Directed by Ken Kwapis, Big Miracle is inspired by the true story of a news reporter who recruits his ex-girlfriend (a Greenpeace volunteer) on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly moving ice in the Arctic Circle. Shot on location outside Barrow, Alaska, the filmmakers worked with Technicolor to ensure that each frame captured the sweeping grandeur of this unique, beautiful landscape while still maintaining a look that was intimate and true to the story.
John Bailey, one of the most respected members of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), served as the film’s cinematographer, working with Mr. Kwapis to achieve a look inspired by the sophisticated shooting style of director Sir David Lean. This look mixes extreme wide shots with close-ups, creating a dramatic sense of reportage.
Technicolor’s Adrian Seery worked closely with Bailey on the film’s digital intermediate color grading to ensure the consistency of the look throughout production, while Technicolor’s Lee Wimer handled the final lab color timing. In Bailey’s words, they used the DI process to “create a sense of our location’s ever-changing light and austere beauty.” Throughout their work on Big Miracle, they paid special attention to the Arctic skies and snow fields.
A Universal Pictures Release, opening on February 3rd in the US market, Big Miracle stars Kristen Bell, Drew Barrymore, Dermot Mulroney, John Krasinski, Tim Blake Nelson, and Ted Danson.