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Archive 2013 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles
  
 
Go4Long
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


That last shot is frickin amazing, they're all amazing, but there's just something about that one that I really like.

And I would imagine, as you said, that these rooms are off limits to most people. I can't even imagine what one of those boards is worth.



Feb 20, 2013 at 07:28 AM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Those boards are about a million dollars each. I think they had eight at Lucas. Not as many at Fox. Capital uses Neve as well. I haven't shot them in ten years and it's time to re-do them soon.


Feb 20, 2013 at 08:29 AM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Forgot to add that there's a two person team that runs these. In some cases they use a three man team, but generally it's two.


Feb 20, 2013 at 08:44 AM
neil_johnson
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


I can't get over how clean they look. Awesome! The studio is so perfect, doesn't look like a grain of sand or even dust anywhere.

Are there any photos of your setup? What is the bracket you mentioned for the panoramas?



Feb 21, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Neil - The setup is remarkably simple - an Gitzo 3140 with a Manfrotto 405 gear head and a RRS lever clamp. The camera had a RRS L bracket, and the body was shifted in that clamp to keep the lens in more or less the same spot - in effect a rear standard shift on a view camera. I have since acquired a Hartblei TS Adapter which allow you to attach the lens to the tripod and shift the body - without going through the hassle of sliding the camera in the RRS clamp. There's nothing fancy at all about this. It's all about camera placement and attention to detail. For instance, in the Fox shot, it took about half an hour just to place the Aeron chairs, and even after that we (both my assistant and myself) missed the fact that only one of them had the lumbar support, and the old style at that. I selected that, flipped in and pasted into place, changing the lighting slightly to suit and that was that.

There's a LOT of stuff that you would never know happened in post. Even after wiping down everything, there are scratches, wear marks, missing screws, misaligned formica panels, misaligned panels in the board itself, burned out room lights, etc. - all of which are meticulously corrected. There was a pool table down in the front left of the Fox shot with a huge and very ugly iron lighting rig bolted to the fabric wall. I made the decision (not the client) that it had to come out, but since the room is not symmetrical, you couldn't just copy and past from one side to the other. Oh no.

On other shots there was only a partial shelf at the top leading edge of the console. I decided to completely rebuild that digitally rather than show it how it really was. Each one of the sound control "wedges" in the walls at Fox were individually selected and enhanced to make them stand out just a bit more, adding to the feel of dimensionality. There was a hand rail along one of the walls that didn't fit visually, so it went away. Remember, it's advertising, not documentary.

Unfortunately, we never shot images of the setup. We should have, but in those situations, you're moving as fast as you can and people making way more money than you ever will are impatiently waiting to get back to their projects.

The bracket I did ranged from 15 seconds down to 1/30th or thereabouts in one stop increments, shooting two frames each, just in case. It might have taken five or six of those to build the final exposure, and even though I knew I was going further than I needed to, at least I knew I would have everything I needed and more for the final.



Feb 21, 2013 at 04:16 AM
Lightsearcher
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Amazing and inspiring, thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Best Regards.

Marcelo



Feb 21, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Nickyb21
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


My eyes simply cannot handle this awesomeness!
Excellent!




Feb 21, 2013 at 06:18 PM
pixelreaper
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


very neat shots. I have to say, I just picked up the TS-E 17 and I am really impressed by the versatility and image quality of this lens.

Peter,

I use the same method for my panos. Out of curiosity, how do you stich? I have been using CS6 in auto. You also mentioned flattening; please elaborate.

Thanks for sharing this cool glimpse into an otherwise off limits space. Very good captures indeed.



Feb 23, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Pixelreaper - I use different methods of stitching, but most often I just use PhotoMerge from within Bridge. These stitches are so close to being perfect aligned anyway, with no parallax, it's not much of a challenge for PhotoMerge. Sometimes it's easier to just align the layers manually on a larger canvas, but as a matter of expediency, I prefer PhotoMerge. I do have other more advanced software solutions but rarely use them anymore.

