24 Apr BEHIND THE LOOK: Billy the Kid
Color Finishing by Picture Shop Toronto’s Senior Colorist Mark Kueper.
Billy the Kid is a new epic romantic adventure for Epix. Written by Michael Hirst who created Vikings and The Tudors, the eight-episode series charts Billy’s life from his humble Irish roots and early days as a cowboy and gunslinger in the American frontier, to his pivotal role in the Lincoln County War and beyond.
Principle photography took place in and around Calgary, Alberta and Picture Shop’s On-Location Services team provided near-set dailies, uploading to offline editorial in Toronto and providing streaming files for executive reviews.
Senior Colorist Mark Kueper worked closely with Cinematographer’s Paul Sarossy ASC, BSC, CSC, Ronald Richard and Director/Exec. Producer Otto Bathurst to establish the look of the show.
“When preparing a “look” for Billy the Kid, Mark, Otto and myself developed an approach to test-material I’d shot,” said Sarossy. “The first cue to a direction was the effect of special lenses we were looking at: the Petzval primes (58mm & 85mm), which were actually designed in the era of Billy (but re-housed in modern lens casings for our digital camera) which embraced the imperfection of photography of the day. Billy’s life actually dates to the birth of photography and we wanted to capture the feel of his world. Beyond the amazing aberrations of these lenses, Mark nudged our images towards the world of monochrome, tin-type, daguerreotype — all photographic methods of the time, re-created with the power of his amazing digital tools.“
Explains Kueper, “Making sure the show felt period correct was key. Both Paul and Otto have a lengthy film making background, so starting with a film lut was the natural choice. Since the wardrobe and sets were mostly muted, the hunt for color separation and color contrast was on. At times, cooling the shadows and warming the highlights was a go-to when everything in the image was largely skin tone. Other times we embraced the warm ambiance from lamp lights as this was key to feeling believable.”
Picture Shop’s Trevor Risbridger and Paul Deakin handled the editorial for the series.
Billy the Kid is now available to stream on Epix.