PRODUC T I ON . VIGIL
FOUL PLAY The crew close ranks as the investigation reveals threats at every turn
“Working with Colin early on was fundamental in setting the colour palette and tones for the submarine interior. We did camera and grade tests before filming. It was really important to see how the set and lights would look on-screen – and, since all the lights were integrated into the set, we could choose the tone and luminescence levels before the footage made it into the grade,” says Gray. “I’m yet to have this confirmed, but I’m pretty sure the BBC is making the HDR version available. Using the ACES colour management system, we were able to go through the SDR and HDR alternatives to ensure they worked as one – Colin did such a great job, it looks really wonderful.”
that, the camera’s sensor was able to hit Gray’s visual requirement for shallow focus and a fall-off around the frame. “I could get near to the actors on the set, which was to be expected in a close- proximity subterranean environment, but it was never as sharply realised, due to this effect from the sensor,” he says. This was the DOP’s first HDR project, although he has subsequently contributed to another – also by World Productions – called Showtrial , airing on BBC One later this year. In 2019, colourist Colin Brown worked with Gray to discuss the look and create the show LUT, but the process was put on hold due to the pandemic – the first episode only reached the grade suite in November 2020.
Audio post Savalas Post invested a lot of time in pre-production. They researched environments to get a sense of how spaces might sound – from the Vanguard-class submarine control room, through to the crew’s mess at dinner time. An ex-submariner was on board for the entire production to answer any questions that would help give the show authenticity. The first episode opens with an incredible and complex set-piece sequence, taking place above and below the water. Almost all of the underwater dialogue was replaced, due to the nature of the incident and the noise on-set. This gave Kahl Henderson, dubbing mixer/ MD at Savalas, a greater degree of control to create a rich and intense soundtrack. It was a challenging opening sequence: the first five minutes took a whole day. For one of the quieter scenes, involving two main characters, everything was stripped back to focus on the dialogue and foley sounds from the characters’ points of view. It was heavily processed – futzed – which added to the real sense of claustrophobia and isolation inside the submarine. He concludes: “The whole team were fantastic, though. It was an enormous project, one which couldn’t have been achieved without such effort from cast, crew, VFX teams – and also, second block DOP Ruairí O’Brien.” Vigil is available now on BBC iPlayer
Awards Actors Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie won Baftas for their roles in Gentleman Jack and Game of Thrones , respectively. Screenwriter Tom Edge is twice Bafta-nominated, for Judy and The Crown , and director James Strong won a Bafta for his work on Broadchurch .
HIGH DRAMA Suranne Jones, as DCI Amy Silva, is winched into the HMS Vigil in one of the first scenes of the series. The creators contrasted the acidic lighting of the sub’s interior with the natural hues of outside spaces
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