London postproduction company the Farm Group has purchased a second Digital VisionFilm Master color grading system. The second machine is installed at Farm-subsidiary Uncle, where it has been used on broadcast projects including The Mighty Boosh for BBC3 and Wild at Heart for ITV1.
“It’s great,” comments David Klafkowski, technical director at the Farm Group. “Our colorists saw all the nonlinear devices currently available; for the type of work that we were going to be doing, they simply preferred the Film Master. The functionality of the GUI and control surface was right for them. The panel has the feel of a solid piece of engineering.”
The Film Masters are running on the DVS workstation and SANs and complement the linear grading suites are still run across the group. “Our initial brief was to be able to replicate what could be done in our existing linear suite,” says Klafkowski. “The Film Master came closest to that mark, and it also brings a whole load of other things to the table: the ability to add an indefinite number of layers, noise reduction, clean-up tools, motion tracking and so on. Things sometimes take longer in nonlinear grading environments, but that’s simply because you can do more.”
In the final analysis, the crucial point for Klafkowski is that the machines are stable and reliable, a fact that he acknowledges is perhaps not headline-grabbing but was of significant importance when deciding to purchase the second unit. “With grading, the suite hardware isn’t the hero—we sell the colorist, not the machine,” he says. “So what we want from that machine is for it to sit in the background unnoticed and give the colorists the tools to do their jobs as quickly and creatively as possible. And that is precisely what the Film Master does.”
“We are delighted that the Farm Group has added a second Film Master system, confirming its ability to grade quickly and reliably for broadcast, where deadlines are tight and you typically only get a day to finish an entire program,“ adds Digital Vision president and COO Simon Cuff.