HEART OF STONE
As a colourist on a feature Simone always feels like a small cog in a very big, sophisticated and well-oiled machine. But director Tom Harper has built up a very loyal band of collaborators and they’re all included early on in his process.
Tom and DOP George came into TBA and they had a few movie nights where the team inspired themselves by watching blu-rays in our cinema suite. It’s a part of the process Simone really enjoys. The agreed ambition was to shoot film. A lot of references were from Pakula and Friedkin. Three Days of the Condor, Parallax View and Klute were three films they’d looked at. In no way did they want to imitate these films, but what they did like was how the natural tones and chiaroscuro look of these films enhanced and elevated the story. Tom wanted Heart of Stone to feel honest and for the audience not to see a veneer or something that fell processed or manipulated.
Early on in discussions it became clear that the whole movie wouldn’t be able to be shot on film. However Tom and George still wanted some sections to be shot on 35mm. We did extensive tests with George shooting on Film and Digital cameras in the same scenarios so we could best judge and assess which camera would be able to evoke the quality of film. George settled on the Red Raptor. We were all impressed with the way it translated the colour and found it the best match. We tested a number of different grain emulations and settled on Filmbox, we really liked their halation tool as well, and played with a number of different stocks throughout the whole movie. The team created some rules of when we would have finer and coarser stocks but inevitably as we went through we created what we felt was right for each scene and shot.
That said the team had a hard deadline for delivery at the end of the allotted grade time and there were a huge amount of VFX shots still to drop in. The team at Harbor London, where Simone graded the movie, had an enormous task of getting all these shots in and ready with minimal impact to the grade sessions. Inevitably as new improved VFX sequences came in initial grades are tweaked and looked at again. Making sure everyone is talking across those departments and aware of whats happening is essential for these situations where time is of the essence. As a colourist you can have an influence on VFX and give feedback to developing shots.
As HDR was our primary deliverable we led with the HDR grade first before moving to the SDR trim and lastly the Theatrical. Knowing this we wanted to spend the first two days looking at the footage win the big screen. This gave us the feel for the cinematic effect we wanted to achieve. We then moved onto the monitor on Day 3 with a good feel for our cinematic intention.
Released on Netflix on August 11th, Heart of Stone is a strong new take on the action film and Simone's grade has no small part in making it feel original.
Charlotte Regan's debut feature Scrapper is a breakthrough success winning 2023's Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film.
The film deals with a 12 year old girls magically irregular view of the world after the loss of a parent. Charlotte's command of narrative and performance with the help of Molly Manning Walker's lens shine a colourful light on this distinctive drama.
Graded at Time Based Arts by Simone.
Kate Cragg's beautiful and elegiac study of alienated city life has been nominated for a Prix Sauvage at Festival L'Europe autour de l'Europe.
Partly Inspired by Schnitzler's scandalous 19th century play, Reigen.
Daniel Landin's stunningly composed camera floats around the slow dance of our lost souls as they seek connection.
We collaborated on the film with the animation for the atom sequence as well as online and colour grade.
Edited by Sam Hodge.
Riz Ahmed 'The Long Goodbye'
This will knock you for six! Somesuch director Aneil Karia has made a name for himself creating visceral and arresting films and this is no exception. Actor and musician Riz Ahmed's new album deals with big issues and this goes from suburban mundane to post apocalyptic very quickly. Shortlisted for a live action short film 2022 Academy Award - this clearly speaks to a global audience.
Rising Phoenix is the latest feature documentary from film makers Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, and our most recent collaboration. Having directed the BAFTA nominated portrait ‘McQueen’ in 2018, the duo have turned their attentions to the Paralympic Movement. The film charts the turbulent history of the Paralympic Games from its inception to the global pageant of London and Rio. It features several of the participants and their inspiring personal journeys to becoming elite athletes. It is a beautifully crafted and powerful documentary with an important message of human endeavour and achievement at its core.
Rising Phoenix is the second film that Time Based Arts has completed full picture post on. Conform, grade and a host of 2D, 3D and design work add to the spectacle of the story. Look out for the ancient statues depicting each of the athletes that feature in the film.
Sound design by our dear friend Will Cohen at String and Tins.
The film premieres on Netflix on the 26th August and celebrates the Olympic spirit in a week that would have seen us enjoying the drama of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Simone rekindles his long standing relationship with director Tom Harper and Cinematographer George Steel.
Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne star as socialite adventurer and scientist in search of discovering the unknown mysteries of the weather. The epic film takes place in realtime with the protagonists flying higher than any man or woman has ever been, pushing them to the limits of human endeavour.
Graded at Company 3 with big thanks to the whole team there.
As we entered lockdown the BBC commissioned a new series of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads including two new scripts.
Directed by some of the UK's leading Theatre Directors and shot by Zac Nicholson, Simone graded all 12 films.
They can all be found on the BBC Iplayer
War and Peace - BBC Worldwide
War and Peace is Leo Tolstoys epic saga set in Russia in 1805, on the brink of Napoleons invasion.
Tom Harper (The Woman In Black 2, Scouting Book for Boys, This Is England '86) directed the six and a half hour long series for the BBC and Weinstein Group.
Simone had worked with Tom and the cinematographer George Steel on a number of projects previously, including War Book, Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders. Their collaboration on this has resulted in glowing reviews across the board and is being broadcast on BBC1 from January 3rd 2016 and the A&E Network in the US on 18th January 2016. The series will also be available for BBC Worldwide.
Peaky Blinders Series 3
Simone headed back to Birmingham for his third season of grading Peaky Blinders. Following on from his Televisual Grade of the Year for the first series, he has evolved the grade as the director and cinematographer has changed with each season.
This time it’s the fantastic Laurie Rose known for his collaborations with Ben Wheatley. And as if having Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy wasn’t enough they’ve also added Paddy Considine to the mix. Snoop Dogg is a big fan and praise doesn’t come much higher than that.