Wichita Outlaw

Short Film

In 2014 I had the pleasure to grade "Wichita Outlaw", a short film by cinematographer Mecky Creus which is now doing the festival circuit. As is common nowadays, two different cameras were used during production: principal photography was done with a Red One in 4KHD Redcode using Zeiss Superspeed MkII lenses, and pickup shots were done with a Canon 5D MKII with Canon L Series lenses. When I met with Mecky we talked about two aspects we wanted to address: first, the difference in color rendering due to the originating camera format; and second, developing a stylized look for the Short. So, working in DaVinci Resolve, I first tackled the rendering differences by unifying the blacks to give all the scenes continuity thought the Short.

I then looked at the color palette of each scene and took advantage of any outstanding feature to push the colors and contrast in that direction, taking care not to bias the blacks or hilites. In the final scene I faded all colors to B&W except for the main character's sunglasses to hilite the action being replayed on them, and to emphasize the film-noir feeling of the Short.

Below I've posted selected frames (original and graded) from a few scenes to give you an idea of the goals of the grading session. As you can see from the examples, some corrections were quite subtle while others were more significant or dramatic.