NEW YORK — Mark Gethin, the creative director of color at MPC USA, recently spent several weeks in New York City, providing final color for the new DreamWorks feature The Hundred-Foot Journey. The film — produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey — is set in the south of France, where the proprietress (Helen Mirren) of a celebrated French restaurant sees competition from the Kadam family, who open a new restaurant directly across the street. The film also stars Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte Le Bon.
Gethin, who is based out of MPC in Santa Monica, specializes in commercial work, and it was his working relationship with the film’s director of photography Linus Sandgren that brought him into this project. Gethin says he’s been working with Sandgren on spots for at least 10 years, and the two also collaborated on the 2012 feature Promised Land.
For The Hundred-Foot Journey, Gethin spent three weeks in New York City, working out of Technicolor-PostWorks New York, where he performed the DI using a Baselight system. The feature, says Gethin, was shot in France and India, and was captured primarily on 35mm anamorphic film, with additional material shot using an Arri Alexa.
“Linus and director [Lasse Hallström] wanted to give it a mood that it was a sweet and happy film, but they didn’t want to do a generic happy and sweet look,” he recalls. “A lot of it was about the mood and how far we could take it. It was really about the atmosphere of the movie. The color, especially the stuff that was shot in India, looks fantastic anyway, so it was really about getting the right mood for it.”
Film work, says Gethin, is much different than the commercial work he typically sees, where he can spent hours on just :30 of material. “You don’t have that time,” he states of feature work. For The Hundred-Foot Journey, Gethin spent the first two weeks going through the film and making changes to get it “in a good place,” he explains.
“The last week was about fine tuning and putting windows on.” This included playing up the characters’ eyes and adding highlights, as well as downplaying some of the backgrounds or less than perfect weather. His Baslight system allowed him to apply as many windows as necessary.
“The director loved that,” he says of the ability to fine-tune a scene via windows. Gethin worked at 2K resolution in Technicolor-PostWorks’ digital theater.
Technicolor-PostWorks New York created the film’s 2K selects scans, as well as handled the conform using Autodesk Smoke. Producing support was provided by Technicolor’s Bob Peishel and Technicolor-PostWorks’ Kevin Vale. The editorial conform was led by Technicolor-PostWorks editor Christy Leftwich, with creative support from Ben Murray of The Room. Dust busting and video mastering services were performed at Technicolor Hollywood. Technicolor Digital Cinema created the DCP deliverables. Technicolor’s newly-acquired VFX studio, Mr. X, created visual effects for the project.