July 29th, 2014

BBC Radio 6 DJ Gilles Peterson's Brazilian love affair landed him in the streets of Rio de Janeiro in pursuit of a group of musicians to form the Sonzeira collective. The result is Brasil Bam Bam Bam, an album celebrating the eclectic nature of Brazil’s music and culture. Gilles documented his journey deep into the favelas and through the world of samba in the film ‘Bam Bam Bam: The Story Of Sonzeira’.

DJ, data lab assistant and aspiring Mill colourist Tim Smith was given the opportunity to grade Gilles' documentary, which when paired with his love of music, equaled the perfect project. Tim tells us more about how he got involved and what it meant to grade his first feature length project below...

Image6 2 1280x716 1

I was approached by Flame artist Carl Norton with an idea about a project that a mutual friend of ours was working on. He told me it would be right up my street as it was a documentary on DJ Gilles Peterson, who journeyed to Brazil to record a Latin/Brazilian album with some seminal Brazilian artists.

This sounded perfect to me, as I am a huge fan of Latin/Brazilian music and also have a lot of respect for Gilles himself as a DJ.

Image13 0 1280x716 2

It was the first time I had ever approached something so big. It was pretty daunting, but working with director Charlie Inman and being involved in the project as a whole was fantastic. Charlie had a great sense of the direction in which he wanted it go, but he also gave me a lot of freedom with the grade.

We kept the grade naturalistic, enhancing the tones that were already there and working on balancing some pretty guerrilla camera work, as we didn’t want the piece to appear hugely stylized.

Image1 6 1280x716 3

Image14 1280x716 4

I am really pleased with the way it turned out. It’s already been screened at the Royal Festival Hall and Hackney Picture House with more to follow. I definitely feel like this is a milestone for me and I am really proud of what we all accomplished on this. The help and support of the colour team here at The Mill with expert tips and direction from noted colourists such as James Bamford and Matt Osborne was invaluable to me. I hope you enjoy the film!
// Watch the interactive trailer for the album here and an exclusive except of the film below.