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20 2018 Apr

Hollywood Professional Association Tech Retreat III

With this post, I’ll wrap up my notes on the last day and a half of the Hollywood Professional Association Tech Retreat – a meeting in the desert of some of the top technical and creative talent in the media and entertainment industry.

Thursday morning began with discussions on HDR (High Dynamic Range) and its many implementations. The panel consisted of representatives from consumer electronics manufacturers, studios, broadcasters and technology developers.

Read more at HDVideo Pro

27 2018 Mar

Technicolor PostWorks Helps Send 10 Films to SXSW

NEW YORK — Continuing its support for innovative and emerging filmmakers, Technicolor PostWorks New York provided post-production services for 10 films screening at this month’s SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The films span narrative, documentary and animation categories and include five world premieres.

Technicolor PostWorks projects include:

SXSW2018_01
First Match
(Narrative Feature Competition/World Premiere). Director/Screenwriter Olivia Newman’s story of a teenage girl from Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood who wrestles boys as her only way back to her estranged father.

PostWorks provided sound editorial, sound mixing and ADR services; Marlena Grzaslewicz, Supervising Sound Editor; Ruy Garcia, Re-recording Mixer; Chris White, ADR Recordist; Christine Andrews, Sound Project Manager.

A Quiet Place (Headliners/World Premiere). Director John Krasinski’s supernatural horror film about a family that lives in utter silence for fear of an unknown threat that follows and attacks at any sound.

Technicolor PostWorks provided dailies services; John Vladic, Dailies Colorist; Michelle Morris, Dailies Project Manager.

SXSW2018_02

The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter (Narrative Spotlight/World Premiere). Director Jody Hill’s tale of hunter Buck Ferguson and his trusted cameraman who set out for an epic weekend adventure to reconnect with Buck’s young son.

Technicolor PostWorks provided dailies, facility rental, editorial conforming, color grading and deliverables services; Jack Lewars, Colorist; Josh Olive, Dailies Colorist; Jeff Cornell, Online Editor; Peter Boychuk, Digital Intermediate Producer.

The Dawn Wall (Documentary Spotlight/North American Premiere). Directors Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer follow legendary free climber Tommy Caldwell as he tries to get over heartbreak by scaling the impossible rock face, the Dawn Wall of El Capitan.

Technicolor PostWorks provided editorial conforming, color grading and deliverables services; Keith Jenson, Colorist and Finishing Editor; Brian Woos, Assistant Editor; Dylan Puchala, Digital Intermediate Producer. PostWorks provided sound mixing services; Eliott Taylor, Re-recording Mixer; Christine Andrews, Sound Project Manager.

SXSW2018_03

Elvis Presley: The Searcher (Films 1 and 2) (24 Beats Per Second/World Premiere). Director Thom Zimny’s two-part documentary focuses on Elvis Presley as a musical artist.

Technicolor PostWorks provided editorial conforming, color grading and deliverables services; Jack Lewars, Colorist; Jeff Cornell, Online Editor; Joey Handy, Digital Intermediate Producer.

Rapture (24 Beats Per Second/World Premiere). Directors Sacha Jenkins, Ben Selkow, Geeta Gandbhir, Steven Caple Jr., Marcus A. Clarke and Gabriel Noble showcase the definitive impact of hip hop on global culture.

Technicolor PostWorks provided editorial conforming, color grading and deliverables services; Anthony Raffaele, Colorist; George Bunce, Online Editor; Michelle Morris, Digital Intermediate Producer. PostWorks provided sound editorial and sound mixing services; Christopher Koch, CAS, Supervising Sound Editor/Re-recording Mixer; Kahlin Whatley, Sound Design; Bryn Neuenschwander Sound Project Manager.

SXSW2018_04

Eighth Grade (Festival Favorites). Director/Screenwriter Bo Burnham tells the story of 13-year-old Kayla who endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school.

Technicolor PostWorks provided dailies, editorial conforming, color grading and deliverables services; Jack Lewars, Colorist; Josh Olive, Dailies Colorist; Jeff Cornell and Ryan McMahon, Online Editors; Andrew McKay, Digital Intermediate Producer. 

First Reformed (Festival Favorites). Director/Screenwriter Paul Schrader’s film centers on the pastor of a small New England church, who spirals out of control after a soul-shaking encounter with an unstable environmental activist and his pregnant wife.

