Director Travis Ammons recently collaborated with Houston-based post house Eye Candy for the color grading and mastering of his new indie film, Suicide Notes. William Collins, senior colorist/owner, completed the color grade and post for the film on the company’s Nucoda color grading system.
Suicide Notes is a modestly budgeted independent film which tells the story of down-and-out Julian Parker who has written a play in which the lead character commits suicide. A team of money-hungry producers, Marla French and nudist director Don Paulson, (played by The Sopranos vet Lou Martini, Jr.), offer to mount his offbeat play, with just one small catch – they want to cast legitimately suicidal actors who will actually kill themselves on stage.
Flat broke, Parker has little choice and decides to sign the contract. The show opens for its weekend run. After one on-stage shooting, the play is a hit and becomes booked for more shows. After two live suicides, the show is an outright phenomenon, securing a big time cable deal and an exit for Don and Marla. With momentum building, the show moves on to the performance that features Neil, the last of the original and depressed thespians, and the film’s most sympathetic character. Will he shoot himself? Will he be stopped? One thing is for sure – the audience demands (and paid for) a suicide.
“The Suicide Notes post project required that the film be assembled on the timeline from an EDL, but we found that the EDL had problems,” said Collins. “Eye Candy wanted to help our colleague, Larry McKee, the DP who lensed the project, realize the wonderful imagery he shot. The big job on Suicide Notes was removing the aspects of low-budget indie that included evening out of lighting issues and very problematic lighting in some spots, as well as other problems.”
“We worked with our team to re-construct the film edit first in Final Cut and then to develop a new EDL that would export and connect within Nucoda,” Collins explained. “Once the project was on the Nucoda timeline, colorist/creative art director Yun Kum, developed the style of the film. It was a smooth road from there.”
“We knew we had a great film, but it was imperative that that the images be graded properly for the film to be appreciated and compete in a professional manner,” said McKee. “It’s always a struggle with indies to follow through and handle the images I shoot properly. Eye Candy made this into a feature that looked like a feature, it was the indelible aspect of the film that made this into a film people appreciate.”