Referred to as “The Blue Heart of Siberia”, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake on earth and magically lures different cultures to coexist and fuse peacefully within its realm of mind-blowing beauty. Moscow-based RSS Production set out to capture the essence of this unique area in the exquisite new documentary film “Baikal” directed by Alexander Dukhon. The compelling portrayal was entirely produced and post produced in 4K native Stereo 3D using SGO’s Mistika technology at RSS Studios. Post involved editing, colour grading, sound design and CG and took two months to complete. Native stereoscopic 3D optimisation was successfully accomplished in Mistika by Daniel Ovrutsky.
“Using the industry’s most powerful visual formats and resolutions that Mistika can easily muster and deliver, helps us to plunge audiences into a high quality film such as Baikal. The visionary technology we now have at our disposal in productions such as these, play a vital part in exposing viewers to the beauty of stunningly remote locations such as this ancient Siberian lake, bringing intense clarity like never before.” states director Alexander Dukhon, “Our aim is to make Baikal the first of many future documentary series dedicated to awe-inspiring places on our planet, and at the same time using the world’s most innovative technologies, such as Mistika, which contribute enormously to enrich our work.”
RSS Production invested in Mistika in 2013 predominantly for colour grading and finishing. Mistika was put straight to work on various projects including blockbuster Stalingrad, directed by Fedor Bondarchuk. It was heralded as Russia’s first movie ever to be completely produced with Stereo 3D technology and digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® 3D format.
Baikal’s Filming commenced in February last year with eight adventurous RSS Production film crew members embarking on a gruelling ten-day trip through the Lake Baikal region. Located in central Asia, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, and also contains approximately twenty percent of the globe’s unfrozen fresh surface water. The shoot took place in just seven days in extreme weather conditions of minus thirty degrees Celsius with few sunlight hours over the short winter days. The team made their way along the lake’s western coast, visiting Olkhon Island and Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia in Russia.
Baikal’s Footage was shot using RED Epics and Stereotec 3D rigs, including RSS Production’s unique set-up on a small sized sightseeing helicopter for aerial footage. “This approach makes filming native stereoscopic 3D aerials much easier, avoiding the need to use large vehicles with massive stabilisation systems, and reduces costs as well.” noted Alexander. In addition, the soundtrack music was especially written and composed from scratch and produced exclusively for the film. It was creatively intertwined into the sound design to reflect the eerie atmosphere of Lake Baikal’s land and spirit. The film warmly depicts the human element in a sub-zero and unearthly landscape by sharing endearing stories of the local people whose hearts belong to it.
Directed by Alexander Dukhon
Written by Iliyas Akhmedov, Jennifer Eremeeva
Post Production System and Technology is SGO’s Mistika
Filmed with RED Epic and Stereotec 3D Rig
DP Sasha Romm
Steadicam Operator Nikita Rozhdestvensky
Edited by Sonya Kapnik
Native Stereo Optimisation by Daniel Ovrutsky
Colourist Artem Ignatov
Music by Andrey Bochko, Dmitry Bochko
Sound design and mixing by Rustam Bekmuratov
“Mistika was the perfect grading and finishing tool for this movie.”
Antonio Zhang, Mistika Colorist, PO Group, China
PO Group graded and finished American Dreams in China on Mistika. Produced and directed by Hong Kong’s Peter Chan, the Mandarin-language film brought in US$87.6 million at the box office.
PO Group purchased from SGO, a Mistika 4K Colour Grading and Finishing System, a Mistika Assist Station and an SGO SAN to support their Stereo 3D and high end Colour Grading services for film and commercials projects a few years ago. Founded in 2003 by famous entrepreneur and actor, Nicholas Tse, PO Group is the largest post production house in Hong Kong, which grosses over one billion Hong Kong dollars annually, with branches in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing.
American Dreams in China is Peter Chan’s first digital camera shoot where he filmed the entire movie using ARRI Alexa and recorded it on Codex. His strong affection for the filmic look set the tone and brief for PO Group’s colorist Antonio Zhang to work with, selecting Mistika for the grading and finishing of the entire movie.
Antonio Zhang, Mistika Colorist at PO Group, explains the colour grading process, “I chose the ARRI Log C as the default debayer and applied a FPE (Film Print Emulation) 3D LUT on top of all of the shots to mimic the “filmic look” that Peter Chan was after. Also, my aim was to preserve the highlighted elements and enhance them further by revealing even greater details where possible.”
