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24 2016 May

HPA Awards Open Creative Categories: Submit now until July 8th

The Call for Entries has opened for Creative Categories for the 11th annual HPA Awards. These categories, considered the standard bearer for groundbreaking work and artistic excellence, recognize creative artistry in the field of post production.

The HPA Awards promote the achievement of talent, innovation and engineering excellence in the larger professional media content industry. The 11th annual gala awards presentation will be held on the evening of November 17, 2016 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California.

The HPA Awards now invite entries in the following competitive categories:

  • Outstanding Color Grading – Feature Film
  • Outstanding Color Grading – Television
  • Outstanding Color Grading – Commercial
  • Outstanding Editing – Feature Film
  • Outstanding Editing – Television
  • Outstanding Editing – Commercial
  • Outstanding Sound – Feature Film
  • Outstanding Sound – Television
  • Outstanding Sound – Commercial
  • Outstanding Visual Effects – Feature Film
  • Outstanding Visual Effects – Television
  • Outstanding Visual Effects – Commercial

Entries for the Creative Categories will be accepted between May 16 and July 8, 2016, and Early Bird Entries (reduced entry fee for the Creative Categories) will be taken through June 10, 2016. To be considered eligible, work must have debuted domestically and/or internationally during the eligibility period, September 9, 2015 through September 6, 2016. Entrants do not need to be members of the Hollywood Professional Association or working in the U.S.

Additional honors, including the HPA Lifetime Achievement Award, will be announced later this year.

Seth Hallen, President of the HPA and a founding member of the HPA Awards Committee, commented, “Over the past 10 years, the HPA Awards have grown to become one of the most important venues of recognition for creative talent in our industry.  Considered a standard-bearer, these awards are uniquely meaningful to the winners and nominees since the judging panels are made up of their peers.  I heartily encourage individuals and companies that worked on all of the amazing projects from the past year to enter the HPA Awards creative categories.  This is our opportunity to shine a light on the talent and effort that goes into bringing stories to life and to the individuals who play such important roles in making it all happen.  We look forward to another very special event on November 17th.”

For a list of the previous years’ winners, click here.

Complete rules, guidelines and entry information for the Creative Categories and all of the HPA Awards are available at:

The HPA Awards are made possible through the generous sponsorship of Title Sponsor Blackmagic Design; Foundation Members Avid, Co3, Deluxe, Dolby. EFILM, Encore; and Gold Sponsor Sohonet. For sponsorship or program advertising opportunities, contact Mary Vinton or Jeff Victor by visiting HPA Awards website at or calling 213.614.0860. Opening of ticket sales will be announced shortly.

24 2016 May

This Is Where The Next Big Thing Will Come From: The SMPTE HPA Student Film Festival

Call For Entries Issued for 2016 Fest

For the second year in a row, SMPTE and HPA have joined forces to seek out students who are creatively using technology in the service of storytelling, to enter the SMPTE HPA Student Film Festival.

A call for entries for the 2016 Festival has opened, and entries will be accepted until 28th of June. The organizations will host the 2016 SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival in conjunction with the SMPTE 2016 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2016) on Oct. 26 in Hollywood, California. Launched in 2015, “The SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival is growing into a rich showcase of student work, with outstanding short films being submitted from around the world,” said SMPTE President Robert Seidel. “It’s always exciting to see the fresh techniques and ideas put forward by student filmmakers, and I’m sure this year will be no exception.”

The SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival highlights the creative use of technology by young filmmakers, as it is employed in the art and craft of storytelling. The festival is open to full-time students currently enrolled in an accredited college, university, or film school. This is an international festival, and entries from all parts of the world are encouraged. As the festival focuses on technology, students should ideally major in an area that emphasizes engineering, science, advanced technologies, or fundamental theories associated with motion imaging, sound, metadata, and workflows consistent with SMPTE’s and HPA’s fields of interest.

Films must adhere to time limit requirements, which include all main titles and ending credits. Students may submit films for consideration in one of the following six categories:

  • Best creative use of entertainment technology to engage the audience in the story – narrative format. (max. five min.)
  • Best creative use of entertainment technology to engage the audience in the story – narrative format. (max. 30 sec.)
  • Best portrayal of entertainment technology in the film – documentary format. (max. five min.)
  • Best portrayal of entertainment technology in the film – documentary format. (max. 30 sec.)
  • Best use of virtual reality in storytelling – narrative format. (max. three min.)
  • Best use of mobile device or tablet to convey a story – narrative format. (max. three min.)

