Apr 10, 2017

NATASHA LEONNET HIGHLIGHTS HIDDEN FIGURES

Before the multiple Academy Award-nominated feature Hidden Figures premiered, few people were aware of the contributions a group of women -- African American math geniuses -- added to the mid-century space race. But once the film, directed by Theodore Melfi and starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janalle Monáe came out, there was no question that audiences wanted to know about this fascinating subject. The film has grossed more than $200 million internationally to date.

For EFILM colorist Natasha Leonnet Hidden Figures was a special project. Shot on 35 and 16mm film by Australian cinematographer Mandy Walker, ASC the filmmakers wanted every scene to bring the story to life with a sense of realism and immediacy while also evoking the early 1960s period the story is set in. "There was a naturalistic feel in that they didn't want the audience to have any sense of the work we did in color," Leonnet recalls.

"We went for a Kodachrome look," Walker adds, noting the distinctive colors of that now-defunct reversal film stock. "We had used many still photographs, stock footage and historical images from the 1950s and '60s as our inspiration. Those colors were in the art direction and costumes too. So as we found our look in the DI, we used Kodachrome as a reference."

The film follows these women at work in the Langley Memorial Research Lab as they apply their brilliance to the task and overcome challenges that their race and gender present working in a male-dominated field in the segregated south. The story also weaves their personal lives and the civil rights struggle (frequently shown via real news footage from the time) to capture the humanity and context of the story.

Walker had worked with Leonnet on two previous features – Beastly and Jane Got a Gun – and sought her out for Hidden Figures , the cinematographer explains, "because she is a great technician, but most importantly a true artist and she has an impeccable eye for detail."

Leonnet notes that despite the overall feeling of naturalism, there is a sense in the imagery of "how these women stand out from their environment. It starts with production design and wardrobe and continues through Mandy Walker's photography and even in post, we worked to subliminally enhance that feeling. Whether they're at their desks or playing cards at home, there's a feeling of three-dimensionality that comes from the imagery."

Another key component of Leonnet's work had to do with making the archival material and scenes shot for the film work together. "We did a significant amount of work finding the precise look that made that old footage blend in," she notes. "That meant working with the footage but it also affected where we took the look of the new material too. It was fascinating working with the director and DP to find what became the final look."

Aside from the color grading aspect, Hidden Figures has a special meaning for Leonnet. "Just looking at these amazing women and seeing their story was inspiring," she says. I certainly don't have their mathematical brilliance, but there is a lot that's technical about the work I do and the film spoke to me in that sense. The director and DP, the actors and everyone involved had burden on their shoulders to be as true to these women every step of the way and I certainly felt that way too."


Mar 17, 2017

DELUXE'S EFILM HOSTS ASC MASTER CLASS EVENT

For the third year, EFILM hosted the post production portion of the American Society of Cinematographers' Master Class seminar. The participants, comprised of a select group of cinematographers and other industry professionals who paid to attend, spend a full week mastering all facets of cinematography, from instructors – members of the illustrious organization -- who have succeeded at the highest levels.

The instructors share their wealth of experience about conceiving an approach to shooting and offer specific hands-on training about lighting schemes, camera movement, lens choice and technological considerations regarding VFX and second unit as well as an advanced look at final image creation through the mastering process. This is where Joachim Zell VP Technology, Deluxe Creative Services and colorist Jill Bogdanowicz came in.

Prior to students shooting material, Zell walked them through technical aspects of shooting, calibrating and prepping for the best results in post. "I explain how we treat footage, what to look out for, how we work with cinematographers," Zell elaborates. "I went to set and helped calibrate cameras and lenses and explained all the options available for creating dailies."

Subsequently the shooters attended color sessions as master colorist Bogdanawicz demonstrated the artistic possibilities and technical considerations of the final color process at an all-day session inside EFILM's brand-new 4K theater.

The intensive weeklong seminar was taught by top-tier ASC members who oversaw students who lit and shot material on the Mole Richardson stage under the tutelage of the DPs. Zell discussed processing, color grading, view on best projector.

The ASC Master Class, Zell enthuses, "is an excellent event. The students are great. And there is also a social aspect in that we get to know some of tomorrow's top-level DPs and they get to know us."


SPOTLIGHTS ARCHIVE

  • MAR 9, 2017 - EFILM Handles Color, Dailies for Multiple Oscar Winner, La La Land
    VIEW ARTICLE

    FEB 23, 2017 - EFILM Colors Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JAN 31, 2017 - EFILM Colors Sundance Films, Celebrates Indie Filmmaking
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JAN 26, 2017 - EFILM’s Natasha Leonnet Colors Best Picture-Nominated La La Land and Hidden Figures
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JAN 13, 2017 - EFILM's Mitch Paulson Reteams with Jeff Nichols for Loving
    VIEW ARTICLE

  • JAN 12, 2017 - Dave Grove Promoted to SVP, Global Feature Sales
    VIEW ARTICLE

    NOV 7, 2016 - Joachim "JZ" Zell Inducted into ASC
    VIEW ARTICLE

    NOV 7, 2016 - Al Cleland Takes the Helm at EFILM
    VIEW ARTICLE

    SEP 8, 2016 - EFILM Proudly Supports All of Our Filmmakers at the Toronto International Film Festival
    VIEW ARTICLE

    AUG 12, 2016 - EFILM Employs New VFX Workflow on Star Trek Beyond
    VIEW ARTICLE

  • APR 18, 2016 - EFilm's Weyron Henriques garners StudioDaily's top 50
    VIEW ARTICLE

    FEB 3, 2016 - EFilm's The Big Short Garners Multiple Award Nominations and Wins
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JAN 16, 2014 - Cinematographer Dean Semler, ASC, ACS Utilizes Company's Extensive Post Offerings for Grudge Match
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JUN 26, 2013 - EFILM Leads the way in Imaging Science
    VIEW ARTICLE

    NOV 19, 2012 - Russell Carpenter Photo Exhibition
    VIEW ARTICLE

  • SEP 30, 2012 - Andrew Francis Discusses His Work on "Looper"
    VIEW ARTICLE

    MAR 31, 2012 - Mitch Paulson on the Creative Challenges of "John Carter"
    VIEW ARTICLE

    JAN 31, 2012 - EFILM Develops ARRIRAW Workflow for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
    VIEW ARTICLE

    DEC 31, 2011 - Natasha Leonnet on "Young Adult"
    VIEW ARTICLE