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15 2018 Jan

Avid VENUE | S6L Software Update Delivers Free On-Stage iOS App to Enhance Monitor Mixing Capabilities

New software update for Avid VENUE | S6L makes it easier to mix monitors and even enables musicians to control their own monitor mixes on stage

Burlington, Mass., Jan. 4, 2018 Avid® (Nasdaq: AVID), a leading global media technology provider for the creation, distribution and monetization of media assets for global media organizations, enterprise users and individual creative professionals, today announced the availability of a new version of Avid VENUE™ Software and new Avid VENUE | On-Stage iOS app for its award-winning Avid VENUE | S6L live sound system. Powered by MediaCentral®, the industry’s most open and efficient platform designed for media, the software update and On-Stage app introduce a range of exciting new control surface and software workflows for monitor engineers.

Available at no charge to Avid’s live sound customer community, the new Avid VENUE | On-Stage app gives monitor engineers using S6L the ability to remotely control any mix from any location. This enables monitor engineers to step away from their Avid VENUE | S6L system and fine tune individual monitor mixes while walking around on stage, hearing exactly what the performers hear. The app even allows up to 16 performers to take control of their individual monitor mixes using a rich user interface on an iPad, iPhone or iPod.

In addition to its On-Stage app support, VENUE Software offers numerous new features and enhancements to S6L to make mixing monitors easier, including access to sends as well as access to members of a mix quickly with the new Sends on Faders button. Engineers can now also maintain the Aux, Group, Matrix, or VCA master fader position when spilling its members for better efficiency, and enjoy better visibility into VCA members in Meters view.

“As part of Avid’s commitment to our preeminent live sound customer community, this new version of Avid VENUE Software delivers significant capabilities for monitor engineers, including support for one of their most highly requested features—the Avid VENUE | On-Stage app,” said Dana Ruzicka, vice president and chief product officer at Avid. “Combined with the powerful capabilities already in Avid VENUE | S6L, this software update makes the flagship Avid live sound console the choice for monitor engineers working in concert sound, touring and houses of worship all over the world.”

Avid VENUE | S6L is a fully modular, flexible live sound mixing system that delivers best-in-class functionality for a range of live sound mixing applications, including front-of-house, monitor, broadcast, theater, and more. Offering unprecedented processing capabilities—with over 300 processing channels—S6L delivers unrelenting performance and reliability through its advanced engine design, backed up by modern touchscreen workflows and the scalability to easily handle large, complex tours and events. Like all Avid VENUE systems, S6L provides seamless Avid Pro Tools® integration and on-board industry-standard plug-ins, with higher track counts and more processing power than ever before. With a comprehensive array of network and I/O offerings, users can easily configure the system to meet the demands of any type of show.

 

15 2018 Jan

Avid Maestro Graphics Enables Content Creators to Bring High Impact Content to Air Faster Than Ever

The new versions of Maestro | Designer and Maestro | News let users create, manage and play out superior quality graphic content

Burlington, Mass., Jan. 3, 2018 – Avid® (Nasdaq: AVID), a leading global media technology provider for the creation, distribution and monetization of media assets for global media organizations, enterprise users and individual creative professionals, has released the latest versions of its Maestro™ | Designer and Maestro | News solutions. The new versions enable content creators to create superior, high resolution graphics more efficiently than ever before.

Avid’s award winning Maestro | Designer graphics authoring software has been enriched with even greater rendering power to create higher quality graphics and enhance visual identity and production value exponentially. Graphic designers can now create and view their content in 4K resolution without having to adjust the resolution of their graphics. Improved workflow efficiencies have also been added to Maestro | Designer to increase productivity and enable the turnaround of content even faster, including font handling, animation editing, and mask editing.

Avid has also enhanced its Maestro | News on air graphic suite with significant workflow efficiencies for both news and production environments. With the latest version of Maestro | News, users can quickly and easily reuse content and even mirror data between different production systems. Its simplified workflow now facilitates faster page creation and the ability to manage complex content more efficiently through its new rundown filtering capability.

“To maximize engagement, today’s broadcasters must create outstanding content that’s tuned for any consumer device,” said Alan Hoff, VP of Market Solutions, Avid.  “The latest enhancements available in Maestro l Designer and Maestro l News help broadcasters deliver video and 3D graphics in new and compelling ways to audiences everywhere.”

