‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ – Color of the Depths

May 30, 2019 May. 30, 2019

Titan monsters, previously believed to exist only in mythology, are imperiling the world in Warner Bros.’ and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters and you can bet that’s going to lead to some breathtaking battles involving the likes of Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed King Ghidorah. Naturally, the title monster plays a central role in this riveting and timely telling of the beloved Toho Studios’ films. Directed by Michael Dougherty and starring Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga and Kyle Chandler, King of the Monsters weaves a powerful story and eye-popping visual effects together.

Such an enormous undertaking requires extensive planning and Colorist Jill Bogdanowicz began work on the film just as shooting commenced, setting looks at Company 3 in Atlanta with cinematographer Lawrence Sher, ASC, Dougherty and Visual Effects Supervisor Guillaume Rocheron. “It always helps when you can set a color palette early on,” she explains. Bogdanowicz’s LUTs (lookup tables) were then delivered to the D.I.T. (digital imaging technician), who applied them on-set so all necessary personnel could see the imagery on monitors with those LUTs applied. This level of prep frequently has a significant impact on efficiency when department heads on set can get a stronger sense of how the images will appear in the final film.

Company 3 calibrated a digital cinema projector at Legendary Entertainment’s Burbank headquarters so the visual effects team could project the dailies through the LUTs as well as the dailies CDLs (color decision lists) at effects reviews and see them exactly as Bogdanowicz was seeing the same scenes in her DI theater at Company 3’s Santa Monica headquarters.

Bogdanowicz, who had collaborated with Dougherty on his horror comedy Trick ‘r Treat previously and with Sher on quite a few films, including the upcoming Joker, says the grading went very smoothly. Sher, she says, “did a beautiful job. I love his sensibility.” Of the ARRI 65 he used, she adds, “It gave us beautiful tonality, color separation and range. I loved the images right out of the camera and we had a lot of room to do corrections when we wanted to. I’m very proud of my work on this film,” she sums up. “It’s fun and exciting, but it also has a great story.”