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March 2016

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DIGITAL INTERMEDIATES 26 POST MARCH 2016 different, mastering requires different passes for the video HDR master — generally at either 1,000 or 4,000 nits — and the theatri- cal HDR master, which is measured at 108 nits, Nakamura explains. The additional grading passes require studios to build more time and money into the post workflow. "It's so early and HDR mastering is constantly evolving, so things may change in the future," Nakamura says. "But studios have to be prepared for any outlet to show their content, and they have to protect their content for future distribution and archiving." CHAINSAW DI today is "a very broad term for a process that started as some- thing very specific," notes Joe Finley, a colorist at Chainsaw (www. in Hollywood. DI has left its film roots almost entirely in the past, in Finley's experience. "The last feature I did that shot on film was The Descendants," he says. The indie horror film he color graded last year, The Devil's Candy, was shot on Arri Alexa. His current projects — Game of Thrones (Finley has been its colorist since Season 2), the new USA sci-fi series Colony, and the new PBS Civil War series Mercy Street — were all shot on Alexa. With the migration to digital, DI for features and DI for script- ed television have become "one and the same," says Chainsaw's general manager Steve Purcell. "The feature and TV worlds have melded together; there's a tremendous amount of overlap in the workflows. From camera to delivery, scripted shows and features are very, very similar." Back in the day, there wasn't much crossover among those who worked in production and post production of features, tele- vision, commercials and music videos, Purcell recalls. But today, "creative teams move freely between different types of content. Their cameras are the same, their edit systems are the same, their color correction platforms are the same. It's an exciting time for creative talent to be able to flow between TV and film projects." Chainsaw performs DI for features in its 4K theater equipped with a Christie projector and 65-inch plasma TV; six color suites handle DI for television. Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve and FilmLight's Baselight color correction systems are deployed, at the colorist's preference, for both features and TV. Before color grading got underway for Mercy Street, the Civil War medical drama that just finished its first season on PBS, Finley and the show's creators "talked extensively about the color palette," he reports. "They didn't want it to be sepia but it had to have a period look. So I played a lot with saturation and contrast to give it a distinctive look." Of course, "the stunning wardrobe and set decoration" went a long way in helping to create the look of Mercy Street, says Finley. And "the cinematographers did a great job lighting the show. I was sent Arri log material, then played with very subtle tones and color palettes to enhance what they shot." Purcell says that 4K delivery has made big advances in the past year, and HDR looks to follow suit. "We're finding that even traditional awards shows and reality shows have 4K deliveries today. A year ago, 4K was a discussion point, and now it's manda- tory. We've been testing and exploring HDR — there's a lot of talk about it. It's right on the horizon." DIGITAL JUNGLE At Hollywood's Digital Jungle (, DI "means digital finishing more than anything else," says presi- dent Dennis Ho. "We still use the term with clients so there's no miscommunication, but we drill down to discuss their needs and what they'd like to accomplish. We like our clients to define their terms." Digital Jungle's wide array of services begins with digital dailies or 4K film scans on Lasergraphics' Director and extends to conforming on Quantel Pablo or Autodesk Smoke; final color grading on Pablo in the 4K theater with Barco projection or in a color suite with Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve; VFX with The Foundry's Nuke, Adobe After Effects and Imagineer Systems' Mocha; and audio sweetening and mixing with Avid ProTools 11 and a new Avid S6 console. Most of Digital Jungle's DI clients hail from the independent filmmaking community where budgets are always a challenge. "We have to do more with less time and less money; we have to find ways to maximize our rooms and find creative solutions for clients," he says. "We try to meet their highest priorities for finishing and come to a middle ground on their 'wish list.' Our goal is to finish projects with limited budgets that everyone can be proud of." Digital Jungle recently completed DI for Broken Memories, a drama directed by Michael Worth about dementia and Alzheimer's disease, which stars Rance Howard, Ron Howard's father. Coproduced by Digital Jungle Pictures, it was shot on Arri Alexa, whose high dynamic range enabled the use of natu- ral light for almost all interiors and exteriors, notes Ho. Alexa Raw footage was graded by colorist Chuck Crews. Although no distribution deal is in place yet, Digital Jungle de- livered a 2K DCP package, HDCAM SR, Blu-ray and DVDs, and ProRes 444 for archiving. "The picture runs beautifully in the theater and on flat screens as well," Ho reports. Digital Jungle also did the DI for A Better Place, which Ho co-wrote, directed and edited; it's his long-form directorial debut. It explores social commentary through a coming-of-age story wrapped inside a metaphysical morality tale and stars Steven Todt and Garrett Wareing. Currently on the festival cir- cuit, it has taken two Best Picture awards at LA festivals, along with a Best Director award at the Lyon (France) International Chainsaw's (L-R) Finley and Purcell perform DI services in the studio's 4K theater using Resolve and Baselieght systems. Dennis Ho's (inset) Digital Jungle handled Broken Memories' DI.

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