Archive for March 4th, 2013

SMPTE Creates New Technology Committee Dedicated to Cinema Sound

Committee Will Explore and Standardize New Sound Measurement Techniques With the Goal of Consistent Sound Reproduction

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — March 4, 2013 — The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced the creation of a new technology committee, TC-25CSS, dedicated to cinema sound. The committee will work to update SMPTE standards and recommended practices to address opportunities created by the many technical advances since standards last were created, as well as to improve the quality and consistency of cinema sound.

“Improvements in measurement technology, digital sound delivery, and in sound reproduction equipment, as well as the greater detail and dynamic range of movie soundtracks, present a variety of challenges in providing quality cinema sound,” said Brian Vessa, executive director of digital audio mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment and chair of the new SMPTE committee.

“Existing SMPTE standards and recommended practices help to minimize variations, but cinema sound quality today is highly dependent on the skill, talent, training, and hearing acuity of the adjusting technician,” added Vessa. “TC-25CSS, the first SMPTE technology committee dedicated solely to cinema sound, will explore and standardize new sound measurement techniques with the goal of consistency in sound reproduction between the mixing stage and diverse cinema spaces.”

TC-25CSS was formed following an extensive study by the Theater B-Chain Study Group, which conducted tests of current test equipment and methods, measured reference and commercial theaters, and collaborated on observations and results. The committee currently has 130 members, representing more than 90 companies and academic institutions from 14 countries.

“The introduction of Digital Cinema is helping to provide a consistently high quality of image display. Sound is at least as important in the movie theater experience,” said Hans Hoffmann, head of production technology for the EBU and SMPTE standards vice president. “The Cinema Sound Systems committee will work to ensure that the latest science and technology are used to allow cinema-goers to enjoy the full impact of the sound experience as created in the mixing room.”

As TC-25CSS works to standardize techniques and tools for optimizing sound systems and theater acoustics, the committee will correlate human sound perception with the science of sound reproduction and measurements as the underlying principle. Current activities include development of a recommended practice for measurement and calibration of B-chain sound systems using modern standards and measurement technology, creation of a standard pink noise test signal, a final report on data and findings from the Theater B-Chain Study Group, and work by two new study groups examining immersive audio systems and new electroacoustic measurement methods and target curves.

“This is the first time since the late ’70s that cinema sound has been addressed in depth,” said Mark F. Collins, director of projection technology for Marcus Theatres. “Over the past three decades, we’ve seen huge changes in audio technology, and our hope is that, through the work of the new SMPTE technology committee and its subcommittees, the tools used to measure audio signals will be brought into tune with today’s technology. With signal-testing tools that support very consistent audio quality throughout the industry, cinema owners can provide very good presentations and assure movie creators that what’s being reproduced in the field is consistent with the studio mix.”

In the upcoming SMPTE Standards Webcast “Cinema Sound Systems — Raising the Bar Through New Standards,” scheduled for March 12, Vessa will discuss topics including current SMPTE standards, the new committee’s work, and the impact of new and emerging immersive cinema sound systems on the standards-creation process. The webcast is free and open to all. Those interested in registering may do so at

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About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
The Oscar(R) and Emmy(R) Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), a professional membership association, is the worldwide leader in developing and providing motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the broadband, broadcast, cinema, and IT disciplines. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 600 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines. SMPTE members include motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students from around the world. Information on joining SMPTE is available at

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Fenix – Marin County’s New Mecca Of Dreams And Streams

A Literal Intersection Of Music, Fine Dining & Social Media

SAN RAFAEL, CA: Beyond the traditional amenities of fine dining, exotic libations, and live music, the Fenix introduces a template for a new form of creative and social interaction — on site and online. Conceived by Laura van Galen, a visionary Bay Area CEO, the new 150-seat supper club has been designed to share live performances by talented indigenous and celebrated world-renowned artists with a local, national and eventually international audience on location and over the web at

“I’d been gestating the concept for integrating a hip ‘literal’ performance venue within the ‘virtual’ streaming media community since 2008, and found the ideal site in my adoptive hometown of San Rafael in 2009.” van Galen says. ” Bay Area music guru Merl Saunders, Jr. joined Fenix in 2011, and helped crystallize my thinking. Merl also established our solid connect to the Walters-Storyk Design Group and architect/ acoustician John Storyk. Local (but internationally recognized) architect Tim Murphy and celebrated Executive Chef Shawn Paul rounded out our team, and work began in earnest in early 2012. We began a series of ‘private’ openings in late 2012, and have been fine-tuning our ‘soft’ opening to the public over the past few weeks. Initial feedback is extremely positive.”

