A conversation with WB’s Ned Price

Reviewed by Kris Mendes at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Warner Brother’s Vice President of Mastering conducted a small room discussion at the Festival primarily highlighting his most recent work on remastering Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 A Clockwork Orange.  To everyone’s surprise, Mr. Price was extremely approachable, likeable and knowledgeable about his trade.  Ned Price answered questions that covered different spheres of the Warner Brother’s corporation, yet he was able to respond with ease and control, even when the questions appeared to tap into departments that were out of his regular scope of duty.  For instance, when describing the fragile process of hunting down and handling film to remaster it, he explained many technical aspects that went along with processing film, preserving and enhancing audio, color and visuals, yet he had a myriad anecdotes having to do with the legal and marketing departments, speaking candidly on the advantage of cross-training in different fields.  

The two key points I take from Mr. Price’s talk were his appreciation for the technical intricacies of creating a film- For instance, his discussion on filters, lenses and visual saturation manipulation when handling film imperfections, opened a different eye for watching movies.  Take Mike Mills’ The Beginners, for example, and I am reminded of that scene where different colors are flashed on the screen- nothing but the seven colors of the gay pride flag.  This technique, I thought was very poetic of the cinematographer in several respects:  For one, the literal poetry being recited about the significance of the gay pride movement and the symbolism behind each color.  But on the filmmaker’s angle, it was as if the audience was getting a quick lesson on using filters, and what each color means within a movie (i.e. the reds for warm lovey dovey scenes – the cold blues for villain scenes, etc).

The second thing I take from his talk was his advice on the importance of cross-training in different fields- it is no longer enough to be an “editor”, or a “director of photography” alone, without learning legal jargon, or marketing skills.

Thanks again, Ned Price for your visit to the 27th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival and enhancing my learning experience.

 


 

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