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Lucy - amazing color: shot on Sony F65

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Looks like most of the shots were on the F65: http://www.creativeplanetnetwork.com/news/shoot/superhuman-power-and-sony-f65-processing-creating-spectacular-visuals-lucy/606871

Car chase was on Red Epics and other shots Arri Alexa.

Really impressive look and fantastic color. Movie was pretty good too- Luc Besson writes, directs, and shoots good stuff!

Curious how the F65 color science differs from F55 on down the line. For this film Luc put the F65 above the Alexa for color (not just 4K).

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Oblivion comes to mind. That is a movie I can watch just for the visuals and the soundtrack. Shot on F65:

morning.jpg

cap.jpg

supper.jpg

There are many beautiful shots in this movie. Naturally there are many computer generated images as well. But I remember sitting up straight in the theater during the scenes around the provisional lake cottage.

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Yeah, Oblivion is my favorite F65 film to date. Beautiful color and sound+music- great acting and cool story too. Even on Apple TV at 1080p and highly compressed, the detail and colors come through. Sony can do great color- is it the result of pro colorists taking extra time for features, or is Sony holding back? The F55 doesn't look as good. For example, Marco Polo on Netflix was shot on the F55. The first few episodes didn't look very good, though it did seem to improve with time (cool series- well done). The older F35 also has the Sony 'magic' colors- some folks picking those up used for a fraction of what they went for new ($250K).

I will say with a bit of time and tweaking and good lighting, the A7S can look pretty good. Perhaps it's time to get the FS700 out and try applying what I learned on the A7S to the FS700. A lot of other folks don't like the FS700 color- I'm curious with more experience can folks get better color. Sure, it's more work than Canon cameras, however they can't shoot 240fps. Initial examples of the FS7 are looking pretty good against the C300. Did Sony further improve the color science, or are people just getting better at matching Sony to Canon. That's how I'm learning- using 5D3 ML RAW with mlrawviewer straight to ProRes 10-bit 444 as the reference and tweaking the A7S to look as close as possible.

Folks might wonder why anyone would spend so much time figuring out how to make the A7S look like 5D3 RAW. Well, once figured out, it will be easy to apply during production. The A7S can do 60p at full 1080p (crop mode), ultra low light, less noise, tiny files, can use autofocus lenses, etc. It's also helpful in learning more about how to work with color.

In the software industry there's a saying, "Lazy Programmer", where a programmer goes to extraordinary lengths to work out a solution to problem that will save much more time later. The concept applies to filmmaking too.

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In the software industry there's a saying, "Lazy Programmer", where a programmer goes to extraordinary lengths to work out a solution to problem that will save much more time later. The concept applies to filmmaking too.

​Yes, do the thinking up front. Applicable to many scenarios.

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Lucy was a good movie?  Seemed to me like a director with big ideas losing control of them all or not having a decent plan for them in the first place.  Appreciate the ambition, but it was way too silly even though it wanted to be serious.

is it the result of pro colorists taking extra time for features

​Yup.  What they do in post with their skills and tech is incredible.

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Lucy touched a topic that has actually a lot more to show, so I think it was a bit superficial compared to what it could have been, but I still enjoyed it very much and it was refreshing to see something new and unusual.

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​Yes, do the thinking up front. Applicable to many scenarios.

​Thinking as well as creating tools, technology, and processes. As a developer I would sometimes go to extreme measures to ensure the code I was writing would be ultra-reliable. For example, for the first XBox live game, I used custom tools to test the reliability of Microsoft's TCP implementation (which was custom running on top of UDP). Microsoft's implementation broke fairly easily, so I wrote a custom TCP-like implementation on top of UDP. My implementation was much more efficient and reliable, but occasionally our game would fail and it pointed to a low-level network problem. I wrote custom tools to try to break it in a controlled way with tons of logging (running for days at a time). Finally it failed with full logging to help find the issue and the bug fix was just one character of code. Much to the surprise of everyone, our little company was first to ship a game on XBox Live.

As a manager I would only allow certain developers to build systems this way after they earned the risk to take the extra time. Many times software is disposable, and there's no point over-engineering it. However, more times than we'd like to admit, systems are built fast with disposability in mind and some systems live long, painful lives (for the developers tasked with keeping the bug-ridden spaghetti code barely running!). Perhaps some camera systems have been built in this way, which could explain lack of quality/innovation.

which codec record the Sony F65? how many bit? is it CMOS or CCD? what about vertical lines pattern noise and aliasing? 

thx.

​16-bit RAW CMOS, very low noise and aliasing, wider color gamut than film(!) https://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/show-highend/resource.solutions.bbsccms-assets-show-highend-F65.shtml . They used to call it "8K", but perhaps don't(?) after being busted when the RED Dragon came out: http://camerarentalz.com/sony-f65-6k-sensor/ (more like 6K). I will say for Oblivion and Lucy, the F65 has a magical quality to color that may just exceed the Alexa (it did for those directors who can use any camera). By magical I mean evokes a very positive emotional reaction, perhaps in the same way Technicolor did back in 60's. Check out 'Robinson Crusoe on Mars'- amazing color: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058530/.

