Color Correction for Tungsten film shot in Daylight (6 replies and 2 comments)
I've noticed a lot of my favourite film looks are shot on Tungsten Kodak stock only.
Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and No Country for Old Men have some of the most stunning colors.
Also, Looper / I Am Legend / Nocturnal Animals / Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring do the same, and I love the results.
I'm about to shoot a project on 16mm film, and I'm interested in shooting only tungsten stocks, and I remember hearing in an interview once where you mentioned you would shoot daylight scenes with nothing in front of the lens, and have the lab correct the color temperature.
Is this done with normal processing and RGB offsets in the DI, or would the lab need to do special processing of the negative?
That can be done with normal processing. There is plenty of 'room' in the negative so that the image can be timed 'correctly' either in the lab when making a print or in the DI suite.
I believe, Roger, that you did use the 85 correction filter outdoors when doing "Assassination of Jesse James" and "No Country for Old Men"...
You can shoot without the 85 filter and correct in post, as Roger says -- the negative has a lot of flexibility, but keep in mind that you are essentially recording a cooler image and warming it up in post by rebalancing the RGB channels.
My own approach was to skip the 85 filter when I wanted a cool-to-neutral image, like for a wintertime movie or something shot in the woods, and use the 85 filter when I wanted a warm-to-neutral image like shooting in the desert -- just because I didn't want to have to warm up the image just to get to neutral and then warm it up some more to get warmth.
But there have been plenty of movies shot on tungsten film without the 85 filter, from "Barry Lyndon" to "Heat", or the partial 81EF correction like "Saving Private Ryan".
There is also the Tiffen LL-D filter, which is pale and needs no compensation for exposure but it does reduce some of the excess blue so that the correction is less extreme in printing -- plus it acts as a skylight / UV filter since pulling the 85 filter does also mean you are pulling some of the UV filtration.
Yes, I shot with no correction on 'Shawshank' but used an 85 filter on 'No Country For Old Men'.
Only some of 'The Assassination of Jesse James ....' was shot without correction.
Thanks Roger and David!
This is very helpful in understanding the process.
Can't wait to shoot some tests and see the difference in the techniques
Hey Roger, in Interstellar there's a fight scene on an ice planet and I help help but think the scene was shot with tungsten film with an 85 or 85b filter. The image looks a bit cooler than it would with an 85b. The blacks looks reddish magenta and seems to be some sort of discoloration or IR pollution, not sure whether this was intentional or not, or whether it was done in camera or later in post. (I see this look a lot in Nolan films)
I would think its Hoyte Van Hoytema intented look and also Nolans choice as which it is set on a distant planet
I would imagine this scene was shot on stage and augmented in post, which would account for a tungsten balanced stock. But, frankly, I don't know. There are so many variables that such colour might not even be intentional.
Nolan is a big advocate on in camera correction and color timing so I don't think there's a DI involved. That being said I haven't seen the film in a while but I would firmly state that it doesn't actually look like that.