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20 2018 Sep

Avid Announces Next Generation Maestro | Engine Real-time Graphics and Video Hardware Rendering Platform

New graphics and video hardware rendering platform gives users the performance, scalability and format support they need to produce stunning broadcast graphics, virtual studios, augmented reality, and video wall content in the highest achievable quality.

 

logo-avid_2013Avid announced at IBC the release of next generation Maestro™ | Engine real-time graphics and video hardware rendering platform for its Maestro Graphics product line. Maestro | Engine scales from HD and 1080P to UHD supporting both SDI and Video Over IP interfaces. With Maestro | Engine, broadcasters can produce graphics, virtual studios, augmented reality and video wall content in the industry’s highest achievable quality.

As the successor to Avid HDVG, Maestro | Engine enables broadcasters to introduce new production capabilities—including 3G, UHD, HDR, and IP workflows—alongside their current HD/SD SDI workflows, with minimal disruption. Available in two configurations—Maestro | Engine and Maestro | Engine 4K—the platform works with all Maestro graphics suite solutions, providing performance, scalability, and format support to surpass customers’ current and future broadcast requirements.

“As broadcast production evolves, broadcasters increasingly need flexible, future-proof graphics rendering hardware to enable them to tell more compelling stories,” said Ray Thompson, Director of Broadcast and Media Solutions Marketing at Avid. “The new Maestro | Engine enables customers to differentiate and elevate their content with compelling data-driven augmented reality graphics and virtual sets delivered in real time. Maestro | Engine hardware supports IP I/O and delivers the performance and reliability required for any news, sports, or other broadcast content engaging audiences in new ways.”   

Maestro | Engine enables customers to:

  • Scale I/O according to their needs

Maestro | Engine is available in two hardware configurations that can be scaled for any production need. The Maestro | Engine base system offers up to eight video insertions and up to four outputs, including fill and key, to handle most standard CG needs and dual channel production. To tackle more demanding UHD, video wall, and virtual studio productions, Maestro | Engine 4K offers up to 16 video insertions and up to eight outputs—or up to four fill and four key outputs for UHD production.

  • Manage multiple systems to support complex broadcast workflows

With enhanced performance and rendering power, Maestro | Engine works across all Maestro graphics suite authoring and control solutions both new and old, providing backwards compatibility so existing content and production will continue to work without any issues.

  • Switch from an SDI workflow to IP with ease

Maestro | Engine not only works with any SDI infrastructure, it makes it easy to transition to Video Over IP using a broadcaster’s existing 10Gb fiber network and field-changeable interface boards, so they can make the upgrade gradually at their own pace to experience better cost savings and greater bandwidth for high-resolution media.

  • Produce stunning SD, HD and UHD content

Maestro | Engine works in concert with Maestro | RenderEngine software, providing advanced graphics rendering in the highest quality possible—whether displayed onscreen or in the studio. It also can drive content to multiple canvases, scale content up or down, and crop it. This makes it easy to preview large-scale video walls with a single HD feed, reducing system complexity and cost.

  • Achieve unparalleled realism

To elevate virtual studio productions to cinematic quality, Maestro | Engine 4K works with both Maestro | RenderEngine and Epic’s Unreal Engine. Users get the power and flexibility to present stunning virtual environments full of realism, depth, and detail. Because only Avid engines can run simultaneously on a single Maestro | Engine 4K, users can render all virtual studio elements using Unreal Engine while overlaying data-driven augmented reality graphics with Maestro | RenderEngine.

  • Get flawless, versatile performance

Featuring a proprietary I/O card that delivers ultra-low-latency video transfer, Maestro | Engine maintains a constant two frames of delay from input to output for seamless object mapping and audio handling. The Maestro | Engine is also capable of real-time graphics, video compositing and rendering, with scalable inputs, fill and key outputs. Its open API enables users to create their own control applications.

  • Have flexibility for the future

To ensure a high return on investment, customers need a system that can grow with them as their workflow and technologies evolve. The Maestro | Engine platform is built for today’s and tomorrow’s broadcast needs, supporting SD, HD, UHD, and (coming soon) HDR workflows. It offers field-changeable interface boards, so users can transition from SDI to IP whenever they’re ready. Support for new technologies and features will be made available through software updates.

  • Integrate video playback

Maestro | Engine handles live video sources and plays back video stored on its local drive, Avid NEXIS®, or other network storage device. It has two 1GbE connections and a 10GbE option for more demanding video transfers. Users can create compelling visuals using video clips as background elements or as textures mapped onto scene objects. Maestro | Engine supports a wide range of codecs—including Avid DNxHD/DNxHR, XDCAM 50, AVC-I, XAVC-I, and QT RLE.

