Meet the experts: Jamie Allan

Meet the experts: Jamie Allan

We found Jamie Allan running a multimedia business providing live event AV services, live video mixing and projection, photography, concert DVD production and documentary work. With such a varied skillset, he quickly made himself indispensable and has spent the last 11 years helping Jigsaw24 customers navigate the pitfalls of facility design, post workflows and DaVinci Resolve systems. 

Working from the ground up 

“One of the things I specialise in at Jigsaw24 is complete facility design. If you’re looking at a greenfield site, or starting a new facility or department, I can look at your business requirements and projections, take an imprint of your existing business plan and your clients’ expectations, and make sure the facility you design and implement gives you all the tools you need to deliver on those requirements now and go beyond them in the future. I’m also talking to people about zero-footprint expansion, so they can move big, heavy kit into datacentres rather than paying higher rents on it in London, and expand their facilities without having to increase the amount of kit they keep in the building.”

Growing with our customers

“It’s been great to see companies grow over the years – companies like Timeline, who we’ve worked with as they’ve grown from a small team to running BT Sport, and Goldcrest, whose move into feature film post-production was a big thing for Soho and for us. Working with customers over a number of years and helping them grow is the most interesting part of my job.”

The many faces of DaVinci Resolve

“We were the first ever reseller in the UK to supply DaVinci Resolve and Revival back in 2010, and following its development with all the major facilities that use it, like Company 3, Goldcrest and Smoke and Mirrors, is something I’ve worked on consistently over the years, and I’m very proud of our work with Resolve. The application itself is much broader now than it was in version six, and people want to talk about it from different angles. We can help you understand how it will work best with your company, not just how it would work for a major film or post-production facility. Whereas other systems are pitched solely at the high end, Resolve is so scalable now that you need a consultant who understands how it scales and how it will work best for you.”

HDR (almost) demystified

“A hot topic at the moment is the delivery of HDR and 4K content to the new kids on the block, Amazon and Netflix. Traditional broadcasters are catching up and starting to ask for the same things for their OTT platforms, and the complexity of HDR deliverables is something that a lot of our customers are talking about, especially as things are set to get more complex before they’re finally standardised. We’re helping people to adjust their colour grading workflows, monitor calibrations and colour pipeline design to accommodate the deliverables.”

Inspiring the next generation of media pros

“I really enjoy helping our clients in Higher Education bring through the next generation of people into our industry, it’s something that has always really excited me. Helping the major media universities take our knowledge and put it into their courses and their infrastructure is really satisfying – the best thing is when you meet people who have gone through a course that you helped with, or used kit that you designed and put in.”

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

A recap of our Evening with Neil Davidge event

A recap of our Evening with Neil Davidge event

We recently welcomed producer and composer Neil Davidge to our Soho service and customer experience centre for an exclusive talk about his long and varied career. Neil, best known for his work with Massive Attack, went into detail about the band’s classic album Mezzanine, his past film, TV and video game projects (including Clash of the Titans, Trouble the Water and Halo 4), his experiences using Pro Tools (since 1994!), and his current film and audio album project, Slo Light. We’ve included a brief recap of some of the topics below… 

Beginning with his musical background, Neil first talked about how he came from a musical family, his influences and his early studio equipment (going from 8 track to 16 track), and learning the gear. He also touched on working with lots of different artists around Bristol, doing remixes, editing and helping people produce.

“Initially I just wanted to be making music as much as I could, then you get to a point where you need to pay the bills,” Neil said. “Then you wake up one morning and your girlfriend says ‘I’m pregnant’, and you realise the responsibility’s on you. So for quite some time I got stuck into doing pop production, and would constantly be trying to find the emotional centre of this pop song, listening to the lyrics and talking to the singer. But they just want the song to be as catchy and loud as possible, so I was constantly disappointed at how deep I could actually go.”

