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Bonfire Expands to Add Colour Grading Tapping Colourist Dario Bigi to Lead New Effort

Hires, Wins & Business 249 Add to collection

New York creative studio ramps up capabilities of the Bonfire Platform and taps Clare O'Brien as new head of sales

Bonfire Expands to Add Colour Grading Tapping Colourist Dario Bigi to Lead New Effort

Colour is coming to Bonfire in the form of a new colour grading suite, adding colour to the remote services Bonfire offers alongside the hire of noted colourist Dario Bigi, who has joined the studio’s full-time roster. The announcement was made by Jason Mayo, partner and managing director.

In addition, the company has named Clare O'Brien to the new position of head of sales. She joins Bonfire from Alkemy X in New York. Previously, she's held sales and production posts at such companies as Chimney, Postal and Sonic Union.

Bigi joins Bonfire from his role as one of the leading independent colourists in New York, working out of his own Manhattan studio and maintaining a client base that includes post production companies, ad agencies and media brands. His showreel runs the gamut from automotive to fashion and beauty, from celebrities to lifestyle spots and from TV series to features, docs and shorts. On the commercials front, he’s graded ads for such brands as American Express, Mercedes-Benz, adidas, Visa, Lexus, Reebok and many others. To view his work, click here.

Mayo says Bonfire’s expansion into colour was fuelled by its growth. “Building a substantial colour offering was a really easy decision for us,” he notes. “We try to be extremely versatile with our resources and talent. Most of our clients look to us to navigate solutions for projects from a holistic point of view – hence our bringing an artist of Dario’s caliber on board. Having access to a high level of skill and capability across all disciplines under one roof has become more of a necessity for our clients, and we responded.” 

With Bigi in place, Bonfire has expanded its proprietary Bonfire Remote platform to include colour as well as flame, design and other disciplines. “We’ve worked out an efficient and above all accurate method to do remote grading,” Mayo explains. “Designed in partnership with Streambox, we’re able to set up the client’s screen utilising a current iPad or MacBook with a retina display, then grade in real time with Dario. Our long experience and expertise with the Bonfire Platform have helped integrate real-time colour correction into remote cloud-based sessions. With the coronavirus impacting where people can work, we can even deliver this to individuals working from their homes or apartments.”

Bonfire has produced a short demonstration video seen here that shows a side-by-side comparison between the actual colour grade and the transmitted image that clients will experience in a remote session.

What persuaded Bigi to leave the independent life and join Bonfire? “They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” jokes the Queens native. “It’s the right size, plus they’ve got great talent, a positive attitude and a really impressive technology for colour grading remotely for clients. This is key to generating really high quality work. I’m looking forward to being a part of the team and have high hopes for my life at Bonfire.” Mayo connected with Bigi through a mutual colourist friend, who urged the two to meet. “I was blown away by his reel before I’d met him,” Mayo offers. “He has tremendous range as an artist, and it was clear our clients would be excited by his work. Once we did meet, I saw he was a great fit. Super-talented and well-versed in the craft, he geeks out over colour more than anyone I've ever been around. He also happens to be a quality human being who puts relationships in front of everything. We have a distinct culture we're growing here, and it's important that everyone’s on the same page. In that respect, it feels like Dario has been a part of the Bonfire family from day one.”

Bigi came to the colour suite by way of the edit bay, a career path that is not the usual one for members of his craft. During his time editing he was always dabbling in colour, he recalls, from TBCs to NLEs. But when colour tools became software-based, he transitioned into a hybrid editor/colourist role. He’s been focusing on colour exclusively for the past ten years.

What’s the appeal? “I just love it so much,” he admits. As a colourist the work is more spatial, as your main focus is on making the content look amazing – for me, it’s a different and deeper kind of feel. It’s more subconscious. I can have really fluid and creative exchanges with clients about colour. That dynamic is why I’m in post to begin with.”

Backing up Bigi at Bonfire - along with the other artists and services the studio offers - will be its new head of sales, Clare O'Brien. She says she's eager to help grow the studio, which was launched in 2016 by flame artist Brendan O’Neil. “We’ve got great work, but more than that, we offer an exceptional experience for our clients,” O'Brien notes. “People want to work with like-minded folks who understand how important it is to adapt in this environment. The team here is taking a thoughtful, strategic approach to our business that’s going to benefit everyone.”  

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avagnoni communications, Wed, 20 May 2020 17:20:48 GMT