Tag Archives: Light Iron

Rick Anthony named GM of Light Iron New York

Post company Light Iron has named Rick Anthony to the newly created role of general manager in its New York facility. The addition comes after Light Iron added a second floor in 2016, tripling its inventory of editorial suites.

Anthony previously held GM roles at Pac Lab and New York Lab/Postworks/Moving Images, overseeing teams from lab through digital workflows. He began his career at New York film lab, DuArt, where he was a technical supervisor for many years.

Anthony notes several reasons why he joined Light Iron, a Panavision company. “From being at the forefront of color science and workflow to providing bi-coastal client support, this is a unique opportunity. Working together with Panavision, I look forward to serving the dailies, editorial, and finishing needs of any production, be it feature, episodic or commercial.”

Light Iron’s New York facility offers 20 premium editorial suites from its Soho location, as well as in-house and mobile dailies services, HDR-ready episodic timing bays and a 4K DI theater. The facility recently serviced Panavision’s first US-based feature shot on the new Millennium DXL camera.

Quick Chat: Josh Haynie Light Iron’s VP of US operations

Post services company Light Iron has named veteran post pro Josh Haynie to VP of US operations, a newly created position. Based in Light Iron’s Hollywood facility, Haynie will be responsible for leveraging the company’s resources across Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans and future locations.

Haynie joins Light Iron after 13 years at Efilm, where, as managing director, he maintained direct responsibility for all aspects of the company’s operations, including EC3 (on-location services), facility dailies, trailers, digital intermediate, home video and restoration. He managed a team of 100-plus employees. Previously, Haynie held positions at Sunset Digital, Octane/Lightning Dubs and other production and post companies. Haynie is an associate member of the ASC and is also actively involved in the HPA, SMPTE, and VES.

“From the expansion of Light Iron’s episodic services and New York facilities to the development of the color science in the new Millennium DXL camera, it is clear that the integration of Panavision and Light Iron brings significant benefits to clients,” says Haynie.

He was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to answer some of our questions…

Your title hints Light Iron opening up in new territories. Can you talk about this ? What is happening in the industry that this makes sense?
We want to be strategically located near the multiple Panavision locations. Productions and filmmakers need the expertise and familiarity of Light Iron resources in the region with the security and stability of a solid infrastructure. Projects often have splinter and multiple units in various locations, and they demand a workflow continuity in these disparate locations. We can help facilitate projects working in those various regions and offer unparalleled support and guidance.

What do you hope to accomplish in your first 6 to 12 months? What are your goals for Light Iron?
I want to learn from this very agile team of professionals and bring in operational and workflow options to the rapidly changing production/post production convergence we are all encountering. We have a very solid footing in LA, NY and NOLA. I want to ensure that each unit is working together using effective skills and technology to collaborate and allow filmmakers creative freedom. My goal is to help navigate this team though the traditional growth patterns as well as the unpredictable challenges that lie ahead in the emerging market.

You have a wealth of DI experience and knowledge. How has DI changed over the years?
The change depends on the elevation. From a very high level, it was the same simple process for many years: shoot, edit, scan, VFX, color — and our hero was always a film print. Flying lower, we have seen massive shifts in technology that have re-written the play books. The DI really starts in the camera testing phase and begins to mature during the production photography stage. The importance of look setting, dailies and VFX collaboration take on a whole new meaning with each day of shooting.

The image data that is captured needs to be available for near set cutting while VFX elements are being pulled within a few short days of photography. This image data needs to be light and nimble, albeit massive in file size and run time. The turnarounds are shrinking in the feature space exponentially. We are experiencing international collaboration on the finish and color of each project, and the final render dates are increasingly close to worldwide release dates. We are now seeing a tipping point like we encountered a few years back when we asked ourselves, “Is the hero a print or DCP?” Today, we are at the next hero question, DCP or HDR?

