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20 2018 Aug

Deadpool 2 Graded in DaVinci Resolve Studio by EFILM’s Skip Kimball

Blackmagic Design recently announced that Deadpool 2, the highly anticipated sequel in the 20th Century Fox/Marvel franchise, was colored by EFILM Senior Colorist Skip Kimball using DaVinci Resolve software. The irreverent series, starring Ryan Reynolds as a wisecracking reluctant superhero, is unique not only because of its main character, but also for the style of imagery used to depict the dark world surrounding Deadpool and his adventures.

Despite the fact that the Deadpool franchise exists in an adjacent world to the X-Men universe, the two have very different looks. With expansive visual effects and diverse shooting conditions, Kimball worked closely with cinematographer Jonathan Sela, to establish a straightforward approach to color.

“I’ve worked on several previous films with (Sela). It’s an absolute pleasure to work with him. Jonathan’s work is so even and straightforward, I’m able to get what he exposed on the screen fairly quickly, which is a testament to his craft,” Kimball said.

Sela was intent on creating a look of his own for the sequel, which lead Kimball to take an entirely new approach. “The look has less contrast,” said Kimball, “is a bit softer, and is not as saturated, which all serves Jonathan’s vision.”

With his experience in a wide range of formats, Kimball felt comfortable with the diverse material he had to combine and match from the Deadpool 2 production. “The biggest challenge in balancing the look of Deadpool 2 was to seamlessly integrate a high volume of visual effects shots that came in from many different vendors,” said Kimball. “The footage was shot over many weeks at various stages and locations so my aim was to make sure everything was kept fluid and cohesive. For example, the convoy scene is 10-minutes of action, but elements were shot on bluescreen and on location during different times of day.”

The convoy became his favorite scene, and he embraced the challenge to create a flow to the sequence. “It took many external mattes combined with Power Windows, along with Resolve plugins like camera shake, blurs and many tricks to make it all come together.”

Kimball relied on DaVinci Resolve to create a straightforward workflow that accommodated the variety of material coming in. “With DaVinci Resolve, I have the ability to work with the camera raw footage as well as VFX delivered in EXRs in numerous resolutions. Also, I find the DaVinci plug-ins very beneficial for creating looks; the open FX plug-ins provide creative starting points for countless looks.”

Kimball’s approach to color has always been borne from his early days in the industry, where he started as the catch-all assistant at legendary Howard A. Anderson Co. “I did everything, from rewinding film, making single stripe 1:1s and B&W dupes,” said Kimball. “I was also a driver. I learned how to transfer dailies on a RCA TK35 film projector and a Ikegami video camera. Then dailies were transferred to beta and VHS 3/4 inch U-matic tapes.”

Each new task was a chance to learn, and when his first opportunity with a color system appeared, he jumped at it. “I saw the Rank Cintel and thought it was great. I learned color grading on my own time, because it looked really creative, fun, and interesting.”

After starting his career as a colorist at Anderson, Kimball has since worked with many of the industry’s top directors and cinematographers, and served as a colorist on a myriad of acclaimed films such as Gone Baby Gone, Nebraska, The Fault in Our Stars, Logan, and Downsizing; all colored in DaVinci Resolve, which he has used since 1989.

Throughout his career, Kimball has enjoyed moving seamlessly between series, feature and short form. He loves working on diversely different projects, such as Netflix’ popular series, Stranger Things and the industry-shaking Avatar for James Cameron. But despite the wide range of projects he likes to embrace, he still feels learning the basics is critical to learning the trade. “My advice (to young colorists) is to learn your tools, learn how to read the scopes, and learn how to work with film before digital. To be able to work with film on a Telecine is much more informative than today’s workflows.”

Despite all his tools, Kimball insists he doesn’t have a bag of tricks up his sleeve. “I basically start from scratch as I look at the footage, and color grade based on instinct. I try to start off with being able to show the cinematographer what they exposed, and from there we build on it.” The rest, he insists, is patience. “If I get stuck on a shot, I walk away from it, then come back. The scene is not done until you can play all the way through without stopping.”

20 2018 Aug

VES Bay Area Summit welcomes Jon Landau – September 8

Join the Visual Effects Society’s Bay Area section for a full day of roundtable discussions, networking, and keynote visionary presentations at the stunning, state-of-the-art Dolby Laboratories headquarters in downtown San Francisco, featuring   Academy Award- and two-time Golden Globe-winning producer Jon Landau.

