To celebrate their first new collection of songs after 20 years, The Rolling Stones hosted a release party at Racket NYC, where they performed many tracks, including “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” alongside Lady Gaga. The song’s live performance, directed by James Barnes, features color grade by Company 3’s Senior Colorist Jaime O’Bradovich.
To ensure a quick turnaround, Jaime created a LUT (a color filter you use to alter the colors in your image) that could be used across the different Sony cameras recording the show. Jaime comments, “I was lucky enough to be at the show, which meant I could see it with my own eyes and make actual choices as we were watching live.”
Jaime continues, “Following the show, I sat down with the editors and color-graded directly on their editing software to quickly get the file turned around. The show finished in the evening, and we needed the edit ready before 9 a.m. London time, so there wasn’t enough time for a typical workflow.”
When briefed, Jaime received color references, mainly other Rolling Stones performances, and imagery; however, there were also other elements to remember. Jaime describes, “One of the main things we had to keep in mind was that the footage needed to look real, but also high quality at the same time; it needed to be poppy, but with saturation. We also had to be aware of the lighting as it isn’t always complimentary for skin tones at live performances, and we didn’t have time to interfere with the lighting; therefore, making sure this was corrected in the grade was important.”
Jaime’s previous credits in live shows include Beyonce’s ‘Homecoming’ and Madonna’s ‘Madame X’; however, The Rolling Stones were after a more realistic feel. Jaime notes, “The grade for this was set up to keep the colors of the live shows but bring in a softer luminance curve. This makes the blacks roll off nicely, giving their low, mid-tones more density. Making it feel more polished.”
Pulling this piece together was a team effort; Jaime recalls, “I knew people from the crew from previous jobs, and they were all straightforward to work with and very helpful in every way. As we were all on a tight deadline, it was vital to help one another achieve the final result.” Jaime concludes, “It was one of the most surreal New York events I’ve ever attended, but a cool experience. And nice to have experienced it with such a lovely crew.”
Hackney Diamonds, the latest album from The Rolling Stones, is available to stream alongside their live performance of “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” featuring Lady Gaga.
Watch the full performance below: