Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Ole Bratt Birkeland, BSC and Chris Dowling on Good Grief

18/06/2024

Now streaming on Netflix, Good Grief marks the feature-film directorial debut of Daniel Levy, well known as the co-creator and costar of the series Schitt's Creek. Offering an uplifting perspective on dealing with the permanence of losing a loved one, Good Grief follows Marc (played by Levy), who was content living in the shadow of his larger-than-life husband, Oliver (Luke Evans). But when Oliver unexpectedly dies, Marc's world shatters, sending him and his two best friends, Sophie (Ruth Negga) and Thomas (Himesh Patel), on a soul-searching trip to Paris that reveals some hard truths they each needed to face. Cinematographer Ole Bratt Birkeland, BSC and gaffer Chris Dowling made each of their decisions with the aim of embracing these realities, and here the two collaborators discuss their approach to crafting the film's visual language.

Panavision London supplied the production's camera and lens package, and Panalux London provided lighting services. The filmmakers also worked with Light Iron for dailies and finishing services, including VFX and final color. Light Iron's VFX contributions included 3D tracking, reflection maps, motion vector mapping, rotoscoping, paint, and multi-layered compositing; in the final grade, Birkeland reteamed with supervising colorist Ian Vertovec. Supported throughout production and post, the filmmakers were free to skillfully explore the bright spots of bereavement.

Panavision: Ole, how did you become involved in this project?

Ole Bratt Birkeland, BSC: I read the script for Good Grief and thought it was a really lovely project about coming to terms with difficult emotions and life situations. When I then met Dan, it was brilliant to hear his ideas and how he had a personal connection to the story and feelings expressed. We had many similar thoughts on how film can be a way of releasing complicated thoughts and give a release to ideas that are otherwise hard to process.

How did Daniel Levy describe what he had in mind for the project's visuals?

Birkeland: Dan was interested in exploring something real that had a sense of warmth towards our characters. One of the ways we approached this was to make sure the camera focused on the characters at all times but also had a feeling of not being static. It is subtle, but almost everything is handheld or Steadicam throughout.

Were there any specific references or inspirations that informed your lighting approach?

Chris Dowling: These were more discussed with mood boards and color tones rather than directly referencing stills from films. It's good to get a clear picture of how you see the look, but I think you can easily blur the lines if you copy others. I prefer to get a guide and discuss these things without referencing films if I can. There is a world of things out there that can help, like fashion, art, music, books, photos, scenery and landscapes. If you reference a film, then it's already been done, and where is the challenge in that? Taking a still image or a piece of artwork and translating that into a moving image, and making that work, is the challenge.

Chris, how would you describe the lighting style you, Ole and Daniel were trying to achieve?

Dowling: Enhanced natural.' I'm not a big lover of obviously lit scenes within this kind of narrative, and Ole is very much of the same mind, but with this particular project, in order to show the journey the characters go on, we needed to slightly extend the spectrum. So, when we needed a warm, happy scene, we went slightly past the normal warm and organic tones, and likewise when it was a cold, sad scene, we took it slightly colder and bleaker, enhancing the change.

The lighting setups had huge restrictions in each of the locations, so we knew we needed to allow the lighting to be as fluid as possible to enhance the mood within each scene. The only thing we tried to maintain was as low a carbon footprint as possible throughout the project. Wherever possible, we used the latest LED fixtures to try to keep the times we used a generator to an absolute minimum. We are at a point now in the industry where we can really start to make a difference. Having the newest tech also allowed us to have a huge amount of control at our fingertips. This gave us the advantage of speed as well as fine-tuning whilst the shot developed.

Did you have a favorite lighting setup on the production?

Dowling: My favorite lighting setup normally ends up being the one that caused the most issues and headaches. Those are the ones that test you and push you forward. Being able to solve the issues and sell that it was done easily is very satisfying. On this project, I would say it was the studio shoot. We were in a tiny studio in the back of Acton, with no height, no space, no rigging, no mains. It really was a challenge given the scale of the sets required in it the Paris bedroom scenes were shot there. We needed two lighting setups as well as a Translight, and the set had huge windows. When I saw that on the screen, I thought, Yes, we smashed that.' The lighting and Ole's clever use of lens and camerawork absolutely shows how it should be done. Even with huge limitations, you can achieve amazing results.

