Framestore adds darkness to Hannibal Rising

Framestore CFC has created a Digital Intermediate for new cinematic release Hannibal Rising.

A prequel to Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon, Hannibal Rising stars Gaspard Ulliel, Rhys Ifans and Gong Li. The film was directed by Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring), and produced by Tarak Ben Ammar, Dino De Laurentiis and Martha De Laurentiis, with a screenplay by Thomas Harris from his own novel.

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The film tells the story of the early life of notorious psychopath and cannibal, Hannibal Lecter. His idyllic childhood in Lithuania is destroyed by an atrocity that takes place during World War II, scarring his mind and starting the madness that propels him through life. We see the origin of his murderousness, its genesis in a desperate yearning for revenge.
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Director of Photography Ben Davis teamed up with Framestore colourist, Asa Shoul. 
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"The film takes place in two main time periods: some ten years after World War II, when Lecter embarks on his first murders, and - seen in a series of flashbacks - the period during the war when he was a boy caught up by horrific events. The first quarter of an hour or so and all the flashbacks were processed bleach bypass in the lab. This is a chemical process that produces a desaturated image with strong blacks. It isn
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From Shoul

"All of this contrasted very effectively with the rich, film noir look of the rest of the film," says Shoul, "Which takes place after the World War II. There are a lot of deep browns and golds, and a lot of really dark shadows. We had to do a fair amount of work lifting faces and eye detail, because it's such a dark look. We added a lot of grads and vignettes to darken the edges down and really focus attention on the lead character."

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Another digital touch added by Shoul was included, he says, as an homage to the

In addition to the usual task of securely bedding in numerous VFX shots, there were two other elements which Shoul and the digital grading process brought to the table. The first were the specific colour schemes that Davis and director Peter Webber wanted to introduce to accompany each of Lecter's murders. The first - which takes place in a forest setting - is imbued with rich, golden autumnal tones; the second occurs in a hospital laboratory, and has a green and yellow look; and so forth.

The other final touch took place after the grade was complete. Explains Shoul, "We gave a four point lift to our render, to make the images half a stop brighter, and then got the lab to print it half a stop darker. The effect of this is to produce inkier blacks, which can be useful when the film features a lot of night scenes, as the blacks can look a little milky."

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