PostWorks provided sound editorial, sound mixing and ADR services; Michael McMenomy, Supervising Sound Editor; Ruy Garcia, Sound Designer/Re-recording Mixer; Martin Czembor, Re-recording Mixer; Allen Lau, Assistant Sound Editor; Chris White, ADR Recordist; Christine Andrews, Sound Project Manager.

SXSW2018_05

Sorry to Bother You (Festival Favorites). Director/Screenwriter Boots Riley presents an alternate present-day version of Oakland, where telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success that propels him into a macabre universe.

PostWorks provided sound editorial services; Ruy Garcia and Michael McMenomy, Supervising Sound Editors; Angela Organ, ADR Editor; Lidia Tamplenizza, Dialogue Editor; Allen Lau, Assistant Sound Editor; Christine Andrews, Sound Project Manager.

The Shivering Truth (Animated Shorts). Directors Vernon Chatman and Cat Solen explore an omnibus of painfully riotous day-mares dripping with dream logic, lovingly animated in stop-motion.

PostWorks provided sound editorial and sound mixing services; Paul Furedi, Dialogue Editor/Re-recording Mixer; Kahlin Whatley, SFX Editor; Chris White, Additional Voice Recordist; Christine Andrews, Sound Project Manager.

 

About Technicolor PostWorks New York

Technicolor PostWorks New York is the East Coast’s most comprehensive digital motion picture and post-production facility, employing an exceptional team of creative artists, engineers and project managers to serve our clients through the film and TV finishing process.

Technicolor PostWorks New York offers one complete source for every post requirement, including in-context digital dailies, film imaging and restoration, collaborative non-linear editorial and HD/UHD broadcast finishing, 4K digital cinema, global content lifecycle support, and comprehensive film and TV sound services on nine mix stages.

For more information, visit http://www.technicolorpwny.com

26 2018 Mar

Palm Springs to Soho

By Barbara Lange

As we close the books on a stellar 2018 HPA Tech Retreat, all I can say is wow, what a week! This year’s HPA Tech Retreat was the largest outing yet for this “must-attend” event. With four and half days of content and an innovation zone with more than 60 leading companies presenting the latest in creative technology, the HPA Tech Retreat lived up to its reputation.

The week kicked off on Monday at TR-X, a fascinating half-day deep dive into Machine Learning and AI that offered all you ever needed to know that you didn’t know you didn’t know. We learned that there’s still a lot to be learned in this growing area of the media business. Tuesday’s SuperSession followed the course of snowflake workflows – yes, it’s still snowing! And once again, Mark Schubin programmed an excellent two and half days of in-depth presentations and panels covering the gamut of issues hitting our industry. One of the highlights for me was watching a virtual film being made right before our very eyes!

Papers of presentations are being made available to conference delegates right now with first-ever videos quickly to follow. We hope you enjoy this benefit of attending the HPA Tech Retreat. Make a note, next year’s Tech Retreat will be a bit earlier than usual, February 11 – 15 at the same elegant JW Marriott in Palm Desert. I look forward to seeing you there!

It’s time now to turn our attention to London, and the third installation of this outstanding HPA event in the UK. Rebranded as HPA Creative Tech UK, this one-day event moves from the Oxford countryside straight to Soho, the heart of UK’s post-production world. This year’s one-day event will be a fresh approach to the established Tech Retreat commitment to superior content. Mark your diaries for Wednesday, June 27.

Creative Tech will take place at the hot Ham Yard Hotel located just off Piccadilly Circus. The facility boasts a fully loaded digital cinema screening room that will accommodate 190, the perfect number to go deep into a few heady topics with an intimate audience.

We’ve upped the ante on the program with live demos. Yes, we’re going to jump into the land of exciting (though unpredictable) demos, including the who, how, and why of hacking; an on-set review demo; and discussions about the future of everything AI. We are still putting the final touches on the program, so things may change. But I do hope you’ll plan on attending.

In addition to an outstanding program, HPA Creative Tech UK is bringing all the Tech Retreat mojo – an Innovation Zone, plenty of networking time to meet, greet and discover new things. The Ham Yard Hotel is a fantastic venue with a cool vibe — quite fitting for our first event in London.

Registration is open now at www.hpaonline.com, with Early Bird pricing in effect through 14 April. If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Joyce Cataldo at jcataldo@hpaonline.com.

