Cutting Edge

I keep hearing the term "cutting edge" about what we're doing with the post side of things with "Killing Down". This routinely surprises me too. We are finishing the film in HD, which to me seems like old news. Understand of course I don't mean it's not cool - it is very cool - but as much as I read about HD, etc. I don't feel what we're doing is that "cutting edge". However, I could be wrong...

If you follow this blog (and the progress of "Killing Down") you know we're doing our final color correction as we speak. I was in Austin twice last week working with Omar Godinez and his boutique company Color Cafe (they hadn't done an HD feature until ours).

For our correction we decided to go with a "desktop D.I." using FinalTouch HD. "D.I." stands for Digital Intermediate - which is really used for filmouts today in Hollywood (and some indie projects) - but it's traditionally very cost prohibitive. However, FinalTouch HD has put D.I. in the reach of low budget indies like ourselves. Of course we're not doing a "true" D.I. because we're not going out to film and it's not at 2K resolution (not quite anyway, we're at 1920x1080 HD resolution - just shy of true 2K).

So far things are going fairly smoothly. There have been of course the normal hiccups along the way. Mainly dealing with PC to Mac translation issues. Since we are onlining the film in an Avid DS Nitris suite (running on Windows) and FinalTouch runs on a Mac (really working in conjunction with Final Cut Pro) we've had problems reading/writing back and forth to drives and getting our QuickTime codecs straight. There have also been issues with the EDLs and some timecode problems, but I think we're about to get all this figured out.

In the end, the color correction is what matters most to me. These workflow issues suck, but the final product is what is important. That's one of the main reasons we went with Omar - he has over 20 years experience color correcting.

But as much HD production that goes on out there it seems that most do not finish in HD. They downconvert to SD and then to DVD or whatever. So, all the HD post we're doing - and btw it's all uncompressed HD that runs about 120 MBs a second (that's 35 times larger than DV) - really might be "cutting edge"? Most people I talk to or try to get advice from have never done what we're doing.

I plan to post a real "tech geek" entry soon as to the exact workflow we used covering the entire post process from offline, to audio post, color correction and final online conform. It's been very interesting and a great learning experience, but I'd probably never do it this way again (the workflow that is, I've really liked the various software and gear we used).

So I guess maybe this is all "cutting edge" stuff? Or, maybe a lot of folks out there are just slow to catch on. :)

-Blake


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Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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