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February 2017

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MEET THE COLORIST 14 POST FEBRUARY 2017 hris Rodgers joined Molinare's ( DI team as colorist in October 2014, to focus on TV dramas and factual series. Joining from Splice TV, Rodgers' drama and com- edy credits include Class, Cold Feet and Fungus The Bogeyman (for which Chris received a BAFTA nomination). His most recent factual credits include Captive and The Fall. Among the big inspirations for Rodgers was director Chris Cunningham, an incredible influence who almost sin- gle-handedly made Rodgers want to work in post production. Here, Rodgers speaks with Post about his work as a colorist. How did you start out in post and become a colorist? "I became interested in post production whilst studying art at university, and working as a runner during the holidays. To be honest, I wasn't particularly aware of the role of a colorist when I first started out. I would wander into the telecine suites, but they somehow seemed like old technology, and I found myself drawn to the Avid suites instead. I worked my way up through the VT department, and assisted in the edit suites, before learning Avid Symphony and DS and working as an online editor. I often had to do color correction, and I became increasingly interested in grading. In 2008, I was given the opportunity to help set up Splice's grading department around a Baselight system. By that point, grading had really changed since the telecine and linear suites I'd seen before." Over the last decade, you have created an expansive portfolio of work, particularly for television. What draws you to these projects? "I've always enjoyed the variety of work. Working on a music video is vastly different to a longform drama, but it's these differences that keep it interesting. I think there's potential for boredom and complacency if you're not challenged with different kinds of work. Also, there are certain skills and disciplines that you learn from one that can be applied to another, which is hugely beneficial." What projects have you been working on recently? "I'm right in the middle of a new eight- part BBC drama called Class. It's a VFX-heavy show set in the Doctor Who universe, so it's visually very interesting. I'm also grading Silent Witness, and have recently been working on the new season of Cold Feet." What was the collaboration like between you and Maja Zamojda on the new spin off of Doctor Who, Class? "I was excited about this one before the first day of the grade. I had seen a cut, and it felt clear to me that we would develop a strong look. Maja, and the producer Derek Ritchie, came to me with very clear intentions of what they wanted from the grade, and they saw it as a huge- ly important part of the process. Maja sent through a whole series of grading and lighting references from films like Fight Club and Drive, and it had already been lit with a lot of color contrast. They were keen to hit a strong, tonally rich look, but with a slight retro feel and a very partic- ular palette. Derek and Maja were looking for a grade that meant that viewers would immediately identify what show they were watching." How was the look developed with the filmmaker? How did the material inspire you? "The great thing about Baselight is that I was able to create the intended look pret- ty quickly. This wasn't a straightforward grade, but I also didn't want to over-com- plicate things and make it fiddly and complex. There were some new tools like Midtone Saturation and Colour Cross Talk that helped me, and there was a moment fairly early on the first day where we all agreed that we had found the look of the show." How did you develop the look for Class to ensure it had a different feel without losing the spirit of the Doctor Who series? "I approached Class without any precon- ceptions of what Doctor Who looked like. Class is an interesting one, in that it is part of the Doctor Who universe, but is very much its own show. This is reflected in the writing and themes, so we wanted to embrace doing something different, and create a unique feel. It has darker themes (and more blood!) than Doctor Who, and BEHIND THE COLORFUL WORK OF CHRIS RODGERS C VARIETY IS KEY IN KEEPING PROJECTS INTERESTING The BBC drama, Class

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