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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – April 24, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

April 24, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

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HOSTS

Larry Jordan

Michael Horton

GUESTS

Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter

Michael Hiltzik, Business Columnist, Los Angeles Times

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell, Editor, PostPost.TV

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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 and Podcast Studio in beautiful downtown Burbank, it’s the Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: Production, post production, distribution.

Voiceover: 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 world’s longest running podcast for creative content producers covering media production, post production, marketing and distribution around the world. My name is Larry Jordan and joining us is our co-host, the ever affable, incredibly handsome, bon viveur man about town, Mr. Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: Hello Larry.

Larry Jordan: Michael, it’s good to see you again.

Mike Horton: It is good to be here. I had a wonderful LACPUG meeting last night.

Larry Jordan: Oh, I’m so sorry I missed that.

Mike Horton: Yes, and I’m feeling the pain.

Larry Jordan: Well, you know, it’s not the meeting, it’s the beer afterwards.

Mike Horton: It’s the beer afterwards, yes.

Larry Jordan: And the pizza.

Mike Horton: I keep saying every month, “I’m not going to do this again,” but I do. I’m Irish, I can’t help it.

Larry Jordan: It was a great meeting, by the way.

Mike Horton: It was. Adobe was there last night.

Larry Jordan: I know, showing off the new stuff coming out from Adobe later on this year.

Mike Horton: Yes, and actually I got to see Prelude for the first time in a long, long time and it’s actually pretty dang powerful.

Larry Jordan: Oh yes. It’s a program that I like a great deal.

Mike Horton: Yes, it’s got some good stuff in it.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of good stuff, we have an amazing show today because this is a week with major news coming out of Washington. We’re going to start with Jonathan Handel of Counsel at TroyGould here in Los Angeles, who’s following the ground breaking Supreme Court case of Aereo versus ABC, which has implications for the entire media industry. We’ll be talking with Jonathan first.

Larry Jordan: Then, Michael Hiltzik, the financial columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins us to talk about the FCC’s proposed new rules that were rumored to be out yesterday, talking about net neutrality that seems to indicate that the web may not longer be neutral.

Mike Horton: Let’s say the end of net neutrality.

Larry Jordan: And then Jonathan Eric Tyrrell is a film maker and consultant for post post, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. He joins us today to talk about how to improve our workflow to enable us to better track our media and other assets. You remember Jonathan, Michael, don’t you?

Mike Horton: Of course I do.

Larry Jordan: Well, I’m just making sure.

Mike Horton: Jonathan is a regular on our show, although he hasn’t been on our show for a while.

Larry Jordan: Not for a while, but he has for years past.

Mike Horton: And he was driving his Porsche.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder, we’re offering text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription. Now you can quickly scan or print the contents of each show, as well as listen to it. Transcripts are located on every show page. Learn more at take1.tv and thanks, Take 1, for making it possible.

Larry Jordan: Michael, have you recovered from NAB yet?

Mike Horton: Yes. Well, actually Al Mooney and I were talking about that last night and we were both going, “Oh my God, we’re just tired.” We’re just both tired. There are too many events. It is something that sucks the life out of you.

Larry Jordan: Well, I think people should stop attending SuperMeet, then, shouldn’t they?

Mike Horton: Yes, I know. Maybe it was the SuperMeet, it wasn’t so much NAB. You know, it’s always a great experience but it does, it takes a while to recover.

Larry Jordan: It does, and there’s just so much to see and do and it doesn’t stop when the trade show closes, that’s for sure.

Mike Horton: No, no, no, there are a lot of events and there are still a lot of events to come up.

Larry Jordan: And if you want to find out what the latest news is from NAB, be sure to visit The Buzz’s coverage at nabshowbuzz.com. Nabshowbuzz.com. It’s got more than 80 interviews, more than 12 hours of just incredible shows, and analysis and breaking news on all the products.

Mike Horton: Everything that you can possibly want to know about NAB is at the Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan: Well, we didn’t cover helicopters, but that’s on the next show.

Mike Horton: Yes, you should have covered those satellite trucks.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got ours. The Buzz is happening all seven days of the week and 24 hours every day. Remember to visit us on Facebook, at digitalproductionbuzz.com; or Twitter, @dpbuzz; and subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com for an inside look at both our show and the industry.

Larry Jordan: We’re going to be right back with Jonathan Handel right after this.

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Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment and technology attorney of Counsel at TroyGould in Los Angeles. He’s also the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for The Hollywood Reporter and has a blog at jhandel.com. Hello Jonathan, welcome back.

Jonathan Handel: Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: We are doing great. How about yourself?

Jonathan Handel: I’m doing wonderfully.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, the Aereo versus ABC Supreme Court case is generating a slew of headlines this week. Some have called it the most important court case involving television in the last 30 years. I want to explore the issues with you this week about that case, so let’s start by just defining what is Aereo, what have they done and how did they do it?

Jonathan Handel: Sure. It’s interesting, because that most fundamental question in fact almost has two answers and, as I look at it and as we’ll see in a moment, Aereo manages to be two things, like a perfectly balanced optical illusion, but only one of those two things is legal without a license and that is the reason that the broadcasters, it’s actually ABC versus Aereo, it’s the reason that the broadcasters, ABC and all the others in fact, sued Aereo.

Jonathan Handel: Now, what is Aereo? Aereo is a service on the internet that lets you watch live or DVR delayed, recorded broadcast television on your PC, your tablet or your Smartphone. So it allows you to watch live TV – Channel 2, Channel 4, Channel 7, not HBO, not FX, not A&E, it’s not a full replacement for cable. In fact, you could watch these same things on your TV at home, at least, by getting a $20 rabbit ear type antenna from Radio Shack or wherever and putting it up.

Jonathan Handel: So why is Aereo making waves and why do the broadcasters not like it? The reason that Aereo is able to offer this service and to offer it at a low price point – at only $8 to $12 a month, much lower than even the lowest tier of cable – is that Aereo does not pay license fees or re-transmission fees, to be specific, to the broadcasters. The cable company, if you watch your broadcast TV on cable or on satellite, DirecTV or dish or on the telephone, AT&T U-verse or Verizon FiOS, any of those services, Cox Cable, Time Warner Cable, Comcast Cable, they all pay what are called re-transmissions fees to the broadcasters.

Jonathan Handel: Now, that money amounts to several billion dollars, not as much as advertising money but re-transmission fees are growing and advertising revenues are stalling and slowing, perhaps even declining – I’m not 100 percent sure, to be honest – but certainly in that direction and that’s because of the fact that people keep skipping over ads. People record stuff, they DVR and they skip the ads, or they watch the programming more than three days later and only the first three days count for ratings purposes. So if you do watch that ad and it’s been seven days, you might as well just skip it because no-one’s making any revenue off of that.

Jonathan Handel: How does Aereo do it and why did Aereo win in the lower courts? That’s the interesting thing. They rolled out specifically in New York for a particular reason based on certain legal precedents. They won in the District Court in New York, they won in…

Larry Jordan: Now wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Hold still, hold still. So what Aereo is doing is they are providing an individual antenna. That antenna feeds over the internet to an individual user.

Jonathan Handel: No, not exactly.

Larry Jordan: Ok, but wait, let me get to the rest of the question. Before you talk about the court case, you need to tell us who’s suing them and why.

Jonathan Handel: That’s right. The broadcasters are suing them because they say that this is copyright infringement. That what Aereo’s doing is essentially the same thing as what a cable company does, which is they make signals, including broadcast signals, available to you, but the difference is that the cable companies pay re-transmission fees. They pay fees under the communications laws and there’s a bit of confusion here because this is a copyright suit, not a communications lawsuit. We’ll pick another turn of the wheel and get to that in a minute, but that’s the reason for the lawsuit and the economic reason for the lawsuit is, as I say, that re-transmission fees are billions of dollars and they are a growing source of revenue, not a declining one, and the broadcasters want to preserve that.

Jonathan Handel: By the way, what is a broadcaster? We think of ABC as a broadcaster and you might be listening to our podcast here in Los Angeles or New York. But you might also be listening in another area and ABC might not actually be your broadcaster, even though you watch an ABC station. Each of the big networks owns and operates – they’re called owned and operated stations or O&Os – about ten stations apiece, mostly in the major markets, in the larger cities, so New York and LA, for example. Those stations – Chicago – are going to be owned by the actual networks themselves.

Jonathan Handel: What about the stations in the rest of the country? The stations in the rest of the country, a large majority of them are owned by station groups, companies like Hurst, the New York Times company used to own a number of stations – they sold them off as they’ve needed to retrench with the lawsuits, the difficulty they’re having in the newspaper business. There are other companies. In addition, there are stations that are individually owned, not owned by a station group. This sort of hodge-podge, these are the broadcasters. The major broadcasters, of course, are the networks themselves and the networks themselves have a great interest in preserving this money.

Jonathan Handel: Now, you started to get into the question of, how does Aereo actually work? And that’s exactly the right question – how does it work? Aereo, instead of having a big antenna that then feeds a signal to the end user; the way a cable system does, through a head end and into the user’s set-top box and then allowing you to record programming on your set-top box, your DVR. Aereo works differently.

Jonathan Handel: First of all, Aereo has thousands of antennae at each location. Aereo is deployed now in about a dozen cities or so. They started in New York, they rolled out to other cities, not Los Angeles though because there was bad legal precedent for them here. They have about, say, 10,000 antennae at a single installation, maybe more, thousands of them. Each antenna is the size of a dime mounted on a circuit board. The antenna doesn’t do anything until a user presses ‘Watch TV now’ or ‘Record TV for later’, either of those buttons on their menu. The antenna then tunes the station that the user wants to watch.

Jonathan Handel: If the user’s watching delayed, says record it for later, then the antenna sends that signal to a hard drive, obviously, and it’s a central hard drive in Aereo’s facility. Even if the user says I want to watch now, it actually feeds a signal to the hard drive and you get to watch not literally live, but six or seven second delay and you’re not watching a stream that comes electrically from the antenna, you’re watching a stream that comes electronically from the hard disk. So the antenna streams to the hard disk, the hard disk streams to the user.

Jonathan Handel: It’s an individual antenna per user, so even if you and I are watching the same program at the same time, we’re using different antennae. And it’s an individual section of hard disk, so we each will have our own copy on the hard disk of the same program, even though we might be watching the identical program and might have pressed record, or watch at the exact same time.

Jonathan Handel: Now, those factors are very important because think about what this looks like. If what you’re watching is actually something off a hard drive, it feels on the one hand like cable, like you’re watching cable TV. It also feels like you’re watching a DVR, in particular what’s called a remote storage DVR, an RS-DVR, because the hard disk is located at the central facility, not on your set-top box.

Jonathan Handel: RS-DVRs are not original to Aereo. Cablevision first introduced an RS-DVR in New York and Cablevision obviously had a license from content providers to provide linear cable service.  But the content providers, the broadcasters and others, said, “You’re exceeding your license. We didn’t license you to be able to record this stuff and make it available to people like that. We only licensed you to be able to make signals available live.”

Jonathan Handel: The District Court agreed with that argument, but the Court of Appeal in New York said “no.” Under the copyright law what’s going on here when you have this one to one correspondence between the hard disk and the end user is what’s called a private performance. In other words, it’s a private transmission. It’s not something that’s open to the public unless you open up your house to the public, but then you’re violating the copyright laws in a completely different scenario.

Jonathan Handel: Because of that, this is not violating copyright, because what copyright law prohibits is an unlicensed public performance. So even if I have a regular TV, leave Aereo aside, and I invite the public into my house – not just my friends but I’ve got a 100 seat home theater, let’s say, and I just open it up to the public. Now I’m violating the law. That’s why bars have to get special licenses and pay higher fees in order to show sports games and, if they don’t, they might get caught and they face damaging lawsuits when they do.

Jonathan Handel: The copyright law does not prohibit private performances or private transmissions; it prohibits public ones without a license. So look at what Aereo did. They took the RS-DVR architecture and attached an antenna to it and what the user is accessing is an RS-DVR. They’re watching a recorded program, whether there’s a seven second delay, or whether they watch it seven hours later or seven days later. They’re watching off a hard drive, just like they would be with an RS-DVR. So Aereo says, “You’ve got that one to one correspondence between sectors on the hard drive and the individual user and this is therefore a private performance.”

Jonathan Handel: What about that antenna? Well, these are free over the air signals. We have the right to supply an antenna to the end user and let the end user make use of the antenna, because no-one disagrees that an end user can put an antenna on their roof. We’re just supplying that same service.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, take a breath. If they look at it purely in terms of, this is a way to record a private performance, like a DVR, then that decision was settled 30 years ago.

Jonathan Handel: Not 30 years ago, because this is a remote storage DVR. 30 years ago, and you make a good point, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of video tape recorders in your home, video cassette recorders. The Second Circuit decision in the Cablevision case said that is a private performance and that’s a fair use right to time shift, to record something and watch it later, and so therefore we’re going to look at this and say, “Here’s a private performance as well, it’s one to one and so we’re going to allow a remote storage DVR.” That was two or three years prior to Aereo.

