FilmLight provides future-proof picture finishing for Sky

FilmLight provides future-proof picture finishing for Sky
December 12, 2016 Meriam Khan

Leading European broadcaster implements extensive FilmLight network to improve time, cost and creativity for short and long form content

[12 December 2016]

Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, has extended the capabilities of its post-production department with a suite of high-performance colour tools and technology from FilmLight. The new systems will allow Sky to serve the increasing technological demands of external clients as well as in-house departments at the company’s headquarters at Osterley, West London.

Now installed at Sky are two Baselight TWO high-performance 4K colour grading systems, each with a Blackboard 2 control surface. The network also includes a Baselight ASSIST for finishing and rendering, and two Baselight CONFORM Mac OS X software seats for content preparation. In addition, there are four floating Baselight for Avid licences, which add Baselight grading and colour rendering capabilities to standard Avid editing workstations.

The systems interoperate fully using the metadata-based Baselight Linked Grade (BLG) for renderless throughput and are linked with the unrivalled colour science of Truelight Colour Spaces.

“We cover the most advanced television content, including commercials and trailers, panel shows and documentaries,” said Cara Sheppard, Post Production – Senior Manager of Entertainment and Creative operations at Sky.

“The colour toolset and grading capabilities in Baselight are by far the most advanced in the industry,” she added. “FilmLight has always led the way with advances in Ultra HD and HDR, which is of particular interest to us at the moment. And of course Baselight is our clients’ preferred grading system, and indeed is the grading system of choice amongst freelance colourists as well.”

In a busy broadcast post-production facility workflow is a key consideration. The Baselight TWO suites will be used for high-profile content, with simpler grading tasks performed using the Baselight for Avid plugin. This gives Sky considerable flexibility and faster turn around, without the need to move large amounts of content around the facility.

“The fact that FilmLight has put a considerable amount of thought, investment and development into collaborative workflows with Avid products – without compromising on quality or the grading toolset – is a huge bonus,” Sheppard said.

Wolfgang Lempp, founder and CEO of FilmLight, added, “One of the really important factors for television is productivity. That’s why we’ve always pushed the idea to start grading early, and to keep the grade flexible throughout production and post. Collaborative working is not only more creatively satisfying, it is the most efficient way to get the project finalised and delivered. Sky value this approach just as much as we do, and the new installation ensures that their audiences see the pristine content they are expecting, while Sky continues to push their ideas and productivity forward.”

The suite of Baselight technology was installed at Sky earlier this month. Among the programmes it is already finishing is the sports comedy panel show A League of Their Own: US Road Trip, with freelance colourist Peter Lynch.