Namesake of the legendary Grateful Dead keyboardist, Merl Saunders Jr. has been an integral component of SF’s music scene literally from birth. Extensive touring with artists as disparate as Michael Jackson, David Crosby and Frank Zappa, coupled with his long-term role as Sr. Executive Director of the Recording Academy (GRAMMY Awards,) provided Merl with unparalleled insights into artist (and audience) preferences and a deep appreciation for the technical requirements for high quality live performances.

“I’ve played in and attended gigs in literally thousands of venues over the years,” Saunders reveals. “As a musician and an avid fan, I know acoustics are the critical element of every successful club. No matter how fine the food and drink, if the artists don’t sound great, the club can’t survive. Laura’s vision for Fenix is centered on a critical streaming element, which further increased the need for the room to sound absolutely pristine. With credits that run the gamut from Jazz At Lincoln Center to Le Poisson Rouge, the Rockwood Music Hall and thousands of recording studios and broadcast facilities, WSDG was the ideal choice to design an acoustic soul for the Fenix.”

“Laura discovered an excellent platform for this extraordinary venue, the two-story high live room had great ‘bones,’” John Storyk says. “To facilitate an ideal ‘sweet spot’ environment for the audience while simultaneously defusing audience/dining noise away from the performers, the ceiling over the front bar and dining sections was dropped. Twin recording studio-style ceiling clouds constructed with a combination of broadband and membrane absorption, were floated over those areas,” Storyk explains. “We then angled the ‘clouds’ upward from the front to the rear of the room, and we added aesthetically pleasing wall panels as absorptive acoustic treatments. These elements serve dual purposes, they enhance the audio quality of the on stage performance and, they inhibit intrusive patron noise. EAW QX596 Mains and custom Sub-Woofers; EAW12 & 15″ Monitors and ASHLY KLR 5000, 4000 & 2000 Power Amps cap off a terrific audio system.”

“Skype was a critical tool in our collaboration with John and WSDG Project Supervisor, Joshua Morris,” Saunders says. “We regularly walked them through the site with live iPad video to review the construction progress. Their input on everything from Control Room design to HVAC ductwork was invaluable. They participated in every facet of the acoustic design of this project including gear and console selection review.”

Positioning the FOH mixing position at the rear of the room eliminated the issue of obstructing audience view, and simultaneously provided the mixer with excellent line of site to the artist. The 2nd floor master control room receives continuous feeds from three fixed-position AW-HE50SN Panasonic HD-SDI Pan/tilt/zoom Cameras, (featuring programmable + operator-control options) and, audio from an array of almost three dozen Shure, EVRE, Sennheiser and other mics. Beyond the clubs’ terrific acoustics, artists also appreciate the chance to chill in a beautiful green room.

“Laura’s concept of establishing a subscription-based online audience for our live shows requires our mixer/director to work ‘on-the-fly’ as the performance unfolds,” Saunders ads. “We positioned a Midas Pro2 Console – 56 Mic/Line inputs with built-in faders at FOH, and customized the basic configuration to support our live streaming requirements. Our Control Room is equipped with a TC455 NewTek TriCaster 455 for complete live production and streaming, an Apple MP 2.4 for editing; an Avid Pro Tools HD Native & Interface for remixing for subsequent CD (but not DVD) distribution. The system is designed to enable us to record live albums, which we hope to do when the club is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays, and another reason we engaged ‘master studio designer.”

“The Fenix has absolutely everything going for it,” John Storyk concludes. “Laura van Galen envisions this club as the first of a group of sister clubs at select cities around the country. The vibe is hip, warm and welcoming, the menu is outstanding, and the room sounds great. The mixing consol, mics and entire technology package was selected to insure superior streaming quality. Initial feedback supports the accuracy of the choices. Marin County has a fantastic pool of local talent, and the word is already out to ‘A List’national artists that this is a terrific showcase venue. With the combination of their streaming and recording capabilities, it’s a safe bet to say the world will be hearing great music generated by the Fenix for years to come.”

