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Video Lab Johannesburg Adds Colorist and luster 2.5

The Video Lab Johannesburg has two announcements: not only has renowned international colorist Catherine Pantazopoulos joined the group, but they have secured the latest in grading wizardry: Discreets lustre 2.5, the only one in South Africa.

Joining luminaries such as Pixar Animation Studios and Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Video Lab plans to have the lustre up and running by mid-October in a custom, designed, world-class grading room.

Used to grade THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, the lustre offers a huge range of never-before-seen technology. Some highlights include:

* The only grading system in the country that works off disc, uncompressed.* Grading off disc, you can grade in context or sequence.* Grade any format Pal, to NTSC, HD, 2K or 4K.* Cinema clients, you start at a higher resolution and then down res it Clients approve the grade on the lustre, which is then shot out on the Kodak Lightning Recorder.* The lustre colors in a third of the time of any other machine. A vital issue on long form projects making The Video Lab more competitive internationally.* The lustre can create hand drawn shapes (vector shapes) with tracking devices.* The dust-busting tool is another appealing feature: the lustre automatically checks and corrects the frames no need to book a separate machine to fix that sparkle.* Defocus and bleach bypass effects are two of the many additional tools that will be constantly upgraded and evolved.* The lustre is also the only grading system to work in logarithmic color space, i.e. the other systems work in linear color, which is difficult to translate back into film.* While the colorist is grading, an effects artist can pull a shot, work on it and give it back without interrupting each other.* If there are changes to the edit, the lustre will automatically upgrade and correct everything after that.

The flow is fast, said Pantazopoulos, and you can integrate so much with the Discreet and 3D artists. Its a very powerful film management tool.

Brett Manson, an inferno artist at The Video Lab, who has been involved in the development of the Digital Intermediate (DI) process at The Video Lab, will be working on the lustre with Pantazopoulos, combining their talents. Manson has five DIs on his credit list.

Senior engineer, Gerhard Roets, who has extensive experience with Discreet products, is also thrilled to see the lustre added to The Video Labs range of top-end equipment, We chose the lustre not only for all the obvious unique benefits, but because it integrates well with all the other Discreet machines: our flames, infernos, etc it completes the circle.

Meanwhile, Pantazopoulos, has decided to spend the next three years in South Africa, working as part of The Video Lab Johannesburg team. Canadian born Pantazopoulos, has spent a substantial part of her career in the international post-production environment and has an in-depth understanding of the industry. In addition, she will be sharing her knowledge and expertise through a series of lectures at AFDA.

Pantazopoulos is no stranger to The Video Lab, where she did a stint of training and consulting in 2001. She has worked all around the world, including: New York (where she consulted at Post Perfect and assisted Steve Hendricks to set up CCA), Beijing China (here she did some demo work for the InterBee Broadcast show, this included spirit, shadow, workflows and training), as well as at Shooters Post in Philadelphia (which saw her being involved in the AAF conference for Metadata standards and industry input). It was here that she also did researching and training for the Digital Intermediate processes in all major facilities, workflows and new equipment.

More recently, Pantazopoulos returned home to Toronto where she spent time at Video Design Research. She then moved onto London, where she did testing and input of new HD equipment for the Ricki and Luci HD mastering system.

Before moving to Johannesburg, Pantazopoulos consulted and set up with Aaton, Paris and da Vinci (telecine/audio digital link up and new suite). Every year she demos at international broadcast shows and has also been involved in training, R&D and product development between 2001 and 2003.

I have had the unique opportunity of working on both sides of this business (i.e. production / organizational aspects and post-production), Pantazopoulos said. This means that I have a comprehensive knowledge of the total processes from data, film to video, to delivery of a quality final product. Understanding and having experienced budget, crew, production and post requirements gives me a considerable advantage when dealing with clients, whether they be local or international To be educated and cultured in the subtleties of communication and the art of pictures, seeing and interpreting from as many strategic geographical locations around the globe, has been a focus of mine.

Established in 1982, in South Africa, the Video Lab ( is a premier post-production facility. The Video Lab offers sophisticated film vfx and animation, through the postproduction process utilizing the most advanced film scanning, film recording, vfx tools and digital audio technology available. They specialize in TV and theatrical commercials, feature films, made for TV movies, series and documentaries.