Definition August 2024 - Web


Going dark Company 3’s senior colourist Simon Bourne reveals how he made the grade, shaping Baby Reindeer’s ultimate visual style

L ondon-based Baby Reindeer borrows its look from similar stories: those with bleak plot points and subjective storytelling, set in an urban area. Gadd, Tofilska, Trojnar and the rest of the team wanted to convey Donny’s state of mind through the colour grade. “The subject matter of the show was dark, and the look was supposed to reflect this,” shares Simon Bourne, the series’ colourist. The series does achieve this visual and metaphorical darkness, with many scenes taking place at night, on dimly lit streets or in atmospheric pubs and nightclubs. “The subject matter suggests deep, dark shadows,” begins Bourne, “and we knew we’d take some of these concepts to extremes. The series is ultimately about being inside Donny’s head. It made sense to take the visuals further than we might for a more objective type of storytelling.” PICKING A PALETTE Bourne recalls long hours discussing the show’s colour palette. “You can make certain colours pop when you limit the number of them in the scene. There was the idea of concentrating on certain colours – shades of red in particular – and avoiding others, such as blue,” he recounts. “This affected every aspect of production, from costume design to lighting.” For the grade, Bourne drew inspiration from various films with ‘some emotional connection to the story in Baby Reindeer ’,

including Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and King of Comedy , as well as David Fincher’s Fight Club . “For some of the most intense parts,” begins Bourne, “I thought about horror films like The Shining ,” and the prominent use of the colour red. “We had talked about creating show LUTs for the various locations and feelings different scenes conveyed, but that approach can quickly become unwieldy,” Bourne explains. “I built one LUT that added some of the characteristics we’d discussed but didn’t constrain the imagery too much. No matter how good a LUT is, I believe 75% of the work is best left to the final grade.” ALL TOGETHER NOW To create this final grade, Bourne used FilmLight’s Baselight. “It’s what I’ve become used to,” he shares. He worked alongside Gadd, the directors and DOPs, as well as a Netflix representative “who was on board with the strong look,” he says. “Occasionally, I would be alone, but we’d all look at it and fine-tune it together. It was a collaborative process. “It was a lot of work, but I wouldn’t say challenging,” Bourne continues. “Colour can be challenging if the client doesn’t have strong ideas or if clients disagree among themselves,” he reveals. Luckily, on Baby Reindeer , “everyone was on the same page about what we were trying to achieve. We pretty much stuck to the basic principles we started with.”



Powered by