Newbury, U.K. - Paris post
house Digital Postproduction, a subsidiary of Groupe Transatlantic,
invested in a Pablo color-correction and finishing system to complete
its HD offering for producers and broadcasters. The Pablo is equipped
with the new Neo control panel.
"The post business has radically changed over the last few years,"
explains Thierry Daghero, managing director of Digital Postproduction.
"Producers and broadcasters now expect a global offer from the post
facility to enable them to complete global projects. They don't come to
us today, as they did in the past, looking for any specific piece of
kit. They want us to propose a full range of services and solutions to
get their post work done as efficiently as possible, with very
demanding criteria, in both artistic and financial terms. English
speakers call their post houses facilities, which means they expect
post houses to facilitate their task. We consider ourselves
'facilitators'. With the development of HD, which is very demanding
technically, the essential role of the facility is really to accompany
the client through this change."
With this approach in mind,
Digital Postproduction chose to integrate a Quantel Pablo into its HD
production workflow. "Quantel's Pablo responds to the needs of our
producer and broadcaster clients,” continues Daghero. “It's a complete
solution, with a very realistic value-for-money proposition. Before, we
had the choice between two extremes: on the one hand, very expensive DI
grading stations that were designed for feature films and which
required endless peripheral stations and, on the other hand, PC-based
systems that were a lot cheaper, but which were too slow in terms of
processing time and rendering."
This combination of
performance and precision were the key criteria in Digital
Postproduction's decision. Thierry Seux, operations engineer, explains:
"The Pablo Neo is a complete machine, which allows us to color correct
with great finesse, and which also gives us a complete toolset which
covers all our finishing needs: compositing, SFX, mastering,
versioning, etc. We also have various ergonomic choices, covering the
full range of practices from traditional color grading to Quantel-based
techniques. But, that's not all. The Pablo allows us to see the real
final image right away, since there are no proxies and since we work
with full HD, non-compressed images. On top of that, Pablo gives us
real-time processing, which enables the director of photography or the
director to work alongside our operators."
Pablo processes HD at
the speed of SD, but beyond, in this period of transition with several
standards being used, it offers the possibility of dealing with
different resolutions on the same timeline. "This is really something
that works well in Quantel systems," asserts Thierry Seux. "The
capacity to handle different resolutions at the same time, what Quantel
calls Resolution Coexistence, is a real plus. We have to integrate
archive elements, as well as material shot in different formats,
especially for documentaries and docu-dramas. With Pablo, we can mix
all of these sources and even do compositing, which really makes life a
A radical change in the broadcasting landscape is
generating opportunities, but also challenging traditional work
methods. Producers, directors, and directors of photography are obliged
to learn to use this format, which is constantly changing. "HD forces
everyone to reconsider their way of doing things," says Thierry
Daghero. "The role of post facilities is also changing and we
increasingly participate in pre-production meetings with directors and
directors of photography. They come to see us upstream, especially for
their choice of cameras, which have a direct impact on the
post-production workflow. Beyond that, we also act as technology
advisors and we regularly organize breakfast sessions where we look at
the changes in HD and exchange our experiences."
Not only is
HD a major technical leap, it's also a major economic challenge. "Faced
with fragmented audiences and lower advertising revenues, broadcasters
are forced to produce more with less," explains Thierry Daghero.
"Producers are being asked to work in HD, while programme budgets are
being pared down. It's therefore essential to propose a new business
model and new ways of working. We are aware that we have to contribute
to finding a solution to this problem, with reasonable post-production
rates. Quantel's Pablo is part of that solution."