Las Vegasâ€” Nice Shoes, New Yorkâ€™s largest provider of post-production services to the advertising industry, has agreed to purchase more than $3 million in new colour grading technology from FilmLight. The purchase includes four Baselight EIGHT colour grading systems, the flagship of the Baselight line â€“ a system capable of grading 4K media in real-time. Additionally, Nice Shoes will receive two Baselight ONE systems and several laptop versions of the Baselight software. Nice Shoes have also purchased FilmLightâ€™s Truelight colour management technology for display calibration and film output.
The acquisition of the systems is part of a larger expansion effort initiated by Nice Shoes. The company plans to occupy an additional floor of the building where it is located in Manhattan; the new space will house all of the companyâ€™s colour grading facilities as well as part of its visual effects and editorial operations. Nice Shoes expects to take delivery of its first Baselight EIGHT in June with all systems up and running by the end of the year. It will represent the largest installation of Baselight systems worldwide.
Nice Shoes spent more than a year and conducted rigorous tests involving both traditional hardware colour correctors and software-based systems such as Baselight. â€œWe brought them all in for an evaluation. We had our artists work with them and compared their feature sets and how well they supported collaboration,â€? said Nice Shoes Chief Technology Officer Robert Keske. â€œBaselight offered the most flexibility from an infrastructure point of view. The systems communicate perfectly with one another and therefore alleviate the problem of moving projects around. They also communicate well with our other applications and so have the most potential for collaboration.â€?
FilmLightâ€™s non-linear, software-based colour grading technology will allow Nice Shoes to offer a new approach to colour grading for commercials and to post-production work in general. Baselightâ€™s open architecture allows it to be linked to and share resources with other systems in the workflow, including editorial, compositing and visual effects workstations. As a result, colour grading does not have to proceed as one step in a linear post-production process. Rather, it can be engaged at any point in the process, allowing colourists to work collaboratively with other artists.
â€œWe want to integrate all of our departments,â€? observed Nice Shoes Colourist Chris Ryan. â€œInstead of effects, editing and colour grading operating as separate functions, weâ€™d like everything to flow through a central structure. We will continue to do jobs the traditional way, but for other projects, such as design-driven jobs, the work might flow back and forth between workstations with design, graphics and colour working together.â€? Ryan added that FilmLight engineers developed modifications for Baselight to better support the collaborative workflow model that Nice Shoes envisions.
A key figure in the deal, Joe Bottazzi, Partner and Chief Engineer, Nice Shoes, commented â€œWe are very excited to be working with FilmLight on this project. The new systems are key to launching Nice Shoesâ€™ into the next generation of workflow and to producing a higher end product.â€?
Nice Shoes plans to use Baselight EIGHT as its primary grading platform. All six systems will use FilmLightâ€™s new telecine control technology to directly control Nice Shoesâ€™ Spirit Datacines. The Baselight systems will also be set up to use Thomson Grass Valleyâ€™s Bones software for media ingest.
This mix is intended to allow the facility to get the most value from its investment and operate at peak efficiency. â€œWhile I am grading one job on Baselight, my assistant can be prepping the next job, so that when that group of clients walks in, I just load it in,â€? explained Ryan. â€œThe Baselight ONE, meanwhile, can be used to render out the previous project to the SAN so that itâ€™s ready for our Flame guys or output to tape format.â€?
While this approach to commercial post is new, Keske expects it to eventually become the norm for high-end facilities. â€œWe are looking toward the future, when a collaborative, homogeneous solution is something that post-houses will have to offer,â€? he added.
About Nice Shoes
New York City-based Nice Shoes is a full service HD post-production house specializing in high-end commercial work. Established in 1996 with the goal of creating a boutique environment that stays ahead of industry trends, the studio employs the newest technology including three Specter 2K Datacines and five Discreet (Autodesk) Flame/ Smoke suites, totally HD capable.
To extend into broadcast design, shoot supervision, visual effects and 3D, Freestyle Collective was born into the Nice Shoes family in 2001, followed shortly by Guava in 2002 and most recently, Nice Spots in 2005. Clients include IBM, Maybelline, Pepsi, VH1, AMEX, Kodak, GMC, Folgers and Calvin Klein.
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FilmLight is a manufacturer of film scanning, colour grading and colour management systems that are helping to transform film and video post production and setting new standards for quality, reliability and performance. The companyâ€™s products are in use every day by leading post production facilities around the globe as essential components in their digital intermediate, commercials and video production pipelines. Fuelled by some of the industryâ€™s brightest minds, FilmLight is committed to delivering innovative tools that allow creative professionals to work at the forefront of the digital media revolution. Founded in 2001, FilmLight is headquartered in London, where its research, design and manufacturing operations are centred. Sales and support are conducted through regional service centres located in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Sydney, Auckland and Singapore, and through qualified partners worldwide. For more information visit