Production and post company Electric Entertainment is using AJA Video’s KONA video capture cards and conversion solutions in an all-digital, RED-acquired workflow for the primetime TV drama Leverage that’s well worth examining.
Leverage is created from start to finish at Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment in Hollywood, which houses not only editorial and finishing, a mixing stage and screening room (equipped with 3D capabilities and 5.1 audio) but script writers as well. Leverage has used AJA KONA cards since its pilot episode.
The multi-camera show is shot in 4k HD at 23.98 fps using RED digital cameras in Portland, Oregon. Dailies are shipped overnight to LA as RED R3D files, transcoded via RedCine into Apple ProRes 4:2:2 proxy files, and picture is linked to sound. Three editorial teams rotate to cut an episode every seven days (season three comprises 16 episodes) using Apple Final Cut systems running on a 40TB SAN. All dailies, colour correction, mixing and VFX are done in house.
AJA KONA 3 and KONA LHe video capture cards and a host of converters play a key role in the all-digital workflow; AJA converters are used to view signals pulled off camera directly on set, Kona cards accelerate ingest of ProRes files into Final Cut, handle the 24-to-30 frame conversion, and are integrated into all editing and playback systems to monitor post production and colour correction.
Electric Entertainment post production engineer Bill Ritter sai:, “We’ve been working with AJA gear for years. It’s incredibly reliable equipment and we’re really happy with the level of support we get from the company.”
Leverage editor Brian Gonosey added: “We’ve been using an all-digital workflow since the very first episode. Once Dean Devlin got a taste of cutting in HD with KONA-enabled ProRes HQ he wondered why anyone would ever cut in SD again. He adopted this workflow for all of his shows and movies and he’s all about taking risks to get to the next great thing. AJA has always supported us in doing that.”
During the off season from Leverage, Electric Entertainment took some time to investigate a 3D playback workflow for features and shorts. They beta-tested the version of AJA’s KONA 3 driver that supports 3D stereoscopic output through Cineform’s Neo3D software on an animated 3D short that Devlin created for Cannes, and established the solution as its 3D playback workflow going forward.