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15 2017 Mar

The format explosion – blowing up proceedings at HPA Tech Retreat UK in Oxfordshire this July

Richard Welsh, CEO SunDog, Co-Chair HPA Tech Retreat UK

Richard Welsh, CEO SunDog, Co-Chair HPA Tech Retreat UK

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.

Examining the explosion of formats from cinema to home and beyond, HPA Tech Retreat UK will look at how creativity is impacted by the myriad of technology choices from lens to screen (and headset!). Kicking off with the new Tech Retreat Extra “TR-X”, Tuesday afternoon will explore Virtual Reality from a practical point of view with expert views on the hands-on practicality of VR, and a look inside real world projects being handled by leading local facilities. Wednesday’s Supersession will examine the format explosion in more detail starting at 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. From TR-X to the last session, we’re building out a program to address present, and future concerns you face.

We are continuing what we began last year, building an invaluable event that is informative and  connective.  The Tech Retreat brings together recognized experts and thought leaders; peers who head to Oxfordshire to debate the most important issues facing all of us who are at work creating and managing content. And, just as importantly, while the Tech Retreat is enlightening and may sometimes be mind-blowing, it is also great fun. The same HPA DNA runs through the veins of the Oxfordshire and Palm Springs events; a chance to step away from our jobs for a moment and to connect with our friends and colleagues over breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails (not always in that order). The Tech Retreat is an essential tool for navigating the technology world off the edge of the map.

We’re planning the event right now, and I encourage you to send in panel proposals or reach out to me directly with ideas or comments, we are keen to hear them. The Innovation Zone is returning, so if you want to learn more…  We’ll be announcing the first panelists soon, and I’m sure you’ll find them intriguing!

Hope to see you in July in Oxfordshire.

 

15 2017 Mar

AMIA’s Digital Asset Symposium Unveils Insightful Presentations on Key Issues in Media Management and Distribution

Topics to include cloud-based media management and distribution, automated metadata, artificial intelligence’s role in rchiving and asset management, and successful vault conversion strategies

The 2017 New York edition of the popular Digital Asset Symposium (DAS) series, presented by the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), has announced its program lineup, which will include a wide range of educational sessions focused on the ongoing challenges facing digital asset management practitioners led by top experts in the field. The daylong event takes place May 5 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Real world presentations will explore the many facets of the life-cycle of content – from collection and maintenance strategies to delivery with the purpose of reaching new, bigger audiences.

“DAS is a thoroughly unique event where attendees learn from and engage with some of the best and brightest in the international digital asset community,” says Program Chair Nick Gold. “Presenters share their knowledge and experiences, which apply across a cross-section of disciplines. We’re also addressing key topics in our program that apply to experts working in many different roles, yet whose work aspires to the ultimate goal of preserving and managing our heritage so that future generations have access to it.”

The 2017 DAS program includes:

• Netflix: Cloud-based Media Management and Distribution     

In just 10 years Netflix has become one of the most successful media streaming companies and, beyond that, a significant creator of original programming. For this case study, a Netflix product manager will discuss the platform that powers their original video content workflows, and how it fits into an evolving architecture for the company.

MTV: Archiving the history of music television

MTV set out to transform a massive footage tape library that encompassed production source tapes, master tapes and audio source tapes, into a curated digital library. A mere four years later, The MTV Vault project allows Viacom to better leverage the value of their content and seize opportunities to increase revenue while preserving the music group’s legacy. Viacom’s Jamie DiVenere and Johanna Salazar will take a deep dive into the processes, teams, and technologies used – recognizing the successes as well as the project challenges past and present.

Automated Metadata

Media content managers yearn for an “easy button” that will help with the massive challenge of usefully tagging assets so they can be as discoverable and productive as possible over the course of their lifecycle. Automation technologies seem like they offer a promise of great potential improvements in this area. Metadata strategist Sally Hubbard will lead a discussion to talk about the state of the art of metadata tagging automation technologies, and where this is leading.

• AI and its Role in Managing and Archiving Digital Assets

James Hendler is a recognized visionary, who, along with Tim Berners-Lee and Ora Lassila, created The Semantic Web. He continues to push the boundaries of thinking in computer science and artificial intelligence research with his latest book “Social Machines: The Coming Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity” that highlights the challenges and the possibilities of the interconnection of human and machine intelligence. Hendler’s talk will focus on how certain approaches in systems engineering can enable massive improvements in productivity for managers of information via sophisticated and increasingly intelligent algorithms, while at the same time leading to systems that perform in ways that are designed to work as naturalistically as possible for their human operators.

