May 29, 2018

Cinematic Chaos: EFILM’s Skip Kimball Takes on Fox’s “Deadpool 2”

When it comes to the film’s aesthetic, Fox’s “Deadpool 2” wraps outlandish destruction and gore with a filmic look befitting Oscar bait. Keeping an eye on elegance, understated saturation and limited contrast, EFILM’s Skip Kimball color graded “Deadpool 2” with minimal stylization to preserve the on set lighting choices of DP Jonathan Sela. Having worked together on several projects dating back nearly 15 years, Kimball and Sela have developed informal shorthand that allows the pair to dial in looks quickly.  

“Jonathan’s work is consistently great, and that makes my job easier. I simply help his on set choices shine further. The big challenge for me on ‘Deadpool 2’ was managing all the VFX drop-ins,” Kimball explained.

Working with significant VFX required Kimball to start with plates in his timeline, then update accordingly as VFX shots delivered from multiple vendors. In some cases, he’d blend multiple versions to achieve Director David Leitch’s desired effect.

While the primary look is cinematic, the film’s flashback and afterlife sequences are differentiated through varied light and color. Much of the afterlife glow was accomplished on set through in-camera filters and angled light rays; Kimball then further augmented with additional glow, warm sepia tones and light VFX. In creating the flashback look, Kimball noted, “The goal is for the audience to immediately recognize it’s a flashback, so we blurred unimportant scene elements and used a tilt lens effect on it. For color, we went with a desaturated cyan feel and warmth in the highlights to create a dreamy quality that’s also a bit spooky.”   

In addition to providing UHD, HD, HDR10 and IMAX deliverables for the film, Kimball also color graded the film’s promotional trailers, home entertainment release, and the music video for Celine Dion’s “Ashes.” EFILM sister company Method Studios provided approximately 300 VFX shots for the film as well as opening and main-on-end titles.

“Deadpool 2” is now in theaters. Check it out: www.deadpool.com/


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