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Re: Re; Spirit in London
Seamus O'Kane wrote:
> Ken asked re the Spirit at VTR,
> >> would you care to comment on
> >>such things as client acceptance and will to pay the extra money
> Hi Ken,
> Sorry for the delay but we had a holiday weekend here. Thanks
> for inviting me to reply on such an low interest subject!
> I think it is very difficult to say anything about this machine and still
> remain "down to earth " and your questions, especially with regard
> to Client acceptance, aim straight at the crux of the ownership
> question, ie will anybody pay for it?
> Our experiences so far, (and we have not had that long to
> market the new room), suggest that a), they will, and b), they
> notice why they are being asked to pay almost 100 per cent more
> even at standard TV resolution.
> We took delivery of the Spirit with all three output standards but
> we had always intended that the delivery of fully graded Data to
> a film resolution workstation would be the backbone of its work.
> Therefore, although our demos to Clients are primarily to introduce
> this concept and working practice, it is inevitable that the StandardDef
> picture is examined and it is here that we have been most pleased by
> the Client reaction.
> There is no point in hiding the fact that we do split screens with our
> own Ursa Golds as this is almost the first request from Clients who
> have just finished a session in one of those suites. They are also
> arriving with D1's and Neg rolls from jobs that have not been finished
> at VTR and asking for the same comparison. It must be remembered
> that we, ie the members of this TIG, have had well over a year to argue
> the validity of this, whilst our Clients have had six weeks contact with
> the machine but also have the most vested interest in the results
> as they are going to have to pay the hourly rate.
> They notice a range of differences which together add up to an image
> that is different from our Golds. The range of colour and the purity of the
> image are most commented on. The fact that they are booking the room
> on the basis of what they see is encouraging as also is their willingness
> to pay the full rate. They see the Spirit as giving them a quality at a
> which is proportional to the size of their project. Thus I have graded with
> Clients in an Ursa one day and in the Spirit the next and as the policy
> here is that Clients can book any Colorist and any telecine we are pushing
> a wide range of styles and projects through the room.
> The fact that we have time for these tests quite rightly suggests that the
> room is not yet fully booked. It would be foolish of me to brag that it
> However in six weeks we have gone from nothing to at least one or
> two bookings a day, the majority of which are at full rate. We all have the
> ability to favour individual clients in this "honeymoon" period, as it is a
> valid marketing tool and the comeback rate from Clients with
> full rate jobs has been most encouraging. This process of marketing
> is really one of education as there has been a lot of misinformation
> about the machine and its abilities which can best be countered by
> practical demonstration.
> The grading system is at present a DCP/ESR which will be changed to
> a full MegaDef in June. This will then allow for the full range of post
> Spirit colour channel effects to be output into the Data stream.
> At the moment we all seem to be trying to do the bulk of the colour grading
> with the Spirit controls alone as we explore the range and feel of the
> machine, but the signal lends itself extremely well for isolation
> techniques and contained corrections as there is no noise interference.
> It is a new room and new ways of doing things will evolve but it is
> interesting to do a session in the Ursa followed by one in the Spirit
> and vice versa. There are differences in how you approach each
> In many respects the Spirit at Standard Def is fulfilling a complimentary
> role to the Ursa Golds and whilst we can see that expanding it is too
> early to speculate on the future spread of work between the systems.
> It must be remembered though that the Spirit offers more than
> Standard TV. We have the full Data output available and although we
> have transferred test material, the difficulties of handling data in the
> world are greater than just getting it from the Spirit to a disk array and
> thus, whilst this is currently possible, there are other engineering and
> infrastructure problems to overcome.
> We have many projects in both the short and long term which involve
> full Data transfer and this is perhaps the most exciting and challenging
> aspect of the Spirit. The demand is coming not just from Feature
> production but also from Commercials and even from "rival"
> Post Production houses who have, at present, no infrastructural
> base for a machine such as Spirit. The SohoNet ATM project will
> be instrumental in providing links between a "Data Library" and
> such Clients.
> There has also been some totally unexpected interest for the HiDef
> output and we have discussed various single projects where
> these Clients will bring their recording medium to us for the duration
> of the session. Again this is a new challenge.
> Seamus O'Kane,
> VTR Ltd London.
If you already have a full infrastucture for your Data output on the
Spirit, would it be too much to ask about the hardware, software and
network configuration you have choosen.
Thank you in advance,
Director of visual effects
Tape House Digital, New York
msthd at idt.net
michel at tapehouse.com
thanks to Frank Sparano and Don Ver Ploeg for support of the
Telecine Internet Group in 1997
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