Prime Focus Handles DI for Spike Lee Documentary 'If God is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise'


Last Updated: August 26, 2010 6:56 pm GMT
(New York--August 26, 2010) Prime Focus, a global visual entertainment services group, announces completion of digital intermediate (DI) work for the Spike Lee-directed documentary "If God is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise," which premiered on HBO Aug. 23rd and 24th.

The four-hour, two-part documentary revisits New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina to look at how the city and its residents have changed in the years after the disaster and since the more recent 2010 Super Bowl victory and BP oil spill.

Profiling some of the same individuals featured in Lee's Emmy and Peabody award-winning 2006 documentary "When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," the new film examines the city's ongoing efforts to restore housing, healthcare, education, economic growth and law and order to a community still reeling from the events of 2005.

Prime Focus colorist Eric Alvarado, who collaborated previously with Lee on the DI for a number of commercial projects, handled the film's DI out of the company's New York office, communicating directly with the film's DP, Cliff Charles, who has had a longstanding relationship with Alvarado.

"Before we began production, one of the first people I requested to be a part of the team was Eric," said Charles. "With the countless times we've worked together I knew he would complement what I was creating on set. I also knew he could accurately reproduce and enhance the hundreds of different skin tones and landscapes that make up the complex fabric of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region."

Alvarado gave "If God is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise" a colorful, portraiture-style look. And because the new film features footage from "When The Levees Broke," Alvarado needed to make the two films stand apart to indicate the passage of time, which he emphasized in part by desaturating the older material. The film also pulls together historic and newsreel footage with newly shot material in a variety of formats. All told, seven different formats including HDCAM SR, DVCPro HD, HDV, 35mm, 16mm, Super 8 and DSLR footage were incorporated into the film. Both Lee and Charles wanted each source to have its own rich look.

For Alvarado, the biggest challenge grew out of the director's goal to make "If God is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise" as timely as possible, especially in the wake of the BP disaster. This meant a lightning-paced production and post schedule.

Said Alvarado, "Over the course of three weeks, the Prime Focus team and I were working around the clock, getting new tapes almost daily which we'd have to turn around almost immediately. This is such an important film from a historical perspective and to be able to lend a hand in telling the story is an incredible honor."

The film was shot on the HDCAM-SR format and tapes were sent to Prime Focus for the DI, which was done using a Da Vinci 2K Plus color corrector.

About Prime Focus
Prime Focus is a global Visual Entertainment Services group that provides creative and technical services to the film, broadcast, commercials, gaming, internet and media industries.

The group offers a genuine end-to-end solution from pre-production to final delivery - including previsualisation, equipment hire, visual effects, video and audio post-production, digital intermediate, digital asset management and distribution.

Prime Focus employs more than 2250 people with state-of-the-art facilities throughout the key markets of North America, the UK and India. Using its 'worldsourcing' business model, Prime Focus provides a network that combines global cost advantages, resources and talent pool with strong relationships and a deep understanding of the local markets.

Prime Focus is a public stock company with shares traded in the Mumbai and National Stock exchanges in India (Symbol - PRIMEFOCUS). Prime Focus also owns and operates Prime Focus London plc (Symbol - PFO), which is publicly traded in the LSE's AIM market. For more information, please visit


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