August 01, 2017

In The Last Tycoon, Today’s HDR Illuminates Old Hollywood

Technicolor mixes deep-rooted artistry with the latest HDR technology to recreate in vivid detail the look and feel of an old Hollywood film.

  • Technicolor’s Tim Vincent provided HDR and SDR grades, recreating the 1930s with multiple authentic looks.

The Last Tycoon was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final novel, an unfinished manuscript about the classic Hollywood struggle between art and commerce. In celebration of its 75th anniversary, it’s now an Amazon Original series starring Matt Bomer as Hollywood Golden Boy, Monroe Stahr, battling for power with studio mogul Pat Brady, played by Kelsey Grammer.

The Last Tycoon may be set in old Hollywood, but it was finished with the latest HDR color grading technology – which along with the story “illuminates the passions, violence, and towering ambition” of those early showbiz days. As a frequent collaborator with Amazon (Mozart in the Jungle), Senior Final Colorist Tim Vincent was enlisted to provide the HDR and SDR grades, and his approach was to represent the true emotional power of each episode punctuated by the HDR “wow factor.” As Vincent explained it, “HDR adds a depth of field perfect for the show’s overall aesthetic, with its strong lighting and lush 1930’s Hollywood setting.”

On The Last Tycoon, Vincent worked closely with Daniel Moder, the Emmy® Award nominated cinematographer of The Normal Heart. Together they created 19 different looks for the show, all in service to the visual storytelling that Moder was looking to convey.

“One example was the creation of a LUT that would emulate what Technicolor film once did to images,” explained Vincent. “Low lights in one direction, highlights in another. Some colors being accentuated more than others, different contrast and saturation levels. Depending on the production design, costumes, and make-up for a particular scene, with this look applied you would get different elements coming to life. It was a great solution for that old Hollywood film feel.”

The production also engaged Technicolor’s VFX team, who completed multiple period shots for the show under Senior Supervising VFX Artist Mark Intravartolo. The team comprised VFX Producer Marie Rheinschild-Jordan and VFX Artists Brian Ross, Jason Wilson, Eli Jarra, and Casey Allen.

Return to the glamour and style of old Hollywood in the official trailer for The Last Tycoon, streaming on Amazon Prime video.