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23 2018 Jul

Blue Collar Post Collective Brings Soft Skills Outdoors with Field Day

Break-out sessions with community experts in Los Angeles and NYC parks draw members to learn about networking, negotiation, and mentoring.

BCPC logo
The Blue Collar Post Collective (BCPC) has continued its legacy of innovative programs and workshops with a “Life Skills Field Day” held on both the East and West coasts this summer. The inventive workshop brought emerging talent and peer experts within the BCPC community to local parks to discuss soft skills such as building real relationships through networking, negotiating rates, creating personal budgets, and finding mentorship opportunities.

The Field Days featured experts from across all post production disciplines, including representatives from companies like Adobe, Huffington Post, Netflix, and Vice, and from post teams on television shows like Altered Carbon, Shooter, Two Dope Queens, and Mr. Robot. Session leaders discussed their experiences in the industry and led break-out sessions about finding resources and connecting with the community to grow professionally in skills that aren’t taught in school. Attendees were encouraged to bring blankets and snacks and spend an afternoon outside with their peers, creating a unique atmosphere for post production workers to
connect.

Clarence Deng, an assistant editor who attended the LA-based event, said, “I got a lot out of simply feeling like it was easier to approach the people teaching and ask them things directly in a way that bigger lecture style events – as beneficial as they are – can’t provide. I was reminded of being in college with the relatively contained groups for each of the sessions we rotated through – it felt a bit more inviting and intimate.”

Co-president Kylee Peña added, “BCPC always working to create new opportunities for our members to grow professionally in a space that is not only welcoming, but welcoming to all kinds of people. Our community is full of individuals at different career levels with a diverse set of needs and learning styles. In order to make post production education truly inclusive, we need to keep accessibility in mind: offer learning opportunities at times when emerging talent can actually attend, and design different ways to access critical information. Sometimes that means putting on sunscreen and heading outside!”

LA’s Field Day was held in late April at Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood, and New York’s Field Day happened in June in Central Park. BCPC tentatively plans to bring Life Skills Field Day to its London hub this fall. Social meet-ups happen every month in all three cities and details for each can be found on Facebook or bluecollarpostcollective.com.

23 2018 Jul

ACE EditFest Los Angeles is Approaching! EditFest London Wraps an Outstanding Day

On August 25th at the Frank Wells Theater at Disney, ACE presents EditFest LA, a full day of conversation with some of the world’s best editors who inspire attendees with their experiences and insights. Last month in the UK, EditFest London editors including Chris Lebenzon, ACE, Martin Walsh, ACE, Eddie Hammond, ACE and Una Ni Dhonghaile were among more than 15 editors engaged with a sold out crowd at BFI. (Photo link).

If you love editors and want to hear more about how they work and their creative processes, this day is unmissable. Tickets are available at http://americancinemaeditors.org.

20 2018 Jul

Motion Picture Editors Guild to Honor Lee Dichter, CAS with Fellowship and Service Award; Ceremony to be Held in New York

MPEG logoThe Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG) will honor veteran sound re-recording mixer Lee Dichter, CAS, with its prestigious Fellowship and Service Award. This is the first time the award ceremony will be held on the East Coast at The Sheraton New York at Times Square on October 20, 2018.

“It is an enormous pleasure for commented Alan Heim, ACE, President of the Editors Guild. “I am delighted that the Guild is bringing the award to New York at last to honor so important a member of our community, thereby demonstrating that we are truly a national union.

“I had the good fortune to work with Lee on a number of films when I was based in New York for the first half of my career,” Heim continued. “I found him to be an incredibly talented and generous artist, always striving to deliver the best film possible while working calmly in sometimes stressful environments. In addition, he was a strong union supporter throughout his career.”

IATSE700-logoThe Fellowship and Service Award was established 11 years ago by the Guild’s Board of Directors to recognize an individual who embodies the values the Guild holds most dear: Professionalism, Collaboration, Mentorship, Generosity of Spirit and a Commitment to the Labor Movement. Previous recipients of this distinguished honor include Donn Cambern, ACE; Dede Allen, ACE; IATSE International President Emeritus Thomas C. Short; Carol Littleton, ACE; Don Hall; Donald O. Mitchell; Joseph A. Aredas; and Lillian E. Benson, ACE.