1. The Fenix, San Rafael, California
2. Fenix Entrance
3. Fenix interior (note FOH position at right)
4. Fenix FOH position. Note Midas Pro2 Audio Mixing Console and Element Lighting Console

Please credit all photos by John Merkl


Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes around the US, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY’s major new destination studio; private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design, including 2012 for Jungle City. WSDG maintains offices in NY, SF, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Germany, Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland.

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The Fluid Family Gets Tasty with Toaster Strudel Spots

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New York City-based creative post team, Fluid, Butter, Mr. Bronx, and Platige Image, have rolled out a charming arts & crafts-style campaign for Pillsbury Toaster Strudel. Commissioned by Saatchi & Saatchi, the ads are the result of an all-inclusive effort executed by the entire Fluid family, making for a cohesive final product and a showcase for the companies’ full-service capabilities.

In “Breakfast Avalanche” and “Sweet Symphony,” Pillsbury’s famous Toaster Strudel line gets a handicraft makeover with beautiful paper cutout visuals and an amusingly cheeky voice-over. Charged by Saatchi & Saatchi creatives to help turn the traditional table-top spot on its head, The Fluid, Platige, Mr. Bronx, and Butter crews worked closely with Animator and Über Content director Molly Schiot to perfect the campaign’s quirky tone. The alliance of post pros delivered polished, subtle touches — including expert cuts from Editor John Piccolo, impeccable sound design from Butter’s Fred Szymankski, and understated VFX flourishes and mixing — to enhance Schiot’s vision.

“It was a total team effort,” stated Editor John Piccolo. “Molly’s stop-motion work is amazing – whimsical, organic, and completely unique. We were all very excited to be working with her, so once I had a rough assembly laid out, everyone hit the ground running to tie it all together.”

The rest of the Fluid family was equally thrilled with the collaborative process. “While Molly was busy crafting sets, we’d have JP putting together rough cuts, and Platige adding touches of animation and 3D to Molly’s textural elements,” noted Executive Producer Laura Relovsky. “Having all the essentials of the post process in-house made for a remarkably easy and coherent workflow. We were able to meet spontaneously with each other and the agency to discuss new ideas, allowing us to push through the project quickly while really taking our time and enjoying the process.”

A third spot in the campaign, entitled “Flavor Cannon,” will air later in the year.


Client: Pillsbury

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, NY
Executive Creative Director: Patrick Clarke
Art Director: Tiffany Liu
Copywriter: Morgan Perrine
Producer: Ian Kelly
SPL: Ashley Molton
Account Supervisor: Aditi Reddy
Account Executive: Kate Tyler

Production Company: Über Content
Director: Molly Schiot
Executive Producer: Phyllis Koenig

Editorial: Fluid
Editor: John Piccolo

VFX: Platige Image NY

Music: Butter Music and Sound
Sound Design: Fred Szymankski

Mix: Mr. Bronx Audio Post
Mixer: David Wolfe

About Fluid:

Fluid, comprised of a team of award-winning editors, provides editorial services complemented by a family of in-house creative partners: graphics and CG from Platige; VFX, retouching, and finish from Wes Waldron; and audio post from Mr. Bronx, and original composition and sound design from Butter. All located in their Soho loft studios, this wealth of creative and technical resources allows for a uniquely collaborative environment.

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HARMAN’s Studer to Showcase Range of Digital Audio Consoles at CABSAT 2013

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — At CABSAT 2013, HARMAN’s Studer will be exhibiting with partner GSL Professional, showing a range of its world-class digital audio consoles for broadcast environments. CABSAT will be held March 12-14 at the Dubai World Trade Center in the United Arab Emirates.

Studer will show several products at CABSAT, including: the Vista 9 42-fader console, the Vista 5M2 22-fader console, the Vista 1 32-fader console, as well as its OnAir 2500 and OnAir 1500 consoles. Studer will also showcase its VISTA FX engine, which enables Vista users to add up to 24 channels of Lexicon effects to their console.

“Studer has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years in the Middle East and Africa broadcast markets, with Studer consoles being installed in some of the largest and most prestigious television and radio broadcast facilities in these regions,” said Bruno Hochstrasser, General Manager, Studer. “We invite everyone at CABSAT to see our market-leading consoles for themselves!”

Studer’s range of products can be seen at the GSL Professional stand, Number 414 in Hall 4.

