Post Magazine

September/October 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 19 of 39

eacock recently launched its new original series, Vampire Academy, a romantic drama from executive pro- ducer Julie Plec. The 10-episode series debuted on September 15 th and brings its young-adult audience a story of romance, friendship, death, sex and scandal. The show is based on a series of para- normal romance novels by bestselling au- thor Richelle Mead and is set in a world of privilege and glamour. There, two young women's friendship transcends their different backgrounds, and as they complete their education, they prepare to enter royal vampire society. Vampire Academy is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group. Julie Plec served as showrunner, writer and executive pro- ducer for the series, while also acting as one of its directors. Marguerite MacIntyre joined Plec as writer, executive producer and co-showrunner. The series' stars in- clude Daniela Nieves, Sisi Stringer, Kieron Moore, André Dae Kim, Jennifer Kirby and Craig Stevenson. Editors Nate Easterling and Jaren Lopez — as well as Larissa James and Ana Lozano — were called on to lend support to the series, which was having its pilot cut by Leon Martin. Easterling is no stranger to vampire-themed shows. He worked on The CW's Vampire Diaries and was familiar with MacIntyre from her work on the show. "I had retired from vampire editing, so this wasn't on my radar," Easterling admits. "I know these shows are huge, because I've done them before…And I knew that was Julie's favorite book, too." While one might think that vampire shows would be driven by 'blood and guts,' Easterling says his experience taught him that they're more about 'heart and emotion.' "If you're not just devastated and crying every episode over some char- acter's turmoil, you're doing it wrong," he explains. As a brand-new series, Vampire Academy presented a number of chal- lenges to its production and post teams, the biggest being the creation of an entirely new world that the audience would recognize without drawing on too many clichés. "It was a massive workload and under- taking, because it's such a huge universe," Lopez explains. "I think you're seeing that a lot with the new fantasy shows that are coming out — the depth of the story in the universe, the different languages that they use and all this stuff. They really had to figure a lot of that out." Martin, who edited the pilot, as well as Episode 4, Episode 7 and the finale, quickly recognized the need for addition- al editing support. "They were reshooting the pilot and re-cutting it, so his day was full," Easterling explains. "Julie basically emailed me and said, 'Do you want to do one episode?' I was like, 'That's perfect!' It happened over Christmas. This is great! I know what to do. I know how vampires operate emotionally, and so I started. And as things happened, I ended up then getting brought on to co-edit (addition- al) episodes." Lopez often works with Berlanti Productions, and Greg Berlanti's friend- ship with Plec led to an interview for him. "I started on Episode 102, and then was slated for 102, 105 and 108," Lopez recalls. "Immediately, once we started seeing the footage coming in for 101 and 102, we kind of understood, 'Okay, this is going to be a bigger thing. We have to go back and kind of retool.' The scope and the scale of the universe is really in-depth, and I think that was something we started to experience immediately in post. It was a fun challenge!" The series was shot in Spain, so for Lopez and Easterling, who are both based in Los Angeles, Vampire Academy was an entirely 'work-from-home' sce- nario. The show's geographically-distrib- uted production, editorial and VFX teams used Remote Picture Labs' private cloud platform to efficiently transfer dailies and edit all of the episodes. Dailies were uploaded from a monastery in Spain via RPL.deliver's Signiant Media Shuttle portal to Avid NEXIS storage in RPL.- edit. Assistant editors then organized the footage, making it seamlessly available to editors working in Avid Media Composer. Through Remote Picture Labs' high-per- formance virtual workstations, the VFX team was able to share footage, bins and sequences, collaborating in realtime with the editorial team. "We were actually remote-ing into a PC-based cloud system that was located in Burbank," explains Michael Carreno, who worked with Easterling as an assis- tant editor. "The way they tailored it was — it didn't work 100 percent, but I'd say like 90 percent — we were able to use Mac commands on a PC computer…And as long as you had the Teradici program… you can remote into an Avid station and check out the NEXIS." Since the show is in its first season, visual effects had yet to be developed, calling on the editors to help establish their look. "I think in television, a lot is left to post production to try to figure it out," says Lopez of the visuals. "I think initially it was like, 'OK, maybe we can get around this by using sound design and score, and maybe some clever editing?' And then I think it became very clear, once we got down the road, that this needed a little bit more VFX to solve." Specifically, he points to the vampires' VAMPIRE ACADEMY BY MARC LOFTUS CREATING A VISUAL TONE & STYLE FOR PEACOCK'S NEW SERIES P EDITING 18 POST SEPT/OCT 2022 Jaren Lopez Nate Easterling Michael Carreno

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - September/October 2022