Boon is a film by Derek Presley and Neal McDonough about an assassin on the run who attempts to live a life of solitude in the mountains of Washington State. When his past catches up to him he is rescued by the most unlikely pair; a preacher and her son. It is a spiritual sequel to the thriller Red Stone, which was shot in June 2020. Both productions were filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We spoke with Jason Starne, VP of Media Solutions at CineSys, who also produced and edited the films.
What was your workflow like for the post-production of Boon?
When it came to post production and finishing, we implemented the Object Matrix storage system that we have set up in Houston for all the media distribution and additional backups. In a nutshell, I moved Terabytes of data. I worked with Caspian Brand, our Workflow Infrastructure Specialist, to build a team of Object Matrix vault users. The Object Matrix was mounted through an S3 connection on my local machine, so it was literally a drag and drop of files to the storage. Through the web interface, Vision, the vault users could access these files for the sound mix, Music Composer, Colorist, Online Finishing Artist, and VFX Artist. For media that needed to be transferred to non-vault users, we took advantage of the ability to create expiring links for sharing.
How did you store and access files during production?
For the production part of the process, we utilized Adobe Media Encoder to transcode the R3D files to the iconik watch folder that handled the dailies and editorial reviews. All the media went to a miniDDP shared storage unit and secondarily to a G-Tech drive.
It was amazing how fast I could copy data to the storage. I was seeing writes at 60 MB/s! That’s about the same speed I could get copying to a local disk. I also loved the ease of sharing media to other vault users with restricted links and felt the media was secure at all times.”
– Jason Starne, Boon Producer and Editor
Was everyone working remotely?
There was no remote production in terms of the Director directing from another location, but we were sharing and reviewing dailies with the team through iconik. We leveraged the Teradek Bolt heavily to create a live feed to the necessary crew that needed to see the scenes. The drives were shipped out for LTO tape backups and then a secondary copy was transferred to the Object Matrix storage system.
What software did you use for editing and visual effects?
Adobe Premiere was the choice for editing and Autodesk Flame for visual effects. The color and finishing was done at Thrive Colour with Baselight and Charlie Uniform Tango did the sound mixing in Avid Pro Tools.
Were you dealing with large camera files?
Yes, we shot the film with two RED DSMC2® BRAIN Dragon cameras at 5K, so the raw files were quite large, but the Object Matrix system doesn’t care how large the data is. We run a very tight production and know every shot of a film before we start rolling, so we usually end up at around 10-12TB in total for a feature.
Were there a lot of restrictions due to the pandemic?
It’s very expensive and time consuming. It’s not really hard, except if you have talent distancing restrictions, which we had for the first 10 days of shooting. We worked with the Washington Filmworks organization to lift restrictions specifically for the film, so that we could shoot what we needed without having to cheat angles, or re-choreograph every scene. I already had experience shooting during Covid, since I produced the first SAG green-lit film, Red Stone, in June of 2020 in Texas. We followed very strict protocols and limited the amount of people that needed to be around a monitor. To limit gathering we added a lot of remote viewing with Teradeks and then used iconik for dailies. Being able to use the Object Matrix system for moving and sharing data really made post very efficient. We will be completely wrapped with the movie this week. Not bad considering our last day of filming was February 12th.
CineSys is a Broadcast and Media Systems Integrator providing solutions, integration and support for digital content creators across North America. With decades of IT experience and a foundation in M&E, we serve a range of industries from broadcast and post production to government, corporate, agency, houses of worship and sports. Our goal is to help companies get the most out of their technology investment, to accelerate workflows with cutting edge technology and strengthen infrastructures.
About Object Matrix
Object Matrix is the award winning software company that pioneered object storage and the modernisation of media archives. It exists to enable global collaboration, increase operational efficiencies and empower creativity through deployment of MatrixStore, the on-prem and hybrid cloud storage platform. Their focus on the media industry gives them a deep understanding of the challenges organisations face when protecting, processing and sharing video content. Customers include: BBC, Orange, France Televisions, BT, HBO, TV Globo, MSG-N and NBC Universal.