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Old October 7th, 2004, 12:16 PM   #1
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BBC TopGear Film Look

Just wondering what postproduction process BBC TopGear goes through.

They seem to achieve this very filmic look. It's definitely very stylistic.
(You will only know what Iím talking about, if you have watched the show)

I watched an outtake programme which showed the raw footage, and it definitely looked like video.

I personally think itís on of the best shows that the BBC produces. Itís so beautifully shot and edited.
The link below shows some gradient effects that have been added.
Anyone work on the programme, or know the secrets behind how it achieves this look? (Not necessarily the gradient bit)

http://www.macgregorcorp.com/topgear/topgear.htm

(I've stolen this link from another post)

P.S I know this is somewhat similar to "The Office" thread.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 04:20 AM   #2
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Yeah I like the look too. I'd thought they must be using graduated filters like 'Cokin', or maybe matte box grads. They will also colour correct it to give it that saturated contrasty look I bet.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 12:49 PM   #3
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I rather like the show too. I don't know for sure, but it looks like vignetting. Something you could easily do with a bad lens, a filter or color grading software. What do you think?
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Old October 8th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #4
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Iím beginning to doubt myself about the vide thing.
If you look in the credits, it has "video editors" and "film editors" surely they wont be shooting on film. Any ideas?

There are defiantly some effects on it. They seem to achieve these very vibrant colourful looks.
I know that they have been trailing XD Cam. So it must be video. I also think that they have been shooting HD too.
Keep the ideas coming..
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Old October 8th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #5
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Digibeta!

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Old October 9th, 2004, 06:51 AM   #6
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Looks deinterlaced to me as there is quite a lot of large aliasing on edges.
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Old October 9th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #7
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Thanks Robin, for that insightful reply. lol

Keep the ideas coming.
Ok, so far......they are shooting Digibeta, interlacing and using grad filters.

Robin, would you like to elaborate on your view?
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Old October 17th, 2004, 05:15 PM   #8
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Cummon, someone must have somthing to say.......
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Old October 17th, 2004, 07:57 PM   #9
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I think they're using secondary color correction on the sky. It's kind of like adding a graduated filter in post, except that it won't affect foreground elements like a graduated filter would.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 12:25 PM   #10
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After a lot of digging around I still cannot figure exactly what they do (aside from the grad effect). Although I think I have narrowed the software/hardware down. I'm awaing a definite response from the BBC's post production house, but I think they are using Discreet Logics Fire suite. This would explain how they manage to shoot these reports so quickly and get the high end look on a very tight schedule.

Now I would be interested in knowing whether they shoot in progressive scan or deinterlace afterwards. They have some very sharp images. As far as I know they shoot the reports with Sony PDW530P's now which do 25p.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 03:09 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your efforts Simon. Lets hope the beeb get back to you.
I donít know anything about Discreet Logic, but I shall endeavour to research it fully.

Btw, what post house edit the show?
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 03:19 PM   #12
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The look of the sky might come from using a circular polarizing filter on the camera.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 04:07 PM   #13
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For sure they must be using polorisers to get the contrast that they do on the skies. Although they do also use grads added in post of various tints.

Richard, I think that the BBC does the editing and post production for the show in house. Although I am trying to confirm. Annoyingly my video missed the end credits on the last show as I was intending to find out if any camera people were listed as many cameramen have their own personal websites. It might have been possible to track someone down who has worked on the show.

I really want to find out how they do what they do. There are even people in Australia who have caught the show when they have been over here and commented on how brilliant the picture looks on the car reports!
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 05:28 PM   #14
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I presume you read this
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 05:33 PM   #15
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Ooh wow. Didn't see that. Although I am aware of The Mailbox. The local TV news is read from there and I believe anyone is free to go into the building and watch them through the glass.
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