NeilDavidge

Producing Massive Attack – Mezzanine

That depth Neil was looking for may have come after meeting Massive Attack’s Robert “3D” Del Naja; Neil explained how he met 3D and started working with Massive Attack. “I got a phone call saying ‘Hey, do you fancy working on an album with us?’. Initially, they just needed someone to help them record and get some ideas down. I was thinking it was going to be three weeks’ work, three months’ work, and it ended up being three years’ work!”

But while working on Mezzanine, Neil wasn’t really thinking about just how special the album would become. “There were moments when I did something and thought, ‘Yeah, that’s great’, but it’s always very much in the moment when you feel that, and then the next day you listen to it and it doesn’t really have the same connection. But then you listen to it another three months later and realise that actually it was really good. That’s the bizarre thing about creativity, it all depends on your state of mind. It was very much the same with 3D – he’d come into the studio one day, we’d listen to the sketches we’d been working on and then think that everything was rubbish and we had to start again. At one point, we recorded ten hours of music over the course of two weeks, spent six months working on it, trying to make it into an album, then ended up throwing it all away and starting from scratch!”

Neil then touched on the technical side of producing Mezzanine, the different systems and platforms used, and the changes in his creative process. “I started on the Atari ST because that had been my setup, but I was plonked in Massive Attack’s new studio and they had this Mac with Cubase Audio sat there. I didn’t really want to touch it, but as it started to appear that it was going to take a lot longer than three months, I thought I’d dive in. I felt really unlocked by the ability to record stuff then cut it around and turn it into something completely different. It was quite a revolution as I’d always felt quite frustrated in the studio working straight to tape – having Cubase Audio was like ‘Oh my God, I can completely change this performance’.”

Working in TV, film and games

Following his work with Massive Attack, Neil then began scoring and composing, working in TV and film: “After Mezzanine was released, I couldn’t watch a film or TV show without hearing a track from the album – or something that sounded eerily like it! I always felt an affinity with film and TV anyway, I’m very visually-led anyway. Emotions and colours and smells are what music is to me, so the idea of doing film and TV scores seemed obvious.”

Neil also composed for Halo 4, one of the biggest selling games series of all time. “I did find [Halo] quite challenging, I don’t know how composers score for games and make it really connect with an audience,” Neil said. “You have to just have a really good team, and everyone on the same page. I’d be writing a piece of music to four lines and a few pictures that would make the audience know the person just from the piece of music. If I sit there and read a script for a TV series and think it’s quite humorous but really dark at the same time, I can start imagining this sound world, with these cavernous drums and crazy jazz and electronic driving stuff. Then I see the rushes and think it’s a different show!

“With games, it’s even more so, as everyone has their own impression and it’s not until the final moment when everything comes together that you really know what it is. For Halo, I was involved for a long time, but some of the guys were working for a big period before I came on, and a big period after I left and handed all the music over, by which point it had turned into something different. If I did it again, I think I would want to be involved right from the beginning and see it right to the very end, because I’m trying to communicate something for an audience so they get an experience and understanding of the characters when they play the game or watch the TV show.”

Neil then went on to talk about working in Avid Pro Tools, before a Q&A session with the attendees. “Just getting in [Pro Tools], editing audio around and tuning things is a massive thing for me. These days, I’m working a lot in TV, and I build what I call these ‘spotting sessions’, where I have the whole episode and I’ll be cutting together various sketches and overlaying them very much like a music editor would, building up a collage of a score. But I’ll also be writing in that same session, putting strings in and some extra beats, mixing and matching with various bounces, time stretching and pitching bounces around. Essentially I can spend maybe four days working on an episode, throwing in fresh ideas, and after that I can have written 40 minutes of music. It’s a really nice way of working, it’s been developing over a long period of time, and I feel like it keeps getting fresher, and I keep blurring the lines between writing and editing and mixing.”

– Missed our Evening with Neil Davidge event? Be sure to keep an eye out for all our upcoming events over at our Events page.

