Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rob Morlano Returns to Technicolor PostWorks as Sr. VP of Sales

NEW YORK— Veteran post-production sales executive Rob Morlano has returned to Technicolor PostWorks New York. Morlano, whose previous tenure with the company ran from 2006 through March of this year, steps into a new role as Senior Vice President of Sales. He will be responsible for driving the facility’s overall sales strategy and developing new business across all media sectors, including feature films, dramatic television and factual programming.

Rob Morlano
“Rob is a very savvy professional with strong industry connections and a stellar reputation across the film and television community,” said Technicolor PostWorks COO Rob DeMartin. “He shares our commitment to supporting our client community with responsive expertise and service. We are very happy to have him back.”

Morlano’s return follows a stint at Prime Focus Technologies, where he served as Senior Vice President of Post Production. His role was to grow the company’s East Coast post operations.

A graduate of SAE Institute of Technology, Morlano began his career with Technicolor PostWorks in 2006. He served in a variety of sales, operations and production capacities, eventually rising to Senior Vice President for Broadcast Sales. As such, he helped solidify the facility’s strong position in non-fiction television.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Technicolor PostWorks Busy with New and Returning Fall Series

NEW YORK—Technicolor PostWorks is providing post-production services for a number of new and returning series airing this fall. They include highly-anticipated shows from ABC, IFC, Netflix, Amazon, USA and Showtime.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Frank Zappa, Duke Ellington Portraits Featured in City Hearts: 2015 Fresh Focus

Annual photo auction benefits youth arts charity, City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts.
Los Angeles—An eccentric photograph of Frank Zappa taken by heralded celebrity photographer Greg Gorman will be offered for bidding at City Hearts’ 4th Annual Fresh Focus Photo Auction, November 1st at The Leica Gallery in West Hollywood. The photograph, which shows the rock musician wearing a plaid suit in a quirky red-hued office overlooking (improbably) the U.S. Capitol, was taken for a 1988 Christmas card. Gorman has won worldwide acclaim for his imaginative portraits of musicians, actors and other celebrities, including Sophia Loren, Al Pacino, John Waters, Michael Jackson, Elton John and Andy Warhol.
The City Hearts’ 4th Annual Fresh Focus Photo Auction will include a number of photographs related to musicians and music. A featured photograph from another master of portraiture, the late Leigh Weiner, shows Duke Ellington from a 1961 recording session at Columbia Records. The great composer and band leader is standing next to a ladder; Weiner had joked with him about photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt fondness for ladders as a way to see the world differently.

Sony Pictures Post Production Services Boosts Mixing Resources with Avid S6

22-foot state-of-the-art control surface added to the Anthony Quinn Theatre, used to mix “When the Bough Breaks.”

CULVER CITY, CALIF.—Continuing to expand its resources for motion picture and television sound, Sony Pictures Post Production Services has installed an Avid S6 control surface in its 158-seat Anthony Quinn Theatre. The largest Avid S6 console installed anywhere to date, the 22-foot long board features 48 faders in each of two sections, along with 12 meter displays, two sets of dual joysticks and two bias panels. It is supported by four Pro Tools HDX2 players and two HDX recorders. The console is connected via high-speed Ethernet to editorial rooms and other facilities on the Sony lot.
Re-Recording Mixer Steve Pederson and Supervising Sound Editor Steven Ticknor
at the Avid S6 console in Sony’s Anthony Quinn Theatre

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chainsaw Sinks Its Teeth into “Teen Wolf”

Post facility has developed a unique workflow to deliver quality and quick turnaround for the fifth season of MTV’s popular high school drama.

LOS ANGELES—Post production finishing for the fifth season of Teen Wolf is currently underway at Chainsaw, a SIM Group company. The MTV series about an awkward high school student who is secretly a werewolf, is among cable’s most popular scripted series among young adults and was recently renewed for a sixth season.
Chainsaw has been part of Teen Wolf since its 2011 debut and has developed a unique workflow for managing final post processing. Where most television series are fully conformed in an edit bay before final color grading, Chainsaw colorist Kris Santa Cruz colors the show on a scene by scene basis and then passes it along to finishing editor Mark Needham for the final conform, titling and effects.
“It’s the reverse of what’s normally done,” explains Needham. “The show’s producers spend less time in color and more time in editorial, but it provides them with much greater flexibility. Because I’m dealing with files of individual shots, rather than a render of the full episode, it’s easier to make those last minute changes, something we often do with Teen Wolf.”



