The Disney+ original feature Safety is all about teamwork. Directed by Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Marshall), it’s the story of defensive back Ramon “Ray Ray” McElrathbey, who took custody of his 11-year-old brother while attending Clemson University on a football scholarship as his mother underwent treatment for addiction. McElrathbey’s teammates stood beside him as he challenged NCAA rules blocking him from accepting help from the community.
Teamwork was key behind the scenes, too, as cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, ASC, pulled out all the stops to capture dynamic points of view inside Clemson’s “Death Valley” stadium and editor Terel Gibson balanced the tone of a narrative that interspersed light comedy and family drama with gridiron action.
Executive producer Doug Jones worked with the team to devise a workflow that would accelerate collaboration across production and post. The workflow was unusual for a feature film project, utilizing hardware like Blackmagic Design mini-recorders, switchers and Teranex boxes that are more commonly associated with TV production. And it was built around DaVinci Resolve software, which handled editorial, color, VFX and sound. Jones and Hurlbut say the unconventional workflow saved them time and money, and they both hope to use even more capable versions of the technology on upcoming projects.
In this video conversation for NAB Amplify, we asked them to explain how this unusual, Resolve-centric workflow improved creative capabilities for Safety’s crew and boosted the production’s bang for the budgetary budget.