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Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job – Series 2

Voltage TV for BBC One

Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job (Voltage TV for BBC One)
Clear Cut Pictures have recently provided full post production on the second series of the popular Amanda and Alan’s Italian Job. The funny, feel-good show follows besties Amanda Holden and Alan Carr as they roll up their sleeves to bring crumbling Italian homes back to life, while embracing the local lifestyle and la dolce vita!

Colourist, Mike Sanders used Baselight to create a bright, warm picture postcard look for the series,
making the most of the beautiful Tuscan scenery. The outdoor scenes were great to work with as they were shot in fabulous sunny weather, however, some indoor scenes were quite dark and benefitted from careful treatment. The general approach was not to over crank the gain, keeping it moody and avoid the softening affect of any noise reduction. Amanda and Alan’s skin tones are naturally very different, Baselight’s D-key and garbage mattes came into their own to separate and keep a natural, healthy look amidst the saturated primary colour style of the series.

Online Editor, Jamie Home who had worked on the first series, used a range of technologies to bring the bright series to life. At one point a cameraman appeared behind one of the presenters which he successfully painted out using Fusion within Resolve for the intricate work. The odd camera wobble was smoothed out with the Boris Mocha Pro plugin and, by using the Baselight plugin workflow, Jamie was able to tweak the grade as and when the clients requested it while reflecting the look and feel of Mike’s original settings.

In keeping with the vibrant style of the show, Head of Audio, Ben Newth had great fun working on
on the sound for this series; mixing between classic Italian pop music, the pretty atmospheres of Tuscan villages and vistas, and the deafening sounds of DIY; and Amanda and Alan’s recognisable laughter.

Having worked on series one, Ben had a clear idea what was needed in the mix; however the team were served an extra curve ball this time as the main location was set right next to a river. This meant every mic had a prominent and varying level of white noise which would change depending on how close Alan and Amanda were to the river or a window. Ben tackled this problem firstly by phase aligning the boom, camera and personal mics with Auto-Align. This allowed Ben to mix with the perspective of the camera for a more natural sound – whilst using the consistency of the boom or camera to cover the noise floor. SuperTone’s Clear was applied in addition to reduce the noise floor and reverb in the undecorated rooms.

Ambiences were then tracklayed to support the recorded sound, and to give familiar identities to each of the locations. He added to the humour sonically too; like the crunching gear sound effects when Alan drives, and the perspective of their screams on the mountain zip line.

Amanda and Alan’s Italian Job is the bit of winter sun we all needed this winter and it’s been a pleasure work again with the fantastic team at Voltage TV on another successful series!