Since the dawn of color cinema, there has always been a demand for a skilled and sympathetic person to guide color throughout a production. Back then, the color timer worked to the instructions of the cinematographer, looking essentially to achieve consistency: dramatic color shifts using irreversible wet chemistry were rarely undertaken. But while the director and cinematographer may be household names, the colorist may still go unheralded outside a small community. To correct this neglect of a vital talent in the overall creative team, last year we created the FilmLight Color Awards.
Sometimes the story of how a film was made is almost as compelling as the story the film itself tells. That was certainly the case with There is No Evil, this year’s Golden Bear winner at the 70th annual Berlinale, the 2020 Berlin Film Festival. The film, from Iranian director Mohammed Rasoulof, faced serious and unique challenges getting onto the big screen at a film festival. First, there was the fact that Rasoulof is unable to leave Iran.
Yvan Lucas is a veteran digital intermediate colorist with a unique international story. His career spans over 30 years, has involved working in 10 different labs, and has included creative collaborations with a long list of iconic cinematographers such as Robert Richardson, Darius Khondji and Rodrigo Prieto. Lucas credits the work he did with Khondji and director Jean-Pierre Jeunet – especially on the films Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children – for launching his international career and leading him to Los Angeles.
One of the most awaited drama series of 2019, His Dark Materials, produced by Bad Wolf for BBC and HBO, was finished at Technicolor in London. With a story set in a parallel universe that seems like the Britain of a century ago, and with fantastic elements such as giant armored polar bears and ever-present demons – animal representations of the human soul – the production is a tour de force of visual effects, and therefore somewhat demanding of the colorist, Jean-Clément Soret.
Sam Chynoweth joined Technicolor in July 2018 and brings a mixture of animation and live action experience to Technicolor’s London color team. Chynoweth previously worked as a colorist in Australia on a number of different projects, including The Lego Movie, The Infiltrator, Peter Rabbit and The Lego Batman Movie. He spoke with Digital Cinema Report recently about his work.
The next in the series of acclaimed FilmLight Color Day master classes will be held April 8 during the National Association of Broadcasters convention. Presented by industry leaders in creative grading, this intensive day will introduce colorists, DPs and the wider production and post industry to the opportunities and challenges of modern color finishing and delivery.
The sixth and final Emmy award winning series of The Americans, a period spy thriller set in the 1980s during the Cold War, was recently finished in high dynamic range and 4K Ultra HD at Technicolor PostWorks in New York. Since series two, the look of the finished series has been the responsibility of John Crowley, Senior Digital Colorist, working on the Baselight color grading system from FilmLight.
Swapnil Patole is senior colorist and digital intermediate head of department at Famous Studio in Mumbai, which opened in 1946 and has become one of the finest post-production houses in India. Since starting his career 14 years ago, he has graded a long list of commercials in all genres and for brands such as L’Oreal, Garnier, McDonalds, Honda and Nivea, to name a few. He has more recently worked on feature films, festival short films and music videos, including a project for Sony Music India. Digital Cinema Report recently spoke with him about his career and how evolving technology has changed the work of colorists around the world.
Manuel Canchola is a freelance colorist based in Mexico City. He works on a mixture of commercials, television and film and uses this variety to continuously improve his skills as a colorist. Canchola, a passionate advocate for new technology and, in particular, high dynamic range, recently spoke with Digital Cinema Report about his career and his work in color grading.
Donbass, a new movie by Ukrainian writer/director Sergei Loznitsa, is to be shown as a work-in-progress version at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Post-production was to a tight timescale – shooting only wrapped in March – and Bucharest facility Digital Cube used a Baselight grading suite to ensure delivery while retaining full creative control over the look.