- Featured Projects
- It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- House of Lies
- Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
- Breaking Bad
- We're the Millers
- Fruitvale Station
- Hello, Dolly!
- The X Factor
- The Master
- Katy Perry: All of Me
- Snow White and the Huntsman
- Jeff Who Lives at Home
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol
- The Glee Project
- Platinum Hit
“Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol”
Achieves “Wow” Factor with 65mm Capture
If audiences feel a sense of heightened exhilaration while watching Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol” climb the side of the Burj Khalifa-currently the world's tallest building located in Dubai-they can thank the creative and post teams who collaborated on the film for the immersive experience. The fourth installment in the “M:I” franchise is even bigger than the previous films, literally, with select sequences shot in 65mm to take full advantage of giant screens.
This holiday season, two-time Academy Award®-winner Brad Bird directs, with producers Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams, the action-packed spy adventure “Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol.”
Blamed for the terrorist bombing of the Kremlin, IMF operative Ethan Hunt is disavowed along with the rest of the agency when the President initiates “Ghost Protocol.” Left without any resources or backup, Hunt must find a way to clear his agency's name and prevent another attack. To complicate matters further, Hunt is forced to embark on this mission with a team of fellow IMF fugitives whose personal motives he does not fully know.
Tom Cruise returns in the starring role as Hunt and is joined by an international cast that includes Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Josh Holloway, Anil Kapoor and Léa Seydoux.
“When we first got into the movie, the challenge of shooting 65mm large format was formidable,” says associate producer Ben Rosenblatt. While looking around for a facility partner, Ben called FotoKem, who guided him through the options. “FotoKem was incredible and helped us through whatever we wanted to do,” Ben says. “The interesting thing that FotoKem did was show us potential. All of our testing was done there, and they were able to take us through a variety of formats to show us the best path through to the finish.”
FotoKem's Tools & Expertise
Serve the Artistic Approach to “Rampart”
Rampart is an intense feature film about an arrogant, macho cop (played by Woody Harrelson) on an emotional downward spiral. The script was
written by James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential) and director Oren Moverman, who re-teams with cinematographer Bobby Bukowski. The director-DP
duo previously collaborated on The Messenger, the highly regarded indie that earned two Oscar nominations in 2010.
At first, the characters of Rampart are depicted in strong, unforgiving light, even in close-up. Then, Harrelson's character, Officer Dave Brown,
slowly loses his grip as the story progresses. Bukowski and Moverman visually expressed this descent with images that show him in partial and
broken reflections. By the end of the film, Brown is an almost ghost-like, fleeting presence on the screen.
The Rampart team turned to FotoKem early in the creative process to establish the right workflow. “The people at FotoKem are very concerned with giving me exactly what I need,” says Bukowski (The Hawk is Dying, Arlington Road). “They're watching my back.”
The DP also notes that the lines between prep, production and postproduction are blurring. “Long before we were shooting anything on the set, we were doing copious testing on the look. Oren and I were mining for the right process. The DI expertise and tools at FotoKem were very valuable throughout in rendering our vision as artists on this film.”
Moverman and Bukowski devised a shooting style that featured available light, extensive handheld work and an “on-the-fly” approach with little blocking and rehearsal.
When Moverman expressed interest in shooting on the ARRI Alexa, FotoKem devised
technical solutions that made that camera fit perfectly with the filmmakers' approach. The
SxS-to-ProRes 4:4:4 approach uses a card-slot module on the side of the camera, leaving the
camera operator-in this case, Bukowski-free to follow the action without worrying about cables.
Cinematographer Amy Vincent and Editor Billy Fox
Reunite with FotoKem DI Colorist Walter Volpatto
When director Craig Brewer took on a re-imagining of the 1984 dance classic “Footloose,” he turned to people he could trust-editor Billy Fox and cinematographer Amy Vincent, ASC.
Known for their previous films together, “Black Snake Moan” and “Hustle & Flow,” a pair of indie standouts (the latter the 2005 Sundance Cinematography Award winner for Amy), the trio might seem an unusual choice to create Paramount's 2011 reboot of “Footloose,” but it is precisely that outsider approach that makes their version so refreshingly appealing to watch.
“We approached the dance numbers in the movie from an emotional and dramatic standpoint,” she explains, regarding her and Craig's visual approach to the story. “Every scene has a context within the narrative.”
In addition to the director-DP-editor redux, the cinematographer turned to FotoKem's Walter Volpatto for their DI color timing. “Walter and I have done my past three movies together,” says Amy. “We have the kind of communication that exists between two technicians and two artists at the same time, and that's a tricky thing to find.”
She isn't the only FotoKem fan onboard - so is Billy, who's worked on five projects with the facility. “I like the fact that everything is in one facility,” he says. “They start with the exposed negative and take you all the way back out to film. My experiences at other facilities were lacking continuity-the lab here, the telecine in another facility, and the DI somewhere else. At FotoKem, it's really a streamlined flow. And we didn't have one hitch.”
