Based on the best-selling thriller by Alan Furst, Spies of Warsaw is set in Poland, Paris, London and Berlin in the run up to the Second World War. It stars David Tennant (Doctor Who, Hamlet, Casanova) and Janet Montgomery (Black Swan, Merlin), with the screenplay by celebrated writing team, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (The Commitments, Porridge, The Likely Lads).
Spies of Warsaw, directed by Coky Giedroyc (The Hours, Sherlock), follows French military attaché, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier (Tennant) as he is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw. At the same time, Mercier becomes involved in an affair with Anna (Montgomery), a Parisian lawyer for the League of Nations.
Post production sound for Spies of Warsaw was carried out at Technicolor‘s sound facility in Perivale, London. Supervising Sound Editor, Harry Barnes, and Effects Editor, Martin Cantwell, handled the sound design and Recordist, Adam Mendez, shot the entire Foley track, working closely with long-time collaborators, Foley artists Jack Stew and Andrea King.
The sound mix was carried out on Technicolor’s main TV stage, Theatre Two, by Re-Recording Mixer Richard Straker. “From speaking to Coky before the mix, it was clear that she was after a bold soundtrack to go with the filmic style grade. Coky allowed us the freedom to try out different ideas during the mix, and we were all very happy with the end result.”
Grading the project was Technicolor’s acclaimed Colourist Dan Coles, whose previous work includes Vera, Veep, Lewis and The Gruffalo.
“This was a fantastic project to grade,” says Coles. “Coky and I wanted to go for a sinister film noir look, as well as maintaining beautiful moments of tenderness with a lighter, warmer and more subtle grade. We embraced the beautiful lighting and introduced lots of contrast, shadow and mood using subtle vignettes to create a real old film noir look that feels perfect for Warsaw in that period.”
Working alongside Dan Coles in the grade, Dolores McGinley & Simon Giblin helped complete approximately 80 VFX shots, to help compliment the ‘look & feel’ of pre-World War II in Warsaw around 1937/38. This involved multiple green screen train/car scenes, adding tanks/artillery to scenes, crowd duplication, bullet wounds, signage and border enhancement alongside numerous period artifact cleanups – e.g. satellite, aerial, graffiti removal etc. Simon commented “It was important to keep the look and feel complimentary to the period; suitable torch light was added to borders, carriage light added to night train shots, etc. All gun shots/muzzle flashes, for example, had to reflect artillery from that era”. Dolores added “Coky was great to work with as she had a clear vision at all times as to what she wished to achieve within the shots”.
Spies of Warsaw is a co-production from BBC WW and Apple TV for TV Poland and Arte. It will air on BBC4 on January 9th 2013 and is scheduled to be released in the UK on DVD on January 28th 2013.
Producer: Lou Stevenson
Colorist: Dan Coles
Graphics: Dolores McGinley and Simon Giblin
Re-Recording Mixer: Richard Straker
Foley Recordist: Adam Mendez