HearstMade’s Senior Creative Producer Josh Brede and Post Production Supervisor Matt Kalkau reached out to us early in their pre-production process for the project. Post Supervisor Samuel Gursky worked with them in this early stage to discuss what was possible and figure out a rough plan as they put together their initial planning decks and budget proposals.
The workflow plan was centered around having all post production team members connected to a fast, shared storage system. Cards from the three camera operators would go to a data manager to ingest and organize, and from there be accessible to both editors as well as an on-set colorist. The editors would be able to start editing their individual assets immediately, and the colorist would be able to start working on initial looks as the edit progressed that would be transferred over to the locked cuts once finalized for final detail work. Gursky would be filling the role of data manager as well as providing post supervision support to help with workflow and delivery, and Supervising Colorist Matthew Greenberg would be providing on-set color.
Once the creative plans came into focus and the scope and workflow were locked in, Irving Harvey was able to plan out and source the specific hardware components that would make everything work. Irving Harvey provided a small, fast server and all the networking gear required to allow us to create a 10GbE network on-set, allowing immediate access to footage for all members of the post production team after ingest. Additionally. Irving Harvey provided edit, data management, and color workstations.
In the days leading up to the shoot, Irving Harvey configured all workstations to make sure that the versions of Adobe software lined up with the versions used at the Hearst office in order to allow for a smooth transition into any additional post production that would happen there after the shoot. Additionally, all networking was configured so the setup could be deployed quickly once we arrived on-set.
Thanks to all the planning and configuration work done in advance of the shoot, production was a breeze. Systems Administrator Lyle Zanca accompanied us to set for the setup, and within an hour we had all machines and our local network up and running. Our server’s speed far exceeded the read speed of the XQD cards from the three FS7 cameras, so footage offload was as fast as possible and all parties were able to start working immediately.
Our setup was ready to go as the production team was finalizing lighting and camera choices for the main interview setup, and this meant Director of Photography Eric Teti was able to go over his lighting choices in color and make sure everything was working for the client. Having this available meant the client was able to make some important changes and even choose to go with full color over the planned black and white look.
The workflow was smooth and efficient. The 10GbE connections meant the edit workstations had plenty of bandwidth to edit smoothly. Adding footage as additional cards were ingested was seamless for the editors. Having immediate access to the footage meant the colorist was able to gain a strong grasp on the footage and develop looks for quick turnaround when colored assets were requested. When it came time to color finalized cuts, sending renders back and forth between editorial and color was very fast.
The setup proved versatile and useful in unexpected ways. Having access to all the footage at well meant it was easy to jump around and meant the color station could be used as an overflow station for going over footage with the client while both editors were focused on meeting their pressing deadlines. Working from the same pool of footage meant it was possible for editors to share their knowledge of the media and help find moments the other was looking for. Additionally, having color on set meant it was no problem when the talent requested to approve their looks in their interview setups.
Throughout production the media was backed up to rugged drives in addition to the server, and at the end of the night all parties were able to walk off set with identical copies of the media and working files, prepared in the case of any last-minute requests the following day.