This workflow also leads to faster finishing. While Santa Cruz is busy coloring scenes, Needham is preparing titles, editorial visual effects and other elements that will be added when the show is conformed. The overlap allows the team to complete episodes in just four days, including the production of marketing and bonus media and other deliverables.
This workflow does require an extra level of trust. The production team needs to have confidence that the finished product will meet its expectations as they won’t see a conformed episode until the process is complete. Having finished 70 episodes Santa Cruz and Needham have earned that trust.
“They are a phenomenal duo,” says Teen Wolf producer Blaine Williams. “They have a developed shorthand that simply works.  They know what our show should look like and understand our aesthetic, which makes me extremely comfortable in the finishing process.”
One benefit of working more efficiently is that it leaves more time for creative finessing. That pays off especially during the grading sessions, where Santa Cruz enjoys the luxury of time to set detailed, nuanced looks that enhance the show’s moody suspense. “The show is extremely cinematic,”  Williams notes. “The EPs of the show are film fanatics who bring a feature look to television.”



Santa Cruz’s coloring includes a number of feature-like effects. He takes a painterly approach in making the eyes of lead character Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) glow bright red when he is in his werewolf phase. Similarly, creepy “Dread Doctors” are given a subtle yellow-green hue.
Additionally, Santa Cruz uses Power Windows to highlight or suppress background details in keeping with the tone of the particular scene. He points to a sequence involving Gabriel Valack, a character locked away in the supernatural ward of a hospital. “He’s trapped behind a Plexiglas wall at the end of a long hallway and it’s very dark,” he recalls. “High on the wall are cyan lights that create a yellow spill effect, and there are emergency lights that flare up. We let those elements fall in place while keeping the overall scene dark and moody. There’s a lot going on.”
With MTV renewing the show for a sixth season, there will be plenty more such chilling moments to come. Needham, Santa Cruz and the rest of the team at Chainsaw looks forward to continuing the exhilarating ride. “Chainsaw is a multi-talented organization that brings resilience from their work in live television to scripted shows,” says Williams. “That’s just what our show requires: a no-holds barred approach from an energetic group of editors with eyes for both detail and aesthetics.”



About SIM Group:
Backed by Toronto-based investment firm Granite Partners, the SIM Group is a leading supplier of production equipment, workflow and post-production solutions, with offices across the US, Canada and China. Our diverse services can be utilized on any production at any stage. In Canada, our offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax service grip and lighting from PS Production Services and can be complemented with SIM Digital cinematography and playback equipment for any production’s needs.  Bling, Chainsaw, Pixel Underground, Tattersall Sound and Picture and Post Factory NY provide an array of services from dailies, to online and offline editing, to final color/DI and visual effects, to sound editorial and mixing. Bling’s services, which include a comprehensive workflow solution, are offered at all offices across the US and Canada, as well as off-site service through POD (Post on Demand).  Chainsaw’s full-service facility in Hollywood provides creative editorial and extensive finishing services with some of the top colorists in the industry. Rounding out the family of companies are Pixel Underground, a Toronto-based post-production company, and its associated service, StationEX, which provides physical and file-based media fulfillment and encoding/distribution services, Tattersall Sound and Picture, a provider of sound editorial and mixing for motion pictures and television and Post Factory NY, one of the East Coast’s top independent post-production facilities. For more information, visit simgroup.com

Re-Recording Mixer Matthew Chan Joins Tattersall Sound and Picture

TORONTO—Tattersall Sound and Picture, a SIM Group company, has signed an exclusive contract with veteran Re-Recording Mixer and Sound Supervisor Matthew Chan. Chan brings a deep and diverse resume encompassing features, episodic television and documentaries. His recent credits include the upcoming Lionsgate release Operation Avalanche and director Atom Egoyan’s Remember, which screened at this year’s Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.
“Matthew adds a new dimension to our mixing team,” said Tattersall Sound and Pictures founder Jane Tattersall. “He brings creativity, passion and technical excellence to his work. He will be a great asset to both established and emerging filmmakers.”


Matthew Chan


Thursday, September 17, 2015

City Hearts: 2015 Fresh Focus Photo Auction to Feature Unpublished Marlon Brando Photograph

Stefani Kong Uhler’s shot of the actor with Ifugao children is one of two photographs for the set of “Apocalypse Now” available through the auction benefitting City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts charity

