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Park Road Post's 48fps journey for The Hobbit

It took two and a half years of R&D and testing to create the workflow.

New Zealand-based Park Road Post hosted an unparalleled undertaking in posting the 48fps workflow of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Using SGO’s Mistika as the hub of its DI infrastructure, Park Road and SGO co-developed tools across the entire pipeline, from pre-production to final delivery.

It took two and a half years of R&D and testing to create the workflow. Park Road Post general manager Cameron Harland says “from on-set services, grading and exhibiting HFR digital dailies through to the DI online, stereoscopic work and final colour grading, it was a massive undertaking”.

Dave Hollingsworth, Park Road’s Road’s head of picture and supervising digital colourist for The Hobbit adds: “When the decision was made to film and post The Hobbit in 48fps 3D, there wasn’t any one product on the market capable of delivering what was needed.

“SGO had by far the best stereo toolset available and equally importantly, they had a passionate and highly skilled development team that demonstrated an absolute commitment to developing everything else we needed to deliver this film. What I am most proud of is that, whilst this was potentially the most complex post ever carried out on a feature film, the technology never got in the way of what the filmmaker wanted. It is safe to say that we could not have done it without SGO.”

Park Road wanted to create a complete pipeline, based on one platform, from dailies work and dailies screenings through to final online, stereo and colour grading. The Mistika provided a platform that offered greater speed than what is normally required for a typically 2D 24fps project.

Park Road Head of Technology Phil Oatley comments that “it was so good that the filmmakers never noticed that we were dealing with four times the data of a normal feature”.

SGO’s director of global sales and operations, Geoff Mills, said of the collaboration between SGO and Park Road: “Our close relationship, at all levels, has been instrumental in making HFR Stereo 3D a reality and has demonstrated that above all, it is the people who unlock dreams through passionate determination and ground-breaking development.”

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