Do you have any advice for younger DI artists based on your history?
I think it is always good to learn from the past and understand how we got here. I would say younger artists need to aggressively educate themselves on workflow, technology, and collaboration. Each craft in the journey has experienced rapid evolvement in the last few years. There are many outlets to learn about the latest capture, edit, VFX, sound and distribution techniques being offered, and that research time needs to be on everyone’s daily task list. Seeking out new emerging creative talent is critical learning at this stage as well. Everyday a filmmaker is formulating a vision that is new to the world. We are fortunate here at Light Iron to work with these emerging filmmakers who share the same passion for taking that bold next step in storytelling.

New large-format digital camera from Panavision

Panavision will be showing three working prototypes and a demo reel of its new Millennium DXL large-format digital camera at this weekend’s Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles. Three companies came together to share their technology in the creation of the DXL — Panavision supplied large format optics and modular accessories, Red Digital Cinema brought an 8K sensor, and a new color science and optimized workflow came from Light Iron. They are clear that this isn’t just a “Panavised” Red camera. The sensor is a Red sensor, but the body is all Panavision.

While at Cine Gear, Panavision will be collecting feedback from the community, and that will continue through the development process. For those of you not on the West Coast, keep an eye out for shows on the East Coast and internationally this fall.

According to Kim Snyder, president/CEO of Panavision, DXL is offered in response to heightened demand for large-format cinematography. “Our fleet of large format and anamorphic lenses has been extremely popular in this resurgence of large format capture, and with the Millennium DXL, cinematographers now can capture more than 20 megapixels of true 4K anamorphic pictures.”

At the core of DXL is a proprietary image mapping process called Light Iron Color, which provides a cinematic look directly out of the camera. The camera body was designed with ergonomics and temperature management in mind: its mid-size form factor is extra lightweight, yet allows for an airflow system that dissipates heat quietly. DXL also has built-in, crew-friendly, modular accessories to improve versatility and quick changeovers during production.

“Our streamlined workflow includes simultaneous recording of 4K proxy files — ProRes or DNx —alongside the 8K RAW files,” explains Michael Cioni, DXL product director and president of Light Iron, a Panavision company. “This creates a direct-to-edit workflow with the NLE of your choice. Using efficient SSD media, the cost of capturing 8K files with DXL is more economical than using third-party recorders on lower resolution cameras. Light Iron Color and our Panavised Outpost Systems provide a workflow for DXL that can be easily adopted for shooting large format photography.”

Cioni says that cinematographers will notice how 8K acquisition creates images that are smoother, not sharper. “With a full frame 35-megapixel imager, DXL provides a super-sampled image, much like large format still photography, so that its smoothness is retained whether you finish in 4K, 2K, or HD.”

The Millennium DXL will be rented exclusively through Panavision and will be available in early 2017.

Quick Chat: Light Iron New York supervising colorist Steven Bodner

By Randi Altman

Turn your TV to any network or streaming channel any evening and you will immediately be reminded just how much television production is currently going on in New York City. This boon is directly related to New York’s inviting production tax incentives. And thanks to the state’s post production tax incentives, many of these shows are now staying in New York for finishing.

In response to this increase in work, Panavision’s Light Iron in New York has been growing its episodic division, most recently with the addition of supervising colorist Steven Bodner, who joins after eight years at Deluxe in New York.

Bodner’s extensive television resume includes Girls, Blue Bloods, Treme, True Detective and the new HBO series Vinyl. Bodner also works on features, including the recent Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba.

Considering his history and his new position, we figured there was no better time to reach out and learn more about Bodner and how he works.

Why was now the right time to make a move, and why was Light Iron the right choice?  
I was with Deluxe for the past eight years and felt I needed a change. I was approached by Light Iron and was impressed right off the bat with their technological know-how and advancements. The Panavision connection also influenced my decision. I love the fact that I can be involved from the early stages of choosing the camera and lenses to the final delivery.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position at Light Iron? Your title says supervising colorist, but you will you be hands-on for shows as well?
I am 100 percent hands-on with all the projects I work on. I feel like I can connect more with the filmmakers and creatives by touching every frame of the show or film. My title is more for building a strong team and department. I want to help our new colorists polish their skills so that we can all grow together and collaborate. I have a lot of knowledge I can spread through our new department, and the title allows me to do that.

