TR UK 2017 eBlast Header


HPA’s Tech Retreat returns to the UK for its second year this July from 11 to 13, back at the wonderful Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.  Hot on the heels of a sold-out Palm Springs event, the UK Tech Retreat again promises the latest from Hollywood mixed with a strong local view from the UK and European industry.

The Supersession will examine the explosion of formats from cinema to home and beyond, looking at how creativity is impacted by the myriad of technology choices from lens to screen. The session will once again have content at it’s core, from from the camera right through the production and post process to the supply chain and the challenges of the ever expanding gamut of possibilities for audiences to consume content.

Tech Retreat Extra will explore Virtual Reality from a practical point of view with expert views from practitioners and a look inside real world projects being handled by leading local facilities. This not-to-be-missed session will lift the lid on the latest in VR,AR and MR production and workflows.



10:30 – 18:00 Registration is Open – Conference Theatre Lobby

TR-X – Enstone Suite
The Reality of Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities
There is a lot of curiosity, hope, hype and promise surrounding Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). The question is, however, what are the realities associated with these platforms? During this very timely TR-X session, learned experts will explain the complexities of VR, AR, and MR. You will learn how and why the brain responds to VR, including the psychological and physical responses. A planned case study, based on a well-known feature related VR experience will explore real world application of the VR/AR/MR technologies. Finally, you will hear experts in the field share a study about the missing elements that are needed to make VR work for real!

12:45 – 13:00 Open and Welcome

13:00 – 13:30 State of VR/AR/MR – A Panel of Learned Experts
Moderator: Nick Mitchell, Technicolor

13:30-14:00 VR for News: The New Reality
The proliferation of content created through experimentation is solving some of the challenges involved in VR/360 storytelling. Journalists and news organisations are devoting more time to thinking about what works in VR, and as a result news VR is expanding beyond its early documentary focus. However, most news organisations admit that there is still not enough ‘good content’ to drive an audience. This presentation explores what has been learned about news reporting by creating it in VR, and what we can learn about VR from using it for news.
Zillah Watson, BBC R&D

14:00 – 15:00 Practical Magic – A Study Of What’s Missing That We Need To Make VR Work For Real?
Recently Technicolor unveiled the TEC (Technicolor Experience Center), their newest facility near Culver City, California, established to research, showcase and develop next generation immersive technology and media. Topics will include the scope of this endeavor and an overview of things to come.
The Mill has been producing cutting edge creative technology and content since 1990, when they opened the world’s first fully digital end to end VFX studio in Soho. With a portfolio of work and service offerings spanning the gamut, from immersive technology and media creation, to automotive, gaming, beauty and much more. In this TR-X session, you will hear about some of their recent work in the immersive space, share some of the challenges learnings and, and give us some insights in to where things are headed next.
VR/AR Standards update –  You will hear an update on status, and hint to what is coming next from MPEG-I and the VR industry Forum.
Color and the preservation of creative intent is naturally one of the things Technicolor considers important. And today things are a bit tricky with head mounted displays. In this session, you will learn about the challenges presented by these new devices and the work here and her colleagues are doing to address these and other challenges.
Moderator: Nick Mitchell, Technicolor
Tania Pouli, Technicolor
Mary-Luc Champel, Technicolor
Neil Evely, The Mill

15:00 – 15:30 Refreshment break and motion control rig demonstrations – Introduction to 360 Motion Control Rigs
Rob Drewitt, Motion Impossible

15:30 – 16:15 Building immersive journeys: Lessons Learnt from Successful VR Projects in the Games Industry
Interactivity drives engagement and immersion and the greatest VR is truly interactive. It is inevitable that consumers will expect and demand this from their experiences. Game makers are the masters of interactivity and have the deep knowledge on how to teach, entertain and retain users in interactive immersive experiences.
Drawing on his experiences from the creation of PlayStation’s VR Worlds, the bestselling  PSVR launch title and from his most recent experience for Sony Music, The Chainsmokers: Paris VR Brynley will share his learnings on how to create powerful, magical  journeys for virtual worlds. This talk will include practical advice on leading the gaze of users, testing for comfort and how to build immersion.
Brynley Gibson, Curve Digital Entertainment

