Before the digital age, as cinematographers we tested new and old film stocks; we pushed them, pulled them, baked them, took them to the breaking point. Cross processed them, ENR’ed them,skip bleached them, developed color film with a black and white fixer. You name it, we tried to do it to get a unique look that would assist the story. I once developed my own super 8mm footage in my bathtub for a Smashing Pumpkins video. I bought the chemicals, read about how to do it, put it on some makeshift reels and developed an image. It was crazy. I quickly found out that by slowing down, I overexposed it, and when I went faster on the reel, I underexposed it. Chemical burns ensued, and the smell took some time to leave the apartment. Lydia was not happy! Ha, ha!
For Terminator Salvation, we wanted to infuse a steely look to the image. I tested different film stocks with the OZ process, which two very talented photochemical artists from Technicolor came up with, Mike Zacaria and Bob Olson. They saw the potential of this unique process, which processed the color film normally. Then they sent this baby through a black and white fixer that added 100% of the silver back onto the negative, which de-saturated the hell out of the image. It was like a silver coating over the color, and the contrast increased.
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