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Sam Daley Nominated for HPA Award

The Light Iron senior colorist is recognized for his work on Descendant.

The Hollywood Professional Association has announced the nominations for the 2023 HPA Awards, which will be presented on November 9. Light Iron senior colorist Sam Daley has been nominated for Outstanding Color Grading, in the Documentary category, for his work on director Margaret Brown’s Descendant.

"Descendant is a documentary about the search for the remains of the last slave ship to reach the U.S. from Africa,” shares Daley, who performed the grade using Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve. “Shot over six years with numerous cameras, it was essential to start the color grade by matching every camera to the hero camera using input transforms. Each camera sensor had its own noise pattern as well. To make the texture more consistent throughout the film, I used the Neat Video plug-in to smooth out all noise, and then I applied a uniform film grain throughout.

“Once the technical hurdles were cleared, grading Descendant felt like grading a narrative feature,” Daley adds. “Director Margaret Brown and lead DP Justin Zweifach shot narrative-like scenes in addition to traditional doc-style footage. It's really a beautiful film, and I am thrilled my work on it has been recognized by the HPA."

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