Post Magazine

September 2015

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WEB-BASED SERIES BREAK OUT 31 POST SEPTEMBER 2015 very, very close to what I saw in my room." Dustin delivered a 4K master for Netflix plus a 4K DCP for a San Francisco film premiere and a 2K theatrical DCP for the Wachowski's archives. Sense8 has been renewed for a second season. THE MINDY PROJECT Fans take heart! There is life after Fox for The Mindy Project, which has moved to Hulu and began shooting for a whop- ping 26-episode fourth season. Creatives promise no major overhauls, although they will deliver high-profile guest stars, such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Freida Pinto in a September season premiere spoofing Sliding Doors. David Rogers, co-executive producer in charge of post production, is tasked with helping the show transition from broadcast network to broadband network. Rogers was formerly co-executive producer on The Office before he moved to The Mindy Project in Season 2. There, he edited and directed episodes, as well as oversaw edi- torial, VFX and the sound mixes. "The content doesn't look any different and the writing has always been edgy, which was a good fit for Fox to begin with," he says. "But now we even have more freedom we're able to present finished shows that are longer than what we were allotted on broadcast television. When we used to finish our first assemblies, they would come in anywhere from 28 to 32 minutes, and it was tough to take out those last few minutes. It's a little easier to lock a show that's 22 to 24 min- utes, as opposed to having to lose great stuff to get it to fit into 21:35. I can't wait for people to see our premiere episode, which is several minutes longer than what we usually air." The post workflow is largely identi- cal, too. The show remains on the NBC/ Universal lot, where it shoots and posts. Instead of renting Avids, however, The Mindy Project has invested in six Avid Media Composers V.7.04.4 running on Apple iMacs with Avid ISIS shared storage. "They'll pay for themselves," Rogers says. "But we still get our tech support from NBC/Universal Studio post, which is great." The show shoots on two Arri Alexa cameras. Universal synchs the dailies and loads them onto the server so a team of three editors and four assistants can access material and begin cutting the next day. Finished Avid sequences are sent to the online editors, who have the original media to build the show. Color correction, finishing and the sound mix are all per- formed by Universal Digital Services (UDS) — the same as in previous seasons. Show dailies typically look "almost good enough for broadcast — bright and colorful," Rogers reports. "Online color makes them look even better." Rogers calls The Mindy Project "a very cinematic show, and as far as comedies go, fairly complicated, with lots of alternate jokes and improv, and heavy with music and visual effects, which a lot of times most viewers won't even notice." Rogers is in a three-editor rotation, along with Robert Burnett, who also came over from The Office, and Mat Greenleaf, who had been assisting since Season 1 and was bumped up to editor at the beginning of Season 3. The show's star/writer/show- runner Mindy Kaling is "heavily involved in the editing process," notes Rogers, who was working on her notes at press time before an evening session that would start once she wrapped from shooting for the day. "Mindy had a great voice that came through on The Office, and now comes across even more clear and less filtered on The Mindy Project," he says. "She has great ideas, a vision of what a show is supposed to be, and isn't afraid to try things." VFX, from set extensions to removals to split screens, are done in-house by Chris Hagerthy, who uses Adobe After Effects for compositing, a little bit of Photoshop and Autodesk 3DS Max. "Chris is amazing; I can't express how great it is to have an artist in-house [who can] be creative and show what VFX for any particular shot can look like while the editors are still putting the show together." Once an episode is locked, post produc- er Eric Koljan and DP Marco Fargnoli take it into color with colorist Larry Gibbs. Rogers rejoins the workflow when it's time for the sound mix, along with sound editor Paul Tade and mixers Peter Nusbaum and Whit Purple, as well as composer Jesse Novak and music editor Michael Brake. The show's first season on Hulu will be a split one with 13 episodes airing from September to December. Then The Mindy Project goes back into produc- tion in January for a second-half airdate commencing in March. "Being able to do 13/13" on a "monster order" of 26 is "exciting but also much easier to han- dle," says Rogers. "With the pace that we work at, having a break from assem- bling shows and even finishing them, lets everyone focus more on making the best shows possible and less on racing to make a tough schedule." Viewers only have to look at the slate of recent Emmy nominations to see how well represented streaming services are among top-rated fare, he notes. "Streaming lets the creatives be creative. Streaming is less restrictive with content and length, and the schedule is often less grueling. But the quality of the program- ming remains high." The Mindy Project shoots on Arri's Alexa and cuts on Avid Media Composer.

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