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Voice Of The Crew - Since 2002

Los Angeles, California

HomeCraftsPostproductionDI-Mike Underwood interview

DI-Mike Underwood interview


Interviewed by Jack Egan
I recently completed Undertow for United Artists and Clifford The Big Red Dog for Warner Bros. Undertow was shot on 35mm and scanned to 2K files using our Cintel scanner. Clifford came to us as 2K files. Both were color-corrected in our theater and output to negative using our Celco Fury film recorder.
Next month we’ll be working on a 16mm project called Sueño, which will be corrected in the theater much like the others, only it will be done in 24p high definition. We will also output it to 35mm negative.
During the color timing process for Undertow I worked with cinematographer Tim Orr and director Gordon Green. They both had certain looks and effects that they wanted to achieve and were very excited to see them come alive instantly on the big screen. We were able to try many different things until we came up with the result they were looking for.
We used a DLP projector in the Post Logic screening room. We set up an LUT on the projector so that what we were looking at during the color correction process is what we got back on film. The Celco recorder also has many adjustments to achieve the desired contrast and saturation.
Some of the main advantages of the DI process are the ability to stop on each scene and adjust the look of the film until you’ve achieved the desired color and density. You also have much more control over the way the film looks and can make very significant changes from the way it was shot.
The director also wanted do some special effects that would have cost a lot of money and time using the traditional method. We were able to do those instantly with the da Vinci 2K color corrector. We also conformed both projects using the iQ from Quantel, which let us create cross dissolves and fades that would have been done as visual effects in the lab. The iQ can create these instantly. We also have the ability to digitally clean up every piece of dirt that is on the 2K scans.
The biggest issue that we have had to work with is the amount of storage needed to complete a project. You have many steps that the data has to go through. You must conform the reels, then do dirt clean-up, then color correction. Each involves another set of data files for that reel. So we have had to increase our storage capability over the last year.

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