refinery post new space new leadership new oscar nomination

Refinery Post: New space. New leadership. New Oscar nomination.

Not sure if you’ve heard but there’s been quite a lot happening at one of the leading full service post production facilities in the country. You know that little doccie Refinery worked on called ‘My Octopus Teacher‘? Well, it’s been nominated for an Oscar for ‘Best Documentary Feature’ AND a Bafta for ‘Best Documentary’. That’s not the only BAFTA nod. The team was responsible for the service filmography of Oliver Hermanus’s ‘Moffie’ (nominated for ‘Outstanding Debut by a British, Writer, Director or Producer’) and ‘The Mauritanian’ (nominated for ‘Best Film’).  *Insert flash photography here*
Above and beyond getting all of the nominations in the world ever,  The Refinery studios have moved to new swanky premises (we’re talking 12 edit suits baby) AND there’s a new leadership trio steering this fast-moving ship that needs introducing. Strap in and let’s go!

Not only has Refinery been working on the internationally acclaimed My Octopus Teacher (and putting us off seafood platters for life), they’ve pretty much been responsible for the post on everything else we’ve been binging too. From the massive Showmax hit Tali’s Baby Diary (if you haven’t yet, watch the trailer here, no seriously) to Vagrant Queen, a ten-part series on SyFy, Trackers a six-part series for Mnet, HBO & ZDF and Blood and Water (Season 1), a six-part series on Netflix. Not to mention various other projects for the likes of Warner and Universal. But that’s only half of what Refinery does. The team has continued to release commercials working with the likes of Patriot Films0307, Sketchbook, we are_, Platypus and Giant Films. We would obvs love to show you all the work but we know you’re busy people so here are two spots that have stayed with us; Castle Lite for Giant Films and the ODC spot directed by Kim Geldenhuys.

ODC ‘The Light At The Start Of Everything’
Director: Kim Geldenhuys at 0307
Colourist: Kyle Stroebel at Refinery

Castle Lite ‘Ready for Anything’
Director: Paul Ward at Giant Films
Colourist: Kyle Stroebel at Refinery

Recognise any of these frame grabs from the Refinery reel?

“And the Oscar Nomination goes to Refinery for My Octopus Teacher”

We knew Refinery did full post on My Octopus Teacher, cause we keep seeing their names in the credits every time we rewatch it. What we didn’t know was the full extent of the job. The first South African Netflix original documentary was filmed over an extended period of time on almost 20 different cameras. TWENTY!!

Refinery’s Executive Producer, Ancois Human, puts the gravity of the task into perspective: ‘We ran the colour management from nearly 20 cameras and archive sources shot over many years, formatting it into one timeline and eventually delivering a 4k file to Netflix in their required delivery specs. To the uninitiated, that sounds small, but to make all that footage sync and look like it was shot on one camera and flow perfectly and seamlessly was a huge job.

We nearly fell off our chairs when we heard that almost none of the original sound of the doccie was used. It was all up to Refinery’s sound whisperer, Barry Donnelly who spent months knee-deep in rock pools, literally recording and recreating all those underwater sounds. According to the team it was integral to the authenticity of the project that they maintain the feel of a real South African kelp forest.

That kelp sure paid off as Barry has also been nominated for the Motion Picture Sound Editors Award and a Cinema Audio Society Award. GO BARRY! And congratulations on a well-deserved Oscar nomination team and thank you for putting South Africa on the map, tentacles crossed!

Studios move from Waterfront to new premises in the eTV building close to The Shack

If you’re heading to Refinery in the direction of the Waterfront, you’re going the wrong way. Since opening the doors of their new premises in January the team could not be more impressed and we can see why. Down the road from The Shack (Cape Town locals will know this epic spot), the new shop houses 12 edit suites, a fully calibrated grading theatre, Flame, Atmos Audio suite and more (we don’t know all of those words, but yay!)

Rory, Ancois and David team up to lead Refinery

With Refinery’s legendary Lauren van Rensburg emigrating to Australia they decided to shake things up a bit. Refinery’s new leadership collaboration has been a part of the company for many years. Rory Mark (Head of VFX), Ancois Human (Executive Producer) and David Grant (Operations Manager), bring with them a shared industry experience of over half a century.

The team is joined by Kyle Stroebel who leads the charge alongside David in the Colourist Department, while Barry Donnelly handles all things sound from his fancy-pants studio kitted out with Dolby Atmos 7.1.4, BOOM BOOM BOOM!

Rory, who heads up the VFX department, adds: ‘We have a Full Flame Online system, which is your premier online box and finishing system for commercials. It’s a platform that enables our artists to give the best possible product with a superior finish.’

The Refinery facilities include:

  • Offline Suites & Online Finish
  • Colour Grading
  • Sound Post Production
  • VFX
  • Digital Dailies
  • Theatrical DCP
  • Mastering, Versioning & Deliveries (Theatrical, Digital and Video)

Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

Original Source :

Full service post production & VFX for the moving picture industry. From set solutions to final delivery. Servicing both local and foreign productions

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