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Solving the Mystery of Getting Ahead

COW Library : What Computer Should I Buy? : Glenn Collict : Solving the Mystery of Getting Ahead
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CreativeCOW presents Solving the Mystery of Getting Ahead -- What Computer Should I Buy? Editorial


Cardiff, Wales

©2013 CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


With a BAFTA for audio in hand, Bang Post Production has a new game afoot for picture post in Wales.




Glenn Collict at his workstation.
Bang Post Production won a BAFTA and were nominated for an Emmy for their work on the BBC's Sherlock (title graphic). [Editor's note: Sherlock is a must-see -- truly storytelling at its best.]
I've been working with Bang Post Production, which is primarily a sound post facility in Cardiff, Wales. Bang won a BAFTA for our work on the BBC's Sherlock, and were also nominated for an Emmy for our work on Sherlock.

There aren't a lot of high-end finishing facilities in Cardiff that can do anything above 8-bit uncompressed HD, and none that offer soup-to-nuts for offline, online, grading, and audio for high-end TV and feature films. We wanted to be the one that did. Since Bang already does the audio for high-end TV and feature films, we thought we'd build a picture suite to be able to handle 4K grading, 4K finishing and minor visual effects work.

That's where I've come in, to help build that suite and do the online editing and color grading. It's been a big success so far! We've already got a number of feature films in house. One of the films in-house is Vigilance, which is constructed out of what is supposed to be found footage much like Chronicle.

Vigilance was shot on RED ONE with the MX sensor, so it's 4.5K footage. We typically convert RED files to DPX. We also have some ARRI Alexa projects underway, and we typically leave those in ARRIRAW. We even have another film coming up that was shot on film, at 35mm. I can't wait! I'm a fan of film.

Whatever the format, film or digital, we've established workflows that can handle high-resolution footage without any difficulty.


PICTURE AND SOUND WORKFLOW

Key to building the kind of suite we needed to do this work was opting for the HP Z800 Workstation instead of a Mac. If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said, "No, I'm going to work on a Mac." Really, I was quite closed-minded before I started working at companies that had PCs. I found out pretty quickly that Avid Media Composer ran much more quickly on a PC, as does Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve.



Cubix GPU-Xpander
HP Z800
AJA K3G-Box for Kona 3G
Blackmagic Design Videohub Smart Control


Bang Post Production's HP Z800 and AJA K3G-Box Breakout Rack for KONA 3G
Bang Post Production's HP Z800 and AJA K3G-Box Breakout Rack for KONA 3G


When we were building out the picture side of our business, we decided to go with a really powerful system, rather than relying on the control panel. In the next couple of weeks, we hope to bring in the control panel, and are looking forward for using the four trackballs for Resolve's new LOG grading -- but we have been very happy with the real-time performance of our Z800.


Left, from L-R, Doug Sinclair, Paul McFadden, Will Everett and Jon Joyce in one of Bang's Pro Tools suites.
Left, from L-R, Doug Sinclair, Paul McFadden, Will Everett and Jon Joyce in one of Bang's Pro Tools suites.


I'm using four NVIDIA GTX680 cards, the 4 gig versions, and with 4.5K DPX, I'm getting loads of nodes, with full real-time performance. I feel like I'm not even pushing the system anywhere close to its maximum.

I'm also really excited about the IIF/ACES workflow. I find it fascinating. I want to dive into it and use it for absolutely everything.

I had a chance to do just that, as well, using some 4.5K footage from a RED camera, which I converted to Open EXR and input into the Resolve. I pushed that footage as much as I could -- blacks, mids and whites -- and couldn't clip it. I couldn't crush it. It was amazing.

I should mention that we also have Autodesk Smoke 2013 on Mac, and I'm very happy with our workflow tying Smoke on Mac, Pro Tools on Mac, and Resolve and Media Composer on PC.

Looking forward, we plan on upgrading our storage set-up, which is now separate for Resolve and Smoke, and replace it with some very fast shared storage. With the real-time playback we get from the HP Z800, it'll be nice to have storage connectivity that can match, but for now, we couldn't be happier with how all of it works together.


BBC's Doctor Who Season 7: Episode 1: 'Asylum of the Daleks' with The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Daleks. Series 7 with Matt Smith as the new incarnation of The Doctor features a new TARDIS interior, title sequence, theme tune, and costume for the Doctor.
The BBC's Doctor Who Season 7: Episode 1: "Asylum of the Daleks" with The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Daleks. Series 7 with Matt Smith as the new incarnation of The Doctor features a new TARDIS interior, title sequence, theme tune, and costume for the Doctor. To quote The Doctor: Brilliant! Really, truly Brilliant! In our words, an absolute must-see!


A BIG WIN

Bang traveled to Los Angeles in September 2012, for the Primetime Emmys, and while we didn't win an Emmy, being a very small company out in Cardiff, working on such high profile projects as Sherlock and Doctor Who is already a big win.

Upgrading Bang Post to a picture facility, based on the reliability and speed we get with the HP Z800 as well as our other tools, I feel good about our chances going forward to achieve high quality work and the recognition that will bring.








For more stories like these, take a look at the Creative COW Magazine Special Edition, "New Dimensions In Cross-Platform Power & Productivity with HP Workstations."

Download a PDF by clicking here.






2011 HP logo This article brought to you by HP Workstations.
For more information, visit www.hp.com/workstations.


You can find more information about "Sherlock," including episodes, clips, about the characters and more at The BBC's website for the television show.

Learn more about the captivating "Doctor Who" at The BBC's website for the television show. You'll find fascinating history of past Doctor incarnations, episode information, more about the characters and monsters, and clips to view.


The Emmy name and the Emmy statuette are the trademarked property of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences ("Television Academy") and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences ("National Academy")



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