16:15 – 16:45 Q&A with selected panelists
Moderator: Richard Welsh, Sundog Media Toolkit

16:45 – 17:15 Coachella as a VR Experience
Tarif Sayed, Head of VR Technologies, Nokia OZO will introduce “OZO Live Production Journey,” a case study from the OZO Coachella Live concert production.  Coachella streamed 2-3 performances per day for three days using the Nokia OZO VR suite of products.  He will discuss Nokia OZO’s experience in producing one of the world’s largest music festivals including technical and artistic challenges, solutions and accomplishments.
Tarif Sayed, Nokia Technologies


19:00 – 21:00 HPA Welcome BBQ (Sponsored by Dell EMC) – Main House Terrace

All HPA registered attendees are invited to the Welcome Barbecue.



7:00 – 18:00 Registration is Open – Conference Theatre Lobby

7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast – Ballroom

9:15 – 9:30 HPA Tech Retreat Welcome and Introductions
Rich Welsh, Sundog Media Toolkit
Seth Hallen, Pixel Logic Media

9:30 – 10:15 The Versioning Explosion
Eric Pearson, of Pixar Animation Studios will discuss the detailed, collaborative work that goes into versioning their iconic movies. Exploring the creative decisions about what to version, the subtle nuances of tailoring each movie to the culture and customs of local territories, and the technical hurdles facing the industry’s most challenging version pipeline, this session will enlighten and enthral as we dive into Pixar’s cinematic world.
Eric Pearson, Pixar Animation Studios

10:15 – 10:45 Break and Opening of the Innovation Zone

10:45 – 11:30 The Supply Chain Explosion: Entertainment Workflows – Responding to the Changing Business Needs
The ways in which entertainment content is consumed and paid for have changed significantly over the past decade and, as a result, producers and distributors of programming have been presented with a series of additional challenges that must be faced.
The explosion in distribution channels and platforms available, the vast array of viewing devices now used and the shift towards on-demand consumption are just some of the ‘game changers’ for the content community. The result has been an up-surge in the number of formats required and an unprecedented level of demand for localised content, against a backdrop or reducing turnaround times and budgetary constraints. Add into the mix the increasing focus on content  security, at every stage in the process, and the difficult task of managing assets and workflows becomes even more apparent.
While all of this has been going on the industry has also had to come to terms with the a seismic shift in the availability and reliance on data, including real time audience information, the use of contextual metadata and the role of AI in the analytical process.
The net outcome is that the focus and priorities of virtually everyone involved in the preparation and distribution of TV and movie content has changed beyond all recognition. In  this panel discussion a number of senior executives who are living through this metamorphosis talk about what they are doing to manage the change, and, as important, share ideas on where this will take us in the future.
Moderator: Jim Bottoms, MESA Europe
Josh Wiggins, GrayMeta
Stephen Stewart, BBC Worldwide
Charles Dawes, TiVo

11:30 – 12:00 Innovation Zone Exclusive Time

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch – Ballroom

13:00 – 14:15 Predicting the Explosion in Advance: BAFTA Winning Planet Earth II
An exploration of the BAFTA Award-winning BBC wildlife series and the balance required to deliver a cutting-edge visual experience planned years in advance of the technology roll-out.
Moderator: Andy Quested, BBC and SMPTE
Andrew Cotton, BBC R&D
Miles Hall, Films at 59
Rob Drewett, Cinematographer
Elizabeth White, BBC Natural History Unit for PEII
Lesley Johnson, BBC Worldwide
George Panayiotou, Films@59 post

14:15 – 15:00 Exploding the format: Lost in London
In 2002, within the course of a night, Woody Harrelson found himself in a misadventure in Soho that wound him up in prison. Back in January 2017, Woody directed and starred in an unprecedented live feature-film event that recreated his crazy 2002 adventure a movie made on the fly, shot in real time in Central London in a single take and broadcast live to cinemas across the world. This session explores the thinking behind a live movie experience and how this was achieved in a single take, with a single camera, whilst racing around busy central London.
Chris Brandrick, Broadcast RF
Nick Fuller, Broadcast RF

