Heavy Weather: Technicolor - PostWorks New York Completes Post for "Noah"
In its third collaboration with Darren Aronofsky, the New York post facility manages a film based workflow and intensive grad
(May 15, 2014)
Technicolor-PostWorks New York marked its third collaboration with Darren Aronofsky in providing post production services for Noah, the director's epic inspired by the story of Noah in the Old Testament. The facility provided everything from 35mm film processing to editorial conforming and final color grading. Technicolor-PostWorks played a similar role on Aronofsky's films The Wrestler and Black Swan, but Noah's complex visuals made it the largest feature film post production project ever undertaken in New York.
Tim Stipan, senior colorist at Technicolor-PostWorks, handled final color grading for the Paramount Pictures and Regency Enterprises film, working under the supervision of Aronofsky and Cinematographer Matthew Libatique, ASC. Stipan began work on the film in pre-production by grading camera tests. "A lot of tests were related to filming in rain and how the camera reacted to it," Stipan recalls. "We also did some IMAX tests, and they proved invaluable later on as the looks we set essentially remained the same through final post."
Noah was shot almost entirely on 35mm. Film negative was processed in New York, both while the production was shooting in the New York area and in Iceland (where many of the exteriors were shot). Following film processing, the facility produced HD dailies for review and editorial. It also performed 2K and 4K pin-registered scanning of film elements for delivery to visual effects providers, including ILM and Look Effects, and for final mastering.
As visual effects shots were finished, they were delivered back to Technicolor-PostWorks for color grading and conforming with live action. "The filmmakers wanted to establish certain looks from the start in order to guide the work of the visual effects team, recalls Technicolor-PostWorks Senior Digital Intermediate Producer Kevin Vale. "We conducted 60 or 70 VFX screenings for the benefit of Darren, Matty, Tim and the visual effects vendors."
"The VFX screenings were useful in determining how certain effects elements reacted to color, density and contrast," adds Stipan. "They helped both the filmmakers and visual effects vendors see how color could enhance the process."
Stipan performed final grading in 2K on Autodesk Lustre. Conforming was done on Autodesk Smoke by Digital Intermediate Editor Eric Leverenz. The DI process spanned several weeks as new and updated visual effects elements arrived from multiple vendors.
Libatique described the DI finish at Technicolor-PostWorks as "action packed, but smooth." "Tim is really motivated; he does the work of three people," Libatique says. "He has a background in photography and cinematography, and that really helps me because we speak the same language. The shorthand is easier."
Technicolor-PostWorks sent files of the finished grade from New York to Technicolor, Hollywood, which handled the film's deliverables (including home entertainment masters, film-out, and DCDM mastering for all theatrical exhibition formats). Libatique and Stipan oversaw the film's 3D color-mapping at Technicolor Hollywood.
Technicolor-PostWorks is among few post houses on the East Coast with the resources to handle a project of this scale and complexity. "It was awesome, beyond awesome, to be able to finish this film in New York," concludes Stipan. "Typically, big visual effects-driven films like this are finished in L.A., but we showed that we have the manpower, the resources and the creative chops to pull it off. Noah could be a game-changer for Technicolor-PostWorks and the entire New York production community."
About Technicolor - PostWorks New York
Technicolor - PostWorks New York is the East Coast's most comprehensive digital motion picture and post-production facility, employing an exceptional team of artists, engineers and project managers to serve our clients through the film and TV finishing process.
Offering data workflows, film processing, telecine/scanning, non-linear editorial and HD picture finishing, digital intermediate and film recording, high-volume encoding and high-speed data transmission, as well as comprehensive film and TV sound services on nine mix stages, Technicolor - PostWorks New York serves as one source for every post production requirement.