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14 2017 Dec

MTI Film Continues Its Support for “Major Crimes”

HOLLYWOOD — Post-production finishing for season six of TNT’s police drama Major Crimes is currently underway at MTI Film, continuing a relationship that began with the show’s debut in 2012. The facility faces tight deadlines and significant technical and creative hurdles in delivering each of 13 episodes included in the current season. Created by James Duff, and executive produced by Duff and Michael M. Robin, Major Crimes follows a special LAPD squad involved in high profile and sensitive crimes.

Tanner Buschman is in his third season as final colorist on Major Crimes. He works with series associate producer Lauren Carraway, and DPs Kenneth Zunder and David A. Harp in finalizing the look of the show, which is principally captured via three Arri Alexa cameras. Overall, says Buschman, the series has a crisp, realistic look and rich color palette, with special attention given to sharpening light and contrast, adjusting skin tones and sculpting scenes to drawer viewer attention to points of focus.

Buschman enjoys the most creative latitude in coloring crime scenes and other exotic locations. He recalls a scene from the current season involving the discovery of a child’s body on the lawn outside a Catholic Church. “It was obviously a very tense emotional scene, but it was shot on sunny day,” he observes. “We drew down the color to make it appear as though the scene is unfolding under overcast skies. It feels as if it might rain at any minute.”

Opportunities to use subtle color adjustments to help tell the story occur throughout the series, Buschman adds. “If we’re at a crime scene at night, we might add some cyan or blue to create a cold feeling,” he says. “If it’s a flashback, we’ll give it a stylized look so the audience knows immediately that we’ve moved into the past. But our primary goal is to create a clean, consistent look, and ensure the talent looks great.”

14 2017 Dec

ITV Studios Daytime Chooses Avid Maestro Graphics to Enhance Programming and End-to-End HD Workflow

 Powerful new graphics toolset improves creative storytelling capabilities and workflow efficiencies for one of Europe’s largest broadcasters

Burlington, Mass. – 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 that ITV Studios Daytime has chosen Avid Maestro™ next-generation graphics solutions to dramatically enhance its flagship live programming beginning April 2018. Part of ITV, one of the UK’s most popular commercial broadcasters, ITV Studios Daytime creates over 1,500 hours of award-winning live broadcasts every year. The broadcaster’s main hub on the Thames will undergo the largest redevelopment in its history and, for the next five years, core operations will move to temporary facilities at the newly re-opened Television Centre in West London.

Updating ITV’s daytime studios brought an ideal opportunity to revitalize the broadcaster’s graphics capabilities. An extensive palette of Avid’s Maestro broadcast graphics tools is now fully integrated with an existing end-to-end Avid HD workflow driven by MediaCentral® – the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media.  This powerful combination allows ITV Studios Daytime to create unique, high-quality graphics for its most beloved live entertainment programs such as Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning, and Loose Women.

“For daytime broadcasting, graphics add a critical layer to the narrative of topical content, especially when we’re producing a wide variety of magazine-style stories,” said Tim Guilder, Technology Manager at ITV Daytime.  “As we move to our temporary home at Television Centre, incorporating an extensive toolkit of new Avid Maestro graphics solutions into our existing Avid infrastructure gives our graphics teams more creative freedom and the ability to integrate graphics directly into our live studio productions faster and more efficiently.”

The Avid Maestro graphics solution, part of Avid’s comprehensive tools and workflow solutions to create, distribute and optimize media, is a flexible toolset that helps broadcasters enliven content with stunning graphics to strengthen their brands and stand apart from the competition. Maestro™ | TD Control™ makes it easy to present, manage, and control rich media—including 3D real-time graphics, video clips, augmented reality, and live feeds—across multiple high-resolution, non-standard studio displays, and even in the studio space itself, from a single interface. Maestro™ | News and Maestro™ | Designer will integrate into ITV Studios Daytime’s powerful workflow that already includes MediaCentral, Media Composer®, Media Composer® | NewsCutter® Option, AirSpeed®, and Avid shared storage solutions. Altogether, this new workflow will maximize collaboration, creativity, and efficiency throughout ITV Studios Daytime’s facilities.

“We’ve been collaborating with ITV Studios Daytime for over a decade on the technical solutions behind the creation of high-quality, engaging content that entertains millions of viewers,” said Tom Cordiner, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Avid.  “The seamless integration of Avid’s Maestro graphics solutions with MediaCentral enables ITV Studios Daytime to create powerful graphics and generate engaging content across all of its productions to drive greater efficiency and easier collaboration.”


