Blackmagic Design announced DaVinci Resolve 10 was used by Gavin Fisher of L.A.-based production and post facility Fisher Film Works for color grading Lady Antebellum’s “Compass” music video.
With seven Grammys under their belt, the country music trio Lady Antebellum is known for their harmonies and often uplifting messages. For “Compass,” the recently released third single from their 2013 album Golden, Lady Antebellum worked with director Peter Zavadil of Taillight. Using light and color to deliver the song’s message, he shot light writing to spell out the lyrics. Light writing is a form of stop motion animation where stills are taken of words being spelled in light. The images are then arranged sequentially, creating the optical illusion of movement.
“Peter wanted a super bright, colorful and festive look to the video, so I pushed the saturation to its limits, which was fine for the still camera shots that were used for light writing,” said Fisher. “In order to match the performance scenes with that same level of intensity without ruining the skin tones, I had to rely on DaVinci Resolve to key out all the saturation and maintain the skin tones. It’s the best keyer I’ve worked with.”
In order to incorporate light writing, every letter in the alphabet was shot by itself. Doing a rough composite and cropping in on the letters left the tiles exposed instead of creating a seamless look. Gavin brought the footage into DaVinci Resolve, and by removing the crop, as well as using DaVinci Resolve’s blend mode, he was able to make the light writing seem as if it was part of the original footage.
“I was able to blend all the images together instead of having to crop off the edges, which delivered the seamless look that Peter was going for,” said Fisher. “If ever I run into an issue with footage, I know DaVinci Resolve has the tools to help me overcome it.”
Gavin noted that DaVinci Resolve 10’s new editing features were essential to streamlining the workflow, which was useful considering he had 24 hours to turn the project around. “Because the video was shot with different kinds of cameras, when I imported the XML into DaVinci Resolve, it was all in a jumble with whacked out timecodes. For a lot of conforms, it’s easier to rebuild the edit by hand based on the offline,” said Fisher. “DaVinci Resolve 10’s robust editing features made it super easy to rebuild it right in Resolve. It saved me on time and was a life saver.”