Considering the speed at which technology is evolving, it’s exciting to imagine how different the questions and answers will be at HPA Creative Tech UK in a few short months, compared to the Tech Retreat we just left. It’s a thrilling industry we work in, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to connect with all of you throughout the year to follow what’s going on in every corner of it.

See you in London!

26 2018 Mar

Artificial Intelligence: Promise and Peril

By Debra Kaufman

During the HPA Tech Retreat eXtra (TR-X) last month, Phil Lelyveld, program lead for the AR/VR Initiative at the Entertainment Technology Center @ USC, spoke about “Artificial Intelligence: Immersion, Story, Technology and Ethics.” He started by reminding attendees that although the market has divided “virtual reality” and “augmented reality” into two separate verticals, it’s actually a continuum. “The goal is to create objects or experiences indistinguishable from real experiences, which can impact your brain like a real experience,” he says. Researcher Skip Rizzo, director for the Medical Virtual Reality Institute for Creative Technologies, describes all of it as “mental stimuli,” noting that “we already live in a mixed reality world.”

As it advances, this world of mixed reality will also be impacted by social media, world building, crowd-sourcing and data from dozens of Internet of Things devices, from smart watches to smart houses. Then comes artificial intelligence. “AI will shape and filter the information you get through AR or VR, so it can have a huge impact on how you view the world,” he says. Lelyveld showed “Eclipse,” a music video commissioned by Saatchi & Saatchi that was made completely in AI systems. “When it was shown in film festivals, side by side with other music videos created by humans, the audience couldn’t tell the difference,” he reports.

Behind the Scenes on ‘Eclipse’

“AI can out-bet and out-bluff poker players,” Lelyveld says. “It can make decisions based on limited information and it can act unpredictably. Yet we’re putting it in charge of human activities.” Fable Studios, headed by co-founder Edward Saatchi, formerly with Oculus Story Studios, is working on the Lucy Project, attempting to create an interactive and believable character who can “hand you and be handed objects, collaborate to move through the story, remember what you’ve done and fall back to it, be believably interrupted and has a hierarchy of emotional attachments to her objects.” Lucy, says Saatchi, “is the future of AR/VR storytelling.”

Fable Studios’ Wolves in the Walls starring Lucy:

Lelyveld also demonstrated at the HPA Tech Retreat some of the less positive potential of AI, including a synthesized speech by Obama, in which he is lip-synched. Adobe already has a voice synthesis technology – its Project VoCo — that, once it has the profile of someone’s voice, can create a convincing recording of that person saying things he never said. “We live in a post-evidence world,” says Lelyveld, who reports that Facebook can remove or add objects and effects to videos, even live ones. Images of fake celebrities are also surging; he showed those created by Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs).

Synthesizing Obama’s speech:

“We don’t know what is real and what is altered and the line between virtual and real is blended. It’ll take experts to tell the difference. Or maybe even they won’t be able to. Do we have a right to know when voice/sound, image/video or data are altered to change meaning or faked?” Lelyveld asked. “Do we have a right to understand how data and information is filtered and to an audit trail to understand the framework for decisions? This is a huge open question.”

AI isn’t likely to answer those questions, says Lelyveld, because “there is no clear way to communicate how AI reaches a decision or determines a response.” Making that more challenging, scientists are not replicating AI studies; because code and results are not being shared, it’s made it “harder to compare, understand, and improve.” Quoting Will Knight’s article on “The Dark Secret at the Heart of A.I.,” published by the MIT Technology Review, Lelyveld asked, “How well can we get along with machines that are unpredictable and inscrutable?”

All is not lost. The potential dark side of AI hasn’t gone unnoticed by the technology world; MIT, Harvard and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman have invested $27 million to a fund to analyze the impact and implications of AI. The IEEE has proposed ethical guidelines. Others, such as researchers at Carnegie Mellon and the Alan Turing Institute Data Ethics Panel, continue to study the ethical issues raised by AI.

At a European Union conference on “Preserving Democracy in a Digital Age,” Lelyveld reports he told attendees that, “the purveyors of fake news are innovators.” “The way to counteract their efforts is to out-play them,” he says. “It may make more sense to create a system that identifies, elevates, and rewards a bounded set of data, information, and knowledge that we can verify to be true, reliable, and undistorted, than to try to detect and react to an unbounded flow of false, distorted, and fake content.”

“Technology is considered to be morally neutral,” he adds. “All it takes is one person out of 8 billion to use it for bad and cause great harm. This is not an unforeseen problem. You can bury your head in the sand, or you can start thinking now about how to handle it.”