  • Manage systems from anywhere

Users don’t need to install additional client software or have a systems administrator tethered to the machine room to manage and configure settings. Maestro | Engine uses a web-based interface for all systems management. Users can set up and make changes to access rights, video formats, genlock sources, input and output mapping, and other settings from any computer or device on their network—from anywhere.

  • Protect their production

Maestro | Engine is built to withstand the demands of 24/7 operation. It features dual power supplies, dual network interfaces, and software and hardware watchdog preventing production interruptions. And, because all Maestro graphics suite applications can control multiple Maestro | Engines, users can deploy additional engines as live backups to on-air systems.

Maestro | Engine and Maestro | Engine 4K will ship in the fourth quarter of 2018. For more information, visit https://www.avid.com/maestro-graphics.

 

20 2018 Sep

HPA NET Demystifies Blockchain

Ramy Katrib 500pxBy Debra Kaufman

On Thursday October 11, at The Garland in North Hollywood, HPA NET (Networking, Education and Technology) will hold a lunch focused on the impact of blockchain for creative workflows. Blockchain – everyone’s heard of it and nobody seems to know exactly what it is. If you’ve ever tried to understand blockchain and given up somewhere in the process, this event is for you, says DigitalFilm Tree founder/chief executive Ramy Katrib who will moderate the panel.

“The mention of blockchain creates angst in people in our community,” says Katrib. “Here’s something that’s touted as being huge, and if you can’t wrap your mind around it, you feel like you’re at a big disadvantage. Why is blockchain a big deal? Why is it important to media and entertainment?”

Katrib noticed at a recent industry event on blockchain that several people were still scratching their heads after the event’s end. “If you don’t understand blockchain, you’re not alone,” he stresses. “When you look at a chart that shows what makes up blockchain, it is mind-numbingly complicated.” But, he adds, that shouldn’t stop people in our industry from grasping the main outlines of blockchain enough to see what it could be used for in their own companies. “My mission in life is to give a broken-down, easy to understand description of blockchain,” Katrib promises.

To do so, Katrib has brought two panelists into the conversation: Eric Diehl, who is vice president of media and content security at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Mark Zorn, who is senior manager of productions and content cybersecurity at HBO. Diehl is already at work on a blockchain project at Sony Pictures. Katrib reports his software development team is working on blockchain-enabled processes. HBO has not yet adopted blockchain, but Zorn has been doing research based on his interest in its security ramifications.

The idea for the event focused on blockchain came from inside the industry, says Katrib. “Both [SMPTE & HPA Executive Director] Barbara Lange and [HPA President] Seth Hallen were interested in blockchain, and I realized this approach had resonance – to break down blockchain in a conversational way,” he says.

Part of the confusion is that every industry, from banking to healthcare, has been investigating blockchain as a technology that could aid their workflow, financial accounting and security. Media and entertainment industry professionals are very used to working in their own universe, with tools specialized for making, distributing, monetizing and archiving films/TV. If a bank can use blockchain, how could that possibly apply to making movies? “There’s so much noise around blockchain,” says Katrib. “I’ve read that it’s going to destroy our industry. People want to know why I’m interested, knowing I have a post house.”

“Everyone has his or her own angle on blockchain,” he continues. “It’s not going to save us, nor is it the end of our industry.” Katrib notes that blockchain as a technology has actually been around for many years. “Its roots are in BitTorrent and the advent of decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.” In 1999, Napster popularized a network architecture that distributes tasks or workloads among peers, who are equally privileged. Peers supply and consume resources such as processing power or network bandwidth without the need for a traditional client-server model built around a central server. P2P networking gained popularity with BitTorrent, which used P2P networks to distribute large digital video files. (That latter association may make many in the M&E business feel queasy, since P2P networks became associated with piracy.)

The language to describe blockchain is another stumbling block, says Katrib. “What they call a ledger is actually just a database, but the most insanely sophisticated database out there,” he says. “If I put an asset in a blockchain database, you can track that asset for eternity. If I send you a Microsoft Word file and you access it through my blockchain, every subsequent transaction is noted. It will track that asset in perpetuity. That’s what is unique about this database and why it’s relevant. If, for example, the Academy’s Board of Governors signs off on a validated file on the blockchain, any manipulation to the validated master file will be noted, caught and exposed.”

That’s why so many in our industry are interested in the potential of blockchain for cybersecurity. But that’s not all it’s good for. As our industry moves to ATSC 3.0’s IP network and streaming becomes a bigger player, keeping track of the hundreds of versions of a single movie has become an overwhelming task that might have a blockchain-based solution.

Want to know more? Come to the NET lunch on Oct. 11 and see if Katrib meets his goal: “I want to move people from being neutral or negative about blockchain to being excited,” he says.

