“The North” Outdoor Adventure Series Keeps Canon Stable With CoreMelt

“RWC: The North,” the outdoor adventure series that centers on two motorcycle riders ‘reconnecting with Canada” (hence RWC) offers stunning vistas, treacherous icy roads, untamed wildlife and more. What you won’t see is unstable video footage thanks to the show’s producers, Curbsyde Productions use of CoreMelt, the developer of advanced video plug-in effects, and their Lock & Load line of image stabilization tools.

“The North,” a new 12 part, 11-minute motorcycle adventure/ HD video documentary premiered February 13 and will air online and on such services as Openfilm, Verizon FiOS, TiVo, Boxee and others weekly through March 29.

“CoreMelt has allowed us to fine tune our workflow and incorporate some great effects and transitions that are very simple to tweak for a bit more individual flair in each episode,” Joe Lloyd, Curbsyde Productions Producer, says. “On top of that Lock & Load is superb at reducing shake and rolling shutter.  As we ‘run and gun’ a lot of the time, the addition of Lock & Load has proven essential. Before starting this project we demoed pretty much everything advertised to reduce shake with a CMOS-based camera and they were all pretty horrible.  Lock & Load is the first product to remove the Jell-O effect on most of the shots, which is great.”

“The North” is an adventure lived and seen from behind a motorcycle helmet visor and the unique perspective of two riders exploring Northern Canada on icy and snowed in roads, facing extraordinary weather conditions and discovering not only the geographical wonders of Northern Canada, but also the amazing people that make it a place of wonder, beauty and danger known throughout the world.

To capture the action, cameraman Jesse Clark, who travels with the show’s host “Ice Man” Paul Mondor, shoots with two Canon 5D mk2’s and one Canon 7D and edits on the road using two Apple MacBook Pro laptops running Final Cut Studio that are typically powered in a support vehicle when they aren’t stopped for the night. Sound is captured with Sennheiser ME66 mics and fed into the Canon 5D cameras via a Beacktek DXA-5da.  They also use a Zoom H4N recorder and some wireless lav systems when needed. The production team reviews dailies and tags what we like.  Even that, Lloyd says, takes a lot of effort especially after riding all day, so a lot of tagging is done by the camera team en-route, which also speeds up the entire process.

“During editing we like to have as much templated out as possible,” Lloyd explains. “Intros, lower third graphics, credit rolls, maps, are all done in advance.  Then we drop in clips, record voiceover as needed and get it uploaded as soon as possible.”

“Given my background of working on feature films and visual effects, I completely understand the need for tools that perform specific tasks easily, quickly and will output a high quality result,” CoreMelt Founder Roger Bolton says. “CoreMelt’s plugins have all been designed to give you quick, accurate results and perform the tasks you need to do, without having to muck around with a million sliders. And as they are all GPU accelerated, they are very fast.”