Crew: November 2008 Archives

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The online magazine VFXWorld spoke with our good friends at Master Key Films - the team responsible for the Visual Effects on a weekly basis for Knight Rider.

Clients always seem to raise their eyebrows when they enter the offices of Master Key Prods., a small start-up vfx house located on the Santa Clarita Studios lot.

The surprise comes from the fact that Master Key, a company consisting of only six rooms, a team of roughly 10-12 animators and compositors, two office assistants and one full time IT engineer supplies NBC's Knight Rider (airing Wednesdays at 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET on NBC) with roughly 200-300 effects shots an episode, while never sacrificing time, quality or cost.

"It's a lot of information and given the nature of TV, we don't get the kind of elongated time for post-vfx that one gets on features," suggests Elan Dassani, Master Key's co-founder and president. "Right now we're working within a two-week turn around period from the day materials are delivered to us to the final delivery of our effects back to post-production.

"We learned pretty early on that any break in the communication between the on-set production, post-production and Black Ginger [an effects house located in South Africa that provides Master Key with driving compositions, cylon light additions and monitor replacements] could have drastic effects on not only our workflow but also the show's budget, delivery dates and air dates.

"The goal was always to create a team where a limited number of people working within a well constructed workflow: a machine where animators and compositors could create a synergy based on that day's needs, could churn out a significant number of shots per week,"adds Rajeev Dassani, co-founder of Master Key and vfx supervisor. "I think we've proved that this is a viable system and I'm very proud of what we've accomplished here."

Which brings us to the real question: How does the company handle the vast demands of a schedule this tight?

The answer is simple: redefine and restructure the existing vfx workflow model to fit these specialized needs.

You can read the rest of the article on their website.

Be sure to see our interview with the Dassani Brothers and Stephan Fleet here. Additionally check out Master Key Films website, as they have just recently relaunched their site with a beautiful show reel that focuses a lot on their work on Knight Rider!

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Knight of the Zodiac scribe Matt Pyken stopped by the Knight Writers blog last night to post his thoughts on the episode. In his article he ask what does South Afriaca, Nevada, Native Americans, Paul Campbell, and KITT have in common?

What do South Africa, Nevada, Native Americans, Paul Campbell, and Kitt have in common?

"I implore you" as Kitt likes to say - read on.

Poor Billy Morgan. Always back in the Kittcave while Michael Knight gets the girl. Billy sits at his workstation and pines for Sarah, gets played over and over by Zoe, but he never seems to get anywhere -- that is, until tonight's episode.

Yep, Mike and Billy head for Las Vegas to take down a crew of sophisticated casino thieves, and Billy works in a little extra-curricular activity along the way.

Now, here's the back-story on the characters and the location.

First, there's Vegas. It's 300 miles from us here in LA, and not a great town for shooting a TV series. If that seems counter-intuitive, think about it. Shooting inside a casino is a big deal. Security is all over the crew, and if you want to simulate a casino heist, forget it. When there's real money around, the real guys with the real guns tend to get nervous. Then there's the disruption factor; Las Vegas casinos make more in a day than we could ever pay for a location fee, so they're not particularly keen on 200 members of a TV crew settling in for a few days.

So how do you do Vegas when it's too far, too expensive and you're the red-headed step-child?

Read the rest of the article here

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Teresa Huang & Rachel Mellon, the writers of tonights episode have posted an article on Knight Writers blog. They talk about how we perceive the world and the perception of what is right and wrong. There are also some fun tidbits including their original car of choice for Nikki and Max.

This week's episode explores the dualistic nature of our world. How perception directs our understanding of right and wrong. A meditation on pairs, if you will. Mike & Sarah, Billy & Zoe, Nikki & Max, Rachel & Teresa...

Wait, who are Rachel and Teresa?

That would be us, the writers of this episode. And truth be told, our primary meditation was on sexy criminals running around in a hot car. We loved creating Nikki & Max as a reflection of our heroes Mike & Sarah. Both drive hot cars, but Nikki & Max are expressive and reckless while Mike & Sarah are measured and bottled up. They teeter on the edge but never drop off.

Read the rest of the article on Knight Writers.

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Eric from the writing staff posted an update to the Knight Writers blog tonight. They talk about KITTs costume and hints to old fan favorite KARR!:

And secondly, GST wanted me to tell you about KARR... But he didn't want me to say too much, because there's still a lot to be learned about him on the show. Hopefully, though, you were paying attention when Sarah entered her father's passphrase into the computer.


Thursday afternoon, some more content will be available at KnightIndustriesResearch.com. You'll still need to know who Devon and Bonnie are to log in, but to see this extra content, you'll need an additional passcode. Is this new passcode exactly what Sarah used on the show? That would be too easy... But the letters are all there.

What did you think about how KARR is developing in this series? We see it being polarizing for sure! Let us know what you think in our forum.

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