Newcastle Collab with Good Eye Deer

There’s nothing quite like collaborating with local filmmakers.

In partnership with Final Post, Newcastle based production company, Good Eye Deer, recently completed a series of six short films, all shot in the local Newcastle area.

We love it when filmmakers get us involved early. Producer, Olivia Olley, and Director, Gavin Banks, came to Final Post with the project early in development. We were able to develop an agile workflow which utilised some exciting new technologies to maximise their short post production window. 

In consultation with the camera department, Final Post provided a compact on-set data system which was remotely managed by our DIT based at Final Post. She was able to secure the digital negative, quality check and prepare files for editorial within hours of shooting. This allowed the editors get started immediately and work in tandem with the shoot. It also provided the opportunity for a fast feedback loop between the edit and the shoot. 

For this project we employed a hybrid editorial workflow. The files were stored securely at Final Post, while the editors, based in Sydney and the Gold Coast, worked remotely together in the same avid project. Later, when the Director needed access to the edit, we were able to migrate the whole project across to Resolve. 

When the edits were completed, our in-house colourist, Shane Burrell, colour graded the films in our beautiful 2k DCI grading theatre. Our neighbour, Anthony Marsh at Production Station, completed the sound mix, then we brought the pieces together and created the final files ready for delivery.

Workflow and Data Planning

We love to get involved as early as possible and establish the best, most efficient and agile plan possible. Our aim is to ensure the best turn-over of media to start the post production pipeline on a good foot.

This will generally include considering the following:

  •  camera file format availability
  • audio recording and locking to camera
  • timecode and scene metadata transfer
  • on-set data management
  • file security

For this collaboration, we chose to process all the data in-house as the shooting locations were all within a 10km radius of Final Post. This reduced the crew count on-set and the need for assistant camera operators to try to wrangle additional equipment on-set and take responsibility for data.

We also develop a data plan that looks at the specific shooting formats, number of camera units and shooting ratio to forecast how much data will be crated. This avoids the need for producers to do those “Officeworks runs” to get more slow portable drives. Saving money and time.

Pre Production

During the camera tests and rehearsal period of the pre-production, colourist Shane Burrell collaborated with the cinematographer (Chris Bland) and director (Gavin Banks) in looking at the image quality and how far the files could be comfortably pushed; the level of filtration that could be used to gain a specific look and develop a show LUT which would be used for dailies and editorial files.

Production

As the production was moving fast we spent time on-set during the first days to be “on-hand” during file turn over. Feedback was provided quickly ensuring everything was working together and flowing efficiently into the post production pipeline.

Often it can be the basic things that are overlooked, or taken for granted which can trip up productions later down the track. Having an extra set of eyes and ears in a controlled environment gives critical feedback to the production before trouble perpetuates. These issues can include timecode syncing between camera units and audio recordists, slating and metadata management.

Audio post production is also located in our building, so any specific audio issues could also be assessed quickly by the artist who will ultimately be working on these files down the track. 

Post Production

Once principle photography was wrapped, the editorial was already underway with 5 of the 6 episodes already assembled. 

Final Post employed a hybrid approach with two in-house suites and remote editors operating out of the Gold Coast and Sydney. These suites could be quickly turned on or off as needed, activating remote licenses and only requiring a reasonable internet connection and basic workstation. 

Not only was this a flexible option for production, but it also provided a high level of security with all media located in the Final Post local storage. 

 

Finishing

Moving through to picture and audio finishing was smooth and agile by maintaining all the required metadata and file structures to move from the offline edits quickly. 

Final Post uses the NUCODA film master finishing suite for colour grading and restoration. These tools opened up the Sony files and rendered stunning 16bit detail and imagery. As much of the series was shot in dimly lit environments, maintaining a high level of detail in the blacks without them feeling washed out was crucial to these stories. 

Similarly with audio, detailed and full sound mixes were achieved by using extensive foley and effects, building out the environments and adding the sense of realism and believability. 

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