“Lee Dichter and his body of work are just what the Fellowship and Service Award Committee was established to acknowledge,” said Sharon Smith Holley, committee co-chair. “Especially important to the Guild is his dedication to the labor movement.”

Added fellow co-chair Jeffrey Burman, “As a mainstay at New York’s premier mixing house, Sound One, Lee was instrumental in making sure the facility was a union shop — which makes it particularly meaningful for the Guild to hold the award ceremony on the East Coast, where Lee has made such an impact.”

19 2018 Jul

Therapy Studios Helps to Showcase The Next Greatest Soccer Players in Phenoms

Member News - Therapy - Soccer

Therapy Studios, the Emmy Award-winning LA-based post production company, assists with top-level post work for the soccer documentary series Phenoms, airing on Fox and Fox Sports.

Shot in 20 countries by 12 different directors, Phenoms offers viewers behind-the-scenes access into the lives and careers of the world’s next greatest soccer players as they compete to represent their respective countries on the global stage. The docu-series world premiered at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in May with a screening of the episode “Goalkeepers.” The series gives unprecedented access into the lives, on and off the field, of emerging players like Aleksandr Selikhov of Russia, Gastón Guruceaga of Uruguay, Jack Butland of England, and Alphonse Areola of France.

Therapy Studios handled aspects of post production for the mini-series, bringing the drama and action into focus. Therapy’s expert sound team, comprised of Eddie Kim, Brandon Kim, Justin Lebens, and Dillon Cahill, covered sound design and mixing, as well as sound edit and re-recording mixing.  Balancing the intensity of roaring crowds seamlessly with emotional interview footage, the audio dynamically brings their stories to life. Color Grade by Robert Curreri and Omar Inguanzo creates a vivid palette throughout, taking the viewer from gameplay to the soccer players’ most intimate moments.

 

Link to Phenoms Official Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=51&v=D1TeBHXgquI

 

19 2018 Jul

Visual Data Chooses Quantum StorNext-Powered Scale-out NAS to Manage 4K Workflows

Visual Data Media Services (VDMS), one of the largest media processing, distribution, and localization service companies in the world, has deployed Xcellis Scale-out NAS to manage 4K transcoding workflows, high bit-depth film scanning, and support the heavy data rate required for high dynamic range (HDR) mastering.

“The Xcellis scalability was a real advantage for us,” said Steve Spear, Visual Data’s senior vice president of operations. “It enabled us to increase performance and storage capacity independently—which means we’ll be able to grow to meet future demands while avoiding a complete system overhaul.”

Powered by Quantum’s StorNext high-performance file system, the Xcellis Scale-out NAS system supports multiple simultaneous 4K and UHD scanning and mastering operations, optimizing the workflow for VDMS and reducing the time to market. The solution’s advanced data management features have enabled Visual Data to increase capacity by 6x without increasing staff. The ability to scale performance and capacity independently allows Visual Data to grow its system to meet expanding and emerging needs.

4K Workflows Drive Technology Infrastructure Upgrade An innovative content preparation, distribution and localization company with branches in Los Angeles and London, Visual Data had been successfully providing end-to-end digital supply chain services, film scanning and media asset management for a wide range of international customers, including preparing content for distribution across the world’s premier broadcast channels and digital platforms. However, with the number of 4K and UHD projects increasing, the company found that its existing NAS infrastructure was too slow to handle the kind of volume they were seeing.

The Visual Data team realized it needed to upgrade its workflow engine, including finding a way to remaster film content faster and more efficiently and to take advantage of a major new opportunity created by the company’s innovative approach to restoration. Remastering older programs in HD and 4K posed a challenge: often with no cut negative to scan, the only way to get old features and TV shows to HD or 4K is to perform a match-back—scanning the original dailies, manually eye matching the images used in the final cut and then conforming the original in the new format. The team wanted a solution that could double capacity and deliver the performance to support multiple 4K and UHD operations at the same time.

