In the documentary Red Planet Rover, new facts and findings are unveiled with the results of Mars Curiosity rover’s first two years of explorations and finally answering the question “could life ever have existed here?”
The fascination with the planet Mars has captivated audiences for decades. From Hollywood movies depicting Martians as inhabitants to actual scientific space exploration using robotic probes, the red planet has continued to be shrouded in mystery with no conclusive evidence of life ever having existed.
Independent writer/director/producer and founder of MDTV Productions Mark Davis, was in charge of overseeing post-production. Specializing in science and history films, Red Planet Rover is his seventh documentary on Mars exploration. Davis has spent considerable time at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California over the past 12 years and has been engaged with the mission at JPL since early in the planning stages, years before landing in August 2012.
“It’s exciting to work on shows where the stakes are high, the drama is real, and you don’t know how the story is going to end until it does,” said Davis. There’s a lot of genuine human drama in a Mars mission, and I consider it a privilege to be close to that kind of action.”
Davis and John Beck-Hoffman, editor DP and music composer on the film chose to work with Burbank based AlphaDogs to complete the finish on the film. Colorist Sean Stack worked as a team with Davis under the tight time constraints and last minute changes that included extensive updates just before the airdate.
Beyond the color correction that was completed at the facility, new video and audio materials were delivered during the final hours that had to be matched with the existing master. Having worked on over 15 documentaries in just over 2 years, Stack’s skill and attention to detail in creating a look and sound specific to this genre was crucial in telling Curiosity Rovers’ story. “Viewers should be drawn into the story and not distracted by any inconsistencies with the picture,” said Stack. “Whether it’s a person talking, or action in an establishing wide shot.”
Red Planet Rover was delivered on time and within budget. The documentary aired on The Discovery Channel.
Davis said, “AlphaDogs is meticulous in their work and really good at what they do. Beyond that, they are willing to cope with my hectic schedule and grueling deadlines. I’m very happy with the final product. The show looks and sounds great and was delivered on time. I would absolutely recommend AlphaDogs.”