 

Maestro | Designer features include:

  • Better content faster

The latest Maestro | Designer offers numerous enhancements and improvements including improved categorization and handling to ease workflow and boost productivity. Users can now set specific animation start and end points for more precise playback, and work with and edit object masks more easily with the new Show Masks function. A new Scissor mask allows users to add a whole layer for more creative flexibility, and gain resolution independence with Scalable Vector Graphics.

  • More powerful performance

Users can gain more powerful Avid RenderEngine performance with numerous under-the-hood improvements—using existing hardware. Without changing any other components, Maestro | Designer enables creative professionals to create higher quality graphics and augment visual identity and production value exponentially.

  • Higher resolution viewing

With support for high-resolution monitors, Maestro | Designer can now scale its application display to the required resolution, making it easier to prep, create, view, and refine content in up to 4K resolution.

 

Maestro | News features include:

  • Greater efficiency

Maestro | News provides new support for the Array control and exposers capability introduced in Maestro | Designer and RenderEngine. With Array control, users can set the timing of exported elements directly in the Maestro | Designer animation timeline while creating content, which will then trigger data being sent to a Maestro | News property. Maestro | News pages can also now retrieve data values directly from a RenderEngine-loaded scene and send them to a completely different scene, providing a fast and easy way to reuse information or mirror data between different production systems.

  • A more simplified workflow

New extended timeline scripting capabilities greatly accelerate the Maestro | News page creation process. This feature extends page script functionality further, enabling scripts to send exports and control animation, reducing the number of tracks needed in the timeline.

  • Faster location of stories

With new rundown filtering capabilities, users can manage the content of complex stories and large rundowns more easily than ever by using different search keywords or phrases to apply a filter in the rundown to locate stories. Additionally, the new filter applies to the content inside any item, making it easier to find the exact story needed.

  • Expanded capabilities

Maestro | News now offers a new Auto Still Cue settings option for the video playback module, enabling a clip to display relevant metadata in its first frame or in point when the video item is cued, facilitating better information sharing with production teams. Video items can be added from the MediaCentral | Maestro News app directly to a MediaCentral | Newsroom Management rundown. This enables access to media storage, quick creation of media In and Out points, and the ability to preview media and add it to the Maestro | News rundown, improving graphics and video workflows in news and production environments.

Learn more about Maestro | Designer at http://www.avid.com/products/maestro-designer and Maestro | News at http://www.avid.com/products/maestro-news.

 

15 2018 Jan

Sound Supervisor Bradley North is a Double Winner

By Debra Kaufman

Winning an HPA Award is an honor, but for Technicolor sound supervisor Bradley North, the shock was winning two at the 2017 Awards ceremony: this year’s Outstanding Sound was a rare tie, between Starz’ American Gods “The Bone Orchard” episode and Netflix’s Stranger Things “Chapter 8 – The Upside Down episode.” “When they said American Gods, I was shocked,” North recalls. “When I was on the podium, they pulled me off to the side and Stranger Things was the other winner. It was pretty surreal, and I’m proud and very flattered.”  On “The Bone Orchard,” Technicolor Hollywood’s Joseph DeAngelis, Kenneth Korbett, David Werntz and Tiffany S. Griffith were also honored; for “The Upside Down,” Fox’s Craig Henighan and Technicolor Hollywood’s Joe Barnett, Adam Jenkins, Jordan Wilby and Tiffany S. Griffith were also honored.

The challenge with American Gods, says North, is that “nothing is based in reality.” “All the gods have different stories and different powers, so we created different sounds for all of them,” he says. The sound team created a stem they called the God Vox, to give each god his or her own dialogue treatment. The older gods are established in the initial scene when the Vikings arrive in America. “The older gods had a big, low analogue sound,” says North. “Sometimes I used a doubler. The producers wanted distinct dialogue, but they didn’t want to change pitch, which also made it challenging.”

The new gods had a little bit slicker, high-tech feel to them, he says. “Especially with Tech Boy, the god of technology, we did some doubling and shuffling,” he says. “Then there’s Mr. World, a main new god, who we don’t see until a few episodes in. When we do see him, his face and body peel off into different pieces, so I used a shuffler that changed feedback, loops and tried to perform it like a digital piece.”

