Nucoda Film Master key to innovative colour pipeline for mega VFX movie
Image Systems supported Paris-based Film Factory, a global post production company, in finishing Relativity Media’s The Immortals. The visual effects-heavy movie, releasing in 2D and 3D, required cutting-edge looks and the right tools to create a strong graphical vision for the story. To help bring the visually rich film to fruition, Film Factory Senior Colourist and Post-Production Supervisor Lionel Kopp collaborated with the filmmakers to create a unique dailies-to-DI process built around the Nucoda Film Master. The Nucoda grading and mastering solution provided Film Factory with the advanced toolset necessary to achieve the surreal look, and streamlined the workflow, which included some 12-plus VFX houses around the globe.
From the producers of 300 and director Tarsem Singh, The Immortals opens worldwide on Friday 11th November. It tells the mythical tale of a power-mad king (Mickey Rourke) who assails ancient Greece and threatens to destroy mankind, until a young villager (Henry Cavill) rises up against him. The movie was produced in Montreal, and photographed by cinematographer Brendan Galvin.
Film Factory established a workflow that centered around the Nucoda Film Master, which married a powerful on-set process to the final colour pass. The Nucoda Film Master system, which included a SAN and Nucoda Fuse assist station, were installed on set at Mel’s Studios in Montreal. On set, camera dailies from the Panavision Genesis HD camera were sent to the editing room in DNX 175 format with colour settings. Those settings were carried through in dailies, with the raw camera data held for future changes and final colour. Kopp graded every take from the first day of dailies through completion of the DI, helping to establish a look from the earliest point possible. In dailies, he could adjust the looks with notes from the director or cinematographer and make ongoing changes to the images. As visual effects came in, they were graded and cut creating a unified version.
Kopp states, “The Nucoda grading and mastering solution was the hub for everything, which was a powerful home base. Dailies settings, visual effects and the DI were all managed in the Nucoda Film Master.”
Film Factory had made the decision to control the post production of the movie in-house. Film Factory’s Second Colourist Marc Boucrot comments, “A DI, especially one for a huge movie, is usually done in a big post production facility. But Film Factory saw value and flexibility in keeping the process in-house. Since most companies don’t have the expertise to build a fully functional and successful DI pipeline, we set out to make it happen. Film Factory built a screening environment and colour timing areas right by the production offices. It was a risk, but it was a great success creatively and logistically.”
Kopp adds, “Our thoughts about how to bring the creative vision of the filmmakers to life was greatly helped by the Nucoda Film Master. It was extremely helpful to be able to start ‘grading’ the film from day one, incorporating colour graded visual effects and easily moving elements between set, editorial and DI. In addition to the logistical power of the Nucoda range, the colour grading tools are superior.”
The Immortals is 2D and 3D release, but 90 per cent of the feature was shot in 2D. Kopp explains, “When we received the conform of the 3D material, we were able to go into the Nucoda and do a final pass of the stereoscopic material. We brought in the senior stereographer from the production to make sure everything was in order for the 3D, and the Nucoda helped make that process flawless.”
Martin Bennett, MD of Media for Image Systems, states, “The movie looks incredible; it’s a visual accomplishment, and we are honoured to work with Lionel and our talented customers at Film Factory. We are excited to continue our relationship with them on Mirror Mirror, currently in post production, and ten other films in the pipeline.”