Hollywood post-production
facility teams with Bling Digital to develop an efficient, smoothly
functioning, transcontinental workflow for the hit MTV drama.

LOS ANGELES— MTV’s 1-hour drama Finding
Carter
centers on a girl, played by Kathryn Prescott, who was abducted at
age three and as a teenager is reunited with a birth family whom she doesn’t know.
Now, in its second season, the show has won critical praise and a growing
audience through its provocative take on identity and family relationships.
Finding Carter is
shot in Atlanta, while most post-production work is done in Los Angeles.  The editorial team is set up in offices
provided by Chainsaw, Hollywood, a SIM Group company, which also handles color
grading, editorial finishing and deliverables. Another SIM Group company, Bling
Digital, serves as intermediary between production in Atlanta and West Coast
post. Each production day, Bling receives camera media from the set, prepares
dailies, editorial, finishing and back-up media, and sends elements across the
country.

Editorial media is delivered overnight via a high speed
internet connection. “When the editors arrive in the morning, dailies from the
previous day’s shoot are ready and waiting,” says Ashley Glazier, associate
producer for POPfilms, which produces the show for MTV. “We are able to get
started much faster than most shows. Bling makes it all seamless.”
“Now that we have the opportunity to provide both dailies,
through Bling, and finishing, through  Chainsaw, as part of one company, it’s incredibly
efficient ,” says Bling Digital General Manager Brennen Dicker.
“It makes communication much easier. We were able to work out potential
obstacles in advance and the result is a workflow that is very smooth. We’ve
got their backs and they’ve got ours.”
As an aid to cross-country collaboration, Chainsaw has set
up a Streambox video transport system in the show’s editorial offices. It
allows the editing team to share video content in real-time with production
staff. Producers in Atlanta can work with editors in Hollywood almost as though
they are in the same room.
Finishing Editor Mark Needham begins assembling a high
resolution version of the show, while Colorist Kris Santa Cruz begins color
grading with the original camera media. The beauty of the system is that both
are able to work with the same sequence simultaneously. The flexibility of a
clip based color workflow in Baselight allows a seamless integration to online
in the Avid. Once the final color grade is applied, the show returns to Needham
who adds visual effects (provided by an external VFX house) and titles to
create the final master and other deliverable elements.

While television shows are often fully conformed and
approved before grading, this workflow saves time and allows Finding Carter’s producers to conduct
their review with final color in place. “We eliminate the intermediate review
step,” Needham explains. “The producers see the final product after it’s gone
through Kris’s hands and my hands. They like this workflow because it’s so efficient.”
Post work is also aided by the close proximity of editorial,
grading and finishing. “If I’m working on the color and need Ashley or an
editor to look at something, they are always close by,” says Santa Cruz.
“Sometimes, they’re just across the hall.”
Given the tight deadlines that are an inevitable part of
television post-production, the benefits of saving a few steps shouldn’t be
underestimated. “We don’t often make last minute changes, but when we do, it’s
extremely helpful to have everything under one roof,” notes Glazier. “I feel
very comfortable with the workflow we’ve set up. It’s a great process.”
About SIM Group:
Backed by Toronto-based investment firm
Granite Partners, the SIM Group is a leading supplier of production equipment,
workflow and post-production solutions, with offices across the US, Canada and
China. Our diverse services can be utilized on any production at any stage. In
Canada, our offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax service grip and lighting
from PS Production Services and can be complemented with SIM Digital
cinematography and playback equipment for any production’s needs.  Bling,
Chainsaw, Pixel Underground, Tattersall Sound and Picture and Post Factory NY provide
an array of services from dailies, to online and offline editing, to final
color/DI and visual effects, to sound editorial and mixing. Bling’s services,
which include a comprehensive workflow solution, are offered at all offices
across the US and Canada, as well as off-site service through POD (Post on Demand). 
Chainsaw’s full-service facility in Hollywood provides creative editorial and
extensive finishing services with some of the top colorists in the industry.
Rounding out the family of companies are Pixel Underground, a
Toronto-based post-production company, and its associated service, StationEX,
which provides physical and file-based media fulfillment and
encoding/distribution services, Tattersall Sound and Picture, a provider
of sound editorial and mixing for motion pictures and television and Post Factory
NY, one of the East Coast’s top independent post-production facilities. For
more information, visit simgroup.com
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