Quantel Pablo Creates the Look for ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

Pablo combines creativity and technology for one of the largest 4K movies ever delivered

Hollywood post house Light Iron put its two Quantel Pablo color correction systems to the ultimate test in carrying out the 4K DI for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Dragon Tattoo is among the largest 4K movies ever delivered: at 2 hours and 38 minutes, the final DI consists of almost 250,000 frames of 45 megabytes each. Light Iron’s Pablos proved more than equal to the task, helping to produce an ‘elegantly cinematic’* result.

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Ian Vertovec, Senior Colorist and Founder at Light Iron, relied on Pablo for all of the color correction and most of the conform process. “Pablo is amazing,” says Vertovec. “It has supported 4K for a long time, but what is interesting is that Dragon Tattoo is 4K plus and the Pablo was challenged to perform outside of its comfort zone. It did so without a problem.”

According to Vertovec, Fincher’s latest project was both a creative and technical challenge that only the Pablo could tackle. In preparation for supervised sessions, he graded and pre-rendered all the footage and then video-recorded Fincher’s audio and laser-pointer guided notes. Once the director had completed his review and left the facility, Vertovec loaded the video into the Pablo. “As a result, I had my screen reference with his laser pointer and I’d split that with the DI. I’d drop his audio in and have that in with the temp audio and then I would play through the scenes with every note he gave me,” says Vertovec. “That kind of structure is what we want to implement to make solid use of his time.”

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From a technical standpoint, the management and delivery of large amounts of data was a huge challenge for Light Iron. “The key was using two Pablos with shared storage via the GenePool, because it gave us the ability to load materials that were instantly available for Ian’s session,” says Katie Fellion, Light Iron Founder and VP, Technical Post Production. “We had three to four versions of media all loaded in the GenePool shared workspace. To limit ourselves to only one set of rendered materials [as when working with other DI systems] would have been detrimental to the whole process because we had to constantly refer back to those previous versions.”

Light Iron CEO and Founder, Michael Cioni, sums up: “We had all our Pablos running in 4K both day and night during the time Dragon Tattoo was in house - basically the equivalent of 8K playback - all without dropping a single frame.” Few facilities, including Light Iron, have needed to maintain multiple streams of a completely 4K pipeline from start to finish until Dragon Tattoo; thanks to the processing power and flexibility of Quantel Pablo, color correcting the 4K+ feature yielded the same speed and efficiency as a 2K delivery.

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About Light Iron
Light Iron is a Hollywood-based post production facility that specializes in on-site dailies, digital intermediate, archival, and data services for projects originated on file-based motion cameras. The company offers services for feature film, episodic television, and web-bound projects at both the independent and studio level. The company distinguishes itself by providing state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions configured to enhance the creative process. More specifically, Light Iron delivers post production solutions that minimize time, maximize image fidelity, and increase filmmakers' creative control over their projects.

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About Quantel
Quantel is a world-leading developer of innovative, high performance content creation and delivery systems across post, broadcast and Stereo3D. We are driven by a passion to create the most open and efficient tools for the digital age. Quantel's product range includes: multi-resolution finishing systems; award-winning color correction solutions; stereoscopic 3D post systems and integrated news and sports production systems. They all deliver the creative, productive and profitable workflows that give post houses and broadcasters the edge they need to thrive and grow in today’s highly competitive global media market.

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