23 2018 Aug

The Reel Thing: A Focus on Audiovisual Preservation and Restoration

Industry News - AMIA The Reel Thing LogoBy Debra Kaufman

On the evening of Aug. 23, The Reel Thing opened with the U.S. premiere of newly restored 1960 Billy Wilder feature, The Apartment. The following two days of presentaitons and expertise were curated by Sony Pictures Entertainment EVP of asset management, film restoration and digital mastering Grover Crisp and Sony technical specialist Michael Friend.  The event focuses exclusively on audiovisual preservation and restoration. “What makes The Reel Thing so different from most other such convocations is its unique blend of scholarship and historical perspectives of preservation and restoration of motion pictures and sound media,” says Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president John Bailey, ASC. “Film preservationists, filmmakers, studio technicians all mix in a heady, intoxicating brew of deep love of the cinema. It is a terrific mix of film lovers devoting their lives to protecting the audiovisual record of our art form – even at a time when it is changing faster than we can keep pace.”

AMPAS Science & Technology Council managing director Andy Maltz – who will be giving a Saturday morning presentation on “The Academy Digital Source Master: A Future-Proof Deliverable,” with Dr. Wolfgang Ruppel – calls The Reel Thing “a novel mix of practical applications and the underlying science and technology of preservation and archiving, bundled with really well curated screenings.” MTI Film chief executive Larry Chernoff, who will attend his tenth Reel Thing this week, looks forward to Maltz’s presentation, as well as the screenings, which include a newly restored version of the Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 Bicycle Thieves and an unnamed science fiction movie. “MTI has been active in development of technology to accommodate both ACES and IMF throughout Cortex Enterprise software, so [Maltz’s presentation] should prove both interesting and affirming,” he says. “When I first attended the conference, I became aware of the magnitude of what the archive world encounters in all aspects of its mission to preserve film culture. Most members of the community are unaware of the scope of work required to maintain the integrity of an archive, and exposure to the various processes employed would be an enlightening experience.”

Film critic Leonard Maltin calls himself “lucky enough to attend The Reel Thing for a number of years.” “I love interacting with the archivists and scholars and always come away learning something I didn’t know before,” he says. “There are so many facets of restoration that even educated film buffs and teachers haven’t witnessed first-hand. I often tell friends about David Pierce’s eye-opening lecture about the use of a second camera in the silent film era and how it has been misunderstood for so many years,” he continues. “I’ve missed [Film Forum/Rialto Pictures’] Bruce Goldstein’s presentation about subtitling and can’t wait to see it at this year’s conference.”

The Film Foundation executive director Margaret Bodde reports that she’s eager to see the presentation by the Academy Film Archive director Mike Pogorzelski and Library of Congress National Audio Visual Conservation Center’s motion picture lab supervisor Heather Linville about the Academy’s recent restoration of director Edgar G. Ulmer’s 1945 film Detour, a project that would not have been possible without the collaboration of the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Cinémathèque Française, with the support of The Film Foundation and funding from the George Lucas Family Foundation.

Although he won’t be able to attend this year’s Reel Thing, 20th Century Fox EVP of Media & Library Services Schawn Belston calls the event “a great opportunity to learn what colleagues are doing both within the Hollywood studios as well as in archives and universities around the world.” “I’ve always appreciated the spirit of community and sharing that Grover and Michael have built around the conference,” he adds. “I’ve learned a lot during the breaks as well as the conference itself.” He points to Goldstein’s talk on subtitling as well as L’Immagine Ritrovata film restoration lab director Davide Pozzi’s presentation about “The Kinemacolor Digital Restoration” as sessions he wishes he could attend, as well as the conversation between Magnopus’ Craig Barron and Skywalker Ben Burtt, moderated by Paramount Pictures’ Senior VP of Archives Andrea Kalas.

Technologist Jonathan Erland, who has delivered Reel Thing presentations over the course of several years, says he’s looking forward to the Kinemacolor digital restoration session as well as another on a case study of the “Restoration of the Dunning Color Process,” with archivist Alan Boyd and Gotham Photochemical founder/chief executive Jaime Busby. “Not only is much of what is presented at The Reel Thing pertinent to current production, but I would like to have the SMPTE/HPA community exposed to and impacted by the sense of care – to the point of devotion—that prevails at The Reel Thing,” adds Erland. “A sense of heritage is notoriously lacking in the education of young people entering our field, as is the sense that the profession is a calling or vocation rather than merely a livelihood. The Reel Thing is an excellent source of remedial education in that respect.”

