"This is a fine example of Technicolor doing a piece based on relationships and a keen interest in the project itself (the content as well as the 1st time filmmakers), rather than just your standard, mercenary, strictly financially based ‘client-vendor’ roles.”
- Lisa Dennis, Co-Executive Producer of Making a Murderer
Filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi spent over ten years filming what would become the polarizing ten-hour Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, which is presently taking social media by storm. The creators shot the documentary using different cameras in different formats and collected archival news footage, various standard definition clips, interrogation recordings, interviews, and countless hours of courtroom proceedings.
It was important to the filmmakers to create a cohesive viewing experience that keeps the viewer firmly engaged in the story at all times. They worked with Technicolor colorist Jason Fabbro to achieve the perfect look. Fabbro seamlessly handled color finishing, marrying pristine HD footage with other formats (e.g. standard definition) to create a viewing experience that effortlessly flows from past to present, from Avery Auto Salvage to Calumet County courtroom.
“It’s always exciting to work with first-time filmmakers,” said Fabbro. “They’ve been with this footage for ten years. They wanted the viewer to experience what they experienced making the documentary and they wanted people to feel like they’re in the courtroom.”
The filmmakers utilized various creative techniques to paint a vivid portrait of a murder case in small town America, including using colors to help enhance the visceral impact of b-roll footage paired with recorded audio. (See Brendan Dassey below speaking with his mother regarding his confession to the crime that is the focus of the series.)
The cold, neutral color palette helps elicit overbearing hopelessness in the face of forces seemingly beyond control – whether they are the elements on scrapyard cars or the criminal-justice system on a potentially innocent teenage boy.
The filmmakers worked with Fabbro at Technicolor Hollywood where Bryce McGlone handled workflow, Denise Woodgerd produced, and Ladd Lanford was the project manager.
Making A Murderer has sparked debate over our US criminal justice system and insightful commentary from Time, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic. Making a Murderer is available to stream on Netflix.