A look at Clint Eastwood’s Sully with Colourist Maxine Gervais
Technicolor harnesses Baselight’s high-resolution capabilities for big-screen retelling of ‘Miracle on the Hudson’
Creating the look of a miracle
French-Canadian colourist Maxine Gervais, now at Technicolor in Los Angeles, has developed a close working relationship with Director Clint Eastwood and cinematographer Tom Stern, going back to Eastwood’s adaptation of the musical Jersey Boys and more recently American Sniper. Their latest collaboration was on Sully, the biographical drama that tells the back story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger including his famous ‘miracle on the Hudson’ when he landed his A320 passenger plane on the river, saving 155 lives.
“I was involved with Sully from the beginning” Gervais recalled. “I usually supervise dailies for them, which we do in Baselight. They decided to go with a different camera this time so there were technicalities that we had to discuss and test in pre-production but overall we kept a similar colour workflow,” she added.
Eastwood and long-term collaborator, Director of Photography Tom Stern used an ARRI Alexa 65 camera to capture the film at 6.5K resolution and finished in 4K, ready for distribution to IMAX HDR theatres. After the success of American Sniper on IMAX screens, they wanted to film more optimally for IMAX to provide authenticity and intensity to the movie, particularly lending impact to the dramatic flying and landing scenes.
Gervais ran tests with Tom Stern to determine which camera would best suit the large format needs. “Based on the pristine resolution, detail and sharpness, we felt confident in the Alexa 65 large-format camera,” Gervais said. “We decided that the most efficient approach was to record the full 6.5k resolution from the camera and grading from the raw data, doing the de-Bayer live in Baselight.”
“It was freezing in the Hudson River and we wanted to make sure that it looks and feels that way, that you experience the cold along with the tension and urgency of the situation when you see the movie.”