- Featured Projects
- Inherent Vice
- The Boxtrolls
- It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- House of Lies
- Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
- Breaking Bad
- We're the Millers
- Fruitvale Station
- Hello, Dolly!
- The X Factor
- The Master
- Katy Perry: All of Me
- Snow White and the Huntsman
- Jeff Who Lives at Home
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol
- The Glee Project
- Platinum Hit
FotoKem's Workflow Expertise Supports Live Production and
Online Content for Top-Rated Show
Season two of “The X Factor” debuted on FOX with more back stories and behind-the-scenes content than Season one. In addition, the producers wanted extended second-screen elements and music releases incorporated into the mix. Given the robust post production workflow established by FotoKem and FremantleMedia for the first season, only a few simple tweaks were needed to accommodate the changes for this new, dynamic installment of the series.
“We're putting a lot more reality into the show this year; it's not just about the competition, it's learning about the contestants,” says Zach Jarosz, vice president of postproduction at FremantleMedia. “That equates to maybe 30 percent more footage to convert, digitize and organize.”
“'The X Factor' is not just a show - it's an experience,” says Jon Mauldin, director of operations and technology, at FotoKem. “Two hours of live programming is streamed online by FOX Digital before every show - celebrities arriving, contestant interviews, talks with the producers, music director and choreographer. This year, there will be even more emphasis on people's stories during the show - their lives, what happens in the competition, and how they spend their downtime. Additionally, there are live streams as the contestants come off stage and go to the holding room. Add more social media content and you get a full experience to enjoy.”
“When you have the viewership that we do, there's a big desire to see and hear more and more. So offering the second-screen content and music meets the demands of our fans,” adds Jarosz.
Jarosz gives FotoKem high marks for extending the infrastructure to accommodate the demands of the show. “The fact that FotoKem is a single vendor who can handle it all is a huge home run for us,” he says. “In my 20 years in the business, I've never had a show with the post demands of 'The X Factor.' So I really had to get FotoKem onboard to help us through the workflow decisions.”
“The Master”: A Big Canvas for an Intimate Story
FotoKem's large format services have been the natural go-to destination for a number of recent epic adventures including “Snow White and The Huntsman” and “Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol.” But the team's latest credit is the much-buzzed-about “The Master,” written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood,” “Magnolia”) and released by The Weinstein Company. Receiving critical praise and awards at high-profile festivals, the film focuses on the leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of a movement called the Cause, and a disturbed Navy veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who is drawn to the group yet doubts its ideologies at times.
“The Master” presented a different sort of puzzle for FotoKem to solve. “When we began the project, we simply didn't know just how much 65mm Paul would be shooting,” reports FotoKem's Andrew Oran, who heads sales and operations for the facility's large format and restoration services. “His original plan was to shoot the movie in 35mm with a little bit of 65mm for some special sequences. But, he ended up loving the look of the large format so much that the film became mainly 65mm.”
The FotoKem team worked closely with Anderson from early in the production to develop a workflow that succeeded aesthetically and technically, while enabling the director's creative vision. From dailies of the 65mm material, to eventually finalizing the color and the answer prints for the film, Anderson relied on FotoKem for their expertise, service offerings and collaborative approach.
Keep Me Posted Earns Nelson Cragg's Trust in “Homeland”
Trust is a prevalent theme in the Emmy® Award-winning series “Homeland.” For cinematographer Nelson Cragg, it's the team at Keep Me Posted (KMP) who has his back.
Showtime's widely praised thriller chronicles the bi-polar agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) as she obsessively pursues Iraq War POW Nelson Brody (Damian Lewis), whom she believes is planning a major strike against the government of the United States.
Through the maze of betrayals, it's ironic that the story is brought to life by a group of artists who have complete trust in each other's abilities. It begins with the actors. “I never felt the need to create a tightly-controlled shooting dynamic,” says Cragg. “Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin-they're amazing talents.”
“Homeland” has more on its mind than just spy craft. Cragg explains, “The characters are bigger than life. They're dealing with huge issues: betrayal, death, loyalty, patriotism, torture. If we aren't careful, that could all become too heavy. We want the characters to be grounded, and created a look that allowed for emotional attachment.” The ability to rely on the team at Keep Me Posted to support that vision has been crucial for Cragg, who is shooting in North Carolina.
“We've developed a great rapport over the past two seasons,” says KMP's series colorist Keith Shaw. “Nelson has designed distinct looks for the main locations that create different emotional reactions, and we've worked closely to render exactly what he envisioned. For instance, the Brody household is a warm place. There are a lot of browns and a great deal of natural light. It's an emotional anchor that helps underscore what Brody is giving up through his betrayal. The exteriors are desaturated, to give the feeling of autumn and mimic Washington, D.C. The Op Center, where the life and death decision are made is darker, moodier, lit by green fluorescents. The faces are definitely not as warm and the feeling is distinctly colder.”
FotoKem Supports All of Katy Perry: Part of Me
The 3D movie music event of the summer, “Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D,” takes audiences backstage for an intimate look at Katy Perry's life in and out of the spotlight. This fun, glamorous, magical and inspirational story opens wide in theaters on July 5.