“Contagion” Spreads at FotoKem
Steven Soderbergh returned to FotoKem earlier this summer to finish Contagion, his highly anticipated bio-thriller starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, and many more, in an international cast. Contagion marks Steven's second feature at FotoKem, and his first DI with colorist John Daro. Contagion, an action-thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and the international CDC team deployed to deal with the outbreak, is a compelling and nerve wracking film, whose story is told with strong imagery.
John had previously worked with Steven on Haywire, and was thrilled to work with the director on the full DI for Contagion. “Steven is a rare talent; a great writer and director, in combination with a high level of technical skill. I was looking forward to working with someone I admire, and it turned out to be a great experience.”
FotoKem was part of the post process from the beginning through the final delivery of the DI. Contagion was a complex, multi-city, global production, shot on the RED One with the MX sensor. Working closely with the film's editorial team early on helped FotoKem keep everything working smoothly. “Being part of a project from pre-production, especially one that is shooting around the world in multiple locations, is extremely beneficial,” notes Tom Vice, VP of nextLAB, a division of FotoKem. “We sat down with the Contagion team and custom-designed a workflow to meet their needs. It's important to start as early as possible, and Contagion benefitted from our ability to be integrated from the get go.”
“The Glee Project” Hits High Notes at FotoKem
A Creative Partnership for Pitch Perfect Sound
“The Glee Project” a 10-episode musical competition reality show on Oxygen, followed 12 young, aspiring singers as they took on weekly musical assignments that culminated in a group musical performance. Guided by mentors, the performers had to truly shine to stay near the top of the heap and avoid elimination. Each week culminated in a “Glee”-like music video followed by an elimination round where three at-risk performers sung for their survival. At the end of the series, the performer lucky enough to be the last person standing was to win a recurring role on seven episodes of the Fox series “Glee.” The surprise twist was that two people ended up taking the grand prize.
“The Glee Project” was created by executive producer Ryan Murphy. In crafting the seven-episode role for the upcoming season of the mega-hit show, the creators hoped to be inspired not only by the winner's talent but also by their unique personality. It is a lot of pressure but the payoff is a huge, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Co-executive producer Alex Weresow chose Margarita Mix, a FotoKem company, so that he could pull re-recording mixer Michael Jesmer into the project. Alex had previously worked with Michael on a project, and really enjoyed Michael's style of mixing.
Regarding his all-in approach to “The Glee Project,” Michael says, “I started by watching the entire first season of ‘Glee’ and recording their audio into my 5.1 surround system to use as a guide. I paid a lot of attention to how it was mixed, researched the whole audio team and read an interview from the sound mixer. I just gleaned as much as I could from every source I could find.”
FotoKem Has What it Takes for Bravo's “Platinum Hit”
Post Production Supervisor Sandra Soczka Discusses
Her Work on the Reality TV Series
Sandra Soczka is a well-respected and expert post production supervisor, who came to FotoKem to post 10 one-hour episodes of the new Bravo series “Platinum Hit.” The music competition show highlights 12 emerging singer-songwriters on their quest to become the next big hitmaker. The series features singer-songwriter Jewel as the host judge, and former “American Idol” judge and songwriter Kara DioGuardi. From dance tracks to love ballads, every episode features a new theme, requiring the contestants to write and perform lyrics from different genres. Of course, there is no shortage of personal drama as they pour their life stories into the music, as well as cope with the stress of competing and living together.
When Sandra came onboard to supervise post for the show, the “Platinum Hit” team had already chosen to post at FotoKem. For Sandra, this was welcome news. She previously worked on several shows at FotoKem. “I knew Mike Keenan and knew that he'd be a great asset. He's astute at communicating what's going on, and staying in touch with me. I knew the project was in good hands from a service and technology standpoint.”
Sandra's supervising role begins as soon as the cameras stop rolling. After setting up a post production office at FotoKem's facility on Sunset Blvd., Sandra started on the first step of the workflow-ingesting footage and organizing the media. Shot primarily on DVCPRO HD tape with a ratio of over 100:1, “Platinum Hit” also includes digitally captured footage, mostly B roll, shot on the Canon 7D camera.
Arri's Alexa makes its U.S. feature debut on Prom,
shot by Byron Shah.
The new Disney movie Prom, a coming-of-age story about an ensemble of teens getting ready for the biggest night of their young lives, marks the U.S.- feature debut of Arri's Alexa digital motion-picture camera. (The European film Anonymous, shot by Anna Foerster, was the camera's first feature outing, according to Arri.)
For director Joe Nussbaum and cinematographer Byron Shah, the goal was a look ”that felt real, raw and a little out of control,“ says Shah. ”The movie weaves together multiple love stories, and the look had to match the whirlwind intensity of teen love.“
”We created a digital look-book made up of stills from other movies, all of which had been shot on film; there were no references for a digitally shot movie that had the look we wanted,“ notes Nussbaum.
Before production commenced, the filmmakers tested the Alexa side-by-side with a Red One MX and a Sony F35. ”There was no studio mandate to shoot digitally, but Joe and I both were open to the idea provided we could find a format that worked for the project,“ says Shah. ”We didn't test film because we knew what film looks like, and we wanted to judge the digital formats on their own terms. We set up an apples-to-apples test: same lens, same stop, same filters, same setup, same lighting, same settings and so on. We just switched out the camera bodies.“