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14 2018 Feb

Signiant Receives “Committed to Security” Mark from the Digital Production Partnership

Signiant Inc, has received the “Committed to Security” mark from the Digital Production Partnership (DPP), demonstrating its ongoing commitment to best cybersecurity practices for both production and broadcast environments.

Launched in October 2017, the DPP’s Committed to Security Programme is designed to help suppliers demonstrate their commitment to security best practice and offers a common framework that shows their customers how they are addressing cybersecurity.

“Signiant customers trust our technology to move their most valuable assets, so we take every precaution to secure each layer involved in file movement. A strong understanding of the ever-evolving threats enables us to effectively apply appropriate security functions, such as authentication, authorization, data integrity, data confidentiality, and non-repudiation,” said Ian Hamilton, CTO, Signiant. “We are delighted to receive the DPP?s Committed to Security mark which clearly demonstrates how seriously we take cybersecurity issues.”

“We’re delighted that Signiant has been awarded the DPP’s Committed to Security mark for both Broadcast and Production,” says DPP Managing Director, Mark Harrison. “They are part of a rapidly growing community of companies who hold the DPP Security mark. It demonstrates Signiant’s clear commitment to cybersecurity best practice, and to playing their part in building a more secure media supply chain.”


13 2018 Feb

HPA Tech Retreat’s TR-X

Focus on Artificial Intelligence

By Debra Kaufman

This year’s HPA Tech Retreat will feature the second half-day Monday program dubbed TR-X, for Tech Retreat eXtra. The topic, devised and developed by co-chairs Craig German, who is Senior Consultant for AWS Professional Services’ Media & Entertainment Global Practice, and Mark Chiolis, Director of Business Development for the Mobile TV Group, takes a deep dive into the impact that artificial intelligence is having on the media and entertainment industry. “Everything You Thought You Knew About Artificial Intelligence in M&E and What You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know” takes attendees through “the logical progression of a day for working professionals in the M&E space.” German and Chiolis expect that attendees will take away not only a better understanding of the foundations of AI, but will also get a practitioner’s perspective on the latest developments on AI in entertainment.

The keynote will be “Makeover or Takeover? Artificial Intelligence in Media & Entertainment”, by Yves Bergquist, USC’s Entertainment Technology Center Project Director of Data Analytics.  Yves will look at the “sheer intellectual mayhem” created around AI. “As a data scientist with years of experience in AI research and development, I’d like to lift the veil on what it means for the M&E industry,” says Bergquist, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Corto, an M&E AI engineering firm. “What is AI? What can we expect for it in media and entertainment? When? Which jobs will live, and which won’t? Will it help us take our stories higher?”

Following the theme of “a day in the life” for AI, the first session looks at real world AI case studies from people in the industry, including Amazon Web Services Senior Solutions Architect for M&E Paul Roberts, Veritone Director of Strategic Development Logan Ketchum, Facecake Chief Executive Officer Linda Smith, and Deluxe Entertainment Senior Director of Localization Product Development Greg Taieb.

Chiolis notes that searching for speakers on such a nascent topic had its challenges. “Looking at other AI conferences, most of the speakers were in finance, research or medicine,” he says. “We had to find people with a name in our industry or the ability to tie in what they were doing into M&E.”

Much of the mistrust and fear about AI is its potential to intrude on the creative process, a topic that will be addressed by USC School of Cinematic Arts professor and editor Norman Hollyn in a talk about the potential for partnering with artificial intelligence, an issue he has been studying for some time. “Like everyone in post, I’ve been working with AI in speech recognition and transcriptions for a few years,” says Hollyn. “But I’m now working with AI and machine learning to try and create better communication tools between creatives, and to streamline the metadata and organizational process. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Continuing the theme of intruding on the creative process, long-time M&E industry executive NVIDIA Vice President of Developer Programs Greg Estes will talk about “The Technology Behind the New Assistant,” a reference to the future role of AI in supporting the creative process during production and post production and how that will change the way we work, along with the new industry roles created and the potential for current roles to evolve or disappear.  “He’s been doing some unique work in this area, so I’m looking forward to what he’ll be saying,” says Chiolis.

