Finishing editor and colorist Ben Murray continues
collaboration with director Thom Zimny on short film inspired by song from “High Hopes” album.
NEW YORK— Final post
production for Hunter of Invisible Game,
the new short film from Bruce Springsteen and Thom Zimny, was completed at The
Room, the finishing boutique located within Technicolor-PostWorks, New York. The Room’s Ben Murray conformed the film and applied the
final color grade, working in collaboration with filmmaker Thom Zimny, who
co-directed with Bruce Springsteen.  
Hunter of Invisible Game, which debuted this
month on Bruce Springsteen’s website, is based on an extended
version of a song from the album High
and was created as a gift for his fans. Springsteen also stars in the
film, an impressionistic story of a lone traveler making his way through a
post-apocalyptic wasteland.

“It’s a project
Bruce and I had been talking about for a year,” recalls Zimny. “We expanded the
music by giving it an opening, making it a piece of about 10 minutes. In the
cutting room, we pushed the film to be something that isn’t a straightforward,
linear narrative. Rather, like the music, it evokes feelings that keep the
storyline open.”

Zimny and
Springsteen shot the video in northern New Jersey, including on the grounds of
an abandoned World War II era military base. The old fort’s crumbling
structures and overgrown landscape provide the backdrop for the film’s powerful
“It’s a sprawling
military complex with interesting contrasts between nature and decay,” recalls
Joe DeSalvo, the film’s cinematographer. “You have weeds, tree branches and
other natural elements pushing up through concrete and rusty metal.”
The imagery throughout
has a cinematic quality with many broad vistas of windswept fields. The
lighting is soft and subdued. The editorial rhythm is graceful and deliberate.
The poetic quality
of the visuals was further enhanced during grading sessions at The Room. “I set
an initial look on the set with the DIT,” recalls DeSalvo. “Once we had a cut
together, Thom and I looked it over and I gave him my notes; The Room took it
from there. “
“I like to filter
the camera and determine the look through the lens to give the colorist an
indication of where I’m going,” DeSalvo adds. “He can then back off on it or
add to it. On this film, I used chocolate filters, sepia filters and diffusion.
We tweaked it with the DIT on set, then Ben took the final step, applying the polish.
He did a great job; he nailed it.”
Murray worked with
Zimny during grading sessions. The colorist had previously graded Zimny’s
documentaries on the making of the Springsteen albums Born to Run and Darkness on
the Edge of Town
. “I’ve known Ben for 15 years and, much like I have with
Bruce, I’ve developed a shorthand with him,” says Zimny. “I can come in with a
new project and feel comfortable that he is going to bring something to it that
I wasn’t expecting.”
For Hunter of Invisible Game, Murray and
Zimny used color not only to enhance the look of the film, but also as a narrative
tool. Their aim was to sharpen the emotions of the story, which, at its core,
is about a man’s “hunt” to recover his lost humanity. “Bruce and I feel that a
key part of the storytelling is how the image ends up,” says Zimny. “And that’s
why I come to Ben. He finds the place that we
were trying to reach.”
Murray says that he finds Zimny’s experimental approach to color
invigorating. “What I love about working with Thom is that it’s all about the
process, the journey,” he observes. “He doesn’t come into the room with
“Thom has a unique focus and vision, which he comes to me to enhance,”
Murray adds. “I am there to help him bring it to fruition. At the end of the
process, I help him achieve what he envisioned at the beginning.”
The added time and
attention applied to the film in post paid off, says Zimny. On his website,
Springsteen calls Hunter of Invisible
“one of our best.” “A big part of our excitement about this film is in
its cinematic quality, and a lot of that was found in the color correct,” Zimny
concludes. “Ben has the ability to go through it shot by shot and find
the texture and the soul of what is needed. Often it was in the smallest
details, minute things, but they added up. I walked out with a piece that was
better, a more powerful film.”
About Technicolor – PostWorks New York
– 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.
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.
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