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                                             “We even went so far as to make an American flag in black & white and have grey paint in our ketchup bottles. Luckily we were shooting at the tail end of winter in Montana just before any green had appeared on the landscape.
“To augment all of this work in front of the camera, we used a wide range of photographic tricks to subdue the film’s response to colour.
“In fact, I sat down and typed a list of all the methods of de-saturating an image and we ended up doing all of them, except for two. We didn’t use a digital intermediate and we didn’t try using an optical printer to overlay a
black & white dupe over a colour dupe.
“Instead, we flashed the negative, we used smoke on the sets, we used Tiffen ProMist diffusion filters, and we used a skip-bleach process on the prints. We also used Fujifilm for both the negative and the print stock. I have used Fujifilm motion picture
stock over the years on many films, including Twin Falls Idaho.
“On this project, I had originally planned to shoot all of it on the low-con- trast Fujicolor F-400T, which had the softer colour palette I needed.
“However, with so much wide land- scape photography combined with diffu- sion, I ended using more Fujicolor F-125T instead for its finer grain structure and then using more flashing to match it to the contrast of the F-400T. So whereas I gener- ally used a 15% to 20% on the F-125T,
I used a 10% to 15% flash on the F-400T.
“I also decided not to use the 85B colour-correction filter when shooting
these tungsten-balanced stocks in day- light. This meant that the image on the negative was rather blue and even when correcting some of that out in printing, there was a slight loss of red saturation, mainly visible in the flesh tones. Again, this was desirable in our case. I also left the print slightly on the cool side any- way to further suppress the reds.
“The director and I are both big fans of the 2.35:1 aspect ratio and it seemed natu- ral to use it to shoot the Great Plains of Montana. Also, many of Andrew Wyeth’s landscape paintings are unusually wide horizontally. I pushed heavily to shoot this movie using anamorphic lenses rather than the Super-35 process, which would involve an optical printer blow-up.
“With all the flashing, diffusion, and smoke we were using, I didn’t want any degradation that the duping process of Super-35 would bring. Luckily, Panavision was very generous and we were able to shoot this movie using their Primo anamorphic lenses.
“The faded image on the negative was then printed on the older Fujifilm 3519
print stock. I picked this stock because it was less contrasty than the other print stocks. The idea was mainly to soften colours, not increase the contrast.
“So by using a softer print stock and a skip bleach process for it, I was able to restore the black levels in the image while further de-saturating it. The skip bleach also had the effect of making the image look ‘harder’ and sharper again because of the deeper blacks. The end result was still a somewhat diffused image, but with some of the rich dramat- ic textures of black & white photography.
“Our colour timer at Technicolor Labs, Bob Raring, found the film chal- lenging because it was like one long grey scale. A change of a few printer points would cause pronounced colour shifts in all the grey tones in the frame.” ■
Northfork, which is currently on release in the UK, was originated on 35mm Fujicolor F-125T 8532 and F-400T 8582 Motion Picture Negative
 Photos main: The Montana setting of Northfork; above l-r: James Woods, Daryl Hannah and a scene from Northfork; DP M David Mullen; Producer & Director Michael Polish, Duel Farnes and Co-Producer Mark Polish
Fuji Motion Picture And Professional Video • Exposure • 17

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