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Baselight and Avid Color Coronation Street


Coronation Street Lead Colorist, Stephen Edwards.
Coronation Street Lead Colorist, Stephen Edwards.
As part of its move to a new production base, ITV’s popular continuing drama, Coronation Street, has implemented a new grading workflow based around FilmLight technology. As well as a Baselight ONE grading system with Slate control surface, five of the productions edit suites are equipped with Baselight Editions, putting the creative grading toolset directly inside Avid.

Coronation Street moved to its new home in MediacityUK, in the northwest of England, at the beginning of 2014. This location includes external streets, practical sets and studio space, together with all the postproduction equipment required to deliver completed programs on a fast turnaround. With the drama transmitted five times a week, the production team is creating the equivalent of a full-length feature film every week.

HD camera outputs from multiple, simultaneous shoots are captured as files and immediately loaded onto an Avid ISIS shared storage system. The Baselight ONE grading suite sits on the ISIS network and performs a master grade without having to render a single frame — grading information is passed to the edit suites as metadata in the AAF files, including tracking information, windows and keyframes.

By working on the same media in its native format, metadata exchanges between the grading and editing suites are very fast and there is no loss of quality — or time — through rendering or file conversion. Baselight for Avid allows editors to make changes to the grade if necessary, and also the lead colorist can pull edited shots (and their adjusted grades) back into Baselight to make further changes in the master suite. Baselight Editions include the same core toolset as full Baselight systems, with the same graphical user interface, but implemented to run as a plugin on the editor or effects workstation.

“Baselight ONE has integrated really well into our new workflow, while Baselight for Avid often negates the need to come back into Baselight for re-edits,” said Stephen Edwards, lead colorist on Coronation Street. “The powerful grading tools enable me to move quickly through the episodes, adding real, on-screen value to a well-established show.”

“Moving between Baselight and Avid without the time and quality constraints usually associated with this process is a great enhancement both to our workflow and to our production,” added postproduction manager, David Williams.

“This is a really practical — and fast — workflow for a production which is under constant pressure,” said Wolfgang Lempp, co-founder of FilmLight. “ITV Studios took the bold decision to raise the production values of Coronation Street even higher when it moved to its new base. Today, the show looks like the highest quality drama while still meeting the time demands of five episodes a week.”

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