HOLLYWOOD— MTI Film recently provided
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
Each one-hour episode presents a series of short,
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.”

Buschman also used color to
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
At the end of that segment, the
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.”
Buschman applied distinct looks to
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.
“What’s interesting about working
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.”
About MTI Film LLC
MTI Film is a
leading provider of software and services to the entertainment industry. Its
software division delivers ground-breaking tools for dailies processing,
digital film restoration and other critical process. They include the CORTEX
family of products, which offer comprehensive solutions for dailies processing,
media management, deliverables and more, and DRS™ NOVA, the industry standard
for digital film restoration.
In Hollywood, MTI Film operates a full-service
post-production facility, providing dailies, editorial, visual effects, color
correction and assembly for film, television and commercials. 
For more information visit www.mtifilm.com.

For more information visit www.mtifilm.com.
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