Deep Water Short Film

Deep Water Short Film

It’s been a while since my last blog post, I’ve been super busy shooting and grading various projects over the last few months. Luckily some of these are starting to see that light of day so I’m able to start sharing them.

Here are some stills from short film called Deep Water. It was directed by Daniel Zagaevsky with cinematography by Xiaolong Liu. You can check out Xiaolong’s other work here: http://www.xiaolongliu.com/

It was shot on the Alexa in LogC ProRes, which provides a great foundation for colour grading.

Unfortunately it hasn’t yet been released online. I’ll put up a link once its out.

Kodak 2393 LUT – D55 White Point

I used a Kodak 2393 LUT with a D55 (5500K) white point. Which results in a warmer image compared to the common D65 (6500k) white point. This was purely a creative choice – I liked what the warmer white point did to the skin tones, in particular in the interior scenes and also the way it shifts blues towards greens.

You’re not locked to this warm look for every shot since it can be quite convincingly graded neutral. Depending on how you do that, it can leave some tell tales signs of a warmer LUT, which I actually find quite pleasing.

My 2393 D55 LUT is custom, but if you want to give this a try yourself, Resolve 10 comes with various film emulation LUTs at D50, D55 and D65 white points. I actually really like these film emulations, they’re as good if not better than the ones provided on this site. Plus there are also P3 target versions.

Grading

The short is split into two locations each needing their own unique look. Theres the colder more bleak scenes that take place in Alaska and the more neutral scenes that take place in NYC.

For the Alaskan boat scenes I was inspired by the look of the below scene from Skyfall.

Skyfall

I ended up letting through more warmth from the LUT and pushing more green into mine (below) but I’ve tried to keep the same feel.

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

For the NYC interior scenes I let through the warmth from the practicals and enhanced them by adding a bit more warmth. For all the NYC scenes I used the technique I showed in the Summer Blockbuster tutorial to add coolness to neutral and cool colours. This time I only used the mid and shadow log wheels in one node, since the original footage already had a healthy amount of natural teal/orange so there was no need to push it.

The rest of the look was pretty straight forward, apart from experimenting with a few ways of adding saturation. I’m trying to stay away from simply bumping the saturation value which applies it to the entire scene. I’ve been playing with adding it non-linearly, adding more to the mids and less to the highs. Once I’ve got a something a bit more solid, I’ll share the the various techniques.

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab

Deep Water Short Film Grab