20 2018 Mar

JTN Music Selects MediaSeal to Protect Sensitive Content

JTN Music, the award-winning music production and editing studio, has become the latest company to adopt Fortium’s MediaSeal encryption-at-rest solution as part of its cybersecurity strategy. The Los Angeles-based company is using MediaSeal to protect sensitive feature film and television content during music editing and other post-production processing.

Founded by music editor, engineer, composer and producer Jason Tregoe Newman, JTN Music provides music services for a wide range of movies and television shows. Some of their current projects include Brooklyn Nine-Nine for Fox, Ozark for Netflix, Superstore for NBC, and The Magicians on Syfy. The company and its staff have won numerous awards for original music and music editing including a 2017 MPSE Golden Reel Award for Mozart in the Jungle, and a 2014 Emmy Award for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Most recently, JTN Music won a 2018 MPSE Golden Reel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing for Superstore.
MediaSeal will help JTN Music conform to the highest standards for cybersecurity. The software employs encryption-at-rest technology to protect files while they are undergoing post-production processing without affecting normal workflow operations. It also includes sophisticated features for user authentication and generating audit trails.

“Protecting our clients’ valuable assets is our first priority,” says Newman. “MediaSeal ensures that content can only be accessed by authenticated users and it does so in a way that is transparent to the artist.”

MediaSeal is used by hundreds of studios, production companies and post-production facilities worldwide to reduce their exposure to accidental distribution, piracy, cyber theft and other forms of cybercrime. “There are too many points in the workflow where content remains unprotected. Locking the front door while leaving the back door open is a typical scenario in post. The threat of cybercrime is growing and every company is a potential victim,” says Fortium CEO Mathew-Gilliat Smith. “JTN Music is taking a proactive approach to ensure that pre-release content in its care is protected.”

Fortium will demonstrate the latest version of MediaSeal at the Hollywood Professional Association’s 2018 HPA Tech Retreat, February 19-23, in Palm Desert, California. Demonstrations in the Tech Retreat’s Innovation Zone will include Live Folders, a new encryption-on-the fly feature. Additionally, Mathew Gilliat-Smith will lead to Breakfast Roundtable sessions on cybersecurity.

Fortium will also be an exhibitor at NAB Show 2018, April 9-12, in Las Vegas, booth SU10603CM.

20 2018 Mar

Avid Sports Solutions Embraced by Top Collegiate Athletic Programs Across the Country

Avid recently announced that numerous National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 schools have invested in Avid’s new generation video servers. Tightly integrated into MediaCentral®, the industry’s most open and efficient platform designed for media, Avid FastServeTM enables the schools to create and manage high-quality content for live broadcasts on national cable network ESPN3, while giving students invaluable, transferrable skills that prepare them for success in their future careers.

The prestigious Department of Media Arts at Avid Learning Partner Middle Tennessee State University is the largest and longest-running program for creative media production in the state. The school’s on-campus production company, Media Arts Productions, produces events and high-quality live sports broadcasts including MTSU football, basketball, volleyball and soccer, which are regularly featured on ESPN3. To help the students quickly produce live content in real-time and meet ESPN3’s rigorous content requirements, the college has deployed FastServe I Ingest, so its dispersed creative teams can access and edit incoming media as it’s being captured—even in demanding UHD resolutions—from anywhere, using any device.

“Adopting FastServe has helped Media Arts Productions’ workflow,” said Eric Lilly, school liaison campus production coordinator for ESPN3. “They were able to dedicate one operator to do specific player highlights and game trend packages. The fact that both sides of those machines were networked meant that the person cutting the packages had access to the replays as he was cutting his packages. Neither operator workflow interfered with the other. Knowing what other schools are using for their replay systems and the limitations they put on their operators, I have to say, the Avid system helped make Media Arts Productions’ workflow more efficient.”

“Avid FastServe is super reliable, super powerful, and super flexible. The speed at which we can do stuff now is at a really professional level,” added Isaac Shaw, MTSU student and lead package editor for Media Arts Productions. “With Avid, we’ve really been able to hone in on and figure out how to tell a story, and we have the flexibility to do so. For my personal development, having that skillset and the ability to make fast decisions and put packages together quickly has made me much more marketable to a potential employer.”

