Encore’s London and L.A. facilities recently collaborated on Fox‘s series 24: Live Another Day. Shot in London, Encore’s local office managed the dailies workflow for the 12-episode series, then piped footage back to Encore Hollywood for online editing, coloring and finishing.
Predominately filmed with ARRI Alexa cameras in Log C ProRes 422 (HQ), with additional AVCHD and GoPro cameras for pickup shots, each day’s footage was delivered to Encore London on drives, which ranged anywhere from three to six hours of content. Files were then ingested and processed with Rec 709 LUT color applied initially using Colorfront On-Set Dailies. Next, the footage was synched, metadata was entered and four deliverable formats were rendered – Avid DNX36 Avid for editorial, ISO DVD for production, QuickTime for DP Jeffrey Mygatt’s iPad reviews and MP4 files, which were uploaded to the DAX Platform for collaborative review. At the start of each day, DNX36 material was copied to shuttle drives and delivered to editorial, then pushed to Encore Hollywood via Aspera P2P. Original source material was archived to LTO-5 tapes and shipped to Encore Hollywood at regular intervals.
Given a compressed postproduction schedule, the direct line between Encore Hollywood and Encore London was crucial to keeping the project on track, with 24 postproduction supervisor Janelle Lopez and associate producer Ashley Contino overseeing work in Los Angeles. Upon receiving the offline edit from production, Encore senior editor Heydar Adel, who has worked on all eight previous seasons of 24, conformed episodes using an Avid Symphony to create a cut with high-resolution source footage. He then added secondary fixes and effects like gun muzzle flashes using Adobe After Effects, and integrated shots from the VFX department. The show’s trademark split screen added a layer of complexity to each edit, but Adel was able to complete the first pass in about five hours with an additional three to four hours for VFX.
Content was then routed to Encore senior colorist Kevin Kirwan for grading on a Linux-based Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve system. Having viewed a selection of previous episodes at the outset of the project, Kirwan, with additional guidance from Mygatt, maintained the show’s well-established and stylized look. Unlike more traditional programs, where a colorist can ripple a change through a scene, split-screen scenes required Kirwan to color the paneled shots cut by cut – a complex feat that produced visually striking results.
At the end of each session, files were sent to London for notes from Mygatt and the producers, with Lopez providing feedback in the bay. Both Kirwan and Mygatt used professionally calibrated, consumer grade Panasonic plasma televisions for monitoring at 1080P. Once color correction was complete, a process that took Kirwan on average 12 to 13 hours, the episode was sent back to Adel to add final titling and graphics, including the show’s clock counting down real-time.
Encore London also handled ADR, primarily using Pro Tools HD. Contino and sound editor Pembrooke Andrews were able to supervise recording sessions in London from Los Angeles using various combinations of ISDN, Source-Connect, phone patch and Skype.