Dig It Grows; Adds Dubbing Stage

By Janice Brown

April 2002

NEW YORK CITY-- Dig It Audio, a full service, audio post-production facility, has come a long way since its days as a one-man composing/mixing shop. With extensive independent film credits, including work for films such as Grateful Dawg and Happy Accidents, the audio post house and partner/mixer Tom Efinger have established quite a name among the indie community, while serving the commercial market as well. In the past five years since Dig It has been partnered with video post house Post 391, the businesses have expanded quite significantly, and just this past February, partners Tom Efinger and Jeff Levy-Hinte introduced Dig It's new Pro Control-based film-dubbing stage.

"In the five years that we've been partnered with Post 391, we've seen the Digidesign Pro Control system mature into a powerful, extremely efficient mixing tool absolutely on par with the big ticket consoles," says Efinger. "Today's filmakers and TV producers are as comfortable with Pro Tools audio mixing as they are with Avid nonlinear editing. Concurrent to this shift, we recognized the growing demand for an affordable downtown alternative to the larger midtown facilities, and we felt this was a good time to expand."

The partners came upon an attractive real-estate opportunity, and built out Dig It significantly. "In addition to the mixing room," explains Levy-Hinte, "Post 391 now has a total of five Avid Suites including a recently upgraded, uncompressed online suite with digital beta, and a newly outfitted Adobe After Effects graphics studio. I also brought my Antidote Films production company in-house. We're capable of providing clients with almost every post-production service necessary to complete their film or TV projects."

Designer/systems integrator Ted Rothstein of TR Technologies worked on the acoustics and image quality of Dig It's Studio F, the new 700-square-foot mixing room, which seats 15. The room features a new-generation Sharp XV-Z9000 video projector, which provides native 720p high-definition using 16:9 DLP panels, and a 182-inch wide 75-inch hgh Stewart Cine-Perf screen. The surround sound audio monitring system features JBL's new 3632-T main cinema speakers. Studio Falso features two Pro Tools Mix 24 systems, Pro Control console, and loads of plug-ins and outboard gear. There's a sizable iso booth adjacent to the soundstage as well, whi8ch can be used for voiceovers, or as a small editing room.

Efinger and Levy-Hinte, who partnered after a meeting in early 1997, are both commited to the independent film production community, and with its upgraded and expanded services and facilities, the Dig It/Post 391 team can provide a wide range of high-end services. Efinger says, "We fully appreciate [indie] filmakers' artistic, technical and budgetary needs. Pooling our skills and building a talented, enthusiastic support team empowered us to offer clients a much wider range of services than we could have independently. Our new dubbing stage greatly increases our capabilities."

Interestingly, Dig It is able to concentrate on indie projects, and when those are harder to come by, fall back on its broad client base. "Indie projects are our focus," says Efinger. "We are fortunate to work on indie projects with pretty high budgets. So, a great deal of the indie work we do is good, profitable business. We really are mostly sustained by these projects."

The maiden assignment for the new dubbing stage was writer/director Moisés Kaufman's Laramie Project produced by Good Machine. Levy-Hinte, film editor, producer and Post 391 owner, is currently producing Lisa Cholodenko's Laurel Canyon, and his Antidote Films recently completed two features -- Wendingo and American Saint. With Dig It providing audio post for Levy-Hinte's/Post 391's projects, the partners share many film credits, with Efinger posting audio. Efinger's credits include popular indies such as Happiness and Southern Comfort, in addition to numerous commercial and television projects.

At press time, Dig It had two large projects in-house. One project is a feature-length documentary titled, The Specimen, which is a 5.1 documentary on Mark Kerr, an ultimate fighting champion. In addition, Dig It is about to host the 5.1 mix for Mathew Barney's new film, Cremaster 3.

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