Meet The DIT
After gaining a degree in cinema, Nejib Boubaker joined the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière, where he focused on colour science, writing his thesis about ACES.
Nejib is part of the new generation of DITs that became specialised in the field right after school. He first worked at DIT cart rental facilities to learn all about the technology that he would have to work with, then started to join set crews a few years ago.
We speak to him about his recent experience as DIT on the new Canal+’s original series ‘PARIS ETC.’ where he put Prelight through its paces.
On this project, the post-production was completed over a short period of time, with just a few months between the end of the shooting and the broadcast of the TV series. So the director of photography, Antoine Roch (AFC), wanted to start the grading process on set. He got in touch with me, mentioning that the final grade would be done at Le Labo in Paris, using the Baselight grading system.
Even though it was still in beta at the time, I suggested using Prelight for two main reasons.
Firstly, it meant we could use exactly the same colour spaces and DRT as chosen by Le Labo. This meant that with Prelight, we could be completely confident that the on-set monitoring would be identical to the grading room projection. It also meant that the colourist would be applying his grades in the same working colour space as us, which is essential to exchange grading values between set and post-production properly.
Secondly, it also allowed us to use the BLG file exchange between Prelight and Baselight. BLG files contain all the layers of colour corrections for each shot, and all the grading values can be modified or removed by the colourist, including shapes and keyers. There is nothing destructive in those files, and there is also no creative limit. So I could deal with any requests from the DoP on set, knowing that this work would be usable by the colourist later on.
The CDL is too creatively restricted.
Antoine Roch used warm filters - Maui Brown, Classic Soft, Glimmer, Glimmer Bronze - on most of the shots. He was not just interested in getting a warm image but also by the impact those filters would have on the render of the various shades and textures of the image, after a white balance. The image that was being shot was never intended to be visualised without a first grade.
It also permitted him to visualise the render of each filter in the context of a grade on set, and to validate the grade that would then been sent down the chain, including editing.
I used the Hue Shift operator to correct the saturation or the hue of a colour, without having to define a key or create a shape. This is a very fine tool. There were some sequences outside where I could work on the leaves of trees in just a few clicks - those types of corrections cannot be saved in a CDL.
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“There is nothing destructive in the BLG files, and there is also no creative limit. So I could deal with any requests from the DoP on set, knowing that this work would be usable by the colourist later on.”
Colourist: Nejib Boubaker
Role: Freelance DIT