A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

MEGA PLAYGROUND FOR ROBERT SIEGEL DIRECTORIAL DEBUT

rob-siegel-l-mike-smollin-r150-dpi6171.jpgCustomized Color Correction For RED Feature

NEW YORK: Riding the positive industry feedback wave for his hit screenplay for The Wrestler, Robert Siegel recently put the finishing touches on Big Fan, his maiden directorial effort which he also scripted. Starring Patton Oswalt, and shot with RED by Goodbye Solo DP Michael Simmonds, the film received solid notices at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

In prepping Big Fan’s national release in August, Siegel, entrusted color correction to NY’s Mega Playground colorist Mike Smollin and the Nucoda DI Suite. “Robert is very hands-on, and he sat in on many of our sessions,” Smollin says. “Our CTO Terry Brown and I developed an efficient workflow process and customized NUCODA noise reduction and image enhancement procedures to maximize the systems’ ability to insure the sharpest possible screen presentation.”

The project was shot using the RED One camera in 2K mode which required some special image processing. “We’ve been experimenting with RED for some time, and have developed methods for getting the best possible images out of the raw footage,” Brown says. “We initially conformed the 90 minute feature at 1/4 resolution to matched it against the offline reference. We then bumped it up to full premium 2K size rendering DPX files. Ultimately, we produced a cost-effective high-quality DI that resolved all of Robert’s aesthetic concerns and, it was printed perfectly by our next door neighbor, Technicolor. The film’s look is perfect for its darkly comic plotline. Siegel is a skilled storyteller, and extremely aware of the value of color correction in heightening his dramatic and comedic plot points,” Brown concludes.

“Sometimes these Mega Playground guys seemed to care more about the film than I did,” Siegel remarked, “I’m an admitted perfectionist, but there were moments when what satisfied me wasn’t good enough for them. Mike Smollin really went the extra nine yards, fixing titles and other elements that weren’t in the initial plan. The final print looked exactly the way it did in DI. I was impressed with their technology, their size and their attitude. I’m not a ‘techie,’” Siegel concludes, “but Mike, Terry Brown and everyone at Mega was easy to talk with and not over-steeped in jargon. This was a great working experience.”

Pictured in the Mega Playground Nucoda DI Suite are, Big Fan writer/director Robert Siegel (left) and colorist Mike Smollin.
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Established in 1994 as Post Production Playground in the famed Brill Building at 1619 Broadway, the company opened the 45,000 sq. ft. Mega Playground complex in 2006 at 609 Greenwich Street in the heart of the thriving West Village independent film community. Mega Playground provides High Definition post-production, Avid offline and online DIs, Color Correction, Telecine, Dub services and production offices for feature film, Broadcast and Reality TV production companies.

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