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19 2017 May

AMIA Presents Spotlight Award at DAS 2017

The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) presented Dr. James Hendler with the AMIA Spotlight Award on May 5 during the organization’s Digital Asset Symposium in New York. The Spotlight Award is given in recognition of significant contributions to the organization or to the field of media preservation and access. Dr. Hendler’s visionary role in creating access to diverse content through semantic technologies and machine learning led to the AMIA Board’s decision to honor his accomplishments.

Dr. Hendler is the director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications, and the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also serves as a director of the UK’s charitable Web Science Trust. A highly respected author and expert, Hendler has written over 350 books, technical papers and articles in the areas of semantic web, artificial intelligence, agent-based computing and high performance processing. His most recent book is Social Machines: The coming collision of artificial intelligence, social networking and humanity.

“Dr. Hendler’s pioneering work with semantic web, artificial intelligence and open data have been invaluable to our field and will continue to inspire and define the expanding universe of digital moving image archives,” said AMIA President Andrea Kalas. “We are indebted to him – he has helped content and metadata be available for researchers of today and dreamers of tomorrow.”

An originator of the “semantic web,” Hendler received the 1995 Fulbright Foundation Fellowship and is a former member of the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board, and a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the British Computer Society, the IEEE, and the AAAS. He is also the former chief scientist of the Information Systems Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and was awarded a U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal in 2002. In 2012, he was one of the inaugural recipients of the Strata Conference “Big Data” awards for his work on large-scale, open government data. Hendler also serves as a columnist and associate editor of Big Data, a peer-reviewed industry journal that provides a unique forum for world-class research in this growing field. In 2013, he was appointed Open Data Advisor to New York State, and in 2015 he was selected to serve on the U.S. Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee. Last year, Hendler became a member of the National Academies Board on Research Data and Information.

AMIA is a non-profit professional association established to advance the field of media archiving by fostering cooperation among individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, description, preservation, exhibition and use of audiovisual materials. AMIA’s members range from those who work solely with moving images to organizations where media elements are only a small part of their collection and individuals who want to protect their personal collection (home movies, small gauge or video), as well as film buffs concerned with losing our visual heritage.

 

19 2017 May

ICG CineGear Panel: Telling Stories with LED Lights

Cinematographers have a new creative tool in their arsenal: high quality LED lighting sources. LEDs offer greater flexibility, control and reliability. The lights can be hidden discreetly under a table, wrapped around a pole and even floated (hung). LEDs enable greater subtlety and precision, they open the door to new kinds of lighting schemas and new ways to design and control color palettes.

Hear from leading cinematographers and gaffers discussing how they work with off-the-shelf products, custom built sources and lighting programmers to finesse traditional looks and to explore new visual territory. Learn about their artful use of LEDs to convey mood, character and plot points on highly regarded motion picture and TV projects.

Saturday, June 3, 10:15 AM-11:30 AM at the Sherry Lansing Theater

Panel participants Include:

Mike Bauman, Gaffer; Phantom Thread, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 2

Ronald Dragosh, Gaffer; Chicago Justice, Chicago PD

Jess Hall, BSC, Director of Photography; Ghost in the Shell, Transcendence, The Spectacular Now

Erik Messerschmidt, Director of Photography & Gaffer; Mindhunter (DP), Gone Girl (Gaffer), Fantastic Four (Gaffer)

Rachel Morrison, ASC, Director of Photography; Black Panther, Dope, Fruitvale Station

Steven Poster, ASC, Director of Photography; Amityville: The Awakening, Southland Tales, Donnie Darko

James Plannette, Gaffer; The Artist, The Adjustment Bureau, Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic

Lisa Wiegand, ASC, Director of Photography; Chicago Justice, American Crime, Chicago Fire (pilot, Seasons 1-3)

 Moderator:

Michael Chambliss, Technologist & Business Representative, International Cinematographers Guild IATSE Local 600

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19 2017 May

“VFX for Episodic – Magic on the Small Screen” at Disney on June 1 at 7pm

Join VES for an insider’s look into Episodic VFX and meet the leaders who are changing the landscape of TV and VFX.

The evening includes:

  • Overview of the current landscape, the trajectory of the business and the opportunities
  • Panel of Pros, including those who make it happen (VFX and compositing supervisors, producers and VFX coordinators) and production studio executives who discuss the meteoric growth, their challenges, their goals
  • Refreshments, beer/wine and networking!

