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Published Wednesday 15 April 2020 by Mark Brindle in Post Production

topic icon Video Post and VFX Reel for WWII feature Charlies Letters

Mark has been working on the video post production for the debut feature film from young director Elliot Hasler entitled Charlie's Letters. This World War II feature film is based on a true story of a man captured by the Nazis making his way back home to England at the end of the second world war. Elliot, who directs and stars in the film had completed the film himself but it needed a bit of polish in terms of colour grading and dialog tightening in some places before distribution and release on DVD. The film has since be re-titled 'WWII - The Long Road Home' and we have created a release DVD and got it ready for Amazon Prime.

Charlie's Letters was filmed by Elliot Hasler and his father over 3 years and was originally completed in 2017 when Elliot was only 16 years old. It was filmed in a variety of locations across the world, mostly on family holidays where they would take props and uniforms and get family and friends to take part as well as use regular actors. Elliot also filmed some green screen elements for locations he could not access. Its pretty amazing what he achieved really and in Brighton at the premier screening he was hailed as 'the next Speilberg' for his efforts.

Davinci Resolve with Sapphire plugins used for Charlies Letters colour re-grade

At the start of the re-grade project there were many of the original camera files missing and no original edit timeline so Mark had to work on the pre-graded project exclusivley and over time got access to more of the original camera files as Elliot found them. This meant a few shots had to be dropped or shortened or replaced with stock to get around some issues and it meant retaining the original grade fully on many scenes. Stu was also working on the audio cleanup for the film and so Mark tightened up some of the dialog scenes to create more balanced J-cuts and re-ordered a couple of scenes to help the pace and cerated textless elements to replace all on screen titles for further distribution.

A bit more budget was made available to really polish up the film without losing the original grade and vision. If you watch the VFX reel above you can see a few examples of the cleanups involved - there were a lot of flicker reduction used to get around issues caused by camera settings (auto ISO/ auto shutter which created light flicker), frame rate mismatches fixed and some camera judder/shake removed. Mark added some VFX elements in places like fire, smoke, dust and lens flares and cleaned up some explosion VFX that was already present in the film. 

UPDATE: The film has now been released on DVD and is also available on Amazon Prime. The film has now been re-titled 'WWII - The Long Road Home'.
You can watch it for free if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber here: WWII - The Long Road Home

If you need help with finishing your film - editing and post production, vfx and colour graidng or just need a final polish then please get in touch with us.

Talk to us about your project!