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break in Innovation Zone

15:30 – 16:15 Embracing the explosion – UEFA Champions League Final
On 3 June, BT Sport broke new ground in sports broadcasting including alongside their standard broadcast an HDR live stream and a fully curated live multicam 360 VR stream. BT Sport viewers were able to choose which camera they watch the action from, or an ‘auto’ mode which provided a 360-degree produced programme with commentary and graphics. This session looks at the technology behind this ambitious broadcast event, the challenges faced and the final result for audiences.
Andy Beale, BT Sport

16:15 – 16:45 Exploding Possibilities:  How Diversity is Proven to Increase Business Opportunities
Research shows that expanding diversity across many dimensions such as gender, age, geography and technical know-how results in business growth.  Diversity helps in adapting to the fast-paced media environment, capturing ideas and delivering on innovation.  This panel will discuss how to increase diversity within your organization for greater success.
Moderator: Jay Sakallioglu, IBC and Stone Coaching
Abigail Dankwa, Multi-Camera Director
Geoffrey Okol, ITN Productions
Emma Perry, BAFTA

16:45 – 17:30 Exploding the Archive
The implementation of digital cinema has resulted in a history of films being unavailable to theatres unless converted to a digital cinema package (DCP) format. Digital restoration makes films more accessible while offering the opportunity to enhance content using modern display technologies. Panellists consider the benefits of restoration, whether this constitutes enhancement or ruins the authenticity of a film, monetisation of the archive, whether now is the right time to be restoring films and many more questions.
Moderator: Katie Charles, University of Gloucestershire
Adrian Bull, Cinelabs
Silja Momsen-Livingstone, Nulight Digital
Davide Pozzi, L’Immagine Ritrovata

17:30 – 17:35 Welcome to Reception

17:35 – 19:00 Networking Cocktail Reception in the Innovation Zone (Sponsored by RED)

19:00 – 21:00 HPA Tech Retreat Dinner (Sponsored by RealD) – Ballroom

21:00 –  After-Dinner Drinks (Sponsored by Sohonet) – Ballroom Terrace



7:00 – 16:00 Registration is Open – Conference Theatre Lobby

7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast Roundtable Discussions – Ballroom
1. IMF for Broadcasters – Andy Quested, BBC and SMPTE
2. What are the opportunities for soundtrack and audio-branding personalization through artificially intelligent music, at scale? – Lydia Gregory, Jukedeck
3. The future of remote dolly systems for VR/AR/MR and normal 2d filming – Rob Drewett, Cinematographer
4. HDR the Good the Bad and the Ugly – Kevin Shaw, International Colorist Academy
5. Converting Content into Insights – Grant MacLeod, Verizon Digital Media Services
6. Extending Your Workflow to the Cloud-Opportunity, Options and Caut – Olliver Pennington, Sohonet
7. Storage Workflow in Production and Post-Production – Mark B. Anderson, Codex
8. What’s stopping you moving to the cloud? – Ben Foakes, BASE Media Cloud
9. Optimizing Transfer of Live and File-based Video to Public Cloud – Ian Hamilton, Signiant

8:30 – 8:45 Breathe


State of the Industry

8:45 – 9:15 Consumer Electronics Update – CES Trends and Analysis
In a unique presentation and report for HPA UK Tech Retreat 2016, DPP Managing Director, Mark Harrison, analysed the annual Consumer Electronics Show since 2010 to reveal the important long term technology trends behind the annual hype. In this special update, Mark looks at the key themes to emerge at CES 2017 and asks what they tell us about the longer term picture. He also predicts what we can we expect to see at CES 2018, and beyond. Of all the reports about CES, this is the one that puts the world’s biggest trade show into the the specific context of the media industry – and separates the noise from the trends that really matter.
Mark Harrison, DPP

9:15 – 9:30 DPP Update
Andy Wilson, DPP

9:30 – 9:45 UK Screen Alliance – UK Post/VFX/Animation Update
Neil Hatton, UK Screen Alliance


