Four years in the making, The Old World is the first dedicated European bike movie. Created by filmmaker trio, The Tillmann Brothers, and coproduced with RedBull Media House, the feature follows 15 athletes showcasing a variety of biking disciplines in stunning locations across seven European countries.
“We wanted to create a premium sports movie, which for us meant not only using the very best quality filmmaking gear, but also striving to create a unique story that every rider and sports fan could relate to,” explains director, Andi Tillmann. “We all come from a professional mountain biking background, and our deep connection to that world meant that we could combine our two great passions.”
The feature was conceived as seven distinct segments, each designed to portray a certain discipline, mindset and landscape to show the diversity of Europe’s riding culture.
Remote fjords in Norway, Scottish mountain ranges and the Parisian metropole all form striking backdrops, with the riders’ expertise enhanced by creative drone and handheld camerawork, dynamic editing and uplifting soundtracks. The team also deployed a specialised high speed cable-cam system by Airtime Unlimited and also built their own custom ‘bike to bike’ rig.
“The overall creative approach was that although each world was very different, what linked them was the concept that the talent was getting sucked into each world. So we defined distinct looks to match the energy.
That meant shooting in all kinds of different formats and codecs, on a multitude of camera systems; from top-end professional cameras, prosumer action cams and even some vintage Hi8 camcorder footage,” explains Toni Tillmann, the movie’s DP.
“Our post workflow relied on DaVinci Resolve, because we knew it could handle all of those different codecs and formats, providing us with a smooth post pipeline from the outset.”
Editor, Michi Tillmann, explains that three redundant copies of the project rushes allowed for safe transport and storing, as each segment was planned, filmed and completed. “I use ShotPut Pro to offload everything on to a Thunderbolt RAID. This then is backed up to a set of LaCie Rugged Raid drives, with an LTO Thunderbolt tape drive as an underpinning, long-term storage solution.”
During the production, Michi worked with two editing systems. On set, a MacBook Pro system with a Blackmagic eGPU and Samsung FHD monitor was used for wrangling the media and backup creation.
A DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard complemented the setup, allowing Michi to scrub quickly through footage, tag and create first select cuts. Back at the production office, the Tillmann Brothers have a more powerful, self-configured Intel-based 8 core workstation, with NVIDIA GeForce GPU and a trio of high-performance monitors.
With such a huge amount of footage to work through, high productivity and accuracy were key drivers.
“With each of our productions, I try and streamline my workflow, whether I’m compositing, working with graphics packages or simply editing,” continues Michi. “I was particularly happy with the keyboard’s frame-accurate tools. Not only did this help to speed up my work, it also made some of the more complex cuts easier.
“One segment in particular, with Szymon Godziek, stands out. We wanted to edit and sync all of his incredible tricks hit to the beat of the soundtrack, a process that takes precision. All of the trimming, jogging back, reviewing, and cutting could be done intuitively, without any need to avert my gaze.”
Toni worked closely with colorist Phil Strahl at Red Bull Media House’s grading suite to define a stylized look within DaVinci Resolve. “The first task was to convert all of the footage to ACES, and we found everything matched well, creating a uniform timeline for the grade. This was really refreshing, giving us plenty of time and space for creativity,” explains Toni.
“Each setting had one or two defining hues, for example, the opening segment in Norway had predominant greens and blues with pronounced middle contrast to enhance a fresh, natural aesthetic. In contrast, the urban setting was heavily layered with Hi8 footage and digital matte effects, so I exaggerated the digital artifacts and pulled back distracting background color,” he continues.
The feature was graded in HDR, with a final output format of 24fps 3840×2160. “We also mastered in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, as well as transcoded to platform-specific formats as required,” concludes Toni. “This could have been an overwhelming prospect, but in fact was an incredible experience to work with the intense latitude of the footage delivered by the cameras within the DaVinci Resolve pipeline.”
The Old World was produced in conjunction with RedBull Media House and made possible with the help of BMW and Adidas | Five Ten and is available in up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos) here.
[source: Blackmagic Design]
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