The event is open to all (just $25 for non-VES members; free to VES members).  Register Here

19 2017 Apr

American Cinema Editors Explore How Wolverine Turned Into LOGAN, in NAB Creative Master Series

In a Creative Masters Series session at  NAB, Logan’s” editorial team — the editors, assistant editor and VFX editor– take a deep dive into how they collaborated with the director and each other to tell this darkly dramatic and action-packed Wolverine story. Using illustrative clips, the editors will explain how they communicated “Logan’s” complex plot lines, how they selected what to show and not in the film’s often-brutal battle scenes, how they shaped the eruption of Logan’s character (his years of guilt, sadness, shame and anger), and much more. For more info about the session, visit here.

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19 2017 Apr

NAB 2017: Xytech Announces MediaPulse Sky for Mobile Devices

Company Focuses on Mobility with Addition of User Interface for Smartphones and Tablets

Xytech, creator of the industry-defining facility management platform MediaPulse, unveils MediaPulse Sky, a new mobile interface for MediaPulse, at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) this year. Additionally, over 400 new features are available to the innovative platform used by studios, networks, media companies and post facilities to power scheduling, asset managements, resource allotment, personnel, equipment, financials and more.

Expanding access and mobility for users, MediaPulse Sky is available for all portable devices.  Greg Dolan, COO of Xytech, comments, “This revolutionary interface brings the power and flexibility of MediaPulse to any browser, any device, anywhere you can get an internet connection. Our users absolutely need to have complete access to MediaPulse, wherever they may be. Full and timely access to data is standard in today’s media business. We developed Sky to give our clients secure access to what they need.”

MediaPulse Sky is not just a web portal. It’s a thoroughly reimaged interface for mobile devices. It is configurable through MediaPulse Layout Editor, so it is also a truly personalized experience.  No matter what device users rely upon – phone or tablet – it is available with new dashboards and charts for Key Performance Indicators. Additionally, MediaPulse Sky is optimized for cellular networks. Users can actualize orders, confirm crewing assignments, provision video feeds, schedule sessions and review assignments wherever they may be with whatever device they choose.

MediaPulse Transmission 2017 has a new, completely configurable operation screen with on-screen alerts and notifications. A new auto-routing feature allows users to quickly find the best routes between two points and leverages the MediaPulse Rules Engine to add user-defined criteria to the routing choices. MediaPulse Transmission offers enterprise-class operations and financial management tools specifically designed for the transmission environment, and the new features help to manage the complexities of circuits for the broadcast sector.

Xytech has led the industry in automation for facility management software. At NAB 2017, they are demonstrating an automated camera-to-distribution workflow encapsulating metadata management, order management, transcoding and quality control, all performed with no users’ actions required.  The Xytech team has also made a number of changes in the MediaPulse development platform.  Now, MediaPulse offers the ability to integrate easily with any other system in the client ecosystem, enabling MediaPulse to act as a single console.

Dolan concludes, “Our innovation is hard and requires dedication, focus and fearlessness. Our job is to solve our clients’ problems before they become problems. Innovation is the key to our success.”

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19 2017 Apr

NAB 2017: Sohonet, Bluescape and Optika Join Forces to Demonstrate the Cutting Edge of Visual Collaboration

Sohonet, the leading global experts in connected cloud services for the Media and Entertainment industry, today announced it will demonstrate the integration of ClearView Flex into Bluescape’s visual collaboration software using Optika’s line of Collaborate touchscreen displays at NAB this April. The combination of these three powerful technologies offers unprecedented collaboration capabilities for film and entertainment creators.

Bluescape helps entertainment companies create better films, TV shows, and other entertainment media by giving teams a virtual workspace to meet, share and develop ideas. Its cloud-based, visual collaboration software is the only solution that empowers filmmakers to storyboard, collaborate and evolve hundreds of pre-production movie frames as well as post-production assets anywhere, anytime in one persistent and secure workspace, so the creative magic is never lost. Bluescape can be used on large-format, touchscreen walls, such as those from Optika, in addition to laptop, tablet and mobile screens.

Sohonet’s CTO, Ben Roeder, said “When we first saw Bluescape running on an Optika display wall, we knew right away that it would be a great fit to work with ClearView Flex. Having solved the problem of delivering a private real-time video session to mobile viewers with virtually no lag, our customers were looking for an intuitive and powerful way to annotate and collaborate as the video played. The Bluescape environment does exactly that.”