“AMIA is the only organization that brings everyone to the table to share their knowledge, enlighten colleagues and educate the diverse content creation and preservation communities,” adds AMIA President Andrea Kalas. “To be able to tap into the expertise of others at an event like DAS provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network, as well as develop a better understanding for managing assets today for the future.”

To register for DAS or for more information, visit http://www.digitalassetsymposium.com.

15 2017 Mar

Xytech Expands Executive Team

Michael Vinyard (1)Industry Veteran Michael Vinyard Joins as SVP of Professional Services

Xytech has expanded its executive team with the addition of industry veteran Michael Vinyard to the new role of Sr. Vice President of Professional Services. With mission-critical implementations at premier broadcasters, studios and media services companies worldwide, Vinyard will be responsible for the delivery of consulting, configuration and installation services across the company.
Prior to joining Xytech, Vinyard held senior management roles with organizations in media, entertainment, finance, healthcare and consumer goods, including Fortune 100 organizations such as Warner Bros. Entertainment, CBS, Mattel and McKesson. At Xytech, he will manage worldwide services from the company’s Chatsworth headquarters as part of the executive committee.

Richard Gallagher, CEO of Xytech, commented, “Our business is expanding and Michael is well positioned to deliver world-class services to our clients and help our talented team of professionals continue to grow.”

Vinyard noted, “I’ve worked with Xytech in the past and I’ve always admired the vision and dedication the company has shown. I look forward to being part of an innovative company and delivering the services our clients require to be successful in today’s challenging environments.”

“Success is all about focus,” added Greg Dolan, Xytech COO. “Xytech has the most stable ownership and management team in the business. Having Michael allows us to expand our goals while maintaining the focus required to properly serve our clients. This commitment has driven us to our market-leading position and the addition of Michael shows our dedication to working with the best professionals in the business.”

15 2017 Mar

See Our Members at NAB!

We’ll be updating this list right up until showtime. Send us your NAB news!

Adobe
Renaissance

AJA
Booth SL 2505

ALT Systems
Renaissance

Arista
Booth SL11509

Aspera
Booth SL8124

Avid
Booth SU902

Avid Connect, the annual gathering of the Avid Customer Association (ACA) will see hundreds of media professionals gather in person to discuss the latest industry trends and the future of the industry. The event will be held April 22-23, 2017 at Wynn Las Vegas prior to the NAB Show.

For the fourth year in a row, Avid is bringing media professionals together for this industry-changing event. Avid will announce the latest developments around the MediaCentral® Platform, the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media, and Avid’s comprehensive tools and workflow solutions for creating, distributing and optimizing media. Avid will also unveil the results of the ACA Vote, which gives ACA members the unique and unprecedented opportunity to directly influence the company’s future technology, product and service offerings. The event will feature influential and thought-provoking keynotes, content-rich technical and business sessions, and insights from visionaries from a number of broadcast and media organizations.

Run by a dedicated group of global media leaders and visionaries, the ACA provides essential strategic leadership to the media industry. The multifaceted program engages an extensive network of broadcasters, creative professionals, and other media and technology partners to address the most important strategic issues facing the community and work together to shape the future proactively. Avid Connect 2017 provides an incredible opportunity for Avid customers to network with peers from around the world, interact with the Avid management team, and make their voices heard through formal feedback sessions on Avid’s strategy, products, and services.

For more details and to register, visit the Avid Connect website.

Blackmagic Design
Booth SL216

Join Blackmagic Design at booth SL216 to learn more about its latest products for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries, including two new portable hardware control panels for DaVinci Resolve, its professional editing and color correction software. The new DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel and the DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel are true professional grade hardware control panels that feature three exceptional quality high resolutions trackballs, precision machined control knobs, illuminated buttons and much more. Hardware control panels are critically important for professional color correction because the colorist needs to “hold the image in their hands” as they manipulate multiple parameters at once to create new and highly stylized looks, or even make very subtle natural changes. The incredibly small USB powered DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel is available now for $995, while the larger but compact and portable DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel with built in LCD screens and dozens in instantly accessible menus is available now for $2,995.

