I’ve recently graded d’Étoiles en Étoiles, a feature film written, directed and produced by Antonio Amaral using Davinci Resolve powerful color suit to grade the movie.
To give a unique look to the film, Antonio brought a book of 65 photographies by Saul Leiter and asked if I could reproduce the colors and film density on a digital format.
Leiter’s framing and lighting was close to the material I was given which helped a lot to translate into the movie.
I took careful examination and selected a couples of keyshot that matched the reference photographies before dressing the look.
The first part of the job consisted of correcting the movie, shot by shot, sequence by sequence to smooth out the differences between color tones, saturation and contrast. We then started a more artistic approach to bring lights in some specific areas and shadows in others with the help of Matte/Rotoscopy (Power Mask) to guide the eye of the audience.
Once that was finished, I applied a custom look with a PowerGrade specifically created to reproduce Saul Leiter’s iconic look with soft highlight rolloff and dense shadows.
Lastly, a number of FX were applied to re-create subtle Halation and Chromatic Aberration that modern camera and optic lack these days. I scanned some original grain using the DaVinci Film Grain Open FX by doing some subtraction / compare method.