Robert Rodriguez and his team at Troublemaker Studios recently embraced Avid Everywhere to create the 3D feature film Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. The film’s editorial and sound departments relied the Avid MediaCentral Platform, using systems from the Avid Artist Suite and Avid Storage Suite for an efficient and collaborative workflow.
“The performance of Avid’s solutions has allowed me to keep my post process quick, streamlined, and personal,” said Rodriguez. “These products, and the workflows they drive, enable me to collaborate with a close creative team to make big features in a family environment.”
Co-editor Ian Silverstein worked collaboratively with Rodriguez using Avid Media Composer software (part of the Avid Artist Suite) to cut multiple versions of scenes in a continually evolving, sculpting process involving constant back and forth between them. “Media Composer takes you into the stratosphere of a completely different realm of what you can do. It’s just got better and better over the years,” said Silverstein.
Avid’s ISIS shared storage (part of the Avid Storage Suite) enabled multiple editors to work on sequences at the same time, and provided expanded storage capacity. “The way ISIS handles project sharing helped streamline the whole process and make it all run smoothly,” said Jay Mahavier, digital conform editor and first assistant editor.
Media Composer also helped the team cope with relentless time pressures and the multiple deliverables needed for a stereo 3D film. “We had to deliver three full features: the mono version, the left eye and the right eye,” explained Mahavier. “The ability to manage all of that data is one of the strengths of Media Composer. A lot of people look at it as merely a video editing tool, but as an assistant editor, it’s also a database of information that I can use to manage and organize the project, and make sure that it gets done right.”
The sound department’s workflow was centered on the Avid Artist Suite’s Avid Pro Tools software for sound editing and mixing. The mix stage included Pro Tools systems for dialog, music, effects and recording – all networked together using Satellite Link. The sound team used Pro Tools HDX, enabling all the sound effects elements from the editors to be carried through to the final mix without any pre-dubbing or premixing. Some reels feature 500 or more sound effects.
Pro Tools | HDX enabled the team to experiment with different creative ideas while adhering to demanding time and budget pressures. “Usually in feature films, there’s never really time to experiment creatively because the stage time is so expensive,” said Brad Engleking, sound supervisor/re-recording mixer. “But the processing power of Pro Tools | HDX frees up more time to try things you might not have otherwise, enabling the creative process. Your actions become more intuitive so that you think about what you’re trying to accomplish instead of how you’re going to accomplish it. That’s what Rodriguez calls ‘mixing at the speed of thought.’”