[Tig] from James Wicks - Learning the trade

James Wicks jim at jimwicks.com
Sun Aug 5 23:15:21 BST 2012

I knew the cartoonist, Ben Wicks, and we shared a similar sense of humor.
We talked on a number of occasions before he died.

On one such occasion we were chatting and, because I was on television at the time, someone recognized me before Ben and interrupted our conversation to say hello.
Not missing a beat, Ben threw his arm around my shoulder and introduced himself saying, 'my name is Ben Wicks, I'm his dad.'

That's the kind of guy Ben was, a quick wit and a fine gentleman.
And no, we were not related …although I wish I was, it would have been a honor.

Best, J

James Wicks, COLORIST 
digital, film, television, web 
Website: www.JimWicks.com 
Phone: 561.721.5187 
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On Aug 5, 2012, at 5:52 PM, "Mark Northeast" <wmarkne at gmail.com> wrote:

> James,
> Are you related to Ben wicks ?
> Thanks for the story sounds like you have been living life.
> Continue to have fun
> Best regards
> Mark
> Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
> Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: James Wicks <jim at jimwicks.com>
> Sender: tig-bounces at colorist.org
> Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2012 17:05:32 
> To: Telecine Internet Group<tig at colorist.org>
> Subject: [Tig] from James Wicks -  Learning the trade
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> ====
> It's been my experience that there is no one way to climb the mountain.
> My story started out 30 years ago in film production, deviated to on-camera talent, and then transitioned to post-production as a Colorist.
> I started working full time in television in 1981 in Toronto, Canada.
> Prior to this I had worked summer jobs on both television and motion picture productions, mostly as a production assistant.
> In 1981, however, the only job opened to me was as a television news reporter.
> Funny thing, that. The number 4 rated station, number 3 rated station, and the number 2 rated station all turned me down because I lacked experience.
> The man who hired me at the number 1 rated station said he did so because he liked my tenacity.
> I moved up the ranks and soon was a television news Anchor.
> Yet, throughout the early stages of my on-camera career I can truthfully say that I was never fully accepted because many felt that I was inexperienced or untested.
> But I kept at it, honed my craft, learned, watched, and was mentored by some of the best in the business.
> My tenacity and belief in myself paid off.
> By 1989 I accepted an offer to move to the United States and worked steadily as a News Anchor.
> Throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s I worked for network affiliates in top 20 markets.
> My on-camera career careered over a cliff in late 2007 due to the economic recession.
> Younger and cost-efficient talent became all the vogue to cost concious television stations, and I needed a job.
> Fortunately, I had a strong creative background and had been shooting and editing for years.
> I landed a job as lead Commercial Producer at my local CBS affiliate. 
> Yet, my being there raised eyebrows from people who knew I was an experienced television News Anchor and an unproven commercial producer.
> Initially, people were skeptical that I could produce a :30 second spot.
> Like I did before, I kept at it, honed my craft, learned, watched, and was mentored by some of the best in the business.
> Within my first two years I had racked up a number of awards and nominations for producing top flight TV commercials.
> Additionally, I learned that clients were swinging their production budgets to the station citing the quality of my work.
> Unknown to the station and the clients was one of my secret sauces to making quality commercials: color correction and grading.
> In spite of the fact that we used high-end, brand-new, state-of-the-art HD cameras, the camera output was not stellar - in my opinion.
> I began researching, and soon learned about the art of color correction and grading.
> I jumped into Apple Color, and learned it. 
> I read everything I could about color correction and grading.
> In the process, I struck up an internet-based friendship with Colorist Jack Tunnicliffe at Java Post Production in Western Canada.
> Jack became not only a friend, but soon he was my mentor.
> I traveled to Jack's post house, which I paid for myself, and became his first student in a Master Class training session.
> Jack liked something he saw in the way I graded, and urged me to consider color correction as a full time career.
> I sought out and studied under Patrick Inhofer and Warren Eagles, yet in my mind I wondered where all this was going.
> I have lived and worked in West Palm Beach, Florida, for 15 years. This is not known as a mecca for Colorists.
> A good friend of mine, an independent film director, pointed me in the direction of my future; he brought to my attention a job listing for a Colorist …in West Palm Beach.
> I interviewed for the position, and found that it was more than was advertised.
> The company I work for hired me to create the color department from the ground up, design and create the color suite, and help hire and train junior Colorists.
> I am in charge of the color correction and color restoration of hundreds of classic Spanish language films from the 1930s - 1980's destined for U.S. distribution.
> The New York Times, one of my former employers, has written about the restoration work being done on these old movies now appearing on the Verizon cable channel.
> To summarize, I can say that throughout my career, I was never taken seriously when I started down a specific path simply because I lacked the work experience.
> Looking back on it, I can say that I never believed what they said. Yes, it hurt to hear it; but I never believed it.
> I always believed in myself and what I could do if I had the chance.
> Like I said before, I kept at it, honed my craft, learned, watched, and was mentored by some of the best in the business.
> It's something that I still do, even now: tutorials, reading, helping, asking, and so on.
> The learning never stops. The passion never dies. It pushes me on to be better than I was yesterday, and to learn from my failures.
> Keep at it, believe in yourself, and don't give up!
> Best, James Wicks
> Senior Colorist, 
> Olympusat Networks
> West Palm Beach, FL
> James Wicks, COLORIST 
> digital, film, television, web 
> Website: www.JimWicks.com 
> Phone: 561.721.5187 
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