How was that possible in such a short time?
With really good planning. I have been in contact with the ARRI team since February 2016 for the project. Doing the final production of ten episodes in cinema quality was a new experience for us too. That equates to five feature films, and complex ones at that! I knew Bo and Jantje from working together with them on WHO AM I, and like on that series, all the people and departments involved worked together with great commitment and precision right from the word "go." We started sound postproduction right after we wrapped up shooting at the end of April, parallel to the editing, so that all the viewings and approvals could be held and given with processed sound. That probably made the process much smoother because no one had to "imagine" anything additional that wasn't there yet. It also meant that we didn't have to start the really short postproduction phase after picture lock with nothing, but had already processed the sound for all ten episodes to a large degree. We also launched the visual effects work, which was shared between ARRI VFX and RISE FX, really early on – all with the goal of being almost finished when the time came for picture lock.
How complicated is it to do the entire postproduction and part of the editing simultaneously when you have 504 minutes of screen time to fill?
It has become quite typical for postproduction nowadays that the processes dovetail, because it is technically possible and because the people involved want to make use of the new freedoms they have gained from technical advances. The difficulty with "Dark" was quite simply the volume of material: five feature films in a little more than five weeks – and during that time we also had to produce the DCP for the premiere in Toronto where the first two episodes were screened. That is first and foremost a huge accomplishment by Bo and Jantje: keeping an eye on all the departments with that kind of time schedule while making the biggest decisions. But it was also an astounding achievement on the part of the editors Robert Rzesacz, Anja Siemens, Denis Bachter, and Sven Budelmann, who supported the workflow from the very beginning. But, of course, the entire postproduction team deserves praise for ensuring the technical conditions to make it all possible. And thanks to the amazing in-house producers at ARRI Media – Lola Knoblach for picture and Michi Huber for sound – it all went virtually without a hitch. For months in advance, they planned together with me, re-planned, and always made sure that we were able to meet the showrunners' creative requests. It was an extremely difficult task, because re-confirmations were required continuously for sound and picture – and that across various venues in Berlin and Munich. The job can only be successfully carried out if supported by sophisticated internal coordination processes, and Lola and Michi had them completely under control. We wanted to provide the colorists Steffen Paul and Bernie Greiner, the sound technicians Ansgar Frerich, Christian Bischoff, Benjamin Rosenkind, and Matthias Maydl, and the Supervising Sound Editor Alex Würtz with the ideal working conditions and I think we succeeded. That was the great thing about working with ARRI; the in-house producers are already a well-oiled machine. The workflows in picture and sound postproduction run so smoothly that the creatives can do their thing without restriction.