UCLA Film/TV archive director Jan-Christopher Horak agrees that The Reel Thing has been “an excellent way to stay abreast of the many technological changes that have affected our industry, especially the complicated transition from analog to digital.” Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center chief Greg Lukow adds, “The Reel Thing has helped forecast the future of moving image archiving by showcasing a diverse range of innovative technological approaches for preserving our audiovisual heritage. By presenting case studies and investigations into the restoration of black-and-white and color, silent and sound, large format and small gauge, whether on obsolete analog or cutting-edge digital formats, The Reel Thing has demonstrated the impact of new technologies and shaped the debate on the future of standards and best practices for our field,” he adds.

Erland agrees, adding, “Grover Crisp and Michael Friend perform a vital service to the art/science of cinema.” Image Pro founder/president/chief executive Sean Coughlin, who formerly headed preservation/restoration company Cinetech, notes that, he’s “not seen any non-profit that collectively brings in artists, institutions and archives and has such impact and advance of ideas through changing technologies for over three decades.”

23 2018 Aug

Avid and CBC/Radio-Canada Renew Multiyear Enterprise Support Agreement

Avid_logo_lg

CBC secures predictable costs in support of its TV, mobile, web and radio content production

Avid recently announced that it has entered a multiyear support renewal agreement with Canada’s national public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada. The five-year agreement will enable its production teams to stay current with the latest versions of Avid software, while ensuring predictable support costs across the CBC/Radio-Canada organization, which helps with fiscal planning.

CBC/Radio-Canada operates 27 television stations, 82 radio stations, 11 foreign bureaus, seven specialty television channels, and Canada’s only nationwide radio network and international service—all of which are integrated with multiple websites. A longtime Avid customer, the company relies on the Avid MediaCentral® platform as the foundation for its news production as well as post production for its original programming. It has one of the world’s largest MediaCentral | Newsroom Management installations.

“We’ve had several multiyear support agreements with Avid over the past eight years,” said Scott Stewardson, Executive Director, Production Solutions Media Technology and Infrastructure Services (MTIS) at CBC/Radio-Canada. “Based on the success of these previous agreements, we decided to increase the term of this latest agreement to five years. Having this support in place will enable us to improve efficiency and have predictable support costs when transitions occur. This will enable our production teams to deliver compelling mobile, web, radio, or television content using the most advanced software available.”

“Ensuring that all production teams are using the latest versions of software can be a big headache for large media organizations,” said Tom Cordiner, Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Avid. “This multiyear agreement provides CBC/Radio-Canada with the ongoing support and software upgrades its needs to function as a modern media organization and continue to bring audiences its unique Canadian perspective on news and current affairs.”

 

23 2018 Aug

Working as a Team in the Entertainment Industry

By Lina Sanchez, YEP

Our industry is by nature a collaborative one, and yet we’ve all experienced the tension between the need to collaborate and the ego and ambition living within each of us. Over the past few years, I have made a few observations that  might be helpful for those interested in promoting positive change in their work environment and enhancing team effectiveness. Apply it as you will to the set, the production office, the rental house or the edit bay.

Be Yourself

There is little more exciting in the professional sense than encountering an authentic person in your work place. While communication regarding work in progress is essential, an important and interesting part of the work day is also the human connection – to find people connect with, and those who might teach you new things that you may not have known before. This feeds our need to be social creatures purely in a personal sense, and it is extremely helpful to feel more engaged at work and allows us to work better collaboratively.

One of the most important steps you can take in your personal and professional development is to understand who you are. Knowing your virtues, abilities, and strengths as they relate to the things you undertake is an invaluable asset.

Extra Mile

Many times, we limit ourselves only to doing what is asked of us. However, what can really leave an impact are the small ways we find to help others, even if it’s simply an extra five minutes to help a colleague search for an important document. Many times, we’d like to see ourselves as completely self-sufficient in our position, and we might have trouble seeking out help. Despite this, often the strongest bonds in the workplace form when you’re able to aid someone who needs it. Furthermore, making a positive impact on others is one of the most important things you can contribute to your work environment, just as in the larger society. If we are all working towards a common collaborative goal, anything that I may bring to the table should and often will be welcome.

Relationships

The most pleasant and rewarding way to spend a work day is knowing that those around you understand you and have your interests at heart. Establishing healthy and productive interpersonal relationships creates a support group in which everyone works toward the common good. New hires no longer feel like being thrown in the deep end. You no longer feel that you are defenseless and alone in a jungle, but rather, being yourself, giving a bit extra you may find that people react in surprising ways. Communicate your ideas, put aside your fear of rejection, and be open; and we can start to create a change at every level! Our industry changes at an exponential pace. But if we faithfully stick to these basics, we can be sure – the best is yet to come!

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20 2018 Aug

Post House DigitalFilm Tree Moves Facility to DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio

Blackmagic Design announced recently that post production facility DigitalFilm Tree (DFT) has moved its full pipeline, including editorial, color, visual effects (VFX) and delivery, into the newest release of DaVinci Resolve Studio, version 15, which was released this month.

