Post-Production and Other Services
Graphic Design, Effects and Animation
Editing at the Ranch
With five interconnected work stations, the Ranch is always humming with data traffic. While we are located in an agricultural preserve, the ag department still hasn't recognized our "render farm”. Our grower's permit lists only our orchard of apples, pears and plum trees. We use Final Cut Pro as our primary editing software. For HD editing, we rely on our RAID5 and multi-core technology to provide both speed and safety. We work with many talented editors and also have our own creative editors.
We know that the best results on any film happen when the right people work together in a supportive way. Often we function as the lab on projects when it's time to do the heavy lifting to meet the requirements of a master for PBS, or format an International version for distribution or Blu-Rey version for festivals. From color correction, with our senior colorist Will Smith, to meeting the new broadcast requirements for loudness, we have a good track record for professional results with major networks all around the world.
Documentary films these days rely more and more on great animations to get points across. We prefer Adobe Creative Suite software from Photoshop, with After Effects to spice up a film and simplify complex ideas. We do logos and posters, menus and packaging. We try to encourage filmmakers to think about their film as a brand. Often we mix fine art solutions into an increasingly digital world, and with art talent on hand like Rebecca Holland, that can be interesting. Take for example the logo Rebecca created for writer/producer Stephen Most's film River of Renewal. He wanted a Native American look for his Pikiawish (Fixing the World) toolkit that went along with the project. Rebecca soaked some willow in water, then shaped them and lashed them as Native Americans would have done, to create her own font and design. She then brought the image into Photoshop to add illustrations and refinements. To view the Ranch's Graphic Design page, click here.
Color Grading at the Ranch
Meeting Domestic and International Broadcast requirements is one of the things that we specialize in at the Ranch. From luma to gamma to black levels, we make sure that your film is going to pass the specifications set by Broadcasters. A session with colorist Will Smith is also an exciting part of any project, as color grading can transform the look of a film. Will is familiar with Apple Color, and Davinci Resolve is among the many tools that he uses. Often Will works with our art department as well, where we may have developed a color palette for a film. It's important to look at your project through the entire pipeline and make sure that your color choices in the film are connected to the branding, the website and the packaging.
Transcriptions, Transcoding and Archiving
The Ranch Dub Rack
Another unique aspect at the Ranch is our commitment to maintain legacy formats to incorporate older or "retro” footage into a film. Our dub rack contains a blast from the past. We don't know many post- houses that have a BVU-800 3/4” deck, but for us it not only brings back memories, it often provides some of the most emotional footage in a film... bringing the past forward. Our formats include: Betacam, D2, DVCam, VHS and of course a Time Base Corrector.
Transcribing at the Ranch
Working physically at the Ranch is becoming less important as we all become more virtual. Shortly after any production, we provide transcriptions and a Vimeo link to Producers so they can have detailed materials to work from. Often we will maintain two sets of cloned data so an editor can work remotely and just send us project files for final assembly.
The Ranch functions as both a lab and an archiving service on your project, not just for production, but also for distribution. We can transcode your materials to and from any analog or digital format needed. From your master there are a whole range of encoded files needed throughout the life of your project including MPEG files for DVD and Blu-Ray, H264 files for Vimeo and the web, Windows Media for presentations and files for international use. For most projects we archive your materials on 3-terabyte removable drives that connect with our RAIDs through eSATA and other high data rate connections. So whether you need something overnight or three years later when you are doing an update, we have your back when it comes to data storage and retrieval.
DVD and Blu-Ray Authoring
We've been involved with DVD authoring since 1998, when we produced our first DVD for a small company called Macrovision that has grown into a major company called ROVI. Since then, we have authored hundreds of DVDs for Hollywood Studios and producers from all over the world. You can see some of this work in the Archive section. In 2004, the Ranch led the development on some of the earliest Web-enabled DVD/DVD-ROM products--including the authoring of Oil on Ice, which was widely featured as an entire toolkit of materials to go along with the film. We continue to create DVDs for the educational market, and we also create Blu-Ray DVDs for producers who regularly need them for theatrical and screening purposes. Our authoring department features a replicating robot so that we can replicate units easily on demand.