Wiegand's setup also allows her to remotely ride the iris with an eye on both images, as well as the waveform monitor. This technique lets her adjust on the fly for dark areas of the set, for sudden changes in the fickle Midwestern weather or for differences in skin tone in the cast. Cam-Wave HD systems are used to wirelessly deliver images on the set.
Editorial, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, creates and times the dailies using FotoKem's nextLAB system, an end-to-end system for file-based productions. The editorial team creates dailies, taking their cues from JPEG images that Wiegand manipulates using ARRI's Look Creator software. Dailies are sent back to Wiegand in the form of ProRes HQ files. For the online process, she makes notes about brightness, color, cosmetic cleanups or anything that needs touching up by a digital artist. Later, she sees a second pass.
nextLAB is used for the show's media management, archive, sound sync, color and dailies transcoding. The editorial crew imports VFX EDLs into nextLAB and applies the right color recipe. VFX plates are delivered to SPY Post and Keep Me Posted, FotoKem's boutique facilities, for finishing. Everything is then sent to Universal Studios Digital Services, where it's optimized for conform and final color grading.
"It's difficult working so far from the post," she says. "Everyone is looking for ways to save money. If I don't have good communication with postproduction, I literally go nuts. I'm sure I'm driving all the post producers insane, but it's part of my job, now more than ever. With our current workflow, there's a lot of room to play with the look. But that also means there's a lot of room for getting it wrong."
All things considered, Wiegand loves her job. "My crew is so great—the Chicago crew, as well as the people I was able to bring from my normal crew," she says. "We're just kicking ass on this show. It's really good. Everybody is very happy with it so far, and I'm very excited for audiences to see it."
To learn more about Chicago Fire, visit www.nbc.com/chicago-fire.