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>> services and do everything from VFX to grading to finishing. In order to offer this, I had to look at investing in color grading and DaVinci had such a great reputation and performance capabilities, we had to go with it. Resolve has lived up to our expectations and it’s working beautifully,” said Mark Wildig. Part of the Smoke & Mirrors team is Mark Horrobin, head colorist, who is a well-respected and known colorist in London and who joined Smoke & Mirrors in 2009. Since he’s been with Smoke & Mirrors, Mark has worked on a number of global advertising campaigns – including Marks & Spencer, HSBC and Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Best Restaurant’. Mark has well and truly made a name for himself at Smoke & Mirrors. He now heads up the remote grading suite, where he completed the grading for HSBC’s global advertising campaign. The campaign was filmed on location in Rio de Janeiro and follows a family’s move to Brazil and their unique experiences of integrating into new culture and society – carrying out the campaign’s core message of ‘Live Life Without Boundaries’. Fitting to the campaign’s message, the commercial was remotely graded (without boundaries) on Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve in real-time between the London and New York grading studios. Real-time grading was key for this project. It needed the ‘wow’ factor not only in the creative process but also in performance of the system to have an impression on Smoke & Mirrors’ clients. “When we did the HSBC grading, our 58 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE colorist in New York allowed me to take over his machine and grade in real-time while the director watched in the New York studio and I had the agency next to me in London. The remote grading was the one thing I thought would be a bit flaky but we haven’t had any complications with the real-time performance or using Resolve in this way - the workflow is very robust,” said Mark. DaVinci Resolve Linux supports more real time color correction than any other system by smashing the limitations of a single computer and allowing a cluster of computers with high performance GPU cards, so processing is always real time. And by using a PCI Express expansion chassis colorists can double or triple their grading performance. As the New York office was being built, Mark made sure that the grading suite was a mirror image of the London suite. This allowed the director of the HSBC commercial in New York to have the same grading experience as the advertising agency in London. This was a seamlessly easy process because of the preparation, set-up and performance provided by the Resolve’s real-time capabilities. Mark said, “We have enough bandwidth to play seven uncompressed real-time 2K streams, which is very important for us to get the most out of the Resolve’s real-time performance capabilities. We are one of the first companies to do this and we’ve replicated it in New York and London. We are the only company that can operate at that bandwidth, which is fantastic!” With both studios, the project footage is scanned into DPX files and sent directly to a server that sits at the center of Smoke & Mirror’s facilities. They use a real-time Spirit DataCine, which has the capability to scan in real-time with both DaVinci Resolves, Autodesk Flame or multiple Flames working off the system, and the files can be accessed via the server immediately from any of the grading suites; anywhere in the world. “When I was approached by Smoke & Mirrors, they wanted me to bring the grading department into the non-linear world and get the remote grading suite up and running. We chose DaVinci Resolve for these suites because it’s an very intuitive grading tool, it has more than 25 years of grading history and it’s a product that has been built by colorists, not engineers,” said Mark. Australian-born, Mark was a miner in Queensland before he moved to the UK and ‘accidentally’ found his career driving full-speed ahead into color grading. “I moved to the UK in 1994 and my first job was as a runner for a Moving Picture Company, and as my career developed I worked my way through tape operating, assisting with online editing, and moved into color grading – very strange considering I was working as a miner 17 years ago,” said Mark.