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Inside Insight: Director’s Chair: Alfonso Cuaron – ‘Gravity’ by Iain Blair

Acclaimed Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron has tackled a lot of different projects — and subject matter — from the beloved children’s book “A Little Princess” (his 1995 American feature film debut) to Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” the raunchy sex comedy Y Tu Mama Tambien, franchise blockbuster Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the sci-fi drama Children of Men. Along the way he picked up three Oscar nominations and also found time to produce pal Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.

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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – Nov. 28, 2013

Digital Production Buzz

November 28, 2013

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Larry Jordan


Michael Coleman, Senior Product Manager, Adobe

Jonathan Handel, Entertainment Attorney, Troy Gould

Marrsha Sill, Executive Vice President, Chicago Music Library

Marty Lafferty, CEO, DCIA


Voiceover: This Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries.

Voiceover: Live from Ralph’s Maytag Museum at Podcast Studio in beautiful downtown Burbank, it’s the Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: Production, post production, distribution. What’s really happening now and in your digital future?

Voiceover: The Buzz is live now.

Larry Jordan: Welcome to The Digital Production Buzz, the leading internet podcast covering digital video production, post production and distribution around the world. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. My name is Larry Jordan. Mike Horton, our ever affable co-host, has the night off.

Larry Jordan: It may be a holiday, but tonight’s show has some very interesting guests. We start with Michael Coleman, the Senior Product Manager for Collaborative Systems at Adobe, who stops by to explain the new Adobe Anywhere. This new product makes collaboration between geographically dispersed post-production teams a reality without sending hard disks all over the planet.

Larry Jordan: Next is Jonathan Handel, Entertainment labor reporter for the Hollywood Reporter, on the newly announced DGA AMPTP agreement. We want to learn what this agreement covers but, more importantly, its implications for the upcoming negotiations amongst the other Hollywood guilds.

Larry Jordan: Marrsha Sill, the Executive Vice President of the Chicago Music Library has been connecting producers with the right music for more than 20 years. Tonight, she explains how a music library service works, how custom music gets created and what you need to know to take your music to the next emotional level.

Larry Jordan: Finally, Marty Lafferty, the CEO of DCIA is running a two day conference discussing how to put government video in the cloud as part of the upcoming GV Expo Pro Media conference. We invited him to explain the role the cloud plays in government media.

Larry Jordan: We’re continuing to offer text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Now you can quickly scan or print the contents of each show, as well as listen to it. Transcripts are located on each show page and thanks

Larry Jordan: With the Thanksgiving holiday today, most of The Buzz team is taking the night off. We’ll be back with our live chat and live tweeting next week. Remember in the meantime to visit us on Facebook, at We’re also on Twitter, @dpbuzz; and subscribe to our weekly free show newsletter at for all the latest news on both our show and the industry.

Larry Jordan: I’ll be back with Michael Coleman right after this.

Larry Jordan: The latest version of Da Vinci Resolve 10 is now shipping from Blackmagic Design. The new version includes innovative tools to speed on-set color grading, support for open effects plug-ins and simplified integration for Final Cut Pro, Avid and Premier Pro projects, allowing timelines to be easily moved in and out. You can even tweak your edits inside Resolve without wasting time switching back to your editing software just to make a simple change.

Larry Jordan: New editing features include full multi-track editing with 16 channels of audio per clip and unlimited video and audio tracks in the timeline. Da Vinci Resolve 10 can finish the online from the original camera files for dramatically better quality. The latest version of Resolve 10 is a free upgrade to all Resolve users and, if you’re looking for ways to make your pictures look great, download the free version of Da Vinci Resolve 10 from that’s

Larry Jordan: Michael Coleman is the Senior Product Manager at Adobe Systems who is currently responsible for Adobe Anywhere, which offers a new way for creative teams to collaborate using centralized media across standard networks. Welcome, Michael.

Michael Coleman: Thank you very much, it’s nice to be here.

Larry Jordan: What is Adobe Anywhere?

Michael Coleman: Well, Anywhere is a new product from Adobe and it is a collaborative workflow platform and the goal of this is to bring together users who are working on a network so that they can work together, collaborate doing video editing and sharing media all across the network. What we’re really trying to do is harness the power of the networks that we have available to us today and Anywhere is our first foray into helping with that issue.

Larry Jordan: Michael, I don’t know how to break this to you, but media files are huge and not everybody has got a 17 gajillion pipe. How are you doing it?

Michael Coleman: So one of the unique problems we have as video editors is just that – our files are very large. If you want to collaborate with someone, those file sizes really cause problems because what we have to do is copy them across the network and that could be very slow. You might have terabytes of information and we have to get it somewhere just in order to start working. What Anywhere does is it allows us to use those media files from across the network. So you can start working directly across the network on files that exist in a different location and that’s really what the power of the Anywhere platform brings to that vast efficient workflow.

Larry Jordan: So all you’re doing really is just swapping proxy files back and forth. I just download a small version of a file.

Michael Coleman: Actually, I’d like to point out one big difference between Anywhere and other solutions, and that’s that we don’t use proxy files at all. Our system dynamically creates a viewing stream from the high res media and this is really unique. Instead of pre-rendering a proxy file and sort of designing that proxy file for the worst case bandwidth, we actually stream dynamically and so we go from the high res media and we just take note of how much bandwidth we have and we send what’s appropriate. This is great because we don’t have to create a proxy ahead of time and you don’t have to have a re-conform step at the end, plus along the way the creative people have confidence that they’re looking at the perfect media all along the way.

Larry Jordan: There’s got to be some magic piece of hardware in here somewhere because how do we create these magic streaming files?

Mike Horton: Exactly. Most people are familiar with installing Adobe software on their desktop machines and we’ve got a great suite of applications that allows us to do all of the different parts of the workflow from planning to playback. Anywhere is our first product that gets installed in the data center next to the shared storage and it gets installed on Enterprise class hardware and that hardware is what allows us to, real time, create these viewing streams that editors will use from across the network and we take advantage of GPU accelerated rendering from NVIDIA cards and we have the Mercury streaming engine, which is a very high performance streaming engine, so we’ve put this hardware there in the data center and it allows the people who are doing the editing to be further flung across the network.

Larry Jordan: Ah, so what’s happening is you’ve got a box which is creating all these independent streams, so what you’re doing is you’re measuring the bandwidth between that server and the editor, feeding the video to match that bandwidth, so the editor just gets whatever video his internet connection would support.

Michael Coleman: That’s right. As the editor’s working, we take note. If there happens to be some dropped frames, we’ll increase the amount of compression needed until the streams recover to a very good user experience. Along the way, if the bandwidth recovers to a good place, then we’ll gradually increase as well back up to the original. But basically, what we’re trying to do is provide a very good editing experience as if the media were local, but do it on remote media and so you have all the advantages of not moving those big files around.

Larry Jordan: Well, this sounds like we’re not downloading anything at all.

Michael Coleman: There’s no downloading required, but what we want to do is reduce people’s burden of downloading files and moving files across the network. Really, when we did our research for designing this product, we discovered that people like editors and producers spend about 20 to 30 percent of their time just moving files around, and that’s horribly inefficient. We want these people to be creative and focus on the good parts of what they do, rather than just moving files, so really that’s absolutely one of our goals, is to keep people from downloading.

Larry Jordan: So I should think about this not as multiple people working at the same time on the same file, but as a smooth hand off between a team of people who are taking files from ingest through rough cut, through fine cut, through color grad, through final output.

Michael Coleman: Yes. One of the things we discovered, we started off with the supposition that people wanted to work on things at the same time and that was actually pretty fun for a while, but when you were editing and I was looking at the same thing and I went to click on something and it would move on my screen, that became very frustrating. So what we have now, instead of a live model like that, we have a share model and so our collaboration lets two people work independently but then, when they’re done with the things they like to do, they just share. Then we worry about reconciling after that.

Michael Coleman: But when it was so live that everyone was working in the same sequence at the same time, it actually was counterproductive. You know, we like to think of collaboration as being something where everybody’s always working on the same thing all at once. Well, that’s actually counterproductive in a lot of ways in the sense that there can be too many people, too many cooks in the kitchen at the same time, so this collaboration model with Adobe Anywhere inserts a little space between the creative actors in the system so that they can work effectively on their own, but easily share things with one another.

Larry Jordan: Let’s go back to the IT center. You used a phrase which makes me feel a little uncomfortable, which is Enterprise class hardware. What does that mean in English?

Michael Coleman: Well, in English those are simply just rack mount servers that are designed to fit in a space efficient configuration inside the data center. They’re really meant to go next to our customers’ current storage systems. A lot of our customers have high performance storage systems for storing all their media. This is just very durable, very high performance stuff that’s designed to be installed in the same data center.

Larry Jordan: So you’re not making the hardware, you’re making the software that runs on the hardware.

Michael Coleman: Exactly. We’re partnering with a number of different hardware manufacturers, but we’re definitely not doing hardware. Adobe’s focusing on software and doing what we do best, which is the editing experience.

Larry Jordan: Does this mean that a client that wants to install Anywhere is going to need a serious IT staff to support it?

Michael Coleman: Well, Anywhere itself doesn’t require much maintenance once it’s up and running. It just hums along. It does need to have some space for the servers, though, so really, when we talk about Enterprise class, we like to see just a little bit of data center type support for that type of hardware.

Larry Jordan: Which would mean that this is probably geared toward larger production companies, but not the two or three person shops.

Michael Coleman: To date, yes, that’s correct. Today, it’s geared towards the Enterprise customers, so broadcasters, education in government and so forth. It is a little bit too much hardware probably for the one or two man shops, but it is definitely within the direction we want to take the product to make it more available as time goes on.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so now that we’ve got a sense of what’s involved, we’ve got industry standard hardware which is running Adobe specific software in the data center feeding media from centralized storage out to editors who are geographically dispersed, which means this is designed for not just one person editing in their shop, but a team of people collaborating together. What is the end user experience? If somebody fires up Premier, how does it look different when it’s running under Anywhere than, say, running attached to direct storage?

Michael Coleman: Well, that’s actually one of the nice things about this system. When someone comes to it and they already know how to use Premier Pro, they already 99 percent of what they need to know and using the Premier Pro when connected to the Anywhere server is very much the same experience as using it when using it standalone. So when you come into Premier Pro, you start it up and, instead of creating a project file like you normally do, you just simply log in to the Anywhere server.

Michael Coleman: Once you’ve signed in, instead of a standalone project, you’re actually working in a collaborative project and we call those productions. The neat thing about productions is they get rid of a lot of the complexity associated with collaborating on standalone projects. You don’t have to send project files to your co-workers, you don’t have to figure out what they did in their version and what you did in your version. When you’re working together in a collaborative production, as you do when you’re in the Anywhere mode, you’re working in the same space, you’re seeing the same view of the media, and so we get rid of all of those handoffs and all the time spent re-linking files and sending files. It eliminates all of that work, but the editing experience is just the same.

Larry Jordan: How do you avoid having one editor step on another editor’s work?

Michael Coleman: Yes, that’s a great question. Any good collaboration system has to do a few things in order for it to be truly effective. One of the things it has to do is it has to allow people to have simultaneous access to the same asset. In other words, you need to be able to work on something at the same time I do. That’s great. Once we have that in place, we have to worry about what happens when you make a change and I make a change at the same time.

Michael Coleman: So our system automatically detects when two people have changed the same thing and shared their changes, and when they do we give people the opportunity to rectify those conflicts just when they’re sharing with other people, so if you’ve changed something and I change it after you, the system will ask me if I want to keep mine, keep yours or keep both. It’s a nice way to resolve these conflicts that’s very user friendly.

Larry Jordan: Does this work just with Premier?

Michael Coleman: No, actually, one of the nice things about the production, this new shared project that we’ve created, is that it’s not just for a single application. Project files in the past were, you know, something specific. We’d have a project file for Premier, a project file for After Effects, a project file for Prelude and these became silos and it kept us working in different project files even though the holistic production really needed input from all of these different applications.

Michael Coleman: The Anywhere productions are very different. Not only are they multi-user, as we just spoke about a minute ago, but they’re also multiple application. So for the first time ever, my Premier Pro assets are now sitting in the same shared project, same production as Prelude and After Effects and, of course, our vision isn’t just with the products we’ve talked about today. We really want to bring this to a broader scope of applications, and that’s one of the things we’re working on in the coming years.

Larry Jordan: Security is a huge issue for media files. People don’t want movies leaking out ahead of time. How do you guarantee security here?

Michael Coleman: Well, there’s a lot of natural security here. When you sign into the system, you’re actually signing into a system that is fully under the control of the IT department. That means that the assets never move off the storage that’s being managed by your security conscious team. So in other words, if I’m an editor, I actually never copy any media to my machine in order to do the editing. I’m just virtually using these files and that’s actually good for security, because if my account is turned off, I no longer have access to these files and meanwhile, in order to do the creative work, I never even possessed these files on my machine. So there are some nice ways to keep the valuable content where it should be, which is managed by the administrators rather than being distributed to people who knows where.

