tv-bay Questions


Who are you?
I have the pleasure of being CEO of two companies! First being the diRoom, which is boutique post-production facility for colour grading, digital intermediates and delivery masters. We are all filmmakers at diRoom, so we tailor every project workflow to be an entire picture post solution for filmmakers or a service that can fill the gaps in the workflow of any kind of moving image media project. The second is Render-it, a render outsourcing company where we handle all aspects of the rendering process from start to finish.
Our portfolio is varied, from pop promos to long form feature length films and documentaries, using the skills we have gained from our work with Render-it to convert different media forms (such as RED r3d and Canon H.264 media) into manageable formats for off-lining and then on-lining. The diRoom is comfortably capable of 4k finishing/delivery and employs a number colourists, led by Lajos Pataki, who strives to display the intentions of the creatives who choose to work with us.
Tell me a little about your previous experience?
I started Render-It in 2002 after trying to make a series of animated adverts and I found myself running into rendering issues time after time, which led me to start my own rendering service. As we moved on and tapeless film making became the norm, the need for the diRoom became apparent, as in essence, digital film proxy workflows are render intensive and need to be handled extremely sensitively in order for software and footages remain workable, accurate and communicable with each other.
What specific project(s) do you have in the works?
We have recently finished grading an independent Kyrgyzstan film called ‘The Rain, It Poured’ which we hope will hit some of the festivals this year. At the moment, we are working on a film that will be the diRoom's first heavily CGI-based project, based around a space station. It is filmed with a lot of green screen and carefully designed sets in North London with the CGI supervised in Render-IT and post-production handled in the diRoom.
What new technology are you working with?
We try to balance the best of the modern technologies with their possible uses and users. There is no point for us, as a small emerging post house, to employ a system that disqualifies 99% of the market out there because of its cost of deployment. Our real ability in the diRoom is the careful use and interaction of systems like Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and the current selection of 4K RAW digital cinema format, which allows us to produce films of impeccable quality that keep as much of the budget within the film. Our main colouring suite, for example, was custom built nine months ago by our lead colourist, from the perspective that if we got the hardware and the usability right, the system would ease into any colouring application systems that developed into the DI world. When Blackmagic Design released their version of DaVinci Resolve for Mac it slotted into our pipeline seamlessly.
What new products/technology are you looking forward to the most?
I am hoping for two new products to appear on the market, one being a cheaper high-quality fairly mass produced 4k film scanner and the other being some version of a Tablet HD size computer that can change "skins" to be the perfect colour grading control surface!
During your career in post what was the biggest “turning point” into new technology?
It would be too easy to say the arrival of the RED one was a major turning point in the world of film making and post-production as something similar was bound to happen eventually, but definitely the release of the ARRI Alexa signified the full rounding of the Digital Cinema "corner".
What is your favourite / least favourite things about working in post?
At the moment, my favourite thing in post is when a production comes to see us before they start filming as the correct plan leads to such a satisfactory workflow that the usual issues are squashed in a moment. My least favourite thing in post at this moment is the frustrating inconsistent Gamma shifts within different originators of QuickTime ProRes (which we avoid with our planned workflows). The supposed money saved by having your an offline editor "sort it" are an incredibly false economy - be warned and speak to a professional.
What gets you out of bed in the morning to go to work?
I go on holiday every two months to the most obscure places I can find!

Tags: iss050 | blackmagic design | render-it | diroom | red r3d | h.264 | red one | N/A
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