Post Magazine

February 2011

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Virtual stage opens at Universal bits & pieces L OS ANGELES — Universal Studios teamed up with Zoic Studios to create the Universal Virtual Stage 1. UVS1 opened in December and fea- tures a fully integrated virtual production pipeline that can take projects from pre-production through post. UVS1 ( is plex shoots,” says Jeff Berry, executive director virtual ef- fects and production services at Universal.“We are ex- cited to be able to offer UVS1 for both internal and third-party clients.Working with Zoic was an integral part of developing the facility.” “Universal asked us to put together a virtual pipeline for them based upon Zoic’s Environmental Unification System (ZEUS),” explains Mike Romey, Zoic’s pipeline supervisor.“Taking what Zoic developed for V, we worked together to make a facility where you could control the process up to the point of layout.” UVS1 allows previz to take place on pro- duction day.“The facility bridges pre and post in a fundamentally new way,” says Romey. “You can take your storyboards that you create in Maya for previz right before you started shoot- GMSopens new studio in Burbank Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Larry David (left) with Earl Martin. B The stage is pre-rigged to work with Red One cameras and lenses, but clients can bring in their own packages if they prefer. available for both internal and third-party productions. All of the pieces on the stage are modular, so productions can choose to keep or remove elements depending on their needs. Clients can also choose to bring in their own cam- era packages and lenses.The stage is tied to Avid and Fin- cal Cut bays configured with 60TB of Isilon storage.The fa- cility also features a conference room with CineSync and RV software for global collaboration, and six artist work- stations featuring Autodesk’s Maya and MotionBuilder. “The virtual stage is a pre-rig, pre-calibrated turnkey facility designed for the most simple to the most com- ing, feed them into the computer system, work with them on set and show post what you want right away.” “The DP can see how the shots are laid out and cre- ate lighting changes,” adds Gina Fiore, Zoic’s executive producer of television.“The big part of what goes wrong with greenscreen is that the talent isn’t lit very well. When you go to integrate talent into a scene it can be- come problematic.When you can actually see the set, you can light to it and the talent. UVS1 is also very bene- ficial to talent.They are able to look at themselves in the monitor and line themselves up to the environment.” URBANK — Gray Martin Stu- dios (www.graymartinstudios. com), an audio post house based in Santa Monica, has opened a new Burbank facility. The studio is headed by Earl Martin and Richard Gray, and has provided services for MTV’s The Hills and FX’s The League.The new operation is lo- cated at 2700 Magnolia Blvd. and pro- vides convenience to clients in Bur- bank and Hollywood. GMS’s new location is already booked to do Foley for Curb Your Enthu- siasm, as well as for MTV’s The Hard Times of RJ Berger and Teen Wolf. The studio will also perform Foley and ADR for the independent film Brake, starring actor Stephen Dorff. Gear includes Avid Pro Tools|HD with Cedar noise reduction. Stuck With Hackettposted at AlphaDogs B URBANK — AlphaDogs Post Production ( has completed work on the TV pilot Stuck With Hackett for The Science Channel.The show follows metal artist/engineer Chris Hackett as he uses discarded parts to build things that can aid in survival. Korelan Matteson and Nathaniel Grouille of Sil- Cameras follow Chris Hackett on his quest to find survival materials. ver Machine Productions ( are executive producers on Hackett.The show came to AlphaDogs on a Saturday night and needed to be delivered the following Monday afternoon to allow for time to pass network quality control so it could air that Friday. The show was edited in Final Cut Pro. Sean Stack 4 Post • February 2011 was the finishing editor. Isai Espinoza completed the audio mix,working with sound that was captured in challenging desert conditions. “In a harsh environment, elements have a ten- dency to get introduced into the recording of the audio,as well as high winds interfering with the dia- logue,” notes Esponoza. Lavalier and boom microphones were used on set, allowing AlphaDogs to have alternatives when mixing on the Avid Pro Tools|HD2 system.A Dolby Media Meter plug-in was used in order to comply with broadcast specs for dialogue loudness.Waves’ Diamond bundle was also incorporated for its L2, Renaissance EQ, DeEsser and Compressor plug-ins.

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