Ole, you'd worked with Ian Vertovec at Light Iron before Good Grief. How has that relationship and collaboration evolved over time?

Birkeland: The first time I worked with Ian was on Tales From the Loop. He did such an amazing job on that, so when it came time to grade Good Grief, I jumped on the opportunity to work with him again. He has such a beautiful eye and a great sense of story. It was brilliant to have his expertise to fine-tune the visuals. We are currently doing it again for another movie, and it's very exciting to keep exploring ideas with him.

How does this project differ from others in your respective careers?
LINK: https://www.panavision.com/highlights/highlights-detail/breadth-of-sup...
See more stories from panavision

Most recent headlines

04/08/2024

Dalet Appoints Santiago Solanas as CEO to Lead Next Era of Growth and Innovation

Dalet, a leading technology and service provider for media-rich organizations, is excited to announce Santiago Solanas as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO)....

21/07/2024

Intesis by HMS Networks achieves the prestigious Great Place to Work Spain Certification with top rankings

Intesis by HMS Networks achieves the prestigious Great Place to Work Spain Certi...

17/07/2024

Glen Mazzara's Six Rules for Writing a Compelling TV Episode

by Sundance Collab team Showrunner Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead, The Shield) thinks that writing for TV has one rule: Cool people doing cool stuff every epis...

17/07/2024

Give Me the Backstory: Get to Know Jeff Zimbalist, the Filmmaker Behind Skywalkers: A Love Story

By Bailey Pennick One of the most exciting things about the Sundance Film Festi...

17/07/2024

The Greatest Night in Pop, Girls State Lead 2024 Sundance Institute-Supported Emmy Nominations

With limited-edition summer merch out now and our Early Bird Ticket Sale happeni...

17/07/2024

Spotify Brings AI DJ to Spanish-Speaking Music Fans Around the World

When we launched our AI DJ in English last year, it gave listeners a new way to connect with and discover music on Spotify. DJ is a personalized AI guide that k...

17/07/2024

Spotify presenta AI DJ en espaol para los fans de la msica en todo el mundo

Cuando lanzamos AI DJ en ingl s el a o pasado, ofrecimos a los usuarios una nueva forma de conectar y descubrir m sica en Spotify. DJ es una gu a de IA personal...

17/07/2024

Cinematic Lighting: 3 Looks, 1 Location

Home Applications 3 Looks, 1 Location Garrett Sammons Garrett is the Creative Director at Nice Shirt Media and part-time film professor. With a primary foc...

17/07/2024

Artemis II SLS Core Stage Heading to NASA's Kennedy Space Center

Space Launch System Core Stage for Artemis II Rocket Loaded onto Pegasus Barge. Image Credit: NASA...

17/07/2024

L3Harris Boeing 787-9 Full Flight Simulator Enters Into Service At ANA's Tokyo Training Centre

L3Harris, a global leader in the manufacture of flight training devices, has had...

17/07/2024

NAB Asks Court to Toss Ownership Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed its initial brief in its challenge to the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) loc...

17/07/2024

Interra Systems To Show BATON 9 AI/ML-Based Media QC Solution at IBC Show

CUPERTINO, Calif. Interra Systems will show the latest developments in its content-aware quality control (QC), monitoring, captioning and analysts at IBC 2024, ...

17/07/2024

Canon Introduce EOS R1, EOS R5 Mark II Mirrorless Cameras

MELVILLE, N.Y. Canon has launched the EOS R1 and EOS R5 Mark II, two full-frame mirrorless cameras for professional still photography and video production....

17/07/2024

Design, Immersive and VFX Studio Boma Launches in Los Angeles

Design, Immersive and VFX Studio Boma Launches in Los Angeles Brie Clayton July 17, 2024 0 Comments Boma, a new breed of a fully-remote studio special...

