|Online Editor||Tom Boyle|
TX 21st October BBC ONE. In the US on 18th December on HBO
Kit Harington, Peter Mullan, Mark Gatiss, Shaun Dooley and Liv Tyler star in BBC One’s new three-part television drama about the famous plot.
This incredible series, Directed by J Blakeson, is set to be an audience smash hit.
Colourist and CEO of The Look Thomas Urbye comments “Without doubt, one of the best drama series I have ever worked on, J Blakeson and Philipp Blaubach were a joy to work with during the grade and finishing, me and all the team at The Look are very proud to have been a part of this series”.
Cinematographer Philipp Blaubach:
Gunpowder was one of those fantastic and rare projects where a terrific script and visual director come together. J is a true filmmaker who cares about composition and lighting, and on this show we wanted to go the ‘film noir’ direction and be bold. The potential for a dramatic look was something we both loved about it. To some extent your look is dictated by the fact that your light source for a given scene (set in 1605) is either a candle / fireplace, or a window, and everything else is dark! Unlike a lot of costume dramas, you certainly have more licence when you are dealing with a predominantly male cast, who are basically terrorists, often in a clandestine setting. For example, the pub scenes where the plotters discuss their plans were just lit with a candle and meant to feel very intimate, like a Caravaggio painting.
In pre-production we tested four different camera formats, including 16mm film and the impressive 5000ASA Panasonic. In the end we went with the Alexa and Master Primes, and I worked early on with Thomas to prepare a set of LUTs that gave us a strong contrast but at the same time very gentle and filmic roll off in the highlights. In the grade one thing we were keen to avoid was the clichéd two-tone (cold windows and amber fire) look that can get very repetitive. Instead we really embraced the reds in the King’s world, and went for a painterly quality.
The colour grade for the BBC’s Gunpowder was carried out by Thomas Urbye in The Look’s London facility.