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HDV footage Color Correction to look 70s style

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Tristan DeDe
HDV footage Color Correction to look 70s style
on Aug 8, 2012 at 5:09:12 am


I'm shooting on a Canon 7D and editing with FCP 7. I want to tweak the footage to look like a 70s style PSA, of sorts. I've read a lot of posts about using filters that add film grain/hair/scratches/dust etc, but I'm more interested in the color/contrast. Here's a few examples of what I'm going for...


I know that I must light it appropriately to achieve what these examples have done, but what are some ways to boost that look in post? Specifically, what parameters should I tweak, or what filters work best for this sort of thing? (i.e. 3 way color corrector vs. color corrector, Desaturate, etc)

Thanks so much!

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Andrew Rendell
Re: HDV footage Color Correction to look 70s style
on Aug 8, 2012 at 9:40:16 am

One thing that comes to mind is that studio shots never matched the outside stuff.

For studio, very flat blanket lighting. They did use 3 point lighting but the fill would be so high that you'd hardly tell. Direct colour recording - Quad was actually very sharp in the luminance channel, but softening the chrominance and adding a little YC Delay would add some period vibe. A bit of comet-tailing on highlights would be a nice touch and some microphony on loud noises (watch what happens to the picture when an explosion happens on set during Tom Baker era Dr Who or Blake's 7 to see what those effects are/were).

Outside it was routinely pretty crappy 16mm reversal. Soft and low res, frequently with a slight green cast, grain, dirt and slight cratches, but all that soft as well (early telecines were pretty soft even if the film itself was sharp). Quite a lot of gate weave and vertical jitters on cuts (tape joins, they were never cement joined in a lab).

Am I giving away my age here? I remember the stuff that Look Around You is spoofing from my childhood and actually started as a trainee at the BBC in the '80s, just when technology was making a big leap, but there was still some of the old kit around (2" Quad VTRs, twin lens telecines, etc).

You can get the general low contrast/low saturation with the 3 way colour corrector, but I'd go to bad tv and bad film effects myself.

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