Skubalon Entertainment is a Los Angeles-based production company focused on the development and creation of supernatural horror and thriller content. Founded by filmmaker/producer Damien LeVeck, Skubalon recently embarked on production and post for Good Luck, Nightingale. Written by Shannon Wells, the screenplay was a quarterfinalist in the 2018 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.
Good Luck, Nightingale is set during a Christmas blizzard. Inside a home, a nurse named Faith keeps her daughter Charm locked in her room, where she is injected with methadone as part of a treatment for a mysterious affliction. When drifters Kory and Liz break into the house, seeking shelter from the storm, they quickly discover that Faith's relationship with Charm stretches the limits of dysfunction.
Production began in June of 2022, with post production starting shortly thereafter and running concurrently. Filming took place in Louisville, KY, with LeVeck’s assistant editor Jordan Maltby working in Los Angeles, and another post house outside the US also collaborating.
Photo: Damien LeVeck
“A couple of years ago, I started a company with my assistant editor and fellow post production maven, Jordan Maltby, called Shoot2Post,” LeVeck explains. “We offer cloud-based workflow solutions for film, television, commercials and web content, so we were already familiar with the workflow that was needed for this project. What was a first, however, was taking advantage of the new Blackmagic Cloud Store Mini for keeping footage in sync between locations, as well as editing the film in the same program we’re using for color grading - DaVinci Resolve Studio - and remotely hosting the collaborative project using Blackmagic Cloud. Giving color and sound easy access to the footage via the cloud during production and through post has been paramount for an efficient workflow.”
LeVeck used Shoot2Post’s Magic Box for on-set media management and dailies processing. Camera cards were duplicated to two internal RAIDs. The Blackmagic proxy generator watched the media directory for new footage and began making low-resolution proxies for edit. All original media and proxies were simultaneously uploaded to Dropbox, which made granting access to digital assets effortless for the production.
With Cloud Store Mini in place, LeVeck chose the network attached storage solution’s option to only download proxies when syncing with the Dropbox folder, so that original camera files remained in the cloud. With a Cloud Store Mini attached to each workstation, additional media imported by any user, such as sound effects or other assets, was automatically synced to the cloud and other Cloud Store Minis via Dropbox.
“Hosting our Resolve project using Blackmagic Cloud has worked remarkably well,” says LeVeck. “Not only can multiple users work on the same project simultaneously, but importing footage, audio and picture assets, cutting them into the timeline, and watching them appear online for every other user within a split second is very, very cool. The synchronization of project changes and media between users is seamless.”
According to LeVeck, editing in DaVinci Resolve Studio hosted with Blackmagic Cloud just made sense for this project.
“Since we are on a really tight post production timeline, I began cutting during filming,” he explains. “My assistant editor could then remotely sound design on my edits and help me with turnovers. And, for the first time in my professional career, the colorist will start grading the picture before it’s even locked. Since all our media is stored in the cloud, the DI facility need only download the original camera files, and they will immediately link to the clips in the shared project. No need to conform. Utilizing Blackmagic Cloud and DaVinci Resolve for a collaborative project is an enormous cost savings in the greater landscape of cloud-based sharing solutions.”
LeVeck sees this collaborative workflow as the future, where artists no longer need to be local to production or post.
“Gone are the days when you have to be in the same location as your editor or assistant editor or VFX team or colorist. The proliferation of these types of workflows will continue to simplify so many things and make productions much more efficient. It represents a new way of working smarter, not harder, further streamlining workflows, saving costs and bringing projects to audiences sooner.”