Spectrum gets part of state’s biz grant

Motion capture and 3D animation house Spectrum Studios is among three subcontractors to receive funding as part of the state Employment Training Panel’s (ETP) training contract grant of $517,000 to the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. (EIDC). Money will boost four basic types of training covering several segments of the state’s entertainment industry:

  • Video/broadcast/web production operations (camera operation, switchers, audio production, high definition television and webcasting);

  • Post-production (non-linear computer assisted editing, digital audio post-production, image manipulation, quality control, telecine, and DVD);

  • Animation, motion graphics and broadcast design (3D animation, image manipulation, motion capture systems for animation and Chron); and

  • Foundation skills (production and post-production) processes, video theory and operation, understanding and using the Internet and Windows NT).

The project is supported by the West Coast office and individual locals of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE), and the Intl. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 45, Broadcast, Television and Recording Engineers.

Classroom time

Trainees will receive from 40 to 80 hours of classroom/laboratory training to augment their current skills, or to learn completely new skills in order to respond to industry requirements.

Montana Edit and Waynard Training Intl. will join Spectrum as subcontractors. Spectrum, which emphasizes motion capture and 3D animation, will help trainees create character animation and visual effects ranging from film to broadcast, Internet to interactive games and Webcasting.

Spectrum, incorporated in September 1999, opened its doors in January under president David Bawel. Studio is owned by Global Animation.

Initial clients included Nickelodeon (virtual character for “Figure It Out,” a live action children’s gameshow), Gracie Films/Fox (Simpsons character theme park attraction) and BET (virtual VJ “Cita” for a live-to- tape musicvideo program).

Located between Marina del Rey and Culver City off the I-405 and 90 freeways, the 12,500-square-foot facility boasts two motion capture stages, one real-time optical by Motion Analysis and the other an Ascension magnetic system.

Other functions

The 5,000-square-foot motion capture stage is also used as an auditorium for seminars and events, and can hold 300 seated or 700 standing. It is complete with net connections, a large projection screen and audio/visual equipment. A spacious control room and an equipment room with redundant servers and disk space are connected to a state-of-the-art UPS system.

Spectrum also serves as a training facility offering classes in Softimage XSI (Softimage’s latest release of its leading 3D modeling, animation and rendering software), Motion Capture (Motion Analysis, Ascension and Kaydara technologies), Web Position & Marketing and Web Development and Design. Development is under way for advanced classes in Macromedia Flash, Advanced Motion Capture, Web-casting and the Techniques & Software for Computer-Based Training.

* * *

Following in the helmer’s family footsteps, Dana Altman, grandson of Robert Altman, is in production with “The Private Public,” an indie film by writers/producers Chad Calek and Justin Holstein that explores the power of documentary.

Cast includes “Real World” stars David Burns, Jason Cornwell and Glen Naessens, along with Roger Moore (“The Awful Truth,” “Roger & Me”) and former “Baywatcher” Traci Bingham. The pic will be lensed entirely in and around Omaha, Neb.

Altman, founder and chairman of Omaha’s North Sea Films, whose past credits include “The Rage Within” and “Nine Inch Nails — an MTV concert Special,” expects a fall theatrical release.

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