ONSIGHT provides shoot to post services for the new Epic series of Red Dwarf

03rd October, 2012

Red Dwarf returns to television with its tenth series, Red Dwarf X. Produced by Grant Naylor Productions, ONSIGHT was awarded the contract for cameras and post. Writer and Director Doug Naylor of Grant Naylor Productions remarked, “Using ONSIGHT worked really well for us. Their expert ability to provide not only a shoot solution but also full post production has allowed us to use top end cameras and post tools on a TV budget.”

The sci-fi comedy’s brand new instalment sees the classic characters, Rimmer, Lister, Cat and Kryten, back on their ship and facing fresh adventures in deep space. ONSIGHT created a bespoke 4K workflow, taking into consideration the desired look and special effects, without losing sight of the show’s original premise, together with the tight shooting schedule.

Filmed around Shepperton Studios, where ONSIGHT’s camera department is based, the team supplied multiple cameras and accessories. The RED Epic was selected for its 4K resolution, using a mixture of Angenieux Optimo, ARRI Alura zooms and Ultra Prime lenses. Andy Martin, Director of Photography, remarked, “The complex lighting arrangement relied on the wide latitude of the Epic cameras to ensure that the lighting contrast was achieved by establishing the mood of the set. With four cameras and a large amount of kit, ONSIGHT proved to be both big and flexible enough to meet the demands without slowing the shoot down.”

ONSIGHT’s rental facilities additionally provided Avid offline systems for shared storage, followed by DIT services. Their on-set DI team archived and transcoded data straight from set, permitting the Director Doug Naylor and the production team to access and check the rushes quickly. This became particularly critical when combining prerecorded footage and live action performances for a studio audience. The method was so efficient on live studio evenings that the prerecorded sequences were processed into the edit and later played back on set within 30 minutes. Production could therefore tell the story to the audience in full, while allowing the cast and crew to move swiftly between the different sets. Bringing back a live studio audience to Red Dwarf has not been done since 1998, but Executive Producers Doug Naylor and Charles Armitage wanted to go back to the show’s roots. They knew it would enhance the sense of atmosphere and comedy timing made famous by the original actors back on board, Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewellyn. In turn, Red Dwarf X was the first episodic multi-camera TV comedy drama to be shot on RED Epic in front of a live studio audience in the UK.

The offline edit was relocated to ONSIGHT’s Soho facility to continue post production, consisting of multi-platform editing, VFX management, the online and mastering. ONSIGHT’s creative team of Colourists, VFX and Assistant Effects Editors, used in-house SGO Mistika systems to handle the large amount of data. Part of ONSIGHT’s 4K package ensured Production was working with high resolution files all the way to output, giving them maximum flexibility when particular segments that were mostly captured live needed to be cut and cropped for visual effect purposes. The team provided 3D CG for some of the characters’ distinctive sci-fi apparatus and ONSIGHT’s Lead VFX Editor built background imagery such as planets and moons, using both Mistika and NUKE. Speaking about the grade, DoP Andy Martin adds, “Andy Lee (Colourist) impressed me by immediately grasping the look and giving the show that polish. I’m really pleased with the end results.”

Simon Craddock, CEO of ONSIGHT, says, “Taking on such a celebrated television programme was brilliant for the team. We’re proud to have facilitated Red Dwarf X from shoot to post. This end-to-end service demonstrates the benefits of working with ONSIGHT, in terms of accountability and our ability to provide a cost effective solution.”

ONSIGHT delivered HDCAM and SR masters for broadcast, as well as various editing support, grading and mastering for DVDs, trailers and an upcoming behind-the-scenes documentary, supervised by Production Executive Roopesh Parekh. Red Dwarf X is a 6-part series, starting 4 October, exclusively on Dave for UKTV.

To watch the trailer click here