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Mixing Dialog

Master the Art of Post Mixing

In Episode 2 of Master the Art of Post Mixing, we dive into the basics of mixing dialog including production, ADR and FUTZing. We also look at the concepts of best dealing with muting tracks and advanced automation features like Preview mode. Let’s take a look.

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Session Management

Master the Art of Post Mixing

In Episode 1 of Master the Art of Post Mixing, we introduce you to the project and demonstrate how to organize your tracks, arrange them, and recall them to the control surface in the most efficient way possible. This is critical in the path to successful mixing. Let’s take a look.

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Ask the Filmmakers: Editor Martin Walsh and Supervising Sound Editor James Mather on ‘Cinderella’

Ask the Filmmakers: Cinderella

Join us right here on Wednesday 25th of March at 9:00 PM GMT (check your local time) for a live Q&A session with Editor Martin Walsh and Supervising Sound Editor James Mather fresh off their latest movie Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh. We will be asking your questions in this special live event, organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (London Office) in association with Pinewood Studios Group and Avid. Don’t miss this opportunity to get in-depth and behind the scenes information on creating this feature film.

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Martin Walsh
Editor

Martin Walsh is a film editor and Academy member with more than 30 film credits dating from 1985. Walsh won the Academy Award for Film Editing and the ACE Eddie Award for the film Chicago, for which he was also nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Editing. His  credits includes Iris, The Krays, Mansfield Park and Bridget Jones’ Diary.

James Mather
Supervising Sound Editor

James Mather is an Emmy winning, BAFTA nominated Supervising Sound Editor. He was best known for his work in animation, particularly with Aardman before going on to work on 5 of the Harry Potter films. roup and Avid. Don’t miss this opportunity to get in-depth and behind the scenes information on making this Feature Film.

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Live Blog Ask the Filmmakers: Cinderella
 

Send Your Questions Now

Get your filmmaking questions answered by Martin and James. We’ve set it up so you can ask them in advance, then follow their response during the live Q&A session on Wednesday, March 25 at 9.00 PM (GMT).

To ask the filmmakers, post on the Avid Facebook Page or on Twitter using the hashtag #CreativityInspired.

 

 

 

 

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Creativity. Inspired.

Whether in the edit or in the mix, how do creative talent find their inspiration to tell a story or catch an emotion? Keep updated on filmmaking articles and events by registering today.

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‘Sherlock’ Team Unlock the Secrets of Sound Editing at BVE 2015

The thrilling contemporary reworking of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic crime stories comes to life in the multi-award winning series, Sherlock. Set in 21st Century London, and starring the captivating Benedict Cumberbatch as the notorious inspector Holmes, and Martin Freeman as his loyal friend Doctor Watson, the heart-stopping drama keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

Acclaimed Supervising Sound Editor Doug Sinclair and series Re-Recording Mixer Howard Bargroff took to the stage at this year’s BVE. They presented a comprehensive look at the creation of an intense soundscape for award-winning finale of Sherlock series three, His Last Vow; a reworking of Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.

Thanks to Avid Pro Tools | HD systems, Bang Post Production’s all-encompassing sound production helped bring the riveting series finale to life, pushing the boundaries on all levels of mixing. Culminating in a sequence of shocking plot twists in which Sherlock is shot. During the 90 minute thriller, viewers are taken through his emotional journey. They explore his intense mental hibernation which finishes with him fighting back to life from the brink of death.

“Creating a soundscape for such an emotionally charged episode like His Last Vow was challenging, both artistically and technically,” said Doug Sinclair, owner and co-founder of Bang Post Production. Throughout the series, Sherlock took viewers to his ‘mind palace’ many times, but none quite as traumatic as this, which brings the detective face to face with his arch nemesis, Moriarty, who tries to convince Sherlock to let go and die.

“With any project, the best sound comes with biggest plot points.” —Doug Sinclair

Sinclair continues: “With any project, the best sound comes with biggest plot points. This visually stunning sequence was psychologically fraught, and at times, even disturbing, and it was vital we reflected this in the accompanying sound; assaulting every aspect of the viewer’s senses, so to speak. It was essential that we honed in on plot points that were the driving force of the story. We worked hard to weave a cohesive narrative of sound, compromising clear and concise dialogue, music and effects, to add to the emotional drive of Sherlock’s distraught fight for life.”

