With determined focus to reinforce and expand Mistika’s influence in Eastern Europe, as well as build on its existing success in the region, an enterprising collaboration between SGO and PlayBox Technology Europe has been confirmed. This mutually beneficial strategic move will help to further extend Mistika’s prominent position in the area as a complete and powerful post production solution with the profound capability to dramatically enhance broadcasting efficiency. With over 15,000 multi-national broadcast and branding channels on air, PlayBox is trusted by global broadcasters offering a “complete solutions service” for their dealers and clients.
Ivanka Vassileva, Executive Director of PlayBox Technology Europe states, “PlayBox Technology Europe has retained a strong presence in the broadcast, film and post production markets in the Balkans for over fifteen years now. The Company is also the main distributor in Eastern Europe for the most advanced and renown worldwide brands of creative software, armed with modern vision as well as contemporary approaches.” Ivanka Vassileva continues, “We have selected Mistika because it complements the PlayBox Technology Europe vision to provide large-scale solutions in a single product. Mistika is designed to meet the needs of single users as well as the expectations of large organisations with advanced requirements. We like the fact that Mistika has combined all the creative capabilities for real time editing, VFX, colour correction and finishing, in a cohesive way. We think that Mistika will provide our customers with all they need for post production.”
“SGO continues to deliver technically sound and robust Mistika systems that integrate well with other technology that customers own. It is a very exciting time in the industry to work with PlayBox Technology Europe. They will help play an important role in increasing awareness of the advantages that SGO’s Mistika and Mamba FX offer, both to new channels and established broadcasters, in terms of efficiency, reliability and expandability in the Eastern European domain. Our combined efforts will translate into viable solutions that deliver value and quality-service for customers all round, covering the main sectors in countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Estonia, Belarus and many others.” confirms Jose Luis Acha, Regional Sales Manager at SGO.
Geoff Mills, SGO’s Director of Global Sales & Operations adds, “SGO expands its market reach by working with key industry partners and we are delighted to team up with PlayBox Technology Europe. They share SGO’s core values and we are very impressed with their business model and unshakable track record. Mistika and Mamba FX are a perfect match for PlayBox Technology Europe who provide excellent pre and post-sales support and offer their customers a complete solution with efficient and seamless file-based workflows, which are a key requirement for any post facility or broadcaster.”
With Vive Cantando as their first Mistika project.
Grupo Secuoya, content creation communications giant and one of Spain’s major production companies, boasts the recent purchase of a Mistika DI 4K system with DCP creation capabilities from SGO, to enhance their post production department.
The company was drawn to Mistika’s unique ability to empower creative artists by providing them with a solution that combines all of the post production processes in one complete system, resulting in significant time-saving.
Mistika Artist Pepe Abellán at Grupo Secuoya confirms, “Mistika provides the toolset that covers the full spectrum of requirements that a current production demands.”
Director of Post Production at Grupo Secuoya, Ricardo Zamora highlights Mistika’s role as an agent of change and why it is an advantage to have Mistika on board, saying, “Mistika represents innovation in production, which helps us stand out and it’s what makes us different.” Pepe Abellán expands further concerning the opportunities that SGO’s technology brings to Grupo Secuoya, “Mistika allows us to develop our workflow without any complications. It supports footage captured on a variety of cameras such as Sony’s F55 or RED Digital Cameras at resolutions ranging from HD, 2K, 4K up to 5K, and all in the same timeline.” He adds, “After conforming the various resolutions within a project, Mistika provides the perfect opportunity, owing to its broad assortment of tools and real-time capabilities, to conduct high-end colour correction at incredible speed. The system also gives us the ability to achieve all of the VFX, compositing, and credits as well as the means to export various master versions, according to client requirements.”
Jose Luis Acha, Regional Sales Manager at SGO affirms, “We warmly welcome Grupo Secuoya into the SGO family. As an innovative company, Mistika fits in perfectly with their philosophy of optimising the production process so that they can deliver the desired results of the highest quality to their customers. This is the beginning of a relationship that will be mutually beneficial and we are delighted that they are part of the growing Mistika community.”