The film is based on a true story about three friends who graduated from Peking University and go on to build a successful English language school in China called “New Dreams”. This school helps to make the dreams of Chinese teenagers come true. As the film covers a time-span of over 3o years which involved various scenes flicking backwards and forwards into the present and past, the PO Group team combated this challenge by setting the looks for each time period. The first part covers the time the three friends study in Peking university and the second focuses on them building the language school, followed by their success in the stock market.
Antonio outlines how he achieved the various looks and tones for each decade in the film, “For the first look, we tried to make the colours more vivid to depict university life and the passion for the characters’ start-up days. We used an old 1980’s Chinese magazine as a reference and made the grade look really old but colourful.” He adds further, “The second look had to be really cool, professional and business-like, and due to the fact the characters had a lot of arguments, the cool tone helps to portray that antagonistic atmosphere effectively.”
While the 4K Mistika system forms PO Group in Beijing’s principal system, the Mistika assistant station is a fully capable file-based Mistika system in its own right, which allows the studio to increase efficiency and throughput, by having an assistant to the main colorist to prepare projects in advance, or to work alongside to ensure the smooth running of even the most complex projects. The SGO SAN not only allows the two Mistika’s to share project assets, but also allows the media sharing to extend to all other technical facilities at PO. Projects of various formats occupy the facility’s pipeline from 2K to 4K, and S3D to higher frame rates. With the SGO Mistika and SGO SAN, PO Group have built a very efficient pipeline.
“Mistika was the perfect grading and finishing tool for this movie.” Antonio expands, “It has a strong editing function, and we were also able to achieve both the conform and grading in Mistika. This really created a smooth and effective workflow, as I could grade from the original ARRI RAW Raw file and easily change the debayer for individual shots which was so convenient.” He concludes, “Flexibility is really important to us here at PO Group, especially as we face a lot of different digital camera formats, however Mistika’s compatibility with various camera formats is a great advantage and provides an excellent high-end service for us throughout the entire post production process.”
General Manager of PO Group in Beijing, K.C. Yeung states, “Mistika forms the core of our DI suites and its speed and performance is phenomenal. The comprehensive toolset allows for tasks to be completed in one suite which provides an interactive and immediate environment in real-time for client-facing work.”
CEO of SGO, Miguel Angel Doncel affirms, “PO Group is one of China’s major post production companies and SGO is proud to be associated with them and continues to support the company in meeting the growing and complex demands that feature film productions involve. PO Group have raised the bar for what clients should expect in terms of quality, speed and efficiency.”
American Dreams in China features Huang Xiaoming, Deng Chao, and Tong Dawei, and was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Find out more about the film here.
ABOUT PO GROUP
“Mistika has everything we need in one beautiful box. It is not only the best grading software I have ever encountered, but it is also an impressive finishing suite with a myriad of capabilities…”
Sasha Franklin, CEO and Owner of Edit Studios
Edit Studios has installed a Mistika post production system and Mistika Assist Station at its newly-refurbished post production facility in Tel Aviv. The boutique post house specialises in long-form film and broadcast editing for cinema and television, boasting sixteen large edit suites with their own balconies, including the stylish new Mistika finishing suite. Mistika will anchor the firm’s stunning new Digital Intermediate theatre with 2K real-time resolution and 4K rendering of documentary and feature film projects. Edit Studios selected the Mistika system for its flexibility and ease with which it can be integrated into the facility’s file-based workflow.
Founder of Edit Studios Sasha Franklin states, “Mistika has everything we need in one beautiful box. It is not only the best grading software I have ever encountered, but it is also an impressive finishing suite with a myriad of capabilities. Mistika seems to have taken the best features of various finishing suites and put them all together into one package, without any compromise in quality. It has versatility and allowed us to finish a feature-length documentary shot over several years on many different formats, within just one week, as well as a period drama, filmed using the latest RAW files – this kind of adaptability is essential for us in today’s market.” Sasha adds, “Gone are the days of just being required to only grade a project, as full production skills are now a prerequisite. Unlike other systems, Mistika has a fully integrated compositing and titling toolset that’s inbuilt for most of our SFX needs. For us, Mistika combined with the advent of DCPs, is a dream come true, allowing us to finish many of the projects here at base, whereas in the past, we would have had to send them to labs abroad.”
