Nice Shoes Invests in New Scanning SystemNYC-based Nice Shoes recently purchased the new SCANITY, a revolutionary high dynamic range, 2K/4K electronically pin-registered scanner from Digital Film Technology (DFT). "SCANITY is a logical upgrade for the company which has had a long relationship with DFT. They made the original Spirit telecine, and we've been using the Spirit 2, so we've worked with them since 2000," explains partner/colorist Chris Ryan. "We like their technology and trust them, so it just made sense."

"We're committed to capturing the full resolution and dynamic range of film, while ensuring the steadiness of images," notes Managing Director at DFT Digital Film Technology Stefan Kramper. "We're proud of the product's increased efficiency and are enthusiastic about continuing our long-standing business relationship with Nice Shoes."

According to Robert Keske, chief information officer at Nice Shoes, "Using this system will allow us to continue servicing our film clients, while being able to expand our service offerings on the best scanning equipment out there."

The SCANITY also fits perfectly into Nice Shoes' business plan and the changing face of production. As Ryan points out, "Everything's moving quickly towards digital acquisition now, and the amount of film jobs we've done that were film-acquired commercials has dropped precipitously in the last couple of years."

The team began looking around at the various products in the marketplace. "Our competitors have used less expensive scanners that are significantly slower," he reports. "But a big issue for us is speed. We need the ability to load in footage very quickly, as fast as we can load in digital files, and the SCANITY offered us not only a lot of flexibility on the different resolutions it can scan, but also the speed we needed as it can scan far faster than any other box out there."

Other advantages to the SCANITY include a future-proofed design that, Ryan notes, "will take us all the way to the end of the film era. Film may never end, but this system will also give us the ability to offer new services."

High on that list is, ironically, film restoration. "SCANITY has a number of great film restoration tools already built-in, so we're exploring that new avenue," he reports. Nice Shoes has done film restoration work in the past, most notably on a Frank Sinatra job for Carnegie Hall. "It was a lot of work, restoring the archival film footage," notes Ryan, "and if we'd had the SCANITY back then, it would have been a huge help. One of the great things it does is create a 'restore' channel and use a special light output to scan the film, so it gives the restorers more flexibility to see all the grain and dirt and scratches without having to do it all manually."

"We plow through a ton of film every day, so it'll get a lot of use on all our normal TV commercial work." The SCANITY's speed is the key, he stresses. "This box gives me the ability to load those shots in while I'm still working, and get them color-corrected right away. So it's going to be a very exciting addition to our company."