Propelling Trainspotting’s Raw Visual Style 20 Years Forward

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February 03, 2017
Technicolor and MPC use the advanced art of color science to give Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting a fresh look and feel.
Propelling Trainspotting’s Raw Visual Style 20 Years Forward
  • MPC and Technicolor used the vibrant HDR grade to contrast the sequel from the stark original.

Twenty years ago, Trainspotting caused a sensation with the rawness and outrageousness of its storytelling and visuals. Danny Boyle’s long-awaited sequel, T2 Trainspotting, is a reprisal of the visceral social commentary and black comedy that characterized the first movie, as we check in with Renton (Ewan McGregor) and friends upon his return to Edinburgh – only to find opportunity turn to betrayal.

Technicolor and MPC’s Jean-Clement Soret, Global Creative Director of Color Grading, completed the DI and HDR grade for T2 Trainspotting. As Soret explained, “Working on a sequel to such a seminal project offers unique challenges and the opportunity to revisit earlier creative inspirations.”

Like the original, Boyle and cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, DFF, ASC, B.S.C., wanted the sequel to have its own visual style, and they looked to advances in technology and changes in the filmmaking process to achieve that goal. The Technicolor team tapped into the deeper range of color tones and understanding of visual narrative that were essential for achieving their vision.  

T2 Trainspotting demonstrates how essential color technology is to creating the look and setting the tone for a film – in this case using the proprietary color science and HDR workflow of Technicolor. Dod Mantle experimented with radical lighting choices, and together the photography and grade created a collage of strong, rich-cinema, high contrast looks blended with nostalgic flashbacks and visual references to the first film.

See the official trailer for T2 Trainspotting, premiering in the UK ahead of its wider US release.