Wow, only 12 features shot on F65 according to: http://shotonwhat.com/?s=F65 . After Earth also looked pretty good (average movie, but still worth watching). The F65 is a bit of beast for shooting and post- that may explain why it isn't used very often. If Sony put F65 technology and color science (or better) in an F55 sized package (or smaller), that might shake up the high end! Red Dragon keeps improving color science too. 

Speaking of magic and emotion for images, the A7S (and Sony in general) can sometimes have colored noise present in just the right way that makes an image look magical, like some film stock (Kodak 5248 is my favorite), typically in outdoor, direct sunlight shots. This colored noise is even present in highlights- might be possible to do this in post to make blown highlights look more pleasing.

Lucy was a good movie?  Seemed to me like a director with big ideas losing control of them all or not having a decent plan for them in the first place.  Appreciate the ambition, but it was way too silly even though it wanted to be serious.

​Yup.  What they do in post with their skills and tech is incredible.

​Have you seen 'The Fifth Element'? One of the silliest and most fun SciFi movies ever! That's what Luc loves to create, with deep, epic storylines. Lucy and The Fifth Element are very similar in that regard (though I found Lucy to be far more serious in comparison). The idea that either through mind expansion of humans or through AI that we'll rapidly figure out the nature of the universe is intriguing. Kurzweil calls this rapid expansion of knowledge The Singularity (http://www.singularity.com/).  IBM and Google are racing to be first with a functional AI system with beyond human intelligence. Why not just 'human level' intelligence? Because the theory is human level intelligence in a computer will rapidly evolve far beyond human intelligence. Douglas Adams had a more humorous idea of what this meant with The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371724/. If you have seen the BBC version of it, it's wonderful (amazing given the low production quality of the time- great story and ideas!). I added AI+Cameras to the storyline for our short SciFi Delta after shooting began (in VO). The idea being that whoever controls the AI+global-camera systems controls the world (in Delta, a planet in parallel universe).

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Have you seen 'The Fifth Element'? One of the silliest and most fun SciFi movies ever! That's what Luc loves to create, with deep, epic storylines. Lucy and The Fifth Element are very similar in that regard (though I found Lucy to be far more serious in comparison).

​Oh yeah, I really liked 5th Element.  Campy B-Movie enjoyment.  Lucy should have been the same, but it tried to get serious.  Luc can't really get serious.  He doesn't have the chops for it.  Still, fun director.

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For serious Luc, I didn't like The Big Blue, however IMDB gives it a 7.7 vs. 7.6 for Fifth Element. Perhaps time to watch it again (great cast; I did like the music: Eric Serra): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095250/. Once I started paying attention to color/filmstock, I began to notice how many of my favorite films were shot on Kodak 5248 (including the Fifth Element). Color helps with story/emotion: http://shotonwhat.com/?s=5248

The Transporter series is less campy- has done well (Luc as writer).

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Did you guys watch his first short film? I don't remember the name now, but it was on youtube, it was an black and white post-apocalyptic sci-fi fight scene...anyway it was really good for its time and you could see the guy's talent with editing and camerawork early on. 

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Did you guys watch his first short film? I don't remember the name now, but it was on youtube, it was an black and white post-apocalyptic sci-fi fight scene...anyway it was really good for its time and you could see the guy's talent with editing and camerawork early on. 

​Do you mean Le Dernier Combat? I've seen this and his major debut Subway. I saw Subway many times on VHS during the 80'ies and loved it. I love it still. Amazing atmosphere in it.

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 is it the result of pro colorists taking extra time for features, or is Sony holding back? The F55 doesn't look as good. For example, Marco Polo on Netflix was shot on the F55. The first few episodes didn't look very good, though it did seem to improve with time (cool series- well done). 

​Apart from comparing a $60k camera to a $30k camera...

You simply cannot compare the look of a movie to a television show. Sure, there are television shows that look good, or even great - but the workflow and time constraints are very different between the two. I've sat in on colour sessions where we've spent what felt like a whole day deciding on the specific shade of colour for the character's tie - a luxury in both time and money that you can't afford on most television productions.

In addition, you can spend whole days doing four shots when you're shooting a film. You get the luxuries to be able to make sure that absolutely everything is spot on perfect - you often have grips pre-rigging sets the day before you get in, so when you get in you can tweak and tweak until it's just so before you shoot.

 You don't get the same luxuries in television most of the time.

I've worked on television shows where we've squeezed 10 whole scenes into one days worth of shooting. In the end, it looked pretty decent despite the time constraints, but it was nowhere near the level that we would normally be able to produce if we had the time luxury of shooting a feature.

And then there's the luxury of budget - there are very few television shows that would be able to afford the projection set that Oblivion had.

Plus, Marco Polo has had three DPs over 10 episodes.. 

 

Personally, the F65 doesn't do a lot for me. I tend to prefer the Alexa, but then it would depend on the script really.

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