This post is by Yaroslav Altunin from No Film School

It’s always a surprise to see how democratized tools are utilized across a wide array of projects. This is particularly evident in film festivals, where filmmakers of different budgets, styles, and creative workflows utilize everything they can to elevate their production quality.

Frida, a Sundance selected documentary directed by Carla Gutierrez, had a team spread out across a whole continent, with Gutiérrez living in New York and Senior Colorist Ernie Schaeffer based out of Mexico.

For color, the post-production team utilized DaVinci Resolve Studio and Blackmagic Cloud to collaborate across hundreds of miles while ensuring the integrity of their image pipeline.

Here’s what we can learn from their workflow.


Flexibility and Collaboration

What made prepping everything for color was that different assets live across multiple NAS units. Archive delivery and restoration, animation/VFX, and the color/online teams all had to combine their work into one location. And all of this was constantly being updated as Sundance inched closer.

“The project was unique in the sense that the final archive was being updated throughout post-production, right up until the last moments before QC and delivery for Sundance,” Schaeffer said. “We also had a dispersed team working remotely, so flexibility and collaboration were key and supported by DaVinci Resolve Studio and Blackmagic Cloud.”

The team did this by synchronizing all of these NAS units and giving certain departments different permissions in order to maintain image pipeline integrity. After that, it was all about sharing the work efficiently between all the creatives.

“The conform and grade were done in DaVinci Resolve Studio using Blackmagic Cloud for the color/online team to work within the same project simultaneously,” Schaeffer said. “Blackmagic Cloud Storage was also used to move media files for color proposals and treatments, and during color sessions, we live streamed our DaVinci Resolve viewer via the DaVinci Remote Monitor app to Carla in New York who was using an iPad Pro M2 with Reference Mode to ensure proper calibration of the image during the approval process.”

 Remote Possibilities

What makes this entire color workflow so interesting, is how scalable it can be. On Frida, there was a budget for a multi-person post-production team. But their setup could also function on a no-budget project where two creative live on opposite ends of the earth.

“I always adapt to remote possibilities so that the creative process is not limited by logistics or physical locations,” Schaeffer said. For the Frida team, “Blackmagic Cloud and Blackmagic Cloud Storage, created flexibility, and these remote monitoring and collaboration possibilities allow for a new paradigm for post-production teams working from different countries and locations,”

DaVinci Resolve Studio is more than just a powerful tool. It’s an industry standard (at least for color), and is quickly becoming an affordable choice for remote collaboration. The addition of Blackmagic Cloud, which is also relativly affordable, has removed some of those barriers that stood in the way of working with your fellow creative.

Look at Frida, I’m opening up my creative possibilities for future projects. I no longer have to work with a team based in my location. I can reach out to creatives all around the world, and using farily afforadble tools, expand my network of collaborators.

So, what will you do with these new possibilities?