By Randi Altman
Toronto’s Sinking Ship Entertainment is a production, distribution and interactive company specializing in children’s live-action and CGI-blended programming. The company has 13 Daytime Emmys and a variety of other international awards on its proverbial mantel. Sinking Ship has over 175 employees across all its divisions, including its VFX and interactive studio.
Needless to say, the company has a lot going on. We decided to reach out to Matt Bishop, founding partner at Sinking Ship, to find out more.
Sinking Ship produces, creates visual effects and posts its own content, but are you also open to outside projects?
Yes, we do work in co-production with other companies or contract our post production service to shows that are looking for cutting-edge VFX.
Have you always created your own content?
Sinking Ship has developed a number of shows and feature films, as well as worked in co-production with production companies around the world.
What came first, your post or your production services? Or were they introduced in tandem?
Both sides of company evolved together as a way to push our creative visions. We started acquiring equipment on our first series in 2004, and we always look for new ways to push the technology.
Can you mention some of your most recent projects?
Some of our current projects include Dino Dana (Season 4), Dino Dana: The Movie, Endlings and Odd Squad Mobile Unit.
What is your typical path getting content from set to post?
We have been working with Red cameras for years, and we were the first company in Canada to shoot in 4K over a decade ago. We shoot a lot of content, so we create backups in the field before the media is sent to the studio.
You work with a lot of data. How do you manage and keep all of that secure?
Backups, lots of backups. We use a massive LTO-7 tape robot and we have over a 2PB of backup storage on top of that. We recently added Qumulo to our workflow to ensure the most secure method possible.
What do you use for your VFX work? What about your other post tools?
We use a wide range of software, but our main tools in our creature department are Pixologic Zbrush and Foundry Mari, with all animation happening inside Autodesk Maya.
We also have a large renderfarm to handle the amount of shots, and our render engine of choice is Arnold, which is now an Autodesk project. In post we use an Adobe Creative Cloud pipeline with 4K HDR color grading happening in DaVinci Resolve. Qumulo is going to be a welcome addition as we continue to grow and our outputs become more complex.
Randi Altman is the founder and editor-in-chief of postPerspective. She has been covering production and post production for more than 20 years.