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Grading across The Atlantic with Mark Horrobin, Head Colorist, Smoke & Mirrors I n the last five years, color correction has made leaps and bounds in terms of the way we grade, the performance capabilities of grading systems and even the locations where we grade. Only a few years ago, color correction suites were isolated rooms that were nearly impossible to connect to other offices or artists. But the color world has changed and geography no longer has to separate color artists from their clients. For international brand owners and ad campaigns, this new color workflow is allowing real-time editing and a near 24X7 creative workflow. HSBC, one of the largest banking 56 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE and financial services organisations in the world, is one of the first to turn around a campaign that was color corrected between New York and London when HSBC’s ad agency, JWT, approached Smoke & Mirrors to govern the look and feel of their new global campaign. The campaign was remotely graded in London, England while the creative director conveniently watched the grading process from a comfy cinema seat at Smoke & Mirrors’ New York office, all in real-time. Smoke & Mirrors is based in Soho, London, which is the creative Mecca for some of the UK’s best in vfx, 3D and color grading. So it takes a lot to stand out from the elite. Smoke & Mirrors has been climbing it’s way to the top for the past 15 years and stepped up its game with their recent investment in high-end grading suites, the recent opening of their Shanghai office and a state-of-the art remote grading facility connecting its New York and London office, which makes this post-house a gem. Mark Wildig, one of the four founders of Smoke & Mirrors, started the operation in a shed in Covent Garden, London 15 years ago. He began the company as a VFX post-production house and in 2005 they acquired Red post-productions, which allowed the business to naturally grow into a full post-production facility, branching out to color grading with DaVinci Resolve, using the Resolve Control Surface. “Before we acquired Red Productions, we were a post production company focusing on special effects, so we wanted to expand our >>