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HomeCraftsEditingSIM Digital Helps CTV's Spun Out in Post

SIM Digital Helps CTV’s Spun Out in Post

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CTV's Spun Out
CTV’s Spun Out
SIM Digital recently provided production and postproduction equipment, services and support for the debut season of Spun Out, a new multi-camera sitcom from CTV and Project 10 Productions. SIM designed and built a file-based workflow for the show that extended from the cameras through final delivery and included features such as real-time delivery of full-resolution camera media from the set to the editorial team.

Shot before a live audience at Pinewood Studios in Toronto, Spun Out stars Dave Foley (Newsradio, Kids in the Hall) as the head of a public relations agency. Spun Out is CTV’s first live multi-camera show to be produced with a complete file-based workflow. SIM Digital designed a multi-camera system consisting of four Sony F900R cameras that fed a pair of Cinedeck digital disk recorders housed in a custom-built flight pack that became the show’s master control room. Camera media captured by the Cinedecks was recorded in real-time to Avid ISIS shared storage system employed by the show’s editorial team (located in a cutting room adjacent to the control room) and to G-Raid drives for back-up.

Editorial media was recorded as Avid native, DNX-175X files, providing editors with access to full-resolution camera media just moments after it was captured on stage. “The advantage of this workflow is that we don’t need to copy camera media,” explained Dave French, SIM Digital director of postproduction engineering. “There’s no transcoding, no format conversion. As soon as it’s shot, editorial has access to it and can begin cutting.”

The Spun Out control room
The Spun Out control room
A third Cinedeck recorder was used to produce show dailies. Feeds from the four cameras were recorded in quad-split display and made accessible to the production team as iPad-compatible files through a web-based dailies application service. “The director and producers could view their dailies almost as soon as the shoot day was over,” French said.

During initial camera tests and the pilot episode, video coordinator James Clarke developed in-camera looks for the show’s various sets. Those looks were reapplied – with minor adjustments – during the production of the subsequent episodes, allowing them to be posted, as shot, with minimal additional color correction. Additionally, Clarke, with the aid of SIM’s engineering team, replaced the standard cabling used with the Sony cameras, with lightweight fiber cables and replaced the standard camera controls with Copperhead 3200 fiber optic camera transceivers.

The workflow was fast, efficient and resulted in cost savings by eliminating the need to copy and transcode camera media. “It was a complex workflow with tons of cable and equipment, but the whole production went very smoothly with barely a glitch,” Project 10 producer Colin Brunton said. “The SIM team was very dedicated and passionate about making it work.”

“It was fantastic,” assistant editor Cory Augustyn said. “If the director wanted to review a shot, we could add it to a scene and send it right back.”

SIM affiliate PS Production Services provided lighting and grip equipment for the show, including specialized sound booms called “prams” used to rapidly move microphones over performing talent without obstructing the view of the studio audience.

Spun Out director's station
Spun Out director’s station
Postproduction work is currently ongoing at SIM via its postproduction division, Bling Digital in Toronto. Bling is facilitating the online edit, final color grading and finishing.

Based on reaction to the show’s pilot, hopes are high for Spun Out. “It’s a big show for us and it was great to work with SIM and its partners on a project of this scale,” Brunton said. “We all believe that this show is going to be a hit; one that will go on for years.”

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