Tom Parish – Overview

DSC_0343Tom Parish is a thought leader and facilitator of conversations around technology and the problems of our times. Tom continually leverages his experience in working with AI researchers from the early 1980’s through the early 1990’s having worked at Symbolics and MCC, Motorola Semiconductor and  Tom is continually motivated to bring new technologies to market that help people team with each other and with smarter tools to work at higher levels of abstraction. Business wins big when you focus on inspiring curiosity and sharing our insights.

His background includes 30 plus years in management in networking, cloud computing, SCADA and process control, enterprise software, mobile technology, customer relationship management, social media, AI, multi-media production, as well as a career as a musician and a film colorist.

Tom is a producer and host of some 1300 thought-leadership focused podcasts about technology featuring a vast range of management personnel and creatives at “ Fortune 1000” top performing tech and design companies. 

The conversation nearest his heart is addressing how best to educate young people on the virtue of adaptability in the workplace and developing a keen sense of understanding interdisciplinarity ties. In bearing witness to the new economy and its unprecedented whims, on behalf of his grandkids, Tom seeks to create a legacy giving voice and visibility to this pivotal dialogue as a writer and public speaker.

Tom works in an advisory role with startups and enterprises seeking advanced technologies to improve their competitive edge.  He seeks people who are problem solvers and business builders striving to bring new ideas to market. In his heart, he’s about helping people discover more of what they want to become in life.

Tom’s hobby and passion are connecting with amateur radios operator around the world. His call sign is KB5RF (Extra). In addition to helping companies with AI strategies, Tom is extremely curious about the evolution of software defined radios and the layering of radio network technologies.  He’s a life-long percussionist and a budding accordion player always looking for an opportunity to play.  More on Tom here.

All the best,


Life without Color – Can You Imagine?

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f8d9a35fcc64d76b8ad4cc2b374784e2_originalUp next is a conversation with Robb Jacobson about the lives of people who are affected – by birth and by injury, drastically and unknowingly – with some form of color blindness.

Robb is a story producer and a filmmaker who is partially color blind.  One day it hit him: In our society, we cherish our visual field, but we also demand it to be understood uniformly. Policemen, firemen, pilots, soldiers, railroad workers, electricians, astronauts, artists, and many more occupations won’t allow for any inconsistency in color determination.

In his up-and-coming documentary Life without Color, Robb shows the human condition of those who are color impaired and color blind, and he highlights the capabilities of those who won’t give up on attaining a solution and a better life. Visit to learn more about the film and contribute to the Kickstarter project now running. Let’s help this young man make this real. That’s my goal in sponsoring the film myself.

As a colorist in the film-making industry whose livelihood depends on seeing color all day, every day, I was curious to learn more from Robb, and he was generous and thoughtful in his responses to my inquiries.

This is what I asked:

When did you first notice your disability around color? What is it like?

What is your motivation for coming up with this film?

How does being color impaired impact people who want to have a career in public service?

In meeting other people who are color blind, do you notice anything different about their personality or their emotional nature? Can severely color blind people still enjoy life?

Talk more about people you’ve interviewed regarding different types of color blindness.

How does being color blind impact childhood or adult life?

Can anything ‘really’ be done about this condition?

Thank you, Robb. I’ve learned a lot listening to you – not only professionally but compassionately – about the issues of people living with some form of color blindness. I’m looking forward to seeing your film!

Readers, do take a moment right now and visit Robb’s Kickstarter project and make a contribution to the production of this film.


What Can a Colorist Learn from a Producer? A Conversation with Ezra Venetos

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Up next is a conversation with Ezra Venetos, a film producer in Austin, Texas, whom many of us know locally for his successful indie films (INTRAMURAL, ZERO CHARISMA, 5TIME CHAMPION).  I ask Ezra to talk about what makes him unique in his approach to producing films.  We discuss the central themes I’ve been exploring in this mini-series: Have we unconsciously evolved into a bad Ezra_bio_pichabit of thinking production quality is related to how much 4k or 5k gear we budget to rent or own?  Will an emphasis on color simply be how we ‘fix’ the story in post, or will it be part of pre-production as it was in the past?  What needs to change to make better films in this hyper-competitive Indie market?

