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Ascent US standardises on da Vinci

15 September 2006

Ascent Media Creative Services’ North American operations – which encompasses such leading US post houses as Company 3, Riot, and Encore – announced that it has decided to standardise on da Vinci colour grading tools for all of its facilities, writes Carolyn Giardina.

The colour grading space is a highly competitive one, with a lot of new systems vying to reach a critical mass in a relatively small market. Representing a significant piece of that market, Ascent’s move sent shudders through all of da Vinci’s competitors. All Ascent facilities – representing approximately 30 seats – will use either da Vinci 2K Plus or Resolve colour grading technologies.

These will be used for DI feature work, as well as television work including series and commercials. To start, this initiative will include the addition of five new Resolve systems, reported Ascent Media Creative Services president Bob Solomon.

Ascent had been working with da Vinci over the past couple of years, testing and refining the company’s colour grading technologies. “Da Vinci is a wonderful partner in co-developing technology with a feature set that meets our needs,” said Ascent Media Creative Services CTO, Phil Mendelson.

Speed was a key consideration in the process. “We need realtime playback,” explained Solomon. “We are used to client supervised sessions; our clients have expectations that [new digital/data-based technology] would offer the same as in a video-based world.”

Mendelson added that operational familiarity for the colourists was also of prime importance.?Recent projects at Ascent include the DI for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’ graded by Company 3 president/colourist, Stefan Sonnenfeld.

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