Other schools that have invested in FastServe for ultra-fast production turnaround include University of Hartford, University of Vermont, Binghamton University, Quinnipiac University, and Rider University through Avid’s world-class network of reseller partners, including Key Code Media, Metropolitan Interactive, and HB Communications.

“Through ESPN3, top Division 1 colleges and universities across the country can showcase their schools and athletes on the national stage,” said Alan Hoff, Vice President of Market Solutions, Avid. “Avid’s powerful sports production solutions give them the capabilities required to create high-quality content for ESPN3 at an affordable price, while giving students access to the same industry-standard tools they can expect to use in professional sports media environments.”

The new FastServe family of video servers builds on the rich heritage of Avid’s industry-leading AirSpeed® and PlayMaker™ servers. Its unified modular architecture supports UHD and IP I/O to enable ultra-fast ingest, turnaround, and playout in broadcast, news, sports and other live production environments. Higher channel counts per server result in a lower overall cost-per-channel, and a smaller footprint requires less cooling and power.

 

20 2018 Mar

IMF (Interoperable Master Format) reaches the mainstream

By Ian Hamilton

At this year’s HPA Tech Retreat, two full hours on Wednesday were dedicated to IMF (Interoperable Master Format), the SMPTE standard for the file-based interchange of multi-version, finished audio-visual works.

While IMF and file-based media frameworks in general don’t scream edge of the seat excitement, the time dedicated to the topic shows the importance of IMF to the industry.

Why does the M&E industry need IMF?

In the rapidly evolving environment of file-based media, IMF provides the structure needed for easier collaboration, just like a shared language.

The essence of IMF is creating a single master version of an asset (television show or movie) from which you can derive all version (different languages, different ratings, different size screens, etc.) using instructions contained in that master package. In the past, masters for these different versions would all have been created as separate flattened files, even though they were all made up of largely the same elements.

One significant benefit of IMF is reduced storage and management costs. With IMF, there is less master data to move and store, saving room for the large files that get passed around during production and post production and eventually go into building a single IMF.

Overall, IMF standards being adopted across the industry is good for everyone. On top of reduced transfer, storage and management costs, IMF entering the mainstream helps to standardize and simplify business-to-business file-based final content distribution workflows and, in the process, reduces frustration and wasted time.

Other, more interesting subjects like AI and Blockchain were more buzz worthy at the HPA 2018 Tech Retreat. However, in my opinion, IMF emerged as the clear unsung hero of this year’s conference, serving as a good reminder that it’s mostly the boring improvements that we quickly take for granted that become the most important elements of the technologies and processes we rely on every day.

20 2018 Mar

Tyrell and Object Matrix Deliver a Petabyte of Media Focused Private Cloud Storage to TV3

Object Matrix has provided TV3, Ireland’s largest independent commercial broadcaster, with MatrixStore, a media-focused private cloud platform, for its digital asset archive. The implementation was managed by Tyrell.

As a part of the Broadcasting Association of Ireland’s funding scheme for the archiving of programme material, TV3 began the process of digitising all of its tape assets. This, coupled with a growing library which already consisted of 70,000 object files, meant it needed a unified storage solution to interface with its archive, production, and content management systems.

Tyrell has implemented 1 petabyte of MatrixStore object storage for TV3, providing digital content governance and instant access to all its content in the archive. An existing customer of MatrixStore, TV3 has expanding requirements. As the storage requirements increase, this can be expanded by adding more nodes with minimal technical input and zero downtime.

MatrixStore provides the broadcaster with the ability to easily search for, access, log, select and restore content to production systems, content management systems or to its online platforms with ease. MatrixStore underpins the Avid MAM | Foundation and two existing Avid interplay PAM system systems with integration with the Avid Media Central UX. It has been integrated directly into the existing media asset management system to enable automated workflows and a seamless workflow.

Nick Pearce, Sales and Marketing Director, Object Matrix, commented: “TV3 makes a valuable contribution to the preservation of Ireland’s broadcasting heritage. Being able to easily find assets, especially of key moments in Ireland’s culture history, was extremely important to the broadcaster. With a fully digital and integrated archive, that process is now simple for TV3.”

Eoin Brennan, Post Production Manager, TV3, added: “The ease of integration with MatrixStore into our existing production environment made it the right choice for us. The fully redundant system means we now have a secure archive, whilst also having easy access to all of our assets.

MatrixStore offers superior security, whilst maintaining flexibility, scalability, and ease of use. Thanks to this project, we are able to better manage our digital assets.”