All entries recognized as Official Selections are automatically eligible for the 2016 SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival “Audience Award,” which is voted on by festival attendees during the event and presented at the conclusion of the evening.

Entries will be accepted now through June 27, at To be eligible to submit a film, students must have completed four courses toward their major course of study and be in good academic standing. They must present supporting documentation and identification in order to qualify.

There is no fee to enter, and SMPTE membership is not a prerequisite for submission of a film. However, students may join as student members of SMPTE for just $10 — or for free if this is their first year of membership — when they apply via the Student Membership Challenge (SMC). Travel to the festival is not sponsored by SMPTE or HPA.


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24 2016 May

HPA Women In Post Announces Summer Dates!

Mark your calendars! The first HPA Women In Post Luncheon is June 16th!

HPA’s Women In Post group is a vibrant gathering place for our community.  Three not-to-be missed events have been announced for this summer, and more exciting news and events are coming.

The Women In Post luncheons are held on the third Thursday in June, July and August, 11:30 am- 2 pm.

The June 16th event will be held at Simmzy’s 3000 W Olive Ave, Burbank CA 91505.  July will be in Hollywood and August on the Westside.

24 2016 May

HPA Tech Retreat UK Slate Grows, Seats Filling Fast!

Further additions to the powerful schedule have  been announced for the HPA Tech Retreat UK.  Joining the exclusive, behind the scenes look at Game of Thrones, and a look at programming for the future from Netflix, are a number of must-attend sessions.  Ultra Everything, featuring panelists from BT, BBC, HBO, Netflix; HDR in Live Production; Emerging Media Technology, a look behind the scenes of Ang Lee’s “Billy Lynne’s Long Halftime Walk” including Tessive time shaping techniques, RealD True Image software, and the latest updates on workflow innovation.  That’s just a small sample of what’s in store for those who attend the UK debut of this incredible event, 13 – 14 July, in Oxfordshire at the Heythrop Park Resort, a gorgeous venue, just 1.5 hours from London.

The Innovation Zone is packed full of the very latest and most cutting edge technology, and don’t forget the amazing networking opportunities with lunches and dinners for attendees, a welcome dinner sponsored by Dell, a cocktail event sponsored by Sohonet, and plenty of time to discuss, debate and converse. Register now, to make sure of your spot.

24 2016 May

Association of Moving Image Archivists President Andrea Kalas Looks Ahead

AMIA President Andrea Kalas recently moderated a panel at the NAB Show’s popular weekend conference, Future of Cinema, entitled, “Next Generation Mastering: Where Do We Go From Here?” In addition to Kalas, the panel featured: Rod Bogart (HBO,) Annie Chang (Disney,) Chris Clark (Netflix) and Thad Beier (Dolby), all recognized experts who regularly confront the challenges and opportunities in the world of content that they own or manage. In a lively discussion, where PowerPoints were not invited, the group dove into the complexities of future-proofing next generation storytelling.

L to R: Rod Bogart, HBO; Annie Chang, Disney; Chris Clark, Neflix; Thad Beier, Dolby; Andrea Kalas, AMIA 2016 Future of Cinema Conference, NAB, The Future of Mastering

L to R: Rod Bogart, HBO; Annie Chang, Disney; Chris Clark, Neflix; Thad Beier, Dolby; Andrea Kalas, AMIA 2016 Next Generation Mastering: Where Do We Go From Here?

I was fortunate enough to have some of the smartest stakeholders in Hollywood join me in the recent discussion at NAB. Our commonalities of problems and questions across studios, networks, and technology companies help us to collaborate to keep the future safe for filmmakers. It will take a group effort to bring order to a field that is perpetually changing.

The panel addressed an array of complex issues, from the growth and focus on Ultra High Definition (UHD), High Dynamic Range (HDR), higher resolution and color space technologies, to the fundamental questions of what must be preserved. Issues arose around the lack of a common naming protocol for assets, which is in need of clarification. “Digital preservation master,” “Super D.I.,” “No LUT source master,” and “Graded HDR master,” are used in various settings, all of which imply different yet overlapping aspects of the assets. It’s clear that managing and streamlining the changing technologies will warrant continued exploration and mind-sharing. In spite of the differences of approach and the inherent challenges, there is commonality in the dedication to preserving the permanence of creative authorship, saving what is necessary, deciding what is not, and building a rule-set that helps keep all the elements of the creative effort secure.