Larry Jordan: Well, you’re using Prelude as the front end for ingest, so that means that at some point you’ve got to get a high quality – which means large file size – file from wherever Prelude is to the server. Is that best done by having people ingest locally or can Anywhere be used for remote ingest?

Michael Coleman: Anywhere has a couple of different ways to do ingest. The first is the one you described, by using Prelude. That can be done directly from within the Prelude application which is, as most people know, a logging and ingest application.

Michael Coleman: Once someone imports a new media file, we immediately start transferring that to the shared storage and then it can be managed by the asset management system and it can be edited collaboratively with Anywhere.

Michael Coleman: There’s another way to get files into the system, to ingest, and that’s through the back end as well, so a lot of infrastructure that exists at our customers’ companies today are automated ways for files to be recorded and once they show up on storage, a message or an integration in the back end can bring those files to the user without the user having to do it.

Michael Coleman: So there’s a very automated way, a programmatic way to do it on the back end, it’s coming from an automated system; and there’s a user focused way, which would be through Premier or Prelude.

Larry Jordan: Give me an example of how this is being used in the real world. Is one editor driving and two editors are sitting back watching? Or are they accessing the same media but they’re creating different projects in Premier terms, where one’s creating a first trailer, another’s creating a different trailer? Give me some examples of how this would work in real life.

Michael Coleman: A good example is where you have maybe two editors working on a project and one of them is the primary editor and one of them is the secondary editor. The first editor comes in and they begin to do rough cutting. They just sign in from where they are, they begin to organize the media, they begin to lay out the sequences and so forth, and then once they’re done with their work, they just share it and when they share it, it becomes available to the other people that are working on that production. So editor number two can come in later and review the work of the first person, maybe make some changes, add some more artistic editing and finalize it for final output and so really the thing that we want to do with collaboration is make it very easy for the work from one person to be shared with people who are continuing that work down the line.

Larry Jordan: How do you keep track of different versions or different projects? How is versioning maintained?

Michael Coleman: Versioning is a key feature of the Anywhere system. As I described, as users work on things, every time they share, we keep a version of the production at the moment they share. This is actually pretty handy because if I’m working on something and I share and you change it later and we decide that we like my version better, we need a way to go back in time to my version and so we have a very simple way to browse the old historical versions of your production and it’s right there in the Premier Pro user interface and you can just concentrate on moving forward with the creative work and then use the historical feature to go back when you need to.

Larry Jordan: Michael, you’re the team lead for figuring out what this product wants to do in the future, so what is this product going to do in the future? What direction are you hoping to take this?

Michael Coleman: One of the things I love about working at Adobe is that we’re constantly working with our customers to decide where to take our products, and we’re also very open with our customers about what our plans are when we meet with them, and so much of the inspiration of where we take a product comes from our customers. My goal is to build the right product for folks that are out there and really solve their real world needs and at the same time we have this tremendous opportunity with the ubiquitous connectivity to really change the way people work and it’s really exciting to be working on a product that’s doing that.

Michael Coleman: One of the things I’d like to see is I’d like to see us get it more broadly available. We want to lower the bar in terms of access and what we want to do is use that to bring collaboration to groups of all scales, not just Enterprise class.

Michael Coleman: Secondly, something you’ve seen, if you’ve noticed, at IBC we had an announcement where we’re adding After Effects support and we’re also adding support for an iPad application and this is actually really interesting because when you talk about being connected and having ubiquitous internet access, you really can’t have that discussion without talking about mobile devices and so at IBC we were able to show an iPad app that could browse the same shared productions that you’re editing with Premier Pro; and not only that, that iPad app could play back in real time across the network Premier Pro sequences.

Michael Coleman: And so really, what we’re trying to enable – and this is really the future of this product – we’re trying to enable all users, regardless of role, to all be accessing the same content and we’re going to do that through new clients like the iPad app, but really we want to enable this pivot around the content rather than just being focused on putting the content in a single application. We want the applications to pivot around the content so that you can pick up the appropriate device and the appropriate piece of software to do exactly what you need to do right then and there. So I really see this as an expansion of the number of clients we have over time and then also, as mentioned before, bringing in a broader base so we can get this to other size workgroups as well.

Larry Jordan: What’s the price of Adobe Anywhere?

Michael Coleman: Adobe Anywhere is priced based on the number of users that you have. It’s not priced on the basis of hardware or the number of CPUs. We just simply want to associate the pricing with the creativity and so that’s why it’s priced per user.

Larry Jordan: Where can people go to learn more about Adobe Anywhere?

Michael Coleman: Well, the easiest place to go is to the Adobe website – On there, we have a bunch of videos that introduce people to more detail about what the product is and we also have some customers talking about how they’re using the product. I think a lot of people will find it interesting and it’s all available on the Adobe website.

Larry Jordan: That’s and Michael Coleman is the Senior Product Manager for Collaborative Systems at Adobe Systems and, Michael, thanks for joining us today.

Michael Coleman: It’s my pleasure. Thanks a lot for your time.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment and technology attorney of Counsel at Troy Gould in Los Angeles. He’s also the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for the Hollywood Reporter, he’s got his own blog at, he is a self-made industry and he’s also a regular here on The Buzz. Welcome back, Jonathan, good to have you here.

Jonathan Handel: Well, it’s a pleasure to be back. It’s been a while.

Larry Jordan: It has been but, you know, news continues. On Saturday, in fact, the Directors’ Guild of America announced a new three year collective bargaining agreement with the AMPTP. Brief us on what was announced.

Jonathan Handel: On Friday, they announced they’d reached a deal; on Saturday they announced the details of the deals so there was no rest for the wicket or the weary when it came to the weekend. What was that deal? This is a three year deal with the AMPTP, which is the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. It’s the group constituted by the six major studios plus CBS and MGM, for historical reasons, and it represents basically all of the producers of television and motion picture work, basically all of them in the country, certainly all of them that any kind of a commercial release to speak of. So although the name is producers, you really should think of them as the studio alliance and that’s sometimes the way I refer to them.

Jonathan Handel: So the labor deals are three year deals and the DJA’s deal was coming up for renewal in the middle of this year, the upcoming year, June 30th of 2014. They like to negotiate early and what did they agree to? First of all, wage increases, essentially three percent per year. That’s somewhat higher than the last go round and it represents a slight loosening of the mantra that the studios had tried to drum into everyone’s heads which was cost control, cost control, cost control. So the economy is getting slightly better compared to three years ago – I hope that’s the case for each of our listeners, it certainly is the case overall that there’s been some improvement – and I think that reflects that.

Jonathan Handel: There’s going to be a slight increase to pension plan contributions. The pension and health plans are sort of a perennial issue for Hollywood. They’re excellent plans overall, but they need funding to maintain their status as sort of Cadillac health plans and high quality pension plans, so that funding comes from the employers.

Jonathan Handel: Now, residuals. Residuals are always an issue for Hollywood and residuals usually increase at the same rate, at least television residuals usually increase at the same rate as wages do. That’s not quite the case, though, these days for network prime time. Network prime time residuals are going up slightly more slowly than that three percent wage increase. They went up slightly more slowly last time around as well and that really, I think, reflects pressure on the network business – people evolve and move towards viewing on other platforms and towards making product for the platforms.

Jonathan Handel: Speaking of other platforms, of course, we’re talking about new media and in particular these days subscription video on demand like Netflix and Amazon. Now, the new media provisions of these deals, of the existing deals, were done in 2007 and 2008 and didn’t really reflect entirely what was needed for long form new media that we’re seeing now, these half hour shows, one hour shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black and so forth, so there were some pretty complicated changes – we don’t have to delve into all the details – in the area of new media in the latest deal.

Jonathan Handel: Basically, new media is going to be treated as though it were a network production or a basic cable production, depending on the budget level of the program and the size of the platform. So it turns out that Netflix may be treated somewhat differently from Amazon Prime, which is a somewhat smaller platform in terms of subscribers.

Jonathan Handel: Two last things. One is that residuals for new media exhibition, such as network programming that’s released on Hulu, those residuals have gotten slightly better for talent in the new deal. They aren’t great compared to what talent has lost, which is network prime time re-runs, so again if you think about it, it used to be you’d see a show on a network and then there’d be a network re-run in prime time, you know, in a few weeks or the summer or whatever it was and those have shifted. Now, if you want to see something re-run, you watch it on Hulu and Hulu is a lower economic revenue generating platform and that’s meant that the residuals have been much lower as well. They’ll be slightly higher than they have been, but they’re still a lot lower than what talent used to get.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that’s been obvious over the last five or ten years is the constant, continual erosion of the network audience. Network shows command a fraction of the viewers that they did even ten years ago. Why was there any interest at all from the AMPTP to improve benefits when, if they do represent the studios, network is tanking?

Jonathan Handel: Well, you know, you’re right and it’s an interesting thing. I mean, even when the economy was at its worst, you know, three years ago, reflecting the down economy, the debate wasn’t, gee, are we going to have… The debate was how much are the wage increases going to be, and they were two percent that time rather than essentially three percent this time.

Jonathan Handel: Hollywood operates in a different universe than the rest of the country does in terms of unionized labor. In the rest of the country, the labor unions are losing membership, they’re agreeing to rollbacks, they’re facing very grim choices. You know, last time around, the big rollback that got at least some people upset was no more first class air travel, literally. So it is different. There is, I guess, a fundamental optimism in television and also motion pictures and, of course, this is a TV and theatrical deal that, you know, people are always going to watch movies, always going to watch television content on some platform of some sort and the producers really are in a situation, or the studios are in a situation where they do agree to the increases based on those assumptions.

Larry Jordan: So what does the future hold? There are other negotiations coming. Is this a bellwether?

Jonathan Handel: Well, it is. It sets a pattern. There’s no law or rule that says that the other unions have to accept the patterns the DJA deal’s set, but the reality is that they always do, with very little if any modification, and so the terms that we were just talking about – wages, pension and health and residuals in the media and so forth – those are things that apply to all of the unions who are coming up into negotiations – the Musicians’ Union probably in December, then the Writers’ Guild and then finally SAG-AFTRA in the late spring – and each of those unions will have their own issues as well that’ll be specific to it, but as to the issues that are common, this will set a pattern.

Jonathan Handel: Now, SAG-AFTRA has some particularly difficult issues coming up that are specific to that union and that is that they want to merge their two TV contracts. The unions merged but the SAG and AFTRA legacy contracts did not. The unions merged last year. The difficulty with merging the SAG and AFTRA TV contracts is that the wage rates are different. SAG stalemated for a year, essentially had sort of a de facto strike for a year and AFTRA did a deal in 2008. SAG didn’t do one until 2009, so SAG lost out on one year’s worth of wage increases.

Jonathan Handel: The studios aren’t going to make it easy for the union to merge those wage rates, because their attitude is, ‘Look, SAG made a mess of things five years ago, we’re not going to pull that stale bacon out of the fire for you guys.’ The unions’ perspective, of course, is that this is an essential part of completing the tasks set by merger and there are going to be some essentially difficult concessions in order to achieve that.

Larry Jordan: Where can people go, Jonathan, to keep up with the latest news and especially to follow your thoughts on the subject?

Jonathan Handel: Probably the easiest place is THR Labor at the Hollywood Reporter,

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word – – The Hollywood Reporter Jonathan, where’s your blog?

Jonathan Handel: My blog is at jhandel –

Larry Jordan: That’s and the J Handel himself, Jonathan Handel, is an entertainment and technology attorney at Troy Gould and, Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks very much. Happy holidays.

Larry Jordan: And the same to you.

Larry Jordan: Marrsha Sill is the Executive Vice President of the Chicago Music Library and has been placing music in film and TV for 20 years. In the past, she’s worked for Opus 1, Megatracks and APM Music. Welcome, Marrsha, good to have you with us.

Marrsha Sill: Good to be with you.

Larry Jordan: So let’s start at the very beginning. What is Chicago Music Library?

Marrsha Sill: Well, Chicago Music Library is a wonderful resource and a service to the production community. Anybody who needs music for their production would do well to give us a call and we will provide what they need.

Larry Jordan: Without even throwing much effort behind it, think of other companies – Killer Tracks, Music Bakery, SmartSound – that provide music services. Why would anybody consider Chicago Music Library?

Marrsha Sill: I would think, because we are a bit of a smaller company, that we have a lot of flexibility, we can move very quickly and I worked for the big companies and nothing negative towards them, it’s just when it’s a giant corporate entity, there are certain protocols that we have the ability to skip. You know, we don’t have to go through so much red tape to, let’s say, get a custom cue done.

Marrsha Sill: For instance, if you are calling to get music done, like for a TV show, you’re going to need it immediately. It’s like yesterday is really when they want it, when they find that they have a need for something, and sometimes with the bigger companies, if they even offer the service of a custom cue, it takes a lot of back and forth before it can even commence. So I really love working for a smaller company because it just helps me provide the service faster and, in this day and age, whoever gets the music to the client and it works with the scene, they’re really not going to listen to the rest of the music that’s coming in.