Howard Bargroff explains the processes behind assembling such an ambitious soundscape: “We work by keeping everything live in Pro Tools, which allows us to use sync dialogue, ADR with effects and music and build a solid wall of sound. In this intense scene, clarity of the dialogue is essential, as it is vital that every syllable is clear and concise to help tell the story.”

“Parts of Sherlock’s ‘mind palace’ scene are shot within a padded cell where the sound should be very still and quiet,” continued Bargroff. “Usually used for exteriors, we applied a lot of slap reverb to create a destabilising effect. This made for an extreme and unsettling mix, which the client loved. There were also some lovely elements of foley, ADR and effects used for the chains and straightjacket that the feverish archenemy, Moriarty is constrained in.”

“Adding [sound] components works as much as taking them away, and it felt like there was one too many elements all trying to tell the same story.” — Howard Bargroff

“As much as this scene focuses on Sherlock’s death, the latter half depicts his survival and his fight for life, and the emotional peak of the scene of him climbing the stair case is the leading visual metaphor for this. At one point, we had created a soundscape with a lot of sound effects, music and dialogue. Adding components works as much as taking them away, and it felt like there was one too many elements all trying to tell the same story. We re-adjusted some elements during the final mix, stripping out some of the effects and intense sounds, clearing some space to allow the music to breath which gave back to the emotional drive of the scene,” concluded Bargroff.

His Last Vow was a challenging mix, as it was complex in both scope and the story that we were trying to tell. Particular moments like when Sherlock’s hands smash onto the banister as he clings on for his life, tied in with the heart monitor sound effect, create an emotional peak, culminating with bigger and bigger sounds. There’s also a great use of depth charge as he staggers up the stairs during the big emotional peak in the scene,” concludes Sinclair.

His Last Vow won seven Primetime Emmys, the most for any TV programme. The riveting finale also took top honours for Television Movie or Mini-Series at this year’s Cinema Audio Society Awards.

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Harbor Picture Company Delivers the Soundtrack for the Netflix Original Series ‘Marco Polo’ with Pro Tools | S6

Harbor Films New York Delivers the Soundtrack for the Netflix Original Series 'Marco Polo' with Pro Tools | S6

I recently sat down with mixers Roberto Fernandez and David Paterson from Harbor Sound in New York City. They are part of Harbor Picture Company in New York which handles full film and TV post. They currently have two mix stages that are dual operator Avid System 5 consoles with Pro Tools and a new mix stage that is a dual operator Pro Tools | S6, dual 16 Faders 5 knobs, and displays with Pro Tools | HDXDavid Paterson is a re-recording mixer and supervising sound editor (SFX, BG’s & foley mix side) and Rob Fernandez is re-recording mixer (dialog, music mixer). In December, they mixed their first epic series on the new S6 console—10 episodes of Marco Polo for Netflix.

“With the S6 it’s a lot easier to forget about the computer monitor because you have everything right in front of you on the surface and you can stay focused on the mixing and the image on the big screen.”

— David Paterson, Re-Recording Mixer

Roberto Fernandez: “The S6 was the best solution we could find for our recent big project with a tight deadline: Marco Polo for Netflix with a December 2014 release. We had a limited time to get the room setup and 1 week to complete each episode. We had to find a solution that would let us hit the ground running. In my mind – this was the only way to go.

There really wasn’t a learning curve. It’s so intuitive and very well implemented. I found it to be the biggest strength of this machine. We never really stopped to say: “how do we do this?” there was very little of that.”

David Paterson: “When you work ‘In The Box’ on the ICON, people tend to spend quite a bit of time in front of and focused on the computer monitor to see the tracks and the waveforms. With the S6 it’s a lot easier to forget about the computer monitor because you have everything right in front of you on the surface and you can stay focused on the mixing and the image on the big screen. You can work a lot faster.

We had a lot of tracks to deal with. I found that the color-coding on the surface enabled me to look up at a glance, find tracks quickly and help me stay organized and really stay away from the computer monitor.”

