OBLIVION by COLOURIST MIKE SOWAN

Kosinski, the director behind the beautifully constructed world of ‘Tron: Legacy’, has repeated his feat with ‘Oblivion’. Visually stunning, ‘Oblivion’ is the first feature film to be released that was shot with the new Sony F65 camera. The film’s vision is a collaboration between the director with DP Claudio Miranda, producer Dylan Clark and Tom Cruise. Bringing this all together was digital intermediate colourist Mike Sowan from Technicolor, who was responsible for setting up the Looks of the film. In an interview for the company’s blog, Sowan explained the unique process behind ‘Oblivion’.

“This movie was a completely different experience for me. Usually, we all work on our jobs in separate places, but this time, we were all brought to the Skywalker Ranch to work together, which made for a very collaborative environment. The Look of Oblivion started with the trailer. I sat with the director (Joe Kosinski) and the DP ( Claudio Miranda), who just won an Oscar for his work on Life of Pi, to set the Looks for the whole movie.

“The trailer contains a wide variety of scenes from the movie: his sky house, Beech’s (Morgan Freeman’s character) subterranean hideout and even a black-and-white flashback. It was a great way to set the different Looks we used right at the beginning”, he said.

The process was also influenced by the exterior locations in Iceland, where the film was partially shot. However, when it came to the Looks for the interior scenes, the crew had more freedom with the colours.

“We really got to play was inside the mountain at Raven Rock, where we meet Beech. We started off by making the Look kind of normal, but we wanted to add some textue and a sodium-flavored light. Essentially, we tried to bathe the characters in different lights and then change it up as the movie progressed” he explained.

The approach behind this changes was to help tell the story from the character’s perspective as “no day is like the next one” as Jim Merk, who interviewed Sowan, put it.

The final result is of magical beautiful lights and an array of colour palettes throughout the film, which makes for a world only possible in movies. To quote Time Out’s review: “If one man is to be entrusted with designing our future, we could do worse than architecture graduate Joseph Kosinski.”