Codex equipment is playing a key role in the making of the ABC television series Marvel’s Agent Carter. Codex has provided digital recording for director of photography Gabriel Beristain’s cameras, and has consulted with visual effects supervisor Sheena Duggal on the lens mapping, to assist VFX production. According to Duggal, this is the first TV show to use ARRIRAW for main unit photography, and the show marks the first time an ARRIRAW workflow has been used extensively in series television.
An episode is produced over the course of eight days, with roughly half shot on stages and half at LA locations that double for the show’s 1940s New York setting. The cameras are ARRI ALEXA XTs.
The use of ARRIRAW on Agent Carter is typical of Beristain, who was also among the first to pair vintage glass and Alexa XT digital cameras for a television series. On Marvel’s Agent Carter, Beristain worked without a DIT, saying that the Codex/ARRIRAW workflow has allowed him to focus on aesthetics and stay involved with the cast.
Over the course of the eight-episode season, an estimated 1,000 visual effects shots will be accomplished. ILM, Base Effects and Double Negative are contributing the effects work.
“Gabby decided that we should shoot ARRIRAW to capture the best quality images, something that had not been done for network TV before, to my knowledge,” said Duggal. “And when it came to camera shooting formats, abcwe decided together that we would like to shoot open gate for the VFX plates and 16:9 for the non-VFX shots. I consulted with Codex and we came up with camera graticules and a VFX workflow for the image extraction. I had also been working on a lens mapping initiative with Codex, and camera rental house Otto Nemenz, to map the lenses for VFX, and I’m happy to say that we implemented this for the first time on Marvel’s Agent Carter.”
Marvel’s Agent Carter premiered on 6 January.