In the award-winning satyrical dark comedy Triangle of Sadness, the obscenely wealthy passengers of a yacht cruise navigate the unforeseen circumstance of surviving on what they believe to be a deserted island after their ship capsizes. We got to speak with Post Producer Vincent Larsson and DIT Martin Knispel who shared some behind-the-scenes insights on the production that was just as exciting and unpredictable as the plot of the movie.
From adjusting to the unique directing style of Ruben Östlund to shooting in two different countries during a global pandemic, both Vincent and Martin relied on Pomfort’s Silverstack XT to support their workflow.
Vincent got his start in the film industry as a DIT through an internship during film school. Afterward, he went on to work in post-production at The Chimney Pot in Stockholm, Sweden in 2013. Since then he’s been the Post Supervisor on countless films, including The Square, which is also directed by Ruben Östlund. Talk of Triangle of Sadness began back on the set of The Square in 2018-2019 and became a reality for Vincent and Ruben a year or so later.
Having previously worked with Ruben and his team, Vincent came into this production knowing Ruben’s expectations and even adopting his work style.
Vincent: “[Ruben’s] attention to detail is extremely high and in my opinion is what makes each shot feel so dense, so thorough.”
This prior knowledge and experience as a DIT helped Vincent execute a detailed and effective Pre-Production process.
Vincent: “A lot was based around what was good and what could be done better next time around. So planning and budgeting together with the scope of this movie was the base for everything. In close collaboration with the DoP, Sound Designer Andreas Franck, the way Ruben works, Ruben’s team at Platform, and the budget requirements with spend in different countries created the outlines for most of my work”
Together with DoP Fredrik Wenzel and Colorist Oskar Larsson, Vincent worked through the “color pipeline,” to determine the workflow and limitations of Martin Knispel’s DIT setup, including mobility, the number of transports each day, and what his internet connection would need to be in each shooting location.
Martin got his start as a DIT back in 2010 in Berlin. After discussing the workflow on several calls with Vincent, he agreed to come on board as the DIT for Triangle of Sadness. Although new to the team, Martin quickly adjusted his daily workflow to meet the needs of Rubin and the team with the help of his new colleagues.
Martin: “In the morning, Ruben want[ed] to watch the Dailies. So I delivered them overnight, every shooting day.”
Personal assistant to Ruben and assistant editor of the movie, Ludwig Källen, helped Martin by preparing the Premiere Project.
Martin:“We just did one rendering to Prores422-LT for dailies and editing. To save time we used the metadata transfer from Silverstack to Resolve to export the proxies with scene ‘wildcards.’
During the day I was reloading quite often as Ruben does a lot of takes. [Vincent and I] made great decisions about our Backups (1 full RAID, 1 temp RAID, 2 LTOs). After the backups, I did a visual inspection and reported major and minor issues. Of course, I did my reports with Silverstack XT. We also used Extended Metadata by Zeiss for VFX support. I exported metadata as an .ale for the LTO-Backups with YoYotta, [and also] as CSV for DaVinci. I did two LTO backups at my second hotel office, then uploaded dailies to frame.io.
I was very happy with Silverstack XT, especially [the] metadata transfer to other apps works great. [I] also love the features for quality check (cue points, clipping, and focus).”
Once the team got comfortable with a steady workflow, the global pandemic hit while they were on location in Sweden. Although the result wasn’t catastrophic, this did cause some inconvenient challenges for the cast and crew alike. During first block, Woody Harrelson was not able to enter Sweden. Once Woody Harrelson finally got in, Martin could not enter.
Martin: “Vincent had to take over the DIT job for nine shooting days. So I became his telephone joker.”
After Sweden, the team planned to film in Greece, but due to the pandemic, they had to postpone the dates.
Martin: “ We were in a bubble like the NHL players, [and] no visitors were allowed at all. Actors and extra crew had to stay quarantined for five days before coming to set. When the VFX supervisor could not come to Greece I needed to set up a live stream to Denmark when we shot the big boat explosion.”
No one could’ve prepared to deal with the unforeseen circumstances of a global pandemic, but thanks to Vincent’s and Martin’s experience and the use of Silverstack XT, the team was able to survive.
Martin: “It was great to use the same library with all the footage online and playable over a period of one year in two different countries.”
And to some people like Vincent, the pandemic falling right in the middle of the production was seen as a positive thing.
Vincent: “Apart from a lot of logistical fixes, people being locked down and/or sick, and a lot of postponing, it actually won us a lot more time for especially editorial which now in hindsight really got the movie sculpted to what it is now because of that extra time.”
Finally, we asked Martin and Vincent what was the best part of the behind-the-scenes excitement.
Martin: “It’s the opening shot that was shot by a props camera. Without anyone asking for it I set the Sony camera to SLog2 to make the footage usable in our color pipeline. Unfortunately, it could not run on 24fps. So then I created new master clips in 24fps and gave them to Ruben. When we arrived in Greece our DoP Fredrik told me the first edit of the movie starts with this Sony footage. I’m a bit proud that I ‘delivered’ the opening shot of this masterpiece.
Also, Ruben wanted me as an extra for the crew briefing scene.
In general, it was the most memorable shoot in my 15 years of filmmaking. Every little piece and department worked together so well. [And] the way Ruben works, with mostly shooting just one or two shots per day was outstanding.”
Martin is not alone in his praise and excitement for this film.
Vincent: “[This film] contains everything from a giant gyro-platform collapsing (I was on it), a super intense production, a pandemic, and post-production and of course a Palme d’Or so I’ll let that BTS movie do the talking.”
Overall, we got the impression that the production process was just as exciting as the film itself, and it’s one that you don’t want to miss!
Thank you to Vincent and Martin for sharing their insights with us!
Data Management and Dailies in One.
Vincent Larsson , Post Supervisor
Post Producer / Co-Founder of Tint. Works include: The Square, We Are Who We Are, and Triangle of Sadness
Martin Knispel, DIT
After successfully completing a degree in Media Technology, Martin joined the film industry in 2008 when he got his start as a Video Operator and 2nd AC in Berlin. After 2 years, he essentially became a DIT overnight. He has since been involved in the ever-changing DIT process and workflow in Germany. In 2018, he founded a DIT and post-production company called perDU.film. Today, the company focuses on post-production (mostly color grading), as well as DIT and Data equipment rentals. Martin teaches digital cinematography at the DFFB Film University and the SAE Institute in Berlin. He still works as a DIT for several shows, commercials, and movies from Indie to Hollywood. Works include: TAR, Triangle of Sadness, Without Remorse, and Then You Run (Sky Series).