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POST PRODUCTION THE FUTURE OF POST PRODUCTION WE CATCH UP WITH SOME OF 2016’S MOST GROUND BREAKING POST PIONEERS TO DISCOVER WHAT THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY WILL HOLD. JONATHAN HOWARD - Senior Colourist, BBC ROB PIZZEY - Goldcrest Post RIP HAMPTON O’NEIL - Director of R&D, Film Factory SIMON WESTLAND - Director of Sales and Marketing, Blackmagic Design Love it or hate it, 2016 will certainly be a year to remember, for many reasons. In the world of post-production, we’ve seen high dynamic range become incorporated into UK studio pipelines for the very first time. We watched Ang Lee demonstrate exactly what you can do by shooting at 120 frames per second in combination with stereo 3D. We’ve even become stunned spectators as film steadily makes a comeback as a creative medium, and VR goes from tinkerer specific to becoming a fully-fledged consumer technology to buy. As the industry continues to develop at an increasingly fast pace our only question is: What can this year’s most cutting edge innovations tell us about what’s coming next? To find out, we’ve caught up with some of the professionals working with 2016’s most ground breaking technologies to learn more about what they think the future will hold for us all. COLOUR REINVENTED Though the history of High Dynamic Range photography spans as far back as 150 years, the developments in HDR technologies for video have become one of the most exciting innovations in post-production today – with many considering it the biggest shift since the introduction of 4k video. “HDR is not just a new delivery format, this is a completely new playground for creative people,” says Goldcrest Post colourist Rob Pizzey, who delivered feature films such as Jason Bourne in HDR this year. He explains that as with high dynamic range photography, which combines a series of different images together to take advantage of the best elements of each, HDR in video addresses the problems that come with imagery that is both over and underexposed, 38 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 121 January 2017 making it possible to bring back incredible detail from shadows, highlights and every tone in between. “It is clear that content creators are becoming increasingly responsive to the potential of HDR,” suggests Pizzey, who already has two major studio films scheduled for DI in 2017, and will include an HDR version amongst their list of deliverables. “As a format it is allowing us to deliver a completely new experience to the audience,” he continues. “On Bourne, it made a huge difference to be able to see so much more detail, even in the little details such as the clouds in the sky. The final pictures are stunning.” “Quite often, we would have the Rec 709 SDR version next to the HDR, and the difference would be obvious,” agrees BBC colourist, Jon Howard. As a part of the BBC’s in-house post production, Howard was in charge of the preliminary grade testing involved in delivering a new chapter in one of the world’s most well-known documentary series, Planet Earth II, in full HDR. His aim was both to showcase what we could do with high dynamic range, and give our production teams confidence in a new standard of picture quality. Producers were impressed by the level of detail available in highlights and shadows and overall clarity. Despite needing to showcase what HDR was capable of, initially, Howard admits that he himself needed a little convincing of the new technology. “At first, all I thought was wow, I need sunglasses for this! The screen is just so vivid moving from Rec 709 to Rec 2020. I am used to 100 candela displays in a typical grading suite, and going to a display that is 6 or 10 x brighter is quite a leap,” he explains. “As a colourist, it’s definitely a learning curve.”