Fifty Fifty’s FilmLight Workflows Finish Gary Lineker Doco for BBC

Fifty Fifty, an independent post house in London, has installed Baselight PLUS, a configured hardware and software package comprising Baselight software, a HP Z840 workstation configured for Baselight and the Slate compact control surface.

The system also comes with Baselight Editions, which in the case of Fifty Fifty resides inside the facility’s Avid editing suite to support a renderless workflow between their Avid DS and Avid Symphony software and the Baselight system. Grading metadata does not need to be exported back into the edit suite, which saves time. Grades can be adjusted in Avid, or round-tripped non-destructively to the grading suite, which is connected to 128TB Avid ISIS shared storage. Baselight Editions include Truelight Colour Spaces in order to make use of FilmLight’s colour management infrastructure.

Since installing the new system in March 2015, Fifty Fifty has used it to finish ‘Gary Lineker on the Road to FA Cup Glory’, a 60 minute documentary produced by Goalhanger Films for the BBC. Shot on Sony F5, RED and Canon 5D cameras, Fifty Fifty’s colourist Kenny Gibb had 900 shots to match and develop, creating the particular look and feel the producers wanted.

At the same time, his colleague Julian Nelson was finishing the online edit. The Baselight for Avid plugin accepts the Baselight Linked Grade colour metadata, BLG, from the main grading suite and imposes the grade in real time. Consequently, Julian was always able to see the latest version of the grade.


The Avid plugin also gives access to all of the tools in the Baselight, via the Slate control surface. This functionality was very useful for applying grading functions in the edit throughout the project, especially when the BBC requested a specific re-edit late in the schedule. “During the online, our client wanted to blur out some branding and personal data,” Julian said. “We wouldn’t normally perform a task like this in Avid, but by launching the Baselight UI inside the software, we were able to build layers on top of the grade, using the area tracker, inside/outside mattes and variable feathering that makes Baselight a good match for our work.”

The area tracker allows you to define an area in the image, rather than individual tracking points. The system is able to accurately track the translation, rotation and scale of the object.
Two separate grading or filter effects can be applied inside and outside of a matte, within any layer of a Baselight grading stack. Mattes are generated using a combination of built-in luma, chroma or 3D keyers, bezier shapes and various modifiers, allowing you to adjust roll-off, softness, choking and so on. Baselight can also apply variable shape feathering, so that the softness of shapes depends on the situation.

Fifty Fifty sees the potential of direct collaboration between editorial and grading, as much for its long-form television work as for commercials. “The round trip between Avid and Baselight is fast and efficient,” said Julian. “It is not just for very large projects, but anything where you need the flexibility and control to manipulate the edit and tweak elements afterwards.”