Connectivity Part 1

9:45 – 10:15 Can Remote Collaboration Revolutionise the Production Process?
Great collaboration can produce great content, and with emerging remote collaboration technologies on offer, studio and production companies are now able to benefit from a wider range of talent than ever before whilst speeding up their workflows and saving both Above-The-Line and Below-The-Line costs. How can organisations maximise the benefits of remote collaboration technologies? How simple is it to integrate these tools into the film production workflow? And what are the most critical baseline security measures that should be considered when collaborating remotely with your media partners? This panel will look to answer these questions and more.
Moderator: Chuck Parker, Sohonet
Darren Woolfson, Pinewood Shepperton plc
Ray Mia, Universal Music Group
Roy Trosh, The Mill

10:15 – 10:45 Break in the Innovation Zone

Connectivity Part 2

10:45 – 11:15 Cellular Solutions For Next Gen Production Pipelines
Moderator: Andy Wilson (DPP)
Matt Stagg, EE
Paul Shepherd, LiveU
Paul Charleston, BT Media & Broadcast



11:15 – 11:45 Discovery Networks Cloud Migration
Discovery Communications is transforming its digital production and distribution as siloed production and distribution workflow processes are replaced by more collaborative cloud-based solutions, in partnership with global data centre and interconnection provider Equinix. We will explore how this approach to IT architecture brings value to Discovery’s business and the workflows of the media and entertainment industry.
Moderator: Andrew Johnston
Richard Reid, Discovery Communications
Matt George, Equinix

11:45 – 12:15 Practical Use of Cloud Applications
When data, archive, delivery, users and processing can be distributed anywhere, is the datacentre/public cloud/private cloud debate redundant? In 2017 is the migration and use of cloud all about applications and marketplaces and are we seeing the end of roll your own? Are there some applications (AI) that can only be provided in the cloud?
Moderator: Andrew Johnston
Gurparkash Saini, Avid Technology
Gareth Williams, YellowDog
Emma Perry, BAFTA
Richard Welsh, Sundog Media Toolkit

12:15 – 13:15 Lunch – Ballroom



13:15 – 13:30 Learning from Machine Learning
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are topics that are currently saturated in the media. Most of the discussions focus on “the singularity” (The technological singularity is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization) We are likely years away from that extreme reality but there are still many less dramatic ways machine learning will change the world. How? = one focused use case at a time. We can already see many industries finding ways to implement ML strategies to improve and automate. In this discussion panelists will share firsthand experiences working on machine learning projects related to Telecommunications, Transportation, Oil and Gas, Public Safety, Retail (Physical stores and E-commerce), Insurance, Auto, and how each of these implementations help inform us of the many ways machine learning will be rolled out to support Media & Entertainment use cases today and in the future.
Jason Brahms, Video Gorillas

13:30 – 13:45 Creative AI Democratises Content Creation
How will machine learning technology facilitate creativity in the future? Creative AI will democratise content creation in a disruptive fashion: content will be able to be tailored to each individual viewer, producers will have unprecedented control over their campaigns’ content, and brand identity will create new engaging interactions for millennials.
Lydia Gregory, Jukedeck

13:45 – 14:00 How Machine Learning Can Tackle Media and Entertainment’s Big Data Problem
A video file is probably one of the biggest and most complex type of database there is. Consider how much metadata is embedded in a video file; who is in it, what is it of, how long is it, what equipment was used to create it, what are people saying in it? When you scale the amount of dark data trapped inside media content to consider an organization’s entire collection of content, you run up against a big data problem. The term big data just means a data set so large and complex that traditional data management is inadequate. For media and entertainment, that roughly translates to “I paid to create and store this content, but I can’t find it and I don’t know what is in it.” As the velocity of file based content continues to accelerate, so to will the challenges and cost of extracting value out of that content. Fortunately, machine learning can help. Consider a trained machine learning platform that recognizes celebrities. If you apply that cognitive service to all of your media content, suddenly you’ll be able to search by who is in your content. When a celebrity dies, you’ll be able to pull up all your interview footage with that person and have it ready for the 5 o’clock news.
Aaron Edell, GrayMeta

