What do post production and bad sex have in common? Burbank based Post Production house AlphaDogs, found out while providing post services on the group therapy reality series Bad Sex. The show profiles the lives of 10 individuals struggling with compulsivity and intimacy disorders as they complete an intense two-month recovery program under the guidance of sexuality expert, Christopher Donaghue. The 10-episode series currently airs Monday evenings at 10/9c on Logo TV.
Post Coordinator for PB&J Entertainment, Cindy Kerber was researching post facilities to finish the series when a respected colleague suggested AlphaDogs, recommending their talent, focus and technical aptitude. “Besides AlphaDogs' stellar reputation for being a dedicated and talented group of post production professionals, I also had the comfort of knowing that the internal QC process is extremely thorough and any changes that needed to be made would be caught before the delivery of each episode.”
Finishing editor and colorist Sean Stack is in charge of handling color grading and deliverables for the show. File-based delivery consists of textless SD, HD, international, and iTunes exports, with each requiring different network specs. File-based delivery has become more prevalent with plenty of room for error due to each file being rendered out individually. Kerber comments,“Sean has been fantastic! He brings a level of professionalism, pride and detail that you don’t always find with other facilities. I will definitely be calling upon Sean the next time I need post production.” To ensure conversions are accurate Stack uses the Kona 3 card to transcode the editing and source media frame rate of 23.98 to the broadcast frame rate of 29.97. In the past, tape masters would pass QC before additional delivery dubs were made. Since these delivery tapes are “cloned” they would match the perfection of the master. Stack comments “Now each file comes from a different sequence and the computer could potentially write an error during the rendering process of exporting. Each file presents additional possibilities for QC issues. At Alpha Dogs, extreme care is given to attempt to minimize those errors.” Audio tracks were also conformed which included inserting appropriate audio stems to meet network specs for each file export sequence. The air master was delivered as a MPEG IMX 525 digital file, with additional outputs to SD digital Betacam in NTSC letterboxed format.
Due to time constraints, color grading was completed in Final Cut Pro 7 using the three-way color corrector filters. Problem shots were handled in Apple’s Color program. Additional challenges have presented themselves in footage where participants were interviewed against a green screen background. With the use of DV Garage’s DV Matte Pro, Stack is able to key out the green background making it transparent and revealing the chosen background, which is a grey gradient. “The DV Matte Pro filter is great to use around the edges of the key so hair is easier to keep visible. said Stack.
Using DV Garage’s DV Matte Pro, Stack is able to key out and remove the green background, replacing it with a grey gradient. “Some keying filters do not work well with fragile areas—like hair—and you end up with fuzzy areas with green still showing up where you don't want it, or too much hair becomes cropped. The DV Matte Pro filter eliminates those problems.” For legal clearance purposes blurs were also added to props and people in scenes that were shot in public places.
Bad Sex takes an in-depth look at addictive and compulsive behaviors and how lives can be destroyed if left untreated. Sexuality expert Christopher Donaghue specializes in sex and love addiction treatment at The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles. By undergoing an intensive two-month program, participants are able to get the root of their addictions and behavioral problems, leading to healthier lives.
Bad Sex is produced by PB&J Television with Patty Ivins and Julie Pizzi serving as Executive Producers. Brent Zacky and Pamela Post serve as Executive Producers with Stevenson Greene as Producer for Logo.
AlphaDogs (alphadogs.tv) is a full service post production company. Operating in the heart of Burbank’s media district, AlphaDogs offers state of the art editing bays, color correction, audio mixing, visual effects, production offices and equipment rentals.