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Re: filmscanners: Repro issues (was Which Buggy Software?)

On Fri, 20 Jul 2001 01:21:44 -0400  Dave King (kingphoto@mindspring.com) 

> It'll get better as more jobs are shot digitally.  Then the repro
> folks won't have as much incentive to sabotage jobs not scanned in
> house since there's no film anyway.

True. These problems have long since been resolved in newsprint, for that 

> Even with photographer supplied scans this behavior will eventually
> backfire on honery and stubborn printers because clients will just
> take jobs where they get printed well.  

Generally smaller repro houses don't have these problems, it's the majors. 
Their response has been to contractually bundle scanning for repro, so 
magazines pay a fixed fee which includes all scans for an issue. This makes 
titles most unhappy to pay for scans done by the photographer, as they are 
paying twice. 

Again, you are probably right that in the long term this will have to 
change, but for now it's a major obstacle. I've twice had clients say that 
they have no intention of paying for scans when they can get them done 'for 
free' by the repro house - both times, weeks after I'd done the work and 
invoiced, of course. Neither were even faintly interested in my reasons for 
scanning, although both conceded that the scans I supplied were vastly 
better than C41's. I no longer work with either of them, thankfully.

There's another longstanding magazine client I have recently 'lost' because 
their repro house cock up scans every time. They know perfectly well it's 
the repro house at fault. After a couple of jobs which I had to do on C41 
and scan (tranny would have been horrid) we've just reached a point of 
mutual despair. There's another where the repro is less of a problem (they 
have had good results) than the art director who dresses up his fear and 
ignorance of the issues as aesthetic snobbery, and rejects anything which 
has been near a digital process on principle. This is not insurmountable, 
but it's a PITA to have to try and work around/fool him.

> I have clients who trust me
> and see good results with my files from some printers and not others.
> Guess which ones will get repeat business.

I certainly have clients for whom all this is no problem at all, in fact 
all that I have shot and scanned in the last 2 weeks has been painless. The 
odd thing is that most of it has been PR, distributed electronically or via 
CD.  These images end up in all sorts of publications, without trauma. I 
only ever seem to have these hassles with editorial commissions for 
magazines - PR or annual report stuff is invariably fine.

I'm not sure how fast it will change though. Magazine repro/print buying in 
UK is, at least sometimes, a corrupt process. I know of one buyer, employed 
by a major publisher, who awarded contracts on the basis of backhanders 
from the repro house. He was later rewarded with a directorship of the same 
repro house. I also know a director of an unrelated print company who 
regards bribery of clients' buyers as a normal operating expense, along 
with lavish meals and more sleazy inducements. Their clients are some of 
the UK's major financial institutions.


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


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