“We have revolutionized the process for restoring old Movies and TV shows,” explained Spear. “What used to take weeks, we are able to get done in just a few hours—and the process is much more economical, making more library content accessible for our clients’ sales teams to go out and sell. For it to work we had to have a storage and processing environment that could support this new workflow.”

StorNext-Powered Solution Chosen for Flexibility, Performance Visual Data began its search with ten vendors and narrowed the field down to three finalists, comparing them on such key factors as performance, scalability, security, manageability, technical support and cost effectiveness. The team ultimately chose to work with integrator and technology solutions partner Diversified, and selected a configuration consisting of an Xcellis Workflow Director running StorNext software, Quantum QXS RAID arrays, a Fibre Channel fabric and an Xcellis Workflow Extender to provide access to the files over the company LAN.

Lowest Overall Cost On overall economics, the Quantum solution was the clear leader. It gave the team the option of using Fibre Channel for some clients, while using Quantum’s Distributed LAN Client (DLC) for others. DLC combines Ethernet connectivity with block-based transfer that outperforms NFS and SMB to boost performance and keep costs low.

“Quantum’s cost-per-TB beat everybody, and the system’s flexibility will help us keep costs low going forward,” said Spear.

 

19 2018 Jul

2nd Annual Avid Customer Association Vote Reveals Insights into Media and Entertainment Industry

Survey of nearly 5,000 TV, film and music professionals from 3,500 organizations uncovers key investment priorities and technology trends spanning multiplatform content delivery, remote production, and 4K/UHD  

Avid and the Avid Customer Association (ACA), Avid’s customer-led organization, recently announced the results of the 2nd annual ACA Vote. The ACA Vote gives TV, film and music professionals a uniquely powerful hand in influencing Avid’s future offerings. The results help prioritize Avid’s product and innovation roadmap for 2018 and beyond, while calling attention to its customers’ most pressing requirements and concerns. The findings on emerging technology and new business requirements also provide valuable understanding of the media industry’s plans and challenges related to multiplatform content delivery, remote production, 4K/UHD, multichannel/immersive audio, and file-based/tapeless workflows.

“Each year, the ACA Vote uncovers the most important needs of Avid’s customers—and indeed the industry as a whole,” said ACA Co-chair Richard Friedel, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Fox Networks Engineering & Operations. “The results help Avid identify where it needs to focus its efforts and contribute to the ongoing dialogue between Avid and the ACA so that we can work together to address the most pressing industry challenges.”

This year, more than 4,800 people working in all aspects of media and representing over 3,500 organizations in 117 countries participated in the vote. Their collective input ensures that Avid is focused on helping them to secure their most promising opportunities while fostering deeper collaboration between Avid and its customers.  ACA leadership and Avid appointed Devoncroft Partners, a leading media technology research provider, to help expand the efforts of surveying, capturing and analyzing revealing opinions from the community on evolving business dynamics, emerging trends, and technology directions that are important to the media industry.

Major Findings:

 The ACA Vote revealed that across all sectors—broadcast, video and audio—the top three technology trends facing media companies are multiplatform content delivery, remote production and 4K/UHD. Broadcast and video professionals exclusively (not audio professionals) also consider 4K/UHD, file-based/tapeless workflows and high dynamic range (HDR) to be significant trends.

  • 56.9% indicate that multiplatform content delivery is the most important trend because it allows content to be available on all distributed platforms, with 17% believing it provides the potential for new revenue streams.
  • 9.8% of respondents believe multiplatform content delivery helps retain consumers’ attention, while 9.2% believe it helps them achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

According to respondents, remote production is the second most important trend:

  • 22.6% of voters indicate that remote production saves costs compared to on-premise event production.
  • 17.4% believe remote production better utilizes technology infrastructures at existing facilities.
  • 13.9% say remote production improves the quality of event production capabilities.