Los Angeles—A previously unpublished photograph of Marlon Brando from the set of Apocalypse Now will be among the items on offer at City Hearts’ 4th Annual Fresh Focus Photo Auction, November 1st at The Leica Gallery in West Hollywood. The photograph, which shows the late actor in the company of child extras, is one of two shots by Stefani Kong Uhler that will be included in the auction. The second photograph, also from the set of Apocalypse Now, shows Brando with the late photographer Mary Ellen Mark, who will be the subject of a special tribute. The Fresh Focus Photo Auction benefits City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts, a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform the lives of L.A’s most underserved and at-risk children through the arts.
This year, City Hearts’ 4th Annual Fresh Focus Photo Auction will be juried and feature the work of a host of fine art and celebrity photographers, including Jeff Bridges, Doug Kirkland, Herb Ritts, George Hurrell, Kim-Gottlieb Walker, Eli Reed, Anthony Friedkin, Julia Dean, Michael Semaan, Nicola Goode, Helen K. Garber, Ruven Afanador, Jenny Okun, Greg Gorman, Brian Leatart and Steve Banks, among many others. High-profile Members of the American Society of Cinematographers such as Richard Crudo, Russell Carpenter, David Darby, James Chressanthis, and Charlie Lieberman have donated still photography from their gallery showings.
The Brando photographs were shot by Kong Uhler while working as the actor’s personal photographer. The children belong to the Ifugao tribe and were hired to portray Vietnamese Montagnards in Apocalypse Now.  The Ifugao are indigenous to the mountainous region in the northern Philippines province of Luzon. 

A Common Thread’s Eli Green and TVGla Rely on Audacious Women to Launch Club W

LOS ANGELES—A Common Thread Director Eli Green has directed a launch campaign for Club W and Los Angeles agency TVGla that employs dry humor to position the new wine club as the choice for bold women…and men.
In #WINEing, a woman dressed in a floral print kimono extols her “bold taste” while perched atop a rotating bed in a room filled with her eclectic belongings. She points to a pop art painting hanging on the wall and notes, “it came from a tween country star’s personal collection.” As she proudly points out other carefully selected treasures, her paramour “Paolo,” a well-oiled, Italian stud-muffin, performs tai chi in the background. The woman’s discriminating sensibilities are also apparent in her choice in wine: “a small lot Cabernet Sauvignon from Club W.”


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hollywood Center Studios Deploys Uniform, Enterprise WiFi Network

The Independent Production Facility also adds high-speed file transfer service to support television production and others.

Hollywood—As part of a broad effort to expand its communications and IT infrastructure, Hollywood Center Studios has installed an enterprise-level WiFi network , providing uniform, high-speed internet access across its entire studio complex. The network will ultimately include 150 access points that will allow studio office tenants and productions working on the lot to connect to the internet easily and more reliably.

Hollywood Center Studios is one of the oldest and largest independent production facilities in Southern California. It features 12 stages used for television, feature and commercial production, as well as office space used by production companies, editorial operations and others. Disney, NBC, Comedy Central and MTV are among its many clients.


The deployment of this new network not only makes internet access ubiquitous on the lot, it also affords the robust capacity to handle peak demand periods and “always on” availability. “Our clients need to be able to access the internet from their offices, from the stages and from their editing rooms,” says Hollywood Center Studios Studio Manager J.L. Singer. “We have insured that high quality and evenly distributed access is available everywhere.”

Additionally, the unified network eliminates problems associated having multiple, independent WiFi systems operating in the lot environment. “Previously, when companies moved into a space, they’d set up their own IT infrastructures,” observes Hollywood Center Studios Systems Administrator Elvis Miranda. “That often resulted in conflicts as frequencies would crossover and cancel each other out or diminished their ability to connect.

“Now, when a new tenant arrives, we simply flip a switch and they’re online. Our clients have fewer problems and better connections.”

Hollywood Center Studios has also added a new high-speed file transfer service. The service will allow producers working on the lot to upload and send huge media files at speeds many times faster than traditional file transfer protocols. “Producers can now send files from the set to off-site locations within a matter of minutes,” says Singer. “The ability to move data quickly is especially important to our television clients who need to share critical media files with members of their production team who may be located in different cities or even different countries.”

About Hollywood Center Studios
Hollywood Center Studios has a rich and colorful history that mirrors the development of Hollywood and the growth of the entertainment industry.  The studio has played host to some of the most notable productions of the past century, including such iconic television shows as I Love Lucy, The Addams Family, Jeopardy, Rockford Files and Mad TV, and classic film productions such as When Harry Met Sally and The Player. In recent years, Hollywood Center Studios has continued to grow and modernize to support its large television clientele which includes Disney, NBC, Comedy Central and MTV.  Hollywood Center Studios remains a vital part of the Hollywood community and a place where entertainment history continues to be made every day.
Hollywood Center Studios is located at 1040 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90038. For more information, call (323) 860-0000 or visit www.HollywoodCenter.com.

