Find out the MTI FILM latest news: Conjuring Spellbinding Looks for Syfy’s “The Magicians”; MTI's Cortex Keeps Sony 24P Dailies Lab Rolling; MTI Film Expands to Support HDR and more...


Conjuring Spellbinding Looks for Syfy’s “The Magicians”

DP Elie Smolkin and MTI Film Senior Colorist Steve Porter have forged a creative bond while finishing the second season of the hit fantasy series.

Post-production finishing for the second season of Syfy’s The Magicians was recently completed at MTI Film’s Hollywood facility. Senior Colorist Steve Porter worked with Director of Photography Elie Smolkin in crafting a series of arresting looks for the show, based on the best-selling novels by Lev Grossman about students at a mysterious school for “magical pedagogy.”

The Magicians has developed a large and devoted following, especially among teens and young adults, a success that Smolkin attributes to its superb creative team and an engaging story that defies easy categorization. “The show is a blend of genres,” he says. “It’s sci-fi, it’s drama, it’s horror, it’s fantasy and it’s comedy. The writers do an exceptionally good job in blending comedy with the show’s darker moments.”

The look of the show is also complex. The Magicians has four principal locations, the magic school known as Brakebills University, the medieval magical kingdom of Fillory, an eerie, deserted place called The Neitherlands and modern day New York City. Smolkin uses lighting, lenses, camera technique and color to give each location a distinct appearance.

MTI's Cortex Keeps Sony 24P Dailies Lab Rolling

Busy post facility provides dailies services for Sony Pictures television productions.
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24P Dailies Lab provides dailies services for a number of popular Sony Pictures television series. Every day, the lab processes dozens of hours of original camera media, much of it 4K, for delivery to the shows’ producers and editors. Managing all that data requires a robust and reliable workflow. The facility’s infrastructure includes 200TB of EVO storage, 200TB of XSAN storage, and 2 to 3 petabytes of offline hard drive storage. For dailies processing, 24P Dailies relies on MTI Film’s Cortex Enterprise.

“We run 10 seats of Cortex Enterprise to process dailies for eight to 12 productions,” says Josh Rizzo, the lab’s VP of Technology. “Cortex Enterprise works for us because it supports multiple users. A technician can be synchronizing and processing dailies on one workstation, while rendering is distributed to several others. It’s very efficient.”


MTI Film Expands to Support HDR

New color grading, editorial, monitoring and QC resources.

MTI Film has expanded its Hollywood facility to accommodate HDR delivery and our expanding slate of HD and UHD television shows. The expansion includes two new color grading suites and an editorial finishing suite, all HDR capable. Our IT infrastructure has also gotten a boost with added bandwidth and storage. New monitoring systems have been installed throughout the facility.

“We’ve built a complete HDR workflow,” says CEO Larry Chernoff. “We can support productions from the set to screen, and provide deliverables optimized to any network specification including HDR10, Dolby Vision, IMF and AS02.”

Currently, MTI Film is providing post services for such shows as Outlander, The Affair, Longmire, Major Crimes, Bates Motel, Good Behavior, The Story of God and Outcast. The facility’s new editing suite utilizes both Avid and Autodesk Flame and the two new color grading suites are equipped with the latest generation Digital Vision Nucoda color grading systems.
Monitoring includes LG UHD OLEDs, with perfect rec 709 calibration, and Sony BVMX300s for HDR mastering.

Next Time

MTI Film is pleased to be partnering with 20th Century Fox on a 4K restoration of the 1971 classic Escape from the Planet of the Apes. With a wonderful cast that included Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman and Sal Mineo, Escape reversed the premise of the original Planet of the Apes as three “talking chimpanzees” arrive by spaceship in the United States. Considered one of the best installments in the franchise, Variety called it  “literate, suspenseful, delightful and thought-provoking.”
Look for more details about MTI Film’s work in restoring the film in 4K in the next edition of our newsletter.