Originally Posted by sneals2000
Zen was shot with RED cameras, as were the BBC Wallanders (and the second series of the TV4 Wallanders AIUI), also made by the same company.
Zen and the BBC Wallanders were both produced or co-produced by the British production company 'Left Bank Pictures'.
Interestingly the BBC and TV4 Wallanders were also produced or co-produced with the Swedish 'Yellow Bird' production company, who decided to switch the TV4 Wallander series from Super 16 to RED after their experience with the first series of BBC Wallanders which used RED (as the BBC wouldn't commission HD content shot on Super 16)
Zen was pretty agressively graded, to give it a very distinctive look, using a Quantel Pablo.
Thanks. The reduced contrast made be think of early REDs, although despite all the hoopla at Red.Net about newer Red firmware/software for enhanced contrast
, can't say I've noticed improvements in actual productions. At times with Zen's opening episode I wondered if it was a SD version delivered at 1080i by my local PBS station. Watched the RED-shot "The Social Network," about Facebook's entrepreneurs, on a premium channel last week; seemed mediocre PQ-wise, but nothing like Zen. If the goal for 'aggressive grading' on a Qualtel Pablo was the appearance of a poor-quality print telecine, they succeeded--maybe in combination with whatever filters were put on cameras. .
By contrast, just finished re-watching my Blu-ray of the 1995, 16mm-shot "Pride and Prejudice," (BBC/A&E) telecined from the original negatives. The remarkably good PQ is hinted at in a sublink here
, comparing print versus negative telecines, within the AVS P&P thread.. The colorist shown in the link and a featurette on the Blu-ray also mentions that some of what appears like grain is actually the result of mechanical film stretching in telecines. And while the P&P '09 Blu-ray might be ~25 Mbps (AVC) versus, say, 15 Mbps (MPEG-2) or less for U.S. drama broadcasts, the negative copying appears to be the key factor for the vast PQ improvement, not just the encoder/bitrate differences. The P&P colorist seemed enthusiastic about potential Blu-rays using the same process, dusting off film negatives from earlier period dramas, but not sure that has taken place several years later. -- John