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19 2018 Jul

SoundGirls Offers Scholarship Opportunities for Women Working in Audio

19 2018 Jul

AMIA Announces Preliminary Program for The Reel Thing

Industry News - AMIA The Reel Thing LogoThe Reel Thing, curated by Grover Crisp and Michael Friend, addresses current thinking and most advanced practical examples of progress in the field of preservation, restoration and media conservation.

Three Special Screenings …

  • The Reel Thing opens with a reception on Thursday, August 23rd followed by the US premiere of the 4K restoration of Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (1960)
  • A sneak preview of a recently restored science fiction classic from Paramount Archives introduced by Craig Barron and Ben Burtt
  • One additional premiere to be announced soon!

Speakers so far …

  • Craig Barron, Magnopus
  • Ben Burtt, Skywalker Sound
  • Andy Maltz, AMPAS
  • Andrew Oran, FotoKem
  • Michael Pogorzelski, AMPAS
  • Heather Linville, Library of Congress
  • Andrea Kalas, Paramount Pictures
  • Jakub Stadnick, The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music
  • John Bailey, AMPAS
  • Nick Bergh, Endpoint Audio
  • Bruce Goldstein, Film Forum
  • Davide Pozzi, L’Immagine Ritrovata
  • Allen Perkins, Archivist
  • More to come…

Presentation Topics …

  • Restoration of Kinemacolor
  • The Art of Subtitling
  • Restoration of a Film Noir Classic: Edger G. Ulmer’s DETOUR
  • The Motion Picture Film Lab: “Past, Present and….”
  • Preservation Beyond the Final Feature: Discussion with
    Craig Barron and Ben Burt
  • Intertitle Recreation: New and Persnickety Methods
  • The Academy Digital Source Master Specification
  • New technology for preservation and restoration of optical sound on nitrate film
  • Understanding the history, techniques and tools of stereo film in the 1950s & 60s

Interested in submitting a proposal? There are still a few program slots open.
Submit a proposal here.

19 2018 Jul

YEP Talk: Filling the Pipeline

By Brandie Konopasek, Coordinator, Post Production, Indie Original Films, Netflix

HPA_YEP_Logo_ForPosts-692x262The entertainment industry has seen major technological shifts in the last several years. We are consistently seeing people “step up to the plate” and bring new ideas among all forms of content, some of which could be considered astounding leaps ahead of our time.

That same time period has seen a shift of a different kind as well. Perhaps it was in the wake of the #metoo movement, or simply knowing an overhaul was necessary, but progress has been made toward closing the gender and racial gaps in our industry.

Filling the gap for technology and development is so broad, yet so incredibly crucial to where we are today, that it forces us to think outside of the box. It is easy to say “We are going to fix this problem”, but putting steps in place to actually do so requires an immense amount of time, energy, patience and planning. The positions that tend to be filled from a homogeneous pool require years of training, but not only that, most people may not realize these jobs even exist.

With the surge in streaming, there are so many more features and shows shooting now than ever before, giving us the perfect opportunity to truly invest in the future of this industry.

Netflix is a strong supporter of High School Women In Tech. Our company relies so heavily on the latest technology, workflows, data & analytics and what we call “citizen developers,” that in order to truly diversify the company’s labor force, we needed to make sure people at a young age knew these were career options. High Schools from all over the city (both in LA and Los Gatos), ranging from lower income public and charter schools to wealthy private schools, are invited to attend a night of presentations hosted at Netflix. Interactive sessions found the students collaborating and being given the opportunity to present to groups. Although this was a “Women in Tech” event, we had several male students come out to support their female and non-gender conforming classmates.

We were thrilled to find that many of these schools had STEM or STEAM programs, and with each presentation, the students were given pointers as to which classes to take and groups to join in order to pursue a career in each of the areas shown. For example, we are constantly developing tools to analyze our viewership so we can cater to personal preference, so our data & analytics presentation showed the students real life examples of how we identify what is important and what is not. They were then given a set of preferred classes to take so they could learn the necessary technical skills, as well as our contact information in case they had any more in depth questions that we didn’t have time to answer during the Q&A.

