Play me
BroadcasterBBC One
Prod CompKudos
DirJ Blakeson
ProducerLaurie Borg
DoPPhilipp Blaubach
EditorMark Eckersly
CameraAlexa HD

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.