Grupo Secuoya’s first Mistika project Vive Cantando is a comedy drama series for Antena 3 prime time TV, produced by Atresmedia, and airs in the autumn. The programme follows band singer Trini (Maria Castro) who returns to her roots where she reunites with her family and the love of her life Juanjo (José Luis García Pérez).
Executive Producer: AMPARO MIRALLES
Director: MIGUEL ALBADALEJO
DoP: OSCAR MONTESINOS
Producer: MIGUEL ANGEL LARRAYA
ABOUT GRUPO SECUOYA
Grupo Secuoya offers valuable solutions and communication services for production companies, TV channels and many other industries. Visit them at www.gruposecuoya.es
Juan Ignacio Cabrera leads the way with Mistika
“With SGO’s Mistika the process is organic and fast. It allows me to work at the speed of thought and take the footage to incredible places.”
Timothy A Burton, Cinematographer
“It has been an eye-opening experience with what can be accomplished with color software.”
Amy Kim, Co-Executive Producer, Lifeboat Productions
“Chosen was only my second project working with the SGO Mistika System, but I can already say that I plan to use nothing else going forward. As a filmmaker working in Hollywood for almost ten years, I’ve had projects colored on almost every color platform, and I can confidently say that Mistika blows them all away.”
Ben Ketai, “Chosen” Series Creator, Writer and Director
“Personally, I think it would be great if people knew that Mistika is capable of so much more than just 3D. I think everybody knows now that Mistika has unbeatable S3D toolsets but not that many consider it as a heavy-weight option in other fields like grading…and they seriously should.”
Juan I Cabrera, Colorist & Mistika Specialist
25 July 2014, Hollywood – Inspiring Los Angeles-based Juan Ignacio Cabrera recently handled the post production for the second and third seasons of Chosen, the most successful show on Sony’s Crackle TV network. Leading colorist Juan Ignacio Cabrera graded the series on a Mistika 4K system from SGO.
Juan I. Cabrera moved from his native country Spain, where he owned a successful post company Film Bakers and relocated to Los Angeles in 2011, bringing his grading expertise along with him. He is currently one of the most experienced SGO Mistika operators living in the U.S. With over 10 years of Mistika experience behind him, Juan has worked on world-class 2D and 3D projects using SGO’s technology, that span across both broadcast and cinema including titles such as Transformers: Age of Extinction, Star Trek Into Darkness, Beneath, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus, The Last Circus and many others listed here http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3043942/
Crackle is a multi-platform video-entertainment network and a unit of Sony Pictures Television with a global audience of 43 million viewers. It features movies, television shows and produces original content made for the Internet. Crackle partnered with Xbox Live, making its content available for Xbox 360, and also streams across PS3, Roku boxes, Sony Blu-ray players and Bravia TVs, including APPS for iOS, Android, Blackberry 10 and Apple TV.
The 2D Chosen TV drama was captured on ARRI’s Alexa and RED Epic cameras, some using HDR functionality for extended contrast and dynamic range. The advanced color features in Mistika gave Juan huge creative options.
The show’s creator, writer and director, Ben Ketai states, “Chosen was only my second project working with the SGO Mistika System, but I can already say that I plan to use nothing else going forward. As a filmmaker working in Hollywood for almost ten years, I’ve had projects colored on almost every color platform, and I can confidently say that Mistika blows them all away. Its flexibility and interface offer a swifter workflow, allowing for ample creative exploration without wasting precious time.”
As episodes were completed, they were uploaded from Mistika which allowed the producer, director and DoP to view content on calibrated Sony monitors. They returned their feedback, which could be extracted directly into Mistika, and finalize the look to deliver the files promptly. The process was collaborative maximizing on Mistika’s innovating toolset, which enabled Juan and his team to fulfil the creative needs of his clients at Sony.
Co-Executive producer at Lifeboat Productions Amy Kim notes, “During the second season of Chosen, Lifeboat Productions was introduced to Mistika, and we immediately changed our platform over for all other projects going forward. It has been an eye-opening experience with what can be accomplished with color software.”
The overall look of the series gives a tense, dangerous and edgy mood reflecting the dark and violent storyline. The grade is not overly saturated and keeps a consistent hue, keeping in line with the director’s vision for the show. “Mistika provides me with an excellent palette of incredible grading features for the highest spec image quality.” confirms Juan.
