Roger Deakins talks about using the Arri Alexa on Skyfall the first digital Bond film made
I've only seen part one. Very interesting. Roger will not be drawn into which is better Film or Digital. His answer is they are different tools which is true. He also says digital is clearly the future and knows he had to make the transition which as things stand he is probably right although I have my suspicions film might make a comeback at a later date.. I guess if I was in his position you get a head start by getting into digital and finding a fav camera. I hope that digital sensors can improve colour rendition as to my eyes digital either looks over saturated or washed out.
Anyway for many DP's its not simply about choosing one over the other its also about being cutting edge especially I think if you're older where it might be easier to see someone as old school.
Personally I think the onus is now on digital to become better than film. So far it has come on in leaps and bounds and the expectation is there. At this moment in time overall film still has the indefinable film look that makes a film cinematic which I probably think is down to better colour rendition.
Just to say, i felt the film made a turn for the 10000% better when they got to the house in Scotland. The jump in atmosphere was amazing. colours were beautiful. Superb action cinematography and lighting in the final scenes based in the house
Markm wrote : "I hope that digital sensors can improve colour rendition as to my eyes digital either looks over saturated or washed out."
This Film is heavily graded in post Mark ! it' s not straight out the camera uprocessed files!
If it looks over saturated or washed out like you say ....that then thats how they wanted it to look in the grade!
ie: Its a style feature.... modern films have over stylised grades as thats what people go for these days , Pirates of the Caribbean series of films is shot on Red and graded to hell all saturated teal and amber as thats the style of that film Dragon Tattoo is desaturated dark Fincher look....... another Red Camera film
The Alexa sensor is more than capable of handling colours well
Andy Yes I know. I think the grading is part of it but beyond that the way a sensor captures the colours and attributes them is what I mean. Grading will affect the whole picture and not individual objects or colours.
To further explain what I mean Here is a film test I did with 16mm and an EX1 camera. Not a fair test because of Vimeos compression and once you do a DI your obviously on digital so you cant compare film with digital but I think it shows what I am trying to say and no amount of colour correction will correct the sensors rendition (I tried and failed) unless you mask every single object and colour which who knows may become an option.
Although the footage is not Alexa raw I think it is typical of all HD footage in its rendition of colours. Please excuse the editing and music. I wanted to make it interesting as well as a test..
I've shot on film for the last 20 years with Arri Cameras for work.
my favourite stock was 5247 until it was discontinued by Kodak.
in the 90's I mainly used Vision 200T when that stock came out as it had a nice grain.
I really think Digital is now a better format so I dont shoot film anymore.
With Grading you can achieve any look you want with digital.
Fuji have already stopped making 35mm film for motion picture cameras its only a matter of time before Kodak stop too.
some nice Skyfall behind the scenes footage with the Arri Alexa mainly all Arri Master Primes (made by Zeiss) Deakins uses these focal lengths alot from looking at all the clapper board photos on line....27mm 32mm 35mm 37mm 40mm 50mm 28-76 zoom 100mm
outside with ND's 9 and 6
spolier warning dont watch if you have not seen the film yet! you have been warned!
Andy I can clearly see a difference here. For me the 200t had a different look which for me was better. The colour was much more alive and rich even though it was heavily compressed. I guess were all going to have our own preferences. Cant help thinking digital is a step down and not up though as things stand at the moment.
Looking at the picture from your last post and the last film thats clearly digital and thats how that scene looked in skyfall digital Now if that had been film you would have had a less drab and more beautiful colour rendition that would have enhance grading.
I also wonder if digital is crippling creativity I know it allows a lot of freedom but it also looks digital.
The first three star wars films are a good example where they made real models that look real because they are real and a colour pallete due to film that gives it cinematic hugeness. The actors because of this just look more real. When they shoot they usually had a more real world to get into and that must have some bearing on performance.
and then you get the digital models that have robotic camera moves and realistic but somehow cartoon or just not any weight you know a real object would have. Actors having to act in front of greenscreens and do things you know are impossible like yodas fight with chris lee and the HD washed out colour pallete that again doesnt film big.
Film does something to the real world that takes us into another world and makes things seem possible its called film magic and that is fast being lost.
I think soon Once audiences become jaded by the lure of special effects then the drabness of digital will mean cinemas will lose business and movies will lose their popularity.
One thing I never understood is why 70mm didnt become the next big thing. Sad to say but I think because of the cross over to digital then the whole business will end up dead.
any variation in colour or saturation or tone , crushed blacks etc is all down to the grade
not if its shot on film or digital.
you can make film look bland you can make digital look bland just by how you grade it.
bare this in mind.... all movie films and pop videos will have a 'look' due solely down to the grade
this look is created in post in the grade not in camera .
70mm did not take off due to cost.
getting every cimema to kit out for 70mm when they where happily projecting 35mm was too much.
there was a big reluctane in cinemas wanting to buy a new projector for 70mm
70mm ended up becoming a projection fromat for special screenings and Premieres due to this.
Andy We must be at cross puposes here I'll try and explain again.
The HD sensor picks up colour a certain way
Film picks up colour a certain way.
The way the colours are captured IE the richness tonality and texture cannot be changed by grading. Only by individually masking off every object and grading it could it be done but that would be prohibitive.
My point is film renders individual colours a much better way HD renders colours blandly and without soul.
I find digital better now
the main thing I like is I can alter the colour temperature for every shot ..
this is a huge bonus , I dont use preset colour temps I always use the variable colour temp
and dial it in so each shot looks its best ,
Shooting in 3200 tungsten lights and setting the camera to 2500k gives a great 'Bourne' type look alot more cold and blue in camera.
I also shoot outside at 10,000k giving a very rich orange look this is great at sunset/ magic hour.
and thats separate to changing ISO to shoot each shot/setup
I could never do this with film once you load 200 ASA tungsten film in the camera you where stuck with it for that whole reel.
I find digital so much more flexable to use on a shot/setup basis.
.....and I dont have a fridge full of film cans now either!
you do have to alter colour tempetature with film!
you have to use filters
you cant shoot tungsten stock outside without altering the colour temperature with a filter!
I spent years shotting through filters to do this!
The most common of these is the 85 filter, which corrects daylight to tungsten.
This is the filter we use when we shoot a day exterior with
tungsten balanced film.
you do have to alter colour tempetature with film! you have to use filters you cant shoot tungsten stock outside without altering the colour temperature with a filter! I spent years shotting through filters to do this!
The most common of these is the 85 filter, which corrects daylight to tungsten. This is the filter we use when we shoot a day exterior with tungsten balanced film.
Yes I know all about colour temperature and mired values and have a full set of filters. However I would realistically shoot either Daylight or tungsten balanced film and not bother with filters most of the time. Colour balancing after the film has been transferred to digital is just so easy as long as the temp isnt to out which really isn't often. The test film I linked to in two shots IE the dual carraigeway bridge and the two ladies I used a tungsten film and shot in daylight with no 85B and although grainy as hell the colour came back fine. If you want to shoot in daylight use a daylight film and if you want to shoot nights use tungsten and then colour balance later.
I sympathize with your nostalgic view. For me, the main difference between film and digital is not color. andy lee is right, colors are being manipulated everywhere. They have been manipulated in the stone ages and in the renaissance, one must be aware of that simple fact. Leonardo would have used Photoshop. His selfmade colors were raw par excellance.
What film captures in a different way is light. The grain that holds the smallest picture elements is spread in the emulsion in random patterns that change twentyfour times a second. This gives light a vivid quality. As long as the grain is visible. The finer the resolution (of film and digital) the less important is this difference.