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28 2016 Apr

In the marketplace of next-generation imaging HDR quite literally stands out.

Christine Bunish Talks With Mark Schubin about HDR

April - Mark Schubin ImageMark Schubin ( notes that tests show both HDR and HFR are “perceptually significant” for viewers while 4K and wider color gamut offer fairly small perceptual improvements. This leads Schubin to believe that HDR delivers “the most bang for the data” providing the greatest perceptual image improvement with, theoretically, no increase in bit rate (practically, a little increase).

HDR also offers more colors with the same primaries in a TV set and might not even require shading when shooting. While HFR lends itself to fast-moving content such as sports, there’s some concern about the look it brings to scripted programming. Admittedly, HDR makes motion artifacts more visible, but it maintains that suspension of disbelief viewers prize for the vast array of narrative content they watch. All things considered, “There’s no form of programming that can’t show improvement in HDR,” Schubin declares.

HDR is happening now in production and post. “There’s no downside to HDR acquisition,” says Schubin, “and in post there’s more flexibility in grading and creating pictures for standard distribution channels.”

But the number of flavors of HDR and no agreement on transmission standards to cinemas and homes means HDR distribution is not likely any time soon. “It took decades for HD to be accepted,” Schubin reminds us. “We shouldn’t look for HDR to happen overnight.”

The timeline for HDR depends upon “who’s pushing it,” he says. “The TV set manufacturers want HDR to happen real fast because sales are down after everyone bought HD TVs. Consumers need a reason to buy new sets. Creatives find HDR to be a good tool and are using it now in production and post. Distributors, on the other hand, say let’s take our time.”

HDR comes with some distribution issues that need to be resolved, Schubin points out. With HDR’s greater luminosity will a visual “loudness” control be required for commercials that are too bright, just as the FCC’s CALM Act tamed the audio volume of booming spots? And how about power consumption? It looks like HDR TVs pumping out one bright scene after another could violate the California law on the amount of power a TV set can consume.

Although no new technologies are needed for HDR, everyone will have to invest in new equipment. In fact, manufacturers are counting on it.

“It was hard to find a major booth at NAB without HDR in it,” Schubin reports. In addition to HDR or HDR-compatible monitors and cameras, “lens manufacturers were talking improved optical transmission; isovideo showed a converter that took in HDR and squirted out SDR; Atomos had its camera-mounted monitors showing HDR. Panasonic’s HDR demo used Sony HDR monitors – without covering up the Sony name. The whole industry wants HDR to move along!”

Even if HDR stands apart in next-generation imaging it won’t be the only choice creatives implement, Schubin emphasizes. Imaging options “must co-exist” to provide audiences with an optimal viewing experience, he believes. Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee unveiled an 11-minute demo at NAB, which Schubin says combined 120fps acquisition with HDR and wide color gamut. “It stunned the audience.”

28 2016 Apr

President’s Letter: Volunteers at the Heart of the HPA

Hello,Seth Hallen

Since accepting the HPA presidential baton earlier this year, I’ve been engaging with many of our members, event attendees and volunteers.  Meeting and talking with them, I am inspired by their overall excitement about the HPA and the importance they place in this organization, and many have asked how they can get more involved.  While having these discussions, I found myself reflecting on the last decade of my own experiences with the HPA.

I was reminded that the HPA means so many different things to different people. Many folks make the trek out to the desert every year to attend the Tech Retreat, and that is the only HPA event they attend.  To those Tech Retreaters, that is the HPA; a productive and insightful week of education, information and networking.  Others only attend the annual HPA Awards gala, or the Women in Post events, or our SCRG luncheons.  And there are, of course, some who attend them all.

My first HPA experience was over a decade ago, in 2005, at an after work social mixer at a restaurant & bar called Lola’s (gatherings you too, may remember).  When I walked in I was immediately struck by the range of professions and interests in the group…editors, facility managers, salespeople, engineers and business owners.   I was impressed with the tangible sense of community and camaraderie the folks in this room had.  At that point, I didn’t know anything about Tech Retreats or any other events.  I just thought that the HPA was a series of “social events.”  But as I got more involved, it didn’t take long to figure out how impactful the HPA is to our industry and how much potential this organization had to continue its mission of service to our community.

Over the past decade, the HPA became incredibly important to me, and I focused on the organization and the relationships I made here.  It has been exciting and extremely gratifying to participate in and experience the growth of the HPA and to witness first hand the countless ways the HPA impacts individuals and shapes our community.  The HPA continues to grow, evolve and provide leadership for our industry during a time of exciting change.