4K/UHD is another trend that continues to be top of mind for media companies:

  • The majority of media professionals (47.9%) believe that viewer demand for 4K will make it a necessity to remain competitive.
  • Nearly 20% of respondents believe 4k/UHD adds image quality in the production process, while 19.7% perceive it helpful to futureproof content.

The ACA Vote results also showed meaningful UHD penetration across several categories, including encoding/transcoding, graphics and branding, production servers and video editing.

According to report findings, the most significant obstacles to achieving goals within these trend areas were cost and interoperability. When looking at end users’ budgets and their plans to allocate resources over the next 12-18 months:

  • 50% say they will upgrade audio capabilities.
  • 25% say they will invest in cloud services and technology.
  • 25% say they will upgrade their infrastructure for 4K/UHD operations.

“The Avid Customer Association continues to take important strides to give anyone in the media industry a voice that can positively influence the direction of the industry and Avid’s technical contributions,” said Avid CEO and President Jeff Rosica. “Over the past 12 months, we’ve delivered two major waves of product innovations based on last year’s ACA Vote, and we’ll begin to deliver on these latest voter priorities with the next big wave we’ll be announcing at IBC 2018.”

Stronger ACA Structure Introduced

The ACA Board has introduced a new and improved structure to help the ACA become even more successful, expand its dialog, and better align to most effectively collaborate with Avid and its partners. Key changes include expanding collaborations with Avid’s partner ecosystem to include Alliance partners and Development partners, the addition of several new product-related committees, including Newsroom and News Production, and a more diverse breakdown of committees related to strategy and future direction. The ACA Board believes this new structure will provide a more effective framework to solve the most important issues facing our industry today.

 

19 2018 Jul

MTI Film Finishes Season Four of “The Affair”

Senior Colorist Tanner Buschman collaborates with Cinematographer Steven Fierberg on fourth season of Showtime’s award-winning drama.

HOLLYWOOD—June 18, 2018— Now in its fourth season, the Showtime drama The Affair has won the admiration of critics and a devoted fan base through its nuanced exploration of an extramarital romance between novelist Noah Solloway (Dominic West) and waitress Alison Lockhart (Ruth Wilson). A winner of three Golden Globe Awards, the show weaves a tale infused with sensuality and mystery, and makes the stylistically bold choice of telling its story from the alternating, and often clashing, perspectives of its principal characters.

The juxtapositions of the show’s narrative are amplified through an artfully-crafted, lushly cinematic look captured by cinematographer Steven Fierberg and refined through post-production grading sessions at MTI Film, Hollywood. Fierberg has been associated with the show since its pilot and shot all the episodes from season one and most from seasons two, three and four (with others captured by Tod Campbell and Robert McLachlan).

Member News - MTIIn designing the look of the show, Fierberg says that his aim is to support the emotional complexity of the story and create empathy for the characters. He notes, for example, that he shoots with 1980s vintage Panavision Ultra Speed lenses as their soft focus adds to the air of romance and helps make the talent look their best. “The lenses are very soft and creamy, beautiful for shooting faces,” he says.

Fierberg adds that The Affair is shot primarily on location, and that he relies heavily on available or naturalistic lighting to give the audience the impression that they are watching, not a fictionalized story, but actual events. “The show looks real, not stylized,” he says. “I think that helps tell the story because you want to believe what’s happening is real. If the look were beautiful, but abstract, it might make the audience subconsciously aware that they’re watching a movie.”

Season four required subtle adjustments to the show’s aesthetic. Where the first three seasons were set entirely in New York State, the current season splits action between New York and California. Fierberg says that it was a challenge to incorporate the new locations while staying true to the show’s well-established visual character. “Everybody loved the look of New York,” he recalls. “We had a lot of cloudy days and soft light that was perfect for this story. Now, we found ourselves in Topanga Canyon with bright sunshine streaming through the trees. How much of that warm light and California earth-tones were we going to let in?”