Overall the experience was beyond what any of us expected and has caused us to think on a more global scale for the future. We had so many students walk out asking questions about a career they didn’t know was possible prior to this event. It personally inspired me to expand this type of education through the Young Entertainment Professionals (YEP) program with HPA & SMPTE, so I could begin contributing more actively in their quarterly webinars.

This “overhaul” of our industry may seem daunting, but with groups such as Women In Post and Women in Film, just to name a couple, combined with our first ever female DP Oscar nomination, it is very much a possibility for us to finally bring about the change we are all striving for.

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19 2018 Jul

Tracking Consumer Electronics

By Debra Kaufman

Digital Production Partnership (DPP) managing director Mark Harrison, a long-time attendee of the HPA Tech Retreat, has been roaming the aisles of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas for the last 10 years, tracking trends. He presented his findings most recently at the just-concluded HPA Creative Tech U.K. event in London. “A few years back, HPA asked me to talk about CES and in order to do that, I had to go back over a few years of reports, and that’s when I constructed the heat map,” says Harrison. “I’ve been able to maintain a record of primary trends and then use that to predict what might happen in the following year.”

The trick, he says, is to look beyond CES’ face value into “what’s sitting behind the trends, the messaging, the semiotics and signals that CES is giving at any one tine.” He explains that CE manufacturers target technologies where they see product opportunities. “But it doesn’t mean they will develop,” he points out. “You have to look at it over time and see if it’s catching.” As an example, he points to 3D, a trend pushed by manufacturers that never became mainstream. “I’ve found that most trends at CES burn out after about four years,” he says. “Either it never catches on or it becomes mainstream and is no longer a thing to talk about.”

To create the heat map, he walks the show, listens to the buzz and looks at everything from how much square footage is assigned to a technology to the recurrence of technologies shown before. Then he assigns a one-to-ten score. “It’s subjective scoring,” he says. “But the thing is, there is no other scoring. So far, what I’ve been predicting has turned out correctly.”

Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison

Take the Internet of Things (IoT). “I think IoT will be big again this year,” he says. “I suspect the term might not be used, and we’ll see lots of business-to-business (B2B) implementations.” More specifically, Harrison believes that we’ll see solutions for how people can carry their personal data from home to car and into the workplace. “Our obsession will be how we take ourselves into different spaces and maintain continuity,” he predicts. “Currently our home, our commute, work, our family, our leisure are still quite separate, and I think we’ll see companies trying to bridge those gaps.”

Part of his prediction is due to his CES visit to Eureka Park, which highlights startups. “Maybe 75 percent of the products were B2B, although CES is supposed to be a consumer electronics show,” he says. “The problem CES has is that technology giants are controlling so much of the real estate that it’s difficult to make your mark if you’re not one of them.” That imbalance impacts the smart assistant and wearables space, where Amazon, Apple and Google dominate voice assistants and Apple’s Watch is head-and-shoulders above other similar wearables.

Voice will be big at CES 2019, says Harrison, but he warns we’ll have to pay close attention to the difference between voice assistants and voice control. “Voice assistants are designed to be intelligent and to learn who you are and carry out intelligent searches,” he explains. “There will be plenty of that. But we’ll also find a much simpler level, where voice control can, for example, switch a light on or off.” Harrison just got a Sky Q set-top box that allows him to bypass clunky menus. “The remote has a very basic voice control,” he says. “You can search for a channel of a program. It’s extremely functional and not particularly smart, and I think we’ll see a lot of this kind of simple voice instruction being integrated into products.”

He predicts we’ll also see a lot of wearables related to ways to control our technology. “We’ll see technology promising to, for example, anonymize your activity or supervise how much screen time your children have,” he says. “It’s a response or backlash to a desire for data privacy, and will go hand-in-hand with increasing anxiety about personal security.”

