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Sony Pictures Television Upgrades to XPRI

Sony Pictures Television recently purchased three XPRI non-linear editing systems from Sony Electronics for use on "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy."

Sony Pictures Television recently purchased three XPRI non-linear editing systems from Sony Electronics for use on “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.”

The XPRI system has been used on both shows since the start of this season, moving the programs “into the non-linear editing world,” according to Phil Squyres, senior vice president of technical operations at Sony Pictures Television.

“Since these are both game shows, we typically don’t do an offline cut,” Squyres said. “We’ve always edited the shows linearly, so we were looking for a non-linear solution that would give us online quality with all of the inherent flexibility. Another benefit of the XPRI editor is its faster-than-real-time ingest from the Sony XDCAM™ Professional Disc™ system, which we are now using on `Wheel.'”

The three XPRI systems are mostly used on “Wheel of Fortune.” One system is used primarily for ingest and output, a second for doing “show cuts” or cuts to time, and the third system is used for finishing work on “Wheel.” All three are attached to XPRI Net, which is Sony’s shared storage solution in a SAN configuration that is fully RAID protected without the need for costly mirroring. XPRI Net offers multiple seats of unrestricted project, sequence, and clip media sharing in full online resolution for the HDCAM® and MPEG IMX native formats as well as uncompressed HD and SD.

“After the show has been cut to time, we go back in and do additional trims and add graphics and other similar elements,” Squyres says.

For this season, the XPRI system is only being used on “Jeopardy” for materials that are pre-produced and rolled into the shows, such as clues and other ancillary elements. Final editing for “Jeopardy” is done on a Sony BVE-9100 linear editing system, with plans to move to the XPRI system for next season.

According to Squyres, “Wheel of Fortune” was chosen first for full conversion to non-linear editing because director Mark Corwin was quick to recognize that a non-linear approach to finishing “Wheel” would allow him the increased flexibility to handle that show’s more challenging post-production aspects and his need to do a greater number of timeline adjustments.

“It’s a more complex show to assemble,” Squyres said. “Part of that is due to the nature of the gameplay itself where there is a lot more going on between each spin of the wheel. This creates the need for more cuts but it also provides opportunities for more creative editing since there are typically a lot of small pull-ups throughout the show. Plus, there are layers of graphics and games within the game that have to be inserted, such as the Jackpot rounds.”

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