Optika Display is the premier provider of professional grade, large-format, 4K (UHD), interactive display solutions designed specifically for the unified communications, enterprise collaboration, healthcare, government, broadcast, motion picture and entertainment markets.

Combining high-quality stylus writing capability and precise multi-touch technology – bundled with Bluescape’s visual collaboration software, Optika Display delivers Sohonet Clearview Flex motion picture and entertainment clients with a best in class, extremely reliable, intuitive collaborative digital workspace solution. As a result, the Collaborate Series bundled with Bluescape allows Sohonet’s Clearview Flex users to effortlessly collaborate with others, develop and expand on ideas as a group, team, organization, save, share, build upon, refine, review and then present those ideas in (4K UHD) Ultra High Definition quality.

Designed to help distributed creative teams continue to work together in real-time (without relying on planes, trains or automobiles), ClearView Flex gives content creators the ability to send a high-quality encrypted stream to any laptop or mobile device with the kind of performance and security that the major studios expect for their most valuable content.

Nick Brown, vice president of product and marketing at Bluescape said, “Our customers are looking for solutions to help them create better films and other forms of digital entertainment faster. When we looked for a way to add real-time video to Bluescape’s visual collaboration platform, we were happy to discover that not only had Sohonet solved the problem, but that we shared many customers in the Media & Entertainment world.”

Bob Caldarella, Senior Vice President of Optika, agreed. “We are excited to build on Optika’s success in the world of live broadcasting by working with Bluescape and Sohonet to show how our innovative touchscreen technology can enhance the remote collaboration work of directors, producers, designers, editors, and VFX artists.”

Chuck Parker, Chairman, and CEO of Sohonet, said, “The truly global nature of production today means that our customers are always looking for ways to break the laws of time and space. It’s not a question of if a director or producer will be asked to be in more than one place at the same time, it’s a matter of when. Our integration with Bluescape and Optika offers a compromise-free solution to this dilemma.”

About Optika

Optika Display is a wholly owned subsidiary of STRATACAHE – the industry leader in digital signage. As a market-leading worldwide corporation, Stratacache specialty in digital signage, content distribution and content acceleration and Optika Display’s success in UHD 4K displays brings a new level of synergy and technology expertise to the industry.

Optika Display’s Collaborate Series brings a Professional Grade, High-Performance UHD (4K) Design Center, Creative Production Studio, and Board Room Collaboration experience to your fingertips and the tip of your pen.

About Bluescape

Bluescape helps companies create better. Its visual collaboration software gives teams a virtual workspace to meet, share and develop ideas. Accessible wherever you are, Bluescape lets you see the whole picture as you ideate, design and refine concepts. Founded in 2012, Bluescape is a wholly owned subsidiary of Haworth and headquartered in San Carlos, California. Visit bluescape.com.

About Sohonet

Sohonet are the global experts in connectivity, media services, and network security for the media and entertainment industry. We allow creatives to work on content wherever they are in the world by providing an extensive range of solutions which enable them to transfer and store valuable and critical content quickly or to collaborate securely in real-time.  And all of this is backed up by our unrivaled 24/7 technical support. The Sohonet Media Network is the largest and most established private, high-performance network for the media industry and connects over 450 of the leading studios, production and post-production facilities around the world.

 

Sohonet enjoys strong partnerships within the broadcast and film industry, supporting organizations such as the BFC, SIGGRAPH, HPA, SMPTE, The Digital Production Partnership, AMWA, UK Screen Association, The Production Guild, MESA and MESA Europe, and The Visual Effects Society.

 

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19 2017 Apr

SMPTE Announces Program Details for Fifth Annual Entertainment Technology in the Connected Age (ETCA) Conference

With Theme of ‘Redefining the Entertainment Experience,’ Annual Event Will Take Place May 8-9 at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), the organization whose standards work has supported a century of technological advances in entertainment technology, today announced program details for the Entertainment Technology in the Connected Age (ETCA) conference, May 8-9 at the Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus in Mountain View, California. Entitled “Redefining the Entertainment Experience,” this year’s conference will explore emerging technologies’ impact on current and future delivery of compelling connected entertainment experiences.

“Now in its fifth year, SMPTE is pleased to be hosting this year’s ETCA on the Microsoft campus in the heart of Silicon Valley, where engineers, executives, creatives, and researchers will gain a unique perspective on the technologies that are arguably redefining entertainment as we know it, while engaging with the leaders who are making it happen,” said Patrick Griffis, SMPTE executive vice president, and ETCA program chair. “This year’s program is extremely strong, and we look forward to a thought-provoking two days.”

