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October 2014
Issue: June 1, 2006

BIG BUCK BUYS

By: Marc Loftus

For a number of years now, Post has been covering democratization, a trend where post tools have become more affordable and therefore available to more creative professionals. Low-cost HDV cameras allow users to shoot nice looking HD footage, and there are a number of software bundles that can solve editing, graphics, sound mixing and DVD authoring needs right on the desktop.

But there are areas that aren’t seeing such dramatic decreases in pricing. Telecine, film scanning and film recording are processes that require major capital investments, but those who do take the financial plunge, and pair these capabilities with additional creative services, are among the few that can offer true end-to-end post services.

Digital intermediate/mastering facility IVC Digital Film Center in LA is providing 2K and 4K film scanning via its Imagica Imager XE Advanced Plus 35mm film scanner ($375K), which was recently updated with the Wetgate option ($40K). The Wetgate helps to produce clean files upfront by eliminating scratches and other imperfections in the film at scan time. Less digital clean-up can save clients time and money.

In NYC, PostWorks opened its fifth telecine suite. The studio acquired The Lab last year and now offers end-to-end post services. The new suite is built around Grass Valley’s Shadow telecine, which is designed for HD and SD TV work. “It definitely can be scary,” says PostWorks' COO/co-owner Rob DeMartin of the investment in telecines and film scanners. “2K/4K is over a million dollars.”

DeMartin says the Shadow purchase is a response to an increase in the film business. “New York has more film running through it today than in the past five years,” he notes. “We have quality conscious clients that are still acquiring on 35mm, and 16mm is seeing a huge resurgence for indies and doing HD DI.”

PostWorks will use for the room initially for pilot pick-ups, and more high-end gear could be on the way as the studio researches scanners and ways to improve workflow.