According to Blackmagic Design, DaVinci Resolve Studio was used for on-set work and daily color work on All Quiet on the Western Front produced for Netflix.
Based on the novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, the film was produced in Germany and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022. This anti-war feature is directed by Edward Berger and stars Daniel Brühl, Albrecht Schuch, Sebastian Fulk, Felix Kammerer, Aaron Hilmer, Edin Hasanovic and David Strizov.
The film is set at the end of World War I, and depicts how Paul Beimer, who volunteered for the German army with his friends, witnesses the horrific reality of the war and his initial ambitions are shattered.
Produced by Amusement Park Film for Netflix, the first German-language film adaptation was shot by ASC/BSC’s James Friend and Universal Production Partners (UPP). post-produced the footage, assisted by Andrew Daniel, senior colorist at Goldcrest Post.
UPP used the ACES color management pipeline to ensure a smooth handover for conform, grading and finishing.
Before the main shoot began, Daniel created several conversion LUTs for daily use on set. Daniel commented:
Mr. Daniel: It’s a historical work, both in literature and cinema. For that reason, I wanted to make it look different from similar works, so I increased the saturation and contrast. I also applied a bit of grain throughout.
Having previously worked with director Edward Berger and James on ‘Patrick Melrose’, I quickly decided to use the techniques that had come in handy at that time again.
According to James Friend, there’s something new to discover with each piece.
Mr. Friend: At the beginning of production, I don’t know how I want the work to look. Once the rush starts to build, I gradually switch to shooting in a way that reflects the story. We wanted the look to be natural, raw, and true to the environment and history of the time.
He worked closely with lighting director Daniel Kafka for a natural look.
Mr. Friend: I love natural light, but I have to be careful because it changes quality, color and direction. So I bounced the light with a poly board and a mirror. Andrew and the grading he applied helped me a lot. It has become a look that does not make you feel a seam. We couldn’t have done it without the Digital Intermediate.
Throughout the grading, both Daniel and Friend stayed in close touch with Senior VFX Supervisor Frank Petzold on progress, collaboration and discussion. Working on the film, which spanned 460 shots of VFX, he quickly realized that many of the last-minute VFX shots could be completed in DaVinci Resolve Studio.
Mr. Petzold: Whether it was a fixed camera mix, a split screen or a fix, I was able to use the same Resolve project to quickly experiment with edits and compositing on my laptop with Andrew during grading.
Mr. Daniel: I really enjoyed working with this kind of flexibility and efficiency when finishing with senior colorist David Koubik and the UPP staff. It was a real passion project. It deals with difficult themes and is a graphic work, but I think it was able to beautifully depict the essence and emotions of war.
The film will represent Germany at the 2023 Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” is currently streaming on Netflix.