Cinedeck
Booth SL14805

Dell
Booth SL9111

Deluxe
Booth SU11416

Dolby
Booth SU1702

Grass Valley
Booth SL106

Graymeta
Booth S201LMR

IHSE
Booth SL2216

MTI
Booth SL14808

Nokia
Booth N1002VR

Panasas
Booth SL11127

Quantum  SL 5705

Signiant
Booth SL8711

SAM
Booth SL 1805

Scale Logic
Booth SL 5324

Signiant
Booth SL 8711

Sony
Booth C11001

SMPTE
Booth L28

Teledyne Lecrowy pSG
Booth SL 13706

Telestream>
Booth SL3316

Xytech Systems Corporation
Booth SL9324

14 2017 Mar

Therapy’s Lenny Mesina Provides Offline Edit & Audio Post Production for JellyWolf

Award-winning director Alma Har’el recently unveiled JellyWolf, a new short film for The Fifth Sense, a digital platform from i-D and CHANEL that explores the emotion of scent and the way it inspires female creativity.

Har’el’s eight-minute piece stars actresses Kiersey Clemons and Lisa Bonet in a magical, realist version of downtown LA brought to life with beguiling special effects: the young Clemons sets out on a journey to discover her mythical spirit animal “JellyWolf” with the help of Bonet’s modern shamanic beauty parlor owner.

Director Har’el has been lauded for her genre re-defining work that melds documentary and fiction. She picked up the top prize at Tribeca Film Festival for 2011’s Bombay Beach, as well as premiered her critically acclaimed latest feature LoveTrue, in 2016 to rapt audiences with longtime collaborator Shia LaBeouf as executive producer.

The reality-bending post production FX was brought to life by the team at DetEast Mexico, overseen by VFX supervisor Diego Vazquez. Editor Lenny Mesina of Therapy Studios brings a sense of movement and pacing that engages the viewer immediately and propels the narrative with a relentless flow, while the soundbed crafted by Therapy sound designer Eddie Kim heightens the tension and atmosphere. Colourist Brandon Chavez provides the richly saturated palette for the film, with sleek title design created by Placeworks + Scraplabs.

14 2017 Mar

Scotland’s STV Upgrades Avid Infrastructure with Next-Generation News Graphics

Leading commercial broadcaster deploys high-end graphics solutions powered by the Avid MediaCentral Platform to deliver stand-out programming.

Avid recently announced that STV, Scotland’s leading digital media brand, is deploying next-generation graphics solutions from the Avid Studio Suite. STV will optimize production processes and facilitate creative collaboration by using additional comprehensive tools on the tightly integrated Avid MediaCentral® Platform.

STV provides Scottish audiences with quality content live, online and on-demand, operating out of multiple broadcast hubs across the country. Scotland’s principal commercial broadcaster needed to upgrade an outdated graphics system at the end of its lifecycle to automate creative workflows across its sites, and to react to market demands more quickly.

Running a myriad of Avid Media Composer® editing systems and Avid Interplay® | Production asset management systems across its broadcast hubs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen, STV is integrating multiple Avid Maestro™ solutions into its existing Avid infrastructure.  Maestro, part of the Avid Studio Suite, is one of the industry’s most comprehensive end-to-end real time high-resolution 3D graphics production tools.  STV chose Maestro to interact with viewers in an engaging way.

STV is reducing the overall footprint of its backend servers to run its multi-site system, eliminating any pre-existing interoperability issues, with the end vision of ultimately removing departmental silos entirely. By deploying Avid Maestro across its sites, STV will now have the ability to design and produce in-house graphic elements and single or multi-use templates, improving collaboration and reducing the amount of duplicated efforts by its work force.

“We operate in a very competitive environment so there is always demand for compelling programming and our upgrades will help STV to stand out,” said Sam Dornan, Channels Operations Manager at STV. “Avid’s tools will give our graphics teams across the channels the freedom of more fluid and dynamic elements which, in turn, will help us to distinguish our brand and build viewer loyalty via consistent and distinct themes across all our shows.”

STV will benefit from seamless integration of Avid Maestro with the existing newsroom systems across the multiple broadcast hubs, including Avid iNEWS. Maestro also provides social media integration via Social Media Hub, allowing the retrieval, filtering and on-screen display of content posted across a variety of social channels, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The investment also includes a support contract with Avid Global Services, providing users and operators across the regional Scottish hubs with access to training packages to increase the lifetime value of the new assets.

“By expanding its existing Avid platform, STV is providing eye-catching graphics to expand the scope of their stories to millions of viewers, whilst creating a unique workflow ecosystem across its regional broadcast hubs,” said Tom Cordiner, senior vice president, Global Sales, Avid. “The implementation of Avid’s next-generation products also allows for further expansion, including the adoption of future broadcast requirements, such as moving toward cloud-based workflows.”

