Much Aloha Found At AlphaDogs
05/05/2013

The documentary film E Haku Inoa: To Weave A Name, follows filmmaker Christen Marquez on her personal journey to reconnect with her estranged mother and find out the meaning of her 60-letter-long Hawaiian name.

Online PR News – 05-May-2013 – Burbank, CA – Hawaiian naming practices are steeped in tradition and carry many different meanings. Origins of the name given at birth can range from dream or spiritual inspirations to family names that are passed down, or an event that happens around the birth of the child. The documentary film E Haku Inoa: To Weave A Name, follows filmmaker Christen Marquez on her personal journey to reconnect with her estranged mother and find out the meaning of her 60-letter-long Hawaiian name. The story touches on Hawaiian culture and the struggle to support traditions in a world where there are many forces working to erase them. The film will screen as part of the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival on May 7th and May 11th, 2013. http://asianfilmfestla.org/2013/

Before beginning post-production Director and Producer, Christen Marquez and Editor, Regina O de Freitas consulted with AlphaDogs editor and colorist Sean Stack. Stack comments, “I knew this would be a fun project to work on, the clients were nice, the images were beautiful and it was an interesting story filled with family drama, Hawaiian culture and a positive point of view.” Working collaboratively, the team scanned through the film to find a creative approach that would best convey the up-close and personal story of Marquez. “I was surprised at how extremely welcoming AlphaDogs was in wanting to work on an independent documentary project for public television. They were great in explaining the post-production process, and in making sure delivery went as smoothly and efficiently as possible,” said Marquez.

To keep costs under control, the consultation included instructions for film editor, Regina O de Freitas on preparing the Final Cut Pro project for audio and video finishing. Several different formats in the offline edit needed to conform to ProRes422(HQ), along with the timeline being optimally organized in preparation for the online. O de Freitas re-organized the timeline with the majority of video on track one, while moving the graphics—including lower thirds and subtitles created in After Effects—to upper tracks, saving substantial time and cost in the color correction process. “The sequences were delivered ready to Send To Color with the video footage that needed color correction on the lower tracks. The upper levels didn’t need correction, so I removed them from the timeline, pasting the graphics and text layers back in after color correction was completed,” said Stack.

Archival black and white film footage of Hula dancers in Hawaii—including Marquez’s mother as a young Hula dancer—had artifacts and glitches in the images resulting from the film-to-video transfer. Using masking techniques, Stack was able to get rid of intermittently appearing horizontal lines. “Sean cleaned up some very glitchy areas on the archival video footage. I didn’t even ask because I figured it was beyond repair, but he went above and beyond and fixed it. It was wonderful. Sean is not only a great colorist, but skilled with fixing other problem areas,” said Marquez. Clean-up restoration dramatically improved picture quality without any of the glitches being noticeable to the viewer. Stack comments, “I loved the reaction when the clients saw the improvement.”

Audio Mixer Curtis Fritsch used Isotope RX plugins to remove noisy parts of the audio shot on older equipment removing any undesirable sounds without making the voices of the characters in the film sound altered. Marquez comments, “Curtis did some really amazing things with cleaning up audio that was pretty rough in spots.” The soundtrack included a lot of singing tracks requiring Fritsch to make sure the songs flowed together smoothly throughout the documentary. Fritsch comments, “I made sure that the singing on camera sounded as good as the singing in the title sequence along with the audio from other sources including a clip of grainy Hawaiian TV footage, that was treated separately from the rest.”

Stack also performed secondary color correction to fix iris shifts and automatic color adjustments that occurred in the handheld camera footage. Digital Heaven Reincarnation plug-in filters were used to fix dead pixels in the picture, with final delivery output to 1080i HDCAM for PBS Network. “I am very happy with the final delivery and didn’t have to worry about the technical specs at all,” said Marquez. “The artistic help with color and sound design was great and I would most definitely use AlphaDogs again because they were very supportive all the way through the project. Their customer service just doesn't quit, and by far exceeds my past experiences in working with other post facilities.”

E Haku Inoa: To Weave A Name was produced in partnership with PBS Hawaii and is supported by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Pacific Islanders in Communications, and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and an incredible amount of family and community support. The film will screen at, The LA Asian Pacific Festival in May of 2013, and on PBS nationally in May of 2014. To learn more visit: www.hakuinoa.com

About AlphaDogs: Founded in 2002 by acclaimed editor and colorist Terence Curren, AlphaDogs is an independently owned post-production facility located in the center of Burbank's Media District. AlphaDogs' skilled team brings a dynamic combination of creative talent and technical expertise to clients' projects. Paying extra attention to detail, AlphaDogs prides itself on delivering the quality of a large post-production facility with the personal attention of a small boutique. State-of-the-art editing bays, color correction, audio mixing, motion graphics, visual effects, production offices and equipment rentals are available. Since 2003, AlphaDogs has been giving back to the post-production community through its Editors' Lounge series of discussion panels and product demonstrations. To learn more visit http://www.alphadogs.tv and http://www.editorslounge.com.