One of the most important take-aways from the discussions is the simple fact that everything that happens at the HPA is only made possible by an army of dedicated volunteers who make it a priority to donate their precious time to this organization.  The HPA is fully committed to providing education, recognition, advocacy and community to our industry through its events and outreach programs.  But none of these initiatives would happen without these passionate individuals.  In the process of volunteering, friends are made, connections are deepened, knowledge is shared and our community is strengthened.  Ultimately, this plays a key role in enabling our industry to make those important steps forward. Volunteerism is the heart and soul of the HPA.

Why should you volunteer?
Are volunteers simply “volunteer-itis” stricken zombies just milling around and mindlessly “helping out” because they have nothing better to do?  The truth is, many HPA volunteers are industry professionals with thriving, successful careers, with very little extra time but are trying to deepen their interaction with others and enrich their careers by getting more engaged with their community.

Here are few of the things HPA volunteers say about their participation:

  1. They tend to gain deeper connections with industry colleagues, influencers and the collective wisdom.
  2. Recognition within the industry through HPA event participation is multiplied.
  3. They gain a deep level of satisfaction after having “given back” to the community they love and playing a key role in helping shape our industry.

So, raise your hand.  You won’t regret it, and my bet is that you’ll be delighted that you joined your peers at the HPA.  We need you.  We’re evolving and growing and it’s such an exciting time to get more involved.  With the HPA Tech Retreat UK and the 2016 HPA Awards season kicking off, there are plenty of opportunities.  And, I hope that a decade from now, someone else who got the volunteer bug will be writing the President’s column, telling their story about how they decided to help.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions about HPA, how you’d like to help, or how we can serve you.

With warm regards,

Seth Hallen

28 2016 Apr


artofpostThere is life after Post. A creative life.

From The Molecule, comes a brilliant way to share and experience the art of your post production community. The Art of Post is a bicoastal art show by, and for, members of the post-production community. Held in LA on May 12th, and in New York May 13, The Molecule will host a night to celebrate the art that happens after the show goes on air or in the theater.

After the work is finished and the doors closed, many producers, colorists, editors and effects artists have their own personal wrap parties. Whether it’s to relax or blow off steam from rigorous show schedules, the post community is full of painters, photographers, sculptors and even woodworkers.
Come see what they are up to.

MAY 12, 2016 • 7-10PM PYO GALLERY LA

If you’d like to show your artwork, The Molecule invites you to submit your hidden and, often, not-so-hidden creative outlets for public display and community enrichment. Please fill out the online form by May 6th at

For info on the LOS ANGELES event, call or write:, (323) 962-6100. For info on the NEW YORK event, call or,(212) 300-5320

The Art of Post is presented by The Molecule, a Visual Effects, Motion Graphics, and VR studio in New York and Los Angeles.

28 2016 Apr


April - EditFest LondonEditFest London will return to the British Film Institute Southbank on Saturday, 25 June 2016 with a line up of editing stars for the event’s Fourth Year in the UK.

EditFest London again brings a lineup of editing stars to its 4th annual EditFest London.  ACE President Alan Heim, ACE will serve as host for the day long event.

Panels include:

  • Small Screen, Big Picture – The Television Editors, featuring Christopher Blunden, ACE (Stella); Gary Dollner, ACE (Veep); Mark Eckersley (War & Peace); and Úna Ní Dhonghaile (The Missing, Dr. Who).
  • From Dailies to Delivery – Editing Features will showcase Sim Evan Jones, ACE (Shawn the Sheep, The Chronicles of Narnia, Shrek);  Paul Machliss, ACE (The World’s End, Scott Pilgrim vs the World);  Nathan Nugent ( Room); and John Wilson, ACE (Me Before You, Billy Elliot.)

EditFest London is privileged to add a fourth panel devoted entirely to editors Axel Geddes and Sarah Reimers discussing the Pixar animation process while unveiling sneak peeks of Finding Dory and its accompanying short, Piper.

EFL Editors

The esteemed editor Paul Hirsch, ACE, will be the focus of our one-on-one conversation, discussing a career filled with highlights. As the editor of the original Star Wars, Footloose, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and the new version of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, Paul will bring a wealth of knowledge to attendees.

Earlybird tickets are available online at EditFest London is supported by Platinum sponsor Blackmagic Design and Gold Sponsor Avid.

28 2016 Apr

Step Into the Spotlight. Take a Bow!

Deadlines Approaching for HPA Awards Submissions: Engineering Excellence and Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation.

These two special HPA awards are prized, and there is still time for you to submit your entries.

The HPA Engineering Excellence Award is seen as one of the most prestigious technology honors in the industry, recognizing companies for outstanding product offerings that represent a step for for the industry. The highly sought-after Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation honors demonstrated excellence from production through exhibition, whether in creative storytelling or technical innovation.

These awards shine a light on the brilliance and creativity of our community, and they are an opportunity for your innovation to shine.

