With its second series streaming to viewers around the globe, Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour takes the world’s most exciting cars, driven by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, to some of the world’s most scenic locations.
The Farm Group London was responsible for the series’ post production. To deliver the SDR and HDR grade, post supervisor Chloe Blackwell and colourist J.P. Davidson relied on a workflow based upon DaVinci Resolve Studio, paired with a DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel.
Using his experience from independent feature films and documentaries, JP was able to deliver a range of looks for the short films and segments that make up each episode. “There’s no single brief on a project like this, as each film can require a completely different tone. One day I’d be creating a slick, commercial look, the next could be something quite experimental; each piece had to feel authentic and appropriate for the car being showcased.
“Getting a project from offline through conform and grade, then back to online and QC in SDR and HDR at 4K required a lot of flexibility, and Resolve’s project management tools were indispensable,” he comments.
“The ability to cut and paste clips, sequences and entire projects through the project manager was absolutely essential for managing this job.
“The ability to create sets of generic node trees as a starting point then select entire chunks of timeline in split screen mode has enabled me to bounce between shots, getting the look consistent. I couldn’t have achieved the grade plus the SDR to HDR workflow on schedule without it.
“Grading in HDR has meant adjusting my perception considerably, but I am blown away by the results we were able to produce across the series.
“Resolve’s structure opens up massive creative potential. I can composite a single clip in more unconventional ways. It meant shots that would normally be sent to VFX or online were achievable within the system.
“The Grand Tour was like rolling a few years’ worth of grading jobs into four months. Grading it required careful planning and a lots of technical and creative flexibility. It was a tough but very rewarding project to be involved in,” JP concludes.