HOLLYWOOD — Joe Eckardt is the founder of post company Unbreakable Post (unbreakablepost.com) in Hollywood, as well as the editing talent behind the two-time Emmy-nominated Netflix reality show Selling Sunset.
According to Eckardt, each season of Selling Sunset shoots between 90 and 100TBs of footage, all of which gets loaded into FotoKem’s NextLab dailies kit each day of filming.
“Once the offline editorial team locks each episode, we run an EDL through NextLab, which instantly links the footage used in the locked cut to its camera raw files,” Eckardt explains. “The NextLab then creates mezzanine files with handles for each shot used in the final cut that then go into (DaVinci) Resolve for the full UHD conform.”
The show’s audio goes over Rob McIntyre at Sound Rebels for a full mix in 5.1 and LtRt. McIntyre has been mixing the show since Season 1. Once the episode is fully conformed, the episode goes to Aleks Ver for color grading.
“Aleks has been the show’s only colorist since Season 1,” says Eckardt. “The color grading takes four to five days, as there is an enormous amount of beauty work involved in achieving the final product. Once the color grading is completed the show goes back to the online editor to do a full noise reduction pass to give the show the glossy look that we all enjoy on Netflix.”
Selling Sunset is then screened for the executive producers three or four times, where they provide color and mix notes.
“When all notes have been addressed, then the show goes through a Dolby Vision analysis in DaVinci Resolve to produce the SDR version of the episode,” says Eckardt. “Once the episode has received its final thumbs up, an IMF is created and delivered to Netflix for QC.”
This entire process can take two to four weeks to complete.
“The shows overall look has changed significantly since Season 1,” Eckardt observes. “In fact, if you compare Season 1 to Season 2, you will see that the show in Season 1 didn’t really have the glossy look that it is known for. Starting Season 2, we would do a shot-by-shot noise reduction pass on each episode. This is extremely time consuming, but well worth it when you look at the final product.”
Eckardt says Selling Sunset is filled with nuances and treated as if it were a scripted series.
“Every frame is looked over and analyzed to ensure it’s the best-looking frame possible,” he states. “In Selling Sunset, you will never see any blurs in the show. That’s because anything that does need blurring gets digitally painted out of the shot. For example, since this is a real estate show, there are many home tours that the show films, and on the walls may be artwork that the producers are not able (to) legally clear, so the team digitally paints the artwork out and the wall appears to never have had the artwork hanging on it, unbeknownst to the viewers. No one wants to see large blurs floating in the background.”