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Meet The Colourist

David Basta

Senior Colourist, Lumeni Productions, Glendale CA

David Basta has spent 20+ years at Lumeni serving major motion picture studios and TV networks. Most recently, Dave’s passion for colour, titles, VFX and movie trailers led to the development of Lumeni’s flagship service, Dynamic Interactive Review, to help clients achieve a flawless product in all target formats, prior to final delivery.

David’s strong background in colour science, photography and digital technology enables him to dig deep and create magic on Baselight.

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Can you give an introduction to Lumeni?

Lumeni began as a film-based graphics production company in 1979. At that time it specialised in creating high-end graphics and effects using computerised motion-control animation cameras along with a process known as ‘back-lit, multi-pass, motion-control photography’. I came onboard in 1995 when Lumeni’s existing camera graphics customers started requesting digital title finishing, primarily using Adobe After Effects. The company was a pioneer in developing workflows and colour science to accurately record digital cinema titles to film.

As titles became more layered and interactive with theatrical background plates, it became clear to our team that we needed a powerhouse DI system with serious compositing tools. Because of the nature of our work, we are often called to sit in on DI sessions at almost all the premiere DI facilities in Hollywood. Once we saw the Baselight FOUR and EIGHT workstations at the former Post Logic, we knew this system was going to be the future for our work at Lumeni.

How did you start your career?

I graduated from RIT with a BS in Professional Photography. After a few false starts, I ended up working for Carabiner in New York, which at that time was one of the world’s biggest producers of large-scale corporate meetings and events. Carabiner was an analogue photography heaven that created slideshow presentations using up to fifteen synchronised projectors, and really pushed the envelope in terms of what could be done in front of large audiences with analogue photo technology. Dozens of artists worked 24-hour shifts creating Ektachrome title slides and business graphics for their shows.

The next logical step for me was to make the jump to Hollywood theatrical projects, and moving to Lumeni in 1995 allowed me to do just that.

How do you keep up in our evolving film industry and keep current with emerging technologies, workflows, etc.?

Because most of Lumeni’s work involves small sections of very large theatrical projects, my job gives me a bird’s eye view of the workflows that major tentpole movies around town are using. We have found that it makes the most sense to provide graphics and digital opticals in the same file format and colour space as the feature film and its associated VFX shots. For every major project, we receive the same workflow documents that the VFX vendors receive. I have learned not to be shy about asking the feature film’s colour scientists and VFX supervisors to help explain new concepts. And of course, the FilmLight teams in Hollywood and London have been great sources of education.

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“Our clients are amazed that by using the built-in colour space tools in Baselight, we can exactly match the colour workflow of almost every film production in town. When our work is dropped into the bigger project at Technicolor or EFILM, the colours are exactly what everybody expected.”

 

Details

Colourist: David Basta
Role: Senior Colourist
Web: Lumeni Productions


Baselight colourists & creatives


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