Post Magazine

December 2015

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PRIMETIME 20 POST DECEMBER 2015 want to go too far in that documenta- ry-style look. You still want the whole show to feel nice, but you still want it to go towards the direction of a documen- tary, behind-the-scenes feel." Boyer, who relies on the DaVinci Resolve for color, points out that one of the many unique aspects of working on the show is, he'll often get a first pass where, "Sometimes all the rods are still attached and the puppeteers will be in [the scenes]," he says. "They'll be in green or black suits, controlling the limbs of the characters and they'll be front and center, right in the screen. So I'll get a full pass of that first, while [Burbank's] Soapbox Films, who does all the VFX and rod removals, are still doing the VFX on it. So, I'll do my pass and then before the delivery I'll get the final pass and I'll take that and color chase it. I'll use the Color Trace function on that, re-Color Trace all of the work that I've already done, because they just basically replaced the entire show with the same thing, but without rods, without the people. They do it very creatively, too. Instead of just removing the rods, some- times they'll do something like make a piece of crumbled up paper in front of the rod — they do it in creative ways, hiding the things you're not supposed to see. So, I'll get the same scene, but a new one without all the rods and such, and I'll Color Trace that and it's seamless. It just puts my color back on to my corrections per shot. The Color Trace feature is huge in this process. The Tracking Functions are a lifesaver, too, because I may want to take down the red in Kermit's mouth but I don't want to take down the red in the curtains behind him. So, the Tracking on the Resolve is amazing." As for challenges in the color grading, Boyer says, "Craig has been [shooting] the Muppets for many years, so he gives me a lot of really nice material to work with. He knows the ins and outs of the characters and how to shoot them. So, maybe a challenge is to not polish it? Keeping that docu-film maybe is a chal- lenge because it's always in my head to maybe not overdue what's there." According to Kief, "Chris's natural first instinct was to balance everything and make it look as good as possible. We spent a lot of time on the first episode discussing the philosophy behind the various looks, why it shouldn't be per- fect, and how. He totally got it right away and ran with it." EDITING Kief, who's not only a seasoned DP and expe- rienced in color grading, also knows his way around the post process, having worked as an Avid editor early in his career. "I've always been keenly aware of the post pro- cess. Post is always on my mind when we're shooting, and I do my best to set the editor(s) and VFX supervisor up for their work to succeed as best as possible." Steering the editing ship on The Muppets are TV vets Richie Edelson (Project Runway, Parks & Recreation, Wilfred and Black-ish) and Ivan Victor (Jackass, Reno 911!, Wilfred, Parks & Recreation and The Goldbergs), both cutting on Avid Media Composers (V.7) in DNx36 resolution. The common theme, executive producer Randall Einhorn, who both editors previously worked with on Parks & Recreation and Wilfred before Einhorn became involved with bringing the Muppets back to primetime television. Edelson got the call from Einhorn to work on the show's pre- sentation pilot; Victor joined soon after, once the network picked up the show. According to Edelson, it was "be- yond a no-brainer," to take the gig. "I grew up on the Muppets. I was so excited." Edelson says he and Victor leap-frog the episodes, with Edelson taking the odd number shows and Victor taking the even. Speaking to the series' editing style, Edelson says, "One of the things I love about the show is, it is fast paced when it needs to be but everyone is happy to let things breathe when they need to, also. Let things have a moment. In the pilot, we had this footage of Kermit and Miss Piggy breaking up and we played that all in a oner. It was a pretty hefty scene and there were no cuts in it. I do think that while it is a rela- tively Color treatment is handled in DaVinci Resolve. 'Up Late With Miss Piggy,' here with guests Joseph Gor- don-Levitt (top) and Reese Witherspoon, has a more contrasty/ saturated look than the show's behind-the- scenes segments.

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