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Ron Howard’s Formula 1 movie “Rush” graded on DaVinci Resolve

rush davinci resolve 1

We think this is an excellent opportunity to remind everybody that we have access to some of the most powerful tools available to video and film producers. You can grade your production with exactly the same software that colour corrected Ron Howard's multi-million dollar film Rush.

Slightly self-indulgent of us, but we are old enough to remember the 1976 Grand Prix season, James Hunt & Niki Lauda, the events that happened at Nurburgring and the climax in Japan. Time for the trailer. 

 

A great story brought back to life by Ron Howard, but for us the most amazing part of the production is that DaVinci Resolve was used by Company 3 in London to grade the movie. Resolve is a fully featured, professional tool, what we find amazing is the Lite version is free to download on the Blackmagic Design website.

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We will let Blackmagic's Press Release take the wheel. (Sorry)

After a catastrophic crash during the 1976 German GP at the Nürburgring, which could have killed Lauda, he returns to face rival Hunt in their pursuit of the World Championship. Anthony Dod Mantle was the film’s cinematographer and he presented Company 3’s senior colorist Adam Glasman with an intriguing challenge.

“While Rush was shot using a variety of different digital formats, Howard and Mantle also wanted to incorporate original race footage from 1976 shot on 16mm and 35mm film. Ron and Anthony felt this would help to recreate the thrilling race sequences and give Rush some real F1 production value says,” says Patrick Malone of Company 3 London.

The overall goal during the grade was to create a look that would bind both digital and archived film material together, giving Rush a seamless look throughout. “Our brief was to give the film a 70’s period feel with a modern slant. Inspiration for the colour palette came from a lot of the readily available archived 8mm, 16mm and 35mm footage of the 1976 World Championship.”

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While the traditional look associated with the period is one of desaturated, almost sepia colors, Anthony wanted to push color into the cars so they looked more bold and striking. In addition, he wanted each of the grand prix races to given their own unique feel to reflect the drama and dynamics of the ’76 championship.

Take for example the opening scene at the Nürburgring, which is a pivotal moment. This had a very stormy, almost menacing feel to it as the film builds up to Lauda’s crash. "This is a very bold sequence, which Adam achieved by adding in more saturation while being careful not to crush the information out of the image,” says Malone.

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Although we do tend to get carried away by new technology, the accessibility and pricing of equipment isn't really an issue to filmmaking today. If Ron Howard can grade his big budget film in Resolve, we can too with more modest productions if we have the skills.

We should also get around to going to the cinema to see the film!

 

 


Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

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2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

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Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

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BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

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Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

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Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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