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Light Speed Colour Grading: Unveiling the Success Story of an Award-Winning Apple Ad


Universal Production Pictures recount colourist Ondrej Stibingr's remarkable colour grading journey for Apple

Light Speed Colour Grading: Unveiling the Success Story of an Award-Winning Apple Ad

In the realm of advertising, alluring visuals play a pivotal role in capturing the attention and emotions of viewers. When it comes to colour grading, every shade and hue holds the power to evoke specific moods, enhance narratives, and create lasting impressions. In this article, Universal Production Pictures recount the remarkable journey of Ondrej Stibingr’s colour grading expertise that resulted in a triumphant Apple 'Data Auction' commercial, garnering recognition from esteemed industry professionals. 

“It is always great to meet Ivan Zacharias and Jan Velicky on a project. It seems that our relationship has turned into a long-term friendship over time. Every award or nomination is like the cherry on top of a layer cake for all of us, including UPP.” | Ondrej Stibingr, colourist at UPP Advertising

Awards & Nominations

  • Cannes Lions 2023 / Bronze / Film
  • Shots Awards The Americas 2023 / Winner / Cinematography
  • Filmlight Colour Awards 2022 / Shortlisted
  • AICP Awards 2023 / Shortlisted / Visual Style


Apple Data Auction TVC was shot in the Czech Republic, in Marianske Lazne (Marienbad). Though the town’s spa heyday is probably unforgettably over there is still a unique local spirit you can feel in every second of the 'Data Auction' as well. From a technical point of view, Jan Velicky used an ARRI Alexa Mini with Cooke S4M lenses and recorded into 2,8K ARRIRAW. An interesting fact about the shooting is that he used Mark Roberts Bolt motion control for quick and precise camera pans.


The story has been captured in a strongly cinematic way, with a camera language that emphasises the overall depth of the piece. The idea was to capture the spirit of an auction room redolent of underground wealth, an ornate, royal, and oddly old world. A high depth of field, moody diffused, albeit directional lighting that gently separates the actors from a gorgeously set background. Quick, precise and decisive camera moves. These were the technical key elements which helped to achieve the final impression. In short, no visual gimmicks, and an honest and straightforward style.


In this section, we uncover the intricacies of our colour grading process. The colour of Apple Data Auction is balanced between the triad of blues, reds and yellows. Colour unification used in the film has been crucial, and desaturated traces highlighted the timeless atmosphere that complemented the bespoke look. The ambient colours were pushed up as well with the other similar tones of the cinematography, design, costume, and skin tones. Fine-tuning of the colours has been balanced to enhance the compelling images and stay true to the creative intent of the filmmakers. UPP also used colours to amplify the storytelling through colour correction and artistic colour effects.


To secure the best global workflow experience between the agency, the director and the client, UPP uses a unique data-cloud technology being able to transcode SDI outputs from Baselight and send it securely encrypted over the internet. UPP made the most out of the time difference between Prague and Los Angeles (-7hours). LA joined in the morning at the end of the Prague session and had the final grading by lunchtime.


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Genres: Visual VFX

Categories: Phones, Consumer Electronics

Universal Production Partners (UPP), Tue, 23 May 2023 08:14:42 GMT