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Anteprima Quantel Case Study

alfredo2.jpg Making commercial sense in Italy. eQ takes Milan’s Gruppo Anterprima to the next level. Gruppo Anteprima is one of Italy’s major post players. Founded in 1993 in Milan, the company now has offices in Rome in addition to its much expanded Milan headquarters. From its inception, Gruppo Anteprima earned itself a strong reputation for its high end commercials post production work. This quickly became the cornerstone of its business, fuelling massive growth for the company. Much of this work was based around Quantel equipment, which, as Co-owner and General Manager Alfredo Palumbo puts it, “Really contributed to our growth.”

Extending the boundaries

Also central to Gruppo Anteprima’s success is its operating philosophy: “it’s a complex recipe that we’ve refined over time,” says Palumbo, “but at its heart are three principal strands – continuous investment in training our team and refining our workflow with them; using the very best technologies available to us, and the determination always to push the creative boundaries forward by testing and extending ourselves to the limit.”


Fifteen years on, and the world of post is changing dramatically as businesses strive to differentiate themselves and offer their customers more creative options and faster, higher quality results. Gruppo Anteprima’s client list boasts many of the top Milan advertising agencies; much of its work is carried out at HD and color correction is now an integral part of the workflow of every project; efficiency is paramount.


All of these needs are well matched to the capabilities of Quantel’s latest generation of post production system, so perhaps not surprisingly, pride of place in Gruppo Anteprima’s Milan facility taken by a Quantel eQ HD finishing system. The eQ’s ability to bring together editing, color correction, effects and deliverables production in a single suite in the hands of Gruppo Anteprima’s highly skilled operators leads to what Palumbo calls “a symbiotic attitude” between facility and client. “We do not just sell machines or simple services,” Palumbo explains, “we rather offer a complete project consultancy approach which clients know they can totally rely on.”


Making the switch

“the eQ workflow is in a way totally new,” says Palumbo, “and the timeline editor gives more intuitive and ‘hands on’ control over a project. The whole system is very reliable and the quality always remains pristine. This is because the eQ always handles media in its original colorspace and resolution.


Building the edit

“I love the way I can handle offlines and onlines together on the eQ, making side-by-side comparisons as I go along,” says Alfredo Palumbo. “Being able to compare also makes it much easier to produce different versions. In fact, it enables you to produce a huge number of ads, each with a personalized ending, in a very short time – we recently did more than 30 in one session!

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The plethora of formats around today is no barrier to eQ either. “Another key feature is eQ’s ability to import and export almost everything – 3D, all audio and video formats, CGI renders with masks, MPEG masters – the whole shooting match,” observes Alfredo Palumbo. “It’s a great step forward and time saver; in the past, you needed various converters and different software applications – not with eQ.”


The fact that the eQ also remembers what it has done in each version makes building the often-required 15, 30 and 45 second versions of a 60 second original commercial much easier too. “If in the online you happen to have longer or shorter than necessary scenes, we can simply assign a reference edit,” says Alfredo Palumbo. “As the eQ finds the timecode corresponding to a related source, it also re-applies the same effect automatically. So you can easily build a new timeline with all the effects already loaded.” Palumbo finds this an extremely useful feature, especially when several versions are in progress at the same time. “And if the client then requires changes, these can be simply multiplied across all the different versions too.”


Making the grade

eQ’s built-in color correction toolset has also made a fundamental difference to Gruppo Anteprima’s workflow. Although the initial grade is done at telecine stage, the demands of commercials mean that much further work is required down the line on the eQ.


“We can do sophisticated color correction work in front of the client because of the speed of the eQ,” Palumbo reports, “and because so much of the work nowadays requires working with masks from CGI imagery, we have virtually dropped tape-to-tape grading altogether in favor of doing it later on the eQ. That way we can see what we’re doing with the color in the context of the overall piece, which naturally gives us a far more homogeneous result. It’s a faster and much more interactive way of working with color. Our clients prefer to work this way too.”


Delivering the versions

With the explosion of media channels that advertisers now need to use to address their customers comes the demand for multiple versions of every commercial Gruppo Anteprima produces, and this is an area where the eQ particularly excels. Alfredo Palumbo explains: “With eQ we can produce multiple versions from a 4:3 master in realtime front of the client’s eyes, all without rendering. I’ve seen clients literally stunned by the speed we can produce a 16:9 anamorphic version for them.


“We operate in a truly multi-format world, and our eQ can re-frame, re-size and pan-and-scan all in realtime,” Palumbo continues. “Given that we’re often required to produce six or seven versions for different countries, it makes a tremendous difference.”

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“We have created a lot of HD projects, and when we need an SD version, it’s simply a matter of pressing a button on the eQ to output it,” Palumbo remarks. “And we can also always have absolute confidence that the quality of the result will be immaculate – that’s the way Quantel handles video.”


Building the future

eQ has changed the way the Post world approaches projects because of its ability to handle all aspects of the job entirely within itself, providing a massive boost to workflow. And customers know it will just keep getting better and better: Alfredo Palumbo notes: “Another big thing for me is Quantel’s constant software development for the system, with regular releases that are solidly based on feedback from customers such as ourselves.”

Gruppo Anteprima, via Piero della Francesca 10 Milano, tel 0233103287 www.anteprimavideo.com
e-mail: \n traffico @ anteprimavideo.com

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