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Finishing Touches Put On BABEL and SOUTHLAND TALES


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#1 Tim Tyler

Tim Tyler

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:55 PM

The final looks of the feature films BABEL and
SOUTHLAND TALES were completed during digital intermediate (DI) timing
sessions in collaboration with the filmmakers at LaserPacific Media
Corporation in Hollywood prior to their premieres here at the 2006 Cannes
International Film Festival. Both films made the Cannes Official Selection
and are vying for awards in competition and the coveted Camera d'Or.

Director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto,
ASC, AMC chose to produce BABEL in three different film formats for aesthetic
reasons. LaserPacific adapted advanced scanning technology as part of an
innovative workflow solution to smoothly integrate scenes filmed in different
formats into a single digital master file. Over a period of about three
weeks, Prieto timed the film in collaboration with colorist Yvan Lucas for
shot-to-shot continuity, while adding other intuitive visual accents to
support the arc of the story.

Cinematographer Steven Poster, ASC and director Richard Kelly utilized
cutting-edge hybrid filmmaking technology on SOUTHLAND TALES. Images were
recorded on KODAK VISION2 5218 color negative film in three-perf 35 mm
format. Poster used the KODAK Look Manager System to communicate his
intentions for different "looks" in the various scenes. LaserPacific provided
front-end lab services including HD dailies. Poster and Kelly also seamlessly
integrated some 200 visual effects shots with live-action footage while
timing SOUTHLAND TALES in a DI suite with colorist David Cole.

On BABEL, Prieto and Inarritu made selective use of Super 16, three-perf
Super 35, and 35 mm anamorphic formats to create a visual tapestry that
enhances the emotional flow of the story. LaserPacific scanned the conformed
negative at 4K resolution and created a 2K digital master file in Academy
aperture 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The digital master was projected on a cinema-
sized screen in LaserPacific's theater during interactive DI timing sessions.

"We were exploring new territory with these innovative filmmakers because
this unique project had footage produced in different film formats, including
three-perf, 1.85 anamorphic and Super 16 mm, with both spherical and
anamorphic lenses," says Leon Silverman, president of LaserPacific. "The
creative choices they made required a technology solution that was true to
the aesthetic intentions of the director and cinematographer."

On SOUTHLAND TALES, Poster took a classic approach to shooting, trusting
his instincts, knowing that he would be using DI technology as a tool to
visually focus the intent of the story.

"The power of DI tools today and the visual creativeness of these
filmmakers allowed us to complete this film in ways that were simply not
available to independent filmmakers in the past," Cole says. "We were able to
take Steven's compelling original photography and enhance it in service to
the story."

"We are honored to have had this opportunity to support these talented
artists," adds Silverman. "These films were an innovative exercise in
creative hybrid filmmaking. The filmmakers used a combination of film and
digital technologies to create compelling stories."

LaserPacific's slate of high-profile DI projects includes the upcoming
releases THE BLACK DAHLIA, FLICKA and CLERKS II.

LaserPacific Media Corporation, a Kodak company, is an award-winning
postproduction facility offering an array of end-to-end services for the
entertainment industry. A leader in providing innovative technological
solutions coupled with a team of highly experienced professionals,
LaserPacific offers such services as 16 and 35 mm processing, telecine, film
scanning and recording, digital intermediates (DI), multimedia, sound editing
and mixing, as well as digital cinema packaging for customers ranging from
independent filmmakers to major studios
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