“The S6 is really a great combo of both the best of the ICON and the System 5. It goes beyond what they both can do – it’s really flexible and I can mix faster.”

— Roberto Fernandez, Re-Recording Mixer

Roberto Fernandez: “The scrolling waveforms on the meter/displays is just a killer feature on this console. It allows me to be really precise. Especially when I’m mixing dialog, I’m able to go straight to a line and work on it. It’s really useful and efficient. I had always said that the ICON D-Control had the best workflow of any console I had worked on, but it had very little visual information back to me. The System 5 has a ton of great visual feedback and metering but doesn’t have the same integration with Plug-ins and the software. And now the S6 is really a great combination of both the best of the ICON and the System 5. It goes beyond what they both can do – it’s really flexible and I can mix faster.”

David Paterson: “We both use each side of console in radically different ways – Rob mixing Dialog and Music and I’m mixing FX, BG’s and Foley. Having two separate (affordable) S6’s setup as two engines allows us to work completely separately in totally different ways, but still working together – each customizing it in our own way. I had a tremendous amount of tracks, but wanted to keep them all available to me and using VCA’s to spill and get to all my tracks in a small footprint of 16 faders and still be able to quickly dive down into the individual tracks when I needed to. I don’t think we could have completed the job in the timeframe without the ability to each customize and work the way we needed to.”

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Exploring the Sounds of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ with Re-Recording Mixer Will Files

I recently sat down with Will Files as a follow up to our short interview at NAB last April, where we discussed his use of Pro Tools | HDX, the new Pro Tools | S6 console and his approach on the summer theatrical release of Dawn of the Planet of The Apes (one of the top 10 grossing films of 2014 at $ 708M worldwide). Will is a very talented sound supervisor and re-recording mixer who is working on the biggest Hollywood films (including the new up coming and highly anticipated Star Wars episode) and he leverages modern mixing technologies to the max.

In this interview—we dive a bit deeper into his approach on the movie and dig into some of the technical aspects of pre-dubbing in Pro Tools, his use of plug-ins and how he approached mixing for Dolby Atmos.

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Mixing the Moulin Rouge and More with Andy Bradfield

MPG Awards: Andy Bradfield

In the second of a series of Avid Blogs Music articles celebrating the nominees of this year’s Music Producer Guild Awards, legendary producer and mixer Andy Bradfield gives us an insight into the exciting projects he’s been a part of during his career.

Starting his journey at Olympic and Townhouse Studios in London, training with many great names Andy became a freelance engineer before moving into the realms of mixing and production. Andy has since put his hand to a wide spectrum of projects, including mixing for legendary artists like Sugababes, Rufus Wainwright, Pet Shop Boys and Alanis Morissette.

Music Producers Guild Awards 2015

Although Andy trained as an engineer, he was increasingly asked to mix projects that made him part of the creation of some of the most historic movie soundtracks in history. Andy has also been involved in the making of a whole catalogue of blockbuster soundtracks, including The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Suckerpunch and Kick-Ass. He was even nominated for a GRAMMY® when he worked as a mixer on the music for Baz Lurhman’s spectacular Moulin Rouge. He also lent his hand as mixer on Lurhman’s most recent box office smash hit, The Great Gatsby.

Q: What is the very first thing that comes to mind when you think of Pro Tools and how has it helped you grow over the years?

Flexibility and mixing are key for me when it comes to Pro Tools. But when I started using Pro Tools, it was just a mere young thing at version 3! Over the years, it’s been able to handle all that I throw at it! I don’t feel I have to fight the technology any more—in fact quite the reverse. Pro Tools brings benefits to the mixing process that I could only dream about a few years ago.

Q: Why do you rely on Pro Tools and in your opinion, what are some of its best features?

My role is to take the pressure off the producer and artists at the critical last stage of creation so that they can concentrate on the music and not worry about how to get there. I work with so many different types of artists and material that Pro Tools makes my work interesting and varied, offering all I want in a music production system.

I grew up with analogue tape machines and SSL Consoles, but by the late 90’s productions were busting out of what could be achieved this way. Suddenly 48 tracks wasn’t enough and tape was becoming too limited with regard to editing, which is one of the reasons I was a very early adopter of Pro Tools. For me, automation is very flexible and means I can work how I want. The control surface support is also great – when I need to do crazy complex editing or re-arranging, it’s never a problem in Pro Tools.

