Color-Grading Cointreau's Dita Von Teese Webisodes
Out of the Blue NYC Puts the DaVinci Resolve to Work
Their color-grading studio is built around BlackMagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve for Linux with a four-GPU processor, a Mac Pro with Resolve for Mac, and a DVS SAN. That’s not exactly a bargain-basement set-up, but it’s a lot more affordable than it would have been a few years ago. “It’s becoming more about the talent and less about the equipment,” Micah says. “Ten years ago, it cost $2 million to build a color-correction room. Today, it’s a quarter of a million.” Film & Video asked Micah about his recent work, including a series of webisodes for Cointreau starring noted burlesque entertainer Dita Von Teese as well as a pair of recent projects originated on the ARRI Alexa.
Film & Video: How did the Cointreau webisodes campaign come to you?
Micah Kirz: They went out and shot with the Phantom camera, then came to me and said, “We need to create different, unique looks for each of these spots.” Each one is definitely a period piece. They’re beautifully shot by Trish Govoni and co-directed by two directors I’ve worked with for at least 10 years, Jon Kane and Tom Goldstein. It was a unique job – not your everyday thing. Because it’s alcohol, they can have more fun. It’s for the web, so it can be a little more provocative and a little more risquà©.
What kind of looks were they after?
They wanted to fit the time period but still have some bold, vibrant colors and make it pop. With the Phantom camera, it’s all slow-motion photography shot at very high speed, very elegant and beautiful. We just knocked it out of the ballpark. It looked great.
The Phantom shoots RAW cine files. They had dailies done, but nothing to the extent of what we did [in terms of color-correction]. With all these digital cameras, they shoot a nice flat image that has the full detail for manipulating. It’s just like working with film, when I have the film scanned as a flat pass.
The first one I saw was “Margarita,” which had a kind of golden glow to it.
Kind of like Chiquita Banana. It definitely had a golden, warm glow. It’s very South Pacific.
I was wondering if the color choice came partly from the idea that Cointreau is an orange liqueur.
It had nothing to do with the product. It was just setting the tone in that realm. “Sidecar” was very steely with neutral colors, but it still felt elegant. We were going for a sophisticated feel. “Margarita” was more warm and inviting. And then the Cosmopolitan was more today – more nightclubby, with lush colors and a paparazzi feeling.
What was your delivery format?
We delivered the files as high-definition QuickTimes.
What else have you been working on lately?
We just completed two jobs that were shot on the ARRI Alexa – one for Showtime, and one for MTV. The job for Showtime was promos for a new show called Shameless, and the job for MTV was promos for a show called Skins, a remake of the British [Channel 4] show. The footage came in as ProRes 4444, and we delivered it back as ProRes 4444 on a FireWire drive. The Alexa footage is beautiful. It’s definitely the next big digital camera. It has a ton more latitude than the Red [One], and a bit more than the Phantom. It’s still not film, but it’s damn close.
For more information: www.outoftheblueny.com.