Daylight Balanced Film Stocks for Interiors

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      Roger has previously written on this forum about how he “timed a cold negative” for The Shawshank Redemption, i.e. shot exteriors on tungsten balanced stocks without an 85 filter and then corrected the color in the timing process. Does anyone on here know any instances of a D.P. doing the opposite, i.e. shooting an interior (non mixed lighting) on a daylight balanced stock without an 80A filter and then correcting the color during timing? If so why might a filmmaker choose to do so?

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    • #214892

        If you’re going for a cool look by pulling the 85 filter on tungsten film in daylight, then you aren’t really correcting back to neutral, you may be just correcting part of the blue out.

        In terms of using daylight film in tungsten or mixed sources, that’s been done many times. Both “Emma” (1996 version) and “Backdraft” used 250D daylight film for interiors to make candleflames and fire look more orange, mixed with some daylight-balanced light. Robert Richardson used 250D daylight stock for a tungsten-lit night exterior in “Born on the 4th of July” for a warm look. In fact, 3-strip Technicolor was daylight-balanced from 1935 to 1952, and sometimes tungsten lamps were used for orange lighting effects (like firelight, etc.). But in all of these cases, the image was not corrected back from orange to neutral.

        I have heard of scenes shot on daylight film in daylight corrected from neutral to cool though — for example, the WW2 flashbacks in the first “X-Men” movie was shot on 50D with a bleach-bypass process and then timed cool.

        So unless a warm tone is desired by not correcting in post, I can’t imagine the reason for shooting 250D all under tungsten but correcting it back to neutral unless it was simply a stock emergency on location and no tungsten stock was available.


          Thank you so much David, your insights are fascinating as always.

          Roger Deakins

            When I used tungsten balanced stock for my exteriors on ‘Shawshank’, without an 85 correction filter, I was timing the negative to a more neutral look. I wasn’t doing this because I was after a cold blue look but because I adjudged that when timed back the shadows retained a colder look than if I was shooting with an 85 correction filter. This is something I did on scenes in ‘1984’ and other films.

            Of course, using a daylight stock to shoot candle light is, basically, the equivalent to shooting on tungsten stock and gelling your lamps with a full CTO. I say basically, because the are subtle differences. To my eye, the daylight stocks have more contrast as well as more saturation so this might factor into the choice of stock and which approach to take.


              Thank you Roger

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