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Monday, 16 June 2014 17:55

House of Cards 4K Color Process

Written by  Thea Green
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Netflix’s "House of Cards" is already renowned for eloquent and subtle storytelling that relies on the use of color to create a mood.

In a recent conversation with Studio Daily, Laura Jans-Fazio, who worked as the final colorist on the show’s second season, elaborated on her experience grading in 4K and how she stuck to the visual concept of the first season. 

"The dark and moody cast reflected the story's manipulative characters," Jans-Fazio stated. "We avoided overall saturation. As a colorist, I had to work collaboratively, adapting an idea and a look to create a palette that worked for the season. I had been a big fan of the show to begin with, so I re-viewed season one. I had some conversations with the creative’s and the co-producers and went from there.”

The season was graded on a Filmlight Baselight 2 system with 5K Red Epic .R3D files scaled to 4K. Netflix required Jans-Fazio to work in real time due to the 4K workflow, which meant that she was often communicating remotely with executive producer David Fincher and cinematographer Igor Martinovic via Pix System software. “I would grade the first half of an episode, upload it to the Pix system, and then do the second half while I waited for notes. After I got the notes, I'd send it back through Pix, get final notes, do a runthrough review, and then we would lock it and load it." The Pix System made her process a smoother one by allowing her to view the notes right on top of the images so that she didn’t have to click back and forth. 

Since Jans-Fazio was often sent episodes out of order, she was forced to work instinctually by what she saw in the images. "You can only go in so many different directions," she says. "We're bringing it to life, showing off what was intended when they shot it. And that's not just cinematography — it's production design. It's wardrobe. Everything that was devised for the show is part of what you end up having as your starting point. From that, the palette evolves." (Studio Daily)

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