We are proud to present a novel and innovative Mobile Post Production Facility designed to be set up from its purpose built flight cases in less than an hour, in virtually any location.
The mobile facility, while relatively compact, offers practically all of the functions of a full blown post production facility. These include online editing, colour grading, back up of digital dailies, certain visual effects and post production of sound.
With it we can see both pristine quality images and sound, eliminating the need for off-line editing.
With the Lab we can shorten the time normally required for delivery of finished product when using today’s standard editing workflow, while also offering better quality control and piece of mind over the production's progress.
The Lab has been developed through David & Mike's extensive post and production experience in the film industry and uses ultrafast constantly evolving Apple workstations running Blackmagicdesign Resolve and Fusion software. Configurations are made specifically for each project, depending on number of cameras etc. All configurations are designed to work effortlessly with blackmagic raw 8k and 12k files, Red r3d files and other formats allowing editing to start immediately.
Resolve mini grading panel
Resolve mini editing panel
With the lab's system solution there is also no need to transcode or convert the original raw camera files into other formats, enabling immediate post work and saving time, disk space and expense.
The ability to view reference images in loco within a calibrated environment helps active decision making for heads of departments; production design, make up, hair, costumes; indeed the whole crew have much to gain viewing and checking their work on the ultra high resolution calibrated displays. These can be set up near to the shooting location, and usually not close to the main camera (s), so as not to interfere with shooting.
The Lab also enables continuous colour grading so that colourist and director of photography can gradually create, refine, and take forward the look of the project day by day as the production progresses.
In essence both productive and creative aspects can be discussed and worked on immediately, contributing to the advancement of the project, and, importantly, helping to render the entire production's progress more efficient.
Ideally, and if production space allows, the Mobile Digital Lab is placed nearby to the set, but if the ambient light cannot be adjusted in terms of intensity - usually 10 nits for Home Entertainment and 3 nits for theatrical - we suggest the solution of placing a relatively cheap black gazebo like the one shown in this link, creating a sort of room within the room; also known humorously and affectionately as the Punjabi Tent in India.
Custom built flight cases
The Lab is transported in purpose built flight cases and, thanks to the reduced number of cables necessary for connecting up hardware, control panels, disk arrays, screens and workstations are all set up, usually within half an hour.
The screens are calibrated both for the room’s ambient light levels and correct HDR or SDR display.
This innovative method of editing and colour grading immediately the digital camera footage in its final quality and indeed the Mobile Lab itself have been extensively tested by David and Mike using Red Gemini, Red Monstro, Blackmagic design cameras together with the Blackmagic design Ultra Pro 12k camera.
Following on from extensive r & d a first commission was worked on in Dubai when the capability of editing and grading during shooting was called for. This became the first time in the world that the then embryonic Mobile Lab was used for a project.
Mike was director of cinematography, and is seen here in the Dubai office of the Prime Minister of The United Arab Emirates - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. This was for a film based on his book “My Story”, and The Lab was set up in a Hotel in the City. Every evening Mike was able to see colour graded rushes that David had graded for him, while director Ahmed Kamel was able to see edits made by editor Wael Al-Masri.
The production companies and producers were also able to see progress in shooting and post production on a daily basis, and everyone was extremely well impressed by this, and, of course the quality of the pristine imagery and Mike's Cinematography.
While the main shooting was done in 8k with the Red Monstro, night time desert shots were done with the Red Gemini in 5k, taking advantage of its 3200 ISO capabilities.
The project was edited, graded and finalised in 4k, independently of the 5k and 8k resolutions used to shoot it.
Mobile Digital Lab and Da Vinci Resolve
The Digital Mobile Lab uses Da Vinci Resolve - the World's most successful and versatile solution for resolution independent cost-effective high quality post production.
Thanks to manufacturer Blackmagicdesign's market leadership, and especially the free version of software available to professionals, there are now more and more freelance operators available around the world.
Excellent interface design with lightning fast editing, grading and sound control interfaces also make it easy for Avid, Final Cut Pro or Premiere editors to learn how to use it and become operative in a very short time.
However, importantly, and unlike other post production solutions, Resolve allows massive creative and technically streamlined collaboration between editing, grading, visual effects and audio all on one platform.
For some types of visual effects, and especially those where we try to capture as much as possible in camera, the possibility of making extremely high quality vfx composites on set also makes sound creative and economic sense.
David has worked as a visual effects supervisor for decades "with the equivalent of what felt like a blindfold over my eyes, I have always dreamt that I would have been able to see all of the elements we had just shot put together. Well, now its become possible, and with a calibrated high resolution screen the finished visual effects can be shown to director and approved, or, if there is a need, re-shot then and there".
Mobile Digital Lab and Apple Technologies
Mobile Digital Lab contains high end configurations of multiple Apple workstations, and takes advantage of the ever evolving new chipsets and graphics engines. Depending on the specific needs of each production, the number of cameras etc., the system is configured to optimise production, post production and back up.
"Having tried it myself", David writes, "I can say that grading in 8k offers an incredible and absolutely unique selectivity of colours and, at the same time, less image noise. The power of the workstations make the interactivity, instant playback with sound merge into a colourist's dream, displayed on the brilliant calibrated HDR displays." The video at the top is an example of my colour grading and editing in 8k.
Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design adds;
"With the new Macs we see full‐quality 8K and 12K performance in real-time with color correction and effects, something we could never dream of doing before. DaVinci Resolve running on the new Macs is easily the fastest way to edit, grade, and finish movies and TV shows.”
In the words of Jarred Land, president of Red Digital Cinema;
"Apple’s new hardware brings a mind‐blowing level of performance to proxy‐free r3d workflows".
Mobile Digital Lab founders
David Bush and Mike Connor
Stimulated by our long term professional quest of striving to improve processes and techniques in our fields, we decided to design and create the Mobile Digital Lab based on what we believe is already a more efficient and cost effective solution for merging production and post production techniques.
We have observed from a privileged position that the current post production workflow for films and episodic series shows signs of wearing thin in the face of the new technologies.
The Lab that we have created is in essence the tool that we dreamt of for our own work, and, as it offers overall savings to production, while also adding very useful new creative tools, we think the market will like it too.
We can be contacted by phone with the numbers below, and we'd be happy to answer any questions on the lab.