MAX Post Delivers for Award Winning Original Productions with Cinedeck
MAX Post in Burbank, California is the post-finishing division of multi-Emmy award winning unscripted innovator, Original Productions. With over over 200 hours of programming delivered annually, MAX Post needed an online workflow that was efficient and cost-effective. To that end, MAX Post deployed a Cinedeck ZX45 and CineXinsert software last year to streamline their workflow. We recently caught up with MAX Post’s VP of Technology & Workflow and Senior On-Line Editor, Scott Randol about their experience with Cinedeck and File-based Insert Edit technology.
“We were already tapeless before Cinedeck had been introduced to us. However, every time there was a change to the file, we still had to re-export the entire sequence out of Avid. This workflow tied-up an edit bay and an on-line editor’s time was wasted watching down the QT file,” says Scott. “When we went tapeless it was early days for file deliverables and many networks were rejecting files for very minor issues. The result was tons of re-exports and patches. Now, we layoff the show to Cinedeck and punch changes directly to the deliverable file, eliminating the multi-step process of re-export and re-QC,” explains Scott.
“Also, Cinedeck has some robust deck emulation features that came in very handy for ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’. After delivering a season’s worth of shows, the network wanted all of the international versions to be delivered on HDCAM tapes. We loaded the files into Cinedeck and simply output to tape – using each channel of Cinedeck as master player. It was very easy and saved us tons of time.”
When asked about their day-to-day online workflow, Scott explains, “We use Cinedeck’s VMM workflow to create ‘blacked’ files for all of our layoffs, allowing us to pre-set codec, frame-rate, audio channels, timecode along with bars, tone and a place-holder for the slate. If the output from the NLE stops for any reason, laying off the show to a ‘blacked’ file allows us to pick-up where we left off and continue the lay-off. The ‘blacked’ file workflow also ensures that all the delivery specs for each network deliverable is correct.”
He continues, “I’m really happy with how efficient our online/finishing workflow has become. Each episode is put in a watch-folder and broken into three segments before uploading to the network. If a change is required, we load just the segment that requires the change into Cinedeck and ‘punch-in’ the fix. Cinedeck’s Insert Edit feature has helped us achieve this and have absolutely saved us time and money!”
CineXinsert is also in heavy rotation at MAX Post. Scott explains how it’s been used for History Channel’s ‘Ax Men’. “We had done so many last minute fixes and patches for ‘Ax Men’ that even after we delivered the show, we still weren’t completely sure whether we had the show masters. We were able to use CineXinsert to help make all those changes; and it’s allowed us to streamline the whole process of last minute changes. We also use it to change slates on various shows, including ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’. We’re no longer tying-up systems and bays – it’s a perfect tool that requires almost no system resources.”
Scott concludes, “The support has been fantastic. Early on, we had an issue with off-sets for our Symphony outputs. Cinedeck support came on-site, tested the systems, wrote a fix and we were back up and running in a day. When there’s a problem, they know how to fix it – we’re not waiting weeks for a fix. Their quick response and commitment to solving customer issues is impressive.”
MAX Post uses Cinedeck & CineXinsert to deliver shows for Original Productions: “Jay Leno’s Garage” CNBC, “Deadliest Catch” & “Bering Sea Gold” Discovery, “Storage Wars” A&E and “Ax Men” History Channel.
About Original Productions:
Since opening in 1999, Original Productions has become a major force in unscripted TV. Over the years they’ve produced 89 shows and received over 34 major awards including 16 Primetime Emmy Awards for “Deadliest Catch”.
MAX Post / Original Productions
308 W. Verdugo Ave.
Burbank, CA 91502