SmallHD Vision 17 – On Set HDR Monitoring for Netflix Limited Series “Griselda”

SmallHD Vision 17 - On Set HDR Monitoring for Netflix Limited Series “Griselda”

Setting the visual aesthetic for Netflix’s limited series Griselda involved creating a unique 70’s Polaroid-inspired color palette that maximized the visual dynamic range, which required the development of an HDR workflow from production through post. The filmmakers wanted an effective on-set solution for integrating HDR monitoring right from the start, and to achieve this, Netflix arranged a “monitor shootout,” which ultimately led to the selection of SmallHD Vision 17 monitors. Let’s delve deeper into this choice.

In 2019, SmallHD released their first production monitors by introducing the Vision and Cine series. At launch, both lineups had three monitors, a 13″, 17″ and 24″ version. All monitors have impressive specs, such as four 12G-SDI inputs, a 10-bit panel capable of covering 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, 2000+ local dimming zones, and HDR capabilities with the TrueHDR technology capable of reproducing a whopping 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

On the “Griselda” set with SmallHD Vision 17. Source: SmallHD

SmallHD Vision 17 – features

Before we dive deeper, let’s take a closer look at all of the specifications and features of the SmallHD Vision 17:

  • Weight: 12.9lbs / 5.8kg
  • Color Coverage: 98.8% DCI-P3
  • Panel Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Color Bit Depth: 10-bit
  • Backlight Type: Full-Array Local Dimming
  • Contrast Ratio: 1,000,000:1
  • Video I/O: 4x 12G/6G/3G/HD-SDI/HDMI 2.0
  • Max Brightness: 1000nits
  • Power Input: 14.4V 6.2A DC
  • Pixel Density: 254ppi
  • Bottom Cheese Stick: Included
  • Mounting Options: 1x 110mm VESA-compatible rear mount, 26x 1/4”-20 mounting points, 4x 3/8”-16 mounting points.

In addition, all production monitors run on the SmallHD PageOS, which includes Color Pipe, Multiview, Video Engineering Tools, and more.

Shooting Netflix “Griselda” on HDR

Griselda is a Netflix-exclusive series starring Sofía Vergara as Griselda Blanco, a Columbian devoted mother who created one of the most profitable cartels in history. The series was directed by Andrés Baiz and shot by director of photography Armando Salas, ASC.

Netflix has been exploring the possibilities of HDR since launching HDR programming in 2016. Their Production Technology group works closely with creative teams to push the boundaries of imaging advancements like HDR.

Shooting in HDR is a bit more complex than SDR and has its own challenges. Early in the look development, the creative team and Salas saw HDR as an opportunity to use grain and shadows to create a more texturally complex look that would suit the story.

The process is documented in “Griselda: An HDR Workflow Case Study,” where cinematographer Armando Salas, ASC, and Light Iron Principal DI Colorist Ian Vertovec (who created customized LUTs to maintain visual consistency across screens) share their thoughts on implementing an HDR/SDR workflow to ensure consistent visual quality throughout the series.

According to the team, image monitoring consistency and reliability throughout the production were among the most important things. With this in mind, the team incorporated SmallHD Vision 17 monitors from the beginning. So, what made this particular monitor the right choice for Griselda?

Armando Salas, ASC. Source: SmallHD

A look at the SmallHD Vision 17 on set

the best way for me to guarantee that everything from the director, camera team, art department, and wardrobe will be accurately displayed to the end user is to use a color-managed workflow with on-set HDR monitoring. That way, I’m never leaving P3/PQ color space. Meanwhile, every other monitor on set is in 709/SDR. Because Ian built us a bulletproof color-managed workflow, the creative intent is also visible on the SDR displays, which carries over to SDR dailies.

Armando Salas, ASC

Price and availability

The SmallHD Vision 17 is available now for $9,999, while its bigger 24-inch brother, the Vision 24 retails for $14,999.00.

For more information and details about the Vision 17, please visit SmallHD’s website here.

Have you already used SmallHD production monitors? Have you already shot a project in HDR? Did you watch Netflix’s Griselda? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

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