Encore London was responsible for the grade and online edit of the six-part series based on John le Carré’s 1993 novel of the same name.
Production company The Ink Factory
Post Encore, BlueBolt, Hackenbacker
Brief Encore London was responsible for the grade and online edit of the six-part series based on John le Carré’s 1993 novel of the same name. In the BBC and AMC production, the tale of one man’s attempt to bring down an arms dealer has been given a contemporary setting against the backdrop of the Arab Spring.
The brief for Encore colourist Jet Omoshebi was to create specific looks and an individual feel for each location: Cairo’s dusty and vibrant streets in stark contrast to the cold, clean mountains of the Swiss Alps, and the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. VFX Soho-based VFX firm BlueBolt produced just under 100 shots for the series, helping to set the scene for key moments including a violent demonstration of armaments, which involved a combination of CG fighter jets and drones and carefully orchestrated sequences combining practical and CG FX. Other work included the creation of a large refugee camp and relocating an airport scene from England to the Turkish border. Stuart Bullen was VFX supervisor and Catherine Duncan VFX producer.
The VFX pieces were fitted to the live action by Omoshebi during the grade, which involved the addition of filters, smoke and flicker plug-ins. It was finally rendered with a fine layer of film grain.
The Night Manager was Encore London’s first UHD delivery. Autodesk Flame, which was used for conform and online, was linked to the facility’s Quantum SAN, enabling senior online editor Rob Cooper to share work with Omoshebi’s Nucoda grading suite. Audio For the audio, Howard Bargroff was responsible for the tracklay and mix, while Hackenbacker’s Adam Armitage was SFX editor. Bargroff described the project as “huge on all levels”. He said: “One of the earliest conversations I had with producer Rob Bullock was about how beguiling the world of Richard Roper [the arms trader played by Hugh Laurie] was, and how to make the sound feel as inviting and as sumptuous as possible, helping to enforce the idea of Jonathan Pine [MI6 agent played by Tom Hiddleston]getting sucked deeper and deeper into Roper’s world.”
Armitage described realising the cinematic scope of the series within a TV schedule as a “challenge”. Soundminer v4.5 Pro was an “invaluable” tool, both creatively and in terms of organisation.
Sounds were also manipulated and treated during the more abstract sequences to help create tension and underpin the mood of a scene on a subconscious level. The series was mixed with Pro Tools on an HDX2 system. The majority of the mixing was performed with the Avid Icon D-Command controller.
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