StartUp, the Florida-set series, distributed by Sony’s streaming service Crackle in the US and Amazon Prime Video in Europe and Japan is not the mellow tech-industry satire one might expect when hearing its title for the first time. It is a fierce thriller set in the fuzzy world of cryptocurrencies and the dark web.
LightBender, a boutique-size finishing facility in Santa Monica created Startup’s final look, ensuring the show’s murky crime revealed it’s true colors. “We took care of conform, VFX plates, SDR & HDR color grading, marketing materials, mastering and final deliverables. All of it completed in SGO’s post-production hero suite Mistika Ultima,” told Juan Ignacio Cabrera, lead colorist and founder of LightBender.
Cabrera worked on the Startup series together with two assistant colorists Fran Lorite and Álvaro Barrasa.
Third season of Startup on its way, this time shot in 8K!
An extremely tight schedule was one of the biggest challenges Cabrera, Barrasa, and Lorite faced while color grading the Startup series. “Delivering a quality show without any major issues in three different delivery versions was quite demanding, so having the best possible toolset was essential; It allowed us to be as efficient as humanly possible.”
LightBender had to deliver the UHDTV version first, so the workflow was designed to be UHDTV native from beginning to end. “That requires a lot of bandwidth and we were working on multiple systems simultaneously. Luckily, we have SGO’s Open Storage solution which enabled a centralized working environment with all the machines running at the same time and over the same project seamlessly.”
The original shooting resolution was another of the project’s complexities. “We were working with 6K RED files and needed to create an HDR delivery, so we decided to unify everything to UHD EXR-16 image sequences, keeping all the TC information, tape names and other information to allow a quick re-conform if needed,” continues Cabrera. The LightBender team is about to start the third season of StartUp, this time shot on Helium 8K to make the show even more demanding and dramatic!
Mistika Ultima enables a non-linear modern post-production workflow
LightBender Studio completes feature films and also TV series where lately, there has been a significant increase in production. “Mistika Ultima allows us to tackle from low-budgets shows to incredibly complex blockbusters with ease!”
Cabrera has been using award-winning Mistika Ultima for more than eleven years and in his opinion, versatility is one of the most apparent advantages of SGO’s hero suite. “The flexibility you have with an infinite timeline, being able to have numerous versions in the same space, extremely powerful conform tools and the ease to work with multiple versioning and mastering requirements are the things that make your life easier.”
In Mistika Ultima both conform and color grading happen in the same place. “It does not force you to follow any specific order. You can go back and forth as you need. It is a unified environment, not a ‘Frankenstein’ made up of different programs, modules or plugins.”
Mistika Ultima allows making creative decisions right to the very last minute, keeping a solid workflow throughout. “When the pressure is high and the production team start to get nervous, being the facility that helps and makes things easier is what makes the client want to come back. We could not do that without Mistika Technology.”
Australian Cinematographer & Scientist Pawel Achtel creates HFR project for the Giant Screen using Mistika
SGO’s Asia Pacific Reseller Partner, Mojo Media Solutions, has been working closely with Australian cinematographer and scientist Pawel Achtel on his high frame-rate stereoscopic 3D project Sea Of Love. Mistika was used for all the colour grading and stereoscopic adjustments.
The incredible project which has been made for the Giant Screen, is being shot at 5K using RED Epic® cameras which has been modified by the installation of Achtel’s custom designed TrueBlue™ optical filter, which virtually removes all magenta contamination in the blue spectra.
Filming under water produces many blue colours in the imagery which on an unmodified RED® camera tends to look magenta. This is because the red photo-sites on the camera sensor are not only sensitive to red light, they are also sensitive to blue light. By replacing the factory supplied OLPF with Achtel’s TrueBlue™ OLPF, the colour separation in the raw camera files is significantly improved. TrueBlue is available now for RED Epic® and RED Dragon® cameras.
In addition, Mojo Media Solutions will also be showcasing SGO’s Mistika at SMPTE15 in Sydney from 14 – 17th July at Booth # D4 where customers will be able to review sample footage from this spectacular project. The SMPTE15 exhibition takes place at the Hordern Pavilion in Moore Park. With world renowned manufacturers SGO and COLORFRONT both sending product specialist to provide support at the exhibition, visitors to the Mojo Media Solutions stand will be able to participate in in-depth demonstrations with opportunities to ask detailed questions from the manufacturers’ own representatives.
Please contact Mojo Media Solutions for more information.