September 27, 2019

Reflections on Making In the Shadow of the Moon With Director Jim Mickle and Key Talent

Technicolor provided full picture and sound post-production services for the Netflix original film, while MR. X was the sole VFX vendor.

  • Technicolor set the look with the DP and provided color continuity through the decades.
  • The sound team worked with the filmmakers to immerse the audience in the intricate storyline.
  • MR. X delivered 260 shots, from CG water to iconic landmarks surrounded by fire and smoke.


In the Shadow of the Moon is a Netflix original film that follows Philadelphia police officer Thomas Lockhart as he tracks a serial killer who mysteriously resurfaces every nine years. Defying all scientific explanation, the killer’s crimes turn to obsession for Lockhart – threatening to destroy his career, his family, and his sanity.

The crime thriller starring Boyd Holbrook, Cleopatra Coleman and Michael C. Hall was shot over 42 days in Ontario, Canada, by director Jim Mickle. Technicolor was brought on board to provide full picture and sound post-production services, while Technicolor’s MR. X was the sole VFX vendor on the film, delivering a total of 260 shots.

Early on, Senior Colorist Mark Kueper collaborated with cinematographer David Lanzenberg to create LUTs for on-set. They established a beautiful look for the film that carried through to final color finishing and HDR delivery.

“Mark found a sweet spot for the low contrast look that played along with the softness of the anamorphic glass but still had bite to it,” said director Jim Mickle. “He also helped to set apart the different decades of the film but kept the color continuity and taught us a lot of cool tricks along the way.”

MR. X VFX Supervisor Dominic Remane guided his team over a four-month schedule to deliver 260 shots for the film. Shots varied from CG water to a complex shot of a downtown Philadelphia street environment after a terrorist style bombing.

“We had to rebuild iconic landmarks like the William Penn building surrounded by fire and smoke,” said Remane. “This one shot required many FX simulations of fire, smoke, debris, cloth, broken glass and even a falling man on fire. Almost 1000 hours of work went into finishing the lengthy 1331 frame shot we see in the final cut.”

Senior Re-recording Mixers Al deGraaf and Mike Woroniuk worked alongside the filmmakers to deliver an ATMOS track that immerses the audience throughout the weaving and intricate storyline.

“I wanted the mix to be immersive and alive,” said Mickle. “Al and Mike gave us a huge scope that somehow – with a complicated score, a ton of sound effects, and some hushed dialogue – fit together perfectly.”

Sound Dogs editorial supplied the tracks for the film and collaborated with the sound team to deliver a mix that matched the action on screen. “The film takes place over several time periods and gave us the opportunity to create very different soundscapes for each decade,” said deGraaf. “Mixing the film in Dolby Atmos brought another dimension to the film – allowing us to further envelope the audience in the story and make them feel like they were inside the action.”

Concluded deGraaf: “Working with Jim and Linda (Moran, producer) on In the Shadow of the Moon was a dream gig.”

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You can see In the Shadow of the Moon streaming now on Netflix