Rob Pizzey on Grading Paramount’s Newest Blockbuster – ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’

Paramount Picture’s big budget thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit has been finalised with BlackMagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve being used for the grade by Company 3, London. Kenneth Branagh has directed the reboot of the spy film franchise; based on best selling author Tom Clancy‘s ‘Jack Ryan’ character.

Shadow Recruit is a sharp, fast paced thriller set in the present day. Producers have created an original story, taking audiences back to the early days of the character. The film focuses on the time after Ryan has joined the CIA when he comes across a possible terrorist attack that would cripple the United States’ financial system.

Company 3 colourist Rob Pizzey first met with director Kenneth Branagh and cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos at Pinewood Studios London in the early part of 2013. There the trio watched the first assembly edit of the film; which had been shot in anamorphic 35mm.

“This is was my first opportunity to get an idea of what I would have to grade,” explained Pizzey. “I was blown away! So many fast moving action scenes and a great storyline. The images we were watching were from the one light dailies transfer, so a lot of the shots didn’t match and some scenes were a bit off colour due to the transfer.”   

The starting point for Pizzey was to create a quick preview grade in DaVinci Resolve to aide the editing process. “We all sat down to run through each scene and discussed what needed to be done. It was all straight forward enough: good skin tones, bring out the characters’ eyes and make the faces stand out, nothing forced. This first preview grade would set the basis for the main DI grade,” he revealed.

“I spent several weeks with the cinematographer on the DI grade,” said Pizzey. “He’d done a fantastic job lighting the whole film. It made my job a lot easier. Once we’d completed our first pass setting the mood for each scene I concentrated on the smaller details such as eyes. During the fast cut action scenes this was tougher due to the camera or actor moving around. However, Resolve’s auto tracking saved the day yet again! After we were happy with the grade, Kenneth came in to give notes before we delivered the finished film.”  

Check out the trailer for the film below:

DaVinci Resolve Panel

DaVinci Resolve Panel

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