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24 Post • December 2009 Even as budgets and turnaround times shrink, creative options abound in the digital intermediate process. Increas- ing numbers of filmmakers plan for DI today, especially those shoot- ing digitally and independents looking for flexible deliverables. BRIAN BURR CEO Laser Pacific Hollywood ( LaserPacific is an end-to-end film and digital post facility ser ving the motion picture and television community with VFX, 3D, DI and feature mastering. Recent credits are the AMC orig- inal series Mad Men and the features The Box and My Sis- ter's Keeper. STRENGTHS: "The DI process is the most creative in- teraction we have with our clients who are DPs, directors and producers. It's the place where ar t and science come together : It takes creative colorists and talented color sci- entists to understand the filmmaker's vision and customize a process to meet their needs. DI is where quality and ca- pabilities stand out most in the post process from scanning for film projects — where the software you use can make a big difference — to the film-out, which is often the end- step of the DI process. Color science and the calibration process have actually become more critical as more proj- ects are shot digitally but delivered on film — still the lead- ing distribution medium. We frequently film-out features shot with the Genesis and Red, most recently The Box, which was shot on the Genesis." WEAKNESSES: "The weaknesses of DI concern current market conditions and fewer productions being made. All of us face shor t-term over-capacity, which has driven down volume and pric- ing. A lot of budget constraints in post today do not always allow customers to get the best results. We have a number of workflow options and creative solutions to help budget-conscious projects achieve high-quality results. But sometimes customers are still pushed to the lowest bidder." OPPORTUNITIES: "We see 3D as a big oppor tunity for pro- duction and post to push the limits. A growing number of cinema screens are adding 3D options, and as the technology continues to advance, better 3D masters can be made. "We believe that our proprietar y 3D solution and the 33-foot screens we have in our two largest DI timing theaters allow us to produce the best 3D DI masters possible. Our process and the size of the screens are especially important when it comes to the Z-axis where things pop in and out of the screen. It's crucial to get that right or you'll give the audience headaches.We already have two 3D DIs lined up for Disney in 2010." THREATS: "It looks like DI will be around for the foreseeable fu- ture as the technology continues to improve and DI becomes an in- tegral part of the post process.The biggest threat to DI remains cur- rent economic conditions. But we believe the economy will turn around, and the market will return over time to the level the indus- try once enjoyed." OUTLOOK 2010: "We see the DI market recovering, especially in the second half of the year.The number of 3D projects will grow and they will continue creating excitement in the post process and in theaters. Not every film will go 3D, but it will become a significant piece of the market." MICHAEL MINTZ DI Colorist New Hat Santa Monica ( Founded last year by Bob Festa and Darby Walker, New Hat is building a nonlinear workflow for grading commer- cials and other short-form media. The company is already in expansion OUTLOOK DIGITAL INTERMEDIATES Creative FREEDOM Laser Pacific provided a film-out for The Box, shot on Genesis. By Christine Bunish

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