LONDON — Goldcrest Post completed picture post production on Taboo, the new BBC drama series starring Tom Hardy. The studio employed Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio and DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel to complete the project.
Produced by Hardy, Son & Baker and Scott Free Productions, Taboo is a tale of intrigue and revenge, where a haunted man, James Keziah Delaney (Hardy), newly returned to 1814 London after ten years in Africa, discovers that his father has left him a mysterious legacy. Goldcrest Post became involved during pre-production, working with cinematographer Mark Patten to create a look up table which Patten would subsequently use on-set during principal photography.
“With a base look established, we then carried out a series of look dev sessions not long into the shoot,” explains Goldcrest Post colorist Adam Glasman.
The workflow between Patten and the team at Goldcrest, namely Glasman and senior online editor Sinéad Cronin, was a particularly tight relationship, enhanced by DaVinci Resolve.
“The first frames I saw of Taboo were when we started to do camera and grading tests last summer,” notes Cronin. “Soon afterward we began working on a 20-minute teaser. This also helped with all of the conform and VFX tests, as well as ironing out any initial issues among the different areas of the project.”
Using DaVinci Resolve’s editing toolset, Cronin was able to access all of the episodes and make editorial changes live during the grade, including cuts, opticals and VFX inserts without the need for rendering or exporting to another application, which saved an enormous amount of time. For the DI Glasman was tasked with delivering a dark, cinematic grade that would complement the rich blacks and gritty details captured by Patten, while also complementing the show’s impressive production design.
“Much of the night time interior material was candle lit, so the challenge was to keep the darkness while retaining texture in costumes, some of which were black, and the sets,” he explains. “Heavy vignetting was also required in many exterior daylight scenes to keep a brooding, stormy feel.”
Glasman mainly works on features and says it's a different challenge with broadcast drama. “Generally speaking, the time constraints are greater,” he admits. “As a result I worked alongside my colleague Rob Pizzey who helped to grade some of the later episodes.”
Those time constraints played right into the strength of DaVinci Resolve. “For Taboo, at least four episodes were on the go at any one time,” adds Cronin.
“We also carried out a good number of DI style VFX fixes such as paint outs and the new tools enabled most of this work to be performed in Resolve rather than going out to other software packages,” concludes Glasman. “Such work is now an essential part of the DI process.”