To cut through the clutter of all the ways AI is being used in a multitude of industries, German and Chiolis chose to focus on “Bleeding Edge M&E Research.” Speakers here include USC Entertainment Technology Center Program Director Phil Lelyveld, Pixelogic Media CTO Raja Sahi, and AI startup Zeroth Chief Operating Officer John Vickery.

Debuting at TR-X will be Virtual Mark Schubin, a project created by Vickery in collaboration with Chiolis, who enlisted All Mobile Video in New York to videotape the iconic HPA Tech Retreat leader answering questions about every facet of his life and career. “Virtual Mark will be able to respond to a text-to-speech translation, or you can type in your question, and he will respond, so you can have an interactive conversation,” says Chiolis.

“The ultimate goal is to document the history of our business, as told by the luminaries who pioneered it,” he adds. “Once Virtual Mark Schubin is launched and the bugs are worked out, we’ll start adding other industry figures into our collection. It will become something that the HPA, HPA members, and the entire industry will have access to as a resource and benefit.” Virtual Mark will be on display during the Super Session and then moved into the Innovation Zone for the rest of the Tech Retreat.

The last session of TR-X will be a panel that looks into the future of AI in our industry, moderated by Sundog Media Toolkit’s Richard Welsh and featuring 5th Kind Chief Executive Officer Steve Cronan, GrayMeta CTO John Motz, Prizma Founder Rachel Payne, and Intelligent Assistance Software President Philip Hodgetts.

“I’m doing this because I want to learn, and I’m asking the questions I want answered,” says Chiolis. “I want to know where AI is for our industry, how fast it’s going to move and what we need to do to be prepared for the future.”

For those who can’t attend the Tech Retreat TR-X session on Monday, HPA will offer complimentary streaming video access. “We also are hoping to edit it down and make it available after the fact,” says German. “The hope is that the HPA community walks away from this event knowing a lot more about the technology, creativity and potential of AI and machine learning in the M&E space.”

13 2018 Feb

Object Matrix: Digital Content Governance Platform for Video on Demand at BT TV

The British Telecom “BT TV” platform has been using the MatrixStore private cloud platform to protect and store its Video on Demand (VOD) assets for the past eight years. It recently added the Object Matrix Vision browser to its infrastructure allowing it to search for, browse and play back clips from the entire catalogue should the incumbent MAM not be available.

BT_Tower 500pxOriginally the VOD content was only protected in a large LTO tape robot making access to the material slow and cumbersome. MatrixStore gives BT TV instant access to the content it needs to protect and re-purpose whilst requiring little or no administrative management.

BT now has over 1.8 petabytes of MatrixStore object storage that has grown seamlessly over the last 8 years with little or no management effort. There are currently 19 MatrixStore nodes in the primary cluster and 3 MatrixStore nodes in the disaster recovery location. MatrixStore vault technology ensures BT TV has complete control over the data protection policies based on the importance of the data.

Peter Harvey, Head of Operations, Content Media Operations, BT TV, commented: “Matrixstore has allowed BT to deliver a number of high profile projects with some very challenging timescales and will continue to support the delivery phases of any new or associated projects. The simplicity and efficiency allows high volume Master restoring to enable new or extended file formatting ensuring related deadlines are achieved.”

He added: “In addition, the media volumes required to support BT TVs Video On Demand offering has increased significantly in the last 2-3 years and we would have been unable to support the numbers if expansion to the estate had not been so easy to manage. The addition of the ‘Vision’ tool has been a great choice and allowed greater operational control and file management.”