Sony Pictures Post Production Services to Host “Mix Presents Sound for Film”

2nd annual conference and exhibition slated for September 26th at Sony Pictures Studios.

CULVER CITY, CALIF.— On September 26, Sony Pictures Post Production Services will welcome leading innovators from across the world of motion picture sound as host of the Second Annual Mix Presents Sound for Film Conference and Exhibition. The theme for this year’s event, co-sponsored by the Motion Picture Sound Editors and the Cinema Audio Society, will be “Music, Effects and Dialog in an Immersive World.” It will explore the current boom in immersive sound technologies through speakers, panels, workshops and exhibits. Participants will include DTS, Dolby, Yamaha, Auro Technologies and other sound companies.

“The emergence of immersive sound technologies is revolutionizing and enriching the movie-going experience,” said Sony Pictures Post Production Services Executive Vice President Tom McCarthy. “We are very excited about the creative possibilities of these new formats and look forward to sharing the experiences and insights of our industry colleagues and friends.”

Tom McCarthy

Executive Producer Gianfilippo Pedrotti Joins Bully Pictures

LOS ANGELES Veteran Executive Producer Gianfilippo Pedrotti has joined Bully Pictures as Vice President and Partner. Pedrotti, who arrives from BRW USA, a company he  co-founded, will be responsible for recruiting directorial talent, developing new agency relationships in the United States and internationally, and implementing strategies for expansion and growth.

Pedrotti brings broad international experience, a proven record for developing directorial careers and keen insight into the advertising market, according to Bully Pictures founder and Executive Producer Jason Forest. “Gianfilippo is a very personable guy who’s been a friend for years,” Forest said. “I have tracked his career and have a lot of respect for what he’s accomplished.”

Adding another executive producer will help Bully continue to build its directorial roster and explore new markets. “The advertising market is forever evolving,” Forest observes. “It’s built on entrenched relationships and the ability to adapt and change. Gianfilippo will help us continue to grow in a global market.”

Gianfilippo Pedrotti 

Technicolor PostWorks Collaborates with Ken Burns and Daniel J. White on “The Civil War” Restoration

Landmark PBS documentary remastered in 4K for 25th anniversary rebroadcast and Blu-ray release.

NEW YORK—When Ken Burns’s 11-hour documentary The Civil War first aired on PBS in 1990, it set new standards for television documentaries through its astonishingly detailed, sweeping and often heart-wrenching recount of the epic conflict between the North and South. Working under the direction of Burns and Restoration Producer Daniel J. White, Technicolor PostWorks New York participated in a meticulous 4K restoration that brings the classic documentary vividly back to life. The project was done in preparation for the 25th anniversary rebroadcast of The Civil War on PBS and its Blu-ray release this month, and also coincides with the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination and the end of the war.

The Civil War was shot on regular 16mm film by Burns and his co-cinematographers Allen Moore and Buddy Squires in a production spanning more than 10 years. For the new restoration, 50,000 feet of original negative, conserved by George Eastman House, was scanned frame by frame. This enormous task was shared between George Eastman House and Technicolor PostWorks, using identical ARRIScan film scanners at 4K resolution. 
Abraham Lincoln from the 4K restoration (left) and the original SD master (right)

Cognition Makes Major Investment in Mistika Finishing Technology

Studio purchases six finishing and grading systems as part of its multi-million dollar expansion. Senior Colorist Mike Eaves uses Mistika to grade indie feature “Opening Night.”

HOLLYWOOD— Cognition, the recently launched hybrid post production facility, has purchased six powerful Mistika systems from SGO. The package includes two top-end 4K color grading and mastering systems, two assist workstations and two laptop systems for on-set and near-set use. The company has also acquired an SGO high-speed SAN. The installation is part of an ambitious, multi-million dollar facility expansion that will include a pair of highly spec’d DCI grading theaters, expanded visual effects resources and creative production workspace.

Mistika is a next generation color grading and finishing platform with an expansive toolset that supports a wide range of media formats and post production applications including high-frame-rate and 3D.  The latest version of the system software includes tools for manipulating multilayer EXR sequences and expanded support for OpenEXR formats.

FuseFX Team Wins Emmy Award for “American Horror Story”


BURBANK—FuseFX won a 2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Supporting Role for their work on American Horror Story: Freak Show, episode “Edward Mordrake, Part 2.”