The VES Bay Area Board of Directors has invited local and global experts from the fields of Animation, Broadcast & Film, VFX, Video Games and Technology, to gather for the 3rd Annual VES Bay Area Summit.

The event will include approximately ten Roundtable Topics to encourage discussion and interaction. These discussions will include accomplished local and international industry contributors — directors, producers, art directors, cinematographers, editors, post production supervisors, visual effects practitioners and executives — dedicated to both their own industry, and to the health of the production community at large.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Dolby Laboratories 1275 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94103

https://www.visualeffectssociety.com/2018-ves-bay-area-summit

 

20 2018 Aug

The View from the Visual Effects Society

Chambers 485pxMike Chambers is currently serving his fourth term as Chair of the Visual Effects Society. He has contributed to the visual effects efforts on many Academy & BAFTA award-winning films, and has won three VES Awards for Best Visual Effects, on The Day After Tomorrow, Inception and Dunkirk. He was also nominated for his work on I Am Legend.

Tell us about yourself: how did you get here?

I’m proud to have been a member of the VES since 1997, serving multiple terms on the Board of Directors.  It’s an honor to serve as Chair alongside my esteemed Board colleagues, our Section managers around the world and with the dedicated VES staff.

Working in visual effects I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many A-list filmmakers, and some of the most exceptional artists and innovators you will ever meet.  As a freelance Visual Effects Producer & Consultant, I specialize in large-scale feature film productions.  I’m currently working on a project for Playtone/FilmNation, and my last film was Dunkirk, my third collaboration with producer/director Christopher Nolan.

Tell us about your membership: who are your members, where do they work and in what roles, and how do your global chapters/sections fit in?

We are driven by a truly global mindset, focused on the needs and interests that unify the rapidly expanding worldwide VFX community.  As the entertainment industry’s only official organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners, our membership includes, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives.  We are thriving with almost 4,000 members in 40 countries worldwide, who contribute to all areas of entertainment – film, television, commercials, animation, music videos, games and new media.

Now two decades strong, the VES owes much of its growth and diversification to our global network of Sections — 13 and counting.  These groups galvanize their regional VFX communities and foster networking and professional development, while advancing the reach and reputation of our Society and industry worldwide.  The aim is always for members to feel that no matter their location, they are part of a unified community.

I’m focused on ensuring we can successfully handle large organizational growth in the future and that we inspire new generations to lead us forward. Our determination to outreach to all corners of the globe and to all of the disciplines across the VFX spectrum has yielded us a very rich, talented membership and that commitment to diversity will continue to be a driving force of the organization.

As the only org representing VFX (in its entirety), what is the big picture goal for VES, and what are the key issues that motivate the Society on behalf of your members?

The VES is focused on advancing the arts, sciences and applications of visual effects and elevating the profile of the talented worldwide community of VFX practitioners who create exceptional visual imagery.  That means both creating and supporting opportunities to recognize excellence in our field.

Visual effects have been mischaracterized for years as “magic” and “wizardry,” which greatly undervalues the craft, and we need to make that clear with the industry at large in order to enjoy a broader level of respect and recognition. Talented, experienced artists and technologists who work very, very hard behind the scenes create visual effects. And while audiences are ever more savvy to VFX, I would really love for them to realize that some of our members are indeed their rock stars.  We’ll continue to lead the charge to bring that awareness to all.

We’re hard at work preparing for the 17th Annual VES Awards, which has grown into a prestigious yearly celebration of outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation and the VFX supervisors, VFX producers and hands-on artists who bring this work to life.  And this past year, we launched VFX Voice, the Society’s signature print and digital magazine.  Creating an entirely new platform to advance the profile and recognition of our industry was an exciting way to mark our 20th anniversary.  And we are thrilled to share that VFX Voice has just been nominated for two prestigious publishing awards, including Launch of a New Magazine

What issues keep you up at night for the security and future of those who work in VFX?

I’m concerned about the continued health and welfare of the industry and the impact it has on VFX houses and each individual effects practitioner.  It’s a buyer’s market with a burgeoning VFX workforce, and so I think about whether there will be enough work to go around to sustain both seasoned and new VFX professionals and hope we achieve a balance in the marketplace.

