Company 3 Delivers Multiple Versions of Prometheus
Company 3 completed grading and postproduction services for Prometheus, the 3D science fiction adventure directed by Ridley Scott and shot by cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, ASC, with RED EPIC cameras in 3ality Technica Atom 3D rigs. Colorist Stephen Nakamura graded multiple versions, translating the vision that Scott and Wolski designed in different ways to optimize each of the projection systems used for the film’s 2D and 3D theatrical release. These include traditional RealD, projected at approximately four footlamberts, and RealD’s higher-brightness protocol, designed for projection at six footlamberts. Company 3 also provided grading services for the IMAX 3D and traditional 2D versions.
Nakamura made use of Company 3’s dark fiber network to grade sequences from his Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve theater in Santa Monica, while Scott watched the work progress at the Zanuck Theater on the 20th Century Fox lot. In the director’s review sessions, footage was projected with the RealD system in the large theater; he and Nakamura could compare notes via teleconference.
Nakamura graded the first pass to optimize the imagery for the brightness level of the standard RealD system and subsequently adjusted and fine-tuned the material for the higher-brightness 3D versions. He then completed another pass to make the most of the 2D version, which is screened with brighter projection and is absent the slight softening effect that 3D glasses can introduce.
“The difference between the versions is subtle,” Nakamura notes, “but artists like Ridley Scott and Dariusz Wolski want their visuals to be amazing at both four and six footlamberts. This way of working really helped us fine-tune the finishing process.”