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The Making-of 2010

Case Studies

Case Studies Overview 200.000-1 mio Euro around 2 mio Euro around 5 mio Euro
Title (country) "118 318 sévices clients" (F)
(and „Le Miroir“ by Ramon & Pedro, CH)
"Geliebtes Leben" / "Life, Above All" (SA/D) "Poupoupidou" (F)
Director Julien Baillargeon Oliver Schmitz Gérald Hustache-Mathieu
Presented by producer (Pierre Richard Muller) Bernhard Jasper (DoP) Isabelle Madelaine
Production company 118 Productions Dreamer Joint Venture Dharamsala
Postproduction provider Swiss Effects, Ruedi Schick Pictorion - Das Werk, Wolf Bosse Digimage Cinéma, Tommaso Vergallo
Budget approx. in Euro 600.000 € 1.550.000 € 4.000.000 €
camera RED ARRI D-21 Aaton Penelope 2 perf
Post-production/Colour correction in  2K 3K ca. 2K
Format / projection 35 mm/1.85 BetaHD and DCP M-scope / cinemascope 35mm-Scope-Dolby SRD

Case Study 1A118 338 Sévices Clients by Julien Baillargeon, presented by its post-production provider Ruedi Schick, SwissEffects
Focus on RED One (For Technical Focus on RED One see Making of DPC 2009)

This is a low-budget film shot on RED. The colour correction was done by the producers themselves on Final Cut. The result was okay but could have been better with a bigger system. Swiss Effects has subsequently done some colour correction, tried to clean up the image a little, but was mainly responsible for the film out in 35mm. Artifacts can still be seen during quick movements, and it was difficult to handle highlights.

The RED camera is an economical choice, but it requires an experienced DoP. Shooting with low budget cameras makes post-production an important step in order to get a good quality image on screen. However, since you will not be able to spend a lot on post either, you should handle it well from the start. The main problem with the RED camera is that – due to a very cheap de-bayering in the camera (see Technical Focus on Bayer filters in “Making of DPC 2009”) - you cannot really see on set what you will see on screen (the new M-X upgrade is now more reliable). When doing the post-production on your own in Final Cut you might incur a lot of problems: The film will look different on different devices and in different screening situations. It is advisable to go to a post house, asking how your material looks on their system. You need to calibrate your systems, otherwise you might be surprised by the results on screen and you may have lost a lot of information in the process. If you have scenes which you cannot re-shoot, you should check them in the lab immediately.

Shooting with several RED cameras (for example during a concert) is a real challenge. This is easier with ALEXA, Sony or Panasonic digital cameras. The problem is that each RED is different and may have a different software, so check before if they are of the same version and have the same codec. Also compare the number of hours a camera has been used. Differences may create trouble. Ask a DIT to check these issues. Anticipate a long time of tests for grading. Yet, the new RED cameras have improved, they now have 10,5 stops instead of only 5.

Use the RED in 4K capture mode because this allows for more flexibility afterwards. Even in 4K mode you will not get more than 2,5 K. Do not use the HD mode for TV productions, since you will lose a lot of information. See Technical Focus in “Making of DPC 2009” for resolution issues.

Case study 1BLe Miroir, by Ramon & Pedro, presented by its post-production provider Ruedi Schick, SwissEffects
Focus on RED One (For Technical Focus on RED One see Making of DPC 2009)

After 118 318, which did not totally satisfy SwissEffects, Ruedi Schick presented a second case study in order to show that good results can be achieved with a RED camera and adequate postproduction. Le Miroir (showing the life/ageing process of a man in front of a mirror) is a short film involving a lot of post and some CGI. Postproduction provider was present during the shooting because of many VFX. They have also done painting on single images.




Case Study 2Life Above All by Oliver Schmitz, presented by its prost-production provider Wolf Bosse and the DoP Bernhard Jasper
Focus on M-Scope

This feature film was shot in Africa on ARRI D21. The dark skintones have been a problem usually due to its low exposure speed (160 ISO). The camera’s main advantage was that it has 12 stops in latitude, and it has an overall 35 mm feel – it allows you to look through the lens with its optical viewfinder.

The film was shot digitally with M-Scope (an ARRI proprietary system) and was to be screened in cinemascope 2.35:1. M-Scope uses anamorphic lenses and uses two 16x9 HD frames (1080 x 720 lines) to record a single 4x3 aspect ratio image (1920 x 1440 lines) on a SRW-1 (HDCAM SR tapes). Consequently any loss of definition and picture quality degradation is avoided. This is the case when using spherical lenses with only the 2.40 :1 part of the 4 :3 sensor of the D21 equivalent to the 2.40 :1 Super 35 in film.

M-Scope uses the even/odd method, whereby all even lines of the 4x3 images are recorded into the first 16x9 frame and then all odd lines into the second. This way recorded images (dual HD-SDI 4:2:2) can easily be reconstructed into the original frames at a postproduction workstation by a dedicated software.

The exhibition format was 3.8K x 1.4K after a second stretch. By using an anamorphic lens in projection they achieved a true 35mm feel. The film was shown in Cannes 2010.

They used a DIT in post (for insurance reasons) for the quality check of the tapes. On set they only used a video operator. They had just one camera and one recorder. Recording on HDSR was better than on HDD because tapes have a material quality and it saved time - they didn’t have to transfer and store the “new original”. Grading was used to achieve different styles.

Case Study 3Poupoupidou by Gérard Hustache-Mathieu, presented by its producer Isabelle Madelaine and its post-production provider Tommaso Vergallo
Focus on 2 perf film stock

This was a 4m € production with 50 days shooting in 10 weeks. They used 12 days for colour grading. The postproduction provider was involved during scanning, conforming, color grading and in collaborating during the shoot. Post was done in 2K. Film out and DCP were in 2K.

The choice of 35mm film stock plus a digital postproduction was taken based on the scenery and style of the film: there were a lot of exteriors in the snow and they wanted to achieve a certain graininess. Shooting in 4perf and even in 3perf would have made the cost of film stock, negative processing and telecine too high. With 2perf they could economize on film stock and use the Penelope camera which is small. It was best suited for a shoot which took place in a small car much of the time.

But with 2perf the quality of the lab process is very important and has to be controlled closely. They eventually created their own lab in order to develop the negative. The colour grading suite had a big screen, so you really could see a difference. Post was done in 2K (4K being used mainly for the integration of VFX or for a later blow-up to IMAX). Doing post in 4K would have cost 35.000 € more. A compromise would have been a scan in 4K and subsequent post in 2K.

The Making-of 2010

The Making-of 2009 Contact