Jigsaw24 Events

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Blackmagic Design release new DaVinci Resolve Micro and Mini Panels

Blackmagic Design release new DaVinci Resolve Micro and Mini Panels

After many years of speculation and requests, Blackmagic Design have released not one but two more incredible control surfaces for DaVinci Resolve. The Micro and Mini will help improve users’ control and speed with Resolve in many different grading and editing environments.

The Micro

The DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel is a high quality, portable, low profile panel that features three high resolution trackballs and 12 precision machined control knobs for accessing all essential primary colour correction tools. Above the centre trackball are keys for switching between log and offset colour correction, as well as a key to display DaVinci Resolve’s full screen viewer, which is great for use with laptops. 18 dedicated keys on the right side also give you access to the most commonly used grading features and playback controls.

The DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel is perfect for independent editors and colourists that need a truly portable solution – great on set to create looks and evaluate colour and lighting, ideal for quickly grading video in broadcast trucks, great for education, and much more!

DaVinci Resolve Micro on Jigsaw24

Order the DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel now

The Mini

The DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel is a compact panel that’s packed with a massive combination of features and controls. Like the Micro Panel, you get three professional trackballs along with a variety of buttons for switching tools, adding color correctors and navigating your node tree. It also features two colour LCD screens that display menus, controls and parameter settings for the selected tool, along with direct access buttons that let you go direct to the menus for specific DaVinci features.

The DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel is ideal for editors and colourists that need to regularly switch between editing and colour grading, or for freelance colourists that need to take their panel with them when moving between facilities. The mini panel is also great for colourists working on location shoots, for corporate and event videographers, houses of worship and more!

DaVinci Resolve Mini on Jigsaw24

Order the DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel now

Both control surfaces will be available for hands-on demonstrations in our Soho demo grading suite next week. If you’d like to book in a time to take a look please email us on davinci@Jigsaw24.com.

 

IBC 2016: Jigsaw24 to reach the next level of MAM with Reach Engine by Levels Beyond

IBC 2016: Jigsaw24 to reach the next level of MAM with Reach Engine by Levels Beyond

Exciting times at Jigsaw24 as we have taken on the mantle of sales and appliance integration for one of the world’s leading MAM platforms, Reach Engine by Levels Beyond.

reach_engine

 

Having worked with Levels for a number of years, supporting their customers with infrastructure and systems as well as working with the development teams in the UK at 10dot1 and Timeline TV, it feels like a natural progression for us to help expand their customer base in the UK.

We feel that their technology platform is one of, if not the, best systems for orchestrating digital media workflows and managing the vast quantities of assets we now have to deal with. Their existing client base speaks for itself, including as it does some of the leaders of the digital revolutions that have taken place in our industry and beyond.

Household names such as Formula 1, Red Bull Media, Manchester United, Disney ABC and Warner Bros. utilise the platform in many different ways to enhance and improve their creative workflows. We cant wait to introduce more people to this platform and continue to revolutionise the digital landscape with future-thinking orchestration, cloud integration and custom application development.

For more on the latest IBC releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Jason Bourne finds his (visual) identity with DaVinci Resolve!

Jason Bourne finds his (visual) identity with DaVinci Resolve!

Our good friends at Goldcrest Post recently completed the beautiful grade and complex online using DaVinci Resolve Studio at their glorious London facility, utilising advanced collaborative features to streamline the process on a project where one reel weighed in at over 1000 cuts!

The world-leading team at Goldcrest provided Universal with full picture post services including a full HDR 4K grade using their end-to-end Resolve pipeline built on the turnkey Linux Hero systems provided by Jigsaw24.

For the feature, the Goldcrest team provided full post-production services for director Paul Greengrass, with Sinéad Cronin and Rob Pizzey, respectively, delivering the online edit and grade. “Working on the project together in DaVinci Resolve Studio allowed us a great deal of fluidity, and we were able to collaborate closely throughout,” reveals Cronin. “I could conform and work on the online edit in Resolve’s Media and Edit pages, whilst Rob could render a grade on the Color page at the same time.”