Mobile-based AR will also be big, says Harrison, who adds that, “VR is already effectively dead at CES.” “Most of the floor space was occupied by AR and gaming in 2018,” he says. “I think AR will be very present at the next CES, particularly smartphone-based AR apps. A lot of it will be for fun, games and AR emojis, but there’ll also be a lot of business-type applications for use in design and architecture in Eureka Park.” He also predicts that AR and IoT will come together. “People will build an IoT infrastructure for the AR app in more controllable spaces like retail,” he says, pointing to interior design, fashion and make-up as potential markets.

Harrison predicted that the Chinese were coming to CES 2018, which they did. “What will be striking in 2019 will be not just the presence of Chinese manufacturers but the quality of product they’ll be bringing,” he says. “This year, those manufacturers will be displaying some of the best technology, and they’ll be stronger than ever.” The heat map this year will also show 5G. “It’ll be big at CES 2020,” he says. “But we’ll start to see noise about it in 2019 with big infrastructure providers like Intel, Bosch, Cisco, Qualcomm and others.”

22 2018 Jun

ICG Selects 22nd Annual ECA Honorees

Nine Honorees Selected from 105 Submissions to Screen in Los Angeles, Sept. 30.
EmergSTD

The International Cinematographers Guild (ICG, IATSE Local 600) has named nine honorees for the 2018 Annual Emerging Cinematographer Awards (ECA), spotlighting promising cinematographers and providing crucial exposure needed to succeed in the motion picture industry. The collection of nine selected short films will debut at the ECA Los Angeles event on September 30, 2018, at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theater. Additionally, screenings in three major U.S. cities will follow including New York at the SVA Theatre, October 28; Atlanta at the SCADshow, November 4; and Chicago at the Logan Theatre, November 4.

The honorees, who have been selected from 105 submissions, are:

Hunter Robert Baker, Peacock Killer
Tommy Daguanno, Detroit Diamond
Drew Dawson, Demon
T. Acton Fitzgerald, Intrusions
Clifford Jones, Baby Steps
Martin Moody, Goldblooded
Alicia Robbins, Internet Gangsters
Gus Sacks, Embalmer
David Stragmeister, Intergalactic Samurai

ECA_rocketLOGO_2017_PMS2635Steven Poster, ASC, President of the ICG, said, “The Emerging Cinematographer Awards are a terrific opportunity for our members who are about to take the leap into cinematography. These honored films show that they are already Directors of Photography.”

Jimmy Matlosz, Chairman of the guild’s ECA committee added, “As we enter into our 22nd year, the ECA’s are one of the only awards shows that recognize the art of cinematography in short films in the world. I am continuously inspired by the filmmakers and feel proud to be in such great company of honorees, sponsors and staff.”

ICG’s Emerging Cinematographer Awards gives Local 600 members an opportunity to present themselves as directors of photography by submitting a short film with a running time of 30 minutes or less for consideration. The awards are open to any member of the Guild who is not already classified as a director of photography. The films are selected by a panel of ICG members from across the country and can be also be seen by a wider audience at selected film festivals throughout the year, including Camerimage in Poland.

For more information about the ECAs go to http://ecawards.net/ or contact MaryAnne MacDougall at MMacDougall@icg600.com.

21 2018 Jun

Object Matrix Named Object Storage Vendor of the Year

Object Matrix 500px

Object Matrix has been awarded Object Storage Vendor of the Year by the Storage Awards. The awards, run by Storage Magazine, reward outstanding products, services, and people across the storage industry.

Based in Wales, Object Matrix specializes in providing media focused private cloud and object storage solutions to the media and entertainment industry. Its flagship solution, MatrixStore, enables media companies to keep content secure and protected, whilst ensuring easy access and discoverability at all times. The latest version has been updated to support hybrid cloud workflows, IMF workflows, and Artificial Intelligence.