Larry Jordan: Now, I’m reminded of a lawsuit that occurred two years ago, in fact we covered it here on The Buzz, which is the ivi.tv lawsuit against the broadcasters, which Ivi lost in its final court challenge. Is there a similarity between what Ivi was doing and what Aereo is doing?

Jonathan Handel: I don’t think so. I’ve taken a look at that and the Ivi case is cited briefly in the brief scenario, but it’s a different situation because they did not engineer it to be a remote storage DVR type mechanism. I think it doesn’t have that ‘one to one private correspondence’ and so it didn’t raise the issue and make for what is a very difficult case.

Jonathan Handel: Whereas here, and if you want we can talk about how the Supreme Court approached this case two days ago when it came to argument…

Larry Jordan: I will, but I’ve got one more question first. We tend to think of broadcasters as wanting to have the largest audience possible to get the most viewers, but this really isn’t the size of the audience issue, it’s the potential of losing the re-transmission fees. In other words, if Aereo gets away with this, the broadcasters say, “Cable companies will come to us and say we are not going to pay re-transmission fees because Aereo isn’t.” Is that the crux of the financial argument?

Jonathan Handel: Well, it is one of the pieces of the crux of the financial argument that the broadcasters are making, although there are some claws to that argument. One is that it turns out that cable companies have to pay re-transmission fees. They don’t have the option not to. The way the law is structured, if you qualify as a cable company – which Aereo does not, Aereo is not a cable company under the precise definition of the law and even the US government agrees and the government, by the way, weighed in at the Supreme Court on the side of the broadcasters, but even the government agrees that Aereo is not a cable company.

Jonathan Handel: If you are a cable company, you have to pay re-transmission fees and so there’s some question as to the force of that argument. The broadcasters have also said, “If Aereo does this, we will take our programming off the air and make it cable only and/or streaming only,” but that raises the question that the broadcasters never bothered to mention of, well, gee, then what happens to the unused spectrum? And the answer there is the FCC will reclaim it, as they are doing aggressively with some spectrums right now that are no longer used by the broadcasters, and they’re very aggressive, a lot of it because they want to make it available for wireless uses.

Jonathan Handel: I think there’s some real skepticism to be had when the broadcasters say that because they’re not going to want to give up that valuable asset.

Larry Jordan: So then what happened at the Supreme Court?

Jonathan Handel: Well, let me just say in addition, Les Moonves, the head of CBS, said that “Even if they lose at the Supreme Court, CBS won’t be financially affected,” which is very hard to square with the argument that gee, we’re going to lose all this valuable money.

Jonathan Handel: So what happened at the Supreme Court? Well, what happened was actually, much along the lines of what I essentially predicted in an article in The Hollywood Reporter. I wrote a very detailed analytical piece, where I talked to experts around the country and they all concurred that this was a hard case and that it’s very evenly balanced and there’d be a struggle between on, how do you view this? And the court would be very concerned about, on the one hand, these warnings that the future of broadcasting is at stake, and on the other hand warnings that, if you fine against Aereo, you’re going to imperil not just RS-DVRs, but aspects of the cloud computing industry. Because if you think about buying something from Amazon and storing it in your cloud locker, buying an audio visual program, a TV episode or something, and what if 10,000 people bought the same episode and a thousand of them watch it at once?

Jonathan Handel: Well, that sounds a little bit like Aereo also, and yet clearly that’s legal. The court, to answer your question, it was the most amazing thing. They were struggling openly. You had Justices saying things like, “I’ve read the briefs,” and by the way there were amicus briefs here up the wazoo, there were a total of 40 Friend of the Court briefs, just a flood of briefs here, and Justice Breyer said, “You know, I’ve read the briefs and I still can’t figure it out. If I rule for you or against you, what is the effect going to be on other technology? I’m very, very concerned about that,” and that same theme percolated.

Jonathan Handel: At the same time, the other theme percolated, which is one of the Justices saying, “You know, you look a lot like a cable company except you’re the only one that’s not saying re-transmission fees. How can that be legal?” And they were struggling with that as well, so this is not a conventionally political case. It’s not one of those where you look at Republicans versus Democrats and five to four and Kennedy is the swing vote, you know, the way a gay marriage case or a gun rights case might go. It’s not a case where you can even look at them and say, “Well, Republicans really love big business,” because Republicans don’t like media companies so much, and so it doesn’t fall in that direction.

Jonathan Handel: Where is the government on this? The government actually told the court not to overturn the Cablevision case, when Cablevision was on appeal in the Supreme Court, so they left it at the lower court stage. Now the government says that you should fine for the broadcasters, but when they try to argue in their brief, the government’s brief and Cablevision Company itself filed a brief, they tried to argue that you can preserve RS-DVR but distinguish Aereo and separate it out differently. But when they try to make that argument and you look at the intellectual phases for it, it’s not really compelling and that’s the difficulty.

Jonathan Handel: One of the experts I talked to said, “The trouble with this case is that, no matter which side you argue, you end up leaving a piece of the puzzle broken on the floor and I just hope,” he said – this was a law professor – “I just hope that the court doesn’t go in essentially like a bull in a china shop and break something in the law and make a mess of it.”

Larry Jordan: Now, Jonathan, when is the decision expected?

Jonathan Handel: Probably the end of June. It’s expected by then, it probably will take ‘til then.

Larry Jordan: And where can people go on the web to learn more about this issue?

Jonathan Handel: Well, the best place, I would say immodestly, would be The Hollywood Reporter, where my colleague Eriq Gardner and I have been covering Aereo. There will certainly be lots of coverage in competing outlets as well, but thr.com.

Larry Jordan: Is there anything new in the coverage besides just raw speculation? Because the oral arguments are over and I need a really short answer. Is it really just guessing until the court rules?

Jonathan Handel: It is. The only other thing you can do is you can go to the Supreme Court website and read the transcript and tomorrow you can actually listen to the, they’ll be posting the oral argument itself audio.

Larry Jordan: It’s an amazing case and, you’re right, whatever they decide, the industry is going to change, either computers or broadcast. Jonathan, for people who want to follow you on your blog, where can they go?

Jonathan Handel: The best place is jhandel.com, which actually is now my individual website and it includes a news page with blogging on it.

Larry Jordan: Amazing how it grows. Jonathan Handel is of Counsel at TroyGould and the contributing editor on labor issues for The Hollywood Reporter. Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks very much.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.

Jonathan Handel: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Well, if your brain doesn’t hurt enough from having the Aereo case go on Tuesday to the Supreme Court. On Wednesday the Washington Post broke news of a potential FCC ruling on net neutrality, which equally has a huge impact on what we do as media creators, so we went to the expert. Michael Hiltzig is a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Los Angeles Times, author of five books including ‘The New Deal: A Modern History’. He’s written a lot about court decisions and the whole issue of net neutrality and he is the perfect person to talk to today. Hello, Michael, welcome back.

Michael Hiltzik: It’s my pleasure.

Larry Jordan: No, no, no, Michael and I are both looking forward to chatting with you about this.

Mike Horton: Every time I talk to a Pulitzer Prize winner, I get giggles.

Michael Hiltzik: Well, let me assure you that real life doesn’t really change.

Larry Jordan: Well, we’re going to be impressed, I don’t care what you say. Michael, the last time you were on The Buzz was in January, which was when there was an Appeals Court case looking at net neutrality and you gave us a background on that. But it has continued to percolate throughout the industry and this week the FCC was reported to be getting ready to release proposed new rules redefining net neutrality.

Larry Jordan: Before we discuss what the FCC did, could you give us a definition of what net neutrality means?

Michael Hiltzik: Sure. Well, the term is very simple and its words tell you what it is. Basically, it’s the principle that a user has the same access to every website or service on the web equally. No matter what it is, and that is to say that your internet service provider cannot favor some services or some sites over another. The internet service provider, in most cases it’s a cable operator today, really basically cannot get in the way. Comcast or Time Warner or whoever it is has to provide the same access for every website, every service to the user, no matter what.

Larry Jordan: Well, I was just reflecting on this and allow me to ask a really simple question – if I’m a home user, my ability to access the internet is based upon how much I pay. If I don’t pay a whole lot of money, my download and upload speeds are slow and if I pay a lot of money, my download and uploads speeds are fast. How does net neutrality factor into that?

Michael Hiltzik: Well, you’re right about that. What you get as a user in terms of your upload and download speeds is the same. The point of net neutrality is that it should be the same for every website you access. It doesn’t mean that somebody who spends less money should have the best service, equal service to somebody who spends more money and pays more for bandwidth. But whatever you’re paying for bandwidth, every service you access should have the same speed, and that’s the difference.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so net neutrality means everybody has the same access to all the legal websites that are out there. Given that definition, what happened yesterday?

Michael Hiltzik: Well, what happened yesterday is that the FCC finally came out with, or at least telegraphed that it was going to come out with new rules that, in fact, will allow ISPs to charge more for faster access to the user for some websites. In other words Netflix, if Netflix decides that it wants super fast transport on the internet through, say, Comcast or Time Warner, it can pay for that and it can reach you as a user faster, you can have better service. You can have a clearer picture than, say, a competing video service that isn’t paying that same price, and that’s a real violation of the principle of net neutrality.

Larry Jordan: Well, Tom Wheeler, the FCC Chairman, was quoted as saying that the FCC has not changed its position because originally they were totally in favor of net neutrality. Wheeler said, and I quote, “The same rules will apply to all internet content as with the original open internet rules and, consistent with the court’s decision, behavior that harms consumers or harms competition will not be permitted.”

Michael Hiltzik: Well, I think Tom Wheeler is putting his thumb on the scales a little bit here. Basically, what he’s saying is that the rules that the FCC is going to promulgate, and of course this is a proposed rule, it eventually would have to be approved by all of the Federal Communications Commissioners. That hasn’t happened yet, that’s going to take months at least for it to work through the system. Basically, he’s saying that the FCC will allow ISPs, will allow cable operators, to make these distinctions based on how much you’re getting paid by websites or services and then it will go back and look at some of these deals and make a determination as to whether they violate the principle of net neutrality.

Michael Hiltzik: Now, that’s a lot different from a totally open internet, because what will happen is that ISPs will make these deals, AT&T, Time Warner, Comcast will start collecting profits from Netflix, Google and YouTube and whoever, and they’re going to have a vested interest in making it seem as though they’re not really violating net neutrality. It’s going to be much harder for the FCC to go back and unwind some of these deals after they’ve been established.

Michael Hiltzik: So Wheeler is saying, “Well, we’re going to look out for the principle and we’re going to make sure that none of these deals really violate the principle,” but I think it’s really the case that it’s going to be much harder for the FCC to do that. The FCC really is giving the game away and it’s handing the ball to the cable operators and to the wealthiest web services to do this, and this is a real problem, I think, for those of us who believe in net neutrality and who see the virtue in net neutrality.

Larry Jordan: Now, from a worst case scenario, looking at it from the end user’s point of view, let’s say that the FCC rules were adopted as proposed, and I need to stress that these are proposed rules which have not even become available for public comment, there are still, as you said, many months to go, but let us pretend the rules are adopted as you assume and let us assume that the worst happens – what happens at the end user’s end?

Michael Hiltzik: Well, what would happen is let’s say you’re a subscriber to Netflix. Netflix would make a deal with Comcast or Time Warner for this super turbo charged access. It would have a special speed all to itself. You’d get a great picture on your Netflix, but then Netflix, which would have to pay for that carriage, is going to pass the cost on to you. That’s one aspect, so you’re going to be paying more for your Netflix subscription.

Michael Hiltzik: The second thing that’s going to happen is that anybody who comes up and says, “We’re going to have a competing video on demand service,” is going to be truly disadvantaged. Some start-ups are not going to have the money to be able to compete with Netflix or YouTube for the same carriage and its picture isn’t going to look as good, it’s going to be pixilated, there’s going to be a lot of buffering and stopping and starting and it’s going to find it much harder to get customers. So essentially these big, rich services are going to have the equivalent of a monopoly over these services and this is really going to affect competition, and that’s bad because it’s going to basically block start-ups from getting a toehold.

Mike Horton: I’m trying to believe in our government and our ISPs in all this, the way it would work for the consumers, but even on the FCC’s page today, Tom Wheeler, under the heading ‘Setting the Record Straight’ on the FCC’s open internet rules says “This just isn’t going to happen.” Even with these start-up companies that might, because they’ll look at it on a case by case basis and commercially reasonable and these kinds of phrases that are thrown out throughout the blog. But you still think we should worry about this.

Michael Hiltzik: Well, the moment Tom Wheeler starts speaking about commercially reasonable arrangements, that’s a violation of the principle of net neutrality. The principle of net neutrality shouldn’t depend on commercial arrangements. It should be set in stone. It should establish that an ISP is a common carrier; it does not have the ability to favor some websites over others for any reasons.

Michael Hiltzik: Now, Wheeler will look at it and say, “Well, they made a commercial deal and it looks good to us,” but let’s not forget that an ISP has a lot of incentives to favor some services over others. In fact, some ISPs are going into the content business and they’re going to have an incentive to favor their own services over others. And if you don’t believe that that’s happening and if Tom Wheeler doesn’t believe that’s possible, all he’s got to do is look at the record of Comcast, which is the largest ISP now in the country and has a bid in to become even larger by merging with Time Warner, which is the number two ISP.

