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16 2016 Dec

Avid Expands Media Storage Capacity and Performance with Avid NEXIS

Avid recently announced new innovations for Avid NEXIS™, the software-defined storage platform designed for storing and managing media, are now available. Powered by the MediaCentral® Platform, Avid NEXIS High Availability options and enhanced scalability for Avid NEXIS | Enterprise systems provide reliability, performance and storage capacity for demanding large-scale broadcast and post-production environments.

Avid NEXIS scalability enhancements now double the capacity of Avid NEXIS | Enterprise systems, supporting up to 48 Media Packs across a single scale-out enterprise-class system and enabling customers to mix and match a combination of Avid NEXIS | E5, E4, and E2 engines, whether for new installations or integrated with their existing Avid ISIS® systems. With this new release, customers can scale the Avid NEXIS system’s total capacity up to nearly 3 PB of total storage with up to 19.2 GB/seconds of bandwidth, capable of delivering 250 streams of Sony XAVC-Intra 59p UHD or more than 680 streams of DNxHD-220 media.

“Media organizations need more robust storage infrastructure, greater reliability and control, and closer collaboration in order to create high-quality and engaging content,” said Alan Hoff, vice president, Market Solutions, Avid. “These new innovations for Avid NEXIS deliver the most resilient storage system in the industry with unmatched scalability, together with high-availability options that address these needs and boost operational efficiency.”

Thanks to the openness of MediaCentral, Avid NEXIS solutions work with all top media creation applications, including Media Composer®, Pro Tools®, Apple Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Grass Valley EDIUS, and many more. Production teams can quickly access a shared pool of virtualized storage resources, which dramatically increases their efficiency—a testament to the media-savvy collaboration capabilities Avid NEXIS delivers.

“Our clients primarily use Avid editing solutions, but we need the versatility to offer alternative workflows,” said Ollie Stratton, technical consultant and head of Video Europe’s edit department. “The fact [that] [Avid] NEXIS has the ability to natively support Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, and Black Magic’s DaVinci Resolve, is a real leap forward for flexible, open workflows.”

 

Learn more here.

16 2016 Dec

Avid Launches Vote of the ACA to Shape Collective Future

Avid®, along with leaders of the Avid Customer Association (ACA), today announced the launch of the inaugural ACA Vote, giving current and new ACA members the opportunity to directly influence the company’s future technology, product and service offerings.  Through ACA membership, the vote allows Avid’s customer community to weigh in on what they see as the most important requirements to help them address the pressing needs facing the industry.

Through the ACA, a customer-led organization open to Avid customers worldwide, Avid has built a deep community partnership based on close collaboration with its customers.  “Thanks to the ACA, we’ve made significant strides over the past three years with the community’s contribution towards Avid EverywhereTM, which has helped Avid deliver the industry’s most innovative, open platform for media that is helping to shape the future of the industry, and through its flexibility allows us to rapidly address our customers’ needs,” said Avid Chairman and CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. “With the ACA Vote, we’re setting a precedent for the industry again by giving every ACA member the opportunity to influence our collective future with input towards new or improved offerings that will positively impact the community and the company.”

The ACA Vote will span the areas of creative applications, workflow solutions and emerging technology, and it aims to uncover what will make the biggest difference to Avid’s customers’ future success from a technical, creative, business and investment perspective.

Read more here.

16 2016 Dec

Women in Post Update

2016 was an incredible year for HPA’s Women In Post. Among many activities and goals this year, WIP brought a long-held dream for a mentorship program to fruition with the launch of Young Entertainment Professionals (YEP.)  Under the tutelage of Kari Grubin, Loren Nielsen, Belinda Merritt and Laura Thommen, WiP launched the Young Entertainment Professionals during SMPTE’s Annual Conference, helping the HPA build the architecture of mentorship. WiP, in collaboration with SMPTE, hosted the Women In Technology luncheon during the Annual Conference.  This year, the WiT luncheon presented an intriguing conversation with one of the industry’s most influential women, Marvel’s Victoria Alonso. Attendees benefitted greatly from Ms. Alonso’s candid sharing of her experiences and insights.

Looking forward, WIP will soon announce the date for the annual Women In Post Tech Retreat Luncheon.

 

 

16 2016 Dec

Letter from HPA President Seth Hallen

Hello and warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

As we round the corner into 2017, I want to take a moment to look back at a very eventful year for the HPA.  Our outstanding year of accomplishments offers a glimpse into many great things to come.  To start it off, last February during the 2016 HPA Tech Retreat, we unveiled a new name and a new logo. The Hollywood Professional Association was chosen to reflect and encompass the varied and changing pieces of the world in which our members operate. It gives us an expanded launch pad, and encircles that elusive and changing activity of “post” rather than being defined by it.  It was also an important time for me, personally, because I was honored to have had the baton passed to me from Leon Silverman (literally, he actually passed me a baton).   Leon has been the cornerstone of the vision, strength and growth of the HPA and I am so proud and humbled to take the reins from the Great Mentor.

