LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Killer Dailies: The Walking Dead & Vampire Diaries

COW Library : Art of the Edit : Joe Huggins : Killer Dailies: The Walking Dead & Vampire Diaries
CreativeCOW presents Killer Dailies: The Walking Dead & Vampire Diaries -- Art of the Edit Feature

Joe Huggins
CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


The spiritual forces of darkness have found an apparent break in the cosmic harmonics of the universe that has brought hordes of Zombies and Vampires into the area surrounding Atlanta. For years they have come to satisfy their thirst for blood…or maybe it's just for money -- in the form of tax incentives. But not to fear, for Crawford Media Services has battled the demons by shedding light, or should we say 'Best Light', on the Dailies for these popular TV series.

Atlanta has been the production home to two leading TV cult classics, The Walking Dead on AMC and The Vampire Diaries on the CW, attracted by the state's 30% tax incentive. Both series have used Crawford for managing their dailies workflows and for ADR services.

As the largest post facility in the South, Crawford Media has been known for their national commercial, EFX, and Audio Design work and a host of other creative services and designed their new facility that opened in 2011 with a plan for dailies and finishing work. "We looked at all the state of the art systems for dailies," explains Senior Editor and Technical Director Ron Heidt as he sets up a screening in Crawford's 45-seat Digital Theater, "and were one of the first to purchase the Colorfront OSD systems. We actually were installing our two systems in Atlanta before Technicolor placed their orders. We were ahead of the curve then and have now added the Colorfront Express Mobile cart for on-set work." The ease of operation and flexibility of Colorfront and its speed in delivering multiple dailies formats has made it the industry standard for series and features.



Crawford's 45 seat Digital Theater was designed primarily for final audio mix and color correction for features. Here an editor sets up a playback from the Colorfront for a critical dailies screening of a camera/lens test.


Speed and efficiency are critical in the workflow as the two series overlap in schedules. "At one point this summer, we had both series and two additional independent features shooting at the same time," boasts Senior Colorist D.C. Cardinali, "and all made their deadlines. The Dead shoots on S-16 film which is processed in Atlanta at Cinefilm Lab and rushed to us early each day. Many days we'll have over 5 hours of material totaling over 1 million feet for the entire series. I transfer that on a flat pass using one of our two Spirit Telecines and a DaVinci 2K system. The media is created in a ProRes 444 Log C format directly into a security controlled partition on our SAN network. Media Security is very important to AMC, the CW, and all our clients.


AMC's The Walking Dead. Used with kind permission of AMC. Co-Executive Producer/SFX Make-Up Supervisor Greg Nicotero, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Director Billy Gierhart - The Walking Dead - Behind the Scenes - Season 3, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC ©2012 All Rights Reserved.
Co-Executive Producer/SFX Make-Up Supervisor Greg Nicotero, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Director Billy Gierhart - The Walking Dead - Behind the Scenes - Season 3, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC


My assistant then accesses the files on the Colorfront and begins to immediately sync the dailies, check the script logs, and prep the circle takes. Then I switch places and make the final color grade scene by scene in the Colorfront. With this overlapping workflow, we normally can ingest 5 hours of film and create the final deliverables roughly in an 8 hour day."



This Dailies suite at Crawford was designed with 'The Walking Dead' in mind. Colorist D.C. Cardinali (left) begins a 'flat pass' telecine using a Spirit and Davinci 2K of the S16 film direct into the Colorfront system on the right. While the scenes are being transferred, assistant Steve Shireman then begins the audio sync and confirms all the metadata with the script notes. Once all the film is converted to digital files, Cardinali then makes the Best Light Color pass and renders in the Colorfront.


The Vampire Diaries -- Paul Wesley as Stefan. ©2012 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Vampire Diaries -- Paul Wesley as Stefan.
The workflow on The Vampire Diaries is similar only it's all digital shot on the Alexa in ProRes 444. "We receive the Log C media on shuttle drives each night," points out Dailies Specialist Ian MacDonald, "and they will average 4 hours of media a day. The DIT has created LUTs on set for each scene, so I ingest the media using our second Colorfront system to apply the LUTs and sync the sound. All the deliverables are ready by 7 am each day. Like Vampires, we have to complete our work before the sun comes up,' he notes with a laugh.

Both series are edited in LA, so Avid DNX 36 files are uploaded on Crawford's fiber network via Aspera to editorial. H264 watermark copies are rendered and uploaded to DAX for distribution each day for the network clients to view, and DVD formats are created for local production viewing. That's one of the distinct advantages of the Colorfront OSD systems in that all the file formats can be rendered at the same time, in the background, at over 40 frames per second. One of the many reasons Colofront was awarded the Primetime Engineering Emmy this year. And per industry standards, LTO 5 tapes are made of all raw files and the dailies grade.

"It's been exciting to see the success of The Walking Dead and The Vampire Dairies and we're honored to have worked with these two hit shows from their beginning," notes Brennen Dicker the Director of Post Sales for CMS. "This season's premiere of TWD was the highest rated cable drama in history with ratings higher than the broadcast competition. [Ed note: It was also the highest-rated fall episode of any show, on any channel, broadcast or cable.] We hope these relationships will continue for years. Certainly Georgia's tax incentive has played a large role in the growth of series and features work in Atlanta and Crawford has positioned our team to take advantage of that. As long as Zombies and Vampires keep invading us, Crawford will be here -- to protect...and serve -- 'killer dailies'," adds Dicker with a wry smile.






Title image left, Nina Dobrev as Elena and Ian Somerhalder as Damon in The Vampire Diaries. ©2012 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Image right, The Walking Dead. Photo by Gene Page. ©2011 AMC. All rights reserved.