Michael Hiltzik: Comcast has already been caught favoring its own services over competing services and it was already subject to FCC discipline for doing this. So clearly Tom Wheeler has the evidence before him that this has happened before, it’s likely to happen again, there’s going to be much more incentive for it to happen more and more and the rules that the FCC is proposing will make it much easier for this to happen.

Larry Jordan: Now, muddying the waters is the results of the Appeals Court case that you and I were talking about in January, because apparently – and I don’t understand the case, which is why I’m going to toss it over to you – apparently the Appeals Court was not in favor of net neutrality. How did that ruling come out?

Michael Hiltzik: Well, that’s not exactly what the Appeals Court said. Now, let’s remember first of all that this was a lawsuit that was brought by Verizon, which is another big ISP. It’s a telephone company, but it does offer a lot of internet services to its customers, and it was very similar to a lawsuit that had been brought some years earlier by Comcast, and Comcast also wanted in. And what happened in both of those cases is that the court didn’t really say that there was anything wrong with the principle of net neutrality. What it said was the way the FCC went about implementing it was a violation of the law and that it had to find a different way.

Michael Hiltzik: In fact, the Appeals Court essentially told the FCC and told Congress that they could go back, Congress could rewrite the law, the FCC could impose net neutrality to a different regulatory system and that would be all right with the court. It really was talking about the mechanism and the actual regulations that the FCC use. It wasn’t talking about the principle of net neutrality. In fact, it said if you want to implement net neutrality, that will be fine with us. You have to do it the right way.

Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting, the FCC has been in favor of net neutrality for a long time and suddenly they’ve changed position. What’s the driving force?

Mike Horton: Well, I don’t know about the FCC, but Tom Wheeler was, wasn’t he?

Michael Hiltzik: Well, I’m not sure about either of those. It isn’t clear to me. The FCC and Tom Wheeler have paid lip service to the principle of net neutrality, but in their actions, the FCC, going back at least two Chairmen before Tom Wheeler have actually taken actions that made it much harder. The Comcast case that I just mentioned, really was a lawsuit over the very first attempt that the FCC tried to impose net neutrality, and the FCC had shot itself in the foot by changing the way it classified internet service providers under the law that made it much harder for it to implement these rules and to regulate net neutrality.

Michael Hiltzik: Comcast saw that, sued over the rules and, as I said, it won. Then the FCC tried again with another sort of cobbled together effort to impose net neutrality. Verizon sued over those rules and it won. But everybody can look at this, legal experts look at it and say, “There is a way for the FCC to do this.” They have to go back to before the Comcast rule and rewrite their own regulations and there’s nothing preventing them from doing that. So that’s something that Wheeler, by proposing this change, has refused to do.

Larry Jordan: Well, let’s take a look at the calendar. What’s the schedule for opening this for public comments?

Michael Hiltzik: Well, I believe that the proposal is going to be submitted to the public somewhere around the middle of May, I think May 15th is the working date. At that point, there will be months and months of public comments. You’re going to see a lot of experts weighing in, you’re going to see a lot of commercial ventures weighing in.

Michael Hiltzik: Netflix itself says, “It’s not in favor of this rule,” even though it certainly has the money to benefit from it. I think Netflix would like to see some more even handed carriage by the ISPs it’s got to deal with, but clearly they’re going to benefit. You’re going to hear Google weigh in on this, you’re certainly going to hear consumer advocates having their say and I think politicians will have their say. We should point out that President Obama, when he ran for office, spoke out very firmly in favor of net neutrality. So I think he’s going to be under some pressure to weigh in on this as well and to protect the principle.

Larry Jordan: So the public comments will open, at best guess, the middle of May with months to follow. So that means that we still have time to understand the issue and get our voices heard.

Mike Horton: And I hope you write about it, Michael, because you’re very influential.

Michael Hiltzik: Well, I’ll be writing about it as early as Monday.

Mike Horton: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Michael, for people who want to keep track of what it is that you are writing, where can they go on the web?

Michael Hiltzik: Well, they can go to my blog, which is called ‘The Economy Hub’. It’s on latimes.com. The actual address is latimes.com/business/hiltzik and they can read my column in the LA Times. My column appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, and the blog appears every day.

Larry Jordan: And, Michael, I read your column every time it shows up in the Times. You are always interesting to read and a delight to talk to. Thanks for joining us today.

Michael Hiltzik: Well, it’s kind of you to say so.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Michael. Fight the good fight, my friend.

Michael Hiltzik: All right.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Eric Tyrrell is a film maker, consultant and trainer for post post. He’s based in Victoria, British Columbia and has a roster of international clients. He’s also well known as an expert in post production workflow. Hello, Jonathan.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Hello Larry. Hi Mike.

Larry Jordan: Mike will be with us in a second, he had to stretch and get a glass of water.

Mike Horton: I’m back. How’s your toe, Jonathan?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: It’s very well, thank you. But I want to know about this Porsche you imagined for me.

Mike Horton: Oh, that was the other Jonathan. We have a little inside joke about Jonathan’s Porsche.

Larry Jordan: We had a short video from Jonathan Handel a while back, and he was showing how he was driving a radio controlled Porsche and managed to drive it directly into the cat’s dish and drown the Ken doll that was sitting in the driver’s seat. We have never forgiven him for crashing his Porsche.

Mike Horton: That and the fact he’s a lawyer. Lawyer, Porsche. Porsche, lawyer.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, talk to us about the state of the editing industry. What we’re looking at is remote collaboration and asset management. It seems like a lot of announcements were made at NAB. Give us a sense of how collaboration has changed over the last few years.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Well, it’s interesting because I’m not sure that it’s so much that collaboration has changed. I think it depends on where you’re looking at the industry from. I think on large scales there has always been a lot of collaboration. And I think what we’re looking at now is a reinvestment in tools and kind of understanding that the digital world offers us opportunities to work in different ways.

Larry Jordan: Different ways how?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Well, I think, again, one of the things that we’ve seen in the industry is that people have worked in disparate locations a lot. So effects might happen in Vancouver, for example, while main production is happening in LA. And so I think we’re seeing, with this advancement of digital technology, that people are being able to work and support those workflows in very different ways.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that I’m seeing come online are more and more ways of not only collaborating, but asset management. And I’m starting to see, I mean, we began to see it with Final Cut Server a few years ago, but we’re starting to see ways where the materials that we work with our assets and the way we work with them are needing to be shared outside a single editor and a single edit workstation. What software is rising up to take the place of Final Cut Server?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Well, in my case, I can speak about Cantemo Portal. That’s actually…

Larry Jordan: I’m sorry, what software again?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: The software is Portal, the company is Cantemo.

Larry Jordan: Ok.

Mike Horton: Cantemo. That’s the American way of saying it. Cantemo.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: If you say so, but the guys in Sweden might have objections.

Mike Horton: Yes, ok.

Larry Jordan: The guys in Sweden aren’t here, so we win. So Cantemo is the company and what is Portal?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Portal is a web based asset management solution. It exists in a web browser and it uses a lot of open standard web technologies, but it doesn’t actually have to, you know, when we talk about the cloud, it doesn’t have to live on the cloud. It can live on your private network, but you access it through a web browser.

Larry Jordan: Well, I think, without even taking my shoes off, I could count 15 different applications that do similar based web, cloud, server based collaboration. What made you decide that Cantemo and Portal was worth paying attention to?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Well, I guess my story with this actually begins with Final Cut Server.

Larry Jordan: Oh, tell us the story.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: I bumped into Portal while I was working with Final Cut Server, when they gave me a demo. I counted all the things and thought, “Wow, I need to submit a feature request list to Apple, because I would really like Final Cut Server to do all of this,” and, of course, we know what happened to Final Cut Server.

Larry Jordan: It died.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: The guys at Cantemo actually then made a very interesting step. They approached myself and a number of other people who were involved in Final Cut Server and said, “What if we were to change the way that we bring this product to market, so that it would fit into the Final Cut Server space?” and then they’ve tried very hard and they worked very hard to build up the integration with the non-linear editor application, so we have integration with Final Cut Pro 10, Final Cut Pro 7, Premier Pro and Avid Media Composer.

Larry Jordan: Now, Jonathan, you’re talking to Michael over here, so could you use smaller words to describe what the heck it is you just said?

Mike Horton: Yes, just don’t say anything about codecs or none of that kind of stuff. Don’t put a dot in any of your language.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: You’ve had a lawyer and a business analyst on before me.

Larry Jordan: And they did ok.

Mike Horton: Yes, but I understood them.

Larry Jordan: There was no codec going on there. What do you mean, fits into the Final Cut…

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Let me back up a moment. The thing about this is that, in many ways, it’s not seen as being a very exciting area. Mike and I have had that conversation before. But, in fact, I see it as a fundamental area, and you know that my background is actually in editing and part of the goal, for me, always in learning about the technology has been about being able to get on with the job of editing, rather than having to wrangle things.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: So for me, asset management is about being able to take control of where things are. Rather than having to hunt through bins, and I think the thing is that we all know editors who are very, very clever at how they organize and structure their projects and they know where things are, and they keep all of that there, and historically we had assistants who would go and get the film off the hook, that kind of thing.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: But actually, when I’m working, I want to be able to access something when I need it and I don’t want to have to look at everything. I want to look at the few things that could happen next. And so asset management for me started from there and then it expanded out to thinking how do we preserve and make use of the media that we’ve acquired for other projects and for other editors? Does that make it more human?

Larry Jordan: Yes, makes it much more human.

Mike Horton: I understood that. Thank you, Jonathan.

Larry Jordan: So with Portal, how would I take a Premier workflow or a Final Cut 10 workflow? I’ve got Final Cut open on one monitor, I’ve got this web browser thingy open on a second monitor. How does that integration help you find what you need?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Well, I think all of the conversations you’ve had about Final Cut 10 and metadata begin to play into this. Again, we’re searching for metadata in the web browser and that’s one of the interesting things about the companies that are using these web browser applications, is that everybody knows how to use a website. From a training perspective, it becomes a bit of a moot point – “I’m showing you how to use a website today.” “Ok.” – and so everybody can use it.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: You search. With Portal, they actually have what’s called a media bin, it’s a little bit like a shopping cart idea where you can add items that you’ve found so you can continue browsing, and then you select the menu and choose ‘Open in Final Cut Pro 10’. And if you’re working with Premier, you can do the same thing but they also, like a lot of other companies, have a panel so you can actually search directly within Premier without having to go to the web browser.

Larry Jordan: So what it allows you to do is to access all the assets that you have imported into this media asset program so you can find the needle inside the haystack by just simply saying, “This is the criteria I need and what clips meet that criteria?”

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Absolutely. “What do I need now?”

Mike Horton: I can’t do that in Max OS 10 Server or Mavericks? I can’t do that?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: This is an interesting thing, because what you get into it – and I’m anxious with the work, but we’ll see how I go – the fastest… of what we’re putting on a hard disk and so, yes, you can organize things and put them into folders, but I bump into so many people who have messy desktops and actually it’s hard to find things.

Mike Horton: Oh not me, Jonathan.

Larry Jordan: No, I’m afraid to look at his laptop.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: I knew you wouldn’t be, Mike. Everybody, and I count myself in this, misfiles things or misorganizes things and the way that Mike decides to organize something might not the be way that Larry wants to organizes things, might not be the way that I want to organize things. And so what we’re trying to do with an asset management solution is find the human accessible way of being able to retrieve that data.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: And again, with a larger organization, sometimes that’s not just an editing staff, that might be producers and all kinds of other people who are involved in the production.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that you do is you make a living as a consultant and I’m sure installing asset management or Cantemo is one of the things that you do, but for people like Mike and I, can we install and populate and use this software by ourselves? Or do we need to have IT support and a team of consultants come in to put it together?

Mike Horton: Yes, we’re not talking Adobe Anywhere here, are we?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: One of the things about this is that, yes, you do need to work with an integration partner to set it up. And I think partly and, you know, Larry, your history with Final Cut Server, I remember when you first encountered Final Cut Server, your response was, “That’s very complex.”

Larry Jordan: Yes, I remember that.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: And what we’re talking about is a complex machine with many moving parts. And so part of the lesson Cantemo learnt from Final Cut Server was to not make the application something that anybody could download, because actually it’s better if somebody who understands the machine and understands the pieces of the machine comes and helps you set it up. Once it’s set up, I think that people find it very, very easy to use.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: That’s the trick, right? It’s one of these things where it’s a very complex machine behind the scenes, but actually the front and the user experience is very simple.

