Scaling mountains

    As a showcase of regional and international film and TV, DIFF has a truly important role to play
    Roger Field is editor of Digital Studio.
    Roger Field is editor of Digital Studio.

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    This month’s cover interview, focusing on the filming of the UAE army’s climb up Everest earlier this year, offers a fascinating insight into the challenges of filming a complex documentary in an extreme location.

    The making of the documentary was certainly no mean feat, with big challenges at every stage, from pre-production to filming and post production. But its completion shows just what is possible in the region’s increasingly dynamic production industry.

    The production team shot a huge volume of film on Everest alone. On top of this there was other footage from Kathmandu and post-climb interviews with the mountaineers. Consider that Alex El Chami and his team then had to find a narrative arc and tell a story from this footage and the scale of the editing challenge becomes apparent.

    Editing and workflow were topics that came firmly under the spotlight at the Digital Studio and Avid Postproduction Roundtable at the start of November. The event gathered together about 12 professionals involved in production, editing, colour grading and other aspects of postproduction. It emerged that postproduction professionals face many challenges, not least a lack of awareness and understanding about postproduction from clients. Interestingly, as the discussion progressed, so the speakers also voiced possible solutions to the challenges they face, and chief among them was the need to better educate the client. This includes raising awareness of what is possible for a specific project. There is a tendency among some people to underestimate the skill, craft and legth of time that goes into postproduction and honesty is probably the best policy to ensure the client is not under any illusion about what production companies can deliver for a set fee. You can read the full report of the roundtable on page 24.

    With November already behind us, the film and TV production industry is eagerly awaiting DIFF. As a showcase of regional and international film and TV, DIFF has a truly important role to play in the industry. It not only reminds us why we all work in this industry, but also serves to inspire, such is the quality and originality of many of the films being aired. And of course, getting the chance to hear the highest calibre actors, such as Samuel L. Jackson, being interviewed is a plus.

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