51 Minds Uses Teranex and DaVinci Resolve for CMT’s “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge”

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Last Updated: November 20, 2014 9:36 pm GMT
(Fremont, California--November 20, 2014) Blackmagic Design today announced that Los Angeles based production company 51 Minds uses Blackmagic Design’s Teranex 2D Processor and DaVinci Resolve on CMT’s popular show, “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge.” 51 Minds also uses a host of additional Blackmagic Design products as part of its optical fiber post production workflow for the hit weekly reality show.

“Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” pits elite athletes against everyday men and women in the ultimate test of strength, stamina and wit. Each episode features eight contestants in head to head battles, and the last man or woman standing earns the right to take on the toughest obstacle course in America created by Austin himself, the “Skullbuster,” for a chance to win cash.

Widely credited with creating the reality television genre, 51 Minds completes editing, conversions and color correction every week on “Broken Skull Challenge.” To accomplish this, 51 Minds built a completely file based, optical fiber workflow, which includes Blackmagic Design products as the backbone for much of the post production.

“We have three main suites we complete ‘Broken Skull’ in, including a main editing suite and two large dub bays. With our dub bays, the concept was to take tape based assets and turn them into file based assets all in a single bay quickly and affordably. Throughout these three rooms, Blackmagic products are everywhere, and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them,” said Alex Palatnick, director of post production, 51 Minds.

51 Minds’ dub bays are built around Blackmagic Design’s Teranex 2D Processor, HyperDeck Studio Pro and HyperDeck Shuttle SSD decks and recorders, Audio Monitors and SmartView HD monitors. The editing suite includes a number of Micro Videohub routers, HyperDeck Studio Pros and various DeckLink I/O cards.

“Each week, we get a large number of files shot from different cameras and in different formats, with CMT needing everything to end up at 23.98fps. No mixed frame rates can happen, and during a conversion session, the amount of footage flying around is amazing. Teranex has been amazing and really churns through these conversions efficiently,” said Alex. “All of the Blackmagic products combined let us be incredibly efficient, which is a must with a weekly deadline. And with all of our other weekly shows waiting at the door, efficiency and reliability from the Blackmagic products is vital.”

51 Minds completes color correction for “Broken Skull Challenge” in its DaVinci Resolve color correction suite.

“‘Broken Skull’s’ DP came to us and wanted to get a gritty, real ‘300’ type of look. This is Steve Austin, and the show is about getting down and dirty and pushing through the pain, so with color correction we have to really focus right in on the person getting a beating,” said Josh Petok, colorist at 51 Minds. “The imagery at Broken Skull is jarring, and there is constant action going on. So with Resolve, we have to deal with tracking motion down to the smallest detail and work on desaturating a lot of the images in the background of the shot.”

He continued, “Resolve has been great for this. Its tracking windows are the best in the industry and let us easily track the motion and get right down into the shots. We also rely on Resolve for sharpening the images quickly and efficiently and with a lot of noise reduction. And with the deadline always right in front of us, we rely on Resolve’s real time performance since we have to jump from one correction to the next and can’t wait. It really has been a life saver, and the client loves how fast we can turn this around.”

For more information on the series or to view full episodes, visit CMT.com.


About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.

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