Encore’s Mobilabs on Location in Hawaii

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Oahu-based Encore Colorist Troy Davis provides near-set dailies support for local productions capitalizing on the islands’ picturesque landscapes. His recent projects include the latest incarnations of “Hawaii Five-0,” currently in its ninth season, and freshman series “Magnum P.I.,” with both shows receiving final color finishing by Encore Senior Colorist Laura Jans Fazio in Hollywood.

Davis’ day typically starts about eight hours after shooting begins, when production breaks for lunch and he receives camera and sound files from the first half of a day’s shoot. He then sets to work on ensuring optimal footage formatting and syncing and applying the initial color balance using Encore’s proprietary Mobilabs system. He processes the footage shot from various cameras, such as ALEXA, Sony a7S, GoPro and drones, then delivers needed formats to editorial, uploads files to could storage, and pushes content to iPads for easy review by the director, DP and producers on set.

Hawaii’s stunning tropical locale is not without its challenges. “The weather changes rapidly and often, so a big part of my job is to keep the color even when it might be sunny one minute and pouring rain the next,” Davis explained.

To lay the groundwork for his color passes, Davis generally has a sit-down or in-depth conversation with the project’s DP, ideally after the camera test, to understand the desired vision and make sure it aligns with what’s displayed on his setup. Currently, he uses an output LUT created by Fazio as a starting point. On set, the DP works with the DIT to create looks in LiveGrade then sends those to Davis as .cdl files and stills to use as reference.

“Hawaii is my home and there’s no place I’d rather be. Mobilabs allows me to have the best of both worlds – the ability to work on high profile productions in a location that isn’t a traditional industry hub but is pretty incredible,” concluded Davis.

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