 

435-bourne1

Cronin explains that the seamless DaVinci Resolve Studio workflow was critical. “There’s so many action-packed scenes, with extended chase sequences and set pieces, so the scale of postproduction was huge; for example, one of the reels had more than 1,000 cuts. Timescales were tight, and I would work on a section of the online edit, knowing that Rob would be in the theater ready to grade with the client. Everything we did in Resolve was in real time, which really helped us to work to a tight deadline.”

Having previously collaborated with Greengrass and cinematographer Barry Ackroyd on a number of films, colorist Pizzey already had an extensive understanding of how the team wanted to use the grade to enhance the action. “In ‘Jason Bourne,’ there are sequences in Las Vegas, Athens and Berlin and an important part of the grade was to differentiate the mood and feel between these locations…but to ensure the overall aesthetic of the series remained in evidence,” he explains.

Jason Bourne (2016)

“Barry and I worked during preproduction to produce templates in Resolve from test footage, which would then act as a base for Barry to check his lighting on set, and for processing the rushes. Deploying Resolve at the preproduction stage meant that when we came back together to do the final grade, the sessions were extremely smooth and productive.”

The grade was also used to enhance the film’s editing, particularly in the action sequences. “One of my favorite sequences in the film to grade takes place in Athens, which was shot entirely at night. As the action is on the streets, which are filled with layers of smoke, and a fire unfolds, the edit intercuts scenes from a CIA control room,” explains Pizzey. “I kept the CIA room very cool and clinical, with a blue palette to differentiate from the warm, realistic riot scenes. Using Resolve’s grading toolset with some shape work, I was able to reflect some of the warmer tones from the screens in the control room back onto the actors’ faces. It was a very subtle, but extremely effective contrast within a key sequence.”

435-goldcrest

The Goldcrest team worked in full 4K throughout the project, and also deployed DaVinci Resolve Studio’s new high dynamic range capabilities to deliver the film in HDR for the first time. “HDR isn’t just a new delivery format, it’s a fantastic creative playground for production teams to deliver a completely new experience to audiences. These capabilities, combined with the NLE toolset and grading capabilities, make DaVinci Resolve a complete story telling device,” concludes Pizzey.

For more information on how we can help you design, build and implement DaVinci Resolve Studio systems, get in touch with our experts (the same guys who helped Goldcrest of course) by emailing davinci@Jigsaw24.com or calling 033s2 409 306.

Jigsaw24 and Rohde & Schwarz announce new partnership

Jigsaw24 and Rohde & Schwarz announce new partnership

RS-wide

 

Rohde & Schwarz and Jigsaw24 join forces in major expansion initiative into the UK

Rohde & Schwarz, the industry leading manufacturer of media, communications, and test and measurement technologies, have appointed Jigsaw24 to spearhead the expansion of its products into the UK Creative, Commercial and Government industries.

“Rohde & Schwarz are delighted to announce that Jigsaw24 have today joined our global team of business partners,” said Oliver Gappa, Sales Director for Rohde & Schwarz. “Jigsaw24 are one of the fastest-growing and most professional resellers in the UK today. They will complement our existing portfolio of resellers and systems integrators with their knowledge of the post-production and broadcast markets.”

“The DVS brand has been a leading name in the video industry for 30 years, and coupled with the incredible technology and business portfolio at Rohde & Schwarz, we are very excited to be onboarding not just the media-focused products but also their industry-leading technologies in other areas that complement our broad market penetration,” said Roger Whittle, MD & Founder of Jigsaw24.

“At Jigsaw24, we pride ourselves on being able to provide complete end-to-end support for our clients’ workflow, and being able to offer solutions as robust and flexible as Rohde & Schwarz’s is a key part of that. Their award-winning media range dovetails perfectly with our expertise in high-end post and storage workflows, so we’re able to offer 360 degree support.”

