Not sure if this sort of content (promoting a personal project) is allowed or not here, so please, let me know if not and I'll remove! Background bumpf comes first, tech stuff further down!
I'm currently working on a short film project in the UK, for which I'm the post-production supervisor. Since I've used a lot of info from both LTT and the forum to make informed choices about the tech contribution to this project, I thought I'd share what we're doing so you can take a look if you're interested! Links to social/fundraising will be at the bottom.
About the film:
In Need Of Adventure is a ten minute short film, following the journey of David, a young man recently made unemployed, and a teddy bear which he finds on his travels. The bear has been on several adventures with previous owners, documented by a collection of photographs he keeps in his rucksack. Upon finding the bear, David decides to take him with him, and together they embark on a series of new adventures. Over time, the unlikely pair find themselves developing a strong emotional bond, so when they have to part ways in the finale it is a difficult moment for them both. The novelty of the film is that we are portraying the emotions of the bear through the musical score, with dialogue limited throughout, which we are hoping will create a wonderful film to be enjoyed by all audiences.
We're currently at the pre-production phase, mostly concentrating on promotion, fundraising and logistics, while the director/scriptwriter get the final script nailed down. Current timelines put us on for principal photography in February, with a first draft complete through post-production by April/May. We're hoping to submit to film festivals later next year, and then look for some form of public release in 2020.
As post production supervisor, my role is where the tech-heavy stuff comes in starting with camera. I'll be working on set as a Digital Imaging Technician (DIT), which involves the footage offload/transcode/backup/colour(optional) processes.
This bit's for the camera buffs. We'll be shooting using the ARRI Alexa Mini (http://www.arri.com/en/alexamini), a Super35mm cinema camera, which is widely used in Hollywood-grade features. For us this is really exciting, since it will hopefully result in a film of stunning quality. We're pairing this with the Samyang XEEN 5 Lens Kit (14mm T3.0; 24mm T1.5; 35mm T1.5; 50mm T1.5; and 85mm T1.5), which are an excellent "budget" set of quality cinema lenses.
While the ARRI is capable of shooting RAW, our current plan is to shoot ProRes4444, simply to alleviate data transfer concerns. We're already fairly crushed on our post-production time allocation for the project, and the current thinking is that the additional benefits that RAW brings are outweighed by its sheer inconvenience in terms of footage management.
On set, I will be using our DIT cart to offload the footage from the Alexa as we go. It's kitted out with the new MacBook Pro (I know), a 24TB G-SPEED Thunderbolt 3 Raid 5 Array, Blackmagic scopes/monitoring and a Flanders Scientific DM240 monitor, plus a handy dandy UPS. We're using 256GB CFast cards from SanDisk with the camera, which should give us about 40 minutes of footage, in ProRes 4444 at 3.2K, at a time. They're rated for 525MBps reads, and the G-SPEED in RAID 5 is expected to give us ~750MBps writes (not personally tested), which should give us an offload time of under 10 minutes. I'd love to confirm this, but the ARRIs have not yet arrived so I can't do any effective testing as of right now. Data rate calculations can be found here. Transcodes for proxies and dailies will also take place on set.
I'm also going to be working with our cinematographer to produce custom LUTs, once we have the cameras available for testing. Hopefully we'll be able to use these to give a realtime preview on set, and possible even us DaVinci Resolve's live grading feature to make tweaks as we go.
In post, we'll be working primarily in Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve, with likely ProTools as our main DAW. We will be mastering for cinema, and our main distribution method will be DCP, so we'll be mixing in both stereo and 5.1 surround. I'm currently working on a DCP automation/creation tool for my dissertation and final year project at university, so hopefully I'll be in a position to use that to create a high quality DCP for delivery! Our first screening will happen a working cinema in Birmingham - it's yet to be confirmed which, but I'm gunning for the Electric (oldest working Cinema in the UK!).
We have access to dedicated editing/grading/mixing suites, which all run on Mac Pro trashcans - currently not sure of the specs but I know they're 4K edit capable. I also have my own PC at home, running a 6700K and GTX1060, 32GB RAM, which I use as my workhorse and should mean we have plenty of options in case availability for the dedicated suites.
That's my ramble about over! If you've had a read and are interested, please check out our social links below, and if so inclined, our IndieGogo campaign where any donations are more than appreciated! Likes, shares and follows are also massively helpful for us. If you have any questions, queries, advice, comments, or anything in between, please go ahead! I'm really excited about this project and love discussing it, and always love to hear new takes and opinions!