Post Magazine

June 2013

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editor's note The independent post house I t just makes sense that the less encumbered you are, the faster and more flexible you can be. Owners of independent post houses appreciate the ability to grow and evolve at their own pace. But it's not easy. The economy is still in recovery mode and competition is coming from all angles. By Randi Altman EDITOR-IN-CHIEF P O S T "Surviving, let alone prospering, in the world of digital content production is a complicated juggling act," explains Rob Taylor, president/executive producer at San Diego's Pendulum, which had specialized in 3D animation for games, films and broadcast, but has recently shifted its focus toward mocap-based virtual production services and related content creation, with a heavy lean toward previs/techvis/postvis. "For one thing, just defining the space in which you're playing is often difficult and constantly changing — digital media, animation, film and TV production, entertainment, technology development, etc. Where does a company focus its resources, and how does it predict where it should be tomorrow, or what technologies, methodologies and personnel to invest in… and when do you change those investments?" Taylor says Pendulum is constantly trying to balance creative gratification and "fiscal pragmatism," but that there are no set guidelines. "Over the past year, the evolution of our storytelling methods and tools have allowed us to react to the industry's growing reliance on competitive international production studios by shifting our focus from resource-heavy turnkey production to a few focused niche service areas driven by unique expertise and proprietary tech." But there must be a love of the finished product, he says, "Enough that the stresses and frustrations of the process are overshadowed by the thrill and pride of seeing your creative efforts come to fruition." Growing for the right reasons and at a chosen pace has helped many a studio. When managing director Jon Adelman arrived at NYC's Nutmeg Post 13 years ago, the studio had 17 employees and 10,000 square feet. They just added an additional 6,200 square feet and have a total of 36 employees. That number is set to grow by the end of the year. "Our clients wanted the ability to do everything under one roof, so we added more services — editorial, color grading, graphics, production," he explains. "Being independently owned gives us the ability to expand as quickly as our business has required. I don't have to submit budgets to a parent company and wait until the next fiscal year for funding." Another key to success? Treating employees well. "As I see it, no matter what industry you work in, the best way to deliver a quality product is to keep your employees happy. Treat them with respect, create a great work environment, provide them with the tools they need, and everything else will take care of itself." Light Iron opens in New York City By MARC LOFTUS SENIOR EDITOR 2 our-year-old Light Iron (www.lightiron. com) launched a brand new facility last month, expanding from its headquarters in Hollywood to the East Coast with a new operation in Manhattan. Light Iron specializes in on-site dailies services, digital intermediate work and data services for projects that are being acquired using the latest file-based cameras. The studio has a history of contributions to feature films, including Avatar, The Social Network, Flight and most recently 42, but their pipeline solutions are equally well suited for television programming, commercials and even Web-bound projects. Light Iron co-founder Michael Cioni (pictured, left) gave a passionate presentation at the studio's recent launch party in May. The new New York office, located at 580 Broadway, shares a floor with Subvoyant, a creative offline editorial, visual effects, motion graphics and finishing facility that specializes in commercials. Light Iron's operation includes a 40-seat theater that's home to a Quantel Pablo Rio and a Post • June 2013 Randi Altman Editor-in-Chief (516) 797-0884 Marc Loftus Senior Editor/Director of Web Content (516) 376-1087 Christine Bunish Film& Video JENNIFER WALDEN Audio BOB PANK European Correspondent DanIEL Restuccio West Coast Bureau BARRY GOCH West Coast Blogger/Reporter IAIN BLAIR Film Michael Viggiano Art Director A DV E RT I S I N G Mari Kohn Director of Sales (818) 291-1153 cell: (818) 472-1491 Gary Rhodes Eastern & Intl Sales Manager (631) 274-9530 cell (516)410-8638 Lisa Black Corporate Sales Executive, Events, Custom and Integrated Print/Publishing Services (818) 660-5828 SUBSCRIPTIONS (818) 291-1158 S C R I P T F EDITORIAL Christie CP4230 projector that enables realtime 4K monitoring in a calibrated DCI space. The studio also has Dolby's PRM-4200 professional reference monitors on site. Cioni realizes that Light Iron might be considered a newcomer, both to New York and to the film industry as a whole. Film has been around for 100 years, he notes, but the last four years have really seen the most change, and Light Iron, he believes, has addressed those changes with pioneering workflows that take advantage of the quality that Raw formats offer. He went on to detail the transitions he sees taking place, not only in film, but in mobile, print and advertising media. Light Iron, he says, is a company that wants to work with clients that recognize and embrace the opportunities that come with such changes. For those who need a better understanding of new workflows, Light Iron regularly presents Outpost University, an educational program that looks at best practices and strategies that should be employed in datacentric environments. Customer Service 620 West Elk Ave, Glendale, CA 91204 (800) 280 6446 MIKE TABIZON Account Manager (818) 291-1180 REPRINTS Reprints (781) 255-0625 • (818) 291-1153 LA SALES office: 620 West Elk Avenue, Glendale, California 91204 (800) 280-6446 William R. Rittwage President / CEO See us on Post Magazine is published by Post, LLC, a COP communications company. Post does not verify any claims or other information appearing in any of the advertisements contained in the publication, and cannot take any responsibility for any losses or other damages incurred by readers in reliance on such content. Post cannot be held responsible for the safekeeping or return of unsolicited articles, manuscripts, photographs, illustrations or other materials. Subscriptions: Address all subscription correspondence to Post Magazine, 620 West Elk Ave, Glendale, CA 91204. 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