What is your color grading tool of choice?
I feel like we as artists use many tools to mold a picture. A great colorist can shape pretty pictures with whatever platform we are given — it’s more about the creative vision. That being said, I am currently using the latest version of Resolve from Blackmagic. (Light Iron’s New York facility just installed a Quantum StorNext 5 SAN (700 TB) and a Sony X300 for HDR monitoring.)

What is your ideal way of working on a TV show, and does that differ from how you work on a feature?
What I like to do, whether it be TV or a film, is get involved as early as possible. I like to get into the head of the DP and/or director and see what his or her visions are for the show. Then, during testing, I like to find time to sit and play around a bit and get some “look-book” stills done for reference going forward. When a delivery actually comes in, I like to do a quick pass unsupervised and get everything in a ballpark with my look-book stills and then go from there with the clients.

Do you prefer getting visual examples of looks or talking about the look and feel?
It’s always nice to get visual examples of what the DP or creative wants. However, there are situations when time doesn’t allow for that and a quick conversation is all you get. That’s why, for me, it’s important to be involved from the start and to communicate as often as possible or needed.

As a New York post veteran, it must be fun watching all this episodic work come to New York, and stay in NY for post. 
It’s been great watching the amount of NY work grow. I remember years ago only doing the dailies and hoping for a day when we could keep the finishing here as well. It’s a dream come true.

What changes/trends have you noticed over the past few years relating to color grading?
The biggest changes or trends I’ve noticed are related to speed and capabilities. With most projects being digital now, there is an expectation for speed. We have to be fast and precise while retaining the look and the feel of the show. I also feel like we are doing a fair amount of beauty work in color due to the stronger color tools and better trackers.

Finally, where do you find inspiration for looks? Photography? Museums? The streets of New York?
I get my inspiration from everyday life, photography and other shows or films. I also like to sit in my color suite and just try things that I normally wouldn’t do, when a client is present, to see what comes out of it.

Light Iron beefs up TV division, adds colorist Jeremy Sawyer

President Michael Cioni discusses increased episodic work and his studio’s growth.

The quality of television programming — broadcast, cable and streaming — has never been better… from the writing to the acting to the final look of the shows. In response to the new business this production has brought to its facility, Light Iron is growing its television episodic division with talent and gear.

New hire Jeremy Sawyer is a colorist who brings with him a wealth of experience with TV, including grading The Walking Dead, The Closer, South Park, Major Crimes, Limitless and The Affair. He comes to Light Iron from MTI.  Prior to that he spent time at Company 3, The Syndicate and Finish Post.

Light Iron’s Hollywood location is adding a second television bay, a new online room and a dailies department for in-house and overnight dailies. Expect a similar expansion at the company’s New York studio in early 2016. In both cases, new hardware has been added specifically for television workflow, such as UHD and HDR monitors and dedicated SAN storage.

Michael Cioni

Michael Cioni

“We are coloring with the Sony BVM X300, which satisfies our needs for HDR 4K displays,” explains Light Iron president Michael Cionni. “We are also using the Sony 940c for a consumer confidence monitor check for HDR 4K material, which our clients appreciate. Our newest, optimized 1 Petabyte SAN comes from Quantum and runs StorNext 5.”

 

Sawyer’s upcoming projects at Light Iron include Season 6 of AMC’s The Walking Dead, Season 1 of History Channel’s Live to Tell and Season 1 of OWN’s Greenleaf. The post house, which is a Panavision company, says to expect more hires in the near future.

In terms of color grading gear, Sawyer is currently using Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio, running on Supermicro computers with multiple Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X graphics cards to be optimized for 4K 60p content, which Light Iron is already using on one of their new shows — Wheeler Dealers  for Discovery Channel.

“Episodic projects make up about a third of our DI business in Los Angeles right now,” reports Cioni. “We expect to increase episodic finishing significantly in 2016 at our Los Angeles and New York facilities. Our newest location in New Orleans will support dailies and editorial for both episodic and feature projects.”