14 2017 Dec

More Than 40 of the 2017 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

Fremont, CA - Blackmagic Design announced that a variety of its production and post products are being used by DPs, DITs, VFX artists, online editors and colorists to complete many of the fall 2017 season’s new and returning television shows and streaming series. More than 40 shows rely on Blackmagic Design’s digital film cameras; Fusion Studio visual effects (VFX), compositing, 3D and motion graphics software; and DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, color correction and digital audio software; as well as its switchers, routers, monitors, and capture and playback devices.

DPs, such as Christian Sebaldt, ASC and Byron Shah, rely on the URSA Mini Pro’s and Micro Studio Camera 4K’s high quality images and compact form factors to capture unique angles, stunts and action shots. Hollywood-based VFX studios such as Muse VFX continue to depend on Fusion Studio for VFX work and compositing across their projects. DaVinci Resolve Studio has long been a staple for many post professionals. For example, approximately 85 percent of the 140+ OTA, OTT and cable series and shows posting at Deluxe’s Encore, Level 3, Company 3 and EFilm facilities use DaVinci Resolve Studio for color grading, and a number of these shows also use the system for conforming.

Part of L.A.-based post production company Mango, The Loft Post handles online editing and color grading using DaVinci Resolve Studio for several new and returning hit network shows. “The Loft Post is an essential link in Mango’s chain of delivering all post needs in one stop,” said Mango President/Co-owner Stan Cassio. “Together Colorist Joe Cook and Online Editor Dave McLaughlin are able to seamlessly deliver projects using a real-time, collaborative process in DaVinci Resolve Studio.”

Some of the 2017 fall series using Blackmagic Design cameras and hardware include:

  • “The Exorcist” DP Byron Shah uses Micro Studio Camera 4Ks as crash cameras with accompanying Video Assist 4Ks for recording;
  • “Lucifer” DP Christian Sebaldt, ASC uses an URSA Mini Pro, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Production Camera 4K and Video Assist for stunts, action and additional angles;
  • “Once Upon A Time” DP Tony Mirza and DIT Brian Scholz use Production Camera 4Ks for select shots, including car rigs and stunt and crash cameras;
  • “Speechless” DP Rhet Bear uses Smart Videohub 20×20 for routing and video distribution;
  • “Travelers” DP Stephen Jackson uses URSA Mini 4.6K as a crash camera and to shoot in small spaces; and
  • DPs Jayson Crothers and Rohn Schmidt both use Micro Cinema Cameras and a Pocket Cinema Camera on their respective network shows. Crothers also uses a Video Assist monitor/recorder.


For On-set Grading and DIT Work:

  • “Bull” DIT Gabe Kolodny uses Smart Videohub 40×40 router, Videohub Smart Control, SmartScope Duo 4K monitor and UltraStudio Express;
  • “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” DIT Sam McConville uses ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switcher, SmartView Duo monitor and DeckLink Mini Recorder;
  • “Designated Survivor” DIT Kyle Kurbegovich uses DaVinci Resolve Studio, SmartView 4K, DeckLink Mini Monitor and Smart Videohub 12×12;
  • “The Exorcist” DIT Jonathan Yip uses Smart Videohub 20×20, MultiView 4, SmartScope Duo and Mini Converters SDI Distribution;
  • “Kevin Can Wait” DIT David Satin uses DaVinci Resolve Studio, Universal Videohub 72×72, UltraStudio Mini Monitor and various DeckLink cards;
  • “Lucifer” DIT John Reyes uses the Smart Videohub 12×12, SmartScope Duo 4K, SmartView Duo, UltraStudio Mini Monitor and UltraStudio Mini Recorder;
  • “Madam Secretary” DIT Keith Putnam uses Smart Videohub 20×20, Mini Converters, UltraStudio Mini Monitor, Media Express and DaVinci Resolve Studio for viewing camera original media, reviewing VFX comps from post, pulling high quality stills and Power

Window work;

  • “Marvel’s Inhumans” DIT Dane Brehm worked on the first two episodes using DaVinci Resolve Studio, Smart Videohub 20×20 and UltraStudio Extreme 4K; and
  • “Me, Myself & I” DP Craig Kief and DIT Aaron Biller use DaVinci Resolve Studio, Smart Videohub 16×16, HyperDeck Studio and DeckLink SDI 4K.


