LOS ANGELES — Imagica Entertainment Media Services recently partnered with Light Iron (www.panavision.com) on Modern Love Tokyo, the Japanese adaptation of Prime Video’s anthology series
Modern Love, which is based on the popular New York Times column. When filming a US-based episode, Imagica EMS needed a US partner to provide post production services. The two companies collaborated on two episodes of Modern Love Tokyo - the first filmed in Japan using US-based creatives, leading Imagica EMS to call on Light Iron for a US-based partnership that could provide dailies and host an HDR review component for the creatives working in the United States.
The second episode was shot and graded entirely in Los Angeles, which presented other challenges for the production teams. Aside from the sixteen-hour time difference working against Light Iron and Imagica EMS, they were also faced with the challenge of creating a stable communication and color management environment that worked for all the creatives involved.
Light Iron senior colorist Corinne Bogdanowicz, who collaborated with Imagica EMS on the color grading services for Modern Love Tokyo, is primarily a Baselight colorist, but Imagica EMS mainly uses DaVinci Resolve. After many discussions and preliminary testing, both companies were able to land on technologies and techniques that would allow for a successful collaboration on the project. Using remote color grading at high-end 4K and HDR with realtime preview, Imagica EMS used a Streambox Media Player and connected it with Light Iron’s Streambox in Los Angeles. The shared streaming outputs permitted the colorists to work with their preferred tools and centered the workflows around a single facility managing the conform for the project.
Bogdanowicz graded the episode shot in Los Angeles under the supervision of cinematographer Bruce Thierry Cheung and showrunner Atsuko Hirayanagi. She describes the look of the episode as very cinematic, with rich colors and a focus on natural beauty. Using 4K HDR for the primary color grading, with the SDR coming afterwards, they enhanced the contrast between the different locations, focusing on Los Angeles’s warmth and Japan’s cooler, crisp appearance.
“We were very impressed we were able to meet the requirements for high color accuracy and reproducibility through remote color grading,” notes Aki Seino, senior technical director at Imagica EMS. “Our remote collaboration produced the same results as if we had used an on-premises environment. It was a successful experience that we hope will lead to working with Light Iron again in the future.”
“There were many unique aspects to our partnership with Imagica EMS that demonstrate how production teams can come together for successful international collaboration,” adds Andy Kaplan, senior vice president of operations at Light Iron. “You don’t typically see vendor-to-vendor collaboration or production teams from across the globe working together on single episode titles over the course of a series, but together we were still able to invent processes that fit the needs of the project and all the creatives involved.”