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Don Burgess, ASC &

Corinne Bogdanowicz BY PAULINE ROGERS PHOTO BY GREG GAYNE

The relationship between a Director of Photography and Colorist may well be one of the most crucial in these days of multiple camera formats and changing deliveries. It takes a healthy respect, an artistic vision that is in sync, a collaborative shorthand – and a sense of humor. “Especially when I’m in Light Iron’s Atlanta facility and Corinne is in Hollywood, and we’re color-correcting via Skype,” laughs Don Burgess, ASC, recalling a recent teaming with Corinne Bogdanowicz on Christmas Chronicles. “He’d be pointing to a shot that might not be what I was seeing,” Bogdanowicz adds. “The delay took a little getting used to. But we’ve worked so long together, and are so in sync, I could catch what he was looking at.” It’s that trust and understanding that has fostered successful projects like two Muppet movies (2011, 2014), Flight (2012), 42 (See ICG Magazine, April 2013), Allied (2016), Monster Trucks (2016), Same Kind of Different Me (2017), Wonder (2017), Christmas Chronicles (2018) and Sextuplets (2019). And while the capture, correction, and delivery

processes often change from show to show, this creatively in-sync pair love the challenge each film presents. Their working relationship began with Muppets. While Bogdanowicz wasn’t involved in the pre-production process (crucial now with every project they do), their biggest challenge was representing the color of these iconic characters correctly in post. “It was a learning curve,” Burgess admits. “It was our first working experience and we had to figure out what happens with resolution – texture and cloth – when you are working with puppets. We also had to find the best way to make sure the audience was looking at the Muppets and not the person controlling them.” Ask them each about their favorite pairings, and they’ll come up with different answers – 42 and Flight. But both agree on what was critical in each case was their preparation together. “By the time Don started shooting, we had talked things out so he would know what he could do on set and what we could do in post,” Bogdanowicz explains. In the case of 42, with shooting being done on the RED camera, lenses, focal lengths, and filter testing were key to prep the period feature, which chronicled the early years of Jackie Robinson. Considerations included: could different lenses be matched if scenes were cut differently? What were the characteristics? What kind of diffusion and blooming could Burgess use that Bogdanowicz could recreate in post? How would the color temperature of the light as they traveled across the South and California, shooting on different baseball fields, impact the cinematography? “I shot test footage on a baseball field, and we talked about the level of saturation for each period feel,” Burgess recalls. “We wanted to bring a subtle feeling of each period in Jackie Robinson’s career. As he moved up through baseball history, the images would be less and less vintage and cleaner. And, once he put on the Dodger blue uniform – this iconic color image would reproduce as vibrant as we could make it.” Pre-production coordination was crucial, because, as Bogdanowicz explains, “there was the possibility that scenes from one game [period] might be cut into another in post, and we wanted to make sure they would blend.” Flight, as Burgess describes, is the story of a pilot who is an alcoholic, and how he deals with a plane malfunction in flight. “Eventually, he figures out how to fly upside down and land the plane,” Burgess relates. “Our challenge,” Bogdanowicz (cont'd on page 28)

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Profile for ICG Magazine

ICG Magazine - October 2019 - Image Pipelines  

Featuring the movie JOKER, Apple TV+ For All Mankind, and Local 600 DIT's. ICG Magazine has been the world’s premier cinematography publicat...

ICG Magazine - October 2019 - Image Pipelines  

Featuring the movie JOKER, Apple TV+ For All Mankind, and Local 600 DIT's. ICG Magazine has been the world’s premier cinematography publicat...