Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer

Cinematic Excellence at 24 Frames a Second

How To Shoot & Light For The Grade

C100 with FilmConvert
Adding in film grain and applying film LUTs are a few of the tricks I've used over the years to take the edge off digital imagery. The addition of these elements not only makes the image look and feel more like film, but, more importantly, it takes the "exactness" and clinical precision off of the digital image. It makes it feel more organic.

When I first started implementing this technique, I ran into situations where I thought the image looked good on set, but back in the grade, the LUT didn't work as planned. I lost important information in my image, and I had to abandon using the LUT.

That began my quest for a solution on how to develop a methodology for how to shoot for the grade. Here is the process I went through, and how you can be better prepared to use LUTs or programs like Film Convert when lighting your sets.
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How To Properly Add Life Back Into Your Digital Footage

(Before: Log/After: Grade w/Film Convert)

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know that one of my biggest frustrations with digital imagery today is how pristine it is. Digital images are just too good, and too clean. When great digital cameras are coupled with great modern glass, the resulting image is one that is technically "perfect," but lacks the "life," "character," & "personality" that film brought with it in years past. I have developed a three step process to reintroduce life into my footage: 1. Proper lens selection, 2. Proper in camera filtration, & 3. Proper post processing. Recently I have added FilmConvert to the post processing step of my footage. But I've wondered... When is the proper time to apply FilmConvert? Since the online documentation is lacking, I set out to test a couple of workflows for myself. Here is what I've found.
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