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21 2018 Jun

HPA Creative Tech UK: The Event London Has Been Waiting For

By Barney MacDonald

What are you up to on Wednesday 27th June?

I’ll be at the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, and I really think you should join me. HPA is hosting an event for folks just like you in the M&E industry, who love storytelling on the big and the small screen, and have more than a passing curiosity for the tech that makes it possible.

Folks including me and a not insignificant number of fellow Brits fly into Palm Springs every February for the incomparable HPA Tech Retreat, immersing ourselves in the collective mindset of the most experienced, and yet most innovative and disruptive people in our community, including around 450 of the industry’s top creative and technology leaders and consultants and up and coming young talent. It’s a little glimpse of what’s to come, like a private screening 6 months before the movie comes out.

Not long ago, it became clear that since London plays one of the most important roles in the global industry, maybe they should return the favour and fly over to see us, and shake things up over here too – and thus was born HPA Creative Tech UK. They’ve put together a programme of talks and demonstrations that will both educate and entertain, and at the same time you will meet some of the most influential and disruptive companies and individuals who are in the process of changing the way stories are told forever. Those rare folks who seem to know what the future holds and whose ideas shape it for the rest of us.

What they’re not going to do is tell you how great the cloud is, or how blockchain will change your life. They’re going to give you a live demo of how ex-hackers have helped us develop some of the finest security systems on the planet, and how some creatively minded individuals took a 20 year old mobile phone technology and did something completely new with it. You’ll be introduced to the guy who edited Baby Driver and his brilliant and innovative mind, and also a group of women who have some fascinating perspectives on AI and how it will shape the way we tell stories in the future. There’s an insightful review of this year’s CES in Vegas and how consumer tech and the demands made on it are shaping our professional equipment and workflows. There’s also some important information about the new cornerstone of our industry, IMF, and a how we are overcoming the challenges that HDR is bringing to the world of production.

Once they’ve finished sharing, there will be drinks and some excellent food, and the opportunity to meet the folks you’ve just been listening to, as well all the other brilliant folks who are there alongside you. In the US, the HPA Tech Retreat is regarded as both the most enjoyable and the most useful event in the industry’s calendar. It’s only a matter of time before the UK feels the same way about HPA Creative Tech UK.

21 2018 Jun

An Update from HPA President Seth Hallen

Seth HallenBy Debra Kaufman

It’s time for another update from the HPA Board, and Newsline had an opportunity to speak to HPA President Seth Hallen about the many activities the organization has been up to in 2018.

The organization is readying for HPA Creative Tech U.K. in London on June 27. This year, says Hallen, the event is taking place at the Ham Yard Hotel in the heart of Soho. The event has also streamlined its focus from a two-day to a one-day event, with a variety of top tier speakers diving into important topics and sessions.

Paul Machliss, ACE, who most recently edited the award-winning Baby Driver, will present the keynote. Machliss will describe his creative approach and talk about the previsualization tools he used.

Cybersecurity is top of everyone’s mind, and renowned ethical hacker FC will be hacking live from an undisclosed location to the Ham Yard audience. Working with his partner, socio-technical expert Dr. Jessica Barker, the two will “demystify cyber insecurity while discussing and demonstrating the who, how and why of hacking.” DPP’s Mark Harrison, will present a view of the latest industry developments through the lens of CES 2018. “He has an interesting view of the industry and has done a great job tracking trends,” says Hallen, who invited Harrison to present at the HPA Tech Retreat after hearing him speak at the U.K. event.

Another presentation will focus on the role that artificial intelligence is playing in driving storytelling, featuring Arvato Systems’ Yvonne Thomas, FeedForward AI’s Lydia Gregory, Sundog Media Toolkit’s Dr. Joanne Kitson, and Elucidata’s Laura Domicevica. “I’m really looking forward to this one,” says Hallen. “For many people, this may be the first time they’ll have been able to take a deep dive into AI’s growing impact on the industry.” There are a few spots still available for the HPA Creative Tech U.K., adds Hallen, who encourages HPA members to join the event.

