American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K3

SPOTLIGHT ON
Acmeworks
When animation studios
began moving from traditional
ink and paint to digital ink and
paint in the late 1990s, Steve
Hagel was manager of sales and
marketing for Chromacolour
North America, Ltd., a major
supplier of equipment and
materials to the animation
industry. The physical
production of animation was
changing, but that didn't
necessarily spell gloom and
doom. In fact, he saw a new
business opportunity.
"Big animation studios still
had a fi lm archiving policy, so
they needed to get from digital
back to fi lm. But fi lm recording
was very expensive and not
sustainable on a large scale,"
he points out. "So there was
an opportunity to develop a
cost-effective fi lm recording
process aimed at archiving
television animation."
Hagel launched
Calgary-based Acmeworks
Digital Film in 1998 with the
Cartoon Network series,
Courage the Cowardly Dog, as
the fi rst client for its editorial
and fi lm recording services.
Acmeworks received highresolution
data fi les from the
animation studios and a digital
betacam master with which to
perform a matchback that was
then fi lmed out for archiving.
Warner Bros. Animation,
Universal Cartoon Studio,
Stretch Films, Curious Pictures
and Walt Disney TV Animation
quickly joined the client roster.
For 15 years, Acmeworks
sent their fi lm processing to
fi lm labs, fi rst in Edmonton
then Vancouver. "When Deluxe
Vancouver closed we became
a customer of Deluxe in Los
Angeles," Hagel says. Then he
saw another opportunity - one
that appeared to reverse an
industry trend.
"Almost three years ago we
made the decision to pursue
setting up our own lab," he
says. "We felt the trend of large
labs closing was a threat to
our business and felt the only
way forward was to set up our
own lab to service our clients
and others who might naturally
evolve."
Hagel notes that Acmeworks
hadn't seen any drop-off in
fi lm as an archiving medium
among their clients, and he
fi rmly believes that fi lm still
has a role in moving image
content whether for capture or
preservation. So Acmeworks
forged ahead with plans and
opened its lab about a year ago.
"I think you're going to
see a re-emergence of small
boutique labs," Hagel predicts.
"A number of people in western
Canada and the western U.S.
are looking for lab services,
and schools still use 16mm
and 35mm in the educational
process."
Although all studios are
experimenting with digital
archiving, it's a complex and
expensive process, he notes. He
sees a "hybrid" model taking
hold where "studios use fi lm
for deep archiving but keep
digital versions of content
handy for day-to-day needs and
distribution."
Acmeworks has always
relied on Kodak for its fi lm
stock and chemistry, and
more recently, the company's
hands-on lab expertise. "Kodak
was very supportive and
helpful in getting our lab up and
running," Hagel reports. "Kodak
representatives visited us to
help set up the lab and train our
personnel."
The lab is appointed with
equipment from Treise, Bell
& Howell and Lipsner Smith,
and technology from ARRI,
FilmLight and Digital Vision.
The processor is capable
of both 16mm and 35mm
negative and interpositive
stock. "It is currently running an
ECN-2 color process, however
we have capabilities for the
(KODAK Panchromatic) 2238
Separation Film if the right
circumstances presented
themselves," Hagel adds. The
lab produces approximately
25,000 feet of material a day.
Vancouver-based dailies
color timer Ed Dobbs, an
industry veteran with more than
40 years experience, supervises
the Acmeworks fi lm lab two
weeks a month. He's sharing
his knowledge with "dedicated
young fi lmmaker, Caylen
Linstead," who's learning the
craft as Dobbs's apprentice and
preserving anything that's not a
moving image.
"Ensuring the long-term
security of key documents
is a fundamental issue," he
explains. "Medical, fi nancial
and legislative sectors all
need to archive documents.
The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers recently completed
a major archiving project with
DIGINEG, which included
transferring digital photographs,
maps, medical imagery and
PDF documents to fi lm for
long-term preservation."
Hagel takes pride in
Acmeworks' fl exibility. "With
the advent of remastering and
restoring television content
for HD, UHD and beyond,
Acmeworks has built upon
our 15 years of experience to
running the lab the rest of the
time, Hagel says.
Acmeworks' lab also
provides solutions for
live-action television
programming, such as the
iconic sitcom Perfect Strangers,
as well as animation. And
recognizing opportunities
outside the entertainment
industry, Hagel has opened
DIGINEG to transfer digital,
CD-ROM and video material
to motion picture fi lm -
provide those assets with a
new life without the need to
physically alter the OCN and
with our lab providing new fi lm
and/or digital assets to our
clients.
"We believe that fi lm
defi nitely has a bright future as
a preservation and archiving
medium inside and outside the
entertainment industry," he
concludes.
Photos: Top: Acmeworks President Steve
Hagel; Bottom: (L-R) Caylen Linstead gets
trained by veteran Ed Dobbs.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - January 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - Intro
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 9
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 10
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 11
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 12
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 13
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 14
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 15
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 16
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 17
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 18
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 19
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 20
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 21
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 22
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 23
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 24
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 25
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 26
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 27
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 29
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 30
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 31
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 32
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 33
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 34
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 35
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 36
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 37
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 38
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 39
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 40
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 41
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 42
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 43
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 44
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 45
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 46
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 47
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 48
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K1
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K2
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K3
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K4
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K5
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K6
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K7
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K8
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K9
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K10
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K11
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - K12
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 49
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 50
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 51
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 52
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 53
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 54
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 55
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 56
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 57
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 58
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 59
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 60
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 61
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 62
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 63
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 64
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 65
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 66
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 67
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 68
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 69
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 70
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 71
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 72
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 73
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 74
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 75
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 76
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 77
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 78
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 79
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 80
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 81
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 82
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 83
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 84
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 85
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 86
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 87
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 88
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 89
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 90
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 91
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 92
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 93
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 94
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 95
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - 96
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - January 2015 - Cover4
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