Here we present a brief technical overview of our production processes. We do all of our pre and post-production in-house. All of our deliverables are fully compliant with the current SMPTE standards. We are listed in the members' directory of the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers.
Grading and Sound
We grade and master all of our films in-house. We do this because we consider every element from inception to final delivery to designing the poster to be part of the filmmaking process. As grading guides, we use 35mm stills shot on location using the same lenses, filters and settings as the digital footage. The intention is always to get a result as close as possible to the look and feel of 35mm, whilst avoiding the expense and problems of the old analogue process, or the garish over-saturation of most digitally made movies today.
All of our sound mixes are stereo. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, as professional sound engineers with years of studio experience in the music industry, we have never heard a surround sound mix that was any good, nor have we ever seen a movie in an IMAX theatre that was in any way enhanced over the standard movie theatre experience. On the contrary, surround sound highlights the shortcomings in the source recording; often we can hear the noise gates opening and closing. Also if you are not sitting in the right part of the auditorium it can be difficult to hear everything properly; Stanley Kubrick even felt this way about stereo, which is why he mixed all his movies, even his later ones, entirely in mono. Secondly, by far the most immersive movie watching experience that most people have these days is watching a movie on an LCD screen with headphones. There is never a situation when a great stereo mix would be considered inadequate by an audience. Lastly, and most importantly, the use of sound, including how the stereo spectrum is used, are artistic decisions that belong entirely to the filmmaker.
Some of our films conform to current standard aspect ratios, such as 1.85:1 and 2.39:1 but others do not. A film may be intentionally made in more than one aspect ratio (Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel being a well known example.) Sometimes the filmmaker may choose to use older standards, such as 1.66:1 or the non-standard Todd AO ratio 2.2:1. Use of aspect ratios is an artistic choice, and as such panning and scanning of our films is not permitted. To ensure correct display as the filmmaker intended, our films are matted to the standard HD 16:9 aspect ratio. However when a movie does conform throughout to a current standard aspect ratio we may also choose to make deliverables available in these.
Final Mastering & Deliverables
We can deliver DCP and IMF video in HD, 2K or 4K. Audio is always delivered in stereo. For DCP and IMF this is encoded from the 24bit 48khz WAV file. DVD and BluRay authoring and MP4 encoding is also no problem for us.