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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.”




22 2018 May

Avid Transforms TV News Production for RTS Senegal Africa


Senegalese national public broadcaster modernizes its newsrooms with a new infrastructure based on the MediaCentral platform for faster, more efficient and streamlined news production

Avid® recently announced that RTS, a public news broadcaster in Senegal, has transformed its infrastructure by standardizing on the Avid MediaCentral® platform in combination with Avid newsroom and graphics tools. This solution enables RTS’ four national television networks to engage viewers with state-of-the-art graphics supported by faster, more efficient and more timely news story creation and delivery.

Headquartered in Dakar, RTS broadcasts across four TV channels. With an outdated architecture that was cumbersome and resource-heavy, RTS turned to Avid and its distribution partner, Studiotech, to completely overhaul its two news studios. By standardizing their end-to-end news production workflow on MediaCentral, the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media, RTS is now seamlessly supporting HD and SD formats in a highly adaptable, fast-turnaround environment.

“We needed a system that would reduce time-to-air, free up our staff for more creative work and help us grow without a lot of additional expenditure,” said Boubou Sall, Director of New Technologies, RTS Senegal. “Avid did that and more, with an integrated ecosystem that eliminated our siloed approach and enabled us to better meet the demands of news production today.”

RTS invested in newsroom and graphics tools for a collaborative news broadcast workflow solution for the creation, distribution and optimization of its news content. RTS chose the Media Composer® | NewsCutter® option, which integrates directly with MediaCentral | Newsroom Management to provide RTS with a familiar, yet sophisticated, toolset that helps users tell compelling stories. Serving as the dynamic nerve center of content creation and distribution, MediaCentral | Newsroom Management allows RTS Senegal to create and deliver news to multiple platforms.

To streamline media production, RTS chose Avid FastServe | Ingest file-based workflow orchestration; Avid AirSpeed® | 5500 broadcast video server; and MediaCentral | Production Management, which manages content creation, automates workflows, and enhances teamwork. Collaboration is also at the core of RTS’ storage, as the Avid NEXIS® software-defined storage platform allows the team to streamline, expand and accelerate workflows as necessary in real time. To modernize its studio and on-air look, RTS adopted Avid Maestro™ | Designer to generate on-air graphics and display impressive large scale, high resolution content on its studio video walls.

“As a member of our global customer community, RTS knew we could deliver a new story-centric workflow that could be easily integrated and deployed across its sites to elevate the throughput and efficiency of its 150-strong production team,” said Tom Cordiner, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Avid. “RTS’ MediaCentral-based newsroom infrastructure provides modern efficiencies that facilitate collaboration, maximize productivity and help them better meet the exacting demands of today’s competitive news environment.”


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22 2018 May

Ford F‑150 and Big Block use DaVinci Resolve Studio on New 2018 Campaign

Blackmagic Design announced recently that DaVinci Resolve Studio was used on Ford’s latest 2018 F-150 campaign, produced by Big Block and agency GTB, with colorist Brandon Chavez and Director Paul Trillo.

Noted for their visually rich and fast-paced spots, Ford’s marketing concept, that their vehicles are not just always raising the bar, but that they are the bar, is reflected heavily in the commercials themselves. Each campaign presents multiple viewpoints of that familiar tag line, and the 2018 campaign was no exception. This year, spots titled “Brainiac,” “Law,” and “Quarterback” each required their own look, while maintaining the Ford style.

The biggest challenge, according to Chavez, was finding a way to enhance the well established look of Ford’s innovative ads. “Finding the look is always my favorite part of the process because it requires putting together multiple ideas and considerations into one execution. In the case of this Ford campaign it was a collaborative effort between Paul Trillo, Agency Creative Director Beth Hambly and myself.”

Chavez and the director chose not to force a look, but rather embrace what was captured in camera naturally. From there, Chavez remained cognizant that each spot would have unifying traits built into the grade, while still respecting the environments. “When I start any session I make it a point to give the creative team options; varying levels of contrast, different color temperatures, etc. In the end the team gravitated towards something that looked distinct but did not alter the natural color of the paint of each truck.”

