[tig] End of (yet another) era

Harding, Rick Rick.Harding
Thu Mar 18 02:17:01 GMT 2004

Craig:  I still think you could make a killing with Mother Risebury's

Indeed a sad day.  The HD Center was definitely an "E" ticket ride back in
the early days.  Lots of hair raising times that I wouldn't trade for
anything. Talk about flying by the seat of your pants. 

In 1993 Snell & Wilcox debuted their prototype HD down converter (525 only)
at SMPTE.  I remember the moment of revelation when I realized this little
box could transform our science project into a viable business.  Getting the
idea funded was a trick, since there was NO HD market at the time, and
EVERYTHING HD was over-the-top expensive.  But providence was with us (in
spite of clock noise issues in the prototype) and we established the first
HD to D1 mastering workflow.  The rest is history. 

Craig mentioned Lou, Ron, Dave, and myself, but lets not forget Mike Sowa.
Mike took the night shift in late 94. He was a major part of the earlier
success of the center.  Also, lets not overlook the brave souls that took a
risk by mastering at the center when their management said "you want to
master in what?"  Garret Smith, Marty Cohen, Evan Edelist, Gray Ainsworth,
and  Barry Clark, just to name a few.  These are the real pioneers.  Without
their willingness to take risks, and venture where no right thinking studio
exec had gone before, where would we be today?  

Sadly, all things inevitably come to an end, but the legacy lives on.  I'm
proud to have been a member of the fraternity that made it all happen, and
proud of the trails we blazed in those early days of HD. 

Rick Harding (now happily breaking new ground in RGB)

-----Original Message-----
From: tig-admin at tig.colorist.org [mailto:tig-admin at tig.colorist.org]On
Behalf Of Craig Risebury
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 12:07 PM
Subject: Re: [tig] End of (yet another) era

thanks to Hans Lehman for supporting the TIG.

Hi David and Dick
It certainly is the end of era.  Those first days of
Cintel involvement with the HD Center for me were some
of the best I have add.  Working with the initial team
at the HD Center was like working with a dream team,
Lou Levinson, Rick Harding, Dave Schenuelle and the
great Ron Martin.  Ron back then and still does have a
great understanding for technology and the
frustrations of a manufacturer in getting things to
work 6000 miles away from home base.
At that time the guys at the HD Center measured HD
Image signal to noise in feet not db's.  Dave
Schenuelle started the concept and we started at a
distance of 5 feet away from the monitor and then
after a few upgrades we ended up being around 10
inches away.
The HD Center certainly pioneered the HD Mastering
Techniques which I have to say inspired many other
facilities into doing the same.
Other things that come to mind are Rick Harding trying
to convince me to leave engineering and move to LA and
start Mother Risebury's Cookie Company and the day I
nearly burnt down the room was also exciting, its a
good idea to read the label on the bottle next to
soldering iron to make sure its water and not
alcohol.  Finally inventing receipts for my expenses
which I submitted to my boss Peter Swinson, now that
was a trick ;-)
I've now moved on to other new and exciting
technologies with FilmLight and I'm still in sunny LA.
Good luck to all you guys at the HD Center I hope to
see you around and work with you all again.

Dick Hobbs <dick at hobbsonline.tv> wrote:
thanks to Hans Lehman for supporting the TIG.

Sad news indeed that the HD Center at Universal is to
close. As David said,
it set out to be the best, and it started doing it
long before anyone else
dared try.

It was born out of an idea to do digital cinema long
before anyone ever
thought of that name. Back in the far off days of more
than a decade ago The
Rank Organisation still owned Cintel and Brimar. As
well as making the best
telecines around at the time, they also had exclusive
rights to the highly
secret development at TI, the digital micromirror
device. The idea was to
provide both ends of the digital cinema chain, the
scanner and the
projector, and use the emerging HD standard to link
them up.

Can I endorse David's acclaim of Ron Martin as the
hero of the hour (and one
of the nicest blokes in the business) but can I also
offer a word for an
unsung hero. Craig Risebury, then of Cintel, went a
long way beyond the call
of duty nursing the Mk III HD the centre started with,
and got some
excellent pictures out of what was really quite
creaking technology. The
fact that he got to move from Ware to Los Angeles was,
I am sure, just a
small part of the motivation.



Dick Hobbs
Freelance writer and consultant on television and film
+44 1435 830988
dick at hobbsonline.tv

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