Deluxe Businesses Collaborate on Complete International Post Workflow for New Comedy Feature 'Seven Psychopaths'
Company 3, Deluxe 142, Deluxe Digital Cinema, Deluxe Laboratories, EFILM, and Method Studios, all part of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc., have come together for Seven Psychopaths, providing Blueprint Pictures with a comprehensive post workflow. This level of collaboration across Deluxe, unique in the industry, leveraged the company's technology, global infrastructure and creative excellence to provide everything from digital dailies and full DI to extensive VFX and DCP deliverables.
Seven Psychopaths tells the story of a struggling screenwriter who inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved shih tzu dog.
Directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), the film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and opened in US cinemas on October 12. The ensemble cast includes Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson.
"In total, this project touched six different Deluxe businesses," says Patrick Malone, Head of DI for Company 3 London. "Our sister company EFILM completed the CinemaScan dailies process in Los Angeles and delivered the scans to the London team located in our 142 facility via Deluxe's private network. Company 3 then completed the online and picture grade in London and Deluxe Labs made the deliverables, with Deluxe Digital London creating the DCP."
The feature was colored by Adam Glasman at Company 3, who has previously worked with both Martin McDonagh and cinematographer Ben Davis; Glasman collaborated with Martin on In Bruges and with Ben on Wrath of the Titans and most recently on Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. "Having worked with both previously, I knew they have a preference for bold strong images," says Glasman, "so we chose a saturated feel with increased contrast to reflect the heat and strong sun in the Mojave desert, continuing this technique into the night scenes."
Glasman continues, "There are a number of flashback sequences that required their own feel to isolate them from the rest of movie and aid storytelling. We achieved this by playing with saturation for individual colors and selectively stretching areas of the tone curves to increase grain. There are a number of different versions of this approach to reflect the flashbacks of different characters, separating them from each other."
Method Studios in London, led by Drew Jones, worked on a total of 87 VFX shots over five months. VFX Supervisor Rob Hodgson from the Method Studios' Los Angeles office liaised with production and the DP during the shoot in LA. This early collaboration through the global locations aided the production with their shoot needs and also the London team in creating the VFX for the movie.
Melody Woodford, Head of Production at Method, recounts the evolution of a graphic scene where a knife is used: "The action of the knife against the skin, the effect of the pressure from the blade and the amount of blood released were created digitally so it was possible to adjust that action according to taste," she says. "The main challenge faced on this movie was delivering a believable picture that was also more dramatic, and sometimes slightly more humorous, than real life. It took many weeks of concept and VFX development to achieve the correct balance that makes you gasp and laugh a little whilst keeping you firmly inside the story."
"From a logistical perspective this picture benefitted from a seamless intercompany workflow," Malone concludes, "coordinated by our experienced production teams across multiple locations and businesses within Deluxe."