16 Jun BEHIND THE LOOK: SHINING GIRLS
Picture Shop’s Tony Smith colors Apple TV+’s new thriller series
Inspired by the award-winning novel by Lauren Beukes, Apple TV+’s Shining Girls from MRC Television is an all-new psychological thriller series starring Elizabeth Moss. Years after a brutal attack left Kirby Mazrachi (Moss) in a constantly shifting reality, she learns that a recent murder is linked to her assault. She teams up with veteran reporter Dan Velazquez (Wagner Moura) to understand her ever-changing present and confront her past.
Shot by Robert McLachlan, ASC, CSC, and Bonnie Elliott, ACS, the filmmakers turned to Picture Shop Senior Colorist Tony Smith to handle the color.
Smith became involved during pre-production, working closely with McLachlan while familiarizing himself with the novel and screenplay. McLachlan shared a look-book with visual references. As principal photography geared up in Chicago, Smith created LUT’s for McLachlan from Picture Shop’s Burbank facility.
The psychological thriller element and different time periods of the show informed the look and vibe.
“Shining Girls uses time shifting where the metaphysical shapes the fate of the characters and their reality. The settings include distinct eras that had to have a unique feel. We created LUTs that complimented at least three of these eras – the early 1920’s, with muted pastels for a dated look, earthy contrast values and Art Deco-like tones; 1986, with slightly hyperbolic hues and a dirty neon presence; and 1992, with contemporary fluorescents, industrial sodium-inspired warm tones, and beefy highlights. Each of these looks was an extension of the character at that moment in the storyline,” describes Smith
Smith graded the show using the Baselight. Different grain textures played a key role in establishing the three distinct time periods. In doing his LUT adaptations, Smith used the Curve Grade tool to manipulate the gamma curve. This tool was an organic and logarithmic technique for Smith to maintain the integrity of the negative, while allowing him to create and enhance the image for the desired look. Smith delivered the show in Dolby Vision.
Throughout the process, Smith had creative dialogs with Showrunner Silka Luisa.
“Tony’s work was exceptional. His patience and dedication were vital. His color gave a cohesion and elegance to the entire show. He touched every single frame, and the show is all the better for it,” notes Luisa.
“Working with the creatives was a wonderful experience and collaboration. To help realize their vision and tell this story was extremely gratifying. I’m also thrilled to have worked on an Elizabeth Moss project. She has established herself as a provocative visionary with enormous talent as an artist in cinema. I can’t wait for audiences to see the show,” concludes Smith.
Watch Shining Girls on Apple TV+ now: www.tv.apple.com.