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Light at the end of the tunnel!



Fellow cohorts and erstwhile professional color overseers and tweakers:

     My goodness, what an uproar is going on!  These little "Green Light"
posts are becoming more and more passionate!  Now we are being asked for our
comments...

     As most of you know, I was "in the trenches" for most of my career.
I'm an all around general-purpose colorist, as are most of you I'm sure:
dailies one day, agency spot the next, archival prints, music videos... the
works.  For years I worked on what equipment I was given, always hoping some
day to be able to work on a top-of-the-line system.  I saw my kids through
elementary school while running an FDL60 with a Dubner slider board.  They
were in middle school and high school while I operated a MkIII with a
daVinci Classic.  I kept on doing my very best work, and nine months ago
began a series of reports to the TIG as I finally realized one of my
greatest professional goals:  to work on the finest equipment extant.

     After I settled in, I stopped my reports, not wishing to overstay my
welcome.  I thank you all again for the wonderful support I received from
this group during that time of upheaval.

     For some time now, I've been living with a Spirit hooked up to an 8:8:8
DUI.  My greatest happiness has been being able to share in the client's joy
at the beauty of the pictures.  I swear this machine outputs colors I've not
seen before in the NTSC gamut.  Browns, greens, and especially golds look
much more lifelike, and I have to associate this with Kodak's optics and
that Xenon bulb with diffusion chamber.

     I'm still an all around general purpose colorist, in fact more than
ever.  We've done a few features (both dailies and full magilla
scene-to-scene), many spots, a fair share of corporate programs, and several
archival prints. We are also doing some music videos, ranging from the quick
and dirty to major-label national releases. Under any circumstances, the
output of this system has been nothing less than astonishing.  I swear,
getting up in the morning and coming to work is cause for great happiness.

     No, it's not perfect.  Try to stop a Spirit in full shuttle loaded with
16mm film and you'll be a few scenes beyond by the time the transport stops!
And it likes to give you lots of little error messages:  "Hey, where's my
gate?" or "Hey, where'd the film go?" (changing gates or reels...) or my
personal favorite, "IMCS Message Overload".  Small quirks, to be sure, but
oh those pictures!

     Perhaps the next generation of CRT telecines will surpass the Spirit in
image quality.  If this is so, we will all be winners, for I'm sure what all
of us want is better and better equipment.  I thank Phillips and Kodak and
daVinci for giving me the tools I have, as each of us should appreciate what
we have.  I thank God for my ability to use these tools to help realize the
shared vision of the cinematographer and director.  I am grateful that
clients return again and again, and this is what I'm most thankful for!  For
in the end it's the clients who must be satisfied.  If they don't like the
way our telecine looks, they have many other places to go.  As they are
returning again and again, I restate my appreciation of my equipment!

      For now, I think it safe to say the Spirit is an amazing telecine, and
a large part of its greatness is in its optical path.  I see Drew Marsh and
Bob Festa singing its praises here, now I toss my hat into the ring.  Seeing
is believing.

     A part of me hopes the folks at Cintel push the envelope a little
further.  Time will tell, but if they succeed then the state of the art
moves forward again.  That should be good news for everyone.

     So until Cintel shows C-Reality, all we can do is speculate.  As the
Borg said, discussion is irrelevant.  We will be assimilated into the truth
soon enough.  Meanwhile, I for one am more than happy with the Spirit.  More
important, my clients love it too.

     As ever, I do not work for Phillips, Kodak, or daVinci.  Or Cintel, for
that matter.  But I love all these companies (please include Pandora, too.
For that matter, yay Options International!) for they are constantly
improving the job we do.  There are some fine people making our tools, and
their hard work has helped us all.  Please keep up the good work, all of
you, and whatever differences appear, treasure them.  Remember, if
everything was the same you could only get Vanilla ice cream.  Healthy
competition between Phillips and Cintel, between daVinci and Pandora has
been and can continue to be good for all of us.  Now I'm off my soapbox,
thanks for bearing with this old pooperoo putting in my two cents worth of
diatribe.

    The World is so full of a number of things,
     I'm sure we should all be as happy as Kings...
                          -Kipling, I think.

Bob Lovejoy
Shooters Post and Transfer
Cherry Hill, NJ


---
Thanks to Complete Post L.A. for supporting the TIG in 1998..
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957 subscribers in 36 countries on Mon Mar 16 22:27:01 PST 1998 
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