The show also has a variety of settings from old America, to the desert of the dead and giant doors to other worlds. “We did all sorts of crazy things,” he says. “I took metal clinks and drops and bangs, and reverbed them, and then reversed them. I would put that in as a little background and Bryan Fuller liked it a lot, so something that was supposed to be a background element became a main element.”  “We establish all these different gods and they have their own look, feel and vibe, so it affects the sound the same way it affects the VFX,” says North.

In Stranger Things, North was thrilled to work with noted sound designer Henighan. “It was a dream come true to work on such a cool project with Craig as my partner in crime,” says North. “I think he and I were a good match. He’s easy to work with and such a talented guy. It was a good partnership where I was able to call him and bounce ideas off him.” When he went to the meet-and-greet with the Duffer brothers, North says they played him a sizzle reel of old 1980s movies, so he knew the soundscape would be a meld of the 1980s feel with supernatural elements. “We also put in nighttime birds that have nothing to do with Indiana, but we wanted it to sound like Star Wars or E.T.,” he says. “We wanted creepy vibe along with the other elements, and we also play these big scares and big jumps.”

The two HPA Awards came to North after a career that started with a mix of independent movies and TV. He was inspired to go into sound when he saw a TV special on Gary Rystrom at Skywalker Ranch. “It was sound design and scoring, and I thought I would be interested in doing this,” he says. He went to Full Sail in Florida and got a recording arts degree, and was immediately recruited by Wilshire Stages (now Wildfire) mixer Ken Teaney, CAS. Once there, says North, he interned for sound designer Ann Scibelli, MPSE. “Interning was great,” says North. “I learned so much from her, and when she went home, I would stay and practice. I was so lucky to intern for someone like Ann.”

He and Scibelli worked on a couple of movies together, until North ended up at Universal where he mixed a few small movies and met then-supervising sound editor/director of sound editorial Scott Hecker. “I liked the facility a lot and when I was between movies, I asked him if he had anything going on, and he was crewing up for TV,” recalls North. He ended up cutting sound effects on what became 111 episodes of House. He worked closely with Barbara Isaacs who, when she learned she had cancer, trained him to be her replacement. “From then on, I supervised TV,” says North. “It’s not the way you want to be moved up, but it’s part of the story.”

North, who also worked on Quarry, Banshee and Manhunt: Unabomber, is currently at work on the fourth season of yet another hit TV series, Bosch.

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20 2017 Dec

2018 HPA Tech Retreat Program Announced

AI, Automation, Blockchain, ESports Among Topics

LOS ANGELES 19 December 2017  – The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) has announced the schedule for the 2018 HPA Tech Retreat®, set for 19-23 February 2017. The Tech Retreat is an incomparable opportunity to meet and engage with well-known and emerging leaders in engineering, technology, creativity and business. The HPA Tech Retreat takes place in the Palm Springs area over the course of a week. Participants confer on future trends and technologies of the media and entertainment ecosystem while tackling issues of the present from fresh perspectives. The Tech Retreat offers unparalleled access to a wide range of in-depth information, facilitating a nuanced and informed view of industry trajectories. The Tech Retreat heads to a new venue this year, the JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, CA,

The retreat features five days of scheduled sessions, demonstrations and events including the separately ticketed HPA Tech Retreat eXtra (TR-X), to deliver a forward-looking perspective on an industry continuing a dynamic and rapid evolution. Over the course of the carefully curated week, important aspects of production, broadcast, post production, distribution and related endeavors for the media and entertainment landscape are explored. The sessions are decidedly non-commercial in nature; marketing submissions are not considered. From breakfast roundtables and sessions to dinners and fire-pit conversations, the schedule creates an environment conducive to the exchange of knowledge and information.

Mark Schubin, the Program Maestro of the HPA Tech Retreat, commented, “This year’s program might be the best ever, covering everything from “fake news” to direct-view screens in movie theaters.  And that’s not counting live VR, eSports, Pixar’s approach to worldwide cultural differences — everything from cinematographers to consumer electronics.”