17/07/2024

ITV Content Services Restores Archived Classics with Cintel Scanner G3 HDR+

ITV Content Services Restores Archived Classics with Cintel Scanner G3 HDR Brie Clayton July 17, 2024 0 Comments Blackmagic Design today announced that ...

17/07/2024

AI, FAST, emerging technologies and the Olympics feature in IBC Conference line-up

The IBC Conference will last an extra day in 2024, running from 13th-15th Septem...

17/07/2024

Study: Consumers Hitting Spending Limits for Video

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. As streaming companies continue to ramp up prices, a new study from Hub Entertainment Research addresses an increasingly central issue: How muc...

17/07/2024

Streaming Jumps to a Record 40% of TV Viewing in June

The shift to streaming passed a new milestone in June, when time spent streaming hit 40.3% of all TV viewing, a record according to Nielsen's The Gauge. In ...

17/07/2024

Eight News-Press & Gazette Stations Join NewsOn

SEATTLE Eight News-Press & Gazette (NPG) stations have joined NewsON, Sinclair Broadcast Group's free, multiplatform streaming service offering local news c...

17/07/2024

Team USA TV FAST Channel Goes Live with 24/7 Olympic Team Coverage

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), NBCUniversal and FAST studios have launched Team USA TV, a free ad-supported (FAST) TV ...

17/07/2024

Screen Australia and YouTube Australia announce Online Creators set to Skip Ahead

17 07 2024 - Media release Screen Australia and YouTube Australia announce Onlin...

17/07/2024

StreamGM and The Yard Mcr Support Grassroots Music Using Blackmagic Design

StreamGM and The Yard Mcr Support Grassroots Music Using Blackmagic Design Brie Clayton July 16, 2024 0 Comments Manchester music and event space The ...

17/07/2024

Content Creator Roger Seng Sings Ci's Praises for Video Asset Management

Content Creator Roger Seng Sings Ci's Praises for Video Asset Management Brie Clayton July 16, 2024 0 Comments Roger Seng wears many hats in his p...

17/07/2024

ASG Expands its Software-Defined Workflow Solutions with Virtual Truck Offering

ASG Expands its Software-Defined Workflow Solutions with Virtual Truck Offering Brie Clayton July 16, 2024 0 Comments New Cloud-Based Infrastructure E...

17/07/2024

MRMC Unveils the Super Milo: Precision and Speed Redefined in Motion Control

MRMC Unveils the Super Milo: Precision and Speed Redefined in Motion Control Brie Clayton July 16, 2024 0 Comments MRMC today announced the release of...

17/07/2024

Get Organized: A Filmmaker's Guide to Planning a Successful Video Shoot

Get Organized: A Filmmaker's Guide to Planning a Successful Video Shoot Sean Alami July 16, 2024 0 Comments I've learned that planning for a v...

17/07/2024

WRAL's Live After 5' summer concert series pushes start time back due to heat

The free Live After 5 summer concert series is adjusting its start time for it...

17/07/2024

VEON's Kyivstar Extends Energy Resilience of Network

17 Jul 2024 VEON's Kyivstar Extends Energy Resilience of Network Kyivstar addresses power blackouts with industrial-grade generator fleet Amsterdam and Ky...

17/07/2024

Paris 2024: Inside Look at OBS Plans for 11,000 Hours of Games Coverage

Paris 2024: Inside Look at OBS Plans for 11,000 Hours of Games Coverage The effort ranges from the largest live-TV effort ever to personal Athlete Moments By K...

17/07/2024

Paris 2024: Topping 40, Telemundo's Olympic Commentary Team Is Its Largest Ever

Paris 2024: Topping 40, Telemundo's Olympic Commentary Team Is Its Largest E...

17/07/2024

Interview: Appear CTO Andy Rayner on R&D, Security and Future Growth

Interview: Appear CTO Andy Rayner on R&D, security and future growth By Jo Ruddock Wednesday, July 10, 2024 - 13:59 Print This Story As Appear celebrates ...