One can’t help but wonder how much of this television work is thanks to streaming services now creating their own content. “The truth is that OTT episodic content owners, such as Amazon and Netflix, are very interested in future-proofing their investments by embracing the same elements that Light Iron has been championing for years: file-based capture, mobile post, high dynamic range, wide color gamut and 4K-plus resolutions,” explains Cioni. “Our broadband clients are helping drive many of these innovations, and we’re excited that the balance of projects is shifting.”

Earlier in this piece, Cioni referenced Light Iron’s new studio in New Orleans. This location is part of parent company Panavision’s new 30,500-square-foot space, which will also house Light Iron’s first brick-and-mortar facility in Louisiana. The facility represents the first location the companies have shared since Panavision acquired Light Iron at the start of 2015.

Final Cut Pro X resurrected: Focus’ advanced workflow

By Daniel Restuccio

To many, Apple’s Final Cut Pro editing application died in June 2011 when they announced Final Cut X.  Derided as an odd version of iMovie, it lacked many of the features of Final Cut 7 and fell out of favor with many editors looking for an alternative to Avid Media Composer.

Nearly four years later Final Cut Pro 10.1.4 is fully resurrected and, for the makers of the Will Smith caper Focus, a godsend that provided a flexible, efficient and cost-effective workflow to post their feature movie shot on the Arri Alexa.

Less than two years since releasing the new MacPro “cylinder,” Apple claims that they have upgraded Final Cut Pro X to the level where it can be taken seriously again as a post production Continue reading

Worlds collide: Panavision buys Light Iron

So the news broke this morning that Panavision has purchased Light Iron. Yes, Panavision, with its incredibly long history in filmmaking, has bought Light Iron, a post house that is aggressive in terms of finding efficient digital paths from set to post. They most recently worked on David Fincher’s Gone Girl, with its 6K workflow (see our story here).

In addition to its post houses in Hollywood and New York, Light Iron also rents mobile post systems called Outpost to productions. These systems will now be available at Panavision rental facilities worldwide. Light Iron, now operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of Panavision, will retain its name and branding.

Michael Cioni

According to the press release Michael Cioni, CEO of Light Iron, believes that partnering with Panavision will extend Light Iron’s international reach. “The fusion of our two companies, and the creation of new optimized tools, will mark the beginning of a new era in digital acquisition and delivery on a global scale.”

Says Panavision president Kim Snyder, “Together, we are poised to offer creative clients a deeper and more progressive level of support and services across all market segments.  This union uniquely positions us both to serve the industry through collaboration, advanced engineering and optimized services all over the world.”

 

Light Iron extends Live Play experience to the cloud with Live Play 3

Based on user feedback from its TV and feature clients, NYC- and LA-based Light Iron has launched Live Play 3, an iPad app designed to be what they describe as “an all-encompassing VTR and dailies review system.” The new Live Play 3, which Light Iron calls a reimagining of its existing Live Play (now called Live Play Classic), features an intuitive interface, metadata sorting and cloud distribution of dailies. Live Play Classic will remain for sale on the App Store.

According to Light Iron (@light_iron) CEO Michael Cioni, “The new app meets the need for a seamlessly integrated system for both on-set review and cloud distribution of colored and synced dailies. Live Play 3 is also designed to be a creative asset management platform, empowering customers to maintain a centralized resource of media during the entire production and post process.”

Live Play 3 - Filtersmaller

The design of Live Play 3 features fast navigation through a media pool of thumbnail frame grabs. Users can choose among automatically-tagged scenes and shoot days, quickly filtering thousands of clips to find specific media. An active tagging feature applies metadata tags to multiple clips at a time, enabling search by an unlimited number of fields including circle, camera, actor and location, as well as custom tags. You can watch a preview video here.

Live Play 3 also uses 256-bit TLS encryption, so released dailies and associated metadata are stored securely in a cloud-based hub that can be accessed by the production team, editorial, VFX and other creative collaborators.

