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'Trapped in the Closet' Unlocks New Workflow

Photo by Parrish Smith

For the latest episodes of R. Kelly’s “hip-hopera” Trapped in the Closet, which aired on IFC in November, co-director/editor Jim Swaffield and cinematographer Teodoro Maniaci shot with two Sony PMW-F3 cameras, and an ARRI Alexa for slow motion sequences. Post consultant Gary Pontore implemented an on-set digital workflow that used two AJA Ki Pro recorders fed from the cameras’ SDI outputs to utilize Ki Pro’s 10-bit 4:2:2 recording capabilities.

The F3 cameras output 1920 x 1080/23.976 fps 4:4:4 10-bit RGB S-Log signals, to which LUTs were applied on set by DIT John Waterman using Pomfort LiveGrade software. “We were able to get very close to our final look dynamically on set as we shot,” says Swaffield. “We then recorded this signal at high quality, to ProRes HQ 422. Our files were already in ProRes, allowing co-editor David Rosenblatt to work live on set.”