Bob DeHaven, general manager of Worldwide Communications & Media at Microsoft Azure, will present the first conference keynote, titled “At the Edge: The Future of Entertainment Carriage.” The growth of on-demand programming and mobile applications, the proliferation of the cloud, and the advent of the internet-of-things demands that video content is available closer to the end user to improve both availability and the quality of experience. DeHaven will discuss the multifarious relationships taking shape to embrace these new requirements and will explore the roles network providers, content delivery networks (CDNs), network optimization technologies, and cloud platforms will play in achieving the industry’s evolving needs.

Hanno Basse, chief technical officer at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, will present “Next-Generation Entertainment: A View From the Fox.” 20th Century Fox distributes content via outlets ranging from cinema to Blu-ray Disc, over-the-top (OTT), and even virtual reality (VR). Basse will share his views on the technical challenges of enabling next-generation entertainment in a connected age and how Fox plans to address them.

The first conference session, “Rethinking Content Creation and Monetization in a Connected Age,” will leap right into a discussion of multiplatform production and monetization using the latest creation, analytics, and search technologies. The session “Is There a JND in It for Me?” will take a second angle, exploring what new content creation, delivery, and display technology innovations will mean for the viewer. Panelists will discuss the parameters required to achieve original artistic intent while maintaining a just noticeable difference (JND) quality level for the consumer viewing experience.

“Video Compression: What’s Beyond HEVC?” likewise will explore emerging techniques and innovations, outlining evolving video coding techniques and their ability to handle new types of source material including high-dynamic-range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WCG) content, as well as video for virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).

Moving from content creation and compression into delivery, “Linear Playout: From Cable to the Cloud” will discuss the current distribution landscape, looking at the consumer apps, smart TV apps, and content aggregators/curators that are enabling cord-cutters to watch linear television, as well as the new business models and opportunities shaping services and the consumer experience. The session will explore tools for digital ad insertion, audience measurement, and monetization while considering the future of cloud workflows.

“Would the Internet Crash If Everyone Watched the Super Bowl Online?” will shift the discussion to live streaming, examining the technologies that enable today’s services as well as how technologies such as transparent caching, multicast streaming, peer-assisted delivery, and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) streaming might enable live streaming at a traditional broadcast scale and beyond. “Adaptive Streaming Technology: Entertainment Plumbing for the Web” will focus specifically on innovative technologies and standards that will enable the industry to overcome inconsistencies of the bitrate quality of the internet.

“IP and Thee: What’s New in 2017?” will delve into the upgrade to internet protocol (IP) infrastructure and the impact of next-generation systems such as the ATSC 3.0 digital television broadcast system, the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) suite of internationally accepted open standards for digital television, and fifth-generation mobile networks (5G wireless) on internet-delivered entertainment services. Moving into the cloud, “Weather Forecast: Clouds and Partly Scattered Fog in Your Future” examines how local networking topologies, dubbed “the fog,” are complementing the cloud by enabling content delivery and streaming via less traditional — and often wireless — communication channels such as 5G.

The rise of interactivity, as both a control mechanism and as a means of enhancing the viewing experience, will also be a theme of ETCA. “Giving Voice to Video Discovery” will highlight the ways in which voice is being added to pay television and OTT platforms to simplify searches. Panelists will discuss the benefits and challenges of implementing voice effectively, and the impact this trend will have on viewing behavior. In a session that explores new consumption models, “VR From Fiction to Fact” will examine current experimentation with VR technology, emerging use cases across mobile devices and high-end headsets, and strategies for addressing the technical demands of this immersive format.

Complete conference details, including registration information, are available at www.smpte.org/etca2017.

Further information about SMPTE is available at www.smpte.org .

 

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18 2017 Apr

Is What You See What You Get?

We rely on monitors to tell us what we need to know about our content when we shoot it, post it, distribute and view it. But how do you really know what you’re looking at? A large crowd, hosted by the Hollywood chapter of SMPTE, gathered at AMPAS last week in pursuit of an answer to that question.

Presenters and panelists Bill Baggelaar (SVP Technology Sony Pictures), Chris Clark (Imaging Science Netflix), Josh Pines (Imaging Science Technicolor), Joseph Slomka (Imaging Science Fotokem), Steve Mahrer (Sr. Technologist, Panasonic), Howard Lukk (SMPTE) and Zoachim Zell (VP Technology EFilm/Deluxe) addressed industry standards, process and practices with a wealth of experience, facts and humor.

