Technicolor – PostWorks: Editing 4K with Avid Media Composer

Crab-599Nat Geo's Russia Wild Arctic is being shot and edited in 4K using Avid Media Composer and DNxHR. In this Studio Daily interview Postworks Director of Technology Matt Schneider tells how they did it and why they went with an Avid workflow.
Studio Daily by Beth Marchant

This was the first time the post facility had finished in 4K in Avid Media Composer, which Technicolor – PostWorks Director of Technology Matt Schneider says only became possible with the release of Media Composer 8.3 in December and the subsequent 8.3.1 beta the facility received from Avid in February. We spoke with Nuget and Schneider about how they worked with Avid and FilmLight engineers to forge a new workflow for 4K broadcast delivery that brings Media Composer squarely back into the online suite.

StudioDaily: When did you first start talking about this 4K project with Nat Geo?

Matt Schneider: The first time that we spoke to Nat Geo about any kind of 4K was May of last year. That may have been part of a general swell of interest in possibly finishing shows that are filmed in 4K in 4K [4096x2160] or UHD [3840 x 2160]. Some of that interest may have been accelerated by a specification document that was released by Discovery, in which they had articulated some of the specifics of how shows should be filmed and finished. It gave some details about what kind of file would represent an online and what codec, what frame rate, and what frame size would be acceptable. What followed for facilities like ours in the summer months was kind of a fire drill, where we tried to figure out how you could finish this way if our editing tool of choice, Avid Media Composer, couldn't yet work that way. We figured out that you would have to conform and finish in non-Avid systems like Autodesk Flame or Lustre or both. But that would also mean that a lot of the visual effects created in the offline wouldn't auto-conform; they would have to be recreated visually. All of that would require more time and more cost. The original enthusiasm for finishing nonfiction shows in 4K lessened a bit by mid-summer, when the reality of this workaround set in. In essence, we would have to treat a Nat Geo show like a feature film. read more...

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