Tag Archives: Quantel

Quick Chat: Paul London from K Street Post in DC

Washington DC-based post boutique K Street Post, which opened its doors in April 2004, provides editing, audio post and finishing for spots, PSAs, station promos, corporate presentations and docs. Oh, and as their location might suggest, when the political season heats up, so do their post suites.

Recently we reached out to owner Paul London to find out more about K Street and how they work.

What was your goal when you opened K Street?
At the time we opened there were many small, nonlinear edit shops in Washington mainly using Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro. From the beginning, I wanted to set myself apart by taking advantage of my graphic design skills. I wanted to focus on high-end, graphically-intensive video and TV commercial projects. That’s one of the reasons I chose Quantel gear early on; their built-in editor, effects, text and paint tools were perfect for this type of work.

You are in the center of DC. How much of your work is political-based advertising?
K Street Post has always concentrated on television spot work. This includes local/regional commercials (Next Day Blinds, Silver Diner, Washington Times, Jiffy Lube), and some national TV ads for associations like the American Petroleum Institute and national PSAs for the USO (pictured below).

US use this one

We also do a large amount of political advertising for governors, congressmen, senators and some presidential races and issue advertising for political action committees (PACs and Super PACs).

Can you name a recent political job?
We have been working on a number of political campaigns recently, including a four-minute video for Carson America played at the Chicago rally during Ben Carson’s presidential announcement this Tuesday. We were making adjustments and shot changes right up to the last minute.

You are a boutique. What are the benefits of staying small?
K Street Post is small and that is by design. Right now we have a Quantel Pablo Rio edit room, a Final Cut Pro 7/Adobe Premiere edit room and an Avid Pro Tools audio room. During the very busy months of the political season — August and September of every even numbered year — we typically add an additional edit room, but the way things are shaping up for the 2016 race, we might end up adding more.

I love being small. I get to focus on what I like best, which is being creative and working with clients on TV projects. I have thought about growing the company and adding additional rooms, but then I would become more of a manager and have less time to be creative. Another great thing about being small is clients have direct access to us. The schedule book is easy to manage and clients can discuss projects and adjust booking directly with me.

K Street Post’s new Quantel Pablo Rio suite.

Can you talk about your workflow?
We handle all aspects of the post process, so offline editing with FCP or Premiere and online editing and color correction with the Pablo Rio. But to be honest, we have not done an offline for some time. The political spots we work on simply don’t have time for that type of workflow. You usually have 8 to 12 hours to create a finished ad, so you load, edit, grade and get a very polished version off to the client within the day. This is where the Pablo Rio comes in for us. We have found no other system that can do this with the quality level required for a statewide or national TV commercial.

Also, most of our commercial work is graphic heavy. It’s not uncommon to have 30 to 40 layers being used to create the finished ad. The Pablo Rio is fast enough for this type of client-attended work. It’s also great at accommodating changes, and there are lots of changes! It’s quite normal for a political ad to have several script changes even during editing.

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K Street Post’s Pablo Rio compositing with up to 50 layers.

If you could share one tip with clients about getting the most out of the post experience, what would it be?
Good question. I ask my clients to get me involved as early as possible. The more I know about the project the more I become immersed in it and the better the final result. Clients should never ambush their editors with their projects.

NAB: sweet, sweet pictures

By Tim Spitzer

I had the very enjoyable experience of seeing footage captured on two of the newest large sensor camera’s being introduced to the marketplace: Panasonic’s Varicam 35 and Arri’s Arri 65.

Starting with the latter, a “for rental only” camera that captures 6.5K images only in ArriRaw — these are the most beautiful images I have seen captured on a digital sensor. In a brilliantly inspired demo, close-up images of the faces of Arri employees, shot without make-up as Continue reading

FotoKem colorist Mark Griffith: digital remastering ‘The Sound of Music’

By Randi Altman

Who doesn’t love The Sound of Music? Who? Introduce them to me and we’ll talk. Fifty years after it was released in theaters, this classic film about — well, you know what it’s about — was restored by Burbank’s Fotokem, home to one of the last feature film labs in the country. The studio completed the restoration of the 65mm musical through 8K scans from large-format film elements, downsampled to 4K for restoration and digital cinema mastering.

