Tag Archives: Red Weapon

Creating the look for Netflix’s The End of the F***ing World

By Adrian Pennington

Content in 8K UHD won’t be transmitting or streaming its way to a screen anytime soon, but the ultra-high-resolution format is already making its mark in production and post. Remarkably, it is high-end TV drama, rather than feature films, that is leading the way. The End of The F***ing World is the latest series to pioneer a workflow that gives its filmmakers a creative edge.

Adapted from the award-winning graphic novels of Charles Forsman, the dark comedy is an eight-part co-production between Netflix and UK broadcaster Channel 4. The series invites viewers into the confused lives of teen outsiders James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden), as they decide to escape from their families and embark on a road trip to find Alyssa’s estranged father.

Executive producer and director Jonathan Entwistle and cinematographer Justin Brown were looking for something special stylistically to bring the chilling yet humorous tale to life. With Netflix specifying a 4K deliverable, the first critical choice was to use 8K as the dominant format. Brown selected the Red Weapon 8K S35 with the Helium sensor.

In parallel, the filmmakers turned to colorist Toby Tomkins, co-founder of East London grading and finishing boutique studio Cheat, to devise a look and a workflow that would maximize the rich, detailed color, as well as the light information from the Red rushes.

“I’ve worked with Justin for about 10 years, since film school,” explains Tomkins. “Four years ago he shot the pilot for The End of The F***ing World with Jon, which is how I first became involved with the show. Because we’d worked together for so long, I kind of already knew what type of thing they were looking for. Justin shot tests on the Red Weapon, and our first job was to create a 3D LUT for the on-set team to refer to throughout shooting.”

Expert at grading commercials, and with feature-length narrative Sixteen (also shot by Justin Brown) under his belt, this was Tomkins’ first responsibility for an episodic TV drama, and he relished the challenge. “From the beginning, we knew we wanted to work completely RAW at 7K/8K the whole way through and final output at 4K,” he explains. “We conformed to the R3D rushes, which were stored on our SSD NAS. This delivered 10Gbps bandwidth to the suite.”

With just 10 days to grade all the episodes, Tomkins needed to develop a rich “Americana” look that would not only complement the dark narrative but would also work across a range of locations and timescales.

“We wanted the show to have richness and a denseness to it, with skin tones almost a leathery red, adding some warmth to the characters,” he says. “Despite being shot at British locations — with British weather — we wanted to emulate something filmic and American in style. To do this we wanted quite a dense film print look, using skin tones you would find on celluloid film and a shadow and highlight roll-off that you would find in films, as opposed to British TV.”

Cheat used its proprietary film emulation to create the look. With virtually the whole series shot in 8K, the Cheat team invested in a Quad GPU Linux Resolve workstation, with dual Xeon processors, to handle the additional processing requirements once in the DaVinci Resolve finishing suite.

“The creative benefits of working in 8K from the Red RAW images are huge,” says Tomkins. “The workstation gave us the ability to use post-shoot exposure and color temperature settings to photorealistically adjust and match shots and, consequently, more freedom to focus on the finer details of the grade.

“At 8K the noise was so fine in size that we could push the image further. It also let us get cleaner keys due to the over-sample, better tracking, and access to high-frequency detail that we could choose to change or adapt as necessary for texture.”

Cheat had to conform more than 50 days of rushes and 100TBs of 7K and 8K RAW material spread across 40 drives, a process that was completed by Cheat junior colorist Caroline Morin in Resolve.

“After the first episode, the series becomes a road movie, so almost each new scene is a new location and lighting setup,” Tomkins explains. “I tried to approach each episode as though it was its own short film and to establish a range of material and emotion for each scene and character, while also trying to maintain a consistent look that flowed throughout the series.”

Tomkins primarily adjusted the RAW settings of the material in Resolve and used lift, gamma and gain to adjust the look depending on the lighting ratios and mood of the scenes. “It’s very easy to talk about workflow, tools and approach, but the real magic comes from creative discussions and experimentation with the director and cinematographer. This process was especially wonderful on this show because we had all worked together several times before and had developed a short hand for our creative discussion.

“The boundaries are changing,” he adds. “The creative looks that you get to work and play with are so much stronger on television now than they ever used to be.”

Red shipping Epic-W and new Weapon cameras

Red Digital Cinema is shipping two new cameras — the Red Epic-W and the newest Weapon. Both feature the compact design of the DSMC2 form factor, as well as the new Helium 8K S35 sensor. Helium, Red’s latest sensor technology, allows for higher resolution in an S35 frame while maintaining the dynamic range found in the Red Dragon sensor.