Larry Jordan: When somebody contacts you for music, are you composing it? Or are you taking it from an existing library and they’re licensing it? What exactly are you providing?

Marrsha Sill: Well, there are several different scenarios. If someone needs a cover, like for instance we just had one of our prominent music supervisors, Kevin Edelman, called the other day and he needed a cover of a Vampire Weekend song with a female vocalist. You know, they thought that would work for the scene, so we created the cover. But sometimes what’s needed is a completely original composition and luckily we have an amazing composer, Robert Walsh, who is taking that over, where he pretty much either does it himself or delegates it to whoever seems to be the best suited for that particular piece.

Larry Jordan: So a producer could contact you and say, “I have a scene. This is what the scene is about. Could you please write me some music?” That would be a typical request?

Marrsha Sill: Absolutely. Absolutely, and sometimes the reason that they might want a cover is because, let’s say, for a TV show, the budgets really can’t afford perhaps the original composition and they still want that, so they’ll pay the publishing and then they’ll have us do a new master.

Larry Jordan: What got you started in the music business in the first place? I mean, this has got to be an arcane field.

Marrsha Sill: Well, actually I kind of married into it because previous to this career, I was a Director of Marketing for a chain of retail stores.

Larry Jordan: Well, there’s a direct correlation there.

Marrsha Sill: I married Greg Sill, who happened to be the Vice President of Warner Bros. music at the time and I got to start at the top when it comes to music libraries because my very first job was with APM. I happened to be at one of the BMI banquets and I said, “Gosh, I’d like to do something in this field,” and Lonnie Sill, who happened to be sitting at the table – another prominent music supervisor – said, “Well, Cassie Lord was just here and she’s looking for somebody,” and Cassie Lord at the time was working at APM – she’s now at Five Alarm, heading that company up. It’s really interesting how it’s musical chairs in this music library business.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that you specialize in is the concept of placing music and I realized I don’t even know what that term means.

Marrsha Sill: When our clients call us up, and our clients tend to be mostly music supervisors, producers, directors, studio music people, but they call up their trusted sources, and by trusted sources I mean people that have been vetted, that they can trust, they indemnify them, they don’t have to worry about any sampling in the music that they’re going to get, and I would advise any musician or anybody who is a singer/songwriter to get somebody to represent them, like myself or somebody that’s been vetted and is on the approved list, because you could send your music to all the right people but they won’t sometimes even listen to it if it’s not from somebody that they trust, because people can’t take a chance with these big budget films to put in a piece of music that might have a writer that owns five percent that nobody mentioned.

Larry Jordan: But you make an interesting point that a lot of independent producers may not be aware of, that there’s lots of different licensing involved with music and if you don’t have clear rights to every element in the music, then you could have a problem. Is that true?

Marrsha Sill: Oh, that’s the $64,000 question. It’s absolutely true, because there is so much more to it and the clients expect somebody like myself to have taken care of all of that before we even send it to them. Make sure that, you know, everything’s clear and clean and all the rights are taken care of. For instance, if it’s a cover, usually they know where to go to get the publishing and if they don’t, sometimes you need to be able to direct them to that source as well.

Larry Jordan: Take a step back for a second. What rights are involved in music? When you say clear and clean, what does that actually mean?

Marrsha Sill: Well, they have to make sure that everything legal is taken care of.

Larry Jordan: Specifically?

Marrsha Sill: Everything that applies to copyright. I’d like to get a plug in here for the California Copyright Conference. I’m a member of the Board of Directors of that organization and it really educates people on every little bit that they need to know in order to play this game and to get involved in this sort of business, because there is a lot more to it than just, “Gee, that’s a great song, it’s going to be great for this scene.” All the legalities have to be taken care of, all the writers, all the publishers, and sometimes there can be a lot of people involved in one song, and all of those people have to be contacted and give clearance.

Marrsha Sill: I’ll take a step back. The reason that a music library is so popular is because we have that already taken care of. They know when they call us that they don’t have to worry about any of that stuff. Like, if they were going for, let’s say, a popular song, a song that’s charting right now, you know, that is a lot more involved because sometimes the artist has to sign off on it and maybe he doesn’t want his music to be used for a commercial.

Marrsha Sill: With a music library, people are pretty confident that all of that stuff has been taken care of before they even make that call.

Larry Jordan: So let’s flip the coin. What does a producer need to know when they come to you looking for music?

Marrsha Sill: Basically, it’s pretty simple. They just need to tell me exactly what they want and if I have it, I’ll get it to them and if I don’t have it, I will send them to a company that does have it. It’s really super simple when people are coming to a library. It’s not as involved as it would be if they were going to a manager of an artist.

Larry Jordan: Say I’m a producer and I say, “I want some music.” What questions would you need answers to?

Marrsha Sill: Well, basically I want you to be able to describe what you want as clearly as possible, because that way I can find exactly what you want. Music supervisors are amazingly adept at describing what they want, because that’s their job. For instance, Thomas Dulovic is the most amazing music supervisor when it comes to sending a request for music. He is so detailed. He does The Walking Dead, he just did Breaking Bad and he takes time to say hi. It’s not just all business.

Marrsha Sill: Most of the business is done with emails these days, unless it’s negotiating for a custom cue and they’re describing the scene, but seriously most of the people that ask me for music are really well equipped for their jobs. They know what to ask for.

Larry Jordan: So how do you find composers and musicians that can work to this level of quality on these tight deadlines?

Marrsha Sill: A lot of the composers we work with have been doing this for years, like delegating the job to the person that’s best equipped for it, you know? Musicians are talented in different ways. Somebody can put together an amazing big band overnight and somebody else is really good at doing the cover of Vampire Weekend, and sometimes that can be the same person.

Larry Jordan: What’s a typical deal? What does it cost? How long does it take? What do we need to know here?

Marrsha Sill: The thing that you need to know mostly with libraries, it’s extremely cost effective. Libraries have posted rates and they’re very similar across the board, I would say. If you look at most companies’ rate cards like Killer, APM, Five Alarm, we all have posted rate cards and, when you’re calling up, it’s like you know pretty much what you’re going to pay, unless it’s a custom cue, and then you tell us what you want, we tell you right up front how much it’s going to cost and do you want to pull the trigger? And when you pull the trigger, we create that custom cue and, if you don’t like it, you don’t even have to pay a kill fee. I’ll find somewhere else to license that piece, and I always do.

Larry Jordan: When you’re dealing with someone who’s not a music supervisor, how do you help them to find the best music for their production?

Marrsha Sill: Well, a lot of times they’ll send a clip. In the old days, they used to come in and we’d have music listening rooms and they would bring their footage and we’d put music against it. I mean, it’s amazing what you can do with putting different music against a scene. It can change everything. I mean, music to me is the most powerful thing that you can add to picture to change everything – the mood, the feeling, the emotions, everything.

Marrsha Sill: I’ve seen demos where you put everything from a hip-hop piece to a classical sonata and what it does to change that exact same picture, it’s like the old play Rashomon, you know, where you look at it from different angles and it’s the same thing but it looks very different.

Larry Jordan: I have a philosophical question for you.

Marrsha Sill: Ok.

Larry Jordan: If you look at films in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, music was used very sparingly and now, if we look at films in the last 20 years, it’s almost wall to wall music. It’s almost as though producers don’t expect their audience to know what they’re supposed to feel for each scene and need to telegraph it. What’s your philosophy on the use of music in television? How often should it be used and what’s the best way to use it effectively?

Marrsha Sill: That’s a great question and I agree with you that sometimes less is more. You know, there are scenes that really should not have music and they’re much more powerful without it. I think these days, people are tending to put more and more music. I mean music, we all know, is very popular and people are trying to, you know, with the record companies having trouble and people more and more trying to place music in film and TV to get exposure for their artists, it’s a big deal when your artist is on Grey’s Anatomy and even getting the licenses, the sync licenses, it’s a big deal for artists these days because if there aren’t many record deals left – and I think it’s getting more and more for artists – do it yourself instead of getting a record deal.

Marrsha Sill: It’s like if you know how to work the media, and let me put a plug in for the California Copyright Conference, coming up they’re going to have a panel on do it yourself for artists that want to get their music out there, but there is so much music now because it’s so easy for people to create it, you know? You really don’t have to hire a whole lot of musicians and have the perfectly structured studio. These days, you’ve got music coming at you from every angle and it is an extremely competitive business, this wanting to get your music in film and TV.

Marrsha Sill: I’ve noticed the difference just in my 20 years of doing this. It is true. They’re putting so much music in everything because there’s so much music out there and I’m always excited for artists when they get placements. I have a lady that I know who works at Lamps Plus and I placed one of her songs and it was just the coolest thing for her. She has great music but, you know, it’s not easy to get it out there into the right hands and then it’s all timing and luck. I mean, in this kind of business, you can do your job 100 percent perfectly and they choose somebody else’s song.

Marrsha Sill: It’s not like selling copiers or widgets, you know? But back to your question, yes, I think some people could back off a little bit on the music and let some of the scenes just play as they play and they’d be more powerful without it sometimes. But then again, it’s not the ‘40s any more.

Larry Jordan: That is very true. Marrsha, where can people go on the web to learn more about Chicago Music Library?

Marrsha Sill: Well, it’s

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word – – and Marrsha Sill is the Executive Vice President of that same Chicago Music Library. Marrsha, thanks for joining us today.

Marrsha Sill: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Marty Lafferty is the CEO of DCIA. That’s the Distributed Computing Industry Association. He’s organized two days of educational sessions at this year’s GV Expo, it’s part of the Pro Media conference, and specifically the sessions are geared to the topic of government video in the cloud. Welcome, Marty, good to have you with us.

Marty Lafferty: Good to be here, thank you.

Larry Jordan: So what is DCIA?

Marty Lafferty: Well, we’re a ten year old trade association focused totally on advancing cloud computing in various sectors of the economy and that includes government and, in this case, specifically we’re talking about using cloud solutions for producing video for government agencies and the military, for use cases like surveillance, reconnaissance, intelligence and/or inter-departmental communications and a whole range of uses in between.

Larry Jordan: Well, you should probably know that I’m a cloud skeptic, so we are probably on the opposite sides of the same cloud. What’s your role with GV Expo?

Marty Lafferty: Promoters, New Media, asked us to put on a conference within the show that would focus totally on this new area that you’re skeptical about, but when you think about cloud, it’s been around for a while now and we already use it in a lot of other aspects of real life, like email and sharing files and often using applications that are in the cloud. But it really is the future and the benefits are pretty profound in terms of saving time and money for just about any function you might do involving producing video, involving storing it, involving sharing it or delivering it to other parties, so we’re pretty psyched about it and we have some great speakers.

Marty Lafferty: We’re going to kick this off with an intro from Amazon Web Services, one of the top leaders in this space, giving us an update on the adoption of cloud video services in the public sector. It’s Tim Bixler who’s their Federal Manager, he’ll talk about how branches of the military and various agencies of the government are actually progressing today in their migration of cloud based video to the various solutions and, you know, which ones are the most beneficial and why that is the case.

Larry Jordan: The government has such strict requirements on security and also permanent record keeping for archival of national assets. How does the cloud even fit into those requirements?

Marty Lafferty: Well, the cloud is actually more secure because it’s less vulnerable to hacking than alternatives, so you can encrypt data but, more importantly, since the storage is virtualized, it’s hard for folks who would like to attack and steal that content or view that content, in the case of video, to be able to do that as easily as if it’s in a static server somewhere where you could actually figure out a way to get access to that. It moves around a lot in the cloud and it’s harder to pin down, so in layman’s terms that’s one reason it’s more secure.

Marty Lafferty: The other aspect of having to store data for an eternity, you could really only do that in a cloud where the cost of storage is a fraction of what it would be if you had to procure the servers and keep them yourself in a given agency or branch of the military. So I think on both fronts, the cloud is a better solution than any alternative that we have today.

Larry Jordan: A trade association is a collection of industry members. Who are some of the members of DCIA?

Marty Lafferty: Well, we have at this point in our history, we have about 150 member companies and they range from folks like cloud solutions providers like Data Direct Networks is an example and, since we were just talking about storage, a leader in the storage space to major network operators where the data flows across their wires and through the air, where they control a spectrum, like Verizon is an example. And then we have some content rights holders that are maybe closer to this space that actually have some intellectual property that’s stored in the cloud. So it’s the folks who are providing the services and using the services who are the key members.

Larry Jordan: Well, the purpose of a trade association is to have all these different companies unite under a common banner and sort of push the common cause, which is a cloud. Aside from skeptics like me, what are some of the challenges that, as a trade association, you’re finding as you try to push more of the government to adopt cloud services?

Marty Lafferty: It’s mostly an educational effort at this point. I think once people see the benefits, once the IT departments and those who are responsible for implementing it get familiar and learn the various service options that they have, it’s an easy sell, so to speak. But with anything new, there’s always a learning curve and that’s one of the reasons we’re glad to do this government video in the cloud expo within Pro Media this year for the government video expo.

