Powderhouse Productions Anchors Itself to BCC AVX

Tags: Continuum

Like its namesake "Powder House," where colonists stored gunpowder in the 1770s, Powderhouse Productions packs a punch. Tucked into a tiny bustling neighborhood outside Boston, Powderhouse is a full service production company, creating original programming for cable and broadcast networks (A&E, History, Travel Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery, PBS, Food Network, and VH1), agencies, brands, and corporations.

Earlier this year, Stephen Barker, Director of Post-Production, and the team at Powderhouse Productions underwent a major Avid upgrade. "We had to make some decisions on what tools we could do without and what we needed," comments Barker. "I did a lot of polling of our editors and assistant editors. The overwhelming response was that Boris Continuum Complete was an essential part of their toolbox."

Barker relies almost entirely on freelance editors, who often jump from project to project, another reason why the streamlined workflow BCC provides is critical. "The editors need to share sequences with each other," says Barker. "Unless everyone has the same tools, we run the risk of wasting time, which is always a scarce resource to begin with."

"We use BCC on many projects," continues Barker. "It was very key in a series called America's Cutest that we worked on for Animal Planet. The show had pet experts shot on green screen commenting on cute clips of cats and dogs." In addition to compositing, the editors use BCC AVX to develop unique looks for new shows, fix imperfect footage, and add glow effects, blurs, and transitions. Among the top used filters are BCC Film Grain, BCC Lens Flare 3D, and BCC Swish Pan.

Currently, Powderhouse is working on Extreme Houseboats (see below) — a fast-paced show with lots of quick transitions and video layering for Travel Channel. "Boris has helped out tremendously," states Barker.

Extreme Houseboats transition using BCC Lens Blur MT.

"As much as we already use Boris FX right now, we're only tapping the surface with how much we could do. BCC AVX is a very powerful tool that opens a lot of options up for us," notes Barker. "It's been great working with the Boris FX team. They've given us a very wide picture of what our options are. Now we're working on narrowing our focus. Working more on custom transitions using BCC AVX is probably our next step."

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