For VFX with Fusion Studio:

  • Flash Film Works Compositing Supervisor Jeremy Nelson and the team use Fusion Studio for VFX work on “Jane the Virgin;” and
  • Muse VFX Founders and Visual Effects Supervisors John Gross and Fred Pienkos and their team use Fusion Studio to composite “Elementary,” “Fuller House,” “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,” “Madam Secretary,” “NCIS” and “Teen Wolf.”


For Post Production with DaVinci Resolve Studio:

  • ColorTime’s Russell Lynch grades “In The Vault,” “Life in Pieces” and “Modern Family;”
  • DigitalFilm Tree’s Lakan de Leon online edits “American Housewife;”
  • DigitalFilm Tree’s Jacob Tillman online edits “NCIS: Los Angeles;”
  • DigitalFilm Tree’s Patrick Woodard grades “American Housewife“ and “NCIS: Los Angeles;”
  • Harbor Picture Company’s Joe Gawler grades “She’s Gotta Have It;”
  • Light Iron LA’s Jeremy Sawyer grades “Better Things;”
  • Picture Shop’s Paul Allia grades “Damnation;”
  • Picture Shop’s Chris Boyer grades “Blindspot,” “Graves,” “Me, Myself & I” and “The Walking Dead;”
  • Picture Shop’s George Delaney grades “NCIS” and “NCIS: New Orleans;”
  • Picture Shop’s George Manno grades “Arrow,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Once Upon A Time” and “Young Sheldon;”
  • Point.360 Creative Services’ Aidan Stanford grades “Fresh Off the Boat” and “You’re the Worst;”
  • SIM’s Todd Bochner grades “Jane the Virgin” and “Madam Secretary;”
  • SIM’s John Persichetti grades “Dynasty” and “Scorpion;”
  • Technicolor PostWorks’ Sam Daley grades “The Deuce” and “The Sinner;” and
  • Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging’s Scott Klein grades “Empire” and “Halt and Catch Fire.”


14 2017 Dec

Cyber Security: The Buck Stops in the Boardroom

The growing threats of piracy and ransomware require a company-wide security strategy emanating from the top.

By Mathew Gilliat-Smith, CEO, Fortium

LONDON — Ever since the internet emerged as a public information gateway, thieves and pranksters have been working to exploit it for criminal gain. Today, cyber-crime is a billion-dollar industry. The perpetrators are no longer lone wolf hackers; they are multi-national cartels who reap mega-profits. They target companies large and small across all industries, inflicting devastating damage to their reputations and bottom lines.

Just last week, Uber disclosed that it paid hackers $100,000 to conceal a data breach affecting 57 million accounts, the latest in a string of scandals and legal problems for the world’s most highly valued start-up. The ride-hailing firm said it fired its chief security officer and deputy for their roles in the breach and the cover up.

Given the existential nature of the threat, it’s surprising to find that, according to a study by NCC Group, only 13 percent of CEOs are directly responsible for managing their company’s cyber risk. Many executives assume such things are the responsibility of IT staff. When hearing of a newswire report of a high-profile cyber-crime incident, they imagine “it can’t happen here.” Unfortunately, when it comes to cyber-crime, it can happen to any company and, sooner or later, almost certainly will.

To avoid becoming yet another victim, companies need to adopt strategies and procedures that reduce risk. And it must be a top-down approach. Lower-level staff often lack the decision making and budgetary authority to set company-wide policy believing, “That’s the board’s job.”

Board members have a real incentive for taking the lead in cyber security: they may be held personally accountable for a breach. Increasingly, governments and stockholders are demanding greater accountability for security issues, considering it an integral part of the directors’ code of conduct.

Uber’s woes followed the Equifax breach that compromised the security of 140 million Americans and was similarly kept quiet for months. There is a view that the three Equifax officers could face charges for selling stock, whether knowingly or not, before the breach was disclosed.

The WannaCry ransomware attack that appeared last May infected more than 230,000 computers worldwide. The subsequent Petya and Bad Rabbit ransomware attacks produced similar consequences. Information security firm Sophos claims “Thought WannaCry was bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet” and forecasts that the perpetrators’ success will embolden others and ransomware will get much worse in 2018.  Criminals who write ransomware and other malicious software are now operating what amounts to profitable franchise businesses, selling their source code to others with criminal intent. They have no lack of buyers because cyber-crime pays. Some 40% of businesses admit to paying ‘affordable’ ransoms to avoid costly downtime and negative publicity.

Executives can avoid finding themselves in a similar position by assuming greater responsibility for security policy. In the entertainment industry, studios could limit the risk of piracy and ransomware by mandating stronger and more practical security protocols. They could, for example, make funding for each film or TV production contingent on having a line item of security expenditure for measures that will be enforced. Producers and directors, who often have autonomy in running their projects, would be required to make itemised security a part of the package.

To fully protect a computer, it would need to be disconnected, switched off, placed in metal box and locked in a room. That would make it safe, but also useless. Today’s media and entertainment industry is built on collaborative workflows across many external organizations and people, consequently with many inherent points of vulnerability. Services such as localization, sound and picture editing (often through freelancers), promotional marketing and distribution, are regularly undertaken by third parties, any one of whose workflows could potentially make a breach more likely.

While trust in the selection of the workflow partner is implicit, accidents happen and, as we seem to read every day, all companies are vulnerable to a breach. Think of a valet who parks your car. You trust the valet service but without a reliable lock and alarm system on your vehicle, you are increasing the risk of theft or damage while it’s in their care.

There are a range of practical measures that help reduce the risk of cybercrime within an organization. Among the most important is the education, training and awareness of employees, including executives and the board.

Encryption “at-rest” and “in-motion” have long been mandated by MPAA guidelines, but surprisingly they are not always employed. Encryption-at-rest, such as Fortium’s MediaSeal software, keeps data encrypted while it’s being worked on or stored. If protected files are accidentally distributed or hacked the content cannot be leaked.

Piracy, ransomware and other forms of cyber-crime are serious and growing problems and can potentially threaten a company’s continued viability. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has called cyber-crime “the greatest threat to every company in the world.” CEOs and board members therefore need to be cognizant of the threat, treat it seriously and understand that a rigorous, top-down security strategy can help reduce risk.


14 2017 Dec

Avid’s New Video-over-IP Interface Delivers More Flexible and Efficient Connectivity

Avid Artist | DNxIP enables broadcasters and large post-production facilities to benefit from the flexibility and efficiency of video-over-IP

Burlington, MA  – 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, unveiled Avid Artist™ | DNxIP, the latest addition to the Avid I/O family of hardware interfaces. Part of Avid’s commitment to offering the most comprehensive tools and workflow solutions to create, distribute and optimize media, the new portable interface enables broadcasters and large post-production facilities to connect their entire studios over IP for greater flexibility and efficiency.

Built in partnership with AJA and powered by MediaCentral®, the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media, Avid Artist | DNxIP is a Thunderbolt™ 3 equipped I/O device that enables the transfer of SMPTE standard HD video over 10 GigE IP networks, with high-quality local monitoring over 3G-SDI and HDMI 2.0. The highly portable desktop box eliminates the challenges of managing physical resources associated with legacy video routing over SDI and gives customers more flexibility in how they route video within their facilities.

“The increased agility and efficiency of IP workflows is a must have for content creators and broadcasters in today’s competitive climate,” said Alan Hoff, VP of Market Solutions for Avid. “We’ve collaborated with AJA on the newest addition to our Avid Artist product line, Avid Artist DNxIP, which offers broadcasters and post-production facilities a portable yet powerful video interface for IP workflows.”

“DNxIP is the next evolution of our development efforts with Avid, a trusted technology partner. We’re excited to be teaming up with them again on a next-generation hardware option that meets the needs of professional IP workflows,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems.


Avid Artist | DNxIP will be available Q1 2018. For more information, visit

14 2017 Dec

The S.P.A.A.C.E. Program Shot with Ursa Mini Pros and Edited With Davinci Resolve Studio

Fremont, CA – Blackmagic Design recently announced that Director, Editor, Colorist and Post Supervisor Alex Ferrari used Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro digital film cameras and DaVinci Resolve Studio to shoot, edit, grade and finish the streaming series “The S.P.A.A.C.E. Program.”

“The Scientific Pop and Also Cultural Explorations Program” aka “The S.P.A.A.C.E. Program” is a new streaming series from Nerdist and Legendary Digital Networks available on the Alpha streaming platform. The eight-episode series blends together science and pop culture by visiting different fictional planets and realms, such as Tatooine, Krypton, Arrakis and Westeros, and examining them through a scientific lens. Host Kyle Hill and his robot assistant AI visit a different place from pop culture each episode and break down the big scientific questions, such as what is it really like to live on a planet with two suns or what makes a White Walker a White Walker.

