Post Magazine

February 2016

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BITS & PIECES 4 POST FEBRUARY 2016 ANOMALISA: FINISHING ANIMATION FOR GROWN UPS When my friend and post production supervisor, Eric Bergman, first mentioned that he was working on a stop-motion animation movie, I was intrigued since we had never done a stop-motion project at Light Iron. When he told me it was written by Charlie Kaufman, I knew there was no way I was going to let the opportunity slip through my fingers. It seemed a once-in-a-lifetime project, and after an early visit to Starburns Industries to attend a "weeklies" session, I knew for certain that neither I, nor the world, had ever experienced anything like Anomalisa. When the time came for the editorial team to turn the project over to Light Iron for the DI, I re- member dropping what I was doing to watch it im- mediately. I have worked in post for almost 10 years and I have seen many projects come and go. It's rare when I am surprised by something, but Anomalisa surprised me. It made me care about inanimate puppets as though they were human beings — full of human frailty and, in a strange way, hope. Technically, the finishing for Anomalisa was unremarkable, much like the lives of its characters. It was a simple 2K finish, with all the 1080 source files coming directly from the VFX team. Light Iron just needed to load it and set senior colorist Ian Vertovec to work. The challenge came in taking a medium normally reserved for children's content and making it appeal to an adult audience. Although Anomalisa is animated, it's definitely not a cartoon. And it took careful, meticulous work not only to create the world, but to give it the specific look the creative team was after. In addition to working with Eric, we had the distinct pleasure of working closely with cinema- tographer Joe Passarelli, directors Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman, and producer Rosa Tran. As in the story, it was the people that made this such a remarkable project to be involved with. In our DI theater, Ian supported the filmmakers' tireless work to create an incredibly nuanced and subtle piece. When the final effects shots were in and the last color tweaks completed, it was clear to me that Duke, Charlie, and company had created something truly incredible. What I didn't know was how the world would receive this animated love letter to our humanity. Turns out, Anomalisa was received very well, and I could not be prouder to be associated with such a strange, wonderful work of art. — BY PAUL GEFFRE, LIGHT IRON

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