Digital Filmtree Uses Davinci Resolve to Colour The 100
Celebrating the debut of the sixth season of the post-apocalyptic, sci-fi drama, ‘The 100’, DigitalFilm Tree – DFT – would like to thank its colour team, including Senior Colorist, Dan Judy, and VP of Post Production, Chad Gunderson, for aiding in the success of the series. Just prior to the premiere, April 30th, ‘The 100’ was announced as renewed for a seventh season by The CW.
Crafting environments like ice worlds, desolate desert-scape cities, and acid cloud storms, Judy is massively enthusiastic about the support he and DFT have seen from Grant Petty and Blackmagic Design. Sponsored by Post Production World and Future Media Concepts, Judy gave a presentation on his approach to colour correction utilising Resolve at this year’s NAB – National Association of Broadcasters – show. Blackmagic announced their latest version of the NLE software, DaVinci Resolve 16, during the convention.
“I worked with the fourth DaVinci machine ever built, and hand-in-hand with the people down at the facility that invented DaVinci back in the day,” he says.
During his talk, Judy referenced several advantages to the DaVinci Resolve software that have come in particularly useful for ‘The 100’, like OFX – Open FX plug-ins – advanced tools that expand the colourists ability to treat everything from beauty and Boris and Sapphire FX all the way to fixing damaged images and all available within Resolve Color. There are Unlimited Power Windows with amazing tracking abilities. Working clip-based allows proper access to the client’s Camera Original materials, maintained and managed via DFT’s object storage SAN. Judy has the freedom to use a LUT from production. He will use discretion to make certain it’s a benefit to the scene at hand. Again, working clip-based provides a nondestructive approach allowing Judy the full dynamic range to protect the show’s colour design.
Shooting on the Arri Alexa gives extra dynamic range when matching footage shot across different times of day and then leveraging that ability when matching to other cameras used in production – GoPro, Red and Canon. With ‘The 100’’s colour design constantly evolving over locations and seasons Resolve provides their evolving technology to help the DFT team meet these challenges. Resolve’s last iteration – version 15 – incorporated the Fusion Platform, this allows Edit, Color and VFX to contribute to the project’s final outcome giving the client real-time reviews of these efforts. Even remotely.
Co-Executive Producer and Director, Tim Scanlan, Judy’s liaison on ‘The 100’, and his creative partner for more than two decades, can even monitor and provide feedback from the production offices for ‘The 100’, in Santa Monica, or from his home office, in Newport Beach utilising DFT’s remote services. Judy, meanwhile, can be found on a dedicated Resolve workstation at DFT’s facilities in Hollywood. He has partnered with Scanlan for more than twenty years, and the duo’s lineage in colour can be traced back to wildly popular shows in broadcast, including ABC’s ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and the CW’s ‘Smallville’, the latter of which they collaborated on for more than a decade.
“Over the years, Tim has pushed me very hard to utilise my tools to their fullest,” Judy continues, adding his thanks to Michael C. Blundell, Director of Photography. “Michael has been a real feather in our cap helping us out throughout the past five seasons, he’s really got an awful lot to do, and he accomplishes an awful lot with his crew.” He also mentions his appreciation for Associate Producer, Emanuel ‘E’ Fidalgo. Gunderson thanks Post Supervisor Mark Knoob, who he communicates with on a daily basis, and Thomas Galyon – Senior Online Editor at DFT – “a very important part of our team.”
“Dan Judy has a massive skill set, and can bend this software, somehow, to do magical things,” adds Gunderson, who joined the post team for ‘The 100’ four seasons ago. “I help facilitate everything that the production needs around here from the time it hits online to finish. As this show is being managed primarily in Resolve’s remote workflows, it’s imperative that you have a strong management team, strong editorial team, and a strong colour team, all working simultaneously, to see all of this through.”
“With new platforms and the new streaming services, there is a lot of binge delivery that DFT is doing. That also applies to ‘The 100’, to a degree, wherein there could be the majority of the episodes for the season, open simultaneously, and all being worked on, simultaneously. We work a lot of the time, until the day before air.”
“Post services are becoming more and more part of the creative process,” he continues. “A lot of decisions aren’t being made until you’re in house and we’re in the 11th hour and preparing to deliver. Resolve has allowed colourists and creatives like Dan to achieve things that have only been available in the last handful of years.”