Magazine article Metro Magazine

Atlab's Digital Team Takes the Plunge with Swimming Upstream. (Business Section: Let's Talk Business)

Magazine article Metro Magazine

Atlab's Digital Team Takes the Plunge with Swimming Upstream. (Business Section: Let's Talk Business)

Article excerpt

SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE IN EARLY 2003, SWIMMING UPSTREAM'S DIRECTOR RUSSELL MULCAHY'S MOST CHALLENGING TASK WAS TO TELL A PERIOD STORY WITH A CRAFT STYLE THAT WOULD APPEAL TO A MODERN AUDIENCE. ATLAB AUSTRALIA WAS CHOSEN TO MAKE THIS VISION A REALITY.

Atlab's Digital Supervisor, Robert Sandeman and his team, created over fifty digital optical effects, as well as the feature's complex swimming race sequences, whilst colourist Tony Manning graded all elements. This ensured the successful integration of both the digital and photochemical processes, all under the one roof, creating seamless results.

Based on the novel by author Tony Fingleton and starring Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis, Jesse Spencer and Tim Draxl, we follow the life of Tony Fingleton (Jesse Spencer) who longs for his father Harold's (Geoffrey Rush) affection. Overshadowed by his footballer brother's talent, Tony has always felt neglected. It is only when Tony's father witnesses his extraordinary swimming talent that Tony feels that he has a shot at his father's heart. This hope however is short-lived.

The race scenes were the most challenging elements of the film and involved multiple layers of images (at times up to ten) composited into one final finished sequence. Sandeman explains, 'We wrote computer nodes for the software to enhance or sharpen key scenes without affecting the grain of the film. Several tests were created before the right amount was required'.

Working in the digital realm allowed the production to preview all elements prior to committing to film. …

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