Hollywood DI recently completed digital dailies for the feature film Geography Club. The teen comedy, produced by Michael Huffington and Anthony Bretti at Huffington Pictures, was directed by Gary Entin, and shot on the Red EPIC camera by director of photography, Matthew Irving. The movie was lensed over 20 days, in and around Los Angeles. Hollywood DI delivered synced audio and color corrected dailies files from the RAW .r3d camera files using the recently developed Express Dailies software from Colorfront.
Neil Smith, managing director of Hollywood DI, explained that the company has built a “Dailies-In-A-Box” system around Express Dailies. “Our ‘Dailies-In-A-Box’ solution for TV, features and commercials combines the high-powered functionality of Express Dailies with general purpose tools like Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve and Autodesk Smoke to provide a complete end-to-end system for productions looking to save money on dailies and post,” Smith said.
“For a modern post house, like Hollywood DI, that specializes in file-based workflow for filmmakers and TV shows, it’s imperative that we find the most robust and cost-effective tools to deliver our digital dailies, color correction and finishing services,” Smith said. “Working with Express Dailies to sync, color correct and transcode camera files to ProRes or DNxHD for editing and H.264 files for iPad review was a very straightforward and efficient experience.”
The new 64-bit Express Dailies software runs on the Mac OSX platform and supports nVIDIA CUDA GPU processing.
“We looked at several different options for delivering our dailies and in the end went with Hollywood DI’s approach,” said Bretti. “We really liked how efficient their workflow was and how flexible they were on meeting our requirements in a cost-effective manner. The EPIC camera shoots a RAW looking image, but we wanted a best light grade on the different setups. Hollywood DI’s dailies colorist worked closely with our DP and editor to give them exactly what they wanted. The iPad review dailies were uploaded to the Hollywood DI website every night and easily accessed by the producers wherever they were located.”
For cinematographer Matthew Irving (Waitress, Waiting), the Hollywood DI dailies workflow was both creatively and logistically satisfying. “Since we had a 20-day schedule, we had to move very rapidly, so there was no time for ‘painting’ the image on-set,” Irving said. “In fact, it looked exactly like a film set. I was exposing to my meter rather than a monitor, knowing exactly what the ‘digital film stock’ of the Red Epic could and could not capture. Then, the streamed dailies from Hollywood DI allowed me to communicate clearly and quickly with our excellent colorist Steve Macmillan to ensure that our best-light grade reflected precisely the look we were going for.”
“Express Dailies delivers faster than real-time processing for all major camera formats including ARRI Alexa, Red Epic, Sony F65 and Canon C500 and HDSLRs,” MacMillan said. “We can easily grade clips using the built-in high-resolution scopes. I’m very impressed with Express Dailies’ superior ability to quickly sync sound with picture and produce editorial files and review dailies with complete metadata for both Avid and FCP workflows.”
“Express Dailies is an integral part of Hollywood DI’s ‘Dailies In A Box’ solution,” Smith said. “By combining state of the art software such as Express Dailies and Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 9 along with cutting edge hardware from Apple and nVIDIA, Hollywood DI is able to provide customers with a cost-effective alternative to the typical heavy-iron, expensive systems currently on the market.”