Piece of Utopia made in the Whit­sun­days

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY NEWS AND VIEWS -

LO­CAL pho­tog­ra­pher, cin­e­matog­ra­pher and film colourist Justin Heitman has played an im­por­tant role in the pro­duc­tion of the new ABC tele­vi­sion se­ries Utopia.

Made by the Work­ing Dog Pro­duc­tions team, fa­mous for iconic Aussie movies such as The Cas­tle and The Dish, Utopia is an eight­part com­edy se­ries, writ­ten by and star­ring Rob Sitch.

Mr Heitman, who worked as a film colourist in Mel­bourne, prior to mov­ing to the Whit­sun­days in 2006, spent about four weeks ear­lier this year, colour cor­rect­ing and colour bal­anc­ing the en­tire tele­vi­sion se­ries, shot by shot.

The work was all done in Mr Heitman’s Can­non­vale stu­dio, us­ing a ded­i­cated edit­ing and colour grad­ing suite, com­plete with high def­i­ni­tion broad­cast mon­i­tors and top of the line Ap­ple Mac sys­tems.

Mr Heitman said this set-up would not have been imag­in­able just eight years ago, with ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy now al­low­ing him to run a colour grad­ing busi­ness away from ‘the big smoke’.

Each episode of Utopia was shot in Mel­bourne and sent up to the Whit­sun­days on a hard drive.

Mr Heitman then spent hours in front of com­puter screens bal­anc­ing in­di­vid­ual shots so that mul­ti­ple cam­eras matched, or the light­ing for a cer­tain time of day was achieved.

Hav­ing been priv­i­leged to see the se­ries, he ex­pects it to do well.

“It’s re­ally smart, re­ally funny and just great of­fice hu­mour,” he said.

Mr Heitman has been lucky enough to work with Work­ing Dog Pro­duc­tions from the early days of the hi­lar­i­ous 90’s com­edy se­ries The Late Show. He has also worked on some of Aus­tralia's best com­edy TV shows and films in­clud­ing Kenny and Kath and Kim.

Utopia will air at 8.30pm on Wed­nes­days on the ABC.

HOME STU­DIO: Justin Heitman, of JJ Pic­tures, work­ing on scenes from the brand new com­edy se­ries Utopia.

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