Get the Latest BuZZ Each Week

Producer’s Corner: September 25, 2014

I See the IBC and the BuZZ is There with Breaking News

This year was my first “in person” IBC and I walked away very impressed, not only with the quality of the exhibitors but also with a profound appreciation for the attendees, who seemed enthusiastic and polite on a level that we don’t quite see at NAB! If you can imagine 50,000 plus people all mingling with little fanfare and lots of concentration, that is IBC. No booths blaring louder than the next vying for attention and giving us headaches.


To set the record straight, I do love NAB and will continue to cover it for years to come, but it was nice to visit with all my favorite exhibitors without the cacophony of a football field after a touchdown!


Since there is so much coverage of the “majors,” I thought it would be fun to wander the halls looking for something interesting and new and… lo and behold, there were quite a few exhibitors with something unique to discuss.


You can visit the BuZZ here to hear any of the following interviews that aired on the 18th of September. And for the 25th of September show, check them out here.


One of the breaking news stories out of the gate at IBC was Blackmagic Design’s purchase of eyeon Software. Steve Roberts, CEO, talks with Larry about it on the September 18th BuZZ. This beloved compositing tool has been used on over 1,000 feature films and it fits like a glove when combined with other tools in the Blackmagic arena, namely DaVinci Resolve. The booth was BuZZing with folks wanting to take a look at Fusion 7.

Jim Geduldick, Cinema and Photo Marketing Manager at GoPro, braved the crowds to stand with me and talk about all their new gear and even gave us some tips about how to get better time lapses. I do apologize for the quality of the audio, as I was trying out a new shotgun mic that was not the best choice, but you will undoubtedly still find it interesting.

Over at the Freefly Systems booth, Sam Nuttmann let us know that the price on some of their more popular gimbals is dropping and that the M4 is shipping. Good news for all.

I love talking to executives who can give us an overview of the industry. Graham Sharp, SVP of Global Products at Vitec Videocom has been in the business for over thirty years and explains his take on why IBC is important and where he sees independent filmmakers and broadcast television going in the future.

I found a group of brilliant developers from Russia who have a company that is providing services to the news industry with the ability to stream live proxies and high res footage if the connection allows it. It is called (check it out on the web) and let the developer, Iakov Pustinlik know what you think. Impressive.

While I was covering this news, Philip Hodgetts of Lumberjack Systems grabbed the executives from Adobe: Steve Forde, Principal Product Manager, Visual Effects for the Creative Cloud and Alissa Johnson, Product Manager for Collaborative Workflows at Adobe Anywhere. Anyone involved in visual effects will certainly want to check it out on the BuZZ.

Of course, we are all total gear heads, right? So one of the first stops was to the Zeiss booth where Michael Schiehlen, Director of Sales and Service for Car Zeiss AG gave me a sneak peak at their new line of lenses specifically designed for my new Sony A7! (Saving pennies for all of these now.) This interview aired on the BuZZ on September 25th.

Speaking of the 25th, Tom Bassett interviews with Larry about a film he produced called, “Briefly,” that is being released for free viewing on the internet here on the 30th of September. Having grown up in the studio marketing sandbox, I particularly identify with the culture surrounding these infamous pitch briefs. Love ’em or hate ’em, this is one documentary you won’t want to miss.


One the eve of the National Labor Relations Board decision to order CNN to rehire more than 100 union technicians and compensate over 200 others, we were curious about what our legal correspondent, Jonathan Handel, might say about it. Jonathan is an Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter and the go-to person for us when we want in informed opinion. His interview is an eye-opener. See more from Jonathan Handel here.


And, Rollo Wenlock CEO and Founder of the new site, Wipster, talked to us about the importance of having an efficient and well-designed platform for Cloud-based media reviews. Wipster launched this week and the BuZZ was there to cover it. Oh, and did we tell you that it is free?


Coming up soon: The amazing 3D artists from Maxon!

Please visit the BuZZ and feel free to write me at

More photos from IBC:


Birdseye view of the SuperMeet



Ali Ahmadi of Lite Panels with BuZZ Producer Cirina Catania

Ali Ahmadi of Lite Panels with BuZZ Producer Cirina Catania

Michael Horton and Dan Berube

Michael Horton, Dan Berube, and friends

All photos taken by Cirina Catania

Cirina Catania

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

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – September 25, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

September 25, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


      Click here
to listen to this show.]