Ezra and I cover these points and more:

  • Have we become compartmentalized in the way we produce movies now that it’s all digital?
  • What’s more important — your gear or your team?
  • DITs — what’s the real deal on this position?  
  • Are we seeing a renewed opportunity to leverage our creative collaboration across production and post in the use of light and color in the filmmaking process?

Both Ezra and I hope you find this conversation helpful.  I sure did!


Part 2: What Can a Colorist Learn from a Distributor? – Linda Nelson,

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Click to play Part 2 or right click to download.

Think about it – what could you learn from a distributor, really? For me, finding an answer was a stretch.  If you’re like me and you assume distributors are a kind of invisible gatekeeper, then it’s difficult to get over the mindtalk running in your head that a distributor is out to get you in some way. Or at best is just someone you have to pay along the way.

img_0224Clearly this isn’t always the case, but then there are those horror stories we’ve all heard over the years. Has this changed with the video on demand (VOD) marketplace evolving so quickly? You might be surprised what you learn from Linda Nelson of during this 60 minutes of non-stop, high-intensity flow of ideas to help you be more successful with your film. Download now to learn her insights for successful distribution of indie films. If you missed Part 1 with Andie Grace of Devolver Digital Films, a distributor in San Francisco, then please catch that one, too!

Here are few of the points I press Linda on:
~ Are distributors just gatekeepers?
~ Can Facebook help you make lower-cost films that are more successful?
~ Is shooting 4k really necessary right now?
~ How critical is audio encoding? Can that keep you from making sales on iTunes?
~ What is the cheapest and fastest way to get captions and subtitles done?
~ What is the best way to handle an anamorphic look? Can’t you just burn that in during post?
~ Can self-distribution wreck your chances for bigger opportunities?
~ What is the best way to contract with a distributor?
… and so much more …

Learn how she helped a filmmaker who produced an entire project with $25,000 be successful in distribution. A fascinating story.

Linda completely shifted my perspective on collaboration with a distributor because the bottom line is that working with a good distributor is going to improve your odds at making more money over a longer period of time. Sure, I know, there are always the amazing individuals who do it all themselves, and that’s as it should be. But for the majority of films I’m involved with, collaboration with a distributor could make a big difference.  It is easier than you think and comforting to know that some will partner with you in an ethical manner.

Looking for a transcript of this show, Download here – ColorTalk Tom Parish Interviews Linda Nelson – IndieRights

You’ll find more insights from Linda in this excellent blog post at the Actors Talk podcast with Tom Kendrick. Scroll down and check out her 20 VOD Distribution Tips (recommended).

More about Linda Nelson and IndieRights:
Nelson Madison Films Web Site
Indie Rights on Facebook
Nelson Madison Films on Facebook
Nelson Madison Films / Indie Rights on YouTube

Part 1: What Can a Colorist Learn from a Film Distributor? Devolver Digital Films w/ Andie Grace

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Up next is a conversation with Andie Grace, VP of Acquisitions and Head Cheerleader at Devolver Digital Films — a filmDevolver-Digital-Films distributor in San Francisco. Why a film distributor? Turns out they have similar problems as colorists in helping filmmakers be more successful. In a hurry – download the transcript – ColorTalk host Tom Parish Interviews Andie Grace Devolver Films.

Great films are about amazing stories that move you emotionally, make you think, stir controversy.   Now that the cost of digital filmmaking has dropped dramatically (even 4k productions are doable), what is the secret to doing this well with tighter budgets?

Surely it’s not just about more gear or higher-resolution cameras or finding cheaper actors or better scripts?  Why not leverage the creative flow across the entire digital workflow production and post process, including coaching and feedback for distribution of your movie?  Maybe it’s just a matter of having more conversations on the creative level early. Maybe the producer or director gets everyone in the creative process of the project talking face to face before they begin “the rush to logistics,” as Kari Perkins said in her show.

