Definition July 2021 - Web


GRADED VS UNGRADED The image on the left is graded, whereas the brighter image above is ungraded. Colourist Vanessa Taylor’s direction from DOP David Tattersall was to use simple enhancement techniques, evening out basic primaries to complement the natural tone that was set in-camera.

Your eye is always drawn to the brightest part of any picture by darkening or brightening areas her lipstick pinged out. This can happen with lipsticks that contain fluorescent pigments; digital cameras pick them up, making lips appear too luminous. I used a combination of keyer and garbage matte to track around the mouth, reducing the hue and saturation of the lipstick only.” STAYING ON BRIEF Taylor joined the project as filming The fiddly foliage presented further challenges for a monastery set in the jungle. “Again, we needed to balance out the greens, but remove spill reflecting on Maggie Q’s face,” explains the colourist. “As soon as I pushed the primary temperature warmer, was nearing completion. Tattersall and Campbell were back in the UK shooting

pickups, which meant she and the team could spend 12 days finalising the grade together. Although it was done during lockdown, the team had access to a large DI theatre at Nu Boyana in Wandsworth, London, which meant adequate space for social distancing, enabling the whole team to collaborate in the same room. When describing the brief, Taylor says that Tattersall had already set the tone in-camera and, minus a few challenges, it was a matter of employing simple enhancement techniques to even out basic primaries and give it a natural finish. A key focus, however, was guiding the audience through scenes and allowing them to turn their attention to specific focus points, crucial to the plot progression. As Taylor notes, “your eye is always drawn to the brightest part of any picture by darkening or brightening areas”. For example, during the apartment fight scene between Anna and Rembrandt, Anna falls into the corner of the room and knocks the radio, which starts blasting romantic music. “The corner was dark, so we needed to brighten the stereo in order to make the connection with the sound,” says Taylor.

There was another scene that required extra attention in the grade, involving a motorbike and the characters Anna and Billy Boy (Robert Patrick). “In this sequence, camera angles are shot forwards and backwards, capturing various colour temperatures on the sensor,” says Taylor. “Tattersall and I worked closely to balance this scene, using primary and curve tools to achieve a match.” SUPPORTING THE VISION Taylor graded The Protégé on Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve and was especially fond of its beauty tools, using the hue compression to flatter more mature skin. Nonetheless, she remains true to the idea that a colourist’s role is to enhance. “The more you try to push an image from its natural starting point, the more digital the result will look,” she says. “What we do is complementary. It’s the most beautiful images that are the easiest to grade and Tattersall did an amazing job capturing the look of the story, so I’m very pleased with the result. It’s a great-looking film.” THE PROTÉGÉ IS IN CINEMAS IN AUGUST

JULY 202 1 | DEF I N I T ION 25

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