Led by Ferrari, the series was shot using two URSA Mini Pros. “We only had four days to shoot all eight episodes, so it was a very fast-paced shoot,” Ferrari explained. “We decided to shoot with the URSA Mini Pros because we knew they’d be reliable and fast, and they’d get us the cinematic look we were going for. You can take them straight out of the box and they’re ready to go with no fuss. The menu and operating system is intuitive and easy to use, so you don’t waste any time while shooting, and having the timecode on the side was helpful. Reliability can be a rarity, so the fact that we could count on them when we were in the heat of battle really made a difference.”

“We shot everything in a practical spaceship set that showed the cockpit, hallway and war room,” Ferrari continued. “All the windows were green screen, and we created outer space and the surrounding worlds in post. Being able to cleanly pull keys was crucial, and the camera’s sensors made it easy. We shot the whole series in 4.6K ProRes, which gave us a lot of latitude in post.”

DaVinci Resolve Studio was used on set by the DIT and then in post by Ferrari for the series’ full editing, grading and finishing.

“Using DaVinci Resolve Studio on set allowed us to organize and synch everything in real-time. At the end of the shoot, we easily exported everything and went right into editing,” said Ferrari. “By keeping everything in the ecosystem, I was able to directly edit the entire series in native 4.6K ProRes without having to transcode to a smaller proxy file. Doing everything soup to nuts in DaVinci Resolve Studio saved us a lot of time that would have been spent roundtripping.

“Moreover, it’s allowed me to evolve my editing process so color is intertwined rather than a separate function. As I edit and select shots, I can easily jump from the Edit Page to the Color Page to see if I can save a shot that might be too blown out or too dark. I can work on the lighting in real-time to see if I can make the shot work, which is invaluable in the creative process. Using DaVinci Resolve Studio, I can make editorial decisions based on what I know I can make work in color, rather than just hoping something will work down the line or scrapping what might be the best take because it initially seems unusable.”

When grading the series, Ferrari was inspired by the planets and realms Hill and AI visited. “We wanted the series to look cohesive from episode to episode, but we also wanted each to have its own look that mirrors the land we’re visiting. For example, the episode on LV-426 is more cold and desaturated. I used a greenish overtone for the episode with the Borg, whereas I used a very warm palette for King Kai’s planet in the Dragon Ball Z episode. Since each place the series visited has such a strong look already associated with it, we wanted to play homage to that,” Ferrari concluded.

12 2017 Dec

Testronic Expands Burbank Facility to Offer Additional 4K Technology

QC and Testing Service Adds Infrastructure, Hardware and Personnel

TestronicBURBANK, Calif. – Testronic, the leader in quality control (QC), localization services and compliance, has expanded mastering operations in its Burbank headquarters. The facility upgrade offering greater resolution, higher standards and accurate review capabilities for high frame rate and native 4K content. Along with the upgraded infrastructure and new hardware, are a number of new personnel hires.

“This is all part of our continued effort to provide cutting-edge services for the industry as it experiences exponential growth in distribution platforms such as Amazon, iTunes, Netflix and Hulu,” says Jason Gish, senior VP Film & Television for Testronic. “The growth in these platforms and evolving formats is a key motivator to more fully develop and expand our mastering business line. We have put our considerable experience and resources forth to be part of the evolution of these formats.”

“We have upgraded four mastering bays: two HD rooms and two 4K rooms,” explains Gish. “Adapting our 4K bays for HDR is critical to serving the growing needs of our customers’ content. We use the high-end Sony BVM-X300 4K Master Monitor as part of our optimal viewing environment.”

TestronicThe 4K rooms also include the Tektronix rasterizer, Omnitek scope, custom Windows 4K workstations, and a GIC DVP player, which supports the Digital Video Prime file-based workflow platform. Testronic supports all file types and packaging (DCP, IMF, AS-02, DPX, TIFF Sequence, ProRes, J2K), delivering real time encoding, decoding, spatial transformation, and color processing. Testronic has been vetting GIC’s DVP IMF creator capabilities for IMF packaging, validation and transcoding from IMF packages – as streaming content providers, broadcasters and studios are moving towards file standards like IMF, the DVP offers unique insight into file QC capabilities, with an ability to shape these results to needs of the customer.