Nick Pearce-Tomenius, Co-founder and Sales & Marketing Director, Object Matrix, commented: “After 15 years of developing, promoting and delivering object storage to global media organizations recognition such as this is always extremely well received. We are very proud to have won the award and extremely grateful to everyone who voted for us.”

Object Matrix’s solutions have been transforming media archives for a wide range of media companies, including Sky, ITN, BT, NBC, Orange, The Guardian, and the BBC, amongst many others.

Jonathan Morgan, Co-founder and CEO, Object Matrix, added: “The media industry has been evolving at a dramatic pace. Our customers are faced with providing more content than ever before to more platforms than ever before, as well as the need to monetize their archives. As such, we place a great deal of importance on ensuring our solutions consistently meet those ever-evolving needs of our clients, making the archive discoverable and easy to monetize.”

In April, MatrixStore by Object Matrix was awarded the Storage category in the IABM Broadcast and Media awards.

About Object Matrix Object Matrix is an award winning UK based software company that pioneered Digital Content Governance (DCG), object storage and the modernization of digital video workflows. Our media focused private and hybrid cloud solutions are tightly integrated into file based and IP workflows and bring economic and operational benefit to all of our customers. Our flagship product, MatrixStore, is used by the world’s largest organizations that create and distribute video content, including NBC, TV Globo, MSG-N, the BBC & BT.

21 2018 Jun

Ownzones Continues Expansion of European Operations

OWNZONES Media Network, the EntTech company, recently announced the continued expansion of its European operations. With the move to a new and larger headquarters in Bucharest, OWNZONES is doubling its footprint in the technology world by growing its team of developers, cloud system-based architecture specialists, administration and tech support.

Additionally, OWNZONES has appointed Andreea Dumitru as Director of Project Management; Andrei Ionescu as Technical Project Manager; and Iulian Fenici as Technical Lead.* The new staffers joined a stellar team which already includes George Ionita, European CTO, and Constantin Lucescu, European CEO.

OWNZONES’ new European hub is located at Bulevardul General Vasile Milea 4, București 061344, Romania.

The demand for OWNZONES’ technology continues to grow worldwide as studios and content owners search for the most cost-efficient and effective ways to distribute content in today’s digital universe. Earlier this year, the company unveiled OWNZONES Connect™ — the industry’s only cloud-based media logistics program that is API-driven, which allows content delivery to any platform in the world. To achieve its goals faster, OWNZONES also achieved Advanced Technology Partner Status in the AWS Partner Network.

“The expansion of our business in Bucharest is another milestone for OWNZONES since we will continue to lead the technology disruption in the entertainment business,” said Dan Goman, CEO of OWNZONES.  “It is a natural progression for us to expand in Bucharest, home to some of the most talented and skilled minds in the technology world. The success of our customers and partners is OWNZONES’ highest priority, and this staff expansion will enable us to further our commitment.”

With years of research invested in the platform, OWNZONES Connect™ is designed to conform and distribute digital content in the most efficient and streamlined way possible to all devices. It also acts as a post house in the cloud with state-of-the-art features in editing, conversion and encoding, motion graphics, sound mixing and editing. More specifically, OWNZONES Connect™ features an array of capabilities that work in conjunction with each other to create the ultimate post house in the cloud for IMF. This includes the Cloud IMF transcoder, the Native Cloud CPL Builder, Cloud-based CPL Source Previewer, Cloud-based IMF Playback, Supplemental Packager and Elastic Parallel Transcoding.

21 2018 Jun

Globo Enhances 2018 Russia World Cup Coverage with Avid’s Augmented Reality Solutions

Avid Maestro graphics systems give first-ever augmented reality capabilities for Globo’s hotly anticipated World Cup 2018 coverage

Avid recently announced that Brazilian leading broadcaster TV Globo is using Avid’s Maestro™ augmented reality solutions for its 2018 World Cup Russia coverage this summer. Gearhouse Broadcast, a global TV broadcast services market leader, has provided Globo with the necessary TV equipment rental and systems integration services to build the studio.

