Sneaky Pete Colour Corrected in DaVinci Resolve Studio

Blackmagic Design announced today that season 3 of Amazon Prime Videos’ critically acclaimed series “Sneaky Pete” was coloured in DaVinci Resolve Studio by senior colourist Scott Ostrowsky of Deluxe’s Level 3.

Ostrowsky, a veteran colourist with more than 25 years’ experience, has coloured hit shows such as “Lost”, “The Blacklist”, “Heroes” and “Electric Dreams.” He began colouring “Sneaky Pete” from season one, helping to develop the look of this unique show about con man Marius Josipovic, played by Giovanni Ribisi.

The story follows Marius as he is released from prison, adopting the identity of his cell mate, Pete Murphy, in an effort to avoid his past life and the vicious gangster that still pursues him. The series, created by David Shore and Bryan Cranston, is a unique crime drama with a varied style that required careful collaboration between Ostrowsky and the cinematographers.

Ostrowsky began colouring in DaVinci Resolve on season 2, working closely with Directors of Photography Frank DeMarco and William Rexer and adapting their two styles to the overall look of the project. “Both used shadow and light and rich dramatic feels to the environments they were shooting in,” said Ostrowsky. “We created looks based on the feel of the environment and its influence on the story.”

Locations varied from ornate bathrooms to waterfronts, and a warehouse that had its own bleach bypass look. Looking for rich blacks without crushing detail, Ostrowsky used specific LUTs to create vivid looks while bringing out all the textures.

On season 3, cinematography duties were taken over by Arthur Albert, and production moved from the east coast to California. This brought about a new style, one with a warmer, brighter look. Ostrowsky had worked with Albert on “The Blacklist” and was familiar with how he liked to shoot and light. “He has a very beautiful, definite style that’s portrayed in the show, and I wanted to emulate that,” said Ostrowsky. “We took Arthur’s existential view of the environment and were able to portray that in the colour.”

Throughout the two seasons, Ostrowsky relied on DaVinci Resolve and its toolset for colour correction. “I used all of the tools. I use keys and windows and log rhythmic tools when I need to focus on certain areas,” said Ostrowsky. “I use every tool possible that’s in DaVinci Resolve to give the show a textured feel depending upon how the nuances and Arthur’s taste were going on a certain scene and how he lit it.”

Each of the three seasons had a different look, but Ostrowsky enjoyed the challenge. “At first it started out with having a presence and texture and creating a warm environment. Then it moved into an almost hyper real, but naturally hyper real style with a plethora of colour. Now, with season 3, Arthur was really using shadow, light and textures to create a beautiful, picturesque image.”

As the geography of the seasons changed, from New York to California, from gritty realism to a lighter and warmer look, so did the approach to colour, a challenge Ostrowsky welcomes on each show. “My approach to colour grading is to always represent the look the cinematographer creates, without stepping on their work. I enjoy developing looks with them that help tell the story and good communication is the key to achieving that.”