“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
Epic Adventure Film Trilogy Involved Mistika’s Grading Technology From Start to Finish
New Zealand facility Park Road once again used Mistika for the post production of “The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies”, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), the third film in “The Hobbit Trilogy” directed by Peter Jackson.
Mistika’s colour grading and finishing systems have played a central role at the Wellington-based post house since shooting began for The Hobbit Films in 2011. SGO’s cutting-edge technology was again used throughout the DI online, stereoscopic post and final grade of the monumental final film hailed by critics as a colossal technical achievement.
Park Road’s grading theatres are based around the worlds largest installs of Mistika 4K and S3D master systems. Very large shared storage provides high-speed efficiency between online editors, stereographers and colourists. Dolby Atmos equipped mix theatres, foley and sound edit facilities complement the picture offering, and all work can be delivered to their in-house 176-seat cinema, capable of projecting all major formats, film/24/3D and higher frame rates.
The Mistika 3D tools were driven at full throttle in the third film of the Trilogy, “Mistika’s real-time immediacy again enabled interactivity with the grade and stereo where we could screen any formats in 2D or 3D,” Senior Stereographer Meetal Gokul explained. “The Mistika continues to provide exactly the right platform to service productions of any scale, with superb tools both for development and final mastering of stereo projects.”
Park Road are at the forefront in the development of High Frame Rate filmmaking, from on-set digital acquisition, support for offline editorial, final online, through to HFR deliverables. It took Park Road, together with SGO, years of research, development, testing and refinement to create the unique workflow for The Hobbit Films.
Workflow Architect Anthony Pratt played a pivotal role in the development and is part of the lead team that designed the world’s first HFR-3D workflow. Neither the facility, nor the platform, has stood still since the first film. A novel and highly efficient approach to VFX workflows was deployed for the latest instalment – using wrapped OpenEXR version 2 files – a world’s first. “The team at SGO really helped us prove and integrate this new approach, and we hope to see this released into the open source file format and libraries. Of course SGO’s clients now have it built-in!” Tony says, “Once again the Mistika sits firmly at the core of our business, servicing all of our team and our clients with timeliness previously impossible to achieve.”
“Park Road’s exceptional talent is evident in yet another phenomenal feature film delivery as part of “The Hobbit Trilogy.” SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations Geoff Mills stated.
SGO’s CEO Miguel Angel Doncel confirmed, “Park Road continues to push innovative boundaries of stunning film production. Their leading-edge needs are an infinite source of inspiration for current and future developments.”
“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
Top Chinese Colorist Szu-Yi CHU Embraces Mistika.
Cornucopia Film Co. Ltd has invested in a Mistika 4K finishing and colour grading system to deliver high-end post production services to its clients. It is the first post house to host a Mistika system in Shenzhen, and is one of China’s new creative companies offering excellence in editing, CG/VFX production, colour grading and DI services for feature film projects.
One of China’s top colorists, Szu-Yi CHU, who is also the Managing Director and Chief Colorist at Cornucopia Films, has enthusiastically adopted Mistika and believes in its remarkable capabilities. He states, “SGO’s Mistika was a natural choice when looking ahead to a 4K future at Cornucopia Films, and I have to say, I am a real fan of this technology. After thoroughly researching the market, Mistika is the most comprehensive and open system in the industry, and is ideal for us to build an efficient workflow around. We will primarily put our Mistika to work on high-end colour grading and compositing for film and broadcast productions.”
Expanding further he adds, “I joined Cornucopia Films at the beginning of this year, and invited a team from Taiwan over, to build a movie DI platform purely from scratch. Although we had to be cautious with every step, as selecting the right kit is a vital decision. Colour grading equipment is the most important priority to me, and to everyone’s surprise, I chose a system that nobody in our team was yet familiar with – the Mistika.” Szu-Yi CHU continues, “As we were starting from the beginning anyway, my position was that we may as well take advantage of the opportunity and choose the very best that the market has to offer, which is Mistika. I feel that investing in SGO’s intuitive Mistika technology gives us an edge and an opportunity to offer a unique service to our clients. It was worthwhile taking the time to master it and I believed that it deserved our time. I told my team that we need to be visionaries, and not conservative about trying something else which is not only new, but also much better at everything.”
