Our Inaugural Facilities Crawl through the Fox Lot was a resounding success with a fabulous turnout to have a look through Soundfirm, Blue Post and Spectrum.
Each and every one of the facilities were incredibly generous sharing their knowledge and having their experts stay back for us. We were presented with a dazzling array of Colourists, VFX artists, Online Editors, Foley Artists, ADR specialists, Mixers and Sound Designers, not to mention the wonderful Facilities Managers and Post Producers who organized the whole shebang and helped guide us through.
The tour started at Soundfirm, where we were ushered into ADR and Foley suites, hearing tales of how our great talent approach ADR. Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe very efficiently extracting the performances they want, Kate Blanchett reclining on a bed to get the right voice for ADR. The Foley suite was an eye opener, it looked like a junkyard had been emptied with neat precision into the studio, with Hacksaw Ridge ropes at the fore.
From L-R: Soundfirms Diego (ADR), Alex Francis (Foley), Bruce Emery (ADR) & Soundfirm Mix Suite
On to the Grading suite where we had a quick demonstration and run down of the grade process, then into the Mix Suite where the Grand Piano was dwarfed by the immense studio. This is where the two groups rejoined and spent time discussing the benefits of mixing in Dolby Atmos.
We then wandered through the Fox Lot to Spectrum and Blue Post, which was fun for those who had not been inside the Professional area before- there were many comments along the lines of “so this is what is behind the fence!” as we passed shopfronts that looked like they were escapees form Moulin Rouge and Disney World.
Once we arrived at the Frank Hurley Building we again split into groups to rotate through Blue Post and Spectrum.
Spectrum is in its third building since it began around fifty years ago and is ever expanding with flexible spaces that can change to house the various sized productions that come through. With views across the grounds and verandahs to escape to fresh air, the area is very comfortable.
We wandered past multiple edit suites (of course with some crazy people still working on into the evening.) We checked out the Mystika Grade suite and wandered past the sound suites to the Mixing Facility. Here we found out about the 64 hidden speakers, discussed the flow of picture to sound post, and ways to ensure the whole post process can be made painless.
From L-R: Spectrum Edit Suite & Spectrum Sound Suite
At the same time, Blue Post was showing the second group through their facilities - well trying to, with most people reluctant to leave the exceedingly comfy lounges in their Screening and Grade space. We were treated to a demonstration of the Visual Effects process, seeing the very quick banishment of a Camera Operator who was brazenly sharing the mirror space with the the actor.
In the edit rooms there was much admiration of the stand-up desks, and casement windows looking out onto the Lot. In amongst it all was discussion on terrabytes and storage, data flow and customizing the process and suites to suit.
From L-R: Blue Post Interior Lounge, Blue Post Sound Suite.
The evening continued with drinks and nibbles at the Bavarian Bier Café, with much post-op discussion about gear and facilities, and timeframes and music and how to edit when you have babies, along with the need to engage producers more into the process and to educate the smaller independent companies about correct process.
Some comments from the participants:
“Excellent to get behind the doors of these three very worthy post houses and "talk shop".
Also encouraging to see such keen, savvy people at the helm. I think we all picked up a few things about their various facilities and workflows, with an eye to doing business and helping each other out in times to come...”
“I appreciated the unity in bringing freelancers together to connect with not only the post facilities but the people who run them as well.”
“We were generously welcomed & shown around these comprehensively equipped, great facilities. I was particularly pleased to see some familiar faces, & very happy that many edit suites have windows & height adjustable ‘standing’ desks'. "
"The tour helped give me a sense of perspective on post-production, expanding my horizons and showing me how much time and energy goes into a range of productions".
“Was great to see the world-class post-production capabilities available right here in Sydney that cater for projects of all sizes.
I would be interested in seeing a more detailed demonstration of the steps in a post production process e.g. the approaches and steps in colour grading”
It was a privilege to see the actual edit suites, grading setups, sound facilities and amenities (kitchens/social areas) of these leading post houses. Normally I only see the inside of a facility after my client has already chosen to go there. The staff were excellent, helpful and informative and it’s great to be able to offer 3 new informed suggestions to directors/producers who are looking to post their projects. I’d happily do another tour at other facilities to expand on my post house knowledge base.
“It was a stimulating night - interesting that long form editor’s preoccupation continues to be windows preferably opening rather than the details of gear.
Both Spectrum and Blue Post can set up gear where ever you like - even your bedroom.
Heartening to see that the big facilities are busy - always nice to work somewhere buzzy and collegial.
Then to the Bavarian where much swapping of war stories and gratuitous advice kept us layering on. Nice to see keen young faces in the biz.”
So thank you so much to Soundfirm, Spectrum and Blue Post for having us through, and for being willing to share your knowledge now and into the future.
Catherine Armstrong and Josh Pomeranz
Adam Scott – General Manager
Angus Robertson- Head of Sound
Blue Post: http://bluepost.com.au/
Rachel Knowles and Peter Millington
Adam Archer - Online/VFX Artist
Troy Fleming - Online/Conform Editor
And behind the scenes:
Annelie Chapple - Colourist
Vince Brant - QC Supervisor
Charlie Ferrier - Post Production Assistant
Michelle Kaszai and Roger Savage
Bruce Emery-Technical Director
Andy Wright-Sound Mixer and Designer
Diego Ruiz – Dialogue and Mix
Christopher Reig – Digital Image Supervisor
Alex Francis - Foley