Technicolor PostWorks Masters HBO’s “The Deuce” in HDR

​Colorist Sam Daley collaborates with Cinematographer in recreating the look of New York City in the 1970s.
Author:
Publish date:

NEW YORK— The Deuce, the new drama from HBO and Executive Producers David Simon and George Pelecanos, is set in 1970s New York City where prostitution and crime were rampant, and the modern adult entertainment industry was just coming into its own. Bold, brash and visually intoxicating, the series finished natively in High Dynamic Range (HDR) at Technicolor PostWorks New York. Colorist Sam Daley collaborated with Director of Photography Vanja Černjul, ASC, in mastering seven episodes from the show’s debut season, after having similarly teamed with Cinematographer Pepe Avila del Pino on the pilot.

 With characters that include porn stars and prostitutes, The Deuce reveals a city that’s a mix of glitz and sleaze. Dive bars and grimy bus depots exist alongside the pulsating, neon-illuminated environs of Times Square. In approaching this world, Černjul says he drew inspiration from such classic films as Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver, but took a different approach in recreating the look of the city and the era where they were set.

Image placeholder title

“I wanted our 1970s New York to look as real as possible,” he explains. “I was intimately familiar with a lot of films that were shot in New York at that time—it was probably the most amazing period in American cinema—but I didn’t want to simulate the period lighting style. I wanted to make it seem as though we were actually in the 1970s, capturing that world with modern technology. I wanted to erase the media filter that we have when we watch those classic films.”

Černjul chose to work with Panasonic’s VariCam 35 for principal photography as its super35mm MOS sensor minimized the need for artificial lighting. “I wanted a shooting style with the greatest mobility,” he says. “We needed to move quickly as we sometimes were shooting two or three locations in a day. The sensor of the VariCam helped with that as it allowed us to work with available light. If we walked into a restaurant that was lit by candlelight, we could shoot it like that.”

During pre-production, Černjul worked with Daley on camera tests to establish a preliminary look. For the sake of consistency, they chose an image texture similar to what had been established in the pilot. “For the pilot, Pepe and I created a film-print emulation LUT,” recalls Daley. “It gave the digital photography the feel of a dye-based motion picture print. To complement that, we used Livegrain, which generates a filmic grain pattern based on the unique exposure of each scene.

“For the series, Vanja and I modified the LUT to accommodate the VariCam. We again used Livegrain, but we did so a bit more aggressively. VariCam captures a very clean image and we wanted something a bit grittier.”

The decision to finish in HDR also occurred as the show moved from pilot to series. Although the show will initially air in standard dynamic range, the HDR masters promise an enhanced viewing experience when the technology reaches more households.

Image placeholder title

Daley notes that, even as the show moved to an HDR workflow, they continued to employ the LUT they developed when they were expecting a conventional HD finish as the lighting and other creative decisions had been based on that look. “We treated the existing LUT like a film print being remastered in HDR,” Daley says. “We embraced the brightness of the new format, but we exercised restraint. The look pops where it needs to, but doesn't distract from the story.”

“It was a challenge to match the HDR color space to the color space that we had prepped for,” adds Černjul. “We had to redo the process we went through in pre-production. It took some experimentation to get it right.”

Daley says that the extra time and effort proved worthwhile and are evident in the results. “The colors are like characters,” he observes. “We have a lot of dark, grainy, contrasty images, but there is real beauty in the period hues, even when they are slightly askew. They provide a glimmer of optimism in an otherwise bleak world. People who get to see the HDR version are in for a treat. The scenes on 42nd Street, with the marquees, neon and flashing lights... it's like you're looking through a window into 1971.”

Černjul was similarly impressed with the quality of the HDR master and with how smoothly the process was managed by Daley and Technicolor PostWorks. “It’s very important to me to have a good rapport with the colorist,” he says. “I worked closely with Sam throughout production and we learned a lot together about the HDR format. I hope we can do it again very soon.”

About Technicolor PostWorks New York

Technicolor PostWorks New York is the East Coast’s most comprehensive digital motion picture and post-production facility, employing an exceptional team of creative artists, engineers and project managers to serve our clients through the film and TV finishing process.

Technicolor PostWorks New York offers one complete source for every post requirement, including in-context digital dailies, film imaging and restoration, collaborative non-linear editorial and HD/UHD broadcast finishing, 4K digital cinema, global content lifecycle support, and comprehensive film and TV sound services on nine mix stages.

For more information, visit http://www.technicolorpwny.com

Related

More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design today announced that the company’s production and post products were used to complete many of the fall 2018 season’s new and returning television shows and streaming series. More than 55 shows rely on Blackmagic Design’s digital film cameras; Fusion visual effects (VFX), compositing, 3D and motion graphics software; and DaVinci Resolve editing, color correction, VFX and digital audio software; as well as its switchers, routers, monitors and capture and playback devices.

Luxul_AMS-1208P

Jingle All the Way: Luxul's XMS-1208P Managed Gigabit Switch is Available for All CI Integrators this Holiday Season

Luxul, the leading innovator of IP networking solutions for AV integrators, today announced that it's giving CI integrators the gift of enterprise-level performance at affordable price points this holiday season. It doesn't matter if they've been naughty or nice, the company's XMS-1208P 12-port/18 PoE+ managed Gigabit switch — that delivers high-speed performance while enabling simple network expansion — is now available for all. And to ring in the new year, Luxul will begin shipping its AMS-1816P 18-port/16 PoE+ L2/L3 managed Gigabit switch in early January.

HoverCam_VV1

HoverCam Transforms Classrooms Fit for Future-Ready Students at Val Verde USD

HoverCam, an innovative technology leader in the digital education market, announced that Val Verde Unified School District (USD) in Parris, California, successfully installed HoverCam's Pilot digital teaching stations and CenterStage interactive flat panels (IFPs) in new STEM labs in the elementary schools, with plans for an eventual rollout to the district's middle and high schools. As part of the district's goal to create future-ready students, Val Verde USD chose HoverCam digital education solutions to address the rising challenge of updating classrooms and introducing curriculum with advanced systems that will prepare students for a rapidly changing career landscape.

ScreenShot2018-12-11at2.41.29PM.144822

The Sigma Holiday Sale Is Back!

Nothing makes gift giving as enjoyable as special prices on award-winning Sigma lenses and accessories; get the lens you’ve always craved or surprise a fellow shooter with the perfect present.

Riedel-Ruptly-Vans-3

Global News Agency Ruptly Relies on Riedel's MediorNet and Artist on Board New OB and DSNG Vehicles

Riedel's MediorNet real-time media network and Artist digital matrix intercom are providing the decentralized and redundant signal routing and communications backbone on board two all-new, state-of-the-art OB vehicles for Ruptly, a Berlin-based international news agency. Qvest Media, a world-leading system architect and integrator for the broadcast and media industries, designed and built the new broadcast van and DSNG vehicle.