From the producers of Line of Duty The Pembrokeshire Murders and Bodyguard, the gripping six-part plot thriller Vigil presented a group of post-production houses with some of their biggest challenges to date.
With principal photography and post-production throughout the pandemic, crews had to deal with filming delays, stay-at-home orders, and remote reviews and approvals, all while bringing the sights and sounds of the park to life. Claustrophobic and high pressure HMS. Vigil, a submarine built in a studio in Dumbarton, Scotland.
The Blazing Griffin Post team, made up of shift supervisor Johanne Wood, colorist Colin Brown and online editor Jon Bruce, provided services from their finishing plant in Glasgow, working in conjunction with the teams at Goodbye Kansas post for visual effects and Savalas for full audio publication.
James Strong, director and executive producer of Vigil, revealed: âVigil was a very daring and ambitious project from its conception, with huge creative challenges and it was only in the first ten minutes of the show! The challenge was to create a Royal Navy Trident submarine, the set for the series, then the journey of our hero Amy Silva (played by Suranne Jones) in a helicopter and to be winched on the submarine – all at middle of the North Sea.
âFor the entire show, we challenged ourselves to do as much as possible behind closed doors – and then add to that in post-production, so it was vital to bring in the three post-production companies. as partners early in the process.For Amy’s journey to the submarine, we filmed ship-to-ship plates of the helicopter, then added Amy’s additional items on the winch and turret which were all perfectly mixed.
âThe real Trident submarines are shrouded in secrecy, so the design of the VFX submarine had to be built from a mixture of memories of old submariners and Internet research looking of similar designs. The Final Sub is an incredible piece of guesswork and design.
âWe chose Goodbye Kansas for their extensive experience in creating aquatic environments. GK provided on-set supervision and worked with us on the methodology and composition of the shot for our complex CGI sets throughout the shoot.
âNext to them was our Blazing Griffin Post photo house. Working with colorist Colin Brown from the start was fundamental in defining the color palette and tones of the sub’s interior. It was a great advantage and it helped us define our âlookâ from the start. We did some camera and rating tests before filming because it was really important to see what the set would look like and especially the lights on the screen. Unusually, all of the lights were built into the set, so it was vitally important that Colin set the tone and luminescence levels from the start.
âThe final piece of the puzzle was Savalas, who created an unforgettable and highly detailed soundscape for the interiors of the submarines.
“All three post companies rose to the challenge, working brilliantly in physical isolation throughout production – three salespeople at the top of their game, using Scotland’s incredible talent.”
Johanne Wood, Job Supervisor at Blazing Griffin Post, added: âVigil was by far one of the toughest and longest post-production projects we’ve ever managed for a TV series. We were delighted to be working on the first major HDR project to come out of Scotland. It was always going to be a hugely ambitious project and when the pandemic hit 7 weeks into our filming and offline, the post-production teams adapted brilliantly.
âOur editorial team spanned across the country and Editors Steven Worsley, Nikki McChristie and Chris Buckland embraced working remotely, pursuing Fine Cut by working with directors through Evercast, confidently supported by Associate Editors. Rachel Erskine and Savanna Gladstone. The vast majority of Final Post and VFX were completed throughout Lockdown 2, with Blazing Griffin Post, Savalas and Goodbye Kansas adapting workflows and schedules to keep the project on track and deliver on time to the BBC. and to ITV studios, which distribute the series internationally. . “
In late 2019, colorist Brown worked with DOP Matt Gray to discuss the look and create the Show LUT but, due to the pandemic, work was put on hold several times, with the first episode only reaching the following ratings. a year later in November 2020 Episodes 1-3 were completed on location in Blazing Griffin’s 4K HDR heroes sequel in Glasgow with Gray, and the review files were sent to the director. Episodes 4-6 were completed remotely using Sohonet ClearView to send the sequel’s release to Glasgow to directors Isabelle Sieb and DP Ruairi O’Brian in London, using iPad Pro calibrated to match to the Sony X300 4K monitor in the suite.
The large number of VFX effects was difficult and involved going back to the note after adding the effects, talking about the notation work from start to finish.
Brown explained, âWe decided to rate SDR first to make it suitable for a larger audience. We noted ACES and the tone was mapped to rec709. I think at the time it was the best decision, especially with the progression of the pandemic, otherwise it would have complicated HDR approval. On other projects, we first evaluate HDR to meet our customer’s demand for the impressive range of color HDR offerings and the level of quality we can create. In my opinion, the HDR version is the best version in the series.
Bruce started the online editing work in September 2020 and ended in February 2021, with the various deliverables and the reversion until May 2021.
Each episode required a lot of online image enhancements and digital corrections, with the first episode requiring around 120 shots, not counting the visual effects of Goodbye Kansas.
Land removal, sky replacement, green screen composition, and phone and TV screen replacements were the bulk of the work in Blazing Griffin’s online sequel. The work was done in conjunction with Goodbye Kansas to ensure a consistent approach and look between inline patches and external visual effects. With over 100 earth / sky replacements and 80 screen replacements alone, that was a huge amount of work to do online.
All line finishes and notes were done using DaVinci Resolve, working with Resolve Fusion on the Notes Timeline. This allowed Brown and Bruce to work on the same timeline in parallel without needing to render back and forth. Along with the large amount of online work and the external visual effects, this kept projects flowing between the two suites.
Goodbye Kansas led the visual effects and created an intricate CG water effect and integration with live action photography. One major VFX sequence involved a fishing trawler pulled back and ultimately underwater by what later turned out to be a submarine, and another involved a person transferring from a live-action helicopter on a CG submarine.
VFX work also included various composition and environment work such as the creation of the fictional Dunloch Naval Base. About 180 VFX shots have been created.
James Prosser, Managing Director of Goodbye Kansas Studios – London, said: âIt was a fantastic collaboration in a very strange time. It was a real pleasure to work with a great team; Jake at World Productions, James & Isabelle the directors and Johanne at Blazing Griffin. We’re really excited to see the show when it airs.
“And a big thank you to the team at Goodbye Kansas, especially Supervisor Jim Parsons VFX, Producer Desiree Ryden, Supervisor CG Justin Long, and Mockup Supervisor Rafal Kaniewski.”
Savalas invested a lot of time in preproduction, researching environments and getting a feel for how those spaces might sound, from the Vanguard-class submarine control room to the crew’s mess at lunchtime. . An ex-submariner was on board throughout the production to answer questions and help give the show true authenticity.
The first episode opens with an incredible and intricate set sequence that takes place both above and below the water. Almost all of the above Water Dialogue has been replaced due to the nature of the incident and noise on set. This gave Savalas a greater degree of control to create a rich and intense soundtrack. A tough opening streak, the first five minutes took a whole day to perfect.
To improve efficiency and workflows, Savalas worked with developer Marc Specter using a dialog editor toolkit, Kraken, software that allowed the dialog editor to work together. focus on editing the dialogue, while automating many tasks that took days to complete. Soundflow has been used to automate dozens of often-repeated tasks.
On one of the quieter sequences involving two main characters, everything was reduced to focus on the dialogue and sound effects from the character point of view. Everything is strongly transformed (futzÃ©) which adds a real feeling of claustrophobia and isolation. It’s all about breathing and movement.
Kahl Henderson, Voice Mixer / MD at Savalas said: âI am incredibly proud of what the Savalas team has achieved on Vigil. It’s a beautifully rich soundtrack with an incredible work of dialogue, effects and sound effects. The best addition to our team is that no one notices the hundreds of hours of work that went into each episode, and they are just immersed in it.