Cinematographer Timothy A. Burton expands on the grading process, “For me color grading is the final stage of the Cinematography process and I like to be as involved as possible. Especially on a show as stylized as Chosen. But it can become a frustrating experience when you have to deal with limited tools to achieve your vision. With SGO’s Mistika the process is organic and fast. It allows me to work at the speed of thought and take the footage to incredible places. It doesn’t matter if the shot needs 10 different masks, blurs, sharpens, glows, stabilization, or covering something that shouldn’t be in the shot. With Mistika it all happens in real-time allowing me to spend more time working with my footage instead of fighting with limitations.”
Juan continues in further detail, “I love it when a color grading session becomes a creative brainstorm between the cinematographer, director and colorist. And that’s what Chosen was. Tim and Ben wanted for this second season to be a huge leap forward in quality, so we created a new color language from what they had on Season 1. Working with Alexa and Epic and following a feature-like process allowed us to create wonderful imagery that boosted an already powerful story. With Mistika’s powerful conform tools we were able to minimize conform times to a minimum, to the point of being able to grade a couple of hours after a cut had been locked. The whole process was incredibly fast and seamless, even when we had to deliver both HD and UHDTV masters. As for the outputs, we delivered in ProResHQ files and back-to-back DCP for the première. All of these files were rendered directly from Mistika without any intermediate conversion required.”
Working on a high profile series for television brings its own unique challenges in grading that are different to cinema projects. Fortunately, Juan has immense experience in both areas and he adds, “I find that with TV there is less time to perfect the footage for the the grade, but Mistika gives me that additional confidence with its immense NVIDIA processing power which helps me to accelerate the process at literally lightning speeds.”
Juan’s closing comments, “Personally, I think it would be great if people knew that Mistika is capable of so much more than just 3D. I think everybody knows now that Mistika has unbeatable S3D toolsets but not that many consider it as a heavy-weight option in other fields like grading…and they seriously should.”
Juan’s website includes this quote which exudes his passion and sums it up, “SGO’s Mistika is the most advanced system in the world to deal with projects of all sizes and resolutions from start to finish, and is available right now for services at Santa Monica. Come and check it out. You will be blown away, I promise!”
You can visit Juan’s website showcasing some of his work here http://jicabrera.com
Other Hollywood blockbuster projects Juan has and is currently working on include the science fiction feature Deep Burial, the TV series Sequestered, both with Lifeboat Productions, as well as several feature projects with Bad Robot.
MORE ABOUT CHOSEN
Chosen cast members include Rose McGowan, alongside returning cast members Chad Michael Murray, Sarah Roemer, Brandon Routh and Caitlin Carmichael. Season two of Chosen revolved around the Mitchell family and Jacob Orr, all of whom became involved in a deadly game after receiving boxes carrying instructions to kill. In the new season, Jacob (Murray) attempts to rescue Ellie (Carmichael) from the game. This puts him in an awkward position with Josie (McGowan), who is a deadly hunter.
Chosen is now also available to rent on RedBox.
Mistika melted hearts at Creative Post
10 June 2014, Toronto, Canada – Supervising Editor Adrian Saywell at Toronto’s Creative Post Inc. discusses the challenges of grading the recent IMAX documentary Wonders of the Arctic 3D, and the reasons behind selecting Mistika for online, colour correction and titling.
The $4 million visually stunning Wonders of the Arctic 3D natural world epic marks Science North’s fifth IMAX production in conjunction with Lickley and Giant Screen Films based in Chicago and will be distributed in more than 100 theatres around the world. The flawless 42-minute film focuses on the effects of climate change to the Arctic environment and the impact on humans and animals, such as the resilient Inuit peoples and Polar bears that reside there.
The film depicts how it is the toughest place to live on earth and how creatures that live there thrive despite the harshest elements. Historically, more than half of the Arctic Ocean was covered by ice all year round but in the past 50 years, ice cover has been reduced by 70 per cent, and is predicted that within 15 years, there could be a completely ice-free Arctic during some months of the year, according to Lickley. The film provides a voyage to a world many would never visit themselves and plays a key role in educating and informing audiences about this incredibly important topic.
