June 13, 2013

Technicolor captures The Genius of Turner for the BBC

Technicolor completed colour grading and sound re-recording mixing for The Genius of Turner, a documentary produced for BBC2 by Fresh One Productions exploring the life and work of artist JMW Turner.

The production examined the influence of the Industrial Revolution on the British Romantic landscape painter, water-colourist, and printmaker, through interviews with well-known figures from the art world, historical reconstructions and animated segments.

Jules Woods, Technicolor’s Re-recording Mixer for the project said: “The Genius of Turner is largely built around one-to-one interviews, so the dialogue had to take priority in the sound mix. These interviews were accented with cutaways to animated sequences and dramatised pieces where great care was taken to allow the sound effects to add energy and drama, but it was imperative the dialogue remained clear throughout. Music also played a significant part in the documentary and was weaved through the dense dialogue to set the mood for the journey through Turner’s work.”

To visually distinguish between the interview setups, the artwork and the drama scenes, Technicolor Senior Colourist Dan Coles employed three different grading techniques using Baselight grading software. Coles explained: “The interviews were graded naturalistically to create a nice consistency of contrast and skin tone for all the different setups. We gave the paintings and sketches a lower level of contrast, and simple colour balance to make them feel as close as possible to the real thing, and using very subtle windows and shapes to draw the audience’s attention to key areas within the frame.

“Lastly, the drama scenes were given an antique, period look, which was achieved through muting the colour to create more of a pastel effect, introducing a richer contrast and adding glow, allowing highlights to bloom naturally. Despite having a visually strong look it worked very well cutting between the interview setups.”


Technicolor Credits

Colourist - Dan Coles
Re-recording Mixer – Jules Woods