Seth Hallen, president of the HPA, noted, “The HPA Tech Retreat is the de facto standard for in-depth exploration and thought provoking discussion for the technologies and trends impacting the media landscape. Once again, the program committee for the Super Session, the TR-X committee and our resident genius Mark Schubin have outdone themselves. It is at the HPA Tech Retreat that we meet and understand the rapidly changing world in which we live and work.”

TR-X (Tech Retreat eXtra) returns for its second year, focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in a separately ticketed half day session Monday, 20 February. The Tuesday Supersession, moderated by HPA past president Leon Silverman and HPA board member Jerry Pierce, kicks off the official Tech Retreat. Wednesday through Friday begin back-to-back sessions and panels, under the direction of program maestro Schubin. A diverse array of breakfast roundtable discussions, led by key industry experts, start the day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings. The Innovation Zone returns Tuesday through Thursday, presenting the opportunity to explore emerging and innovating technologies from nearly 60 companies at the vanguard of the industry, with a special focus on VR/AR.

SPEAKERS AND SESSIONS

A complete 2018 HPA Tech Retreat program, with schedule and speakers’ bios, is available here. Additional sessions and speakers will be announced. (Please note the final schedule is subject to change.)

Monday 19 February: TR-X

Separate registration required

A half day of targeted panels, speakers and interaction, this year focusing on one of the most important topics our industry faces, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Topics include:

  • AI Impact on Media & Entertainment: What is Changing and Why?
  • The Potential for Partnering with AI in the Creative Process
  • Novel AI Implementations: Real World AI Case Studies
  • Content Intelligence: AI & Marketing
  • Bleeding Edge M&E Research
  • Panel of Experts What Will Happen and When?

Tuesday 20 February: Supersession
It’s Still Snowing and We’re Just Making Bigger and Better Snowmen: a continuation in the exploration of workflow evolution

Expert led session focused on how content is produced across the widest spectrum of content creation – from spots to blockbusters. From live, streaming to fully synthetic films without any humans before the camera. Topics include: how many K’s are OK, how bright is bright and how HDR changes the game (or does it?). Will ACES ace this test? Is it always going to be like this? The Supersession offers the attendees the opportunity to understand how complex content reaches audiences, and the importance of the process to careers and businesses.

Wednesday 21 February Highlights

  • Mark Schubin’s Technology Year in Review
  • Jim Burger, Thompson Coburn LLP, Washington Update
  • IMF Central
    • Howard Lukk, SMPTE
    • Bruce Devlin, Mr MXF
    • Mark Harrison, Digital Production Partnership (DPP)
    • Andy Wilson, DPP
    • Andy Quested, BBC
    • Bill Baggelaar, Sony Pictures
    • Tomasz Witkowski, Visual Data Media Services
    • Julián Fernández-Campón, Tedial
    • Clyde Smith, Fox, North American Broadcasters Association, coordinator
  • Broadcasters Panel
    • Matthew Goldman, Ericsson, moderator
  • CES Review
    • Peter Putman, ROAM Consulting
  • Advanced Cinema
    • Jean-Philippe Jacquemin, Barco
    • Scott Daly, Dolby Laboratories
    • Gary Demos, Image Essence
    • Tony Davis, RealD
    • Pete Ludé, Mission Rock Digital, coordinator

Thursday, 22 February Highlights

  • Flavors of HDR
    • Don Eklund, Sony Pictures Entertainment
    • Pat Griffis, Dolby Laboratories
    • Bill Mandel, Samsung
    • Andy Quested, BBC
    • Seth Hallen, Pixelogic and HPA, moderator
  • Establishing Metadata Guidelines for Downstream Image Presentation Management on Consumer Displays
    • Michael Chambliss, International Cinematographers Guild, moderator
  • ACES Update
    • Wolfgang Ruppel, RheiMain University of Applied Sciences
    • Annie Chang, Disney, coordinator,
  • Remote and Mobile Production Panel
    • Wolfgang Schram, PRG/Nocturne
    • John Vickery, Zeroth
    • Mark Chiolis, MobileTV Group, moderator
  • VR and the Eclipse
    • Alx Klive, 360 Designs
  • Pixar’s Approach to Localization
    • Eric Pearson, Pixar
  • Automation of Versioning
    • Henry Gu, GIC
    • Cédric Lejeune, Éclair
    • Rich Welsh, Sundog Media Toolkit, coordinator
  • Understanding Blockchain for The Biz
    • Pete Ludé, Mission Rock Digital
    • Steve Wong, DXC Technology
  • Reinventing Digital Content Storage and Interchange with Decentralized Ledgers and Machine Learning
    • Michelle Munson and Serban Simu, Eluvio
  • The Project Budget War: Views from Both Sides and the In-Between
    • Jeff Stansfield, Advantage Video Systems
    • David Courtice, DC Creative
    • Larry O’Connor, OWC
    • Aaron Semmel, Semmelboomboom
    • Andy Marken, Marken Communications, moderator
  • eSPorts
    • Josh Rizzo