Larry Jordan

Michael Horton


Tom Bassett, Founder & CEO, Bassett Partners

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

Rollo Wenlock, CEO, Founder, Wipster

Michael Schiehlen, Director of Sales and Service, Zeiss Lenses


 Voiceover: The 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; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra-reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years; and by, a global marketplace for royalty free images and videos. With over two million royalty free HD and 4K video clips, Shutterstock helps you take your creative projects to the next level.

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 back again from the wilds of IBC in Amsterdam is our ever affable host, Mr. Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: Hello, Larry. It’s great to be back.

Larry Jordan: You know, it has been, like, forever, Michael.

Mike Horton: I know, it has. I mean, you’ve lost weight and you’ve…

Larry Jordan: You don’t love us any more.

Mike Horton: …your hair’s just a little grayer.

Larry Jordan: It is not grayer, I’m dyeing it that way. What do you mean, grayer?

Mike Horton: Really?

Larry Jordan: Well, look who I have to work with.

Mike Horton: My hair’s a little grayer. I miss Amsterdam. It was awesome. It was beautiful.

Larry Jordan: Did you have a good time?

Mike Horton: Oh, I had a great time.

Larry Jordan: Did anybody show up for the Supermeet?

Mike Horton: They did, at the last minute. They all showed up at the same time. It was a rush. I was a bit panicked in the morning but everybody showed up and the Amsterdam people are just the best.

Larry Jordan: It is a wonderful city. I’ve always enjoyed my visits.

Mike Horton: Yes, but you never stay there to play tourist. I stay there to play tourist.

Larry Jordan: I only get invited to give a speech and the guy…

Mike Horton: Yes, and then you get right back on the plane and go home.

Larry Jordan: …doesn’t even buy me dinner.

Mike Horton: I did, didn’t I? No, I bought you, like, bitterballen.

Larry Jordan: A McDonald’s…

Mike Horton: You passed out.

Larry Jordan: …I think was all you gave. You and I have to talk about this whole concept of expense reports, guy.

Mike Horton: Yes, exactly.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of interesting places to go and interesting people to meet, we’ve got a great group of guests today. Tom Bassett is the Founder and CEO of Bassett Partners. He talks about his new film, ‘Briefly’, which looks at the relevance of the creative brief.

Larry Jordan: Then Jonathan Handel of Counsel at TroyGould in Los Angeles and Entertainment Labor Reporter for The Hollywood Reporter tells us about a recent court decision affecting CNN and its employment practices.

Larry Jordan: And Rollo Wenlock, the CEO and Founder of Wipster. It’s an Australian based video review and collaboration website and he explains why Wipster is better than Scenios or Production Minds or Media Silo, A Frame. They’re sprouting up from all over, so we’ve got to figure out what’s magical about Wipster.

Larry Jordan: And in a special report from IBC 2014, which was last week in Amsterdam as Mike will attest, Buzz producer Cirina Catania interviews Michael Schiehlen of Zeiss Lenses about some new still and cine lenses that they’re announcing this week at Photokina in Cologne, Germany.

Mike Horton: That’s on my bucket list, just to get a Zeiss lens for my camera.

Larry Jordan: That’s amazing.

Mike Horton: Oh my gosh.

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 each show page. You can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making the transcripts possible.

Larry Jordan: So, Mike, tell me about the Supermeet in 20 words or less.

Mike Horton: It went great. Of course, we had our keynote speakers, the two editors of the new…

Larry Jordan: That was the ‘Star Wars’, right?

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: How did they do?

Mike Horton: They were terrific. They were really wonderful. Delightful ladies, very articulate about the craft. Of course, we did not show any ‘Star Wars’, but they showed before and after scenes from ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ and also ‘Super 8’, so we got a little film school for about 45 minutes.

Larry Jordan: That was so cool. Well, you know, that’s so important, is to be able to see the kind of magic that the editor does, because by the time the editor’s done, it’s so glossy you don’t understand the work that went into it.