Szu-Yi CHU first came across Mistika two years ago, and it was a couple of years later that he discovered its infinite potential during a dynamic training session with DI Supervisor and Colorist David Rivero. “All my requests about colour grading in Mistika were realistically achievable, via a combination of different methods and the use of advanced tools that realize effects that colorists desire. Later I was given access to try the Mistika with David’s assistance. After using it for several weeks, I got to know Mistika competently, and became extremely interested in it. It’s that attractive! I was won over!”
He points out, “I do think it is important that SGO encourages users to learn all the functions within Mistika though. A colorist just learning colour grading and a compositor only learning compositing, is a restrictive approach – the key to success with Mistika is the proficiency of the combination of both skills that are available within the system. Color grading in the future won’t simply just involve color grading anymore, and that’s why I keep telling my team “to think outside of the box” which Mistika allows for.”
Szu-Yi CHU entered the field of colour grading in 1987, mastering all of the industry’s main grading brands throughout his years of experience as a colorist. He remarks, “All those systems I became familiar with over the years in my career are very similar, with little difference between their functions and toolsets – until I discovered Mistika, which is truly outstanding and unique, it stands out from the rest.” He has worked on a plethora of notable films and projects such as Back to 1942 (“一九四二”), Seediq Bale: The Rainbow Warriors (“赛德克•巴莱”), The Flowers of War ( “金陵十三钗”) starring Christian Bale, Coming Home (“归来”), Assassins (“铜雀台”), Amazing (“神奇”), amongst many others.
SGO’s CEO Miguel Angel Doncel, who met the team in Schenzhen, confirms, “Cornucopia Films is a vibrant and forward thinking company, and we are delighted that they have made this key investment in Mistika, after initial research and testing. The creative team will truly benefit from Mistika’s range of toolsets. The fact that Mistika merges all of the post production disciplines for broadcast and film such as editing, compositing, finishing, grading, into one complete powerful system is appealing, and that it can be used for any project, irrespective of size. We warmly embrace Cornucopia Films into the Mistika community and look forward to a long term relationship with them.”
Canon and SGO Co-Organise 4K /UHD-Focused #3Day
Madrid, Spain, 13 November, 2014 – SGO and Canon have partnered to host SGO’s 19th 3Dday Conference this year. It takes place on the 3rd December at the Film Academy Theatre in Madrid, and will focus on 4K (Ultra High Definition) in all its glory, featuring a series of case studies by industry professionals. The 3Dday will provide attendees with the unique opportunity to explore the creative and technical aspects of the format within the entire production process, from shoot to screen.
Co-organised by Canon and SGO, the high-profile event is sponsored by HP, Red.es and Solid Angle, and aims to approach the various challenges that have to be considered when facing a 4K/UHD production. 4K/UHD projects require workflows that make the most out of capturing the footage with the aim of preserving the original image quality. The 4K zeal is not just about merely more pixels, but better high-quality pixels, including High Frame Rates, EDR and new colour spaces which play a significant role.
The Speaker’s Panel opens with Sébastien Devaud, director and producer at BIGSENSORS & FILM, who is well-known for his pioneering work using Réflex cameras for video shoots. Devaud will share his experiences of filming in 4K with the Canon EOS-1D C and EOS C500 cameras, including the various lenses within the L series, as well as the groundbreaking Canon’s Cinema EOS cameras. He will also detail the development of his involvement in the recent production of the Disneyland Paris attraction Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy.
Sam Sheppard, International Film and Broadcast Consultant and SGO team member, will examine the considerations needed to tackle a 4K/UHD production from script to screen. Sam will share his invaluable experience of working on complex productions that include HFR, 4K resolutions, VFX workflows and colour space issues, such as ACES and rec2020. He will also talk about BSkyB’s stunning post production of Inside the Mind of Leonardo. Sheppard is an expert on script to screen workflows and has a broad experience of working on high-level projects such as Avatar and The Lovely Bones.
John Daro, Senior DI Colorist, FotoKem – The #3Dday will also feature one of the world’s most respected and talented colorists, John Daro, who will present compelling case studies on recent projects he completed at FotoKem using Mistika, such as The Boxtrolls and 99 Homes, including exciting work involving large formats of up to 65/70mm for the Giant Screen. John Daro will also speak about his experience on 2D-to-3D conversions.
Following the SGO tradition, the #3Dday Party will take place afterwards at the Moby Dick Club. An annual date not to be missed by industry professionals.
