Definition September 2023 - Web


Discover how Superama produced 40 short films with Blackmagic Cloud, bringing a supernatural cult classic to life for a new generation BEYOND BEL I EF IMAGES Marshall Hall

S hooting 40 unique films in 40 days, while simultaneously editing on another continent – and delivering ten of them to air in just five weeks – might well be a record-breaking achievement for TV production. This impressive feat was made possible with a picture post workflow delivered through DaVinci Resolve Studio with Blackmagic Cloud for remote collaboration. Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction was a US anthology series which ran from 1997 to 2002, hosted by Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame. Each 45-minute episode features five dramatised stories about supernatural goings-on, paranormal phenomena

and urban legends – some complete fabrications, others based on fact. It’s up to the viewer to guess which is which. “The show is a cult classic in Germany, where it’s known as X-Factor: Das Unfassbare (The Unfathomable) ,” shares Holger Frick, co-founder of Superama Filmproduktions. “Part of its appeal is that each individual story is shot and told as if it were a movie. Now there’s a chance for a new generation to get to know and love the show.” To coincide with the show’s 25th anniversary, German broadcaster RTL2 commissioned Superama to produce eight new episodes in the English language, shot with US actors and locations, so that the show looked as it did in the nineties. The task was too big for one small production company, so Superama brought in colleagues at Wiedemann & Berg Film Production. With a goal of premiering over Halloween 2022, RTL2 set the producers an ambitious target to deliver the first two episodes in under two months. To maximise crew time and travel budget, 40 short films were photographed over nine weeks on location in LA between

August and September – including host Jonathan Frakes’ pieces to camera. With no time to build repeat sets, they selected outdoor locations such as houses, streets and woods, plus studios with prebuilt sets for a hospital, courtroom or bar. They also filmed at the Four Aces Movie Ranch, which contains a diner, motel and gas station surrounded by desert. “We tried to get as many filming days within the same area so we could leave production trucks overnight,” Frick explains. “For example, we shot for two weeks at Four Aces, dressing the sets for stories in the seventies and another for a 1900 Western.” Post-production was another logistical challenge. “To meet our deadline, we had to edit the same day we started shooting,” says Frick, who was project showrunner and co-producer. “When we returned to Germany at the beginning of September, I wanted to have a first rough edit to review.” Dubbing from English into German added to the time pressure. “We had to get the edit done, then translate the script to German and have a dubbing

MAKING GOOD USE Sets and locations were redressed and reused for various purposes to ensure the shoot could be undertaken as efficiently as possible



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