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A Creative Refuge For Bernadette

Writer-director Richard Linklater and cinematographer Shane Kelly worked with Panavision and Light Iron for the feature Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a hopeful chase through the complicated world of the chic, intellectual, self-observer Bernadette Fox (played by Academy Award®-winner Cate Blanchett). An inspiring comedy from acclaimed director Richard Linklater, the film is a character exploration of a loving mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passion after years of sacrificing herself for her family.

Richard Linklater and Cate Blanchett on set.

"It's a really complex portrait of a middle-aged woman who is kind of a genius but who isn't practicing her art," Linklater says. "What that adds up to is kind of funny and a little scary."
Linklater reteamed with cinematographer Shane Kelly to tell the story visually. The two have collaborated on eight projects, including Last Flag Flying in 2017. That project was also serviced by Panavision with post services provided by Light Iron. For Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Panavision's New York office provided a complete camera parcel that included Primo Prime lenses. Linklater and Kelly also reconnected with Light Iron Colourist Corinne Bogdanowicz.

"Since we had worked together previously, I had a good idea of what Shane wanted," says Bogdanowicz. "Shane and I talked about the looks of the film early on in the process, so everyone was on board with the feel of the film from the start. 

"The look was designed to be very realistic," describes Bogdanowicz. "We did a lot of work to keep the characters feeling natural and relatable, whilst playing up the intricacies of the set design. The look of the locations played a big role in the colour correction, as Seattle had a grey look, and Antarctica was much more vivid."

The film was shot in various locations in the U.S., Canada, and Greenland.

"This film had some very unique footage that takes place in Antarctica," notes Bogdanowicz. "Our initial discussion of this footage was to play up the whiteness of the snow, but when we got in to colour with the high-res footage we had some incredible colours coming out in the water and skies that no one knew had been captured. We decided to keep the beautiful colours instead of going for stark whiteness."

Light Iron also engaged in several remote colour sessions with Kelly. The DP had returned to Ireland during the final phase of the DI. From Light Iron's Los Angeles office, Bogdanowicz was able to link up with him via a local facility in Belfast in order to review final colour and put the finishing touches on the film.

"We always look to put creatives first," says Peter Cioni, general manager of Light Iron. "We can technologically and creatively support how and where they want to work. Our inherent ability to be nimble and utilise a global infrastructure gives us a unique capacity for responding to the needs of our customers."

A-camera operator Benjamin Semanoff and Cinematographer Shane F. Kelly.

Unit photography by Wilson Webb, courtesy of Annapurna Pictures.