Boutique London Post House “Hangman” Future-Proofs for 4K HDR

HDR or more precisely 4K HDR is quickly becoming a “real thing” in the world of high-end video production. With the current crop of HDR TV’s delivering more clearly visible difference between 4K HDR and 4K SDR imagery to consumer, production companies are quickly getting on board and starting to future-proof content for the masses by offering 4K HDR delivery services to more upscale clientele. Recently, London-based production and post-production company Hangman announced its move to a new state-of- the-art facility in Kew that’s designed to deliver 4K HDR.

According to Hangman director James Tonkin, the upgraded studio was built with dedicated rooms for both grading and finishing as well as sound audio mixing and composition. Future proofing was also crucial to the design, which allows the Hangman team to manage Raw files at up to 8K resolutions.

“We created an open planned editorial space that can be scaled as required to service multiple offline edits or collaborative projects. Having spent a lifetime working in dark rooms, I wanted to create a light, open plan space for offline editing. “The aim was to be able to work together in this area and then run grade and audio mixes in parallel using dedicated suites, but, with everything close together so at any stage of a project clients could pop from room to room to see the project taking shape.”

DaVinci Resolve Studio and the Resolve Mini Panel was integral to the new DI suite, which has now already delivered its first feature length job – the concert grade for Live at Pompeii by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore.

In the grading suite, Hangman are currently running a 2013 MacPro 6-Core 3.5GHz with two D500 3GB AMD FirePros, which according to Hangman boss Tonkin still handles real-time performance in Resolve with 4K rushes when monitored at HD.

On the recent David Gilmour concert this allowed the initial grades to be completed to music and played back for the director while he was in the room, without the need for rendering or caching.

“The minute we started to add more nodes of de-noising or more complicated secondaries, we would render out the timelines on a second system, an older 2010 MacPro 12-Core 2.93Ghz, which is supported by a new NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti card.”

The NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti is a popular workhorse for post-production rigs, and did the heavy lifting by rendering the 4K timelines on the second machine whilst continuing to grade in the suite on the other machine. The late addition of the NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti card made a huge difference to how quickly they could render out all the 4K final versions, allowing the entire 152 min concert to be rendered in 4K over night for viewing the next day.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K Camera

The concert was a huge undertaking with 19 different camera angles and a combination of different cameras all shooting 4K DCI or 4K UHD. Predominantly, the concert was shot on Sony F55 in RAW and XAVC, Sony F5, Sony 4300, RED Dragon in 6K, Blackmagic Cinema camera and Blackmagic Ursa Mini in 4K and a DGI Drone in 4K H.264 and RAW DNG. They even used a Sony A7R II for some of the shots.

For HDR monitoring, the grading suite features a Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K Extreme which outputs to both a Sony OLED HD monitor and an LG 77 inch 4K UHD OLED.

“Moreover, to future proof ourselves, we have also employed Cat 7 around the building and invested in a new dedicated SAN by LumaForge running 10Gb to workstations with future connectivity for 40Gb enabled. It was important that we avoided any potential bottlenecks within the pipeline, be that disk-speeds, cabling, graphic cards or just computer CPU performance.”

Hangman 2017 Showreel from hangman on Vimeo.

Hangman have been doing some amazing work and have shot some of my favourite bands including AC/DC and Metallica, which I am sure must have been loads of fun. To check out more of James’ work with Hangman head over to their website here.

[via Blackmagic Design]

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  • Paps4

    They work with FCP X. No mention in this article… Obvious from the ads around the article where the sponsor came from…

    • Dale Ryan Leckie

      I couldn’t agree more. I seems that Blackmagic is spending a lot of cash to make this as much of a BMD story as possible, making sure there is no mention of FCPX. I like BMD and 4kshooters, but this type of stuff is disheartening.

      • What is disheartening is reading comments such as the two above. First things first. The above post is NOT a paid post, or a promotion. I have clearly identified the source at the bottom of the post. Blackmagic Design are advertising on our website (via a banner), this is no secret, we are pretty open with things like that, you can check out our ethics disclaimer in the top menu in the About Us section, and you can see their banner, displayed everyday on the right side of the site. Referring to your comment above that implies that I have been paid to write this. You’re wrong, I was not. All of our “sponsored posts” are tagged as such in the author section in the top left corner. As you can see, clearly, this article is not tagged as such, because it isn’t a paid promotion. The information in the above post was made available to numerous media outlets by Blackmagic Design, it was not sent just to us. I didn’t have to run this post if I didn’t want to. No one paid me and no one forced me to do so. I did it because I thought it would benefit our readership (obviously expect you two gentlemen above). Which is fine, I learned a long time ago that no matter what I do, on the Internet, there will be always be some who will not like what I do, but accusing me of being dishonest is not something I would tolerate. I have no idea what other software Hangman use in their daily work. I’ve never used FCP X, I’ve got nothing against FCP X or other Apple products. I appreciate you guys reading our blog, I really do, but reading comments like this, is really disheartening and quite frankly makes me very sad. Instead of not responding and ignoring your comment, I chose to respond in (hopefully) a clear, concise and honest way and defend my position.

        • Dale Ryan Leckie

          I’m glad you took the time to respond! This is helpful.
          This article was interesting to me because Resolve is a great grading software (and more for others), and something I currently see becoming a part of my workflow, someday.

          I had two “disheartening” moments. One of which you have cleared up, and I’m glad you did…and It was the bigger of the two and probably the more important one. So, I feel silly, but better!!

          The second is just the missing information re: FCPX. This is just an editor (me), being too emotional, probably. I happen to really dig FCPX, love hearing positive FCPX stories and I just like people to know that it rocks.

          We can’t expect you to know every detail about everything, and that’s on me/us.

          I don’t want to be “one of those people” online, and you work hard and don’t deserve that.

          I’m less disheartened now! if at all….

          Anyhow, now you know there is an FCPX side of the story, and I imagine you’ll look into that if the mood strikes.

          Keep up the good work!

        • Dale Ryan Leckie

          One other point. I should have been more clear in my original post.

          When I wrote “I couldn’t agree more. I seems that Blackmagic is spending a lot of cash to make this as much of a BMD story as possible, making sure there is no mention of FCPX.”

          I should have mentioned this in a more general sense, not specific to 4kshooters. Or, at least more specific to BMD. This article is one of MANY!!! that I have read. My frustration (warranted or not), is more with BMD. But, I also understand they are proud of their product and are fighting for market share in a tough market.

  • hangman

    just to add we use both FCPX and Resolve… almost in equal measures, however this article was focusing on the David Gilmour project which was graded only in Resolve, hence the BMD/Resolve bias.

    There’s an article on FCP.co regarding our FCPX use on tours. In short, love both software and use them both daily!