The work of VFX professionals has become increasingly nomadic, with practitioners traveling around the country and around the globe to where the work is, a cycle increasingly influenced by tax incentives and subsidies.  So I think about what that means for families and quality of life, and how the VES can be a supportive resource for our peers.  And like many industries, I’m concerned about what a potential economic downturn could mean for the entertainment industry as a whole.

Why is proper screen credit so important?

Many in the industry believe that VFX doesn’t have a voice, nor does it get sufficient respect for the artistry of its contribution, which touches nearly every film produced and, in some, provides a majority of the on-screen imagery. Others simply want to know why their credits come so late in the end crawl, long after the other creative credits, or why their names don’t appear at all.  As a whole, the visual effects community believes it’s time for a change, and the first step towards achieving that is knowledge and understanding.

We published a Special Report in VFX Voice that examined the history of this practice and gleaned insights from industry leaders on the challenges and potential solutions to the issue of standardized credits in this dynamic marketplace – and the path towards greater recognition.  From our perspective, it’s time to bring renewed attention to this issue of concern to many and move the conversation from private meetings with studio executives into the spotlight, spreading the dilemmas facing VFX facilities and artists to the wider Hollywood community.

What are the top technology trends that impact VES members (e.g., does the advancement of AR, and the retreat of 3D and VR, impact your members/community, and if so, how?)?

Technology has always had a significant influence on the visual effects industry and a central role as we look ahead to the future and harness new ways to educate and entertain a global audience.   I believe the best work has always been the result of collaboration between artists, craftspeople and technicians, both in front and behind the camera.   Our industry and our membership is rich with visionary artists adept at using technology to create unforgettable worlds, and pioneers whose technical expertise and groundbreaking work have changed the art and science of visual effects for generations to come.

As this dynamic industry continues to change, I expect we will continue to see VFX practitioners at the forefront, adapting their craft and creating new vehicles in service to the art of storytelling.

What are the key topics we can look forward to at the VES Summit?

With the growth of the global organization, our regional Sections have taken the mantle on some of our signature events.

The San Francisco/Bay Area Section is hosting the 3rd Annual VES Bay Area Summit, “Shifting Landscapes: Exploring The Tech-tonic Shake-Up in Visual Entertainment” on September 8th at Dolby Laboratories headquarters in San Francisco. The daylong interactive forum features keynote presentations and approx. 10 interactive roundtable discussions on topics including GPU and the Cloud, Producing VFX Globally, Crowdfunding for VFX Projects and Augmented Reality: What is it Good For?

 

To learn more about the VES, visit www.visualeffectssociety.com and follow us on Twitter @VFX Society.  Read our signature publication VFX Voice at www.vfxvoice.com

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30 2018 Jul

HPA Names Victoria Alonso Recipient of Charles S. Swartz Award

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HPA Names Victoria Alonso Recipient of Charles S. Swartz Award

July 30, 2018 (Burbank, CA)  – The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) has announced that Victoria Alonso, respected producer and Executive Vice President, Production for Marvel Studios, will receive the organization’s 2018 Charles S. Swartz Award at the HPA Awards on November 15.

The HPA Awards recognize creative artistry, innovation and engineering excellence in the professional media content industry and the Charles S. Swartz Award honors the recipient’s significant impact across diverse aspects of the industry.  The HPA Awards will be bestowed at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California.

A native of Buenos Aires, Alonso moved to the US on her own at the age of 19.  She worked her way up through the industry, beginning as a PA and then working four years at the VFX powerhouse Digital Domain. She served as VFX producer on a number of films, including Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, Tim Burton’s Big Fish, Andrew Adamson’s Shrek and Marvel’s Iron Man. She won the Visual Effects Society (VES) Award for outstanding supporting visual effects/motion picture for Kingdom of Heaven, with two additional shared nominations (best single visual effects, outstanding visual effects/effects driven motion picture) for Iron Man.  Eventually, she joined Marvel as the company’s executive vice president of visual effects and post production, doubling as co-producer on Iron Man, a role she reprised on Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. In 2011, she advanced to executive producer on the blockbuster hit The Avengers and has since executive produced Marvel’s Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and most recently, Ant-Man and the Wasp. In her current role she serves as EVP, Production, for Marvel Studios as well as serving as producer on a number of important films.

