The New Dark Room for the Digital Age
- October 18, 2012
- Shane Hurlbut, ASC
One thing that we learned quickly on Act of Valor was the importance of a tight team, one that can multi-task, ebb and flow with different responsibilities on a daily basis. The one member of that crew who was not being repurposed was the media manager. This person was really not camera or post, and we have been looking for a solution.
What we did on AOV was to try and keep the old rules of making movies and that etiquette that goes along with it. In my opinion, the digital age has brought about a lot of gack, and with the extra gack, there are more variables to go wrong and potentially slow you down.
Smash cut to the Codex Vault system, which brings the power back to the camera department with efficiency and a film based etiquette that is rivaled by none.
“Let’s Break It Down”
Imagine a world where the loader returns to the darkroom to process footage – a digital darkroom that systematically takes all of what post requires, all that the studio requires, and all that production requires and formulates it into a small powerful black box. The Vault is just that. The digital loader runs a Codex Datapack to set and passes it to the 1st AC. The 1st AC hands the exposed negative, labeled A1, to the digital loader. A1 is also associated with a camera report.
The digital loader takes A1 to the darkroom where the Vault sits. She takes the mag and slides it in. The pop up screen illuminates, asking a series of questions to select which tasks the vault should complete. The loader exits the camera truck and assumes an assistant’s status back on the set. Yes, the loader is now left to help build cameras on cranes, assist in companies’ moves … you dream it up, they are able to do it. Is this sounding familiar? It is how we have been making movies for decades. The idea is to embrace all the wonderful new tools and workflows while keeping the etiquette of the filmmaking process intact.
“The Power of the Vault”
Once the loader has hit his OK’s, we have to go back in time on what was done prior to this point. Post talked with Codex, who programmed the Vault to be able to take clone and transcode Arri RAW or Canon 4K RAW. It will also soon support MJPEG 1DC CF cards, RED Epic cards, Alexa SxS Cards, etc. Set it to transcode for editorial, create time code burn ins, back up the media on an internal raid array, as well as backing it up on dual LTO-5 (linear tape open) tape drives using LTFS (linear tape file system) with a full verification and redundancy check. All of this was set up ahead of time.
Now fast forward to the present where the loader hits the system’s three OK’s and leaves. This device takes the RAW footage, which holds 20-30 minutes of footage, and does all of the work above in half of the time. It is a super charged engine from the heavens. We had it out on the Ford commercial with Bandito Brothers for a test run last week, and what a difference it makes. Having those extra hands on set was such a huge help. This was the first time since jumping into digital capture that I felt like I was shooting film again, digital film.
For more information you can go to http://www.codexdigital.com/products/the-vault
For rental inquiries go to www.revolutioncinemarentals.com