Preparations for the annual HPA Awards –  Nov. 15, 2018 at the Skirball Cultural Center – are in full swing. “Entries for the Creative categories will be accepted until July 13.” says Hallen. “We had over 450 submissions in the Creative category last year, which was a record – and we might have another record this year.”  He notes that the Engineering Excellence Awards presentations were held recently at IMAX. Winners will be announced imminently.

The fifth annual Women in Post’s summer series of lunches and meetings has already begun.  The group continues to grow, reports Hallen, and its events sell out quickly.

The latest NET (Networking, Education, Technology) event took place on June 7, hosted by Microsoft in Playa Vista. “This NET was organized like an HPA Tech Retreat breakfast roundtable,” says Hallen, who noted that 100 attendees could move to three different tables during the lunch. Table topics included several devoted to AR/VR, standards, metadata, and the cloud.  The next NET event is scheduled for October 4.

The HPA’s premiere event of the year is the HPA Tech Retreat.  This year, the Tech Retreat moved to a new venue, the JW Marriott in Palm Desert. The Monday TR-X event, a Tech Retreat eXtra event organized by Mark Chiolis and Craig German, covered machine learning and artificial intelligence, and the Tech Retreat itself featured organizer Mark Schubin’s well-curated program. Hallen points out that this Retreat’s Friday program was particularly stellar, including a panel on “Virtual Cinematography and Storytelling Images” featuring Unity Technologies head of cinematics Adam Myhill along with DigitalFilm Tree’s Rami Katrib and EFILM’s Joachim “JZ” Zell.  “Adam showed how the game engine Unity applies to real-time production and rendering of CG filmmaking,” says Hallen. “JZ acted as director, directing a scene that they played out immediately in 4K – very impressive!” Hallen also points out that Mark Harrison predicted future trends, and other sessions focused on detection of modified video, immersion and singularity, and perceptual fatigue in film, broadcast and VR.  Hallen notes that news about the 2019 Tech Retreat will start to roll out this fall.  The 2019 Tech Retreat will return to the JW Marriot in Palm Desert.

Finally, Hallen is keen to draw attention to the strong focus HPA has on the next generation, especially with its Young Entertainment Professionals (YEP) program and its HPA mentors. “Foremost on our agenda is our support of the next generation of professionals,” he says. “We put a lot of energy into building YEP, which has seen terrific growth and interest.” Young professionals who are accepted into the program get a wealth of benefits, including one free day at the Tech Retreat and another at the SMPTE Conference, as well as a chance to attend the HPA Awards, and, of course, network and connect with HPA members. “We’ve had our first two YEP classes,” says Hallen. “And the third will be announced in the fall.  The idea now is to get the graduates of our first and second classes engaged as full-fledged members of the HPA community. Our great energy around the next generation initiatives will ensure HPA’s relevance and support a great future for our industry.”

As we all know, GDPR has wreaked havoc with mailing lists around the world. To ensure you stay up to date with these exciting developments and more at HPA, please visit our website to update your subscription status.


23 2018 May

Blue Collar Post Collective Gains Co-President, Refreshed Board

BCPC logoEditor Chelsea Taylor Becomes Co-President of Major Film and TV Non-Profit

The Blue Collar Post Collective announced the revision and expansion of their leadership including the promotion of New York-based editor Chelsea Taylor to Co-President.

A long time committee member serving the New York BCPC community, Taylor shifts to the remaining vacancy on the Executive Committee, joining Co-President Kylee Peña and Treasurer Gaby Allen in the central leadership of the entire organization.

Taylor added: “Joining the Blue Collar Post Collective at such an early stage in my career has been instrumental to my growth, and I am excited to impact other people the way this community has impacted me. Through my work with BCPC over the past three years, I have seen the effect that cultivating a strong, supportive, and diverse community can have on someone’s individual path to success, and on the larger industry. I’m excited to keep spreading our mission to even more people as we continue to rapidly expand.”