From The Vampire Diaries, above: Kat Graham and Paul Wesley in The Vampire Diaries. Photo by Bob Mahoney. ©2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

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")



Related Articles / Tutorials:
Art of the Edit
Living The American Dream: Editing Sharknado 5

Living The American Dream: Editing Sharknado 5

Ana Florit is your typical Los Angeles-based film editor: among other things, she grew up in the French Alps, moved to Paris, directed a one-hour movie, moved to Hollywood, and has served as the lead editor on the 2nd, 3rd, and now, the latest in the pop-culture phenomenon Sharknado franchise, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. You know, your usual run-the-the-mill American Dream story. In Ana’s case, the journey also includes a stint at Video Symphony, a Saturn Award nomination, and playing a major role in moving independent production powerhouse The Asylum fully from FCP7 to Premiere Pro. Here, Ana talks with Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Peña about workflow, VFX, and some of the secrets of Sharknado's success. (Spoiler alert: they're not comedies.)


Kylee Peña
Art of the Edit
A Newbie Looks at EditFest LA

A Newbie Looks at EditFest LA

Thanks to the Blue Collar Post Collective's Professional Development Accessibility Program, Indiana shortform editor Hillary Lewis was able to attend the American Cinema Editor's EditFest LA. Rather than the lion's den she feared, Hillary found unexpected support among people who were more like her than she'd imagined. This rare opportunity provided unique insights into what Hollywood editing is really all about, and what it takes to succeed wherever you are.

Feature
Hillary Lewis
Art of the Edit
What Picasso Can Teach Us About Filmmaking

What Picasso Can Teach Us About Filmmaking

Feature film editor Sven Pape takes a unique, entertaining look at Pablo Picasso's approach to art, and offers specific examples from a variety of movies, as well as Picasso's own advice. As Sven puts it, success requires action. Make a film. Fail. Then fail harder. Of course, Picasso and Sven have great advice for succeeding too! You'll get a kick out of this one.

Tutorial, Feature
Sven Pape
Art of the Edit
Growing Up on YouTube: Video Production, The Next Generation

Growing Up on YouTube: Video Production, The Next Generation

Through accessible tools and ease of engagement, young people like Sabrina Cruz have been able to grow up on YouTube and find one another. Underneath the amusing titles and colorful thumbnails, her videos have drawn over 10 million views with thoughtful messages woven together with high production value and editorial skill. Dismiss her as just a YouTuber at your peril. It's not that she's after your job. It's that she's one of the young creators helping change the world with intelligence, wit, drive, and an infectious optimism. Are you keeping up?

Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Art of the Edit
3 Mistakes All Beginning Editors Make, And How To Avoid Them

3 Mistakes All Beginning Editors Make, And How To Avoid Them

In the latest edition of his enduring series "This Guy Edits", Sven Pape covers the three mistakes that all beginning editors make -- mistakes he knows well, having made them all in his own editing career. Fortunately, he's learned the fixes by now too, and shares the easy workarounds in a high-energy, humorous fashion that will have even the most experienced editors nodding along and smiling in recognition.

Tutorial
Sven Pape
Art of the Edit
Always Be Editing: Sculptors & Bricklayers Revisited

Always Be Editing: Sculptors & Bricklayers Revisited

Do you edit like a sculptor, or like a bricklayer? It seems a simple enough question, but as longtime editor, post house owner, and VFX software developer Simon Ubsdell shows, the implications for how this affects the way you edit can be profound. His advice, regardless of where you land on the spectrum? Always be editing.


Simon Ubsdell
Art of the Edit
Indie Film Sound Editing: A This Guy Edits Tutorial

Indie Film Sound Editing: A This Guy Edits Tutorial

ACE Award-nominated picture editor Sven Pape ("This Guy Edits") speaks with Sundance Award-winning sound editor Ugo Derouard on The 5 Five Steps of Audio Post Production: Sound Editing, Spotting, Dialog Editing, Sound Design, and Sound Mixing, paying special attention to the specific needs of, and techniques that can work best for, independent filmmakers.

Tutorial
Sven Pape
Art of the Edit
TV Workflow Supervisor Kylee Peña: The Benefits of Pressure

TV Workflow Supervisor Kylee Peña: The Benefits of Pressure

TV workflow supervisor Kylee Peña (Jane the Virgin, Colony) visits Adobe's "Make It" talk show to chat with host Jason Levine about the evolution of motion picture workflows, from the days of film and tape to our modern digital world of crazy-high shooting ratios and constantly evolving technology. She also expounds on the upside to creative constraints and tight deadlines. And don’t miss the lightning round!!!

Feature, People / Interview
Cow News
Art of the Edit
The Science of Editing: Look Closer -- The Mind of a Film

The Science of Editing: Look Closer -- The Mind of a Film

When you ask an editor what they DO in the edit suite, the answer is often something like, "Well, it's intuitive." To become better editors, though, we need to be more specific. Editor, author, and professor Dr. Karen Pearlman breaks down the process into five specific steps that editors must take in order to turn a mass of material into something coherent. You can learn to hone the specific skills of observation and self-awareness that distinguish editors from other observers, and make unexpected connections that move stories in compelling new directions. Sven Pape of "This Guy Edits" presents his conversation with Karen in the form of a powerful video essay that you will find illuminating and inspiring, and will be able to start using right away.

Tutorial, Feature, People / Interview
Sven Pape
Art of the Edit
Film Editing: Should You Edit Scenes to Music?

Film Editing: Should You Edit Scenes to Music?

Music can elevate the emotion of a film scene. As a film editor, should you first cut to music or focus on dialog and visuals alone? In this tutorial, This Guy Edits shares his point of view by example with a rough cut using some temp music by Max Elto.

Tutorial
Sven Pape
MORE
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]