Visual Quality Beyond Limits
When Philips TVs asked us to co-produce their latest HDR demo content, they clearly had the future in mind. Normally we produce content at 4K as that is what their televisions currently support. However in this instance we were asked to produce content in 8K, a format none of their TVs currently support but they knew they would need it at some point.
That 8K challenge meant we had to use even sharper lenses and better cameras. All of that in a massive lighting rig in Abbey Road Studio 2.
One thing we didn’t have to worry about however was recording the sound from world class cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason because we were in Abbey Road Studio 2. It turns out the Abbey Road guys know how to record music and that is exactly what they did! This is the actual studio where the Beatles recorded most of their hits, and hallowed grounds for many of us.
During the one day shoot there were two crews. One was concentrating on the main shoot filming Sheku in the lighting cage. They had a Red Monstro and a Technocrane to get those amazing angles. The second unit was picking up other shots around the studio to be edited into an edit specifically used to demonstrate the picture processing functionality.
Shooting for HDR
One of the important aspects of this shoot was that it needed to be delivered in HDR or High Dynamic Range, that required a very different approach to shooting. That was one of the reasons Philips brought us in with our previous experience producing HDR content. This was important because the 1st unit director and the lighting director had not worked this way before. We were there with our HDR specialists to be able to supply the director and lighting designer a SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) preview to give them confidence they are capturing correctly.
So the first part of post production is the same as any other project. We use scaled down SDR converted rushes and get the client to sign off the edit. Then it gets interesting, we go back to the original rushes and our HDR colourist works with Philips to get the grade spot on. Finally the full 8K version is outputted along with 4K HDR and SDR versions.