Marty Lafferty: It helps facilitate that effort, so we’ll have speakers from some major suppliers like Aspera, T3 Media, we’ll have some users, like independent video producers who are just starting to use the cloud based services. We’ll have folks who specialize, the government is their major customer base, like WSO2 Federal Systems; VT Solutions to expand maybe not household words in this case, but these are the industry leaders in this space who are doing the work so that folks who want to learn more in a very efficient way hear from them and find out what they’re doing and how it might apply to their work.

Larry Jordan: At the end of the two days of the conference, what do you want the conference attendees to have top of mind? What’s the one thing you want them to learn?

Marty Lafferty: The profile of an attendee is a professional videographer or someone who works in that space as a contractor to a government agency, I want them to be able to be a step ahead in terms of their own knowledge base on how cloud solutions might be applicable so they’ll be more familiar with it and be able to help their customers to migrate into the cloud.

Marty Lafferty: There is a mandate throughout the government to move into the cloud because of its cost saving benefits and flexibility, so contractors and professionals in the video space who want to continue to serve those customers and advance them need to know this information. This will help them to do a better job.

Larry Jordan: When is GV Expo?

Marty Lafferty: It’s next week in Washington DC, at the Washington Convention Center, December 3rd through 5th and our event, Government Video in the Cloud, starts first thing on Wednesday morning and I even have the room number for folks who really want to take notes – room 15A, which is the Pro Media conference within the Government Video Expo.

Marty Lafferty: Online, you can visit, if I may, you can visit, as in Government Video Expo –

Larry Jordan: And, Marty, for people who want to learn more about what DCIA can do for them, what website should they go visit?

Marty Lafferty: Ours is

Larry Jordan: That’s and Marty Lafferty is the CEO of the Distributed Computing Industry Association. Marty, thanks for taking the time to join us today.

Marty Lafferty: Thank you. Enjoyed it very much, Larry. Take care.

Larry Jordan: It’s been another great show and I want to thank this week’s guests – Michael Coleman, the Senior Product Manager for Collaborative Systems at Adobe Systems; Jonathan Handel, the Entertainment Labor Reporter for the Hollywood Reporter; Marrsha Sill, Executive Vice President of the Chicago Music Library; and Marty Lafferty, the CEO of DCIA, that’s the Distributed Computing Industry Association.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows. Visit and click on ‘Latest News’. We update this several times a day with the latest in news from our industry. Talk with us on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and Facebook at Music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound. The Buzz is streamed by You can email us at Our producer is Cirina Catania. On behalf of Mike Horton, our co-host, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz and have a happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Voiceover: This Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries.

Magma Launches ROBEN-3

Magma‘s ROBEN-3 is available for purchase. The superlative sidekick for Thunderbolt technology is ready to transform your computer into a powerful workstation. ROBEN-3 empowers the serious audio, video, and design professional to work beyond the limits of their creative powers. Click here to read the ROBEN-3 Launch Press Release.

Magma announced the specifications, price and availability for the new ROBEN-3 line of computer expansion systems, featuring Thunderbolt and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) connectivity in a package that is powerful, versatile and rack-mountable. Engineered to Magma’s “mission critical” standards for performance and reliability, ROBEN-3 offers three full-length/full-height PCIe slots and can accept 5.25-inch peripherals, up to eight 2.5-inch drives, or an internal Mac mini. To support all of the system capabilities, ROBEN-3 systems feature Magma’s exclusive Quiet Temperature Controlled (QTC) cooling and a 540-Watt power supply. When integrated with Magma’s patented performance optimizing backplane, the ROBEN-3 is the most powerful and versatile expansion system that Magma has ever developed.

The ROBEN-3 system comes in three distinct Thunderbolt configurations, TX, TS and TM. All models offer three full-length/full-height PCIe slots. The TX model offers two 5.25-inch expansion bays. In the TS model, the 5.25-inch expansion bays are replaced with eight 2.5-inch hard drive bays. The TM model offers the capability to integrate an Apple Mac mini directly into the chassis and accommodates a securable USB iLok. All model configurations include a 540-watt power supply and auxiliary power cables, and QTC cooling. From initial concept, the ROBEN-3 Thunderbolt configurations have been precision engineered to make them the “perfect sidekick” for the new Apple Mac Pro.

For non-Thunderbolt applications, ROBEN-3 also offers PCI Express, Generation-2 connection capability. The PCI Express enabled models are available in standard 5.25-inch expansion bay configuration, and 2.5-inch hard drive configurations. The versatility of the ROBEN-3 PCI Express models mirror that of the Thunderbolt-equipped TX and TS models. All ROBEN-3 systems feature Magma’s performance optimized backplane that insures that all devices that are installed in the system operate with maximum possible speed, and with guaranteed data integrity. This design gives audio engineers, video producers, game developers, and graphic designers the same level of data fidelity that had previously been reserved for defense and aerospace industry projects.

ROBEN-3 customers have the option of using the systems in a desktop or rack-mounted configuration, adding higher versatility to their workflow. Also, by simply connecting two or more ROBEN-3 systems in a series, customers can create the performance equivalent of a server, but without the typical cost and complexity.

The ROBEN-3 will be shipping in North America by the end of November and worldwide in December. Initial availability will be exclusively through Magma authorized resellers.

Contact your favorite Authorized Magma Reseller to place your order.

Click for more information about Magma’s ROBEN-3.

Switronix Releases NEW TorchLED Bolt 220

Switronix is excited to announce our new edition to the TorchLED line, the Bolt 220 (#TL-BT220).

The new Bolt 220 has a 220-watt output and was improved for convenience. The new LED light now has an independent knob for color temperature between tungsten (3200k) and daylight (5600k) that means you no longer need to mix and match between two dials for the most accurate ambient light. We have also added a dial to change the brightness from 0% to 100% with no noticeable color shift.

The BT220 is the same size as our original Bolt BT200, but 10% brighter and 40% more power efficient, which means it will run longer on the same Sony L-series style batteries or with on-board batteries through the powertap cable included.

Brighter than our original Bolt, the Bolt 220 can be used in a spectrum of different ways. From event videographers to DSLR video production or even still photographers, the Bolt 220 will satisfy your every lighting need. It serves not only as an on-camera lighting solution but can also be positioned on a light stand. Whether it’s being used outdoors for fill light or inside for an interview, the Bolt 220 will be your go-to light.

With the convenient on/off switch, you have the ability to maintain your light settings even when powering off the unit. The Bolt 220 includes all standard accessories of the original Bolt; a 1/4-20 Swivel Shoe mount, powertap cable, snap-on filter tray, diffusion filter, and bag. It also includes a powertap cable for DC powering off of a standard 14.4v brick battery, as well as a built-in Sony L-series battery sled.

Click for more information about Switronix’s TorchLED Bolt 220.

FX Factory Unveils HandHeld Effect for FCP X

Noise Industries’ FX Factory Hand Held lets you simulate a huge range of moves and effects from a hand-held camera. Add whip pans, bumps, jitters and lens focusing and zooming.

Hand Held for FCP X mimics the popular hand-held camera look. Take clean, locked-down footage and add a subtle or intense hand-held effect, whip pan, lens focusing and zooms, and even bumps and jitters.

HandHeld is available exclusively for Final Cut Pro X.

Click to check out the demo of FXFactory’s HandHeld.

Click for more information about FXFactory’s HandHeld.

Discover Recoils, Zacuto’s Latest Shoulder-Mounted Rigs

Until recently, Zacuto shoulder-mounted rigs have been split into two categories. One: inline rigs where your camera is in line with your shoulder and Two: offset kits where your camera is offset in front of your face. Recoil rigs are a new third category (the term coined by Steve and Jens) that places your camera directly over your shoulder in the more traditional ENG style allowing for a shorter, lighter and a more balanced rig. You won’t believe how light your rig is–perfect for all day handheld shooting; as well as extremely quick shoulder to tripod changeover. Shooting on location in tight spaces when you are plastered up against the wall makes Recoil shooting essential. With the camera further back over your shoulder, monitoring, focusing and camera control are all moved further forward for comfort and accessibility. Zacuto has been working hard to create innovative new accessories to highlight the unique new Recoil concept.

Recoil kits include a mixture of some or all of the following accessories.

QR Shoulder Pad

The QR Shoulder Pad attaches directly under your camera or baseplate like a tripod plate. Its comfy Akon-polymer padding settles naturally into your shoulder. It is easily adjusted forward and back to achieve perfect balance. With the flip of a lever the shoulder pad quick releases off of the camera and is ready to mount on a Kessler, Really Right Stuff or Zacuto Tripod Adapter plate. This enables you to quickly move from shoulder mounted use to a tripod, slider, dolly etc. in seconds.

Half Cage, Z-Rails and Axis

This universal Half Cage system slides onto 15mm rods and expands to fit over any lens or camera. The Half Cage adds a side handle and multiple mounting options for accessories. The top section of the Half Cage is a Z-Rail, perfect for holding the Zacuto Axis, and other Zacuto rail accessories like cold shoes, rod mounts, etc. The Axis is our most adjustable EVF Mount; perfect for precise positioning of your EVF in a Recoil configuration and eyepiece leveler style shooting.

Z-Drive and Tornado

The Zacuto Z-Drive is a unique, universal follow focus. It attaches to a single 15mm diameter rod and curves away from the operator creating space and distance from the lens for comfortable use when the camera is on your shoulder. The Tornado grip connects to the Z-Drive via a standard whip port. The comfortable horn shape of the Tornado grip combines with the curve in the Z-Drive to create a unique mechanical follow focus handgrip. With this new concept system, you can keep both hands in the same place during handheld camera operation. Being able to focus with your handgrip keeps the camera rock solid as opposed to releasing your left hand to grab a traditional follow focus or the lens which makes your camera rock.

Camera Control Accessories

Many new cameras have a removable handgrip that includes a camera control function. These grips can be relocated at the front of a Recoil kit to act as a handgrip. Zacuto makes Relocators for the Canon C100/300/500 and Sony FS100 and fs700. We also partner with Okii who make a USB stop/start remote compatible with all Canon DSLRs.


Recoil Rigs

Zacuto offers the following Recoil rigs. These are the basic frameworks you need to get started building your own Recoil. You can customize your Recoil to fit your camera and accessories. Many of these rigs include the Recoil Handgrip Kit. This convenient kit includes a Z-Drive, Tornado and Zgrip Z-Mount Zwivel. The Zgrip Z-Mount Zwivel is a highly adjustable single hand grip which can be used on the right side of the camera to balance out the Z-Drive and Tornado. Consider adding an EVF Pro to any of these kits with a Half Cage or Z-Rail accessory for mounting the Axis EVF Mount.

DSLR Recoil

The DSLR Recoil includes our Mini DSLR Baseplate with 6.5” rods attached, a QR Shoulder Pad, and the Recoil Handgrip Kit. Directly underneath the Mini DSLR Baseplate is the Zacuto QR Shoulder Pad.

UB3 Recoil

The UB3 Recoil is built around the Universal Baseplate and is suitable for a wide range of flat-bottom video cameras such as the Panasonic HVX200 and AF100 and Sony F3. Directly underneath the Universal Baseplate is the Zacuto QR Shoulder Pad. This rig also includes our Recoil Handgrip Kit.

Recoil for C100-C300-C500

The Recoil V2 for C100-C300-C500 cameras includes our Studio Baseplate and the Zacuto ENG Grip Relocator that positions the C100/300 removable grip at the rods for comfort and convenience. The Canon C100/300 removable grip attaches directly to our Relocator handle and our exclusive right angle cable connects to the port on your camera. We also offer a Lite version of this kit with the smaller Gorilla Baseplate and no relocator.

Recoil for Sony F5/F55

The Sony F5/F55 Tornado Recoil includes our F5/F55 Baseplate, a QR Shoulder Pad, and the Recoil Handgrip Kit. It sets the camera in the correct position so your eye can comfortably reach the Sony viewfinder. For those who would prefer a more basic handgrip set up without the follow focus, Zacuto also offers the simpler Sony F5/F55 Recoil. This kit includes the same F5/F55 Baseplate and QR Shoulder Pad and is finished off with our double handgrips, the Zgrips V3 with articulation at the handgrips and a pivot up at the rods.

Click for more information about Zacuto’s Recoil Rigs.

Digital Production Buzz — November 28, 2013

  • An Inside Look At Adobe Anywhere
  • Update on the New DGA/AMPTP Agreement
  • Finding Great Music For Your Next Project
  • Is The Cloud Ready for Government Use?

GUESTS: Michael Coleman, Jonathan Handel, Marrsha Sill, and Marty Lafferty

Click to listen to the current show.
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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Michael Coleman, Sr. Product Mgr, Collaborative Workflows, Professional Video, Adobe

Recently, Adobe released “Adobe Anywhere,” their new collaborative software for sharing media between geographically dispersed teams. This week, Adobe’s Senior Product Manager, Michael Coleman, stops by to explain what Adobe Anywhere is, who it’s for, and how it works.