Friday, 23 February Highlights

  • Predicting Trends: Why We Get It Wrong and How to Get It Right
    • Mark Harrison, DPP
  • SMPTE Update
    • Howard Lukk, SMPTE
  • Detection of Modified Video
    • Ed Grogan, National Security Agency
  • Immersion and the Singularity: The Fusion of AI, Social, Advertising, and Entertainment
    • Lucas Wilson, Supersphere
  • Virtual Cinematography and Storytelling Engines
    • Ramy Katrib, Digital Film Tree
    • Adam Myhill, Unity Technologies
  • Perceptual Fatigue in Film, Broadcast and VR
    • Thomas Lund, Genelec
  • Where We Are Heading
    • Steve Lampen, Belden

Breakfast Roundtable Highlights

  • OBID: Revolutionizing Audience Measurement and More, Chris Lennon, MediAnswers
  • Testing IMF from the DPP, Andy Wilson, DPP
  • The Users Perspective from IMF UG, Pierre-Anthony Lemieux, IMF UG
  • NABA-IMF: The Route to Adoption, Clyde Smith, Fox, NABA
  • Measuring What We Can See: 4K, HDR, WCG, Lynn Yeazel & Steve Holmes, Tektronix
  • IP/PTP in Real-Time Production & Distribution, Karl Kuhn, Tektronix
  • Evaluation of Pixel Representation, Ronan Boitard, Barco
  • Migrating Production Studios to Data Centers, Andrew Osmond, Aperi
  • RealCV: AI Applied to Video Recognition, Reza Rassool, RealNetworks
  • Media Function Virtualization: a New Business Model, Andrew Osmond, Aperi
  • Understanding Blockchain, Steve Wong, DXC Technology

The 2018 HPA Tech Retreat is a limited attendance event, strictly capped at 600 guests, and is expected to sell out. Registration is open, and both day passes and full conference passes are available. Because this event will sell out, onsite registration is not allowed. Registration includes conference sessions, breakfast roundtables, demo room, some meals, and social events. TR-X is an additional registration and fee. More information about the HPA Tech Retreat, including program details, is available at www.hpatechretreat.com.


About the HPA Tech Retreat

The HPA Tech Retreat® is a gathering of the top industry engineering, technical, and creative talent, as well as strategic business leaders, focused on technology, from all aspects of digital cinema, post production, film, television, video, broadcast and related technology areas, for the exchange of information. The HPA Tech Retreat takes place in Palm Springs, California and the UK.

About the Hollywood Professional Association
Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content. Through their partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), the leader in the advancement of the art, science and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, the HPA continues to extend its support of the community it represents. Information about the HPA is available at http://www.hpaonline.com.

18 2017 Dec

Look Ahead by Looking Back

By Seth Hallen, HPA President

Seth HallenReflecting on the accomplishments and challenges of 2017 while peering out the window to 2018, my pride and affection for the HPA continues to grow. Please indulge me as we look past our busy HPA events to the broader horizon and actual impact of our Association.  We continue to build on our 3 pillars – Community, Knowledge Exchange, and Recognition in all of our efforts. As we draw to the close of 2017, it is clear we have accomplished a great deal towards those ideals.  For 2018, there will be more.