With over fifteen years of grading experience in both film and broadcast behind him, Edit Studios’ Chief Grader Yoav Raz says, “I am blown away by Mistika’s ability to deal with the toughest of shots on a daily basis. We also need Mistika to be able to work natively in Hebrew, working from right to left, and the team at SGO wrote a special version of the program to enable this within just a few days. Their support has been unbelievable – in over 15 years of working with various other systems, it is the first time I have seen Hebrew working in the way I wanted.”
Amit Gilboa, Technical Director and Post Production Supervisor at Edit Studios added that the facility’s grading theatre, with its ability to grade 2K media in real-time is unrivalled in the region and on par with the highest international standards . “I think what we’re looking to get from Mistika is the ability to support the whole process of movie post production, from tests and preparations through to dailies delivery and screenings, to rough cut screenings, VFX and grading, right down to DCP creation and all other deliveries. Our experience in managing the different aspects and collaborations of post production enables us to become the focal point of the full DI and film workflow.”
Jose Luis Acha, SGO’s Regional Sales Manager concludes, “I have just returned from visiting Edit Studios in Israel which hosts one of the most amazing state of the art Mistika suites I have ever seen. Edit Studios are made up of a savvy team of creative and technical professionals who take their work seriously, but also know how to enjoy their work creatively. They are enthusiastic and excited to work with Mistika technology because it delivers genuine results on challenging projects. They are an exceptional company and we are very pleased to include them in our ever-growing Mistika artists’ user-base.”
Edit Studios was founded in 1993 by well travelled British-born editor Sasha Franklin, who gained many years of post production experience across the world. He decided to establish his own independent facility in Israel, that firmly places the needs of the editor at the forefront. The popular American series Homeland is an example of an Israeli programme post produced at Edit Studios. The facility is associated with films and documentaries that have been awarded at the major film festivals, namely Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, and their portfolio includes an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. The boutique post house exudes a professional and welcoming “home-away-from-home” atmosphere, where clients return time and time and again to enjoy their exclusive services.
An exhaustive list of award-winning film and documentary titles include “Lebanon” by Samuel Maoz (Golden Lion Award, Venice 2010); “Footnote” by Joseph Cedar ( Oscar Nomination, Best Foreign Film 2012); “Fill the Void” by Rama Burshtein (European Cinematographer Award 2012); “Bethlehem” by Yuval Adler (Fedeora Award, Venice 2013); “Zero Motivation” by Talya Lavie (Best Narrative Feature – Tribeca 2014); “Children of the Sun” – Ran Tal – Best Documentary & Best Editing, Jerusalem Festival 2007; “Hitler’s Children” – Chanoch Zeevi – Audience Award, Boston 2012; “The Gatekeepers” – Dror More – Oscar Nomination, Best Documentary, 2012; “Life in Stills” – Tamar Tal – Best Documentary, Israeli Film Academy 2012; “The Law in these parts” – Ra’anan Alexandrowicz – Grand Jury Prize Sundance 2012 portfolio and many others.
ABOUT EDIT STUDIOS
Edit Studios was founded in 1993 by British-born editor Sasha Franklin, who spent many long days and nights in post production facilities all over the world, and decided that the time was right to establish his own independent facility in Israel, firmly placing the needs of the editor at the forefront. Films post produced at Edit Studios have reaped major awards at the key Film Festivals, namely Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. The boutique post house exudes a warm welcoming “home away from home” atmosphere. Each of the 16 suites has a décor theme, which adds a quirky touch to the fun-loving but hard working culture that prevails in the studio. The themes cover “Time”, “The World”, covered in maps and souvenirs that clients have donated from their travels, “Lego” filled with children’s drawings, “Space”, “Comics”, “New York”, “Beatles”, “Night”, “Park”, “Island”, “Grandma’s sitting room”, “Toy” and many others. The themes bring a fun element, altering from time to time, according to what clients and friends bring to the company on their journeys. The American series ”Homeland” for example was originally an Israeli series made at Edit Studios.Edit Studios was also the first company in Israel to edit a feature film on a non-linear system. The team have in-depth knowledge and experience of film craft, having spent many years coordinating and traveling to Film Labs to complete projects, due to the fact that there has not been a Lab in Israel since the 1980’s.
SELECTED FEATURE FILMS INCLUDE:
“The Band’s Visit” – Eran Kolirin – Feature Winner at Montreal,2007
“Beaufort” – Joseph Cedar – Silver Bear, Berlin and Oscar Nomination, Best Foreign Film, 2007.
