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Posts Tagged ‘Monaco Labs’

It was interesting how it all happened very fast. After quoting prices in Brasil, we decided it would be perfect to return to sucha a familiar place to finish A Country Doctor. San Francisco, warm and cold city by the bay, clear and hidden by the fog that assails its summers.

From the moment we made the decision on, we had one week to finish sound design and prepare the ProTools session for the final Dolby surround mix.

Rafael Travassos e Nicolau Domingues organizando arquivo da sessão de design de som na noite anterior à viagem internacional.
Rafael Travassos and Nicolau Domingues, Sound8, organizing the sound design session in the night before my going to California.

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Arriving in San Francisco is just like going back home. Here I lived for many years, here I broadened my knowledge to prepare me in the path of film making, of taking to the big screen a spectacle of entertainment and reflection. It is an effect caused by film magic, since its beginnings, affecting through enchant and seduction, telling stories in motion pictures that generate passionate responses.

I stay at a friend’s house, where I lived for a while before marrying and moving to Recife. I arrive with a portable digital moviola (PowerBook G4 and HD) in an office where I make last adjustments on titles and credits.

O cinema viaja e parte da pós-produção pode se instalar em qualquer espaço.
Cinema travels and part of the post-production can be done anywhere.

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I arrived in a surprisingly sunny sunday for this time of year in the City. From the plane window I saw the immense fog bank that covered the entire west coast north of Santa Barbara, nevertheless when I arrived I  faced warmth in the Mission neighborhood.

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Rua onde moro em San Francisco.
Street where I live in San Francisco. Check out the gorgeous California blue sky.

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Monday morning I woke up to the more usual humid and cold fog of the summer in the bay. As I had planned, I arrived at Monaco Labs with a terabyte in hand, ready to start the work.

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Monaco Labs, nona rua entre Folsom e Howard ao sul da Market.
Monaco Labs, ninth between Folsom and Howard, South of Market. Check the fog dissipating reflected on the windows.

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Jim Moye, supervisor de pós-produção em transferência de HD para película.

Jim Moye, post-production supervisor.

Jim Moye, post-production supervisor, was surprised to see me with a terabyte in a groceries paper bag. We met again after our first contact a year earlier. He remembered me when he saw me. We briefly talked about the process before getting started. I was to prepare the edited film and render it entirely uncompressed without any filters or color correction values. It took me about two and half hours to clean the file up, taking off credits and titles. That’s it. Right at this moment it is the very last revision I would make in the cut. I reviewed it once more and moved on.

The file was saved as QuickTime, but we later converted it to the Cineon platform to change the luminance and chrominance linear information of the digital image into the logarithmic film LUT (look up table) that monitors the color levels to film standards, what in digital is trillions of colors. My PowerBookG4 was incapable of opening any frame of Cineon 2K.

Once the picture was in high resolution, it is imported in a DI (digital intermediate) tool called Scratch. Then we were ready to start the delicate and precise process of color correcting all scenes of the film, converting from the hard and linear digital format to the soft presence of the image in celluloid.

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Alfredo Borba e Maju passam por correção de cor.
Alfredo Borba and Maju go through color correction. Scratch’s interface.

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While I started working with the images, I had to produce the finishing of the sound mix. I’d already known that the sound laboratory would be NT Audio in Los Angeles, but I still didn’t know where I would revise the sound design and do the final 5.1 surround mix to be encoded into Dolby digital. I would finish the sound job with an MO Disc (magneto-optic disc) ready to send to L.A.

After some producing, I opted for Outpost Studios, Dolby certified and only a few blocks from Dolby headquarters. At the same time I contacted the Dolby licensing department in LA to secure the permission to mix the sound in this industry standard format. We feel A Country Doctor does deserve a high quality sound.

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Dave Nelson, experiente designer de som do Outpost Studios.
Dave Nelson, experienced sound designer at Outpost Studios.

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Dave worked for a day organizing the file to be mixed as 5.1 surround and adding extra sound design. Sound8 did a beautiful job recording, designing the sound scapes and the soundtrack of the film, a great challenge to have as first job a demanding piece such as A Country Doctor.

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Revisando mais uma vez antes de fazer a impressão para o MO Disc.

Reviewing one more time before printing it to the MO Disc.

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Once finished with the sound mix, we continued to work on color correction. Consistency, density, balance, contrast, brightness.

After a week of gray days, the sun started shining intensely throughout the week and the big blue sky came bringing happiness to the city. The fog is gone in what can be called a truly summer week. But me, I go to the lab to finish the work I came here for.

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Esquina da 21 com Folsom, onde pego o transporte público para o laboratório.

Folsom street looking downtown, where I take the bus to the lab. Look at the brown building on the right in the next photo.

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Em frente à entrada do laboratório Monaco.

In front of Monaco Labs on 9th.

The blue sky of this place awes me. Its sovereign presence animates the thinking process of whom admires it for its magnificence.

I have come to Monaco Labs for two weeks to prepare the film to transfer to 35mm. We will end up with two copies for public screening in theaters and film festivals.

After a whole year in process (pre, production and post), decisions taken at this moment is particularly critical. In fact, after watching Um Médico Rural so many times, and always having my memory as reference, I now understand how critical every decision is in every step for making the film.

I think I feel pleased with the result we will have in hands to project. The challenges I proposed myself to face were overcome . The work with both the crew and the cast was gratifying and empowering throughout.

I thank all the people who helped to take Um Médico Rural to the screens of the world.

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Um dos últimos Palácios do Cinema nos Estados Unidos, o Castro Theatre.

One of the last movie palaces in the US, the Castro Theater.

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