How can we predict and even benefit from changes that come from a dynamic culture, rapid evolution of technology to economic changes. From my perspective, we are building the supporting architecture and intelligence bank around these challenges. The future of the industry, our businesses and careers rely upon the most dynamic and far-looking engagement, events, education. Tapping into the collective knowledge base and wisdom of our peers is one of the most powerful ways we can impact the decisions we make in our endeavors. That’s one thing the HPA is striving to enable through our communications and events.  Here are some highlights:

The HPA Tech Retreat has – for over 23 years – been the place to ask the hard questions, take on the latest technologies, and connect with colleagues. Topics are debated, and it’s safe to say that you leave with as many questions at the end of the tech retreat as you arrive with at the beginning. The HPA Tech Retreat continues to grow and engage a wider audience as new and often non-traditional technologies take hold. Last year, we added TR-X (Tech Retreat Extra) an afternoon symposium that kicks off the retreat.  The HPA Tech Retreat is moving venues this year, but we are still a limited seat event, so watch for the program which will be announced imminently, and register early because it’s never a great idea to miss the HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Springs! The main program is steered intrepidly by the one and only Mark Schubin, the SuperSession led by HPA past president Leon Silverman and past VP Jerry Pierce; and TR-X by HPA Board Member Craig German.  A huge thank you to those fellows and their committees for putting together what is shaping up to be another incredible event.

Of equal pride is the ongoing development of our UK event which we are planning to bring back in June to the London area.  I’m not at liberty to share specifics, but I can say that we’re shaking it up, tightening it up and bringing even more value.  At the HPA Tech Retreat in February, we will have a lot of compelling news about the UK Tech Retreat. Thank you to Richard Welsh for his leadership as we evolve and grow our UK event.

The HPA Awards show us that our community is absolutely amazing. This year’s banner event was an incredible evening! From Larry Chernoff’s Lifetime Achievement Award to the amazing creative winners, Engineering winners and NASA, the sold-out evening with a new look was a blast. This year’s submissions to the creative categories were greater than they have ever been, breaking 450 and over 23 entries for Engineering Excellence.  It is always an honor to shine a light on the work of our community who help bring stories to life.  We’re also grateful that our longtime venue – The Skirball Center – survived the fires that tore through LA County.

An initiative near and dear to my heart is mentorship of the next generation of our industry leaders. HPA’s Young Entertainment Professionals put their new class in place at the 2017 SMPTE ATC.  It’s no exaggeration to say that the accomplishments of this year’s applicants and class are truly impressive.  In addition, a group of 60 industry professionals have volunteered to mentor and support the 2017-18 YEP class. We doubled the number of applicants, and look forward to an amazing year with these 26 young leaders who will be taking our industry into the future. Great thanks to Kari Grubin, Loren Nielsen, Laura Thommen and Belinda Merritt for their leadership and vision, and thank you to the entire committee and all of our mentors for helping build the foundation of HPA.

NET – under the tutelage of Josh Wiggins, Eliot Sakharov and an incredible committee, NET has taken hold and taken route.  From two sold out events with absolutely stellar table leaders and topics, to a roster that we will announce early in 2018, there is terrific excitement around NET (Networking Education Technology), where in depth topics can be discussed and debated.

There’s a long list of exciting news that the HPA Board will be unveiling in the coming months.  As this year comes to a close, we are excited to look to the future and grateful to all of you for an incredible 2017.  Our community, the HPA Board, leaders, volunteers and staff are some of the most talented, dedicated, and passionate individuals I have ever known.  During this holiday season, I am filled with gratitude that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with such incredible people.

Happy Holidays!

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18 2017 Dec

CES 2018: A Preview

By Debra Kaufman

What technological advances from CES will propel the content creation industry forward in 2018?

CES 2018, owned and operated by the Consumer Technology Association, will take place Jan. 9-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and nearly every hotel in town. The event brings together about 170,000 “industry influencers,” from 150 countries, making it the No. 1 trade show in the U.S., as ranked by Trade Show News Network (for comparison, NAB is No. 10). The show will feature more than 800 speakers across over 200 sessions, and numerous keynotes from high-level tech and media executives.

Although CES is a consumer electronics show, it’s still relevant to those of us in the media and entertainment industry, since digital technology and new business models have blurred a few lines. For all the consumers snapping up Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets, Hollywood (and elsewhere) is home to dozens of content creators (many of them from the visual effects industry) telling VR stories for studios and brands. That’s just one example of the CES synergies, which include new TV sets, artificial intelligence and over-the-top business models.

