My Adventure to MPC London
I recently had a wonderful holiday to the UK, Berlin and (briefly) NYC. It was an amazing trip and it blew some cobwebs out of my brain which was certainly overdue.
As you may or may not know I work as a Colorist at MPC Shanghai. It's a fantastic job and everyday I pinch myself because I feel lucky to be a part of it.
It is a global company and without argument one of the giants in Post Production. My boss in Shanghai suggested that since I was visiting the UK I should definitely pop into our MPC headquarters in London.
Now before you start making comparisons to myself (in the picture right) and Jack Nicholson, in his role from the Shining, I need to explain something. The day before I was off to visit MPC I got sick. I felt terrible. I knew I only had a two day window to visit MPC and I didn't want to sacrifice that so I did what any responsible adult does; Cold and Flu tablets. I don't cope well with medication. I wanted to make an impression with the lovely people at MPC London so can we keep this bit to ourselves?
My agenda was fairly simple. I wanted to put some faces to names, meet the Color team and Jean Clement Soret (who is the Head of Color) and to hopefully get a tour of the building. Now I was expecting the building to be big but I really wasn't prepared - it was kind of B I G. Think the Titanic but without the sad bit at the end.
I met up again with Andy Steele and Bernie Doyle. I had worked closely with Andy in Shanghai and he has only recently returned to the UK to continue working with MPC as a CG supervisor. He's a buddy so I am biased but he's bloody talented and should probably do stand up comedy on the side. Bernie is a technical consultant and I met him when he came to work with us in Shanghai. Bernie has a brain the size of a planet and I think he is a bloody lovely fella - but I try to hide it from him because it'll just go to his head. It was nice to see familiar faces and Bernie took me for one part of my huge tour of the building. The machine room was well, I'm running out of my limited vocabulary to describe the word big, but it reminded me of the scene in the Matrix when Neo said "we'll need guns, lots of guns" and suddenly rows upon rows upon rows of guns catapulted forward to fill the scene. The machine room wasn't filled with guns obviously but every millimetre (or inch for my American friends) was packed with computers, routers and wiring. The guns were probably in another part of the building that Bernie wasn't allowed to show me.
MPC was responsible for the mind blowing effects in the very recent Jungle Book movie. As part of my tour I came across the actual Tiger they used in the film. Conscious of maintaining my image as an adult I quickly got to the floor for a cuddle.
During my tour Ellora Chowdhury, Executive Producer for Color, was my host. She introduced me to so many lovely people who worked at MPC. She even got me to sign the wall!
There was enough time to catch up with Jean Clement which is actually impressive because that man is bloody busy! It's scary meeting someone whose work you admire so much but he put me at ease very quickly and we had such a great conversation about not only color but the industry in general.
In the afternoon I spent time sitting in the background with the data ops team. All the stuff that exhausts my brain, the whole bringing of the projects together so it's all prepared and ready to go - ALL of it - these people do and make it look like a walk in the park. I was even treated to advice (being given to someone else) on the correct technique for push ups. I haven't tried it but it made sense at the time. They were also appeared very tolerant of my coughing, as the effects of my cold and flu tablets wore off.
It's no exaggeration to say that the building was pumping. Everyone was flat out but at the same time people were really generous with their time. I was bought up to date with the latest projects and saw some incredible work that will be out over the coming months.
At the very end Ellora actually pulled the color team out of their sessions so we could have a group shot. She probably didn't realize just how much that made my day.
Thanks everyone at MPC London for making my visit very memorable. You are a talented (!) and kind bunch of people who made me feel very welcome.