A Quibi Original Doc Series
The world record, the gold medal, and the champagne shower while confetti falls. As fans, we connect ourselves to these moments. We commit them to memory.
Our eyes well as we watch the mom or dad, son or daughter of elite athletes react to their achievements. Prodigy brings us beyond this moment and into the living rooms and support systems of these athletes. The insights and intimacy revealed are a culmination of the commitment to these families and their stories.
Over fifty-two days in twenty-three cities, seven states, and two countries, Park Stories’ lean four-person production crew—Rand Getlin, Janina Pelayo, Bryce Cyrier and Lukas Korver tapped into the lives of eight of the world’s top athletes under the age of twenty-one.
The result is Prodigy. Outpost partnered up with these long time collaborators to handle the gamut of post-production for this eight-episode series to be released on Quibi.
Eight elite athletes, under the age of 21.
"Quibi trusted us; they invested faith and empowered us to create. They focused on all the reasons why it could work, which is what allowed this series to come to be."— Rand Getlin, Executive Producer, Park Stories
A Partnered Approach
Parks Stories and Outpost have been honing the approach to this series for over three years. The body of work, and the approach to that work culminated into a final product that is beyond the standards of sports documentary. All eight episodes of Prodigy were carefully considered and crafted to mirror each of the athletes, their sports, and their stories.
The team got together for a week in LA to dream up the creative approach and develop the visual identities that told each of the stories. Although, much of pre-production happened from a distance.
Outpost was seamlessly integrated on set by Rand and Janina, allowing Lucas and team to contribute to the production process and make specific asks to help the stories develop. Episodes were getting cut before they hit our desks. So, if you’re wondering—yes, Park Stories is on Lucas’ speed dial.
“We are very close to Lucas and his team … He's involved from the very beginning of the creative process through the conclusion of post. He's our invisible 5th crew member."— Janina Pelayo. Executive Producer, Park Stories
As a mobile-first, ten minutes or less platform, Quibi’s dual delivery vertical and horizontal model empowered us to tell these stories in an amplified and heavy-hitting way. We exercised the economy of time and hung our hats on the pivot points within the dialogue to launch between scenes.
Human stories are complex with twists and turns, baggage, and “but alsos”—there’s always more to the story. But, with the ten minutes we had, our goal was to hit the heartbeat of the crucial moments and get the audience to want more. With that said, we had options. With over 68TB and 160 hours of footage, there was no shortage or opportunities.
Digital, Meet Analog.
The visual texture of the show was developed with analog equipment wholly unique to this series, and each episode. The video synths workflow, though cumbersome and time-consuming for such minimal and short bursts, really help set the overall creative aesthetic of the series. Something that was built upon in sound and color, throughout the entire series.
The set up in Lucas’s suite was a little...insane. He’d run an HDMI out of his computer, convert it to composite, run that into the video synth machine, develop the look that was being fed in real-time to a CRT with a Blackmagic mounted to the front, that would capture the result and feedback to his workstation. The loop of fun allowed him to, on the fly, develop these textures for use in editorial. It's crazy. We know. The results are unrepeatable. Even by him.
Brian Singler elevated the color treatment for Prodigy beyond a typical documentary by reflecting the individual themes and story arcs of each episode. For the success of each athlete, there was an equal measure of abandonment, injury, and difficulty—and Brian set the grade to reflect that. The look became anchored in film emulation and grain, which knocked the digital edge off the Canon footage and introduced grit.
Then, by injecting color into the upper shadows and highlights, the episodes gained style without becoming overwhelming. With 3,000+ shots across eight unique episodes, the project matched or exceeded the complexity of a feature film grade. The level of attention paid to skin, skies, and style gives Prodigy a unique place in the documentary world and helps anchor the series with a look that can be built upon for future seasons.
Sound Design & Mix
Outpost’s Steve Horne integrated the sound design into the visual texture to create a fully immersive viewing experience. Beyond the crowd goes wild and the swish of a net—Steve amplified the audio with custom sounds crafted to pack a punch and bring the viewer up close and personal.
The soundtrack was designed to complement the visual texture of each athlete and their sport to make each of the environments as impactful as possible.
"Working on Prodigy felt like the culmination of skills I've been developing for years. From the basics of smoothing production audio to creating abstract Sound Design, this project allowed me to pull from my various strengths to make something unique for the show."— Steve Horne, Sound Design / Mix
Color and Editorial
"Prodigy gave me a chance to work on something unique and really flip the script on how a doc series can be graded … You learn so much on a project like this, which was almost like eight short films rolled together."— Brian Singler, Colorist, Outpost
Prodigy is out now!
All 8 Episodes Streaming On Quibi
Download the Quibi app and search for Prodigy. Would love to hear what you think!