For full details about these awards, visit HPA Awards.

Entry dates are early again this year, so enter now to ensure you’re in the running. Entries for the Engineering Excellence Award and Judges Award for Innovation and Creativity will be accepted until May 20th, 2016

Don’t miss this opportunity to bring your work center stage.  If you want to win these awards, you have to enter!

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30 2016 Mar


Heytrhop viewThe HPA Tech Retreat, one of the premier gatherings in the content technology industry, is off to the UK this summer.  For 21 years, the Tech Retreat has proven to be a vibrant place for information, community, and exploration. Now, in association with SMPTE, the HPA Tech Retreat UK launches in Oxfordshire, UK, 13-14 July 2016.

Richard Welsh, former SMPTE Governor, and Jerry Pierce, HPA Board vice president, co-chair the event.  Welsh noted, “The mainstays of the HPA Tech Retreat will serve as the foundation for the UK version. The carefully curated main conference, including its ‘Supersession’ focusing on the hot topics of the industry, the breakfast roundtables, the Innovation Zone, and of course the networking and camaraderie that mark this event, will all be part of the experience.  We are confident that this will be a thoroughly unique chance to meet the most influential individuals at work in the UK today.”  The Retreat will take place at Heythrop Park Resort, a magnificent manor house hotel about 1.5 hours from London.

The HPA Tech Retreat UK is seeking presentations for the main program and has officially opened the Call for Proposals.  Panel topics may include anything related to moving images and associated sound. No formal submissions are required, and a sentence or two is usually sufficient by way of description. All proposals should be sent to Rich Welsh at by the end of the day (GMT) on 30 April 2016.

Co-Chair Jerry Pierce commented, “The HPA Tech Retreat is unique. It’s actually my favorite technical conference of the year and I’m not alone in that opinion. For a long time, the HPA Board has searched for ways to share the experience with other regions, and the UK event will meet HPA’s high standards for providing a forum for discussion, interaction and education. The expansion to the UK has been supported and enabled by our partnership with SMPTE.  While HPA Tech Retreat UK will have the foundation and many aspects of its Palm Springs sister, it will have a life and character of its own as it meets the needs of the UK community.”

Applications for the Innovation Zone, the curated demonstration area, will open soon.  Andrew Johnston heads the Innovation Zone for the UK event.

Complete information about rules, how to submit, and other details are available here.

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30 2016 Mar



Who is your Board?  In a sentence, the HPA Board is comprised of a cross section of industry experts from the post, production, creative and technical communities.  They are passionate about the HPA, the industry, and the community it serves.  The HPA Board of Directors spends hundreds of hours, every year, strategically looking at where the organization is headed, while working with staff on the execution of its vision.   With the transition to the new Hollywood Professional Association, the HPA Board has expanded to include new Directors.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any board member with ideas or input.

Seth Hallen, President
Sony DADC New Media Solutions

Leon Silverman, Past President
Walt Disney Studios

Jerry Pierce, Vice President

Bill Roberts, Treasurer

Vincent Maza, Secretary

Wendy Aylsworth

Mark Chiolis
Grass Valley

Craig German
NBC Universal

Carolyn Giardina
The Hollywood Reporter

Jenni McCormick

Kathleen Milnes
Otis College of Art & Design

Loren Nielsen
Entertainment Technology Consultants

Chuck Parker

Phil Squyres
Sony Pictures Television

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30 2016 Mar

Dear Friends of HPA, Welcome to the revamped HPA Newsline!

BLange_headshotIn keeping with the tremendous changes here at the Hollywood Professional Association, we are proud to present this revitalized forum for our members to catch up on news and trends in our various intersecting industries. It is our hope that you find this monthly e-newsletter of value, and that you share your stories, announcements and events here. This is just one of the ways we aim to continue to keep our community vibrant, growing and connected.

If you have news to share, and idea to explore, or events to announce, we urge you to submit them here.

The re-launch of Newsline marks a time of great change for HPA. During last month’s Tech Retreat, Leon Silverman stepped down as President of the HPA, an organization he helped found and which he has steered for the last fourteen years.  We are fortunate that he will continue to share his vision and ideas with us as he continues on the Board of Directors in the role of Past President. New President Seth Hallen brings with him a deep experience in the industry, as well as a profound dedication to the HPA. Seth has served as a Board member since 2007, with a slate of initiatives to share and the enthusiasm and talent to execute them.  Seth will be a featured regular in the newsletter.

In other important news, HPA is going global! The HPA Tech Retreat UK will be held in Oxfordshire, the 13th and 14th of July, 2016.  More information is included in this issue of the Newsline.  Be sure to register to attend this event as a delegate, Innovation Zone demonstration, or as a sponsor.  Learn more here.