The variety of monitors on display included Sony, TV Logic, Panasonic and Canon.

18 2017 Apr

MTI to Launch Update to CORTEX Line

CORTEX v4 will be showcased throughout NAB 2017 at MTI’s booth, SL14808.

At NAB 2017, MTI Film will launch the latest updates to its family of CORTEX applications designed to take media from Set to Screen.

Unveiled in four editions, CORTEX v4 is MTI Film’s most comprehensive toolset to date.  In addition to the tools and features that have come standard in CORTEX for years like a comprehensive dailies toolset, IMF & AS-02 packaging and world class upres algorithms, v4 adds DCP packaging as well as integration of ACES color support, a brand new Extended Edit tool and officially certified Dolby Vision metadata editing capabilities.

“We allow users to manipulate Dolby Vision HDR metadata in the same way that they edit segments of video,” says Randy Reck, MTI Film’s Director of Development. “In the edit tool, they can graphically trim, cut and paste, add metadata to video, analyze new segments that need metadata, and adjust parameters within the Dolby Vision metadata on a shot-by-shot basis.”

With the integration of the Dolby Vision ecosystem, CORTEX v4 provides a method for simultaneously QC-ing HDR and SDR versions of a shot with Dolby Vision metadata .  For delivery, the inclusion of the Dolby Vision IMF-ish output format allows for the rendering and delivery of edited Dolby Vision metadata alongside HDR media in one convenient package.

CORTEX v4’s Edit Tool has been updated to include industry standard trimming and repositioning of edited segments within the timeline through its new user-friendly drag-and-drop function.

“We’ve always had a very powerful environment within Cortex to do simple editing, which is necessary for generating things like an IMF or DCP,” says Reck. “Now we’ve added a more standard drag-and-drop interface that allows  users familiar with non-linear editors to be immediately productive on Cortex using the Edit tool. There is no learning curve.”

The entire look of the Edit Tool (available in the Dailies and Enterprise editions of CORTEX) has also been updated to accommodate a new Dual Monitor layout, making it easier to scrub through media in the source monitor while keeping the composition in context in the record monitor.

Also being released at NAB 2017 is the new subscription based DIT+ edition of CORTEX.

“It doesn’t make sense for productions to purchase a full software package if their schedule includes a hiatus when it won’t be used,” explains Reck. “We’re addressing that issue by offering a fully functioning dailies package on a subscription basis for users who need it for a short period of time.”

DIT+ contains all the aspects of the free DIT version of CORTEX with the added ability to render HD ProRes, DNx and H.264 files for delivery.

“Cortex was originally designed to facilitate dailies workflows,” says Reck. “DIT+ contains all the functionality needed to go from set to editorial at a very low subscription price.”

DIT+ is expected to be available April 22nd exclusively at mtifilm.com with two subscription options.  A monthly subscription of $95/month or an annual subscription of $795/year with an NAB special of $595/first year for an annual subscription if subscribed before May 31st, 2017.

MTI Film will be demonstrating CORTEX v4 in booth SL14808 at NAB 2017.

18 2017 Apr

Chris Parry Joins Testronic as Head of Business Development Film & Television for Europe

Chris Parry has been named Testronic’s head of Business Development for Film and Television in Europe. Testronic, the leader in quality assurance (QA), localization services and compliance for the film, television and games industries, has seen a growing demand for film and television services in Europe; Parry will be working with UK and Europe entertainment distribution platforms, content holders, post services and C&A facilities, libraries, and studios.

“We are excited to have Chris join our growing team,” said Jason Gish, senior VP Film & Television and general manager for Testronic. “Chris’ expertise will be invaluable to our customers as they navigate managing a wide array of content, often with a multitude of deliverables. Although DVD and Blu-ray still have a huge market in Europe, digital platforms are continuing to grow and increase their popularity across a global audience – from UHD/4K, to virtual reality and the explosion in streaming content. The need for robust QA services is more critical than ever, and we are ready to meet those needs.”

Parry brings nearly 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry to Testronic. Over the course of his career, he has provided service to the entire media supply chain, including studios, distributors, production companies, OTT platforms and broadcasters, delivering award-winning, cutting edge video solutions to the world’s leading film and television companies. Prior to joining Testronic, Parry served as sales manager at Stream AMG, 24-7 DVD, re:fine/Visual Data, and Cinram.

Parry will report to Gish, and is based in the London headquarters of Testronic.