Digital Vision’s Nucoda Film Master was used to conform and grade the new series of BBC One’s Mistresses by Bristol based facility Films@59.
Produced by Ecosse Films, Mistresses delves into the tangled lives of four female friends and their relationships. The first of the four-part 60 minute drama aired on 5th August.
Films@59 Colourist Tony Osborne who carried out the grade knew from very early discussions with the series producer Rhonda Smith and DoP Alan Almond that they required a very different look and feel from the first two series, which had a glossy, glamorous sensibility and softer storylines. They also wanted to move away from film and go digital and so opted for the RED digital camera system.
Osborne explained:, “The idea was to achieve a look that was darker and richer but without too much contrast and one that would not be overly saturated. From the start of the project Alan said that he didn’t want the American look that you get with some dramas, which have vibrant brash colours. He wanted a natural look – that was the premise throughout filming.”
Osborne used Nucoda Film Master for three stages of the post production process. The first-stage was to carry out the data conform from the RED RAW files processing out to LOG files. He said: “This gives us the best starting point for grading as the OpenEXR format, which is built into the Nucoda Film Master, retains greater detail in the shadows and the highlights than other systems.”
The floating point, which OpenEXR facilitates, means that the grade is not disrupted. The second-stage was the grade itself and during the third-stage Osborne used elements of Nucoda Film Master’s DVO toolset to reduce shimmer and grain.
The series, which opens in the present with a prologue, conjures up a feeling of tension and unease. Osborne explained: “There are unresolved issues and the viewer doesn’t yet know what they are so it had to draw the audience in immediately. The DoP, producer and director wanted to give that first scene a look completely different to the rest of the series. The story lines are dark and it was important that this was reflected in the grade.” Throughout the rest of the grade Osborne was sensitive to maintain the colour theme relating to the four main female characters and their environments.
Martin Bennett, VP Worldwide Marketing, Digital Vision commented: “Tony has achieved a very unique look for this project using Nucoda Film Master. The grade significantly adds to the drama in the production reflecting the change in storyline from the first two series. Also the use of OpenEXR, which is integrated into all Nucoda systems and has been adopted by other facilities and studios including Pixar and Lucasfilm in the US and Animal Logic in Australia, ensures that the creative vision is preserved and delivered in a manner that has never before been possible.”