Meet the new boss, same as the old
Think back to the Summer of 2012. Windows 8 was just released and the Microsoft Surface was unveiled. The Mars Curiosity Rover completed its 154-million-mile, 36-week journey with a successful landing. In our corner of the world, DaVinci Resolve 9 was released – introducing multilayer timelines, the Lightbox view on the Color page, and a personal favorite – the Gigantor View of the curves palette (which was removed a year or two later but has reappeared in Resolve 17).
Now, imagine at this time of exciting new developments in our industry, that you and two other colorists got together figuring out how to teach the skill of color grading. What would your solution look like? What product or service would you create that could keep pace with the rapid change hitting our industry? How would you design it to keep the co-founders motivated for years?
Mixing Light co-founders Dan, Robbie, and I had that precise conversation, multiple times, in the Fall of 2012. In October 2012 we decided a membership website seemed to be the right approach. On October 30, 2012, the three of us formed Mixing Light, LLC.
The core tenents of Mixing Light
When we started out, the three co-founders had a few basic ‘Insights’ into the company we wanted to build:
- To serve a community of professionals who had a thirst and need for continually moving their careers forward within a rapidly changing technological market.
- Create a safe space for professional creatives to share interesting ideas. Ideas that can be challenged with dignity, information that our members can trust and a way to (collectively) hold ourselves accountable for the information we share.
- No ugly internet scam tactics like impossible-to-find ‘cancel membership’ buttons or overhyped ‘secrets of pros’; the scummy selling of mailing lists to 3rd parties; sponsorships masquerading as ‘independent reviews’; photo shoots in front of leased Ferraris.
- Build a team beyond Robbie, Pat, and Dan by inviting experienced peers who both inspire us and spark new insights into how everyone in this business practices their careers.
Almost precisely 9 years later, Team Mixing Light continues being guided by and living up to those goals
The amazing thing is that we executed that game plan while keeping our full-time jobs as colorists running our own boutiques. Essentially, we ran Mixing Light in our spare time as a ‘side gig’ (although, some months, it felt full time).
The time we’ve spent developing, nurturing, and growing Mixing Light has been hugely rewarding. We hope not just for us – but you as well!
Like all living things, Team Mixing Light is changing
9 years after our founding Pat, Robbie, and Dan have decided to change things up. This change has been a year in the making. It was instigated while figuring out how to evolve Mixing Light for our members and evolve the co-founders’ relationship to it.
We had many 3-hour Zoom meetings this past year, often scheduled weeks in advance. We hired a business coach to help us break down the business and understand all the roles we were performing. We explored, who wants to do what?
In the end, we discovered something unexpected…
We discovered that we were all different people today compared to 9 years ago.
After leaving the safety of Big Facility grading and relocating to the west of England Dan launched Dan Moran Colour. It has grown from a DaVinci Resolve in his spare bedroom, to a thriving boutique Baselight facility. 9 years ago as a junior colourist Dan could never have dreamt of working with such an amazing list of Directors and DOPs on projects ranging from Radiohead music videos to Netflix Originals. With feature projects for Netflix, A24 and countless commercials on the cards Dan is still very much chained to the grading desk. Dan has also had massive changes in his personal life, getting married and more recently a new addition to his family, his daughter Lola.
His creative company DC Color has continued to thrive – providing cutting-edge HDR and finishing services. His family has grown too during this time, going from a 3-piece band to a quartet and he’s been in awe of his wife’s blossoming career in stewardship & development. Robbie has also become the ‘old guy’ at grad school pursuing his MBA, realizing he has a passion for mental health advocacy and helping others in our industry with their own mental health. He has also dove into the deep end of the pool with the business philosophy called Conscious Leadership.
After 30 years in the post production business, I realize I still love color grading but I don’t feel as compelled to ‘do’ color grading 24/7 as I used to. Instead, helping my peers share their battle-proven insights and igniting personal insights for others – that’s really exciting to me. I found that an unexpected passion has been rooted within me. As I look at what we’ve built in Mixing Light, I see my potential as helping others leave their legacy in our professional community, enriching the entire craft.
After a year of working, soul searching, introspection, a few heated discussions, and finally mutual agreement…
Mixing Light is proud to announce:
Patrick Inhofer is now the full owner and first CEO of Mixing Light
Mixing Light co-founders, Robbie Carman and Dan Moran, have decided to step down as partners. They will continue contributing to Mixing Light and answering comments on their Insights and the members-only Slack channel. Like all Mixing Light Contributors, their professional schedule will impact their Mixing Light participation going forward.
Of course, a change in leadership will mean exciting new changes to Mixing Light.
You’ll hear more from me in the coming weeks and months. Most immediately, our Mixing Light Newsletter will start delivering regularly (again). And my first priority is getting to a systematic, predictable content calendar with a consistent publishing schedule. I’ve already started talking to our Contributors on how Mixing Light can better serve their needs and make publishing easier. Many of you, our members, will find me reaching out to you to help me discover what Mixing Light can do better to serve your professional careers and our community.
On a personal note, I feel a great responsibility to move Mixing Light forward. I’m a little amazed that I have this opportunity to build upon a very strong foundation. It truly took a team to get Mixing Light started and I’d like to thank Dan & Robbie for their decade of commitment to Mixing Light.
If you have feedback, suggestions, comments, or questions – definitely ask them in the comments below or email me directly.
Patrick, on behalf of Dan and Robbie
Co-Founders, Mixing Light
If you aren’t following us already, here’s where you can stay connected to all three of Mixing Light’s co-Founders: