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A picture of Raymond Gangstad

Raymond Gangstad

Colorist, online artist (Shortcut Oslo)

in mac, television, video

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Raymond Gangstad, and I work as a colorist and an online artist at Shortcut Oslo in Norway. I do color grading, online editing, graphics, and VFX for commercials, music videos, documentaries, TV series and films of any length. 

My main gig is color grading. And a colorist is someone who looks at your movie and asks himself what he/she can do to enhance your story. Color is a very effective storytelling tool and a satisfying niche to work within. I aim to be awesome at enabling filmmakers to hit it out of the park. 

For work and for life I try to embrace change and be a jack-of-all-trades. I constantly keep educating myself on software, tech, science and the visual arts. So that no matter what job title I might be having at any given moment, I live a creative and interesting life.

What hardware do you use?

For work right now I use a 2012 Mac Pro with 2 x 3,06 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon. It has 64 GB of RAM and a ton of local and SAN storage. It's got a Cubix box with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan video card hanging off of it for playing back crisp high-res raw video. I have two 24-inch displays for my GUI and a Panasonic plasma reference monitor for working on images.

In my day-to-day grading suite I use the Tangent Element grading panel, and in our swanky grading cinema we have the nice Blackmagic Design Advanced Control Surface. That thing is like a Ferrari to Resolve colorists.

The cinema has a Christie 2K projector and a nice projection screen in a cinemascope aspect ratio.

At home I have a 2012 Mac Mini as a media center and hub for all my files. It's hooked up to a 55-inch TV, together with our Apple TV and gaming consoles.

I have a 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro that has conquered death on several occasions and I refuse to replace it until it croaks on its own.

The computer I use the most is hands-down my iPhone 5s (yeah, I'm on the S upgrade cycle) running whatever the latest iOS is. This device is like having R2-D2 in my pocket.

My iPad is a 3rd generation one that I use mainly for reading Wired, comic books and watching fxphd videos.

For my photography these days I've gone from having a Canon 7D kit with a bunch of nice lenses, via a tiny Sony NEX camera, to just using my iPhone. I am looking to buy a new camera any day now. I'm really excited about the DxO ONE. That kind of concept just HAS to be the future for photography!

And what software?

My main app is Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve. We're currently on version 11 at our company, and I am really looking forward to upgrading to 12 as soon as it's out of beta. It's just a fantastic creative tool. It's fast, intuitive and you could run it on your laptop for free if you'd need to.

But if there is a suite of programs that I could not survive without professionally, it is the Adobe Creative Cloud. I don't know what I would do without Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and After Effects. They enable me to work swiftly, problem solve shots and put things together for my clients in a very satisfying manner.

I use Viscosity to log on our VPN at work and Screens both on the Mac and iOS for remote access.
 Lightroom and Apple's Photos app is what I do for image editing on my Mac at home. My main web browser is Safari at home and Chrome at work. I love the tab syncing that iCloud does with Safari between devices. 

I use all of Apple's iCloud stuff. It's been mostly working great. But I do use Dropbox for sharing files between home, work and clients. And the Norwegian cloud storage service Jottacloud is where all my private data is backed up to. I've got terabytes there and I pay almost nothing for it. We do live in the future after all!
 Spotify is my music service of choice. I watch Netflix. I subscribe to HBO Nordic whenever there's a new season of Game of Thrones. And I rent movies on iTunes. 

This year I have not read one single book, but I have listened to a ton on Audible. Way more than I would have been able to read the old fashioned way. For when I do read a book, I usually do that on a Kindle.

I listen to a lot of podcasts and my favorite app for that is Pocket Casts. They have a great podcast player on their website that syncs with your iOS app. I use that a lot at work.
 Since Marvel is the place for all the new canon Star Wars comics these days, I use the Marvel app for iOS to buy those digitally. Getting physical comic books shipped from the US to Norway is too expensive and not at all environmentally friendly.

My favorite Twitter app is Tweetbot on iOS and on the Mac I enjoy the web interface. My Twitter handle is @rgangstad.
 I'm an avid Instagrammer and editing photos on my iPhone is almost like meditating for me. I mostly use Snapseed or Darkroom for the initial color correction. VSCO Cam is where I add film looks. Mextures is for when I want to grunge things up. LensFlare, LensFX or Alien Sky is where I get my VFX. Pro HDR for those tastefully done HDR photos. And I love incorporating Star Wars imagery in my photos and for that I comp with Photoshop Mix or Juxtaposer.

What would be your dream setup?

I am really looking forward to enjoying immersive virtual experiences, Snowcrash-style. I would love to build a VR cave like the one ILMxLAB has, in my living room. And get myself an Oculus Rift as well. I'd be creating virtual worlds by day and fighting off velociraptors and hanging out on the Millennium Falcon by night.