Creative Post started work on the film back in 2010 when primary camera shooting started.
Part of what made it possible to achieve such stunning results is the company’s pipeline. Adrian outlines the steps involved, “The first duties included onset processing and backup of Phantom footage. Once backed up and shipped to Creative Post, the processing of dailies for all digital formats in both Phantom and Red was completed using Mistika. This enabled us to create HD ProRes files with matching names and T/C’s for offline.” He remarks, “Before we purchased Mistika, the Phantoms T/C would not match the QT created by other programs.”
Adrian goes on further to explain the online process in more detail, “Footage was supplied by DKP and Science North at various resolutions ranging from 4K to 8K in both 2D and 3D. Utilizing the open platform that is Mistika, we were able to scale all the various formats to the end result 5616X4096, which was then filmed out to 70MM for IMAX Projection. As it is near impossible to work in 3D at the full 5.6K resolution, the proxy and render options in the Mistika enabled us to scale to 2K in 3D, where all work was completed before applying the corrections back to the raw camera material. This made it fast and easy to work in such a large format. Full online finishing, stereoscopic 3D alignments, colour correction and titling were performed in Mistika as well as final versioning in 5.6K 3D, 4K Scope 3D and 2K Scope 3D. New tools in version 7.2 enabled us to apply display filters such as log to linear LUTs as well as cropping of 1.85 and 1.79 images into the 70MM format without actually applying any FX to the environment.”
Creative Post’s owner and CEO, Ken MacNeil remarked that before they had a Mistika on board, they would not have been able to work on a film of this scope, within the given deadlines. Purchased in 2011, Mistika was chosen for its multi-resolution capability and advanced 3D tools that are required for the 4K+ resolution that Creative Post generally master in. Online Editor Adrian Saywell was also able to use Mistika’s powerful tools to stabilise and fix 3D shots, which included colour matching, and alignment, that he said, without Mistika, would have been deemed unusable.
Senior colourist Jim Fleming was also able to use the powerful colour grading tools to pull the best images out of the footage. The 3D colour grading session was technically straightforward because the left and right images were already exactly colour-matched in the pre-grade processing. This allowed for a film that was breathtaking in its amazing images but also for 3D that was easy to watch, allowing for a more realistic viewing experience.
Other high profile programmes Creative Post have recently worked on include Ice Road Truckers, Bollywood Star, High-Tech Red Necks, Ice Sweat and Tears and many others.
Cameras used in filming Wonders of the Arctic 3D:
IMAX Dual Phantom 4K
Red Epic 5K
35MM 8 perf vista vision 3D IMAX Camera (scanned to 6K)
65MM Aerial IMAX MSM Camera (scanned to 8K)
SGO will be showcasing its world-class leading Mistika colour grading and online finishing system at this year’s Broadcast Asia conference held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 17 – 20 June. Mistika is widely regarded as the most powerful and efficient finishing and grading system for projects at any resolution and frame rate, including 4K at 60P and stereoscopic 3D. Mistika’s diverse and versatile creative toolset is not restricted to 4K and is already able to provide for 8K post production pipelines. Global credits span every type of production from commercials for Samsung, television drama for Sky and feature films such as The Hobbit trilogy, Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, Young Detective Dee and the Sea Dragon, Let Go for Love, Switch and many more.
SGO will preview the new Mistika version 8.2 software which includes many new and unique features such as their in-context node based compositing capability and the incredible Spatial Isolation toolset, which was unveiled for the first time at NAB in April this year. Customers visiting the SGO booth 5K6-06 in The Spanish Pavilion will be able to experience firsthand how Mistika performs effortlessly with mixed resolution raw camera files on the same timeline and all in real-time. Mistika provides seamless integration between conforming, editing, colour grading and visual effects to create the ultimate post production finishing platform all in one system. Mistika’s unique abilities allow “next generation” colour grading by blurring the line between colour grading and compositing, enabling colourists to be more creative by adding textures and filters to their looks.
