The First Full Feature Digital Intermediate

Colour Grading O’Brother Where Art Thou

The Coen Brothers and DP Roger Deakins embarked on the first ever full feature film digital intermediate for O’Brother Where Art Thou, back in 2000.

In this 10 minute behind the scenes featurette you get to see how they did it, plus insights into the photochemical process.

It’s a great history lesson on how to push the envelope for what we now all take for granted. At the very end of the video Deakins also accurately predicts the demise of film and the rise of digital.For more insights into feature film colour grading check out these posts:

Colour Grading A Fincher Film (Panic & Se7en)

Colour Grading Peter Jackson Movies (LOTR & King Kong)

For more great filmmaking DVD extras check out this round up of the best I’ve seen.


  • Actually, I think Pleasantville was the first major film to go through a DI in its entirety. American Cinematographer Magazine (Nov. ‘98) and a 1998 article from Variety claim that Pleasantville was the first wide-release film to be scanned digitally in its entirety, with a “digital internegative” supplied to the lab for release prints. I think “O Brother” was the first DI film to have every single shot digitally graded, however.

    • Hi Ian

      According to Wikipedia it’s actually O’Brother, although it lists Pleasantville as a major milestone with ‘the majority’ of the film going through a DI process.

      I’ve updated the post a little with a link to Wikipedia as a reference though.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and check out the blog!

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