Always pushing the boundaries of technology and cinematic art since 1999, DFT is no stranger to being a first adopter of the newest technology, a reputation which has kept it at the forefront of the industry as a top finishing house for high-end broadcast, OTT and feature film projects. Notably, DFT was one of the first companies to use Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio, in 2009 on “NCIS: Los Angeles,” shortly after Blackmagic Design purchased DaVinci Systems.

The move to DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio was carefully planned and was the culmination of a series of tests on the public beta since its release at NAB in April 2018. “We always focus on providing customers and artists with the best tools available,” said Ramy Katrib, Founder and CEO of DigitalFilm Tree. “We knew the final release of 15 would come soon, so we used the public beta to methodically test and integrate DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio into all our post departments.”

One of the biggest advancements in the new software was the addition of Fusion VFX, and DFT’s incorporation of the tools into its VFX department was both welcome and complex. “We wanted to utilize the unique workflow that DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio offers, allowing all our artists from editorial, conform, color, and VFX to work in the same project at the same time,” said Katrib. “Rather quickly, our VFX and color departments started using Fusion because it’s right there in DaVinci Resolve Studio, with little to no round tripping to other apps! Even in the early stages, we are experiencing the power of Fusion and the efficiency of real time collaboration.”

With DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio, post production collaboration is fully realized, and it was these tools that motivated the entire company to make the transition quickly. “I was already comfortable with the speed and power of the Color page in DaVinci Resolve Studio,” said Patrick Woodard, Senior Colorist at DigitalFilm Tree. “However, now with DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio, I can work interactively with other artists while I grade, making our team far more efficient and creative than ever before.”

Unlike other tool sets, DaVinci Resolve 15 combines the power of a full NLE, award winning color, Fusion VFX, Fairlight audio and delivery tools together in one application. Artists at every level can work on the same timeline at the same time, increasing both efficiency and speed of delivery. “With today’s quick turnaround demands and fast technical and creative revisions, it makes sense to have editorial and conform, color and VFX all making forward progress, at the same time,” said Katrib. “Whether at DigitalFilm Tree or remotely, DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio allows our clients to iterate across the entire post process in one timeline. Now when they sign off, our delivery times are far shorter because we output the final master right from DaVinci Resolve Studio. Throughout the mastering process, we present our clients with a persistent camera RAW finishing environment. Post production is exciting again, with amazing collaboration across technical and creative departments, on every project!”

More than four years ago, DFT leveraged DaVinci Resolve Studio and its IT logistics capabilities to offer remote post services. At first, they offered remote DaVinci Resolve Studio color systems for clients across the world, allowing them to see and sign off on their projects as if they were sitting in a brick and mortar color bay in Los Angeles.

“As we are evolving to IP-based post processes and services, DaVinci Resolve Studio brings the entire post process to our clients, wherever they are, far or near,” said Katrib. “Current clients utilizing our remote post services, which we call GeoPost, include TBS’ ‘Wrecked’ for which we provide remote dailies from Fiji, ABC’s ‘American Housewife’ for which we provide remote color and VFX review, and the CW’s ‘The 100′ for which we provide remote titling, conform, color and VFX review.”

With DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio’s expanded collaboration and remote features, Katrib is excited to grow DFT’s services on a global basis. “DaVinci Resolve Studio continues to be a game changer, and it’s everywhere. Now, with a complete shared workflow in one package, the post production paradigm will change dramatically for everyone and for the better.”

 

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20 2018 Aug

Dave Grohl Presents “Play,” a Two-Part Mini-Documentary Produced by Therapy Content

Therapy Studios Handles Post for the 23-Minute Film
Featuring an Original Track Written, Filmed & Played on Seven Instruments by Grohl

 

Therapy Content/Therapy Studios once again joins forces with Dave Grohl and Roswell Films to present “Play,” a mini-documentary that culminates with the Foo Fighters founder performing a solo 23-minute instrumental of epic proportions.

Directed by Grohl with help from his Sound City/Sonic Highways collaborator Mark Monroe, “Play” is a two-part film celebrating the rewards and challenges of dedicating one’s life to playing music. “Play” is the newest product of the longstanding creative collaboration between Therapy Content Executive Producers John Ramsay and James Rota, and Grohl, the EP of Roswell Films.

Inspired by watching his kids begin to learn and play music, the mini-film follows Grohl’s self-imposed challenge to perform a 23-minute, one-man-band instrumental recording on which he plays seven different instruments on the track, all live. Grohl’s goal was to deliver a complete performance on each instrument, without stopping: he started again from the very beginning of the 23-minute song any time the slightest mistake was made or if Grohl felt he could do a better take.

