Three Toast of London sitcom series aired on Channel 4 between 2012 and 2015, and they seem to have run their course. Then, earlier this year, the BBC confirmed production of a fourth season in Los Angeles.
Created once again by Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry, Toast of Tinseltown has Berry reprising his Bafta-winning role as Steven Toast, this time moving to Hollywood in a bid to become the movie star that selfish, deceived actor believes to be.
The 6×30′ series for BBC One was produced by Objective Fiction in association with the American independent studio Wiip and shot this year in the United Kingdom. It was directed by Michael Cumming and filmed by cinematographer Pete Edwards while shooting on Sony Venice for HD and UHD (international) delivery.
Color grading, uploading and finishing for the series was done at Suite Post in DaVinci Resolve with Matt Roberts completing uploading and Lee Clappison handling color.
Clappison said: “Given that the series is a continuation of many of the same characters, Michael, Pete and the producers wanted us to reference the first three series for continuity while devising new ideas to make it clearer. is a departure in terms of a new broadcaster and new storyline.
“I had quite a few sessions with Michael and Pete before the note to work this out. We decided to emulate the three-strip Technicolor process in a nod to classic Hollywood movies, given that Toast is now in Tinseltown, and incorporate it into the look.
“I used nodes in Resolve to separate the RGB channels and recombine them to emulate the process associated with tri-band. Once I had it set up correctly, I was able to implement it in the node framework, and it became part of the look recipe for the entire show.
Clappison added a touch of film grain to this for texture, and Technicolor styling helped one of the episodes with a western theme, set in the desert.
While filming in the UK, the series included exteriors of LA’s Second Unit as well as storyline cuts with characters back in London. Clappison continued, “What’s great about having the project finished under one roof is that I was able to score live while Matt handled line and visual effects.”
“It speeds up the whole process and means that when the client is in session, they can see those settings updated in real time and give instant feedback. Everything was always live and editable. It’s very fluid between the web and rank.
In addition to standard online tasks such as clocks, end panels and credits as well as boom fixes, Roberts handled screen replacement, green screen comps and retimed shots in applying split-screen to ensure exact comedy beats were achieved. Some of this was done in Adobe Photoshop, but mostly in Fusion.
Roberts said: “Merge is particularly good for stabilization and tracking. Screen replacements for zoom calls and text messages are now common in scripted shows. In Fusion I took the background and foreground plates and used Planar Tracker to track the zoom on the background plate of the character watching on a laptop then put a mesh effect, so it doesn’t look glued to it but lying down.
For greater control over grading, Roberts provided Clappison with separate foreground and background plates, allowing the colorist to apply different LUTs and then grade the final composite with a uniform color space.
He added, “Where I found Fusion useful was in a sequence where there were multiple shots of Toast and reverse shots over his shoulder talking to someone on a laptop. Once I set up a pattern, I could quickly reapply tracking to each foreground and background shot.