FotoKem provided end-to-end services for the project, which encompassed a comprehensive production and post strategy. Supplying on-set media management, creation of 3D Avid media for editorial, preview preparation, completion of the DI and production of all the deliverables for the feature, FotoKem was integrally involved throughout the project.
“Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D” mixes Perry's colorful performances recorded at her Los Angeles concerts with behind-the-scenes clips and documentary footage of her rise to fame and life on a world tour.
Early on, FotoKem devised an end-to-end pipeline for the project. Collaboration began during production, with the FotoKem team working closely with 3ality Technica during image capture at two Perry concerts at the Staples Center back in November 2011. Eighteen RED Epic cameras were mounted in nine 3ality 3D rigs to record all the on-stage action. FotoKem's nextLAB® software for managing file-based media provided the on-set mobile solution for extracting data immediately, so camera cards could be repurposed and footage review could begin the next morning at FotoKem.
The first night's shoot wrapped at 3 a.m. By 10 a.m. the next morning, producers were sitting in FotoKem's DI theater, watching footage, with 12 terabytes of media ready to go, with random access to any clip.
FotoKem's Large Format Services Are No Fairy Tale
When audiences first see “Snow White and The Huntsman” on the big screen, they will be blown away by the breathtaking look of the film. More fantasy then fairy tale, this $175-million fable has a setting equal in magnitude to Middle Earth. It boasts haunting visual effects, elaborate battle scenes and a transmogrifying Charlize Theron. “We wanted this Grimm's Fairy Tale on a similar scale to Lord of the Rings,” the filmmakers recently told Comic-Con fans. What many audiences won't see is how this epic retelling was achieved. It involved shooting many sequences on 65mm film, on location (Marloes Sands beach, Wales), with the combined skills of almost 18 visual effects companies. No easy task considering first-time director Rupert Sanders was given only half the time-that's usually required-to complete a project of this size. That's where FotoKem's large format services played their most vital role, collaborating with Snow White's creative team. To ensure acclaimed producer Joe Roth and award-winning commercial director Rupert Sanders (Sears, Toyota and the video game Halo 3: ODST), could bring their vision to U.S. theaters by June 1st-on schedule for Universal Picture's summer slate.
Australian born D.P. Greig Fraser opted to use 65mm film, because the team felt it had “a more classic look, that better served this story.” With the Pembrokeshire village, forest and countryside, providing the perfect story book backdrop. Although the action was being captured in the U.K., FotoKem handled the 65mm negative processing, telecine and scanning. With the negative being processed and transferred within 24 hours of receipt at FotoKem's facilities. This started with a series of sample frames sent directly to Fraser. By corresponding with FotoKem's (on staff) team of 65mm film handlers, he was able to successfully track the condition and exposure of the negative. As well as providing the high-resolution, (8K) scans of the 65mm/5-perf negative necessary for a feature of this calibre and proportion. Recent FotoKem projects include Terrence Malick's “Tree Of Life” and Brad Bird's “Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol”.
Duplass Brothers Take Indie Filmmaking to New Levels
Jay and Mark Duplass started out making movies as kids growing up in New Orleans, using a VHS camcorder connected to their VCR. Just a few years later, after a short film they thought up on the fly made some noise at Sundance, they made two microbudget features “The Puffy Chair” and “Baghead.” “The Puffy Chair” grabbed the Audience Award at SXSW and won two Independent Spirit Awards.
The success of those endeavors opened doors for the brothers, enabling the leap to studio films with “Cyrus,” which starred Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill. “Cyrus” was made for about $7 million under the Fox Searchlight banner, and the Duplass brothers were able to maintain their personal creative stamp. Their latest creation, “Jeff Who Lives at Home,” stars Jason Segal, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon.
“We work in a very instinctive way,” says Jay. “Our method is built around exploration. We don't have the movie finished in our heads. We discover it as we go.” FotoKem provided services for previous projects by the Duplass duo, but on “Cyrus,” which was shot on the RED One, the post facility collaborated on a much deeper level, providing dailies, a render farm, and Final Cut Pro audio sync. Additionally, FotoKem provided monitor calibration during editorial and the digital intermediate was performed by DI colorist John Daro.
For “Jeff Who Lives at Home,” shot on the RED MX, Jay and Mark used FotoKem's nextLAB solution from start to finish, including software for the post/editorial environment and all media management, color, dailies, pre-synced audio tracks and other deliverables on location in Louisiana. They also asked that Daro work with them again as DI colorist.
Digital Restoration a Milestone for FotoKem
FotoKem is proud to have been involved in the digital remastering and restoration of “All Quiet on the Western Front” with Universal Pictures. The epic 1930 Academy Award® winner for Best Picture and Best Director is now available on Blu-ray combo pack as part of Universal's 100th Anniversary Collector's Series. FotoKem scanned the 35mm fine grain intermediates, worked in tandem with Universal's UDS division on digital restoration services, provided color correction services, and also handled digital film recording of new 35mm archival elements.