Color Grading

Creatures of the Deep

When I first watched this video on Vimeo, I was drawn in by the fantastic cinematography, and the atmosphere that is created in Alan Williams studio. The visuals hooked me but as his story, and discussion about process unfolded, I knew I was here for the full 8-minute duration. After watching it with the sound on, I muted the audio and watched it again, full screen and really looked at the way this was shot, edited, and composed. Ben Cox does a really nice job of framing his shots and using shallow depth of field to focus the viewer on specific elements within the frame. Lighting and color grading come together to really help enhance the story and create a mood that captures Alan Williams personality and the artwork he creates. This short has such a solid look, and great story hooks as well, it’s definitely going in the visual reference library for inspiration at a later date.

GlassFin Shows How it Made the Honda Wave.

Every day people see commercials on TV, the internet, in movie theaters, their mobile handset, etc. Most of the time we never really think about the amount of work that goes into the final production of that 30 to 60 second clip. The reality is, there is a boat load of post work that is done, after a boat load of on set production work. Then there is the preproduction work, with scripts, storyboards, style frames, and more. Below are two videos that show just how much post work goes into making that commercial sexy enough to maybe get you to buy a product.

The videos from Glassfin are for the Honda Wave 110. The first shows the final directors cut of the spot. A whopping thirty seconds of video. The second shows the compositing and post production breakdown of how this was put together with live action footage, CGI, particle systems, color grading, and so much more. If you have ever been curious about what it takes to make an award winning commercial, this is an excellent example.

“Unbound” Arbor Skateboards + James Kelly + RED.

When you take a RED camera and film one of the best downhill skateboard racers in the world free riding, the results can be pretty amazing. The film below from Arbor Collective features James Kelly simply having fun, going fast, flying downhill.

While this film has a great look to it with a desaturated color pallet, and interspersed slow motion shots, one thing that really makes it is the sense of speed. The way this is filmed, you get a sense of just how fast he is going. You see the wobbles, fumbles, and near spills. All of this helps build the sensation of movement and speed, while capturing the grace and athleticism of this sport. Great little short film with a soundtrack from the movie Django Unchained for bonus points.

“VO to Hero”. Thursday Morning Inspiration.

The right gear, a simple yet effective story, talented individuals behind the camera and working post make this short film. Shot on a RED EPIC, Michael Shainblum, and Maxwell Frank have created a beautiful little film championing those at the beginning of their journey. This short film has an absolutely wonderful look to it. Shallow depth of field, atmosphere, really nice color grading that accentuates the overall feel of the story. Definitely worth taking a few minutes to watch.

A Before and After Look at The Great Gatsby’s Post Production Work.

Whether you liked the latest version of The Great Gatsby or not, you have to admit it was a visual feast. The amount of visual effects, color grading and post work that went into creating the final movie was an absolutely gigantic undertaking. Chris Godfrey, the VFX supervisor on the film released a before and after reel of a number of the VFX shots from the film that show the sheer amount of post production that goes into a Hollywood movie like this. 7 different post houses worked on the final look of this film. Massive hat tip to the people at Animal Logic, Rising Sun, Iloura, ILM , Prime Focus and Method.

Flower Bombs.

About a month ago, Electroscope published a new video to Vimeo for the guerrilla art initiative Flower Bombs. Once again Electroscope just absolutely nails the look of this short film. Great editing, and post work make this piece. What could have been a fairly mundane film about hanging posters on street corners, instead has a certain amount of tension that makes the film. Shallow depth of field, great color grading, just enough lo-fi effects, and what color. The desaturated look of the film really punches the early morning light.

Flower Bombs is a guerrilla art initiative that explores the karma and power of public art through positive messaging. The symbol of the flower growing out of a bomb represents beauty in unexpected places — which is what street art is all about.

“Sharper Drive”, and the “Making Of” for Audi.

There is a new ad for Audi that was produced by Parasol Island titled “Sharper Drive”. The video seamlessly blends live action video with CG to create a fluid spot for the car, where it races across a dry lake bed that dissolves into ribbons of paper  that look like highway overpasses.

The video is color-graded with a desaturated overly that washes out the color and adds a level of atmosphere that I guarantee wasn’t in the original footage. Posted below is the original spot along with the “making of” spot, which if you are like me you’ll find fascinating as well. Oh and the making of video, the production values on it are every bit as good as the finished “Sharper Drive” ad. (the making of video gets really good at about 1 minute 30 when they really start showing how it is put together.)

Hat tip to the folks at Parasol Island, and the Agency Philipp & Keuntje. Full credits are listed below the video clips.

Agency: Philipp & Keuntje
Creative Director: Diether Kerner
Art Director: Jan Gericke
Producer: Sandra Niessen, Axel Leyck

Production: Parasol Island

Making of

Camera: Charles Bals, Denis Guth
Editor: Denis Guth

Director: Philip Hansen, Danny Ruhlmann
DoP: Danny Ruhlmann
Executive Producer: Moritz von Schrötter
Senior Film Producer: Lena Breidenbach
Post Producer: Niels Rinke, Lena Breidenbach
Service Production: Slim Pictures L.A.
Service Producer: Tom Weissferdt
Precision Driver: Mike Johnson
Heli Pilot: Peter McKernen

Editor: Nathalie Pürzer
Conform & Finishing: Stephan Krause

Executive Creative Director: Charles Bals
Creative Directors: Oliver Navarro, Hans Schultheiss
Designer: Sebastian Onufszak, André Ljosai

Previz Artists: Dino Figuera, Oliver Navarro, Philip Hansen

VFX Supervisor: Philip Hansen
Lead Animation Artist: Dino Figuera
Scene Setup: Dino Figuera, Paul Dreisen, Kay Poprawe, Joschka Herrlich, Robert Joosten
TD: Dino Figuera, Robert Joosten, Dirk Bialluch
Senior Lighting/Shading Artists: Christian Wallmeier,Paul Dreisen, Kay Poprawe, Oliver Markowski,
Lighting/Shading Artists: Joschka Herrlich
Texturing Artist: Bardia Afchar
Lead Compositing Artist: Gregory Chalenko
Compositing Artists: Jonas Uebelin, Falko Paeper, Sascha Reinholz, Elmar Weinhold,
Junior Comp: Fabian Grodde, Wilfried Kaiser

Lead Matchmoving: Christian Wallmeier
Matchmoving: Sascha Reinholz, Elmar Weinhold, Falko Paeper, Wilfried Kaiser

Typography / Motion-Design: Heike Mauer
Music: Jonathan Wulfes