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My Post House: Mercury Labs

Oct 6, 2010 12:00 PM


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Chris Lawing, Mercury Labs

Chris Lawing is director/editor at Mercury Labs, a cinema and communications company in St. Louis and San Francisco. Lawing has directed, edited and produced hundreds of commercials, brand videos and television content. He created an OnDemand channel in Atlanta, produced a nationally syndicated TV show, and directed the music video "Movie of Your Life," which won several Telly awards, DV awards, and numerous film festival awards. Prior to founding Mercury Labs (formerly Mercury Multimedia), Lawing worked as an assistant editor at Pixar and as an editor at TechTV (which is now G4), and he edited numerous feature and short films, including Showtime's BBGun and The Good Things starring Will Wheaton.

What specific projects do you currently have in the works?

I'm in the process of wrapping a 30-second spot we wrote, directed, and edited for our own company. We shot the commercial on an HDSLR rig, transcoded everything to ProRes, edited on FCP, added graphics and effects from AE, mixed down the soundtrack in Pro Tools, and graded the final in Color. We're in development for another 30-second spot, which will follow the same pipeline.

What else have you worked on recently?

I directed and edited a brand video for Wham-O, a toy manufacturer known for classic toys such as the Frisbee, Hula-Hoop and the Slip N Slide. This summer, I directed brand education videos for Chambord Liqueur and Tuaca Liqueur, using both Red One and the Phantom Gold for high-speed product shots. Mercury also just won two new Telly Awards for several video productions I edited, including a Silver Telly for client Advent Conspiracy and a bronze Telly for a board member orientation video produced for the YMCA of Greater St. Louis.

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What do you consider to be the next big thing in post?

Speed and consolidation. With the coming of the tapeless format, the merging of color grading, sound mixing, motion graphics, and editing into single software suites, increasing the speed and efficiency of those suites is the next big thing in my book. It would be nice if there were a faster learning curve for everything.

What technology do you currently work with?

I'm a Mac guy and have been since grade school with the Apple II. It's what I know and what I've always worked with. On the systems in our shop, we work with Adobe Creative Suite, Maxon Cinema 4D, Final Cut Pro, Pro Tools and Color.

What new technology are you working with?

I've just started delving into the 3D realm with Cinema 4D for motion graphics. We have a 3D designer on staff but I can't resist getting my hands on something and trying to figure it out. On the production side, I'm working with digital cinema more and more, the Red One and the Canon 5D. Both of these cameras get me really jazzed at the prospect of making great-looking images without the cost and workflow of film.

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