Prod CompLookout Point
DirectorsBen Taylor, Amanda Brotchie, M.J. Delaney
ProducerJon Jennings, Stella Merz
Execs for Lookout PointLouise Mutter, Faith Penhale
DoPOli Russell, Catherine Goldschmidt BSC
CameraSony Venice in ACES

In early 2022, The Look were confirmed to work on series Renegade Nell.  This hugely ambitious project was led by Director Ben Taylor for Lookout Point, delivering to Disney+. Ben teamed up with the hugely talented DoP Oli Russell, supported by Producer Jon Jennings. With many elements of the Sex Education team in play, we felt a natural creative fit with the team. The final results are breathtaking.

Much of the work for this magical adventure series was captured by Oli Russell’s use of beautiful anamorphic lenses and framing, combined of course with excellent production design and costumes. Then you bring all that together under the control of Director Ben Taylor’s eye for cinematic setups and comedy timing, so this series arrived into the grade with all the right ingredients.

Television series have seen their ambitions grow, with CGI and VFX a major part of many high budget projects. Renegade Nell was no exception. Dupe, the lead VFX vendor, were tasked with compositing Nick Mohammed into multiple scenes throughout the series, combined with other fantastical effects.

The look of the series, crafted by our Senior Colourist Thomas Urbye, Ben and Oli, was achieved by combining subtle film grain and film look emulations, but we also had to ensure the image had impact in High Dynamic Range for the many Disney+ viewers that will see it in this format.

The incredible skies and VFX work must entice the audience to “wow”, here is where the careful balance of big budget period caper, where the audience is taken back in time to the look of cinema past, must also be here now in the present – with all the visual glory afforded to us today in the grading toolset and audience’s screen.

As with any project set in a time when electric light hasn’t been invented, all the creative play comes in the shadows, as candlelight and expertly placed lighting brings shape to night scenes, and so our role as colourists becomes to find the detail in the shadows. You can’t just put face shapes on everyone and expect it to look natural, so begins the careful tweaking of the exposure curves scene by scene. Combine that with the fun of a flashback, or a day for dawn challenge which opens the series (that took Thomas a day alone to grade!) and you have fabulous visual variety, something that is very important in the competitive world of holding audience’s attention.

Along with our fellow colourist Grace Weston, we worked through the later episodes with the very talented Directors Amanda Brotchie, MJ Delaney and of course DoP Catherine Goldschmidt BSC. Our Flame team were led on this project by Online Editor Aidan Bennett, who was tasked with mopping up any modern elements in scenes and night sky requests.

It’s incredibly exciting to bring a big budget, all action, period family series to audiences around the world, this is a very special project. We were grateful to Ben Taylor and Oli Russell & Lookout Point for allowing us to be involved with it, we think audiences will love it.