The Lobster - achieving a textural grain


TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Issue 104 - August 2015
Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos is about to debut his first English language feature with The Lobster, which will be in UK cinemas on the 15th of October. We speak to DaVinci Resolve colorist and long time collaborator Tony Ford about the meticulous approach to color grading this dystopian love story.

Featuring an impressive cast including Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Ben Whishaw, The Lobster, which will be playing in UK cinemas on the 15th of October, has become a firm critic favorite despite being the first English language feature film Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos has ever worked on. Set in a dystopian near future, The Lobster tells an unconventional love story where finding a partner is a matter of life and death.
DaVinci Resolve colorist Tony Ford was there to help the unique story look beautiful. He had already collaborated extensively with Lanthimos and DP Thimios Bakatakis before on commercials and previous films including Dogtooth, which won Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2009 Cannes festival.

This time, it was a fortuitous phone call that first led to him being invited to grade Lanthimoss latest project. I had just returned to Athens after three years in India and rang Thimios to catch up, Ford begins. He explained that they were just about to start the grade for The Lobster, so I watched the offline that night and flew straight to Holland the next morning to get involved.

As with Lanthimoss previous features, The Lobster is highly visual, filled with elegant compositions and contrasts. The film centers on a hotel where lonely people are obliged to find a mate within 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into animals and sent off into the woods. The script is very dark and very funny, and we wanted a look that would enhance, rather than detract from that, explains Tony. Yorgos and Thimios have very specific visual goals whenever they shoot, and they both share a deep knowledge of texture and composition. Grading their features is always all consuming, but extremely rewarding. In fact, the key word that Yorgos used for his brief for the grade was complex, and it certainly was.

We collaborated closely to achieve the exact texture of the feature, and used a film fx plug in and added film grain, which would give the images an organic feel. We also spent a lot of time getting the right amount of chiaroscuro for each set up. Each scene needed to be unique and have its own identity, but we had to be able to move from one scene to the next without chromatic disruption.

Thimios had done an incredible job on set shifting the light within his shots and we wanted to be able to capture this, and not over exaggerate it in post. Although we werent going for a chromatically linear style, Resolves gallery feature really fitted my workflow well, as I could keep a check on the overall feel as I worked through the feature, as well as matching and maintaining skin tones throughout the film.

Resolves node based workflow has become integral to Tonys grading process, and its intuitive design helps him to concentrate fully on executing his clients briefs for their images. I use nodes to build up layers of subtle contrast and color, whilst remaining within the parameters set out by a DoP. Resolve really handles the subtleties and the complexity of my work, and even though The Lobster was a particularly heavy project, with more than 150 hours in the grading suite, I was able to cache in the background and deploy numerous keyers and trackers without any issues.

Yorgos has one of the keenest eye for detail that I have ever known, and he can track even the slightest change within a grade, so it was a pretty intense process, however I knew that Resolve would enable me to make extremely subtle adjustments which would be interesting but not intrusive to the directing teams overall aims for the film.


Tags: iss104 | yorgos lanthimos | the lobster | film festival | post production | film grain | texture | screen | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

  • Connecting the Virtual and KVM World with the ADDER Infinity 3000 at ISE 2020

    Connecting the Virtual and KVM World with the ADDER Infinity 3000 at ISE 2020

  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • Autodesk at NAB 2012

    Autodesk at NAB 2012

  • SGO at IBC2011

    SGO at IBC2011

  • Could the new 1550 nit 32 inch Quasar from Portaprompt be the biggest prompter screen at IBC2019?

    Could the new 1550 nit 32 inch Quasar from Portaprompt be the biggest prompter screen at IBC2019?

  • Screen Systems show SASQUATCH for subtitles at IBC 2018

    Screen Systems show SASQUATCH for subtitles at IBC 2018

  • Screen Systems and automatic live subtitling at NAB 2018

    Screen Systems and automatic live subtitling at NAB 2018

  • Cinegy Daniel 2 direct to 8k screen at IBC 2017

    Cinegy Daniel 2 direct to 8k screen at IBC 2017

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • SmallHD shows the Cine 7 monitor with camera control and integrated Teradek Bolt at NAB 2019

    SmallHD shows the Cine 7 monitor with camera control and integrated Teradek Bolt at NAB 2019

  • Workflow Solutions from Pronology at NAB 2017

    Workflow Solutions from Pronology at NAB 2017

  • Comigo at IBC 2015

    Comigo at IBC 2015

  • Elemental Technologies news at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies news at IBC 2015

  • BRAINSTORM VIRTUAL SETS at NAB 2015

    BRAINSTORM VIRTUAL SETS at NAB 2015

  • CueScript EMC prompter and control surface at IBC 2014

    CueScript EMC prompter and control surface at IBC 2014

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • Visual Unity at IBC 2014

    Visual Unity at IBC 2014

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • Calrec Summa at NAB 2014

    Calrec Summa at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos with the Datacolor Spyder on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Datacolor Spyder on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

    Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

  • Ianiro on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Ianiro on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

  • Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

    Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

  • Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

    Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

  • RTW at NAB 2012

    RTW at NAB 2012

  • Brainstorm at NAB 2012

    Brainstorm at NAB 2012

  • Broadpeak at NAB 2012

    Broadpeak at NAB 2012

  • Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

    Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

  • Harmonic at IBC2011

    Harmonic at IBC2011

  • Brainstorm at IBC2011

    Brainstorm at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 19th April 2021

    KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 19th April 2021


Articles
Sennheiser MKE 400 hands on review and test
KitPlus

Sennheiser have just released two products aimed at simplifying audio on the move, the MKE400 shotgun microphone and the XS Lav Mic, in this review we’re looking at the MKE400.

Tags: sennheiser mke400 | sennheiser mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 quality | best microphones for youtube | mic for youtube videos | sennheiser mke 400 hands on | microphone review | iphone videography | microphones | sound for video | camera microphone | microphone for iphone | microphone for youtube | video microphone | shotgun mics | smartphone microphone | vlogging mic | best microphone for video | shotgun microphone review | mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 hands on review | sennheiser mke 400 test | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read
A Broadcasters Guide to Microservices
Roger Persson

The word “microservices” has been creeping into the conversation about software-centric systems recently. Is it really a different approach, what does it mean, and what are the advantages?

Tags: nxt edition | microservices | modular software | Roger Persson
Contributing Author Roger Persson Click to read
Streaming Technologies Explained
Bruce Devlin - new

The word streaming can relate to different technologies from different manufacturers in different scenarios and in this short article we are going to take a little tour of what it all means. 

Tags: mr mxf | streaming | hls | dash | cmaf | mpeg | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
REVIEW - Hollyland MARS 400S PRO Digital Wireless Transmission System
Phil Vinter

Built by Hollyland and costing around £600 the Mars 400S is an easy-to-use wireless video transmitter/receiver system – it will be right up the alley of anyone who, like me, considers an instruction manual to be nothing more than box padding.

Read Phils Full review here, and link to the video review.

Tags: HOLLYLAND | MARS 400 | wireless | tx | rx | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read
HOLLYLAND LARK 150 Review
Phil Vinter

The exponential growth of video supercharged a technological revolution that began in the early noughties with the advent of DSLR cameras.
The cinematic-style shallow depth of field image video quality from DSLRs was a revelation, but, back then audio was the big drawback. As demand has grown so the technology has improved and today’s one-man-band small rig set ups can capture pretty good sound into a DSLR style camera.

Phil Vinter reviews the latest release from HOLLYLAND and it's a thumbs up from us.

Tags: HOLLYLAND | radio mic | audio | LARK-150 | CVP | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read