Berkeley, CA—Colorflow provided final
post-production services for The Kill
, an emotionally gripping documentary from Director Dan Krauss that
probes one of the most troubling chapters of the Afghanistan War. The
Berkeley boutique performed conform, color and final finishing for
the film.
The Kill Team,
which won for Best Documentary Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival and earned
the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival, tells the story of a
group of U.S. soldiers stationed in southern Afghanistan who, motivated by fear
and boredom, take to murdering Afghan civilians 
and then staging those killings to look like “good shoots.” The film
focuses in particular on one soldier whose attempts to alert the military to
the atrocities went unheeded and who later became a target of war crimes
investigations. The documentary is composed of interviews with four soldiers
charged in the case and family members along with news footage and amateur material
shot by soldiers in the field.
Colorflow’s role was to complete final post work in advance
of the film’s debut at Tribeca, subsequent festival screenings and theatrical
release. Final color grading was performed by Lead Colorist Kent Pritchett
using Autodesk Lustre.
Pritchett, whose credits range from studio blockbusters and
television shows to independent films and documentaries, said the grade applied
to The Kill Team was unusual for a documentary
in its attention to detail and use of color to enhance the story. Working under
Krauss’ direction, he focused, in particular, on giving interview segments a
nuanced, polished look.
Many of the interviews were recorded in less than ideal
conditions in a room in a courthouse during breaks in criminal proceedings.
“The interviews were conducted throughout the day and there were lots of
windows in the room, so the lighting varied considerably,” Pritchett explains.
“We needed to balance the lighting and we also wanted to avoid making
everything look bright and cheerful. The subject matter is very heavy and we
wanted audiences to see these guys for what they are.”
Pritchett created slightly different color treatments for
each of the film’s four principal subjects. “We applied a moody, gray treatment
to one of the guys to reflect the severity of his sentence and to indicate how messed
up he is,” Pritchett says.
Achieving such a refined look required detailed work. For
many scenes, Pritchett needed to track the subject’s face and body features by
hand in order to apply light and contrast effects consistently.
Colorflow also performed technical processing on media
originating from news footage, soldier-produced videos and other sources. Much
of that material had to be brought up in resolution and processed to remove
noise and other artifacts so that it would hold up to theatrical screening.
The care and attention applied to The Kill Team during post sessions at Colorflow is unusual for an
independently-produced documentary, notes Colorflow Director of Business
Development Kim Salyer, but it is something that the facility is firmly
committed to. Providing films with a finish on par with studio features makes
them more marketable and results in a richer experience for audiences.
The Kill Team tackles
a very difficult subject matter,” Salyer says. “Our role is to help quality
filmmakers like Dan Kraus by providing them with sophisticated color grading
that enhances their films and deepens their emotional impact.”

Colorflow is a full-service post-production facility
specializing in color grading for film, broadcast and the web. The facility is
100 percent file-based and can accommodate all camera formats, including raw
camera files and uncompressed image sequences. Its workflow is fast, modular
and can be adapted to accommodate productions of all types and scale.  Colorflow is located in the Zaentz Media
Center at 2600 10th Street, Ste.110, Berkeley, CA 94710.
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