“The story of evolutionary flight is one I’ve always wanted to tell… It’s our most ambitious yet.” David Attenborough
The spellbinding visual account of how flying animals evolved into the familiar species we see today, became a reality in stunning documentary series David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies, produced by Atlantic Productions with the help of SGO’s powerful and cutting-edge Mistika technology at ONSIGHT. As well as winning a 2014 BAFTA, the landmark series was recently nominated for a British Academy Television Craft Award for Special, Visual & Graphic Effects. The results are announced at the ceremony in London on Sunday 26 April.
The award-winning post division at ONSIGHT used Mistika once again on its seventh Attenborough project for Colossus Productions, which depicted complex flight skills with creative ingenuity. Formats used included 4K, HD, 3D and 2D including a bespoke 4K workflow design built by the ONSIGHT Post division. After also providing R&D and camera solutions for the project, the facility worked with massive amounts of data amounting to approximately 50 terrabytes and a variety of camera formats such as RED Epic. In post, ONSIGHT provided plate preparations, DI, VFX, conform, QC, mastering and deliverables in 3D and 2D across its numerous high-tech suites at its London facility. This included the ability to screen 4K masters, combining 5K live action with 4K VFX and CGI.
ONSIGHT’s Senior Colourist Andy Lee benefited from Mistika’s real-time speed and flexibility which enabled him to freely alternate between the colour and depth grades, as well as the VFX conform. Furthermore, Mistika’s wide spectrum of grading toolsets equipped him with a vivid and colourful array to enhance the remarkable features of winged creatures ranging from birds to butterflies, with eye-catching colour. In addition, he graded subtle tones to convey the changing landscapes filmed in places such as Ecuador to the grey palettes of Scottish skies.
Andy Lee has graded many of the award-winning Attenborough projects from Atlantic and Colossus Productions. He said, “Mistika allows me to work with ease across multiple formats, frame sizes and deliverables. David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies is an example of one of our extensive and innovative projects in 3D and 2D, which requires that level of flexibility, benefiting us and the production team.” VFX Stereo Artist Miguel Camaño Riveiro supported the project with stereo corrections and compositing work.
Anthony Geffen, Producer and CEO of Atlantic Productions commented, “Conquest of the Skies builds on all the storytelling and technology that we have been developing on these programmes with David over the last 5 years. ONSIGHT has played an integral role in this journey, creating solutions and delivering our productions, using SGO Mistika, to the highest standard.”
Previous Attenborough productions in collaboration with Atlantic Productions and Sky that also involved Mistika include David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive and Flying Monsters, both of which have won the BAFTA for Specialist Factual, as well as acclaimed Micro Monsters, Galapagos, Kingdom of Plants and The Bachelor King. David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies’ three episodes aired at the beginning of this year, followed by a special, The Making of David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies on Sky 1 HD. Visit the official website here www.conquestoftheskies.com
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
“I was impressed with how the Spanish Mistika technology which we have embraced at KANDOR Graphics enhanced Justin and the Knights of Valour in Stereo 3D. It is great to see passionate companies like SGO contribute to innovation in our industry in such a significant way.”
Manuel Sicilia, Company Partner & Chief Creative Officer of KANDOR Graphics & Director & Author of Justin and the Knights of Valour
ARRI also chose Mistika to Finish Engaging 4K Feature Film “Run Boy Run”
Berlin, Germany, 18 October 2013 – Strategically placed in the centre of the trendy Mitte area of Berlin, brand new post production house ARRI Mitte has emerged and has invested in a Mistika 4K DI post production system from SGO’s German Reseller creative tools, to service its high-end commercial and feature film projects. ARRI Mitte is the second facility related to the established parent company ARRI Film and TV Services Berlin GmbH and works on feature films by leading directors and with blue-chip clients for big brand names for ad campaigns for the likes of McDonald’s, VW, Nikon, Fiat, Mobile.de, SKY, Danone Activia, Vodafone, Schweppes, BMW, Toshiba, Goretex, Sony Ericsson, Lipton Ice Tea and many others.
Bad Robot selected Mistika for its high-end finishing and innovative 2D and stereoscopic 3D film workflows
“Mistika has opened up an entirely new world of workflow efficiency and quality control to us by bringing high-end finishing capabilities inside our facility.”
Bad Robot Production Executive Ben Rosenblatt