Producers of the revived television series Arrested Development, which simultaneously debuted 15 new episodes on Netflix on Sunday, May 26th, turned to Shapeshifter to provide post production services. For new episodes of Arrested Development, Shapeshifter provided comprehensive finishing services, including final conforming, final color correction, and visual effects.
Troy Miller, executive producer/director (with creator Mitch Hurwitz) of Arrested Development, said, “Shapeshifter’s contributions to this show were significant. They are virtually unsurpassed in their ability to make quality changes quickly and efficiently. Their artistry and technical finesse added a level of quality that this genre rarely has. I couldn’t be more pleased with Russo and his team.”
Adds Dakota Pictures’ post supervisor Lincoln Sevier, “During the editing of Arrested Development, we took full advantage of the 4K image captured in the field by our RED Epic cameras. Show creator Mitch Hurwitz would sometimes ask for shots to be blown up as much as 300%. Because of this, it was important that we online the episodes using the original RED media instead of a 1920×1080 conversion. I knew the DaVinci Resolve had this ability, but needed a skilled colorist and facility that were ready to take on a project the size of Arrested Development. I reached out to Blackmagic, owners of the DaVinci Resolve software, who put me in touch with colorist Randy Coonfield at Shapeshifter. He and his company were well versed in using a roundtrip workflow to color and online RED media. We were in very good hands with Shapeshifter — they catered to all of our needs.”
Russo Anastasio, president and co-founder of Shapeshifter, said, “Dakota Pictures brought season 4 of Arrested Development to us because they knew the work would be extensive. This new project highlights our capacity to handle large, scripted episodic series, in addition to what we’re already best known for, reality programming and on-air promos. We’d like the industry to know that we thrive on multi-episodic challenges, and we are currently seeking similar projects for the near future.”
Anastasio adds, “Netflix’s delivery deadline is unique in the industry in that they’ll accept an entire season all at once, instead of the typical one-episode-per-week like traditional networks. This, coupled with the fact that episodes of Arrested Development Season 4 are tied together with insider gags and creative threads, meant that things needed to remain fluid till the last minute. I’m proud that Shapeshifter was able to deliver this kind of flexibility to Dakota Pictures, enabling them to make creative changes throughout every stage of the process. With a regular show, most traditional post houses wouldn’t touch an episode until it was ‘locked.’”
The key capabilities Shapeshifter employed to achieve the work necessary for the Arrested Development project included the company’s ability to combine RAW camera footage in its native 4K resolution, with other, “traditional HD” sources. These sources are shared facility-wide via a hi-speed SAN network, accessed by Shapeshifter’s Blackmagic Resolve, Avid Symphony, and VFX workstations. This powerful, advanced workflow, coupled with proprietary implementation enables Shapeshifter to integrate a change made by one system to automatically propagate to all other systems.