Since first opening its doors back in 2006, Envy has followed a rapid expansion plan, opening up building after building, with a consistent, sophisticated look and feel. The company has just announced plans for a sixth building — adding another 11,000 sq ft of space — which will be designed to cater for its advertising and branding clients.
Growth of grading
One of the unifying factors in Envy’s portfolio of facilities is FilmLight’s Baselight grading system. Envy’s first grading suite opened with a single Baselight system; 10 years later, the company has just invested in its fifth Baselight workstation, which, like its new building, will be reserved for commercials and shortform work.
Envy’s colourist team — headed up by Vicki Matich (pictured, above left) and consisting of Matich, Paul Fallon, Danny Wood, Peter Lynch and new recruit Jon Dobson — has grown with the company. Danny Wood, who began his colourist career at Envy, will move from Envy’s Rathbone Place HQ to become the facility’s specialist shortform colourist in the new building.
“Back in 2006, investing in Baselight felt like a bit of a gamble”, says Envy’s MD Dave Cadle. The system had only been launched a few years before but his concerns were soon laid to rest. “Baselight proved immediately popular and consistently dependable. We bought into something that’s since become the industry standard.”
Vicki Matich, Envy’s Head of Grading, adds: “We now have five Baselight systems across our broadcast and advertising departments. Baselight’s extensive format support allows us to follow native and raw workflows, and the integration with Baselight ASSIST enables us to prep changes and future jobs in the background, so we can keep our suites running without interruption.”
“Our colourists work across both shortform and longform projects. That is quite unique on this scale and really pushes our grading to that next level,” continues Matich. “Providing our creatives with the best tools available in the market means we can continuously deliver compelling and innovative programming that our wide client base demands.”
When it comes to Baselight’s features, Matich says: “The speed, reliability and ergonomics of Baselight are what make it the stand-out system for me. There are so many ways to approach the same scenario, which inspires and, importantly, provides greater creativity for me as a colourist.
It has definitely allowed me to take greater risks artistically. Clients love that you can create looks for them so quickly and with seemingly little effort.
For Envy, equally as important as Baselight’s extensive toolset, reliability and popularity with clients, is FilmLight’s technical support and accessibility.
“I really like how FilmLight backs up its excellent products with brilliant standards of service. This is where they really score,” says Cadle. “They are totally on it when it comes to support. They really look after the Baselight, investing in keeping it at top speed and continually adding enhanced functionality, through consultation with colourists. FilmLight listens to the people who actually use their systems and acts on their requests.”
Matich is similarly impressed with the support: “FilmLight’s HQ is just around the corner so they’ve always been on-hand when needed. We’ve had a great relationship with them over the years — they’re all brilliant.”
Keeping ahead of technology
As well as the investment in its fifth Baselight suite, Envy has refreshed its workflows with the latest Baselight upgrades.
“We can now work on and monitor 4K material natively at high frame rates up to 60p,” explains Matich. “The new GPU technology means real-time Ultra HD workflows and, as ever, Baselight supports all the latest camera formats, which can be easily managed within appropriate colour spaces.”
“Baselight has everything you need for 4K grading,” adds Envy’s Head of Technical Operations, Daniel Sassen. “The upgrade provides new hardware and extra GPU capacity and the Baselight software has been re-written to take advantage of this.”
“FilmLight is very good at what they do and we’re very lucky they are so close to hand. It’s a very reliable setup – the suites work 100% and we couldn’t ask for more.”