PASSION – Leo Hallal on Colour-Grading “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power”

Blueberry Colourist Leo Hallal has been grading for directors/producers Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen for many years now on projects like “The Island President” and “Audrie and Daisy”, both available on Netflix. His most recent collaboration with the filmmakers is An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, the follow up to the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”.

A decade after the first film brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, the riveting and rousing follow-up shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. In the film, former US Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy.

Cameras follow him behind the scenes – in moments both private and public, funny and poignant — as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.

Leo shared with us his thoughts about working on the film:

I was thrilled when I was asked to fly to San Francisco to grade An inconvenient Sequel. This was going to be the most important documentary I have graded, with Paramount Pictures scheduled to release it in early 2017. Then Donald Trump got elected president. 

What was to be an update of what happened since An Inconvenient Truth came out in 2006, suddenly became a channel of resistance. The filmmakers had to go back to recut the film in the new gloomy context of the United States pulling out of the Paris Agreement in climate change denial.

Visually, it had to be beautifully naturalistic, very much like the work of Sir David Attenborough, Ansel Adams and what we see on the National Geographic magazine. The beauty in Nature is key as the most direct visual expression of love and care for the planet.

I am very proud of being part of such an important film for generations to come and hopefully we were able to help inspire the urge to act.”

Leo Hallal

Tom Hadley – Editor

Who is Tom Hadley?

I’m an editor and sometimes a creative director. Like almost everyone born before the ‘digital revolution’, I’ve had to adapt and enhance my skills as my career has moved from an analogue environment to a digital one.

I’m passionate about the telling of stories and a decent narrative, which is what unites the very diverse range of work that I do. Whether it’s a rock gig projection or a short doc, everything should have some rigour to it. It’s important what defines the content’s order, look and existence.

How did your career path develop?

I used to work in theatre as a set designer, hence my strong connection with live performance and exhibition design. As the theatrical world collided with digital filmmaking I found myself increasingly interested in creating and especially editing moving image content.

What do you consider your greatest achievement/s so far?

Cutting a one hour doc for BBC4. I’d like to do more long-form work as I think it represents the most interesting and challenging facet of filmmaking. Doing justice to a story and keeping it engaging in this age of ever shortening attention spans has to be the ultimate challenge.

Any projects you are most proud of and why?

Most recently creating content for Jean Michel Jarre. I’m not a trained graphic designer, but extending my knowledge and use of After Effects and Cinema 4D on this project was great fun and a fantastic team effort. JMJ is a legend, I remember being puzzled by his records as a kid and he’s still doing it, creating mega concerts with super intense live visual experiences.

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

Hitchcock once said “Always confound your audience’s expectation.” This is as true for a live audience as it is for a promo watched on a phone. There’s nothing worse than dull content, it usually means no one’s taken time or cares to imagine what might be like to watch it.

View Tom’s full portfolio.