Series Focuses on Innovation and Inspiration

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool relaxes before leaping into battle. Photo Credit: David Dolsen

The Creative Master Series continues today with sessions that cover the craft, technology and business aspects of feature film, TV, streaming and virtual reality (VR) production. A highlight of NAB Show, this series gives attendees an opportunity to hear from some of the most talented, accomplished and inspiring members of the production and post-production community.

The first session takes a look at the “invisible art” of film editing, sponsored by American Cinema Editors (ACE) and featuring two award-winning editors. For the session “The Path to the Statues – ‘The Big Short’ and ‘The Revenant,”’ editor and USC film professor Norman Hollyn will lead a conversation with Hank Corwin, ACE (“The Big Short”) and Stephen Mirrione, ACE (“The Revenant”).

“It’s a given that editors need to understand the technology,” Hollyn said, “but what interests me more is the thought process an editor goes through. How do they tell certain kinds of stories? What are their influences? What ideas and themes influence their work? Can we find links from their earlier work to choices they made on these Oscar-nominated films?”

This type of exchange, Hollyn said, “is valuable for other editors, but I also find that people who are editing news or reality programming and looking to get into fiction filmmaking benefit enormously by listening to editors at this level.”

The session “Catnapped! Key and Peele’s ‘Keanu,’” presented by the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG), traces the production of the comedy duo’s first feature film. David Geffner, executive editor of ICG magazine, will speak to cinematographer Jas Shelton and director Peter Atencio about the film. In “Keanu,” the stars of the popular “Key & Peele” TV series play cousins who must infiltrate the world of the Los Angeles underworld to retrieve a lost kitten (named, yes, Keanu).

“The script had a unique tone,” said Shelton. “It’s not broad comedy at all. It’s more in line with what they’ve done [on TV], with action and thriller elements and some very intense moments.”

Shelton will discuss his use of the ARRI Alexa camera with Hawk V-Lite Vintage ’74 anamorphic lenses, designed to give the film a unique combination of modern and late-1980s looks and his extensive use of LED and plasma-based lighting. Importantly, he also plans on sharing some experiences while filming real kittens; director Atencio insisted since he felt they would bring a level of realism and spontaneity that would have been lacking with CGI.

Geffner will also moderate the following panel at 3:45 p.m., “‘The Jungle Book’: New Technology Meets Classic Storytelling,” as he, along with the film’s VFX supervisor Rob Legato, post-production supervisor Jonas Thaler and producer Brigham Taylor explore their cutting-edge combination of live action and photorealistic CGI material.

The Creative Master Series will wrap with the session, “‘Deadpool’: Leveraging Technology to Create a Stunning Superhero Film.” Post-production workflow and editorial consultant Vashi Nedomansky will join three key members of the team involved with the 20th Century Fox superhero blockbuster. Post supervisor Joan Bierman, VFX supervisor Jonathan Rothbart and first assistant editor Matt Carson will detail the unique solutions they developed to maximize efficiency across the editorial and VFX departments.

Nedomanasky, who designed an editorial workflow around Adobe Premiere for “Deadpool,” trained the team on the system, which he says allowed for greater speed as they were able to “dynamic link” in and out of other Adobe Creative Cloud tools, such as After Effects and Photoshop, to create vivid temp (and sometimes final) effects while cutting picture.

“This really helped the editors and VFX teams work efficiently,” said Nedomansky, who served in a similar function on David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” also edited in Premiere. “The editors were able to set up rough composites in After Effects that the artists at Blur would finish. But [director] Tim [Miller] could see how [VFX] scenes were taking shape, first with still images, then basic animations so that when the finals were being done, everybody was very clear about the timing.”