from the desk of the coo – sept 1, 2021
By now, most of you have heard my story about starting in this industry when I was just 14, but what you likely don’t know is just how very much I took it for granted.
It was a weird series of events that allowed me to spend my formative years talking through the transition from film to digital acquisition, learn the glory of a digital intermediate, and why everything ultimately rests and falls upon an editor (in my humble opinion).
Today, it’s in welcoming new folks to our team, and growing the previous new folks into their roles, that I look back at where I began and how lucky I was to wear the curiosity and absorption of youth. Moreover how fortunate we are as DFT to have a bevy of people who are simultaneously talented and humble, hard working and grateful, while contributing at a clip that most of their short tenure hardly can imagine, all while being generous to teach as they go.
And there’s some real joy – honest to God heart-swelling pride – in how our team of veterans go about mentoring these new folks. I don’t know that you really find that as much outside these walls anymore, and we’re a changing industry that I often have to stop and ask myself if we’re really walking the walk, being a part of the path forward…
I believe we are.
We had a Babe Ruth moment back in March, and I gotta tell ya, the ball *did* meet the bat. Only thing is, Babe had several fouls and two strikes before that home run cleared Wrigley… I think that happened with us as well, but in those moments just before that ball cleared for Babe, there was also a deafening and calm quiet as the ball soared through the air, ultimately passing the center field seats.
VFX is battling through a jaw-dropping litany of shots and so many more to come.
Color is ramping up so fast. You’ll hear more about the restoration and color for the Severin library, an opportunity with a name so big that I’m legally not allowed to say it, an Amazon show, and the looming excitement of TBAS coming back at a moment’s notice, a Paramount+ show, a B-52’s documentary, and so, so, so much more it would make your head spin (cuz it already does mine).
Never mind the fact that we’ve seen ridiculous numbers on The Drop. A little podcast that could, did, and does. What we’re not is marketers. What we are is a group of storytellers – and because of Jacob, Travis, and Lakan, we’re succeeding in that arena week-after-week with people reaching out left, right, and sideways to thank us for the education it provides. I can’t tell you what it means to the whole of DFT to be in a place of “original content creators.” How that sets us apart and highlights the unsung heroes that really bring people’s love affair with media to life. It’s an honor.
There are several thousand more words I could share, but to keep this long opening only a little longer, I’ll just say this:
You should be very, very proud of the work you do and how it lifts, amplifies, and empowers others. You are more than the shot you work on, the media you move, the creative choices you make in a day, or the bills, emails, and projects you move forward.
Your part in the summation of a whole is just so much more than you may ever realize. And I want you to know that we don’t need to clear the seats in Center Field of Wrigley to see or know that.
You are effing crushing it.
- NEW FACES AND TITLES AT DFT! – In order to keep up with the ever-growing cascade of new clients, new opportunities, new innovations, and new projects that define DFT’s greatest growth spurt in, well, ever, so too has DFT had to expand to meet these exciting challenges. As such, you’ll notice a few changes and new faces in the DFT fam:
- Amy has been promoted to become our new Director of Operations! If you like knowing that the work you do is properly billed and allocated back to your department so that your work and lives are made easier by further investment or expansion, you should probably go thank and how give her, cuz this is why she’s our new Dir. of Ops!
- Zachary Gasper will now be manning the front desk as both our in-house coordinator (freeing Amy up as our Ops Director) and assistant to the COO (freeing up Travis for a greater focus on business development and The Drop). Welcome, Zach!
- Dr. Erin Tobin has joined us as our Creative Services Coordinator in order to assist Avital and our VFX team with the massive influx of creative demands we receive on the daily. She’ll be sharing a bay with Carlo–go say hi!
- Jay Tello will become our newest GeoDailies Operator, as our GeoDailies team of heroes continues to encounter new and exciting hurdles on the nightly.
- Henry Santos is rejoining DFT as both a Colorist and Post Producer to help with the bevvy of color work and increasing complexities of our finishing clients. He’ll be in house soon, so say hi in the theater!