An annual review and refresh of the board concluded in some additional changes. Co-founder and editor Janis Vogel has been promoted to chair of the board. New board members include editor Monica Daniel, John Eremic (HBO), editor Norman Hollyn ACE (USC), and online editor Peter Amies to our board! They will join previous members film historian Bobbie O’Steen, Leo De Wolff (Netflix), media thought leader Katie Hinsen, and DI producer and deputy chair James Reyes (Goldcrest).

As the largest grassroots non-profit that supports emerging post production professionals, Blue Collar Post Collective continues to expand its programs, meet-ups, and educational events in order to change the face of what an expert looks like in the post industry. Since last summer, the group has doubled its membership, expanded from New York and LA to London, and provided half a dozen lower-income working professionals with financial support to attend events like NAB Show, Sight Sound & Story, and EditFest LA through a Professional Development Accessibility Program.

For more information, contact the Blue Collar Post Collective


23 2018 May

DigitalFilm Tree Adds Colorist Rick Dalby

Rick Dalby

Rick Dalby

Rick Dalby has come on board DigitalFilm Tree as a Senior Colorist. He has already began working on the hit show “Roseanne” as well as TBS’ “Wrecked.” Additionally, he is collaborating on “NCIS: LA” and “Angie Tribeca.”

Dalby comes to DigitalFilm Tree from NBCUniversal with prior tenure at Modern VideoFilm and Laser Pacific. He has served as final colorist for such iconic shows as “Cheers,” “The Wonder Years,” “Friends,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Parenthood” and “Friday Night Lights,” for which he was nominated for an HPA Award for Outstanding Color Grading – Television.

“We are thrilled that Rick has joined our team,” says Ramy Katrib, CEO/Founder of DFT. “He is one of the top colorists in the industry and continues to build amazing relationships with DPs and producers through his outstanding creative work.”

“I enjoy working at DFT because it’s a boutique facility and our team is very collaborative,” says Dalby of his move to DigitalFilm Tree. “I also like that we are a beta test site for Black Magic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, so I actually get to test out new builds and give feedback.”

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23 2018 May

AMIA’s Digital Asset Symposium Presents A Powerful Lineup of Creative and Technological Case Studies

Two Keynotes, Netflix’s “Bobby Kennedy for President” and Crowdsourcing for Data Collection, Join Archive, Data Science, and Object Storage Discussions

The Association of Moving Image Archivists’ Digital Asset Symposium (DAS) returns to New York on June 6, presenting a full day of discussions sharply focused on today’s most compelling topics in asset management. The daylong event will take place once again at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

The power of DAS is in its real-world, case-study driven presentations that explore the many facets of the life-cycle of content – from collection and maintenance strategies to delivery with the purpose of reaching new, bigger audiences. The sessions are led by top experts in the field at work on important projects.

AMIA has announced its initial lineup of DAS presentations:

Keynote Panel: The Making of Netflix’s Bobby Kennedy for President

Presenters: Laura Michalchyshyn, Executive Producer; Rich Remsburg, Archival Producer;

Elizabeth Wolff, Producer; and Joshua Pearson, Editor
Moderator: Matthew White, Executive Director, ACSIL and co-producer of The Beatles: Eight Days a Week

On April 25, a courageous team of filmmakers premiered their long-anticipated four-episode documentary series on a true giant of American history. The filmmakers explored a deep wilderness of archival media and found creative inspiration in the search itself. Bobby Kennedy for President is a stunningly important demonstration of archival storytelling and a true contribution to film preservation and the historical record. This special panel assembles at DAS on the day of RFK’s passing, 50 years after his assassination attempt on June 4.

Keynote Presentation: Truth is a Lie

Presenters: Professor Lora Aroyo, VU University, Columbia Data Science/head of science at Tagasauris, Inc.; and Professor Dr. Chris Welty, senior research scientist at Google in New York, VU University

There is no single notion of truth, but rather a spectrum that has to account for context, opinions, perspectives and shades of grey. Media organizations looking to bridge the gap between their services and the needs of the users need to harness the full spectrum of truth and data is at the center of every process. Cultural heritage and media companies have traditionally been driven by expert professionals, following a top-down approach to offering content online. However, users and their media habits are a rich source of knowledge. This session explores how to harness, understand and integrate critical curation in the business models.

