The film follows wheelchair bound DJ “Delicious” D (Thornton) as he fights to survive life on the mean streets of LA, makes his entrée into the world of faith healing and navigates encounters with an unstable rock band. Shot on 35mm 2-perf film, “Sympathy” has a gritty, starkly realistic look. Prime Focus colorist Doug Delaney worked closely with Ruffalo and DP Chris Norr to preserve the edgy feel of the natural street photography.
“Our DI focused on making sure the film stayed true to Chris’ original photography. It wasn’t about creating something that wasn’t there — it was more about reinforcing the image and supporting his gutsy style. He wasn’t reluctant to take chances.” Delaney said.
Scanning the film in 4K on Northlight gave Prime Focus a sharp source with which to start the DI. They then conformed and color graded it using Baselight. As part of the DI process, Prime Focus also received a number of cuts for ending options from editor Pete Beaudreau in New York. The alternates were then conformed at 2K so Ruffalo could preview the various endings, fully color graded, on the big screen in Prime Focus’ L.A. DI theater.
“Being able to see the alternate endings in full context was really useful,” said Ruffalo. “The team at Prime Focus was willing to experiment with us; to use the DI technology to benefit the underlying story and not just the look. They created a very comfortable and confident environment to finish the film.”