Blackmagic Design issued a press release regarding their role in episodic television and it is remarkable to see how far the company has come in the acceptance and use of its creative tools. It was not all that long ago that the company was known for their DeckLink capture cards and specialist hardware. Then came a series of moves into quality professional and semi-professional cameras. The company also acquired key software companies such as DaVinci Resolve, Fairlight and Fusion. It also bought historically key post businesses such as Rank Cintel and others. Finally, the company dramatically lowered prices, improved hardware, reduced infrastructure requirements and expanded their range of ‘free’ offers. These offers were not just 30 day trials but working versions that have changed the landscape while simultaneously expanding the functionality of the products. This is no where more clearly seen that with Resolve, which has moved from high end software and hardware used by a rare few colourists to one of the most widely used grading tools that also now allows editing.

Resolve 15 with Editing

Blackmagic Design production and post products have been used to complete an array of the fall 2018 season’s new and returning television shows and streaming series. More than 55 shows rely on Blackmagic Design’s digital film cameras, Fusion VFX, compositing, 3D and motion graphics software; and DaVinci Resolve editing, color correction, VFX and digital audio software.

Growing on the more than 40 fall TV shows announced in 2017, the 2018 shows, such as “Charmed,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “The Big Bang Theory” join the crop of  shows created with Blackmagic Design products.

DP Judd Overton relies on the URSA Mini Pro and Micro Cinema Camera to capture unique angles and provide additional coverage on “No Activity” for CBS All Access. “I shoot a very cinematic look on a tight schedule,” said Judd Overton, cinematographer for “No Activity.” “I need to know my camera has the latitude and flexibility I need. The URSA Mini Pro and Micro Cinema Camera are designed to work for post production and I know they have the image quality I need for the show. I’m always eager to put the Blackmagic Design cameras into play on a scene.”

Los Angeles based InvisEffects relies on DaVinci Resolve for a number of fall shows: “We use DaVinci Resolve almost every single day. It’s a vital part of our VFX workflow,” said Mike Gaines, owner of InvisEffects. “We use DaVinci Resolve to conform and export hundreds of shots every episode, and it has saved us many times, such as when we tried to conform 8K to 4K and HD in a couple of different aspect ratios. It’s pretty incredible.”


Hollywood based VFX studio Muse VFX depends on Fusion Studio for VFX work and compositing on a wide range of shows. “Fusion Studio is a major part of our pipeline,” said John Gross, founder and creative director of Muse VFX. “It’s a powerful creative tool with great flexibility and low overhead. It easily competes with other node based compositing options at a fraction of their cost.”

Some of the 2018 fall series using Blackmagic Design cameras and hardware include:

  • “Jack Ryan” DP Richard Rutkowski used Micro Studio Camera 4Ks as action and crash cameras, as well as to capture unique, remote angles,
  • “Madam Secretary” DP Learan Kahanov used Pocket Cinema Cameras for specialized shots, including webcam, surveillance cameras and cell phone footage and
  • “No Activity” DP Judd Overton used URSA Mini Pro, URSA Mini 4.6K, Micro Cinema Camera and Video Assist 4K

For On-set Grading and DIT Work:

  • “Bull” DIT Gabe Kolodny used Smart Videohub 40×40, Videohub Smart Control, SmartScope Duo 4K monitor and UltraStudio Express,
  • “God Friended Me” DIT Abby Levine used UltraStudio 4K, UltraStudio HD Mini, DaVinci Resolve, and Mini Converters,
  • “Madam Secretary” DIT Keith Putnam used Smart Videohub 20×20, Mini Converters, UltraStudio Mini Monitor, Media Express and DaVinci Resolve Studio for viewing camera original media, reviewing VFX comps from post, pulling stills and Power Window work,
  • “Splitting Up Together” DIT Francesco Suata used Smart Videohub 12×12,
  • “Station 19” DIT Andrew Lemon used Smart Videohub 40×40,
  • “The Goldbergs” DIT Kevin Mills used Smart Videohub 16×16, Mini Converter SDI Distribution, DeckLink Mini Monitor, DeckLink Mini Recorder, SmartView Duo, DaVinci Resolve and Smart Videohub CleanSwitch 12×12,
  • “All American” DIT Urban Olsson used DaVinci Resolve, Smart Videohub 12×12 and 20×20, UltraStudio Mini, DeckLink Mini Recorder and DeckLink Mini Monitor,
  • “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” DIT Sam McConville used ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K, SmartView Duo, SmartScope 4K, Micro Converter HDMI to SDI, DaVinci Resolve and DeckLink Mini Recorder; and
  • “The Kominsky Method” DIT Dane Brehm used Smart Videohub CleanSwitch 12×12, ATEM Production Studio 4K, Smart Videohub 12×12, SmartView Duo, SmartScope Duo 4K and an UltraStudio 4K.