AMIA is the place where complex issues such as these and many others are explored. Our organization combines both archival and technical expertise, in a manner that does not exist anywhere else. It is the one place where the expertise formally resides to discuss moving image preservation in the digital world.  I bring a strong perspective about the role of the archivist in the changing media landscape. The role of archivists is to listen to stakeholders and ensure that the right things are preserved. During the NAB event, it was clear that members of the audience and the panel all wanted to find ways to make sure that the work of directors, cinematographers, sound designers, visual effects artists, and colorists are preserved into the future.

Just think, a format that was invented for special effects is now an integral tool for all types of moving images, because at some point now, all images are ultimately made by computers. There are going to be more such advances, not less, as our community continues to invent and expand. Helping to manage the process and educate the constituents at work in it, is a core part of AMIA’s mission.

AMIA is everyone. Our members come from everywhere – studios, small archives, giant archives, broadcasters, technology innovators, universities, filmmakers and technology companies – and they are in the trenches on these issues. I always say that one way to solve your issues is to hire a moving image archivist!

The AMIA Annual Conference is set for Pittsburgh, PA, in November.

24 2016 May

MTI Film at NAB 2016

At NAB 2016, MTI Film launched the latest version of its groundbreaking dailies and media management software Cortex with new features for IMF deliveries, dead pixel correction, Dolby Vision, 4K up-resing and editing, as well as many UI improvements. Originally conceived as a streamlined dailies processing application, Cortex has developed into an end-to-end solution for managing media from the set through delivery. New and updates features from NAB 2016 included: IMF and ASO2 Support, Dolby Vision, Dead Pixel Detection and Correction, UpRes to 4K and Edit Tool. Other Cortex features include: Playback, Copy & Verify, Cortex Manifest, Sync, Deliverables, Track and Trace, Color Trace, Transcode, HD-SDI and HDMI Output and Cortex Share.

24 2016 May

Thinklogical’s Uncompressed CATx KVM Solution Debuts at NAB Show 2016

Thinklogical, a global manufacturer of secure, high performance signal extension and switching systems for video-rich applications, announced the U.S. debut of its new TLX Series CATx matrix switches and extenders at NAB Show 2016.

The new, uncompressed TLX CATx product line from Thinklogical includes video and KVM extenders and a range of matrix switches from 12 to 640 ports, and is priced to be highly competitive with compressed and IP-based KVM and video signal management solutions from other vendors. TLX CATx is fully compatible and interoperable with the TLX fiber-optic product line, offering users increased system flexibility in new and existing installations, and a scalable, future-proof upgrade path. Providing a 100 percent uncompressed signal path on either CATx or fiber cabling with the lowest signal latency in the industry (microseconds, vs. milliseconds for compressed solutions), offering precise pixel-for-pixel transmission of 4K DCI/UHD resolution video (up to 4096 x 2160 resolution, 60Hz frame rate, 4:4:4 color depth) with no visual artifacts, jitter or lost frames, and instantaneous computer peripheral responsiveness, Thinklogical has increased user efficiency and productivity without compromising quality, resolution, reliability or performance.

24 2016 May

SIM Group Appoints New CEO, James Haggarty to Succeed Rob Sim, Founder

The SIM Group’s Board of Directors has appointed a new President and CEO, James (Jamie) Haggarty.  After successfully expanding and diversifying the company he founded 34-years ago, Rob Sim is moving into a new role as Vice Chairman.  The company has expanded rapidly over the past few years, encompassing a network of complementary brands that service the production and post production industries.  James will focus on enhancing the innovation and execution that SIM customers need while accelerating key growth strategies for the company.

“Jamie is an accomplished executive with leadership experience in technology, traditional media, digital media, sports and entertainment,” said Jeffrey Cairns, Chairman of the Board. “We are confident in Jamie’s abilities to lead this organization during this dynamic time for all parties in the creation and distribution of content.”

