Michael Ballhaus: Visual Effects and Film Stock

From American Cinematographer, Sci-Fi Cowboys by David E. Williams (July 1999)

"I like Kodak's Vision 320T, which I used quite a bit in the film and exposed at 200 ASA, but for the bluescreen work, ILM asked me to use 5248, which has less grain and a better blue layer. I rated it normally at 100 ASA, and because it's more contrasty, I had to use a bit more fill. I also used some 5293, because its blue layer is also better than in the 320T, and I sometimes needed a stock faster than 48. I rated the 93 normally at 200 ASA. However, since all of the effects shots were to be digitized and manipulated, ILM said they would work it out so the contrast in those shots would match the footage shot on the 320T, and they have done a pretty good job with that.

I like the 320T because it has a wide range of exposure, about 6 or 8 stops, and it's almost impossible to overexpose it, which is great. Also you can play with it; the more you expose, the more contrast you get. If you read it at 320 ASA, it's very flat, but at 200 ASA it has good contrast. At 125 ASA, it has even more."

- Michael Ballhaus, ASC

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