Major post-production and TV facilities house The Farm says that the shift to Ultra-HD in production, especially drama, is near-total. “It is safe to say that at least 75 per cent of our Drama clients are now working in UHD, and a big chunk of high-end Factual are also fully in UHD. Then our OTT clients, Amazon and Netflix are also in 4K,” said CEO ‘Klaf’ Klafkowski.
Klafkowski was speaking at the SES UHD event in London, and added that in the three years since it started work for Amazon Studios on The Grand Tour that 4K technology had “caught up” and that the most recent series of popular show had “sailed through” the post-production process.
“The newest of the OTT operators – Apple TV – are really pushing for quality, so their product needs to be very, very shiny. This is great for us and the industry. Everyone is raising their game. For example, last year we did a huge full UHD Formula 1 show for Netflix, that was in true full UHD and at 50 fps, and Dolby Atmos. That was true monster of a production.”
“As for Apple they are looking to ‘future-proof’ all their content, to make these ‘hero’ shows with a long shelf-life of 10-years plus. But let us not forget that our costs, even on a high-end task, are a small fraction of the overall budget for a production. It really is just pennies.”
Aiden Farrell, a Senior Colourist at The Farm, said we were again at a tipping point. “I originally worked almost exclusively on film and it was as if I went home of a Friday evening and by the Monday morning there was no film anymore. Two years ago, I went home on a Friday and by the Monday morning there was no HD anymore! What goes with these major changes is High Dynamic Range. I cannot stress highly enough the care and attention that goes into HDR.”
The Farm worked on Riviera (pictured) for Sky, and Farrell says almost every show that they handle is being worked on in one of the HDR options. The BBC’s ABC Murders was a typical task and Farrell said that much as he loves working on feature films, the creative control now available was “beyond belief” as far post-production was concerned. “The viewer has never had a better time”.