STV reaches 3.5 million viewers each month, with first-class programming including long-running British soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street, global entertainment phenomenons like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, strong home-grown productions and the most comprehensive local news service in the UK. STV also delivers local TV for Scotland’s largest cities, STV Glasgow (launched in June 2014) and STV Edinburgh (launched in January 2015).

14 2017 Mar

Blackmagic Design Announces DaVinci Resolve 12.5 for Linux Now Available

DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio are now available for Red Hat and CentOS Linux.

On March 2 Blackmagic Design announced that DaVinci Resolve, its professional editing and color correction software, is available on Red Hat and CentOS Linux. This allows customers with Red Hat or CentoOS 6.8 or 7.2 systems to download and use the free version of DaVinci Resolve or the full DaVinci Resolve Studio. Adding Linux support gives customers more choice in hardware, allowing them to build extremely high performance, low cost workstations for editing and color correction.

Previously, DaVinci Resolve Studio was only available on a special build of Linux for customers using the high end DaVinci Resolve Advanced control panel for professional colorists.

Read more here.

14 2017 Mar

Avid VENUE 5.4 for Avid VENUE

S6L streamlines and accelerates workflows for the most complex theater and other live sound productions.

Avid recently announced the availability of a new version of Avid VENUE™ Software for its award-winning Avid VENUE | S6L live sound system. Building on Avid VENUE | S6L’s success in the theater market, Avid has delivered a host of new workflows and capabilities powered by the MediaCentral® Platform to help sound designers and operators take on the world’s biggest and most complex theater and other live sound productions.

Theater productions are extremely complex, requiring extensive programming of scenes. Based on feedback from Avid’s respected community of leading theater sound designers, operators and system integrators, Avid VENUE 5.4 software delivers a host of updates to the Avid VENUE Snapshot and Events architecture that streamline, accelerate and enhance the programming of theater productions.

Updates to Avid VENUE | S6L’s Snapshot architecture enable sound designers to significantly streamline, speed up and enhance the programming of theater productions. Avid VENUE 5.4 also adds functionality to enable programming and workflows that were previously time intensive, and in some cases, impossible.

Enhancements to Avid VENUE’s Snapshots system include new momentary (non-sequential) snapshots, snapshot groups, and parent/child snapshots, and aux sends (up to 96) can be added to the snapshot Scope. Events updates give sound designers and engineers much greater flexibility to trigger events via external MIDI commands, LTC/MTC timecode values, the channel color and X&Y switches on the control surface, meter levels, and more, making almost all parameters available as triggers and actions. These enhancements are extremely powerful tools to program not only theater productions, but also other complex live sound productions.

Avid VENUE 5.4 also allows users to freely assign outputs between networked S6L systems sharing I/O for better collaborative flexibility, enabling engineers to assign Stage 64 outputs per output card instead of having to assign a Stage 64 entirely to one S6L system or another. This significantly improves the versatility and application of a shared I/O S6L system, for example where a FOH engineer needs dedicated control of a set of outputs that are feeding a PA system, while the rest of the outputs are controlled by a monitor engineer feeding in-ears, monitor wedges, etc.

“These latest innovations to Avid’s VENUE Software are part of Avid’s commitment to providing the most advanced tools and workflow solutions for our esteemed community of live sound customers,” said Dana Ruzicka, Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Avid. “With Avid VENUE | S6L’s growing success in the theater market, Avid VENUE 5.4 Software gives sound engineers the speed, flexibility, and efficiency they need to support the biggest, most complex theater and other live sound productions worldwide.”

Avid VENUE | S6L is a fully modular, scalable live sound mixing system that delivers best-in-class functionality for a range of live sound mixing applications, including front-of-house, monitor, broadcast, theater, and more. Featuring modern, touchscreen workflows and the industry’s most advanced live sound engine, Avid VENUE | S6L offers unprecedented power to easily handle large, complex tours and events. With tight integration with industry-standard Pro Tools®, Avid VENUE | S6L functions as the perfect front-end to the MediaCentral Platform, the most fluid end-to-end media management and distribution platform in the industry.

 

Customers with a valid Avid support plan can download Avid VENUE 5.4 software from their Avid Account free of charge. For more information, visit avid.com/S6L.

