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Re: what's so hard?

Hi Nicole,

In answer to your question, there isn't anything hard about being a colorist
or a telecine operator **if**

1. you have the ability to take what's on a piece of film and make it look
the way the director wanted it to look, when he or she can't actually put
into words exactly what the desired look is in the first place;

2. you know how to mix a huge number of controls in infinitely variable ways
to achieve desired effects without giving the appearance of wasting the
clients'  or your time;

3. you can keep a straight face when requests that seem silly to you are

4. you can bite your tongue when you create the best pictures ever seen and
the client tells you they're too blue (or warm or dark or light or anything
else) and makes you change them;

5. you can handle a million dollars' worth (give or take) of delicate
equipment without causing damage to it or to the customers' films;

6. you know enough about said equipment to operate every bit of it
proficiently, and do not have to call the engineering staff to find the "ON"
button for you.

7. you know enough about the facility that you can tell when something is
wrong with your room and down it, rather than spending hours color-correcting
the color bar test pattern, or even worse, sending faulty transfers out the

8. you have the diplomacy and tact not to shatter fragile egos when things go
wrong in the field and it becomes impossible to deliver prerequistes #1 and
#2, above;

9. you don't panic when confronted with editors and "artistes" who feel
compelled to find fault with everything and everybody who had anything to do
with the job you just completed, when the usual problem is that they can't
find the "ON" buttons on their own Avids.

10. you also have the diplomacy and tact to keep your boss out of trouble
when the inevitable happens and you don't deliver on prerequisite #5, above.

In short, being a colorist is just like being a musician, or any other type
of artist.  If you have a natural talent for it, it's a piece of cake.

Christopher Bacon
Chief Engineer, DuArt Video
New York

thanks to Ken Rockwell, Dwaine Maggart, and Joe Wolcott
for support of the TIG in 1997
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