Issue: Studio - February 2007


SANTA MONICA, CA - Company 3 provided digital intermediate services for the DreamWorks SKG feature film Dreamgirls. Stefan Sonnenfeld served as digital intermediate colorist on the film, collaborating with director Bill Condon, cinematographer Tobias A. Schliessler and editor Virginia Katz in finalizing the film's look.

Sonnenfeld performed the work in one of Company 3's two DI theaters in Santa Monica. He used a Spirit 2K Datacine and a da Vinci 2K Plus color corrector to transfer film elements to data files and set color values. Sonnenfeld and the filmmakers were able to monitor the progress of the work on the room's theatre-sized projection screen and immediately see the impact of color decisions.

Color plays a crucial role in Dreamgirls, helping not only to set the mood but also to tell the story. The color scheme throughout suggests a heightened sense of reality that supports the film's blending of stage performance and reality.

The film's numerous musical scenes posed special challenges as extreme lighting variations made it difficult to maintain consistency, particularly in regard to skin tones. Sonnenfeld approached the problem by using the Windows feature of the da Vinci color corrector to isolate aspects of images for individualized treatment.