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November/December 2021

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Page 26 of 39 25 POST NOV/DEC 2021 EDITING OUTLOOK O VIRTUAL PRODUCTION A t the start of the COVID lock- down, surrounded by a fortress of all the G-Drives I could fit into an Uber when I fled my Manhattan office, the thought of more work than I could handle seemed impossible. Those early days were a test of faith for every editor in the world. With production shut down, broadcasts were littered with one Zoom chat after the next. And that meant not much that needed to be edited. But a funny thing happened as the weeks turned into months, and months into the new normal. Viewers consumed a lot of content — like a lot! And they expected it all on-demand. That content still needed to be created, and we were ready to meet that demand head on — right from the edit rooms we had set up in our homes. With so many outlets for viewers to visit, one inevitable result of this on-de- mand paradigm is that our clients have had to be much more clever in how they draw in and retain audiences. For example, there's been a huge surge in creating "shoulder content" (things like behind-the-scenes looks at the episode they just watched are wildly popular). It's added value, a way to keep the audience engaged — if you give them a BTS piece at the end, you're creating more fandom. Most of what we do as a company is content that's ancillary and supports the main event. It's marketing that doesn't feel like marketing, and becomes part of the bigger story. Because of this explosion in view- ing, however, client demand has also soared. It's a downside of the new look of collaboration; they know the edit bay is never far away, and some expect you to be at their beck and call. Since you've got more time to dedicate to work (what commute?), the output you're expected to produce has also increased. That said, when you consider the amount of work editors are putting out now, with no real perceived quality difference, it's clear the product has not suffered. Indeed, in some respects, it's gotten better. Through it all, we've discovered that the way editors and clients collaborate is forever changed. We've become more independent. We've had to. When you were in the room with other humans, you got instant feedback. Now, you have to be more predictive as to how clients will react. When possible, clients will sit in on sessions remotely, but it's not the same. More often than not, we're left on our own to be the "preditors" the industry demands we be. But when you think about collab- oration, you also have to think about how it affects editors, their colleagues and their assistants. Certainly, some of the technical skill (and maybe some creative) will suffer because you can't ruminate over the edits. I've seen plenty of people who've worked well in those tight situations — their instincts are honed naturally. But unfortunately, I've also seen people who crumble in these same situations. They may have the chops, but they simply need time to think about their art. I used to joke that being a good editor means being equal parts artist, tech support and therapist. One thing is certain: the next generation of editors will be very nimble when it comes to the technical demands of the job. They'll have to be! But collaboration and communication are skills that new editors will have to work a lot harder at to tell their story, since many of the nuances of a great creative partnership come from what happens face-to-face, in the real world. THE CREATIVE EDITORIAL BOOM CONTINUES IN 2022 BY ANTHONY CORTESE VP OF EDITORIAL DEFINITION 6 DEFINITION6.COM V irtual production using LED screens has rapidly gone from a pioneering specialty to a main- stream technique. But the experience has not always been smooth, with the LED screen often being a fixed point that every other department must adapt around. Brompton Technology, the manufac- turer of video processing solutions for LED walls, has been working hard to change that and to ensure that the LED screen becomes a collaborative partner in the creative process rather than an obstacle. DPs are used to being able to adjust their shutter angle to achieve a particular creative effect or manage mo- tion blur. But with an LED screen in the mix, they have often been restricted to selecting a specific shutter angle to avoid visual artifacts. No longer! Earlier this year, Brompton introduced ShutterSync, a feature that allows the refresh timing of the LED screen to be adjusted to match the chosen shutter angle of the camera. It is a similar story with color, where LED screens can vary wildly. Brompton has pioneered 'dynamic calibration', a technology for LED that ensures accu- rate reproduction of colors within the gamut and intelligent management of out-of-gamut colors. Dynamic calibration also underpins the implementation of HDR video, which is increasingly becom- ing a requirement for virtual production — in part due to the ability to encode absolute color and brightness informa- tion into HDR content, which can then be faithfully reproduced on the LED screen. Where custom color management or on-set grading is required, Brompton's Tessera processors support the import of 3D LUTs in industry-standard .cube formats. The capability to manage those 3D LUTs is now integrated into leading tools, such as Pomfort LiveGrade, so that digital imaging technicians can now grade an LED screen in the same way they would manage any other monitor. There are now even workflows avail- able to support multi-camera virtual pro- duction shoots using LED screens. These rely upon Brompton's 'frame remapping' technology, which allows multiple differ- ent content streams to be interlaced so that a frame from each stream is shown in turn. The last 18 months have seen rapid, widespread adoption of virtual produc- tion using LED, and equally-rapid advances in the technology available to make the LED screen a full partner in the creative process. Brompton is continuing to support our many users in the space and advance the state-of-the-art for virtual production with LED. MAKING VIRTUAL PRODUCTION A REALITY BY RICHARD MEAD CEO BROMPTON TECHNOLOGY WWW.BROMPTONTECH.COM

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