LONDON — Dirty Looks (http://dirtylooks.co.uk) is a London-based color-grading studio that specializes in work on independent films. The studio recently put its Baselight system to use to finish Under the Skin, a new feature from director Jonathan Glazer, starring Scarlett Johansson.
Visual effects were completed by Dirty Looks’ creative partner, One of Us, which shares space in the same building. The film was shot in Glasgow and rural Scotland by DP Daniel Landin on an Arri Alexa. A small digital camera, developed by One of Us, was also used for covert shooting in Glasgow’s city-center. Custom color science was developed to enable the cameras to sit together in the edit. Baselight was used to help balance the look of the two different cameras.
As the VFX developed, they were regularly conformed and worked on in a 2K grading environment. Colorist John Claude set the grade, working closely with Jonathan Glazer to achieve a look that the director felt should be rooted in an everyday Glaswegian reality.
The balance in the grade was naturalistic in the street cinematography, then more stylized as the film moves through some of the more curious, unsettling sequences. In once scene, Johansson’s face is used in a montage that blends more than 90 2K layers. Each layer was tweaked, stabilized and graded in Baselight.