kye Posted February 7, 2021 Share Posted February 7, 2021 I was reading a thread on a pro colourist forum and a big debate started about how film was (mostly) awful to work with and mostly it was hugely inconsistent and although it was occasionally glorious, it was mostly a completely undesirable thing. This makes sense, as evidenced by the complete lack of threads where people are asking how much to blur their footage to get the Super-8 resolution. This leads me to perhaps a rather odd terminology question - there's the "video look" which typically isn't regarded as desirable, but what is the other "look"? We can say "filmic" but in reality the film look consists of a whole bunch of things that mostly people aren't interested in. "Cinematic" is a great phrase, but that just means "like the things in the cinema" and considering that Steven Soderbergh shot Unsane on an iPhone, having a phrase that includes everything from the Alexa 65 to the iPhone isn't really that useful. We could attack it from another direction - we don't want that "digital" look, we want the "analog" look. This isn't really so helpful either - analog was either film, which we don't want to emulate many of the qualities of it at all, or analog tape. Analog tape simulation was in-vogue in music videos etc but used as a special effect, because the quality of VHS or Beta or even their higher-resolution variants, well, it wasn't great. So, if we've only ever captured images on film, tape, and digital, and these often included attributes that were very undesirable, and even what got shown in the cinema wasn't always to be envied, what is it that we do want? We can describe what we do want by listing the many things we don't want, like clipped highlights, or digital noise, etc etc, but that's not so useful. This may sound like a trivial matter and just semantics, but I think there's a larger issue going on here. I've been interested in learning about the film look, not because I want to emulate film completely authentically, but because I wanted to pick the good bits out of it. But the issue is that any discussion of the "film look" either takes place with people who aren't experts and therefore isn't useful, or it involves those who have deep knowledge, but will argue that film didn't have a "look" because they spent decades of their life trying to create a single look out of pieces of film that were radically different to each other. Thus, these conversations often go nowhere because we don't have a good language to even frame the discussion. I recently watched the Resolution Demo by Steve Yedlin (who shot Knives Out, Star Wars The Last Jedi, etc) which in Part 2 gave a few more clues about what might be going on with image quality and specifically which aspects of image quality have which effects. http://yedlin.net/ResDemo/index.html Another thing that 'inspired' this thread is the recent demo video of the Sony A1 which might be the most "video" looking thing I have seen in years.... What I take from this is that whatever the hell makes an aesthetically pleasing image, it's almost entirely absent in this video. So, I've tried taking a different approach, and tried asking what makes something look good. I've prefaced it with some comments around what I don't like, in order to provide some context (because once again there isn't language for this topic) but that went about as well as you'd expect, and I got replies that included "it's whatever looks good to you" or "whatever is right for your project" etc. Correct, but not helpful. Does anyone have any idea how we might start to have a conversation about this stuff? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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