Q: In terms of collaboration and working in various places and situations, how does Pro Tools make things easier?

I have a full 5.1 setup, as well as traditional stereo mixing setup in the studio, so the fact that Pro Tools is always the same is a big plus for me. I can open a session and mix/edit in basically the same way on standard software only up to full on expanded HDX3 running 100’s of tracks, which makes going to other studios, even if just for a short session, so much easier.

Q: How do you use Pro Tools and what’s your process and workflow like?

I mainly mix and produce, so I start by importing the session into a template so that I can use my I/O. This is setup for the system, as I use lots of outward analogue equipment and plug-in’s as part of the mixing process.

If there are ever multitrack edits (straight edits as opposed to tempo stuff) audio is easier to manipulate as I can slide left or right and ‘uncover’ what was there, making it easier to crossfade & make the edits work.

Photo courtesy Mike Banks.

Q: How have the new features in Pro Tools, like the Avid Audio Engine and 64-bit processing, benefited you?

Offline Bounce is very useful. The Disk Cache in Pro Tools HD11 is amazing and it means that with enough memory, you can have the whole session running in RAM, meaning I never get disk errors. Having bigger (16,000 Sample) plug-in delay comp is better for me, which means I’m less likely to hit the limit and have timing issues, which is VERY important!

The main thing is it all works – and stops me having to think about it when I am trying to be creative.

Q: Do you use Pro Tools with other software or hardware? How does that openness and synergy enhance your process?
Yes I use a lot of Analogue Outboard which is hooked up to the I/O of the HDX system.

But the system itself sounds great, and i think the fact that load times are faster on big sessions is a big help too.

Q: What are some of your favourite moments in your career?

That’s such a hard question to answer—I have been extremely privileged (and still am!) to work with many amazing artists and producers.

Some off the top of my head would be Moulin Rouge, Rufus Wainwright, Marius De Vries, Everything But The Girl, Josh Groban, Miguel Bose, Craig Armstrong, The Great Gatsby, Neil Davidge, Halo 4 – but it’s very hard to pick one they are all very different & unique, which is what makes mixing so interesting as a career, and so enjoyable.

Q: As a mixing engineer, how do you stay competitive and ahead of the game?

I try to listen to what people want to achieve. I think as a mixer, my job is to take the complexity of the final stage away so that the artist/producer/director don’t have to worry. I know I can do whatever needs to be done, whether it’s a straight mix, or completely re-working a track – the question is always, “Do I like this? Does it work? Is it what’s required?”

Q: How did you start in mixing and how has the continuous evolution of technology changed the way that you work?

I always liked mixing when I was a young engineer, but I didn’t always get to do it. So when I started to get asked to mix projects, rather than just record it was the next logical step.

I embraced Pro Tools very early on, but I think that when I stopped using tape (multi-track) was a big thing for me. It was obvious that the mixing side would get better and better, which it has and still does. I think being able to come back to very large, very complex mixes fresh is THE BIG ONE! I still like tactile control and analogue stuff, but none of it is any good if you don’t have perspective on what you are trying to achieve.

Q: What advice would you give people who want to get started doing what you do?

LISTEN – and learn! Take as much in as you can. You won’t realise it, but you’re always learning, and that’s a good thing. There’s no right or wrong way – just do what works for you.

Q: How does it feel to be nominated for an MPG Award?

Amazing! The fact that I’ve been chosen by my peers means a hell of a lot to me. It feels great to be recognised for what I love to do.

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Pro Tools | S6 Software Version 1.4 Update Now Available

Pro Tools | S6 version 1.4 is now available and has several key workflow enhancements requested by owners and beta testers including:

  • Expand Mode Improvements of EQ and DYN Knob Sets –all EQ and Dynamics plug-ins are now unified and map more efficiently to the S6 Knob (32 knobs) or Process Modules (8 knobs) in Expand mode. All EQ and DYN plug-ins map to the same knobs when EQ or DYN functions are expanded.
  • An overall simplification of Input and Output assignments (including multiple assignments from the channel strip and or the Master Module.
  • New Automation Trim Metering/indication on the right LED meter next to the fader. While editing an existing Trim pass, the Right meter lights LEDs above or below 0 to indicate the underlying Trim value.
  • New Automation Write indication on the right LED meter next to the fader for any other mode than Trim (like Latch or Touch) to indicate the underlying automation value, making it easier to find the match out point.

