The Story of Skinhead

Don Letts

The Story of Skinhead

In this one-off documentary Legendary Director Don Letts focuses on the history of one of Britain’s most notorious subcultures and the social impact it’s had across music, style and culture.

Halo provided full picture and sound post production.

Work by: Katherine Jamieson

Don’s first words to me in the grade were …’make me look as good as possible’. He was joking of course and it was funny but to be honest when you boil it down… that’s my approach on any grade job to… make it look as good as possible.
As a big music fan this was a dream job for me, it was packed with amazing archive and the story is  simultaneously a cultural, political as well as musical phenomenon that had an effect on everyone in some form, Skinhead or not.
The first challenge for the grade was the huge variety of archive. Multiple formats of varying quality all needed to come together to tell the tumultuous history of the Skinhead. I used some of the Nucoda DVO restoration tools to clean up some of the poorer quality archive which really helped breathe life back into the footage. In addition I set different tonal shades for each of the eras that were covered so it helped to set the mood as well as bring together the sections of archive.
The interviews, that really walk us through the story, had to be punchy and stand up along the archive yet also be sensitive to the surroundings and context they were in. A combination of shaping using vignette’s and power windows to add depth and concentrate focus allowed me to achieve this.

All in all it was a thoroughly interesting programme to be involved in and I recommend everyone to dust off their DM boots and watch.

Work by: Danny Finn

The final mix was achieved by trying to be sympathetic to the archive and natural sounds of the time in the tracklay (either archive or added), whilst still keeping the music punchy and exciting and maintaining audible dialogue and narration.

Software/kit used: Nucoda, ProTools

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