Colorworks recently provided postproduction services for Fresh Guacamole, an animated short from writer/director PES that was recently short-listed for Academy Award consideration. The facility performed color grading and DCP mastering so that the short film could be screened in theaters as part of the qualifying process for Academy Award consideration.
Fresh Guacamole, commissioned by Showtime, is the follow-up to PES’ earlier short, Western Spaghetti, which won awards at Sundance and Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Like its predecessor, the new film is a whimsical bit of stop-motion in which everyday objects are transformed into a delicious dish. PES substitutes a hand grenade for an avocado and a billiard ball for its pit. He slices and dices a baseball and a pin cushion, and adds other ingredients from a golf ball, a holiday light bulb and chess pieces.
“It was all shot in-camera,” explained PES, who produced the film, with producing partner Sarah Phelps, in a Torrance, Calif. studio using a Canon 5D camera. “Everything was done by manipulating found objects with my own hands.” Production of the 1 minute and 40 second film took four months.
Colorworks’ role was to prepare a version of the short suitable for theatrical display. That included putting it through a 4K color grading process and exporting a master in digital cinema format. “We needed to put it in a proper color space so that it would display properly in various projection systems,” Colorworks colorist John Persichetti explained.
For PES, it was the first time that one of his films had undergone theatrical mastering. “It was effortless and quick,” he recalled. “We had a tight time deadline to get the film into theaters for Academy consideration and Colorworks really came through.”
Fresh Guacamole is one of 10 films short-listed for the Academy Award for best animated short film. Nominees will be announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jan. 10.