‘Barbie’ Collects Color Grading Honor at Camerimage

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By Joshephira Honey

The candy-colored look of Barbie delivered colorist of Yvan Lucas of Company 3 the Filmlight Color Award for a theatrical feature.

The third annual awards — organized by FilmLight, the maker of the Baselight color grading system, in collaboration with Camerimage — were presented Sunday at the EnergaCamerimage cinematography film festival in Toruń, Poland. From roughly 400 entries, honorees were selected by a jury chaired by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Lawrence Sher (Joker, Joker: Folie à Deux), who presented the awards.

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Of his award-winning work on Barbie, which was directed by Greta Greig and lensed by cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, Lucas tells The Hollywood Reporter, “Rodrigo Prieto and I both like to work together on the overall look of a film before production starts. Creating LUTs (Look Up Tables) that define the way color and contrast will be affected helps Rodrigo, the director and the department heads all work towards a common goal.

“For the majority of Barbie, meaning all scenes set in Barbie Land, we created a LUT that combined an overall film emulation, a three-strip Technicolor look and specific ways of interpreting hues such as red, pink and blue in a way that pushes them into the palette everyone now recognizes from the film,” he explains.

Additional winners included Dirk Meier at D-Facto Motion for The Pimp: No F***ing Fairytale (Luden) season one (cinematographer Oskar Dahlsbakken), which topped the TV series/episodic category; Tim Masick at Company 3 for Zara Man, SS23’ (cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd), in the commercial category; ­­freelance colorist Marina Starke for Mayyas ‘Horra’ (cinematography by Shadi Chaaban), which topped the music video category; and freelance colorist Cem Ozkilicci for Possession (cinematographer Oskar Dahlsbakken), in the Spotlight category for low-budget features.

Accepting her award, Starke, who had two additional noms, received applause when she said she hoped to encourage more diversity in her field. Meier urged more colorists to attend Camerimage and “strengthen the collaboration between cinematographers and colorists even more.”

“Representing our fantastic jury, I’d love to congratulate the winners of this year’s FilmLight Color Awards,” Sher said. “These diversely talented artists – and the inspiring work they helped craft – are a testament to the critical importance of the colorist in the art of filmmaking. It’s great to see these artists come from across the globe – proving that good work isn’t limited to huge budgets or big shops, but available to everyone with a good eye and refined skills.”

The American Society of Cinematographers and the British Society of Cinematographers are among the organizations that support the Color Awards. “Colorists are great collaborators … Our closest relationship is with our colorist,” said cinematographer Stephen Lighthill, a member of the jury who is also the past president of the ASC. “We are happy at the ASC to continue to contribute to this event.”

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