November 11, 2014

The Theory of Everything

Professor Stephen Hawking, the subject of director James Marsh’s new feature is one of the most remarkable theoretical physicists in history…right up there with Einstein and Newton.
His work on cosmology, black holes and the basic nature of time, conducted as a doctoral candidate at Cambridge University, have made him world famous.  His story would be singular enough if he had accomplished nothing more.  But Hawking, remarkably, made these major contributions, and more, to scientific knowledge while suffering one of the most debilitating diseases known to man – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Hawking was diagnosed with the disease at age 21, and given a life expectancy of 2 years.  That virtual death sentence was given in 1963, and now, nearly 50 years later, while confined to his wheelchair, Hawking and with his equally remarkable wife, Jane, have become living testaments to the power of human will…and love.
The Theory of Everything premiered during the 2014 Fall film festival season, to rave reviews.  For Technicolor, the project provided another wonderful opportunity for company’s London-based digital imaging team to finish a high profile and equally challenging post-production.  
The Theory of Everything was photographed by Benoit Delhomme, AFC, on location in Cambridge and around London, with Technicolor’s Peter Doyle handling the film’s unique color-finishing responsibilities.  Delhomme cited the films of directors Douglas Sirk and Krzysztof Kieslowski as references to the color palette he proposed to James Marsh.  Delhomme stated, “We wanted the film to be organic but sometimes I thought the light and the colors could be stronger than what you would see in real life. I was quite happy, with James coming from a documentary background, that he was going with my ideas to push the emotion with my lighting.  One of my ideas was Stephen is thinking about the universe, he's thinking about the world, the planets — his brain is always trying to think about how all this works, how the world is working. I wanted to see the power of the light everywhere in the film.”