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First Grade: the best grades of the year

Following on from Televisual’s ranking of the UK’s best colourists, we detail the productions that were picked out by colourists and producers as the best graded pieces 
of the year

In last month’s issue of Televisual, we profiled and ranked the UK’s top grading artists according to votes cast by fellow colourists and producers as well as awards nominations.

Alongside voting for their favourite fellow colourists, we also asked those same respondents to vote for what they felt was the very best graded work of the year across TV, ads, and film. Over the following pages we detail the top eight productions that caught the eye of the grading profession as being truly standout work.

01 Peaky Blinders
Graded by
Simone Grattarola, Rushes
The most voted for production of the year was graded by the colourist who placed fourth in our poll of the UK best commercials graders, Rushes’ Simone Grattarola.
“The grade was beautifully considered and realised.” Thomas Urbye, The Look
“You’re thrown right into 1920s industrial middle England yet it still looks modern, stylish and sexy. I love the tobacco palettes and film noir shadows that pushes the gangster vibe.” Katherine Jamieson, Halo
“Simone’s use of tonality and the interplay of shadow, creates a strong sense of atmosphere which is totally complementary to the story’s post-war setting.” Joe Stabb, Suite.
“Making British drama look as good as the American stuff.” Duncan Russell, Glassworks
“Bold, cinematic and moody. Just like the show.” Jamie Parry, Dock 10

02 Vodafone The Kiss
Graded by
Jean Clement Soret, MPC

The poll’s top placed colourist graded the second placed production, the romantic Vodafone spot, The Kiss directed by Frederic Planchon that shows the life of a couple as their kiss continues across the years.
“Such a beautiful flawless grade.” James Bamford, The Mill
“Executed with perfection.” George K, MPC
“Great transitions. Good combination of technical and artistic talent.” Duncan Russell, Glassworks
“It has a texture that is hard to describe in words, but is perfect for the piece... VFX and grading working together beautifully” Chris Rodgers Splice

03 Utopia
Graded by
Aidan Farrell, The Farm

The first placed colourist in the TV and film poll, The Farm’s Aidan Farrell,  produced the grade for Channel 4’s paranoid thriller, Utopia
“Brought to life by the grade – bold and pushing boundaries.” Tim O’Brien, Evolutions.
“Stylish and different.” Paul Staples, Encore.
“A brilliantly shot drama with a fantastic look.” Dan Coles, Tecnicolor
“The dynamic and bold use of colour complemented its dark and enigmatic narrative which was incredibly captivating” joe stabb suite

=04Total Greek
Graded by
Seamus O’Kane, The Mill

The Mill’s Seamus O’Kane provided a grade that pefectly complemented the spot’s look of 1920s footage brought back to life.
“A combination of photochemical and digital techniques which perfectly evoke another era. A great example of a colourist working the look of a project from shoot to final grade.” Chris Rodgers, Splice. “Like watching an old print brought back from the brink of destruction, the grade captivated me from the first frame.” Ross Baker, Halo
“Very creative, clever and technically impressive interpretation of an early photographic process” james tillett mpc

=04 Sherlock
Graded by
Kevin Horsewood, 
Prime Focus

Kevin Horsewood has provided the grade across the various Sherlock series and worked wonders again with 2014’s outing.
A great series complemented by a rich and complex grade.” Tim O’Brien, Evolutions.
“Incredibly rich and clean grade.” Danny Wood, Envy
“A high quality grade with strong contrast but one that didn’t crowd the story.” Simon Astbury, Unit

=04 Luther
Graded by
Jet Omoshebi, Encore

Encore’s Jet Omoshebi provided the grade for the series that the word “gritty” was made for.
“Horrific and stylish. Difficult to do, eh?” Jamie Parry, Dock 10
“It has warmth and depth of colour.” Vince Narduzzo, Narduzzo Too.
“Nice contrast between de-sat gritty scenes and colourful night shots.” Danny Wood, Envy
“It manages to make London look gritty and real yet still beautiful, despite the dark subject matter.” Katherine Jamieson, Halo.

=04 Galaxy Chauffeur
Graded by
Steffan Perry, Framestore

“Loved the Technicolor feel.” George K, MPC
“Stunningly graded cg and live action.” Ben Rogers, Gramercy Park Studios.
“It Looked stunning and the 3D worked seamlessly 
in the grade”
james bamford the mill

=04 Bridgestone Tyres Everywhere
Graded by
Matt Turner, Absolute

“Would have been really easy to have overdone it.” Derek Moore, Coffee & TV
“A really distinctive piece of work.” Denny Cooper, Rushes
“Full of looks all well done and stitched together into an interesting piece” Chris Rodgers Splice

Posted 23 April 2014 by Jake Bickerton

Creative showcase: Animated 3D printed bears

Here are a couple of interesting pieces of creative work to start the week. First off is creative agency DBLG, which has been experimenting with combining a 3D printed character with stop-frame animation (and a little bit of 3D animation for good measure). 


After 3D printing lots and lots of models of a bear in different stages of a walk cycle of climbing the stairs and stop-frame animating the results, the outcome is an eye-catching, brilliantly executed animation of a bear climbing the stairs thats beauty lies in not just being the usual cg fodder.  


DBLG says: "The most exciting [of our recent work] is a studio project we've been working on over the last few months, which combines 3D animation, 3D printing and stop-frame animation. DBLG's in-house studio projects are a platform for us to experiment with creative ideas and above all have fun. Massive thanks for Blue Zoo for the character animation and Resonate for the audio mix and sound design."




Next up is some work for Fujitsu called Together We Can Make It Happen, from Blink director Tomas Mankovsky, which messes around with perspectives to create some interesting results. The spot was posted at MPC, which says the following: "A combination of complex set builds and a range of vfx techniques were used. MPC’s vfx team, led by Timo Huber, approached the spot utilising vfx techniques including matte painting, set extensions and clean up to remove extras and props on-set."


"The brief was to visualise the support and solutions provided by Fujitsu with ‘stage-hands’ that are seen providing invisible assistance to empower businesses. MPC was present on set to advise the production team on the complex shots where choreography was paramount."


Fujitsu - Together We Can Make That Happen from Blink on Vimeo.




Fujitsu - Together We Can Make It Happen 


Director: Tomas Mankovsky

Production Company: Blink Productions

Agency: mcgarrybowen London

Creatives: Brad Woolf and Dan Bailey

Executive Producer: James Bland

Producer: Ewen Brown

Agency Producer: Ben Catford


VFX Producer: Chris Allen

VFX Supervisor: Timo Huber

Grade: MPC

Colourist: Jean-Clément Soret

Posted 14 April 2014 by Jake Bickerton
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