FotoKem's nextLAB Open House 12-5-09
Last weekend I attended the nextLAB open house at FotoKem in Burbank, CA. James Mathers, President of the Digital Cinema Society, organizes these outings about once a month and provides a great service to the community by doing so.
The group in attendance was so large (on a Saturday!) that it was split into two groups for each presentation. The group I was with first went into one of their Pablo DI rooms to hear a presentation from Tom Vice, V.P. Operations and Steve Beres, Director of Engineering. They stressed their commitment to making the transition to digital filmmaking as seamless as possible for filmmakers. They have invested in infrastructure and systems to enable them to service digital filmmakers as they have for many years traditional filmmakers. Mike Brodersen of nextLAB previewed their still in development onsite dailies/data management system. They finished this session with a kick-[censored] 3D demo reel featuring clips from "Kung Fu Panda", "Monsters vs. Aliens" among others.
The two groups then switched rooms and we headed into theater 3 to hear some great stories from Jonathan Smiles, DIT on "District 9". Instead of having a specific presentation, he opened himself up to audience questions while showing slides from his various adventures. He stressed the importance of proper camera prep, especially lens collimation, and proper RED camera ISO settings.
My main take-away from this event is to treat the digital filmmaking process with the same respect as traditional filmmaking. For example, treat your "digital negative" the same way you treat film negative, with great care.
The entire nextLAB presentation was "video taped" and will be posted on the DCS website in the near future.