BTV Post provided the full post production for How Cities Work, a new Discovery TV series, produced by Electric Sky Productions (BTV’s sister company). The production captured spectacular 3D visuals of London, New York, Barcelona, Las Vegas, Berlin, San Francisco, Venice and other cities, and looked at the technological achievements, planning and engineering feats that make life in these great cities possible, and even pleasurable, for their huge populations.
How Cities Work “was a production that was logistically and technically challenging,” said Post Supervisor, Chris Gallani. “Rushes were couriered from location to our post facility operating round-the-clock for immediate ingest. We needed a workflow which allowed for the footage to be accessible as soon as possible by the editors who were eager to start, as well as tailoring for the multiple media types coming from the different cameras we used on the shoots.”
The production also required a well-planned workflow, which had to be formulated within a relatively short space of time before filming started. “Luckily, our experience of working on major stereoscopic 3D productions helped us deliver a workflow that merged seamlessly with production. It was great to see it flourish into full, glorious 3D and 5.1 surround. The team were very happy with its delivery,” he added.
How Cities Work was filmed using a various cameras, including the Sony PMW TD300 shoulder-mounted XDCAM EX twin-lens camcorder, with the media transferred via BTV Post’s fast data connection between its London and Brighton facilities, for online and mastering on SGO Mistika and Avid editing suites The deliverables were managed using Eclipse - BTV Post’s bespoke digital media management platform.
They used Mistika’s Stereo 3D tools for eye alignment, depth and colour grading, and to reduce any disparities caused by lens flare or dirt on the lens, which would otherwise have made some 3D shots unusable, by compositing across those parts of the image from the unaffected eye.
The post house’s colourists and online editors, Ian Grey and George Dutton completed the picture post for the five-episode series, with audio by Jon Gray, BTV’s dubbing mixer.
How Cities Work is currently being shown on Sky 3D, with the 2D version scheduled to be broadcast in March on Discovery. The hour-long episodes cover such topics as how cities get their power, food and water, and deal with the issues of how cities can grow in a sustainable manner and transport infrastructure.
By David Fox