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The DARK Cinematography of Solo

Discussion in 'Solo' started by darth sputnik, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. daRinze

    daRinze Force Sensitive

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    Solo
    stumbled not due to its inner qualities, but essentially due to a fatal marketing plan. Everyone can learn from his failures : no doubt the lesson will be learnt by Disney.
     
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  2. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    Disney is not prepared to learn the lessons from their mistakes. It seems that the studio is unwilling to admit that their marketing plan for "SOLO" was flawed. The studio would rather blame the film's stand alone format than its own marketing plan for the movie.
     
  3. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I think we'll only know for sure once the next stand alone film ramps up its marketing.
    If we see stuff plastered everywhere, then we'll know they decided not to try the "ride the coat tails" method again.

    (We might also get to know in about a month when Q2FY19 report comes out - May 8th)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 5, 2019, Original Post Date: Apr 5, 2019 ---
    Actually, Bob Igre also said this...

    I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn't mean we're not going to make films. J.J. is busy making IX. We have creative entities, including Benioff and Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven't been specific about. And we are just at the point where we're going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.'s. But I think we're going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.​

    So at least there's some level of recognition about poor marketing plans.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  4. daRinze

    daRinze Force Sensitive

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    Don't worry : speaking about billions of dollars, lessons will be learnt. super1.gif

    please define:Q2FY19 thank you honteux.gif
     
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  5. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Q2FY19 is the nomenclature for Disney's Quarterly report for 2nd quarter of 2019.
    Well, it's not just Disney's term...that's standard finance format meaning, Quarter 2, Fiscal Year 2019.
    But in context to the conversation it refers to Disney's reports (which are public record).

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  6. daRinze

    daRinze Force Sensitive

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  7. IlhamKamaruddin

    IlhamKamaruddin Rebel Commander

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    It was quite dark but I found it to be an amazing artistic choice. I absolutely loved the whole atmosphere of it all and Solo is very rewatchable.

    Also, one of my most favourite shots especially during the theatrical viewing was when the Millennium Falcon is on the Kessel Run and away from the Empire, and we see the lone freighter's engine blues just by itself in the middle of darkness.

    Solo has very bold artistic choices for a high budget film and I hope Lucasfilm never stop taking these bold steps ahead - but do keep the box office to make sure they can make more films :)
     
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  8. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    "Solo was too dark"

    *turns on TV*
    If you think that was dark my friend, we're going to watch a double-feature: Blade Runner, Alien.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  9. Viper78

    Viper78 Rebel Official

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    Solo looked fantastic and although a dark film it was perfect for the Star Wars underworld. My only problem was that the more expensive 4K version was even darker to the point it was almost unwatchable.
     
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  10. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    BlueRay looks wonderful! :D

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  11. Viper78

    Viper78 Rebel Official

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    Yeah is does look amazing, luckily you get a Blu-ray disk included with the 4K set.

    That was the only way I could tell the 4K was far too dark.
     
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  12. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Actually, in all seriousness.

    The reason for this isn't the 4K. It's the HDR format of the 4K "UHD" (from here on, I'm going to call this copy the 4K copy and I'll explain why later).
    The HDR format of the 4K copy, unlike BluRay (BluRay will refer to standard BluRay, eventhough 4K UHD is a form of BlueRay with a different market tag), isn't a solid standard because HDR is about a broader range of distance between the lowest black to the brightest white.
    So HDR is more akin to contrast ratio than high definition resolution. And this should make sense, since HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.
    Physically, there's nothing stopping a BluRay from not being HDR and still hitting 4K resolution.
    It's just that HDR bundles with 4K most frequently because having the extra pixels doesn't hurt, and almost every 4K UHD player out there is at least HDR compatible (which doesn't mean that it's actually delivering HDR - it just means that it can convert the scale over to standard dynamic range...but this is pretty rare since you'd have to buy a pretty trash-level player - it's more likely to see this "HDR compatible" slug on TV's that aren't actual HDR TV's...they just convert it so that you can get an image).

    The problem comes in with how HDR achieves its higher dynamic range.
    In the most basic way of putting it, it does this by finding the darkest reference and then the brightest reference and then wedging the range open with a virtual pole jack until it can pack in 4096 shades of light between those two points.
    Regular dynamic range is 256 shades of light between those two points.

    Clearly, we're going to see a huge difference, right?
    Well...kind of.

    It depends a lot on a few things. Firstly, I won't go into our own gear because I'm going to assume that we have the right TV that is actually UHD Premium certified (or that we know the technical levels to discern the quality of a TV that isn't certified as being of good quality).

