In this article, Tim Wilson talks with da Vinci user Ron Anderson in his Part Three look at Blackmagic Design's acquisition of da Vinci Systems. Ron Anderson’s relationship with da Vinci has also taken places over several decades, starting as a customer, and evolving into demo artistry even while he continues working with da Vinci systems at Atlanta’s Cinefilm.
RON ANDERSON: Atlanta's Cinefilm, da Vinci users since 1986
One of da Vinci’s historic strengths has been its service, the best I’ve received from any company, ever. There was someone available 24 hours. The other big one is that everything you need to do creatively, they’ve been at the forefront of developing the kinds of creative tools for colorists that have helped us evolve as artists, helping us be more flexible for the kinds of things we can do.
On top of that, everything was in real time. They have so much hardware behind their software that any effect you want to do, no matter how many layers, it was in real time.
RON ANDERSON AT THE CONTROLS OF THE DA VINCI:
While Ron has started to play more with Apple Color, and is blown away that he can work in 4K at home, he continues to work with da Vinci systems in his “day job," where they use the da Vinci for all film projects, including 4:4:4 dual link transfers for DI. "We found some software called Virtual VTR, normally used for Foley work," he said. "We interfaced the Da Vinci 2K with that, in order to be able to color correct from a RAID array."
As we’re working with more files, like the ones from the RED Camera, we’re doing more with the digital file system called Resolve. There has been quite a premium placed on that kind of real-time performance, so it will be very interesting to see how Blackmagic’s approach will fit in with that.
He is especially hopeful to see better integrate with Final Cut Pro. I’ve been banging on them for years for this, and they’ve always replied, Nah, we’re not working on that. My first hope will be to bring in FCP projects via XML to Resolve. Eventually, I’d like to see something more elegant, but this has been a real shortcoming so far. I hope that Blackmagic will be able to energize this.
WALTER BISCARDI AND RON ANDERSON IN THE STUDIO:
Da Vinci has always had their ears open, and customers have been very active in helping design the gear. It has been very exciting to see all of this come into life. I haven’t seen anything like it from other companies, but I certainly have very expectations for Blackmagic, and how the two companies can make some interesting things happen.
While we all wait for the specifics to emerge, there is no doubt that things will be very interesting indeed, for a very long time ahead of us.
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