Documentarian Lucy Walker had just completed principal photography in Japan when she received an invitation to debut her film at the festival. Her production company, Supply & Demand Integrated, called on Picture Head to provided DI color grading, finishing and sound mixing services so that the film could be finished in just a month’s time.
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom is a moving chronicle of the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last April. The film shows how survivors in the country’s hardest hit areas drew the courage to rebuild by the arrival of cherry blossom season. The film features an original soundtrack by Moby.
Upon Walker’s return to Los Angeles, a post team was quickly assembled. Japanese-born editor Aki Mizutani of Cutters, Los Angeles, was selected to cut the film. Final post work began at Picture Head, barely a week before the film was due to be delivered to Toronto. Matthew Flint, Picture Head’s VP, quickly assembled a complete post team to simultaneously begin the tasks of sound design, sound mixing, graphics production, conforming final picture and final DI color grading.
Color grading was performed in the facility’s DI theatre by veteran DI colorist Phil Azenzer on a Baselight system. Sound designer/re-recording mixer Mark Herscovitz mixed the film in 5.1 surround sound on a Pro Tools workstation. Picture Head’s graphics department, meanwhile, created the main title and end credits.
Conforming was done through a hybrid approach. According to Flint, the film was shot with a Canon 5D, which lacks timecode. Picture Head first conformed the film on a Final Cut workstation and then passed it onto Baselight for final finishing. They provided 30 DVD copies as a delivery format.