LONDON — FilmLight’s Baselight system was used to help create the look for Pacific Rim, the new Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures production, directed by Guillermo del Toro. The film was posted at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging (MPI), where lead colorist Maxine Gervais used Baselight grading tools to help establish the film’s look.
Gervais worked on a laptop as well as on a Baselight Eight system, collaborating from set to final deliverables. Pacific Rim was shot in 4K on Red cameras for a 2K and 3D finish. Gervais fine-tuned the de-Bayering algorithms in Baselight before transferring them to Red Tools for bulk conversion. She also used Baselight, running on a laptop, on-set, for early collaborations with del Toro and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro.
“I made sure I was using all the right color curves, so I was sure where the DoP was going,” says Gervais.
“I was working with Maxine for weeks and we quickly established a common language,” adds del Toro. “We were seeking a very strong, graphic look, almost painterly. By the end of the process, Maxine and I had developed almost instant communication. The color coding of the film is very strong and specific and we achieved it thoroughly."
Much of the movie depends upon effects shots, created by ILM. The 4K shoot allowed Gervais to create zooms and repositions of the live action material in Baselight before sending the raw EXR files off for compositing. All color grading was performed on the final composite, using large numbers of mattes to achieve the required color isolation.
“Color is very much used to tell the story,” notes Gervais. “There are a lot of saturated colors in some of the scenes, and it is great to be that saturated but still maintain the good skin tones. Baselight gives me the ability to easily create separation between colors.”