Read the full case study here (


13 2018 Feb

Sohonet Heads to the Desert for HPA Tech Retreat 2018

Supersession, Innovation Zone, and Connection Highlight Sohonet’s Role in an Important Event

Logo_sohonet_TR2013LOS ANGELES, Feb 13, 2018 — Sohonet, the global experts in connectivity and media services, has unveiled its plans for the HPA Tech Retreat, including participation in a panel during the Supersession and in demonstrations in the Innovation Zone.  The 23rd Annual HPA Tech Retreat will be held in Palm Springs (Palm Desert), Calif. from February 19-23.

Chuck Parker, Sohonet’s CEO, will be a featured panelist for a Supersession panel on February 20, where the discussion will focus on the many workflow options creative and technical communities have to choose from. The Supersession, “It’s Still Snowing and We’re Just Making Bigger and Better Snowmen,” will cover workflows over a wide spectrum of content creation and explore what it takes to get all this complex content to audiences.

“I am looking forward to participating in the Supersession alongside my innovative colleagues who are helping to define way we work. It’s hard to dispute the changes, demands, and often flat-out confusion around new workflows and formats,” said Parker. “And, we cannot deny the incredible improvements and opportunities for creative vision.  We’re honored to play a part in the HPA Tech Retreat and contribute our experience to the conversation.”

Sohonet was once again selected to participate in the Tech Retreat Innovation Zone, a curated environment where emerging and important technologies are presented. Sohonet will be introducing the newest release of ClearView Flex, a real-time remote collaboration solution capable of streaming to any device with only two frames of delay.  ClearView Flex has been designed specifically for the modern media workflow with the kind of security that studios demand.  Also on demonstration from Sohonet are recent enhancements to FileRunner, its accelerated file-transfer tool that allows unlimited transfer of files of any size, and easy 100% browser-based usage — without user need for installing servers or client-side software.

Parker concluded, “Our mission is to provide technology solutions that connect storytellers. HPA Tech Retreat is the perfect embodiment of that for us and we are looking forward to another great week in the desert.”

13 2018 Feb

HPA Tech Retreat Kicks Off Another Great Year: Camp for the Media Tech Cognoscenti

As I write these lines, we are putting the final touches on the upcoming HPA Tech Retreat.  It’s an exciting time as we relocate to a beautiful new venue at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert.  We continually move to improve upon the winning formula of the Tech Retreat, so this year’s event will include loads of new things.  Our program maestro, Mark Schubin highlighted a few of those in last month’s Newsline.  But in the spirit of never having too much of a good thing, I want to hit on some highlights!

On Monday, we are eagerly anticipating this year’s TR-X (as in Tech Retreat eXtra) that’s focused on AI in M&E, a half day foundation on what’s going on in this space.  Yves Bergquist from USC/ETC will deliver our keynote address, setting the record straight on a complicated time for AI and complicated implications of developing technology. We’re thrilled that USC’s ETC will be debuting “AI, a Primer for Entertainment” at TR-X. The rest of the afternoon’s program includes case studies, a look at the potential of AI in the creative process, AI in content intelligence, bleeding edge research and a look to the future.  It’s an impressive program with some of the most compelling speakers on these topics.

Did you know we have snowflakes in the desert?  Sometimes Mother Nature will put on such a display, but I am talking about the SuperSession, the special day we all look forward to during the Tech Retreat.  Not surprisingly, Jerry Pierce and Leon Silverman have organized another fantastic program centered on making the best decisions on workflows based on some real live examples.  I am especially looking forward to the session by the LAPD, who bring an important new perspective to managing petabytes of video content.

Mark Schubin’s three-day program is going to be as intense and as interesting as ever.  There are the traditional updates from CES, Washington legislation, and the broadcast panel, but this year the sessions bring a real focus on all things IMF.  It’s going to be a great opportunity to learn, and a chance to listen to and engage with these industry leading presenters.