Finally, we have completed the transition from Hollywood Post Alliance to the Hollywood Professional Association.  “Professional” more accurately recognizes the ever-widening tapestry of companies and individuals that bring brilliance and innovation to the business of media content.  You can see our new logo in the masthead above.

As we head into the next phase of the HPA, I want you all to know that I consider it an honor to serve as your Executive Director, and I look forward to working with you in the year to come as we take new and exciting steps together.  As our newly-past president is fond of saying, our best work is ahead of us!

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30 2016 Mar



The HPA Awards Committee has announced the submission dates for two important special awards: Engineering Excellence and Creativity & Innovation.  Submissions will be accepted from 6 APRIL 2016 to 20 May 2016.

10th Annual HPA Awards CereomonyThe HPA Engineering Excellence Award is recognized as one of the most important technology honors in the industry, spotlighting companies and individuals who draw upon technical and creative ingenuity to develop breakthrough technologies.  Submissions for this peer judged award may include products or processes, and must represent a step forward for its industry beneficiaries. Presentations to peer judging panels will be announced soon, and will take place over the summer.  Past winners have included Dolby, Canon, NVIDIA, MACOM, The Foundry, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Lightcraft, and Telestream.

The HPA Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation seeks to recognize companies and individuals that have demonstrated excellence in Production through Exhibition, whether that be in creative storytelling and/or technical innovation. The key criterion is whether the entrant demonstrates – through creativity or the use of new approaches, tools, workflows or ideas – a notable step from a technical, creative or efficiency perspective. Submissions for the award can include content such as a unique movie, television program or commercial; a workflow, proprietary technical development, hardware or software toolset, or a creative approach that is not eligible for consideration in other HPA Award categories. A blue ribbon panel determines the award’s winners. Past winners of the Judge’s Award have included ESPN Digital Center 2, DigitalFiIm Tree, the American Society of Cinematographers: Color Decision List (ASC CDL,) Testronic Lab and EFILM among others.

For rules and information, visit: hpaonline.

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30 2016 Mar

So Much to See, so Little Time: HPA Members and Friends Pick their First Stop at NAB


A crowded show floor and a jam-packed docket looms ahead for many of us attending NAB 2016. Here’s a quick look at who and what our community is looking for as soon as they walk in the door of LVCC.  And, let us know what you want to see here.

Andrea Kalas, President, Association of Moving Image Archivists:

Ang Lee of course! But from an archivist’s perspective, how are we going to archive 4K HDR Hi frame rate? And for what future technology? Will there be even more interesting technical evolutions? What’s the future after this future??

Andy Donahue – Director of Marketing, Killer Tracks

I cannot wait to hold the new Carbon Fiber Red WEAPON 6k camera!  Super light and can shoot 6K at 100 fps which would be insane to use on an action shoot, if you had to be agile and moving around a lot filming.

Jim Wicks, Colorist (HPA’s newest member!)

At NAB 2016 I expect many products – displays, grading and finishing systems, HDR, Wide Color Gamut – and will focus on colorists, whose numbers are growing. I plan on meeting with interested parties to help represent the colorists and bring into close alliance those color artists who desire to advance the prestige and dignity of the color profession.

Brian Pope, CEO, Cognition

We’re big believers in the idea that technology can actually make humanity more humane, not less–so we always look for products,  technologies and new applications for existing technologies that make communication between people better, that make art richer, deeper and more accessible, and which make people better able to pursue and achieve their dreams.

Walt Bigelow, Chief Engineer MVF Point.360

High speed clustered storage (SAN/NAS), new HDR display technologies and 4k/UHD waveform and QC systems.  And, we’ll be checking out new camera systems, dailies and encoding, along with workflow and facility automation products.

Matthew Schneider, Director of Technology, PostWorks New York

My focus at NAB may be with what is still a very ambiguous part of our industry: workflow collaboration, cloud-based toolsets, and better ways of “stitching together” fractioned slices of our overall pipeline. The other areas of priority are a bit more core: updated display technologies, updated versions of the color and NLE software we use the most, and whatever the camera-of-the-moment is. Naturally we’ll have to see what this VR thing is all about (especially for those of us that did not make it to CES or HPA.)

Christy King, Consultant/Technologist

First thing I’m going to see is the Future of Cinema Conference on Saturday. On the show floor, I’m going to begin my quest to see how MAM systems are incorporating Rights Management metadata.

Brian Terrell, CEO of GPL Technologies

This year should be the year of virtual reality.  Looking forward to seeing the ecosystem of products to enhance the filmmaker’s creativity. We will be looking for ways to help our clients create more iterations in less time.

Tell us what you’re looking forward to seeing!