All The money in Italy

Look what we have er

I'm not sure if my headings are getting worse or they were bad to start with, but here we are, sitting alone in the dark, drinking red wine and writing a blog. This film was shot by the amazing cinematographer, Dariusz Wolski, it looks incredible. Each location has a unique look that works for that particular time and place. It really is a fantastic example of how colour grading can transform a scene, to give a viewer a sense of mood and feeling.  Below I'm going to discuss a scene from the film.


The Passing Of The bleach

Whilst watching the scene, my first thought was that they've used a bleach by pass to get that gritty look. The first thing that I did in Davinci Resolve was to create a layer node and then de saturate the bottom node (which is actually on top of the image, strange...) after that you click on the little box next to the nodes and choose overlays. This joins both nodes together and gives it that gritty and washed out look. The bleach by pass also pushes the skin tones more, bringing out imperfections. 


Skin Tones

To get a closer matching shot to the one from the film,  I isolated her face, de saturated the skin, added a little bit of sharpness, pushed the mid tones towards teal to give her face a whitish look and added a bit more red / pink into the highlights of her skin. By using the "high range" selector I was able to pin point where I wanted the highlights to sit. You can find this in the secondary selections down the bottom of the page. 

Final image

Ungraded image, shot on an Arri Alexa


Building the mood

The next step was all about darkening the image and creating more contrast. I used vignettes to isolate areas I wanted darkened, gave the shot a colder look, de saturated the overall image and added a contrast pop in a new node. The contrast pop effect really helped in getting that final look of grit to the room and actor. It deepens the shadows and heightens the skin tones. 

It's important not to do too many things in one node. A lot of the times I'll make a new node just to try out a few things on the image. If I feel like it isn't working I'll delete the node, but if you have multiple corrections on that node you're going to loose everything you've done (and cry, cry yourself sleep). That's what so great about Davinci and it's node base design, you can make changes quickly but also get rid of changes easily. 


Final thoughts

I'm really happy with how the image matches the grade from the film. I was lucky enough to have a shot from a short film I recently graded that was close to the same lighting and look from the room in the film. This isn't the grade that I used for the short film, but it was pretty similar. In the short film, she looks even more menacing and I like that grade more. I have to say, lighitng plays such a huge factor in how your image will turn out, it always great to get a project that's done by a highly skilfull cinemaographer (Tavis Pinnington) check out his other amazing work below and the amazing director Annabel Clayton.

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