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July 2014

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Page 13 of 51 12 POST JULY 2014 DAILIES -Men: Days of Future Past has done well with critics and at the box office. As with previous installments of the Twentieth Century Fox/Marvel En- tertainment franchise, Days was directed by Bryan Singer and shot by Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC — but these two collaborators never settle on one "X-Men look" and stick with it — they always develop specific visual styles for each film. This one, shot in 3D with dual Arri Alexa cameras inside 3ality rigs, takes the characters from the future back to the 1970s, and the filmmakers wanted to give distinct looks to each of these periods. In a blurring of the lines between produc- tion and what was traditionally called post, Sigel made extensive use of a mobile dailies grading suite provided by Deluxe's dailies company, EC3 — a mobile "facility" where Sigel and veteran dailies colorist Adrian DeLude could add elaborate looks to material and see it projected in 3D within hours after the im- ages had been shot. Post recently caught up with DeLude to find out more. What kind of setup were you able to take to the locations? "EC3 has a couple of these mobile grading theaters that started out as Star Waggon trailers and are outfitted with a full projection room, machine room and color correction gear. We can park near set and the cinematographer and direc- tor — and other people from production design and costume design and visual effects departments — can see material projected in a perfectly-calibrated envi- ronment. Tom [Sigel] would come into the trailer at lunch and after wrap, and he could give me direction about what he wanted his dailies to look like and when he came back he could see them project- ed and give me very specific notes." Was it helpful being so close to the shoot? "Oh yes! It was helpful for Tom and for me. Tom didn't have to try to describe a very elaborate look he was after using pictures and email. He was right there with me so he could talk about making very slight adjustments and see me do it. It was like doing a DI session every day. "It was helpful for me because if I had a question or was curious how he was lighting something, I could just walk over and see exactly what he was doing." Would you say this film was an unusu- ally elaborate? "Definitely! Tom has a really strong knowledge of what can be done in Da Vinci Resolve. He's very technically savvy. And he wanted to really start to develop the look for this film in the dailies. He wanted to do a whole lot of things during dailies that are traditionally left until the final DI so he could work through his ideas and so Bryan and all the department heads could get used to a look throughout the process. It helps everybody get on the same page." Was your on-set grade a final grade? "No. That could happen and there are other projects that EC3 is involved in where a lot of the look from dailies will likely go all the way down the pipeline, so the final looks like the dailies. In this case, Tom was using the dailies as a way of working through ideas — almost like a first draft. The work he then does in the DI [at Company 3, Santa Monica with Stephen Nakamura] is like a re-write." How intense was the dailies look com- pared to the final grade? "Tom knew he could go far with the look in dailies and then pull back a little in the DI. He actually went a whole different way with some of the looks by the time he did the DI, but he was able to experiment and develop his ideas in the dailies." What were some of the requests he made? "I had done some of this kind of work on the pre- vious movie, The Seventh Son, with Tom also. There we did some chroma keying, luminance keying. But we did that and much more on X-Men. We did keys, Power Win- dows and tracking, and just about anything you can do in a DI." Can you describe the specific looks? "Sure. For the future, Tom wanted everything to have a desaturated and kind of cold, clean feel. For the major- ity of the film, which is set in the '70s, he was really into a Kodachrome look. We would isolate shadows and pull the color out and then add softness to the highlights to look sort of like a diffusion filter or net was on the lens. Then we would isolate greens and push them all more into a yellow-green kind of space and we made the reds a bold, primary red. We grabbed the blues and brought them closer to the blue of the old Pan Am logo. We did something with just about every color." These weren't the final film looks? "Right. He was able to see these looks and think about them as the edit came together, so when he and Stephen Na- kamura got to work, they used the dailies as a guide but started coloring from scratch. In the final, the '70s look is much more desaturated with just a few key, iconic colors that pop. And the scenes in the future are warm, rather than cold. But I definitely think the work we did in dai- lies helped him work out his ideas before he even sat down for the final DI." X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST THE EVOLUTION OF A LOOK. X Colorist Adrian DeLude (below left) created preliminary looks that served as a guide for the final color correction.

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