James most recently served as Managing Director at Gibraltar & Co, where he focused on mergers, acquisitions and business development of small and large companies.  Prior to that, he was CEO of SHOP.CA, an e-commerce and technology company.  James has spent most of his career in media, having held various positions in broadcasting, cable and telecommunications such as EVP Television Operations at Rogers Broadcasting, VP Financial Operations at Rogers Media and VP Corporate Development and VP Operations at CORUS Entertainment.  James played leadership roles in acquiring, launching and operating radio & TV stations, magazines and websites, in addition to innovative programs that attracted record-level audiences as well as acclaim from customers.

24 2016 May

VFX Producer Chad Hudson Joins FuseFX

Veteran Visual Effects Producer Chad Hudson has joined FuseFX.  He will be based at the company’s Los Angeles facility. Hudson’s  credits include The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Hudson becomes part of a diverse production team that is creating effects for Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and pilots for CBS and Amazon, as well as other upcoming television projects.

Hudson’s background includes visual effects roles with Lionsgate and Universal Pictures, where his credits included Jurassic Worldand The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts 1 & 2, and a previous 3-year stint at Rhythm & Hues. During that earlier tenure, he served as a VFX coordinator on the Academy Award-winning Life of Pi, Grown Ups 2 and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. He was a visual effects producer on the Game of Thrones episode The Dance of Dragons, which won a 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.

23 2016 May

My Mentor Made Me Do It (and I am so grateful)

What drives someone in our industry to get out from behind their desk, workstation or the environment of their day-to-day job and engage in industry community or volunteer activities? In my case, it was a mentor. He pretty much ordered me to consider the world beyond my desk and my own company.

It was early in my career. I was trying to demonstrate to my company that I could work hard at my job at the same time the industry around and outside me was exploding with change. My mentor DEMANDED that I join SMPTE and become active on industry committees (he was THAT sort of guy).  At first, I resented the extra time. More than anything, I did not think that I had anything to offer.

The discussions seemed a bit outside of the areas in which I was working and frankly, sometimes they were beyond my understanding and depth. The people who were involved in these groups and meetings were people whose names I had heard. They were giants in the industry. They won awards and had made huge contributions.

In those early days, I mostly lurked. I went to meetings and events. I observed. I started hearing new terms and learning new things. But then, I started meeting new people. Some of them were those giants who were only too happy to share their knowledge with the new guy. And much to my surprise, I had knowledge to share too.

Little by little, I became a peer, colleague and in many cases, friends with some of the most influential names in our industry simply by showing up and engaging. And then I started raising my hand. It’s crazy how it easy it was to get involved. And it’s crazy how fantastic it was for me to work with others to help our industry – and I can’t deny it – help myself. But something that was equally true was my soon to be full blown “volunteeritis” absolutely helped my company as much as it did my career.

Getting on top of trends. Having access to the big brains and great people at events. Hanging out in a committee where the off–agenda discussion could spark a thought or conversation that could literally fuel amazing new ideas that can help your company and you in your own job, succeed. That was my experience. I can truly say that without my participation within industry groups, my career would have been very different. And I can say the same for my employer. They absolutely benefited from what I learned and helped accomplish through industry association.

We all tend to focus on what is right in front of us, working hard at our jobs and giving our all to our companies, projects or own endeavors. There is this thing called Work Life Balance that I truly believe is important to a healthy and happy life. But to me, my life and work would not have been in balance unless I added industry participation to my hard work and focus on my family.

In those early, defining years of my career, where it was becoming clear that I had a passion for this industry, stepping out from behind my desk and venturing into the community cemented an important status for me. I was becoming more confident in my role in my job and within the industry. I was becoming a “professional.”

Our Hollywood Professional Association, now fueled by that 100-year-old start-up, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, is poised to help today’s generation of professionals reach their potential. I am so interested in helping our new President, Seth Hallen succeed in his vision of “enrolling” our community in this important dialogue and to help those seeking their own professional path. It’s important to the organization, the industry and the individuals engaged in our business at every step of their careers.

Charles J. Lipow was the mentor who demanded I join the community. I cannot thank him enough. Hopefully you will have a mentor like Charles.  Maybe you will heed the wakeup call yourself – or perhaps my words can serve as the mentor that demands you widen your career journey. You will thank yourself. See you at an HPA event soon.

Just take the step.

PS: If you want to know more about my mentor Charles J Lipow, please read my remembrance of him in this month’s issue of the SMPTE journal or via this link on the HPA website.

Leon Silverman
Past President and Founder
Hollywood Professional Association