As film schedules get faster and faster, there is more and more pressure to run multiple cameras.
This often shows up as the class “we shot RED for a-camera, but the director owned a 5D that we stuck in for b-cam,” which shows up in about half of my RED jobs these days, and will be the subject of a different post.
But on a job a few weeks ago I ran into another problem; two camera RED show with identical lens’, identical firmware builds, and nearly identical exposures. And B-camera had a green cast.
It’s subtle, but in the image above you can see the brunette has a slight green cast to her images. It’s strange, but not that strange. As much as we would like to think that modern camera production is completely standardized, cameras are still complex things to make, and it’s possible that it’s just a variance between the two cameras. Or one camera got iridating by gamma rays from a sunspot or something. In post, it’s too late to track down.
The interesting thing in this case was that all we had to do to get rid of the green was a slight gamma shift. I was expecting to do a color shift as well, but tried gamma first, since I have had experience with RED cameras having a RED color cast to the shadows, so I often try gamma first to see if a color cast is coming from gamma. Lo and Behold, gamma shift fixed it all.
These stills are from a very beautiful feature I just graded with DP Marcos Durian called FIVE HOURS SOUTH, direct by Marc Bacci. These stills are also interesting for how subtle are grade was for this scene; Marcos got it very close on set and we were mostly balancing and accentuating.