YoYo Powers the Pipeline at The Mill

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Sat, 12/11/2010 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

London VFX studio The Mill is using YoYotta’s YoYo workflow management system to anchor its production pipeline. The award-winning studio handles commercials work for a wide variety of high-end clients including recent spots for companies like Nike Mercedes-Benz Sony PlayStation Ford and T-Mobile. The company says its YoYo system contributed greatly to the success of the Nike World Cup three-minute spot Write the Future.

 “Every single EDL that comes into the building goes through the YoYo so it serves as the lynch pin of the back-room processes ” says colorist Seamus O’Kane. “We have two YoYos – one is permanently hooked up to the Pandora color processor in my suite while the other one sits in the back room as part of the data lab where the assistants organize our work for us feeding data to the Pandora as well as preparing content for our Baselights.”

 O’Kane explained that over the years the DI workflow in commercial post-production has evolved separately from the filmic DI approach. 

“The whole concept of DI had to be a little more flexible for commercial clients ” says O’Kane. “That was the focus of development on the YoYo as a fast flexible system that would allow you to do commercial work without having to hold up your hand and say ‘Sorry we have to wait for this to process.’”

 Originally designed as a conform i/o interface for Pandora color correctors YoYo has evolved into a suite of three modules that give post facilities a comprehensive toolset for managing their workflows. With YoYo facilities can ingest transcode conform and output just about every standard video- or data-based file format. “The beauty of the YoYo and the Revolution is they’re very light and flexible ” says O’Kane. “It starts to make you imagine other ways of working which might be better suited to production in the future.”

With the YoYo’s rich feature set many of the processes that would traditionally have been done in an expensive suite can now be done in the background.

“Even as a stand-alone box it can actually do quite a bit of color processing in its own right ” says O’Kane. “Plus it can take full authorship of the client’s EDLs if we need to change something on the fly. Flexibility is vital to everything we do these days.” This paradigm shift has given the facility the efficiency to produce high volumes of top-notch work under tight deadlines like the Nike World Cup three-minute spot Write the Future directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. The spot which aired earlier this year relied mainly on the YoYo’s data workflow. “The Nike spot was a good illustration because we turned around 236 effects shots in about six weeks which is a huge amount of work ” O’Kane says. “It was a very concentrated pipeline and I feel that that’s how VFX should be done.”
 YoYotta www.yoyotta.com