CABSAT is the Middle East and Africa’s largest broadcast, digital media and satellite expo. For more information on Studer products, please visit

For more information on GSL Professional, please visit

HARMAN ( designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.4 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2012.

jumP Cuts a Rug with Coco Rocha and White House Black Market

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jumP has teamed up once again with supermodel Coco Rocha and White House Black Market, showcasing the brand’s impeccable business wear in a playful new spot. “The Heart of Workwear,” directed by famed fashion photographer Ellen Von Unwerth at Serial and concepted by ceft and company new york, matches Rocha’s exuberant dance moves with a series of colorful ensembles. True to Von Unwerth’s signature style, the stark black & white palette and punctuated splashes of vibrant color come across strong through the keen editorial eye of jumP’s Luis Moreno – with help from Assistant Editor David Johnston and expert VFX work by Poetica.


Client: White House Black Market
Spot Title: “The Heart of Workwear”
Air Date: 18 February 2013

Agency: ceft and company new york
Creative Director: Ucef Hanjani
Producer: Carolina Pimenta

Prod Co: Serial
Director: Ellen Von Unwerth

Editorial Co: jumP
Editor: Luis Moreno
Assistant Editor: David Johnston
EP: Alexandra Leal
Producer: Anne Vega

VFX: Poetica

Telecine Co: Company 3
Colorist: Tim Masick

Audio Post Co: Heard City
Mixer: Eric Warzecha
Managing Director: Gloria Pitagorsky

about jumP:

Bicoastal jumP is an award-winning creative editorial boutique focusing on commercials, features, short films, music videos, and emerging media content. The firm works with a wide-range of top-tier brands, directors, and agencies continually delivering powerful and efficient results for each of its clients. The company roster includes Partner/Editors: Luis Moreno and Michael Saia, Editors: Lin Polito, Troy Mercury, Richard Mettler, Patrick Griffin, David Trachtenberg, Richard Cooperman, Wendy Rosen, Jonathan Edwards, EPs Betsy Beale and Alexandra Leal, and Partner/Managing Director Dee Tagert.

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Slate Media Group Appoints Jay Rubin to Head Sound Sales in New York

NEW YORK— Slate Media Group, one of the country’s largest independent providers of post-production technology and services, has hired Jay Rubin as Director of Sales for Sound Services.

With more than 30 years of experience in feature film and television sound, Rubin will seek to grow sound editorial and sound mixing business for all Slate Media Group companies, including Technicolor – PostWorks, Hula Post Production and PostWorks in New York. He will also be involved in recruiting new talent as the company consolidates its position as the leading provider of sound services for film and television on the East Coast.


In The Groove Music Marks its 15th Anniversary Milestone with Significant Contributions to Such Clients as ESPN, Hearst, Target, Budweiser and MTV

