Written By: Randi Altman, PostPerspective
NAME: Katie Fellion
COMPANY: LA- and NYC-based Light Iron (@light_iron)
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Light Iron asks creatives what is important for them to tell their stories, and then pairs those answers with specific technologies to create the best pictures possible.
Sometimes we create a new tool or process to accomplish those goals. Sometimes we repurpose how a current technology is being used. But we package all that innovation and experimentation under the auspices of post-production services for on-set mobile dailies and picture finishing so we can continue to develop our creative and technological curiosity as well as pay our bills.
WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Co-founder and VP, Operations
WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Listening, translating and advising. On the facility side, I work with our artists, producers, engineers and support staff to define schedules, systems and technical specifications to guide projects through the best path. On the client side, I work with individual productions to develop budgets, test and implement workflows, negotiate delivery schedules and educate new clients about possibilities with file-based digital cinema technologies.
WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
A significant portion of my job involves education. Teaching how a RAW file is actually different from an RGB source, advising on a VFX color pipeline or clearing up the mysteries of LTO archiving are all part of a typical day.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
My friends and family sometimes joke that overhearing one of my technical conversations is the equivalent of hearing someone talk in a foreign language. But the ability to break down big concepts into more accessible chunks and seeing people understand them is one of the most satisfying parts of this position.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Managing the emotional conflict that sometimes comes with creative people. But their emotions remind me why Light Iron’s mission exists — to make it easier for creatives to tell their stories.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
8am because it’s my chance to organize and prioritize my day.
IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Producing content, which is something I do in my spare time now and plan to do more in the future.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I’ve always been drawn to a combination of creative and technical pursuits. In high school, I balanced doing DNA research on neurofibromatosis with performing in plays and throwing pottery. I entered college as a double major in Theater & Biology, something my engineer father and dietician mother found equally distressing and comforting. After taking an internship at an entertainment technology trade show, my interest turned from what was happening in front of the camera to everything behind, around, and on it.
Expendables 3 and Gone Girl are just a couple of films Light Iron has worked on recently.
CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
Even better, I can show you some recent projects.
NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Smartphone. With a fast-paced, client-facing job where the details and demands are constantly changing, I’m on-call unless my auto-responder is on. Being able to access my contacts, email, web, etc., is critical whether I’m in the office or out at the barn.
Apple Mail. I’ve tried the Gmail interface as well as other email platforms, but I found myself gravitating back to the Mail platform because I needed that familiarity to efficiently get through the 200+ emails I receive each day. I love its simplicity and ease of use.
E-Banking. I can barely remember the last time I physically went to a bank to deposit a check or wrote a check to pay a credit card. I hope I can forget it forever.
WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
Deadline, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, AV Club, Studio System – but I prefer to have updates pushed to my email, since that’s where my eyes are most of the time.
THIS IS A HIGH STRESS JOB, WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I’ve been riding horses competitively for nearly 15 years, so I trek to the barn at least twice a week to keep my skills sharp in between shows. OK, I admit, I don’t take my smartphone on rides, and those few hours away from it are very liberating!