from the desk of the coo – Aug 2020

Hi All!

While I’ve admittedly fallen off the newsletter wagon, I’ve been reminded in the past couple weeks just how important these updates are in keeping us together, motivated, and clear on our common goals. 

So much of what allows Team DFT to run fast, but together, is that many of us are “hand to the plow” people, which means we generally only tend to look up from our own portion of “the work” when we’re nudged into a Big Picture space.

Many of you have heard me talk about the personal responsibility Ramy and I feel in helping our friends get back to work – the DFT experience, this abnormal summer of busyness amid an already shocking time to be swimming in work, has maybe numbed us in ways… The gratitude is there, I know it, hear it and see it from you all daily, but I can also hear the tired. We’ve done what we can to mitigate the tired as a family – cycling through vacations before we get collectively busy again, twice a week lunches and personal training sessions, ramped up hiring to cover more needs, ongoing updates to our infrastructure, added concierge medical services with unlimited Covid testing, and the list goes on – but it still needs some framing…

ALL of this has happened inside of 5 short months. That is an EXCEPTIONAL amount of change inside a very small window – a window that none of us actually *chose* to open, but rather one we were forced through. We had *just* begun the undertaking of updating outdated gear, undergone a number of team shifts, implemented new workflows and processes to help communication, all of which was IMMEDIATELY challenged by pivoting to remote work, remote editorial, remote finishing, new partnerships and a massive uptick in education and innovation evangelism…

You guys… it’s okay to be tired. We’re *all* tired. But I also hope that you’re exceptionally proud. Every single last one of you has contributed in Herculean ways – ways that DFT will forever reference as we embark on our next 20 years. Whether it was the group effort of accomplishing Prime Rewind: Inside The Boys – one of the tightest turn arounds with the largest volume of media we’ve ever processed with such speed (or integrating the very storage that made that possible), or turning over a behemoth amount of VFX work that would take larger teams twice the time with half the excellence, or the absurdity of processing more gear and payments in one week that rivals what we do in a year – it bears repeating: You. Should. ALL. BeVeryProud.

Not just of the work, but of what that work means – do you understand that YOU are employing people? That every day that you’re contributing to DFT, you’re adding to those who can get back to work on shows or in other post houses. Work that they can do so safely, that they can do so without worrying that software or someone else is remotely taking *their* job, or fearing that their job won’t return…

We’re partnered with other facilities to help them navigate the security of unaired media. We’re sharing what we know about effective remote workstations. We’re working around the clock an on an ungodly number of calls to help walk our friends – veteran editors, colorists, producers, and DPs – through workflows they never thought they’d have to learn, let alone rely on. Team Cinecode has been working around the clock to help build out the future of on-set safety and the educational resources that will protect our industry’s essential workers. Team GeoPost is quite literally an all hands on deck, 24/7, full steam ahead operation that will carry us forward like few could have predicted 9 short months ago… All of this is turning lights back on. All of this is helping people to keep working or to get back to work. And all of this is because of you.

What you do – what you’ve done – matters. To this team, and so far beyond, that we may not know the strength of this impact for months or years to come – and that’s probably for the best. As hand-to-the-plow people, we’re better when we keep going, but going together. There is no greater prize than in emerging from this stronger as a team. Thank you, sincerely, from Ramy and myself – you are why we have been so bold. You are why this little “tug boat that could” has been able to bring so many, safely, along with us. Thank you.

with gratitude,
nancy jundi, coo
digitalfilm tree