Part one focuses on Grohl’s preparation, intercut with footage of students from the Join The Band music school in the San Fernando Valley. The endearing vignettes of youth becoming enmeshed and entranced by their efforts to improve their musical abilities mirrors Grohl’s own moments of preparation, frustration and perseverance as he sets out to accomplish his goal. The obstacles they face in their daily efforts to elevate and improve their abilities are no different than those faced by a world-class stadium rocker.

When part two begins, the multiple visions of Grohl entering the studio set us up for what is a fascinating exploration of musicality by one of the most lauded musicians of his generation. Filmed in black and white by Brandon Trost (The Disaster Artist, This is The End), twelve roving mini-cameras capture an array of angles and movement around the studio. The lighting matches the dramatic peaks and valleys of this legendary instrumental, going soft and simple as the music transitions to its calmer moments, and becoming frenetic and electrifying as Grohl soars into passages of raw power.

As with all Therapy’s work with Grohl, “Play” was built on collaboration. Editing duties were shared by Shannon Albrink and Jake Shaver, with Albrink casting a beautiful parallel between Grohl’s own quest alongside the narratives of young people embarking on their own musical journeys. Jake Shaver parsed an immense amount of footage (about 16 terabytes in total) to weave together Grohl’s purely one-take, single instrument performances. Use of split-screens effectively demonstrate the massive variety of instrumentation on display, allowing us to see and hear Grohl play every note, on every single instrument, all the way through in one 23-minute take.

Darrell Thorp, engineer of Foo Fighters’ international #1 album Concrete and Gold, recorded Grohl’s performances over a span of three days, before handing the mix over to Therapy’s Eddie Kim and Brandon Kim. The pair polished up the moments of dialogue and performance segments, bridging the gaps and smoothing out the musical edits, volume, and noise floor to make it sonically seamless. Additionally Eddie and Brandon handled the recording of Grohl’s off-the-cuff narration, capturing his warmly familiar voiceover and his deft command of drawing audiences into his story.

Lead flame artist/partner Wren Waters and flame artist Geoff Stephenson were responsible for compositing the multiple Dave Grohls – as many as six into a single frame. If a guitar was in the same place where a guitar-playing Dave Grohl needed to be, their job was to make that object disappear. Whether rotoscoping his hair flying mid-headbang or making sure the flickering lights were synced – continuity and creating a seamless visual remained front of mind for every shot. Finally, the monochromatic treatment by colorist Omar Inguanzo gives the film a timeless quality, bringing together the elements of light, motion and mood under one cohesive palette.

Grohl has previously collaborated with Therapy on the Grammy-winning 2013 documentary Sound City, the Emmy and Grammy-winning HBO docu-series Sonic Highways, along with numerous Foo Fighters’ music videos.

Additionally, the “Play” online interactive experience, allows the viewer the option to experience the mini-doc as is, focus on one instrument, and/or also download the “Play” sheet music.

 

View the official film herehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e05H80-k0mY

Interactive website:  https://play.roswellfilms.com/

 

20 2018 Aug

Avid’s Powerful Next-generation MediaCentral Platform Now Available

Groundbreaking modular platform design with innovative user experience delivers a full suite of applications, modules, services and connectors for unprecedented flexibility, scalability and efficiency in media production

Avid_logo_lgAvid recently announced the immediate availability of the next-generation, web-based version of MediaCentral®,  Avid’s industry-leading media production and management platform. By streamlining the entire workflow, MediaCentral enables customers to create better content faster, deliver to more outlets and devices, and maximize the value of their media. Customers also benefit from MediaCentral | Cloud UX, Avid’s responsive and intuitive user interface that makes it easy to search, access, edit, collaborate, and publish content from the ultimate convenience of any workstation, laptop, or mobile device they choose.

MediaCentral’s groundbreaking modular design delivers a full suite of apps, services, and connectors, providing unprecedented scalability, extensibility and speed on the job for media production, including television programs, news and sports broadcasts, films, or live TV and events. Every production team member is connected in a completely integrated workflow that offers a unified view into all media assets—whether on premises, or in a private data center, the public cloud, or a hybrid environment.

At MediaCentral’s core is the next-generation MediaCentral platform engine that delivers powerful yet simple capabilities including automated content indexing, workflow orchestration, centralized administration, and streamlined software deployment. These major advancements enable customers to find and access media assets from any location, turn content around faster and deliver to diverse channels and devices, while automating their workflows.