Some people go to CES just to stay informed about the rapid technology-driven changes taking place in our world. Are you interested in autonomous vehicles? What digital is bringing to health? Do you know what a smart city might look like? CES presents the latest in all of these areas.

Entertainment and media is nonetheless a significant focus at CES, and here are some thoughts about panels and conferences of interest. One CES 2018 track, C Space, is aimed at “content creators, brand marketers, advertising agencies, creative communicators and digital publishers.” Among the speakers there will be Oath/Verizon chief executive Tim Armstrong, IBM Watson Advertising chief marketing officer Jordan Bitterman, Turner global chief communications and corporate marketing officer Molly Battin, Facebook vice president for video Fidji Simo, Verizon head of content strategy, acquisition & programming Erin McPherson, and more.

C Space, which will be located at the Aria Hotel, will feature several “Storyteller” sessions, led by high level executives from Facebook, IBM, Google, Verizon Oath, Ryot and others. In one, Google president, Americas Allan Thygesen will address “how brands can win today’s consumers with more relevant, assistive and instant experiences.” IBM’s Bitterman, Greg Pizzuti, who is IBM director of solutions for Global Media & Entertainment Industry, and David Mowrey, IBM Watson Media head of product and development will talk about the latest advances in artificial intelligence and how businesses can leverage AI for the future.

An Entertainment Summit, organized by Variety, will look at the future of television, with a panel including NBC Universal Digital Enterprises president Maggie Suniewick, YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan, and 21st Century Fox president/COO, digital consumer group, Brian Sullivan. The so-called “headline conversation” will feature Disney ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood. The summit has other panels of interest to the M&E industry.

Digital Hollywood also runs a conference track at CES 2018, which will focus on three trends: mobile first, which is “about contextual, programmatic and brand advertising,” augmented and virtual reality on a wide variety of platforms, from movie theaters and theme parks to smartphones and tablets; and Internet TV. There are a lot of panels diving deep into augmented reality, virtual reality, over-the-top TV, programmatic buying and cross-platform advertising, and, again, the future of television.

CTA president/chair Gary Shapiro will moderate what should be a very interesting conversation with FCC chair Ajit Pai, who just led the move to end net neutrality, and Federal Trade Commission acting chair Maureen K. Ohlhausen. Editor /host Ben Shapiro, in a conversation with United Talent Agency head of digital media Brent Weinstein, will discuss the future of news, relevant as broadcasters prepare to go over-the-top.

On the exhibit floor and in sessions in other conference tracks, CES 2018 will also be the place to catch up with what’s the latest in drones, robotics, artificial intelligence/machine learning. Another conference, on Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, will look at the future of TV sets, with input from LG Electronics and Hisense. IEEE will be there to preview its “most interesting technologies,” and another session will highlight interesting startups found on the exhibit floor in Eureka Park.

Should a media/entertainment professional attend CES? While much of the show is irrelevant to our industry on the surface, the reach of what it covers is so broad that any visitor is sure to have a few serendipitous moments, learning about technology or products that could juice up ideas about production/post. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality may not be immediately relevant in today’s production or post environment, but it’s already making inroads. It’s always a good idea to get a grasp of what’s coming down the pike.

14 2017 Dec

Sohonet Welcome Arborfield Studios to the Sohonet Media Network

Logo_sohonet_TR2013London, UK, 2017 – Arborfield Garrison Studios, one of the latest and most exciting film studios to debut in the UK in recent years, has joined forces with Sohonet, the global experts in connectivity and media services, to create a campus-wide infrastructure to support their unique production environment.

Arborfield’s transition from army garrison to cutting-edge film studio comes from the team behind Longcross Films Studios, which opened its doors back in 2006. Longcross which has seen frequent use for work on blockbuster hits including Skyfall, War Horse, Captain Phillips and Fast & Furious 6 has made a name for itself due to the studio’s flexibility in allowing producers and directors to modify stages and facilities to meet their specific needs.

Sohonet has worked closely with Arborfield Garrison Studio since the project’s infancy to provide end-to-end network services, real time collaboration and file transfer tools to the campus as well as installing cutting-edge wireless infrastructure across the site to help Arborfield meet the unique demands of the global film and TV community.