For the restoration of The Sound of Music, which was directed by Robert Wise and photographed by Ted D. McCord, ASC, Andrew Oran and his team began by creating the highest Continue reading

Broadcast industry vet Tim Thorsteinson named CEO of Quantel

UK-based Quantel and Snell have named Tim Thorsteinson as CEO. Quantel’s long-time CEO and chairman, Ray Cross, has stepped down after 10 years.

Many of you may recognize Thorsteinson’s name — he has held many senior roles in the media technology industry, including twice as the CEO of Grass Valley, president of the Broadcast division of Harris and president/CEO of Enablence. He will split his time between Newbury in the UK and Toronto, Canada.

“We are delighted to have Tim Thorsteinson join Quantel to continue the company’s transformation. Tim has a proven track record of value creation, and his knowledge and experience are a great fit to grow the combined Quantel and Snell business into a major force in the rapidly changing broadcast industry,” says Chris Hurley, managing director Lloyds Development Capital and Quantel board director. “I would also like to thank Ray for all his hard work and achievements at Quantel over the past 10 years.”

“I’m very excited to be joining Quantel,” says Thorsteinson. “It is one of the larger independent businesses in our industry, with world-class products and a rich history of innovation. I want to build on that tradition to create an organization 100 percent focused on helping our customers prosper in the media technology world.”

Those customers live in both the broadcast and post worlds, and that won’t change according to the new CEO, whose background is mostly in broadcast. “We remain very much committed to the post market going forward.”

Quantel’s Digital Fact Book updated and online

For those of us who have been in this industry for more years than we would like to admit, Quantel’s Digital Fact Book has become like an old friend… one who knows a lot about industry terminology and technology. Well this old friend has been completely overhauled and updated to reflect the latest developments in our industry, and has its very own website at www.digitalfactbook.tv,  now featuring Quantel and Snell’s combined experience in the digital world.

In producing the new edition, each of the over 600 entries has been reviewed and updated, and many new ones added, echoing, in particular, the increasing adoption of web and IP technologies in the broadcast industry today.

Industry veteran Bob Pank, who has edited every edition of the Digital Fact Book in its 27-year history, once again oversaw the project. “It’s been an interesting as well as challenging job,” he says. “What is great about our industry is the way it continues to develop at breathtaking speed; keeping up with those changes is essential for broadcast and post professionals, and the Digital Fact Book is a useful one-stop resource for this. And now that it’s online, we can, of course, update it as and when new developments occur that impact our industry; it’s very much a living book!”

“You’d think that in the online age there would be no need any more for the Digital Fact Book, but the reality is everywhere we go people still ask us for copies of it; it’s great that the DFB still has this position in our industry,” reports Steve Owen, Quantel marketing director. “We haven’t done a new edition for a few years, but the coming together of Quantel and Snell gave us the opportunity to do a completely new version that makes the great depth of knowledge of both organizations available to the whole industry.”

Quantel (@quantel) welcomes all suggestions for updates and new entries for the Digital Fact Book from anyone in the industry. Send them to us at dfb@quantel.com.

Quantel published the first edition of the Digital Fact Book more than 27 years ago when the digital age in broadcasting and post was still in its infancy It was designed to provide a balanced, independent and, above all, useful source of reference on digital terminology, standards and technology for everyone involved in the industry – from students to seasoned pros who had grown up in an analog world.

Since then the Digital Fact Book has gone through 14 major updates, with well over 250,000 hard copies distributed by Quantel and countless references made to the online versions in more recent years.