National Hockey League: Bringing a Century of NHL Content to Life

Presenter: Dan Piro, Director of Digital Asset Archive, NHL

For the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Centennial Celebration, over 250,000 hours of audio/visual content, a half-million still images, and over a million documents had to be digitized and ingested, as well as merged with an existing archive of born-digital asset and new content being created daily. The new system made materials more accessible and allows the NHL to serve its internal departments and broadcast partners, improving licensing abilities and tying assets together around games or events.

Smart Stacking of Data and Information Science

Presenter: Sally Hubbard, PBS, Metadata Architect

Organizations struggle with intelligently layering data science into their existing technological and informational ecosystem and its potential to partner it with information science domain technologies and activities- semantic tools or metadata schema and vocabulary development- and with enterprise information management (EIM) and data governance initiatives. The panel will bring more clarity to what data, metadata, data science, library and information science, analytics, semantics and other terms really mean, in what context, and how to smartly stack the domains together, examining the strengths and weaknesses of each – what kinds of problems each is the best match for; how one can support the other; and some of the particular issues faced when dealing with media content.

Montreux Jazz Digital Project – From a Patrimony to an Innovation Platform
Presenters: Dr. Alain Dufaux, Head of Metamedia Center EPFL; Erik Weaver, Global Director,

M&E Market Development, Western Digital (HGST)

In a two-part session exploring object storage and how it fits in to the expanding archive environment, using the Montreux Jazz Festival as a case study.  Since 1967, audiovisual recordings of the Montreux Jazz Festival, including many of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, have been made. The collection was inscribed on the 2013 UNESCO memory of the world register. Over 5,000 hours of ‘live’ concerts were recorded in state-of-the-art broadcast quality, of which a large part exists as multi-tracks.

Bridge the Gap: Unite Content and Customer Intelligence for Audience Engagement and Growth

Presenter: Randa Minkarah, COO, Transform

In order to identify the levers that increase engagement and audience, content owners need to jump the chasm between analysis of their content and audience response. To accomplish this, they must face down a massive engineering hurdle, which existing solutions do not solve – too much disparate data in too many places; too little insight into the meaningful attributes of content; emergent media companies (Netflix and Amazon) building their content empires on top of powerful engineering. Learn how to bridge the gap and go from tons of data to real insight.

Chair Nick Gold notes, “A media asset – which is essentially the core of what we are discussing – is incredibly significant. It becomes part of the human story and crucial in the hands of the storyteller. The work that we will be discussing at DAS brings together not just the elements of these incredible stories, but just as importantly, the story of how we work on them – how they are maintained, how they are shared, how they are managed, and how they can be promoted to tell important stories.

Our work connects communities, preserves legacies, and challenges perceptions. These assets have a huge purpose, and it is our goal to recognize and promote it as well as those who work on them.”

The Symposium kicks off at 9:00 a.m., and continues until 5:00 p.m., when a cocktail reception begins.

Dennis Doros, President of AMIA, notes, “Thanks to Nick Gold and his curatorial team, this year’s DAS presentations are as diverse as Robert Kennedy, the National Hockey League and the Montreux Jazz Festival, while ranging from technological advancements to highly relevant social topics. Yet there is a commonality in the case studies: how do we as individuals or part of an organization approach the challenges and opportunities in today’s digital asset milieu? AMIA is the only place with a sharp and intense focus on preserving, managing and making accessible an astonishingly wide variety of moving image assets, that are increasing exponentially every day, across a wide variety of disciplines. Now is the time to tackle these technological, pragmatic and ethical questions and harness the tools at our disposal. DAS gives our community the essential forum to explore topics and technologies that are critical to the preservation and access to our moving image heritage.”

