Acclaimed documentary director / editor Kurt Sayenga worked with Solventdreams colorist Aaron Peak to master the look of the show. "Kurt's very specific about what grade an image should have...he's planned out the color arc and aesthetic feel of a show from a close involvement with the edit." Peak and the director spent a few hours setting looks for key shots. Those choices were then globally propagated and adjusted in a shot-to-shot matching session.
Peak employed secondaries, multiple gradients and handcrafted duotone looks to enhance and differentiate tonalities in a wide array of archival material. While a general documentary doesn't dictate the same depth of structural approach to color that a feature might, Solventdreams prefers the approach that allows numerous tonal subtleties to separate sequences and shots by directorial intent. Peak: "Although the documentary medium is supposed to be objective, Kurt and I use tonal variances to impart our philosophic bents toward the subject."
Edited over a period of four months, the documentary employed a substantial variety of mixed sources from Department of Defense training videos, military stock, archival footage from combat & air reconnaissance, defense contractor promos, production interviews and complex graphic animations. Variances in aspect ratios, color standards and multi-standard source origination were integrated by assiduous preparations in Final Cut before going to Final Touch. Solventdreams online editor Aldo Ruggiero: "Timeline prep, knowing how XMLs link, awareness of the interplay with Final Cut--these are the keys unlocking the power of Final Touch."
According to post supevisor David Davidson, "Sayenga's projects are often complex choreographs of editing and motion graphics, with multiple layers, temporary mattes, etc. With over 700 shots, these are not for the timid. That we can quickly port these projects to FinalTouch without losing those attributes is not just the miracle of this platform, but a testament to the workflow," The workflow starts with an up-resolution step where media is recaptured to a higher bit-space before color, the timeline is prepped for the XML, and then color begins. Davidson: "There are a few more steps, but those are our little secret."
"FinalTouch is realtime. My colorist can nimbly grade a one hour show in less than one day--rendering included--and the outcome is the same. This is what impressed us, and what our clients demand. We used to lose clients to DaVinci sessions. Not anymore," says Sim Tuzun, Post producer at Solventdreams.
With Sayenga and Oteyza under the Arcwelder company aegis, Solventdreams previously used FinalTouch to master three installments of the National Geographic mini-series Microkillers and more recently, a series of promos for Xmen 3: The Last Stand.
Material from the project can be viewed by browsing the below links:
Solventdreams Website: http://www.solventdreams.com
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