How Balls of Fury Streamlined Its All-Digital Pipeline
Colorist David Cole said cinematographer Thomas Ackerman rated the camera’s dynamic range at about eight stops (which is less than 35mm film) and elected to overexpose the image slightly because the tests showed those images were slightly less noisy than underexposed footage. “We actually liked it – the noise from the different exposures is quite filmic,” he said.
Sitting on the same panel, Panavision Director of Product Development Nolan Murdoch gave his blessing to the idea that the Genesis shouldn’t require an entirely new workflow for production, requiring lots of specialized knowledge of color space in the video village. “The Genesis was designed to be a film camera replacement,” he said. “We expect the film camera crew to take ownership of the product. There is no on-set coloring, and no on-set painting. We encourgae the traditional film crew to take over the functions. If there is a DIT, that person is typically responsible for the LUTs. It's a comfort factor.”
(Comfort was important on this set, noted the film's associate producer, Steve Gaub, joking that “when you say the word LUT, directors’ brains start cramping.”)
A clone of the 4:4:4 HDCAM SR master was made and then used to create 4:2:2 DVCPRO 720p HD dailies with a LUT “baked in” during digitization. Dailies were edited and screened out of Final Cut Pro on a plasma monitor. There was some trepidation on set, Gaub admitted, until it became clear that the pipeline resulted in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get proposition when the footage was filmed out.
“The previs tables on set and the dailies really do map to what you’ll finally get” on film, Cole said. “Once they saw the film-out tests, that was all we needed. The multiple LUTs became sort of a previs tool for Tom [Ackerman]. He’d say, Ã¢Â€Â˜I want to do this in post. Show me what it will look like.'”
The result was a streamlined Genesis workflow that reduced headaches instead of creating new ones. “We wanted to keep the pipeline as simple as possible,” Roth said. “[Shooting digital] wasn’t the big time-saver that people think it is.”
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