Marc Wielage

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About Marc Wielage

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  • Birthday 10/14/1954

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  1. Gamut Mapping is a wonderful feature. I use that shot-to-shot if I run into scenes with intense car tail lights or (say) a scene in a nightclub with neon signs. It does something similar to a hue-vs-sat curve, but it targets it in a more subtle way. I don't like the idea of legalizing a show with a "one size fits all" clipper, but an occasional Gamut Mapping node will do the job when you see an illegal gamut excursion on a Gamut scope or a Diamond scope. I have had whole scenes of 70 or 80 shots that was all nightclub interiors with intense background signs, and for that, I'll either do a group grade with a Gamut Mapping node or I'll have a fixed node tree with one node just dedicated to legalizing. That's assuming I'm delivering Rec709. If we had an HDR pass, I'd dupe the session and create a new version with no Gamut Mapping and just let it blow.
  2. I sometimes combine the dissolve transition with a color dissolve (or even several color dissolves) just to change the levels as needed. This is very hard if you have a flattened file -- as with a film scan -- but is relatively easy to do with two separate files. Basically, you're dealing with a non-linear dissolve, and you can move around the keyframes as required.
  3. Bear in mind that Richardson was working on a $100 million dollar movie, so he had the time and budget to have his crew go in and fix a lot of lighting issues on set. In the real world, I think power windows and masks and keys and all that are still very necessary. To me, Tarantino's approach is unnecessarily dogmatic (ala Dogma 95), and the trick to me is make all the VFX and color work completely invisible. If you can't tell there was ever a window there, then it works. The moment you can see evidence of it, then the illusion is shattered. On the other hand: I think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a brilliant film, it looks great, it's very entertaining, and I've paid to see it twice. I can't offer any higher praise of a movie than that. Tarantino has earned the right to have strong opinions on where and how he does things, and that extends to post.
  4. Jesus, if it's absolute silence, it's deadly. On the other hand, there are those people who get distracted by music. Jan De Bont did not want to hear anything in the background when I did one of the home video versions of Die Hard in the 1990s. He was not a cheerful man -- but his cinematography was spectacular. Ultimately, he liked the work, and that's all I care about.
  5. Oh my god, I'd be dead if I couldn't listen to music while color-correcting. I've been doing that since the very beginning (provided we don't have sync sound). I always let the client choose the music when possible. Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music are godsends -- and if the client thinks it's too distracting, we have "the sound of silence." But it actually goes faster with some quiet background tunes.
  6. It depends! There's a terrific podcast interview with the great Bob Richardson on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood that came out last week, and he spends 10 minutes talking about Yvan Lucas' excellent color-correction. One thing that Tarantino insisted on was: no power windows. I can't imagine doing a movie without them nowadays, but Richardson and Lucas clearly figured out a way to solve the problem, and quite a bit of what you see was just "lit that way" right on the set. It's brilliant work. Podcast link: I mainly use windows to knock down the background and add shadows and depth to the image, but everybody works differently. When you're under a tight schedule, you're not going to have time to digitally relight every shot (ala Steve Scott's excellent work on The Revenant). Even at my end of the post sewer, I still will use a window here and there to pop up a face or flag off a harsh background, just because I can. I sleep better at nights that way. When there's absolutely no time and money, we wince and let it go. There are certainly limits to how far you can push things, even with raw camera files and/or original negative. We stand on the DP's shoulders, and unless they do their job, we can't really do ours.
  7. No, the CO3 colorists are world-class people who do impeccable work. They pretty much set the gold standard for the business. (As do the Steve Scott's who use Lustre, Maxine Gervas and Yvan Lucas on Baselight, and so on.) These people contribute greatly to the ultimate look of the picture, and they also have the ability to work calmly with clients and solve problems, which is an exceptionally difficult skill to cultivate over time. LUTs are at or near the bottom of the list. Great lighting, great lenses, and great exposure all help considerably.
  8. You'd have to ask Mark. The link for the page with a shot of his node tree is here: My guess is that it's a key on the window. One trick of these fixed node trees is that you have to be very careful of anything adjusting level, because that will affect keys on down the signal path. For that reason, you either have to break out Parallel nodes or just structure the keys earlier in the chain. There are valid reasons to go either way.
  9. I have had cases where I pull a soft highlight key, qualify it carefully, and then will boost the levels a bit just to "pop" the scene more. I just had this happen a few weeks ago on a day-for-night scene where I had to drastically darken the shot, but wanted the headlights alone to pop out at a normal (for night) level. This had to be tracked carefully, but there's several ways to do it. Highlights are helpful sometimes, as are the Log controls -- it kind of depends if you're coming up or coming down.
  10. I have generally duplicated the shot on the edit page and then cut in a shape with an alpha to cover up the flaw, then color correct on that second clip to match levels, and then soften the shape to make it blend in better. Patch Replacer essentially does the same thing automatically, but without the benefit of manual control. Both are useful under the right conditions.
  11. This is often a bone of contention in the film restoration business. My take is you need to do NR last, because the contrast that happens in correction could exaggerate noise problems more in some cases than others. If you apply the NR as the initial node and then correct after that, it's better for caching but you will see unequal noise levels caused by different settings cut-to-cut and scene-to-scene. I think it's a decision that has to be made differently per project. I'm generally a fan of not noise-reducing unless we really need it, so I'll do it scene-wide for X number of shots, but then turn it off once the exposure goes back to normal. Added grain is kind of a separate issue.
  12. I haven't seen this problem in 15.3.1 on Mac OSX 10.14.5, either with the Mini Panel or the Advanced Panels. How many nodes? What specific hardware are you using? I typically use anywhere between 15 and 30 nodes, but there's a lot of "it depends" in there. I do run with quite a few nodes bypassed when they're not needed, but I certainly do a lot of enable/bypass actions when I'm doing a trim pass.
  13. Another thing you could do is qualify a key on upper-mids and highlights, soften it to reduce artifacts, add a little NR, and desaturate there. The effect is different than a Lum vs. Sat curve and (to me) not as destructive if you're very careful. I do this all the time when I need to subtly go in the opposite direction and desaturate blacks without artifacts. But I try not to push it too hard. Noted DP Steve Yedlin has some things to say about the "film look" and digital cameras, and he has some interesting theories and conclusions:
  14. Another recommendation for PixelTools: they did a terrific job at assembling together utilities, often-used nodes, and looks in one package. And unlike a LUT, they can be adjusted to work in any color space and camera format.
  15. I would point to the Oscar-winning film The Artist as an example where they not only digitally created "halation," but they went a step further and made modern 35mm color film look like 1920s B&W nitrate film. That's a very clever trick, and I think it helped sell the look and period of the film very well. Only Richard Deusy as Duboircolor in France knows exactly how they did it, but I think you can bet there were carefully-qualified keys, a glow filter of some kind, and some blur here and there. Great lighting and filtration in-camera probably helped as well. It's a great-looking film -- all shot on film, but (ironically) done at Red Studios on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood.