October 20, 2007

Open Window Benefits from Illuminate Postproduction

Los Angeles - Illuminate, the Los Angeles digital services company, provided final postproduction services for Open Window, an independent feature airing on Showtime.
The studio provided digital color-correction and editorial mastering services for the film, about a young couple who struggle to maintain their relationship after the woman becomes the victim of a random act of violence.
Open Window marks the directorial debut of well-known film editor Mia Goldman and stars Robin Tunney, Joel Edgerton, Cybill Shepherd, Elliott Gould, and Shirley Knight. Tom Barad and Midge Sanford produced the film. Illuminate also provided post services for a related public-service announcement. The PSA features Shepherd speaking in behalf of the National Sexual Assault Hotline operated by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
Illuminate's work on the spot was provided on a pro-bono basis. Color correction for the film was performed by Illuminate colorist Andrew Drapkin under the supervision of Goldman and cinematographer Denis Maloney. Drapkin used a Spirit 2K Datacine to transfer a 35mm inter-positive to D5 digital video and employed a DaVinci 2K color corrector to set the look. 
The artistic aim of the color work was one of understated realism, according to Maloney. "We wanted narrative clarity and didn't want the look to be in any way distracting," he explains. "The look is intended to be 'invisible.'"
Illuminate'a A.J. Ullman handled final editorial work, using an Apple Final Cut Pro system to prepare an HD master. Ullman prepared a master for Showtime as well as additional masters for foreign and DVD release. 
Although the independently-produced film's budget was limited, Illuminate executive senior vice president of sales Steve Tannen said the facility took on the project because they thought it was important. "We were very impressed with Tom's passion for the project," Tannen says. "We also wanted to support Mia in her first film, and we felt that the subject matter was very significant."
Barad noted that the success that Open Window has enjoyed (in addition to airing on Showtime, it screened at Sundance and was named Best Picture at the Reel Women International Film Festival) would not have been possible without the support of companies like Illuminate.
"They committed their best resources and talent to this project and bent over backwards to accommodate us," Barad says. "That kind of goodwill is essential to independent filmmaking and the production of serious, small films."
The idea of creating a public-service announcement to screen at the conclusion of the film arose after the it was picked up by Showtime. But far from an afterthought, in director Mia Goldman's view, the spot serves as a kind of coda to the film. "The PSA makes the film's message immediate and real," she says. "It is especially pertinent to viewers who have themselves been the victims of trauma. It lets them know that they are not alone and it tells them where they can go to seek help."