As a digital intermediate (colorist) I’m often in the position of being brought a completed film and simply asked to do my magic — and by the way, can you fix this and fix that …?  I’m not alone, and those of you in post production know what I mean here. Turns out the film distributors are in the same boat.  All too often, especially with filmmakers, the distributor has to be the bearer of bad news on a number of technical and marketing issues. It means spending more money and pushing out the possibility of distribution months.  Maybe worse …

If only there had been more communication or collaboration in the filmmaking process along the way.  If I’m given the chance I can provide feedback on codecs, lighting, color issues, and so forth, which means the color budget is spent on color grading versus color fixing. There is a parallel to all this in the distribution end, and Andie Grace lays it on the line straight for us in this show.

We’re going to delve into the world of film distribution and ask: What if an indie filmmaker spoke with a distributor BEFORE a film was produced or before the final stages of post? What might they learn? Could any money be saved, or could they use their funds in a way that would make the film easier to distribute? 

andie-pr-0040In this interview we talk also about the importance of building visibility early and marketing your film along the way.  What’s the magic of getting into iTunes and the difference between the transaction model and the subscription model of distribution?

We discuss briefly now the evolution of distributing films has changed over the last few years, now that we’ve gone mostly digital. In fact, it’s going to continue changing rapidly, and you want to keep up with the trends in VOD distribution.

The film distributor is not a gatekeeper. They want to partner with you and help you through the curation process of each VOD platform, but you’ll need to help them help you, and the sooner you start on this the better.

Listen in and learn from Andie Grace, VP of Acquisitions and Head Cheerleader at Devolver Digital Films.

Download now.







What Can a Colorist Learn from a Director of Photography? Interview with Ellie Ann Fenton

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In the next conversation of this mini-series on “What Can a Colorist Learn from a …?” I speak with Ellie Ann Fenton, a Director of Photography in Los Angeles.  One of the key points we consider is great gear without creative collaboration yields average, at best, results.  Average is over. 

Lucky for me she was in Austin working on a film. She called asking if she could bring the scriptwriter, the editor, and others on the team over to the studio to see some test clips on the large screen. Needless to say, I was delighted. The film short is titled Flocker with Jayson Oaks a director and cowriter.

We production crew met and talked about the feeling of the movie and how light and color will be used to impact the emotional nature of the film. This led to a technical conversation over what color space to shoot in with the Sony F55 and what LUTs to use. Then we did some testing with DaVinci Resolve. As the colorist for the project, I was thankful to have an opportunity to contribute early in the process as this will lead, I believe, to a more creative look because there will be fewer color correction issues.

During this interview Ellie and I discuss how the cost of digital filmmaking has dropped dramatically (even 4k productions are doable), so what is the secret to doing this well with tighter budgets? What makes one indie production stand out over others when all are using the same gear and software in post?

Surely it’s not just about more gear, or higher-resolution cameras, or finding cheaper actors or better scripts. Why not leverage the creative flow across the entire digital workflow production and post process, including inputs from distribution? How about expanding the creative uses of color and light in the process of telling stories? Bottom line – you want to spend less money fixing problems in digital filmmaking and get more emotional impact out of a budget all the way through the distribution step.

One way of leveraging creative interaction is use a system like www.Frame.IO which is in beta right now but well worth taking a close look.  We are testing this out ourselves now as this film short evolves. There are many cool features like being able to mark up a frame and save it as a marker. When you start typing a marker is saved and a very cool ‘version’ view that shows before and after grading examples playing in realtime in sync.  There is more, a lot more so visit www.Frame.IO for details.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 10.22.49 AM

Listen in and let me know about your experiences around the collaboration process. Be sure to subscribe to ColorTalk up on iTunes to receive the show automatically. I have more coming on this mini-series. Thanks for listening!

~ Tom


ColorTalk Podcasting Lineup for Winter 2015 – “What can we learn from each other …”

Here is what’s on the lineup for the next couple of months.  I’m very excited about this mini-series that started out titled “What Can a Colorist Learn …” but as this idea has evolved it’s becoming more about what ‘we’ can all learn in the filmmaking process from each other to improve our creative products – especially the smaller independently budgeted films.   Here’s the deal.  We’re running around with the same gear more or less in production and  the post production process is accessible to everyone even color grading which was the last big piece to drop in price.