Mike Horton: Exactly, so it was terrific and they were terrific and, like I said, I miss Amsterdam.

Larry Jordan: Well, you’ll just have to go back next year.

Mike Horton: Yes, I know. Yes we will.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of interesting places to go, be sure to visit with us on We’re also on Twitter and you can chat with us @DPBuZZ, and Facebook, at Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter. It comes out every Friday morning, at, for an inside look at both our show and the industry. We are going to be taking a look at whether the creative brief is still necessary, right after this.

Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is now shipping its production camera 4K, a super high resolution 4K digital production camera for Ultra HD television production. Capturing high quality ProRes files, the Blackmagic production camera 4K gives customers a complete solution to shoot amazing high resolution music videos, episodic television productions, television commercials, sports, documentaries and much more.

Larry Jordan: The Blackmagic production camera 4K also features an incredibly tempting price of $2995. Learn more about the Blackmagic production camera 4K that is definitely priced to move, visit today.

Larry Jordan: Tom Bassett has over 20 years’ experience developing brand innovation, advertising and design strategies for clients like Nike, Sonos, Microsoft and The Harvard Business School. Before starting his own company, Tom headed up strategic planning at Nike’s global advertising, Apple’s global advertising and Yahoo’s global advertising. The man clearly only associates with the best. Welcome, Tom, good to have you with us.

Tom Bassett: Thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: Our goal is to have you say that at the end of the interview as well and so far we haven’t had anybody die this week. I think we’re doing ok.

Tom Bassett: Oh, I feel safe.

Larry Jordan: Tom, the reason we’re talking with you today is that you’re about to release a new film entitled Briefly that explores the role of the creative brief in shaping innovation. But before we talk about the film, tell us briefly about your background.

Tom Bassett: I started my career in advertising and, like you said in the intro, I worked in a discipline called account planning and account planning’s role is to write creative briefs, so you develop a sense of where the consumer understands the brand and write a brief that hopefully inspires great work.

Larry Jordan: Now, take a breath for a second. Tell us what a creative brief is. You say you worked strategy and creative brief. Define both terms.

Tom Bassett: The creative brief is a document typically written out where you talk about what the objective of the campaign is and who the target audience is specifically, what the leading insight is that you’re going to base your advertising message on and then what the message is that you want people to take away from that; and then there’s some support that goes around it and that is the starting point, really, for the creative time – usually an art director and a copywriter – to begin their work of trying to figure out what the ad campaign will look like.

Larry Jordan: So the creative brief really tries to explain what the market is so the creative team knows how to address the market?

Tom Bassett: Yes, and that’s where I think the film gets interesting, because what defines a brief varies a lot. In advertising or design or architecture, it’s going to vary to some degree. Obviously, the complexity of the project is going to vary, but essentially it’s laying out the vision for what it is you’re trying to accomplish. There’s usually a brief that comes from a client first that says, “here’s our marketing problem or our marketing situation,” and then the agency often will respond with what they call their creative brief, which is how we took your marketing brief and turned it into something that gets creative people fired up to do their job.

Mike Horton: So is a creative brief a pitch?

Tom Bassett: I don’t know if you’ve watched ‘Mad Men?’

Mike Horton: Oh, sure.

Tom Bassett: They usually go in at some point and say, “Hey, how do you position the codec carousel?” in the case of one particular episode, how do you serve it up to people? And you can say, “Here’s this thing that spins negatives around,” and drop some in front of a light, but that’s not really exciting. What creative people do is they try and find just a new and unusual way of seeing something, or serving something up, or explaining something to people in typically a more emotional way, something that resonates with them emotionally.

Larry Jordan: Here you are living at the strategic level of the some of the major brands in the world – Nike, Yahoo, Apple. What is it that got you interested in coming down from the mountain and actually making a film?

Tom Bassett: It was a long fall. I think I was somewhat innocent, to be honest with you. I had this idea bouncing around in the back of my mind for years of making a film about the brief and not necessarily wanting to just look at advertising or design or any individual creative discipline, I think in large part because the boundaries amongst those creative disciplines are collapsing, and if you look at Fuseproject, which is where Yves Béhar works, one of the people in the film, historically they would have been framed as an industrial design firm, but they have become a branding firm, an advertising firm, a logo firm and user experience firm. We were just curious to understand how a range of creative people understood the brief, so first of all how they defined it, what made for a great brief and equally what made for a bad brief, what stories they could share with us about the briefs and then finally what advice they might give to creative collaborators that could help inspire them to do their best work.