Minneapolis, MN, March 4, 2013 – In the Groove Music, a leading source of both original and licensed music to the broadcasting, film, and advertising industries, is marking the occasion of its 15th Anniversary Milestone by announcing a number of its most recent projects. Since l998, company’s partners Darren Drew, Executive Producer, and Brian Reidinger, Creative Director, have been responsible for producing and licensing some of the most recognizable music for popular TV shows and commercials airing around the world.
In Photo: Brian Reidinger, at left; Darren Drew, at right.
Among the high profile projects to which In the Groove Music has recently contributed customized music are:
** ESPN & “Sports Center:” In the Groove Music has provided all of the theme arrangements — since 2004 – for ESPN’s “Sports Center,” the most played sports theme in the world. The company’s work also includes the original theme packages for ESPN U, “Sports Nation,” and Sunday Night Baseball.
** Hearst Corp: In the Groove Music has provided a brand new music branding initiative for one of the nation’s largest media companies. This work includes an original theme package and mnemonic creation for all television markets comprising the Heart TV network.
** Target: In the Groove Music provided the music for a licensing initiative for an animation project for LA Live, featuring five progressive, new animation styles from top emerging talent, worldwide.
** Budweiser & Bud Light: Original music and sound design from In the Groove Music was attached to award winning Superbowl, NBA, and NFL TV commercials, featuring T-Pain, LMFAO, and Mark Cuban. In the Groove Music’s client was the world’s largest brewer — Anheuser Busch InBev.
** “The Jersey Shore” (Seasons 1-6): This hit TV series licensed In the Groove’s curated license music collection. This music spanned six seasons of MTV Network’s most viewed series telecast ever.
Regarding In the Groove’s anniversary, Steve Hunt, Chief Creative Office, Cannonball, said, “We’ve been working with In the Groove for almost 10 years on behalf of such clients as Bud Light, Budweiser, National Car Rental, and Scottrade. Their tracks are always spot on. They pull together the best musicians, and the best singers — they just get it. The quality of their work is as good as anyone, anywhere. They’re super collaborative, and they’ll always deliver what you’re looking for, and usually something better – something you might not have considered. The fact that they’re just great guys to work with also makes the experience that much better.”
Adds Suzanne Grethen, VP, Hearst Publishing Corp., “When considering options for our group-wide Hearst music initiative, one of our primary objectives was to find a team that could share our vision and collaborate with us on a unique, non-traditional branding project. The music package Darren and Brian and In the Groove delivered achieves each and every goal we put before them: a unique mnemonic, incredible variety and originality in cuts, and great musicians. They were additionally a pleasure to work with.”
Said Mr. Drew, “We consider ourselves very lucky—we get to collaborate with producers, networks, brand marketers and partner companies based in major markets all over the world, even though we’re headquartered in Minneapolis. The ITG brand is our people, our talent, and our resources, and we’ve realized that our unique energy and inherent customer service is our differentiation. We are passionate about everything we do, and we’re very grateful to be marking our 15 year anniversary milestone.”
Adds Mr. Reidinger, “We never lose sight of the fact that we are extremely fortunate to have achieved a measure of longevity in this business, and we’re thankful for that success every day. To be able to take a simple, far-reaching vision of possibility, and, one-day-at-a-time, transform that dream into a functional reality, has been our highest accomplishment. I believe our single greatest asset is our word; doing exactly what we say we are going to do. We are fully accountable to our clients and ourselves, and we pride ourselves on building a level of trust and comfort. In times of intense stress and uncertainty, those who have entrusted us with their projects know that they are covered; that we are committed to them and to their creative process. This approach is how we’ve built our business –one person at a time.”
Co-founded by Darren Drew and Brian Reidinger in 1998 in Minneapolis, In the Groove Music specializes in contributing original and licensed music to a broad spectrum of broadcasting, advertising, and film industry clients. The company, headquartered within 4,000 square feet of space including three recording studios, is comprised of composers, producers, artists, and bands, using the power of music to connect the messages of its clients to the world.
For fifteen years, In the Groove Music has helped brands break boundaries and communicate ideas. Music is the company’s language of choice: beyond the written word, beyond the visual image. In the Groove Music composes award-winning music for a broad spectrum of clientele.
In the Groove Music counts a number of major TV networks as clients. These have included NBC, ABC, MTV, CBS, FOX, HBO, The CW, VH-1, TNT and ESPN. Within the world of corporate advertising, In the Groove Music has contributed music to commercials promoting such high profile brands as Coca-Cola, Ford, Bud Light, Cheerios, P&G, Bacardi, Toyota, and manly others.
In the Groove Music is located at 625 2nd Avenue South, Suite 102, Minneapolis, MN 55402. The phone is 612/305-1229. For more information, please see:

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ABS, ExperienceChurch.TV Celebrate Successful AVL Expo

SEATAC, WA — More than 100 people attended last month’s Audio, Visual, Lighting Conference and Expo (AVL Expo) at Experience Church in Puyallup, Wash. Produced by professional video and audio systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS), in collaboration with®, the one-day conference included an exhibit hall and educational sessions specifically tailored for the worship community.

“The feedback we received was fantastic, and the sessions were very well attended,” said Arco Groenenberg, ABS vice president of sales and marketing. “This was our fifth AVL Expo since 2009, and we saw a lot of new faces. It’s really become an important event for churches in the Northwest that want to maximize their AV resources.”

“I think people were ready to regain their vision after the fiscal challenges most churches faced,” added Dennis Cummins, Pastor at Experience “People were looking with a fresh and more realistic approach to what was possible in their budget domains. They also appreciated being in the ‘real world’ of an everyday church, not a mega church or expo hall.”

The conference schedule featured nine educational sessions, as well as a panel discussion to close the program. Sessions covered a variety of topics, including I-MAG (image magnification), multi-site content distribution, and live production.

Cummins said the branding session had a noticeable impact on attendees. “It really made people think how to use their media to communicate their message and better unify their message,” he explained, “and gave them great confidence in moving ahead in purchasing equipment.”

