Thursday, July 12, 2007

Q&A with Broadcasting & Cable Magazine

HD Artist Finds New Inspiration

Randall Paris Dark, HD production pioneer, forged out on his own last month with the launch of Randall Dark Productions. Dark discussed his Austin-based company and the future of high-def television.

Q: What kind of technical facilities does your company have?

A: Randall Dark Productions is not a facility. In my 20 years of HD production I’ve suffered the fiscal pain of keeping up with the Joneses, and the constant changes and improvements in equipment. So this time I’ve decided to build relationships with top companies and employees to facilitate my business and to best serve my clients.

Q: How will this move benefit your clients?

A: There two huge benefits. I can select the best path and talent for the job without having to compromise. I know I don't shoot from moving vehicles very well, but Allan Westbrook is a genius at it. I can pick and choose the right team for each job and still bring it in on time and, most importantly, on budget. My company does not have the incredible overhead I've had to support over the years; therefore I am able to make my prices much more competitive.

Q: What's your take on some of the new HD technologies that continue to flood the production market?

A: Each new day brings new toys to the toy box. The Red, the Eve, the R-23 and Viper are just a few. Even the new HDV cameras can be used for certain applications. I can color correct, time and edit in the field. How much easier do we need it to be? I'm concerned sometimes that ease makes us lazy and our work reflects it. Sweat is good.

Q: What are the advantages of working in HD versus film? What are the disadvantages? Are you finding that traditionalists are beginning to come around?

A: Film is an art form. HD is an art form. Both have many strengths and weaknesses. If I were an oil painter and you asked me what the hardest profile to sculpt is, I wouldn't know how to begin to answer you. My world is HD. I don't shoot film. I feel it is hypocritical that we get experts on both sides of the fence talking from extremely limited experiences. I honestly hope that traditionalists don't come around to HD. I love the look and smell and feel of film. I just can’t shoot with it. I would hate to think that the best artists in the world would forever put down their paintbrush for a new technology. Let new artists discover HD.

--Interviewed by Ken Kerschbaumer
from Broadcasting & Cable Magazine