The Equalizer, the new thriller starring Denzel Washington, was graded on Baselight EIGHT at Colorworks, the finishing facility on the Sony Pictures lot at Culver City. Colourist Doug Delaney worked throughout the project with the director Antione Fuqua, director of photography Mauro Fiore and editor John Refoua to create a distinctive, atmospheric look.
Sony Colorworks has three DI grading theatres, each with a Baselight EIGHT networked to about 1.2PB of online storage. The facility also has four additional Baselight EIGHTs in smaller rooms for broadcast and mastering work, and three assist stations for conform and support.
The technical platform allowed colourist Delaney to work interactively with the various effects houses, he explained: “We had many VFX reviews in the grading suite, often working remotely with the vendors. My involvement in the review process meant the director and director of photography saw the FX work graded, and it also gives me the opportunity to establish a solid technical relationship with the VFX vendors.”
Delaney started work on the project at the preview stage, ensuring director, director of photography and colourist were all working together on the visual style of the film. The final grade was the result of two week’s of intensive work with director of photography Fiore, building on the look established during the previews and polishing the look of the film.
“The climactic scene of the film is set in a store, with a dramatically dark look,” said Delaney. “What we needed to do was to shape the light so that the audience reads the right action. Baselight’s area tracker was instrumental in de- emphasising parts of the frame and popping other parts that we needed to see to tell the story.”
He continued: “Baselight’s ability to mix any and all resolutions in the same timeline and handle them appropriately through either an ACES or more traditional color pipeline is a huge advantage. And having the horsepower to work at 4K 16-bit at 24fps means you can put the best possible image on the screen – no proxy, no compromise.”