17/07/2024

Globecast Employs IP and Cloud Distribution for Malaga Premier Padel P1

Globecast employs IP and cloud distribution for Malaga Premier Padel P1 By David Davies Monday, July 15, 2024 - 15:59 Print This Story In a year that is e...

17/07/2024

Paris 2024: NBC Sports Teams Up With Chyron for Live Broadcast Graphics at Olympics

Paris 2024: NBC Sports Teams Up With Chyron for Live Broadcast Graphics at Olymp...

17/07/2024

With first ASIC-based zone triggering for MXO oscilloscopes, Rohde & Schwarz breaks acquisition rate records

With first ASIC-based zone triggering for MXO oscilloscopes, Rohde & Schwarz bre...

17/07/2024

Japanese Female Pro-Wrestling Drama Series The Queen of Villains' Premieres September 19

Back to All News Japanese Female Pro-Wrestling Drama Series The Queen of Villa...

17/07/2024

Fox Corporation Recognized as Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion by the Disability Equality Index for Fifth Consecutive Year

Fox Corporation Recognized as Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion by ...

17/07/2024

Comscore Unveils Key Insights in 2024 State of Gaming Report

Comscore Unveils Key Insights in 2024 State of Gaming ReportThe 2024 report underscores gamings popularity and highlights valuable cross-platform advertising op...

17/07/2024

Decoding How AI-Powered Upscaling on NVIDIA RTX Improves Video Quality

Editor's note: This post is part of the AI Decoded series, which demystifies AI by making the technology more accessible, and showcases new hardware, softwa...

17/07/2024

July 16, 2024

New sleep study aims to understand cognitive decline in women Scripps Research launches digital trial to identify sleep-related risk factors for Alzheimer's...

16/07/2024

SNS Trophy Case: Industry Awards And Accolades

SNS has won multiple awards for its innovative technology solutions. At SNS, we are passionate about empowering creative teams with the tools they need to creat...

16/07/2024

18th Annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) open the call for Discretionary Award Nominations

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Sp...

16/07/2024

BBC Studios picks Blue Lucy's BLAM for agile media operations, collaboration and delivery

Blue Lucy has signed a multi-year contract with BBC Studios, who will continue u...

16/07/2024

An agile media operations solution for BBC Studios' asset management and media transformation needs

In the early 2020's the BBC Studios team recognised that the cloud provided ...

16/07/2024

ASG Unveils Virtual Truck Cloud Production For Live, Remote Events

EMERYVILLE, Calif. Advanced Systems Group (ASG) has launched Virtual Truck, a cloud-based remote production solution for live sports, music, corporate events an...

16/07/2024

Sling TV Launches 4K Streams with MLB All-Star Game

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. Sling TV has announced that it will begin offering its first 4K streams of sporting events and that the first 4K stream will be the July 16, 20...

16/07/2024

Dr. Judith Christie McAllister Joins Gospel Performance Summer Program as Artist-in-Residence

Dr. Judith Christie McAllister Joins Gospel Performance Summer Program as Artist...

16/07/2024

Good Morning Football' Extension Series To Stream on Roku Channel

Good Morning Football, the NFL's football-focused panel talk show, is further expanding with a new two-hour edition titled GMFB: Overtime that will stream o...

16/07/2024

Charter Makes Spectrum News Plus Available to Non-Cable Subscribers

Charter Communications said its Spectrum News Plus national news network is now available to stream for free on Xumo Play....

16/07/2024

Season 3 of Dateline' Podcast Missing in America' Out July 16

Season three of NBC podcast Dateline: Missing in America premieres Tuesday, July 16. Josh Mankiewicz, Dateline NBC correspondent, investigates missing persons c...

16/07/2024

Big Brother' Cast Revealed for Season 26

CBS has announced the 16 new Houseguests for season 26 of Big Brother. The season begins Wednesday, July 17....