The #3Dday Programme
Academia de Cine, Calle Zurbano, 3, 28003 Madrid
3.30 pm Doors Open
4.00 pm Conference Commences
– Sébastien Devaud, film director and producer at BIGSENSORS & FILM.
– Sam Sheppard, International Film Consultant and SGO team member.
– John Daro, Senior DI Colourist at FotoKem.
7.00 pm Conference Ends
8.00 pm The #3Dday Party starts, with Live Music and Drinks to Quench your Thirst!
The Moby Dick Club, Av del Brasil, 5, 28020 Madrid
About the Speakers
A director and producer for over 15 years, Sébastien Devaud is, above all, passionate about the image. Having studied directing, photography and lighting, Sébastien started his career as a cameraman but later, in order to maintain control over all stages of production, he developed his editing skills. In 1999, he set up his first production society AkwabaPROD to shoot and post-produce commercials and music videos. From there, he enjoying the adrenalin of live recording, and moved into broadcast TV and created scenarios notable for their use of contemporary lighting and depth of field effects. For Sébastien, the release of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR was a revelation. Always interested in new technologies, he grasped the potential of this revolutionary camera from the outset and today uses the full range of Canon cameras and lenses in all his productions. Today he regularly shoots for major broadcasters including M6, FranceTV, Canal+ and MTV, and also creates and produces many TV commercials, titles and campaigns for major multi-national brands. Further information about him, can be found here.
Sam Sheppard is an international film consultant specialising in script to screen workflows, post production supervision, and stereo 3D; with a Minor in film-making in general. Sam was originally trained in New Zealand where he worked in post at Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production, and on set for high-profile films as The Lovely Bones and Avatar. As well as working internationally as a technical specialist for SGO Mistika, training and advising in digital workflows for 2D and 3D production, Sam is also a founding partner of Silverscreen Pictures.
John Daro is a Senior Colorist at FotoKem in Burbank, California. He began his career as an Avid editor helping FotoKem set up a film to disk dailies pipeline in 2001. From that position he moved into film scanning and recording. With the advent of the digital intermediate process he moved into his current role as a DI artist. Daro quickly became a leader in the stereoscopic community taking his passion for advanced imaging techniques and knowledge of post production to provide end-to-end stereo workflows. John has worked on ground breaking projects such as the award-winning Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, Contagion, and The Boxtrolls, to name a few. He continues to push technology with the use of SGO’s Mistika platform, diving into the world of HFR and High Resolution image manipulation.
Mistika’s Comprehensive Visual Creation Suite and Precision Panels on Display in Japan
“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.
SGO accelerates its high-end post production products with the NVIDIA Quadro K5200. This new graphics board provides significantly higher performance and greater data handling capability than the previous generation Quadro, for SGO’s Mamba FX and Mistika products, which are utilised in the world’s biggest film, television and commercial productions.
“The NVIDIA Quadro K5200 is the perfect partner for SGO’s Mamba FX. With phenomenal performance and 8GB of on-board memory, visual effects compositors can work at even higher resolutions, bit depths and frame rates with ever more complex composites, while maintaining industry-leading throughput,” says SGO’s CEO, Miguel Angel Doncel.
SGO’s Mamba FX is a high performance but very low cost visual effects compositing suite. It costs from just 239 Euros and is available for free trial. It can be downloaded from the SGO shop or from www.MambaTutorials.com, where Mamba FX’s extensive compositing tools are explained in a library of online video tutorials.
“Our new Quadro line-up is at the center of visual computing workflows,” says Greg Estes, VP Enterprise Marketing and GM of Media & Entertainment at NVIDIA. “SGO’s highly optimised programming with NVIDIA’s advanced graphics processing have enabled SGO Mistika and Mamba FX to provide ground-breaking real-time post production environments for 4K, Stereo 3D and high-frame rate productions.”
Credits spanning every type of production across the globe include commercials for Emirates Airlines, television drama for BSkyB and feature films such as Peter Chan’s American Dreams in China, Edge of Tomorrow, Stalingrad, The Hobbit Trilogy, Switch, Walking With Dinosaurs (for BBC Earth), The Amazing Spiderman 2 and many others. Mistika also played a major role in David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive (3D) 4K film which received a BAFTA TV Award this year.
NVIDIA Quadro K5200 graphics boards will be supported in Mistika’s V8.4 software and Mamba FX’s version 2.0, showcased this month at IBC at the SGO Booth A11, Hall 6, at The RAI in Amsterdam.
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