This fall, Lionsgate’s Deepwater Horizon, from director Peter Berg, was among the first features to make full use of The Portal, Deluxe’s post/VFX worfklow service, which allowed the VFX team to cut a significant amount of time from their post schedule. The Portal allowed that group, working alongside picture editorial in New York, to select camera-original material, format it to the specifications of the receiving VFX houses (ILM or Deluxe’s Iloura), scan and transport the data, all from their desktops.
Harrison Marks, VFX production manager on Deepwater Horizon, notes that by using the Portal, the process was cut down significantly, and that it was particularly helpful on this feature because there was so much material to pull. “There were about 1400 elements,” he elaborates, speaking of the various shots that go into a VFX composite, “and some of those were 10 minutes long! We were able to get shots into our production pipeline immediately after they were selected. Before the Portal, it could take up to a week turnaround between selection and delivery.”
Leslie Valentino-Costanza, visual effects producer at ILM concurs. The Portal, she says, “provided a quick and efficient way for us to get ahold of plates once they were requested and ready.”
The Portal also transfers the dailies color grading information (in the form of a LUT) along with the shots, offering a new and vastly sped-up way to ensure that everybody involved in the creation of the VFX can be on the same page as those working from the colored dailies in terms of color, contrast and overall look. The final color grade for Deepwater Horizon, shot by Enrique Chediak, was done by Stefan Sonnenfeld here at Company 3.