Chavez used hero pack shots of the trucks as they looked for different color options, selecting their final look from there. “I’m the kind of colorist who believes there are multiple ways we can push things and we should explore those ideas before deciding, and we all gravitated towards the look we ended up using.”

Each Ford spot also required extensive CG elements, time warps and compositing, all with the added challenge of a quick delivery. “As always we had a huge amount of shots that needed effects work in a very short 6 week schedule,” said Kenny Solomon, Managing Director at Big Block. “And since we were linking up so many live action plates without motion control, we had to use all of the tricks of the trade from compositing to CG transitions.”

Some elements needed would only appear on screen for as little as one second, but Big Block insisted on staying true to Trillo’s vision.

Chavez heavily utilized DaVinci Resolve’s tracker both to isolate specific areas in motion, such as windows, but also to integrate a wide range of visual effects that are a part of each spot. “Car commercials are uniquely challenging with all of the movement that takes place within each frame,” said Chavez. “Unlike still photography where you can shape light wherever and however you see fit, here you have to be able to control it as it moves. With the type of camera movements that took place within this campaign, there was a lot of compensating adjustments made throughout!”

Big Block Managing Director Kenny Solomon described the process of collaboration with agency GTB as a dream. “We truly appreciate clients that embrace our creativity, as much as we embrace their brand awareness. GTB was a true partner on the F-150 spots, from development through finish.”

Big Block is no stranger to high end clients, touting regular work with such heavy weight brands as ESPN, Geico and Under Armour, to name a few. But the Ford campaign is something they are especially proud of. “Every Ford spot is such an imaginative process, all put together to make a very strong brand statement,” said Solomon. “Color was paramount in this process and having Resolve in house with the ability to bounce back and forth between edit, Resolve and comp was indispensable.”


22 2018 May

American Cinema Editors Announces Timeline for Applications to its Fall Internship Program for Aspiring Film Editors

ACE LogoApplications have opened for recent college graduates to apply for the American Cinema Editors (ACE) Fall internship program for aspiring film editors.  The program is designed to offer motivated individuals interested in editing a unique opportunity to be mentored by industry professionals.  Applications close on June 30.  No late applications will be accepted.  All applicants are reviewed by the selection committee and ten finalists are invited to interview with the committee.  Two applicants will ultimately be chosen to participate in the Fall Internship program which helps recent graduates with a passion to work in post production get a foot in the door, observing accomplished assistant editors and editors working in film and television as well as participating in ACE events.  The Fall program kicks off with a lecture series in October that all applicants are invited to attend to hear editors and assistant editors speak on a number of topics relative to breaking into the field and real world knowledge of the art and business of film editing.  For additional information on the program visit

The ACE Internship program was launched in 1992 by ACE member Bill Gordean, ACE.  Once it was up and running, he enlisted the help of Lori Coleman, ACE and Diana Friedberg, ACE who, as co-directors, guided and nurtured the program to becoming one of the most successful internship programs in the entertainment industry.  Coleman and Friedberg recently handed the role of co-directors over to two former ACE interns:  Tyler Nelson (“Mindhunter”), who graduated the program in 2006 and Carsten Kurpanek (“Benji”) who graduated in 2008, both of whom have gone on to successful careers in the field and are excited to take the program into the future. “As former ACE interns ourselves, we know first hand the value that this opportunity can bring to someone who dreams of becoming a film editor,” stated Nelson and Kurpanek. “We’re grateful for the dedication of Bill, Lori and Diana to fostering new talent and we are honored to continue their legacy of education, opportunity and mentorship.”

