Sunny Days: Posting 'Sesame Street'

Post by Jesse Aventa

NEW YORK — Sesame Street produces a large amount of content every year, and sooner or later it all passes through my desk. Every day our post department is filled with new material, new challenges and new laughs. I’d like to walk you through a little of our process and some of my highlights from the latest season, our 43rd to be exact.

Our current broadcast show is one hour and made of several segments. Some are shot on our live set with the Sesame Street Muppets and performers, some are shot on a key, some are delivered from other filmmakers and some are animated.

New to this season is a segment called “Elmo the Musical” (ETM). Together, Elmo and the child at home go on a math and musical adventure in Elmo’s imagination. ETM is originally shot on bluescreen and then the 3D animated backgrounds are added in post. The puppeteers perform by looking down at a monitor to see what the camera sees and what the scene looks like. Since ETM was shot on bluescreen, our technical director, Tom Guadarrama, would add temporary backgrounds and elements into the monitors.

It was crucial that the performers got to see how the episode was cutting together, so it was my job in the control room to live ingest and quickly piece together, key and playback for the performers.

I work in tandem with John Tierney (and with the help of my assistant Meaghan Wilbur). He works on Avid Media Composer and After Effects; I work in FCP 7 and After Effects, but more on that later. Once the day wrapped, the segments were sent to John Tierney to edit and then to our VFX team at Magnetic Dreams. John has been working on Sesame Street for a couple decades. Some of our most complicated pieces will go to John at Definition 6 and then come back to me for final QC and delivery. read more...

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