- THE DROP CONTINUES TO RISE! – The Drop @ DFT, which began as a humble attempt to combine DFT’s education-forward approach with our marketing endeavors, has boomed in its second, Ted Lasso-centric season. The response from Lasso cast, crew, and fans has been fantastic, and the audience numbers for our little show have taken us all a bit by surprise. This is far and away more than what was expected, with each download, listen, and/or view, the word about what we do here at DFT continues to drop!
- Back at it! – As this strange summer slides into fall, it’s time for all our favorite shows to return to air–which means there’s so much work to be done! Home Economics, The Conners, Chroma, and NCIS: Los Angeles all came roaring back in August (also, huge and Herculean shoutout to Greg, Erin, Tim, and Ty for the workflow setups and beta testing with Jacob on this season of NCIS: LA for a FULLY remote finishing experience!). Additionally, we expect new season release dates for Umbrella Academy and Prime Rewind: Inside the Boys any day now!
- Friendly Neighborhood Post House – Recently, we partnered up with boutique blu-ray label Severin, our neighbors on the other side of Colori, to help restore Eyes of Fire, a cult film which has long been out of print since the VHS days. It’s an archival partnership that helped rescue a film from oblivion, and it was borne entirely out of Thomas and Streeter’s efforts with online and color services that made it happen. The film will now premiere at Austin’s revered Fantastic Fest later this month, and then finally see an official HD release as part of Severin’s box set dedicated to Folk Horror.
- Well-Deserved Breaks: As the slow summer season winds down, we’re very, very grateful that Nancy, Dylan C., Erin W., Andrea, Kirkman, and Dylan F. each took some vacation time that massively, massively deserved after all the incredible (and often incredibly hard) work they do for DFT.
- A Cross-Disciplinary Team – Team GeoPost has been massively upping their already astoundingly impressive game lately. Paul is moving to the day shift! Jay is joining the team! Mike has been training with Thomas on color and will be pitching in on the Severin project! The team has also been training with Jacob and Lakan–meaning Team GeoPost has now begun helping with VFX pulls! As DFT’s workflow expands, so too does our team stretch like a safety net to make sure nothing falls by the wayside.
- HBO’s The Nevers – The world of GeoPost continues to grow as we are now providing GeoPost hosting services to HBO’s The Nevers, a wild sci-fi series that’s kinda like an all-female X-Men adult drama set in Victorian-era London (I promise that makes sense).
- Our Flag Means Death – While on the subject of cool HBO shows, Team Cinecode has been killing it on OFMD! Those wild pirates brought more sets to our shores and asked us to optimize them (pirate ships and drinking holes, ahoy!). And in news that will shock no one who has worked with them, the dynamic duo of Dylan and Andrea completed the task much, much sooner than HBO expected. Congrats and thank you, Team Cinecode!
- Arri’s Adventures In Game Engine-land – Another shout-out, this time to Kourosh! After Arri gave us access to the 3D files that they use to manufacture cameras, Kourosh imported those 3D models into the game engine. As such, the current Unreal cinecamera is being surfaced by the Arri 65 model, which will be beneficial once we further develop it–it will have the physical weight of the camera in the game engine, have the same camera components, and will create more accuracy for Previs. This is an awesome development for our virtual production branch.
- Roy Kent, Roy Kent – He’s Here, He’s There, He’s Every-Effing-Where, Roy Kent! Andrea kept the conversation going about whether or not Brett Goldstein is really that pretty or if he’s VFX. Check out this animation she turned around for Team Lasso!
- Asset Panda – Soon DFT will begin implementing Asset Panda, a platform that will allow us to accurately log and track all DFT equipment (such as workstations, monitors, furniture, drives, software licenses, card readers, remote systems, etc) as well as the building locations, clients, projects, or employees to whom they are associated! As with our finances and team structuring, it’s all part of the overall plan to ensure that DFT is a sleek and humming machine as it cruises into its busiest and most fruitful era ever. QR Codes will be hitting your machines soon!
- The Hiring Continues! – Even though the DFT fam has expanded significantly this month, we’re still looking for more Avengers to join our team. Currently. We’re on the lookout for a Game Engine Developer, and a Creative Editor (on a contractual basis). If you know someone who might be interested, send them our way! You can direct them to send resumes and reels to firstname.lastname@example.org.