Simon Amstell: Set Free



Simon Amstell: Set Free (1 x 90′, HDR, 5.1)


Client: Tiger Aspect


What is it

Honest, introspective comic Simon Amstell digs deep and delivers a uniquely vulnerable stand-up set on love, ego, intimacy and ayahuasca.

What did we do

Full post and Netflix delivery.


Simon Amstell’s first Netflix comedy special was a pleasure to work on. Simon wanted to be involved in all aspects of post so he met our Head of Picture beforehand to discuss what was important to him so we could meet his creative ambition. One outcome of this was an adjustment to the workflow so finishing ran in order of Online, Audio, Grade with the last viewing in Grade with final audio so Simon could conduct his review with final assets.Nearing picture lock Tiger Aspect confirmed Netflix wanted to upgrade the technical spec from UHD SDR to UHD HDR. The increased tech spec presented new challenges; we were now seeing a level of detail in the Online that wasn’t present in SDR including many tiny lights now visible as specular highlights. Further paint outs were required to remove camera crew, other distracting lights and fire exit signs.

For the grade, Simon referenced the raw and natural feel of ‘Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979).’ Kenny Gibb reduced the red from the venue around Simon, softened the background to reduce the noise, kept stage lights bright and softened Simon’s skin giving it a natural tone using the processor intensive Matchbox Shader CROC beauty filter – caching was essential throughout this project.


The live show was recorded in 5.1 surround, so we had lots of elements to work with in audio. Simon worked closely with our Head of Audio to achieve his objective of transporting the viewer to the intimate setting of the small theatre in Hackney where the comedy special was filmed by maintaining a natural and authentic feel to the audio. Gentle noise reduction and balancing between the crowd and Simon was used to achieve this.


Streamed on Netflix 9th August, available on Netflix.