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Archive 2013 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles
  
 
Peter Figen
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


In the last couple of months I've been hired to shoot the dubbing stages at Fox Studios in L.A. and at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, both for AMS Neve, the mixing console maker from the UK (featured in Dave Grohl's new documentary Sound City) and for Skywalker themselves. The shots for Neve feature the board much closer and more prominent, as that's what they're interested in, while the shots for Skywalker are more about the entire room.

These images were all made with a Canon 1DsMKIII, ISO 400, and the 17mm T/S lens shot in portrait orientation and using a three shot stitch for the ultimate wide angle experience - or at least the ultimate non barrel distorted one. The stitch was made sliding the camera body in a RRS lever clamp while shifting the lens, effectively shifting the back and not the lens, making for a complete lack of parallax error for the stitch. Each section had an exposure bracket large enough (approx. 15 sec to 1/30th) to create the final exposure. Exposures blended first, then flattened, then stitched. Lighting was mostly ambient, but a couple of Arri 650's bounced on the ceiling at Fox along with some Balcar modeling lights, but tungsten only.

It's interesting to note that all of these dubbing/mixing stages are named after famous directors. Pictured here are the Kurasawa stage at Skywalker and the Hawks dubbing stage at Fox.

These stages are almost impossible to get access to, and, at least at Skywalker, even off limits to the tours that go through.





Kurasawa Dubbing Stage featuring Neve console

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    17mm    f/11.0    4s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  







Kurasawa Dubbing Stage

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    17mm    f/11.0    4s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  







Entire Kurasawa Dubbing Stage

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    17mm    f/11.0    2s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  







Howard Hawks Dubbing Stage, Fox Studios, L.A.

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    17mm    f/11.0    8s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Feb 09, 2013 at 04:29 AM
mhayes5254
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Amazing stuff!


Feb 11, 2013 at 07:00 AM
Edward Castro
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Wow.


Feb 11, 2013 at 08:59 PM
_Rob_S_
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Wow is right! These shots are so clean they almost look like computer generated graphics. Nice job and thanks for the insights.

Rob



Feb 11, 2013 at 09:03 PM
donsj3cub
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Double WOW WOW. VERY NICE. I wish I could do that with my 1Ds MKIII.


Feb 11, 2013 at 09:03 PM
mt-parker
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Fantastic shots! Thanks for sharing!


Feb 11, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Guari
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Wow

Thanks for sharing!



Feb 11, 2013 at 11:59 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Cool stuff!




Feb 12, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


"Double WOW WOW. VERY NICE. I wish I could do that with my 1Ds MKIII. "

Thank you all very much. You CAN do this with you MKIII. It just takes some planning, a little patience and a few hours in front of a computer. The Skywalker images were essentially available light while Fox was minimal. Most of it is previsualizing the final outcome and shooting enough source material to achieve that goal.



Feb 12, 2013 at 02:44 AM
gregfountain
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Excellent work!


Feb 12, 2013 at 03:12 AM
 

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Peter Figen
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


What has amazed me is what we're doing today with current cameras and these new lenses was simply not possible ten years ago, and when I look at the images I made, say, at Capital Studios back then, they seem antiquated by comparison. This is one area where the combination of digital capture, perfect image registration, and new lens technology, has indeed moved the field forward.


Feb 12, 2013 at 08:33 AM
gregfountain
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Just checked out your website Peter. Amazing work! I almost shed a tear when George Harrison popped up on my screen....that must have been an incredible experience! Not to devalue any of the other artists....but wow. Thanks for sharing your work!

Greg



Feb 12, 2013 at 09:31 AM
denovo2k1
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Very cool stuff!
Thanks for sharing!



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:07 PM
gome1122
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Looks like a great place. You did a great job.


Feb 12, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Greg - Thanks. Yeah, George. What an experience. I was given fifteen minutes to shoot. We stretched it to about twenty and everyone was happy. I do remember getting home that night and saying out loud to my self - "a freaking Beatle, wow" I was really fresh out of school at the time and was probably too young to let it get to me during the shoot.


Feb 12, 2013 at 11:14 PM
onesickpuppy
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Peter...as said prior to me.....AWESOME!!

I have a technical question....in the second pic....why are the desk phones so...whacky??
Is that due to the 17mm shot or ??

Just trying to "learn" from your excellent shots...nothing against you at all!!



Feb 13, 2013 at 01:47 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


"I have a technical question....in the second pic....why are the desk phones so...whacky??
Is that due to the 17mm shot or ??"

The phones. Yeah, they are a little wacky. That shot was one that was requested at the last minute as a favor to the engineer that approved our budget. The phones themselves are angled up, and, even though we spent more time on the phones and the chairs than anything else in that shot, I think they just suffer from the extreme wide angle. The effective focal length is approximately 13mm, when you take the stitch into account - or, if you will, 17mm on a 36mmx48mm sensor. It could also be the specific angle to the camera. I remember that we tried several different angles and this ended up looking the best overall. You think when you're setting them up as being symmetrical, but they're not, so it messed with the perception. Honestly, we could have spent another hour on this shot alone, but we didn't have time. There were at least three different monitors with nothing on them and a couple of the recessed room lights were out as well. All of that had to be fixed in post.



Feb 13, 2013 at 02:32 AM
alfresco
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Veeerrrryy nicely done - wow! Excellent work.


Feb 19, 2013 at 08:53 PM
M Lucca
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


These are SO FREAKIN GOOD!


Feb 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


I love that last comment. Thank you!


Feb 20, 2013 at 01:05 AM
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