Digital FilmTree Salutes NCIS: Los Angeles, Notes Many Tech Firsts

Bookmark and Share

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:56 -- Nick Dager

Post house DigitalFilm Tree CEO Ramy Katrib congratulated CBS and producers Christopher Molnar and Erik Whitmyre on the 10th season of NCIS: Los Angeles. Katrib said that in nearly 250 episodes DFT has averaged 250-400 effects per show. He thanked producers on NCIS: Los Angeles for giving DFT their trust and allowing them to achieve several technology firsts.

DFT has averaged 250-400 effects per show over the ten years of NCIS: Los Angeles.NCIS: Los Angeles was the first North American broadcast to employ the Arri Alexa camera, and, revolutionizing b-cam and large sensor video technologies, they were also the first to incorporated footage from GoPro action cams and Canon EOS still cameras. Now based around Arri Mini workflows, thirteen different video capture solutions are often required for a single action sequence.

Trailblazing multi-cam workflows and the exponential footage requirements for edit, VFX and coloring have required meticulous collaborative possibilities, which called for an even bigger leap of faith only this last year when the producers and talent decided to make an entire infrastructure switch to DaVinci Resolve 15 in the middle of the season. 

DFT was the first company to use the Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve software as a solution on a major television show and began to deliver NCIS: Los Angeles using Resolve color pipelines in 2009. The software has now become the de facto color standard worldwide.

“Flexibility on all fronts has played a large part in helping NCIS: Los Angeles grow over the years,” said Molnar. "We’re constantly experimenting with new cameras, which gives us the right options for all situations, and using upgraded software and hardware, so we’re not locked into workflows of the past and continually looking towards the future, all the while ensuring that we never compromise on quality.”

"We choose to work with only the best teams, and their execution shows in all aspects of production,” he said. "Short work days, massive, real, on-set explosions, intricate set design, dressing, and construction, highly complicated visual effects, the list goes on. Sometimes, yes we’re down to the wire, but everyone from the showrunner down is committed to delivering the best show possible and dedicates their time to make it happen."

“I very quickly came to trust DFT because they have made the whole process of finishing a network television show painless, comfortable and smooth,” added Whitmyre. "When our director of photography wanted to start using multiple DSLR cameras for action scenes, DFT helped organize, research and wrangle them for the best result, and one that didn’t choke our editing workflow. Ramy and DFT have always met my gold standard of care for post, which is that they have never let us down or exposed us to the wrath of the unforgiving television gods. I feel the quality of work we have delivered is first class and that is due not only to an elegant workflow but because they care about quality and even enjoy pushing the envelope."

In 2014, DFT won the HPA Creativity and Innovation Award for their work on NCIS: Los Angeles, and was recognized for its work on the show most recently with a HPA nomination for Outstanding Visual Effects in 2018.

DigitalFilm Tree