Soho post boutique completes one of the years highest-profile series with a small team and its Quantel eQ/Genetic Engineering shared workflow system
Soho, London post boutique The Look has just completed the picture post production on the second series of the BBCs flagship five part drama Criminal Justice. The BAFTA winning series is airing in the prime 9pm slot on BBC1 every night from the 5th to 9th October. All the work was carried out on The Looks Quantel eQ finishing system with Thomas Urbye as Colourist, combined with its Genetic Engineering shared workflow infrastructure.
The new series and The Looks work on it - has already received a very favourable verdict from viewers: It looks beautiful, says the Guardians Vicky Frost, A contained colour palette at times doing as much storytelling as the dialogue and score.
We did the full picture post for Criminal Justice, says Thomas Urbye, The Looks Managing Director. From the Beginning, the Director and DP had a clear vision that they wanted to grade the images to complement the beautiful imagery and performances on a scene-by-scene basis, meaning the look changes as the series unfolds. It was all shot on Sony 900R cameras and delivered to us on over 300 tapes. We conformed using an AAF from the offline Avids and digitised the HD material into our Genetic Engineering shared storage using Quantels Max prep station. This meant creative work could start immediately on the eQ. We handled the online, the full grade and then the UK and International deliverables on HDCAM SR. Much of the work was client-attended we find that clients are very pleased that we do the grade and the online in the same machine, and if they want to tweak something, its never too late as the eQ has everything we need in a single suite, so we dont have to waste time going back into another suite and then redoing playouts.
Urbye reports that each of the five episodes of Criminal Justice took two days to grade and then a couple of hours of online work with the director and producer. Clients like that they can see the whole project through from start to finish with just one person in one suite. The facility is dedicated to them during their job, and as the Colourist and MD I'm very proud of what we're doing. We're not having to juggle other jobs which is so often the case in larger facilities. My team effectively becomes part of the crew for the project, not just a service stop off on the way to producing the required result.
Urbye has no desire to grow The Look into a mega-facility on the back of its continuing success. I see it as more of a members club, where my clients come to do their best work in a relaxed, creative environment where they know everyone, Urbye explains. To achieve that, we use the very best equipment set up in an environment thats more than comparable to a large facility, delivering a personal, high quality service and end product. As an owner-operator you can have strong relationships with your clients and they trust you and your rates.
It was just this philosophy that brought the BBC's Desperate Romantics to The Look. Angie Daniell, the Line Producer who posted the 2008 cult Channel 4 TV series 'Dead Set' at The Look, then Line Produced the fantastic 'Desperate Romantics' series earlier this year. I also knew the DP Kieran McGuigan very well, and they both wanted to use us. Criminal Justice has the same executive producer and also Yann Demange and Tat Radcliffe - Director and DoP respectively from Dead Set; this industry is built on relationships and that is how we have won these fantastic jobs, reports Urbye. Quantel sees it the same way and works hard to maintain a great relationship with me.