Martin Hall - VFX supervisor Paramount and CEO Epic-FX

Martin Hall has extensive experience in the visual effects and entertainment production industry. His career began in the mid 90’s, coming from a lighting and shooting background of models and miniatures. Trained in the traditional fine arts, he found visual effects to be the perfect synthesis of art, technology, and business, while being the most collaborative of all creative endeavors. Among his numerous film and television credits include, “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” (HBO), “Perry Mason,” (HBO), “All the Old Knives,” (Amazon), “Encounter,” (Amazon), and numerous others.

Based in Los Angeles, Hall is CEO at Epic Entertainment Enterprise / Epic-FX, and Visual Effects Supervisor at Paramount Pictures. In addition, he serves on the Visual Effects Society’s Board of Directors, Los Angeles section, and is an educator at Gnomon — School of Visual Effects, Games and Animation.

Hall first heard about Setellite from an older colleague in the business who had been using the application on his shows. “I had used other database solutions previously which were clunky and lacked broader connectivity and versatility,” explains Hall. “I started using Setellite in various production environments — features, episodics, commercials — and I’ve had to share information with teams all over the globe; in this way, Setellite really fits the bill!”

On several recent projects, including the HBO series, “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” Hall had to deep dive into the Setellite Gear Library functionality in order to build out legacy technology of 35/16 & Super 8mm film cameras.

“We encoded prime and zoom lenses to sync to timecode,” says Hall. “While tracking all film and video cameras shooting on the day of production, we also carefully sync multiple witness cameras for tracking and layout purposes. Additionally, we also researched and developed real-time playback and previs of all set/env extensions.

We finally chose to push the layout of the period-appropriate Great Western Forum relative to the green-screen and foreground actors to postvis due to the hugely ambitious shooting days and run-and-gun shooting cinematography style.”

“Once all the upfront was set up, the on-set acquisition of data became quite achievable,” Martin outlines. “We had up to seven different camera bodies and 2–3 units rolling all at the same time,” Hall adds. “Setellite allowed us to keep up and stay flexible with big shooting crews on A-level projects in multiple locations at once. The multi-user functionality is outstanding.”

Hall continues, “I love that I can access data on the desktop version as well as on the mobile app. Sharing the database in Setellite offers a lot of versatility to our multiple vendors. The beta ShotGrid publishing also works well for our team, while the time stamping and location marking features have come in very useful for additional plate photography and the ability to convey this to additional camera crews.

“All in all, Setellite makes the acquisition of visual effects data seamless from cinematography to final deliverables.”

On-set image from Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, HBO

On-set image from Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, HBO

On-set image from Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, HBO