SGO will also be introducing its affordable compositor Mamba FX to Broadcast Asia which provides unlimited layers of compositing in a resolution-free, node-based environment, running on Windows, Linux and soon available on Mac. It can be used as a stand alone compositor, or collaboratively, as part of a highly efficient post production pipeline with many Mamba FX platforms connected to a central Mistika as the post production hub.
Visitors to the show can also meet and discuss workflows and industry trends with specialists from SGO, including Mojo Media Solutions, SGO’s official reseller partner for South East Asia. Advance bookings for Mistika demonstrations can also be made by contacting Stuart Monksfield at Mojo Media Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly through SGO at email@example.com. Register for Broadcast Asia at www.broadcast-asia.com.
With ever increasing demand for future-ready post production solutions, SGO reported a highly successful outcome at NAB. Located in the South Hall, the popular Mistika post production systems and Mamba FX compositing software were showcased at SGO’s booth, attracting a lot of visitors, among them content creators, post facilities and widely known broadcasters. SGO’s progressive creativity and efficiency in colour grading and finishing received positive feedback resulting in new relationships, collaborations and sales.
SGO’s forward-looking quantum-leap development leads in giant strides. One of the many breathtaking highlights which amazed colourists in engaging demonstrations included SGO’s new Spatial Isolation Toolset for Mistika 8.2. It provides colourists with a number of methods to isolate individual objects within a scene, so that they can be graded separately, for example based on their depth in the scene or by metadata provided by CGI animation systems. The new features allow both the colour and the directional lighting of CGI objects to be fine-tuned in real time and in context. Find out more and watch the demos at www.sgo.es/2014/04/sgo-discloses-unique-colour-grading-tools/
Also on show was a stylish Precision Grading Panel for SGO’s Mistika made by Digital Vision, delivering an additional option to boost Mistika’s powerful colour grading feature-set even further. It was proven to be a sensation, and within hours of the show opening, an order was placed for two Precision Panels by ONSIGHT for their 4K, 3D, HD Mistika grading and finishing suites.
SGO’s affordable compositor Mamba FX made its first NAB appearance and was a smash-hit with its intuitive node-based graphic interface delivering a complete visual effects suite with unlimited compositing layers and effects, running on Windows, Linux and soon available on Mac. With the recent addition of GenArts Sapphire 7, over 250 new effects and pre-sets are accessible to users. Mamba FX tutorials were launched at the show and are available at www.mambatutorials.com
For Broadcasters, Mistika Air Ultra enables a viable and stress-tested solution with seamless integration of high-end post finishing tools for HD, Ultra HD and 8K productions. Mistika Air Ultra is capable of delivering real time and render-free colour grading and finishing processes, even at 4K 60P. Its diverse and versatile creative toolset is not restricted to 4K and is already able to provide for 8K post production pipelines.
Other exciting new features in Mistika version 8.0 this NAB included an all-new node-based compositing interface, support for Canon’s RMF, Sony’s XAVC, enhanced AAF support, ProRes 4:4:4:4 file formats, a re-branding output render module and Dolby Atmos DCP generation. Mistika’s presence on Canon’s booth played a vital part in exciting presentations demonstrating Canon’s Colour Management ACES process for Digital Motion Imaging. SGO also hosted Stream TV Networks, Inc.’s revolutionary Ultra-D™ glasses-free 3D technology marking the first time their auto-stereoscopic screens have been shown at NAB. Stunning footage of Mistika-related projects including the jaw-dropping Stalingrad 3D film trailer and David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive 3D stunned passers-by.
News following on from NAB is that Mistika is to support Dolby® Vision™ technology. Working in close collaboration with Dolby, the capabilities are available in Mistika from version 8.2, previewed at NAB and due for release shortly after IBC. Mistika has inherently supported HDR workflows, and perfectly placed for its customers to enjoy this exciting advancement.
“NAB creates dynamic access to global markets and it’s a great sphere of energy where we meet interesting new people and provide them with the very latest technological breakthroughs to fully support their creativity.” SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations Geoff Mills said.
SGO will be exhibiting at Broadcast Asia 17 – 20 June at Booth 5K6-06 in the Spanish Pavilion.
Follow SGO @SGOMistika for the latest updates and news.
2 May 2014, Madrid, Spain