Supplies editorial team through 24 months
and four locations on Jon Favreau’s magical production.

HOLLYWOOD—In a project spanning nearly two
years, Hula Post provided
editorial systems, workflow engineering and technical support to Walt Disney
Pictures for the production of The Jungle
. Hula Post engineers set up and maintained editorial facilities at the
studio’s production facility in Playa Vista; at Digital Domain, where motion
capture elements were produced; and at Los Angeles Center Studios, where live
action elements were captured. Additionally, it supported satellite editing
facilities at Sony Pictures Studios and Skywalker Sound, where sound work was

Directed by Jon Favreau, based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless
stories, and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, The Jungle Book seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic
CGI animals and environments. Produced natively in 3D, it employs up-to-the-minute
technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting
and lush world.
Hula Post supplied the editorial systems used by Favreau,
3-time Eddie nominated Editor Mark Livolsi, Academy Award-winning Visual
Effects Supervisor Rob Legato and their crew. The editorial environment
included as many as ten Avid Media Composers connected to central storage whose
capacity reached more than 100TB.
“Technically, it was among the most challenging projects
we’ve ever undertaken,” says Hula Post Senior Vice President Rick Lee. “The
editing team was constantly pushing the envelope in terms of technology and
inventing new workflows. Our team supported them 24/7/365 every step of the way.”
The production diverged from the traditional linear
progression of pre-production, production and post-production. Activities such
as storyboarding, live action production, editing, animation, visual effects
and compositing proceeded simultaneously, and at times overlapped and
blended.  “It started with Jon Favreau
and his vision for the movie,” notes First Assistant Editor William Kruzykowski.
“He didn’t want people working in isolation. Rather, he encouraged a cohesive,
open discussion and collaboration between all departments and facilities.”
In the production’s first phase, editing facilities were set
up at Disney’s production facility in Playa Vista and at Digital Domain. At
Digital Domain, motion capture elements were shot with actors standing in for
Mowgli, the film’s sole live action character, and CGI animals. Editors
combined the mo-cap with early-stage animation and those edited sequences were
used as templates for the subsequent live action shoot with the young actor
Neel Sethi who played Mowgli.
“The virtual camera edit served as the basis for everything
we subsequently photographed with Neel,” explains Editor Adam Gerstel. “On set,
the live action photography was set up based on that virtual edit. 
However, nothing was set in stone—we allowed for coverage and flexibility to
change how we shot a scene.  Being able to edit on set helped to determine
where coverage might be needed.”
Live action production was spread between two stages at Los
Angeles Center Studios. Hula set up editing systems on each stage so that newly-captured
sequences could be immediately incorporated into existing animation. The on-set
editing systems, along with a near-set editing environment, were linked to a
central ISIS.
“Assistant Editor Rachel Schreibman got material as it was
captured and fed it into the ISIS,” says Gerstel. “I would then open it on my
system and incorporate it into the cut. I was constantly running back and forth
between the two stages. I would close a sequence on one stage, run to the other
stage, open the same sequence there and continue working. Once I cut something,
Mark Livolsi could open it on his system and work with material a minute after
it was shot.”
With the editing team frequently changing locations and
often split into two or more units, a “traveling” ISIS was used to provide all
parties with access to production media. Content on the traveling SAN was
synchronized with the main storage systems at Playa Vista on a daily basis.
Gerstel wrote a script that automated the process of identifying and renaming
new material to avoid errors or confusion and ensure everything was up to date.
Once production was complete, the editorial team reverted to
Playa Vista for another ten months of work. There ten Media Composers were
linked to central storage and a 3D digital cinema theater used for screening.
Hula’s Rick Lee estimates that more than four miles of Ethernet cable was
required to connect all the systems.
With editorial, animation, visual effects and sound
editorial happening at the same time, proper data management was a priority.
“We had to keep careful track of everything that we were doing,” Kruzykowski
observes. “And we had to maintain it all in a stable environment over a period
of a year and a half. If Mark made a cut in the edit room, or Adam made a cut
on the stage, we had to know that it was replicated as it moved from person to
Hula Post helped out by keeping the editing systems
fine-tuned and up-to-date. Midway through production, Hula engineers updated
all of the Media Composers from version 7 to the newly-released version 8, so
that the editors could take advantage of new tools for networking and media
management. “It worked without a hitch,” notes Hula Post Senior Technician
James Tejeda.
“Hula was with us when we were split between Digital Domain
and Playa Vista, and when we were working as two teams at Los Angeles Center
Studios,” Kruzykowski says. “When we were done there, they got us back up and
running at Playa Vista for the final push. They were tremendous.”
Kruzykowski has worked on more than 30 films over the course
of his career, but none quite compares to this. “Every picture brings new
challenges, but here we were breaking new ground and there were no maps to
guide us,” he notes, adding, however, that the film is more than a technical
exercise. “It’s a fantastic movie,” he says. “It tells an exciting adventure
story and some people will enjoy it as pure entertainment. But others will look
into it and see a deeper meaning. Its message is wonderful.”
About Hula Post
Post provides exceptional equipment rental services to the post production and
broadcast communities. With offices in Burbank and West Los Angeles, the
company is the industry leader in customized workflow solutions. It offers a large
inventory of editorial and finishing systems, storage solutions, and support
gear, backed by the industry’s most experienced and knowledgeable support team
in the industry.
For more information, visit
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