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Trailblazer Studios delivers big post and sound results for Lone Wolf’s Nova documentary
April 17, 2017

Holocaust Escape Tunnel, the latest project from Lone Wolf Media, premieres this week for Nova on PBS. Lone Wolf tapped Trailblazer Studios to deliver color correction, online, sound design and final mix.

Based in Portland, Maine, Lone Wolf Media is known for many factual programs that have aired on Discovery, Smithsonian, PBS, History, and a number of other networks. This award-winning production company is also known for its scripted series Mercy Street, which aired on PBS. Through a mutual connection, producer/writer Owen Palmquist, Lone Wolf became aware of Trailblazer Studios and was attracted to Trailblazer’s all-under-one-roof model.

Our collaboration began months before picture lock. Trailblazer’s post team, led by post producer Ashley Faison, had numerous calls with Lone Wolf to discuss their needs and workflow. Lone Wolf handled all of the production and the offline edit for the film, and they partnered with Trailblazer to deliver color correction, online, sound design and final mix.

Online editor/colorist Shawn Pinner completes the conform and online of final picture.

Trailblazer’s online editor/colorist Shawn Pinner worked in Avid Media Composer to complete the conform and online of final picture. Color grading was done exclusively within Filmlight’s Baselight Editions within Avid Symphony, utilizing the extensive suite of color correction tools available within the platform to accomplish complex grades and address notes quickly. Additional cleanup and finish work, including artifact removal and banding reduction, was done using both the Boris Continuum Complete and Sapphire plugin packages for Media Composer.

Willie Elias

Trailblazer Studios’ Willie Elias perfects the show’s final mix with post producer Ashley Faison looking on.

Trailblazer senior sound engineer Willie Elias used Avid’s Pro Tools 12 to create a very complex and dynamic soundtrack. Izotope’s RX5 software was used extensively in the dialog editing phase to insure that every syllable could be heard and a variety of plugins were used for sound design including Spectrasonic’s Omnisphere 2. Avid’s S6 control surface put all of the sound and music at Willie’s fingertips allowing him to easily make changes right up to the last minute. This was critical given that Nova’s longtime executive producer Paula Apsell was in the room. Paula got her start in the business at WGBH Radio and her ability to hear even the slightest changes in sound is quite astonishing.

Holocaust Escape Tunnel

Lone Wolf Media’s Holocaust Escape Tunnel premieres April 19 on PBS.

Lone Wolf and Nova producers attended the final editing sessions and were able to easily move back and forth between sound and picture to perfect the film for a premiere screening at WGBH the following week, as well as for the April 19th broadcast premiere on PBS.

Matthew Fletcher, post production supervisor for Lone Wolf says, “You can’t beat the post finishing workflow at Trailblazer Studios! Either on location or working remotely, the finishing process is made incredibly easy by their talented staff, which is critical when dealing with tight deadlines for our network shows.”

Lone Wolf Media has collaborated with Trailblazer Studios on other projects including Americans Underground Secret City of WWI for the Smithsonian Channel and Pearl Harbor USS Oklahoma: The Final Story for PBS.