During post-production grading sessions at MTI Film, Fierberg spent a lot of time with senior colorist Tanner Buschman working to find the right balance for the California scenes. “We experimented with warmth, saturation and contrast,” he notes. “We continually had to be open to what the images were showing us and go on gut instinct with what worked.”

Ultimately, they arrived at a midpoint, where the contrast between East and West coasts was apparent, but not jarring. “A lot of the East Coast material was shot under overcast skies,” Buschman says, “We kept that gloom, both because that was how it really is and because it fit the story. When we moved to the West Coast, we tapped into warmer, friendlier yellows. There were a lot of classic California shots, like people driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, and we kept them warm and let the blue of the ocean pop.”

Still, the result is not a classic, vibrant California look. “A lot of shows set in L.A. are shot in very sharp relief,” says Fierberg. “It’s a very saturated, beautiful way of looking at Southern California. It’s accurate, but it’s not our show. Our approach was to take the saturated colors and hard light from the sun and make them a little desaturated and softer. We found that sweet spot, where it still feels real, but it’s not like you’re suddenly watching a different show.”

Buschman says that considerable time was spent refining details as Fierberg was intent on providing audiences with an absorbing and seamless viewing experience. “Steve is always shaping and working the picture,” he observes. “He is always looking to bring out the underlying realism that will keep the audience involved in the story.”

 

19 2018 Jul

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic eGPU

New Thunderbolt 3 external graphics processor delivers desktop-class performance for MacBook Pro

Fremont, CA – July 12, 2018 - Blackmagic Design recently announced the Blackmagic eGPU, a high performance graphics processor for pro creative software such as DaVinci Resolve, 3D games and VR. Designed in collaboration with Apple, the Blackmagic eGPU features a built-in Radeon Pro 580, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI 2.0, 85W of charging power and four USB 3.1 connections. It comes in an integrated design that brings high-end desktop class graphics processing to MacBook Pro for professional video workflows, 3D games and immersive VR. And, the Blackmagic eGPU is the first to support Thunderbolt 3 displays.

The Blackmagic eGPU is available now for only US$699 exclusively on Apple.com and in select Apple Retail stores worldwide.

Designed to address the needs of professional video editors, Hollywood colorists and visual effects artists who need to remain mobile, but want the power of a desktop class GPU added to their MacBook Pro, the Blackmagic eGPU is incredibly flexible and simply plugs in via Thunderbolt 3, so users can benefit from improved graphics performance and acceleration of computational tasks. It’s perfect for speeding up professional creative application workflows including editing, color correction and visual effects with DaVinci Resolve. The Blackmagic eGPU adds the performance customers need to make the latest 3D games and VR look more realistic than ever. That means customers will get higher resolution images, higher frame rate gameplay, better lighting and more detailed textures for truly immersive experiences, even on a laptop computer.

Featuring an elegant, textured finish design, Blackmagic eGPU is extruded from a single piece of aluminum and features a unique thermal cooling system that’s been designed to perfectly balance the airflow and dissipate heat more efficiently. The cooling system also enables extremely quiet operation as low as 18dB, vital for those working in video production and audio engineering environments.

The Blackmagic eGPU features a Radeon Pro 580 graphics processor that delivers stunning graphics and incredible computational performance. You get 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, 256-bit memory bandwidth and 36 discreet compute units for up to 5.5 teraflops of processing power. The Radeon Pro 580 can fill a massive 38.4 billion textured pixels per second! In addition, the Blackmagic eGPU supports Metal graphics technology from Apple, which provides near-direct access to the GPU for maximizing graphics and compute performance with games and applications.

Customers running DaVinci Resolve 15 can expect increased performance for editing with more real time effects, color corrections with more nodes and spectacular ResolveFX such as film grain, light rays, blurs and more. DaVinci Resolve 15 also fully supports multiple GPUs, as well as Metal, so it’s the best way to get the full benefit of the Blackmagic eGPU. Customers can download DaVinci Resolve 15 now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website for the best editing, color correction, audio post and visual effects solution available.

