Aimed at children aged four to six years, Grandpa in My Pocket follows the mini-adventures of Grandpa and his imaginative seven-year old grandson Jason.
It's a visual effects (VFX) heavy children's TV series for Cbeebies, shot in Cardiff. Filming generated over 100 hours of 1080p HD footage during the course of a 31-day shoot.
VFX supervisor Jon Rennie, and his company Dinamo Productions, provided VFX compositing services on the show. He also outlined the workflow for the production - where the chief requirements were for high-quality HD and immediacy of feedback.
To fit this brief, Codex delivered a time-saving, tapeless workflow for footage moving continuously back and forth between the set and the editorial and effects departments.
A Codex Recorder was deployed as the principal record, instant on-set playback and comparative review station, and also as the source for all of the deliverables needed by the editorial and VFX teams.
During production, the Recorder simultaneously captured the 1080p, 25fps, 4:2:2 output from two Sony HDW1500 cameras which were located in adjacent studios. Both were shooting live action footage for the majority of the shoot, but with one used to capture green screen material for a two week period.
The footage from each camera was recorded on to individual Codex diskpacks. Around three hours of footage was recorded each day, with material exported directly into the Avid editor, and around 250GB shipped each day to the visual effects artists at Dinamo on hard disk.
The Recorder handled around 65TB of footage over the duration of the shoot.
The daily deliverables provided by the Recorder were all in QuickTime movie format. There were:
Quicktime DNxHD 185 movies of the greenscreen material and DNxHD 120 movies of backplates for the VFX compositors;
Avid DNxHD 120 and 36 MXF of the live action for editorial;
And Quicktime DNxHD 36 movies for on-set playback, review and greenscreen line-up.
All shots had the same files names and metadata, making it easy for every department to find and compare shots.
The Recorder enabled the on-set production team to find and playback background plates, alternative takes and reverses, all with audio.
This footage could then be combined on set with the appropriate VFX greenscreen material. The immediacy assisted the production team with line-up and the actors with their performances.
Rennie said: “[This approach] considerably reduced post production time and costs, and meant we could achieve fast turnaround times on edits and effects shots.”
Grandpa in my Pocket, a 26 x 12mins Adastra Creative production for BBC Cbeebies, will air from February 2009.
Creators/Series Producers: Mellie Buse and Jan Page
Executive Producer: Angus Fletcher
Director: Richard Bradley
Animation/Special Effects: Aron Evans and Owen Stickler, Dinamo Productions
Executive Producer for the BBC - Sarah Colclough