“Meduzot” – Etgar Keret & Shira Geffen – Camera d’Or at Cannes 2007
“Lebanon” – Samuel Maoz – Golden Lion Award, Venice 2010
“Footnote” -Joseph Cedar – Oscar Nomination, Best Foreign Film 2012
“Fill the Void” – Rama Burshtein – European Cinematographer Award 2012
“Bethlehem” – Yuval Adler – Fedeora Award, Venice 2013
“Zero Motivation” – Talya Lavie – Best Narrative Feature – Tribeca 2014
SELECTED DOCUMENTARIES INCLUDE:
“Children of the Sun” – Ran Tal – Best Documentary & Best Editing, Jerusalem Festival 2007
“Hitler’s Children” -Chanoch Zeevi – Audience Award, Boston 2012
“The Gatekeepers” – Dror More – Oscar Nomination, Best Documentary, 2012
“Life in Stills” – Tamar Tal -Best Documentary, Israeli Film Academy 2012
“The Flat” – Arnon Goldfinger -Best Editing Documentary, Tribeca 2012
“The Law in these parts” -Ra’anan Alexandrowicz- Grand Jury Prize Sundance 2012
“Versatility, power and technological innovation all in one system – everything went like clockwork from start to finish with Mistika.” Juan Ventura Pecellín, Colourist and Digital Effects Supervisor.
La Isla Mínima (Marshlands), one of 2014’s best Spanish-language and visually active thrillers, was post produced entirely in Mistika. Directed by Alberto Rodríguez, also responsible for Unit 7, the film has received several accolades at the San Sebastian International Film Festival where it has been recognised as the Best Film in the Official Section, already viewed by over 500,000 people.
Boasting the Silver Concha Award for Best Photography which went to Alex Catalán, it was filmed using the ARRI Alexa, with RAW footage post produced in 3K using Mistika. Juan Ventura Pecellín, Colourist and Digital Effects Supervisor confirms, “We used SGO’s Mistika technology throughout the various processes, ranging from pre-production, image-testing, LUTs inspection, ISO, densities and so forth.” He continues, “Once this process had been completed, all of the data prepared at the Mistika suite was then used during the following two months of shooting.”
“Versatility, power and technological innovation all in one system – everything went like clockwork from start to finish with Mistika.” Juan Ventura adds further, “Mistika enabled us to work at resolutions of 4K, right up to 7K of complex aerial scenes for pre-visualization and grading, including chase sequences, which involved intricate light elements that were worked on in post. Mistika’s impressive capabilities helped us to achieve a 100% realistic look which was nothing less than spectacular.”
From the digital effects perspective, Juan notes, “Mistika has been a key tool that I would personally recommend to any digital effects workflow supervisor.” He concludes, “Mistika is crucial when it comes to visualisations, as well as creating effects and is a vital asset in the pre-grading phase. It speeds up the workflow considerably, increasing productivity, thanks to the tools and advanced technology implemented in every software version.”
La Isla Minima depicts two policemen from Madrid sent to Seville to investigate the disappearance of two girls at Guadalquivirs salt marshes, the action sets pace where they uncover unsavoury evidence.
Some of the Credits include:
Studios: Atípica Films // Sacromonte Films // AtresMedia Cine
Actors: Raúl Arévalo, Javier Gutiérrez, Antonio de la Torre, Nerea Barros, Salva Reina, Jesús Castro, Manolo Solo, Jesús Carroza y Juan Carlos Villanueva
Director: Alberto Rodríguez
Writer: Rafael Cobos y Alberto Rodríguez
Script: Rafael Cobos and Alberto Rodríguez
Executive Producer: José Antonio Félez
Colourist and Digital Effects Supervisor: Juan Ventura Pecellín
Images: Courtesy of Atípica Films and Warner Bros
Sky Continues to Revolutionise its High-End Programming with Mistika
13 September 2014, IBC, The RAI, Amsterdam – SGO Booth A11, Hall 6 – Sky has made significant upgrades and enhancements to its state-of-the-art dedicated 4k-capable Mistika client suites to boost its colour grading and finishing services.
Mistika, which has already been placed at the heart of Sky’s creative pipeline, plays a vital role to meet quality and time-sensitive stringent requirements. At the centre of Sky’s high-end programming, the powered-up Mistika systems boast increased speed storage capacity, based around SGO’s SAN.
