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18/12/2009

Prime Focus Post Lives Of The Artists

Prime Focus has teamed up with Between the Eyes and Erasmus to work on Ross Cairns' feature-length documentary for energy drinks company, Relentless.
It explores the personalities of contemporary athletes and artists as they search for fulfillment.
The full version can be viewed online at: www.relentlessenergy.com and a special one-off cut down version airs on Channel 4 at 11:45pm on December 17.
Lives Of The Artists focuses on big mountain rider, Xavier De Le Rue, surfers Tom Lowe, Mickey Smith and Fergal Smith and the punk rock outfit Gallows.
The film, which was shot on a mixture of 16mm film, Canon D5 and HDV, thematically intercuts between the genres and highlights that despite these being three very different disciplines, the central characters are all bound by the same passion.
Ben Pugh, Producer at Between the Eyes, said: "Prime Focus made it easy for us to segue betweem grading and online allowing a lot of flexibility right up until the last moment. When deadlines are as tight as they were on this, that was a real luxury, not to mention the quality of the work was top drawer."
Duncan Russell graded the film. He said: "This was grading heaven - I'd still be doing it now if I had the chance. The brief was to make it look really scary, especially the nature stuff. For the sea, it was black water and white foaming wave crests, and then all of a sudden, there would be some beautiful sunset shots and pristine snowscapes. On the Gallows footage, we went for a non-matching grade because it had been shot on different nights and days - the grade goes twilight, sunny day, gray car park. Ross wanted them all to look different, it was all about being disoriented so the performance is the same but the place has changed."
Duncan continued: "There is an urban bleakness to the Gallows, a terrible weight to the waves and a sense of enormity to the snow footage. The grade was all about catching the differences and not trying to blend them together at all."
The conform was done by Fraser Cleland and Sunil Rao, who worked closely with Ross and the Between the Eyes team. Fraser said: "The key was to keep it organised - it was very smooth throughout. It's the kind of film that makes you feel good, it's beautifully shot and edited, the audio is great and the subject matter is really interesting. We began in 2K, but decided it was more suited to the HD format, so we did some resizing, fixing of shots, clean up and removing film artifacts. There are some HD shots there as well which we had to make look like film by adding grain and then grading it. Once it got to a certain point, it went into grade with Duncan and then it came back to us for de-spotting, further clean up and adding titles."
Fellow Prime Focus Smoke Op Sunil Rao added: "We liaised very closely with the client and there was lots of communication between everyone which helped. It looks absolutely stunning, like a nature piece almost and I think it will appeal far beyond extreme sports fans.
"I've never seen shots like the ones they have captured and I've watched loads of films on similar themes."
(KMcA/BMcc)
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