Published on Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Cutting Edge TV Unit Delivers Post for Eyeworks’ Bali Holiday

Cutting Edge’s new TV Unit has delivered a colour grade, online and sound package for the unabashed Eyeworks Australia documentary series ‘What Really Happens in Bali’.

This series exposes a side of tourism in Bali that viewers may have never seen before. The series is edgy and includes some eye-opening surprises, but is nevertheless a creative success for the producers and production crew, who were often working hand held on location under challenging conditions, mainly shooting on the Canon C300 with a 5D and GoPro cameras.


Using the cameras to capture serious accidents and injuries as they happened, ‘What Really Happens In Bali’ is comprised of real life drama, in line with Eyeworks Australia’s reputation as a producer of factual entertainment and observational documentaries. Cutting Edge’s TV Unit took the approach of operating as an extension of the production team, working with Eyeworks as a small, flexible unit throughout the project. 

Consolidated Media on Avid

John Unwin as online/offline editor and Simon Hicks on sound worked with Eyeworks to develop and deliver the grade, character super layout, credits, title super animation and design, transitions, sound design, track lay and audio mix. While Cutting Edge is always aware of the conditions and limitations a camera crew might have out on set, in post they still need to deliver to a high standard for broadcast. “In factual entertainment and observational documentaries, as in any genre, budgets and deadlines are a factor, but that's the skill - creating the best work possible within the parameters,” John Unwin said.


Before supplying the footage to the Cutting Edge TVU, Eyeworks editorial transcoded all sources to DNx120 and delivered it as MXF media. For each segment, a consolidated episode was delivered to Cutting Edge on an external hard drive. An Avid Symphony project was created for the episode on the facility’s ISIS shared storage system. It was then relinked to the consolidated media on the external drive, again via the Avid and transcoded to DNxHD 120 MXF media for storage on the ISIS system.

John said, “Using this Avid Symphony workflow meant we didn't have to conform from all the rushes. By supplying the material as a consolidated episode, it was already offlined in Avid at the resolution at which they wanted to do the master and the online. Meanwhile, Eyeworks also supplied an AAF containing audio and video information for the episode, which we imported into a new Pro-Tools HDX session, established from the same consolidated media stored on the ISIS. Once extracted, the audio mix could begin.”


Energetic Colour Grade

The overall grade, developed alongside the Eyeworks team uses a youthful, energetic colour palette. “The brief for the grade was to create a vibrant, rich atmosphere that would evoke a feeling of exotic travel and fun,” John said. “This was achieved through an increase in saturation and a slight push in contrast, to make blacks deeper and more pronounced. Secondary colour correction was applied to shots to enhance individual colours without compromising the shot as a whole. Mostly targeted were the blue palettes in ocean shots and greens in forest scenes.

An effects grade was also designed, appearing in items referred to as 'Baligrams' that punctuate the show in short bursts explaining individual aspects of Bali life, culture and dangers. This footage references a 1970s surf film look partly achieved by sourcing film clutter and exposure effects to recreate a desaturated Super 8 style.

Cutting-edge-tvu-bali Cutting-edge-tvu-bali4

Multiple Deliverables

The punchy sound design was shaped to maximise the drama, excitement and outrageousness of the action, and added a touch of fun when it was needed. Simon Hicks used the existing sound of the environment while maintaining a subtle sense of drama.

The deliverables were HDCAM for both the commercial and international releases, and international mix stems, or sub-mixes, for the audio were supplied as files. Each programme has different requirements depending on the network and distributor, although all are at HD resolution. John mentioned that the networks are now moving toward file based master delivery.

‘What Really Happens In Bali’ has been airing on Channel Seven and the episodes can be seen here. See the Trailer here.


PRODUCTION: Eyeworks Australia

PRODUCER: Jo Tankard
GRADE: John Unwin
SOUND: Simon Hicks