Globo’s full production studio is being operated at the center of the action, at Red Square, in Moscow, Russia, for the network’s broadcast of the World Cup event. Originally tried-and-tested, first at Globo’s Rio de Janeiro premises, and later at Gearhouse’s premises in the UK, to ensure a faultless live performance in Moscow, the studio brings Globo’s World Cup coverage to life through creative augmented reality visuals.

“The studio is an original design developed by Globo’s Arts & Technology Divisions, and represents a major step forward in comparison to what we have used at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” said José Manuel Mariño, Globo’s Director of Technology for Sports. “There are no physical scenic elements in the studio. We have just three giant LED screens, six cameras, and nothing more. We air four network news shows per day, and two weekly network programs from this studio. The cameras are switched in Rio, as we are using remote production, so the studio is both innovative and efficient.”

“We worked closely with Globo at every step on the road to Moscow to help make Globo’s creative vision a reality,” said Ed Tischler, Managing Director at Gearhouse Broadcast UK. “Augmented reality is a powerful tool to get complex analysis across to mainstream audiences in an aesthetically pleasing and creative way. Avid’s impressive, leading-edge technology is the go-to for this type of broadcast application and will increasingly figure prominently in high-profile sporting events like the World Cup. It has been a welcome opportunity to see the Maestro solutions at work.”

Through a suite of augmented reality tools, Avid’s Maestro | AR provides the ability to create captivating 3D virtual objects that look like part of the actual environment. The solution

allows the insertion and control of 3D virtual objects and graphics, as well as sophisticated real time multiple image manipulation. Avid’s Maestro | Designer is a powerful design tool used by graphics artists and designers to create the compelling graphics seen in the broadcast.  Maestro l Designer can import stills, video, and graphics from other third-party programs while giving artists the flexibility to create and design compelling 2D and 3D content. Avid Professional Services provided valuable training and support for the project.

“Globo needed a powerful augmented reality solution to bring to life the world’s most prestigious football tournament for the millions of passionate fans in Brazil—the most successful country in the tournament’s history,” said Tom Cordiner, Senior Vice President, Global Sales at Avid. “We worked closely with Gearhouse to deliver an Avid Maestro solution that enables Globo to keep up with the fast-paced action on the pitch and create eye-catching graphics that boost ratings and engage viewers in exciting new ways.”

 

21 2018 Jun

DigitalFilm Tree Adds Colorist Dan Judy

Dan_Judy_croppedDan Judy has joined DigitalFilm Tree as a Senior Colorist. He has already begun working on the hit show “Roseanne” as well as the CW’s “The 100” and Fox’s “Last Man on Earth.”

Prior to DigitalFilm, Tree Judy had a tenure of almost 20 years at Modern VideoFilm working on such popular shows as “Walker Texas Ranger,” “Smallville” and “The Walking Dead.” He began his career at Century 3 in Orlando, FL and worked on “Swamp Thing,” “Super Force” and “The Adventures of Superboy.”

“We are thrilled Dan has joined our team,” says Ramy Katrib, CEO/Founder of DFT. “He is one of the top colorists in the industry andcontinues to build relationships with the industries most accomplished DPs and producers.”

“I came to DFT because their vision for the future is in line with mine,” says Judy about DigitalFilm Tree. “I like being here because Ramy isn’t afraid to explore different ways of advancing our product through the shared vision of DFT’s technologists, software developers and artists. Now I get a chance to work on amazing shows and be part of groundbreaking innovation in our industry.”

His tool of choice is the daVinci Resolve for all his shows. “I’m very familiar with that box because I’ve been working directly with the designers for close to three decades,” he expresses.

