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Walden Media Puts Digital Vision in Dailies to Final Color Pipeline

September 11th, 2009 by Paul Martin

Digital Vision, manufacturers of image enhancement and mastering systems for film and television post-production, has announced that Hollywood mini-studio Anschutz Film Group/Walden Media has taken delivery of Digital Vision’s Nucoda HD system. Digital Vision has worked closely with Walden to create a streamlined color pipeline from dailies to final delivery for their international productions. The two grading and one conform systems for Walden form the cornerstone of a complete production and post production workflow on “The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” one of the industry’s first 100% digitally acquired, file-based feature projects. The Nucoda HD systems capture and utilize the American Society of Cinematographer’s CDL (color decision list) metadata, and maintain it as a basis for grading throughout the project with Digital Vision’s comprehensive toolset.

Walden Media has produced several box office blockbusters. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Bridge to Terabithia,” and “The Water Horse,” are a few high-profile theatrical titles in the AFG/Walden Media library.

Earlier this year, Doug Jones, Walden’s EVP of Physical Production, Sean Santiago, VP Visual Effects and Jonas Thaler, VP Post Production designed a workflow for the third chapter in the Narnia series. The Director of Photography and On-Set Colorist create a look for each scene, which is expressed and documented as ten-digit ASC CDL value. In the Walden plan, the CDL grades follow the project from set to dailies to VFX and final DI color timing.

When the Walden team was ready to discuss hardware and software solutions with which to implement the new ”Dawn Treader” workflow, they met with Simon Cuff, President and COO of Digital Vision. Digital Vision responded to the challenge and is currently developing an on-set grading solution based on the research and development that the two companies have done together. For Dawn Treader’s Australia shoot, Digital Vision provided a modified Nucoda HD System that takes in and manages color choices from the set and keeps the salient metadata available to the colorist and visual effects through final DI color grading. Walden will use systems in Australia, UK and the US on upcoming features.

Doug Jones of Walden commented that, “We and our filmmakers strive to make successful films with powerful and memorable visual content. Directors and cinematographers do their best work if they are given instant access to high resolution images and precise color and density control from day one through final delivery. After meeting in Los Angeles and London and getting to know Digital Vision’s international development group and product line, we could see that the Nucoda HD system fit the bill. The efficiency of the ASC CDL color value system and the power and depth of Digital Vision’s tools are the essence of our workflow. Our partnership with Digital Vision has evolved to the point where we’d like to keep this going on future projects.”

Simon Cuff, President and COO of Digital Vision, commented, “Walden Media has a history of telling high quality stories with beautiful imagery created by top filmmakers. To work so closely with this team and this caliber of entertainment is exciting, and we are looking forward to Nucoda being part of that creative process, from the camera to the cinema screen. Walden’s push forward in production, VFX and post production workflow has allowed us to accelerate the development and refine the functionality of our on-set and dailies solutions – ensuring this will become an essential part of the movie-making process.”