About ABS:

Based in SeaTac, WA, ABS (Advanced Broadcast Solutions) delivers customized, technologically superior solutions for broadcast, corporate, house of worship, entertainment, government, and educational facilities – from design and integration to installation and support services. Since 1982, its experienced technical staff has installed more than 700 systems for clients including Fisher Communications, Cowles California Media, Real Networks, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft Studios. For more information, call 206-870-0244 or visit

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Roman Coppola’s ‘A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III’ Colored on DaVinci Resolve

Fremont, CA – March 4, 2013 – Blackmagic Design today announced that American Zoetrope, a San Francisco based production and post house, and SPY, a FotoKem company based in San Francisco and specializing in visual effects, used DaVinci Resolve Lite and DaVinci Resolve, respectively, for color grading on Roman Coppola’s latest film, “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.”


Resolve was used by freelance colorist and VFX artist Ryan Bozajian at American Zoetrope for the early conforming and initial color correction, with footage then sent to SPY for final color correction. Ryan and Sin Cohen, American Zoetrope’s digital post production manager, worked closely with SPY’s Head of Technology, Steve Maggioncalda, and Senior Colorist, Chris Martin, on system calibration to ensure a seamless transition to SPY for a final color grade on Resolve. The project was then exported out of Resolve for film outs, digital cinema packages and video masters, and the team benefited from the ability to turn Resolve’s LUTs on and off for each deliverables’ needs.


“We developed a great workflow where certain nodes meant certain things, so when the project was handed over to Chris, there was a system for him to interpret right away,” said Ryan. “Resolve’s innate flexibility made the migration easy, and it was a huge advantage for the production.“


“The goal was to get the heavy lifting color correction done up front at Zoetrope, which would lead to an efficient final DI at SPY. We made sure the grading environment at Zoetrope was calibrated as closely as possible to SPY’s DI theater,” said Chris. “We even did initial tests that resulted in Roman feeling very good about how the color decisions made at Zoetrope translated at SPY. Upon import of the project, the media linked up immediately, and we finished color in just two days.”


Because of the compatibility between the two systems, SPY did not have to reconform, translate color decision lists or regrade the project, and instead, simply fine tuned it using Resolve’s Power Windows to sharpen and accentuate features, custom curves to hold highlights and maintain contrasts and multi point tracker for enhanced efficiency. The collaborative process maximized American Zoetrope’s time and budget, while still allowing a specialized facility to handle final DI and deliverables.


“We got two weeks of time consuming pre grading work, which you don’t need to be in a DI suite for, done in our office, and Roman was able to work with Ryan in a non pressured environment,” said Sin. “We were able to maximize our time and budget, but still finish in a proper suite. It was the perfect combination.”


“Resolve’s power and flexibility really made this whole process possible and incredibly seamless on top of that,” said Roman Coppola, Director, American Zoetrope. “It was the bridge between the two workflows, allowing us to collaborate with SPY in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.”


American Zoetrope and SPY are already collaborating on a second project for which Sin is using Resolve for dailies creation and transcoding for offline editing, which sets up media pools for a faster conform. “Now, everything goes into Resolve right off the camera. The projects get built in Resolve from the start, and I can create dailies out of Resolve with all the editing materials linking back to the system. It’s a seamless round trip that saves me time in the online process,” said Sin.


Press Photography
Product photos of all Blackmagic Design products are available at “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” images are available here.


About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. For more information, please check

About SPY
SPY was founded in San Francisco in 1998, and acquired by FotoKem in 2009. A highly regarded creative studio, SPY has contributed to many projects for some of the industry’s leading advertising agencies, including Goodby Silverstein & Partners, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Leo Burnett, DDB, and more. Over the past several years, SPY has also provided visual effects for a number of features including Avatar and Priest, as well as effects and color grading for director Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt. The facility expanded to Santa Monica in 2012, and shares an address with FotoKem’s award winning sound studio Margarita Mix. For more information, go to, or follow SPY on Facebook (

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Proof Inc., One of Hollywood’s Leading Pre-Vis Houses, Names Katie Wells as Executive Producer

