New independent post house, Residence Pictures, has recently purchased a Baselight TWO grading system complete with Blackboard 2 grading panel for its London home. The company has been established by the former Managing Director of Fifty Fifty, Cara Kotschy, alongside sister company and majority investor Coffee & TV.
“I have worked in post-production in Soho for 18 years. When I left Fifty Fifty in November 2020, I knew I wanted to do something different,” explained Kotschy. “And that’s how I meet Derek Moore at Coffee & TV.”
After discussions with Moore, CEO and Co-Founder at Coffee & TV, they decided to join forces to launch a specialist long-form picture finishing facility. The services offered include end-to-end workflow planning and execution, conform, grade, online, QC and delivery with VFX provided by their partner and majority investor, Coffee & TV.
“I don’t think anything is broken in post, but I do think there are ways we can do it better,” explained Kotschy. “It’s a real trend to provide absolutely everything, but for us at Residence Pictures we want to focus on one thing and be the best at it. We do that by using world-beating technology and smart thinking to overcome bottlenecks and make the whole process smoother and fun again.”
To achieve that goal, Kotschy spent a lot of time looking at the technical, creative, production and sales talents in the industry to build the right team for the launch. All designated Co-Founders, the initial team includes Head of Post Julian Nelson, Commercial Director Harriet Dale, and renowned Colourist Paul Harrison.
“As soon as I met Paul, I knew that he had to come on board,” said Kotschy. “First of all, he is an incredible creative talent, but he is also on the same page in terms of what we want this facility to be.
Harrison is a longstanding user of the Baselight system, but that was not the only reason why it was the obvious choice for Residence Pictures.
“I’ve worked on Baselight for a number of years. I love its flexibility and its very comprehensive colour toolset. It integrates into the post-production workflow seamlessly, and that has been a godsend over the years on some very VFX heavy projects,” explained Harrison. “FilmLight as a company are very forward-thinking, too, and receptive to the ideas of colourists when it comes to new features and tools. And they support us when we need them.”
Head of Post, Julian Nelson, agrees. “I consider Baselight and the Blackboard grading panel unparalleled in terms of response, feel and creativity. And over the years, I’ve found FilmLight to be very approachable and collaborative in terms of solutions, workflow and support.”
As well as aiming to be at the forefront of technology, Residence Pictures also has a strong ethos within the company.
“We’re committed to building a trusting and flexible working culture, and to enable our staff to feel empowered, to have ideas and to know that they are heard,” said Cara. “We also believe that by kitting our facility out with fast and efficient technology, and by providing enough time and space between projects, we can eradicate burn-out and elevate our creative output along the way.”
Cara and her team are also aiming to help create a wider pool of post-production talent for the future by setting up an academy that runs alongside the facility providing free, practical training specifically for young people that are currently under-represented and marginalised in the industry.
“Industry wide we’ve failed to address diversity and adequately train new talent,” she explained. “And if we don’t take responsibility for building the next generation now, who will?”
And a growing team will require a growing suite of systems.
“FilmLight technology and colour management is at the core of our ecosystem,” added Nelson. “We have adapted our Baselight TWO system with high-performance NVMe storage so that Paul Harrison can grade fast and efficiently, both on-site and at his home studio. Working in collaboration with the main Baselight suite, we offer Baselight ASSIST and Baselight CONFORM so we are never held up along the way. And we plan to continue building our facility in this way with every creative suite that we add.”
Residence Pictures will open in Spring 2022.