Mastering bays also feature new Sony and LG OLED video monitors and professional audio monitoring with powered 7.1 surround speakers. Dolby Atmos sound is also available, to offer customers a range of options for maximum flexibility.

The HD bays feature Mac workstations running Adobe Premiere Pro, as well as Linux workstations. Each room features quad 12G cabling, enabling 48G capabilities. “As the hardware and software advances, we’re futureproofing all of the rooms to the greatest degree possible,” adds Gish.

Master QC Technicians Luis Barajas and Nick Meraz recently joined the mastering department in its expansion. “Both Luis and Nick have had long mastering careers and bring extensive knowledge to Testronic,” said Gish.

Simultaneous with rebuilding and expanding the mastering department, Testronic has launched an R&D department headed by Technical Operations Manager Mike Kurzhal. “The R&D team will create and implement solutions for projects as we move forward. This is an essential role to our commitment of remaining cutting edge and exploring options to continually improve our systems and processes” Gish explained.

“We spend a substantial amount of time and energy learning and analyzing the industry,” notes Gish. “In a time of dynamic change, it’s challenging to know exactly what might be coming, but we continue to upgrade and innovate to stay ahead of the competition and deliver the best services for our clients.”

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12 2017 Dec

Industry Loses Talented Artist with Passing of Randy Beveridge

The Hollywood professional industry lost a wonderful, creative talent with the passing of Randy Beveridge, who spent sixteen years as Senior Colorist at Level 3 and Encore, where he applied his unique eye for color and his exemplary skills, most recently to such high-profile shows as American Crime, Kevin Can Wait and Lucifer. Everybody at the company misses Randy’s special personality and unmistakable presence and sends their deepest condolences to Randy’s wife, Brenda, and his children, Zack, Zoe, Matthew and Kylee.

Randy served as a staff sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and then as a cryogenic engineer before embarking on his two-decades-long career in post-production. His powerful presence will be missed throughout the entire post community. A gofundme page has been set up here.

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20 2017 Nov

The HPA Awards: A Glittering Night Honoring Our Own

By Christine Purse, Chair, HPA Awards Committee

The 12th annual HPA Awards took place last week, an event that pulled the community together and raised a toast to our friends and colleagues. Sold out once again, this year’s HPA Awards were the biggest to date in every metric: submissions, ticket sales, volunteers, ads, and sponsorship. We are dedicated to making sure that the stature of the awards continues to grow because the contributions made by those who enter are worthy of every honor possible. You make the vision a reality; it’s your work that makes this industry compelling.

As one of the original members of the HPA Awards Committee, it’s a great feeling to see the awards embraced for what they are:  a night where we raise a glass to those brilliant, talented people and companies behind the work that was submitted and honored.  Sound teams, engineers, colorists, visual effects artists, editors, visionaries, and even astronauts got a moment in the sun this year, thanks to the work of the amazing community that is HPA.

It’s been mentioned before, but it’s important to note that our entries have grown at an incredible rate.  Hundreds of top-notch programs, movies and spots were submitted, easily passing every previous benchmark.  While that made the vetting and judging process very strenuous, it brought a level of excellence to the show that continues to grow.

Take a look at the nominees and winners.

There are many people and companies who make a sold-out event happen, but there is also a lot of love required.  Love of the community, love of the work, love of talent and ingenuity. That is what the HPA is really all about. To say that this is one of the greatest communities in the world to work in is no exaggeration. The HPA community is a constant inspiration.

We hope that you liked the design upgrade to the show on our 12th year at the Skirball.  Stay tuned for changes to the show in the coming year.  We want it to be even bigger and better!

My personal thanks to this committee that has been together for so long. It’s a true honor to work with you all:  Dayna McCallum, Linda Rosner, Carolyn Giardina, Mark Chiolis, Bob Coleman, Leon Silverman, Seth Hallen, Anthony Magliocca, Ken Fuller, Joachim Zell. Thanks also to the real power behind the event, the incredible HPA team:  Alicia Rock, Mimi Rossi, and Max Ma––as well as to our SMPTE colleague, the invaluable Sally D’Amato.  To our talented producers at Homerun Entertainment, Barry Gribbon and Lynn Jordan, we love being on this journey with you, you’re the best.

