For StudioCanal and Focus Features’ Back to Black, a celebration iconic star Amy Winehouse, Picture Shop provided the grade.

Picture Shop Senior Colourist Natasha Leonnet provided colour grading for “Back to Black” using Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 18. The creative team also included Picture Shop Chief Colour Scientist Joshua Pines, Digital Imaging Scientist Chris Kutchka, Colour Assist Jimmy Qiu and Online Editors Rachael Hutchings and Jason Saulog. Post Produced in London and Los Angeles by Begona Lopez and Marlee Forsyth.

Picture Shop Senior Colourist Natasha Leonnet and Director of Photography Polly Morgan began working on the grade in Los Angeles and finished in London to work closely with Director Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Leonnet was supported by Picture Shop Chief Colour Scientist Joshua Pines and Digital Imaging Scientist Chris Kutchka, who crafted the intensely beautiful lookup tables. The Colour Science Team were collaborative throughout the process with such commitment to Morgan’s concept. Utilising the advantage of increased highlight detail on the Alexa 35, Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 18 was used to carry out the grade. Once the grade was locked, a universal application of Invizigrain was carried out to imbue a subtle, elegant texture on the images that evoked the silver of film.

Early on in look development, the team established a bleach bypass look that was so beautiful and effective in conveying the palette of Amy” portrayed in the film. They crafted a colour arc in the grade such that, at the beginning of the film, as it spotlights her joy and creativity, there is still colour dominating the images. As her story begins to feel desperate and dark, Leonnet and the team desaturated the look and leaned heavily into the ENR.

“I love the feelings stirred by the prison scene, how primary the colours are. Amy looks so pale in the midst of the primary colours, she is beginning to lose that colour herself and can no longer draw it from the world around her. You witness the saturation of the world evading her, in both a literal and emotional sense” said Leonnet.

The bleach bypass aesthetic worked beautifully with Marisa’s skin tone, granting her a complexion that evokes the iconic look and pallor seen across iconic imagery of Amy Winehouse. The strong contrast in this approach reinforced the way she felt so intensely and experienced life with such fervor. The passion you feel in every frame was a result of my cherished collaboration with Polly Morgan, the DP, who captured such artful images to communicate the visual language of Amy’s perspective.

“One directive Polly (Morgan) gave to me that I will always remember was ‘Don’t be afraid to be bold’. She inspired me, as she spent every minute in the DI reinforcing the beauty she captured. Every frame is practically a fine art photograph, and Sam (Taylor-Johnson) leaned into the emotion of each shot with such respect and support of Polly’s vision. With a background in fine art photography herself, Sam’s guidance was invaluable” said Leonnet.

“I have worked with the Pictureshop team for years and it is always a pleasure. They are knowledgeable, professional and get the job done!” Kristy Luxford, Head of Post Production, Studio Canal

Jon Creamer

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