Nice Shoes colorist and partner Chris Ryan recently donated his color-grading expertise to YARNANA – a short film by first-time filmmakers Gina Vecchione and Michelle Price, featuring the otherworldly crochet work of artist Olek.
A wordless, 20-minute film that relies on the power of music, sound design and physical expression, YARNANA is a tale of romance and adventure featuring elaborately yarn-clad characters who speak through modern dance, physical comedy, capoeira, martial arts, poi, belly dancing, breakdance, acrobatics and gymnastics. Ryan focused on creating looks that would define each part of the story and enhance the florid costumes, crafting a more nightmarish or dreamy feel as the storyline dictated.
Ryan met Price while working with her on a series of commercials she produced for Time Warner Cable. “I appreciated how organized Michelle was and how much the rest of the team relied on her,” Ryan noted. “When she told me that she was striking off to make her first film with Gina, I didn’t hesitate to commit to the project.”
Having a favorable relationship with the creators is all the more important in independent film, where there is no tangle of agencies and product reps to work through, as in the ad world. “In a commercial, there are many cooks, but with a short film, the creators are the only voice that matters,” said Ryan. “Working directly with the artists and generating the film’s final look is very satisfying. Not only do you get instant feedback, but this dynamic also allows for more experimentation since concerns about branding are non-existent.”
Ryan threw himself into the work, determined to show the young creators just how a great color grade could affect a piece. “For most new artists, their first project is a passion piece that they’ve been living with for a long time prior to your involvement, and by the time they come in for the color grade, they can see the long-desired light at the end of the tunnel,” Ryan said. “So it’s important to make the project as important to you as it is to them and show them their full range of possibilities.”
Helping up-and-coming artists will remain central to Nice Shoes vision for the foreseeable future. “I’d like Nice Shoes to be seen as a place where we can help these new artists realize their vision,” Ryan stated. “I think artists appreciate it when you become as invested in their project as they are.”
YARNANA took home the Neighborhood Award at New York City’s LES Film Festival and received an invitation to participate in the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner 2012.