Have you ever been on TV?
Yes. But only in Canada, the UK, and Japan. A lot in Japan, but only in print and broadcast industry related stuff. Plus I appear very, very briefly in the background of “The Net” because they filmed at the 1994 MacWorld Expo in the Mascone Center near our booth (we were right next to the main entrance - cherry spot). One of my coworkers broke it down, and I think you can see us in 5 frames, but you can’t make out any faces because it was a panning shot. We had to sign releases to work the floor that day though, and for the general public just walking into the center was “assumed consent”. I was also an extra in the background of a scene on Babylon 5 because the place I worked for, by which I mean me, printed a lot of what looks like TV screens on the show. I was using it to test a new media that we wanted to start selling, but it was still kind of unreliable - sometimes the media just melted. So I was there making sure our shit worked, because the last batch of our shit just melted because the combination of the super bright stage lights, plus the super hot backlights which were required to make the prints ‘sell’ as screens, was way beyond anything we’d ever imagined the film we were printing on would have to survive. So I brought more ‘new and improved - less melty!’ shit using some stuff that was too opaque for anyone else, but it turned out that was the sweet spot for all the heat these had to take on set. When I was done they were doing a scene and needed extras. Of course, that scene got cut, but it was fun to at least stand around with the rest of the extras. It was like being at the Ren Fest, but in space. Not even sure what was the real focus of that scene was, it all happened pretty fast and seemed to only involve a few establishing shots. Maybe G’Kar was meeting someone at the other end of the set and then they moved to another scene. Maybe they just needed a shot of a crowded bazaar and grabbed whomever they could. Whatever it was the whole shoot was about 20 minutes of film then everyone went on to do their next thing. I didn’t have much makeup on, was just standing next to a vendor holding a string of beads and looking at them with a funny hat on.
Anyway, those backlit signs and all the monitors and stuff?
We didn’t even know they were using our printers for it until we got a bug report and the attached file was basically one of the screens like over Ivanova’s head in this shot:
When we realized what we were looking at, the response in the R&D bay was basically:
Getting that image to render and print right, and getting it to stand up to having bright lights behind it AND in front of it, became Job Number One for the whole building.
Fuck your emergency requests - THIS WAS FOR BABYLON 5!
DisplayMaker® Pro, baby. Backlit signs up to 3’ wide and 50’ long. Our patented Big Ink Delivery System increased the ink capacity of the printer to 250 representative 2x3-foot full coverage images for indoor and outdoor applications per pack. Need TV screens or backlit signage for your set? Just print off as many of them as you need on a giant roll and Bob’s yer uncle.
Now with less melting, and available with six colors. Or eight. Maybe 12 by now, I don’t work there any more and we got bought like three times in a row before it became ColorMark.
Which pissed me off. Mark and I were the test leads on the color calibration, and I wanted it to be ColorKey (aka Ciaran) but Mark won because more letters are better, I guess.
After I left there, everything I was doing for TV was more behind the scenes - rendering and post processing. Like I was sr arc on the rendering farm for X-Men and (clears throat):
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
That jeep, man. That jeep was love.
The only time I’ve ever seen my coworkers cry - I mean really cry. Like, reduced to sobbing wrecks. Was when the jeep gets destroyed. We saw the frames coming off of the farm where the jeep jumps the rail and falls, and we were cheering and cheering for it to make it, and then it hits and we see … the end. Just; the end of all things beautiful and worthy in life. We had to take the rest of the night off. We put an intern in the chair and went out and drank until we couldn’t cry any more.
That jeep, man. They say the best of us die young, and sometimes it’s true.
But it will never be forgotten. Nevar.
You know I do this just because I love you, right?