Dancing it out with Tinashe for Facebook Watch
Our latest post-production adventure, Tinashe’s choreography show “Choreo Cage Fight” truly got our feet off the ground. So, shall we dance?
Last summer, LA production company Huffman Creative got in touch with Handplayed in regards to their newest project — a Facebook Watch mini-series starring singer/songwriter/dancer Tinashe. Facebook was the official publishing partner and the format would run exclusively on its Watch platform. Following several successful collabs with the American R&B star, Huffman Creative came up with “Choreo Cage Fight” as an expansion to Tinashe’s new album promotion.
The show features skilled choreographers, dance-battling it out in direct eliminations to prove they have what it takes to choreograph Tinashe’s next music video. The R&B star herself is hosting, as well as being part of the judges. And to make the mini-series even more entertaining, a new twist is introduced in each episode to make the task harder: specia props, costumes, special effects, you name it.
Huffman Creative’s produced the show entirely in LA, but handplayed was responsible for the entire post-production.
“We researched tons of foreign post-production companies with hopes of finding a way to outsource our work. We landed on Handplayed because of their history of strong and polished productions”
explains Ryan Huffman, the company’s executive producer.
By then, pre-production was running in full speed. US director and producer Mariah Morgenstern was already on board as the series’ showrunner/director and, together with Tinashe, she agreed that Handplayed would be responsible for many creative decisions in post.
We participated in the post-production planning and the shooting prep, to ensure maximum workflow efficacy.
Thus, a 3-day shoot, filmed using 6 cameras at all times on more than 10 stages of the famous LA “Studios 60.”, captured 7 episodes worth of content for the series. We handled all aspects of post-production with a team of three editors, a motion designer, a colourist, a sound designer, and a producer/post supervisor. With everything happening on both sides of the ocean simultaneously and no time to waste, we created a dedicated server, where the show’s DIT could upload synced proxies from set for us to review immediately. We then received the full material in Bulgaria via couriers only two days after the end of the shoot.
In total, we edited seven 25–30-min long episodes from the 90 hours of raw material we had, which included both on-set footage and personal archives. Then we designed the titles and the motion graphics, colour corrected, sound designed and mixed, transcribed, subbed and exported for Facebook. In our workflow showrunner Mariah was responsible for the first round of amends, Tinashe was doing the second round of feedback, and then we would send everything to Facebook for final approvals and community checks.
As Ryan Huffman recalls, handplayed’s orderliness and effective communication were notable in the partnership.
“They were incredibly communicative, but also ready to pivot at a moment’s notice. They were able to take critiques and edits and turned them into deliverables and outcomes quickly and efficiently”
the executive producer says.
The show had an incredibly successful launch on FB Watch and garnered hundreds of thousands of views within the first couple of weeks of release. We now know the album lyrics by heart with this project and look forward to having more opportunities to sing and dance in the editing room.
Thank you, Ryan and Tinashe.