Nice Shoes Brings Great Color To Sahkanaga

In early 2002, news leaked of a terrible discovery in rural Georgia: hundreds of dead bodies were found in the woods behind a crematorium, dumped rather than being cremated as their families had wished. Sahkanaga, an independent film based upon these events, recently debuted at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Independent Film Festival Boston. The stirring motion picture, written and directed by John Henry Summerour, and co-produced with Miky Wolf at Big Sky, features a striking backdrop of rural Georgia hills and intense acting, all masterfully colored by Nice Shoes Colorist Lenny Mastrandrea.

"Sahkanaga is one of those films that could capture your attention by its scenery and setting alone, and the opportunity to apply my skillset to this awesome footage drew me in," noted Mastrandrea. "I really enjoyed the rough cut of the piece that I saw, and jumped at the opportunity to work with the talented group of people behind the film."

John Henry Summerour spoke of the film's unique circumstances: "Sahkanaga was developed and shot within the community where the crematory scandal occurred, and it was cast entirely with locals who had never acted in front of the camera, so Lenny embraced this concept of authenticity and applied it to the visuals. The work is delicate and understated, and the result is that the audience truly feels transported to this tiny southern town."

Charged with capturing the essence of a rural town, Mastrandrea and the Nice Shoes team experimented with various approaches before pursuing a realistic, rather than a stylized, look. They spent just over a month on the project, juggling it with their normal workload.

"Lenny not only color corrected, but brought another dimension to our film," said Miky Wolf, Big Sky editor, who also co-produced the film. "It was shot on super 16mm, which is an amazing stock, and we all knew instinctually that it didn't need 'a look'. The collaboration was inspiring. Lenny's correction allows you to see and enjoy the film in an effortless and often breathtaking way. It's invigorating, after a year, to see the film in a new light."

Nice Shoes' technical expertise is evident throughout the film, but stands out in a forest scene that takes place against the backdrop of a setting sun. While the shoot spanned several hours, Mastrandrea helped to perfectly marry the footage into a seamless sequence, evening the color to make the action seem contiguous.

Sahkanaga recently won the Ovation/Xfinity Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Atlanta Film Festival.



Writer/Director: John Henry Summerour
DP: Damian Ward
EP: Tara Anderson
AP(s): Beth Neuhoff, Krista Seckinger
Producer(s): Miky Wolf, John Henry Summerour

Editor: Miky Wolf

VFX Artist(s): Agnes Gunawan, Russell Porchia, Ryan Sears

Color Grading: Nice Shoes
Colorist: Lenny Mastrandrea
Scanner I/O: Tom Tomlinson
Sr. Producer: Pat Portela

Original Music: Paul Damian Hogan

About Nice Shoes:

NYC-based Nice Shoes is a full service, artist-driven design, animation, visual effects and color grading studio specializing in high-end commercials, web content, film, TV and music videos. Since its inception in 1996, the studio has prided itself on consistently reinvesting in its talent, technical backbone, and client experience to set the standard of excellence both creatively and technically. Key company principals include: CEO/Partner Dominic Pandolfino, Colorists/Partners Chris Ryan and Lez Rudge, VFX Artist/Partner Rich Schreck, Head of Production Mike Donovan, CDs Brian Bowman and Aron Baxter, Senior Producers Pat Portela and Christos Mountzouros, and CIO Bob Keske.