Flattening. I'm referring to flattening the layers that contain all the exposure brackets to make up each section of the pano stitch. Each section is flattened and saved off as a tiff with only a background and no layers, all of which are then loaded into PhotoMerge which computes the final composite image.



Feb 23, 2013 at 06:33 AM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


I used the Hartblei adapter for the first time in the studio this afternoon, and I have to say, that while it did work, it was clunky as hell, and it was a pain in the ass just to get it all attached and mounted up. It was about $650 by the time it got here from Germany and I'd say it's worth about half of that. They said it came with 3/8 to 1/4 reducing bushings for the three threaded holes in the mounting foot, but they were not in the package. No problem to buy a couple, but it turns out I had to chase out the threads with a tap, as they were too filled up with anodization to screw in the bushings. The adapter also has an Arca-Swiss style dovetail machined right into the base, which at first seemed like a great idea, but it's about four typing paper thicknesses too small to lock into a RRS lever clamp. I'm sure it would be fine with the screw clamp but that's not what I use. It's the little things that make or break a product. I thought I might be recommending this to a lot of people, but I'm not. Maybe my mind will change after more use, but I'd give this one about a 6 out of ten at this point.


Feb 23, 2013 at 06:42 AM
 

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Brad Moore
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Peter…the images are incredibly clean and impactful. And the insights you provided are much appreciated. Thank you!!


Feb 23, 2013 at 07:21 AM
FlyingPhotog
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Tremendous work Peter. Well Done!


Feb 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM
firstgear99
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


I got to get me one of these studios......


Feb 24, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Arka
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Great images. And what a cool screening setup! I can't imagine getting any work done sitting at those desks!


Feb 26, 2013 at 12:35 AM
_SBS_
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


OMG.


Fantastic!


The Kurasawa insight was awesome as well



Feb 26, 2013 at 08:16 AM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


I'm glad that you all are appreciating these. Interestingly, the people at Fox were eager to talk about the major films that were mixed there, recently being Life of Pi, Lincoln, while it seemed like a trade secret at Lucas. There no one mentioned a single film that had been mixed there. Different culture I guess, although there are a lot of sound engineers who have worked both places.

When I was at Skywalker, they had just installed more speaker systems. It seems that every movie studio decides what standard (Variations on Dolby, Barco, THX, etc.) they want their films mixed to and all of these rooms have at least half a dozen separate speaker systems, each tuned to a specific standard. That audio standard is then adhered to in the theaters showing the film. It's not unlike what we do with color management and passing files between different computers, using profiles to assure similar viewing conditions. And for all the hours we spent shooting in both places, it was all done in dead silence. Would have loved to have heard what it sounded like, but felt that would have been crossing the line in asking for too much.



Feb 26, 2013 at 08:37 AM
fstop212
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


outstanding work!


Feb 26, 2013 at 09:50 PM
DigMeTX
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Wow. Impressive!

brad



Feb 27, 2013 at 01:37 AM
sirimiri
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


Your finals are well-executed my opinion, the goal shows well.

If they have that much dough, why are they using those old (and base model) Herman Miller Aeron chairs and Steelcase Leap? They aren't even the steel-framed versions!

C'mon, spend some money on the furniture!

I know a guy from my college days, who has done rather well for himself in "Hollywood", working in sound editing. He's a genuinely good person, too. The funny thing to me, was when he told me that he keeps earplugs with him, "just in case".

I asked why, and when he's in console mixing stages like this one, often times he says he has to listen to stuff at 110 or (rarely) 120% of the intended volume, to really get into the aural space.

And that, he says, is hard enough, such that has to protect his hearing when in "the real world".



Mar 06, 2013 at 06:48 AM
CW100
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Skywalker Dubbing Stage/Neve Consoles


nice!


Mar 06, 2013 at 11:44 AM
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