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Ascent Media Launches in Minneapolis

Production studio Met/Hodder to serve as UP Satellite host site (August 15, 2005)

Ascent Media has brought its revolutionary UP Satellite service to the Twin Cities. Minneapolis-based digital production studio Met/Hodder has become the latest company to serve as an UP Satellite host site. The technology allows advertising agencies and other users of telecine services to collaborate remotely and in real-time with colorists at Ascent Media facilities in Southern California and New York. Introduced last year, the service has been a tremendous success, providing clients across the country with local access to some of the industrys best post-production talent.

?We are very happy to support our clients in Minneapolis by bringing the UP Satellite service to their city, said Stefan Sonnenfeld, President and Managing Director of Company 3, an Ascent Media company, who spearheaded the development of UP Satellite. ?This service has received an enthusiastic reception everywhere it has been introduced. It has helped our clients save time and money, but more importantly, it has proven to be a great asset to the creative process by enabling creative professionals to work together, regardless of geography.

UP Satellite uses a secure satellite connection, provided by Ascent Media Network Services, to transmit broadcast quality digital video from Ascent Media post-production facilities to host sites located in cities nationwide. To accommodate the new service, a ?virtual telecine suite has been set up at Met/Hodder that includes a calibrated monitor and proprietary Ascent Media technology. Clients at Met/Hodder can observe ongoing telecine work in real time while communicating with the colorist via speaker phone or video conference.  At the launch party for UP Satellite at Met/Hodder, people who will be using the service did get to meet one artist face to face though, as R!OT Santa Monica colorist Clark Muller traveled to Minneapolis for the event.

Met/Hodder was selected as an UP Satellite host site due to the close proximity to Minneapolis leading advertising agencies and its reputation for providing leading edge creative services. ?They have a gorgeous facility and are well respected within their industry and community, said Francesca Cohn, VP of Strategic Development for Ascent Media Creative Services.  ?They make an ideal strategic partner.

UP Satellite is a welcome addition to the Minneapolis advertising community, according to Met/Hodder CEO/Creative Director Kent Hodder. He noted that local creatives have for years had to travel to Los Angeles or New York to access the kind of high-end telecine services they desired.

?At a time of tight budgets, UP Satellite allows agencies to maintain excellence in color correction while controlling costs, he said. ?From Minneapolis, it isnt practical to fly into Los Angeles, get a session done, and fly back the same day. Now, they can get the same superb results without having to make a trip.

Michael Aaron, Supervising Editorial Producer at Minneapolis agency Fallon Worldwide concurred, noting that the cost of sending an agency team to the West Coast for a week can easily top $10,000. ?We view UP Satellite as a vital conduit that puts high level creative resources at our fingertips, Aaron said. ?It gives agencies and editorial houses that are ?geographically-challenged a new option.

UP Satellite provides access to colorists at the Ascent Media facilities Company 3 (Santa Monica and New York), Encore Hollywood, and R!OT (Santa Monica). In addition to Met/Hodder, host sites are located at charlieuniformtango (Dallas, TX), Whitehouse (Chicago, IL), Brickyard (Boston, MA), Universal Images (Southfield, MI), Post Blur (Cleveland, OH) and Greybox  (Richmond, VA). Additional sites are planned for Miami, Atlanta, and Portland.

?Enormous care has been taken to ensure a pristine signal path from the origination sites, through the satellite uplink and downlink, to the end point at our facility in Minneapolis, said Hodder. ?And it was all done with an eye toward making it a transparent experience. The beauty of the system is that it is so simple to use.

About Ascent Media Group
Santa Monica, California-based Ascent Media Group, provides creative and technical services to the media and entertainment industries through its Creative Services, Creative Sound Services, Media Management Services and Networks Services groups.  At more than 70 facilities in the regions of Southern California, New York, London, Atlanta and Singapore and at locations throughout the world, Ascent Media Group provides effective solutions for the creation, management and distribution of content to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and other companies that produce, own and/or distribute entertainment, news, sports, corporate, educational, industrial and advertising content.

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