Los Angeles, CA, March 4, 2013 – Proof Inc., one of the film industry’s leading pre-visualization houses, has named Katie Wells its Executive Producer. The announcement was made by Ron Frankel, Proof ‘s founder and Creative Director.
In her new post, Wells will help manage the company’s ongoing expansion and work closely with Visual Effects Supervisors and Producers, as well as commercial clients. Her work will involve tailoring Proof’s services to define and enhance creative content, define the technical needs of highly complex live-action sequences, and create efficiencies in the application of production and post-production resources.
Mr. Frankel said, “Katie has an extensive background and long-established relationships with countless directors, VFX Supervisors, and Visual Effects executives at the studios. Her deep understanding of the A-Z process of visual effects and pre-vis, combined with her live-action experience, will be invaluable to Proof as technologies continue to blur the lines between production and postproduction. In this new environment, the services we provide have become crucial in providing a ‘blueprint’ to help execute a filmmaker’s vision in the most efficient manner possible.”
Katie Wells began her career wanting to work in commercials for directors like Ridley Scott. She moved to Los Angeles from her native Ohio, and within a few years managed not only to work at RSA, but also as a Line Producer / U.P.M. for many of the industry’s top directors, including Ridley Scott, Joe Pytka, David Fincher, David Lynch and Jake Scott. She subsequently worked on staff at Propaganda Films, managing a roster that included David Kellogg, Michael Bay, and Anthony Hoffman.
Digital Domain recruited Katie, where she became Head of Commercial Production, moving from live-action to animation and visual effects. After leaving Digital Domain, Katie established a reputation as a business performance specialist, working as an executive for live-action and visual effects companies undergoing expansions or turnarounds and helping to maximize their potential. She served as Executive Producer/Managing Director for Backyard Productions, 525 Studios, and CREO (a Post Logic Company).
Katie was Executive Producer for the Quebec based FX Cartel, helping productions utilize tax credit strategies to package individual and boutique vendors and managing the combined entities to deliver VFX for films including “Stay,” “Cursed,” “Across the Universe,” “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” and “Bolden.” She has also worked as a consulting VFX Producer for films such as “War of Gods (Immortals,”) the upcoming “Riddick 3,” and as a 3D production consultant on “Smurfs.”
In addition, Katie was Associate Producer for Julia Roberts’ Red Om production of “Jesus Henry Christ,” directed by Dennis Lee.
Pre-Vis (short for Previsualization) is the term for a detailed animated sequence, created during preproduction, which is used to test and prove-out complicated action sequences and camera moves in order to save time and money during live action production. Pre-Vis is the next generation of digital prototyping for entertainment and advertising. POV specializes in creating a computer animated version of its clients’ content quickly and inexpensively, allowing content producers to experiment, revise, budget, schedule and eventually produce their own projects with huge cost savings.
Founded in 2002 in Los Angeles by Ron Frankel, Proof Inc. is one Hollywood’s leading providers of high-quality visualization services for the feature film and live entertainment industries. The company’s recent projects have included “Hansel & Gretel,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “”The Hunger Games,” “Underworld: Awakening 3D,” “Fast Five,” and “The Green Hornet,” to name just a few.
From the start of development through to delivery, the talented digital artists of Proof help filmmakers tell their stories and realize their visions. Whether a major studio feature film, a large-scale architectural installation, a TV commercial, or a live concert, Proof’s unique blend of visual artistry and technical expertise ensures that the company’s work on any project is as accurate as it is evocative.
Proof specializes in four areas of creative services:
Pre-vis: A collaborative process using 3D animation software and real-time computer graphics to generate preliminary versions of shots or sequences, Pre-vis provides a virtual space within which decision-makers can explore new ideas, plan technical solutions, and communicate a shared vision to the entire production team.
Virtual Production: New Virtual Production techniques are being employed on shows ranging from big budget tent-pole feature films to modest, yet ambitious, indie projects. Proof provides on-set visualization, the synchronization and compositing of live photography with 2D or 3D virtual elements, for immediate visual feedback.
Post-vis: This is a creative process whereby filmmakers can direct the parts of their film that weren’t captured during photography because they were either impractical or impossible to get in camera. During Post-vis, CG elements are combined with production photography to provide placeholder visual effects shots and to refine visual effects design.
Event Visualization: Proof’s artists have the ability to create accurate virtual design spaces for any event, ranging from a fashion show to a concert to a real-estate development to a multi-media projection against a tall building. These visual elements can then be evaluated, revised, approved and distributed to team members for fabrication and construction purposes.
Proof’s Headquarters Office is located at 5150 Wilshire Blvd., Suite # 300, LA, CA, 90036. The phone is 323/465-6930 and the website is:


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