For more information or to register for DAS, for more information, and for bios and headshots of the speakers, visit



DAS addresses the full life cycle of the media asset – from content creation to rights management to assuring asset preservation – with speakers and case studies that address what works in the real world. Each part of the life cycle impacts the next and DAS is the only place where everyone is part of the conversation – content creators, post-production, systems designers, archives, asset managers – where commercial meets nonprofit and corporate meets public.


As the world’s largest international association of professional media archivists, AMIA is uniquely poised to bring together a broad range of experts. Members represent film studios, corporate and national archives, historical societies, labs, post production, universities, footage libraries and more. Because of this diverse membership, AMIA provides an opportunity to interact with every facet of the field and a single forum to address the best ways to preserve our media assets. Visit for more information, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@AMIAnet) or YouTube.

23 2018 May

OWNZONES Unifies OWNZONES Connect with its Consumer Video Applications for Powerful, Cloud-Based Solution



Newly Integrated Services Allow for Real-Time Changes to the Content Discovery Experience, Helping Content Creators Engage and Monetize Audiences

As part of its continued efforts to revolutionize the management and distribution of digital content for studios and rights holders, OWNZONES Media Network has integrated two of its most powerful tools into one formidable solution. The OTT EntTech company has unified its cloud-based OWNZONES Connect™ media logistics platform with its consumer video applications. This allows content creators to cut costs and manage content discovery by leveraging OWNZONES’ app framework no matter what technology they are currently using.

“By essentially re-architecting our backend and API, we are now leveraging the latest technologies for improved scalability and flexibility,” said Aaron Sloman, Chief Technology Officer at OWNZONES. “Unifying our OWNZONES Connect and consumer video applications allows for real-time changes to the content and content discovery experience that also helps engage and monetize audiences.”

Among the biggest highlights touted as part of OWNZONES’ newly unified services:

  • A choice of ready-to-use design templates that can have an app quickly up and running based on the most effective layout for the client’s target audience.
  • The ability to instantly localize an app to multiple regions by simply selecting them from the console, eliminating the need to develop different apps for each language. All major world cities included. Plus, geo-restriction options to prevent access by regions where content is not licensed or available.
  • A cloud-based data warehouse and analytics integrations, which allow OWNZONES to create a better experience for users and gain insights around content performance and trends.

420TV App 1                                   420TV App 2

“From the beginning, we have found ways to transform the experience for those hoping to manage and distribute content in the OTT and mobile space,” said Dan Goman, CEO of OWNZONES. “In unifying our OWNZONES Connect and consumer video applications, we’re taking this to a whole new level – giving our clients access to features like instant localization, analytics integration and more.”

Today’s news follows the announcement of two new OWNZONES Connect features – Cloud ProRes Previewer & ProRes Based IMF Packaging. These tools allow customers with entire libraries of content mastered in ProRes format to leverage the power of IMF in record time and without incurring massive conversion costs.

Magnolia App Welcome                                       Magnolia App Channels

As the post-production processing continues to migrate to the cloud, OWNZONES is taking a leadership position in introducing many cloud-based features with its proprietary platform, OWNZONES Connect. With years of research invested in the platform, OWNZONES Connect is designed to conform and distribute digital content in the most efficient and streamlined way possible to all devices. It also acts as a post house in the cloud with state-of-the-art features in editing, conversion and encoding, motion graphics, sound mixing and editing.

More specifically, OWNZONES Connect features an array of capabilities that work in conjunction with each other to create the ultimate post house in the cloud for IMF. This includes the Cloud IMF transcoder, the Native Cloud CPL Builder, Cloud-based CPL Source Previewer, Cloud-based IMF Playback, Supplemental Packager and Elastic Parallel Transcoding.


22 2018 May

Sohonet Supports the 2018 British Arrows

British Arrows

Sohonet, the global experts in connectivity, remote collaboration and network security for the media and entertainment industry, sponsored this year’s BRITISH ARROWS ceremony. The BRITISH ARROWS, the only British advertising awards dedicated solely to moving image advertising, were held Wednesday 16 May at Battersea Evolution.

