Where are you currently employed?
I’m a Senior Colorist at Level 3 Post in Burbank
I am currently working on CW’s Arrow, Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland for ABC, and Baby Daddy and Melissa and Joey on ABC Family.
Describe Your Job.
As a colorist for episodic television, I help the director and director of photography and editor tell the story with the picture. Sometimes I do something as simple as “evening out” an exterior scene shot with multiple cameras through weather/lighting changes. Other times I completely change color temperatures to indicate a different time of day. Sometimes I even turn day into night.
How did you first become interested in this line of work?
I first got interested in being a colorist when I was an assistant to Fred Eldridge on ER in the ‘90s.
Who gave you your first break?
It was Fred Eldridge, who still works in the room next to mine at Level 3 Post. I assisted him for a couple of years. He showed me around the DaVinci Color Correction system and kept a roll of IP (inter-positive) around for me to practice with. He picked up a Movie of the Week and decided that I’d do the dailies for him. He came in the first couple of nights to make sure I got a good start and then turned me loose. After another MOW or two, the associate producer from ER, Michael Hissrich, asked me if I’d like to do the dailies on a pilot he was working on called The West Wing. The producers were happy with my work and asked if I could also transfer the negative for their other new show, Third Watch. After a couple of years of 10- to 12-hour shifts on the overnight, Fred literally handed me the final for The West Wing and I came to the day shift.
What was your first union job?
I was a syndication dubber and used to crank out dozens of one-inch and three-quarter-inch copies of shows like Highway to Heaven and In the Heat of the Night.
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
I’m proud of all of them, but I do enjoy the shows that allow me to do a little more “look creation.” Fringe had some very interesting lighting set ups. Once Upon a Time requires some creative solutions to refine last-minute VFX shots. Every show has its challenges and opportunities.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?
I’d love to be able to point to some innovation I’ve come up with. At the very least, I’d say I’ve overcome plenty of challenging deadlines with a willingness to work the ridiculous hours sometimes necessary to meet an airdate.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
The real fun has always been the satisfaction that comes from hearing, “Thanks for a job well done,” from the talented storytellers who sometimes visit me in post. I really enjoy getting to know post producers and earning their confidence over the course of a project. I’ve also enjoyed problem solving with other colorists, engineers, assistants, management, and the rest. I think clients who trust us to do their work recognize the tight-knit team we have here at Level 3 Post.
Job wise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
I’m very happy here and hope to be working on quality shows for as long as possible. I wouldn’t be hitting the Power Ball numbers, though!
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
Spending time with my twin six-year-olds comes first. After that, it’s golfing, softball and working out.
Favorite movie(s)? Why?
Forrest Gump. It’s about a simple man who plays the hand that he’s dealt, does what he knows to be right, and it all works out in the end.
Favorite TV program(s)? Why?
Anything I work on, of course. I enjoy shows on the History, National Geographic and Science channels. Why? I guess I’m a bit of a nerd and can’t know enough about the world around me.
Do you have an industry mentor?
It’s definitely Fred Eldridge. He taught me how to color. Beyond that, he’s been an example of real character, both in and out of work.
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
You’re entering a world of tirelessly creative people. If you don’t share their commitment to the project, you are in the wrong place.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
I have been fortunate to not have to turn to the Guild for direct assistance, but I am grateful for the great health coverage provided for me and my family.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?
I’m very proud to be a member of the Guild. The world is so much better when we’re looking out for one another.