In addition to graphics and computational acceleration, the Blackmagic eGPU is also the perfect docking hub for connecting devices such as keyboards, mice, Thunderbolt monitors, big screen HDMI televisions, high speed storage and more. It features two 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 connections, a built-in 4 port USB hub and HDMI which supports 4K output. Plus, the connections are ergonomically spaced, making it easy to connect and disconnect peripherals.

When it comes to power, the Blackmagic eGPU has a massive built-in power supply that powers the GPU while also providing 85W of downstream power via Thunderbolt 3 for charging laptop computers and powering peripherals. The power supply works from 100V to 240V and features a standard IEC power connector so it can be used anywhere in the world.

“The Blackmagic eGPU is the world’s first eGPU designed specifically for accelerating professional video workflows with DaVinci Resolve,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “It also adds the performance customers need for truly immersive, more realistic looking 3D game and VR experiences. Best of all, the Blackmagic eGPU gives you desktop class graphics performance on a laptop computer!”

Availability and Price

The Blackmagic eGPU is available now for only US$699 exclusively from the Apple store and selected Apple retail outlets worldwide.

 

19 2018 Jul

Therapy Studios Takes Part in Partizan Director Warren Fu’s Sci-Fi Send-Off Video for A Tribe Called Quest

Member News - Therapy - 500px

 

Emmy Award-winning post production company Therapy Studios assisted with post work for Partizan director Warren Fu’s eight-minute sci-fi-inspired music video for A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Space Program,” from their latest (and final) album, We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.

The band has stated the video is their last, and the star-filled, effects-laden visual is a fitting send-off. Therapy Studios’ Lenny Mesina co-edited the video to enhance the visceral experience, and the additional work in sound design by Eddie Kim, and in visual effects by Flame Artist Geoff Stephenson, brings the futuristic odyssey to life.

Fu’s background working as a graffiti artist, and as an art director on projects like Star Wars for Lucas Film, made him the perfect guiding hand for this visual feast.

With Fu at the helm, “The Space Program” ambitiously weaves between the sci-fi visual narrative, and current social issues with politically-charged lyrics about race and the African American experience. Historical footage and images of civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, are amplified with the addition of cameos from Common to Erykah Badhu, Rosario Dawson to Alicia Keyes (and many more).

 

19 2018 Jul

Avid Sibelius® | First is Now Available, Delivering Top-notch Music Notation for Free

Avid’s free music notation software delivers streamlined workflows and cloud sharing, allowing anyone – from students to seasoned musicians – to create and share their scores with the world

Avid recently announced the availability of Sibelius® | First, a free version of the world’s best-selling music composition and notation software. Designed for everyone from students to seasoned musicians, Sibelius | First delivers a streamlined notation toolset based on Sibelius and includes many of the same features, including music composition transcription, editing and unique cloud-based workflows, allowing composers to deliver scores faster and more efficiently.

Sibelius | First features Sibelius | Cloud Sharing, which allows users to store or share up to 10 scores. It also provides access to a vast network of creative artists and media professionals to collaborate with.

“Following the success of Avid’s free First products, which are now used by hundreds of thousands of artists, aspiring music creatives now have access to a free version of Sibelius,” said Alan Hoff, VP of Market Solutions at Avid. “With Sibelius | First, beginners and hobbyists can create professional-looking scores using many of the same tools the pros use.”

With the addition of Sibelius | First to the Sibelius family, creative individuals at any stage of their career now have access to Sibelius:

  • Sibelius | First delivers a streamlined notation toolset based on Sibelius for everyone from students to seasoned musicians.
  • Sibelius, the notation software of choice for musicians, composers, orchestrators and students who want to produce richly detailed scores, offers cloud sharing and augmented notation capabilities so users can quickly and easily share and review scores anywhere.
  • From concert halls and scoring stages, to sheet music stores and classrooms, Sibelius | Ultimate is the go-to notation software that professionals rely on most. Sophisticated yet easy-to-use, Sibelius | Ultimate is a powerful tool enabling users to create complex arrangements with an unlimited number of instruments, and to orchestrate high-quality, professional scores.