Larry Jordan: Walk us through an installation that you’ve done for one of your clients. You don’t have to name the client, but give us a sense of what you had to do to put this together and is it affordable by small shops or do you have to have a billion dollar budget to afford this?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Well, you certainly don’t have to have a billion dollar budget, and it’s one of the things that I’ve seen, you know, one of the conversations that I often have with people about this kind of thing is that actually these tools have existed for quite some time but they have cost millions. And now we’re looking at tens of thousands of this kind of thing, and so you are seeing this commoditization of these types of tools, but it’s not the same kind of price as your Final Cut Pro end user license, if you’re going to buy Final Cut Pro from the Mac App Store. Portal isn’t there. As I say, it’s much more complex thing.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Now, often, the way I think about this, and like you, Larry, I like to say I keep things simple, and the joke about this is that you keep looking at this and saying, “Well, I’m doing a complex thing,” but I think if Jonathan understands it, then anybody can understand it.

Mike Horton: That’s when I say, “This tool was made for me.”

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: I often talk to people about the process I use – and this is where I show my background – but I say, “If I was to ask everybody in the Production Buzz studio how do we make a cup of tea?” and I did that as a survey, do I think that I could come back and give my report to Larry and say, “Well, you know, Larry, nobody said plug the kettle in,” so we have this workflow, this series of steps, that are involved in making a cup of tea but we missed a fundamental part.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: So one of the first things I do when I meet with an organization is I sit down and we have that conversation – what is it that you do? And then what do you really do? – And so we actually then sit down and work through what are the components and sometimes, just as we’re training, it’s often a matter of saying, “Well, ok, today you’re doing it this way. I would recommend that you do it this way,” and it can be a radical shift, but the idea is that actually it’s an easier shift to make if we can help people understand the efficiencies that they get from it.

Larry Jordan: Is there a certain size company that could benefit from this? Or is it really based on the number of assets that you’re trying to keep track of?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: It really depends. I mean, again, my joke about Final Cut Server – and I would still say the same thing about Portal – is that as an individual I want to be able to manage these assets and I want to be able to sort through things. Now, the cost might mean that actually it’s not suitable for an individual, but one of the things about Portal today is that you can start with a five user license.

Larry Jordan: And how long do you think it takes to implement, say, I’m not talking New York Times with Final Cut Server, but I’m talking of a production house of, say, five to ten editors, how long is the implementation process?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: It really depends on the task involved and, again, the comparison that I would use here is that it’s a little bit like saying, “Well, how long does it take to make a film?” because you might say, “Well, ok, with five members of crew, we could make something quickly,” but it depends on the complexity of the task.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: But I would say that, if everything was smooth and in place, you could actually set something up and get moving within two months.

Larry Jordan: Ok. So it’s a process of a few months as opposed to a few weeks or a few days.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Well, I’m saying two months, but we could say six to eight weeks.

Mike Horton: Yes, if it’s complex, maybe. If it’s not, piece of cake. Piece of cake.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: One of the challenges I have in trying to explain this to people, and this is why I use the example of making a film, because often we understand this idea of all the steps involved in a production whereas we might understand all of the steps involved in developing an asset management solution in a post production workflow on that scale. Is precisely this idea that we ask, “Ok, you’ve made a film before. How much does the next film cost?” and obviously there are so many variables in there that if you were to say, “Jonathan, we want you to tell us how much a film costs to make?” I would be negligent to try and tell you a cost just off the top of my head and it does require that conversation.

Larry Jordan: I think the key is that if you’re not able to keep track of the assets that you’ve got on your system and if you need to keep re-using assets and re-purposing assets, some sort of organizational structure makes a lot of sense. But also to set realistic goals that this is not something that you can throw a switch and poof! Everything is instantly organized and ready to go. I think you make a good point that working with somebody who’s installed it before can decrease your heart rate by…

Mike Horton: Yes, absolutely.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, where can people go to learn more about what you’re up to on the web?

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: You can find more about me at postpost.tv.

Mike Horton: And you can actually find out a lot about Cantemo there too, because it’s right there on the front page.

Larry Jordan: And the website is postpost.tv and Jonathan Eric Tyrrell is a film maker, consultant and a trainer for post post. Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Thank you very much, Larry. Thanks, Mike.

Mike Horton: Thanks Jonathan. I want to see you in Victoria one day.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell: Yes please.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Michael, it’s been a different show today. We’ve had some amazing guests.

Mike Horton: Yes. The Aereo discussion was really fascinating, which is why I tended to listen rather than get into it, because it still seems to me, and if you look at the hearings, the Supreme Court hearings and what that is all about, the Supreme Court right now is leaning heavily against them. They just feel that they’re just stealing.

Larry Jordan: Well, we’ll have to see, because the question is always…

Mike Horton: But then Jonathan makes all these really good points and it is about copyright, it’s not necessarily about the questions that the Supreme Court is raising right now, although they’re saying things like 10,000 antennae. Come on, this is all about circumventing legal issues and legal precedent.

Larry Jordan: So what do you think the court should do?

Mike Horton: Right now, it seems like they’re going to go against them. I mean, that’s what it…

Larry Jordan: In favor of the broadcasters, you think?

Mike Horton: Exactly. It’s not paying the re-transmission fees, but Jonathan makes a point that maybe they can get around that. So I don’t know and it seems like this court is a little bit more tech savvy than I thought originally. They’re asking some good questions.

Larry Jordan: The questions they were asking were amazing. I was very impressed with that.

Mike Horton: Although I think they have tech savvy assistants, “Here, ask this question. They’ll make you sound smart.”

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests today, starting with Jonathan Handel of Counsel for TroyGould in Los Angeles; Michael Hiltzik, financial columnist and business columnist for the Los Angeles Times; Jonathan Eric Tyrrell, film maker and post production consultant.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Visit with us on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and Facebook, at digitalproductionbuzz.com.

Larry Jordan: Music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound. The Buzz is streamed by wehostmacs.com. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. Email us if you want to say hi to Michael, because he is lonely, at info@digitalproductionbuzz.com.

Larry Jordan: Our producer is Cirina Catania, engineer Adrian Price. On behalf of Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.

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.

Digital Production Buzz — April 24, 2014

  • At the Supreme Court: Aereo vs. Broadcasters
  • Is Net Neutrality Dead?
  • Better Workflows Mean Better Editing

GUESTS: Jonathan Handel, Michael Hiltzik, and Jonathan Eric Tyrrell

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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney and Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter

The Aereo vs. Broadcasters Supreme Court case has huge implications for the industry. Jonathan Handel, Of Counsel at Troy/Gould in Los Angeles is following the case and joins us this week with a update on what’s happening and what it means.

Michael Hiltzik, Business Columnist, Los Angeles Times

Michael Hiltzik, Business Columnist for the Los Angeles Times weighs in on the FCC’s recent rulings allowing companies to pay for faster web access.

Jonathan Eric Tyrrell, Editor, PostPost.TV

Jonathan Eric Tyrell is the editor of PostPost.TV, a company that specializes in helping editors become more efficient by improving their workflow. We talk with Jonathan this week about why workflows are so important and what we need to know to improve ours.

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!

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – April 17, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

April 17, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

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HOSTS

Larry Jordan

Michael Horton

GUESTS

Christina Lee Storm, Producer, Accelerated Entertainment

Dirk Norris, President/Executive Director, New Mexico Film Foundation

Brad Stoddard, President, New Mexico Post Alliance

Jessica Hall, Director, Innovate Practice / 3Pillar Global

Nic Novicki, Founder/Director, Disability Film Challenge
===

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 and Podcast Studio in beautiful downtown Burbank, it’s the Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: Production, post production, distribution.

Voiceover: 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 world’s longest running podcast for creative content producers and tech news from media production, post production, marketing and distribution around the world. My name is Larry Jordan and it’s good to welcome back our co-host, Mr. Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: And it’s good to be welcome back you, my friend.

Larry Jordan: I tell you, after last week – we were at NAB – and it seems like it was a month ago.

Mike Horton: I don’t even remember any of it. Do you?

Larry Jordan: It was a blur. There was just so much going on. We’re going to talk a lot about what happened, both at the Supermeet and at the Buzz at NAB a little bit later in the show, but I want to talk about our guests first. We’re going to start with Christina Lee Storm. She’s a producer at Accelerated Entertainment and a film maker who created a documentary about the final bankruptcy that ended the legendary Rhythm & Hues. She joins us tonight to talk about the company that she used to work for.

Larry Jordan: Dirk Norris is the Founder and Executive Director for the New Mexico Film Foundation. He’s joined by Brad Stoddard, the President of the New Mexico Post Alliance, to talk about a new promotion called Life in New Mexico.

Larry Jordan: Jessica Hall is the Director of the Innovate Practice at 3Pillar Global, which is a company that helps turn your content into cash. Recently, Jessica spoke at the NAB show and joins us tonight to talk about tips we can use in our projects to maximize revenue and audience involvement without spending a ton of money.

Larry Jordan: And Nic Novicki is the Founder and Director of the Disability Film Challenge. This is modeled after the 48 Hour Film Challenge and Nic created this to encourage film makers with disabilities to hone their craft.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder that we are offering text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription. 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. Learn more at take1.tv and thanks, Take 1, for making this possible.

Larry Jordan: You know, Mike, it seems like forever ago, but NAB only ended a week ago today. Do you remember anything from it?

Mike Horton: I did, just barely. The food.

Larry Jordan: Ah. You know, I love that show.

Mike Horton: The food was awesome.

Larry Jordan: And, by the way, you did an incredible job at Supermeet, standing on…

Mike Horton: Oh, it was awesome. It was so much fun.

Larry Jordan: 500,000 people?

Mike Horton: I think I got to see you for about a total of 30 seconds. I said, “Hi Larry,” and I’m running to someplace else to put out a fire.

Larry Jordan: You had your wireless headset on, a worried expression on your face and you were looking for a speaker that had gone missing.

Mike Horton: I do, I feel like the last ten years of Supermeets I’ve had worried expressions on my face. That’s all I do is worried expressions. Panic expressions.

Larry Jordan: None of the rest of us would notice.

Mike Horton: But I did visit your booth while you were interviewing somebody but I couldn’t say a thing. I know you did, what, 156 interviews.

Larry Jordan: We did 81 interviews in three and a half days and 12 hours of programming.

Mike Horton: How the heck do you prep for that?

Larry Jordan: You’ve got to focus. You’ve got to stay tuned in.

Mike Horton: Boy, do you ever.

Larry Jordan: It’s pretty amazing.

Mike Horton: No, I’m impressed. I’m proud of you and your team.

Larry Jordan: It’s all the team. If it hadn’t been for the people around us, we would have not gotten anything done; and you, by the way, assembled an incredible team at Supermeet. I want to talk about how you build those shows a little later in the show, but for right now a reminder to visit us on Facebook, at digitalproductionbuzz.com; or on Twitter, @dpbuzz; and you can subscribe to our weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com for all the latest news on both our show and the industry.

Larry Jordan: We’re going to be talking about some really nice documentaries produced by Christina Lee Storm right after this.

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Larry Jordan: Christina Lee Storm is an independent producer and partner for her production company, Accelerated Entertainment. She has produced a number of successful documentaries, including Life After Pi, documenting the death of the legendary visual effects company Rhythm & Hues. She was the production supervisor for the highly acclaimed 2012 Oscar winning film The Artist and manager of digital production at Rhythm & Hues Studios which filed for bankruptcy just before they won an Oscar for The Life of Pi. Hello, Christina.

Christina Lee Storm: Hello. Thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you with us. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation for a while. Let’s start with, oh, casting our minds back a little bit. What got you interested in producing films?

Christina Lee Storm: Oh gosh, that’s a great question. It started, like a lot of people, when you’re young and impressionable, I was probably in junior high/high school and would go and frequent the movie theater and was really impacted by the characters portrayed up on the big screen and how I could relate to them and how I could just be drawn into a completely new world, so I thought that was amazing and began an interest probably in high school of wanting to make movies.

Larry Jordan: Well, after a stint in the industry, that’s exactly what you’ve done and I want to talk about some of the movies you’ve produced in a second. But why did you decide to start, when you left Rhythm & Hues, or actually it left you, to produce documentaries? These tend not to be a great way to make money.

Christina Lee Storm: I actually had produced a documentary prior to leaving Rhythm & Hues and actually we started in production when I was still there, so it was an interesting time. We were in transition. The company had filed bankruptcy and then we were being bought by a new company and I kind of took the company through transition, took my department through transition, and then a new opportunity came up and I felt that it was probably best to go at that time, and so we continued post production for Life After Pi after leaving Rhythm & Hues.

Larry Jordan: Well, tell us about your role at Rhythm & Hues when you were working there and then tell us about the final days, just paint us a picture.

Christina Lee Storm: Yes, so I had two different stints that totaled about five years at Rhythm & Hues. The last time I was there was as a manager and my main task was to hire and place digital artists on all the various feature films that we had in-house. At the time, there were probably about eight films and I was specifically hiring for the lighting portion in the pipeline and, because lighting is a bit technical, it’s a little bit more of a puzzle piece because you have to place people where they are good and where there’s a certain skill set involved.

Christina Lee Storm: I think at one point I definitely had over 100 artists that I was managing, probably a little bit more.

Larry Jordan: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You were managing 100 artists?

Christina Lee Storm: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Oh my goodness.

Mike Horton: And all these artists were in Los Angeles?

