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Telecine and the future????

On Thu, 17 Jun 1999, "Martin Euredjian" <martin at hollydig.com> wrote:
>When used correctly these reference systems work well: TEC, Grey Card Plus,
>Gamma and Density, etc.  The problem is that more often than not the
>reference cards are not photographed in any condition that is relevant to
>what will be in front of the lens later.

How true!

Prior to Kodak's roll-out of Telecine Tools and the Gray Card Plus, we 
interviewed colorists and cinematographers worldwide and conducted pre- 
release trials of these systems.  Without exception, the colorists we spoke 
with in the US told us, "Most of the gray cards I see are useless because of 
the way they're shot."

Too often the gray card is treated like an MOS slate.  Dash in, bang off a 
few frames and get out!  Shot that way, the card can never be a valid 
reference for grading or exposure (transfer points).  Plus, it's very 
difficult to place the card in practical lighting where it will reflect light 
evenly or be a useful grading reference.

Much better to clamp the card to a c-stand, light it and shoot it separately. 
That way the lighting can be controlled.  The card becomes an accurate 
reference to indicate "normal" exposure, or provide a guide for the colorist 
or film timer to preserve special lighting in an unsupervised session.  

Intentionally overexpose or underexpose the card.  Shoot it with filters or 
colored light.  Grading the card to neutral (nominal RGB values) gives you a 
good idea of the lighting the DP tried to achieve.  About the only time you 
might want the card in the scene is to force color correction -- like 
shooting under fluorescent without a filter.  Grading the card to neutral 
gray would warm the scene.

>15 June Geoff Boyle said:
>Using the Kodak grey Plus card and setting up to that for dailies give me
>flat uninteresting dailies but at least I can see what's happening!

I'm wondering -- in addition to the gray, did the dailies colorist also set 
up on the light- and dark patches of the card?  They're there as a reference 
for setting lift and gain, and to help establish the desired curve.

Don Ver Ploeg
Kodak consultant

Thanks to Cinesite for support in 1999
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