Alonso has become an important voice in Hollywood as a producer, as a Latina and as a female senior executive.  She was listed as one of Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women in Entertainment Power 100 and was the 2015 honoree for the Muse Award for Outstanding Vision and Achievement from the New York Women in Film & Television. She was also the first woman to be presented with the Harold Lloyd Award from the Advanced Imaging Society, which is given to a filmmaker who has created a body of work, and specific achievements in 3-D, that advanced the motion picture art form. In 2017, she was the first woman to be honored with the Visionary Award at the 15th Annual VES Awards for her advancement of unforgettable storytelling through visual effects.   She is currently at work on the untitled fourth installment of “Avengers” and “Captain Marvel.

The Charles S. Swartz Award is a prized honor with special meaning for the HPA, named in honor of an innovative, inspiring and compassionate executive. Charles Swartz had a far ranging creative and technical career, eventually leading the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC), a leading industry thinktank and research center. The Charles S. Swartz Award is awarded at the discretion of the HPA Awards Committee and the HPA Board of Directors, and is not given annually.

Seth Hallen, president of the HPA, said, “We are honored to present The Charles S. Swartz Award to Victoria Alonso, whose work and accomplishments are impressive by any standard.  This honor is given after thoughtful consideration, and only when the Board and the Awards Committee feel that there is a worthy and undeniable recipient. Victoria’s career trajectory has shown her talent, perseverance, and brilliance. She has brought recognition to her craft and to women who work in this industry and is richly deserving of the Charles S. Swartz Award.”

The HPA Awards honor creative categories, Engineering Excellence and Creativity and Innovation. The HPA Awards are made possible through the generous sponsorship of Foundation Members Avid, Dolby, EFILM, Encore, and Stereo D; Blackmagic Design as Title Sponsor, and Platinum Sponsor IMAX.  For sponsorship or program advertising opportunities, please contact Joyce Cataldo at jcataldo@hpaonline.com. Tickets are now available at www.hpaonline.com.

For a list of the 2017 winners, click here.

### 

About the HPA® Awards

The HPA Awards were created to foster awareness and recognize the achievements of the individuals and companies that have contributed to groundbreaking technologies and creative excellence within the professional media content industry, and build involvement in the Hollywood Professional Association. The HPA is a partner of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®). Information about the HPA Awards is available at http://www.hpaonline.com.

About the Hollywood Professional Association®

Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content. Through their partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), the leader in the advancement of the art, science and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, the HPA continues to extend its support of the community it represents. Information about the HPA is available at http://www.hpaonline.com.

About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®)
For more than a century, the people of the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE, pronounced “simp-tee”) have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, the Society has received an Oscar® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. SMPTE has developed thousands of standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines, more than 800 of which are currently in force today. SMPTE Time Code™ and the ubiquitous SMPTE Color Bars™ are just two examples of the Society’s notable work. As it enters its second century, the Society is shaping the next generation of standards and providing education for the industry to ensure interoperability as the industry evolves further into IT- and IP-based workflows.

SMPTE’s global membership today includes more than 7,000 members: motion-imaging executives, creatives, technologists, researchers, and students who volunteer their time and expertise to the Society’s standards development and educational initiatives. A partnership with the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) connects SMPTE and its membership with the businesses and individuals who support the creation and finishing of media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at www.smpte.org/join. 

All trademarks appearing herein are the properties of their respective owners.

 

Media Contact:
ignite strategic communications
p: 818.980.3473
christine purse | chris@ignite.bz | 323.806.9696
kate eberle | kate@ignite.bz

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23 2018 Jul

Blue Collar Post Collective Brings Soft Skills Outdoors with Field Day

Break-out sessions with community experts in Los Angeles and NYC parks draw members to learn about networking, negotiation, and mentoring.

BCPC logo
The Blue Collar Post Collective (BCPC) has continued its legacy of innovative programs and workshops with a “Life Skills Field Day” held on both the East and West coasts this summer. The inventive workshop brought emerging talent and peer experts within the BCPC community to local parks to discuss soft skills such as building real relationships through networking, negotiating rates, creating personal budgets, and finding mentorship opportunities.