Following the upgrade, Sky now has additional capacity to host multiple client platforms from their Mistika systems which have their own localised storage for real time 4K playback, but also integrate directly with their large near-line storage infrastructure, supported by several render nodes that work in the background, for maximum efficiency and delivery.
Cara Cheeseman, Senior Manager of Operations for Entertainment, Creative & R&D comments: “With an already well-established and long-standing alliance with SGO, and the fact that they have been very much involved in the future of broadcasting right from the start, it makes sense for us to continue with significant investment in their technology.”
“With the newly built designated client area, we have consolidated and upgraded our systems, which also include the addition of 4K grading monitors from Canon. Our Mistika systems serve as our client-focused colour grading and finishing suites. Mistika’s open integration, compatibility with other systems and its flexibility, facilitates the process enormously.”adds Cara Cheeseman.
Chris Johns, Chief Engineer at BSkyB confirms, “Mistika is such a well-respected and powerful solution and it lets clients know we are serious about our work. It forms the core of all our workflows and continues to impress us with its speed, real-time immediacy, highly developed functionality and much more. The Mistika continues to play a part in the innovation by which that Sky strives to deliver ongoing improvements to the customer experience.”
“SGO is hugely excited to be associated with Sky and delighted that they have continued to entrust Mistika for their post and finishing requirements. Our relationship with Sky remains loyal and strong, and is immensely important to us. This vital move to upgrade SGO’s technology, provides Sky with a future-proof seal and plays a major role to further revolutionise and advance their excellency in speed and efficiency for audiences worldwide.” says SGO’s Director of Global Sales & Operations, Geoff Mills. “SGO is at the leading edge of creative technology and we cherish our relationship with Sky for many years to come.”
Mistika played a significant role in the launch of Sky 3D television and is used to complete numerous long and short form programmes. With many awards including BAFTAs to their name, Sky has recently worked on an impressive number of high profile projects using Mistika which include Inside the Mind of Leonardo.
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
First film posted in Mistika at Darkroom Asia helps to revitalise the film industry in Pakistan
Pioneering post house Darkroom Asia won a major contract with ARY Films as a strategic partner in providing post production and VFX-related services, as a direct result of its investment in an SGO Mistika 4K system purchased from reseller Pixelution. Darkroom Asia is the first facility in Pakistan to host a cutting-edge Mistika 4K suite to support its television commercials and feature film projects.
The CEO of Darkroom Asia, Salman Hasan confirmed that Mistika’s reliable, robust and vast post production toolsets consequently led the company to win the long-term customer deal with ARY Films and he outlines why they selected Mistika above other systems, “Our decision to make Mistika our first choice was simple. The tools and real-time RAW image and other native workflows are superior to any other system out there, and we wanted to be the first company in Pakistan to have a fully equipped Mistika 4K system which would provide a one-stop solution, in real-time, for our film and commercials industries.”
Darkroom Asia completed the first commercial film titled ‘MAIN HOON SHAHID AFRIDI‘, an action-drama sports film, produced by Six Sigma Entertainment, with the entire post production, including colour grading, completed in Mistika and shot with RED Digital Cameras. Well-received by Pakistani audiences, Salman Hasan affirms, “This film has marked the rebirth of the Pakistan Film Industry of which Darkroom Asia and Mistika played a vital role.”
“Mistika helped us immensely throughout this project.” explains Ubaid-ur-Rehman, Technical Director and Partner at Darkroom Asia, “Especially with handling real-time RAW workflow for R3d files which really made this project possible in Pakistan. All other camera formats were placed in Mistika’s timeline in real-time without any conversion required or the usage of any other systems, which was a real advantage. Colour grading was also achieved simultaneously, which was an added bonus.” He adds, “We made the decision to include Mistika technology to serve our creative clients with a high-end state-of-the-art post solution. As an award-winning powerful post production system, we are delighted to be the first company in Pakistan to own SGO’s creative 4K innovation. This system will help us in opening up many other new opportunities and attracting high profile projects.”
ARY Digital Network’s CEO, Mohammad Jerjees Seja states, “I would like to congratulate Darkroom Asia for being pioneers and introducing Mistika 4K to Pakistan which will help to strengthen and enhance the great work that is being done by filmmakers here. We believe that this is an important step made by Darkroom Asia and will not only motivate producers and directors, but will also give them additional motivation, encouragement and support in the post production phase of filmmaking.”
