The dark, challenging and sometimes disturbing film We Need to Talk AboutKevin was finished at London post house LipSync Post. The London Film Festival winner relied significantly on LipSync’s Quantel Pablo systems and expert colorist Stuart Fyvie to deliver its dramatic cinematic results.
We Need to Talk About Kevin stars Tilda Swinton as the guilt and angst-ridden mother of a teenage boy who has been jailed following a high school killing spree, reminiscent of the Columbine massacre. “The subject is tough but the amount of cinematic input required throughout the film made it enjoyable to work on,” adds Fyvie. “You have to create an atmosphere that’s conducive to the creative process; it’s a big part of the job of a colorist along with really knowing your tools.”
Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (Atonement) and Director Lynne Ramsey both attended the post production grading of the film. Fyvie explains, “On the Pablo I could offer ideas and treatments that the DoP and director had not yet considered. You’re helping to tell the story with color. The Pablo has all the tools I need and even the most subtle changes can alter the balance and feel of a scene quite dramatically.”
“The high quality processing that the Pablo provides ensures that the final look matches the director’s ideas exactly,” Fyvie continues. “You’re interpreting the director’s vision and representing what they are trying to do aesthetically.”
The speed and ease of use of Pablo allowed Fyvie to experiment with different effects and color treatments in a short space of time. Pablo’s color tools run in a non-linear environment, allowing Fyvie to continually test and change the look from very early in post-production. Repetitive colors and themes to help tell the story were used throughout the film. For example, a bleak recurring reference to tomato soup and a running blue theme made color correction a very significant part of post-production for the film. “Pablo’s quick and efficient operation allowed us to have five versions of an effect so an accurate decision can be made on which one to go with – it’s a much better workflow. And finishing movies is all about workflow; it’s the key to running a successful post business.
“Using Quantel Pablos we can keep the big picture in mind – in the end you simply have to get the job finished on time. The bonus comes when you read about how good the cinematography is on a film – then you really know you’ve done a good job!”