The Field Days featured experts from across all post production disciplines, including representatives from companies like Adobe, Huffington Post, Netflix, and Vice, and from post teams on television shows like Altered Carbon, Shooter, Two Dope Queens, and Mr. Robot. Session leaders discussed their experiences in the industry and led break-out sessions about finding resources and connecting with the community to grow professionally in skills that aren’t taught in school. Attendees were encouraged to bring blankets and snacks and spend an afternoon outside with their peers, creating a unique atmosphere for post production workers to
connect.

Clarence Deng, an assistant editor who attended the LA-based event, said, “I got a lot out of simply feeling like it was easier to approach the people teaching and ask them things directly in a way that bigger lecture style events – as beneficial as they are – can’t provide. I was reminded of being in college with the relatively contained groups for each of the sessions we rotated through – it felt a bit more inviting and intimate.”

Co-president Kylee Peña added, “BCPC always working to create new opportunities for our members to grow professionally in a space that is not only welcoming, but welcoming to all kinds of people. Our community is full of individuals at different career levels with a diverse set of needs and learning styles. In order to make post production education truly inclusive, we need to keep accessibility in mind: offer learning opportunities at times when emerging talent can actually attend, and design different ways to access critical information. Sometimes that means putting on sunscreen and heading outside!”

LA’s Field Day was held in late April at Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood, and New York’s Field Day happened in June in Central Park. BCPC tentatively plans to bring Life Skills Field Day to its London hub this fall. Social meet-ups happen every month in all three cities and details for each can be found on Facebook or bluecollarpostcollective.com.

23 2018 Jul

ACE EditFest Los Angeles is Approaching! EditFest London Wraps an Outstanding Day

On August 25th at the Frank Wells Theater at Disney, ACE presents EditFest LA, a full day of conversation with some of the world’s best editors who inspire attendees with their experiences and insights. Last month in the UK, EditFest London editors including Chris Lebenzon, ACE, Martin Walsh, ACE, Eddie Hammond, ACE and Una Ni Dhonghaile were among more than 15 editors engaged with a sold out crowd at BFI. (Photo link).

If you love editors and want to hear more about how they work and their creative processes, this day is unmissable. Tickets are available at http://americancinemaeditors.org.

20 2018 Jul

Motion Picture Editors Guild to Honor Lee Dichter, CAS with Fellowship and Service Award; Ceremony to be Held in New York

MPEG logoThe Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG) will honor veteran sound re-recording mixer Lee Dichter, CAS, with its prestigious Fellowship and Service Award. This is the first time the award ceremony will be held on the East Coast at The Sheraton New York at Times Square on October 20, 2018.

“It is an enormous pleasure for commented Alan Heim, ACE, President of the Editors Guild. “I am delighted that the Guild is bringing the award to New York at last to honor so important a member of our community, thereby demonstrating that we are truly a national union.

“I had the good fortune to work with Lee on a number of films when I was based in New York for the first half of my career,” Heim continued. “I found him to be an incredibly talented and generous artist, always striving to deliver the best film possible while working calmly in sometimes stressful environments. In addition, he was a strong union supporter throughout his career.”

IATSE700-logoThe Fellowship and Service Award was established 11 years ago by the Guild’s Board of Directors to recognize an individual who embodies the values the Guild holds most dear: Professionalism, Collaboration, Mentorship, Generosity of Spirit and a Commitment to the Labor Movement. Previous recipients of this distinguished honor include Donn Cambern, ACE; Dede Allen, ACE; IATSE International President Emeritus Thomas C. Short; Carol Littleton, ACE; Don Hall; Donald O. Mitchell; Joseph A. Aredas; and Lillian E. Benson, ACE.

“Lee Dichter and his body of work are just what the Fellowship and Service Award Committee was established to acknowledge,” said Sharon Smith Holley, committee co-chair. “Especially important to the Guild is his dedication to the labor movement.”

Added fellow co-chair Jeffrey Burman, “As a mainstay at New York’s premier mixing house, Sound One, Lee was instrumental in making sure the facility was a union shop — which makes it particularly meaningful for the Guild to hold the award ceremony on the East Coast, where Lee has made such an impact.”

19 2018 Jul

Therapy Studios Helps to Showcase The Next Greatest Soccer Players in Phenoms

Member News - Therapy - Soccer

Therapy Studios, the Emmy Award-winning LA-based post production company, assists with top-level post work for the soccer documentary series Phenoms, airing on Fox and Fox Sports.

