Talk:Day for night

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For some reason, there was a big-ass picture of a cow on this page...I removed it. ---Rochallor, 5/25/06(Happy Towel Day!)

The article states that the technique is mostly in disuse but I have heard commentary tracks where people talk about shooting Day for Night. In particular i rememember John Sayles on Limbo talking about shooting "day for Alaskan night". Is the term really in disuse? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:05, 16 January 2007

Can someone put an explanation for why it's called American Night? Was this some European term in response to seeing it in Hollywood films or something? (talk) 15:41, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

It's been replaced by what exactly? What are these advancements in technique/technology? +Hexagon1 (t) 16:02, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

My guess, based on nothing, is that faster film stock and modern high-ISO digital capture allows for shooting in lower light; smaller and more portable shooting equipment allows for a smaller and more portable crew; film budgets have gone up; and there is probably a filter in Abobe After Effects that can produce a night-time effect from video shot during daylight. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk)@

There seems to be a contradiction in the article; in one sentence it says that Day for Night is less used now than in the past, but in a later sentence it says Day for Night is becoming more popular. I believe the technique is more convincing and still commonly used today but I don't have any facts or stats I can locate to show this so I'm leaving the article as it is for now. Rcopley (talk) 03:38, 19 September 2009 (UTC)


Why doesn't the page even describe how it works in detail? what's the point of having a seperate article if you're not going to go into detail about it?Bumblebritches57 (talk) 13:25, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

I can do that, as I did for the article on compositing, if there is a consensus that it would be appropriate here.Jim Stinson (talk) 22:33, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Technical corrections and massaging; new references[edit]

Though accurate overall, the article mis-states some of the techniques used to achieve day-for night. I corrected the technicalities. (I wrote the Videomaker article cited in the references.)

I also removed the French name from the lead because outside French-speaking countries, it is never used. It and its translation are moved to the reference to the Truffaut film at the end. (It's doubtless irrelevant, but the classic French name for the continuity person is "Le Script Girl," although, as the French definite article indicates, the job in French production was done by a male.)

I also have two additional references, both of them historical:

Clarke, Charles G., ASC, Professional Cinematography, American Society of Cinematographers, Los Angeles, 1964, pp.51-53 and p.56.

American Society of Cinematographers, American Cinematography Manual, Los Angeles, 1966, pp. 533-536.

I don't know if a citation would be appropriate for a contributor, but I cover Day for Night shooting in my textbook (Jim Stinson, Video: Digital Communication and Production, 3rd ed. Goodheart-Willcox, Tinley Park, IL, 2013, pp.350-353.

I blush to confess that the technicalities of HTML are utterly beyond me, so I would appreciate help with adding these references.Jim Stinson (talk) 22:24, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Hey, Jim. You came in at just the right time. I was planning to expand the article to get a DYK, using the recent example of Mad Max: Fury Road as a hook to drive additional page views. DYK requires that an article either be new or expanded 5x in the last 7 days at the time the nomination is submitted, so the expansion needs to happen pretty fast. To avoid a conflict of interest, it's probably best that you avoid adding content that cites your own work. But if you have access to both those other references, please feel free to expand the article using the information from them. I can help you with the formatting. --diff (talk) 00:08, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Difference Engine wrote on my own page:

"Jim, I've added the references you mentioned on the talk page. I'm reproducing them here:

   Clarke, Charles G. (1964). Professional Cinematography. Hollywood: American Society of Cinematographers.
   Mascelli, Joseph V., ed. (1966). American Cinematographer Manual. Hollywood: American Society of Cinematographers.

Note that I made a couple of changes based on what I was able to find on the web ("American Cinematographer Manual" instead of "American Cinematography Manual" and location of Hollywood instead of Los Angeles). Can you verify whether these changes are correct? The ISBN would also be useful if you have it.

If you have any more recent references that you can cite instead of these, that would be preferred, as it makes it easier for other editors to track down the claims and ensure that the facts are not outdated.

To cite these inline in the text of the article, simply use the syntax {{sfn|author's last name|year|p=page}} or {{sfn|author's last name|year|pp=pages}}. Let me know if you have any questions! --diff (talk) 00:29, 17 June 2015 (UTC)"

I replied:

"Thank you! The two references were published before ISBN numbers existed. Since the shift to color was almost complete when they were published, they will not be out of date. As for personal citations, I'm already cited for my Videomaker article, so I don't see why my more complete (and lavishly illustrated) book citation would be inappropriate -- though I don't want to push it. Its ISBN is 978-1-60525-817-1. I'll see if I can find a good photo example for the article. The existing pic is a stinker -- shows no techniques except underexposure. Thanks again for your corrections and help.Jim Stinson (talk) 23:44, 17 June 2015 (UTC)"

I occurs to me that a reference is different from a citation. My book would be inappropriate for the latter, but perhaps okay for the former. Once again, my ineptitude shows: I'm not sure why Difference Engine's note shows on my page but not here, but I'm grateful for the help and wanted to add it to the conversation. (Hell, I didn't know what "DYK" meant until I just looked it up.)Jim Stinson (talk) 23:56, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

I have sent what I think is a better illustration to Wikimedia Commons. The file is day for night.jpg. Could someone smarter please add it to the article, if it is found suitable. It's full title there is "File:Church and city walls, Santorini, Greece Day for night.jpg" Jim Stinson (talk) 00:41, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Done! Would you happen to have any intermediate steps that can be shown to separate the effect of each individual technique? It's not necessary, but would be great for illustrative purposes, to break it down step by step. I don't know enough to do something like that myself. --diff (talk) 02:19, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Edits for accuracy and clarity.[edit]

