As I mentioned in part one of these recent posts on Photography, I got the idea to colour-code each of the locations featured in The Last Belle from watching old silent movies - in fact, I remember the idea dropping into my head while watching Broken Blossoms (made in 1919 by D.W. Griffith) where the black and white photography had been tinted afterwards so that the interior of a fire-lit shack was tinted a warm orange/red colour, while the exterior night scenes were tinted with blue. As there is a lot of cross-cutting between locations in The Last Belle I figured that slightly tinting each location would help distinguish exactly where we are within a fraction of a second of the cut, meaning we could concentrate on what the characters were doing rather than continually having to establish where we are geographically.
Most of this work was done by John Leatherbarrow in-camera as he shot the film, either by gelling the lights and/or the lens itself. After all the footage was shot and edited we both sat down with Paul Dean, a terrific grading artist at Deluxe Soho, and made final tweaks and adjustments to the colours.
One of the things I like most about working with John is that for all his technical knowledge what he's most interested in is the 'feel' you are after. After discussing a sequence for some time he would often just cut to the chase and ask me, "What exactly do you want to feel in this shot?" Once we had established that, then he was free to develop things at a technical level, and work his magic in the depths of the dark, dungeon-like camera room.