At an early stage of preproduction of his international debut Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, director Tomas Alfredsson asked The Chimney Pot to get involved in the VFX for the film. TCP has done a lot of work previously with both Tomas and the DOP Hoyte van Hoytema so we were very exited when they asked us to work with them on TTSS. On the film Let the right one in TCP did the DI, VFX, grading and sound design with great results.

We now got the chance to prove ourselves once again creating one of the key shots of the film, and it all grew from there. The director and producers were so impressed with our first shot of the MI6 archive that TCP ended up completing almost a hundred VFX shots for the film in the end. The most essential VFX shot establishing the massive underground MI6 archive was supposed to be a big collage of filmed plates stitched together. Due to problems a very small studio set, TCP VFX supervisor Fredrik Nord decided to recreate the whole archive in 3D instead. Survey photos and measurements of the small part of the set filmed previously were done in London and the digital archive was then built and rendered by 3D supervisor Ruslan Ogorodnik at TCP.

The challenge of creating a full 4K CG shot in 3D turned out to be quite difficult since the level of detail for realism is very critical in 4K. Actors filmed at a set in London were rotoscoped and placed in the 3D environment. The director was so pleased with the finished VFX that he decided to do one more scene with the archive and TCP got the chance to bid and create the remaining VFX shots of the film. In the end TCP created a large variety of shots for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Everything from creating 3D flies to set extensions and retouch. We are very pleased with the results and the positive response we got from everyone in production.


We also provided all the DI services to the production company Working Title. Our Senior colorist Mats Holmgren tell us more about the process:

“Before the shooting of Tinker Tailor we did some tests with the dop Hoyte van Hoytema. He was looking for grain. Grain and an impressionistic look, with inspiration from a nice book he had, was the guiding principle. We did the scanning and grade in 4K to get the best result out of the 35mm film negative. By underexposing the negative, Hoyte got a result that caused me to lift the gamma quite high during the grade, also causing a heavy amount of grain. Hoyte was happy with the look. We watched a print in the cinema. It was recorded in 4K with the arrirecorder.

A year later it was scanned and conformed in 4K ready to grade.

We desaturated the film and took a little blue out so we got a warmer tonality. The underexposed negative worked just great.

I have worked with DOP Hoyte van Hoytema and director Tomas Alfredson on several films before this one. I can only say that the grading came along naturally using the nice negative Hoyte and Tomas delivered us.”

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