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Meet the Chimps

Blink Films for Disney+

Meet the Chimps (Blink Films, National Geographic & Disney +)
Blink Films needed a flexible creative solution that took them seamlessly from shooting to delivery for 'Meet the Chimps' a fixed rig project, set in an enormous private sanctuary that is home to 300 chimpanzees where they are given a second chance at life.
Jess Nottage, Technical Director harnessed Clear Cut's 4+ years of experience in remote working to deliver a solution that offered creative benefits, cost-efficiency and ease of use for the Blink Films team. With the high volume of content and shoot ratio outlined, Clear Cut delivered a sophisticated storage solution onsite in the USA, combined with high performance logging stations, with full remote technical and operational support from London. This allowed the client to review the day’s rushes, make appropriate selections overseen by the production’s primatologist and deliver the transcoded media to the offline edit in London daily. Meanwhile the full resolution rushes were backed up on set and sent to London for the finishing post in batches. A speedy, secure, seamless service from camera to edit with flexibility and cost effect measures implemented at every stage.
The first episode picture locked just as the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, Clear Cut quickly adapted by offering a hybrid workflow of offline, both onsite and remote; virtual sessions for production executive sign off; remote voiceovers driven by the audio team; and specialist off-site logging for the primatologist to identify specific chimpanzee's behaviours. This process was all a natural progression from the remote support that Clear Cut had offered for the shoot before COVID even hit.
In the Online edit, Clear Cut editor Jamie Home, stabilised and re-framed a large portion of material to seamlessly blend segments together, accommodating the significant amount of formats from GroPros and rig cameras to drones to deliver a unified glossy finish. Whilst Colourist Damion Katwaroo used FilmLight’s T-Log technology to maximise the footage, enhancing the ARRIRAW and adding a touch of saturation using Basegrade as a stock look, Damion then applied shadow keys with Denoise to enhance the chimps’ appearance and fur in low light conditions with the inclusion or shapes and key framing to track the fast moving action of the chimps
In order to give the audience an authentic representation of the chimps’ lives at the sanctuary, an intricate amount of detail was essential to the audio mix. The excitable nature of the chimps and their desire to break any equipment in their close proximity meant it almost impossible to get accurate chimpanzee sounds. Head of Audio at Clear Cut, Ben Newth exploited the best recordings of the individual chimps and library recordings that had been approved by the production’s Primatologist to ensure accuracy and a natural soundscape. The humour and individual character of the Chimps shines through.

“From start to finish Clear Cut did an amazing job on Meet the Chimps - from designing and building a bespoke storage system for the masses of media our rig cameras were generating, to enabling us to complete the project fully remotely after lockdown.” - Hannah Lewis, Line Producer at Blink Films.