Los Angeles— Post-production finishing for the second season of MTV’s hit show Scream: The TV Series is currently in
high gear at Chainsaw in Hollywood. The facility is handling editorial
finishing, color grading and deliverables. It is also supplying editing suites
and gear used by series editors.
Scream: The TV Series,
which returns to MTV on May 30th, is produced by The Weinstein
Company’s Dimension TV and is based on the wildly successful teen horror film
franchise directed by Wes Craven. The show has drawn rave reviews for its
entertaining mix of horror and humor, and has proven a ratings magnet, especially
among the prized demographics of teens and young adults.

Post-production for the series has been based at Chainsaw
since the pilot episode. Stuart Burkin,
TWC’s Senior Vice President of Post Production notes that, as the production
team’s background was largely in features, they were looking for a
post-production partner with deep roots in television. “Scream was one of our first scripted television shows and was a
learning experience for us,” he says. “We wanted to find a facility that knew
that world and could help us build a workflow. We took a tour of Chainsaw and
were blown away by their professionalism and enthusiasm for our project.”
One thing the
producers were seeking was the flexibility they were used to when finishing
features. “We do things a bit differently from most television shows in terms
of scheduling editing, color correction and conforming,” Burkin says. “We like
to keep open the possibility of making editorial changes right up to the last
minute.”
Chainsaw accommodated the production by developing a
workflow where editorial and finishing are closely integrated and a schedule
that allows leeway for making creative changes through the final stages of
post. “Chainsaw helps us do feature-style post on a television schedule,” explains
TWC Director of Post Production Erica Sterne. “We approach each episode like a
small feature.”
Scream is shot in Louisiana. Dailies are processed near-set and sent overnight
to the editing team set up at Chainsaw’s facility in Hollywood.  Having the editors and the finishing team in
the same facility is very efficient, says Burkin. “Our creative executives,
Keith Levine and Matthew Signer, can walk from the edit rooms to the color
suite to view work being done on episodes that are further along,” he notes.
“It’s seamless.”
Similarly, dailies
media, cut sequences and other show data are stored on a central server
accessible to both editorial and finishing. Changes made in one department are
immediately available to the other.
 Chainsaw also makes
creative contributions to the show. Colorist Kris Santa Cruz works with
production executives Levine and Signer, series cinematographer Yaron Levy and
post production supervisor Aaron Fink in refining the finished look. “Scream is branded as horror with
elements of comedy. It’s smart and self-aware,” says Burkin. “The look of the
show conveys that balance. There are portions that are dark and tense, but it’s
never so dark that it’s gloomy. It’s slick with a noir-ish edge.”
Santa Cruz grades the show on a Baselight system and uses
its sophisticated toolset to finesse details and heighten tension. “We do a lot
of work with Power Windows to ensure viewers see things we want them to see and
hide things that we don’t want them to see,” Santa Cruz says. “We often like to
reveal just enough of Ghostface (the show’s signature masked killer) to terrify
people.”
Burkin says that Santa Cruz has developed particular skill
in bringing out the color of another signature visual. “There’s a lot of blood
in Scream,” he notes, “and Kris’s job
is to find the right balance…gory, but not over the top. He does it episode
after episode.”
In Chainsaw’s open workflow, editorial and compositing is
split between finishing editors Jose Favella (on Baselight) and Carlos Verdugo
(on Avid Symphony). Burkin says the entire process has functioned smoothly from
the pilot forward. “We returned to Chainsaw for Season Two with the same set-up
and team,” he notes. “Often you want to make changes after a show’s first
season, but we didn’t because it worked so well. We were thrilled with how well
everyone at Chainsaw performed.”
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 spanning North America, and a satellite
office in Beijing, the SIM Group provides stellar products and services for
tent pole features such as Legendary’s upcoming “Warcraft,” to the hugely
successful “Game of Thrones,” to the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight.” From
reality shows including “American Idol,” to blockbusters “Deadpool” and hit
series “Mr. Robot,” SIM Group has collaborated with producers, directors,
cinematographers, post-production supervisors and studios to bring their vision
to life. Toronto and Vancouver provides grip and
lighting from PS Production Services and can be complemented with SIM Digital
cinematography and playback equipment from any of its offices in Canada,
Atlanta and Los Angeles. 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 provides a comprehensive workflow solution
in the US, Canada and Beijing, as well as off-site service through POD (Post on
Demand).  Chainsaw provides creative editorial and extensive finishing
services with some of the top colorists in the industry. Pixel Underground, a
Toronto-based post-production company, and its associated service, StationEX,
provide physical and file-based media fulfillment and encoding/distribution
services while Tattersall Sound and Picture is a provider of sound editorial
and mixing for motion pictures and television. Post Factory NY is considered
one of the East Coast’s top independent post-production facilities.  The SIM Group Hollywood has begun relocating its Los
Angeles operations to a 65,000+ square foot building located in the former
historic Eastman Kodak building off Las Palmas. The building will house SIM
Group companies Sim Digital, Bling and Chainsaw in its flagship West Coast
office. For more information, visit simgroup.com
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