The
Room completes post production for Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Spike
Jonze’s original love story exploring the evolving nature—and the risks—of
intimacy in the modern world.
           
NEW YORK— In Annapurna Pictures’ Her, Director Spike Jonze tells a story,
set in the slight future, of Theodore, a complex, soulful man who becomes
intrigued with a new, advanced operating system that promises to be an
intuitive and unique entity in its own right.  Starring Joaquin Phoenix,
Amy Adams and Rooney Mara, and featuring the voice of Scarlett Johansson, the
film has attracted extraordinary critical praise as well as Academy Award
nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design,
Best Score and Best Original Song.

The motion picture was captured on ARRI Alexa by Dutch
Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, whose earlier work includes The Fighter and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  Final post production in advance of the films’
general release was completed at The Room, the specialty post production studio
located within Technicolor – PostWorks, New York, which has built a reputation for servicing
high-quality independent films and documentaries. Ben Murray was the Digital
Conforming Editor. Final grading was applied by Digital Intermediate Colorist
Jack Lewars working under Jonze’s supervision.

The work that was done at The Room was unusual in that
Lewars followed an earlier grade that was conducted at Stockholm post house Chimney under the
guidance of Jonze and van Hoytema in advance of an early festival screening of
the film. Finishing the film in New York afforded Jonze an opportunity to
directly oversee the grade and simplified the process of incorporating final
effects elements.

For the general release, Lewars had access to the
production’s RAW files and used Chimney’s grade as a starting point. Lewars and
the staff at The Room went out of their way to make sure the original vision of
the film, as set by Jonze and van Hoytema with Chimney, carried through to the
theatrical release. “We followed Hoyte’s lead,” explains Lewars. “At the
beginning of the process, when we were transferring the project from Sweden to
New York, we exchanged stills and were in regular contact to ensure everything
was importing and displaying properly. We enjoyed collaborating with Hoyte and
with Chimney—they trusted us to embrace the project they worked on for many
months and to totally run with it.”

The relatively short period of time allowed for final grading
at The Room was complicated by the fact that visual effects were still being
completed. “We were receiving sky replacements, computer comps and other
effects elements virtually up to the last second,” recalls Murray.
“Our pipeline has the flexibility to accept new elements as they arrive and
integrate them with raw shots in one timeline on our Lustres. That speeded up
the process. Spike and Jack were able to instantly review every variation of a
shot and give it their sign off.”
Murray credited Post
Production Supervisor Hameed Shaukat with smoothing the management of incoming
visual effects. “He maintained order where there could have been chaos,” Murray says. “He kept Spike and Jack insulated from all
that so that they could focus on creative decisions.”
The aesthetic look conceived by Jonze and van Hoytema is
distinctive but subtle and brilliantly reinforces the film’s time period and
mood, says Lewars. “The color palette is very warm,” he notes. “We drained a
lot of the blue out. There are some flashback scenes that we treated slightly
differently, but even they are very warm.”
That very specific use of color highlights the film’s
setting in a world that is slightly removed from the present and gives it a
sweetly sentimental air. Lewars points to a scene where Theodore (Phoenix) takes his anthropomorphized digital date for a
stroll along a beach. “The way Hoyte captured that scene is incredible as is
the way color is used to further bring out the feeling of romance,” he says. “There’s
not a lot of contrast. Everything is lifted. The blacks are lifted. Nothing too
stark or crushed, or too bright. It feels like you could lay your head on it.
It feels like love.”

Due to the complexity of the project and the short post
schedule, the grading process continued virtually around the clock. Despite the
long hours, Lewars notes, the team at The Room remained enthusiastic as it was
clear that Her was an exceptional
film. “We were thrilled to be part of it,” he says. “We finished the grade at
one a.m. and then immediately screened it in the theater. By the time it was
over, at three in the morning, we all had tears in our eyes.”
About Technicolor – PostWorks New York
Technicolor
– PostWorks New York is the East Coast’s most comprehensive digital motion
picture and post-production facility, employing an exceptional team of artists,
engineers and project managers to serve our clients through the film and TV
finishing process.
Offering
data workflows, film processing, telecine/scanning, non-linear editorial and HD
picture finishing, digital intermediate and film recording, high-volume
encoding and high-speed data transmission, as well as comprehensive film and TV
sound services on nine mix stages, Technicolor – PostWorks New York serves as
one source for every post production requirement.
For
more information, visit http://www.technicolorpwny.com
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