Category Archives: Finished Work Announcements

Breakdown: SSFCU

These recent SSFCU spots were a blast to help create. The Power Tales campaign features iconic fairy tale women in a modern environment; extolling the virtues of banking with SSFCU.

There’s Little Red Riding Hood – evading the Big Bad Wolf, Snow White – lovingly accompanied by her birds, Cinderella – blinged-out and bankrolled, and Rapunzel – nestled away in her ivory tower.


Working closely with the creative at Greatest Common Factory, we stylized each character with their own unique look. Nick Smith provided color for the 5K Red Dragon footage, bringing out various warm and cool looks, each with rich contrast and depth. VFX on Snow White were provided with a team of 2D cel animators from Aphid Animation, some CG work from Josh Johnson for the Rapunzel tower shots and Big Bad Wolf, and some 3D animation from Brad at Perfect Form. Additional 3D, VFX cleanup and finishing was done in Autodesk Smoke with Nick.

Check out the campaign:





But wait, there’s more!

The second round in this campaign features mock-pharmaceutical ads, all in the name of Power Rewards. Color, VFX and finish by Nick.



Still from Kumiko the Treasure Hunter

From Sundance to Berlinale

2014 is starting out with a bang. Two feature film projects – the Zellner Brothers’ Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter and Richard Linklater’s Boyhood – had their respective premieres at the Sundance Film Festival. Nick completed all visual effects work for both films – Kumiko, which features a total of 16 VFX scenes and Boyhood, which features 7.

Kumiko is the story of a lonely Japanese woman who travels to Minnesota to seek out the mythical treasure from the film Fargo. A dreamy work, full of sincerity and obsession, Kumiko is the Zellner Brothers’ fifth feature film project, and by far their most ambitious. Shot both in Japan and Minnesota, the finishing touches required some set extensions and background replacements to enhance the distant atmospheres of Kumiko’s journey. Nick has collaborated with the Zellners for years, and considers this work to be their finest.

Boyhood, starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, is Richard Linklater’s groundbreaking film about growing up – shot over 12 years – with characters who age from scene to scene. Some of the VFX work involved greenscreen driving, replacing van window reflections, helicopter shadow removal, and some garden variety touch-up work. This is Nick’s second collaboration with the team at Detour Filmproduction since working on the Hulu Series, Up To Speed.

Both Kumiko and Boyhood were received to great acclaim at Sundance as well as the Berlinale Film Festival – where Richard Linklater was  honored with a Best Director award. Congratulations to both projects and their much-deserved success. Finland Finish is bursting with pride to have worked on these fine films.

Color and Finish for National Gypsum

Tim’s Vermeer, Coming to a Theater Near You

We had the pleasure of color grading and finishing this fantastic documentary, Tim’s Vermeer, by Teller (yes, of Penn & Teller). Sony Pictures Classics will be distributing it to theaters this Winter. Tim’s Vermeer is the story of inventor Tim Jenison and his obsession with the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. After receiving a book on Vermeer written by artist David Hockney, Jenison becomes fixated on the theory that Vermeer used technology to paint his masterpieces. Utilizing clever arrangements of mirrors, Jenison, an inventor not a painter, is able to successfully recreate a black and white photograph as if he’d been painting for years. The real challenge begins when he sets out to duplicate a rarely viewed Vermeer painting, “The Music Lesson”. The documentary follows Jenison over the course of several years as he learns about and gathers all of the materials necessary to meticulously recreate the scene of “The Music Lesson”. Jenison builds replicas of 17th century furniture, hires a pottery specialist, and travels to Amsterdam to learn how to mix his own paints, among other things.

Nick color corrected the documentary from numerous sources – DSLRs, consumer cameras, and RED – all precisely conformed with the help of the multitalented, Daniel Stuyck. Supervised by producer Farley Ziegler and editor Patrick Sheffield for a week, we came out with a festival-ready color graded film. Some of the unique needs presented – converting the film from a native 30 fps to 24 fps for cinema distribution. For this, we converted via the Blackmagic Design Teranex, and also smoothing out some shots in Smoke via its fine motion estimation tools. Other contributions in the final process included compositing help from Clint Beckwith, rolling credits by Daniel Stuyck, and DCP creation from Keefe Boerner of Tugg, Inc.

Finland Finish is thrilled to have been apart of Tim’s Vermeer! We highly recommend this documentary. Check out the trailer.

DaVinci Resolve Control Panels

Ground Control to Major Com

Welcome to the new and improved Finland Finish website. Our friends at Zangrilli Creative architected this fine digital domicile. We are very pleased to have a new place to showcase our work and step up our presence on the internets! Cat pics to follow. In other news, there’s a new toy at the studio – a shiny new set of Resolve control panels. In addition to streamlining the color grading process, they have pretty colored lights and a T-Bar that kinda feels like we’re running mission control. We look forward to sending your next project into outer space. The three panels all sit nicely on a slick new walnut desk – handcrafted by BLK MKT’s Jason Blair. Check it out and bask in the glow.