We think this is an excellent opportunity to remind everybody that we have access to some of the most powerful tools available to video and film producers. You can grade your production with exactly the same software that colour corrected Ron Howard's multi-million dollar film Rush.
Slightly self-indulgent of us, but we are old enough to remember the 1976 Grand Prix season, James Hunt & Niki Lauda, the events that happened at Nurburgring and the climax in Japan. Time for the trailer.
A great story brought back to life by Ron Howard, but for us the most amazing part of the production is that DaVinci Resolve was used by Company 3 in London to grade the movie. Resolve is a fully featured, professional tool, what we find amazing is the Lite version is free to download on the Blackmagic Design website.
We will let Blackmagic's Press Release take the wheel. (Sorry)
After a catastrophic crash during the 1976 German GP at the Nürburgring, which could have killed Lauda, he returns to face rival Hunt in their pursuit of the World Championship. Anthony Dod Mantle was the film’s cinematographer and he presented Company 3’s senior colorist Adam Glasman with an intriguing challenge.
“While Rush was shot using a variety of different digital formats, Howard and Mantle also wanted to incorporate original race footage from 1976 shot on 16mm and 35mm film. Ron and Anthony felt this would help to recreate the thrilling race sequences and give Rush some real F1 production value says,” says Patrick Malone of Company 3 London.
The overall goal during the grade was to create a look that would bind both digital and archived film material together, giving Rush a seamless look throughout. “Our brief was to give the film a 70’s period feel with a modern slant. Inspiration for the colour palette came from a lot of the readily available archived 8mm, 16mm and 35mm footage of the 1976 World Championship.”
While the traditional look associated with the period is one of desaturated, almost sepia colors, Anthony wanted to push color into the cars so they looked more bold and striking. In addition, he wanted each of the grand prix races to given their own unique feel to reflect the drama and dynamics of the ’76 championship.
Take for example the opening scene at the Nürburgring, which is a pivotal moment. This had a very stormy, almost menacing feel to it as the film builds up to Lauda’s crash. "This is a very bold sequence, which Adam achieved by adding in more saturation while being careful not to crush the information out of the image,” says Malone.
Although we do tend to get carried away by new technology, the accessibility and pricing of equipment isn't really an issue to filmmaking today. If Ron Howard can grade his big budget film in Resolve, we can too with more modest productions if we have the skills.
We should also get around to going to the cinema to see the film!