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Mistika Helps Bring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to Life


Shakespeare’s Globe 2012 production of The Taming of the Shrew. (Photo by Manuel Harlan).
Shakespeare’s Globe 2012 production of The Taming of the Shrew. (Photo by Manuel Harlan).
BTV Post, based in London’s Soho district, is currently using SGO‘s Mistika for the grading, online finishing and digital mastering of the fourth season of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s fourth season of filmed performances of The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V and Twelfth Night.

Filmed on the traditional open air stage at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, the three classic plays are being mastered for broadcast, DVD and digital cinema presentation. Mistika VFX artist and color grader, Ian Grey at BTV Post was called on to create three distinctly different grading expressions required to convey the comedic and historic elements of each play.

For The Taming of the Shrew, Grey developed a warm palette of reds and yellows for an uplifting mood. “The client was keen to replicate the experience of seeing the shows live at the Globe while crafting a look that would suit the style of the play,” explained Grey. “The material that came into the grade had a dominance of red in the white and the first priority of the grade was to balance the show so that skin tones were natural.”

Grey added that Mistika’s digital printer lights tool proved a great asset in “restoring balance to the image to set up a starting point, from which, we were then able to create a warm, Italian summery feel.”

For Henry V, Grey’s challenge was to set bleak and contrasting tones to the look of the film to highlight the depressing atmosphere of war. “We pushed the contrast because of the context of the story as part of the look,” he explained. “I wanted to keep as much of the detail in the finished program as I could and Mistika’s new color grading tool allowed me to do so. Using the new Recover Source option in the color grader in Mistika, I could mask an area of the image and recover the detail from the source video, just inside the mask, which could then be tracked through the shot.”

Grey is currently working on the color grading for Twelfth Night, which involves setting the comedic tone by using colorful cheerful hues and shades and brightening up the period costumes. Grey noted that “One of the most beneficial features in Mistika throughout this project so far, is the selection ganging feature of the storyboard. One of the challenges is that the production was filmed live from daylight to sunset within an open-air setting, over two recordings. This meant having to take into account in post, the varying light, weather conditions and elements such as rain. With the Mistika gang feature, I was able to isolate the different days into separate gangs, and once I had settled on a matching base grade for each day of the play, it was a simple process to deploy through the edit, giving me a much more consistent starting point to develop the look of the show.”

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