Craig German, Jenni McCormick, Chuck Parker, and Bill Roberts were elected as new members of the HPA Board, bringing fresh ideas and new energy.  They have immediately provided valuable contributions to an already incredible team of leaders, and Chuck was elected our new VP later in the year.  We also announced the global expansion of the HPA Tech Retreat brand with the HPA Tech Retreat UK.  The event was a smash, and we will return to Oxfordshire in July of 2017.  In partnership with SMPTE UK Chapter and with the great leadership of Richard Welsh, those two days in Oxfordshire showed us that the very special character of the Tech Retreat can evolve and expand to a global setting.

The HPA committee chairs, HPA Executive Director Barbara Lange and the HPA Board have been laying the groundwork for expanded activities and engagement.  The events formerly known as SCRG luncheons will soon relaunch under the auspices of HPA NET (Networking, Education, Technology).  Over the past few years, the roundtable “speed-dating” lunch format met great success and we have had lots of enthusiastic requests from the community to organize more of these events.  The first HPA NET event is currently in the works and will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

HPA’s Women In Post also had an amazing year.  Their Women In Technology luncheon, held jointly with SMPTE during the Annual Conference, featured an intriguing conversation with one of the industry’s most influential women, Victoria Alonso, executive vice president of physical production at Marvel. Attendees benefitted greatly from Ms. Alonso’s candid sharing of her experiences and insights.  Under the tutelage of Kari Grubin, Loren Nielsen, Belinda Merritt and Laura Thommen, Women In Post helped launch one of its most––and one of the HPA’s most––important endeavors, the Young Entertainment Professionals.  Building a vibrant community of young people is a core goal for the organization, encircling those who will benefit from our experiences while giving us the benefit of their perspectives. Our activities in this arena are vitally important to the future of the HPA. In June, a call for submissions yielded a truly outstanding class of talented young people, two of whom, Jesse Korosi and Jennifer Zeidan, were named Emerging Leaders during the HPA Awards.  That first class of 25 will be mentored and supported by the HPA over the coming years.  YEP is just the first concrete step in our initiatives focused on engaging the next generation.

Finally, in November we celebrated the community of creative talent and innovation at the 11th annual HPA Awards, honoring our own Herb Dow, ACE and Michelle Munson, CEO of Aspera.  The 2016 HPA Awards were a sold-out affair, attracting more awards submissions and ticket sales than ever before.  Some big plans are in the works for the next HPA Awards show, which is slated to return to the Skirball Center on November 16, 2017.

Although we have achieved all of this amazing progress in the past year, foremost on my mind is how grateful I feel to have the opportunity to work with such a devoted and passionate group of industry leaders.  Engaging, debating, collaborating and evolving with all of my fellow board members, committee members, and all of the other volunteer members of our community has been my greatest pleasure.  I so look forward to 2017 and all of the remarkable things we will enable HPA to bring to our industry and community in the coming year.

16 2016 Dec

Awards Season Lineup

From the HPA Awards onward, award season is in full swing.  Here’s a brief primer on what’s ahead!

 

1/8/17: Golden Globes

1/28/17: PGA Awards

1/29/17: SAG Awards

2/4/17: Annie Awards

2/4/17: ASC Awards

2/4/17: DGA Awards

2/7/17: VES Awards

2/11/17: The Scientific and Technical Awards 

2/11/17: Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Awards

2/19/17: Golden Reel Awards (MPSE)

2/19/17: Muahs (Make Up Artists & Hair Stylists Awards)

2/19/17: WGA Awards

2/21/17: Costume Designers Guild Awards

2/26/17: Oscars

2/27/17: The Eddies

Read More
14 2016 Dec

Wanda Studios, Qingdao Chooses Xytech to Support Operations

Xytech’s MediaPulse has been selected by Wanda Studios, Qingdao to help define and manage operations from the ground up at the $8.2-billion-dollar addition to the company’s entertainment hub, the Movie Metropolis. The initial installation of MediaPulse is now live and full deployment is anticipated by the completion of the studio in the coming months.

MediaPulse will manage all operations from budget to execution through financial reconciliation for the soundstages, production workshops, office spaces and other services offered by the studio. The solution also includes the implementation of MediaPulse Rental to manage the business and track equipment with integration to a RFID tagging system.

Wanda Studios spans over 400 acres in a northern region between Beijing and Shanghai. The complex will offer an array of facilities for film and television production, with a gross floor area of 58 million square feet, 30 soundstages including the largest soundstage in the world at 10,000 square meters/107,600 square feet, 24 production workshops, tenant office space, backlots with permanently constructed sets, and two large water tanks. The studio is one of the most technologically advanced production environments in the world, supporting every facet of production for a rapidly growing base of global creative clients.

