Michael Hatzer


[ 00:00:18 ] I’ve worked at Technicolor for close to seven years. Before that I was I worked at a company called E film for five years and then those two digital DI facilities for that was a color timer photochemical timer or at deluxe laboratories for close to 17 years. So I’ve been grading motion picture images in photo chemically or digitally for close to 25 years. 

[ 00:00:58 ] Well yeah it’s an amazing project project. When Jess first came to me we met a couple of years ago and we met at a little restaurant in Santa Monica and we talked about his vision and then he spelled out exactly what he kind of thought this would look like and he showed me some clips and he got me incredibly excited about it it was amazing. And so you know after filming and production that we got to the DI stage and it was it was amazing for me just to open up some of these images that he shot and then to project them on my screen. Personally I’ve I’ve worked on quite a few films and this really struck me you know at the heart. It was shot really beautifully. The texture that he created in this in this film was amazing. And so as a colorist with this amount of like perfection and shotting and the color differences really made DI a lot of fun and really rewarding for me.

[ 00:02:09 ] Yeah what texture can be a lot of things Texture can be something that you can when you can add to the image. With that with with plug ins with effects with your with your grading or texture can be added on set with with different types and atmosphere techniques. Jess an amazing job adding texture to the image by adding smoke or atmosphere and was difficult. That is that when you find a lot of films with guys who use Alexa and film and use a lot of smoke but it can be very difficult to control too much smoking and contrast to kind of cut it if you don’t get enough smoke so the contrast is perfectly really flat what jess did was to able to be very consistent from shot to shot. Or he use an actual Oh I forgot the actual name of it but a reader then allowed him to read the actual particles within the air the particles of the smoke the air so he can he can determine from shot to shot seen to see a consistency of this set of this texture. So create a really beautiful soft kind of painterly effect to the image that we were all trying to go through with the Anime to try to get this debt to try to really create this soft watercolor painterly effect on the anime and I get a lot of credit for it’s for the obviously his lens choices you know the real X the arri 65 and his atmospheric techniques and his ability to do this 28 hue color palette that he created that was so just so it’s just so clean and so consistent from scene to scene.

[ 00:04:03 ] Well you know it’s part of it. There was so many elements I mean you know what he’s going to talk more about that I can’t. But he had so much I mean years of research to to make this look it’s not about just adding some some smoke on the scene and some lights and you get you know it’s about composition and it’s about Linda’s choices it’s about about the aspect ratio issues. You know in addition to a grade that I’m contributing to making the blacks kind of off you know making the highlights kind of glow a little bit.

[ 00:04:36 ] Kind of a whole lane effect you know something that all animates types have what we’re trying to recreate that in live action cinematography. Now you know I don’t think we try to even though we we all love the end the original anime. I think Jess and movie about their own type of spin to it. Where we actually trying to masha’allah. We’re trying to create it and find something that was really beautiful on its own. Those will be the room some time looking at a shot and Jess would turn away and then he looked at the image and you go wow that was like an enemy shot. At that point I knew I had something I needed that it was I thought we were on the right track. For this you know there are a lot of features I’ve worked on that it becomes that there can be a lot of work in that to create a look you know out when you try to create a look in the in color correction it can be a little more challenging and maybe not as as true right. It can be a little false with phantasm Winchester and it was all created in camera so I didn’t have to do a whole lot. Basically he created Ludt that allowed all the stuff to fall in really nicely. So once the way I see the image into my into my room I would just be able to add a little bit of contrast again a nice spot that he wanted and in that case that enabled us a lot more time to focus on other things focus on things like like skin tones focusing on the sharpening of the eyes and adding a little bit lift to it. Adding vignette ing trying the natural color contour from shadows to highlights the new ending. So yeah it by him being so close on the grain and working in P3 with his dailies and the vicious effects people. When I received in the room there were no surprises for me no surprise for the director and no surprise for us which is like a beautiful thing.

[ 00:06:47 ] You say that but Eido for B.

[ 00:06:51 ] You know I kind of go by. I kind of go by feel and but the images come up again from a school of photo photochemical timing where a lot of our correction where only printer points. So printer points are red green and blue intensity and it’s a nice little increment Taishan of levels of color correction where you can go from Point two stops to 2 1/2 points aquarter points and it’s a language of Undercity color correction that colourist any any cinematographer’s understand and relate to. So this language of understanding you know when a director says or DP says to me Hey Mike make it stop darker. Add three points. Red. We all understand that. Now today when I’m working on Michaela Prechter which is a cluster. It’s a very you know beautiful exceptional log grading tool which allows me to work in printer points at the same exact way I worked on motion picture film. So I’m going to work in a film style grade meaning I’m going to go right to my printer points Balas out the shot and then I’ll add secondaries meaning windows adjusting the blacks contrast things like that. I don’t use a lot of people will work and so I work in law. Most people work and lift can again and they’ll work with panels and reams of walls. I work I can log on to work on a keyboard and mouse and that’s all I this is for me getting their printer points and in a way. For me it’s it’s just it’s a precise way of working that the Scimitars is actually see my changes on the on the screen. And I think it’s it can be more yet more technically correct for me. You can get there with the other way. But I try and work this with.

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Backstage Conversation Season: 2017