History of the Dominican Republic’s Visual Arts From the Perspective of its Color

Artwork being restored at Centro León (Santiago de los Caballeros, República Dominicana)

I was finishing the editing of a commercial when I received the call from general producer Héctor U. Montas. He is from Dominican Republic and invited me to be a part of “República del Color”, a documentary about the history of the Dominican visual arts. A topic I had never worked on before, so it caught my attention enormously. We talked about the script and the spirit he wanted to give to the piece. I became a part of the team, so I started researching about the artists, artworks and artistic styles that were going to be addressed in the documentary as an introduction to the topic.

The Louvre Museum in Paris, France

At the first stage of post-production each of us worked from our countries, so he sent to my editing bay in Right Cut Media (Miami, USA) a hard drive with all the footage recorded in Dominican Republic, Spain and France during the 32 days of shooting. There my colleague Mario G. Deco imported the files to Avid Media Composer as AMA links, made a transcode for offline, synced external audio using RedGiant PluralEyes and duplicated the project, sending one copy to Dominican Republic to make a first selection of content there.

Director Héctor M. Valdez, cinematographer Frankie Baez and general producer Héctor U. Montas on location.
“República del color takes us through the history of the Dominican Republic’s visual arts from the perspective of color given by the incidence of light in the island, alongside the historical events that defined its master artists.”

Two weeks later I received by email a list with the eight key points that should be part of the documentary and a bin with the first sequence which I relinked to start editing the structure. Everything was ready to do what I like the most. Editing.

Over the next two weeks I was editing the two hours of interviews previously selected until I reached the first cut. 42 minutes of content, little sleep and lots of new knowledge.

At the third week of editing Director (Héctor M. Valdez) and the general producer arrived at Right Cut Media. We started to work together by building over the structure I created, adding landscapes and artworks to illustrate the differences of color and light between Europe and the island that make the dominican painting a unique style.

Matias Canelson in his edit suite

Later on, I edited a montage for the 12 visited cities, the introduction for the 29 artists and historians interviewed, I also imported more than 500 artwork photos, as well as edit the music. I received the new material recorded in Dominican Republic to show all landscapes appointed by the interviewees and after editing for 43 days, we got our picture lock of 73 minutes.

With the editing done, DNxHD36 files used for offline were relinked back to the originals to create an AAF for color grading in Assimilate Scratch. Another AAF was exported for each artwork and archival footage (93 in total) to animate in Adobe After Effects and a last AAF to make the final mix in Avid ProTools.

Once all these processes are finished, we will online in Avid and then create the DCPs to release “Republic of Color” in the most important theaters in Dominican Republic and international festivals.