For independent film and video producer Donny Hall, color is a vital part of his story, from capture all the way through to post. Because Hall started his career in post, editing music videos for some of the biggest names in the rap music genre, including Tyler the Creator, Drake, Rick Ross and Akon, he realized early on how essential color accuracy is to the foundation of his visual storytelling.
Now the owner of Studio82 in Bryan, Texas, Hall has expanded his services to include directing. Whether he’s working on a commercial, corporate video or documentary, his workflow demands the highest level of color-rich detail possible — ensuring each piece is translated exactly as he imagined.
“With what I do, color plays such a huge part in my visual storytelling,” says Hall. “You create emotions with color. As an artist, it's one of your strongest friends. Once you take the step into professional production, it’s important your tools ensure technical accuracy and reflect a high level of quality. The more accurate your material, the more accurate the final product.”
His most recent work, Bouquet by Numbers, a film adaptation of the short story by Lane Thibodeaux, shows what happens long after a crime and focuses on the long-term aftermath of hardship and loss. Hall co-directed and produced the project, and he also transitioned into the world of 4K.
As part of that upgrade, Hall needed a monitor that could accurately present what he captured and maintain that vision through his editing workflow within Adobe’s Premiere Pro and After Effects. In the past, he had relied on the BenQ BL3201PH, so when he saw the PV3200PT, he knew it would be a familiar and reliable choice while adding 100% Rec. 709 color accuracy.
“With the evolution of technology comes the question, 'How do I color correct and retain color accuracy through the entire process?' When you're working with other monitors there is some guesswork involved," he says. "You don't want to have to guess about the representation of what you're doing, then kick something out and figure out it looks terrible on a TV or even on a phone. When it comes to color accuracy, the PV3200PT stood out in terms of value and performance.”
Leaving Nothing to Chance
Purpose-built for professional video post production, the 32-inch BenQ PV3200PT 4K Ultra HD IPS display provides Hall with incredible color precision via 10-bit, 100% sRGB, color tone reproduction with a Delta-E value of less than or equal to two, and a 14-bit 3D LUT for improved RGB color blending. These features meet all the high-resolution requirements for Studio82’s 4K color-accurate editing workflow. That accuracy also extends to whatever workstation they are connected to, whether a Mac mini, MacBook Pro or client laptop.
The PV3200PT features simple hardware and software calibration that allows Studio82 to adjust the monitor’s processing chip without altering graphic card data — everything is calibrated through the monitor. They use X-Rite’s ColorTRUE color calibration app, and with the monitor’s calibration capabilities they can seamlessly interchange which laptop or PC they’re working on without changing the computer settings.
“This allows me to not only work with my images as a reference but actually be able to work with my images as the final product,” explains Hall. “It skips a lot of headaches at the end trying to get things to match up or trying to wait until the finishing process to address some of the issues.”
In addition, the monitor’s OSD controller allows Hall to quickly and efficiently switch from Rec. 709, EBU and SMPTE-C modes. With a click of a button, he can review what the footage is going to look like in those color spaces, no matter if it’s a 4K film or a commercial that will ultimately be broadcast in standard definition — ensuring the picture looks good no matter what.
Even when working in a darker environment, or under fluorescent lighting, the PV3200PT's brightness is uniform. When clients sit in, Hall can trust they’re seeing a great picture, even at an angle. The PV3200PT monitor also leverages BenQ’s Eye-Care and ZeroFlicker technology, eliminating flicker at all brightness levels, effectively reducing eye fatigue and making long editing session more comfortable.
Finally, Hall appreciates how easily he can control the monitor’s tilt, swivel and screen rotation capabilities, which allow him to rotate the screen from landscape to portrait mode and access five times more horizontal real estate. It also allows him to build longer sequences much faster in After Effects. Then he can swivel the monitor back to horizontal and jump into Premiere.
“I can’t leave anything to chance with digital,” says Hall. “You want as much color information, as much richness, as you can get out of your images. Anything that helps me produce more stunning, visually engaging images, and with more precision in an affordable way, I'm going to adopt as a standard. BenQ has set a new standard for my workflow.”
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