The Epic-W 8K S35 captures 8K full-frame motion at up to 30fps, produces ultra-detailed 35.4 megapixel stills and offers Super 35 lens coverage. Epic-W is capable of data speeds up to 275 MB/s and is priced at $29,500 (for the camera Brain).

red_weapon_8k_s35The Weapon 8K S35 is the latest option in the Weapon line of cameras, featuring data speeds up to 300MB/s, the ability to capture 8K full frame motion at up to 60fps, and a sensor upgrade path to the Red Dragon 8K VV. It is available for the same price as the Weapon 6K with Red Dragon sensor, at $49,500 for the Brain.

“From the very beginning, we’ve strived to not only develop the best imaging technology on the planet, but also make it available to as many shooters as possible,” Says Jarred Land, President of Red Digital Cinema. “The Weapon remains our premier camera… and now comes with the option to either go with the 8K Helium sensor or 6K Dragon sensor.

Red is offering special pricing on these new cameras for registered Red camera owners — as well as those that have placed a deposit for Red Raven and Scarlet-W — starting at $14,500 for the Epic-W. Click here for more info.

In related news, Red has pre-announced that it will introduce an improved image processing pipeline, including new color science, in the coming weeks. These improvements will be available in-camera on all Brains with a Helium sensor, and will be available to all footage shot on Redcameras in post production. The new image processing pipeline will be made available soon via free firmware and software upgrades.

All of Red’s DSMC2 cameras shoot simultaneous RedCode RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD/HR.

Red DSMC2 product line to support Avid DNxHR, DNxHD

The Avid DNxHR and Avid DNxHD recording formats will soon be supported by Red Digital Cinema’s DSMC2 line of cameras, including Weapon, Scarlet-W and Red Raven.

Avid’s DNxHR and DNxHD are known for their ability to reduce storage and bandwidth requirements, and Avid DNxHD has been accepted by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers as the foundation format for the VC-3 standard.

Additionally, these formats offer a direct-to-edit experience for professionals looking to preserve image quality and leverage their investments in Avid in-house production systems. With Avid codecs being an in-camera tool within Red cameras, users will be able to shoot RedCode RAW simultaneously alongside Avid’s DNxHR and DNxHD.

The Avid DNxHR and DNxHD formats will be added to the existing recording capability that Red’s DSMC2 cameras currently offer via RedCode RAW and Apple ProRes formats. Avid DNxHR and Avid DNxHD will be made available via a free firmware upgrade in mid-2016.

Red adds 5K Scarlet-W to Dragon line

Red Digital Cinema is now offering the Scarlet-W 5K camera to its Dragon line, which includes the Red Raven and Weapon.

The Scarlet-W features a Red Dragon sensor, interchangeable lens mounts, simultaneous recording in RedCode RAW and Apple ProRes formats, an intelligent OLPF system and in-camera 3D-LUT outputs.

The cost is $9,950 for the camera Brain and $14,500 for the complete Base I/O V-Lock Package.

Scarlet-W captures 5K at 60fps, 4K at 150fps or 2K at 300fps with Redcode RAW. Its wide dynamic range produces cinema-quality images with rich natural color. Scarlet-W also offers an upgrade path to Weapon and uses the DSMC2 line of accessories — compatible with both Red Raven and Weapon cameras — giving shooters the option to move between camera systems without having to purchase all new gear.

Scarlet-W comes on the heels of the recent 4.5K Red Raven, which is Red’s most compact and lightweight camera. It is priced at $5,950 for the Brain only, with full packages starting at $9,750.

If you have placed a Red Raven order, no worries, the company says you can easily change to a pre-order. Scarlet-W is estimated to begin shipping in February 2016, and deposits are now being accepted.

Red debuts Weapon

Leveraging the 6K Red Dragon sensor, Red Digital Cinema introduced Weapon at NAB, their smallest and most lightweight camera Brain to date — the Brain refers to the part of the camera where the sensor lives. Combining a refined color science with the dynamic range of the 19-megapixel Red Dragon sensor, Weapon features a variety of performance enhancements over its siblings, including simultaneous on-board RedCode Raw and Apple ProRes recording (4444 XQ, 4444, 422 HQ, 422 and 422 LT) as well as 1D and 3D LUTs for precise color matching.

The brain itself has been completely redesigned for modular performance, with on-board audio recording, improved thermal management, new interchangeable OLPFs with smart detection, an integrated top plate and built-in Wi-Fi functionality. Capable of faster data rates with the Red Mini-Mag SSD cards, Weapon also offers tethered streaming of ProRes content via Ethernet while concurrently archiving R3D masters. Among Weapon’s operating improvements are automatic sensor calibration with a wider operating band for sensor temperature and improved low light performance.

Offered in magnesium or carbon fiber editions, Weapon is available as a new camera option or as an upgrade for existing customers.