SIM Digital rolls out file-based workflow for Spun Out multi-cam shoot

Real-time delivery of full-resolution camera shots from the Toronto sitcom set to the post-production team cut down on time and costs, Dave French, SIM Digital's director of post engineering, tells Playback.
SpunOut - SIM Digital-1

Multi-cam comedies shot in front of a live audience call for a unique video editing workflow, including going from live shoot to edit in a flash, and editing multiple camera angles into a single video on the hop.

SIM Digital, at work on the recent Toronto shoot for the multi-cam Spun Out for CTV and Project 10 Productions, designed its own file-based workflow that included real-time delivery of full-resolution camera footage from the set to the on-site post-production team.

Dave French, director of post engineering at SIM Digital, tells Playback that the workflow included jettisoning traditional tape decks that require digitizing.

Instead, SIM Digital connected Sony cameras and a pair of Cinedeck digital disk recorders that served as a master control room.

“We made a file which would basically record right on to the editorial storage… So as soon as the shot is done, editorial had access to that full shot, and could begin working with it,” French explains.

What’s more, the files on the cinedecks don’t have to be changed or transcoded for use by editorial.

Instead, the camera shots captured by the Cinedecks were recorded in real-time to an Avid ISIS shared storage system and to G-Raid drives for back-up.

The benefits of the file-based workflow are in time and cost savings.

Spun Out had a two-day shooting schedule, with certain scenes recorded on a Thursday and edited before a live audience taping on Friday.

“With those shots recorded onto the Cinedeck [on Thursday], editorial would get them right away [and] cut together scenes quickly that were able to be played back on the show floor a little later,” French recalls.

In addition, eliminating the digitizing time and the cost of transcoding or format conversions also offered production savings.

SIM Digital also introduced a third Cinedeck recorder to produce show dailies available for viewing as soon as the shoot day concluded.

French says the SIM Digital workflow can work in other production environments, beyond the multi-cam comedy.

“But the nice thing about doing it in a multi-camera environment is, if you have editorial right on location, you can tie in your server or your shared storage right into the Cinedecks and have them record directly on to it,” he adds.