Technicolor – PostWorks New York recently provided film laboratory and digital postproduction services for Moonrise Kingdom, the new motion picture from Focus Features and director Wes Anderson that opened the Cannes International Film Festival. The facility handled film processing, dailies production and digital intermediate color grading. DCP production and film recording were done at Technicolor, Los Angeles.
Moonrise Kingdom, set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, tells the story of two 12-year-olds – played by newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward – who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Bob Balaban star in the film.
“Moonrise Kingdom is the type of project we excel at – an independent film from an independent director – one with a great cast and a great story to tell, and one that needs a strong commitment from its postproduction partners,” said Technicolor – PostWorks executive vice president Domenic Rom.
Technicolor – PostWorks New York, which also provided postproduction services for Anderson’s 2007 film The Darjeeling Limited, was involved in Moonrise Kingdom for more than 10 months, beginning in pre-production. The facility’s film laboratory and color grading department assisted Anderson and cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman, ASC in testing various film stocks and digital camera formats. Anderson and Yeoman eventually chose to shoot the film on Kodak Super 16mm film.
During production, Technicolor – PostWorks processed the film negative and prepared video dailies. The latter included the delivery of streaming dailies to Anderson and his crew while they were working on location in Rhode Island.
Final color grading was performed by colorist Tim Stipan in a DI theater at the company’s New York facility. Anderson, Yeoman attended many of the grading sessions in person, along with editor Andrew Weisblum with whom Stipan had previously collaborated on Black Swan. They participated in other sessions remotely by viewing material as Stipan graded it on synchronized and color calibrated projection screens at Technicolor facilities in Los Angeles and London using Technicolor’s Tech-2-Tech service.
“When Wes and Robert were in Los Angeles, they were working on another production, and three time zones away, so the grading sessions happened late at night,” Stipan recalled. “We began at 11 p.m. and often didn’t finish until one or two in the morning. But, it was great to be able to work through the film with them and have them put the finishing touches on it.”
Stipan noted that the filmmakers’ choice to shoot on Super 16mm film helped to create the ambiance of the 1960s.
“The film has a Technicolor look; the colors are very lush and saturated,” Stipan said. “The look of the film solely belongs to Wes Anderson. He is more specific about color correction than any director I have worked with. He made very fine adjustments in color gradation and saturation, sometimes adjusting color by a single point. The result is a very specific look. It works great.”