grabbing a single color and isolating and changing its value.  The show the
>window process.  You can get into the more complex effects if the facility
>is willing to donate the time for such a good cause.  That would at least
>come close to an actual session and would be repeatable for future classes.
>     Hope these ideas help.
>Bob Lovejoy
>Shooters Inc.

More information about the Tig mailing list