16mm Transfer Grading, Pay or Play?

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gianni1
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16mm Transfer Grading, Pay or Play?

Post by gianni1 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:02 am

Grading, do I pay for professional "Grade" together with the 16mm film transfer which costs almost as much as the transfer, or do the grading with software after the scan on the pro res files? Apologies for not searching the forum or Google prior to posting this.

Gianni B-)

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Re: 16mm Transfer Grading, Pay or Play?

Post by Pj » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:05 am

In my experience 16mm film already looks good with a one light basic transfer, providing it's in sharp focus and correctly exposed. I have found that a simple transfer of 16mm often requires very little grading.

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Re: 16mm Transfer Grading, Pay or Play?

Post by Andreas Wideroe » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:08 pm

I'm doing professional transfers and grading almost every day and my recommendation to you is that:

1. If you have the time and interest in grading you should do it yourself.

2. If not, then get a natural looking scan (not scene by scene grade), but more like a one-light suggested by Pj, and then you can easily and quickly modify the basic look of your content In Ie. Final Cut X, Premiere (Lumetri works great) or DaVinci (free) without paying for a full grade. When scanning negatives and if your film has been shot under controlled light enviroments etc you should get a pretty decent looking negative from an RGB balanced scan.

or get a full grade if your budget is ok with it. ;)

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gianni1
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Re: 16mm Transfer Grading, Pay or Play?

Post by gianni1 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:00 pm

Thank you thank you thank you... It's good to know it can be done by a person behind a computer.


Gianni B-)

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Re: 16mm Transfer Grading, Pay or Play?

Post by Will2 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:28 pm

When I first started doing film transfers like 10 years ago, I would sit in a transfer studio with a colorist and they would work that film until it looked amazing. That was back in the SD days. We'd do things like squeeze the transfer to get an anamorphic SD file since most of what I was doing then was 16:9 but HD was ridiculously expensive.

They were on well-maintained old-school Rank machines...probably with specs people would laugh at now. Some of those old transfers look better to me than the 2k and 4k transfers I do today because of the talent of the colorist. So while it has gotten easier to "color it yourself", if you work with a true film colorist you'll achieve things that will amaze you.

But of course, you pay for it. So my advice would be to do a flat transfer and try to color it yourself, then take a short segment to a true, professional colorist and see what they do to it.

The "flat" look of modern transfers seems to be creeping more into the modern aesthetic as people react to the high contrast look of DSLRs that have plagued us for the last 10 years. So I understand why people think flat transfers look good...mostly because they look like film, but to me they look like un-colored film and while a great starting point, hardly as good as it can look. That warm, deep, rich color needs to be brought out and it's done in Resolve or your color program of choice. The more Resolve chops you have the better and there are tons of online course to help you but someone with 25 years experience doing feature films and commercials will actually be worth the money.

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