 

14 2017 Mar

Interview with Mark Testoni, President and Chief Executive of SAP National Security Services

By Debra Kaufman

Testoni 300At the 2017 HPA Tech Retreat, Mark Testoni, president and chief executive of SAP National Securities Services, which sells, implements, supports and develops software for cybersecurity, spoke on my panel on artificial intelligence/machine learning. His company’s client base is government agencies, the U.S. Department of Defense, law enforcement, Wall Street and financial institutions. I sat down with Testoni for a more in-depth talk about the topic.

Kaufman: Tell me about your work for government agencies.

Testoni: Because we’re all U.S. citizens and have security clearances and know all the regulations, we sell to a very small market of people in the government. We help track threats relevant to big data and help the mission side of intelligence and defense. It’s actually many of the same things this industry is grappling with, with regard to big data.

Intelligence or law enforcement gather records, get warrants, have visual surveillance. We try to help them take those traditional methods and new information like open-source intelligence and blend it together to get a bigger picture of what’s going on. Big data can help sift through petabytes of video and social media data, and then convert it to something that’s actionable.

Kaufman: How could this impact the film/TV industry?

Testoni:  On Homeland, Carrie puts pictures and information written on paper on a wall, hanging from strings. She’s doing on the wall what we’re trying to help her do, but not just one or two things at a time, but many. The whole world is a big data problem. With artificial intelligence, can machines do the editing based on audio direction from the editor? It’ll be fascinating to see how this rolls out. Our customer base picks up lots of things via sensors. Rules are emerging to determine how they process it and turn it rapidly into information.

Kaufman: What are the pitfalls of AI? What should we worry about?

Testoni: Do you know how with stock market funds, in the little print, it says, “past results are not predictive of future performance”? The outcome is only as good as the data. Is there an opportunity for bad guys to get in there and manipulate it? Is it 100 percent foolproof? Privacy is going to be a big issue. In fact, it’s the one-year anniversary of Apple versus the FBI on that privacy issue.

The basis of that issue is that information is being collected and held by companies. Who owns that data? Is a photo of me in transit in a public area considered public or private? What about a photo of my house captured by a surveillance camera – public or private? Can the government access it?

There was a murder committed in Bentonville, Arkansas and the government asked for the data from the home’s Amazon Alexa, as well as information on water and heat use, as part of the discovery process. We have to have a public conversation about all this and legislate so companies and the government can operate in this new world.

Kaufman: There are already intellectual property and privacy issues playing out in the digital entertainment business. What’s your perspective on them?

Testoni: There used to be a finite number of people who could produce content, now that’s really changed and you have all this information and video. In general, everyone is collecting the information, from YouTube to every other platform. Under what circumstances can that information be sold or traded?  And it can be hacked. All those data stores are vulnerable.

From the viewpoint of the customer, when you download an app, what are you saying yes to? In Pokémon, people didn’t realize they were giving up their list of contacts. As consumers, we have to be smart. Companies that are getting hacked, not only are getting their intellectual property hacked but also their users.

Kaufman: Yet you say that, in general, AI will be good for us.

Testoni: I was at the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles to register my Jeep Wrangler, and while I’m waiting, I’m listening to an 80-year old man argue with the technician over what letters are on the vision test he was trying to pass. I want self-driving cars. The key is where the privacy line will be drawn. If I’m the object of a criminal investigation, how much of this data is discoverable? And are the companies holding it bound to turn it over or not?

Your industry is a communication industry as well as an entertainment industry, so you’re constantly looking for feedback. A movie or TV show ten years from now will probably be VR where AI will play a role. If you want a movie with different endings or where the user affects the outcome, that’s all AI.

Mark Testoni has been President and Chief Executive of SAP National Security Services since 2011 with responsibility for management, sales, consulting, product support, and go-to-market strategy for SAP’s most secure and sensitive U.S. government markets, customers and partners.

 

14 2017 Mar

Blackmagic Design Announces Innovative New Control Panels for DaVinci Resolve

New hardware color correction control panels are designed for new changing workflows

Blackmagic Design announced on March 2 the release of two new portable hardware control panels for DaVinci Resolve, its professional editing and color correction software. With professional editing becoming extremely popular in DaVinci Resolve, these new control panels are designed to allow color correction workflows to be mixed in with editing workflows, while introducing new levels of quality in affordable hardware control panels.

The new DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel and the DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel are true professional grade hardware control panels that feature three exceptional quality high resolutions trackballs, precision machined control knobs, illuminated buttons and much more. Hardware control panels are critically important for professional color correction because the colorist needs to “hold the image in their hands” as they manipulate multiple parameters at once to create new and highly stylized looks, or even make very subtle natural changes.

Read more here.