The Real Story Of…
Client: World Media Rights
Brief: Complete the grade and online of a 6 x 60 minute series which uncovers the true stories upon which some of the most famous, Oscar®-nominated movies of recent years were based, including Goodfellas, Zero Dark Thirty and The Social Network.
How it was done: The style brief was to create a unique look for each show, drawing from the relevant cinematic releases as a visual reference. We wanted the drama to evoke the feel of the films, and as a result each show posed its own individual set of challenges. From the rich and saturated reds and yellows of Goodfellas to the desaturated, high-contrast brown & green aesthetic of Hacksaw Ridge, each show’s drama rushes were balanced and then heavily stylised to align the footage within the world of their Hollywood counterparts. The drama in each show is punctuated by interviews, which we kept natural and consistent so that they would provide the viewing with a visual continuity among the shifting palette of the drama.
Some of the shows contained large archive sections required additional work in DaVinci Resolve, not only to standardise frame rates throughout the programme, but also to repair archive damage such as upscaling damage, excessive noise and chrominance. DaVinci’s noise reduction did a fantastic job, and we used the parallel node feature to separate chrominance and luma values to enable us to all but eliminate unwanted chroma noise from the footage without unduly softening detail.
Building on the heavily stylised drama footage, the archive for each show was graded to sit seamlessly within the reconstruction. This presented a challenge particularly with some of the more historic archive which was often black&white or had very little colour information, and so we used DaVinci to add and adjust the hues we had to work with. In one example, monochrome archive of the Korean war sat within a drama reconstruction scene of a battle in the jungle, with lush greens and warm saturated highlights. Here we used Resolve’s temperature control to warm up the highlights and push the white point toward yellow, and subtly added a little green through the blacks to tie together with the foliage in the drama.
Additionally we were involved in adding dramatic effects in the online stage, including muzzle flash and blood splatter among others.We composited these in Avid, utilising Boris to key the elements and add motion blur to sit them more naturally into the footage, as well as colour-correcting the elements themselves below the matte layer in order to blend them in with the strongly stylised drama where necessary.
Watch it: Airing on the Reelz Network (US) now