News Production

Dubai firm conducts first ever remote grading on Resolve

Dubai-based KKDD Film Production has successfully attempted remote colour grading on DaVinci Resolve with colourists in Mumbai.
Kinjal Tanna says remote grading opens new doors for the production house.

Dubai-based production house KKDD Film Production has concluded its first ever successful attempt at remote colour grading on DaVinci Resolve with colourists in Mumbai-based post-production company Nube Studio. It’s also a first for Dubai.

Commenting on the success of the remote operation, Abigail Young-Taguilid, DaVinci Resolve Technical Specialist at Mediacast, a Dubai-based Middle East distributor for Blackmagic Design, said: “We believe this is the first ever remote grading operation from Dubai. As a distributor, we are in touch with the end user and most end users keep us informed about upgrades and so on.”

Speaking to BroadcastPro ME, Kinjal Tanna, Producer at KKDD Film Production, said: “Some months ago, as we were upgrading the software, MediaCast told us about the possibility of remote grading. We were excited about the possibilities and set about making it happen.”

From IP address-related issues to incompatible versions of Resolve, the first two attempts were unsuccessful, Tanna recalled.

“We got the local IP provider to configure our IP addresses to allow for real-time connectivity. Moreover, the Mumbai office needed to have the same version of Resolve as we did – even a version 7 and version 7.1 can pose problems. After the IP addresses were exchanged, we had access to their monitors and vice versa.”

Once the teething issues were resolved, including ensuring the monitors were set to the same calibration, Tanna’s Dubai team managed a successful third attempt.

“We worked on a TV commercial. They uploaded the files with no conversion or generation loss. We had to upload the XML files along with the rushes of the film. Other than having the same XML files and offline edit footage, the timelines also had to coincide perfectly.”

Whereas previously Tanna’s team would send reference files to the colourist in Mumbai with the inevitable back and forth before final approvals, the real-time grading allowed them to achieve their outcome with no loss of control.

“The DoP was present on our side to ensure the final look was what we wanted. Going forward, the only issue we have to resolve now is the current state of internet in India. Whereas downloading 2-3GB files is not an issue here in Dubai, it takes a long time in India.”

With the prospect of employing a full-time colourist not feasible cost-wise for most production houses, Tanna believes there is huge potential for remote grading.

“Remote grading increases our reach and gives us the benefit of working with different colourists around the world. We are not restricted anymore, having ironed out the technical issues.”

The KKDD experiment has generated interest among local production houses, Abigail Young of MediaCast affirmed.

“We have interest from other companies that are exploring remote grading with colourists in Lebanon and elsewhere. Owing to the increased interest, we hope in the near future to conduct demonstrations from our office here in Dubai with our office in Turkey,” Abigail added.