Kodak Eastman 5247 LUT Characteristics

Technical Background

Movies filmed with digital movie cameras uses LUTs (Lookup Tables) at the post-production process and for on-set “camera-look-previews” to transform colors and brightness distribution to modifiy the image to a certain look, for example the iconic look of the 1970s and 1980s version of Eastman Kodak 5247[1] (Series 5 and Series 6) film material. Kodak Eastman’s 5247 film stock was first released in 1950 and was the companies first color negative film which was improoved with the years. Alltough the 5247 was replaced already by the 5248 film in the year 1952, the 5247 film was still popular until it was finaly the year 1993.

After filming, the footage was developed in a lab and often got the TECHNICOLOR[2] 3-Strip processing and is then beeing copied to another negative filmstock – the RELEASE NEGATIVE or RELEASE PRINT which then was the master for copying the RELEASE PRINTS for movie theater distribution.

The Digital Look of Kodak Eastman 5247 Film

Kodak Eastman 5247 LUT Characteristics BTTF2 ET1 ET4

Images from Back to the Future[4] and E.T.[5] courtesy of Universal Pictures[3].
Typical 80s Eastman Kodak 5247 imagery.

Today, with nearly all chemical film disappeared, the look of this film look is mostly seen on Bluray or DVD and on re-releases of older movies in movie theaters with digital projection, if you’re lucky maybe even on chemical film.

The look of these films are (mostly) carefully digitally color corrected variants of scanned film that where ideally supervised by the filmmakers who originally created the film, like the director and the DoP.

The look of 5247 film stock, including TECHNICOLOR processing had specific characteristics which can be summarized as:

  • Vivid, strong saturated colors
  • Strong contrast
  • Typical dynamic range: 8-9 stops
  • Sometimes pastelly color-tones
  • Skin tones hue leaning towards red
  • Overall color had darker saturation
  • key-light-plus-fill-light to fill light of 2:1 to 3:1 was recomended for optimal exposure
Kodak Film LUT
Raiders of the Lost Arc (Paramount)[6]
Eastman Kodak Film LUT
Star Wars – ESB (20th Century Fox)[7]

NTown provides a special Kodak Eastman 5247 LUT (NTEK-1047) which helps creating the iconic look of the very popular film stock from the 70s and 80s.

References

1. Eastman Kodak 5247 Film Stock  
2. Wikipedia: Technicolor  
3. Universal Pictures
4. IMDB: Back to the Future
5. IMDB: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
6. Raiders of the Lost Arc (Paramount)
7. Star Wars – ESB (20th Century Fox)

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