Reprising its role from “Selma,” Hula
provides technology and support to director/producer Ava DuVernay and editor
Spencer Averick for new, 13-part television series.

HOLLYWOOD— Queen Sugar¸ the new OWN series from Warner Horizon Television and
Harpo Productions and executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, tells
the story of three estranged siblings who, after a family tragedy, reunite to
run an 800-acre sugar farm in Louisiana. Based on the best-seller by Natalie
Baszile, the show is a rich and deeply moving tale of people overcoming risk
and reinventing themselves.
The series’ editorial team was led Spencer Averick, whose
many collaborations with DuVernay date back to the 2008 documentary This Is the Life and also include 2015
Academy Award Best Picture nominee Selma.
Also returning from the Selma team
was Hula Post, which again supplied
editorial systems and support. Additionally, for Queen Sugar, Hula provided office space in Burbank for the series’

For Averick, whose team spent several months cutting the
first season, Queen Sugar was unlike
a typical television drama, describing it instead as “a feature film told in 13
parts.” “It’s not like regular television in the pacing and slow character
development,” Averick says. “It’s the same kind of story that Ava and I have
been telling in narrative features for years. It was different in that we had
to hit the 42 minute marks, but we still had the freedom to take our time with
the characters.”
Averick says that the nature of the story required a
restrained editorial pace. He often allowed scenes to play out with a minimum
of cuts. As an example, he points to an emotionally charged moment near the end
of the show’s first episode. Ralph Bordelon (Kofi Siriboe) takes his son Blue
(Ethan Hutchison) to visit his father (Glynn Turman), the family’s patriarch,
who is dying in a hospital.
“Ralph has been delaying bringing his son into the hospital
because, he says, he doesn’t want him to see his grandfather on his death bed
with tubes coming out of his nose,” Averick explains. “But the subtext is
clear, it’s Ralph who is afraid.”
“When they walk in, Ernest wakes up and they share a sweet
moment. There is no dialogue and I sat on the shots for a long time, for as
long as it felt right. A lot was going on in their eyes. You could feel their
relationship and history. It was a positive moment for three generations of
men. There were no words, but it spoke volumes.”
Averick’s team
included editors Avril Beukes, JoAnne Yarrow and Paul Alderman, and assistant
editors Yasmin Assemi, Sarah Russell and Andrew Hellesen. Associate Producer
Christiana Hooks supervised post production with Post Supervisor Ryan Stephens,
Post Coordinator Olivia Latz and Post Production Assistant Kenny
Christie.  Hula Post provided six Avid Media Composers, ISIS shared
storage and 24/7 technical support. 
“Hula was quick, accommodating and collaborative,” says
Hooks. “It was smooth sailing. On the few occasions when there was a technical
issue, they were there in 30 minutes.”
Hooks adds that the entire post production process proceeded
without a hitch and in a spirit of collaboration set in motion by DuVernay. “We
became a community,” she says. “Ava included all of us and allowed everyone the
freedom to give notes and speak their minds. Ultimately, that made everything
better. It had more eyes on it and more points of view and that was a huge
benefit to the show.”
Averick agrees and says that the result is a unique and
powerful series that he believes will grow on audiences. “It’s not instant
gratification,” he says. “We allow you to sink your teeth into the story and
the characters. It has a cumulative effect. It’s what we do…and we love it.”
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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