Ian Vertovec

Light Iron Digital set up a temporary DI theater on a stage at Red Studios Hollywood, where colorist Ian Vertovec used a Pablo 4K, a Sony T420 4K digital projector, and a 40-foot-wide screen to color-grade and finish The Social Network. StudioDaily asked Vertovec Five Questions and got answers about Kanye West, interesting new developments in Red image processing, and how the DI is being used for more than just color-grading.

Q: What are you working on today?
A: Finishing The Social Network 4:3 trim. I can't believe there is still an audience for that screen size. It seems every TV these days is 16:9.

Q: What's the best tool or innovation that you've started employing in the last year?
A: There has been some really cool stuff happening in motion-adaptive sharpening and image enhancement. I think very shortly this will become a standard tool in every colorist's toolkit. Sharpening has been around for a long time, but combining that with motion-adaptive noise reduction, you can do a lot more before you start to add digital artifacts. Just one of many things besides color that is becoming more and valuable to digital intermediate.

Q: Describe one of the most unforgettable images you saw in the past year.
A: One of the most amazing things I've seen in quite some time has to be the Red Epic HDRx mode. I had the opportunity to color some of this early development footage at Red Studios Hollywood recently, and I must say it is a real game-changer. Basically the Epic 5K camera is able to shoot at two different exposures and combine the two in post. I would say that the footage of Las Vegas that I was working on could have as much as 16 or more stops of latitude. What's more, the dark exposure had almost no motion blur, so when combined with the standard exposure, you get smoother motion and sharper moving objects!

Q: What's your favorite, the most challenging, or the most rewarding project that you worked on in the past year?
A: Definitely The Social Network with David Fincher. David has such a creative instinct and eye for quality. Working with him was very inspiring. We really focused on creating a subtle and moody look for the film. It was the first feature shot on the new Red MX sensor, and the shadow details are quite amazing. I'm really happy to finally see it in theaters.

Q: Who are the top four artists on your iPod?
The xx, Zola Jesus, The treatment w/Elvis Mitchell , Kanye West: 808s & Heartbreak