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Nice Shoes Continues Commitment to Grass Valley Post-Production Systems With New $5 Million Purchase

Industry-leading Spirit and Specter DataCine systems keep HD clients coming back for more (March 02, 2006)

With the purchase of several new image-processing solutions and systems Grass Valley, a business within Thomson, announced that Nice Shoes has solidified its position as one of the premiere commercial post-production companies in New York. Valued at more than $5 million, the investment underscores Nice Shoes confidence in the Grass Valley Spirit 2K DataCine and Specter 2K virtual telecine systems.

The new Grass Valley post-production systems were purchased by Nice Shoes in time to complete its work on high-profile commercials for the Super Bowl XL telecast in February on ABC. This year, about half of the spots posted at Nice Shoes will air in native widescreen 720p HD, ABCs format of choice.

?The first-generation Spirit system got us through the first five years of Super Bowl commercials, and were looking to the new Spirit 2K DataCine systems which will get us through the next five years, said Joe Bottazzi, Nice Shoes co-founder and vice president of engineering. ?This newest Spirit is a real film scanner, in the truest sense of the word.

In support of the Thomson Two Year Plan, the Grass Valley business will broaden its offering to existing Media & Entertainment clients and expand its client base; enhance its technology intensity, raising its profile in technology-related debates and industry choices; position itself in electronic content distribution, and become a leader in Internet Protocol access and home networking devices and solutions.

Nice Shoes, which has been a loyal Grass Valley customer since its purchase of original Spirit systems in 1999, has purchased three new Spirit 2K DataCine systems?two of which are already installed and a third will be commissioned in February?and a third Specter 2K along with two Bones open post-production framework solutions to support its increasing work on high-profile commercials and high-definition (HD) imaging projects. For example, using the Spirit 2K and Specter systems, Nice Shoes will be able to color correct commercials in half the time it would take working in a traditional color-correction studio.

Completing its Grass Valley end-to-end film imaging workflow, the facility also owns a Grass Valley Viper FilmStream digital cinematography camera and two Grass Valley Bones software packages.

?The goal at Nice Shoes is to educate our clients and introduce the next level of technology to them. This will save them time and give them greater creative control by allowing clients other options that werent available before. Were looking to Grass Valley to collaborate with us on this, said Bottazzi. ?Nice Shoes now supports four in-house DaVinci color-correction studios with three Specters and three Spirit S2K systems. No other facility in New York can say that.

?Nice Shoes is a leader in its digital post production and multi-format approaches, said Marc Valentin, president of the Grass Valley business within Thomson. ?We are honored to be associated with this kind of innovator and to continue to support Nice Shoes with the most capable, flexible, and advanced digital post-production and digital cinematography technologies and systems.

Typically, spots brought into Nice Shoes are shot on film. The firm then scans them to a server at 2K resolution, allowing the graphics and visual effects work to be done from the digital files. The finished spot is graded and output to a 24 frame-per-second (fps) D-5 universal master. The latest-generation Spirit 2K system offers true RGB 2K image scanning and can be upgraded to 4K when Nice Shoes decides to do so, protecting its investment.

Internally, all of the Grass Valley systems are connected to a GSN-switched, high-speed data network, offering complete flexibility to work wherever and however an operator wants with access to all of the Spirit and Specter controls. This network, which also supports the Grass Valley Bones software, includes 40 terabytes of storage as well.

?Pictures processed with the new Grass Valley Spirit and Specter systems are clean, sharp, and pristine, said Bottazzi. ?Thats because all of our scanning is done in native 2K resolution on the Spirit systems in real time.

This speed and the ability to color correct the transferred footage as an edit decision list (EDL) enables Nice Shoes to complete a job in half the time it took before, saving clients time and money. Bottazzi explained that previously, 10,000 feet of film took about eight hours to color correct. Now it takes four hours, due to the flexibility of the new workflow.

?Weve had a lot of success with the original Specter. The client response has been so overwhelming, we had to purchase a third to meet our growing demand, Bottazzi said. ?Now the majority of our work is HD commercials for TV. The business has really exploded, and thats due in part to the Grass Valley technology we offer. Clients have come to know and love the systems because they save time and money during the session.

About the Products
The Grass Valley Spirit 2K DataCine system supports telecine and high-speed film scanning applications with native 2K real-time scanning functionality. The Grass Valley FilmStream process delivers digital creative freedom and flexibility, from acquisition through post-production. The Specter Virtual DataCine system is ideally suited as the core of the digital cinematography finishing process.

The Grass Valley Bones open post-production framework tool set, as well as the Grass Valley LUTher 3D color space converter for film pre-visualization and display-to-display matching, complete this new and very efficient workflow.

About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides services, systems and technology to help its Media & Entertainment clients content creators, content distributors and users of its technology realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group is the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands.

For more information:

Thomson's Systems and Equipment division develops video and film technologies, products and services sold to all major Hollywood studios, all major television, satellite, and cable broadcasters under the Grass Valley brand-name for the delivery of analog and digital entertainment. The division also includes Thomson's Access Platforms and Gateways Business, which develops technologies and products for broadband and telecommunication networks to deliver digital entertainment and data to consumers and businesses.

For information about Grass Valley products from Thomson please visit


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Related Keywords:Grass Valley, Nice Shoes, Spirit, Specter, DataCine, telecine, Bones, color correct, Viper FilmStream, digital cinematography, DaVinci, digital post production, visual effects, film scanning, LUTher,

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