14:00 – 14:15 Machine Learning for Image Processing
Brian Hawkins, RealD

14:15 – 14:30 AI Panel
Moderator: Richard Welsh, Sundog Media Toolkit
Jason Brahms, Video Gorillas
Aaron Edell, GrayMeta
Brian Hawkins, RealD
Lydia Gregory, Jukedeck

14:30 – 15:00 Coffee break in Innovation Zone



15:00 – 15:15 Managing the Madness: Efficiently Handling the Flood of Data Flowing From High Resolution Cameras
Mark B. Anderson, Codex

15:15 – 15:30 The Storage Launderette
Tom Burns, Dell EMC


HDR Pipeline

15:30 – 15:45 The Emergence of HDR as a Leading Aesthetic: Realities and Implications for Post Professionals
The rapid emergence of HDR in digital cinema, live broadcast, ProAV, post production and beyond has prompted the introduction of a number of competing standards, leaving creative professionals with a host of questions. Join AJA for an informative session detailing these emerging standards and best practices for handling them, including an overview of the company’s recently announced FS-HDR, a real-time HDR conversion solution engineered with Colorfront’s Academy Award-winning Colorfront Engine™ technology. Learn how FS-HDR can uniquely be leveraged to convert 4K HDR to HD HDR, UHD HDR to HD SDR, HD SDR to UHD HDR, and more all in real-time.
Bryce Button, AJA Video Systems

15:45 – 16:00 HDR OB over IP
Daniel McDonnell, Timeline

16:00 – 16:15 HDR – The User Described Experience
During the research about EclairColor, Éclair partnered with the DeVisu laboratory from Valenciennes to evaluate the experience difference between a regular DCI screening and a HDR EclairColor screening in a theater. The DeVisu team has developed a methodology to give unbiased results that rely on a set of questions and an interview to make spectators describe their experience with their own words. The used words are then treated semantically as to extract the range of sensations felt by spectators and deliver a qualitative analysis of the differential between the experiences.
Cédric Lejeune, Éclair



16:15 – 16:30 Better, Faster, Cheaper and Lighter – Now it is possible…
Great content cannot be King! Well, it might be king if the supply chains that support its lofty position are fast, agile, cheap and efficient. The way in which production, consumption and delivery of localised premium content is changing faster than ever. Existing supply chains are patched, complex, creaking and breaking as sophisticated fragmenting business needs continue to grow. In looking to meet the challenges of remaining at the forefront of content production and distribution Turner is turning to IMF. The flexibility of IMF’s structure and its application to real world use cases make a great fit to allow us to operate today and to plan for the future without losing any knowledge of what we have along with what we have done with it on a global basis. The presentation will focus on the use of IMF, the global challenges and the role of distributed components in the final solution. Access to free IMF samples will be made available.
Steve Fish, Turner

16:30 – 16:45 IMF for Masters, Delivery and Archiving
Interoperable Master Format (IMF) can reduce film mastering cost by 20%. What is the real-life feedback? Does it really bring the expected benefits? The session will present the pros and cons of using IMF for real.
Francois Abbe, Qvest Media

16:45 – 17:00 Deploying IMF at Scale
The Interoperable Mastering Format is reaching critical mass in terms of implementation, interoperability and concrete use cases in the Film and TV worlds. This paper considers some of the management issue when deploying IMF at scale. We start by looking at a typical small scale installation and how the IMF structure can be used to resolve Track File IDs and discover resources locally. We then scale up to see how that model might struggle at enterprise level and how a media asset management system might be used to consume, locate and synthesis IMF asset. We look, also, at the difference between edit-like interactive tools for IMF creation and fully orchestrated automatic creation and consumption. The paper will present anonymised war stories from a real-world automated IMF migration where hundreds of thousands of hours of material was automatically migrated to an IMF-ish representation.
Bruce Devlin, Dalet

17:00 – 17:15 Wrap up




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