Things are getting very busy these days at Santa Monica post-production house Local Hero. That’s because the 10-year-old boutique, which has positioned itself as the go-to shop for prestige indie features that are hurrying to meet the submissions deadline for the Sundance Film Festival, is in its high season; this year, the Sundance deadline falls on Sept. 26. Pics that have gone through Local Hero include Jason Moore’s “Pitch Perfect,” Rick Famuyiwa’s “Dope,” and Matt Ross’ “Captain Fantastic.”
MOVING, GROWING Colorist Leandro Marini founded Local Hero in Hollywood in 2006. “It was an experiment, and we didn’t know how big it would get,” he says. The shop moved to Santa Monica in 2010, and now boasts more than 120 digital intermediate and finishing credits on features.
SPREADING THE WORD “About two or three years ago, we decided we were ready for the industry to know who we are, and started to put ourselves on the map,” says Marini. Part of that strategy was hiring Steve Bannerman, who held marketing posts at Apple, GenArts, and elsewhere, and recently joined Local Hero as an owner and CEO.
ARTFUL AMENITIES Local Hero houses a theater with a 25-foot screen, a Barco DP2K-P Projector, and Dolby 7.1 sound. The space is used both for grading and reviewing films. There’s also an HD grading bay equipped with a Dolby PRM-4200 monitor capable of displaying virtually any color space.
SMALL IS GOOD Marini acknowledges that big post facilities like Technicolor and Deluxe have their place. “We send them our masters, and they get distributed from there,” explains Marini. “But filmmakers prefer to have one-on-one interactions with their creative partners, and not to have to cut through red tape in a corporation.”
SATISFIED CUSTOMER Director Rob Reiner finished two films at Local Hero: 2015’s “Being Charlie,” and “LBJ” — a Lyndon Johnson biopic staring Woody Harrelson — debuting at the Toronto Film Festival. “Finessing color and VFX on a bit screen … allows you to assess subtleties and make assessments that might be lost on a smaller screen,” Reiner says. “We had a lot of details to manage on this film, [which] takes place in a lot of places that need to be historically accurate — right down to the color of the green felt on the top of LBJ’s Oval Office desk, which is one of the things we finessed right before locking the picture.”