final post-production services for The
Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, a six-part documentary series on National
Geographic. The facility handled editorial conforming and color grading for the
series in which the veteran actor travels the globe “in search of an answer to
one fundamental question for humanity: what are the common forces that bind us
thought-provoking segments whose subjects include “Angola Three” member Albert
Woodfox, who was falsely imprisoned for more than three decades; Joshua
Coombes, founder of social campaign #DoSomethingForNothing; and Megan
Phelps-Roper, a former member of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. The show
mixes Freeman’s interviews with his subjects alongside a wide range of
supporting archival media.
Working under the direction of series executive producer
James Younger and post producer Kevin Mueller, MTI Film colorist Tanner Buschman had the challenge of establishing visual consistency
among media drawn from a diversity of sources. “The archival media included
16mm and 35mm film, digital and videotape,” he recalls. “Watching clips from
different sources back to back can be very disorienting, so we used a variety
of techniques to make it look like it was shot from the same camera. In some
cases, we degraded shots to make them blend.”
support the emotional tone of the stories. For the segment on Woodfox, Buschman
subtly muted the color of interviews shot in the former inmate’s home to evoke
the atmosphere of his time in prison. “The look is stark, almost
monochromatic,” he explains. “It feels as though the walls are moving in on
color balance shifts. “The story has an upbeat resolution,” Buschman says.
“Albert’s with his children and he’s become an advocate for other people who’ve
been falsely imprisoned. That scene is more saturated and warm.”
many of the individual segments. In one focused on Victoria Khan, a transgender
woman who grew up in Afghanistan, archival scenes are cast in severe shades of
yellow and red, an allusion to her war-torn country and tough childhood.
“During one of the grading sessions someone said that those scenes actually
make you feel hot,” Buschman recalls.
on this series is that it lends itself to out of the box thinking,” he adds.
“Each story lasts only a few minutes, so you can apply an extreme look and not
have to sustain it for the whole hour. We get to have a lot of fun.”
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post-production facility, providing dailies, editorial, visual effects, color
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For more information visit www.mtifilm.com.