Bob Terry, Managing Director of Longcross and Arborfield Studios said, ‘Having successfully worked with Sohonet to retrofit Longcross Film Studios with the latest wireless and networking infrastructure, when we took on Arborfield, choosing Sohonet as a partner was the logical choice. We recognise Sohonet’s ability to accommodate the increasing demands of the media industry which in turn allows us to meet the production needs of our customers.’

Damien Carroll, Chief Operating Officer of Sohonet has said, ‘We are delighted to be part of this collaboration with Arborfield Garrison Studios. Productions are now working with some of the world’s most valuable and sensitive content, moving bigger and bigger files, faster and faster. Having a secure and flexible workspace to offer their clients was of the utmost importance to the Arborfield team and it’s been a pleasure working on this project with them from the start’.

 

14 2017 Dec

VES Bake-Off Bash

VES BAKE-OFF BASH

Saturday, January 6, 2018

5-7 PM at Via Alloro Restaurant in Beverly Hills

VES

 

Join nearly 200 entertainment and visual effects professionals locally and abroad who come to LA to screen the visual effects Oscar® contenders at the Academy’s VFX bake-off. This party, preceding the screening at the Academy’s Goldwyn Theater, features cocktails, appetizers and networking from 5 to 7PM.

Click here to purchase tickets: https://www.visualeffectssociety.com/ves-bake-bash

14 2017 Dec

16th Annual VES Awards – February 13, 2018

VES

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Join the Visual Effects Society (VES) and over 1,000 entertainment professionals on 2/13/18 at the Beverly Hilton hotel as they honor:

  • Jon Favreau with the VES Lifetime Achievement Award and
  • Joe Letteri with the VES Georges Méliès Award
  • 20 categories of Visual Effects Excellence

This awards gala sells out quickly so be sure to get your tickets now:  https://www.visualeffectssociety.com/ves-awards

 

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14 2017 Dec

MTI Film Applies Novel Color Grading Approach to National Geographic Documentary Series “The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman”

HOLLYWOOD — MTI Film recently provided final post-production services for The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, a six-part documentary series on National Geographic. The facility handled editorial conforming and color grading for the series in which the veteran actor travels the globe “in search of an answer to one fundamental question for humanity: what are the common forces that bind us together?”

Each one-hour episode presents a series of short, thought-provoking segments whose subjects include “Angola Three” member Albert Woodfox, who was falsely imprisoned for more than three decades; Joshua Coombes, founder of social campaign #DoSomethingForNothing; and Megan Phelps-Roper, a former member of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. The show mixes Freeman’s interviews with his subjects alongside a wide range of supporting archival media.

Working under the direction of series executive producer James Younger and post producer Kevin Mueller, MTI Film colorist Tanner Buschman had the challenge of establishing visual consistency among media drawn from a diversity of sources. “The archival media included 16mm and 35mm film, digital and videotape,” he recalls. “Watching clips from different sources back to back can be very disorienting, so we used a variety of techniques to make it look like it was shot from the same camera. In some cases, we degraded shots to make them blend.”

StoryOfUs_03

Buschman also used color to support the emotional tone of the stories. For the segment on Woodfox, Buschman subtly muted the color of interviews shot in the former inmate’s home to evoke the atmosphere of his time in prison. “The look is stark, almost monochromatic,” he explains. “It feels as though the walls are moving in on you.”

At the end of that segment, the color balance shifts. “The story has an upbeat resolution,” Buschman says. “Albert’s with his children and he’s become an advocate for other people who’ve been falsely imprisoned. That scene is more saturated and warm.”

Buschman applied distinct looks to many of the individual segments. In one focused on Victoria Khan, a transgender woman who grew up in Afghanistan, archival scenes are cast in severe shades of yellow and red, an allusion to her war-torn country and tough childhood. “During one of the grading sessions someone said that those scenes actually make you feel hot,” Buschman recalls.

“What’s interesting about working on this series is that it lends itself to out of the box thinking,” he adds. “Each story lasts only a few minutes, so you can apply an extreme look and not have to sustain it for the whole hour. We get to have a lot of fun.”