The winner of six Academy Awards, La La Land (From Lionsgate Entertainment), is reminiscent of those classic musicals where music and color seem to jump off the screen to delighted audiences. EFILM and colorist Natasha Leonnet played a role in creating the visual piece of that experience.
Prior to embarking on La La Land, Best-Director-winner Damien Chazelle formed a tight creative collaboration with EFILM and Leonnet on his award-winning Whiplash so she was delighted to re-team with him on this homage to the musical genre, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. La La Land, which just received an amazing five Academy Awards, to add to the shelf alongside its many Golden Globes and other industry accolades, was shot in 35mm film by Best-Cinematographer-winner Linus Sandgren and composed for a nostalgic super-widescreen aspect ratio of 2.55:1.
"The filmmakers paid so much attention to every facet of the color," Leonnet observes, "from the sets and locations, the costumes, the times of day they were able to shoot and, of course, Linus Sandgren's work."
EFILM also handled all the scanning and dailies work on the complex production. The 35mm neg was taken to EFILM, scanned for dailies at 3K in the ARRISCAN film scanner and dailies colorist Matt Wallach completed a dailies grade. After creative editorial was completed, the original neg was then re-scanned for the color and mastering work that Leonnet did, working with Chazelle and Sandgren to fine-tune each shot.
"We always wanted to preserve the look of film," she notes. "We confined all our adjustments to stay within the realm of what would feel in terms of color and saturation as though it had been timed photochemically."
In preparing for the project, Leonnet enjoyed re-watching some of her favorite musicals and experiencing some others for the first time. It's a genre tailor-made for someone like Leonnet, whose work life revolves around color. Color plays a major role in La La Land. "The locations and costumes are all so colorful. Nothing is ever just neutral. Working on the film was a wonderful experience!"