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Shapeshifter Provides Post for 'Arrested Development'

Shapeshifter provides comprehensive finishing services, including final conforming, final color correction and visual effects for new episodes of Netflix series Arrested Development.

Studio City, CA – Producers of the revived television series Arrested Development, which simultaneously debuted 15 new episodes on Netflix on Sunday, May 26, turned to Shapeshifter to provide post production services. Shapeshifter’s client for this project was Dakota Pictures.

For new episodes of Arrested Development, Shapeshifter provided comprehensive finishing services, including final conforming, final color correction, and visual effects.

“Shapeshifter’s contributions to this show were significant,” said Troy Miller, Executive Producer/Director (with Creator Mitch Hurwitz) of Arrested Development. “They are virtually unsurpassed in their ability to make quality changes quickly and efficiently. Their artistry and technical finesse added a level of quality that this genre rarely has. I couldn't be more pleased with Russo and his team.”

“During the editing of Arrested Development, we took full advantage of the 4K image captured in the field by our RED Epic cameras,” adds Dakota Pictures’ Post Supervisor Lincoln Sevier. “Show creator Mitch Hurwitz would sometimes ask for shots to be blown up as much as 300 percent. Because of this, it was important that we online the episodes using the original RED media instead of a 1920x1080 conversion.  I knew the Da Vinci Resolve had this ability, but needed a skilled colorist and facility that were ready to take on a project the size of Arrested Development.  I reached out to Black Magic, owners of the Da Vinci Resolve software, who put me in touch with Colorist Randy Coonfield at Shapeshifter.  He and his company were well versed in using a roundtrip workflow to color and online RED media.  We were in very good hands with Shapeshifter -- they catered to all of our needs.”

“Dakota Pictures brought season 4 of Arrested Development to us because they knew the work would be extensive,” says Shapeshifter co-founder and president Russo Anastasio. “This new project highlights our capacity to handle large, scripted episodic series, in addition to what we’re already best known for, reality programming and on-air promos. We’d like the industry to know that we thrive on multi-episodic challenges, and we are currently seeking similar projects for the near future.”

“Netflix’s delivery deadline is unique in the industry in that they’ll accept an entire season all at once, instead of the typical one-episode-per-week like traditional networks,” Anastasio adds. “This, coupled with the fact that episodes of Arrested Development Season 4 are tied together with insider gags and creative threads, meant that things needed to remain fluid till the last minute. I’m proud that Shapeshifter was able to deliver this kind of flexibility to Dakota Pictures, enabling them to make creative changes throughout every stage of the process. With a regular show, most traditional post houses wouldn’t touch an episode until it was ‘locked.’”

The key capabilities Shapeshifter employed to achieve the work necessary for the Arrested Development project included the company’s ability to combine RAW camera footage in its native 4K resolution, with other, “traditional HD” sources. These sources are shared facility-wide via a hi-speed SAN network, accessed by Shapeshifter’s Blackmagic Resolve, Avid Symphony, and VFX workstations. This powerful, advanced workflow, coupled with proprietary implementation enables Shapeshifter to integrate a change made by one system to automatically propagate to all other systems.

On Sunday, May 26th Netflix will simultaneously release 15 new episodes of the willfully absurd television sitcom Arrested Development which offered viewers a look into the lives of the fictitious Bluth family –a formerly wealthy and habitually dysfunctional group of self-centered lunatics. The show, from creator Mitchell Hurwitz, made its debut on FOX TV in 2003, and received widespread critical acclaim, including six Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe Award, and attracted a cult following. In 2007, TIME Magazine listed it as among the “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME.” ‘’

Arrested Development ran for three seasons before its cancellation by the FOX network in 2006. The Netflix series, which represents the show’s fourth season, once again stars cast members Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter.

Source: Shapeshifter

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.