Jigsaw24 will be providing hardware, solutions, installation and support services around Rohde & Schwarz’s broadcast, post-production and storage ranges, including their Clipster DI mastering solution, Venice ingest server and Spycer/DVS SAN shared storage systems. They will also have a strong focus on the best in class communications and cybersecurity solutions that the German manufacturer provides.

Rohde & Schwarz  on Jigsaw24

To find out more about Rohde & Schwarz, click here. Contact our expert consultants via email on broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or phone our sales team on 03332 400 888. 

 

About Rohde & Schwarz

The Rohde & Schwarz electronics group offers innovative solutions in the following business fields: test and measurement, broadcast and media, cybersecurity, secure communications, radiomonitoring and radiolocation. Founded more than 80 years ago, this independent company has an extensive sales and service network and is present in more than 70 countries. The electronics group is among the world market leaders in its established business fields. On June 30, 2015, Rohde & Schwarz had approximately 9900 employees. The group achieved a net revenue of EUR 1.83 billion in the 2014/2015 fiscal year (July to June). The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and also has strong regional hubs in Asia and the USA. R&S® is a registered trademark of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG.

 

 

NAB 2016: Blackmagic Design launches DaVinci Resolve 12.5!

NAB 2016: Blackmagic Design launches DaVinci Resolve 12.5!

Our friends over at the Resolve development team have done it again! This year’s NAB release of Resolve has over 250 new features and 1000 enhancements and bug fixes. The new features range from downright incredible to improving your day to day experience, saving time and bringing the sort of tools we’ll need for the next generation of content creation requirements.

Some of our favourite headline features include:

Fusion Connect Send clips straight into fusion from the timeline.

Resolve FX Included effects for colourists and editors to enchanted projects further – Film Grain, Lens Flares, Lens Blur, Light Rays and others.

HDR Lots of amazing HDR features in here.. Extended HDR grading controls, HDR scopes, HDR support for 16bit cache formats and HDMI 2.0a metadata, manually define nit level to which you are grading, more transform and colour space controls.

Clip Retime Effects are now adjustable using a Retime Curve in context with the timeline clip.

Log tools Redesigned and improved Log grading controls with a Project Setting option to switch between legacy and new behaviour.

Resolve Colour Management Now includes a checkbox and dropdown menu to separate gamut and gamma options.

Edit Sizing Now includes Lens Distortion Correction

DCTL Added support for DaVinci Color Transform Language, .dctl for user defined color transforms – DaVinci Resolve Studio only.

This is only scratching the surface of the extensive new and improved features in Resolve. You need to see it to believe it!

You can download the 12.5 public BETA today! Check it out here and see the ReadMe for the entire list of updates and features

We will be hosting some of our friends from Blackmagic to present and demonstrate 12.5 at a number of upcoming events, so be sure to get in touch if you’d like more information when these are announced.

In the meantime, we can arrange demonstrations of 12.5 at our Soho grading suite as soon as we’re back from NAB! For more information get in touch with us on broadcast@jigsaw24.com and visit Jigsaw24.com/resolve for information on how we can help you build and support your Resolve system!

NAB 2016: Avid demonstrate cloud collaboration within Pro Tools

NAB 2016: Avid demonstrate cloud collaboration within Pro Tools

Avid have demonstrated a new cloud collaboration platform for Pro Tools built directly into the application. The demo was done live at the Avid ACA event prior to NAB opening for select ACA members attending the event.

The cloud collaboration tools help you connect, communicate, and collaborate over the internet.

You can search the online Avid Artist Community for an audio collaborator to work with, browsing demo tracks, samples and more to find the right person for your project.

Integrated right into Pro Tools, the Artist Chat window allows realtime communication via text and video with another artist, or artists, using Skype protocol.

Collaborators can record remotely, composite tracks remotely and send mixes via Pro Tools straight into your session for you to finish the job.

To see a demonstration of cloud collaboration with Pro Tools get in touch with our team via email, broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For more on the latest NAB Show releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

NAB 2016: Avid announce Adobe Premiere integration with Interplay Media Central

NAB 2016: Avid announce Adobe Premiere integration with Interplay Media Central

Avid today have announced and demonstrated a huge move toward making their production asset management system, Interplay Media Central, the open arena they have talked about for a number of years now.