Shot in 20 countries by 12 different directors, Phenoms offers viewers behind-the-scenes access into the lives and careers of the world’s next greatest soccer players as they compete to represent their respective countries on the global stage. The docu-series world premiered at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in May with a screening of the episode “Goalkeepers.” The series gives unprecedented access into the lives, on and off the field, of emerging players like Aleksandr Selikhov of Russia, Gastón Guruceaga of Uruguay, Jack Butland of England, and Alphonse Areola of France.

Therapy Studios handled aspects of post production for the mini-series, bringing the drama and action into focus. Therapy’s expert sound team, comprised of Eddie Kim, Brandon Kim, Justin Lebens, and Dillon Cahill, covered sound design and mixing, as well as sound edit and re-recording mixing.  Balancing the intensity of roaring crowds seamlessly with emotional interview footage, the audio dynamically brings their stories to life. Color Grade by Robert Curreri and Omar Inguanzo creates a vivid palette throughout, taking the viewer from gameplay to the soccer players’ most intimate moments.

 

Link to Phenoms Official Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=51&v=D1TeBHXgquI

 

19 2018 Jul

Visual Data Chooses Quantum StorNext-Powered Scale-out NAS to Manage 4K Workflows

Visual Data Media Services (VDMS), one of the largest media processing, distribution, and localization service companies in the world, has deployed Xcellis Scale-out NAS to manage 4K transcoding workflows, high bit-depth film scanning, and support the heavy data rate required for high dynamic range (HDR) mastering.

“The Xcellis scalability was a real advantage for us,” said Steve Spear, Visual Data’s senior vice president of operations. “It enabled us to increase performance and storage capacity independently—which means we’ll be able to grow to meet future demands while avoiding a complete system overhaul.”

Powered by Quantum’s StorNext high-performance file system, the Xcellis Scale-out NAS system supports multiple simultaneous 4K and UHD scanning and mastering operations, optimizing the workflow for VDMS and reducing the time to market. The solution’s advanced data management features have enabled Visual Data to increase capacity by 6x without increasing staff. The ability to scale performance and capacity independently allows Visual Data to grow its system to meet expanding and emerging needs.

4K Workflows Drive Technology Infrastructure Upgrade An innovative content preparation, distribution and localization company with branches in Los Angeles and London, Visual Data had been successfully providing end-to-end digital supply chain services, film scanning and media asset management for a wide range of international customers, including preparing content for distribution across the world’s premier broadcast channels and digital platforms. However, with the number of 4K and UHD projects increasing, the company found that its existing NAS infrastructure was too slow to handle the kind of volume they were seeing.

The Visual Data team realized it needed to upgrade its workflow engine, including finding a way to remaster film content faster and more efficiently and to take advantage of a major new opportunity created by the company’s innovative approach to restoration. Remastering older programs in HD and 4K posed a challenge: often with no cut negative to scan, the only way to get old features and TV shows to HD or 4K is to perform a match-back—scanning the original dailies, manually eye matching the images used in the final cut and then conforming the original in the new format. The team wanted a solution that could double capacity and deliver the performance to support multiple 4K and UHD operations at the same time.

“We have revolutionized the process for restoring old Movies and TV shows,” explained Spear. “What used to take weeks, we are able to get done in just a few hours—and the process is much more economical, making more library content accessible for our clients’ sales teams to go out and sell. For it to work we had to have a storage and processing environment that could support this new workflow.”

StorNext-Powered Solution Chosen for Flexibility, Performance Visual Data began its search with ten vendors and narrowed the field down to three finalists, comparing them on such key factors as performance, scalability, security, manageability, technical support and cost effectiveness. The team ultimately chose to work with integrator and technology solutions partner Diversified, and selected a configuration consisting of an Xcellis Workflow Director running StorNext software, Quantum QXS RAID arrays, a Fibre Channel fabric and an Xcellis Workflow Extender to provide access to the files over the company LAN.

Lowest Overall Cost On overall economics, the Quantum solution was the clear leader. It gave the team the option of using Fibre Channel for some clients, while using Quantum’s Distributed LAN Client (DLC) for others. DLC combines Ethernet connectivity with block-based transfer that outperforms NFS and SMB to boost performance and keep costs low.

“Quantum’s cost-per-TB beat everybody, and the system’s flexibility will help us keep costs low going forward,” said Spear.

