Post Magazine

June 2014

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20 Post • June 2014 Venice, CA's The Mis- sion (Flame suite above) benefits from being a smaller-sized operation with an intimate interaction with clients. According to The Vanity's Sean Cochrane, staff size doesn't seem to work against companies in this very "personality-based business. People rarely book 'Flame time.' They book time with the Flame artist." (The company's Flame suite below) Small Post Houses How boutiques are thriving and scoring work along with the big guys By Christine Bunish The days of post production facilities that resembled The Mother Ship are long gone, but large houses with comprehensive offerings, big employee rosters and offices around the world still garner impressive credentials. But with software- based color tools, an array of finishing platforms and cost-effective CG options, smaller post houses are thriving, too. "In many ways the smaller, agile, lean operation is the future of post production," says The Colour Space's Juan Salvo. THE MISSION Michael Pardee, owner and managing director of Venice, California's The Mission ( says that "boutique isn't the first word" he'd use to describe the "fine-tuned," 20-person VFX-driven post house. While it may have the feel of a boutique shop, "when you peel away the layers we have a lot of fire power," including a talented 3D team that's been creating all the Hershey Kisses spots since the current CG campaign's inception. Among other credits is a Super Bowl com- mercial for Squarespace, Samsung Mobile spots and Nike's Vapor Trail spot, which won for Best VFX at the AICP Awards. Maintaining a smaller-sized operation means a more intimate interaction between vendor and client, he notes. "Everyone here is on the 'A' team from bidding to post," says Pardee. "Clients know who they're going to work with: There's never a bait-and- switch. When everyone gets the best on their team you develop an intimacy, a part- nership that gets the job done." Smaller teams of artists work more efficiently and cost-effectively, he argues. "Instead of throwing a lot of people at a project, we're smart and selective and put the right people with the right skill sets on it. We don't have the big overhead of a huge facility that has several locations spread across several different time zones," he adds. "So we're definitely competitive on the budget front."

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