Blackmagic Design today announced that Blackmagic Cloud enabled real time collaboration during post production for the feature film “Rotting in the Sun,” which is part of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival’s Premieres program. Lead Colorist Ernie Schaeffer of Caffeine Post and his team also used DaVinci Resolve Studio for grading, online editorial and mastering on the project.
In the black comedy, which “skewers not only the business of filmmaking, but also our modern solipsistic culture,” Director Sebastián Silva plays himself. After saving social media influencer Jordan Firstman from drowning, Silva and Firstman decide to collaborate on a series. When Firstman arrives at Silva’s Mexico City studio, he is nowhere to be found, leading Firstman to suspect the housekeeper knows what happened. Based in Mexico City, Silva was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for “The Maid,” and his “Crystal Fairy” won the Director Award: World Cinema Dramatic at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
With Caffeine Post also based in Mexico City, Schaeffer worked with Silva and DP Gabriel Díaz, who was based in Chile, to create the film’s specialized look. “We printed samples to 35mm positive to see what aspects we liked to find a look for the film that was digital with a sense of 35 positive print, which is softer like 16mm,” noted Schaeffer.
“Art films, in my experience, take time and need a good step by step process to make sure the color team, director and DP are all in sync with what we are looking for in our final grade,” he added. “Thankfully, Blackmagic Cloud and DaVinci Resolve’s longstanding remote collaboration features add much needed time and flexibility to the workflow.”
“At Caffeine Post, we designed our color team like a sound team: the image supervisor, lead colorist and the ambient colorist create visual depth; the dialogue colorist controls faces and people; the FX colorist paints and adds specialized image masks, specific color control and lighting adjustments; and the color premixer matches and maintains continuity. Then the mastering is the final balance and push for the theatrical version as well as variations for the streaming version,” Schaeffer explained. “Our process allows for more time to adapt, and much like sound, finds the path creatively for freedom of expression in the image.”
With each team member pushing creativity to the maximum, it was imperative that the team stay connected. “With Gabriel working out of a studio in Chile, we used Resolve’s collaboration features to first experiment with and then set the look,” said Schaeffer. “Then, using Blackmagic Cloud, the Caffeine Post team would work in collaboration over the notes and objectives needed to advance the color process. There were a few times we did a hybrid (DaVinci remote grading and Blackmagic cloud based) approach, and this worked tremendously well as I moved ahead with Gabriel to new sections of the film, while the color team Caffeine Post was able to work on shots that Gabriel and I left for adjustments.”
According to Schaeffer, it’s all about solid communication and making sure the post production pipeline is in unison. “Blackmagic Cloud allows us to establish a working folder of the film’s media and mirror it to our servers onsite in different studio locations. As the film advances with picture lock, VFX versioning, subtitles, credits and replacement shots, we are able to keep the media and aggregation in check, so the team can relink and continue working without problems,” he noted.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com
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