Planet earth II BBC Natural History Unit
Films at 59 are thrilled to have provided Post Production and Workflow services for this iconic series, fulfilling the unique requirements of UHD HDR management, processing, and delivery.
Filmed over three years across the globe, the epic scale of this series is billed as being second to none. With the latest camera techniques and Post Production technologies the filmmaking takes the audience closer to nature and allows you to experience the wilderness as if you were there. Shooting 4k and 6k footage on a variety of cameras including Red Epic, Sony F55, Phantom and Arri Amira required Films at 59 to provide a workflow and infrastructure that could cope with high levels of media, provide seamless performance of equipment and crucially the accurate monitoring of material within emerging HDR standards.
Delivery required Films at 59 to design an efficient bespoke workflow incorporating multiple colour spaces and resolutions. The HD SDR version for BBC TX and BBC Worldwide was graded by Adam Inglis. The UHD HDR (HLG) version for BBC Worldwide was graded by Films at 59’s Christian Short. Online Edit completed in Autodesk Flame Premium at Films at 59, by online editors Franz Ketterer and Wesley Hibberd
Although the primary delivery for the SDR graded version was at HD, all online work was completed at UHD resolution to provide a framework for the HDR version. This required a colour-agnostic approach where possible and the Flame Premium suite was well-suited to this workflow.
The majority of online work entailed complex stabilisation, removal of unwanted artefacts (sensor dirt etc) and other cleaning up to allow the narrative to take centre stage. The tools available in Flame Premium made this quickly achievable, with the advanced tracking and masking tools proving particularly useful. The series also required a large amount of noise reduction, which was achieved using the Neat Video NLE plug-in. It was important that the team at Films at 59 maximised the creativity of working with UHD and High Dynamic Range material to achieve the immersive experience Production required.