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Past Featured Members


May 2009

Mary Lee Parisi.

Job Title:

Where are you currently employed?
Level 3 Post, Burbank.

Current project:
Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.

Describe your job:
My job is color finishing a one-hour reality television series airing on Fox.  I use a daVinci 2K Plus color correction system in a tape-to-tape environment.  In a reality program, it’s real-life shooting without lighting set-ups, which requires more balancing in the color correction session. 

How did you become interested in this line of work?
I have always been mesmerized by filmmaking since I was a kid.  My first attempt was making ballpoint impressions on a strip of cellophane and shining a flashlight through it to make a movie on the wall.  I never figured out how to make one in color!

Who gave you your first break?
Precision Film Labs in New York.  I was put into a client-supervised session on my very first job.  At the time, I was one of only a handful of women colorists working in the US. 

First union job:
Transferring dailies on the sitcom Just Shoot Me, a 35mm, four-camera studio production, in 1997.

Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
Working on a film presented at the Top of the World observation deck on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center.  I transferred 35mm aerial footage, which was cut together to create a motion-simulated helicopter ride of New York City.  It was really exciting to experience the six-minute movie attraction in its final stage and see all the tourists enjoy the show.  It makes me proud to have contributed to that history. 

What was your biggest challenge in your job and how did you overcome it?
Working internationally.  When I am contracted as a Telecine expert to both train and run a Telecine department overseas, I have to be able to step in and effectively communicate in a foreign country.  The expectations are high.  I walk into a session and I am expected to both wow the client creatively and the facility technically.

What was the most fun you’ve had at work? 
Working with students.  They are really interested in applying innovative ideas to enhance the look of their projects.  They are genuinely excited about the process of telecine and color correction and it makes each project feel new and fresh. 

Job-wise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?  Ten years?
I hope to be working on more digital intermediate projects and become fluent on more systems.  It’s a lot of fun to be transferring a feature straight from the digital projection in a theatre setting. 

Favorite movie(s):
Joe’s Apartment (1996). It’s a sweet movie with cute humor, yet it teases at the questions of what is art, and how can we build community using art. 

Favorite television program(s):
The classics––especially The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66).  There is something about watching the antics of producing a TV show and thinking that nothing has changed today. 

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
My two cents would be to follow what you love to do and never let anything stand in your way.  The best success comes from what doing what you love best. 

Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?  What was it and how was it resolved?
I have consulted the Guild on occasion for guidance and the staff has advised me and offered to handle an issue on my behalf.  They have always been there when I needed them. 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members?
It’s great to be part of a team of talented professionals and have the support and recognition of the people I respect. 

Photo by Gregory Schwartz


Interested in Being Featured?

Tomm Carroll
Publications Director
323.876.4770, ext. 222