Also closely associated with Darkroom Asia, and one of Pakistan’s most famous commercial directors Asad U. Haq from Ambiance Films, discloses, “We at Ambiance films are proud to be linked with Darkroom Asia from its inception, and we can’t wait to play with it newest addition, Mistika, and work with one single powerful platform from start to finish.”
“Darkroom Asia’s upgrade to Mistika is another example of how its technology is being adopted world-wide. It is history in the making that Mistika has been involved in this key project in Pakistan and has helped to reinvigorate the film industry there. This is a new and exciting beginning for Darkroom Asia as the first Mistika 4K post house in the country and it is great to see doors open for them due to their investment in SGO’s technology. We are proud to welcome Darkroom Asia into the talented global Mistika community.” notes SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations, Geoff Mills.
ARY Digital Network’s CEO, Mohammad Jerjees Seja concludes, “With the rapid growth of the cinema industry in Pakistan right now, ARY Films is now well-prepared to produce the best high quality entertainment for cinema-goers. We are privileged to be aligned with Darkroom Asia in supporting the post and VFX work of our upcoming feature film releases, and to provide a one-stop solution for post production and VFX, using Mistika’s unique capabilities and ability to help minimise time-constraints. Mistika is a system used by the industry’s top professionals all around the world, and we are looking forward to utilising its strengths to help us produce world-leading projects here.
A specialist supplier of digital solutions for content creation and displays.
Visit them at www.pixelution.co.uk
Mistika Redefines the “Hero” Suite enabling Creatives to Unleash their Extraordinary Talent
SGO will showcase Mistika and Mamba FX at Stand A11, Hall 6, from 12 – 16 September at IBC2014. Powerfully different, SGO’s flagship product, Mistika appeals to filmmakers, broadcasters and content creators for its efficient finishing, grading and Ultra HD capabilities for any project regardless of resolution or frame-rate, including 4K at 60P and stereoscopic 3D. SGO will feature version 2.0 of its compositor Mamba FX which provides unlimited layers of compositing in a resolution-free, node-based environment. Running on Windows, Linux and now also available on MAC, Mamba FX represents another choice at incredible value to the VFX community.
SGO is immensely proud of all its customers that work on amazing projects that span across every type of production, including short and long-form formats such as promos and commercials for big brand names such as Samsung, Emirates Airlines and Ford; television drama for BSkyB and well-known 2D and 3D feature films such as Edge of Tomorrow, Jupiter Ascending, The Amazing Spiderman 2, Transformers: The Age of Extinction, The Hobbit Trilogy among many other familiar titles listed on the SGO website at http://www.sgo.es/on-screen/
Mistika – Powerfully Different – The “Hero” Suite Redefined
SGO will demonstrate at IBC how Mistika provides seamless integration between conforming, editing, colour grading and visual effects to create the most comprehensive visual creation suite. Mistika has redefined the “Hero” suite, designed to empower the user to unleash their inner creativity. Operators can take full advantage of Mistika’s remarkable toolsets equipping them to accomplish stunning results that deliver and impress. Mistika’s unique abilities boast innovative colour correction by blurring the line between colour and compositing, enabling colourists to be even more creative by adding textures and filters to looks. Artists can tap into Mistika’s world-leading capabilities to produce high quality work that meets exacting standards.
Continuing the SGO custom of rapid development and to meet the high demand for the new toolset, Mistika 8.2 will be launched this August, prior to IBC, with a preview of the next version 8.4 being demonstrated at the show itself. New highlights include the incredible Spatial Isolation Toolset (previewed at NAB) which allows unrivalled control over multi-layer EXR image files by making full use of meta-data provided by CGI animation systems.
Also on show will be Mistika’s next-generation colour finishing functionalities supporting the Precision Grading Panels. Other new features include support for Dolby Vision, improved ACES workflows, enhanced AAF support, Dolby Atmos DCP generation and support for an even wider range of image codecs such as Canon’s RMF, Sony’s XAVC and ProRes 4:4:4:4. SGO will present Mistika performing effortlessly with mixed resolution raw camera files on the same timeline all in real-time.
Mamba FX – The VFX Evolution Redefined
Main headlines for Mamba FX 2.0 include the Layer Route Effect, providing associated functions for working with multi-layer EXR files; an innovative “Spatial Isolation Keyer” which interfaces with metadata that can be passed from CGI software via the EXR files and a high-speed, “point cloud” shape tracker, which enables compositors to track 2D roto-shapes to shots very quickly. Mamba FX 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.