Jonathan Handel, Entertainment Attorney, Troy Gould

The DGA and AMPTP recently announced a new, groundbreaking collective bargaining agreement under the guidance of DGA President Paris Barclay. Jonathan Handel, entertainment and technology attorney Of Counsel with Troy/Gould and a Buzz regular, joins us this week to explain the significance.

Marrsha Sill, Executive Vice President, Chicago Music Library

Music drives the emotions. But finding the right music can be tricky. Marrsha Sill, Executive Vice-President of Chicago Music has been placing music in film and television for 20 years. She joins us this week to explain how to find the most elusive creative elements for your productions.

Marty Lafferty, CEO, DCIA (Distributed Computing Industry Association)

Marty Lafferty, the CEO of DCIA (Distributed Computing Industry Association) has organized two days of educational sessions at this year’s Pro Media Conference, which is part of GV Expo. This week, he explains his organization’s interest in The Cloud, what it means to government services, and what they are offering at the conference.

The Buzz is all the information you need now to know what’s coming next!

The Digital Production BuZZ airs LIVE Thursday from 6-7 PM Pacific Daylight Time. Ask questions during the show on our Live Chat, listen live, download an episode from the archives, or subscribe to the podcast either through iTunes or our website. Whatever you do, DON’T miss this week’s show!

Producer’s Corner: November 22, 2013

This week on the Digital Production BuZZ, we visit Evan Daugherty’s reimagining of the uber-classic characters from Super Mario Brothers (you’ve never seen them like this before); take a walk into the world of mega-storage with Brent Bucci, Vice President of MediaFire and learn some tricks from one of Playhouse West’s charismatic acting coaches, Kathleen Randazzo.

Speaking of storage:  Did you know that MediaFire is offering up to 100 GB for under $3 a month?  What?! I’ve been watching them for a while and thought it was time to share this with you, especially since they are going into beta with a new version of the site and I’m jumping on board. Didn’t want to be selfish and leave you out.  There will be more on this in the very near future, but check them out at and join 100 million others in the playroom.  Nice.


Ok, this one is creative and so very cool.  Have you been on Polaris’ YouTube site lately? Check it out: Watch The Four Players and you’ll see a brand new take on the classic Super Mario Brothers characters that we all know and love, The Fixer (Mario), The Addict (Luigi), The Soldier (Toad) and The Star (poor Peach, still in jeopardy). You’ll be interested in what writer/director Evan Daugherty has to say about these films and his career in Hollywood. Evan wrote one of the industry’s most highly sought after spec scripts for a movie while still in college, Snow White and the Huntsman. The film grossed over $400 million. He didn’t stop there.  The prolific scribe went on to pen even more blockbusters:  He Man aka Masters of the Universe for Warner Brothers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Paramount and director Michael Bay, and the upcoming GI Joe 3 for Paramount and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura.  But it is his creative freedom on the new shorts that seems to excite Evan the most.  Let us know what you think, but my opinion is that they are well written and shot, well acted and the production value is high, especially when you consider Evan utilized his own money and lots of friends and favors.  The shorts were shot on the RED Epic in 5K and posted on FCP.  Dailies were processed on 1080p.

The Fixer (Mario)

The Addict (Luigi)

The Soldier (Toad)

The Star (Princess Peach)

Speaking of well acted, I met Kathleen Randazzo on the set of a film I was directing a few years ago where she played Dean Caine’s wife – yes, the wife of Superman, well, not Superman in that movie, but you get the drift.  If you ask her about her first loves, acting being one of them, she will surely tell you how much she also loves coaching at Playhouse West. Founded over thirty years (1981) by ago by  Robert Carnegie and Jeff Goldblum and practicing the legendary Sanford Meisner technique, the school boasts such notable alumni’s as Ashley Judd, James Franco, Jim Carrey,  Heather Graham, Sean Astin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Scott Caan…but wait, there’s more…and Adrianne Palicki (who starred in G.I. Joe, sound familiar?) Kathleen gives us tips, tricks and lots of encouragement, and she’s gorgeous with a melodic voice, so settle in and enjoy!

As ever, we are so grateful to you for listening to our show!  Please email me to if you have questions, want to suggest a guest for an upcoming show or comment on something you have heard.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Cirina Catania
Cirina Catania
Supervising Producer, Digital Production BuZZ
Write to Cirina at:

Inside Insight: How To Manage Change And Relearning? by Philip Hodgetts

As you probably know, I’m a regular contributor to Larry Jordan’s Digital Production BuZZ talking about a variety of topics from technical to esoteric. Larry, Michael Horton and I recently started a discussion – yet again – on whether or not Final Cut Pro X was “for the pros” but fortunately moved the topic toward managing change. We all felt that the discussion about FCP X was over, since it is being used all across the professional production spectrum, but pondered why it still generates controversy.

The discussion was one of the best we’ve had on the BuZZ, and I felt that each of the questions deserved a little more depth than I could go into with a two minute answer.

Click here to read more.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – Nov. 21, 2013

Digital Production Buzz

November 21, 2013

[Transcripts provided by]


      Click here
to listen to this show.]


Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


Brent Bucci, VP, Developer and Brand Relations, MediaFire

Evan Daugherty, Principal, Feudal Systems

Kathleen Randazzo, Acting Coach, Playhouse West


Voiceover: This Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries.

Voiceover: Live from Ralph’s Maytag Museum at Podcast Studio in beautiful downtown Burbank, it’s the Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: Production, post production, distribution. What’s really happening now and in your digital future?

Voiceover: The Buzz is live now.

Larry Jordan: And welcome to The Digital Production Buzz, the leading internet podcast covering digital video production, post production and distribution around the world. My name is Larry Jordan and joining us is our co-host, the never bombastic, ever affable Mr. Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: Never bombastic?

Larry Jordan: Never bombastic.

Mike Horton: It’s always good to be here, Larry. This is two weeks in a row for me. Let’s see if we can make it three weeks.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got a great show. We’ve got some world class guests this week.

Mike Horton: Yes indeed.

Larry Jordan: We’re starting with Brent Bucci. He’s the Vice President of Developer and Brand Relations for MediaFire, a company that provides cloud storage services for collaboration. He joins us this week to explain if it’s safe for media creators to jump into the cloud.

Larry Jordan: Evan Daugherty wrote his first successful script – Mike, this should remind you of your career as a young adult – when he was in college, the $400 million success, Snow White and the Huntsman.

Mike Horton: Yes, I just want to slap him.

Larry Jordan: Now he’s exploring the intersection of gaming, science fiction and screenwriting by directing the highly successful YouTube videos called The Four Players, that re-imagine Super Mario Brothers as a movie.

Mike Horton: Yes, I just watched it before the show, watched all four of them. Nice job. We’re going to talk to him about it.

Larry Jordan: You can tell him that yourself.


Mike Horton: Yes, it looks great and it really held my attention. It’s super, super stuff, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Do you think he’s written a script before?

Mike Horton: Probably, in college, and he’s doing it now. Diversion he just wrote too, which is a very, very big novel, or trilogy.

Larry Jordan: And we’re going to have a third guest, because we wanted to spend more time with all three of them. We’re going to talk to Kathleen Randazzo. She’s an acting coach and an actor at the highly respected Playhouse West School in Hollywood. She stops by with tips for actors on improving their craft.

Larry Jordan: By the way, Michael, I know that you know this because you are just a devotee of the printed word.

Mike Horton: Yes I am.

Larry Jordan: But we are now offering text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Now you can quickly scan or print the contents of each show as well, Michael, as print them out and post them on your wall so you can admire the witticisms that you…

Mike Horton: Put them on your whiteboard.

Larry Jordan: The nice thing is you can both listen to the show or look something up in text and the transcripts are located on each show page. Thanks to the folks at

Larry Jordan: Also, and Patrick is frantically typing in the other office, we’re now doing live tweeting during the show. Join us in the conversation @dpbuzz or use the #buzzlive. Last week, we had almost a thousand people taking part in the show, which I just find fascinating. I love looking at the conversations.

Mike Horton: Don’t you love the internet community? I mean, it’s incredible.

Larry Jordan: It is, it’s amazing. As I mentioned.

Mike Horton: Who you can reach.

Larry Jordan: By the way, how come you’re not in Europe or doing some SuperMeet somewhere?

Mike Horton: What month is this? We had the LAFCPUG meeting last night, which you are a part of, and you and Norman Hollyn last night were brilliant.

Larry Jordan: It was fun. We talked about the craft of creating a story.

Mike Horton: It was so good.

Larry Jordan: Thank you.

Mike Horton: I loved the fact that you sort of took the tech side and he took the craft side and you melded it together and it was a wonderful presentation. I wish we could do more of that sort of thing.

Larry Jordan: Well, are people going to be able to see it after the fact?

Mike Horton: Yes, Dean, I think, is working on it right now. There were a lot of really good lines that came out of both your mouths, tweetable lines, and I do hope this goes up really quickly. We’ll show it to you just in case you said a few words that you don’t like to have said.

Larry Jordan: You know, it was fun because we were talking about how we tell stories, as opposed to the buttons we push.

Mike Horton: It was great. It was just super stuff.

Larry Jordan: Thank you, it was fun. We’ll look forward to talking about more of it. By the way, visit us on Facebook, at Check out our weekly newsletter at for all the latest news on both our show and the industry. I’ll be back with Brent Bucci from MediaFire right after this.

Larry Jordan: The latest version of Da Vinci Resolve 10 is now shipping from Blackmagic Design. The new version includes innovative tools to speed on-set color grading, support for open effects plug-ins and simplified integration for Final Cut Pro, Avid and Premier Pro projects, allowing timelines to be easily moved in and out. You can even tweak your edits inside Resolve without wasting time switching back to your editing software just to make a simple change.

Larry Jordan: New editing features include full multi-track editing with 16 channels of audio per clip and unlimited video and audio tracks in the timeline. Da Vinci Resolve 10 can finish online from the original camera files for dramatically better quality. The latest version of Resolve 10 is a free upgrade to all Resolve users and, if you’re looking for ways to make your pictures look great, download the free version of Da Vinci Resolve 10 from

Larry Jordan: MediaFire is one of the most popular online storage sites in the world and Brent Bucci is the Vice President of Developer and Brand Relations for MediaFire. He joins us tonight to talk about how MediaFire enables both storage and collaboration but it’s on the cloud, so there’s a lot to discuss. Welcome, Brent.

Brent Bucci: Thanks so much for having me.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you with us. Start at the beginning. What is MediaFire?

Brent Bucci: Well, we originally started out in 2006 as a site simply designed to be able to share really large files with other people. Back in 2006 was before people really understood what cloud storage was and so we were laying down a lot of initial infrastructure for that. Since then, we’ve really evolved into a larger site designed to help you store all of your media and make it available to you any time you want, anywhere you go on any device that you might have, whether it’s on the web, desktop or your mobile device.

Larry Jordan: Well, who are some of your current clients?

Brent Bucci: So we have a variety of clients, anyone from average everyday users that are using MediaFire to be able to share their photos and videos to professionals that are being able to use MediaFire to both collaborate with other people, as well as share their creations and media in the cloud with other users, so everyone from independent film makers to DJs are using it.

Larry Jordan: Now, are we using it for distribution, for instance? Are you competing with the Sorenson 360 or are you using it for pre-production? From a point of view of media people, how does MediaFire get used?

Brent Bucci: So we’re primarily used in two ways. Before this, we were primarily seen as a site for distribution, so for example you can upload to the cloud and then be able to share links via Facebook and Twitter and really easily be able to have people be able to quickly download and play back your video from wherever they are in an optimized way for their device.

Brent Bucci: But this week, we had a special launch, which is really bringing collaboration to our application. Basically, our new updated, called MediaFire Desktop, is an app for OSX as well as Windows that automatically syncs your video or media in the cloud directly from your computer and you can instantly share with other people and have them be able to edit your document and you can actually follow them in real time as they edit your media.

Brent Bucci: So if you’re collaborating with, say, another director or another film maker or you have some other people that are doing pre-production on your footage, you can actually share with them the raw project files and they could go and edit it and it will actually notify you when they’ve accessed it and what changes they’ve made.

Larry Jordan: I want to come back to collaboration, because there’s a lot to talk about here, but without even thinking about it I can think of YouTube and Vimeo and Blip just as three companies that make distribution of media possible. Why would someone consider MediaFire when you’re competing against the 800 pound gorillas in the world?

Brent Bucci: Well, there are several reasons. One is, yes, for social distribution obviously Vimeo and YouTube and a lot of those big sites make a lot of sense, but when it comes to work in progress, so if you’re working on an actual project, a lot of times you want to be able to bounce ideas back and forth and change them dynamically as you go and MediaFire really gives you the freedom and ability to do that very quickly.