“We are proud to support the British Arrows as they honour talented advertising industry professionals,” said Sohonet Chairman and CEO Chuck Parker. “Commercial production must serve its market function, but the stories they tell must also must be memorable and entertaining. Sohonet is proud to be part of this community and congratulates all of this year’s winners and nominees.”

Sohonet sponsored the International category, which included two Silver winners and a Bronze. Silver Arrows were awarded for Finish, Dishwasher Tablets’ I Love Doing Dishes, made for Wieden+Kennedy London by FRIEND (directed by Ian Pons Jewell), and for Nike’s What Girls Are Made Of, made for Wieden+Kennedy London by Riff Raff (directed by David Wilson).

A Bronze Arrow was presented to MJZ London for the Jung von Matt spot Edeka2117 (directed Matthijs van Heijningen).

Learn more about Sohonet at


22 2018 May

ICG Hosts Cine Gear Panel on the Unscripted Aesthetic



The Reality of Creating “Unscripted Looks”

To meet the demands of unscripted TV audiences, camera operators, directors of photography and lighting directors are combining real-time visual know-how with unique, predesigned approaches to storytelling. The end result is a new, multi-faceted new TV aesthetic that ranges from fresh takes on “realism” to polished awards show patinas, all looks that are increasingly in demand by traditional episodic and motion picture filmmakers. Learn from some of the best how unscripted DPs, lighting directors, and camera operators manage the day, compose, light, capture and interpret the action, and coordinate with other departments to create a palette of new “unscripted looks.”

Date: 6/2/2018

Location: Sherry Lansing Theatre/Paramount Studios Backlot

Time: 10:15-11:30 am


  • Derth Adams, Camera Operator- “Fear Factor”, “Project Greenlight”
  • Michael Dean, Director of Photography/Camera Operator- “Survivor”, “Planet Primetime”
  • Oscar Dominguez, Lighting Designer- “The Voice”, “Shark Tank”
  • Gretchen Warthen, Camera Operator- “Project Runway”, “America’s Next Top Model”


*Panelists subject to change.

22 2018 May

OWNZONES Connect™ First to Support the Creation of ProRes IMF Packages with Editing in the Cloud



Ownzones Media Network, the OTT EntTech company, is leading the charge to revolutionize cloud-based distribution of content by consistently introducing cost and time saving measures for its clients.

In the world of digital distribution, the biggest challenge for studios and rights holders is prepping content to comply with today’s digital format distribution standards. Until now, sending the content to such platforms as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu has been extremely inefficient and incredibly costly. Taking a disruptive stance, OWNZONES has now cracked the code by unveiling ProRes IMF support to its Post Production suite of features in the cloud for IMF (Interoperable Master Format).

“Today’s legacy industry platforms are offering antiquated processes that are too expensive and time consuming,” said Dan Goman, CEO of OWNZONES.  “We are radically disrupting the marketplace by creating new ways to distribute content without it continuing to break the bank. After years of research with a talented tech team at OWNZONES, we are pleased to be far ahead of all other companies offering digital distribution. We continue to roll out new innovations on a consistent basis, offering our clients bleeding-edge, yet cost-efficient, solutions to the growing challenge of keeping up with rapidly expanding OTT industry global platform needs.”

With today’s announcement, two new features – Cloud ProRes Previewer & ProRes Based IMF Packaging – will become a first for the industry as they bring a post-production solution for ProRes video editing of IMF packages in the cloud. Now customers with entire libraries of content mastered in ProRes format can leverage the power of IMF without incurring massive conversion costs. Customers will continue to have the option to convert to J2K-based IMF packages, if needed.

By utilizing the OWNZONES Connect™ cloud solution, which incorporates OWNZONES’ proprietary parallel scaling technology, ProRes files are simply “wrapped” in IMF-specific packaging, ready for distribution. The process happens entirely in the cloud, in record time and at a fraction of potential competing solutions.