The key thought that is emerging in these interviews is the lack of communication regarding the use of color and light in the production process. As we move to shooting more raw there is this overall tendency to rush to the logistics of production. The assumption is the colorist will take the raw files and do his/her magic.  I’m over simplifying here I realize.  And I know there are DPs, directors  and even scriptwriters who have a keen sense of the use of color and light.  By and large, that’s not the case. So I decided to find a way to evoke and share knowledge about the awareness and use of color in the production and post-production process of filmmaking. Join in, listen and learn. Let me know your thoughts too.


What Can a Colorist Learn from a Costume Designer? Interview with Kari Perkins

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Have you seen any of these movies – Boyhood, which is winning awards left and right … Dazed and Confused, Fast Food Nation, A Scanner Darkly, Bernie?

In this interview I ask award-winning custom designer Kari Perkins—who is from Austin, Texas, and is the cboyhoodostume designer on the films mentioned above—to explore with me what a colorist can learn from a costume designer and how that collaboration can impact the creative strength of a production.

Kari and I renew the discussion about the importance of early collaboration in the filmmaking process on the use of color, versus attempting to fix color in post-production (if at all, in small-budget films). It’s a team sport and it starts early if you want to really stretch your budget and maximize your creative efforts.

This is part of a mini-series of interviews I’m embarking on to expand and share what we can collectively learn about the creative use of color from scriptwriters, costume designers, set designers, cinematographers, audio and those who score the music, directors, and the like. If you listened to my previous interview with Randy Starnes, colorist, you’ll realize this is not a new idea. In fact, it’s one that’s used every day on larger productions. But if you do smaller-budget projects, all too often you see a greater focus on rushing to logistics, versus stepping back and allowing the creative flow to emerge from the team.

My interest is color because that’s what weaves in the emotional feel of a movie (along with the soundtrack, too, of course). Let’s see where this series takes us. I’m curious to hear your feedback.

For those of you who want to delve into more detail about Kari’s approach to her art and craft as a costume designer, I encourage you to read this recent interview with her at (January 2015).


How Can Color and Light Impact Your Creative Flow? SXSW 2015 Panel

I am delighted to announce I’ll be attending SXSW 2015 this year as a panelist for Catalytic Color: Flow & the Balanced Brain Benefit. I will be moderating the panel.

LUnknown-1eanne Venier, artist, engineer, and expert in the Science of Color and Light for Flow, submitted this fascinating panel idea, and it was selected from more than 3300 entries to present at the SXSW Interactive 2015 conference. I am greatly honored by her request to moderate the panel, and I am excited to be in the presence of our other talented panelists, Margaret Keys and Brad Richardson.  I think this panel is going to open up a lot of minds and spark creative ideas around the idea of ‘Flow’.

Come join us Saturday, March 14, 12:30 – 1:30pm, JW Marriott, Salon 2, 110 E 2nd St in Austin, Texas.

Here is a summary of what we’ll be covering:

* Why it’s important to use both brain hemispheres to run a successful business:  Left Brain (analytical and task-oriented), and Right Brain (creative and intuitive, where innovation and insights occur, often during Flow state).
* The benefits of Flow, an optimal, right-brain state of consciousness where people feel and perform their best and innovation occurs. Most cutting-edge scientific and technological breakthroughs occur in Flow, as do major athletic and art achievements. A 10-year McKinsey study of top executives recently showed that they are 5 times more effective when operating in Flow, and if we were to increase the amount of time we’re in Flow by a mere 20%, workplace productivity would double.
* How to optimize color and indoor lighting in work environments to enhance Flow, promote teamwork, maximize productivity and peak performance, and dramatically improve employee health and job satisfaction.
* How to quickly and easily train our brains (neuroplasticity) using right-brain exercises to access Flow whenever desired.

Want to learn more? Please visit Leanne’s site where she has posted more details on the panel and background on all the panelists.

See you there!