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Re: Your industry choice

Mr. Banks queries:
> Anyway, I was wondering if any of you would like to regale about how
> you got started in the business? 

     Always a good question.  I had never considered telecine at any 
time up to my start.  Like many people, I was basically ignorant of 
what the film-to-tape process was.
     It all started back in college.  I originally wanted to be an 
EE, but my freshman physics teacher was operating on a different 
continuum than I, and I had discovered the campus radio station, and 
with it the realization that Syracuse had a pretty good Television & 
Radio department.  I switched majors forthwith and graduated in 1969 
with a BS in TV-R production from SU.  
     In a nanosecond, Uncle Sam sent me a letter of greetings.  In 
order to avoid the chance fate of drafted soldiers, I enlisted in the 
US Army with the promise of a MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) 
of 84C20 - Motion Picture Photographer.  Sure enough, right after 
basic training I was sent to Ft. Monmouth, NJ and learned the Army 
Way of making movies.  Fortunately, my college knowledge of the 
subject gave me a great advantage and I graduated with honors from 
Signal School.  (An interesting sidelight - they almost made me an 
officer back in basic training based on a battery of aptitude tests 
they ran, but I deliberately flunked the OQI (Officer Qualification 
Inventory) by truthfully answering such skewered questions as "Would 
you rather lead a group of men on a forced march or stay home and 
listen to classical music?" - but I digress.
     I spent a year in Viet Nam as a combat photographer.  It was 
1971.  I shot everything from "Psychological operations" to base 
stand-downs to firebase mobility; in short, many things, and I got to 
work with all sorts of cameras, from the filmo to a very nice Arri S.
I even got a little lab experience.  Actually, it wasn't an entire 
year; I remember having a few months off duty to play in a USO band 
which toured the country with an anti-heroin message.   It was quite 
a year...
     After I was discharged from the army, I hooked up with that very 
same band.  We all agreed to meet in Colorado and try to make a go of 
it as a real rock band.  As most musical careers go, it didn't, and 
after three years I was in a band in New Jersey and decided it was 
time for a day job.  Remembering my college training was in video, I 
began freelancing for large corporation video divisions, working 
camera, audio, lighting, or simply grip work, whatever I could get.  
Most of the work was for various AT&T branches around New Jersey, and 
the pay was decent - $100 a day!
     On December 12, 1976, I was married.  Before long, I realized 
I'd be needing steady regular income, and I opened a trade magazine 
which had a complete listing of Manhattan postproduction houses.
I wrote up a resume detailing my video and photographic experiences 
and started at "A".  This is now 1979...
     When I got to "D", I got a response.  Devlin Videoservice, at 
that time up on 57th St., asked me in for an interview.  As it turned 
out, Devlin was one of the (very) few facilities to hire the 
untrained.  They saw that I had both film and video experience, and 
they hired me to be a backup for their colorist.  
     It was harrowing at times.  They ran a tight ship and there was 
little room for mistakes.  They taught me how the facility was 
connected together, they taught me basic video engineering, and they 
taught me how to run a Rank and a TOPSY.  
     Their senior colorist, Giorgio Malfitano, was my mentor for a 
year and a half.  He had a lot of patience with me, and he saw my 
potential.  I was encouraged to stay after hours and practise on my 
own.  He taught me about color balancing and the quirks of the TOPSY. 
We didn't have secondary correction back then.  
     As patient as he was, Giorgio left one day for better 
opportunities.  Suddenly I was promoted to senior colorist.  I don't 
think one can ever forget their first session on their own!  For me, 
it was for NBC and there were eight clients in the room!  Somehow I 
got through it just fine, and I still remember that heady feeling...
     And that's how it started for me, some twenty years ago in 
Manhattan, or was it thirty years ago in Syracuse?  I'd like to 
publicly thank Sandra Devlin and Roman Culka for my start in the 
business, with extra special thanks to Giorgio, who is currently 
performing his magic at DuArt in New York.  Thanks are also due to my 
Parents for sending me to college, and to the US Army for helping me 
be all that I could be.
     I tell you, Martin, that was not a simple question!  Sorry for 
the long answer, but I enjoy bringing out some details...  Please 
keep us informed of your progress!

Bob Lovejoy

+++ thanks to Donna Chapman and Pacific Radio for support of the TIG in 1997
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