Post-production discovery: Cinelab and Goldcrest on The Witcher (Netflix) | News

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Cinelab Film & Digital provided day-to-day lab services and workflow supervision for the second series of The Witcher, which was shot on location across the UK.

Meanwhile, Goldcrest Post handled the release of the footage, including conformance, color grading and finishing, with DaVinci Resolve used throughout the process from pre-production to release.

The eight-episode second series of Netflix’s fantasy drama deviated from the technical package used to shoot the first series. To accommodate an HDR finish and to embrace a wider range of environments in which the monster-hunting tale is set, show DPs Romain Lacourbas, Jean Philippe Gossart and Terry Stacy compared footage shot on the Arri Alexa LF with the Sony Venice.

“The Witcher is a story that takes us into extreme contrast and color, firelight and deep blacks,” explained Goldcrest Post colorist Jet Omoshebi. “They tested a variety of camera systems and lenses to find something that could address the full dynamics of the story.”

Photography began in early 2020, but was repeatedly interrupted due to the pandemic. Filming finally wrapped in early 2021 after 159 main unit filming days and 133 second unit filming days.

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“Covid restrictions meant we had to work as remotely as possible,” said Mardon de Carvalho, DIT, Cinelab. “We opted for a workflow using Resolve so that we could efficiently provide the lab with high-quality color dailies. This decision allowed us to continue to collaborate as needed using its robust tools to easily share notes, stills and projects between me and our data manager and daily colorist as well as the lab.

In total, the daily newspapers team processed 421 hours of rushes totaling 338 TB of data. With the decision to record Alexa Mini LF in ArriRaw, the Cinelab team worked with Omoshebi and Lacourbas, who shot the first two episodes, to create the look.

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They followed an ACES color pipeline and used two Look Modification Transforms (LMTs), one for day and one for night.

On location in the Lake District, Pennines and Bourne Wood in Farnham, de Carvalho worked with DPs to score key stills for each setup based on Pomfort LiveGrade looks and sent the scores to Cinelab’s data manager. “They would then balance the rest of the roll and send it back to myself and the DP to approve or give marks. Once all were balanced, the drafts were sent to the dailies team,” de Carvalho explained.

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Cinelab CTO Joshua Callis-Smith said, “Resolve’s integration of ACES has also made the color management process incredibly easy. Its ability to automatically detect RAW formats and apply the correct transformations made the process of moving color between the set and the daily lab seamless. In order to know which LMT was used, the dailies team had to manually enter the information into a metadata field which was then exported along with the color decision lists (CDLs) to the Avid bins to be tracked in the rest. of the message.

While Valentina Rutigliano uploaded the series to Goldcrest, Omoshebi scored in DolbyVision from EXR 4K files ripped in ACEScc.

Omoshebi said, “The main challenges for me were gluing the different components together, getting the visual effects to fit together perfectly, and keeping up with the more subtle emotional beats of the story. The Witcher moves very quickly with many different locations to consider and it was important to enhance and contrast these different worlds.

Images courtesy of Netflix

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