FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE PRODUC T I ON .
The spellbinding aesthetic of the Fantastic Beasts universe is a sum of many parts. Not least, the digital intermediate. For the series’ third feature, Goldcrest’s supervising colourist Rob Pizzey headed up a talented team to refine the look. “I have a fantastic relationship with George Richmond,” he says. “We’ve worked on many films together over the years, and I became involved with the project when I discovered he’d been brought on as the cinematographer. “I met David Yates during an LUT building session in pre-production. We created a filmic look with a soft, cool bottom end – and David loved it. We wanted something different, compared to the previous two films. The Secrets of Dumbledore has a dark vibe to it. It’s heavy, but rich at the same time.” In a picture full of the fantastical, grading stretched beyond a single DI. There were plenty of VFX scenes to account for. Thankfully, led by executive DI producer Jonathan Collard and CTO Laurent Treherne, Goldcrest was involved in the original VFX pipeline set-up. “Once the DI started, I had eight long, unattended days to match everything up for a first pass before George and David Colour wizardry
BROTHERS IN ARMS Callum Turner (left) and Eddie Redmayne (right) return as the Scamander siblings
could view the results,” Pizzey explains. “We addressed notes from each of them, and knew the film was in a good place. “The VFX team were supplied with the LUT George and I created much earlier in production, so there was consistency through dailies all the way to the final DI. The quality was breathtaking, and we didn’t have to use any mattes in the grade. A month after our initial work was a crazy two weeks of finishing the deliverables.” There’s still plenty of fun to be had, though – even against the clock. After all, it’s what filmmaking is all about. “The Erkstag wizarding prison was enjoyable,” Pizzey recalls. “It’s dark and dangerous down there! Bringing the humour to life, while retaining the nasty atmosphere, was the challenge. We manipulated shadows and worked with different layers to do this; it goes to show how crucial the grade is for storytelling.” The final deliverables were theatrical 4K DCP and 4K Dolby Vision DCP, as well as home entertainment UHD Dolby Vision HDR and SDR Rec. 709 passes. “HDR works well when the characters cast spells. The extra luminance and subtle colour nuances really pop,” the colourist concludes.
Newt Scamander and his menagerie of unusual creatures, Richmond pitched to Yates a softer lighting style than had been seen in the preceding films, which were much more colourful and sharper in contrast. As the story gets darker, so does everything else – and it was important to the DOP that the blacks were not inkjet, as this would become irksome for viewers. It’s very difficult to watch something dark and high-contrast. Lighting was therefore as crucial to this production as the placement of his camera. “It goes hand in hand for me… trying to control where the camera is, so
09. MAY 2022
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