2005_05_dalmarjames_big.jpgVital Stats

- Dalmar James
- 33 yrs elder
- Grew up in “Crown Heights BKLYN!!” Refuses to tell us where he lives now: “I plead the fifth, stalkers or cops may be reading this.”
- Business development manager, Zoom In: “I consider myself a professional matchmaker of brands and solutions.”

Dalmar’s world: :

What is Zoom In?
Zoom In is a quarterly publication produced by Magnet Media that delivers software tutorials for creative professionals working in Film and video. The goal of each issue is to address techniques that are being used on TV and in film. They also include "industry spotlights" which feature high profile professionals talking about their craft from a technical and inspirational perspective.

All the info is presented on DVD. Why choose DVD format when print has served so many people so well for so long?
The only real method to relay a film broadcast technique is to actually see it happen.

What’s your role as “manager of business development?”
I handle strategic deals, uncover new revenue streams, licensing, marketing. Everything except cleaning out the office refrigerator.

What’s it like to be the business guy in a creative industry?
It's cool actually. It's the best of both worlds. People are a little less put off by me being the suit because they know that I share some of the same creative passions. I'm just the guy that has to figure out how to turn it into $$.

So is it all about digital production? Doesn’t anyone cut on a flatbed anymore?
First off, those flatbeds wouldn’t fit into the bedrooms of these kids turning out these brilliant $20 features in their bedrooms. Napolean Dynamite would never have happened if Napolean had to deal with all that splicing going on in his living room. Flatbeds are the 8-tracks of the new age.

Could non-professionals benefit from this sort of training?
Zoom In is for anyone interested in the techniques that go into creating high quality, slick-looking films, commercials, special fx, and the companies/individuals that pioneer those techniques. It’s for professionals that are trying to up their “A” game as well as those who wish to some day have an “A” game.

Given that there’s so much do-it-yourself software out there like iMovie or Final Cut is production work an art form? A learned trade?
A little of both. There’s definitely an element of button pushing that needs to be addressed. Our training tries to meet the needs of both by teaching the button pushing within the context of a real creative project. For instance, our Final Cut Pro DVD gives you footage from a film to help you better understand editing techniques, by letting you work alongside the instructor. You essentially practice the techniques as if you were the editor.

Does everything in digital production revolve around Mac software? Is there room in this world for creative PC-users?
There absolutely is! Avid and Adobe both make extremely high quality digital editing software. Avid is actually considered the industry standard (with Apple closing in fast). Although Adobe is better known for Photoshop, they actually make a really cool suite of programs for editing and motion graphics, audio, and authoring.

You guys launched the Zoom In Awards last year. What was the impetus for these awards?
There are not a lot of independently sponsored awards that strictly recognize the below-the-line talent (the people making the folks in front of the camera look good). We saw an opportunity to pull together the NY film and broadcast community in a funky NY kind of way so we grabbed it.

Since so many post-production people toil in (relative) obscurity in dark rooms, how interested are they in enjoying the spotlight?
Oddly enough, everyone who was even nominated last year was thrilled! It was literally an opportunity to “step out of the studio and into the spotlight.” So many editors, graphics artists and cinematographers only get as close to their subjects as their medium allows. So you won’t find Walter Murch chillin’ in Bungalow 8 sipping alongside P-Diddy, or Thelma Schoonmaker on the red carpet with Brad Pitt instead of Angelina. It’s a chance to have your work recognized publicly by your peers. Last year people won everything from equipment, software, and editing time and classes to increase their skill sets.

You’re also involved in Inspired Media networking events. What’s that about—did your company feel this was a natural outgrowth of what you were doing?
Actually those are sponsored in conjunction with Adobe Systems. They wanted a way to get their brand in front of the New York Film community but not be “sales-y” about it. We put these together as an opportunity to share inspirational work. There are not too many forums in NY where professional film and broadcast people can hang out and see some inspirational design work and really get to ask “how’d you do that?”

Since you’re familiar with the magic of post-production and know what goes on behind the curtain, does that affect your enjoyment of films or ads?
It actually makes the viewing experience more fun to me. I like knowing how the techniques help the whole experience come together.

As someone who traffics in creative solutions, have you ever wanted to make something yourself?
I'm actually planning to direct and edit a performance of my band at some point this summer

Ten things to know about Dalmar:

Gotham Mad Lib: When the _____ (noun) makes me feel
_____ (adverb), I like to _____ (verb).

When the city makes me feel blue), I like to sing jazz tunes.

Personality Problem Solving : Would you consider your personality more hysterical or more obsessive, and have you changed since living in New York; has "New York" become a part of you?
Hysterical as in “ha ha.” The longer that I’m in New York the more material you come across. It’s made me think of getting into stand up, but I’m poor enough as it is.

NYC Confessional: Do you have a local guilty pleasure?
Exploring the darker corners of the NY club scene.

When you just need to get away from it all, where is your favorite place in NYC to be alone, relish in solitude and find your earthly happiness? (We promise not to intrude.)
On a bar stool at Asylum or any place with a tap and good tunes.

What's one thing you've done (or regularly do) in NYC that you could not have conceived doing anywhere else?
Having a passion for business, technology, and music and be able to make a living combining them all. Also simply being able to have the types of off-the-hook daily experiences that have shaped the last 32 years.

Assuming that you're generally respectful of your fellow citizens, was there ever a time when you had to absolutely unleash your inner asshole to get satisfaction?
A few times. I used to have real issues with “New” New Yorkers who were trying to re-write rules that me and many “natives” had been writing since the early 80’s.

Describe that low-low moment when you thought you just might have to leave NYC for good.
An easy one…September 11, 2001

Besides more square footage, what luxury would you most like to have in your apartment?
A dishwasher

311: Help or hoopla? Have you ever put it to use?
Don’t know what it is. I always thought it was the tourist helpline.

There are 8 Million stories in The Naked City. Tell us one, but try to keep it to a New York Minute.
My senior year of high school (1990) I interned at a large New York law firm, and they were having their end of summer boat ride. I met a summer associate (the daughter of two prominent Columbia history professors) who was going into her final year of law school. A few drinks and lots of conversation later, the boat returned to the Fulton Street pier. I convinced her to come to a Spin Doctors show at wetlands. We continued to "party" until the show was over. We then proceeded to her place to "hook up." I never saw her again and honestly can't remember her name. It was a good time though.

For more information about Zoom In and its programs, check out their website at zoom-in.com. A review of their products can be found here: here.

-- Interview by Lily Oei and Aaron Dobbs