Having recently ventured through the Australian outback, independent filmmaker Georgina Savage approached John Fish to colour grade and create the artwork for her debut feature documentary, White Cliffs.
The largely observational film is an obscure portrait of a remote Opal-mining town, painted through the experiences, beliefs and hopes of nine individuals who have made White Cliffs their home. What was once a bountiful land of Opal is now home to ghosts of the frontier.
Steeped with division, absurdity and mysticism, White Cliffs offers a vivid exploration of a truly Australian story. Existential themes such as freedom, happiness and death became inspiration for the cover design.
‘’People are like sheep, where one goes everyone goes.’’ - Andy
John Fish elaborated on this key line to create a surreal and barren landscape. Wandering sheep and a coffin shaped hole in the Earth became symbols for the town and its eccentric community. Like the illusion of a mirage, the empty hole contains but a fading hope to strike it big.
To facilitate the film’s success in film festivals, John Fish complimented this promotional artwork with an electronic press kit. This presented detailed information about the film with Georgina’s photographs as well as her portrait.
The colour grading required a subtle and consistent approach. Scenes captured in sunlight and deep underground darkness required colour and exposure shifts. By adding a coolness to the blacks and gentle vignettes a more cinematic feel was created. The overall result was a smoother, more harmonious colour palette while maintaining the film’s realist and documentary integrity.