THE SPACE BETWEEN
In this blog, we will be alternating the topics covered between technical demos and case studies of films and projects we completed recently that highlight an interesting approach to shooting and posting digital.
This week, it’s the film THE SPACE BETWEEN. This moving drama about a stewardess and middle eastern boy who end up trapped together in the middle of nowhere on 9/11, was directed by Travis Fine and shot by Mark Shap. It stars Melissa Leo. This was just before the MX sensor was released, so its original Red M, and shot on the Red Primes. The film had a good critical reception and premiered at the 2010 Tribecca Film Festival.
The film has a uniquely naturalistic look, especially for being digitally shot, and it suits the somber, subtle tone of the film very well. Skins look normal, light looks like its coming from windows and some of the harsher, overly crisp attributes of digital are missing. I thought is would be a good piece to show as an example of how photochemical and ungraded, Red can look. Not appropriate for every film, but certainly for this one.
THE SPACE BETWEEN was conformed and graded in SCRATCH, in 2K in our DI Theatre. As with most digitally acquired projects, we graded in P3 color space, in linear. The film was then mastered to 2K DCP, HDCAMSR and a full set of video deliverables. We also prepped the film for filmout, but this was before the film had a distributor in place, so the film decided to have an all digital festival run first, holding off on filmout for the moment. This is a workflow I recommend for pre-distributor films. That way, you have a full set of masters for digital, film, and video deliverables, without having to go through the expense of a filmout until its needed down the line.
Images shot on Red can seem overly sharp and somewhat plastic sometimes. I think this a good example of the opposite. It’s the result of a production team that understands how to expose the Red, what kind of light to hit is with, and good decisions made in the DI. In a world of overly-graded, orange-teal obsession, its nice to see images that don’t need to be super-manipulated. DI can be a great way to create a look that otherwise couldn’t be made, or as in this case, just a gentle nudge.