Meet the Team | Peter Wilson
Welcome to the latest installment of our meet the team series, where we get to know the amazing people behind The Finish Line. This time, we’ll be chatting to our new Finishing Artist Peter Wilson, who had 13 years of experience working in TV post-production before joining The Finish Line.
Peter grew up in Luton, a town just outside London, where he sparked a passion for post by editing a school film. His dad helped him cut it together with two VHS machines, playing from one and recording onto the other, then Peter used PowerPoint to create graphics. This passion led Peter on to studying Film and TV production at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Following graduation, he worked his way from a runner to the master control room (MCR). He also had experience working as a colourist and online editor, before becoming an integral part of the team here at The Finish Line.
How challenging was it to break into the industry? What skills were important?
I’ve been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time throughout my career. I had great mentors who put trust in me and gave me opportunities to learn on the job. The skill that has served me best outside of technical ability is thinking outside the box. Although it seems like a technical job, post-production is really a client service. It’s important to give the client a great experience while understanding what they want. Even the most technically gifted colourist wouldn’t get far if they didn’t get on with their clients.
What drew you to The Finish Line?
I was drawn to the culture and attitude. The TV industry generally has a flawed culture that leads people to work crazy hours. I love that The Finish Line produces high-quality content while balancing the needs of its staff. We live in a world where we can’t switch off, it’s not good for you or your creativity. My dad always said, “it’s good to love your job but it’s most important that you work to live, not live to work.” It’s a philosophy I try to live by and what The Finish Line is trying to do encapsulates that.
What are your favourite parts of the job?
Sharing knowledge, developing skills and getting better. It’s a breath of fresh air to sit with people of all experience levels and learn new things or have a colleague share something interesting that might be useful in future. There are always new techniques to learn and ways to improve.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m quite sporty when I can find the time. I love playing ultimate frisbee, disc golf and tennis. Although I won’t lie, these are often followed by a trip to the pub. I also love reading and cooking delicious food.
Do you have any advice for people looking to follow a similar career path?
Ask questions and don’t be embarrassed by not knowing something. The people that go the furthest are often those that are willing to learn constantly and are happy to learn a new trick from the most junior person in the company. It’s a complicated industry and nobody knows it all.
What about tips or techniques for other artists?
My favourite DaVinci Resolve-based tip that I don’t see many people use is to change the blending mode when you use layer nodes. If you switch it to Multiply or some of the other options when combined with a key on the peak highlights you can save detail in blown-out highlights while still keeping a decent amount of contrast in the image.
Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
Hopefully still hanging around here working on great shows, making them look beautiful and having a great time doing it.