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SGO Mistika Brings Shakespeare To Life

Soho-based BTV Post is currently using Mistika for the grading, online finishing and digital mastering for all platform deliveries of Shakespeare's Globe’s fourth season of filmed live theatre performances of The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V and Twelfth Night for an international Shakespeare experience.
Filmed on the traditional open air stage at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, the three engaging plays will be delivered for broadcast, DVD and to Arts Alliance Media for Digital Cinema in 2D HD.
Mistika was used in all three films by Mistika VFX Artist and Colour Grader, Ian Grey at BTV Post to cleverly create three distinctly different grading expressions required to convey the comedic and historic elements to match the respective Shakespeare genres.
Directed by Ross MacGibbon and produced by Shakespeare’s Globe, the outrageous comedy The Taming of The Shrew, 150-minutes in length, tells the tale of two wealthy sisters, demure Bianca and wild Katherina who must both be married off. We see how the shrewd strong-willed character Petruchio, meets his match in Katherina. BTV Post's Ian Grey was responsible for the stunning colour grading using Mistika which involved bringing in warm red and yellow colours for an uplifting mood.
Ian explains: "The client was keen to replicate the experience of seeing the shows live at The Globe while crafting a look that would suit the style of the play. The material that came into the grade had a dominance of red in the white and the first priority of the grade was to balance the show so that skin tones were natural."
Ian adds "Mistika's fantastic 'digital printer lights tool' proved a great asset in restoring balance to the image to set-up a starting point from which we were then able to create a warm Italian summery feel."
Also directed by Ross MacGibbon, Henry V, 160-minutes long, is clearly Shakespeare’s masterpiece about the severe upheaval war creates and depicts the romantic story of Henry’s campaign to recapture the English possessions in France challenged by a host of vivid characters caught up in the real horrors of war. Ian's challenge at BTV Post using Mistika was to set bleak and contrasting tones to the look of the film to highlight the depressing atmosphere of war.
"We pushed the contrast because of the context of the story as part of the look. I wanted to keep as much of the detail in the finished programme as I could and Mistika's new colour grading tool allowed me to do so. Using the new Recover Source option in the colour grader in Mistika, I could mask an area of the image and recover the detail from the source video, just inside the mask, which could then be tracked through the shot." Ian confirms.
Combining cruelty and comedy with the theme of unrequited love featuring Mark Rylance, Twelfth Night is a co-production between Shakespeare’s Globe, Sonia Friedman Productions and Shakespeare Road. It remains authentic to the clothing, music, dance and settings of the Globe in 1601. Directed by Ian Russell, it portrays the two campaigns quietly waged in Olivia's household, one by the lovesick lord Orsino against the heart of the apathetic Olivia; and the other by servants against her steward, the pretentious Malvolio. When Orsino engages the cross-dressed Viola to plead with Olivia on his behalf, a bitter-sweet series of events follow. Ian is also currently working on the colour grading for this film, using Mistika at BTV which involves setting the comedic tone by using colourful cheerful hues and shades and brightening up the period costumes. Ian notes “One of the most beneficial features in Mistika throughout this project so far, is the “selection ganging” feature of the storyboard. One of the challenges is that the production was filmed live from daylight to sunset within an open air setting, over two recordings. This meant having to take into account in post, the varying light, weather conditions and elements such as rain. With the Mistika "gang feature" I was able to isolate the different days into separate gangs and once I had settled on a matching base grade for each day of the play, it was a simple process to deploy through the edit, giving me a much more consistent starting point to develop the look of the show."
BTV Post is a cutting edge facility house leading the way in HD, S3D and 4K. Blending creative talent with technological expertise, the company manages and delivers complex workflows and projects for their clients. BTV Post was one of the first companies in the UK to offer high definition services; ten years later they are at the forefront of stereoscopic 3D content creation and digital media.
The international digital cinema release of all three plays will be completed as alternative content in April this year.
Please note: Credit stills as labelled on each image. Twelfth Night stars Stephen Fry as featured in attached still.

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