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EFILM’s Skip Kimball Infuses Vivid “Ford v Ferrari” Look in Subtle Nostalgia

Twentieth Century Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” details the true story of how car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) built a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and challenged the dominance of Ferrari vehicles at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans car race in France. Director James Mangold and Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, ASC, GSC, achieved the feature’s distinct nostalgic and vivid aesthetic with help from EFILM Senior Colorist Skip Kimball.

“While this is a period piece, we didn’t want to follow the usual tropes to evoke an old film look,” noted Kimball. “Instead, we kept the colors bright so that the audience feels the realism of the story versus a faded memory of the time.”

Using a bespoke LUT created by Kimball, EFILM’s Benny Estrada provided on-location dailies for the feature via an EC3 setup. The LUT was also used throughout editorial for a unified color management experience. For the color finishing, Kimball seamlessly blended together footage captured with various digital cameras, lenses, and recording formats, and incorporated visual effects shots from several vendors, including EFILM sister company Method Studios.

“This is my fourth project with Phedon and he loves to challenge me. The final race at Le Mans was shot across five very different locations so matching the characteristics of the light, the sky, and the time of day was a tall order, but the result was totally worth it. The scene is so intense and exciting and, like Ken Miles, all anyone should be focused on is the race,” Kimball explained. “Jim was insistent that the look never go over the top. He’s such an experienced filmmaker that he sticks with subtle details, in line with the nuances of photorealism.”

Kimball’s deliverables included versions of the feature for traditional digital cinema, IMAX and in Dolby Vision. He described, “You don’t have to be a car lover or gear head to enjoy this movie. It’s really about the characters and the drama, I’m a big car enthusiast myself so I loved the vintage cars and all the little details they worked so hard to get right. I highly recommend seeing the movie on the biggest screen available!”

“There are so many big budget franchise properties now that it seems rare that we get a big movie like this one that stands completely on its own. No prequel. No sequel. Just a singular film that is enjoyable by itself,” Kimball concluded.

“Ford v Ferrari” raced into theaters on November 15, 2019. For more info, visit: