The Little Drummer Girl is a new drama series produced for the BBC and AMC by The Ink Factory, the team behind The Night Manager. Picture post on the series, including the online edit and final DI, was completed by Goldcrest Post, relying on DaVinci Resolve Studio.
In collaboration with director of photography Woo-hyung Kim, Goldcrest Post colourist Jet Omoshebi aimed to accentuate the spy thriller’s stylised production design through a bold colour palette. “Director, Park Chan-wook, is very detailed in his direction and meticulous in design, so it was just a question of finding ways to bring those ideas forward,” she reveals.
“The set design is so definite and striking that we were led very much by this from the start in discussions with Park and Woo-hyung. We designed LUTs to have an underlying strong sense of blue as a bed for the central theme colours of yellow, blue, green, rust red and the red of the Mercedes which has become iconic of the whole show.
“We treated this more like a feature film than a episodic drama,” says Omoshebi. In that respect the workflow was similar to The Night Manager, which Omoshebi also graded, with one one creative team shooting the entire series.
“With the rough assembly delivered, Woo-hyung and I had the luxury of three days to go through and discuss how we could translate the LUTs we’d designed into the final graded results. I was able to show him different features such as defocusing and sharpening, as well as how blurs and flares from Resolve’s OpenFX library might look.”
The show is shot on ARRI Alexa SXT at 3.4K resolution using older anamorphic lenses from which Goldcrest Post extracted a 16x9 frame. “There’s a very creative use of the 2.35:1 aspect ratio to enhance the natural distortion of the lenses.”
You have to be sensitive with a period piece or it risks ending up being a pastiche of itself,” she says. “Park’s style is very crisp and clean but whenever you work in high resolution, you have to look for ways to break it down a bit otherwise it can look too digital. So there are a few shots where we added a touch of grain and where the lenses created any artifacts we left them in."
Titles and credits, composites and digital FX for the series were all delivered through DaVinci Resolve by Goldcrest Post’s senior online editor, Sinéad Cronin. What’s great is that there’s no rendering so whenever I finish or a clip is updated Jet could open up the session immediately,” Cronin adds.
The sessions are really interchangeable,” concludes Omoshebi. “And since the system can update things quickly, we can have the entire project live all the way through the process.”