Blackmagic Design today announced that Twentieth Century Fox and ABC’s hit television show “Modern Family” is graded using DaVinci Resolve at LA based Modern VideoFilm, which provides world class post production and distribution services to the film, television and media content industries.
“Modern Family” follows the Pritchett Dunphy Tucker clan, a wonderfully large and blended family. The recipient of four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Television, the series has been critically lauded for revitalizing the television sitcom.
“Grading at times is more difficult on a show like this because I‘m actually trying to hide complicated tricks, preserving the authenticity of the documentary look. Luckily DaVinci Resolve has all the tools that I need to achieve this. In general, footage is given a very subtle low contrast grade trying to achieve very readable blacks and shadows on air. We really want the show to feel as filmic as possible, but still give things a nice treatment when needed,” remarked Aidan Stanford, colorist at Modern VideoFilm.
“Modern Family” is meant to look and feel like a documentary, with candid and organic moments. To enhance moments like an uncomfortable glance at the camera in an undetectable way, Aidan often adds a soft window on a character’s face and eyes and uses dynamic keyframes to complete the grade.
“I’ll use the mid dark luma custom curve adjustment. I really like those curves, and they are such a time saver,” noted Aidan. “Another great time saver is DaVinci Resolve’s interactive tracker, which came in handy for the recent ‘Australia’ episode, as well as the two part finale wedding episodes. Some scenes take place during the afternoon and into the evening. DP James Bagdonas wanted the footage to look really specific to the time of day, ending in a really beautiful sunset finale.”
“Every detail is so important to creating the mood, so things like magic hour or sunsets have to match, and DaVinci Resolve’s interactive tracker is the perfect tool. I was able to isolate foregrounds from horizons seamlessly,” he continued. “DaVinci Resolve took care of a lot of complicated tracking, as well as dynamic grades in windows that were being graded and tracked completely separate from the backgrounds.”
“Some shots had windows on every actor’s face in order to keep the skin and sky balanced, correcting for the changes in natural light during shooting. Since DaVinci Resolve allows you to use as many nodes as needed, I was able to keep adding nodes and pulling keys on whatever aspect of the shot was needed, such as warmth or density,” he said.
Aidan noted that even during review with the show’s creative team, if a scene needs to be made warmer or darker, he can isolate shots or even whole scenes with the track grade, and with one quick grade, the change is made in real time.
“I love being able to toggle a grade on and off as a whole, or mark it individually. Also I’m able to turn a LUT on or off as needed in a node, either in the tracker or the clip mode, which is very helpful and most importantly quick for the client. As a colorist I never feel stuck with DaVinci Resolve, and I know I can achieve what the DP is asking me to do, and everyone is happy with the results,” concluded Aidan.
“Modern Family” stars Ed O’Neill as Jay, Julie Bowen as Claire, Ty Burrell as Phil, Sofía Vergara as Gloria, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell, Eric Stonestreet as Cameron, Sarah Hyland as Haley, Nolan Gould as Luke, Ariel Winter as Alex, Rico Rodriguez as Manny and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons as Lily.
“Modern Family” is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television in association with Picador Productions and Steven Levitan Prods. Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd are the creators/executive producers. Danny Zuker, Dan O’Shannon, Bill Wrubel, Paul Corrigan, Brad Walsh, Abraham Higginbotham, Jeffrey Richman and Jeff Morton also serve as executive producers.
Product photos of DaVinci Resolve are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/press/images
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.