Amazon Prime Video takes viewers behind-the-scenes of “the winningest program in college football” in All or Nothing: The Michigan Wolverines, documenting the team’s 2017 season. The series provides an intimate look at the lives of head coach Jim Harbaugh and his young team of student athletes. All eight episodes of the series premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 6th. Leading post studio Nice Shoes, led by senior colourist Lenny Mastrandrea and executive producer Tara Holmes, collaborated with Amazon and The Montag Group to colour grade and deliver the series with a stunning, rich HDR (High Dynamic Range) look.
As Prime Video has been one of the early providers of HDR content, offering almost all of their original series in HDR, the series needed to be graded in both HDR, and SDR (Standard Dynamic Range). With the two delivery formats, Nice Shoes developed a workflow in conjunction with Color Front, so that the project would be completed without having to grade it twice.
“We had eight episodes of about forty minutes each. To grade it in both HDR, and SDR, which would be for standard HD displays, would have added time to the schedule which we simply did not have,” said Mastrandrea. “Working with Color Front allowed us to do a master grade in HDR, which let us play with such a wide spectrum of colours, and then make minor tweaks to the SDR version for delivery.”
From the very start of the project, Mastrandrea found himself in a unique scenario, as the executive producer Jim Jorden has overseen the colour grading process on many projects and post supervisor Christopher Rohlfs is an experienced colourist as well, having worked extensively with both the NFL and Nascar.
“This was a funny - but creatively rewarding - situation. The perspective and feedback I receive from clients is always extremely valuable, but it was interesting to be collaborating with a team that knew colour as intimately as I do,” said Mastrandrea. “Especially when dealing with HDR, which offers up such an expanded colour space. It was great to essentially be speaking in the same language and technical shorthand.”