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Transformania,- An Historical Perspective

To my fellow "Vector Benders,"
At the expense of sounding like an old fart,I feel compelled to comment on
"Traaaansfooormaaaania!" Haven't we heard enough about this already?
My early days as a colorist started by working in the projection room at
Editel Chicago. Waaaaay back then we had to place foil tabs on the film
that were used to trigger color corrections (from a tab reader in the
projector--a Singer GPL aimed at a Norelco PC-60 Camera through a Kodak
multiplex unit) to occur on a series of multi- clock- pot panels.
We had the wide array of five separate and distinct color corrections to
chose from. If you had more than five scenes to color correct you had to
use one of the five over again. That was a long way from Edwin and 3.5 code.
I've used the Dubner,the Wiz(forerunner of DaVinci) and every permutation
of Da Vinci since.
How many of you lived through the RCA FR-35 projector with a Warren Smith
re positioning lens aimed at a TK 28. Howsabout that TP66 16mm projector.
We used to call it the "launching pad" because parts used to fly off it so
As for the amazing new found beauty of the color and geometric stability of
the Spirit(CCD Technology)--a couple of us realized the value of that when
we bit the bullet in 1980 and bought FDL-60's while all the Rank
officianados continued to do 16mm transfers that looked like they were
going around in circles under water with white dust blobs moving up and
down on them.  Ranks got better.
Here at Skyview we have two Ranks with all the cool stuff on them. We
service our standard definition client base very well with these machines.
I'm the only one of five colorists sent to Darmstadt in February of '96 for
a focus group on the Spirit that is not yet driving one.
It's a fabulous machine. Being a guy that dealt with the FDL in its infancy,
the Spirit is the machine I always wanted the FDL 60 to be- and plenty
more.  Butchyaknow what? I've learned some basic stuff over the years.
1.) It's important to let the right amount of light HIT the film. This is
far more important than any telecine.
2.) Focus- very important for good resolution.
3.) Smoke, filters and diffusion-very bad for  resolution.
4.) Color filters used for effect while shooting usually cause more
problems than any telecine or color correction system.--- I know.-- It
looked good through the eyepiece.
5.) People that rely on the "magic" of a telecine or a lens or a filter or
software to cover their mistakes are probably insecure.
6.) We,as colorists, who re-photograph the cinematographers hard work, are
responsible to put the right amount of light THROUGH the film,as mentioned
in earlier postings.
7.) Lab timers have been making film look good for years using a device
like the Hazeltine, using only red,green, blue and density
8.) Good writing and a cool track make all the pictures look great.

I vote for talking about our craft rather than hardware "shootouts."

Pete Jannotta
Senior Colorist/Partner
pj at skyview.com

Thanks to Craig Nichols of Todd-AO for support in 1998.
No product marketing allowed on the main TIG.  Contact rob at alegria.com
TIG subscriber count is 932 on Wed Feb 11 10:16:28 PST 1998
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