London’s The Look transforms Amazon series ‘Fleabag’ into HDR masterpiece with Quantel Rio

26 September 2016 - Snell Advanced Media

Fleabag image

The Look brings stellar depth of imagery and a creative edge to the HDR version of ‘Fleabag’ with Quantel Rio and Rio Assist software

Newbury, September 2016 — The Look, a post production facility in London that focuses on creativity with high-end tech, has recently completed the 4K/HDR color grade on the new Amazon series ‘Fleabag’ with SAM’s Quantel Rio online editing, color and finishing system along with newly-purchased Rio Assist software. The six-part series, which delivers a unique blend of comedy and drama, began airing in September on Amazon Prime to high acclaim. The show first ran on BBC3 in summer 2016.

‘Fleabag was our first HDR project at The Look and to begin with I was dubious about the real selling point of HDR for the viewer’, said Thomas Urbye, senior colorist and MD at The Look. ‘But the moment you have content like explosions, waterfalls, metallic reflections and night exterior shots of cities, they really come alive. In HDR these highlights just ‘zing’ out giving a sense of a sharper image. Combining this with 4K, the impact on the viewer is greatly increased.’

At its facility in London, The Look’s three grading and finishing suites cater to a range of workflows, which are built around SAM’s Quantel Rio workstations. Earlier this year, The Look purchased its first Rio Assist software to support ingesting and exporting. The company also tripled its storage capabilities so it could handle shows for Netflix and Amazon Prime at 4K 16bit.

Urbye continues, ‘We do the conform, grade, online and deliverables all in our Rio systems. The fact that we can do all this at 4K 16bit means we have a very slick workflow for our clients. Our initial focus with Fleabag was finishing the SDR grade since most viewers will be watching that version of the program. Once we completed that, we switched the Rio to HDR mode (REC2020/PQ) and with such excellent transfer curves, we achieved the perfect starting point from which to begin our HDR color grading.

Said Bacho, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at SAM commented, “There’s no better choice on the market than our Quantel Rio for busy houses like The Look, who need to tackle major projects under tight deadlines. Rio handles any format, even 8K, with the high quality, reliability, and playback that our customers have come to expect. The system’s integrated toolset also means projects can be finished in one room from grading through to deliverables, cutting out the need to switch rooms and systems for different elements of a project.”