 

21 2018 Jun

New Starz Series “Vida” Finished at MTI Film

Carmen - MTI

Senior Colorist Steve Porter collaborates with Cinematographer Carmen Cabana on new drama series that paints a bold picture of Latinx life in Los Angeles.

Post-production finishing for the first season of Vida, the new half-hour drama from STARZ and Executive Producer Tanya Saracho, was recently completed at MTI Film. Senior Colorist Steve Porter worked with series Cinematographer Carmen Cabana in finalizing the look of the show, which has just been renewed for a second season and has drawn rave reviews for its revealing portrait of Latinx life in East Los Angeles.

Vida centers on a pair of grown-up sisters who return to their East Los Angeles home following the death of their mother and face the prospect of running her struggling bar along with her “roommate.” The young women must learn to work together, come to grips with the secrets of their mother’s past and navigate the changing cultural landscape of the neighborhood where they grew up.

Cabana, whose previous work includes the Netflix series Narcos, does a masterful job in capturing the sun-washed tones of the barrio and the disparate personalities and ethnicities of its residents. She explains that her aim was not to present a homogenized view of urban life, but rather convey how it is experienced by the people who live there. “The show was never intended to have a glossy or stylized aesthetic, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be cinematic,” she notes. “Many producers interpret a ‘realistic’ look as unshaped lighting and frantic handheld. I think of real life as having defined shadows and layers of light and color.”

Cabana shot with an ARRI Alexa Mini and Cooke S5 lenses for both interiors and exteriors. That combination allowed her to work quickly and achieve shallow depth of field. “It was quite challenging for our focus pullers because, as an operator, I don’t stay still,” she says. “I move with the actors’ movements and with the emotion of the scene as I feel it when I see through the lens.”

Reflecting the show’s unusual subject matter and point of view, Cabana developed a unique visual style to draw viewers into the world inhabited by its central characters. “The show has strong women as the leads and a good amount of sex scenes, which we approached from a female perspective,” she explains. “We’re used to seeing sex scenes in which women are objectified, but on Vida, we see women in pursuit their own pleasure as they see fit. There is a sense of liberation that we sought to capture with a very fluid camera approach. When it came to sex scenes we encouraged the camera and the actors to move freely and explore. It was messy and smooth, violent and sweet…like sex can be.”

Cabana’s precise visual aesthetic was further refined through grading sessions at MTI Film. After working with MTI Film’s Johnnie Kirkwood on the series pilot, Cabana, who is a colorist herself, collaborated with Steve Porter on the six episodes that comprise the first season. She says they made an instant connection, noting, “Steve is the perfect complement to my cinematography. Even before we met, he did a pass on the footage and understood completely what I was going for. He not only respected my shadows, contrast and style, but improved it. LA is not known for its beautiful skies, between the smog and lack of clouds, there ain’t much there, but Steve dug in and found clouds and boosted the blue. He has a gifted eye and an amazing personality.”

Porter recalls that Cabana had clear ideas about both the overall look of the show and details within it. He says that she was particularly insistent about retaining the variations in the features of the show’s multicultural cast. “She didn’t want everyone to look one specific way,” he explains. If someone had a little more olive in their skin, we kept that. A lot of shows would blend that out. We adhered to the culture of Vida.

Porter adds that it was inspiring to work with a cinematic artist who brings passion and a distinct point of view to her work. “She not only worked behind the camera, she did the handheld, the lighting, the framing…everything,” he says. “She kept things very real and helped tell the story.”

Noting that it was her first experience in working at MTI Film, Cabana says that she was impressed that the company’s staff was not only able to help her achieve her creative goals, but to do so within the confines of her hectic schedule. “They were very accommodating,” she recalls. “I was unable to be physically present to supervise the coloring on episode 3 because I was in Europe, but they kept me involved remotely. Upon my return, I had only a few weeks in LA and the MTI team went the extra mile to make it possible for me to have a pass at the final episodes. They cared as much about Vida as I did.”