tv-bay questions


Name & Title?
Eugene McCrystal, owner of EMC Post Production in Dublin
Who are you? (about yourself and who you work for)?
I have been working in the broadcast and film industry for over 20 years. I started my career as an engineer with Carlton Television but quickly transitioned within Carlton to online editor. In 2004, I co-founded EGG Post Production, which became the one of the first facilities in Ireland to offer high end finishing based around Apple’s Final Cut Pro. From there, I went out on my own in 2009 with the goal of offering a more personalised, technology-driven service tailored to individual clients.
What do you do? What does your company do?
EMC Post Production is a small post-production facility based in Dublin specialising in finishing, but has offline cutting rooms using FCP and Avid. Finishing is based around Adobe, DaVinci and Final Cut Pro. All the colour grading was carried out using Apple Color until the purchase of DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci’s control surface in October 2010.
What have you worked on and with up to your current position?
So far DaVinci Resolve has been used on all sorts of projects, ranging from Six Nations Rugby inserts for BBC Sport, the ‘Other Voices’ music series for RT, long form documentaries like ‘Charles Byrne - The Irish Giant’ for BBC, ‘JFK - A Homecoming’ for RT, ‘Fit Finlays’ for Setanta Sports, numerous TV commercials/promos and short films such as Cathy Brady’s awarding-winning student film ‘ Small Change’.
What specific project(s) do you have in the works?
The current feature film I am working on is called ‘Citadel’ - an Irish - Blinder Films / UK - Sigma Films co-production starring Aneurin Barnard (‘Owl Creek Bridge’) and James Cosmo (‘Braveheart’). The project is the debut feature from writer/director Ciarn Foy and was shot in Glasgow and Dublin. It is a big project with over100 vfx shots.
Another feature film in the pipeline, which is currently in production, is called ‘Silence’. Eoghan, an Irish man living in Germany is set an unusual task. He must return to Ireland and record silence - as it may have existed before man’s impact on the landscape. As Eoghan searches for silence, his encounters with the people he meets force Eoghan to open up to his past… and his future.
It is a very atmospheric film, so Pat Collins, the director, has opted for the RED camera with Lomo anamorphic lenses.
What new technology are you working with?
DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Control Surface investment has been major boost to our facility. We had a lot of help from the guys at Jigsaw Systems, who helped us create a bespoke set-up for our needs and provide a powerhouse of a DaVinci system. With the ability to handle every format under the sun with ease, it has made our workflow so much more efficient. If a RED job comes in. simply point it at the file, hit play and it plays! Also, to work in real-time all the time is a joy. The panel is not only impressive-looking but also amazingly efficient. You can tell that some of the best colourists in the world had a hand in its design, with the use of the mouse a rarity.
What new products/technology are you looking forward to the most?
Looking to the future I have a 3D stereoscopic project in the pipeline, which is going to be a lot of fun and with the new version of Final Cut Pro on the way, 4K finishing may be a realistic and affordable option.
During your career in post what was the biggest “turning point” into new technology?
Blackmagic Design have been a major contributor to post-production over the years. They facilitated my bravest decision to date - the decision, when we first set up EGG in 2004, to break the mould and go with Apple’s Final Cut Pro instead of Avid. The Decklink cards put the Pro into Final Cut. Without I/O it was not going to be practical. The Decklink price point at the time was groundbreaking, and I approached Grant Petty at NAB that year and thanked him for enabling three lads with not a lot of money to set up a facility that could work at the highest possible resolution and take on the big guys. Now with DaVinci Resolve they are at it again.
What is your favourite / least favourite things about working in post?
Post-production never really gets boring because the technology is constantly changing. The changes in camera formats alone over the last eight years have made life interesting - but technology investment decisions are getting harder. The search for new solutions is a daily challenge but probably my favourite part of the job.

Tags: iss053 | emc post production | davinci resolve | blackmagic | finishing | fcp | avid | adobe | DaVinci Control Surface investment | jigsaw systems | decklink | colourist | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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