(Fremont, California--June 13, 2012) Blackmagic Design today announced that Company 3 used DaVinci Resolve for color grading four different versions of 20th Century Fox's, "Prometheus." One of the most anticipated features of the summer, the science fiction thriller was directed by Ridley Scott, the visionary filmmaker behind "Alien" and "Blade Runner," who chose Company 3 to help enhance the stunning visual style for "Prometheus," shot by renowned cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, ASC.
“Prometheus”, a 3D movie event starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, , Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, and Charlize Theron, is set on another planet and has a feeling of lifelessness, and much of the action occurs in dark environments. Colorist Stephen Nakamura of Company 3, Santa Monica, helped enhance the feeling of Wolski's imagery by further desaturating the already minimal color in the sequences. The filmmakers wanted the environment's darkness to feel somewhat oppressive but not so all encompassing that it would obscure the incredible details of this alien world and the technology employed by the characters.
Nakamura combined Resolve's tracking tools and Power Windows with the aperture correction feature to emphasize specific objects in the frame with some additional sharpening. “The filmmakers' vision was of a burnt, almost ashen like look. Everything had to be muted and cold looking," said Nakamura, who previously worked with Scott on "Robin Hood, "but the actors still needed to maintain their human qualities, and be seen in warm light without causing the darkness around them to appear muddy. To accomplish this in his films, and with 'Prometheus' in particular, Ridley likes to make use of the aperture correction feature to subtly enhance the sense that the images have a more limited depth of field. It helps direct the viewer's eye right to a specific person or object without looking like a special effect.”
All Prometheus images: TM and © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.
“Interestingly, aperture correction that worked well in 3D viewing situations did not work as well in 2D,” Nakamura continued. “The 3D glasses act as sort of a softening filter so that the amount of sharpness that looks subtle and natural under those conditions can look extreme when watching the film in 2D without glasses." Because of the node based setup of Resolve, he added, "it was not that complicated, for the 2D version, to go through the footage and just selectively pull back on the sharpening effect without affecting the rest of the image.”
Nakamura also made use of Resolve's Power Windows to help shape some of the virtual 'lighting' in environments that couldn't really be illuminated with traditional approaches, such as creating a kind of 'lighting' inside characters' spacesuits to bring out the actors' faces amid the lifeless environment. "I created Power Windows for walls and across the sides of caves," said Nakamura, "and built soft orbs of 'light' around the characters that might not be 'motivated' in the traditional sense, but made sense within the world of 'Prometheus.'"
Company 3 also worked with the "Prometheus" stereography team to refine shot to shot convergence for the 3D version, a very important facet of refining the 3D effect and smoothing out what could otherwise be jarring transitions.
Resolve was also used extensively to prepare the film to be exhibited in a variety of different 3D venues. Different 3D projection systems bring varying levels of light (and therefore contrast) to the displayed images. Company 3 was able to build look up tables (LUTs) within Resolve to partially translate the work done for the lower brightness systems and create an additional master designed to make the most of the greater contrast range offered by the higher brightness projection.
“That worked fairly well,” said Nakamura, “but it still required us to go through and make some shot to shot adjustments for the brighter 3D display and again for the even brighter 2D version. It definitely helps that the Resolve lets me isolate and adjust every correction individually.”
About DaVinci Resolve
Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is the world’s highest performance color correction solution for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux computers. DaVinci Resolve supports more real time color correction than any other system because it’s not limited by the performance of the computer it’s running on. DaVinci Resolve eliminates this performance barrier because it’s based on a cluster of high performance GPU cards, so all processing is always real time. DaVinci Resolve has the power of a true real time performance solution so handles complex color grades even when using dozens of primaries, secondaries, Power Windows™, multi point tracking, blurs, and more. DaVinci Resolve provides incredible performance in a low cost solution that can be easily upgraded by adding extra GPU’s for supercomputer power to handle 4K resolutions, stereoscopic 3D and real time grading direct from raw camera files such as ARRI raw and RED raw R3D files can be handled with ease.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. For more information, please check http://www.blackmagic-design.com
About Company 3
Company 3 is a group of post production facilities for features, commercials and music videos. Known for our creative color artistry, pioneering technology and global reach, Company 3 is trusted to deliver a quality product every time.
Company 3's incredible talent roster includes John Bonta, Sean Coleman, Siggy Ferstl, Billy Gabor, Adam Glasman, Dave Hussey, Tim Masick, Stephen Nakamura, Mike Pethel, Rob Pizzey, Tom Poole, Rob Sciarratta and Stefan Sonnenfeld. Recent commercial projects include campaigns for Apple, Audi, BMW, Heineken, Nike and others. Recent feature film credits include "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," "Drive," and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Company 3 is part of Deluxe’s Creative Services Group, a close-knit group of facilities overseen by Stefan Sonnenfeld that includes Beast, Deluxe New York, EFILM®, Method Studios, RIOT and Rushes, and leverages a comprehensive suite of end-to-end services, access to world-class artists, technical expertise and a tight infrastructure with global connectivity. Company 3 is wholly owned by Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc., (http://www.bydeluxe.com), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc.