'Lone Survivor' Thrives with EC3 Location Post Services

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Cinematographer, Tobias Schliessler, ASC got to take a brand-new dailies facility on wheels for a test drive for the Peter Berg-directed, Navy SEALS themed Lone Survivor. The EC3 Trailer (a joint venture between post houses Company 3 and EFILM) was designed to bring full digital dailies services to locations. In the case of Lone Survivor, the EC3 trailer was parked high in the mountains of New Mexico, which were standing in for Afghanistan.

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(L to R) Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch and Taylor Kitsch in

Lone Survivor

. Photo by Greg Peters.

The EC3 trailer's exterior came from Star Waggons (makers of many of the luxurious accommodations for talent) and the dailies grading theater inside is the product of EC3's technology team. "It felt to me like I was going to the lab," Schliessler recalls of his time in the trailer's screening room watching graded versions of his work. "I could see what we'd shot, often the day we shot it, projected beautifully onto the seven-foot screen. It was like in the days of film only better. I think it's difficult when you have to look at dailies on a small computer screen or television or even an iPad."

The cinematographer notes that he particularly enjoyed the interactivity with his dailies colorist. "Adrian is a very experienced dailies colorist and he understood what I was going for," he says. "But it was wonderful to be able to sit and discuss any refinements I wanted together with him in a theater, rather than trying to communicate subtle ideas about color and contrast with someone working in a facility thousands of miles away."

Workflow on the primarily Red Epic shoot gave Digital Imaging Technician Jeff Tomcho the daunting task of setting "looks" for the many monitors on set and insuring the Epics were properly set up and properly capturing the imagery to .r3d files as expected. Tomcho and his team would hand media and metadata off to the dailies operators in the EC3 trailer. "If we had packed it up and shipped it to Company 3 in LA," Tomcho explains, "it would have added at least a day to the turnaround time. This way Tobias could see graded dailies at lunch and wrap."

"I was very happy with the whole process," Schliessler recounts. "I felt I had more control over the look during the shoot and that helped the final DI process at Company 3 in LA go remarkably fast," he says.

Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC has also used the EC3 trailer for 3D work on his upcoming X-Men Days of Future Past.

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