Since its inception, over 50 interns have graduated from the program, many of whom have gone on to make their mark in the editing field including Joi McMillon, ACE who earned the distinction of becoming the first African-American woman to be Oscar® nominated in the film editing category in 2017 for her work co-editing Oscar® best picture winner “Moonlight.”  The highly effective program boasts numerous success stories from early graduates currently working as film editors including Julia Wong, ACE (“X-Men: The Last Stand” and the upcoming “Valley Girl”), Brandi Bradburn, ACE (“This is Us”), Hunter Via, ACE (“The Walking Dead”) and Mark Hartzell (“Lost in Space”) and many working as assistant editors such as Alfonso Carrion (“House of Cards”), Susana Benaim (“The Chi”), Ben Murphy (“The LEGO Batman Movie”), Gretchen Schroeder (“Avatar 2”), Laura Zempel (“Room 104”) and Amelia Allwarden (“Westworld”), among many others.



22 2018 May

AMIA President Dennis Doros on the Role of Media Preservation in a Changing Landscape

Dennis Doros

Dennis Doros, co-owner of Milestone Films, was elected president of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) in October of 2017. We asked him to sit down with HPA for a Q&A about the organization and its role in our community.

1. AMIA sits at the cross section of a number of critical activities in media. As in every part of the content lifecycle, things are changing. What do you see as the role of AMIA in this dynamic landscape?

AMIA’s strength is the diversity of roles our members play in the field of moving image preservation. Unlike other associations that defined who could join — and who could not — from its inception, AMIA welcomed everyone interested in the preservation of the moving image. As a result, our members include professionals working at for-profit and nonprofit archives, movie studios, distribution companies, educational institutions, labs, libraries, storage facilities, computer programming firms, and film theatres. Bringing together this diversity of experience and expertise is critical to the ability to embrace new technologies and the continuing challenges of analog media.

Our members have expertise and are actively engaged in every aspect of the content lifecycle, from creation through preservation, restoration, and exhibition.

AMIA’s mandate has always been to foster friendship and collaboration between our members and in this we have succeeded tremendously. As a result, we are the primary post-education resource for moving image preservation and more importantly, we are the premiere think tank for our field. Through our conferences, events, journal, symposiums, and webinars, AMIA members not only come up with the solutions for today’s problems, but are the first to come up with tomorrow’s questions.

2. Can you help the reader understand the difference between restoration, preservation, DAM — and those buzzwords that muddle understanding of what AMIA may be all about?

To me, it is fairly simple. Preservation is the effort to ensure long-term access to original materials – to retard the disintegrating effects of light, temperature and environment in analog materials and to ensure the management and maintenance of authenticated digital content. Restoration involves bringing a moving image back to its original state when it was first seen, whether that moving image asset is analog or digital. Digital Assets Management is the combined effort to store digital materials and define them through metadata so they can be easily recalled now and in the future. Marketing tends to confuse the issues and I would love AMIA to be the leader in our field to educate the public.

3. How did you become involved with AMIA, and how did you come to the presidency?

I came into the film world completely by accident — the president of the film society at Ohio University had shown a trailer for Emmanuelle 3 to a family audience and the Dean of the arts department (Maya Lin’s father) quickly chose me to replace him. I had absolutely no experience in film. At that time, I was getting my major in television production of the arts and a minor in dance history. Over the next 38 years, I have built my career simply by saying yes and being open to challenges.

I got my start in film restoration by volunteering to put together Erich von Stroheim’s Queen Kelly while working at Kino International in the mid-1980s. The success of the film and resulting worldwide publicity established my reputation, but also made me a pariah to a number of the older archivists who resented not only the media coverage but my position working for a for-profit company. By the time I joined AMIA and attended my first annual conference in 1998, my wife Amy Heller and I had already run Milestone Films for eight years. At that first conference I learned that the world had completely changed — thanks entirely to the efforts of AMIA. I was delighted to learn that now I was accepted as a valued member of the community. The archives now wanted to work with us. I immediately found friendships that have lasted for more than two decades.

