Manhattan Post House Teams Sony's XPRI With 24P

New York-based digital production company Guardian Entertainment is working with Sony's XPRI HD 24P nonlinear editing system to complement its Sony CineAlta 24P high-definition acquisition system.

In production for the thriller "Out of the Darkness" and the action film "Need for Speed," Guardian says XPRI will save the company time and money in the post-production process. The XPRI system itself is designed to be cost-effective, allowing Guardian to submit lower bids for contracts, then save more money from the post-production budget.

Guardian searched for a platform to edit the native HDCAM format in 24P, and decided on the XPRI. Hi-def digital footage from the cameras flowed easily into the post-production workflow, removing film and associated costs from the process and saving time. Developing, negative cutting and telecine was estimated at 16 weeks, and working with outside agencies increased the risk of loss or damage to film negatives, increasing liability insurance and completion bond rates. Filming and editing in hi-def eliminated the need for that. Guardian was also able to make digital copies as necessary. According to the company, the film had a $250,000 post-production budget, but Guardian spent under $125,000.

Guardian used three XPRI units, each matched with recording decks to generate a live backup. According to the company, gains over traditional workflow began on the set when the director could tag footage so it was ready for a rough cut as soon as it came out of the camera. The workflow was also improved through the ability to send daily tapes to the post facility on the day of shooting, and shots were immediately put onto a timeline and stored on Sony fibre channel arrays, so the footage was ready for immediate editing. The remaining footage was stored offline on inexpensive hard drives.

Guardian is already installing two more XPRI systems with fibre channel arrays for future productions. The extra systems will also allow the company to move beyond HDTV and feature production into shooting corporate events for HDTV projection.