Special thanks to Seth Hallen for your leadership and invaluable perspective, and Barbara Lange for being an amazing and trusted guide light.

Thank you to all who attended, supported, entered, volunteered, presented, sponsored, or won.  See you next November!

20 2017 Nov

NET Highlights Interactive Tech Conversation

By Debra Kaufman

IMF, Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence… these are just some of the topics that will be discussed at the Nov. 28 HPA NET (Networking, Education, Technology) luncheon and gathering to be held at the Beverly Garland hotel in North Hollywood. “NET is a way for people to understand what the trends are with technology and how it applies to their businesses and daily lives,” says NET co-chair Eliot Sakhartov, who is a Microsoft technology strategist. “If you’re an editor or colorist, you probably already know about HDR, but you don’t know what’s going on with machine learning or artificial intelligence or other parts of the business that will eventually affect you.”

NET was born out of SCRG (the Sales Career Resource Group), founded in 2008 as a way for sales and marketing people to understand technology. Those meetings featured a single topic, explored by panelists and led by a moderator. “The idea is that we would evaluate the topics more from a commercial perspective,” says HPA president Seth Hallen, senior vice president of business development and strategy at Pixelogic Media who was a co-chair of SCRG and is now a member of the NET committee. “We didn’t go too deeply in the technical side.” During those years, SCRG addressed 4K, tapeless workflows and stereoscopic capture among other timely topics.

SCRG began to evolve, first by changing the format to roundtables. “The roundtable idea was similar to the breakfast roundtables at the HPA Tech Retreat,” says Hallen. “But the other difference is that everyone would get up and change tables at least once.” The new format quickly became popular; about 125 people attended the last NET event.

The last piece of the evolution came with the change of the committee’s name. “We decided SCRG was the world’s worst acronym,” says Hallen. “We wanted to rebrand it, and we came up with NET.” Sakhartov adds that the three words that make up the NET acronym are a spot-on description of what the group does. “You walk in the door and you’ll find 12 different subjects,” he says. “This is an open, free environment for two-way 360-degree conversations.”

Topics are divided into three categories: creation, workflow and disruption. “By committee, we try to keep it consistent,” says Sakhartov. “We find subjects in each of those three areas that we think are relevant today. And then we go out and try to find subject matter experts in those fields. Or sometimes people come to us with ideas, and we love for that to happen.” For example, he says, a digital dailies company that is using data to make dailies smarter came to NET and asked to host a table. “Amazon and Google want to get involved, but we’ve had startups as well,” he says. “We want people to give us ideas and talk about what they’re doing.”

The November 28 NET meeting will also be the first to have attracted sponsors: Dell/EMC and Smart Stack. “We’re excited to have these two companies join us,” says Hallen. “The HPA is always dedicated to bringing value to the community and the industry, and this is another way we can do that.”

The event will feature several intriguing topics: Sony Pictures executive Greg Geier and Disney executive Ryan Kido will give attendees an update on IMF and what to expect in 2018. Microsoft’s principal audio designer Jeanne Parson will talk about “VoiceFont” and its role in artificial intelligence, and Max Bronstein, Media and Strategy Lead at, will moderate discussion on blockchain, security and media distribution. MPC Creative executive producer Matt Winkel will lead conversation on augmented reality as a tool for art direction, and Gearhouse Broadcast managing director Marc Genin will address unscripted live acquisition. Technicolor executive Daryll Strauss and 5th Kind chief executive Steve Cronan will lead discussion on artificial intelligence in post, and Netflix manager of post production Justin Holt will focus on unscripted live post workflow and delivery. Pixelogic CTO Raja Sahi and SDI CTO Scott Rose will moderate conversation on machine learning/artificial intelligence in localization. Keycode Media president Mike Cavanaugh will look at content creation and production for college sports and Prime Focus Technologies president Patrick Macdonald-King will address artificial intelligence and dailies.

NET’s new format works well for attendees facing such a rich list of topics. Sakhartov reports that the Nov. 28 event will allow them to sit at three tables for 20 minutes each. He also notes that staying at the same table for the entire hour will also yield an interesting result. “Every single conversation will be different,” he promises. “You can sit there for 20 minutes, but if you come back, it’ll be a new conversation.”

Sakhartov also stresses that NET is not only for the community but by the community. “If you have ideas for sessions or think of things we’re missing, please send that information to us,” he says. “We’d love to be able to cover it in the next round.”