There’s much to look forward to in the Innovation Zone, an integral part of the Tech Retreat. Vince Maza, Max Ma and the committee have done an outstanding job of bringing in over 60 participants who will be on hand to highlight their latest and greatest emerging technology, and the Tech Retreat schedule offers plenty of time to visit and explore. Among the innovators presenting the most exciting technological developments in our industry is a group from the HPA IMF User Group who will participate in IMF Central, showing IMF in action crossing various vendors’ technology. New this year will be the People’s Choice Award for IZ technology, to be presented during the Wednesday dinner event.

From early morning to networking time in the evening, your week in Palm Desert will be like camp for the media tech cognoscenti.  I look forward to this event every year and look forward to meeting many of you in just a few short days.

By the way, the Palm Springs Tech Retreat is not the only tech event that we’re planning for 2018.  Following two years of bringing the HPA Tech Retreat to the UK’s Oxfordshire countryside, plans are underway for year 3. We will be sharing exciting news about the UK event during the HPA Tech Retreat next week. Do save the date and plan to attend on 27 June.

See you all in the desert!

12 2018 Feb

Avid Celebrates Its Customers’ ACE Eddie Wins and Nominations for Their Creative Achievements

Film and TV editors in every award category choose Avid’s industry-leading editing solution to cut the year’s most successful films and television shows


Burlington, Mass.,– 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, congratulates the professional film and TV editing community on their achievements at the 68th Annual American Cinema Editors (ACE) Eddie Awards, which took place on January 26th in Los Angeles. Avid users were nominated in every award category, and a majority of winners relied on Media ComposerÒ to bring this year’s most renowned films and TV shows to audiences worldwide.

ACE Eddie winners who used Media Composer, powered by MediaCentral®, the most tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media, include Lee Smith, ACE, who won the award for Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) for Dunkirk; Tatiana S. Riegel, ACE, who won the award for Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy) for I, Tonya; and Steve Bloom, ACE, who won for Best Edited Animated Feature Film for Coco. Additionally, dozens of nominees in all 10 award categories relied on Media Composer.

Editor Greg Plotkin was nominated for Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy) for Get Out. Written and directed by Jordan Peele, the American horror film is about a young African-American man whose weekend visit to his girlfriend’s parents’ secluded estate turns into a nightmare.

“Using Avid Media Composer on Get Out was imperative in giving me the creative tools necessary to fulfill Jordan’s vision,” said Plotkin. “The ease with which it allowed us to quickly try multiple ideas in shaping our narrative proved essential to the film’s ultimate success. Jordan and I exhausted all options with the footage so quickly because of the power of the Media Composer software. No matter how many advancements continue to be made in the software, the interface remains the most intuitive and easy to use. Having tried other software out there, I can confidently say I will remain on Avid as long as I continue my editing career.”

“We’re honored that the world’s most esteemed and celebrated editors continue to trust Avid’s comprehensive tools and workflow solutions to create powerful stories in film and television that resonate with audiences around the world,” said Jeff Rosica, President, Avid. “Avid applauds our client and user community on their outstanding achievements. They continue to inspire us to develop new innovations to further propel their creativity.”



12 2018 Feb

MTI Film Hires Colorist Trent Johnson

HOLLYWOOD—Veteran colorist Trent Johnson has joined MTI Film. Johnson brings more than 25 years of experience and credits spanning features, animation, episodic television and restoration. His recent credits include Columbia Pictures’ The Emoji Movie, Screen Gems’ Proud Mary and the upcoming MGM comedy Overboard.

Member News - MTI TrentJohnson-crMTI Film CEO Larry Chernoff sees Johnson’s arrival as a big win. “We are very excited to welcome Trent to our talent pool,” he says. “He is a versatile and talented artist with strong studio relationships and a passion for the creative process.”

