Independent writer/director/producer and founder of MDTV Productions Mark Davis recently turned to Burbank-based AlphaDogs to finish his new documentary Red Planet Rover, which looks at some of the discoveries of the Mars Curiosity Rover after two years of exploring the red planet, tackling the question: “could life ever have existed here?” The documentary aired last night on The Discovery Channel.
Specializing in science and history films, Red Planet Rover is Davis’ 7th documentary on Mars exploration. Davis has spent considerable time at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. over the past 12 years and has been engaged with the mission at JPL since early in the planning stages, years before landing in August 2012. “It’s exciting to work on shows where the stakes are high, the drama is real, and you don’t know how the story is going to end until it does,” said Davis. “There’s a lot of genuine human drama in a Mars mission, and I consider it a privilege to be close to that kind of action.”
Davis and John Beck-Hoffman, editor, DP and music composer on the film worked closely with AlphaDogs colorist Sean Stack under the tight time constraints. Last-minute changes included extensive updates just before the airdate. New video and audio materials were delivered during the final hours that had to be matched with the existing master.
“AlphaDogs [was] willing to cope with my hectic schedule and grueling deadlines,” said Davis. “I’m very happy with the final product. The show looks and sounds great and was delivered on time.”
Having worked on over 15 documentaries in just over two years, Stack’s attention to detail in creating a look and sound specific to this genre played a crucial role in telling Curiosity Rovers’ story. “Viewers should be drawn into the story and not distracted by any inconsistencies with the picture,” said Stack, “whether it’s a person talking, or action in an establishing wide shot.”