Colorist Asa Shoul on Creating Eras Through Tone Shifts in Last Night in Soho, wrote: As the Shadow, the Earth
As a senior colorist in London, it is increasingly difficult to book with regard to nuanced colors and changes that may evoke suffocating Buckingham Palace in The Crown or frightening time shifts in the Last Night in Soho. The rising number of dark-colored tones and tweaks that can elicit realism or an era of discontent in "The Dark Night, as well as the utmost clumsy of the
Shoul began working on fifty feature films in 1994 at Framestore and was a telecine colorist before earning coveted tenth of the BAFTA television craft award for the Netflix hit series The Crown. He worked on the history miniseries Shackleton and Generation Kill for HBO.
With a lot of work including The Constant Gardener, United 93, Ex Machina and Baby Driver, Shoul is one of the 14 nominees for the new EnergaCamerimage Film Festival prize, the FilmLight color awards, an honor the U.K. post company launched to highlight the critical work of top colorists.
Shoul says that color grading can take a film or series in countless directions, but it isnt essential for directors and DPs to know exactly what color tones their work will have before starting production.
The grading software we use is so powerful that the look of a film can be greatly changed after shooting, says he. Ideally the lighting, set design, costume and makeup will be able to define cinematographers vision for the film, but many would like to retain the ability to change this during the grade.
The filmmaker should also consider a strong look, Shoul adds. If the cinematographer does have definite vision, then they may want this applied to the dailies process. Those are the only people who want it to understand their intent and are in agreement before the final grade.
Shoul says that post work still has limits, and cautions against embracing the old saw as a solution to any unexpected problem, arising during tyres.
Even a master colorist can not correct under-exposing after daylight has diminished and footage won't match shots filmed earlier, Shoul says.
If possible, a hazard is overexposure in the highlight, often through the window or in flora. But even as there is he adds, "I'm able to take or stock out new skies or curtain detail from other takes or stocks"
Shoul says planning and coordination from the earliest stage is the best strategy for going off surprises.
The common challenges of shooting day for night, or filming in locations that don't seem to have a lot of colors that filmmakers want to change for story or complex VFX sequences.
Then we'll test cameras, lenses, costumes, fabric and wall colors, hair and makeup, Shoul says. We try to get whole production team in for these tests so that the art department, costume and costumes can see how the lighting and intended grade affect them. Its far quicker for them to change a lipstick color before filming than for ten-part TV series or films.
Shoul recalls a vivid object lesson while working on "Isle of Dogs", which he says asked me to change the color of slender dogs' nose from brown to pink, and it took several hours of frame-by-frame work."
The great colorists are happy to work with any lighting approach, Shoul adds, though he cautions that some have their own hazards.
He says, If I talk about the dos and don'ts of HDR, I would advise not placing actors in front of windows as the extra brightness that can be seen in the sky could make the actor appear less visible.
When he started "Last Night in Soho," Shoul explained, "We had two things to learn about, how we worked together, and whether filmmakers wanted them to have a distinct look or morph into symmetry.
How we could achieve this, and when they might cross over.
And, Shoul says, he asked Edgar Wright to share any reference images and a liar with the director and the DP Chung-hoon Chang, then rehearsed them with him and then discussed them.
I showed what parts of those films I could emulate in the grade diffusion and lens halation, for example, so they could shoot a particular scene clean if there was to be VFX involved and I would apply them later.