Post Magazine

January 2018

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Page 31 of 43 30 POST JANUARY 2018 OUTLOOK 2018 O OUTLOOK 2018 O OUTLOOK 2018 STEVE PORTER Steve Porter was a well-respected colorist at Encore Hollywood and RIOT Santa Monica before helping to build MTI Film in 2010. He has worked on a number of high-profile projects and received numerous industry accolades, including those for Showtime's Weeds, which won an Emmy for Cinematography, and HBO's miniseries The Pacific, which was nominated for a Cinematography Emmy and was honored with the Hollywood Post Alliance Award for Outstanding Color Grading. STRENGTHS: "Colorists basically have unlimited capabilities today. We're able to come up with several different looks for the same material and push UHD and big file formats through the pipeline more easily based on SAN performance. Five years ago, files were a lot more cumbersome and required a lot of heavy lifting. But with storage capacity and SAN performance, we're able to do a lot more high resolution work in realtime, in front of clients and deliver material much more efficiently. "Color correction tools are so power- ful with unlimited windowing and keying and all the extra toolsets for HDR and Dolby Vision. At MTI Film, we're able to emulate HDR versions better on the SDR side so what 90 percent of viewers see is what the filmmakers intended from the HDR original. We can retain more of the intent of HDR when we deliver SDR. "Communication has also improved. That's meant a better rapport with DPs. I'm able to get a look the DP is com- fortable with instantly and get feed- back eight or nine hours into a shoot day via phone or laptop. If MTI Film is also doing the dailies, we're able to establish the look even earlier on." WEAKNESSES: "We don't have as many controls on the resolution, the video quality of the files people are viewing via DAX, PIX or their iPads, iPhones and PCs. "Workflows may be easier and smoother today, but we still have to ad- here to all the security measures studios demand because they don't want any- thing disseminated. It's great to speak of instant post production, but you have to jump through hoops to send a JPG." OPPORTUNITIES: "With the advent of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other plat- forms providing so much content, we're not all bidding on the same projects anymore. There's enough for everyone to have a piece of the pie; it's a much bigger scenario. People come to us and ask us to do a project, we don't have to go out and find it. And these are projects with high production values; they're extremely high quality — shows want to be noticed right out of the gate." THREATS: "The only threat I can think of would be from outside — stealing material. But that's so rare with today's over-the-top security measures." OUTLOOK FOR 2018: "It will be an enormous year with all the extra content out there. We'll continue to grow with platforms offering their own program- ming and studios supplying work. There's more opportunity for young colorists to move into the chair now: I've been able to train two or three people to help me do the heavy lifting and develop their own talents. All the extra content allows work to be done by a lot of different individuals." ARMEN KEVORKIAN Armen Kevorkian joined LA's Encore VFX seven years ago. He serves as VFX supervisor on The CW series The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and the upcoming Black Lightning, as well as the superheroes Web TV series Titans, due out this year. STRENGTHS: "VFX have advanced so much that they allow us to tell more su- perhero and sci-fi genre stories for tele- vision, which had been in limited supply before. Now, people are not afraid to bring those stories to the small screen. "Crossover opportunities with our shows get bigger every year. We just had a big four-part crossover with Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, which was like a four- hour movie. We're confident telling studios, producers and writers that anything is possible." WEAKNESSES: "Time is still the big enemy. Television is given less time than features, but we manage to pull off ev- ery project. Talent is the most important factor. An incredible pool of talent has TV in their blood, but the work can be stressful and difficult. Still, the partner- ship formed by executive producers and post production creates workflows that work for TV's tight schedules. That synergy helps us get big things done in a short amount of time." OPPORTUNITIES: "The need for VFX artists in all capacities is growing. The tech part is easy, but finding true artists is a challenge — we feel really lucky to have found a great team and maintain them." THREATS: "I don't see any immediate threats. Even smaller TV shows and mov- ies need VFX — it's a growing field. There are so many projects out there that there's enough work to go around. It's all about the chemistry with the producers and studios; if that's in place and your work is solid then the project is yours." OUTLOOK FOR 2018: "More of the same — but busier for us! We're seeing more and more shows finishing in 4K: It's becoming more of the norm. Titans will be 4K. We'll need more render time and storage, but it won't change the quality of the work we do." The Flash HBO's The Pacific

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