Johnson comes to MTI Film from Deluxe, Culver City. His previous experience also includes staff posts with Sony Pictures Colorworks, Technicolor, Encore and Complete Post. Early in his career, he worked on numerous animated television series, including such classics as The Transformers, Duck Tales and A Pup Named Scooby Doo. In recent years, he has focused on final grading for studio features. His more than 100 film credits include Ted 2, Priest and Race to Witch Mountain, as well as the animated features The Smurfs and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Johnson said he was drawn to MTI Film by its diverse clientele and stellar reputation. “MTI Film is a solid company, with great leadership, and the resources to support my studio clients,” he said. “They also are very strong in digital restoration and television. I see a lot of potential for growth.”

In describing his approach to color, Johnson said he is guided by the artistic vision of the director and cinematographer. “I like natural looks and lean toward what the camera recorded and the DP’s vision,” he said. “It’s always a collaboration.”


12 2018 Feb

Fortium to Present Tools and Strategies for Avoiding Cybercrime at HPA Tech Retreat

LONDON— Fortium, a leading provider of digital solutions for film, television and broadcast, will present its latest tools and strategies for protecting sensitive media content at the Hollywood Professional Association’s 2018 HPA Tech Retreat, February 19-23, in Palm Desert, California.

Fortium at TRFortium representatives will demonstrate the latest version of MediaSeal®, its advanced access control content security solution, with the new Live Folder encryption on-the fly feature, in the Tech Retreat’s Innovation Zone. Employed by studios, independent producers, post-production facilities and others around the globe, MediaSeal protects sensitive pre-release media during post-production, dubbing, localization and review, reducing the risk from cybercrime, accidental distribution and piracy. Fortium is a member of HPA’s IMF User group and will be demonstrating in the Innovation Zone’s section for IMF User Group members.

Additionally, Fortium CEO Mathew Gilliat-Smith will host two Breakfast Roundtable events on cyber security. In a session titled Production Security for Risk Reduction, Gilliat-Smith will discuss strategies that studios and other content producers can use to reduce the risk of piracy and protect content throughout the production cycle. It is scheduled for Wednesday, February 21 at 7:30 a.m.

In a session titled Cybercrime is Worse: Here’s Help, Gilliat-Smith will discuss the expanding scope of cyber threats and describe what media companies can do to can avoid becoming victims. It is scheduled for Thursday, February 22 at 7:30 a.m. “Even behind a firewall the threat of cybercrime is real, and every company needs to take the threat seriously,” Gilliat-Smith said. “It’s essential both to understand the nature and scale of the threat, and to take sensible measures to protect sensitive content.”

MediaSeal combines AES encryption with multi-layer access control and security auditing. Files are encrypted at-rest locally, centrally or in the cloud (an MPAA and CDSA guideline). Editors and reviewers can work on media securely, within segregated networks, with access control permissions managed across entire workflows, supported by comprehensive audit trails of user activity. MediaSeal is used on many of the current top TV and motion picture titles.

MediaSeal supports the IMF standard and protects all media formats from Pro Res to QT seamlessly in all editing workflows – Pro Tools, Media Composer, Premier, Final Cut. Ideal for collaborative workflows without impacting on the creative process. Fortium will demonstrating new encryption on-the-fly with Live Folders.

12 2018 Feb

NBC Olympics Selects Avid

NBC Olympics Selects Avid to Provide Content Creation and Media Management Workflows for Its Production of 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang

 Avid MediaCentral to enable NBC Olympics to accelerate and streamline production during Its coverage of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Burlington, Mass. – NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Avid® to provide content creation and media management workflows for its production of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, which take place in PyeongChang, South Korea from February 8 – February 25. The announcement was made by Darryl Jefferson, VP of Post Operations and Digital Workflow at NBC Sports & Olympics, and Louis Hernandez, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Avid.

NBC Olympics selected Avid MediaCentral® to accelerate and streamline production for the PyeongChang Games. MediaCentral will enable NBC Olympics to streamline its entire workflow, from creation to delivery, throughout the 18 consecutive days of coverage of the PyeongChang Games.

