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CINEFILM GIVES 'DESPERATE CROSSING' BIG-SCREEN LOOK

December 12, 2006
CINEFILM GIVES 'DESPERATE CROSSING' BIG-SCREEN LOOK

Produced by Lone Wolf Documentary Group of Portland, ME, the program took on the look of a feature film to capture the drama of the small band of religious rebels and their epic journey from England to Holland and across the Atlantic to the New World.

The project was shot in high definition on location in Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia, as well as in Europe. According to writer/director/producer Lisa Wolfinger, the production team used a Sony HDV camera and lit shots as if the production was a film with a dark, cinematic look. Some of the scenes in the hull of the Mayflower II replica were lit only with a lantern to create an authentic feel.

"Shooting in such low light can be tricky," she notes. "It can get very muddy fast. We took a big risk counting on color correcting to get the final look we wanted. Colorist Ron Anderson was able to bring out the detail in the blacks and give it a very cinematic look. The HDV material looks remarkable."

Adapters were used to allow the standard zoom lens to accommodate 35mm Primes. "That allowed us to create a shallower depth of field, which is often critical to a cinematic look," notes Tony Bacon, first AD and co-editor. "We then converted the 1080i

HDV MPEG stream to HD-SDI with a Mirada converter, and digitized the show into the Avid Adrenaline. Third party film motion and grain effects were added, before the final color correction at Cinefilm. It's a very post intensive path, but I think people will be stunned to see how good HDV can look."

Cinefilm's Anderson says the da Vinci 2K and its Colorist Toolbox were important on a project like this, where he's working from an edited tape master to create a film look. He corrected tape-to-tape in the DVCPRO HD format.