Directed by George Clooney, from a script he co-wrote with his producing partner, Grant Heslov, The Monuments Men features a stellar international cast of actors including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin. Academy Award nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, ASC, photographed the World War II story, on locations that ranged from multiple locations around Berlin (and Studio Babelsberg, in Postdam) and also various locations around the English countryside. The story behind the film recounts the Allies efforts to rescue some of most precious cultural artifacts and paintings in the world which in the waning days of the war were very much in peril from their planned destruction. The paintings included many stolen from the great art museums in France, The Netherlands, and other important cultural institutions in Western Europe.
Technicolor senior colorist Skip Kimball worked with Phedon Papamichael on the film’s final grading – as they did for director Alexander Payne’s multiple Oscar nominated Nebraska. In this case, however, the production was based in Europe, with final grading conducted within Technicolor’s London imaging facility in Soho.
Phedon Papamichael earlier shot George Clooney’s theatrical feature, The Ides of March. Mr. Heslov paid Phedon Papamichael the huge compliment, in the most recent issue of American Cinematographer magazine, “He’s a great shooter, he’s fun and easy to be around, and he’s fast. George has a strong opinion about how he wants things to look, and Phedon quickly figures out the best way to achieve that. He’s a great collaborator.”
On a parallel track, Technicolor’s MPC visual effects studio in London’s Soho handled work on The Monuments Men’s VFX. MPC VFX Supervisor Arundi Asregadoo and VFX Producer Stefan Drury led the team delivering 80 shots across 9 scenes for The Monuments Men. Working closely with George Clooney, the brief was to keep the VFX as photo-real as possible, complimenting the locations and sets.