IBC: Quantel and Snell, talk new products, upgrades, transition

In their first joint press conference since Quantel’s acquisition of Snell, the two companies shared the stage to talk about new products and how the integration of the two companies is moving along.

Ray Cross says it’s going very well, while announcing that Robert Rowe and Paul Martin have joined the Quantel board. Neil Maycock is now VP of product strategy. The two entities now also share a common sales team. And the goal, says Cross, is that all production will move to Newbury, Quantel’s main headquarters, by October 14.

Regarding product  news Quantel has updated software for Pablo Rio and Pablo PA.

Enhancements include:
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Quantel gets new VP of product strategy

Neil Maycock has been named Quantel’s VP, product strategy. He is now responsible for all Quantel product management across news and sports, production and post production.

Key to the role is strategic product development. Maycock will also be looking to build on the opportunities created by the coming together of Quantel and Snell technologies and markets.

An electronic engineering graduate, Maycock began his career with Pro-Bel as a software developer. In the 25 years since then he has held a number of senior roles in R&D, sales and marketing, most recently as chief marketing officer and then chief architect at Snell.

“There is a great opportunity for the combined company with Quantel and Snell’s unique technologies to create a major new force in our industry that gives our customers the products and workflows they need to succeed across every aspect of their operations,” says Maycock. “I’m looking forward to accelerating that process, making the most of the culture of innovation here to drive success — for our customers and our company.”

Super Star Power Productions ramps up for 4K DI, finishing

Will Holman, owner of Super Star Power Productions (SSPP) in Play Vista, California, is currently ramping up his “home studio” with some high-end gear. His most recent purchase is a Quantel Pablo Rio 4KO color and finishing system.

Holman, who began his career in the industry 13 years ago as an actor in projects such as Ali, Austin Powers Goldmember, SWAT, Hired Guns and The Bold and the Beautiful. Holman soon discovered a second talent — for writing and directing — which led him to set up his own production and post company to look after his own and friends’ projects.

“On set I found that I innately knew exactly how I wanted scenes to turn out; I always had a director’s mindset, so handling production and following through to my own post facility seemed like a perfect fit,” says Holman.

SSPP grading suite 3smallWhat makes SSPP different from any other post facility is that it is not only a one-stop color and finishing environment, but also a complete house with kitchen, living areas, bedrooms etc. “We’re catering to a certain clientele,” he explains. “Our goal is to offer a complete post- production environment in a rental property — so our clients can live with the film and finish it faster. Building it in Playa Vista also makes good sense — it’s LA’s fastest growing entertainment hub — there are a ton of entertainment companies setting up here.”

“I first came across Pablo five years ago through Michael Cioni (Light Iron CEO) and I’ve had my eye on it ever since,” he says. “I’ve looked hard at all the other high-end finishing systems, but for me, Quantel is the perfect fit. Pablo Rio is the most efficient hub there is for finishing as a full package — with it I can do everything from conforms and edits to bringing in effects and of course color correction and deliverables, all in realtime at 4K. Of course, the quicker you can do something the more money you can make, and Pablo Rio streamlines the filmmaking process; it’s a key part of getting projects from pre-production through production and post to delivery as fast as possible, more efficiently while delivering a supreme product in terms of quality.”

SSPP kitchensamllSSPP already has its first projects booked in, with post for a short film due to start immediately and several other movies to follow. “Our goal is to service low- to mid-budget films, offering the same or better experience that clients can get at the larger post houses, but at a lower cost and in an environment that’s naturally conducive to creativity — and more comfortable too!” reports Holman.

In addition to the Pablo, SSPP features Qube Cinema XP-I d-cinema server;
Qube Cinema Xi 4K integrated media block; Barco DP4K-P post production projector; four Acoustic Smart seats (4); Klipsch 7.1 surround sound; Stewart Filmscreen Daily Dual screen system; SnoMatte 100 non-perf screen for color grading; and 3D RealD Ultimate Screen.

Nashville’s Forward adds more finishing tools

Nashville — Post production facility Forward has purchased two Quantel Pablo Rio color and finishing systems, adding to its services.

Started by director Shaun Silva, Forward opened its doors in 2012, equipped with Quantel iQ and Pablo finishing suites. Forward has since worked on music videos for leading country music artists, including Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and Kacey Musgrove, as well as the Emmy nominated ESPN 30 for 30 documentary film The Irrelevant Giant.

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Pablo Rio is Quantel’s color and finishing system that provides a streamlined workflow for 2D and stereo 3D projects. It runs on high-performance PC hardware and exploits Nvidia Maximus multi-GPU technology.

Chief engineer of Forward (@Forwardllc)  Jim Harvath CSTE, says, “The flexibility of configuring the Pablo Rio hardware allows us to ‘right size’ our hardware to what our current workflow demands are. Plus, knowing that we can expand instantly with off the shelf parts allows us to stay competitive and grow as necessary, when we’re ready.”

Quantel news from NAB 2014

Las Vegas — During NAB 2014, Quantel showed the latest software release for its Pablo Rio color and finishing system. This is the fifth new feature release since IBC 2013.

The update helps Pablo Rio support more file formats, including 4K XAVC export and DCP import as well as the latest Red SDK.

The new software also supports conform of Avid effects. This speeds up the transition from Avid offline to Pablo Rio 4K finishing and color correction. For example if the Avid editor has used a DVE to resize a clip, the metadata for the DVE move comes across to Pablo Rio with the media, so the clip is automatically resized when it is conformed in Pablo Rio using the 4K media.

The Pablo Rio toolset also gets a major boost with Optical Flow slow motion. Optical Flow uses advanced motion estimation techniques to produce smoother, higher quality slow or fast motion.

The new software also features many additional improvements that increase flexibility and performance. These include audio in MLT, AVCHD softmount, tracker homography, better text handling, faster shape creation, wireframe updates and better subtitling tools.

Quantel has also licensed Apple ProRes encoding for its full range of software and turnkey Pablo Rio. ProRes encoding will be part of the forthcoming V2.0 rev8 software update for Pablo Rio and Pablo PA, due to be released at the end of April. The new license covers encoding to ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 (HQ), ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (LT) and ProRes 422 (Proxy).

NAB 2014 was the world debut of Genetic Engineering 2 (GE2), Quantel’s new shared storage solution for post that delivers levels of flexibility, performance and productivity for Quantel Pablo Rio color and finishing system users. GE2 uses COTS hardware and is already transforming the efficiency of post houses in today’s multi-resolution post world.

GE2 optimizes post workflow. It brings total scheduling flexibility to the post process, allowing high-resolution jobs to be instantly switched or shared between suites so post houses can meet tight deadlines or take on short-notice work. Up to four Pablo Rio systems can share the same GenePool storage, with guaranteed realtime performance on every connected system no matter what each is doing — even when working at 4K. GE2 also goes beyond 4K — offering 6K 16-bit operation on multiple clients to cater for the new generation of ultra-high resolution cameras.

New for NAB, the Pablo PA workflow assist station can now be directly connected to the GenePool. This enables conform, prep and workflow tasks to be undertaken on lower cost equipment so that the Pablo Rios can deliver maximum value for client-attended creative sessions.

There is a huge range of potential GE2 configurations, so GE2 systems can be tailored to meet every individual facility’s workflow requirements. For example, GenePool shared storage can range from 18TB to support a two-suite HD production environment to almost 400TB — more than enough for even multiple simultaneous 4K or 6K Red Dragon jobs. Quantel has published a configurator on its website so that customers can dial in different requirements.

Also at the show, Quantel also announced support for the AJA Io XT on its Marco field editor, and Kona 3G video card on its Pablo Rio color and finishing systems.