Brent Bucci: For example, if you have an update to a video and you have a bunch of users that have posted links to it, you can automatically actually update that video and it will automatically be updated in all the links that you’ve shared with everyone else.

Larry Jordan: So wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Wait, wait. We’re moving too quick here, I’ve got to slow this down so my brain catches up. We would do an edit, say another version of our edit. We would output that edit and then upload that file, say, in compressed form to you and then people would look at it? Because you’re not actually dynamically looking at how we’re changing the media.

Brent Bucci: Absolutely. Basically, everything is saved to the cloud and updated and so our users tend to engage with content. For example, a lot of people listen to musicians or DJs through Twitter and Facebook primarily. That’s a huge audience engaging with content in that way. MediaFire really gives them the freedom to be able to do that, but we’re primarily geared towards people that are looking to share and do really creative engagement with their community in really interesting ways.

Brent Bucci: There’s a huge need for people to be able to remix content when it comes to video and audio. By giving people a direct download and control to be able to share and edit content, we really broaden the audience that normal people have and actually give them a lot more freedom than some of the other platforms like Vimeo and YouTube have got currently.

Larry Jordan: So maybe an application would be a performing artist records a concert from two or three cameras and uploads the three cameras of the concert and people could then re cut, is what you’re saying?

Brent Bucci: Yes, absolutely. We have a lot of DJs that use our service and other artists that also upload raw versions of their tracks or even, you know, raw product files to be able to share with the community in a way that they can go and edit it and be able to share it on MediaFire and it becomes something that’s very, very viral and very engaging, so instead of just becoming an audience, it allows people to become a participant in media creation, which is really the larger idea that media is shifting towards.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so I can understand why from a, let’s just say a musical point of view, uploading a concert would make sense, and I’m using that just in general terms. But you can’t make money doing that, can you? So this would be more from a media creator’s point of view or a performer’s point of view. This would need to be viewed more as a marketing activity than a way of paying the rent.

Brent Bucci: Absolutely. You know, the fact is the media landscape is changing very dynamically, and we’re seeing this with a shift in how people are perceiving market value of media online, but there’s also a huge need for promotion when it comes to digital content and being able to empower audience numbers to have access to that content is really important and engages them on a whole other level.

Brent Bucci: I think that that’s going to extend, that same trend will extend to video in the same way that we’re seeing video mash-ups on YouTube extend and people being able to create new, interesting content via video. We’re going to see that and the tools just have to be built in such a way to enable audiences to do it more easily.

Larry Jordan: I can see the collaboration, which is MediaFire Desktop, but making the collaboration possible has got to be a massive amount of storage, which I think is what got you in the market in the first place, so how do you hook the storage in and what kind of storage is available and what does it cost and can it be afforded by people smaller than Walt Disney?

Brent Bucci: Well, when it comes to storage, we actually run our own servers and we were one of the earliest companies in the business and so, unlike other storage services such as DropBox, we have our own servers. It was out of necessity when we first started, because Amazon Cloud posted towards services and other services like that didn’t exist back in 2006, and what came out of necessity has really become an advantage to us because we’re able to offer a lot more storage for a lot less than anyone else in the market.

Brent Bucci: We generally offer 50 gigs of cloud storage for free to all of our users.

Mike Horton: Wait a minute. Say that again. 50 gigs free?

Brent Bucci: Yes, yes, free.

Mike Horton: Holy cow! I’m signing up right now then.

Brent Bucci: Yes, yes, right?

Mike Horton: Well, I use DropBox, you mentioned DropBox and I used DropBox like a lot of other people do, and one of the problems I have with DropBox is that it’s so slow. It’s slow to upload, slow to download and it’s been a major pain and I don’t know if that was because of me or is that because of their servers? If I were to use you, would things be faster?

Brent Bucci: Well, with services such as DropBox, they use other companies’ back ends, so they tend to pay for bandwidth and they pay for servers. If you’re using something like a free or paid account, they tend to actually limit your transfer speed based on that.

Mike Horton: Well, I’m actually paying because I think, well, DropBox gives you, what, two gigs free or something like that? I don’t know what it is.

Brent Bucci: Yes, something like that. I believe it’s two gigs free, which is not enough to really do anything fun so, you know, you really need 50 gigs and up to be able to really enjoy the cloud in an interesting way. So instead of using other people’s servers, we use our own and we optimize them very, very quickly and we’re designed around media. We have designed our entire service to be about being able to serve video content, music and media very, very quickly to users and our tested speeds are about twice as fast as the competition and that’s only going to get faster over time as networks…

Larry Jordan: Brent, I was just thinking, putting this kind of hardware together and supporting that kind of infrastructure is neither cheap nor easy. Is this you and a friend working in a basement?

Brent Bucci: No, it’s not. We actually have a team of over 100 developers now that all work for MediaFire that are based in Texas and I’m based in San Francisco and we’re looking at global expansion as well, so we’re a really long lasting company that loves seasoned industry veterans. For many of us, this is not our first foray into storage at all, but first to cloud storage. We’ve got some really, really good people on board that make sure that everything runs 24/7.

Larry Jordan: And who owns the company and how is it financed?

Brent Bucci: Well, we’re actually privately financed. We’re profitable. We started day one when Derek Labian and Tom Langridge co-founded the company, along with a few other co-founders. They originally came from a company called File Front, that they actually exited and sold and they used their profits to start MediaFire. Since then, we’ve been very wise in our expansion and we’ve remained private and profitable.

Larry Jordan: So talk to me again about this new software. Now that we understand that you’ve got affordable storage in vast quantities and that people can use you as a way of distributing media similar to YouTube or Vimeo but with a difference, where does the desktop application fit in?

Brent Bucci: Well, for the desktop application, we really wanted to make a seamless way for users to be able to share data in the cloud directly from their desktop without having to log into their browser or do comprehensive things. So basically we’ve created a syncing application that just looks like a specific folder and a notification window that’s directly integrated into your desktop, whether you’re on OSX or Windows, and you can basically drag anything into your MediaFire folder and select if you want to share it on the web and make it public or if you want to just save it automatically to your MediaFire folder and it will automatically sync and fit. It’s that simple.

Brent Bucci: We have some really cool technologies so it can actually limit your bandwidth if you’re surfing the net and you don’t want it to, say you’re uploading a huge, huge file, like 100 gigs or something of video, we make it really simple that it will automatically select the best speed and it makes sure that everything in that file’s automatically backed up.

Brent Bucci: We’ve also built these really cool tools for being able to follow other people, so we have what’s called a following folder and that allows you to follow other MediaFire users that have shared content with you and automatically receive notifications when they’ve updated that file or if they’ve modified it or created new things and that’s really, really good for workflow, say if you’re working with someone else who’s a digital video professional on a project, to let you know exactly when they’ve made new changes to the project or when they’ve accessed the file.

Larry Jordan: Now, we’ve got two questions coming in from our live chat. Eric is asking that you say that for free, you just told us a minute ago we get 50 gig, and there’s something on the website about starting at ten gig, so what’s the free allocation?

Brent Bucci: So we start with ten gigs for if you download it desktop and just install and sign up for free, so you get ten gigs just for signing up. You get another five gigs if you download DropBox, oh sorry, if you download MediaFire Desktop, and then if you install… applications, we give you another five gig free and then if you link up your Facebook account, you get a gig; and then the rest you can get by sharing with friends, so if you get them to sign on for a free account, for every friend you get another gig.

Larry Jordan: It’s like multi-channel marketing for storage.

Brent Bucci: Well, you know, we used to just give away 50 gigs to everyone, just for signing up, firstly customizing their profile and really doing that, and what we found is that users that got the most out of our site were the ones who downloaded the application and were the ones that really engaged with it. A big thing with cloud storage is we’re asking everyday users to pay for cloud storage at the end of the day, like we really want to convert people to using it, and for it to be successful it has to be something that people use on an everyday basis and when people realize that there’s a mobile app that they can access their data from anywhere or that by linking it to their Facebook account, they can automatically post to all their followers on Twitter or engage in really cool new ways, it becomes more useful to them.

Larry Jordan: Take a deep breath. I’ve got two more questions and we’re going to run out of time. Marina Delray is asking if the person receiving the files also needs to have an account or just the person sending the files?

Brent Bucci: No, they don’t have to have an account, they can just download it. But it is really handy if they have an account on MediaFire because if they have an account and someone shares it with them, they can with one click add it and save it to their MediaFire account and it will instantly be saved, it will be instantly added into their account without having to directly download the file.

Larry Jordan: What’s the monthly fee and what happens to our media if we don’t pay it after a few months?

Brent Bucci: Well, I mean, we’re pretty lenient when it comes to that, but say if you get MediaFire and you have a Premium account, like you only use 50 gigs of it and after a few months you decide, “Oh, I just want to downgrade to the 50 gig account,” we let you and we don’t touch your data.

Larry Jordan: Ok, and the monthly cost is?

Brent Bucci: The monthly cost is 4.99 starting at 100 gigs and it scales up from there, so we have accounts all the way up to 50 terabytes if people want it.

Larry Jordan: Well, that covers Michael’s movies right there, 50 terabytes.

Brent Bucci: I know, yes. Well, you know, give us a call and we can.

Larry Jordan: Where can people go on the web to learn more about this and sign up for the free trial so they can get a sense of how this works?

Mike Horton: I just signed up.

Larry Jordan: I know, but Brent gets to tell us.

Brent Bucci: Yes, it’s just and if they want to read more about MediaFire Desktop, they can go to

Larry Jordan: So to get started, it’s and Brent Bucci is the Vice President of Developer and Brand Relations for MediaFire and, Brent, this has been great. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.

Mike Horton: Thanks so much.

Brent Bucci: All right, thanks so much, guys.

Larry Jordan: Take care, have a good evening.

Brent Bucci: You too.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Evan Daugherty wrote his first screenplay – Snow White and the Huntsman – while he was in college and just totally humiliated Mike and myself. It grossed over $400 million. Then he penned He Man, which was also known as Masters of the Universe, for Warner Bros. and in his spare time in an afternoon he wrote Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Paramount and Michael Bay and now Mike and I are not talking to him at all.

Larry Jordan: His latest foray is into directing.

Mike Horton: We’re just jealous.

Larry Jordan: Directing with the viral series called The Four Players, four new short films, each one re-imagining a different character from Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers, so it is with great trepidation we say welcome, Evan, good to have you with us.

Evan Daugherty: Hey guys, how’s it going?

Larry Jordan: Well, up until we were talking to you, we were feeling pretty good but now.

Mike Horton: Yes, we were feeling really good about ourselves.

Larry Jordan: Completely humiliated.

Evan Daugherty: Please. Please, please.

Mike Horton: It’s like you’re talking to Mozart. “When did you do your first concert?” “At five years old.”

Evan Daugherty: Right, exactly. No, no, I was still pretty late. I was kind of wandering around for a long time there.

Larry Jordan: Yes, well, you can’t even begin to get away with that, but I do want to find out.

Mike Horton: And Evan’s out of rehab now and doing well.

Larry Jordan: What got you into screenwriting in the first place? What caught your eye?

Evan Daugherty: Well, it’s a little bit round about. I always made movies in the back yard, I was always fascinated with movies. In my sort of aimless youth, I used to go see two and three movies in a row on the weekend, so I always loved making movies.

Evan Daugherty: Went to NYU Film School and learned a lot about the behind the scenes aspect of it, but what I sort of learned while there at NYU and then some of the years afterwards, where I really wasn’t getting a lot of traction, what I realized is it’s a lot easier and a lot cheaper, literally, to sort of enter the world of film making through screenwriting in the sense that you don’t have to go out there and buy or rent a bunch of equipment, you don’t have to get your 20 friends together and cast something and shoot it and edit it and cut it, although that’s all stuff I love doing. If you don’t have those resources, it’s a lot easier to get a copy of Final Draft and sort of, you know, flex your creative film making muscles in that way.

Evan Daugherty: And that really just was how I got into it and then it really took off and I’ve been fortunate to have had some success on the screenwriting side but, you know, obviously I consider myself sort of a storyteller or a film maker, whatever you want to call it, but I got into it that way and it’s been a very fulfilling few years.

Larry Jordan: So you got into it because you were cheap.

Evan Daugherty: Yes, exactly. That’s the short version.

Mike Horton: Good tip, though.

Evan Daugherty: Yes, yes.

Larry Jordan: If my notes are correct, you were signed by an agent and a manager before your first script was even sold.

Evan Daugherty: Correct.

Larry Jordan: So how did they find you and what compelled them to take you on as a client with no marketable anything?

Evan Daugherty: Good question. It happened for me, as it does for some good percentage of screenwriters breaking in, and that’s through a screenwriting competition and with not even a big screenwriting competition necessarily. It wasn’t the Nickel, but it was a smaller one but I won, so that counts for something, big fish in small pond. And then managers that really sort of hustle, they look at those contest results and I got emails from five or six; within a couple of months of winning that competition, I had a manager. One of the first things a manager does is try to help you get an agent so that they can help you sort of drum up work, so within about three or four months, I had a manager and an agent after winning a screenwriting contest.

