At Pickled we specialise in bringing experienced and dynamic creative teams together to collaborate and deliver broadcast and film content, from short-form to long-form VFX and online finishing. Since our inception in 2016, this collaborative model has been tested, streamlined and refined, which placed us in fantastic stead to undertake our first 119 minute feature film.
We were approached by the Roger Waters team to collaborate with their New York studio, to help bring the Us + Them tour to cinema screens around the world. Pickled consulted and set to action a post production pipeline, sharing data across the Atlantic to the Roger Waters creative team.
The film content was shot during the Amsterdam leg of the European leg of the Us + Them tour.
The Red 8K Helium camera was the weapon of choice, with not just one, but 20, shooting continually throughout the performance. Data was transferred and backed up to Raided G-Drive XL drives consuming 320TB of data.
Pickled. assembled a select team of VFX artists, crafting deliverables around the clock.
Creatively, our goal was to ensure that each shot focused on Waters and the atmosphere of the arena production, with the overall fabric of each image being crafted in tune with the emotive performance and production design. In turn, each shot submerses the cinema audience with the intended message and feeling portrayed by Waters and the crowd. Colour and focus played an integral role in engaging each shot with the audience and part of our role was to ensure that the distracting peripheral lights and arena elements were disguised or removed.
For the VFX conform, breakout, compositing and processing, Autodesk Flame was utilised. The majority of the clean up work was performed within the Foundry’s Nuke.
During the stage-show, Waters and Evans uses projected imagery at the rear of the stage and upon a giant suspended Battersea Power Station that unfolds from the arena ceiling mid show.
The film cuts directly into this shot footage, filmed on Panavision’s 8K DXL throughout. To aid the feature Waters and Evans added to these scenes with further powerful political imagery, this is where Pickled assisted, completing composited plates for online. One scene in particular, a refugee woman and her child are immersed in an explosion (as seen in the above video).
Where ‘as shot’ video walls were delayed during the live performance or not represented on camera as vibrantly as it was for the live audience, Pickled enhanced these areas so as to punch upon the cinema screen.
Organisation, team motivation and consistency are all factors in keeping the standard of work and the cloud post production pipeline working creatively and efficiently, regardless of where our artists reside. Pickled.’s remote teams are required to meet kit, software and skillset criteria and are well versed in our behind the scenes post-production workflow.
For the Us + Them film, artists processed 10-bit DPX plates in Log colour space. These files were then media managed back to our hub where the files were QC’d and delivered as both full resolution deliverables and low resolution viewing files.
Our management system saw artists allocated shots with links to download pre-processed ‘broken out’ plates. Once completed by the artist, the plates would then be returned back to the Pickled server with no loss of image quality. Colour space and file management was tested with all artists and template files and media bibles were created specially for production fluidity.
Pickled delivered circa 300 shots to the New York studio, all via network systems, collaborating with shared project management tools, Autodesk Flame, The Foundry Nuke and Adobe Creative Cloud.
VFX Supervisor Craig Reeves oversaw the creative production pipeline, processing 8k plates and liaising with each artist with feedback and direction. Post-producer Danny Jones kept a tight schedule and planned meticulously each artists workflow, overseeing the network logistics and communicating with the New York team.