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FilmLight’s Baselight Creates Look for Pacific Rim

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Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim
Motion Picture Imaging’s lead colorist Maxine Gervais recently relied on FilmLight’s Baselight grading tools – on a laptop as well as a Baselight EIGHT system – to perfect the look of Pacific Rim, from set to final deliverables.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim was shot in 4K on RED cameras for a 2K and 3D finish. Gervais fine-tuned the de-Bayering algorithms in Baselight before transferring them to RED Tools for bulk conversion. She also used Baselight, running on a laptop, on set for early collaborations with del Toro and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro. “I made sure I was using all the right color curves, so I was sure where the DP was going,” said Gervais.

“I was working with Maxine for weeks and we quickly established a common language,” said del Toro. “We were seeking a very strong, graphic look, almost painterly. By the end of the process, Maxine and I had developed almost instant communication. The color coding of the film is very strong and specific and we achieved it thoroughly.”

Much of the movie depends upon effects shots, created by ILM. The 4K shoot allowed Gervais to create zooms and repositions of the live action material in Baselight before sending the raw EXR files off for compositing. All color grading was performed on the final composite, using large numbers of mattes to achieve the required color isolation.

“Color is very much used to tell the story,” said Gervais. “There are a lot of saturated colors in some of the scenes, and it is great to be that saturated but still maintain the good skin tones. Baselight gives me the ability to easily create separation between colors.”

Gervais has been a lead colorist at MPI since 2009, working on a number of top movies since then. She is a great advocate of Baselight, and in particular its huge processing power that allows it to perform very complex, multi-layered grading in real time. “Whether working on 2K or 4K, when you have clients watching you need to be able to do it and play it back instantly,” she said.

“Baselight is definitely one of the best grading tools. It gives me everything I need,” said Gervais. “I am so comfortable with Baselight now that I don’t even know how I do what I do. It’s like breathing.”

A Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures release, Pacific Rim opened July 12. Maxine Gervais will be conducting a presentation on July 31 at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills entitled, “Behind the Colors of Pacific Rim.” For information, visit: www.behindthecolorsofpacificrim.eventbrite.com

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