  • A new Auto-Bank preference that allows the user to define banking for a selected track (selecting the track on the Master Module Track Matrix, or selecting in Pro Tools/EUCON DAW, or pressing a channel select switch on the surface). The options are no banking following a selection, bank only if not visible on the surface or always bank.
  • For Fader Modules and the Attention Track on the Automation Module new Strips preferences include the ability to link/unlink strip Select and Attention states, show or hide track numbers from the DAW, and manage how control values are displayed on strips when adjusting parameters.
  • The Send/Insert Knobs Reversed setting introduced in S6 software v1.3 has been enhanced to also control how Input and Bus knobs appear on Knob modules. (The Sends/Insert/Input/Bus Knobs Reversed preference lets you configure Knob Modules to display slots in either of two ways, “a–j” or“j–a” making them top-bottom or bottom-top).

  • A preference for 5 –Knob strips to reverse the Function Pages. This new setting lets you configure Knob Module function views to display parameters in their default order, or “reversed” from their factory mapping. For example, enable Reverse Function Pages for 5-Knob Strips to have EQ plug-in parameters start with low frequency parameters instead of high.
  • Home Screen settings allowing the user to configure your first and second default function views (like Pan, EQ, etc.) and knob layout focus as well as how long the function graphs are displayed on the Touchscreen. This allows the user to map their favorite controls to default to the left and right knob-sets. If that EQ is not available on that channel then a Backup Function/Knob Page Settings option is available to be mapped like panning.
  • Auto Show the Function Graph on knob touch (like EQ or Pan) setting customization between 0 and 5 seconds.
  • You can now use switches on the Master Module to page functions and focus the touchscreen knobs on different parameters. When the Master Module ‘Shift’ switch is held down, the four switches at the bottom left and right of the touchscreen enter Page mode as indicated by their LEDs lighting purple.

  • New Auto Talkback options are available for the user. First – when “Auto Talkback” is enabled and the transport is not playing or recording, the talkback is automatically engaged. Second – “Enable Surface Talkback Latching” preference allows the Talkback switch to operate in a Latching mode if held down for less than half a second. Thirdly – when using remote talkback “Enable GPI Talkback Latching” allows the remote user the ability to latch talkback if held down for less than half a second.
  • Previously for S6 users in Asian countries, they could have Pro Tools sessions with Asian Language characters (in Pro Tools) but the S6 surface would only display English characters. Now there is a preference to display all names in Asian Characters on the surface.
  • New Progress Indicators for Session Load and Workstation Connect- Progress indicators appear on the touchscreen when loading sessions and connecting to workstations.
  • New System Status graph style indicators to see system performance.

 

Version 1.4 is available starting February 10th and installs EUCON 3.5.3 and requires Pro Tools HD 11.3.1 (For Pro Tools users to get all of the new enhancements). It is available at no charge to all users.




Presenting Technicolor Creative Services Nominee for Best Post House at Broadcast Awards

The mission of Technicolor Creative Services is developing, creating and delivering immersive augmented digital life experiences that ignite our imagination. Their strategic plan is built on 3 pillars: boost innovation pipe and expand licensing, develop innovative solutions to address expanding digital markets, and leverage existing assets for scale or access to broader ecosystems. We had the pleasure to interview Tom Cotton, Vice President of Technicolor Creative Services .

The Eichmann Show

It’s funny to think back on the business in 1995. Huge leaps in technology have been made, most notably the jump from tape to digital, but also the proliferation of channels. Twenty years ago we did not even have a broadcast business in London – it’s really incredible to think how far we have come in that period of time. We’re actually celebrating our 100-year anniversary this year, so have been thinking a lot about where we began and where we are going, it’s been quite a journey so far, and all at Technicolor are excited about what is ahead.