 

Adobe Premire Pro now has direct integration with the Media Central platform directly in the application.

Editors can now search for sequences, assets and more that are checked into Interplay via a custom pane in Premiere Pro.

We’ll be checking this out in more detail over the next few days and will report back with more info.

For more information on our avid solutions visit Jigsaw24.com/avid or email broadcast@jigsaw24.com. For more on the latest NAB Show releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

 

NAB 2016: Avid announce NEXIS storage at Avid Connect

NAB 2016: Avid announce NEXIS storage at Avid Connect

AVID today have announced a number of new and updated products at their Avid Connect event, prior to the NAB show which begins on Monday. One of the major headlines is a series of new storage systems, called NEXIS, building on the same hardware and operating system used with the ISIS 1000, launched last year, which is now renamed the NEXIS | Pro.

 

NAB 2016 Avid Storage Announcement

 

Overview

– NEXIS storage comes in three system architectures – the 2U Pro model is a rebranding of the ISIS 1000, the NEXIS E2 and E4 are the new models coming in at 2U and 4U sizes.
– 400MB/s per 10 drive media pack. 2TB and 6 TB drive sizes in the E2 and E4 models.
– 2U system director available for E2 and E4 models to allow management of up to 330 active edit clients, 20 million files, and 5-24 media packs.
– E2/E4 based workgroup scaleable to 1.44PB using 24 media packs.
– The E2 (and E4) use more powerful and advanced system controllers than the Pro model which allows them to be more scaleable and provide more bandwidth.

NEXIS | Pro
Avid_NEXIS_PRO_Front_6318

The Pro model is essentially the same hardware platform as the ISIS 1000 was, but with the latest v6.0 NEXIS software. Customers under support contract with Avid will have this software update available in their Avid Master Account and we can provide certified engineering services to come and assist you with your upgrade path to take advantage of the NEXIS platform.
You can combine up to 4 Pro engines in a single workgroup environment providing up to 80TB RAW capacity.

NEXIS | E2
Avid_NEXIS_2U_Front_6318_White
A single E2 can be configured with either 20TB or 60TB RAW capacity depending on media pack, and can be expanded with up to four other E2 chassis providing 1.6GB/s bandwidth and up to 240TB RAW capacity before you are required to add the System Director Appliance to manage your storage. The E2 has modular, hot swappable controller capabilities allowing for simple field replacement of hardware. Redundant controllers will be available soon and configured with a software update.
NEXIS | E4
Avid_NEXIS_4U_Front_6300_White
The E4 chassis provides the most flexibility and expansion capability as it can be purchased half-populated with a single 10-disk media pack, and gives the most potential redundancy options with two hot-spare drive bay options. Fully populated the E4 can provide up to 120TB RAW capacity and 800MB/s, two chassis can be combined using the embedded system director before you are required to add a separate SDA.
The E4 will also be available with a redundant controller soon.
NEXIS | SDA
Avid_NEXIS_2U_Front_6318_White_SDA
The sperate System Director Appliance is required for managing large workgroups where a more powerful head system is required to manage the increased potential file count, workgroup sizes etc. When you are running over 4 media packs (not chassis – media pack is defined as per 10 drives of any capacity) you are required to integrate the SDA into your system. So with the SDA you can manage 5-24 media packs, either as a combination of 24 NEXIS E2 or 12 NEXIS E4 (fully populated) with up to 1.44PB of RAW capacity.
It is a 2U appliance which will also have the redundant controller option soon as we as enabling high availability mirroring and failover options in multi-chassis environments.
For more information on the new Avid storage including pricing and availability, get in touch with our team by emailing broadcast@jigsaw24.com. For more information about all of our Avid solutions visit Jigsaw24.com/Avid.
For more on the latest NAB Show releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.