Christina Lee Storm: Actually, most of the artists were in Los Angeles and then there was a team in Vancouver. The team was a little bit smaller, but they were working on RIPD and Snow White and the Huntsman and then I worked with my counterparts in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well as two locations in India – Hyderabad and Mumbai – so it was LA plus the four other locations.

Mike Horton: That’s a lot of Skype.

Christina Lee Storm: We had our own version of Skype.

Mike Horton: Yes, I bet.

Larry Jordan: You’ve got all these films going at the same time, you’ve got this huge team of people and yet the whole company craters. What happened?

Christina Lee Storm: We kind of highlight that a little bit in the short documentary Life After Pi. I see it as a combination of the business model that the current visual effects vendors are in with the studios. It’s just really difficult and when you combine both a technical craft plus a creative craft together, it’s really quite difficult and it takes a lot more manpower, a lot more man weeks, a lot more iterations to come to a consensus in some degree. It’s just lots of balance and, as Johnny has described in the film, when we have delays or something comes up that’s not scheduled, it’s really hard to move people

Christina Lee Storm: If you imagine I’ve hired specific people to do specific tasks and I place them on certain shows, you can’t necessarily pull off people who are lighting Richard Parker and put them on something else and, you know, you take them completely off the show. It’s really hard to do that, so unless you can fit some smaller projects in during that time that a film is delayed, we’re put on hiatus. It’s complicated.

Larry Jordan: Oh yes. I want to emphasize that you were not part of the management team at Rhythm & Hues and a lot of the information you gained as you were putting your documentary together, so I’m just trying to help understand the situation. Why couldn’t Rhythm & Hues just ask the studios for more money?

Christina Lee Storm: I think they always tried to. Yes, I wasn’t part of the bidding or that end in terms of the executives talking to the studios, but I think it’s hard. I think it’s really competitive. If you look at it, and we show it visually, there are only really six clients, so you have to sort of please six clients.

Larry Jordan: Which are the six major studios.

Mike Horton: Right.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that your website refers to in promoting the movie Life After Pi is that Hollywood is treating the visual effects industry under the old Hollywood system model. What does that mean?

Christina Lee Storm: I like to describe that as, in the last ten, even 15 years, we’ve had a digital shift and a lot of times, I think, in old school thinking folks would always push things, everything was about production, everything was about being on set and “We’ll fix it in post,” there’s always that saying and it’s not the case. You talk to anyone who works on anything now, you can’t do that. Or if you do, it really severely crunches that team. The idea behind that is that we have to look at making production, especially the huge $100 million film, in a different way.

Christina Lee Storm: We’ve been fortunate, like on Life After Pi, we had Ang Lee and his team. We started very early in the R&D portion, but I think it’s so important that these people, the visual effects team, are creative. They’re part of the creatives, so you need to include them as early as possible and I think that’s part of the key in that respect. We have to look at how we make film making in a slightly different way.

Mike Horton: But that’s not going to solve the problem of the visual effects industry, especially if we want to keep it in Los Angeles or keep it in America.

Christina Lee Storm: Yes, yes. I think it will help, I think it helps efficiencies because, as we know, playing telephone doesn’t help. You kind of need to be in the room with someone, especially when you’re trying to create something creative, so it does help. It would probably skim off some man weeks, but you’re right in saying that it’s a much bigger issue and so perhaps, and what we’re hoping through our film, by educating people, we’re over 1.1 million views on YouTube, that there’s a need, that this has to change. There’s a time for evolution to happen now in terms of where we are at digitally and how we make films. We make films in a much different way. 

Mike Horton: And, of course, there are a handful of people out there working tirelessly to solve this problem – Scott Squires comes to the top of my head, and a number of others. I saw the film as soon as it came out, because Scott Squires and Scott Ross were a part of this film and I co-produce this event called the Supermeet and you actually use some of that footage in the film.

Mike Horton: Talking to Scott, who is a friend of mine, it is a very frustrating and very difficult task that he has ahead to solve this problem, number one due to the apathy and that there are a lot of workers out there who are afraid to speak up, and we can go into the subsidies and tax credits and all this other stuff forever, but boy it’s a difficult task to solve.

Christina Lee Storm: It really is. Our film industry has been around for a while and so those that were in the beginnings of the shaping of it, unions were created and film workers were protected. They had to be protected because of the stressful and difficult and long hours and all that stuff.

Mike Horton: Do you yourself believe that a guild or a union might help solve this problem?

Christina Lee Storm: Right now, it’s really hard because that community doesn’t necessarily have an organization that represents them. I think it’s important to have some kind of cohesiveness but what’s then more complicated on top of things is the visual effects community is international. We have our PGA, producers’ guild and Directors’ Guild of America, so it gets sort of tricky, I think, with how that is going to play out. A lot of times these artists are US citizens but they’ve been living in New Zealand or Australia…

Mike Horton: And they’re taking their families and they’re moving to Vancouver and Toronto and New Zealand and London and it’s insane.

Larry Jordan: But I don’t think this is a Los Angeles problem, is it? It seems to be an industry problem, regardless of where the post house is located. Would you agree or disagree?

Christina Lee Storm: I would definitely agree. It’s not just LA. There’s a quote we always talk about, Scott Leberecht, who is the director, and I, as we’ve been interviewed which is you live by the subsidies, you die by the subsidies. This is to mean that you could just chase it, but eventually those may die and if you need those subsidies to live, you’re eventually not going to be sustainable.

Mike Horton: Yes, and we go to Vancouver and then Toronto underbids Vancouver and then Montreal underbids Toronto and it’s a race to the bottom, as you know.

Christina Lee Storm: Yes, exactly. Exactly. That quote exactly, yes.

Larry Jordan: Where can people go to find your film?

Christina Lee Storm: We are actually free on YouTube and they just need to search Life After Pi. It’s under our Hollywood Ending movie channel and people should subscribe, because we are releasing things as they come up for our bigger projects.

Mike Horton: Yes, you did a remarkable job and one of the best things is that John Hughes, before this movie came out, was a bad guy and you turned him into a real guy. Good for you.

Christina Lee Storm: Yes, well, what’s interesting is, if you had worked at the company probably at least a couple of years and you saw him walking in the halls, you would know this is a man who actually – and he talks about it in the film – he cared.

Mike Horton: Oh, absolutely. Good on you and good job.

Larry Jordan: Christina, where can people go on the web to learn more about you and your company? We’ve got to get that music fixed.

Mike Horton: Is that what happens?

Larry Jordan: Christina, if she could…

Mike Horton: If she can hear us.

Larry Jordan: If she could hear us, she would say that her website is acceleratedent.com. Christina Lee Storm is the producer for Accelerated Entertainment and I would then say, Christina, it’s been wonderful having you on the show.

Mike Horton: And also, everybody, watch this movie. It’s so important. This is not about just VFX; it’s about all of us.

Larry Jordan: Called Life After Pi on YouTube. We’ll be back right after this.

Larry Jordan: Dirk Norris is the former Outreach Programs Manager for the New Mexico State Film Office and recently he formed the New Mexico Film Foundation, to help grow the New Mexico independent film industry. Hello, Dirk.

Dirk Norris: Hi.

Larry Jordan: And with Dirk is another handsome gentleman. Brad Stoddard is an award winning film maker, artist and photographer with credits covering educational media, television, feature and documentary film. He’s also the President of the New Mexico Post Alliance and a certified Final Cut Pro 10 trainer. Hello, Brad, welcome.

Brad Stoddard: Hello, Larry. How are you? Hi Michael.

Mike Horton: Hi Brad.

Larry Jordan: Brad, we’re doing great. You get to sit down and relax for a couple of minutes and we’ll talk to Dirk first. Dirk, why did you decide to start the New Mexico Film Foundation?

Dirk Norris: Well, it was to fill in some gaps that existed. New Mexico has been very good in recruiting films to be made here, but there’s also a very vibrant independent film community here that needed a little support. There were programs that used to exist that no longer do and so the Foundation was formed to fill in those gaps and provide some educational opportunities, as well as some financial assistance, to New Mexico independent film makers.

Larry Jordan: Why is it necessary?

Dirk Norris: Because, at the very core, the arts need to be supported and if you can’t find the investors, I mean, that’s what we’re aiming for, is getting people to invest in these films; but in the meantime film makers still need to be able to tell their stories.

Mike Horton: Do you have any support from the state at all for your Foundation?

Dirk Norris: At present no and hopefully, for the next legislative session, we’ll be able to talk to the representatives and perhaps get some support that way. Right now, it’s private donations.

Mike Horton: Ok, so you’re focused on the indie film maker who lives and works in New Mexico, not in bringing more Hollywood into New Mexico.

Dirk Norris: Yes, absolutely.

Mike Horton: Well, good on you.

Larry Jordan: Now, be nice to him. Be nice to him.

Mike Horton: Well, hey, listen, I live in Hollywood.

Dirk Norris: And you guys are terrific.

Larry Jordan: Thank you, you can stay on the show, I appreciate that. Brad, tell us what the New Mexico Post Alliance is.

Brad Stoddard: The New Mexico Post Alliance is an alliance of post production people in New Mexico who have gotten together, with our main goal being to do educational events. We do quarterly events, kind of networking trade organizations, about 120 members, who want to get together and talk about post production. We have editors, visual effects artists, composers, ADR people, foley people. We even have a few producers and directors who are members.

Larry Jordan: Oh, you’ll associate with anyone, won’t you?

Brad Stoddard: Yes, we’ll get along with anybody, anybody who wants to come to our events. In fact, June 21st, we’re putting on an event with Michael Cioni and Sam Mestman.

Mike Horton: Oh, wonderful. Sam, I know…

Brad Stoddard: Yes, you know those guys.

Mike Horton: Yes, absolutely. Those guys are awesome.

Brad Stoddard: They’re going to be here talking about their workflows and stuff like that, so we’re trying to actually raise the level of professional post production in New Mexico and get more of it going on.

Mike Horton: You should get Larry Jordan to come.

Brad Stoddard: Yes, well let’s…

Mike Horton: Larry?

Larry Jordan: All they have to do is invite me. I’ve got a plane ticket already in hand.

Mike Horton: He’s got a lot of South West credits.

Larry Jordan: Brad, why did the Post Alliance decide, or you yourself decide, to get involved with the New Mexico Film Foundation?

Brad Stoddard: That’s a good question. No, sorry, Dirk. They’re a great organization. We’d been working together actually before they started the Foundation to do some of our events and things and Dirk came up with this idea for the Life in New Mexico project – I guess you wanted to go there – and we kind of collaborate on that. I’m sort of an editorial producer on that project and the Foundation is just a great way to bring together hopefully some funds and some money to independent producers.

Brad Stoddard: We have a lot of Hollywood going on here and a lot of Hollywood films being made here. Not too many people are staying here to do the post on it, so independent film is really what we’re looking to for the post production staying here, the production being here and I think the Film Foundation is a great avenue to get that to happen.

Larry Jordan: Well, Brad, I know that you were listening to the last segment, when Christina was talking, and clearly the post industry is a bigger industry than just visual effects, but what are your thoughts on the challenges that Christina was talking about with the VFX industry? Are you seeing the same kind of challenges in New Mexico?

Brad Stoddard: Oh, certainly. Everybody’s up against the same thing. The whole industry is changing so fast, not only visual effects but the whole film industry really, and visual effects is getting the fallout on cheap labor in other countries and all of that kind of thing, so I think what’s happening here, we have two really incredible visual effects companies here that formed after Sony Imageworks left the state – people wanted to stay in the state because they loved it – and they are working pretty hard to raise the level and do this great work.

Brad Stoddard: Now, I’m sure they’re struggling with some of those same things. The contracts and the jobs that they can get are probably parts and pieces. A lot of what we do in post in New Mexico is parts and pieces of other things, not the whole enchilada, so to speak.

Mike Horton: I think we all know, at least the ones who pay attention, that New Mexico does give out very generous tax subsidies and credits to Hollywood which attracts, of course, production.

Brad Stoddard: Yes, we have a 25 and 30 percent incentive now, 30 percent for television series, and there are, I think, three television series shooting here now and several films.

Larry Jordan: But what I’m interested in is you said people are shooting there but they’re not retaining for post, so the post is coming back to LA or New York?

Mike Horton: Yes, exactly, how many permanent jobs are they actually generating?

Brad Stoddard: Well, that’s the thing. I think the real problem is, I mean, if I lived in LA or New York and I came here to shoot a film, I would want to go home and spend that time with my family and do the next six months or year in post in my state where I lived so I could stay with my family and I think that’s the biggest thing.

Brad Stoddard: Even though we have the incentives, they don’t hold those people here who really want to be at home.

Mike Horton: Which is why what you’re doing is very important.

Larry Jordan: And Dirk, this gets me to the project you’re working on. Tell me what the Life in New Mexico project is.

Dirk Norris: This was inspired by the Ridley Scott project he did with YouTube called Life in a Day, where he asked people around the world to shoot video on July 24th, and this was several years ago, and then submit it and they got over 8,000 hours of video. We have asked the general public in New Mexico to send us three minutes of their life in New Mexico and it can be anything – it can be pulling on your socks or going to visit grandma or saddling a horse or whatever.

