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mcnys
08-20-2014, 06:34 AM
Hello,

so after trying to use new impulz lut's and not understanding what some of the endings mean (cineon for example), i started googling and reading...an interesting read it is, thou i started thinking, how colorist were grading an actual film tape, lets say 25 years ago? Maybe there was no colorist back then at all, and they basically decided what tape for desired mood is needed (fuji - kinda greenish, kodak - kinda warm etc)? Chemistry is my guess thou, small amounts of some kind of chemicals would impact some colors to be more saturated/desaturated etc....so to sum up, my question is: how were they grading film back in the day without cineon, or computers, and resolve etc hehe?

p.s.: sorry for my not so good english, i'm not from english speaking country.

greymog
08-20-2014, 06:37 AM
I had a little machine that I scanned 8mm film with, and it was 3 lights. you shine a red light, green light, blue light through the film separately, balacncing your whites...

cpc
08-21-2014, 07:16 AM
When you print a negative onto a positive with a 3-lights printer you are controlling both exposure and color balance. Development controls exposure, saturation, graniness and dynamic range distribution. You can also use various techniques like bleach bypass and its variants to increase contrast and grain, and decrese saturation. Release stock choice affects contrast and saturation. Also, the way you handle exposure (rate the stock) on-set affects saturation and contrast in the result; film re-rating usually plays together with development (push/pull) and printing up/down to achieve a desired result.
Ofc, no photochemical process comes even close to the tools of digital processing.

mcnys
08-21-2014, 07:54 AM
Thanks to both of you!

@cpc nice blog (shutter angle)!

John Brawley
08-21-2014, 08:14 AM
You basically had three "printer" lights which were Red Green And Blue filters.

You basically "timed" the film, then had a check print done (called an answer print), usually sat with the colourist and then made notes and then went back and trimmed the grade again. You sometimes repeated a few times, but usually the second answer print would be locked off and your interneg would be struck.

The three printer lights were three filters that were dialled into the light source as the film was printed.

The grading was very unsophisticated and relied on the DP getting it right in camera a lot more.

Post nowadays can "save" work that would have been un-gradeable in printer light days...there's far less discipline with DI's (as well as far more creative scope of course)

With only three printer lights there was no power windows, motion tracking, layers, secondary colour correction or keys...

Just brute force "washes" of colour.

You could (at extra cost) do other lab processes that would allow for different chemical processes or cross processing, but it was usually pretty expensive. You tended to also push (or pull) your negative to try and get more speed out of it rather than at the grading stage....

JB


(graded using a Hazeltine (http://www.colorgradingcentral.com/archives/profile-of-a-color-timer-the-old-school-of-color-correction) pictured here on his early films)

David
08-21-2014, 08:53 PM
10 Bit 444 and 16 Bit 444 DPX scans have been around for a while. Not anything new really. So many commercials and movies have been acquired on film and graded digitally. Even back in the 90s I was dealing with film scans on a then Discreet Flame.

riktor
08-22-2014, 05:05 PM
If you have Netflix, there is a great documentary on the rise of digital film making produced by Keanu Reeves. It's called "Side by Side" and it has commentary from some well known cinematographers. At one point they talk about the advent of Digital Intermediate and it shows the printer light process as the contrast to the DI. I thought that it was pretty cool.

mcnys
08-25-2014, 03:50 AM
If you have Netflix, there is a great documentary on the rise of digital film making produced by Keanu Reeves. It's called "Side by Side" and it has commentary from some well known cinematographers. At one point they talk about the advent of Digital Intermediate and it shows the printer light process as the contrast to the DI. I thought that it was pretty cool.

thanks will check it out!

and thanks for all the great answers everybody!