Mike Horton: I’m sure there are a lot of writers listening to this right now. How was it that you decided to go with that particular manager? I mean, he could have been Bob Smith’s Management and Furniture Company.

Evan Daugherty: Yes. Good question. It’s very important now, and with the internet it’s fairly easy to just do your due diligence on that sort of thing, because, like I say, I got responded to by a lot of managers. I probably got responses from ten managers and, after doing a little research, three seemed to be pretty legitimate sort of people working in the business. In particular on the management side, there are a lot of sort of people that aren’t necessarily real managers.

Mike Horton: Yes, they promise to get you meetings with CAA.

Evan Daugherty: Yes, right, yes, exactly, day one, yes.

Larry Jordan: Evan, I’m going to spend a little bit more time with your start and then shift gears into the web videos, so don’t panic, we are going to get there. But what was the genesis for Snow White and the Huntsman? How did that script get born?

Evan Daugherty: I believe I was a sophomore at NYU and it was not for an assignment, but recently we had been given an assignment to write a short screenplay where we – and by the way, this is now sort of almost a cliché – but the assignment was take an old fairytale, folk tale, classical myth and tell it in a modern way.

Mike Horton: I love that assignment. That’s really cool.

Larry Jordan: That’s a very good assignment.

Evan Daugherty: Yes, it was a great assignment. I ended up using, funnily enough, a myth from Norse mythology about Thor and wrote a different sort of story, but I know it wasn’t long after that that I had the idea to write Snow White and the Huntsman, so my mind must have just been in that head space of telling old stories in new ways and, for me, it was also about remembering that experience, one of the first movies I saw in the theater was a re-release of the Disney Snow White, and the memory of that huntsman character who the Queen sends to kill Snow White and then had the change of heart and lets her go was really vividly etched into my memory and I said, “That’s a really cool starting point for a different telling of this fairytale.”

Larry Jordan: Well, the film grossed $400 million and, having read most film contracts, I know that the writer alone generates a clear 300 million, so how did success change your career as a writer?

Evan Daugherty: It changed it in immeasurable ways, almost. I had been working out here for about a year and a half, two years, but I was doing what a lot of screenwriters do, which is working on scripts that just get stuck in development hell, you know?

Larry Jordan: Goes nowhere.

Evan Daugherty: So it’s like you write a script. That was what happened with He Man – Warner Bros. ended up not making it – so I was very excited to be doing what I was doing, but having a movie made and having a movie made at that level certainly kicked it up into a great new echelon.

Mike Horton: Now, not being a seasoned writer, this was a big film – big budget, you’ve got some big directors, you’ve got some big producers and all this. I’m assuming, and I haven’t read the story, but I’m assuming that once you hand that in, it ain’t yours any more and somebody does something with it.

Evan Daugherty: Oh yes, oh yes. Well, you know, when I was hired, it was my baby, I had written it in 2002 and I didn’t sell it until, I think, 2011 so there’s nine years where it was like my little baby. It was purchased, progressed to production. I actually stayed and worked on it for another six months with the director.

Mike Horton: Oh, cool.

Evan Daugherty: Which was good, but then I was, as happens to a great many writers in Hollywood, I’ll put it the not nice way, I was fired.

Mike Horton: Yes, of course. Of course.

Evan Daugherty: The other people were brought in to re-write me, thankfully didn’t sort of mess with the essence of the movie – I still have the primary screenwriting credit on the film – but other writers are credited alongside me and, to be really honest, you know, going back and watching that movie, I’m really, really proud of that movie, but watching it is very much a rollercoaster of emotions, of seeing the things that are yours and being excited about that, seeing the things that change and saying, “Oh, I don’t know about that,” so it’s a tricky movie for me to watch because there are just so many emotions surrounding it.

Larry Jordan: Yes, it’s your baby but it’s dressed in clothes you would never pick out.

Evan Daugherty: A few items.

Mike Horton: Yes, but when you talk to other young writers who aspire to be doing what you are doing, I mean, how precious can you be about your material when you’re doing movies in the Hollywood system, without killing yourself.

Evan Daugherty: Well, that’s a tough question because you can’t be too precious at all and the thing that makes it extra hard, but the thing that if you make peace with you can actually have a lot of success, is you have to really commit yourself. For the words you put on the page for any given draft to be good, you have to really commit yourself, mind and soul, to what you’re putting on the page, yet at the same time you have to then be willing in three days to change it completely based on what producers or studio executives or directors say.

Evan Daugherty: So if you’re able to kind of be that constant font of ideas and creativity, then it’s something that works out. But yes, you do have to be prepared for that kind of mindset, for sure.

Larry Jordan: Well, let’s take a step forward. Let’s move from your incredible initial success, which Mike and I are not going to talk to you about ever again.

Mike Horton: Yes, ever.

Larry Jordan: And talk about your new web series called The Four Players. Now, this one you directed. Did you write it as well?

Evan Daugherty: I did. Funnily enough, I wrote the drafts of these before I even had a manager or an agent, when I was just going to do them in my back yard, basically.

Larry Jordan: With your friends.

Mike Horton: You directed, you produced, you wrote. Now you can be precious.

Evan Daugherty: Yes, that’s exactly right and that, to be honest, is a good segue because, as much as I have loved and continue to love doing the screenwriting thing, you know, this was very much an attempt to be the captain of the ship and to say, “This is the thing I want to tell, this is the way I want to do it.” Of course, you have to be very collaborative in the process, even making like a micro budget thing like this, but yes, it was an attempt to get behind the camera and sort of flex those creative muscles.

Larry Jordan: Yes, for a micro budget thing, it sure looked good.

Evan Daugherty: Oh yes, well, we tried to stretch those dollars as far as we could. I should note that, you know, the way it worked was it’s being sort of distributed by an online content network called Polaris, which I’m very excited about, but we sort of made it almost like an independent film in the sense that I financed it myself on the cheap and we produced it ourselves, finished it and Polaris was almost like the equivalent of a studio picking up an independent film. They picked up the shorts to distribute online.

Mike Horton: You financed it yourself? You idiot.

Evan Daugherty: I know. I broke the number one rule in Hollywood.

Larry Jordan: Well, remember, he made $573 million.

Mike Horton: Oh, that’s right, exactly.

Evan Daugherty: That’s right, I got all the $400 million right in my pocket.

Larry Jordan: Cash is nothing to him.

Mike Horton: He just sold his Tesla.

Evan Daugherty: Right.

Larry Jordan: Evan, we’re going to have about, oh, five minutes to talk about this, so give me a short thumbnail what The Four Players is about.

Evan Daugherty: Sure. I have always been a fan of the Mario Brothers and sort of old school eight bit and 16 bit Nintendo gaming, and there’s a big sort of culture on the internet of taking those characters and remixing them and re-appropriating them and using those characters in different ways and usually it’s just sort of for straight comedy with mash-ups and parodies and things like that, but clearly there’s something in my brain with the Snow White and the Huntsman of it all that likes to sort of take one kind of story and tell it in a different kind of way.

Evan Daugherty: So that was the idea and it just sort of came to me, to take what I consider the four principle characters from the Mario universe – Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad, who’s basically an anthropomorphic mushroom – and in the video game they’re very cartoonish, very colorful and I just wanted to turn all that on its head and sort of explore some darker themes with those characters and to do it in a visually kind of darker and grittier sort of way.

Larry Jordan: Can you share the production budget?

Evan Daugherty: I’m going to keep it somewhat loose, but it’s in the tens of thousands.

Larry Jordan: All right, and how big a production crew and how long to shoot?

Evan Daugherty: It was, I believe, ten to 12 days with some half days in there.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Evan Daugherty: So we did it pretty quick and the crew was, you know, it ranged anywhere from, I would say, maybe 12 to 25.

Larry Jordan: And what cameras did you shoot it on?

Evan Daugherty: Shot it on the RED Epic. We shot it in 5K.

Larry Jordan: And how did you edit?

Evan Daugherty: We edited it on both myself, I did some passes and my editor, James Darling, we edited it on Final Cut Pro, which I’ve been since I was, you know, in high school.

Larry Jordan: 7 or X? 7 or X?

Mike Horton: 7.

Evan Daugherty: Yes. Oh no, not X.

Larry Jordan: Ok, just asking.

Mike Horton: You will, guarantee one day, you will.

Evan Daugherty: Yes. Yes, I know there’s a big battle, I know between 7 and X.

Larry Jordan: We’re not even going to go there. There’s quite a few effects.

Mike Horton: Oh, it’s fun, come on.

Larry Jordan: There’s quite a few effects in the film. Who did your effects and how soon did you start planning them?

Evan Daugherty: Well, very good question. A piece of advice I would give would be to start planning them earlier than I have, because what’s fun is these four shorts run the gamut from basically my friends doing it to major visual effects houses doing it, so we started with the idea that I’m just going to have all my friends that went to NYU, when they’re not working in the industry, do effects when they can, on the weekends, whatever.

Larry Jordan: That never gets done.

Evan Daugherty: Correct, exactly, so we did Mario and some of the things, and Luigi, the first two shorts, we did some of the visual effects shots that way and it was taking, you know, it took a whole year, basically, for four or five shots and I said, “These look really good, but we’ve got to kick it up a notch,” so I then went around to basically different visual effects houses in Los Angeles and the strategy I used was I cut together the film almost completely, we almost did a full sound and music mix, color time, so the movies looked really cool, in my humble opinion, and we went around and showed them to these visual effects houses and I said, “Hey, you know, I’m Evan Daugherty, I wrote Snow White and the Huntsman. I hope to use these shorts to get my.

Larry Jordan: In other words, you went begging.

Evan Daugherty: That’s right, exactly. That’s the short version, yes. So we did that and we ended up getting a lot of really great places to kind of pitch in on shorts. There’s a company called Hammerhead.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Evan Daugherty: Who did a lot of the fire stuff in Luigi.

Larry Jordan: And I’m going to give you one more credit, because I’ve got to wrap this up. Who else helped you with effects?

Evan Daugherty: We also got help from Rhythm and Hues.

Mike Horton: Oh well. They paid him.

Evan Daugherty: Yes, right. I know, because they’re out of.

Mike Horton: Yes, exactly.

Larry Jordan: For people who want to see the film, where can they go on the web to learn more?

Mike Horton: It’s good, folks.

Evan Daugherty: Yes, please check them out. I would just go to, the easiest way is

Larry Jordan: That’s

Evan Daugherty: Yes, or you can Google The Four Players.

Larry Jordan: The Four Players.

Evan Daugherty: Correct.

Larry Jordan: And, Evan, you’re Principal of Feudal Systems, is that correct?

Evan Daugherty: That’s correct. We’re using these shorts to kind of launch a bit of a production entity as well, so, @feudalsystems. Neither of those are filled in quite yet, so people are probably going to be kind of bored if they go there, but I promise good stuff to come.

Larry Jordan: Sounds perfect. Evan, thanks very much for taking the time to join us today. I wish you great success, although perhaps not greater success than you’ve already had because then Mike and I just won’t even be able to talk to you.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Evan Daugherty: Right. Thank you, guys.

Larry Jordan: But thanks very much for joining us.

Evan Daugherty: Appreciate it. Bye.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Kathleen Randazzo is an actor with television and feature films in her credits and she’s also an acting coach, which is wonderful because she helps others get better at their craft. Welcome, Kathleen, good to have you with us.

Kathleen Randazzo: Oh, thank you Larry. Happy to be here.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe your acting career?

Kathleen Randazzo: Oh, I would say it’s on again, off again, my career. I’ve been an actor for so many years, that’s the way I’d wrap it up.

Larry Jordan: What kind of films do you enjoy doing?

Kathleen Randazzo: Right now, I’m working on family oriented films.

Larry Jordan: Kathleen, are you spending more of your time now as an actor or spending more of your time now as a coach?

Kathleen Randazzo: Much more time as a coach. I used to, back in the old days, staple my resumé to my head shot and bake cookies and visit every casting director on the face of the Earth, and I just sort of lost the drive of putting all the little pictures on the computer. I do have an agent, but I just don’t focus on that so much. I find so much joy in teaching my kids and watching their careers grow. I feel like my career grows with them and they also put me in so many of their films that I’m busy working, acting on their projects, which is really wonderful and it’s such a learning experience for me as well.

Larry Jordan: Does your acting make you a better coach or does your coaching make you a better actor?

Kathleen Randazzo: I believe they go hand in hand.

Larry Jordan: How so?

Kathleen Randazzo: If you’re tutoring a math student, you understand the problem so much better when you’re teaching someone else and when I’m coaching an actor, I really start to understand the process even more when I do it myself. I make sure that I practice what I preach. I can’t tell them to read all the books and to study all the actors if I don’t plan on doing it myself.

Larry Jordan: Ashley Judd had a quote on Playhouse West and I want to talk about the school in just a second, but she said one of the things that the training at the school provides is to help her as an actress deal with the variables in a script. What does she mean?