Dirk Norris: We’ll give those video clips to the editors, to the post production folks in New Mexico, and ask them to put together a ten minute video and the whole idea is to bring attention to post production. The ten minute videos then will be screened around the state on September 20th and we’re hoping to get 15 to 20 theaters around the state involved in this, so that people get a better understanding of what post production is all about.

Larry Jordan: Dirk, we’re almost out of time. What website can people go to?

Dirk Norris: Nmfilmfoundation.org.

Larry Jordan: That’s nmfilmfoundation.org. Dirk Norris is the President and Executive Director at the New Mexico Film Foundation and Brad Stoddard is the head of the New Mexico Post Alliance. Gentlemen, thank you so very much.

Mike Horton: Yes, thanks for what you’re doing.

Larry Jordan: Take care.

Dirk Norris: Thank you guys.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Jessica Hall is the Director of the Innovate Practice at 3Pillar Global, where she specializes in bringing new ideas to market through rapid prototyping. Her work’s been recognized by the Web Marketing Association, the American Association of Museums, the Webby Awards, Time, Graphics Design USA, Forbes and the Washington Post. She holds a Masters degree in design and digital media from the University of Edinburgh, a BA in journalism from American University and I am delighted to say welcome, Jessica, good to have you with us.

Jessica Hall: Thank you so much for having me.

Larry Jordan: What is 3Pillar Global?

Jessica Hall: 3Pillar Global is a product development services company that’s focused on helping our customers achieve their business goals, so whether you have a brand new idea, if it’s a product you want to bring to market, or you have a product that you want to improve and enhance through purposeful engineering, we help clients make those things happen.

Larry Jordan: Who are some of 3Pillar’s clients?

Jessica Hall: One of the clients that might be most interesting to your audience is PBS. We’ve been with PBS for about five or six years and it started with just one person and now we have a team of over 30 working with PBS, everything from the video…, iPhone apps, iPad apps, Apple TV apps. We’ve worked on a lot of different products for PBS over the years. We also work with companies like…

Larry Jordan: Well, I was on the 3Pillar website a little earlier today as I was researching for this interview and on the homepage it says, and I quote, ‘Our team works collaboratively with businesses to develop successful software products and seamless customer experiences.’ How does software products and customer experience relate to media?

Jessica Hall: I think what’s really interesting in the media world, and this came out in ideas, that traditionally media was really p2p business. Content producers would sell to networks or other companies who distribute their content and those folks would sell to advertising agencies. Now what we’re seeing is that more and more media companies are starting to sell directly to consumers and looking for folks like us, who help create engaging consumer customer experiences so that people are able to find the content they want, watch it, enjoy it, share it and purchase it in different ways.

Larry Jordan: I can sort of get that big picture. What’s your role, then, with 3Pillar?

Jessica Hall: I get in when things are at about the napkin stage. If you have an idea for a new service or a new product and you’re trying to figure out if this is good for your business and your customers want it, that’s when my team comes in and we work with you very quickly and… to make prototypes and get these in front of customers quickly so we can figure out if it’s going to work. It’s a very… and fast approach so that you can learn as much as you can without having to sink a lot of money in it.

Larry Jordan: That’s a very cool job description. What got you started in this? Was it your training at school or your first job?

Jessica Hall: It really was for me my first job. When I was 18, I went to work at a museum and my first TV show was… and I did a lot of… at two in the morning… But when we were making the museum, we would create lots of different interactive experiences as well as… and our leadership or media people, they were all mostly… news publishers, so they were very literal, very about the facts, so we would come up with different ways to experiment and create prototypes so they could really see how things were going to work and how people were responding to them.

Jessica Hall: We did it just to get approval, but we realized that, by building them and building them fast with very little research, because it was non-profit, we made things that were better and so that approach really helped the museum in order to get it off the ground and have a lot of experiences that folks of all ages to be engaging, and that was definitely my intro to the media and television world.

Larry Jordan: Well, let’s fast forward a few years from your first job to last week, where you were at the NAB conference and you were talking about monetizing content, which basically means making money off the stuff we already have. What did you cover in your talk?

Jessica Hall: It was really exciting to be at NAB, because I’ve heard about it for years.

Larry Jordan: Was this your first trip?

Jessica Hall: First trip, yes.

Larry Jordan: Oh! I wish I could have been there with you. I’ve been there since before you were born and to watch it with somebody who’s seeing it for the first time is such a treat.

Jessica Hall: Oh my gosh, it blew my mind. In our session, we did more of a workshop approach. There are a lot of folks who are interested in concept… We had some people who were just independent, who were making their own content and trying to figure out how to sell it through consumers through big networks, who were trying to figure out new ways to engage with their customers.

Jessica Hall: In many case, even with the amount of resources that are available, the challenge is really the same – it’s who is this person and who am I going to get them to open up their log?

Larry Jordan: But it seems to me there’s a significant disadvantage and independent producers have that networks don’t. Networks have an established brand, it seems to me, whereas independent producers are unheard of and they’re working on their first, their second, their third movie and they don’t have the established brand or an established audience. It seems to me that independents would be at a great disadvantage, or am I hearing that wrong?

Jessica Hall: No, I would definitely agree. I think it’s a similar challenge but their resourcing obviously is a little bit different and the brand comes into play because it helps cut through the noise. That being said, the traditional brands have been serving very specific audiences so that there are different audiences that are really eager for content. It was really neat to work through things in the session and I did two exercises.

Jessica Hall: One exercise is something I call the content monetization canvas, which is based on a business model canvas, and it’s a way of mapping out your strategy on one page. You can see everything and see how it relates and then you can start to figure out what’s missing, what do I know for sure, what don’t I know for sure, how can I test these things?

Jessica Hall: So we did that canvas and then we did another exercise around understanding your customer needs and being able to classify it, called the… model. In a… model, there are three different types of needs. One is a basic need – either things that, if you don’t have them, like clean towels in your hotel room, you’re going to be pretty frustrated; and I almost equate lighting to a basic need, because if lighting works nobody notices it, but if lighting’s bad, everybody knows.

Jessica Hall: The second category is called the performance needs and these are things that people think about when they’re buying. They have some incremental effect on people’s satisfaction; and the last one is called the delighter – it’s the surprise, it’s something that’s out of the ordinary and unique and really, really makes customers happy and helping people not only takes your content… but has a way, they’re delivering that…

Larry Jordan: It seems to me that the first exercise forces an independent producer to think of all the different assets they’ve got, to take a look at a bigger picture of what they have to offer, not just their particular film, but the experience of watching the film, perhaps; whereas the second exercise forces them to think like a customer who’s trying to buy their film. Is that a correct characterization?

Jessica Hall: That’s a very correct characterization and part of the fun of when I do these with people is I kind of walk around and start to see where are the areas that they’re not paying too much attention to and get them to focus there, or where are the areas where they’ve been kind of vague and get them to… It does not help if they’re a Japanese character, because that actually did happen to me at NAB, and for the first time ever I was like, “I’m sorry, I just can’t help you very much.”

Jessica Hall: But I think you’re exactly right. It really forces you to pull up from the content and look at it across the whole business spectrum; and then the second exercise flips it around and helps you focus on what the customer needs to be true and I think that’s where the principle challenge is that everyone has, that maybe it’s perhaps the most…, is being able to understand that customer on a much deeper level than just…

Larry Jordan: Help me think outside the box for a second. I’m an independent producer, I just finished my film, a lot of people – especially when they start out – are doing either documentaries or horror films, because those are two genres that don’t take a whole lot of money, so I’m sitting here with this brand new thriller in my hands. How do I even think about what the customer needs? I mean, they’re just watching a film. What more do I need to know?

Jessica Hall: I would actually say the best…, which is to have a sense of who are the people who are interested in this genre? Who might be wanting to see it? And start to engage them earlier in the process and have them sold into the product, and you see this all the time in a lot of start-ups, that right from the beginning they don’t make the whole film, they make a piece of it and then they try to take it out to people and see if they’re interested and, based upon people’s reactions, they build and build and build.

Jessica Hall: I would say it’s kind of a different approach. Don’t wait until you’ve finished the complete thing, but actually start to make small pieces of it and go out in the world and learn about who’s interested and why they like it and how you’re going to be able to connect with them before you get to the end. Once you’re at the end, it becomes kind of hard to re-factor this product to meet different people’s needs, so you have to think about who your potential audience is.

Jessica Hall: When I was in journalism school, the first question was always, “Ok, well, who’s your audience?” so if you’re making a documentary… says, “Ok, who is going to be interested in this documentary? Is it people who are enthusiasts or general interests?” or have a specific audience in mind and making sure you’re engaged with them throughout the whole product, then when it’s released they’re heavily invested in it.

Larry Jordan: There’s a saying that I heard a long time ago that a camel is a horse invented by a committee. If I keep sending small portions of my film out to different groups of people, I end up with what? I may not end up with a film because I’ve got all this divergent feedback.

Jessica Hall: Therein lies the greatest challenge of any piece of development, which is how to manage that. I think it’s a true and common challenge. I worked with an executive producer, I was developing a game for him, and he didn’t understand why I wanted to see user testing and so he went out me, because I think he felt that that was going to happen, that the creatives would get deluded, and it’s very much a risk and I see it happen all the time with people not just in media but outside, because they don’t apply discipline in making their decisions.

Jessica Hall: Just because someone gives you a piece of feedback doesn’t mean you necessarily act on it. You have to have some way of seeing if that fits in or if there are other things that create a pattern that show that there’s a weakness or a particular…

Larry Jordan: What questions can we ask ourselves, assuming that we couldn’t bring you in for a committee meeting, as we’re getting ready to start a new project, a new film to help us focus on making money at the back end?

Jessica Hall: Who is the person you’re making the film for? And how are you going to reach them? Am I going to use something like a Kickstarter, where I start at the beginning and then try and get people interested in filming it? Am I going to try and find an existing community of people who are interested in this genre and try and engage with them and get this together?

Jessica Hall: I would definitely start with a canvas. Some of the elements of a canvas are customer segments, marketing channels, metrics, and this was one that actually was kind of an eye opener to a lot of folks in the room. When we think about metrics, people are trying to sell content or if we have a collection of videos and we want to sell them, how do we acquire customers and how much does it cost me for each view and how can I get that cost out?

Jessica Hall: Thinking about the metrics from the business side of revenue coming in versus cost, but also from the experience side, and what’s the level of engagement you’re getting? Think about who your partners are going to be and what is the unique value proposition? And that’s not something you typically think of.

Jessica Hall: When I was creating documentaries early in my career, a value proposition wasn’t necessarily something that was top of mind, but it was what my unique voice is and making sure that there were people who were interested in my unique voice and I found a way to connect with them where I could deliver it. It’s that delivery that I think some people also don’t think about, which is am I going to build a site where I sell the content? Or am I going to produce pieces for folks and I’m going to put them in this place and develop it that way?

Jessica Hall: I think you’re going to see a variety of ways to get things in the hands of customers that aren’t necessarily the traditional ones and to spend some time thinking about who those people are and how you can get to them is something you need and that they will really value is a great place to start.

Larry Jordan: When companies like PBS or the commercial networks come to 3Pillar, they’ve got massive budgets and just looking at your website makes me realize that lots of money buys lots of talent. But as an independent producer, where we’re doing everything we can on our own, it’s easy to get discouraged because what you say makes perfect sense, but it seems like just a huge amount of work. What words of encouragement do you have for an independent producer, even if they can’t afford your services, that they can take advantage of the wisdom that you’ve attained?

Jessica Hall: I had someone at the NAB talk and they wanted to sell a service where they would create videos for people. They said, “Oh, but I need all of this infrastructure and all of these other things,” and I had to say, “Stop. No, you don’t need that. All you need is a landing space so that people can sample what you create and there’s a bunch of services out there that do that for free, and an email address where they can get in touch with you through the landing space and then you can deliver it through drop box or Vimeo,” so that really small level of engagement, just to figure out if you’re onto something.

Jessica Hall: Use a free service to put up a landing page, cut a 30 second version of the film you’re using, send that out to a lot of people, see if they get interested in seeing more of the film and then perhaps start to release it through some simple channels – put it Vimeo Pro and password protect it. Keep it small, keep it simple and try to build only that which you need to get started.

Jessica Hall: Even the companies with the big budgets are learning to do this and that’s something we advocate here. It’s called a lean start-up and developed by a guy called named Eric Ries and it’s really the notion that we’ll only do the smallest thing we can to get reaction and then to grow from there. It’s really exciting to see that mind shift happen in the room, where people are like, “Well, actually, I don’t need a huge distribution channel, I just need these simple pieces and parts and I can put them together and start to figure out if I have something before I invest money, whether I have a little bit of money or I have a lot of money.”

Larry Jordan: Some amazing advice, Jessica, thank you. For people who want to learn more, where can they go on the web to keep track of what you and your company are doing?

Jessica Hall: We’re at 3pillarglobal.com and I also have my own blog where I have some of my musings about this and it’s called hallwaystudio.com.

