Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Ku damm 63

The third season of the popular German miniseries Ku’damm 63, broadcast on ZDF, was graded with DaVinci Resolve Studio (Blackmagic Design).

The series, produced by UFA Fiction for the German public television channel ZDF, consists of three 90-minute episodes that tell the story of the socio-cultural evolution of Germany told through the loves, conquered freedoms and suffering of three sisters, Monika, Helga and Eva, daughters of a conservative matriarch.

Post-production was carried out by Dfacto Motion, with Ana Izquierdo in charge of grading. As with the previous series, Ana collaborated closely with cinematographer Michael Schreitel: “We wanted to move from the desaturated look of Ku’damm 56 to a brighter, more colorful feel, as this not only reflected the time jump, but also key themes of that era, such as the growth of Technicolor television and cinema, as well as a more optimistic outlook.”

Although previous episodes had been color-keyed in YRGB, in this case the decision was made to use an ACES workflow in order to ease the transition from SDR to HDR. For this reason, the existing node structures had to be rebuilt from scratch in the timeline of the Color module. Ana developed two nodes that served as a base and then a secondary color correction for the ocher palette: “We took some time softening the blues and also used an extra node with gamut limiter where we saw some unwanted stark reaction with neon hues,” says Ana.

As with other period dramas, the series required a lot of visual effects to recreate Berlin in the 1960s. Ana explains that, working closely with the department, the challenge was to maintain a sense of realism without disrupting the narrative: “We had several exterior shots of the family’s Galent dance studio on the Ku’damm, so Resolve’s precise detailing tools were essential for extremely accurate grading, with alpha channels for every different compositing and CGI element.”

From SDR to HDR

Because the primary delivery format was SDR, this color grading was the basis for the HDR version. The imaging department set up the project in Rec.2020 and adjusted the brightest areas in the corresponding timeline.

“The show is made with such great technical and visual care, from principle photography through to post, and the DaVinci Resolve workflow plays a fundamental role,” concludes Ana. “Collaborating with the director and DP, we have been able to take the color grade one step further to emphasize the characters’ growth, which was important. Having a flexible, reliable post production pipeline allowed us to spend time crafting the perfect period aesthetic as the stories backdrop,” concludes the colorist.

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By • 5 May, 2021
• Section: Postpro, TV