Our highly talented team is growing rapidly in both picture and sound, following our decision to move sound post into Soho. A recent project, which has been making good use of these new sound studios, is the much-anticipated The Eichmann Show produced by Feel Good Fiction and aired on BBC2. Our aim these past few years has been centred on creating the best range of services possible for our clients, and the new sound suites are a great example of this.

Black Mirror Christmas Special

Our clients are hugely important to us and we know from feedback that having everything under one roof streamlines the post process and ultimately equates to successful projects. Our main point of differentiation is a desire to be talent-led, which results in us working on fantastic projects, and increasingly offering end-to-end services. With the tax incentives now covering Broadcast, and the popularity of high-production value dramas both on TV and online, we see a bright future for Broadcast Post in the UK.

What will happen in the future nobody knows. Technology is providing new ways to create and also to consume. Whatever it is, I hope it’s nothing like the future in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror Christmas Special produced by House of Tomorrow and shown on Channel 4, which we provided DI and VFX for. Technology advances of particular interest to us are 4K UHD, HDR, and advanced colour technologies. It will be interesting to look back in five years’ time, and see how many of the predicted changes occurred, and how many were unforeseen.

 




Presenting Clear Cut Pictures Nominee for Best Post House at Broadcast Awards

According to Clear Cut Pictures, the lines between production and post production are increasingly getting blurred. They are a constant source of knowledge, able to advise on cameras and workflows in conjunction with the production team. Whether this is in partnership with production companies’ inhouse facilities, or as a full post facility; Clear Cut has the experience to offer their clients the best advice to suit their workflow needs. We asked our questions to Horacio Queiro, CEO of Clear Cut Pictures.

Bear Grylls

Type of Content

What kind of content were you/your clients working on 20 years ago, and for what platform/s?
As a fledgling company we were working for UK TV, the BBC almost exclusively, on high budget documentaries, much of which was science and history.

What is your main genre today, and for what platform/s?
Now we work mainly with independent production companies as well as local producers, and we also work with international production partners. We do a lot for the American market, big glossy factual and factual entertainment series, but our skill set has always enabled us to work on feature films, drama productions, comedy, fast turnaround current affairs, corporates, commercials and also the ever growing online content market – the proportion of work we do in these areas is constantly growing. We were privileged to recently grade both Pink Floyd’s recent release and also Queen’s latest release.

What do you think it will be in 20 years and for what platform/s?
When I set up the company 23 years ago, our core remit was to use technology to benefit production and to combine it with the best creative, production and technical talent, always putting the interest of production first, over our own when introducing technology. I am sure that by continuing to do that we would be a successful post production company. We will continue to offer our expertise, resources and services to aid the production of content in whatever form.

I think that technology and software will continue to become easier to use, faster, more powerful, more accessible and it will mean that many more people will produce content and the effect will be that many more people will produce content to be viewed by a wider audience on both old and new platforms of delivery. Producers will be liberated by the democratisation of technology and they, and us, will become broadcasters of our own material and there will be a way to monetarise it. The key for us as seasoned professionals is to ensure that this revolution maintains the highest possible standards for new content.

Workflow

How did you create and deliver content in 1995?
We still used film then – we telecine it, synced it, digitised and cut it. At the end, we either neg cut or onlined the cut. We were one of the pioneers in cutting film and developed a way to sync up the 1/4 tape Nagra rushes digitally: we used a music mastering system called Sadie; the labs were trying to make digital editing to go away by making it too expensive and we helped to break the monopoly they had.

How do you create and deliver it today?
Today, content is generated and delivered as virtual assets in the form of files. File-based workflows have been a huge cultural shift and many professionals in production have struggled with the concept of not having a physical asset. Our role in post production has been to aid our production partners by designing simple, safe and reliable workflows that maximise the efficiencies that file-based content creation offers. Rushes now come on all formats, frame rates and codecs. We deliver files of whatever formats and frame rates the end user needs. The removal of physical assets has driven the need for high speed data networks to deliver the virtual assets. We have invested in multiple dedicated and secure networks to deliver content all over the world in a fraction of the time it took to deliver a tape.

