Online Edit/Conform, 2D VFX/Cleanup


The second season of the show was shot on super 16mm film.  The story takes place in Los Angeles, but was shot in Canada.  With many green-screen shots to put the cast against LA backplates, putting the show together using Derek's conform/composite method made sense.

"We completed a lot of visual effects compositing which was fairly challenging because the elements were from 16mm and were fairly grainy.  That made getting high-quality mattes a bit tricky.  The Los Angeles plates were much better, either 35mm or HD.  Our solution was to introduce a matching 16mm grain structure to the background plates and re-color them to better match the foreground elements, stabilize the foreground elements, fold it together and then re-introduce the original 16mm film gate weave and jitter to the shots so they would closely match the rest of the show."

One episode featured a scene in which one of the cast violently slaps Dennis Hopper.  Unfortunately, it was easy to see that the actor's hand came nowhere near Hopper's face.  The editorial team had no way to cut around it, and associate producer Randy Nelson turned to Derek for help.

"To make the shot more believable, I ended up cutting the room into pieces then stitching it back together with the actors now much closer together.  I made a new version of the arm and hand that did the slapping, and re-animated it such that it clearly made full contact with the side of Dennis' face - and I re-timed his performance a bit so that his reaction to the hit was natural.  I also deformed the side of his face for a few frames and added a slight red handprint which made it look really painful!"
The end result worked much better visually and dramatically.

"This was a really fun problem to solve, and I was happy to be able to have given Randy a solution that worked for his show.  Those are always the best parts of my job!"

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