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Interface Does DI for Renegade IndiePerforms finishing for independent feature, In The Face Of Evil (November 23, 2004)
With the 11th hour fast approaching, Renegade Productions (Hunt Valley, MD) turned to Interface Media Group (Washington, DC) for the finishing on their independent feature, In The Face Of Evil: Reagans War in Word and Deed, which completed the archival transfers, tape-to-tape daVinci color correction and sound design and mixing for the film and theatrical trailers.
Creating a two-hour feature film from standard definition archival video was a daunting task. Renegade Productions Line Producer Chris Beutler did his research and ?discovered that Interfaces Account Executive Tim was a guru of sorts in the area of taking digital filmmaking to 35mm. I sought him out and immediately realized that Interface had everything I needed, from the front to the back end, to complete this project.
The first step was for Beutler and Lorenz to sit down and develop a production path designed to finish the film with the highest quality possible under extreme deadline pressures. Then the fun began.
?Interfaces contribution was critical to the finishing process, Chris Beutler explained. ?40 to 50% of our footage came from the National Archives and Records Administrations (NARA) and Interface is one of the few companies chosen by the National Archives to handle its preservation materials, so we used their resources to pull and transfer the footage. It was a real stroke of luck that Rick Pagliaroli, who did the image processing did the telecine transfer as well. He knew he was also going to do the color correction and set all of the parameters when he transferred the film to tape, which helped us immeasurably. We were on a really aggressive time line and had a feature with over 1200 images that needed sound design. Further, we were starting with an electronic based program and taking it to theatrical release - a realm in which we had not previously functioned. Interface guided us through the process in the face of an incredibly tight turnaround time and a massive amount of archival footage - beyond the scope of what most people would consider doable and they did it! If you are a documentary film maker, and you need to finish a film, you need to go to Interface.
While Renegade's editor Jason Bloom created digital beta submasters, Interface's Colorist Rick Pagliaroli retransferred the many hours of film selected from the National Archives.
According to Pagliaroli, ?So much of the archival footage had anomalies some was faded, or yellow or red, or blotched. We were dealing with footage from many different sources 90% was old WWII imagery, we had vintage Reagan film clips which came from older modalities and created a different set of problems, and, of course, we had the interviews which were shot on 24p and looked really great. It is the nature of docs, all these pieces have to fit together, to flow nicely and evenly because you dont want to feel as thought you are watching 10 different shows at once.
?We chose a lot of previously unseen footage really obscure footage some from the turn of the century and the early 1900s some of which was in really bad shape. Rick made it beautiful, especially the early footage from the Communist era. He did a fantastic job on the color correction, and the transfers, which lent a lot of punch to our film. In fact, what Interface accomplished for us was nothing short of a miracle, according to Renegade Associate Producer Dan Fleuette.
Since a feature film is played back on 20:00 minute reels, the team was actually working toward delivering six separate masters, enabling the staff to address many tasks simultaneously. Each submaster was completed along with an OMF for audio, and shipped to Interface.
Senior Audio Designer Grahame Davies began working on the sound design for the film, equalizing the dialogue and adding hundreds of sound effects in his Pro Tools mixing suite. As Davies neared completion of the final mix, Colorist Rick Pagliaroli performed a complete color processing of the video using Interface's daVinci 2K.
?The talking head interviews needed only some technical clean-up but the remainder of the documentary is archival footage, much of which had no audio at all. I had to fire up my imagination and design sound at the drop of a hat, said Davies. ?The old Hollywood footage was also interesting and a lot of it was slow motion which required more impressionistic sound design rather than literally matching a gun shot with a gun shot. But it was the time constraints that provided the greatest challenge. The reels came from them to us and then shipped out to LA and the turnaround time, from the moment they walked in the door to the time they left, was just three weeks.?
Jason Bloom, Renegades Online/Offline Editor, said of his experience working with Davies. ?He was fabulous. The suite was very well designed and the sound was clean, it was tight, and you could hear all the subtleties of the effects. Grahame was great at taking a particular scene and capturing the obvious sound effects the tank rolling by but also, when military personnel are marching in the background he made sure you can subtly hear their footsteps. Grahame was able to create, in not a whole lot of time, a very convincing audio representation of what you are seeing on the screen. In the segment on the attempted assassination of Reagan we only had :01 of actual sound and he created the additional sounds, mixing them with the original second we had - we are talking about his doing this in a ridiculously short amount of time - he did a fantastic job.
Interface Assistant Editor Aaron Hoffman then upconverted each finished submaster to 1080i HDCam High Definition. This process added line doubling and converted the video to the 16 x 9 wide screen format needed for theatrical projection. The package of fully processed HD masters, known as the Digital Intermediate, were then hand delivered by Chris Beutler to EFilm (Hollywood, CA). Once the Renegade producers signed off on the answer print, it then went to EFilm's parent, Deluxe Laboratories (Hollywood, CA), where distribution release prints were struck.
Based on Peter Schweitzers acclaimed best seller, Reagans War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph over Communism, In the Face Of Evil is not a biography of Ronald Reagan but a hard-hitting look at one mans leadership and moral courage. More than a traditional war film, In the Face of Evil plays out on an epic scale from the back-lots of Hollywood, to the jungles of Central America; from the mountains of Afghanistan to the palaces of the Kremlin and the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of a divided Berlin. It is a controversial look at Reagans victory over Communism within the context of mankinds continual fight against evil, including the current war against Islamic fascism.
The film premiered in 6 select theaters in Dallas and at the Liberty Film Festival in Los Angeles on October 1, and rolled out nationally in mid-October. The producers are hopeful that, like Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911, this independent film will see widespread success via word of mouth and the positive critical reviews they have been receiving.
Representing Interface Media Group on this project were Colorist Rick Pagliaroli, Senior Audio Designer Grahame Davies, Editor Brent Hufnagel, Assistant Editor Aaron Hoffman, and Account Executive Tim Lorenz.
Working directly with the Interface team were Renegades Line Producer Chris Beutler, Associate Producer Dan Fleuette, and Offline/Online Editor Jason Bloom. In the Face of Evil is the creation of Writer, Director and Producer Stephen K. Bannon; Executive Producer Peter Schweizer, upon whose book the film is based; Producer Timothy J. Watkins, CEO of Renegade Productions and Founder/CEO of Leo McWatkins Films, Inc.; and Writer Julia Jones.
About Renegade Productions:
Renegade is full-service agency/production company. With over 16 years in the business, Renegade specializes in serving the cable Industry with clients that include Comcast, Time Warner, Bresnan, ViewNow, and Showtime. Their Avid-based shop, with five suites on Unity and a 1,200 sq. ft. studio, produces over 200 commercials a year, feature length documentaries, cable programming, and infomercials. Renegade also offers identity branding, 3-D animation, print, training and web services.
Renegade is located at 10626 York Road, Suite F, Hunt Valley, MD 21030; phone 410-667-1400 ext. 227; Fax 410-667-1482; www.getrenegade.com
About Interface Media Group:
Interface Media Group, provides graphics design, production of computer animation and special effects, digital compositing, editing, sound design and audio mixing, studio production, film to tape transfer and tape to tape color correction, duplication, world standards conversion and the development of specialized software products.
Interface Media Group is headquartered at 1233 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; Phone (202) 861-0500; Fax (202) 293-4492; Web site: www.interfacevideo.com
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