New York’s Nice Shoes Makes $3 Million Investment in FilmLight Colour Grading Systems

Facility Plans New Collaborative Workflow for Commercial Post

Nice Shoes, New York’s largest provider of post-production services to the advertising industry, has agreed to purchase more than $3 million in new colour grading technology from FilmLight. The purchase includes four Baselight EIGHT colour grading systems, the flagship of the Baselight line – a system capable of grading 4K media in real-time. Additionally, Nice Shoes will receive two Baselight ONE systems and several laptop versions of the Baselight software. Nice Shoes have also purchased FilmLight’s Truelight colour management technology for display calibration and film output.

The acquisition of the systems is part of a larger expansion effort initiated by Nice Shoes. The company plans to occupy an additional floor of the building where it is located in Manhattan; the new space will house all of the company’s colour grading facilities as well as part of its visual effects and editorial operations. Nice Shoes expects to take delivery of its first Baselight EIGHT in June with all systems up and running by the end of the year. It will represent the largest installation of Baselight systems worldwide.

Nice Shoes spent more than a year and conducted rigorous tests involving both traditional hardware colour correctors and software-based systems such as Baselight. “We brought them all in for an evaluation. We had our artists work with them and compared their feature sets and how well they supported collaboration,” said Nice Shoes Chief Technology Officer Robert Keske. “Baselight offered the most flexibility from an infrastructure point of view. The systems communicate perfectly with one another and therefore alleviate the problem of moving projects around. They also communicate well with our other applications and so have the most potential for collaboration.”

FilmLight’s non-linear, software-based colour grading technology will allow Nice Shoes to offer a new approach to colour grading for commercials and to post-production work in general. Baselight’s open architecture allows it to be linked to and share resources with other systems in the workflow, including editorial, compositing and visual effects workstations. As a result, colour grading does not have to proceed as one step in a linear post-production process. Rather, it can be engaged at any point in the process, allowing colourists to work collaboratively with other artists.

“We want to integrate all of our departments,” observed Nice Shoes Colourist Chris Ryan. “Instead of effects, editing and colour grading operating as separate functions, we’d like everything to flow through a central structure. We will continue to do jobs the traditional way, but for other projects, such as design-driven jobs, the work might flow back and forth between workstations with design, graphics and colour working together.” Ryan added that FilmLight engineers developed modifications for Baselight to better support the collaborative workflow model that Nice Shoes envisions.


A key figure in the deal, Joe Bottazzi, Partner and Chief Engineer, Nice Shoes, commented “We are very excited to be working with FilmLight on this project. The new systems are key to launching Nice Shoes’ into the next generation of workflow and to producing a higher end product.”

Nice Shoes plans to use Baselight EIGHT as its primary grading platform. All six systems will use FilmLight’s new telecine control technology to directly control Nice Shoes’ Spirit Datacines. The Baselight systems will also be set up to use Thomson Grass Valley’s Bones software for media ingest.

This mix is intended to allow the facility to get the most value from its investment and operate at peak efficiency. “While I am grading one job on Baselight, my assistant can be prepping the next job, so that when that group of clients walks in, I just load it in,” explained Ryan. “The Baselight ONE, meanwhile, can be used to render out the previous project to the SAN so that it’s ready for our Flame guys or output to tape format.”

While this approach to commercial post is new, Keske expects it to eventually become the norm for high-end facilities. “We are looking toward the future, when a collaborative, homogeneous solution is something that post-houses will have to offer,” he added.

Contact – Deepa Parbhoo ([email protected]) +44 20 7292 0400

About Nice Shoes

New York City-based Nice Shoes is a full service HD post-production house specialising in high-end commercial work. Established in 1996 with the goal of creating a boutique environment that stays ahead of industry trends, the studio employs the newest technology including three Specter 2K Datacines and five Discreet (Autodesk) Flame/ Smoke suites, totally HD capable.

To extend into broadcast design, shoot supervision, visual effects and 3D, Freestyle Collective was born into the Nice Shoes family in 2001, followed shortly by Guava in 2002 and most recently, Nice Spots in 2005. Clients include IBM, Maybelline, Pepsi, VH1, AMEX, Kodak, GMC, Folgers and Calvin Klein.

For more information please visit or call 212.683.1704.

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