Yesterday my producer and I visited the post facility that we’d like to use for our visual effects, sound mix, and possible online. I say possible online, as there is still debate to whether I will tackle this or not.

But I tell you, after the quick visit to the place (if an hour and a half can be considered quick) I am resigned to let them handle the online. They have three factors in their favor.

1) The Sony BVMD32E1WU HD production monitor. We are talking $42,000 of CRT HD goodness. No gerry-rigged HD monitor solution I come up with (HD LINK to LCD) or monitor I can affordably rent comes close to this beauty.

2) Final Touch. They just got this software and are learning it. I don’t have access to this high end color correction software. Color Finesse I can get, and know A LITTLE how to use.

3) Professional Colorist who is ALWAYS onlining shows. I am at a disadvantage as I am primarily a creative cutter, but have been an online editor in the past. I have colored the projects I have done on FCP, but a majority of the time I am on an Avid, and no were near the finishing stage, except to go to an output and say “there’s a flash frame” or “that is a little blue, can we warm that up?”

So I am fine with leaving it to the post facility. NEXT time though, I might weigh in…

We also approached them about doing most of our visual effects and sound mixing. The producer has a specific idea of how he wants the visuals to look, and I really like what he has in mind. And it is something that I believe we can pull off, and something that will look amazing. When it comes to green screening and crowd replication, there is always the fear of it looking cheesy.

One interesting thing I took away from the experience is that this post facility used G-Raids for editing DVCPRO HD. They are firmly in the G-Tech corner. Sure, they have a machine room with a couple X-Serve Raids, but that is for their 10-bit uncompressed HD online. For the DVCPRO HD “offline,” G-Raid is the go to drive.

They also confirmed our online workflow. To capture at 720p24 23.98 (using the advanced pulldown) as it saves on drive space tremendously. When they go to online, the dropped frames will be added back in when we output to D5. They also confirmed how they will do the online…drop the DVCPRO HD timeline into a 10-bit uncompressed HD timeline and render. Let FCP do the upconvert. They swear by it.

So visiting the post facility was a good thing. We might have found the place that will provide the VFX, GFX and finish the show…and they confirm the workflow that we have come up with with advice from many corners.