News Production & Post Production

Baywatch is back on the beach with BCE’s HD re-versioning

To ensure the safe return of the remastered episodes of the red swimsuit sporting lifesavers, Fremantle worked with Warner Bros and Illuminate for the transfer to high definition and selected Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) for the European re-versioning.

The original Baywatch series are making their return on TV with the remastering in high definition of the complete 242 episodes. With the series still rating strong audience on RTL Germany, TF1 and Mediaset, Fremantle asked BCE to do the HD re-versioning of 198 episodes in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

“Baywatch still looks quite contemporary, and the storylines stand up. It doesn’t actually look that old fashioned.” Comments Bob McCourt, Chief Operating Officer, FremantleMedia International.

To keep the franchise as faithful as possible to the original, BCE ingested the SD reference material including the dubbed audio for each language. Since the remastered HD version are including new songs from new artists (selected by the original composer Corey Lerios), BCE edited the original dubbed audio, erased the music and isolated the voice and FX tracks.

Many of the foreign episodes of Baywatch were censored. BCE had to work with the original dubbing artists to record the missing scenes. When an artist was not available, BCE had to find a person with the voice that matched best the original and use digital technology to adjust the final versioning.

BCE ensured the audio correction of the dubbed version as well, including audio level correction with dephasing and micro audio drops as well as synch issues between the FX and the dialogues.

“Baywatch has marked several generations, we are glad to contribute to its revival on the European market. The new HD remastered versions come with a fantastic new music score, combined to the incredible work of Warner Bros, Illuminate and BCE, it will definitively mark the generations ahead” comments, Xavier Thillen, Head of Digital Media Operations, BCE.

With the ingest of the new original HD master provided by Fremantle, BCE made the final QC (quality check) of the 242 original episodes remastered by Warner and Illuminate. Then, BCE mixed the audio of the four foreign language tracks to the new score in 198 episodes. Finally, BCE created the Titles and Credits for the French version (Alerte à Malibu), for the German version (Die Rettungsschwimmer von Malibu) and the Spanish version (Los vigilantes de la Playa).

“I have been very impressed with BCE involvement in the project so far and its input has been invaluable” concludes Bob McCourt.

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