Larry Jordan: And the website is 3pillarglobal.com. Jessica Hall is the Director of the Innovate Practice at 3Pillar Global and, Jessica, thanks for joining us today.

Jessica Hall: Thank you again so much for having me. It was a great conversation and really wonderful questions.

Larry Jordan: Nic Novicki is an actor, producer and comedian who’s been on Boardwalk Empire, Sopranos, Private Practice and many others, as well as producing shows for both broadcast and the web. Recently, he started the Disability Film Challenge to help film makers with disabilities further their careers in the entertainment industry. Hello, Nic.

Nic Novicki: Hey, how you doing? Thanks for having me on.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you join us. What got you interested in working with film makers and disabilities?

Nic Novicki: Well, for myself, I’ve been in the entertainment industry since I was a kid and I’ve been an actor, a comedian, as you said, in all kinds of different projects and I rarely saw people with disabilities either in front of the camera or behind the camera. Basically, I want to do anything I can to try to tap into this under-utilized market.

Larry Jordan: You’ve been in front of the camera since the beginning of time. What made you add producing to your acting and comedy career?

Nic Novicki: Well, I wasn’t happy with the roles I was being offered. I think, being a little person – I’m three feet ten – there just wasn’t a wide variety of roles and I went to business school and I decided, you know what? I know enough people, let me just do my own projects. This way, I can do what I want as an actor, and then that sort of philosophy changed the path that the projects that I decided to do and it kind of led to a new career in producing.

Larry Jordan: So then, from producing, how do we get from that to the 48 Hour Disability Film Challenge?

Nic Novicki: Well, actually I directed and produced a short film this fall and that was just a personal project and I did it and in my head I said, “This is great.” It was part of a 48 hour film challenge, actually for the Producers’ Guild, and I said, you know, “The only reason why this person is played by a little person is because I happen to be a little person,” and I did it. I decided, “You know what? Let’s try to create incentives for people who work with people with disabilities,” so I decided to take a similar model that’s already been done in producing a short film of our weekend and decided that I’d made incentives so the winners will screen at the Chinese Theater, get mentored by executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm and New Girl, the writer of the upcoming Godzilla movie and casting director Pam Dixon, who has cast numerous huge projects.

Nic Novicki: So the idea was to create a new source of work for people with disabilities, because one in four people in the country have a disability and yet you never see anybody with a disability on screen. I think there’s a market that hasn’t been reached yet.

Mike Horton: The Screen Actors’ Guild, though, which I know you’re a member of, they have a committee or something that deals with actors with disabilities. Are they not doing the job that you think they should be doing?

Nic Novicki: I think they’re doing a good job but I think that, in order to change, people with disabilities themselves need to say, “Hey, I’m going to take my career into my own hands,” and I hope that the Disability Film Challenge is that starting block from which people can dive into the water and say, “I can start doing my own projects,” because no matter what, you as an actor, writer, producer, anything in the arts, you have to be motivated because this is a business and people that are running networks and studios really only care about making money, so if you can create something very good and it makes money, then now you’re in the game. But you have to start somewhere and so the idea from the Disability Film Challenge is to allow these people to have a reason and a deadline to create a project rather than just wanting or complaining or seeking something. They have the ability to put their career in their own hands.

Mike Horton: Oh, good for you, because I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea.

Larry Jordan: How do you overcome other people who say, “Well, you’re too short. You just can’t”?

Nic Novicki: Well, I think I’ve produced over 20 things and now, if that comes up, my track record speaks for itself. I’m very good at finding resources, people I’ve worked with, connecting them with other people that I’ve worked with and bringing something valuable to a project, so I think that if somebody’s going to try to say I’m not capable, ultimately you have to prove people wrong through action.

Mike Horton: Is there an apathy at all within the disabled community? Or do you find it difficult and challenging to get everybody together to change the…

Nic Novicki: Well, it’s a little difficult because there are so many different kinds of disabilities and some disabilities have more physical limitations than others, so each of them has their own set of problems and things they’re concerned about. But I think the one thing that everybody within the disability community could all agree on is that they’d like to see more exposure across the board of people with disabilities on TV shows, in commercials and in movies because the more people can see individuals with disabilities, the more comfortable they will be when they run into them at grocery stores, job interviews.

Mike Horton: Yes. We all know, though, that non-disabled actors win Academy Awards playing disabled people.

Nic Novicki: Sure. Yes. I mean, what can you do?

Mike Horton: I know. That’s the question, I guess.

Larry Jordan: Nick, who can enter and when’s the deadline?

Nic Novicki: The registration is open to anybody, anybody from all over the world. All you have to do is go into disabilityfilmchallenge.com and you can enter through our submission service, Withoutabox, and there’s a link on our website and it’s open to anybody. All you have to do is register by June 18th and the actual film challenge itself is June 20th to June 22nd.

Nic Novicki: On the morning of June 20th, everybody at the same time will get the topic of what the film will be and the specifications and everybody will have 48 hours to do the best film they can, write, shoot, edit and submit the film and they’re all due on the Sunday. It’s open to anybody and I strongly suggest you put your career in your own hands and get started with the Disability Film Challenge.

Mike Horton: Absolutely, no excuses.

Nic Novicki: And you don’t have to be disabled to enter the Disability Film Challenge. If you’re interested in doing this, because we do have some great prizes including Dell computers, we’ve been looking at Dell as a sponsor… friend in California with disabilities and the Media Access Awards. We’re giving Dell prizes and all these great mentorships and you’ll have your movie played at the Chinese Theater during Hollyshorts Film Festival and if you don’t have a disability, you can still enter. The film has to incorporate the theme of disability, so we strongly encourage casting somebody with a disability or working either in front of, below or above the line.

Larry Jordan: Nic, hold it, take a breath. What website can people go to to register?

Nic Novicki: They can go to the disabilityfilmchallange.com.

Larry Jordan: And the founder of the Disability Film Challenge is Nic Novicki and, Nic, thanks for joining us today.

Mike Horton: Next line, Nic.

Nic Novicki: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: You know, one of the things I like about this show, Michael, is the diversity of guests that we’ve got.

Mike Horton: Good stuff tonight, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Cirina did a wonderful job.

Mike Horton: I know. Cirina, good job.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, in the two and half minutes we’ve got left before the show ends, tell us about Supermeet.

Mike Horton: Oh, Supermeet was awesome. There was probably about 1400 people there, I have no idea. All I know is that we had a hell of a lot of seats, they were all filled and there were a lot of people standing up and I know you were running around the vendor area. I got to see you for, like, two and a half seconds while I was going, “Where’s the food?”

Larry Jordan: I have a question. Put your Supermeet producer hat on.

Mike Horton: Sure.

Larry Jordan: What’s your goal in doing Supermeets, beside the fact that you like…

Mike Horton: I think we’ve talked about this a lot. The Supermeets are not about what is up on stage. It is about the gathering, it is about people coming together and getting out of the house and talking to each other and sharing each other’s problems and solving each other’s problems.

Mike Horton: The thing that we hope for more than anything is that you meet somebody that might change your life, that might get you a job or you can give them a job, that you can collaborate with. That’s what these Supermeets are all about. It is not what is up on stage and it’s not the raffle, even though a lot of people certainly turned up for the raffle because we gave away over $100,000 worth. It was $115,000 worth of stuff. It was just insane.

Larry Jordan: And 15 mouse pads.

Mike Horton: No, I didn’t give away mouse pads because I said your mouse pads would get lost in that, so I’m going to give that out at the… meeting next Wednesday.

Larry Jordan: That’s all right. What got you interested in doing Supermeets in the first place?

Mike Horton: You know, it sounds…

Larry Jordan: Couldn’t get regular work, huh?

Mike Horton: Yes. No, honestly, I really wanted to do an extension of what I do in the local area that… was. We wanted to bring this networking event to other places and we’ve been doing it now for, what, 13 years, Dan and I, and we’ve been doing it in places like Amsterdam and Boston and San Francisco and Los Angeles and London. Again, the whole idea is just to bring people together who have this like-minded need to tell stories.

Larry Jordan: Is it worth the work?

Mike Horton: Yes, if it works. If it doesn’t work, it’s six months of getting over it.

Larry Jordan: I have been on this side listening…

Mike Horton: I mean, what you do, my goodness, what you do on the show floor at NAB and these other places that you do it, it’s an enormous amount of work but if it works, it’s so rewarding.

Larry Jordan: It is. By the way, we did do a lot at NAB and if you haven’t had a chance, check out the Digital Production Buzz’s coverage of NAB at nabshowbuzz.com.

Mike Horton: Give me the number of interviews you did again.

Larry Jordan: We did 81.

Mike Horton: 81.

Larry Jordan: 81.

Mike Horton: Over four days?

Larry Jordan: Over three and a half days because the show ends early on Thursday.

Mike Horton: And did you actually do the how to wrap cables thing at the end of the show?

Larry Jordan: I did, I did.

Mike Horton: Did you tape that?

Larry Jordan: It was the Mike Horton Memorial Cable Rolling Contest.

Mike Horton: Oh my God, I would love to see that film. That would be huge. It would get a million views in two days.

Larry Jordan: We did five hours of live programming, two live shows a day, plus an hour evening wrap-up, all of which had different interviews. We had probably the most incredible team of production personnel…

Mike Horton: Yes, no fooling.

Larry Jordan: …I’ve ever worked with. We took 29 people and it was a machine. I’ve never been prouder.

Mike Horton: I know, you did a lot of audio interviews and video interviews.

Larry Jordan: With the cooperation of Moviola.

Mike Horton: Yes, with Moviola.

Larry Jordan: It was amazing.

Mike Horton: Yes, they were very impressed with you. “Larry’s so smart.”

Larry Jordan: Well, don’t disillusion them, would you?

Mike Horton: I heard a lot of good things about you. I was unfortunately in my hotel room the entire time putting out fires.

Larry Jordan: And the Supermeet, by the way, I had great fun. I love talking to the vendors at the vendor tables.

Mike Horton: Thank you for doing that.

Larry Jordan: It’s the best time because…

Mike Horton: I gave you $10 for doing that and you did it well.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests for today: Christina Lee Storm, the producer at Accelerated Entertainment, about her documentary on the death of Rhythm & Hues.

Mike Horton: She’s talented.

Larry Jordan: That was a great interview. Dirk Norris, the Founder and Executive Director of the New Mexico Film Foundation; Brad Stoddard, the President of the New Mexico Post Alliance.

Mike Horton: Love those guys.

Larry Jordan: Jessica Hall, the Director of the Innovate Practice at 3Pillar Global; and Nic Novicki, the Founder and Director of the Disability Film Challenge. There’s a lot happening at The Buzz…

Mike Horton: A lot of people trying to change the world out there, right? All on this show tonight.

Larry Jordan: And that’s a good thing.

Mike Horton: Yes. That was a really good show. People changing the world.

Larry Jordan: Because otherwise nothing changes. Our producer is Cirina Catania, our engineer is Adrian Price. On behalf of the voice at the other side of the studio booth, whose name is Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.

Mike Horton: Goodbye, 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.

Digital Production Buzz — April 17, 2014

  • Documenting the Death of “Rhythm & Hues”
  • Promoting Independent Films in New Mexico
  • How to Make Money on Your Movie
  • Film-making is for Everyone

GUESTS: Christina Lee Storm, Dirk Norris, Brad Stoddard, Jessica Hall, and Nic Novicki

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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Christina Lee Storm, Producer, Accelerated Entertainment

As of April 17th, 2014, the 30-minute documentary “Life After Pi,” chronicling the death of one of Hollywood’s most prominent visual effects houses, Rhythm & Hues. R&H received the Oscar for Visual Effects in 2013, eleven days after declaring bankruptcy. Filmmaker Christina Lee Storm documented the behind-the-scenes factors that led to this sad and unforgettable moment in the history of Hollywood. She joins us tonight to talk about it.

Dirk Norris, President/Executive Director, New Mexico Film Foundation
Brad Stoddard, President, New Mexico Post Alliance

Dirk Norris formed the New Mexico Film Foundation, where he is now president and Executive Director, to help grow the independent film community there. Brad Stoddard is the President of the New Mexico Post Alliance and a certified Final Cut Pro X trainer at the University of New Mexico. They join us this evening to talk about a new campaign, “Life in New Mexico,” with an invitation to participate.

Jessica Hall, Director, Innovate Practice / 3Pillar Global

Jessica Hall is the Director of Innovate Practice at 3Pillar Global, a firm that helps convert great ideas into money. Recently, she spoke at the 2014 NAB Show on “Monetizing Content in the New Digital World.” Tonight, she joins us to talk about what independent film producers need to know and do to convert their films into cash with engaged fan bases.

Nic Novicki, Founder/Director, Disability Film Challenge

Nic Novicki is an actor, comedian and producer who started the “48 Hour Disability Film Challenge” to encourage disabled filmmakers to further their careers. Tonight he explains the contest and why he created it.

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!