    So, even if we have all of the right gear, HDR is a slippery mess because there's no actual standard for an absolute reference frame of black, or of white.
    Nor of what the 100th shade of red should be. It's all relative every time.
    And by the way, none of this is likely in line with anything that was done with the cameras for the filming.

    HDR basically is a way to say, "Hey...how do I over expose the darkest area and under expose the brightest area at the same time?"

    You see where this is going?
    If you're brightest spot is dark, then what's your 4096 frames of dynamic range to use as their relative frame of reference for bright?
    Well, they use that brightest spot.
    But that brightest spot isn't very bright, and the HDR is going to force a 4096 frames of range between the brightest spot and the darkest, regardless how close those two levels are.

    It's like having a lens that's always going to magnify whatever it sees by 100 times the object's actual size (not 100 times your visual scale like a normal microscope).
    So when you look at the moon with this, BOOM BABY!
    Massive detail! HOLY COW! I can see foot prints!

    But when I look at a proton with this magical lens of relative magnification ... what the hell am I even looking at? It's just a big smeared blob of pretty much nothing.
    The problem is that the size of the proton is too small to drill down into it 100 times so that it takes up as much detail spectrum as the moon did before.

    Now, other films are dark and look good, so what gives?
    It's not like Blade Runner looks terrible; it's arguably one of the best reviewed 4K UHD transfers ever made.
    And that is where the other half of the issue comes in. Making a 4K UHD version, and therefore an HDR version, requires a transfer, or said another way, a mastering.

    And like ANY mastering in any medium, it's an engineering feat that is full of non-absolutes and do's and don'ts that only get done well when there's an experienced human sitting behind the console working on that mastering.
    If you just shove a song into a "Master this for me" online tool - what you'll get is a one-size-fits-all approach that will take certain regularities in sound and apply a given set of logic to make the song seem as loud as possible without blowing the top.

    But...what if you didn't want to sound as loud as possible? What if you had a really quiet part and you wanted that quiet part to be really quiet on purpose so that when the loud part came it sounded like a big moment?
    Well...for that, you'll need a human because the computational approach will just make that quieter spot louder and that will make the louder part seem quieter relative to that quieter part...paradoxically.

    A similar set of things happens with pseudo-automated video mastering. You can feed in a film and let it run based on typical calibrations, but when you have someone fiddling around in the deep dark ranges and the film has a ton of practical effect atmospheres (fog, mist, smoke, etc... which Solo has a lot of), you end up with a less than stellar HDR output quality. You get ... well. You get mud and murky stuff.

    It's just a bad mastering, honestly.
    Maybe some day down the road an anniversary edition will be spit out that actually has someone sit down and work on making a quality image, but for now...stick with BluRay.

    Actually...I won't even move to 4K yet because of these kinds of issues. It's too unstable of a format and not enough attention is given to the masters, so even if you get a massive quality in the HDR side ... is that what the Director intended...or did I just watch a film that removed certain depth of field sensations that were intended but no longer present because of a re-rendering that suddenly popped me every possible bit of definition of light in the frame?

    I'm waiting for the Resolution Wars in the film industry to settle down.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #52 Jayson, May 31, 2019
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  13. Viper78

    Viper78 Rebel Official

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    Thanks for this post, it explains why the Bluray copy looks better than the 4K.
     
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  14. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    This is still one of my favorite threads on the Cantina....thanks again @Jayson
     
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  15. Meister Yoda

    Meister Yoda Your Little Green Friend
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    One of the reasons I had the Bluray and not 4k on my birthday wishlist.
     
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  16. Too Gon Onbourbon

    Too Gon Onbourbon Rebel General

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    Too dark for 3D which I really enjoy though I understand I am decidedly in the minority.
     
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  17. Rebel on Toprawa

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    Solo bombed because it was released less than half a year after the last jedi. Disney should've waited 'til December of 2018 to release it.
     
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  18. Mosley909

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    Personally loved the cinematography of Solo. I love that its dark. The way Bradford Young makes Corellia look in the open sequence, that shot of the Star Destoyer on the Kessell run. The way the train sequence is shot.
    For my money it's one of the best Star Wars films from cinematography point of view. I dunno what Bradford Young has in the pipeline but what ever he does after Solo and Arrival I will be buying a ticket.
     
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  19. Messi

    Messi G.O.A.T.

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    I thought the cinematography was too dark in my first viewing at the cinemas too.
    But yesterday watching it on bluray for the first time I really liked it. The movie is only too dark in the beginning in Corellia, after that is much more clear.
     
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