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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September 2010
47 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 CAMPAIGNBRIEF POST PRODUCTION 46 CAMPAIGNBRIEF SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 Now a shoot can start with post production, says Rick Schweikert, managing director of FSM “Once upon a time on set produc- tion worries started with badly loaded film, a camera fault, or scratched neg. Now, with over a dozen different data cameras in reg- ular use including Phantom, Photron, SI-2K, RED, Canon 5D/7D, Weisscam and the Arri Alexa, the moment the drive or card is removed from a camera the production company and agency can find themselves in a very volatile situation. Without proper management everything that’s shot can be lost. The FSM ON-SET solution is to get it backed up and archived there and then. On set, or on location. At the same time that data can be properly managed. And as its raw data, it can be given a colour grade immediately so the DoP and direc- tor can check on the results of their work. If the shoot involves slow mo on a Phantom producing terabytes of material the footage can be viewed and selected so only the worthwhile shots are rendered and archived. Yes, it’s a strict new on set regimen, but it’ll keep everyone reassured. And there are real budget efficien- cies as well.” It’s all about getting ahead of schedule, says Peter Fisher, producer, Special Projects. “Traditionally agency and produc- tion companies waited a day or more to start post producing the raw data. But with this new system, post production can start while the shoot is underway. FSM has developed our own portable hardware and software, which we bring along to a shoot. FSM introduces innovative techniques for digital shoots Plus an expert to back up, quality control valuable camera data, and provide you with immediate, secure solutions. He’ll create copies with back up verification. And do a pre- liminary grade on the spot. The production company and agency can then review and quality control footage in real time on an HD or stereoscopic 3D (S3D) monitor. And select and edit takes, on set. It also means that the producer can take away Quicktime compiles of colour graded and selected mate- rial. Or the material can be deliv- ered wirelessly. Before data cameras, when there was complicated scenes the post production company’s presence on set was normally limited to a VFX supervisor. Now that supervisor can get their preliminary keys and com- posites on the spot. With deadlines and production schedules constant- ly under time pressures from agen- cies and their clients, any time saved is obviously a bonus. Especially as data handling can be reduced with files prepared on set for Avid or FCP. And the use of data cameras has bred a new dilemma. Shooting ratios have sky rocketed. With no film processing and comparatively cheap data, crews are shooting masses of material for just the sim- plest commercial. It places great pressure on the data management and also on the editor who has to review all the material. The sooner it can be prepared for editing, the sooner the job gets underway. And everything can be recorded straight to the work station, uncom- pressed and even in stereo 3D alle- viating the need for external and expensive HD VTRs.” Every producer’s nightmare, short or long form, says Stephen Dunn, FSM’s joint managing director “New data cameras have been adopted so quickly that camera original material is sometimes not treated with the respect it deserves. Unlike neg it’s transient, tempo- rary, ephemeral even and so demands ‘an on the spot, cost effec- tive, reliable method of data archiv- ing and back up.’ Think about it. A Phantom can get through a terabyte in an 8-hour shoot. Yet a camera card only has limited capacity – a worry, as many are returned as part of the camera hire. So the quicker data is man- aged, the better. FSM believes that relying on a notebook and a portable drive on an expensive shoot, any shoot for that matter, is chancy. Especially with little or no verification that back up has been successfully achieved. Processing terabytes of data after the shoot can take days to manage, while the editor can only wait. FSM’s solution is to do it as you go. And only provide the good takes, not unnecessary and ulti- mately useless footage. Wrangling, back up, archiving, rendering for edit, colour grading rushes, preparing for VFX: FSM ON-SET is literally the onset of a whole new way of looking at com- mercial production.” You’ll need glasses for this As CB discovered when we visited FSM’s production facility in Northbridge, they’ve added another dimension to data camera produc- tion with Stereoscopic 3D (S3D) There’s not only a coffee machine and barista in reception, but a high resolution monitor showing recent 3D commercials, video clips and broadcast design, with a selection of 3D glasses for visitors. FSM has made a commitment to the world of stereoscopic 3D and now has dedicated experts in S3D. Says Dunn: “Stereoscopic works by mounting two cameras on a common rig, like two eyes, the viewer can experience true, spatial 3D depth. “Then we add the very latest tech- nology, using digital projection or 3D LCD monitors viewed either through passive polarized glasses or active shutter glasses. Though you can also view 3D through the older, anaglyph red/cyan lenses: which have been around since House of Wax glued teenagers to their cine- ma seats back in the 50’s. “We’ve all experienced that pas- sive or active glasses are much more efficient than anaglyph through recent productions such as Avatar. Though the latter work with any monitor as we’ve seen with YouTube. And S3D is typically now shot using data cameras to avoid the alignment issues you can experience using two film cameras.” Says Fisher: “Two cameras dou- ble the reason to get all your data managed on set.” It’s often overlooked when FSM do it first, says Dean Sutherland, head of production “Over the years FSM has claimed a series of industry firsts. They were first to adopt the AVID, and 2K scanning via NorthLight. Now we’re first to offer such com- prehensive on set data solutions. This obviously involves hiring new people to handle the new equip- ment and develop new techniques.” FSM suggest they are one of the few post houses, perhaps the only one to offer such a complete post production service including a branch of Glebe’s Stellar Sound on site, with newly arrived English sound designer Nigel Crowley as resident engineer. Crowley has spent the last twenty years in London’s Soho, where he had his own studio and worked with some of the world’s best. He says, not surprisingly, “I’ll make your films sound good.” CB also discovered that FSM still has their famous kitchen. As Schweikert notes: “There are producers who book sessions to start or end around lunchtime. But these days they can be here all day anyway, so the food never stops.” Call Steve Dunn or Rick Schweikert at FSM on +612 8966 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. With the digital revolution and the move to data cameras, film production has entered a brand new phase, bringing with it new production problems and opportunities. CB takes a closer look at how FSM has moved to accommodate these new industry requirements. FOX SPORTS was the first channel to broadcast in 3D. FSM provided a range of S3D graphics and animations. High speed food shoots like this one for McDonald’s are more common than ever. Using a Photron camera at over 1000 fps, the data handling is more critical than ever. Rogue Traders shot S3D for the FIFA World Cup using Sony 1500 cameras. Shot on RED, Mei Mei is a feature film currently in production starring Guy Pearce and Zhu Lin. Over 40 hours and 5 terabytes camera data needed archiving and quality control. Eskimo Joe – Shot over 6 hrs RED footage for a 3 min video. The award winning Toyota ‘Nothing Soft gets in’ commercial via Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney was shot using digital cameras. The recent Woolworth’s campaign via M&C Saatchi, Sydney and Exit Films was shot in New York on Canon 5D. A two camera shoot with over a terabyte of data. Big job, little camera, great quality. FSM joint managing directors Stephen Dunn (left) and Rick Schweikert Glasses like these passive, active and anaglyph are required to view 3D correctly The new Arri Alexa. Just released with over 20 orders already and arguably the closest data camera to film yet released. Stereoscopic rigs using RED and Panasonic cameras can shoot huge amounts of data. Who’s safely archiving all this and how? Canon’s 5D is creating huge interest. A recent job was to shoot a half hour and came in with over 3 hours of material.
May June 2010