Evening Report from the 2014 NAB Show – Day 7 (04/13/2014)

GUESTS: Ric Viers, Bob Zelan, Devon Cook, Steve Modica, James Lambert-Knott, Martin Tlaskal, Ross Kanarek, and Patrick Morgan

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Join Larry Jordan, from the NAB 2014 show floor, as he talks with:

Ric Viers, Sound Designer, Blastwave FX

Larry Jordan talks with Ric Viers, Sound Designer for Blastwave FX. BlastwaveFX is a high definition sound effects company. They just created SonaPedia 3.0, a sound effects library with over 40,000 high definition recordings.


Bob Zelan, Chief Technology Officer, Maxx Digital
Devon Cook, Workflow Specialist, Maxx Digital

Larry Jordan sits down with Bob Zelan and Devon Cook from Maxx Digital. Maxx Digital supplies storage solutions for the entertainment industry for editing, graphics, and production. They provide shared storage environments for post production and graphics industry for macs.

Steve Modica, Chief Technology Officer, Small Tree

Larry Jordan sits down with Steve Modica, Chief Technology Officer for Small Tree, to talk about shared storage. Steve explains Small Tree’s affordable shared storage solutions and technical expertise, which makes them stand out in the crowd.

James Lambert-Knott, Technical Director, Take 1 Transcription

Larry Jordan talks with James Lambert-Knott, Technical Director for Take 1 Transcription. Take 1 provides verbatim transcripts, post production scripts, closed cations, subtitles and other metatdata for productions. They are working on a new product built for editors and producers and it allows them to quickly do a search through their transcripts to create a story.

Martin Tlaskal, Head of Development, FilmLight

Larry Jordan sits down with Martin Tlaskal, Lead Developer for FilmLight, to talk about color grading and color grading software. Martin talks about FilmLight’s new color grading software and plug-ins for dailies and post production.

Ross Kanarek, Business Development Manager, Switronix, Inc.

Larry Jordan talks with Ross Kanarek, Business Development Manager for Switronix, Inc. Switronix is a power solution company for ENG news, film, and major motion pictures. They also do lighting and HD wireless transmission with their core business being batteries. They have released a hyper core lithium ion battery line for users that are using power hungry cameras.

Patrick Morgan, Product Manager, Digital Vision

Larry Jordan sits down with Patrick Morgan, Product Manager for Digital Vision. Digital Vision is a supplier of color grading, restoration and film scanning solutions for the broadcast. Morgan discusses Nucoda and Phoenix in depth.

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!

Evening Report from the 2014 NAB Show – Day 6 (04/12/2014)

GUESTS: Roger Mabon, Keith Warburton, Mark Hudgins, Doug Pircher, Brian Zarlenga, Rony Sebok, Miguel Saldate, Andrew Young, and Haluki Sadahiro

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Join Larry Jordan, from the NAB 2014 show floor, as he talks with:

Roger Mabon, CEO, mLogic
Keith Warburton, President, Global Distribution

Larry Jordan talks with Roger Mabon and Keith Warburton about mLogic. mLogic is the leading supplier of Thunderbolt peripheral products. mLogic has released the Industries first thunderbolt enabled LTO system which is an LTO drive with a thunderbolt interface.

Mark Hudgins, Senior Software Engineer, Imagine Products

Larry Jordan sits down with Mark Hudgins of Imagine Products. Imagine Products is a software company that makes workflow solutions software to help with all stages of the workflow from ingest to archive. New products discussed include Shotput Pro, PreRollPost and ShotSum.

Doug Pircher, General Manager, International Supplies

Larry talks with Doug Pircher, General Manager for International Supplies. International Supplies looks for new and unique companies that might be small but have revolutionary products. They distribute and market just about everything and have signed on with 2 new companies Nexto-di and DM Light.

Brian Zarlenga, Marketing, Apogee Electronics

Larry talks with Brian Zarlenga from Apogee Electronics. Apogee makes professional quality audio recording interfaces that record on Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Some of their products include Symphony I/O, Quartet, Duet, ONE, Jam and MiC which have been used to create Grammy and Oscar winning recordings.

Rony Sebok, VP Technology, 1 Beyond, Inc

Larry talks with Rony Sebok, VP of Technology for 1 Beyond, Inc. 1 Beyond is a manufacturer of custom built systems and focuses on the video industry. They are known for rugged portable products for onset wrangling but have extended their product line to archive and streaming products. They have just released a new expansion system for the mac products.

Miguel Saldate, Technical Product Specialist, JMR Electronics

Larry sits down with Miguel Saldate, Technical Product Specialist for JMR Electronics. JMR is an OEM product manufacturer and system integrator for several companies in the storage industry. JMR also has there own line of storage products and computer accessories. They have developed a system that lets you rack mount your mac pro, which fits 2 mac pros side by side in 4 rack units.


Andrew Young, Director, Product Management – Optics, Panavision
Haluki Sadahiro, Director, Product Management – Cameras, Panavision

Larry Jordan sits down with Andrew Young and Haluki Sadahiro, Director of Product Management, Optics and Director of Product Management, Cameras at Panavision, to talk about the lenses and cameras of Panavision. Andrew and Haluki also discuss the Panavision look and line of lenses, and Panavision’s camera rental customization.

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!

Evening Report from the 2014 NAB Show – Day 5 (04/11/2014)

GUESTS: Pete Litwinowicz, Craig Nimens, Tom Dickinson, Jeffrey Stansfield, Gabe Chiefetz, and Tabb Firchau

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Join Larry Jordan, from the NAB 2014 show floor, as he talks with:

Pete Litwinowitz, Co-founder, RE:Vision Effects, Inc

Larry Jordan sits down with Pete Litwinowitz, Co-founder of RE:Vision Effects, Inc, to talk about effects plug ins. Pete talks about retiming, motion blurring, warping, and more plug-ins that RE:Vision Effects offers.

Craig Nimens, Production Consultant, Sound Ideas

Larry talks with Craig Nimens, Production Consultant for Sound Ideas. Sound Ideas is the worlds largest supplier of sound effects, royalty free music and production elements. They have released a variety of new collections and libraries.

Tom Dickinson, Chief Technical Officer, Bexel

Larry talks with Tom Dickinson, CTO for Bexel. Bexel is a rental service that provides equipment from a one camera package for an interview to much more sophisticated packages for live events or sports.

Jeffrey Stansfield, Founder, Advantage Video Systems

Larry talks with Jeffrey Stansfield, Founder of Advantage Video Systems. Advantage Video Systems is a provider for the broadcast, motion picture, television and motion graphics industries. They are releasing a new DIT system designed around the new MacPro.

Gabe Cheifetz, Co-Founder, Crumplepop

Larry Jordan sits down with Gabe Cheifetz, Co-Founder of Crumplepop, to talk about video effects plugins for Final Cut Pro X. Gabe specifically talks about successful Crumplepop plugins such as an animated split screen plug-in and a skin tone corrector plugin.

Tabb Firchau, President, Freefly

Larry Jordan sits down with Tabb Firchau, president of Freefly Systems, to talk about new ways to stabilize cameras. Tabb talks about FreeFly’s new, handheld, motor driven stabilization rig that can be operated by one or two people, with the addition of a wireless remote.

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!

Evening Report from the 2014 NAB Show – Day 4 (04/10/2014)

GUESTS: Alexis Van Hurkman, Ned Soltz, Carey Dissmore, Michele Yamazaki, Alicia van Heulen, Oliver Peters, Corey Roberts, and Larry Jordan

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Join Larry Jordan, from the NAB 2014 show floor, as he talks with:

Alexis Van Hurkman, Author, Director, Colorist, Van Hurkman Productions

Larry Jordan sits down with Alexis Van Hurkman, a writer, director, and colorist, to talk about innovations in editing and color grading. Alexis discusses BlackMagic’s new DaVinci Resolve 11 release, and how it integrates editing with color grading.

Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Digital Video Magazine

Ned Soltz discusses how camera manufacturers should be worried about companies such as AJA and BlackMagic releasing new high end cameras under $10,000. He compares the features of the less expensive cameras with the high end cameras.

Carey Dissmore, Principal, Carey Dissmore Productions

Larry Jordan catches up with special reporter Carey Dissmore of Carey Dissmore Productions to hear his thoughts on NAB 2014. Carey talks about the 4k trend this year, as well as interesting camera support accessories and LED lights.

Michele Yamazaki, Pluginologist, Toolfarm

Larry Jordan checks in with Michele Yamazaki, Marketing Manager for Toolfarm, to hear her take on what’s new in the effects plug-in world. Michelle talks about a few new effects plug-ins that have caught her attention at NAB 2014.

Alicia Van Heulen, Marketing Manager, Toolfarm

Larry Jordan checks in with Alicia Van Heulen, Marketing Manager for Toolfarm, to talk about After Effects Plug ins. Alicia gives us a glimpse into two new after effects plug-ins called Motion Monkey and Flux.

Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Digital Video Magazine

Larry Jordan sits down with Ned Soltz, a contributing editor for DV Magazine, to listen Ned’s special report. Ned talks about the continuing trend of Cloud storage and safety issues that surround it.

Oliver Peters, Editor/Colorist, Oliver Peters Post Production Services

Larry Jordan sits down with Oliver Peters of Oliver Peters Post Production Services Company to talk about Oliver’s impressions of NAB 2014. Oliver talks about the 4K competition at NAB, new editing innovations, cameras, and more!

Corey Roberts, Actor/Writer

Corey Roberts has been here at NAB for four days now taking in all the show has to offer. As a first time attendee on the event, he talks about his experiences and gives a fresh perspective of NAB.

Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Digital Video Magazine

Ned Soltz summarizes his experience at the 2014 NAB Show.

Larry Jordan, Host, Digital Production BuZZ

Larry Jordan summarizes his experience at the 2014 NAB Show.

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!

Live Update from the 2014 NAB Show – Show 7

GUESTS: Durin Gleaves , Elaine Kwok, Rob D’Amico, and Derick Rhodes

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Join Larry Jordan, live from our booth on the show floor, as he talks with:

Durin Gleaves, Product Owner, Adobe Professional Audio

Durin Gleaves, Product Owner, Adobe Professional Audio stops by to discuss Adobe Audition and why a customer should choose Audition over Pro Tools. Durin also speaks about new features in Audition including new multitrack functionality and Audition’s powerful audio restoration tools.

Elaine Kwok, Product Marketing Manager, Promise Technology

Elaine Kwok, Product Marketing Manager discusses Promise Technology’s specialty in storage subsystems optimized for video editing. Elaine also speaks about Promise Technology’s new products to help video editors such as the M4 Pegasus Mini and the NAS Gateway. Elaine talks about the future of storage.

Rob D’Amico, Senior Product Manager, iZotope, Inc.

Rob D’Amico, Senior Product Manager discusses iZotope’s tools for quickly cleaning and repairing audio. Rob also discusses new audio plugins being released.

Derick Rhodes, Footage Content Producer, Shutterstock, Inc.

Derick Rhodes, Footage Content Producer discusses content on Shutterstock’s website and the search content feature. Derick also speaks about Shutterstock’s drive to promote high quality stock video and audio content.

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!

Evening Report from the 2014 NAB Show – Day 3 (04/09/2014)

GUESTS: Sean Mullen, Kanen Flowers, David Tobie, Jim Tierney, Mohammed Aboul-Magd, John Tkaczewski, and Angus Mackay

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Join Larry Jordan, from the NAB 2014 show floor, as he talks with:

Sean Mullen, CEO/Founder, Rampant Design ToolsKanen Flowers, Creative Director, That Studio

Larry Jordan talks with Sean Mullen, CEO of Rampant Design and Kanen Flowers, Creative Director for That Studio. Rampant Design creates drag and drop practical visual effects. They create QuickTime file effects such as fire, water, dust and more that layer over other elements. Indie Essentials is a less expensive option that offers a variety of stock effects as well. They have launched new products and a new website.

David Tobie, Imaging Product & Technology Manager, Datacolor

Larry talks with David Tobie from Datacolor. DataColor is color management in many fields and industries such as imagery video, video broadcasts, cinematography, animation and more. Data Color released the SpyderHD which calibrates both the computer and video displays.

Jim Tierney, Chief Executive Anarchist, Digital Anarchy

Larry Jordan sits down with Jim Tierney, the Chief Executive Anarchist for Digital Anarchy, to talk about editing plug-ins. Jim talks about past Digital Anarchy success in Photoshop and editing platforms like Final Cut or Premiere, as well as new plug-ins such as Flicker Free.

Mohammed Aboul-Magd, Product Manager, Signiant

Larry Jordan sits down with Mohammed Abdoul-Magd, Product Manager at Signiant, to talk about large file transferring. Mohammed also discusses Signiant’s use of the EDP protocol which allows clients to transfer files quickly and securely.

John Tkaczewski, President/Co-Founder, File Catalyst

File Catalyst is a file transfer solution for moving large media files over the internet. They guarantee users will get the most out of their internet connection during the file transfer process. President John Tkaczewski talks about File Catalyst and it’s usage in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Angus Mackay, Marketing Director, Tiger Technology

Larry sits down with Angus Mackay, Director of Marketing for Tiger Technology, to talk about shared storage and storage workflow solutions. Angus also discusses Tiger Technology’s ability to customize shared storage to customers’ needs, whether it be storage drives, high speed connections, or managing software.

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!