Chinese Blockbuster Chasing the Dragon II Graded by RGBworks Studios with DaVinci Resolve Studio
Blackmagic Design has announced that the Chinese film “Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch,” was graded by colourist Sun Wong with Guangzhou based RGBworks Studios using DaVinci Resolve Studio and DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel.
Directed by renowned Hong Kong directors Wong Jing and Jason Kwan, starring Tony Leung, Louis Koo, Gordon Lam and Simon Yam, “Chasing the Dragon II” is a feature film based on real life crimes that terrorized Hong Kong in the 1990s, where notorious Chinese gangster Cheung Tze Keung masterminded the abduction of Hong Kong magnates and ransomed over 2 billion Hong Kong dollars.
RGBworks Studios, founded by Hong Kong director Andre Ho and consisting of veteran post production experts from Hong Kong, has worked on many Chinese hit films and television shows. RGBWorks set up its first facility in Guangzhou, the Guangdong Hong Kong Macau Greater Bay Area, with thirteen seats of DaVinci Resolve suites, with the goal of bringing the Hong Kong film industry’s expertise and resources into mainland China and working with professionals in South China to make Guangzhou a leading content creation center in China.
RGBworks Studios has recently provided professional colour grading services for films including “Chasing the Dragon II” and “My Kickass Wife,” and TVCs for well known brands such as Carlsberg, Dongfeng Nissan, P&G and Amway, and hit variety shows including “The Sound 2019” and “Amazing Voice.”
For “Chasing the Dragon II”, the directors wanted colourist Sun Wong to produce a look that would bring people back to the 1990s Hong Kong.
“I think the so called ‘1990s Hong Kong’ look comes from the Hong Kong films produced in the 90s. The unique look of these films resulted from the filmmaking techniques and technologies, as well as other resources employed at the time, giving viewers a retro style,” said Wong. “When grading the film, I took the lighting layout adopted in the 90s and the film look as reference to reproduce that look.”
Wong noted that a colourist must be familiar with the colours, light and shadow in the images he or she handles when creating a look. “Light rays coming in different directions will affect the highlights and shadows in different ways. The colourist not only has to know the contrast, but also what is affecting it. Colours, likewise,” he said. “With Resolve’s tools, I balanced the highlights, midtones and shadows throughout the film, and from there I created colour tones for difference scenes.”
The directors wanted different looks for certain scenes that included different protagonists. When creating the looks, besides crafting the skin tone of the character’s face, he also created multilayered complexity, producing rich tones in gradation to enhance the image.
“Balancing highlights, midtones and shadows is the most basic work but it’s never been easy to get it right from an artistic perspective. Resolve’s tools and UI design are great because its simplicity and intuitiveness has minimized the complexity of adjustments,” he said.
“Some of the tools, such as tracking, have also freed colourists from repetitive work. For example, there were many car chase scenes. I wanted to enhance the colours and textures of the cars, so the cars could stand out, but it was so fast paced that it would have been difficult and time consuming to track the cars if I had had to do it manually. Fortunately, Resolve helped me by automatically tracking the cars.”
“Each decision to be made in colour grading is worth creative efforts. Resolve’s automated tools allow us to focus on creativity instead of repetitive work,” Wong concluded.