American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 46
Between Heaven and Hell
Top: Dust blows through a night exterior outside Custer's church. Middle: Grillo and crew line up
the camera, fitted with a snorkel lens, for a shot of toy soldiers. Bottom: Executive
producer/director Sam Catlin (left) discusses a scene with actors Juliana Potter (portraying
Susan) and Graham McTavish (Saint of Killers).
Killers' leather costume," he notes. "And
it allows you to see the reds, browns,
beiges and tans."
Colorist Shane Harris at
Deluxe's Encore in Hollywood used
LiveGrain to add old-school grain to
these scenes. "A lot of [systems that add
grain] to digital images are like a filter
slapped on top, but LiveGrain makes it
feel actually embedded. It has depth to
it," Grillo says. He adds that he went
through these steps because "it's very
hard to get texture on digital. With
high-quality 4K cameras, a lot of shows
start looking the same and it's very
difficult to make yours stand out."
Shooting without a DIT affected
the approach. "You have more control
on set with a DIT," he explains. "You
can set a look and create a LUT on the
fly. You streamline the process for
dailies and postproduction. You can
view the image on HD monitors with
the director, executive producer and
showrunner and agree on the look -
but not without a DIT. You can create
your LUT before you start shooting,
but I like to create them based on what
I'm seeing on set."
So he simply set the F55s to Rec
709. "I treated it like a digital negative
and we did all the color-correcting
afterwards, once the episodes were all
put together," he says.
While Harris graded based on
some preset looks from the pilot, for the
Old West he was starting from scratch.
"John sent me reference photos he'd
manipulated in Photoshop and then I
kicked out some stills until he said,
'That's it - that's what we're going to
do,'" Harris recalls. The chocolate filter
meant not having to go much warmer.
"It's so desaturated anyway, and then we
pushed towards sepia, but the feel is
different because the blacks are lifted to
give it a tintype look," he adds.
Harris worked with DaVinci
Resolve on UHD 10-bit DPX files.
Rogen and Goldberg came in to
approve while cameras kept rolling.
Episode nine opens with a
remarkable scene in which the Saint of
Killers - reputed to be a murdering