Sorry that I haven’t posted in a while. My latest gig on Warren the Ape has kept me VERY busy lately.  That and two side projects that are running concurrently.  A lot to do, and little time left for much else.

On Warren I am mainly onlining and color correcting. Well, that is ALL I am doing.  But it is a big job.  Besides making it look pretty, I have to blur things like license plates and people and brand names and logos…a daunting task.  One that I would NOT like to be doing without the great Andy’s Region Blur plugin.  Seriously…wow, this is a life saver.  Localized, keyframeable… can’t thank Mr. Mees enough.

Now, one thing that seems to take all of my time on this show is the slates.  Those are the things before the show that ID the show, the total running time, the date it was output to tape, show number, production company…all that stuff.  Typically you only see these once on the tape, a few seconds before the show starts.  But with MTV (and I’m sure a few other networks), it is a bit different.

There is a slate in front of each show segment…each act, the “NEXT TIME ON” tease, and all the various credit bed elements.  Why?  Because each slate IDs the segments with a unique number, a ROUTING NUMBER that is then fed into the computers at the network, where they build a show based on these numbers.  Makes sense.  Just know that each show has 9 slates.  Then comes the fun part.  There are 3-4 different versions of the show. Main Master, International Master, Promo Master, and if we used a popular hit song, we need an alternate master so we don’t need to pay for that song in other markets, so the RE-SCORED MASTER.  And each one has different slate information.  So I need to build 36 different slates.

But, the fun doesn’t stop there.  That’s the easy part.  Each show has different audio configurations as well.  The Master will have Stereo MIX on CH1 and 2, and Mono on 3 & 4…then the Music and Effects only on 11 & 12.  And then the International will have only 4 channels, leaving out the Mono.  Promo will have VO and effects on 1, dialog and production audio on 2, and then a stereo music mix on 3&4.  And the re-scored version will have different show mixes in the act that contains the popular music.

The tricky part is that the show is mastered once…output to HDCAM SR.  And then dubbed to Digibeta SD masters.  Those masters need different routing numbers, so when the dubs come back, I punch in to them, only laying back the new slates (insert edit).  What makes life interesting here is that we are converting 23.98 to 29.97 when we output, so the timecodes aren’t spot on, and there might be slippage, so we back time one frame to make sure things are right.  And the show is dubbed to them letterboxed, but the CREDITS need to be full screen.  So I have to go back (or my assistant does) and punch in the full screen credit beds.  The promo copy and International copy are output separately to digibeta, and we have to go back to them and punch in the full screen credit beds as well…instead of downconverting, rendering and outputting.  We downconvert when we output, then punch in SD credits.

Get all that?  Understand it?  I don’t expect most of you to get it.  I’m mainly showing that delivering a show for broadcast requires a lot of small things, a lot of attention to detail…a lot of boring, repetitive work.  Which is why I love the fact that I can listen to music while I do it.  Thank GOD for that.