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PostWorks LA’s Digital Workflow on HBO’s “In Treatment” Delivers Multiple Versions of 43 Episodes, Introducing New Efficiencies into Post Workflows

HOLLYWOOD—Digital motion picture and post-production company PostWorks Los Angeles today detailed its key supporting role in providing post-production finishing services to the new HBO original series “In Treatment,” which premiered on HBO at the end of January.

Based on a hit Israeli series and executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Rodrigo Garcia and Hagai Levi, “In Treatment” stars Gabriel Byrne as psychotherapist Paul, and also features Dianne Wiest, Blair Underwood and Melissa George. Since debuting on Jan. 28, the series’ 43 half-hour episodes have aired consecutively, each day of the week. Monday through Thursday’s episodes each week have been dedicated to one of Paul’s four patients, and Paul sees his own therapist on Fridays. Since the second week, HBO has repeated earlier episodes, allowing viewers to catch up on a patient’s previous session.

The network’s unique air schedule presented some considerable post-production challenges. According to Jennifer Tellefsen, VP of Broadcast Services for PostWorks Los Angeles, when principal photography wrapped in September, 2007, each of the episodes was in various stages creatively. “With 43 episodes to deliver in a short amount of time, ‘In Treatment’ represented an opportunity for PostWorks to offer a high-powered and flexible post-production process utilizing a completely tapeless facility workflow,” she said. Digitally shot material was recorded during production to HD videotape, but once digitized by PostWorks for conforming and color correction, remained in data form during these critical stages of post production.

“This was an exciting concept and for our show, an easy decision,” said the series’ Co-Producer Jim Hilton. “The huge number of episodes on this series and the ever changing and evolving nature of a first season show made the choice of working at a facility committed to a pure data workflow easy. Our series had 43 shows, formatted in several different ways, in various states of completion, and yet our tape shelf in the vault was bare!

“Color correcting utilizing pure data, Postworks’ Lustre Bay allows you to work on one show, and with the click of a mouse, open other episodes to compare similar shots,” Hilton continued. “It also allows you to trace shots if they repeat in subsequent episodes, and retain your color settings through the meta-data. It is absolutely instantaneous. And with picture changes, no playout to tape in real-time was needed. Just render and save. No additional tapes or shelf space is required.”

The Autodesk Incinerator render nodes support real time software color correction in PostWorks’ Lustre color correction suites. When installed in 2007, this Incinerator build was the largest in existence. PostWorks LA’s full buildout will feature seven Incinerators like this online.

By the time PostWorks became involved with the project in late September, the first 10 episodes had been conformed elsewhere. Those episodes were delivered to PostWorks on videotape for color correction and final mastering, while PostWorks worked closely with the series’ executives to dial-in a hybrid tapeless approach for conforming episodes 11 through 43. Leveraging over 100 terabytes of high-speed online storage, a key facet of PostWorks’ workflow is keeping every frame of source material online as uncompressed data throughout the duration of a project. “The facility’s two main platforms, Autodesk® Lustre® for color correction and Autodesk® Smoke® for conforming, share source data from one single location, moving only metadata between the platforms,” Tellefsen explained. “Since this workflow removes the need to record online conforms to videotape for color correction, it allows unprecedented speed and flexibility when tracking picture revisions, creating multiple versions, and tracking color correction lists – introducing new levels of creative freedom while maintaining the highest picture quality.”

PostWorks Colorist Pankaj Bajpai, who has worked with HBO on “Sex in the City,” “Rome,” “The Comeback,” and specifically with Rodrigo Garcia on “Carnivale,” played a major role in the “In Treatment” post-production workflow – performing a final color grade as a last step to mastering each episode.

Picture editors for “In Treatment” are Lisa Bromwell ACE, Michael Ruscio ACE and Tanya M. Swerling.

More information on “In Treatment” is available online at


About PostWorks and Orbit Digital

PostWorks is one of the film and television industry’s most comprehensive digital motion picture and post-production companies, offering one complete source for every post-production requirement including film processing, telecine/scanning, non-linear editorial and picture finishing, HD mastering, Digital Intermediate workflows and film recording, as well as comprehensive film and TV sound services. In 2007, PostWorks expanded into Los Angeles, launching the first post-production company designed from the ground up to leverage data-centric and future-looking technologies. Combined with Orbit Digital, PostWorks’ global mobile post-production systems provider, PostWorks employs a world-class team of artists, engineers and producers to serve Academy Award-winning filmmakers, cutting-edge independents and every major film studio and broadcaster. For more information, please call +1-212-894-4000, or visit