Live Play 3 also enables realtime streaming of camera feeds from remote locations.

“The advent of digital technologies and workflows has caused the market to become very fragmented,” says Cioni. “Multiple vendors each supporting a specific component of the pipeline — without understanding their impact on others downstream — may lead to a breakdown in the workflow. With the addition of Live Play 3, Light Iron is positioned to offer the community a vertically integrated system for creating, managing and delivering creative assets from the set through final delivery. Our Outpost system for on-set dailies creation, the new Live Play 3 and our digital intermediate services work in tandem to enhance collaboration and ensure efficiency throughout the entire creative process.”

Pricing for Live Play 3 will be offered in tiers based on data usage and whether productions want just set review or set review and cloud dailies. It’s sold differently from the Live Play Classic in that it will be sold directly to a production or business. Once installed and configured for that client’s needs, they’ll authorize their own users who will download the app for free from the app store and use their authorized login to access.

A beta testing period begins this summer.

 

Light Iron Adds Marc Vanocur as COO

Hollywood — Bi-coastal post house Light Iron has hired Marc Vanocur for a newly created position of Chief Operating Officer.

“Bringing Marc to Light Iron is an investment in our executive leadership,” says CEO Michael Cioni. “Marc’s experience leading post companies through growth and technological change is going to be critical as the industry continues to move in new directions.” The company expanded its staff by 50 percent in 2013.

Vanocur previously held executive roles at Technicolor, Todd-Soundelux, and Weddington Productions, overseeing business operations and navigating technological change. “Light Iron has been at the forefront of the file-based evolution in picture,” remarks Vanocur. “Having led sound companies through the same transition, I look forward to advising the company on leveraging its tech acuity for continued growth.”

Light Iron (www.lightiron.com) first opened its doors in 2009 with just four employees. After developing a successful business in mobile dailies systems known as Outpost and producing the digital intermediates for landmark features such as David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Light Iron expanded from its Hollywood headquarters with a Manhattan facility in 2013.

“At a time when other post houses were contracting,” notes Vanocur, “Light Iron had significant expansion. The post industry is going to experience continued consolidation that will close more companies, but Light Iron is poised to take on new markets, opportunities, and challenges.”

Among Vanocur’s top priorities in 2014 is creating new strategic and financial partnerships for expanded service offerings.

 

Jean Lane joins Light Iron NY to oversee operations, growth

New York — Hollywood-based Light Iron, a post studio specializing in file-based workflows, has hired executive producer Jean Lane to lead its expanding New York facility.

The timing of the addition is no coincidence. Lane, who was most recently at New York’s Goldcrest, joins just as Light Iron (http://www.lightiron.com) has doubled the square footage at its Soho location. The studio will be focusing on features, television and spot work.

CEO Michael Cioni, who is typically based in LA, started spending much of his time in New York leading up to and opening Light Iron in Soho. He says that Lane’s experience was the right fit for the  company. “I directly oversaw our Manhattan launch a year ago, but then looked for a New Yorker to take over the reins as we moved into year two. Jean brings strong managerial, technical, and client relations experience to the team.”

Lane, most recently at NYC’s Goldcrest, has led teams there and a Lost Planet Editorial, overseeing post production services for docs and commercials. Her long career also includes creative editorial, production management, and casting.

“My role is to build on Michael’s groundwork from last year,” she reports. “I’ll see to it the construction of the expansion is completed as well as continue to build the feature work, round out the team with new hires and make sure operations are running smoothly.”

Light Iron NY - Edit Suitesmall

Doubling square footage at the 580 Broadway location, Light Iron’s expansion creates additional edit suites for the company to package with its on-set dailies services and digital intermediate services.

“We’ve customized these boutique suites to the New York film community’s tastes,” remarks Lane. “They’re high-end, spacious, and comfortable. And clients love the collaborative integration with picture finishing.”

Each edit room is fully customizable to the clients’ needs, with Avid, FCP (7 or X), Adobe Premiere as options.