Documentary Now! Emulates Classic Documentary Styles
IFC’s Documentary Now!, starring Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Set Meyers, brings a fun twist to storytelling, parodying many well-known documentaries. Each episode takes a different approach to documentary filmmaking, with the film’s style as important to a viewer’s overall experience as the film’s funny and fabricated content. Whether the cast is doing a parody of The Thin Blue Line, Michelin Stars, or Grey Gardens, accomplishing so many different looks requires the ability to continually manipulate lighting, shooting, and post.
The show’s post-production team of four handles all editing, sound, and visual effects using Adobe Creative Cloud. The fluidity of the Creative Cloud workflow lets them do everything in-house, giving them more creative control over each episode. After content is edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, the team uses Dynamic Link to easily send it to After Effects CC for visual effects.
“Creative Cloud gives us this comprehensive toolset that helps us lend our imaginations over to the story and make much better creative decisions as a result,” says Editor Micah Gardner. “Being able to fluidly integrate VFX shots into our workflow is invaluable. I can’t imagine not being able to do that.”
Recreating the looks of classic documentaries often requires imitating the vintage look of 16 MM film, recoloring footage, or adding grain. The team works with adjustment layers in Premiere Pro, specifically the Lumetri color tools and grain overlays to achieve many of the desired effects.
“Having the tools to create a rough cut that looks very close to the final cut in terms of color, grain, and film emulation has been a huge advantage for us,” says Alex Buono, Director and Director of Photography for Documentary Now!
Learn more about how the Documentary Now! post-production team works with Adobe Creative Cloud in this behind-the-scenes video.