I'm revising the text a bit. Notes as follows:

", making it more obvious that the scene was not filmed during the night." No. No civilian viewer would ever get that. This probably means that night-for-night shooting typically requires wider apertures in the low light, resulting in limited depth of field; so small f-stop = lotsa light, ergo, daylight. Misleading as stated.
"Historically, black-and-white film prints were tinted blue to produce this effect." Redundant.
"some techniques use tungsten-balanced rather than daylight-balanced film stock.[1]" Not inaccurate, but not clear. Historically, color negative films (Eastman 5254 and later 5247) were tungsten-balanced (3200K) and used out doors with a Wratten 85 filter to correct for the 5000K +/- of the light. In day for night, they left the filter off. Today, both daylight and tungsten emulsions are used, depending on the cinematographer's taste.
"during the so-called "magic hour"." Misleading. Magic hour is evening only, and is favored for the warm light quality and generally drier air, both of which make the day for night gag harder to pull off. Dawn and twilight are definitely used.
"While uncommonly used today, day for night techniques can be made more convincing through such digital effects." Sentence unclear. Is it day for night or digital techniques that are uncommon today? I tweaked the sentence.
"Taking advantage of the dynamic range of the digital cameras used on the production, the shots were then darkened and color-graded a bluish tint in post-production, with the result that detail was maintained in the shadows rather than being clipped, as might happen when underexposing.[7]" I'm leaving this, but I have strong doubts. With image sensors, you do the opposite of film technique: you expose for the highlights and "print" for the shadows. Over-exposed highlights burn out to pure, featureless white. Lower the exposure and all you can get is pure, featureless gray.

I will rework the sample photo supplied and upload the results to Wiki Commons. I'll post here when I've done.

Thanks again.Jim Stinson (talk) 00:21, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for you corrections, Jim. If you spot anything else that needs changing, feel free to fix it without discussion if you think it would be uncontroversial (WP:BOLD). I think most of the corrections and copyediting you've done are pretty self-explanatory. The edit summary should be enough to communicate the gist of it. As for the last item you mentioned, that text is just repeating what's in the cited article, where Jackson mentions how when shooting overexposed 14-bit RAW still images, you can get detail in the highlights, and that the cameras they shot the scenes with would behave similarly. If they're just using the extra wiggle room provided by having extra bits to play with in the RAW format, then it isn't that far fetched to be able to pull detail out of overexposed highlights. --diff (talk) 05:49, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I'll take your word for it. The recent American Cinematographer issue had a long feature about Mad Max but I confess I wasn't interested enough to follow it closely. And thanks right back atcha. (talk) 18:54, 19 June 2015 (UTC)


Images demoing steps in day for night[edit]

Okay, I've uploaded three other images to Wiki Commons:

Day for night cinema demo stage 1.jpg. CAPTION: Original, unprocessed image.
Day for night demo 2 blue tint.jpg. CAPTION: Bluish tint added by altering color temperature.
Step 3 in demo for Day For Night article.jpg. CAPTION: Image contrast increased.

The 4th image is the already-submitted:

Church and city walls, Santorini, Greece Day for night.jpg. CAPTION: Exposure reduced two f-stops.

Sorry for the inconsistency in filenames. Jim Stinson (talk) 01:08, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, Jim. I'll add these to the article when I get a chance (probably tomorrow). --diff (talk) 05:24, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Diff. The added images seem to do the job. Jim Stinson (talk) 21:08, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Emending the postcard section.[edit]

I would like to emend the postcard section. What's there is just fine; but I'd like to add:

Though the results resemble day for night film and video shots, the techniques are quite different. Instead of reducing the exposure of the print made for the night version, the colorist painted an identical print with darker individual tints. No attempt at an overall bluish effect was made, and many colors are actually warmer in the "night" scene. Convincing bright hot spots were added to the streetlights, which are unlit in the original, and the sky was supplied with fewer, wispier clouds.

I'm posting my addition here, because the HTML text of the section is followed by complex coding for references that I -- what can I say? -- don't understand and am afraid of screwing up.

I am working on unretouched, identical details of the two cards and will supply them to Wiki Commons ASAP.Jim Stinson (talk) 21:17, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

I have uploaded two identically framed details of the two postcards to Wikimedia Commons. Their titles are : "On the boardwalk at Ocean City, Md detail" and "On the boardwalk at night, Ocean City, Maryland detail." Could I beg a more competent editor to insert them for me? The captions are, respectively, "Daytime version detail" and "Day for night version detail."Jim Stinson (talk) 00:26, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Since it does involve a different technique, there may well be a better title for the section than what I hurriedly came up with. I certainly won't be offended at whatever changes make the section mesh better with the article (even removal, although I do think it's worth a mention in relation to the topic). --Junkyardsparkle (talk) 21:40, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
On reflection, I decided that my details shots were overkill. I did, however, add to the text of the section, as proposed above. BTW, I see nothing wrong with the section title.Jim Stinson (talk) 20:48, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Re postcards[edit]

I have been queried re the rights to use the two postcard images in the article. I went to the appropriate sites and said:

"I did not add this graphic or its companion, so I have no idea of its provenance."

Now I find from an earlier talk page entry that I apparently did in fact upload the images. I'll go over to Wikimedia and try to refresh my memory -- or rather, such memory as I have left.

The provenance of the picture postcards remains confused. I'd like to solve the whole problem by removing the entire section, pictures and all. Postcard painting techniques do not really belong in an article about cinema production procedures. I would make the edit, but several people have contributed to the article and I don't want to act unilaterally.Jim Stinson (talk) 01:14, 29 August 2016 (UTC)