(Hollywood, CA--November 21, 2016) Queen Sugar
¸ the new OWN series from Warner Horizon Television and Harpo Productions and executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, tells the story of three estranged siblings who, after a family tragedy, reunite to run an 800-acre sugar farm in Louisiana. Based on the best-seller by Natalie Baszile, the show is a rich and deeply moving tale of people overcoming risk and reinventing themselves.
The series editorial team was led Spencer Averick, whose many collaborations with DuVernay date back to the 2008 documentary This Is the Life and also include 2015 Academy Award Best Picture nominee Selma. Also returning from the Selma team was Hula Post
, which again supplied editorial systems and support. Additionally, for Queen Sugar, Hula provided office space in Burbank for the series writers.
For Averick, whose team spent several months cutting the first season, Queen Sugar was unlike a typical television drama, describing it instead as a feature film told in 13 parts. Its not like regular television in the pacing and slow character development, Averick says. Its the same kind of story that Ava and I have been telling in narrative features for years. It was different in that we had to hit the 42 minute marks, but we still had the freedom to take our time with the characters.
Averick says that the nature of the story required a restrained editorial pace. He often allowed scenes to play out with a minimum of cuts. As an example, he points to an emotionally charged moment near the end of the shows first episode. Ralph Bordelon (Kofi Siriboe) takes his son Blue (Ethan Hutchison) to visit his father (Glynn Turman), the familys patriarch, who is dying in a hospital.
Ralph has been delaying bringing his son into the hospital because, he says, he doesn't want him to see his grandfather on his death bed with tubes coming out of his nose, Averick explains. But the subtext is clear, its Ralph who is afraid.
When they walk in, Ernest wakes up and they share a sweet moment. There is no dialogue and I sat on the shots for a long time, for as long as it felt right. A lot was going on in their eyes. You could feel their relationship and history. It was a positive moment for three generations of men. There were no words, but it spoke volumes.
Averick's team included editors Avril Beukes, JoAnne Yarrow and Paul Alderman, and assistant editors Yasmin Assemi, Sarah Russell and Andrew Hellesen. Associate Producer Christiana Hooks supervised post production with Post Supervisor Ryan Stephens, Post Coordinator Olivia Latz and Post Production Assistant Kenny Christie. Hula Post provided six Avid Media Composers, ISIS shared storage and 24/7 technical support.
Hula was quick, accommodating and collaborative, says Hooks. It was smooth sailing. On the few occasions when there was a technical issue, they were there in 30 minutes.
Hooks adds that the entire post production process proceeded without a hitch and in a spirit of collaboration set in motion by DuVernay. We became a community, she says. Ava included all of us and allowed everyone the freedom to give notes and speak their minds. Ultimately, that made everything better. It had more eyes on it and more points of view and that was a huge benefit to the show.
Averick agrees and says that the result is a unique and powerful series that he believes will grow on audiences. Its not instant gratification, he says. We allow you to sink your teeth into the story and the characters. It has a cumulative effect. Its what we do
and we love it.
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About Hula Post
Hula Post provides exceptional equipment rental services to the post production and broadcast communities. With offices in Burbank and West Los Angeles, the company is the industry leader in customized workflow solutions. It offers a large inventory of editorial and finishing systems, storage solutions, and support gear, backed by the industrys most experienced and knowledgeable support team in the industry. For more information, visit http://hulapost.com