Fincher and Light Iron Push the Boundaries of Resolution
October 29th, 2014

David Fincher has been known for pushing boundaries in cinematography, most recently with Gone Girl the first feature shot entirely at 6K. Working with Light Iron, an innovative post-production company, has enabled Fincher to go above and beyond what was previously thought possible. On each project they've worked on together, Fincher and Light Iron have steadily increased resolution and editing capabilities from The Social Network in 4K, to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 5K to their most recent 6K collaboration on Gone Girl.

CEO of Light Iron, Michael Cioni, sat down with Daniel Restuccio from postPerspective to talk about their unique workflow and expertise. Light Iron worked with Quantel and Adobe to develop and implement a system that could handle the footage captured by the EPIC DRAGON.

"Gone Girl is the world's first 6K DI (digital intermediate) feature and this is the world's first 5K DSM (digital source master)... [It] was shot at 6K (6144 _ 3160), mastered in 5K with 17% extra resolution for creative VFX and scaled down to a 4K, which is 45% smaller than the 6K source."

Light Iron takes full advantage of the 6K RED DRAGON footage applying framing and VFX, then converting the RAW R3D footage to DPX format. Cioni emphasizes that...

"Even though the R3Ds are converted to 10-bit DPX, the REDLogFilm curve allows the total dynamic range of the source files (R3Ds) to be leveraged in the visual effects and DI."

The RED DRAGON sensor's massive dynamic range offers other advantages for Fincher and his team, including cinematographer, Jeff Croneworth (ASC), and colorist, Ian Vertovec.

"Jeff Croneworth and David shoot a lot of moody scenes and superior DRAGON shadow rendering is evident in Jeff's photography... But Gone Girl also has a number of daytime exterior shots (unlike The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), which also were benefited by use of the new DRAGON sensor."

Cioni goes on to say that because of the new DRAGONcolor, REDgamma4, and the RED DRAGON sensor's significant improvement in dynamic range,

"Everyone needs to take a second look at the RED camera."

Check out the full article on postPerspective for more about the custom post-production workflow and monstrous graphics processing system used in the creation of Gone Girl.