Finishing Touches Put On Babel and Southland Tales at LaserPacific

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 Cam?¬¨¬©ra d’sOr.

Director Alejandro Gonzales I?±irritu 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 I?±?rritu 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 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 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 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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