January 2013 Post Maginze
Roush Media recently completed the color grade on the feature film Faith of our Fathers. Shot on the Red One and graded with Digital Vision’s Nucoda Film Master, Faith of our Fathers tells the story of two men setting off on a journey to learn more about their fathers. The film stars Kevin Downes, David A.R. White, Stephen Baldwin and Candace Cameron Bure.
As a boutique post production facility located in Burbank, CA, Roush Media specializes in digital intermediate color grading, but also provides many other post services. Roush Media’s Senior Colorist, Keith Roush, has over 10 years of experience color grading feature films, short films, and commercials. Roush Media chose to conform and grade the original R3D files in the Nucoda from a Final Cut Pro 7 editRoush Media chose to conform and grade the original R3D files in the Nucoda from a Final Cut Pro 7 edit. For the film’s visual effects shots Roush provided the VFX artist with a LUT and LOG pre-graded DPX VFX plates. Roush Media decides with the filmmaker what the best workflow will be for every project they finish, whether it is conforming the original R3D material like Faith of our Fathers or coloring from a ProRes Log-C file with an Arri Alexa project.
Setting the look for Faith of our Fathers was a collaborative process for both Senior Colorist Keith Roush and Producer Kevin Downes. The film is set in two different time periods-during the Vietnam War and the present day. “Having two different time periods created a fun and interesting time in the DI Theater for Kevin and me,” says Roush. “We wanted the film to feel organic in nature and decipher the difference between time periods. That’s why we created a cold, gritty, reversal film look with the Vietnam War scenes and kept the present day naturally colorful and warm. One of the most dynamic looks we had to tackle was the film look for the Vietnam War flashback scenes. We took footage shot with the modern day digital Red camera and created an organic look that gave the footage the color and texture of an older film stock without making the footage look over-processed.Of course you can go with a bleach bypass look for a war scene but for this film that was not the intention,” says Roush.Keith developed a look with less sharpness, less natural color & less image detail to take the edge off the digital characteristic of today’s camera technology. “The idea behind this process was to make the footage look identical to what you would get with an older film stock,” Keith said. Using the Nucoda DI system’s blend modes Keith added film grain to give the footage the right texture. He wanted the look to aid the audience to feel the grittiness and emotional impact of the Vietnam War scenes.
Aside from creating the desired look, Keith had to overcome a different obstacle by mixing day-for-night with true night in some of the war scenes. He described the color session like this: “It was time to take on the next war scene. I was grading the first shot of the scene until Kevin stopped me. Then he told me that the scene we were on is intended to be night. When you’re coloring day for night it can get tricky especially when some scenes in the program are already shot for night. I placed my hand on the panels and went to town setting the look for the night scenes. I then went back to the day for night scenes and started to match the shots by adjusting color, creating shapes and using the Nucoda’s blend modes.” Once these nighttime war scenes were completed Producer Kevin Downes sat down in the theater to watch the final colored picture: “The film really felt like a much bigger budget theatrical film than it is. The DI color work really increased the production value.” Using the Nucoda DI system’s blend modes Keith added film grain to give the footage the right texture.
Color grading is a big part in finishing a film. You may not realize it until you experience what a good colorist does, but once you come into a color session and start working with the images by enhancing the color and creating looks you realize that it’s a whole other process of bringing your story to life on the big screen. The way you can use colors to tell a story is quite amazing and adds a lot of production value. Roush Media prides itself on their DI Color work while giving a post boutique experience for the filmmaker. Keith says, “The finished product is always a creative and collaborative process between us and the Director, DP, and Producer.” Roush Media likes to use their talent and technology to vividly bring stories to life with color.
Roush Media is a boutique post-production company providing finishing services for Film, TV, and Commercials-catering to the needs of the smaller production company. Among the services offered are finishing & editing, DI color grading , D-cinema Mastering, file conversions & transfers, deliverables, mastering & more.