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HomeGearTrend Spotting-Digital Film Co. opens post house

Trend Spotting-Digital Film Co. opens post house

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The Camera House recently opened a new West Hollywood post facility for its fledgling postproduction arm – The Digital Film Company (DFC). The facility is purpose-built for data-centric production and post, offering on-set color services, digital dailies for editorial offline, color grading and online conforming, all of it specifically designed for some of the new data-centric cameras on the market.
DFC’s postproduction supervisor, Jeff Brue, explained that the goal is “to deal with all data workflows for uncompressed filmmaking.” The facility is built around S.two’s D.MAG workflow, which the Camera House has been using with Thomson Vipers for over two years now. “It’s an automated workflow from hard drive recording, to providing offline files for both Avid and Final Cut,” explained Brue. “The unique thing about what we do is when capturing off a Viper or an [Sony] F23, we can apply a creative look automatically that follows through from what you’re seeing on set, all the way through offline editorial.”
“In a sense, we’re pretty much offering a digital asset management service, creating the offline files, as well as delivering the online files in a timely manner,” he explained.
DFC currently has two seats of Assimilate’s Scratch, along with Digital Vision’s Film Master (with all the DVNR tools) in its main DI suit along with a Barco DP90P projector for playback. A 70 Terabyte SAN ties it all together. The company also uses Iridas’s SpeedGrade OnSet for preliminary on set color correction.
Of course, having a post facility tied to a rental house offers some unique synergies.
“For any of our S.two workflow, we can bundle rental with digital asset management services and color services. That’s one of the unique things that we have,” explained Brue. “So I’m in constant dialog with Chad Martin at The Camera House about new ways to approach problems and whether we need to fix them on set or in post. It allows for a tight collaboration, which is crucial with these new technologies, because we can provide answers at every step of the way.”
One key challenge facing postproduction houses dealing with these new formats is the diversity of 3D LUTs on the market (and the lack of standardization).
“We have quite a lot of LUT conversion capabilities here. We have CineSpace from Rising Sun Research, so from almost any color cube we can get to anything else, and that’s a capability that we’ve just had to develop in house, because there are so many different LUT formats.”
In terms of digital camera rentals, The Camera House offers Thomson Vipers and Sony F23s, along with S.two Digital Field Recorders for field recording, but they also have a number of Red One cameras on order.
And with some 750 Red One cameras expected to enter the LA market over the next year, the company expects a lot of post work based on its Scratch workflow. “In and of itself that is a huge number of cameras. And right now it’s going to require a lot of post facilities to set up, and it’s going to be a very interesting time for everybody, and very much a learning curve for everybody.”
In fact, at press time, Brue was working on test footage from one of the first Red One cameras to ship.
“Red is one of our other main focuses and that’s part of our partnership with Assimilate. Scratch is the only software that is going to be able to deal with color grading Red footage in its native format,” said Brue. “My view is that we need to be ready and come up with an efficient workflow that will meet the demands for using any of these new cameras, be it the Dalsa Origin, the Phantom, the Red, or any of the others. It’s the responsibility of the digital asset management and grading house to step up to the plate and understand what shooting on these new cameras means.”
The Digital Film Company opened with post commitments from several projects already in production, and has already provided post services for Killer Pad, directed by Robert Englund and shot by David Stump, and Breaking the Rules, starring directed by John Menendez of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Written by Scott Lehane

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