“For the 2018 PyeongChang Games, we need to create, manage and distribute enormous volumes of content,” said Jefferson. “Over the years, MediaCentral has become an integral component to our workflow. MediaCentral allows our team members in multiple locations, across several continents, to collaborate in real time. Having that ability, provides us with the capacity to create high-quality content quickly and efficiently, and ensure we can meet the productions demands of the Winter Olympics.”

“Sports broadcasters today need to accelerate their workflows and maximize efficiency across every aspect of the media value chain, particularly for complex, large-scale events like the Winter Olympics,” said Hernandez, Jr. “With MediaCentral at the heart of its content production and media management workflows, NBC Olympics can deliver coverage to audiences in more powerful and efficient ways.”

NBC Olympics will rely on Avid’s comprehensive tools and workflow solutions throughout all PyeongChang Games venues, including alpine, figure skating, and speed skating. MediaCentral | Production Management will help NBC Olympics to manage content creation, automate workflows, and facilitate collaboration between the venues and the IBC. MediaCentral | Asset Management will enable teams to quickly and easily locate media assets, streamline production operations, and maximize content creation capabilities.

NBC Olympics will also deploy Avid NEXIS®, the world’s first and only software-defined storage platform specifically designed for media, as the linchpin of its production pipeline, connected to dozens of editing suites with Media Composer®, the industry’s preeminent non-linear video editing systems.

12 2018 Feb

ASC Appoints Eric Rodli as Executive Director

LOS ANGELES (February 7, 2018) – The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has named Eric Rodli as executive director, effective immediately. In his new role, Rodli will be responsible for driving initiatives that uphold the mission of the organization – to advance the art and science of cinematography – and creating a supportive community for its members.

Eric Rodli, ASC

Eric Rodli, ASC

Rodli, an ASC associate member since 2001, has served six years as co-chair of the ASC Motion Imaging Technology Council’s Cinema Display Committee, dedicated to exploring new technologies and providing guidance on enhancing the moviegoing experience in service to the filmmaker’s creative intent. He co-authored the committee’s 2016 white paper, “Cinema Display Evaluation Plan and Test Protocol,” which explores the key image quality parameters of dynamic range, color space and overall luminance, as well as suggesting testing parameters. Rodli also has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Task Force on Content Preservation, and has participated in numerous industry panels ranging on topics from digital media distribution to projection.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Eric’s caliber propelling the vision of our organization to new levels,” says ASC President Kees van Oostrum. “As the ASC nears its 100th anniversary, it’s important that we build on the legacy of our founders and continue to support the membership creatively, as well as encourage and educate the next generation of cinematographers. Eric has both the industry and creative relationships to augment our efforts.”

Rodli’s career includes extensive experience as an executive in the entertainment technology industry with management roles in start-ups and large corporations. He served as president at Iwerks Entertainment, Bexel and Kodak’s motion picture film division, and most recently as CFO of BeBop Technologies. Rodli has worked on numerous creative and technical initiatives across multiple industry sectors, dating back to pioneering the use of the first generation of HD cameras, as well as 3D projection, digital streaming technology, and laser projection systems. His strategic and hands-on experience in the imaging chain has fueled his belief that technology should serve the artist.

“I’m honored to be on board at the ASC to cultivate the progress of artists whom I admire for their outstanding contributions to so many indelible images,” says Rodli. “Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work with many cinematographers in various capacities and am constantly awestruck by their impactful aptitude, techniques and creativity. I look forward to working with the board and advocating for the members.”

Focused on education, the ASC hosts many programs, including the ASC Master Classes, Student Heritage Awards, Coffee and Conversation Q&As with cinematographers, and panel discussions by the Education and Outreach Committee. The award-winning efforts of the ASC Motion Imaging Technology Council (MITC) since 2003 have shaped the standards and practices of cinematography for digital workflows, with the group and its committees working closely with the Academy’s Sci-Tech Council and SMPTE. The ASC Vision Committee also holds events to foster diversity and equality on camera crews.

For more information about the ASC, visit