14 2016 Dec

Sony Pictures Post Production Services Adds Home Theater Dub Stage For Next Generation Immersive Sound Formats

Responding to the growing popularity of home theater systems with immersive sound, Sony Pictures Post Production Services has added a new mix stage dedicated to next-generation home theater audio formats. Located on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, the new stage is designed to simulate a home theater environment and equipped to master feature film and television projects in Dolby Atmos®, Auro-3D and other immersive sound formats. This new room has been used to prepare several feature titles for Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Disc, and digital delivery.

The new mix stage features an Avid Pro Tools S6 mixing console with 24 faders and two Pro Tools HDX systems. In addition to a wide array of plug-ins, the stage offers ancillary gear from Black Magic, Pegasus, Brainstorm and other manufacturers.

At 600 square feet, the stage is designed to replicate the dimensions and acoustics of a typical home theater environment. It employs a custom-built Delicate Audio truss system for mounting nearfield speakers. That allows the speaker array to be quickly reconfigured to conform to the specifications of individual sound formats.

14 2016 Dec

Technicolor PostWorks Blends Art and Technology in Delivering PBS’s “Soundbreaking”

Facility handles sound and picture post for acclaimed 8-part documentary on the history of recorded music.

Recently posted at Technicolor PostWorks New York, the new 8-part PBS documentary, Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music provides a fascinating portrait of the melding of art and technology in the development of popular music.

Produced by Show of Force and directed by Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre, the series reaches back to the 1920s, when music was first committed to vinyl, but focuses in particular on the period from the 1960s to the present and the revolution that was set in motion by the late Sir George Martin and the Beatles through their innovative use of multi-tracking.

For Technicolor PostWorks’ post-production team (who worked under the direction of series Post Producer Daniel Gilbert), finalizing sound and picture required considerable time and ingenuity. The series draws on incredibly rich and diverse source material, from newly-captured interviews with more than 150 luminaries of the music world to thousands of bits of archival media—behind-the-scenes clips; broadcast, documentary and concert footage; music videos, and much more—as well as hundreds of classic music recordings. All of that needed to be knitted into a story that looks and sounds seamless.

“It was a challenge, because we were working with elements from all over the world,” recalls Colorist and Online Editor Mike Nuget. “We had video from Europe that had to be converted to an American standard, and film-original material from the 20s and 30s, through today, that needed clean-up. Formatting, frame sizes and overall quality were things we had to deal with daily.  It was like taking a visual journey through time, decade by decade, through the eyes of video and film equipment.”

Re-recording mixers Martin Czembor and Paul Furedi faced similar challenges in bringing consistency to the soundtrack. “We might have a Madonna track from the 80s,” notes Czembor. “If you listened to it when it was originally recorded, you got a full experience, but, now, if we set it next to a Kanye West track, it can sound lacking because sonically so much has changed. Our role was to bring sounds from different eras together in a way that is smooth and coherent in order to show how they connect.”

Not surprisingly, sound plays an integral role in telling the story. In the soundtrack, elements are often woven together to illustrate the creative process. “There is a section where George Martin’s son is talking about how some of the Beatles’ songs were built, and he throws up a few faders so that you can hear how the parts come together,” Czembor says. “We go from the individual tracks and build into the whole song. It’s fascinating.

14 2016 Dec

15th Annual VES Awards Show on 2/7/17 – Tickets now on sale

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, the Visual Effects Society (VES) will host the 15th Annual VES Awards at The Beverly Hilton hotel. This annual red carpet event draws 1,000+ entertainment industry influencers and decision makers. Our distinguished VES Lifetime Achievement Award honoree this year is Sony Imageworks’ Ken Ralston and our VES Visionary Award honoree is Marvel Studios’ Victoria Alonso.  Award nominees will be announced on January 10.

Tickets are available for purchase now.  If you are interested in sponsorships or advertising the in Awards show program book, please contact Nancy Ward ward@visualeffectssociety.com

14 2016 Dec

Chuck Parker Named VP of HPA Board of Directors

Chuck Parker 240Chuck Parker has been named vice president of the Board of Directors for HPA.  Chuck is chairman and CEO of Sohonet, where he is responsible for the day-to-day execution of the growth strategy for the company, including geographical expansion and new products and services.

Chuck spent 15 years in various senior level roles at Technicolor including Chief Commercial Officer, President of their Digital Division and CIO.  After Technicolor, Chuck founded the 2nd Screen Society and successfully lead the Unicorn Media team as the Chief Revenue Officer through rapid growth and ultimately to a successful acquisition by Brightcove.