Post Magazine

March 2011

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Reality TV “It’s a TV show, so you are not going to be doing it in 4K,” Curren explains. “If you are going to cut on Avid, you convert it to DNx. If you are going to cut on Final Cut, you convert it to ProRes. This particular show was Final Cut, so we converted to ProRes.When they were done cutting the sequence, we were ready to throw it into color correction and finishing.” Final Cut shows are finished at Al- phaDogs in a dedicated Apple Color suite.A Tangent CP200 series panel serves as the control interface. In the case where a show is edited on an Avid system, it gets finished — many times by Curren himself — using Avid Symphony Nitris DX. “The Symphony is a much better work- flow because everything is in one box,” he pretty pictures. It’s mostly hand held, [and Red] is not great for holding all day and fol- lowing people around.” DREAM HOUSE: LOG CABIN Fred Ruckel, and his wife Natasha, had their hands full in the creation of Dream House: Log Cabin, a seven-episode series air- ing on DIY Network. In addition to being the homeowners, Fred and Natasha are also the on-screen talent, construction supervisors, camera operators and executive producers. Fred Ruckel, a creative director and Au- todesk Inferno artist, color corrects and fin- ishes the show at Refinery (www.refin- and Stitch Motion Graphics ( in New York City, where it is also edited, given graphic treatment and audio posted. The show follows the newly- weds as they search for land in the Catskills on which to ultimately build their dream home. Along the way, they face angry neighbors and construction set backs, but perse- vere in realizing their dream. The show was shot entirely using P2-based Panasonic cameras, and Ruckel estimates that every weekend of work generated as much as 300GBs of footage.The couple found that the 8GB P2 cards just weren’t dense enough to capture the coverage they needed, so they invested in a Dream House:Fred and Natasha Ruckel acted as their own camera crew for this DIY show. notes.“You can color correct and the pro- ducer can ask, ‘Can you trim that shot or change the effect?, because you are still in the timeline. On the Apple side, you go into Color and all you have is color correction. You can’t even hear anything.The flipside is that it has a better toolset than the Avid has.” After The Battle was edited and color cor- rected, it was rendered out as ProRes for ti- tles, and finally output to HDCAM SR tape. This show represents the first series shot on Red that Curren and his team have en- countered. “A lot of reality shows are still shooting tape because of the massive quan- tities of information that they have to record and turn over to the network when they are done,” he notes. “Some of the shows are shooting XDCAM, so they still have a mas- ter they can hand over, but they have the benefit of working in a file-based universe. “Red is like a film camera.You can make really beautiful pictures if you have the time to set things up and do it right,” he adds. “But in reality settings, it’s run-and-gun, and you are shooting in whatever situation you find yourself in, so it’s not like you can make 22 Post • March 2011 64GB card. In total they made use of a 64-, 32- and three 8GB cards. A laptop/transfer station was used to back up footage so cards could return to the field. Ruckel says the initial two-and-a-half - minute sizzle reel is what really piqued the network’s interest.“I think they were really excited about the fact that we had been shooting high def the whole time on our own accord, so they knew that by getting into the show with us, we already had a sig- nificant amount of footage.” The show is edited at Refinery using Avid Media Composers connected to shared storage.Audio post takes place in one room using Avid Pro Tools. Fred uses his Inferno for online and color correction, which isn’t necessarily the most cost-effective solution, but one that he feels has its benefits. “It’s not a cost-effective way, but for me it’s a tool that I use every day, so it allows me to use it in a different way,” he explains. “I am doing the online edit, putting together these episodes that are 2,000-plus edits per episode. I am able to pick up color correc- tions and drop them from one to another. It’s not the same as if I were doing it in a lesser machine. I am able to track people’s shirts and blur logos right on them while I am in the color correction process.When I hit render, it’s color corrected, it’s got all the graphics and any retouches, blurs, tracks, added or removed items, and it’s just one render instead of passing the buck to an artist in a different room. So in that sense, it’s cost effective. And it probably takes more time because it is my own show. I am color correcting myself and have to make myself look good!” Some of the show’s graphics are created in Inferno, but other artists also contribute.“I will have my designer work on some of the 2D type graphics that are demonstrative of something that they want to show happen, and when we need 3D visualization, I have my 3D artist working on Autodesk XSI. He will use a 3D model of the house and do ro- tations and fly-overs and things like that.” Alex Grybauskas edits the series with Lynn Franciotti assisting.The show is mastered to HDCAM SR tape.The network requires HDCAM, so it is then dubbed down for deliv- ery. Dream House: Log Cabin airs in HD. WORK OF ART Magical Elves ( in Los Angeles teamed up with actress Sarah Jessica Parker and her production company, Pretty Matches, to produce the Bravo series Work of Art: Next Great Artist.The first season was produced and posted last year, and when Post caught up with lead editor Steve Lichtenstein, the company was gearing up for production of the second season. Work of Art: Next Great Artist puts aspiring artists against each other as they are given challenges with short turnarounds. Art en- thusiast China Chow hosts the show and serves on a judging panel alongside other art luminaries.The first season was shot in New York City over the course of a month and a half, and was edited into 10 episodes. Season 2 will follow a similar structure. The first season was shot on Panasonic DVCPRO, but Lichtenstein says that may change for next season. “Work of Art was shot maybe about a year ago, but since then our company is shooting a lot on XDCAM and even using some of the DSLR cameras for second unit and B-roll,” he notes.“They are definitely easier to use,” he says of the Canon DSLRs.“We use it for better access in smaller locations, or if we need an auxiliary second camera to cap- ture some moments quickly. It actually continued on page 47

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