Picture finishing on Shane Meadows' feature documentary about the rebirth of one of the UK's biggest rock bands of the 80s and 90s.
The Farm’s Senior Colourist Colin Peters, who worked with Meadows on This Is England ‘86 and This Is England ’88, graded the hotly anticipated documentary. The brief for Peters was to create a clean and natural grade to the film, utilising few shapes but exploiting to the full the Nucoda Film Master’s layering software. Furthermore, by keeping an honesty in the footage, it brought out the best of the material. A significant challenge for Peters was to create a unity between the several different cameras that were used during the shooting of Made of Stone. Meadows used an array of cameras throughout the year he spent with the Stone Roses, using kit that included; Canon 5D, Sony PMW500, Sony F3 and Red Epic to Panasonic handy cams, and GoPros. Peters also had the task of unifying archive footage with the range of different cameras used. The film was fairly archive heavy, but rather than cleanse the footage, the idea was to keep the authenticity of the material and not to scrub the material of its ‘age’, again keeping to a certain honesty that was intrinsic to the film.
Peters initially set a base grade, applying the first of many layers to the feature documentary. Peters and Meadows were able to return to each scene; each frame, refining the smallest detail. By building up layers of colour and contrast Peters was able to inject the film with a specific texture that enabled them to create a filmic layer. Applying this film curve allowed Peters to give a filmic depth to even the simplest of shots. Working in such an intricate way enabled him to create a fantastic continuity through the film, and this unity was highlighted through the transitional scenes, as even they were heavily layered to control the filmic curve. This attention to detail was specifically important during the Heaton Park sequence that incorporated more than 30 cameras. This sequence then had more than 800 cuts to it, meaning Peters and Meadows had to apply their eye to the smallest discrepancy, even if was just a dip in the blacks, to keep the required continuity.
Peters mentioned after the grade had been completed that one of the most rewarding and satisfying things in working with Meadows; that he’s a very technical director with a fantastic eye for detail. This enabled both colourist and director to bounce off each other during the grade, allowing for a truly cohesive partnership to form that reflects on the work that was produced.
The level and attention to detail, evident in the preparation for the finishing process and during the grade, was carried through to the online with Owen Hulme. Hulme points out that the recreation of split screens and rostrum were a meticulous process. Often working alongside Peters in the grade the two processes became unified. Many of the images were being sourced at their highest resolution for the first time during the online process and to keep these looking their best the raw files were used for the rostrum moves. Some incredible and rare images were uncovered by the archive footage. The production team, together with the director and editor, invested a great amount of time and effort to make sure the archive achieved its maximum potential alongside the music. With a director as dedicated and detailed as Meadows, every part of the online was used to add that extra quality to the film.