“Our next-generation MediaCentral production suite gives creative teams across news, sports, post production and live production the power to create and deliver more content to all their media outlets in less time than ever before,” said Dana Ruzicka, Chief Product Officer, Avid. “MediaCentral’s total deployment flexibility accommodates the unique ways that our customers want to set up and manage their operations and easily supports how their teams do their work.  The platform positions content creators for increased creativity, productivity, and agility as they evolve to take command of their next opportunity.”

MediaCentral workflow modules include:

  • MediaCentral | Editorial Management: For smaller post production and broadcast teams, this affordable media management solution enables unmatched collaborative power, with folder, project, bin, metadata, and media sharing capabilities from any web browser.
  • MediaCentral | Production Management: For large broadcasters and media enterprises, this powerhouse production module simplifies and accelerates the entire media production workflow and enables greater collaboration in large scale environments.
  • MediaCentral | Newsroom Management: For news production teams, this module delivers story-centric workflows with unsurpassed efficiency that enable news teams to deliver breaking news across multiple channels faster than ever before.
  • MediaCentral | Graphics Management (planned for future release): For news and sports production, this powerful and easy-to-use graphics asset management solution enables journalists to access graphics templates and easily add compelling graphics to their stories from any device.
  • MediaCentral | Asset Management: For demanding broadcast, news, sports, and post production environments, this robust asset management module aggregates content from any source and automatically analyzes content to create a rich index of searchable metadata accessible from MediaCentral l Cloud UX, as well as from Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

MediaCentral Apps

MediaCentral offers a wide range of role-based apps that extend the capabilities of MediaCentral. Each app is optimized for a specific task in the media workflow, including searching and browsing media, researching the web and social media feeds, logging, editing, review and approval, publishing and more—all accessed from within the MediaCentral | Cloud UX interface to provide a consistent and unified user experience.

MediaCentral Services

MediaCentral Services enable a broad range of media workflows including content transformation, distribution, and social media publishing, as well as content indexing and search capabilities that leverage the latest advances in machine learning to provide deep insights into media libraries.

MediaCentral Connectors

MediaCentral connectors allow customers to easily extend their media MediaCentral workflows to many third-party applications, systems, and services from the growing ranks of Alliance partners in Avid’s certified partner ecosystem, the largest in the media and entertainment industry. Connectors are now available for a broad array of third-party solutions for archive, quality control, transcoding, WAN acceleration, CMS integration, as well as publishing to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

MediaCentral | Cloud UX

MediaCentral l Cloud UX is a redesigned, simple to use UI that provides unified access to the power of the MediaCentral platform from virtually any device anywhere, enabling tasks like search, editing, publishing, graphics, and distribution.

Avid’s next-generation MediaCentral production suite is available now. To learn more about the platform and explore the ecosystem of available modules, apps, services and connectors, please visit http://www.avid.com/products/mediacentral.

 

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20 2018 Aug

Technicolor PostWorks Helps Document the Latest Chapter in the Rebuilding of the World Trade Center

Marcus Robinson’s “Tower 3” uses magnificent time-lapse photography to memorialize the construction of the newly-opened landmark.

 

Tower 3, a new short from Irish filmmaker and artist Marcus Robinson, commemorates the massive construction project behind the latest addition to New York’s World Trade Center site, an 80-story structure that is now the city’s fifth largest building. Commissioned by Silverstein Properties for ribbon-cutting ceremonies marking the building’s completion, the 5-minute film was produced by Robinson with technical and creative assistance from Technicolor PostWorks New York.

Through breathtaking time-lapse footage, Tower 3 shows the new building rising from the ground with giant cranes and innumerable workers setting I-beams in place and attaching mammoth mirrored side panels.

Robinson calls Tower 3 a testament to human engineering and a tribute to human perseverance. “Our challenge was to produce a film that told the story of 3 World Trade Center and looked back on the work that has been done at the site over the years,” says Robinson. “When we started this project 16 years ago, we had no idea how the site—and the world—was going to change.”

Robinson has been shooting time-lapse footage at the World Trade Center site since 2002. His longform documentary, Rebuilding the World Trade Center, about reconstruction at the site, aired on the History Channel and the UK’s Channel 4,  and won a BAFTA Television Craft Award for Photography.

Technicolor PostWorks has been working with Robinson since his project’s earliest days, providing editorial facilities, archiving, dailies processing, editorial conforming, color correction, sound editing, sound mixing, and deliverables production. Due to its unprecedented length and scope, the project has presented many unique challenges. For example, Robinson has recorded much of the time-lapse material on 35mm film, resulting in millions of frames that have needed to be processed, stored, organized and archived. Source material also includes 16mm film, HD video, mini DV, digital stills are other types of media.

