Friday, April 28, 2000
TASCAM Posts Major MM Series Sale To Major Post Facility Todd-AO
The latest sign of the TASCAM MM Series’ growing stronghold in Hollywood’s post-production community is Todd-AO’s recent purchase of 40 units (13 MMR-8s and 24 MMP-16s) for use in its various facilities throughout Los Angeles. The pioneering Todd-AO, which has been posting top motion pictures and television series since 1952, had also bought 12 MM Series machines last year and, with this newest purchase, now brings its total to more than 50 units.
A sampling of the recent projects that Todd-AO has used the MM Series on reads like an awards ballot, including such box-office attractions as 2000 Oscar winner for Best Picture “American Beauty,” “Gladiator,” “South Park,” a DVD re-release of “The Exorcist,” and “End of Days.” Todd-AO is also remastering many of Stanley Kubrick’s films, in 7.1 or 5.1 formats. Many will be re-released in theaters and all will be on DVD, with work already completed on such Kubrick classics as “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Full Metal Jacket” and “A Clockwork Orange.”
Perhaps the biggest reason the MM Series has gained such a following in Hollywood is its ability to read and write the Pro Tools and WaveFrame file formats, two of the most commonly used by the motion picture editorial community. Hard drives from a Pro Tools or WaveFrame workstation can be directly inserted into the MM Series units for post production. Also, the fact that the MMR-8 and MMP-16 are digital hard-disk recorders offers the benefits of random access and more flexible editing capabilities. Plus, the MM Series machines allow facilities like Todd-AO to keep pace with the technology trends occurring on movie recording stages.
“In the post industry, there’s been a move away from 35mm magnetic tape recording to recording to a digital dubber [like the MM Series],” says Todd-AO West engineer Tom Lalley. “The main reason for this is that editorial can make picture changes and do their conforms a lot easier. From their workstations, they have a lot more control now than they would with mag. If they make a cut and the two sides don’t match volume-wise, they can do whatever they need to make the cuts work. Also, with many pictures these days, you start dubbing long before a final cut even exists. There are often so many changes that come down at the last minute that it’s impossible to make those changes on mag. In fact, we’ve done films where they’ve made so many cuts that the mag was almost unusable.”
According to Todd-AO supervising engineer David Tourkow, purchasing a full complement of MM Series made sense for several reasons. “We were one of the first facilities in town to have an all-digital environment, as far as using digital mixing consoles,” he says. “So it just seemed logical to also use a good modular digital recorder. Also, it does help the dubbing process quite a bit using digital recorders that are compatible with the workstations that the editors are using. It enables you to work with the editorial staff in such a way that things can flow together very smoothly and quickly. Often in post production, time is of the utmost importance. Clients are on schedules that have to be met. Sometimes you get a client that’s very relaxed and doesn’t have to meet a quick deadline, but that’s more an exception these days. So anything you can do that helps speed up the process is always welcome.”
For more information, call TASCAM at 323-726-0303.