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What is Chrome's Secret Weapon? The Company's Post Production Department

Digital Craft 141 Add to collection

LBB speaks to Chrome’s head of post production, Ben Turze, about the company’s evolution and delivering results that exceed expectations

What is Chrome's Secret Weapon? The Company's Post Production Department

The London and LA-based company has been in the business of production for over twenty years, collaborating with industry giants like Christie’s, Ford, Gucci, Standard Chartered, and the Football Association. With a full slate of exciting projects, 2022 promises to be the busiest year to date. Naturally, that wasn’t enough for the award-winning and boundary-pushing company: they’re expanding their post-production offering too.

A full-service production company for the last 20 years (creative ideation, filming, editing and providing motion graphics for an array of clients), post has always been an extension of Chrome’s primary production offering. In recent years, however, the company has invested heavily in post production as a standalone service, building bespoke suites, recruiting staff, and deploying robust workflows. Chrome’s post production is under the watchful eye of Ben Turze, who heads up the department. 

Guided by the desire to deliver 'above client expectations', Chrome sees expansion as another way of getting the best work to their clients. “When you come to Chrome, you have the experience of people who know both the production and post production world inside-out and that really helps our clients deliver their project seamlessly. As an example of this - one of our more recent hires, Will Sellers, joins us from ENVY post as a senior producer, having previously worked at facilities including Evolutions. This range of experience across our staff gives us a great understanding of all aspects of post production and enables us to tailor our own offering accordingly,” says Ben. “We have an exceptional pool of post production talent at our fingertips, and when you pair that with our in-house creative team, the results always push the envelope. Our senior editor, Alessandro Dordoni, is an absolute magician when it comes to editing and sound design and I’m always excited to see how he collaborates with directors to create stunning story-led films.”

The commercial Chrome created for Standard Chartered’s ‘Opening Doors’ campaign brilliantly shows what they’re able to achieve when production and post come together. They were challenged to create a brand film that demonstrates Standard Chartered’s ability to open doorways to markets across the globe. “To some, a film about facilitating complex transactions and building financial relationships in emerging markets may not immediately conjure images of jaw-dropping footage captured on FPV (First Person View) drones. However, that’s exactly what we did for Standard Chartered”, says Mark Wilson, Chrome’s executive producer.

“This project relied heavily on a seamless connection between production, crew and post production. Early discussions were had about the equipment choices, type of tracking markers and the height of poles which would act as simulated door frames for the drone pilots to fly through. We had to plan what the CGI and comp teams needed in advance and work backward to determine the edit and on-set decisions to make that happen. The results are a phenomenal blend of CGI and stunningly captured drone footage around the world.”

When it comes to live and hybrid events, Chrome is now an industry leader, producing auctions and galas that are as sleek as they are entertaining. How does post production differ for live events? “It’s a completely different set-up requiring a completely different approach and skillset to get right”, says Ben. “For live events, you have to be meticulous, calm, and capable of changing direction at the drop of a hat.” 

The volume of assets needed to produce a visual feast worthy of a Christie’s Marquee Sale  was astounding, with Chrome creating and delivering over 650 video assets for the hybrid auction. “The biggest challenge with live events is the sheer amount of content needed to make the experience exciting for viewers, combined with an equally large graphics package to make it feel smooth and coherent. This involves a lot of preparation in the preceding months: designing, pre-visualising, and setting up automation to allow for changes right up to the wire. It’s such a vastly different challenge from delivering a 30” TVC where you might have several days to hone and refine,” Ben explains. 

“Working on the Christie’s auction was an enormous feat from a post production perspective. Chrome was able to pre-vis room designs, camera angles, and develop and deliver a suite of video assets for the live shows which would engage bidders in a profoundly new and exciting way. Chrome’s lead editor on the project, Matt Nettlefold, worked with a team of editors and graphics artists across time zones to pull together a stunning array of vignettes which showcased the full range of art across three high-profile sales. To create an immersive experience for both the in-room and remote bidders, we had to devise a workflow which would enable us to quickly format each of these edits for a wide range of displays from mobiles and laptops to the multiple in-room displays, culminating in the 35ft in-room LED wall.” The livestreams were watched by a staggering 3.7million viewers around the world.

“We processed 20TB of footage which we made available to Chrome’s senior editor, Alessandro Dordoni, to work his magic. Bringing his unique perspective and exceptional talent to the table, Ale took the lead on the offline edit and sound design. The result was a captivating and remarkably honest 20 minute documentary, giving insight into the development of Ford’s first all-electric vehicle.”

Chrome’s passion for cutting edge technology is one of the reasons they’re excelling at their craft. The company’s instinct for pushing boundaries and offering solutions to problems before they arise naturally extends to post production. “Together with Joel Ogden, our head of technology, we continuously evaluate our equipment, networks, servers, storage and workflows to make sure we are ahead of the curve. More importantly, we are creative people at heart. My background is in editing, graphics, and basic compositing, and I’ve had a passion for new technologies for as long as I can remember, so it will always be a huge part of the decision-making process in post production. Spotting the emerging technologies before they become mainstream and discussing how we can leverage those for our clients is paramount to maintaining the special bond we have with our clients,” says Ben.

Craft, innovation and creativity are behind all of Chrome’s moves, and their desire to work with the best in the industry has crossed borders. With the recent opening of their LA office, the plan is to keep both sides in sync, maintaining flawless workflows that allow for post to begin almost immediately after a shoot wraps. As for the future, the team is excited by their additional capabilities and what it will ultimately mean for their clients. Ben concludes: “I’m so excited to lead post at Chrome into our next decade and to see how we can harness emerging technology and in-house talent to produce world-class results for our clients.”

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Chrome Productions, Tue, 14 Jun 2022 10:07:44 GMT