A New Image West
Facilities I Designed in Studio City, 1983

In 1983, Image West moved from their old facilities at 845 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood to 11846 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. The move was a major one, involving building facilities starting with basically a blank floor of a new office building. It was a big design job from the standpoint of physical, mechanical, aesthetic, and functional layout. Here are some views of the technical facilities I built after completion.

Note: The poster at left was Image West's signature in the 1982-83 era. It was designed by Sonny King.

Roy Weinstock is shown here at the switcher in the new Scanimate Bay at Studio City. This was the first facility I had ever designed that involved raised computer flooring. Half of the building was on a level two feet lower than the other half. So we used raised computer flooring to make the two floor levels equal. This gave us about 20" under the floor for cables, power and air conditioning. One of the Scanimates is shown behind Roy. I added a routing switcher and timed all the inputs so that video sources were in time at all switchers, and inputs were re-entrant... You could have a source through a router then into a production switcher and it would still be in time. I also tried to make the consoles more operator friendly by pointing the monitors towards the central position thus avoiding a skewed view of your work.

This is not a very clear shot of the master control room. It basically was a bunch of racks full of a routing switcher, production switchers, sync, audio, distribution and patch panel equipment. At the far end were the VTR's, 1" C, IVC 9000, and Quad VTR's. The biggest thing I didn't anticipate was the level of hassle I would have to deal with from the City of Los Angeles for an Electrical Permit. They insisted they should see a "UL" sticker on every piece of equipment before they'd let us turn it on. Well, to get a UL sticker, a manufacturer of say toasters has to submit a dozen or so toasters for what Underwriters Laboratories calls "Destructive Testing". At $100,000 a pop, no VTR manufacturer is going to do that. So it was a stalemate. We got temporary approval, but they kept coming back hassling us. There was a $50 fee for each item we wanted them to "inspect". I finally told the inspector I'd bury him in paperwork if he insisted, and we agreed that the entire rack system pictured here would consist of an "item". An inspector showed up one day and slapped a sticker on the side that said "inspected", and that was it!

This was the VersEFX bay, also served by the same master control bay. VersEFX was an interesting project to build a hybrid analog/digital effects system, in conjunction with the SFP, the French TV production company. Follow this link more info about VersEFX. Shown here is Jim Ryan, the project software engineer, putting the system through its (ahem) paces.

All images Copyright © Dave Sieg

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Please email me for more info: dave@zfxinc.net