Friday, December 08, 2006


I've had a busy few weeks (which is good!) but I've had a few small run-ins with customers.

  • I had to go and investigate a suite where all the laybacks (to BetaSP!) had visual disturbances. The issue had supposedly only started after we'd changed the video i/o card in a workstation. When I got to look at some of the tapes it was clear that the fault was either RF or tape damage. When I parked the deck on the offending frames and opened the tape you could see the scratch running the length of the lower edge. If memory serves it is TG2 and TG5 that guide the lower edge of an SP tape and so clearly the fault with mechanical and definitely located in the record VTR. I showed this to the editor who was adamant that it couldn't be the case and that it was us having done something when we fitted the new video i/o card - ¨Coincidence, I think not¨!
    His colleague realised the silliness of his position and apologised, but because I wasn't willing to back down I left under a bit of a cloud.

  • Colour balancing monitors - I got booked to go and calibrate a monitor for a grading session that was about to start. When I got there (colour probe in hand) I found an industrial JVC display - NTSC-phosphored tube and no tweaks on the outside. I explained this to the editor and left. The next day they called to say how unprofessional I'd been and why hadn't I set up the monitor. Well - as a freebie - I'd set the black and white levels but they wouldn't accept that the display was un-calibrat'able (made up word). Why people believe they can make a £1,500 monitor look like an £11k grading display is beyond me. Also - did they think I was lying or stupid (it must have been one or the other).
I'm wondering if other industries have such huge egos? Someone knows they're wrong, the person they're shouting at knows they're wrong, they know that the person they're shouting at knows they're wrong BUT to smile, apologise and walk away with everyone's dignity intact ain't an option.......


Anonymous said...

Anyone that masters to Beta SP in 2006 deserves all they get :-)

Phil Crawley said...

I suppose - but these folks are an offline house and if you want to provide your online guy with a timecode accurate version for review/approval then SP is an economical format that still looks better than DV.

Rupert said...

Philly, you is the man.