Post-Production Case Study: Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting — Splice

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Synopsis

With 7.7 billion people occupying our planet and predictions of that number reaching 10 billion by 2050, Chris Packham looks to investigate the impact of an ever-growing population and the effect that our species already has on the world, asking the question as to whether Earth will sustain us.


Grade

The grade was completed by Connor Elliott, who worked closely with Director, Charlie Russell.

The documentary's visuals were intentionally shot with abnormal angles, as well as interview locations that emanate a slightly futuristic feel. This allowed Connor to have the creative freedom to push the grade further than the normative for environmental or current affairs documentaries.

A film stock emulation LUT & film grain was used for the primary interview setups, which were shot using Arri cameras. These were intentionally kept quite 'cool' to create a direct contrast to the much warmer locations, like shots of Lagos and Nigeria. The film was shot in various locations around the globe and it was important for us to treat each with slightly differing colour temperature.

The majority of the film is shot outdoors, which meant a fair amount of time was spent on sky replacement work; using saturation, hue, angle & shape tools. This exaggerated the brightness and beauty of these locations.

Audio Post Production

Senior dubbing mixer, Joe Cochrane mixed the show on an Avid S6 using Protools HD. In addition to the suite of audio repair tools available in Izotope’s RX7 Advanced, Sound Radix Auto-Align Post was also used to handle some tricky dialogue recordings.

Online Editing

Online Editor, Sol Coker, completed the online in Avid Symphony using the Boris, Sapphire and Mocha plug-ins.
Charlie and Sol collaborated to use a large impactful font on all scene introduction titles to bring home the importance of the subject matter. This was very effective with the use of countdowns, figures, and statistics.

With challenging interview locations in terms of sound, some object removal of production equipment was required which Sol carried out using the Mocha Plug-Ins to great effect.

Where to Watch

You can watch Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting on BBC Two.