MatrixStore will be demonstrated at NAB (booth #SL5005) from 7th – 12th April.

 

19 2018 Mar

Testronic supports bk|media for the first 4K Ultra HD title with Dolby VisionTM authored in Europe

Testronic logo 500bk|media selected Testronic, the leader in quality control, localization services and compliance, for testing of the feature film Jigsaw. The title is the first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (UHD) disc to be authored in Europe containing Dolby VisionTM High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. Testronic worked closely with bk|media and Dolby to support the process, thus ensuring the quality of the finished product, which utilized the latest in authoring, plus top-tier audio applications and visual elements.

Jigsaw includes Dolby Atmos® audio, making it possible to move sound in 3-dimensional space anywhere in the room, including overhead. The resulting Dolby Vision enhanced title delivers greater brightness and contrast, plus a broader palette of rich colors which transform the home-viewing experience.

“We started working on Dolby Vision towards the end of 2017, with the goal of having our first title on the market by February of2018”, declares bk|media’s CEO Darius Bock. “We’re proud to have achieved this milestone within the expected timeframe, but should mention that without the help of Dolby, DVDLogic (the developers of KITe Authoring application) and of course Testronic, this feat would not have been possible.”

“We’ve been working on Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos projects at both our Burbank and Warsaw sites since the beginning,” says Jason Gish, senior VP Film & Television for Testronic. “They are compelling technologies which together create a more immersive and engaging experience for the consumer and require expert quality assessment to ensure that they meet expectations. We are honored and excited to work with bk|media and Dolby to help usher high quality UHD to the European market.”

Jigsaw, directed by the Spierig brothers, is the latest installment of the popular Saw series. The film stars Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie and is available on physical media.

 

About Testronic Laboratories

Testronic’s high standards have been protecting clients and safeguarding the consumer experience since 1998 As the leading global provider of quality control, compliance, and localization services for the entertainment industries, including film, television & games, and VR, Testronic ensures efficient and secure delivery of the highest quality consumer deliverables. Based in Burbank (USA), London (UK) and Warsaw (Poland), Testronic offers an unparalleled history of next-generation innovation and service excellence across the entire digital media industry.

About bk|media

Collaborate with German and international film distributors and licensors, helping them to achieve maximum value from their content. Service portfolio includes authoring of DVD, Blu-ray productions and Utra HD Blu-ray, archiving of film content and the digital distribution of Video on Demand data to various global, national and European VOD providers.

19 2018 Mar

Patronus Helps Prevent Leaks of this Season’s Academy Award Screeners

In the frenzied run up to this year’s awards season, movie studios sent DVD screeners of their best films to Academy, guild and BAFTA members, critics and others around the globe in hopes of securing a nomination or even an Oscar. To ensure that they were only accessible to the intended parties and not subject to illegal use, more than a half million of those discs were protected by Fortium’s Patronus anti-rip content security.

Patronus has become Hollywood’s go-to solution for protecting DVD screeners. As many films contending for major movie awards haven’t been widely released in theatres, it’s imperative to protect screeners from piracy. Patronus prevents unauthorized copying and guards against scores of so-called ripping programs. This season, Patronus was applied to 50 individual award-hopeful titles and, according to newswire reports, once again, no leaked screeners appeared online during the festive period.

“I’m pleased Patronus has played its part in helping to reduce online leaks,” said Fortium CEO Mathew Gilliat-Smith. “We work hard to keep protection levels as high as possible for the screener season which customers can view on the fortiumtech.com website. There’s a common misperception that DVD screeners always leak but protected discs rarely do as they are not easily susceptible to copying.”

Academy members are fiercely protective over their DVD screeners because they are much easier to watch, and seem to be preferred over online screening alternatives. Physical screeners can be helpful in wooing voters and look good on the shelf. “It seems it will be a while before disc screeners are consigned to history,” Gilliat-Smith observed.

“Fortium consistently updates its DVD and Blu-ray protection technology to stay one step ahead and already the next upgrade is ready for release and will be exhibited on the Fortium stand at NAB,” he added. “Studios appear to find it more productive focusing on the prevention of leaks in the first place rather than on the cost of forensic watermarking and having to play detective after the event.”

In addition to screeners, Patronus is used to protect street discs and high-value special interest content. It helps content owners protect revenues by selling more discs though less free copying. Along with movie studios, the software is used by home entertainment producers; fitness, sports, training companies, and event videographers, as well as for memory videos.