The new cloud-based ProRes features, the first introduction of its kind, will be part of the offering behind OWNZONES Connect™, a state-of-the-art digital supply chain in the cloud.

“We recognize that there’s a majority of the industry that uses ProRes as their mastering format, and converting it to a different format creates a lot of challenges,” said Aaron Sloman, Chief Technology Officer at OWNZONES. “By using our new features, companies that are ProRes based can move to IMF without the re-transcoding of their files, which can be very costly and time consuming, especially for large media libraries.”

Sloman added: “ProRes video storage and localized versioning long needed a component-based standard among the studios and media companies, and our new product launch accomplishes this as well. Using IMF as the standard, the industry becomes more efficient. We have already seen demand from our customers who realize the cost savings and are confident they won’t lose quality and time, especially for large media libraries.”

As the post-production processing continues to migrate to the cloud, OWNZONES is taking a leadership position in introducing many cloud-based features with its proprietary platform, OWNZONES Connect™. With years of research invested in the platform, OWNZONES Connect™ is designed to conform and distribute digital content in the most efficient and streamlined way possible to all devices. It also acts as a post house in the cloud with state-of-the-art features in editing, conversion and encoding, motion graphics, sound mixing and editing.

More specifically, OWNZONES Connect™ features an array of capabilities that work in conjunction with each other to create the ultimate post house in the cloud for IMF. This includes the Cloud IMF transcoder, the Native Cloud CPL Builder, Cloud-based CPL Source Previewer, Cloud-based IMF Playback, Supplemental Packager and Elastic Parallel Transcoding.






22 2018 May

Editor Alan Edward Bell Uses Fusion 9 Studio on Red Sparrow


Blackmagic Design recently announced that Editor Alan Edward Bell used its visual effects (VFX) and motion graphics software, Fusion 9 Studio, while editing the film “Red Sparrow.”

“Red Sparrow” is a new spy thriller from 20th Century Fox about ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) who is recruited into Sparrow School, a secret Russian intelligence service. On the search for a mole within the Russian government, Dominika’s first target is an American CIA agent (Joel Edgerton). Also starring Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts, Mary-Louise Parker and more, “Red Sparrow” was directed by Francis Lawrence and edited by Alan Edward Bell.

Bell used Fusion Studio as one of his editing tools while cutting the film, using it to create performance enhancing VFX during the editing process. He explained, “With performance enhancing VFX, you merge together editing and compositing to get the best cut, whether you’re heightening actors’ performances, helping with cohesion, or adding impact. By using Fusion Studio within my editing workflow, I can easily merge together different takes or make subtle changes to help amplify a scene.”

For example, Bell used Fusion Studio while editing “Red Sparrow” to merge together actors’ performances from different takes when it was needed to preserve the performance or further the story.

“There is a scene after Dominika finishes her Sparrow training and is reunited with her mother. In one take, Jennifer’s performance was very powerful as it showed a sense of dread, however, in another take they added a line that underscored her character’s determination and furthered her motivation. Instead of compromising on the performance or just slipping in the audio but not the visual, which is what editors have done in the past, I used Fusion Studio to combine the two takes together, layering Jennifer’s performances on top of each other,” Bell said. “I used Fusion Studio’s new planar tracker to track and stabilize the image. I then composited Jennifer’s mouth out of the first shot, and morphed the mouths together. Dominika’s motivation for the rest of the film is colored by that line, so it was important that we got it in, and because of Fusion Studio I was able to do it seamlessly.”

“Throughout the film, Dominika goes through varying stages of facial bruising and some hemorrhaging in her eyes,” Bell continued. “Using Fusion Studio, I was able to enhance and smooth out the way Jennifer’s bruising looked while editing, so when we previewed the film it was seamless.”

Bell concluded, “We used a lot of wide shots for this film, which meant that when I needed to rely on performance enhancing VFX, the backgrounds often needed tweaking to get things to line up. I frequently used Fusion Studio’s grid warper to make sure the background would match and that things were cohesive between cuts.”