For Tower 3, assistant editor Alex Kaufman had to glean through more 200 hours of time-lapse footage spanning eight years and reduce it to a succinct 5-minute story. Colorist Dave Colonna then needed to create consistency in look from material shot under widely divergent lighting and weather conditions. “You might have a shadow moving across the face of the building that was shot over a long period of time under varying light,” Colonna explains. “We had to work hard to make it appear even toned so that the shadow moves smoothly. You see the city breathing.”

Robinson is not done yet. He plans to continue shooting time-lapse at the site until the completion of the final tower at 2 World Trade Center a few years from now. He then plans to produce a final feature-length documentary. He expects to continue to enjoy the assistance of Technicolor PostWorks until them. “They’ve helped keep the project going not only through their incredible technical expertise but also through their friendship and moral support,” he says. “They’ve been a joy to work with. I’m in very good hands.”

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20 2018 Aug

Deadpool 2 Graded in DaVinci Resolve Studio by EFILM’s Skip Kimball

Blackmagic Design recently announced that Deadpool 2, the highly anticipated sequel in the 20th Century Fox/Marvel franchise, was colored by EFILM Senior Colorist Skip Kimball using DaVinci Resolve software. The irreverent series, starring Ryan Reynolds as a wisecracking reluctant superhero, is unique not only because of its main character, but also for the style of imagery used to depict the dark world surrounding Deadpool and his adventures.

Despite the fact that the Deadpool franchise exists in an adjacent world to the X-Men universe, the two have very different looks. With expansive visual effects and diverse shooting conditions, Kimball worked closely with cinematographer Jonathan Sela, to establish a straightforward approach to color.

“I’ve worked on several previous films with (Sela). It’s an absolute pleasure to work with him. Jonathan’s work is so even and straightforward, I’m able to get what he exposed on the screen fairly quickly, which is a testament to his craft,” Kimball said.

Sela was intent on creating a look of his own for the sequel, which lead Kimball to take an entirely new approach. “The look has less contrast,” said Kimball, “is a bit softer, and is not as saturated, which all serves Jonathan’s vision.”

With his experience in a wide range of formats, Kimball felt comfortable with the diverse material he had to combine and match from the Deadpool 2 production. “The biggest challenge in balancing the look of Deadpool 2 was to seamlessly integrate a high volume of visual effects shots that came in from many different vendors,” said Kimball. “The footage was shot over many weeks at various stages and locations so my aim was to make sure everything was kept fluid and cohesive. For example, the convoy scene is 10-minutes of action, but elements were shot on bluescreen and on location during different times of day.”

The convoy became his favorite scene, and he embraced the challenge to create a flow to the sequence. “It took many external mattes combined with Power Windows, along with Resolve plugins like camera shake, blurs and many tricks to make it all come together.”

Kimball relied on DaVinci Resolve to create a straightforward workflow that accommodated the variety of material coming in. “With DaVinci Resolve, I have the ability to work with the camera raw footage as well as VFX delivered in EXRs in numerous resolutions. Also, I find the DaVinci plug-ins very beneficial for creating looks; the open FX plug-ins provide creative starting points for countless looks.”

Kimball’s approach to color has always been borne from his early days in the industry, where he started as the catch-all assistant at legendary Howard A. Anderson Co. “I did everything, from rewinding film, making single stripe 1:1s and B&W dupes,” said Kimball. “I was also a driver. I learned how to transfer dailies on a RCA TK35 film projector and a Ikegami video camera. Then dailies were transferred to beta and VHS 3/4 inch U-matic tapes.”

Each new task was a chance to learn, and when his first opportunity with a color system appeared, he jumped at it. “I saw the Rank Cintel and thought it was great. I learned color grading on my own time, because it looked really creative, fun, and interesting.”

After starting his career as a colorist at Anderson, Kimball has since worked with many of the industry’s top directors and cinematographers, and served as a colorist on a myriad of acclaimed films such as Gone Baby Gone, Nebraska, The Fault in Our Stars, Logan, and Downsizing; all colored in DaVinci Resolve, which he has used since 1989.

Throughout his career, Kimball has enjoyed moving seamlessly between series, feature and short form. He loves working on diversely different projects, such as Netflix’ popular series, Stranger Things and the industry-shaking Avatar for James Cameron. But despite the wide range of projects he likes to embrace, he still feels learning the basics is critical to learning the trade. “My advice (to young colorists) is to learn your tools, learn how to read the scopes, and learn how to work with film before digital. To be able to work with film on a Telecine is much more informative than today’s workflows.”

Despite all his tools, Kimball insists he doesn’t have a bag of tricks up his sleeve. “I basically start from scratch as I look at the footage, and color grade based on instinct. I try to start off with being able to show the cinematographer what they exposed, and from there we build on it.” The rest, he insists, is patience. “If I get stuck on a shot, I walk away from it, then come back. The scene is not done until you can play all the way through without stopping.”