For VFX with cameras, DaVinci Resolve and Fusion Studio:

  • Muse VFX Founders and Visual Effects Supervisors John Gross and Fred Pienkos and their team used Fusion Studio to composite “Charmed,” “Madam Secretary,” “NCIS” and “The Neighborhood;”
  • BluFire Studios Owner and VFX Supervisor Matt Hoffman and his team used Fusion Studio for “The Outpost”
  • Crafty Apes VFX Editors Brock Shekelton and Heather Taylor used DaVinci Resolve Studio as part of their VFX editorial work on “Legacies”,
  • VFX Supervisor Lesley Robson-Foster used an URSA Mini Pro and Pocket Cinema Camera 4K for VFX plates on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”,
  • InvisEffects owner Mike Gaines used DaVinci Resolve for conform and plate output for VFX on “Speechless,” “Single Parents,” “Happy Together” and “Mixtape”,
  • Filmworks/FX NY VFX Supervisor Mike Warren and his team use DaVinci Resolve as an integral component of their VFX pipeline, along with an Intensity Shuttle for Thunderbolt for playback and Production Camera 4Ks for VFX shots for “Blue Bloods”,
  • Fuze FX created a driving plate rig using Micro Cinema Cameras for use on a variety of projects including “Happy Together;” and
  • VFX Legion used DaVinci Resolve to manage plates in its VFX pipeline.

For Post Production with DaVinci Resolve Studio:

  • Technicolor’s David Aaron Waters graded “Lore;”
  • Technicolor’s Roy Vasich graded “The Man in the High Castle,” “Station 19,” “Grace and Frankie” and “Prince of Peoria;”
  • Sim International’s John Persichetti graded “Dynasty;”
  • Technicolor’s Sparkle graded “Mom,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Supernatural” and “Man With A Plan;”
  • Technicolor’s Tony Dustin graded “Camping” and “Tell Me a Story;”
  • Company 3’s Siggy Ferstl graded “Narcos: Mexico;”
  • Deluxe’s Mark Wilkins graded “Bull;”
  • Technicolor’s Tim Vincent graded “Criminal Minds” and “Dead To Me;”
  • Encore’s Tony D’Amore graded “Elementary,” “The Punisher,” “Jessica Jones” and “Daredevil;”
  • Encore’s Tim Stipan graded “God Friended Me;”
  • Sim International’s Todd Bochner graded “Madam Secretary” and “Jane the Virgin;”
  • Picture Shop Post’s Mason C. Young graded “NCIS;”
  • Digitalfilm Tree’s Patrick Woodard graded “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “American Housewife;”
  • Deluxe’s George Delaney graded “NCIS: New Orleans;”
  • Company 3’s Tim Stipan graded “Ozark;”
  • The Foundation’s Phil Azenzer graded “Black-ish;”
  • Point 360’s Aidan Stanford graded “Fresh Off the Boat;”
  • ColorTime’s Russell Lynch graded “A Million Little Things” and “Life In Pieces;”
  • LA Studios’ Michael Mintz graded “Speechless;”
  • Level 3 Post’s Scott Ostrowsky graded “The Goldbergs;”
  • Company 3’s Dave Hussey graded “The Rookie;”
  • Technicolor’s Tom Forletta graded ““Haunted;”
  • Picture Shop Post’s George Manno graded “The Kominsky Method” and “Arrow;”
  • Digitalfilm Tree’s Dan Judy graded “The 100;”
  • Fueldfilms’ Kevin Kerwin graded “American Horror Story;”
  • EFILM’s Tom Reiser graded “Riverdale;” and
  • Apache’s Shane Reed graded “Chef’s Table;”


3 thoughts on “How far BlackMagic has come in EpisodicTV”

  1. Ignore the Nuke employees. Keep up the pressure fxguide, it’s about time Nuke had some serious competition.

    Let’s be honest, If it wasn’t for Nukes mammoth marketing budget many years back, I’m sure we’d see Fusion in more studios. Hopefully Blackmagic support Fusion in full, because I think they can chip away at Nukes market quite easily considering how far Nuke has fallen in the last few years in terms of price/offering (i think we see more newer features for free on Nukepedia than in a new version of Nuke, so then what are we paying for?!). If schools were teaching fusion as much as Nuke and more artists became available, I think we’d see more studios picking up a cheaper more accessible A over B software..

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