Geoff Mills, SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations remarks, “SGO’s innovation continues to push all boundaries, evident in its artist-leading toolsets which are revolutionising the way post production is evolving today. The fact that Mistika is the most complete and powerful creative suite that can conform, grade, finish, edit and do much more, in all resolutions and formats, in real-time and at mind-bending speeds, empowers users beyond what other systems can offer them.”
SGO appreciates the loyal support of its long-standing specialist technology partners ATTO Tech, Canon, Dot Hill, DVS, HP, NVIDIA, Tangent Devices and many others. Visitors to the show can also benefit from SGO’s expertise along with customer guests at hand to discuss industry trends and projects. Advanced bookings for Mistika demonstrations can be made by contacting SGO at email@example.com. Register for IBC at www.ibc.org. Follow SGO on Twitter @SGOMistika.
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 is a tough 2D act to follow in Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2014 Theatre Season
Experienced freelance Colourist and Online Editor Ian Grey was responsible for the stylish 2D colour grading using Mistika at BTV Post for Globe on Screen’s three titles for Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2014 theatre season.
Ian Grey talks through the key creative processes of how he achieved the realistic results using Mistika. “The main challenge of the grades was that the recordings took place in an open air theatre, often transitioning from day to night. Maintaining continuity in the grade was crucial, taking into the account the sun setting, especially as the final edit could be cut from performances on different days and nights.”
Ian continued further, “A key tool in Mistika that I used extensively during the initial primary grade, was the digital printer lights, which made balancing the multiple cameras a simple and fast process. Being able to quickly amend the white point, black point, overall gain or overall contrast with access, to not only red, green and blue vectors, but also cyan, magenta and yellow, meant I could get through the nearly three-hour-long performances at a speed that was vital to completing the jobs on time.”Ian highlighted other challenges overcome by Mistika. “Another issue we had is that the stage was lit by tungsten lights and the cameras are white-balanced for 3400k colour temperature, but because some of the performances took place during the day, a majority of the audience was lit by natural daylight, which left a blue colour tint, making them feel cold. So, in the grade for Tempest, I corrected this by drawing shapes around the audience so that I could isolate them for a separate grade. Because Mistika’s HSL qualifiers pull very clean keys, I was able to combine with the shapes to produce great results. At times, due to either the camera movement, shot composition or performers’ movements, it meant some complicated shapes had to be used, but Mistika made this a simple task with its user-friendly shape editor with key-framing, combined with the new fantastic cloud-based auto-tracker tool, which I cannot underestimate how much time this saved me.”
The stunning productions are set to exhilarate audiences around the globe, for more information, visit www.shakespearesglobe.com
ABOUT IAN GREY
Ian Grey is a creative Colourist and Post 3D Stereographer with a wide range of experience in Broadcast Television and Cinema. A purveyor of the best possible image quality across a wide range of formats, Ian has worked on projects up to 4k whether 2D or 3D, using high-end post production systems such as Mistika from SGO. He has a vast technical knowledge of all areas of post production and has worked with a diverse clientèle from all over the world, including BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, TLC and has also had feature films released by Universal Studios and Metrodome. Ian enjoys working with new clients and always demonstrates an outstanding commitment to projects, devoting time and passion to every job no matter what the budget. As well as the high standard of work, clients also value his personable approach and ability to remain calm and consistent even under the pressure of tight deadlines. Contact Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE
From modest beginnings, Shakespeare’s Globe has become one of the most popular visitor destinations in the UK, at the heart of the regeneration of London’s Bankside. Shakespeare’s Globe is a UK charity and continues to operate without annual government funding. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole, the Globe Theatre season plays in repertory from April to October annually, and has gained an international reputation for performance excellence, welcoming over one million visitors annually. The recent addition to the Shakespeare’s Globe complex of the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, which opened on 9 January 2014, will allow Shakespeare’s Globe to present plays all year round. More information is available at www.shakespearesglobe.com
ABOUT BTV POST
BTV Post is a cutting-edge production facility, offering post-production, digital media solutions, and video editing services. A specialist in HD, 2D, 3D, and 4K content, BTV Post delivers on behalf of the world’s most prominent production companies across all genres, standards, and formats. More information is available at www.btvpost.com