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Re: Re:Pleasantville

the following was sent by Richard Cassel in response to the
Pleasantville questions:

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the Production company couldn't find a sufficient amount
>>of B&W stock that exposed reliably and consistently to make it work.
>> Actually B & W Stock could not possibly work.  They had to use color stock.
>>The  film elements were scanned as full color scans and then all color was
>>removed and only the portion of the picture that they wanted to be in color
>>was  allowed to have the color added back in.  The original color from the
>>original  photography.  An example would be the single rose or just the
>>person's face.  

	The primary reason for shooting color negative on Pleasantville was, as
Bill points out, practicality.  We had 1700 shots totaling about 165,000
frames of 2K data (1920 x 1440).  The effects team did not "add" the color
back in.  What we attempted to do, and were pretty successful at, was
pre-timing the images on a PAL video monitor, concentrating on the color
critical parts of the pictures.  The data that went from Cinesite to PV
Effects was 100% color.  On any given mixed color/B & W shot, the effects
team rotoscoped around the parts of the picture that needed to remain in
color, turning the rest of the scene into B & W.  The scenes that appeared
as total B & W were also scanned in color.  The effects crew did the
transformation to B & W.  The resultant images were then recorded from data
back to 5244 negative.

	The concept of stripping away the background color was far more practical
than shooting original B & W and "painting" the color back in as Bill
points out.  From an aesthetic point there was another issue that dictated
shooting color.  B & W stock is inherently sharper because of the silver
halide left on the film after development.  When I raised this question, it
was explained to me that the producers felt there would be too different a
look between B & W neg and adjacent color neg that had been partially
changed to       B & W as part of the story line.  

	Finally, there is the issue of lab reliability when shooting a 2-hr plus
feature on B & W stock.  For high-volume shooting, there is simply more
reliable service for color neg.  The visual effects supervisor on
Pleasantville was Chris Watts and the color supervisor on the day-to-day
neg timing was Michael Southard.  I could not have asked for more
professional or talented clients to have worked with.  They are both based
in LA.

Richard Cassel
Cinesite - LA

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