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Los Angeles, California

Thai Post House

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Thailand’s largest post house, Bangkok-based Oriental Post, has set up a $1 million DI color grading theater, said to be the first such facility in Southeast Asia. It aims to serve the burgeoning DI market both domestically and regionally.Equipment in the theater includes a da Vinci Resolve 2K real-time color corrector on V3 software, a Sony SRXR 4K projector, a 17-foot screen, plus a host of CG and compositing software, including Autodesk Flame and Inferno. One of the most important components is Oriental Post’s 3D monitor look-up tables (LUTs).The technology, developed in-house, allows colorists to achieve an even closer representation of images on the projector than those on the film output shown in cinemas. “With LUTs, no proxy will be used and clients will be able to view 2K images in real-time,” said John Galvin, director of postproduction at Oriental Post.The DI theatre has the flexibility of projecting different cinema formats, including 1:85 2:35 ratio. While the main purpose of the theatre is for color correction, it will also be used to preview CG output and final masters. And in keeping with the latest Hollywood trend, it will allow clients to view telecine one-light HD 24P rushes after shooting.In the late ’90s, Thailand, like many Asian countries, underwent a financial meltdown and took some years to emerge from the crisis—which saw budgets tightened and investment plans being put on hold.Yet, Oriental Post, under the leadership of its president, Bobbie Wong, continued putting resources towards building its facility. The investment in the DI theater raised a few eyebrows.“DI is the next step to move forward and a natural progression for us,” said Galvin. “The DI Color Grading Theatre is a crucial element in an ideal DI process. We are pushing forward to do even higher-quality work, and with more precision in the style of finishing.”For a long time Oriental Post used Sony’s BVM-D32 monitor, which, while provided good results, did not offer the same big-screen feel when viewing film output. This has changed with the addition of Sony’s large-screen 4K machine, which shows elements as they will appear in a theater.“We are providing the best viewing environment that will allow us to achieve color precision once and for all for all projects,” explained Galvin. “It is practical and efficient and we can now provide it.”Up until now, about 20 percent of Oriental Post’s DI work has come from the domestic market, with the rest made up of regional jobs. A total of 16 feature films involving DI work were finished at the facility last year, compared to its regional competitors, which posted an average of two feature films a year, said Galvin. The expenditure also makes sense when viewed in the context of synergies between Oriental Post and its sister company, Kantana Film Labs, located next door. The two facilities are working closely to produce high-quality film output on the ARRI recorder, as well as to offer a one-stop shop DI service facility. The latter is good news for cost-conscious overseas clients that seek high-end postproduction facilities and services that offer LA-quality finish.International markets, said Galvin, are seeing the cost benefits of doing high-quality DI post in Bangkok, especially when local hotels and other services also offer reasonable rates that justify taking jobs there.

Written by Patricia Lee

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