The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Color Correction for Theatrical Release

“Ian Vertovec, the colorist, and Jeff Cronenweth, the DP, were able to sit down together, and both of them were blown away by the depth of the blacks, especially on a film like Dragon Tattoo, whose nuances are built on maintaining those levels consistently across the board.”

Katie Fellion
VP Technical Post Production, Light Iron

Light Iron mastered the home-video versions of David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo using the Dolby® Professional Reference Monitor  PRM-4220. For the film’s theatrical release, Light Iron faced a unique challenge: the director and colorist would work together from separate locations.

The solution they came up with was to set up two identically calibrated monitors—one in Light Iron’s facility, where the colorist worked, and the other in director David Fincher’s office. The colorist and director saw the images on their monitors simultaneously, and the director provided his guidance remotely.

Light Iron: Profile

A postproduction facility in Hollywood, Light Iron specializes in on-site dailies, digital intermediate, archival, and data services for projects originated on file-based motion cameras. The company offers services for feature film, episodic television, and web-bound projects for both independent and major studios. The company distinguishes itself by providing state-of-the-art file-based hardware and software solutions configured to enhance the creative process. More specifically, Light Iron delivers postproduction solutions that minimize time, maximize image fidelity, and increase filmmakers’ creative control over their projects.

Company Challenge

The primary challenge for Light Iron was to successfully color-grade a major feature film with the director and colorist working in separate locations. It was crucial that they have absolute confidence that both monitors would display the same exact image, because the film is so dependent on precise and nuanced colors to set its feel and mood.

Dolby Solution

The Dolby Professional Reference Monitor helped Light Iron accomplish two major tasks on this project:

Perform remote color grading, made possible by the consistency and repeatability of the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor.

Maintain for the home-video version the detailed, sharp look that director David Fincher had created for the theatrical release. The Dolby Professional Reference Monitor helped them accomplish this with its wide color gamut, bit depth, and its ability to reproduce digital images precisely as they were captured.

Benefits of the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor

Confidence that images are absolutely consistent across the workflow when using multiple monitors

Capability of every monitor to reproduce the exact same images, down to the most minute detail

Wide color gamut and bit depth to display highly precise and nuanced color detail

Precision to register even the most subtle differences

Ability to retain the vibrancy of colors from primaries down to secondaries and tertiaries

About the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor

True blacks, superb dark detail, and extended dynamic range make the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor PRM-4200 the first viable CRT replacement solution for color-critical work. For the first time, users see exactly what was shot. Emulation versatility and a wide range of color gamuts, including support for the DCI P3 color space, add to its value in improving the production process.

The Dolby Professional Reference Monitor also supports all HD formats over HD-SDI, along with SD and 2K content. Color accuracy exceeds the published and widely recognized Grade 1 guidelines.

Dolby Professional Video Monitor


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