Post-production facility helps
cinematographer William R. Nielsen Jr capture the underworld ambience of New
York’s rock scene.

NEW YORK—Technicolor
PostWorks New York recently completed editorial finishing and color grading for
the first season of the new FX comedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll.
Slated to premiere July 16th, the show stars Denis Leary (who also
wrote and directed) as Johnny Rock, an aging singer trying to reform his old
band and make good on the unfulfilled dreams of his youth.
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll
is produced for FX by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions; Leary and
Jim Serpico are executive producers; Tom Sellitti and Kerry Orent are co-executive
producers; Maria Cerretani is associate producer. Pat Kelleher was the
finishing editor for Technicolor PostWorks.

Although unremittingly hilarious, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll does not have a classic comedy
look. Cinematographer William R. Nielsen Jr., whose credits
include an earlier Leary series, Sirens (also
posted at Technicolor PostWorks), brilliantly captures the gritty atmosphere of
the cramped apartments, dingy clubs and dungeon-like recording studios that
make up Rock’s world. “The whole look of the show is dark and moody,” says
colorist Bobbie Thomas. “It has the feel of a music video from the ‘90s. It’s a
more sophisticated look than most TV comedies.”

The rich, urban underground imagery that Nielson recorded on
the set went through further refinement and detailing during intensive grading
sessions in Da Vinci Resolve at Technicolor PostWorks. There, the challenge was
often to tease details out of monochromatic settings. “The actors spend a lot
of time in recording studios that are by their nature dark places with lots of
black soundproofing material and dark wood,” observes Thomas. “The characters,
too, often wear black or silver clothing, including black leather pants.”
Thomas notes that Nielson made subtle use of accent lighting
to illuminate backgrounds and bounce off walls. “That gave us a lot to play
off,” Thomas says. “The finished look has a lot of depth and richness.”
Thomas and Nielson paid particular attention to the actors.
“We wanted to be sure to see their faces…the nuances of their reactions,” Thomas
adds. “This isn’t a murder mystery.”
The show features frequent flashback scenes, revealing Rock
as the 25-year-old front-man of the punk band The Heathens. “We made those
scenes feel like vintage film by muting the colors and using VFX to add grain
and scanlines,” Thomas says. “It’s more washed out than the present day
footage. We wanted viewers to immediately know we’ve moved back in time.”
Editorial conforming was performed by Pat Kelleher in
Autodesk Flame. The Flame system allowed Kelleher to effortlessly share ProRes
4:4:4 files with Thomas, and apply last-minute visual effects. “Apostle does an
excellent job of putting the show together,” Kelleher says. “We’ve developed a
great workflow that allowed us to deliver ahead of schedule. It went
flawlessly.”
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.
Technicolor
PostWorks New York offers one complete source for every post requirement,
including data workflows, 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.
For more information,
visit http://www.technicolorpwny.com
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