One of the most awaited drama series of 2019, His Dark Materials, produced by Bad Wolf for BBC and HBO, was finished at Technicolor in London. With a story set in a parallel universe that seems like the Britain of a century ago, and with fantastic elements such as giant armoured polar bears and ever-present “daemons” – animal representations of the human soul – the production is a tour de force of visual effects, and therefore somewhat demanding of the colourist, Jean-Clément Soret.
One of the challenges of the story – based on a trilogy of novels from Philip Pullman – is that each human character has a daemon, and humans are rarely seen on screen without their daemons around them. That meant a large number of VFX shots to insert the CGI daemons.
The first series – based on Northern Lights, the opening novel of the trilogy – moves from an Oxford college bathed in warm sunshine to “The North”, Pullman’s name for the Arctic, where the first battles take place.