Astounding Color Makes Mirror, Mirror the Fairest of Them All
Colorist and Founder, Film Factory
To color grade the feature film Mirror, Mirror for its theatrical release, Lionel Kopp of Paris-based Film Factory had to set up a temporary digital intermediate (DI) room at Wildfire Studios, a Los Angeles postproduction facility. Because Wildfire had only one Christie® projector, the Dolby® Professional Reference Monitor was brought in to fill the gap.
Kopp, a colorist and the founder of Film Factory, rented a Dolby Professional Reference Monitor PRM-4200 because it was the only monitor to which he could entrust his color-grading efforts. He knew the monitor could be calibrated precisely to match the Christie projector and to deliver the most accurate color reproduction possible.
Film Factory: Profile
A postproduction facility with 25 years of experience, Film Factory made the shift to all-digital work in 2009. The company offers customers complete service, including picture editing, sound editing, calibration, mixing, and visual effects. In 2010, Film Factory increased its international visibility by expanding to North America and opening a post facility in Montreal.
Precise color grading was required to match director Tarsem Singh’s vision for the vibrantly colorful costumes featured in Mirror, Mirror. In addition, extreme contrast was required to achieve the blacks and whites in the film’s dramatic dark and snowy scenes.
To meet this challenge under a tight deadline, Kopp chose top-of-the-line tools for the DI room, including the Nucoda Film Master and the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor. With these technologies, Kopp was able to work closely with the project's creative visionaries from start to finish and ensure that the film maintained their original intent.
The Dolby Professional Reference Monitor helped Kopp accomplish two major tasks on this project: to match another display and to achieve fine detail in blacks and whites.
The team calibrated the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor’s display emulation to match the Christie projector, using the two simultaneously in the short time frame. With the PRM-4200, the colorists were able to work in the same DCI P3 mode as on the projector.
The team achieved detail in the snowy scenes and night effects. The Dolby Professional Reference Monitor displays true black levels due to its wide color gamut, 12-bit input, and 1,500 RGB LED triads.
"Keeping the process in-house was important. Helping Tarsem execute his vision for Mirror, Mirror was our first priority. Every project we undertake is an artistic and technical process, and we plan and execute how to do that in the best way, from day one to the final delivery. We want to be efficient, creative, and enable filmmakers to tell the story they set out to tell." —Lionel Kopp, Colorist and Founder, Film Factory
As a result of the team's experience with the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor on this project, Film Factory’s Paris studio now has a Dolby Professional Reference Monitor of its own.
Benefits of the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor
Stability and accuracy; a consistent day-to-day standard for evaluating images
Ability to convey low-end detail, creating dark, lush, deep images with shadow separation
Accurate color reproduction and very solid, strong blacks
Ability to work in multiple standards: DCI P3, Rec. 709, or SMPTE C
Native 12-bit format for pixel-for-pixel reproduction of very fine detail
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 add to its value in improving the production process.
Support for the DCI P3 color space allows critical cinema color grading without a digital cinema projector. 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.
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