Magazine article American Cinematographer

New Hat Finishes Miss Nobody

Magazine article American Cinematographer

New Hat Finishes Miss Nobody

Article excerpt

Santa Monica-based post facility New Hat recemly added to its impressive digital capabilities with the construction of a feature Dl theater, a move designed to tap into the burgeoning independent film market

Offering totally digital, nonlinear color grading on commercial, music video and short-form projects, New Hat can transfer jobs in digital or film format to standard definition, high definition, 2K or 4K throughout any stage of post "We built this whole facility around the concept of nonlinear digital," explains New Hat colorisi Michael Mintz. "We work with ail the digital workflovvs. iFor example,] we can take a client's drive, ingest it and look at the raw files. Everything is as pure as possible; we don't want to convert anything that degrades the image "

The Dl suite pms three existing color bays and showcases a Barco DP-1 200 projector, a 1 4' Stewart Filmscreen screen, a FilmLight Baselight Four color corrector and Blue Sky 5 1 audio system. The setup is designed for filmmakers to tweak their images with extensive flexibility. Two Spirit 4Ks also offer high-speed native resolution at 4K plus native 2K scanning in real time.

Miss Nobody, directed by Tim Cox and shot DV Mateo Londono, was New Hat's second independent project in the new theater. The film is a dark satire of corporate culture that follows the sîory of a young office worker (played by Leslie Bibb, who also produced the film) with a penchant for murdering her way up the corporate ladder.

To support the darkly comedie tone of the piece, Londono opted to shoot with wide Cooke S4 primes, favoring the 27mm (for close-ups), 25mm, 20mm and 14mm, to create unusual perspectives. "We wanted the film to feel like a fairy tale," says Londono "We were inspired by a couple of films by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, where even close-ups were shot on a very wide-angle lens We also loved the precise, exact and methodical 'camera' movements in The lnuedibles."

Londono also supported the film's fantastical atmosphere with lighting, using mostly soft, single sources placed to create high contrast, which in turn emphasized the comedy's dark edge Night sources - primarily soft-source balloons - were balanced with plenty of negative fill

Londono chose three FUJI Eterna stocks for the production 25OT 8553, 25OD 8563 and 50OT 8573. "I feel FUJI offers enormous latitude and is very forgiving," says Lonaono "Our main camera was an Arncam Studio, our Steadicam was a fvloviecam Compact, and we used an Arnflex 435 Xtreme for second-unit/high-speed 'work."

To complete Londono and Cox's vision for the film, Mintz was booked for 80 hours in the D! suite "They did an amazing job creating a fantasy black-comedy look [on set], " Mintz says of the footage. "Even though the story occurs m common places, the characters inhabit a fairy-tale world."

However, Miss Nobody arrived at New Hat with one major caveat: the images had been teleoned aï another r'adlJîy via 2K Spiri; to 10 bit 4.2:2 HDCam-SR. "Due to budgetary constraints, our source became the dailies," says Mintz Surprisingly, though, Mintz found room to explore within the format's limitations. The colorisi explains, "Because of the wide exposure range of the FUJI stock, I ended up having a lot of flexibility I actually had a lot of information compared to other digital formats with limited latitude Even downrezzed, film has enough gamma to stretch it out. There was definitely room to play."

Mintz put the dailies through New Hat's Baselight color-grading system, which simplifies the creation of complex grades and effects. "It's a software-based system with a robust toolset that allows a variety of creative options," he explains. "It's the perfect tool to add color, tone and texture. We spent the first few days finding key shots to dial-in a stylized look, then went from there."

First, Mintz examined the film's palette through different set pieces. For example, footage in Sarah Jane's home revealed reds and greens. …

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