Kathleen Randazzo: Several things. I believe that the one thing that Playhouse teaches you is to find your connection with the script. What is the meaning for you in the part? How can you hook into the meaning, the desire, the drive that the actor has? Playhouse teaches you how to really work off and listen. It’s one of those schools you go to, they don’t give you a script and say, “Here, get up and do Clifford Odet.” They say, “Let’s teach you how to act first and really learn to listen and work off,” and then they give you all the tools before they even get to a script.

Larry Jordan: Correct me for paraphrasing you, but are you saying you have to become the character before you can act the character?

Kathleen Randazzo: You have to find what links you to the character. You have to bring yourself to it. Anything that you fight for in life or you have passion about comes from a place, a deep place in yourself and I think that’s the same way you must approach a role. What is the desire? What is the drive? And how can I understand this in my life, what would this be for me in my life? So once you connect yourself to the meaning of the script, it’s that much easier to embody the character because it comes from you, not something you take and put on.

Larry Jordan: You mentioned that you teach at Playhouse West. We should probably explain. What is Playhouse West?

Kathleen Randazzo: Playhouse West is an acting school. It’s a wonderful school. It’s in the Valley in North Hollywood, on Lankershim Boulevard and it brings wonderful actors out of the school. It teaches the Sanford Meisner acting technique.

Larry Jordan: Now, for those of us who are not actors, how would you characterize that technique?

Kathleen Randazzo: Oh, jeez. It’s a special technique that teaches you how to really work off an actor, to listen and be present in the moment, not to plan ahead and try to manipulate the scene, but to really take from what you get from the other actor and use that as opposed to manufacturing behavior, really getting it off the other person, off the situation.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like improv would be very much in that style, that in order to be good at improv, you’ve got to focus on that very instant from the other actors.

Kathleen Randazzo: Larry, you are right on the nose. Improvisation, it goes hand in hand with what we teach. If any of our students come from an improv background, they get this technique very quickly. It really is about being present in the moment and being willing to be fearless and take risks. In improv, you must do that.

Larry Jordan: Yes, it’s like you never say no because you’ve got nowhere to go at that point.

Kathleen Randazzo: That’s right. That’s the truth.

Larry Jordan: Who started the Playhouse?

Kathleen Randazzo: Originally the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, Sanford Meisner taught there; and Robert Carnegie and Jeff Goldblum opened up the Playhouse West here in the West Side and he taught there the last ten years before he passed away, and so he is really our father, he is really the founder of the school and the one we emulate when we teach.

Larry Jordan: That gets to my next question – how would you describe your coaching method? I mean, it sounds like some of this has to be innate in the personality of the actor themselves. How do you teach to enable more of it?

Kathleen Randazzo: Allowing the actor to know that they’re enough. If they go out for a role and actually bring themselves into the room, they’re giving the casting director the gift of their presence. To embrace who they are and not try to be something they’re not. Bring themselves to everything and if a casting director gets your essence and you’re not right for that role and they get who you are and you actually give the gift of being there, they’ll find something for you.

Kathleen Randazzo: So basically, to embrace who you are, all your crazy qualms, and bring that in the room, your insecurity, yourself, instead of trying to pretend to be something you’re not, which we can all see when someone tries to put on a façade or tries to fake something instead of bringing themselves in the room. I think that my actors, the first thing I teach them to do is embrace who they are, whatever they are, however they perceive themselves, to actually take that and embrace that and then this is your instrument, let’s use this and see where we can go from there.

Larry Jordan: But it seems like there’s a problem with that approach in that the actor would be playing essentially the same character role after role – I think of John Ratzenberger and all the Pixar movies – as opposed to inheriting a different character. I’m thinking Dustin Hoffman.

Kathleen Randazzo: Right. Well, Dustin Hoffman works the same way. Basically, we play different roles with everyone but say you are different on the radio than you are with your family than you would be with a child. We all shift around. We all have those different characters inside of us, whether it be a dark side. They’re in us, so I really think it’s about bringing that part of yourself out, depending on what the role is, finding where that is in you, so it gives you the ability to shift around an awful lot.

Kathleen Randazzo: Mark Pellegrino is one of our teachers and actors and his characterizations, they’re a huge range and he works this way. It’s all about pulling it from yourself.

Larry Jordan: As an acting coach, as you’re looking at a new class of people that haven’t been in the system before and you’re starting with them for the first time, what’s your biggest challenge?

Kathleen Randazzo: Getting them to listen, really listen to the other actor, and that’s the first thing we teach, is teach you how to listen, listen and repeat what you hear, see if you can really hear what the other actor is saying, and you’d be so surprised at how many don’t listen the very first day. They have no idea what I just said or what the other actor said because they’re so worried about themselves, and once they can leave themselves alone and be present, then magic tends to happen.

Larry Jordan: As you look back on your coaching career, what are some of the events or people that you’re proudest of?

Kathleen Randazzo: Proud of the school. We had a film festival last year that was just outstanding. The quality of the films was really spectacular. A couple of my students were so motivated by the festival, they wrote a screenplay that we’re now working on and they also wrote a play that we’re putting up in January. It’s just a wonderful story that needs to be told. I think I’m most proud of what our school inspires out of people, what it brings out of the students believing now that they’re actors, they can also write, they can create their own projects and just watching them go and turning on the TV at night and seeing them work. It’s such a wonderful feeling of knowing that you instilled that belief in someone that they can actually take their career and go with it. It’s a real joy.

Larry Jordan: Is the school expensive?

Kathleen Randazzo: No. Our school is probably one of the least expensive schools you can find in town. We charge $200 a month. You have two classes a week that you must take and we have two free rehearsal classes a week that you can go to, plus the rehearsals that you have with your other classmates. If you write a book report and educate yourself, we take $5 off the tuition every month.

Larry Jordan: And how long does it take to get through the school?

Kathleen Randazzo: Get through the program?

Kathleen Randazzo: It’s like a game of golf – you’re at your own pace. Sometimes to get to advanced class, it takes about a year. Sometimes it takes less. It really depends on the student. I had a student in a beginning class who lasted two weeks. She was out of there, she was just really listening and focused and ready to move on for the other training, so it’s really at your own pace.

Larry Jordan: For people that are listening that would really love to come to the school but for geographic reasons can’t make it to Hollywood, what piece of advice would you give to an actor who’s starting out and trying to get their mind wrapped around their craft? How would you focus them?

Kathleen Randazzo: I would tell them to work as much as they can. Get in a play, get in a class, find a good coach, get the word out there that you’re looking for an acting coach. Get into the universities that are close by, into the film program and get your name on that casting roster and practice with those people when they’re doing their short films, get experience on a set. Get everything you can do to get involved in any way – working from behind the scenes to helping, you know, lug the lights. Whatever you can do to get yourself in that environment is going to help you in the future.

Larry Jordan: Sounds like it could be boiled down to a phrase – don’t think about it, do it.

Kathleen Randazzo: Yes, just do it. Keep doing it and then you’ll make your mistakes along the way and start to polish your craft as you go.

Larry Jordan: Kathleen, where can people go on the web to learn more about you?

Kathleen Randazzo: Well, I have a page on

Larry Jordan: A lovely page, by the way. It was fun to look at today.

Kathleen Randazzo: You can put my name in and find some of my work there; and if you’re interested in the school, you can just put in and take a look at that website as well and it tells a little bit more about the teachers and what we do there.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, playhousewest, and Kathleen Randazzo is an actor and an acting coach at Playhouse West. Kathleen, thanks for joining us today.

Kathleen Randazzo: Thank you so much, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Watching Michael get ready for this next.

Mike Horton: I thought that was a very good interview.

Larry Jordan: Thank you.

Mike Horton: Very nice. Good questions.

Larry Jordan: She was fun to talk to.

Mike Horton: Yes, she was terrific.

Larry Jordan: And I loved some of her perspectives on the whole concept of being in the moment and listening to what the other actor is saying.

Mike Horton: That’s what it’s all about, Larry. I’ve been telling you that forever. Just listen to me, listen.

Larry Jordan: I’m sorry, what did you say?

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: So now I get to listen to you again, as you step up to the microphone and say?

Mike Horton: Yes, you want to hear some acting?

Larry Jordan: I want to hear some,  that would be a first. Are you ready? It’s time for.

Mike Horton: Pick Our Brains.

Larry Jordan: That may not be acting, but it was definitely.

Mike Horton: I tell you, if she was listening.

Larry Jordan: It was stentorian is what it was.

Mike Horton: Auditioning for the part. I would have gotten it.

Larry Jordan: What you got, guy?

Mike Horton: All right, so this is a really simple one because we have to keep it kind of short anyway, but it’s a frequently asked question. This fellow wants to use Final Cut X.

Mike Horton: Not going to apply to anything. He’s going to be purchasing a new iMac and he wants to know how much RAM should he get? I mean, the new iMac can take, what, 32 gigs? Should he get 32 gigs? He’s going to get it with 16, that’s all he can afford. Is that good enough?

Larry Jordan: The minimum really for Final Cut X is eight.

Mike Horton: Right, that’s what it says.

Larry Jordan: 16 is a really good number because it’s a good compromise between the maximum – 32 – and eight. What happens is Final Cut just loads more stuff into RAM, so if you had 32 it would take advantage of it, but you’d be better off getting 16 gig.

Mike Horton: What does that mean, though, when it loads more stuff into RAM? Is RAM just faster than the GPU or something or what?

Larry Jordan: Think of the Roadrunner.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Ok, versus a turtle.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: RAM is the Roadrunner.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: It’s seriously faster, so if I can take stuff, what we do is we take the information from the hard disk, load it into RAM and rather than having to go back to that really slow hard disk all the time to get more information, which just bogs everything down, it just snaps. To give you an example, I took one of my iMacs from 2010, moved it from four gig of RAM to 16 gig of RAM and I am blown away by how fast it is.

Mike Horton: Just because it would load more stuff into your RAM.

Larry Jordan: Because it loads more stuff into RAM and the RAM is about 1,000 times faster than a hard disk, give or take a couple of thousand.

Mike Horton: Really? A thousand?

Larry Jordan: It’s just amazing.

Mike Horton: I’m going to look that up. You’re making this up as you go along there.

Larry Jordan: But it happens to be true, even though I’m making it up. The other thing is spend the money.

Mike Horton: The trouble is, you say everything with conviction, I believe everything that you say.

Larry Jordan: That’s because you.

Mike Horton: I’m just looking it up right now.

Larry Jordan: Are good at listening.

Mike Horton: You’re right, Larry.

Larry Jordan: The other thing you want to spend money on is don’t spend the money maxing out RAM. I mean, there’ll be a performance improvement, but you’re not going to see that much difference between 16 and 32. What you want to do is.

Mike Horton: Really? Why?

Larry Jordan: Will you let me finish?

Mike Horton: Well ok. Now I’m confused.

Larry Jordan: Spend the money getting a really high end graphics processor, a GPU, and 16 gig because Final Cut uses the GPU extensively and it does the GPU for all of the pixel blasting that it does, so getting a faster GPU is going go give you better performance than maxing out the RAM and getting a faster GPU for Final Cut X is going to be better than if you were to get a super fast CPU, so spend the money on the GPU first, RAM second, CPU third.

Mike Horton: I thought the GPU comes built in and you can’t spend more money on a GPU, it just comes with the iMac and you get what you get.

Larry Jordan: It depends.

Mike Horton: Is there like a built to order GPU?

Larry Jordan: With the new Mac Pro, you can also.

Mike Horton: Well, get a new Mac Pro.

Larry Jordan: So the rules are the same. RAM is important, but once you hit 16 gig, you can wait a while and upgrade later.

Mike Horton: Ok, Larry.

Larry Jordan: So get 16 gig and spend the money on the GPU.

Mike Horton: Once again, I’ve learned a lot.

Larry Jordan: This is why you come here.

Mike Horton: I know, it is.

Larry Jordan: And, by the way.

Mike Horton: Well, that and drink Jane’s wine.

Larry Jordan: You had some great questions today, by the way. I was very impressed with you.

Mike Horton: I did?

Larry Jordan: Yes you did, and I want to thank the guests that impressed me with Michael, which is Brent Bucci, the VP of Developer and Brand Relations for MediaFire.

Mike Horton: Does that mean I get paid?

Larry Jordan: Soon. Eric Daugherty, the writer, director and producer of The Four Players; and Kathleen Randazzo, an acting coach at the highly respected Playhouse West School in Hollywood.

Mike Horton: Eric was awesome. We’ve got to bring him back.

Larry Jordan: We will bring him back.

Mike Horton: Because I know he’s going to be directing. He’s going to be directing.

Larry Jordan: Music on The Buzz provided by SmartSound, streamed by wehostmacs. Our producer is Cirina Catania; the mumbling voice at the other end is Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: Go home and slap myself.

Larry Jordan: My name is Larry Jordan and have a good night.

 Voiceover: This Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries.