Post-Production : Working with a Crew Overseas. by Daniel Grzeskowiak

Daniel Grzeskowiak

Working with a Crew Overseas.

I'm currently working on a short film called BACKWASH and looking I posted some post production openings in the job section. I got a few responses from people in Italy, Russia, etc. I am curious how other filmmakers send files or work with crews from other countries? I know working with a composer I can send a smaller size export of the film, but what about a colorist? How would we be able to work together? Has anyone done this on your films?

Eric Lau

Hi Daniel, From the sound of it, it seems that you are open to remote collaboration and I am glad that you are considering this. I am a colorist from Singapore and I enjoy work from overseas. There are a couple of ways to send footage across the globe. Just keep in mind that this is also dependent on how much "quality" that you want to retain. - WeTransfer. It's got a 2GB limitation on free accounts, so you can use this only on short films. All you have to do is export the edit into chunks of less that 2GB and then send them across. To save time, you can actually open multiple browser tabs and send multiple files at the same time. Of course more tabs will affect your bandwidth, but once you set it up and let it run over the weekends, the transferring is quite fast. But bear in mind that you are exporting your files to say Prores HQ, so grading wise you get less latitude compared to the raw r3d files or Alexa raw etc. - Use Catapult. There is a free version available, but I haven't tried that before. - Signiant Media Transfer Haven't tried that before too, but it shows great potential. You need to pay for the service though. - Physical hard disk. This is the least hassle actually. Just copy all your files over to a spare harddisk and then international courier it over. - CDL / LUTs I am still experimenting on this. It seems that after I grade, I can export a CDL or a 3d LUT and then send it across. And once you receive it, you can import the CDL into say your premiere Pro timeline and it will give you the adjustments from the grade. This method brings the primary adjustments over and I am not sure of it brings the secondaries over. I doubt it. But at least this is good for projects like a short documentaries grade where usually it is just a primary adjustment. - Cloud storage. Like the physical harddisk, this is quite hassle free also. Just get a huge cloud storage account and then copy all the footage there. After the colorist had downloaded all the footage, you can unsubscribe to the service already to save costs. For me, Google drives are the fastest. Don't use Dropbox. They are very slow. So you see, there are many ways actually and some are not too hard to setup. I am sure there are still many ways that I don't know, so if anyone reading this can chip in, please do so. Also have anyone used Catapult or Media Shuttle before? I would be keen to know the results. And lastly for the colorist, how do you know if what you are looking at is the same as what your colorist is looking at? Simple. If both your monitors are calibrated, there is no reason the image will look too different. Also keep environment conditions in check as you don't want to be viewing the image in a very bright room while your colorist is working in a dark room. Cheers. Eric.

Daniel Grzeskowiak

Hello Eric, thanks for the response. I mainly edit out of Adobe Premiere now and I'm curious if there is a way of sending an finished edited version of the film in a smaller format to a colorist, and then they send back a curves, color profile, or LUT that can be added to the RAW footage? That seems like an easier method.

Nathanael Gabel

Try to acquire the software Moavi Converter. you can get a 2 hour movie with VFX down to about 1.5gb-2.5 gb.

Eric Lau

Well Daniel, the issue about color grading is that you try to avoid grading on a smaller format. Most colorist would not want to grade on anything less than Prores HQ. For me, I go a step down to Prores and that is only provided that the footage is not going to be graded heavily. For the color profile method to work, yes it is possible. For Premiere, I think you can get the colorist to send a Lumentri preset back to you and this should include the primary grade and the secondaries. SHOULD BE...I have not tried this out but it should work. So the colorist have to grade in speedgrade or premiere itself and then send you the project file with the effects so that you can copy onto your timeline. I know that if you edit in Avid and grade on baselight, all the grades can be transferred easily using the Baselight plugin in Avid and the aaf. It's very cool. I have used Baselight, Scratch and Resolve, sadly not speedgrade so I can't advise in depth to it. If you want to test the remote workflow, I would be happy to do a test with you. Send one or two files over and I can send you a Lumentri preset, CDL or LUT. Eric.

Eric Lau

I checked out the Moavi converter. Sadly it does not transcode to a codec that is good to grade on.

Andrew Macht

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