FuseFX winners include Visual Effects Supervisor Jason Piccioni and other members of the creative team: Justin Ball, Jason Spratt, Tim Jacobsen, David Altenau, Tommy Tran, Mike Kirylo and Matt Lefferts, as well as SFX Supervisor Donnie Dean. The award was presented September 12th at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

Jason Piccioni, from back left, Jason Spratt, Tim Jacobsen, Matt Lefferts, Mike Kirylo, Tommy Tran, from front left, David Altenau, and Donnie Dean, winners of the award for outstanding special visual effects in a supporting role for "American Horror Story: Freak Show",  pose for a portrait at the Television Academy's Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

Friday, September 11, 2015

SIM Group Signs Lease for New Production Center at Former Eastman Kodak Site; Brings Chainsaw, Sim Digital and Bling Digital Together

State-of-the-art facility, slated to open in 2016, will offer streamlined production and post-production services.

LOS ANGELES—The SIM Group has entered into a long-term lease for a 65,000 square foot space at the historic Eastman Kodak building off Las Palmas in Hollywood. The company will undertake a multi-million dollar build-out of the facility, currently known as Hollywood Office Campus, to house the Los Angeles operations of its companies Chainsaw, SIM Digital and Bling Digital.

The new space will allow each company to significantly expand services and work more collaboratively. Along with expansion, the move is part of SIM Group’s strategy to provide complete and fully integrated services for feature and television production and post-production. Construction is expected to be complete by May 2016. The site is in the Hollywood Media District and in close proximity to many other large media and entertainment companies, including the recently announced new headquarters of Netflix.
The three SIM Group companies will share a self-standing, three-story building at the former site of Eastman Kodak Company. SIM Digital, which rents cameras and other production gear, will occupy the first floor. Chainsaw, a post production facility offering offline editorial, editorial finishing and color grading services, and Bling Digital, which provides dailies processing and workflow services, will share the second and third floors.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

GPL Technologies Welcomes Scott Ballard as VP of Software Development

GPL adds pipeline development offering to their extensive list of services

LOS ANGELES—GPL Technologies, a leading provider for IT services for companies in the media and entertainment industry, announced today that Scott Ballard has joined its expanding team as the VP of Software Development. Ballard is set to head the company’s new pipeline consulting division, Pipeline Now, which will provide production pipeline architecture, development, support and training. He will oversee Pipeline Now’s strategic planning, develop new workflows, and manage talent acquisition.

Ballard has 18 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry, with a background in both technical and artistic fields. He has worked as a character rigging supervisor at Cinesite and DreamWorks Animation; CG Supervisor at Sony and Technicolor; and Pipeline Supervisor at Saatchi & Saatchi, RGH Entertainment and Encore Hollywood.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tattersall Sound and Picture Unveils Dolby Atmos-Certified Mixing Theater

Toronto facility creates “immersive” soundtrack for Afghan war drama “Hyena Road” debuting at TIFF.

TORONTO— In a significant boost to its services for movie and television sound, Tattersall Sound and Picture has added Dolby Atmos technology to its largest mixing stage and completed its first project in the immersive sound format. Hyena Road, an Afghan war drama from actor/director Paul Gross (Passchendaele) will make its world premiere this month at the Toronto International Film Festival as a Gala Presentation.

Tattersall Sound & Picture provided both sound editorial and mixing services for the film, which centers on Canadian troops facing Taliban attacks while struggling to complete a crucial highway link. In pre-production conversations with Hyena Road producers Rhombus Media, it became clear that the film’s action sequences would benefit from the Atmos format, which uses an array of more than 35 speakers to engulf the audience in an intricate web of sound.
Hyena Road

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Photos from Hollywood Cinematographers Featured in City Hearts: 2015 Fresh Focus Photo Auction

ASC members Russell Carpenter, Charlie Lieberman, Richard Crudo, David Darby and James Chressanthis contribute fine art to auction benefitting the children’s arts charity.
Los Angeles—Fine art photography from prominent members of the American Society of Cinematographers will be featured in City Hearts’ 4th Annual Fresh Focus Art Auction, November 1st, at The Leica Gallery in West Hollywood. Among the items on auction will be an exquisite floral photograph by Russell Carpenter, ASC, Academy Award-winning cinematographer of Titanic.
Others contributing work to the event include Charlie Lieberman, ASC (Once and Again, Heroes); Richard Crudo, ASC (Justified, American Pie), David Darby, ASC (National Geographic, PBS), and two-time Emmy Award nominee James Chressanthis, ASC (Four Minutes, Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows). Donated work includes and Lieberman’s haunting image of a waterfall in Hug Point, Oregon; Crudo’s graceful image of a seagull in flight; Chressantis’ shot of a brooding railway station in Vladivostok, Russia and Darby’s heart-stopping, monochromatic view of Monument Valley, Utah under a blanket of “frozen fog.”
David Darby, ASC, Monument Valley