Nucoda Film Master used to grade Oscar-Winning feature In a Better World

London, UK, 2nd March 2011 – Digital Vision has today announced that its Nucoda Film Master system was used to grade three Oscar winning productions - In a Better World (Best Foreign Language), Toy Story 3 (Best Animated Feature & Best Song) and Inside Job (Best Documentary).

In a Better World was shot on location in Southern Denmark and Kenya on RED ONE and was graded and finished by Swedish post production facility Filmek Teknik. The statuette was collected by the film’s Director Susanne Bier at Sunday night’s glittering Hollywood ceremony.

Situated in Trollhättan, Sweden, Filmek Teknik is owned by Zentropa the producer of In a Better World. The film was graded by Colourist Peter Hjorth. He says, “The brief was quite simple as the producers wanted clear colours with a Kodachrome look – an old Kodak colour reversal film.” The initial grading process was unusual as instead of using the intermediate film stock, Hjorth did a stock emulation of a Kodak slow daylight film stock, which has been used in Hollywood for many years. Prints from that were then sent to cineSpace – film colour management software - with a calibration strip script on the film. He explains, “By doing this I could take the original RED log converted files and see those through the new cineSpace calibration, which provided a base grade. The cineSpace plug-in for Nucoda Film Master is a very important element and it works really well.”

Bright daylight is a theme throughout the film. Hjorth explains, “This is how we got the brightly lit skies, which have a cyan Kodachrome. This is very different from what you normally see on RED. Nucoda Film Master also allows you to exploit a higher dynamic range, which worked well with both locations and actually blends the Danish and African exterior looks. The whole film is about the contrast between those two environments.”

The film tells the story of Anton (Mikael Persbrandt) a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness.

The Nucoda Film Master tracking tool was also a vital part of the grade. The Danish shoot took place during a hot summer and when it came to grading the interior shots the actors had sunglasses masks that had to be removed. Hjorth says, “My assistant Emil Eriksson spent a lot of time tracking eyes and adding a sunglasses shape so that I could add some tan and extra dynamics in the blue eyes.

“The film has a blue eyed lead for both the male and the female and we really enhanced the colour in their eyes, which was a key visual against the reddish brown backdrop of the African scenery. Because Nucoda Film Master has a very good noise reducer you can push the material further than with any other grading system.”

Hjorth concludes, “It was a really interesting project and I’m delighted that Susanne won the Oscar. The film has achieved global box office success and I’m very proud to have been a part of the creative process.”