The RED Digital Workflow of “Hitchcock”

Shooting on RED Epics at Red Studios in LA, all the DIT work and dailies of the film “Hitchcock” were handled by one operator working on a cart that housed two 12 core Tower Macs fitted with three Red Rocket cards and 70 terabytes of hard drive space.

While the film is both entertaining and immensely enjoyable, with stunning performances from a very heavily made up Anthony Hopkins paired with the brilliant Helen Mirren as Alma Reville (Hitchcock’s wife) – the film also brought a surprisingly tight and almost indie workflow to what is a major Hollywood picture. Hitchcock is quite possibly the largest theatrical feature that was done with the smallest post dailies infrastructure of all time.

In what may be a first for any major studio film, advances in digital technology and workflows by Light Iron meant that there was no post-house during production, just one man – with one cart – that handled all rushes, dailies, DIT, data wrangler, utility, partial playback, dailies, rendering, syncing (assistant editor work) and backup.

And all of this was done under the eye of a studio who had previously voiced concerns about the role of the DIT.

That one person was freelance DIT Brandon Lippard (Magic MikeResident EvilThink Like a ManIn a World).

While many indie films have worked for years without the benefit of large infrastructure backup, most, if not all, major features normally use a lab or post house to provide serious support and workflow in the area of rushes, syncing and dailies. The move to doing this on set was not however budget driven, by all accounts it came from DOP Jeff Cronenweth’s intimate understanding of what he wanted, coupled with the ability to move much faster and more responsively.

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