 

19 2018 Jul

2nd Annual Avid Customer Association Vote Reveals Insights into Media and Entertainment Industry

Survey of nearly 5,000 TV, film and music professionals from 3,500 organizations uncovers key investment priorities and technology trends spanning multiplatform content delivery, remote production, and 4K/UHD  

Avid and the Avid Customer Association (ACA), Avid’s customer-led organization, recently announced the results of the 2nd annual ACA Vote. The ACA Vote gives TV, film and music professionals a uniquely powerful hand in influencing Avid’s future offerings. The results help prioritize Avid’s product and innovation roadmap for 2018 and beyond, while calling attention to its customers’ most pressing requirements and concerns. The findings on emerging technology and new business requirements also provide valuable understanding of the media industry’s plans and challenges related to multiplatform content delivery, remote production, 4K/UHD, multichannel/immersive audio, and file-based/tapeless workflows.

“Each year, the ACA Vote uncovers the most important needs of Avid’s customers—and indeed the industry as a whole,” said ACA Co-chair Richard Friedel, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Fox Networks Engineering & Operations. “The results help Avid identify where it needs to focus its efforts and contribute to the ongoing dialogue between Avid and the ACA so that we can work together to address the most pressing industry challenges.”

This year, more than 4,800 people working in all aspects of media and representing over 3,500 organizations in 117 countries participated in the vote. Their collective input ensures that Avid is focused on helping them to secure their most promising opportunities while fostering deeper collaboration between Avid and its customers.  ACA leadership and Avid appointed Devoncroft Partners, a leading media technology research provider, to help expand the efforts of surveying, capturing and analyzing revealing opinions from the community on evolving business dynamics, emerging trends, and technology directions that are important to the media industry.

Major Findings:

 The ACA Vote revealed that across all sectors—broadcast, video and audio—the top three technology trends facing media companies are multiplatform content delivery, remote production and 4K/UHD. Broadcast and video professionals exclusively (not audio professionals) also consider 4K/UHD, file-based/tapeless workflows and high dynamic range (HDR) to be significant trends.

  • 56.9% indicate that multiplatform content delivery is the most important trend because it allows content to be available on all distributed platforms, with 17% believing it provides the potential for new revenue streams.
  • 9.8% of respondents believe multiplatform content delivery helps retain consumers’ attention, while 9.2% believe it helps them achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

According to respondents, remote production is the second most important trend:

  • 22.6% of voters indicate that remote production saves costs compared to on-premise event production.
  • 17.4% believe remote production better utilizes technology infrastructures at existing facilities.
  • 13.9% say remote production improves the quality of event production capabilities.

4K/UHD is another trend that continues to be top of mind for media companies:

  • The majority of media professionals (47.9%) believe that viewer demand for 4K will make it a necessity to remain competitive.
  • Nearly 20% of respondents believe 4k/UHD adds image quality in the production process, while 19.7% perceive it helpful to futureproof content.

The ACA Vote results also showed meaningful UHD penetration across several categories, including encoding/transcoding, graphics and branding, production servers and video editing.

According to report findings, the most significant obstacles to achieving goals within these trend areas were cost and interoperability. When looking at end users’ budgets and their plans to allocate resources over the next 12-18 months:

  • 50% say they will upgrade audio capabilities.
  • 25% say they will invest in cloud services and technology.
  • 25% say they will upgrade their infrastructure for 4K/UHD operations.

“The Avid Customer Association continues to take important strides to give anyone in the media industry a voice that can positively influence the direction of the industry and Avid’s technical contributions,” said Avid CEO and President Jeff Rosica. “Over the past 12 months, we’ve delivered two major waves of product innovations based on last year’s ACA Vote, and we’ll begin to deliver on these latest voter priorities with the next big wave we’ll be announcing at IBC 2018.”

Stronger ACA Structure Introduced

The ACA Board has introduced a new and improved structure to help the ACA become even more successful, expand its dialog, and better align to most effectively collaborate with Avid and its partners. Key changes include expanding collaborations with Avid’s partner ecosystem to include Alliance partners and Development partners, the addition of several new product-related committees, including Newsroom and News Production, and a more diverse breakdown of committees related to strategy and future direction. The ACA Board believes this new structure will provide a more effective framework to solve the most important issues facing our industry today.