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ASCENT MEDIA Launches UP FX with Ford Super Bowl Spot

Latest ?UP? tool offers remote review for visual effects production (February 23, 2006)

Ascent Media is introducing a new service that enables advertising agencies, directors and others to oversee visual effects work ongoing at one of its post production facilities from virtually anywhere in the world.

Ascent Media launched UP FX through its R!OT facility in Santa Monica, and recently employed the system on the production of the Ford spot, Easy Being Green, that aired during this years Super Bowl broadcast. The system allowed the commercials director, Bruce Dowad, to oversee the progress of visual effects work at R!OT from his production office and from the offices of the editorial house King Cut where the spot was being cut.

?It is an amazing tool and one of the most refreshing new services we have experienced in some time, said Dowad. ?The convenience of being able to tap into what was going on at R!OT from the other side of town was wonderful. There is a real future for this tool.

Editor Enrique Aguirre, who cut the Ford spot, said that UP FX freed him from spending several hours sitting in on visual effects sessions. ?We were able to review scenes as R!OT finished them while cutting another spot?what could be better than that? he said. ?And the picture quality was very good.

R!OT Creative Director Andy MacDonald, who served as visual effects supervisor on Easy to be Green, said that UP FX enhances the creative process by enabling him to remain actively involved with his clients. ?Agency creatives often lack the time to attend lengthy visual effects sessions, especially if they are from another city?UP FX lets them stay in touch, said MacDonald. ?They can view the progress of their project at a time and from a location of their choosing?and they always have the latest version. They dont even have to log in?all of that is taken care of.

UP FX is a synchronized, remote review and approval system that employs proprietary Ascent Media technology and a broadband Internet connection to deliver high quality digital video directly from a visual effects workstation to a clients site. Clients can access the service from their offices, hotel rooms or any other location where broadband service is available. UP FX will be available through post production facilities in Ascent Medias Creative Services Group including R!OT ( Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta), Encore Hollywood and Company 3 (Los Angeles, New York).

UP FX works with a Macintosh computer, equipped with proprietary software, and a monitor interface box. To set up the system, the client simply connects the box to a monitor, and the computer to a broadband Internet connection. The system automatically logs into a server at the Ascent Media Up Services portal. Visual effects sequences designated by a visual effects artist are then automatically uploaded to the boxs hard drive, and clients can then review the sequences in real-time. The system is secure. Each UP FX computer is uniquely identified so that only content authorized to it will be downloaded.

UP FX permits visual effects artists to synchronize the playback function of their workstations with the media at the remote site. The artist can then control the playback of sequences so that both parties are viewing the same thing. Sequences can be played back in real time, in slow motion or as still frames. Multiple UP FX units can be synchronized in this manner allowing several parties to participate in review sessions from different locations.

?UP FX is very easy to use and enables our clients to manage their work more efficiently without sacrificing practical or creative control, said Francesca Cohn, Vice President of Strategic Development for Ascent Media Creative Services. ?This product delivers the image quality necessary to make critical creative decisions. It is not streaming media, but rather digital video that is superior to DVD. And it requires no training and no cumbersome hardware. Simply plug it in and its ready to go.

While it is expected that UP FX will generate immediate interest from advertising agencies and other involved in producing commercials, the service is equally applicable to visual effects work for television and feature films.

UP FX is the latest in a series of innovative services, developed by Ascent Media under its UP Services brand, designed to facilitate remote collaboration and improve the efficiency of digital production. Other UP services include UP Satellite, UP Drive and UP Web. UP FX was developed for Ascent Media by Alex Frisch and Andreas Wacker.

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Related Keywords:Ascent Media, UP FX, Dowad, Ford Escape, Kermit, R!OT


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