By Randi Altman
Earlier this year, Brooklyn-based WorleyWorks, a 2D/3D post stereoscopic production and motion capture studio, became the first New York studio to invest in SGO’s Mistika. Owners Greg and Minah Worley have now integrated the system into their workflow.
The studio invested in a second Mistika in January and just recently purchased the first new Mistika panel in the US — it was shown at NAB and IBC this year. It will be installed in the next three weeks. According to Greg Worley, “The second Mistika is important as a test bed for rolling out updates, as a back-up to our primary Mistika, and serves as our mobile Mistika that we can roll into another studio or on-set.”
The seven-year-old WorleyWorks, which has provided previsualization for feature film directors such as Daren Aronofsky, most recently worked with two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee to create one of the first workflows for 60 HFR 2K stereo 3D for his latest directorial project, which couldn’t be named at press time.
Can you describe your company and the work you do?
Minah Worley: WorleyWorks has a long history of providing various services to the NYC commercial/feature film market. In the past, our core area of business has been concentrated on motion capture and stereo 3D production, however recent rapid growth has allowed us to diversify and we are now targeting the post market. This has been an exciting time for us; we are just finishing up work on a fully 4K/HFR/stereo 3D DI suite.
What needs were you looking to fill when you started looking at the Mistika?
Greg Worley: It is clear the industry is becoming more specialized: it seems trends in technology are changing at a much quicker pace than we have seen in the past. The Mistika has always been ahead of the curve bringing features and performance that, in our opinion, is unrivaled. Stereo 3D has always been a big part of what we do, and despite other systems having stereo tools, the Mistika toolset, for us, is the most efficient and most exact way to produce wonderful 3D images.
The ability to work with 4K material in realtime, straight from camera raw was another big factor for us. We looked at many other systems, but being able to produce the best quality output in a short space of time is something every small business wants to be able to achieve. The biggest surprise was how good the system is for color work, it’s easily one of the most powerful I have seen, the toolset is vast, it brings together the most useful tools from other systems… and really allows you to get deep into creating some beautiful images.
How did you decide on Mistika, especially since it’s just getting a foothold in the States, and you were the first in New York to buy one.
Greg: A lot of nonsense goes around the industry regarding what is hot, who is using what, etc. We spent a lot of time researching and comparing systems and were very close to pulling the trigger on a system with a larger name when Mistika was mentioned. It then became a toss up between name recognition and performance, and as a small business we felt it was important to have the most functional tool available so we can meet the various challenges our clients demand in the most appropriate way.
As with any large ticket item, future-proofing is an important consideration. Mistika is a fully HDR capable grading suite, and while 3D, 4K and High Frame Rate workflows are examples of current, advanced tool-sets, the emerging Dolby Vision standard is equally exciting. SGO’s collaboration with Dolby in supporting this new standard additionally adds to the services we look forward to providing our clients with.
How have you seen the 3D stereo segment of the industry change in the last year? Has it settled down, still growing?
Greg: There is certainly less interest in 3D broadcast in the US/EMEA regions. We have seen a decline in independent production companies pitching stereo 3D ideas, mainly due to the lack of suitable and profitable delivery platforms. There is definitely a growing interest in the Asian markets, as well as from new filmmakers who have a different approach to storytelling. Within the film market, stereo 3D saw a decline in box office takings last year, but I think Gravity helped change some of the negative perceptions on this medium’s ability to add something extra to the narrative.
What have you been working on recently?
Greg: We were lucky enough to be involved in some tests Ang Lee put together for his next feature, and it is clear (at least to us) that HFR at 60fps or more is the future for stereo 3D cinema.
What monitors/glasses do you use to watch your 3D stereo work?
Minah: We currently have a couple of options at WorleyWorks. We have the Xpand (active) and RealD (passive) systems, both white and silver stewart screens as well as our Barco DP4K.