SIM Digital and Bling Digital recently provided production, workflow and postproduction services to the Emmy Award-winning series Fargo.
Fargo has earned critical acclaim and an enthusiastic audience with its “true-crime tale” centering on a drifter (Billy Bob Thornton), an insurance agent (Martin Freeman) and other denizens of a small town in Minnesota.
The show employed a unique workflow linking its production team, which was based in Calgary, Alberta, with editorial and postproduction operations located in Los Angeles.
SIM Digital supplied the crew with ARRI Alexa cameras and related production gear, while Bling supplied a P.O.D. (Post On Demand) system – a cart-based workstation used on-set/near-set for media off-load, sound synchronization, media backup and dailies processing. Bling also provided Avid editorial and shared storage systems, as well as editing suites, through its facility in Los Angeles.
Bling set up a dedicated, secure, high-speed Internet connection to facilitate the rapid delivery of dailies media and other production data from the set in Calgary to the editorial team in L.A. This workflow eliminated the need for a third-party post house for dailies processing, while getting material to the show’s editors as quickly as possible. Once dailies were processed using the P.O.D. system on the set, they were sent through the network and recorded directly to an Avid ISIS shared storage system located in the L.A. editing room. Dailies from each day’s shoot were generally available to the editorial team by the time they arrived for work the following morning.
In a pinch, turnaround can be even faster. Peter Chomsky, the show’s postproduction producer, recalled an instance from the show’s pilot when dailies needed to be processed very quickly. “By that afternoon we had the scene cut in time for a screening with network executives,” said Chomsky. “We locked it, color timed it and had the picture ready for lay-back of the mix on Saturday and delivered the show at 2 o’clock on Sunday morning.”
Produced by MGM Television and FX Productions, Fargo is written by Noah Hawley. Emmy Award-winning director Adam Bernstein directed the premiere. Hawley, Warren Littlefield, Joel & Ethan Coen and Geyer Kosinski serve as executive producers.