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RE: Production design for B&W to color spot.

Rob says:-
>>I've worked on a few commercials where the quality of black & white
film contributed significantly to the final look-- a silvery, almost
reflective feeling that was absent from color film.  <<

Rob, unless you've seen direct comparisons, I wonder if it is actually
the negative stock that's making the difference. More and more I'm
becoming aware of how the design and lighting is crucial to the "look"
of black and white.  It's a skill that fewer and fewer DP's have got
(understandably so).

What follows is a generalisation, with many exceptions, I know. Shoot me
down if you need to, but I'm ducking for cover even now.

I suspect that _some_ of those who choose to shoot b/w neg may be more
attuned to the need for lighting that separates planes of grey, while
those who put colour neg in the camera may simply treat the shoot as a
colour shoot. (As in - "we'll fix it in post.")

Could it be that the "silvery, almost reflective feeling" that you
describe comes from the hint of rim- and back-lighting that a sensitive,
monochrome-aware DP has organised?

Having said that, I too would choose colour negative, (with b/w
lighting) simply 'cos we all know how to handle it (in the lab, on the
telecine etc).  And you can go back to colour when the agency changes
its mind. ;-)

  Dominic Case
  Atlab Australia

Thanks to Howie Burch/Nice Shoes for supporting the TIG in 1998..
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