How do you think you will do it in 2035?
Impossible to say, but by 2035 there may not be a need to store data locally or move data at all (using high speed networks). Shared storage may take on a whole new meaning with high grade cloud storage replacing internal storage devices at facilities and broadcasters. This would mean that access and permissions to data would become user based and with this in mind, content could be edited, finished and played out for transmission from the same shared cloud storage device.

The same may also be true for the systems used to create content. Cloud-based rental models of creative software are already in place with platforms such as Avid and Adobe but the next logical step will be the rental of technical resources. This model would mean that any workstation could be assigned the power required to perform any task, regardless of the demands, providing technical resources in the cloud have been allocated.

Post Equipment

What was your main post production tool in 1995?
We had two Film Composers, 4 Media Composers and two Sadies. We were also an early adopter of Audio Vision – Avid’s tracklaying tool.

What is it in 2015?
Avid still is our main software and hardware, though we are platform agnostic. We have about 97 Avids, 30 FCP, 10 Pro Tools, Adobe, a Nucoda Film Master, a Baselight Two and two Da Vinci Resolves.

What will it be in 2035?
Avid will be there, I am sure in a cloud-based software and technical resources capacity.

What did you want someone to invent to make things easier in 1995/2015?
In 1995, everything needed great improvements. We really needed an online tool (it came in 1998), an Avid grading suite (never done) and more efficient, faster storage that could be shared between suites.
In 2015, a system that can do much faster file exports would be appreciated!

Facilities

What post services did you offer in 1995?
We were just a company that specialised in offline, track laying house.

How has that changed and what do you/your clients want/need now?
We are now a company that can service all of our clients’ post production needs. From ingesting a range of formats, providing the resources and creative talent to grade, mix and online their production, right through to an inhouse design studio to design motion graphics and title sequences. There is no limit to what our clients need us to provide for their productions.

Our clients also require internet-based collaboration tools which would’ve been a pipe dream in 1995. Alongside that we also now offer long-term data archive services for our clients that can also be accessed remotely. Having three sites all linked by a fibre network also gives our clients geographic flexibility and the ability to split their production across multiple sites according to each team’s convenience, with everyone being connected together.

What will you offer in 2035?
Creative talent and high quality facilities in multiple locations across the globe, bolstered by cloud-based services available anywhere.

Queen

Differentiating Yourselves

What did you offer above and beyond post services in 1995 (e.g. Bar, table football etc)?
Tea and coffee; we may have had the odd biscuit.

What do you offer now?
A multi-location, fully networked innovative post production with client service and technical stability at its heart. This includes food from any local restaurant, patisseries, wine and champagne, delivery service, runners and workflow consultation.

What will clients expect in 2035?
I would hope that we are the best in the business that way, our clients’ expectations of our services would be high and we’d continue to have the ability to deliver.

Clients

Describe your main client base in 1995
It was mainly broadcasters such as the BBC and Channel 4 and the odd production company.

What does it look like today?
We work for over 78 companies of all kinds in any one year. Our client base is as varied as the work that we do.

What do you think it will look like in 20 years?
I expect to be working for more clients, in more areas and countries.

Cyberbully

Staff

How did you recruit and train your staff in 1995 – media school? Runners?
When we started there were no trained staff as we were one of the pioneers of digital. So we picked bright people with a good work ethic and together we worked out how to do things and then how to streamline them.

How do you recruit and train today?
We like to promote from within the company so we have a training scheme: We call it the Clear Cut Uni and we have a selective process to ensure that we put the right juniors through it. We also have a centralised knowledge base of information and training videos accessible via the cloud. But, in an old fashioned sense, there’s no substitute for on-the-job training.

For when we recruit from out of house, we always look for the best talent, but working at Clear Cut they also need to share our vision of how post production should be. We strive to meet our client’s needs and by being proactive ensure that our client’s delivery is always met.

How will they train/work in 20 years?
We will continue to adapt what we have to the market at that time as it is ever changing, but will have more online training courses and our workforce would possibly be based internationally.

Random Questions

What was the best party you ever held/attended?
We did our own parties in our 12,000 ft warehouse until this year; 2010 was legendary and the pictures and videos of what went on will remain locked away.