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Re: filmscanners: Repro house skirmishing (long)

On Sat, 24 Mar 2001 17:51:26 -0000  Dicky (corbettr@dircon.co.uk) wrote:

> What you require is a repro house who handle Mac or PC files. If they can do
> that then there can be no problem, as long as your profiles match their
> profiles.

They can all *read* them, but the problem appears to be mostly one of treading 
on toes rather than technical. It's political/financial.

> Once you have found an organisation or organisations able to deal with this
> requirement, then you check out their street cred by visiting them. Ask for
> the MD and go talk to him/her, explain your requirements and suggest you can
> put some work their way.

Nice idea, but I'm in no position to start renegotiating repro/print contracts 
for magazines - I have a hard enough time trying to negotiate a fee for 
photography. Repro/print houses try their damndest to 'lock in' publishers, so 
provided they don't screw up too badly, it's awkward and expensive for them to 
go elsewhere. And I have known at least one publisher's print buyer who was 
shamelessly corrupt and awarded repro/print contracts on the strength of the 
biggest backhander he could screw out of the repro house.

The nice thing about them screwing up my scans is that they can put on an 
innocent face and tell the production ed it's all the photographers fault. 
Sometimes it is. Other times, as happened here, the scans went right through 
the production chain (all calibrated and profiled), then got minced to gruel, 
and probably maliciously. How many 25-35 scans does the average magazine 
contain? That's what the repro house doesn't want to let go of. Until their 
clients, the publishers, start demanding it, it seems unlikely to change - but 
the editorial market is stuffed with under-trained overworked bluffers on low 
salaries, whose natural inclination is not to rock the boat unless there's some 
overwhelming advantage to them for doing so. 

In newsprint, the advantage was clear and obvious, dig offered stunning speed 
of transmission and distribution, so all this stuff got resolved PDQ (and of 
course most newspapers own their own repro/print, so they weren't able to mess 

In magazines, photosetting rapidly edged out hot metal, and DTP came in very 
quickly because of the ability to make up pages quickly and cheaply. But design 
and production are in-house direct costs, whereas photography is a bought-in 
freelance service and dig doesn't offer the publisher much in the way of cost 
savings. They could save some on the repro, but they'd have to get educated 

My real reason for wanting to go this route is quality, being able to get 
better pics out of horrible circumstances. I can only offer it if the client 
knows how to handle it. The repro house doesn't want it at all. I think I am 
just realising that this is beating a dead horse, and that it ain't going to 
happen for a very long time due to vested interests:(

> The first individual who can complete the verse, name the composer and also
> the singer who made this number his own, I will name as "The Great Gobbo of
> 2001".

You really ought to mix some tobacco with that stuff :)


Tony Sleep
http://www.halftone.co.uk - Online portfolio & exhibit; + film scanner info & 


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