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December 2017

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Page 15 of 43 14 POST DECEMBER 2017 COLOR GRADING ocus Features' latest release, Darkest Hour, stars Gary Oldman as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who is in his first few weeks in office during the outbreak of World War II. Directed by Joe Wright, the film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, who portrays Churchill's wife of 31 years, Clemmie. Faced with negotiating with Hitler or fighting against incredible odds, Churchill looks to the British people to inspire him to stand and fight for his nation's ideals. Lily James plays his tireless secretary, Elizabeth Layton, who supports him as he writes speeches designed to rally a nation. The feature was shot by Bruno Delbonnel, AFC, ASC, on an Arri Alexa and edited by Valerio Bonelli. Peter Doyle, at Technicolor in London, served as finishing colorist, but was involved in the earliest stages of the filmmaking pro- cess. Doyle has worked with the director before, and is a regular collaborator with Delbonnel, the two having collaborat- ed on Inside Llewyn Davis, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. "My relationship with Bruno — and Joe to an extent — is, I really get involved from start to finish," Doyle ex- plains. "From conceptual drawings and production design, and working with Bruno on the kind of cameras that [he'd] like to use, and lenses and so forth, and really wrapping an image processing pipeline around that." Creating the color pipeline early on ultimately allows the filmmakers to view rushes, visual effects, digital intermedi- ates or previews in a form that closely re- sembles what the final film will look like. "The general feeling was that it was to be a very sharp film," recalls Doyle of the earliest discussions. "Not diffused. It shouldn't be a period film in terms of looking 'desaturated' or 'sepia.'" The real events took place during an unusually-hot summer in the 1940s, and as such, influenced the look of the feature. "That became an interesting con- cept for the lighting viewpoint," notes Doyle. "Being a very hot, bright summer during war time meant indoor lights were dimmed to at least 20 watts. They were all filaments. You had this interest- ing observation that outside would be extremely bright, hot and summer, and inside would be [an] extremely dark and filament look." It being the 1940s, there was lots of smoking, he adds, so walls would be stained from tobacco and nothing would look particularly shiny. "That lent itself to the use of words like 'patina,'" he explains. "When Bruno was designing his lighting treatment, it meant words like 'high contrast,' a 'very warm' color palette, 'very warm' DARKEST HOUR: TECHNICOLOR ESTABLISHES A COLOR PIPELINE F BY MARC LOFTUS Technicolor London completed color finishing on the film. Early color decisions called for a sharp film, rather than diffused.

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