AMIA-Logo-17-350After attending as a member for several years, I decided that I needed to give back to this incredible organization. I started my AMIA volunteering modestly by helping to move chairs for a panel and doing anything the AMIA office needed, when I had some free time. When AMIA asked me to run for election to the Board of Directors, I said yes again, and I served three two-year terms. Here’s the funny part. After my third term, the AMIA Board gave me a retirement pen with my name on it. Then, two years ago, I was honored to receive the William S. O’Farrell Volunteer Award for significant contributions to AMIA and to the field. I truly believed that I had done my service and could sit back and let others have the pleasure of serving. So it took me by surprise when I was asked last year to run for president. I sat down with my wife (and Milestone partner) Amy, and our 22-year-old son Adam and discussed it.

The AMIA presidency is a big investment of time — often two to three hours a day — along with a fair amount of domestic and international travel. It came down to the question of how much I could contribute to AMIA’s progress. So, over the weekend, I wrote down the programs and ideas I would like to try to implement if I were elected. I have been very political in my life and in my work (among other things, Milestone is very proud of its inclusive catalog and our efforts in the indie film world to pay interns a decent wage) and I have seen recent world developments as a concern to my field. Furthermore, I wanted to create an atmosphere where members would spearhead the future of AMIA and where everybody has an equal stake in the organization. So I did run, I was fortunate to be elected, and to now be part of an active and hard-working board. I have stressed from day one that as president of AMIA, I work for the Board, and the Board works for the membership.

4. What do you see as the critical challenges that are facing the individuals and companies who are working with and managing content — both now and in the future? and, part B to this question in light of your global role: Is it the same globally or are different regions faced with different challenges?

Our challenges remain the same — the resources to properly preserve, restore, and exhibit our moving image heritage.

I think in recent years, we also realize that we are facing real challenges from the natural environment — including the floods in Bangkok that threatened the Thai film archive, the fires in the Bay Area of California that destroyed the Packard archive (and another that came far too close to the UCLA Film and Television Archives in Santa Clarita), and the earthquake last year that did terrible damage to the archives in Mexico. Milestone’s own video archive came under threat during Superstorm Sandy and we are very thankful to the incredible people at Iron Mountain who stayed through that terrible night and ensured that everybody’s material remained safe.

We have also witnessed the rise of intolerance that has destroyed archives and ancient monuments in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. AMIA is a global organization with a thousand members from more thirty countries, and as caretakers of cultural heritage we see the threats all around the world. AMIA members are all faced with financial and political challenges that endanger our collections, but as an organization we must recognize and seek ways to help those threatened by with crises and limited resources and work to help them. We are in the midst of restructuring our Advocacy Committee so that it now reports directly to the Board, enabling AMIA to react faster to situations— whether they are at school in Detroit or a national archive in another part of the world. We are also looking to find ways to bring more international archivists to our conference and events so we can share experiences and ideas. AMIA’s participation as part of the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archive Associations (, and the international Archives at Risk program, is an extension of our belief that audiovisual preservation is an international concern.

5. What are the most exciting technologies you see impacting your work and the work of AMIA members?

Our field has made incredible technological advances since I first entered it in 1981. Back then, no one could have predicted that most film restoration would be digitally accomplished, that you could have a Petabyte of digital storage on a bookshelf, and there would be schools around the world to teach the art of moving image preservation. But I am most excited about the advances in the building of sophisticated facilities to preserve our audiovisual heritage, such as the PHI Stoa and UCLA Film and Television Archive. Many of the new facilities built around the world in the past few years have featured ideas that have proven to be radically important additions to our knowledge.

6. What do you see as the job of the future in terms of archives/archivists?

I am continuously amazed at the abilities and interests of our members. I’ve always joked that an archivist is a librarian with a fedora and a whip, but I’m afraid that the Indiana Jones reference severely dates me! One thing that I think separates AMIA from other archivist organizations is our individualism and sense of rebellion. Quite a few AMIA members have gone out and started their own archives — saving thousands of moving images! I don’t know that you would find the same entrepreneurial and activist spirit anywhere else. I think that archives and archivists of the future will need to combine the roles of explorer, student, curator, scientist, gleaner, politician, and show people. The future of our AMIA archivists is activism and we will continue to fight the good fight.