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ACE ups the ante with Quantel

Brussels-based film FX facility upgrades to Pablo Neo and adds Pablo PA to workflow

ACE, a specialist Belgian film-effects facility, has upgraded its Quantel iQ to full Pablo 2K specification with the Neo panel. It has also purchased Pablo PA, Quantel’s conform, preparation and workflow software.
“We were so impressed with the performance of V5 software that we decided to take our system one step further and go for the full Pablo suite,” said Stefan Rycken, ACE Managing Director. “There were several reasons for our choice. First, the speed and accuracy of today’s Quantel systems are unequalled for color grading and conforming in different formats. Second, our iQ was working overtime and so, what tipped the scales for us was being able to add Pablo PA into our workflow. This great software enables us to do basic technical work ‘off-line’, such as preparing titles or conforming, freeing up the Pablo to do what it does best: color grading. It’s like having two integrated post systems. Third, the Pablo PA’s soft-mount feature allows us to pre-grade content on a laptop during the shooting stage since the Pablo PA can read RAW formats such as Alexa, Red or Phantom files directly from the recording disk, without even downloading into the PC. The workflow advantages and the comfort for the director are incredible.”

ACE staff, including its in-house color grader Tom Mulder, have just completed training with Quantel support and are now working on a short film to get accustomed to the Pablo and prepare for a full-length feature in November. “We’ll be doing all the FX, color grading and conforming for The Loft, an American remake of a Belgian film directed by Erik van Looy. He did the original movie with us and is now doing the US version. It’s a fantastic first job for us on the Pablo, proving we can work to Hollywood standards,” Rycken concludes.

Martin Mulligan, Quantel Sales and Marketing Director, said, “By moving up to the Pablo, ACE has once again proven that a specialist facility in a relatively small market can leverage its business with our equipment. The fact that they’re now working on a feature for the US market is a fabulous step forward for them. We will be there to support them fully in this endeavour and in all their future developments.”

About ACE

Brussels-based ACE is one of Belgium’s leading film editing and effects facilities. It mainly provides services to independent film production companies. Its multilingual staff often work on European co-productions, providing high-end postproduction services at accessible prices. In recent years, ACE has worked on several feature films, including Rundskop (Bullhead) Belgium’s official entry for the Oscar for best Foreign Language FILM, Swooni, Adem (Oxygen), Loft and Ne te retourne pas, for which they did the morphing of Sophie Marceau as she turns into Monica Bellucci. “Not the worst job we’ve had to do,” comments Stefan Rycken, the facility’s Managing Director.