AJA Io XT will be supported for input and output on Marco in addition to AJA’s T-Tap Thunderbolt adapter, enabling journalists and editors  to easily exchange media with a professional SDI infrastructure — for example satellite or outside broadcast/remote trucks, or for direct recording from HD cameras.

Pablo Rio already supports the AJA Corvid Ultra, which delivers realtime 4K 60p. The addition of support for the AJA Kona 3G gives customers a wider choice of I/O infrastructure and will be particularly attractive to customers who currently require realtime 2K capability. The Kona 3G card is supported on software-only Pablo Rio 2K and 4K systems and 2KO turnkey systems.

 Photo: The Pablo Rio

Quick Chat: Quantel’s Steve Owen on the purchase of Snell

By Randi Altman

As a follow-up to last week’s news that Quantel had bought Snell, we thought it would be a good idea to throw some questions at the UK-based company, which is not necessarily known for its history of acquisitions.

Steve Owen, Quantel’s marketing director, kindly took time out from what is likely NAB craziness to share some details how about the company’s path  led here.

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Quantel acquires Snell

Newbury, England — Quantel, a provider of news and sports production systems as well as high-end post tools, has acquired Snell. Snell specializes in broadcast and media technology providing a range of solutions for live TV production and the creation, management and distribution of content for TV on tablets, mobiles and Web.

According to Quantel, the purchase of Snell allows the combined business to offer customers a complete product range to create, version and deliver high-quality content efficiently across multiple platforms.

“This acquisition brings two great companies together to create a major new force in the global broadcast and media technology market. This will enable us to better serve Quantel and Snell customers around the globe,” said Ray Cross (pictured), executive chairman and CEO of Quantel. “Our product ranges are entirely complementary, so the excellent Snell and Quantel brands and product ranges will continue. We’ll be able to combine the best in class talent and technologies from Quantel and Snell to bring exciting new products and solutions to market to help our customers transform their businesses. More local offices across the world will enable us to build closer relationships with our customers and to offer even better support.”

“Paul Martin, managing director of the Snell TV Everywhere division and Robert Rowe, managing director of the Snell Live TV division will join the Quantel board to make sure it is business as usual for Snell customers,” continued Cross. Tim Banks, Snell sales director and Peter Fredericks, Snell finance director are also taking leading roles in the new combined organization. “I’m really delighted that the Snell and Quantel businesses have come together to increase the scale and scope for both,” said Simon Derry, outgoing CEO at Snell. “Under Ray’s leadership the combined business will be able to write a new and exciting chapter moving forwards. I look forward to supporting Ray during the important period of transition.”

“We will be creating a new world-class facility at the company headquarters in Newbury to produce the complete Quantel and Snell product range and we look forward to the new ideas generated when the two R&D teams start to interact,” said Cross.

Check out their FAQ here: http://www.quantel.com/snell

LipSync provides post for BBC mini-series ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’

London —  Death Comes to Pemberley, written as a sequel to Jane Austen’s novel  “Pride and Prejudice,” was entirely post produced at LipSync Post (http://www.lipsyncpost.co.uk) in London, with color grading and deliverables done on one of the facility’s three Quantel Pablo color correction and finishing systems by senior colorist Stuart Fyvie, who completed the grade on all three one-hour episodes in just nine days.

The series will air between Christmas and the New Year on BBC1 in the UK, with international distribution to follow in 2014.

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IBC: Day Two

Simon-Ray-4

By Simon Ray
Head of Operations and Engineering
Goldcrest Post, London
www.goldcrestfilms.com

Today is picture day, and I definitely earned my expenses. A day full of meetings and demos that were all interesting and enlightening in their own ways. Quantel was first. They were showing us the new features in the Pablo Rio, which is their top of the range picture finishing system which now runs on readily available hardware. This differs from their previous systems which ran on their own proprietary hardware. Pablo Rio has some great features (and a lousy name) and performs well at 4k and beyond.  Continue reading