Larry Jordan: There are several questions that are coming in my mind. There is a quote in the film that was in the trailer – oh, by the way, when does the film release?

Tom Bassett: Next Tuesday, on the 30th of September. It’ll be available free online at

Larry Jordan: We’ll come back to that and give you a chance to give the website again at the end, but there’s a quote in the trailer that really intrigued me. They were talking about the creative brief and a gentleman says, “Whether the creative brief is written or verbal, it’s our job to challenge it.” Why is challenging and reflecting on the creative brief so important?

Tom Bassett: That was David Rockwell, who’s a legendary designer and architect, and he’s worked across architecture and design and theater. He did the recent TED design and he’s done the Academy Awards. He’s very well renowned in his space. I think my observation is that they have to take ownership of the project at some point. In the film, John Boiler talks about, “Don’t tell me what and how, tell me why,” and so I think the reason they’re challenging it is they’re trying to find a highly unusual solution that hasn’t ever been found before and so it’s their way of finding creative solutions to challenge everything, so they challenge the briefs, they challenge the client, they challenge the technology landscape. It’s just their way of trying to find some nugget in there that they can make their own and bring to the project.

Larry Jordan: How long did it take to shoot the film?

Tom Bassett: We were about a year in the making and that’s everything from the start of the first shoot to pretty much where we are now. I guess it’s a little bit more than a year. It’s been a while. I don’t know if you’ve read Ed Catmull’s Creativity Inc? It’s a book, he’s one of the founders of Pixar. It’s a great read, if some of your listeners are interested.

Mike Horton: Yes, there are soundbites all over the internet and people quote him all the time.

Tom Bassett: Yes… at a local bookstore as well. He’s quite a fascinating guy. One of the things that I learned from him in this book was that at some point the director will get lost, and I did… what it was like to make a film and I think one of the things I learned first of all, you do get lost at some point. Luckily we found ourselves again, but I just think you experience a certain amount of vulnerability. It’s one thing to sit behind the scenes and write a strategy, which is what we really do, but it’s another thing to actually make a film and put yourself out there. I think that’s been a tremendous learning experience and one of the things that John Boiler, who’s the CEO of 72andSunny, which is an ad agency based in LA, very hot ad shop – they do the Samsung advertising etcetera – but his point was that planners or strategists should really be makers, that this is a whole new era where you can’t just ivory tower it, to use his words that you’ve actually got to get your hands dirty, and so I think this is a great exercise for anybody who’s been around this to get their hands dirty and that’s, I think, part of the reason I made a film, is just let’s try this, let’s actually do this, and it’s hard.

Mike Horton: Making a film is one heck of a commitment and it took you, you say, a year if not more. But you’re doing it on the subject of a creative brief. One makes a film because they’re passionate about the subject or they want to teach somebody something about it. Creative brief – why? Why the subject?

Tom Bassett: Yes, it’s potentially… I hear you. It’s a reality of everybody in the creative business, I think, whether you’re on set in Hollywood or whether you’re designing the next product. It’s the starting point for every project, right? There is a brief. A director will work with an actor and say, “Here’s the character I want you to develop or manifest, these are the characteristics I want you to work on,” and so since every project starts with a brief, we were curious to know why do some projects land up more exceptional than others? So far, at least from the Twittersphere and the views we’ve had online and anecdotally, the feedback we’ve had, for some reason it’s striking a chord with a lot of people, I think because it is a starting point. I think what’s happened in large part is that creativity itself has evolved but the brief maybe hasn’t and there’s a certain frustration around what a brief maybe should become, but it’s really still operating as to what it used to be.

Larry Jordan: Who did you see as the audience for your film? Clearly, everybody is the obvious answer, but who’s your core target?

Tom Bassett: We’re definitely not for everybody. I saw our audience as anyone who either writes or receives a creative brief and more specifically I look at who is the 99 percent, right? The people in the film are who I deem to be in the one percent of creative talent in this country, and in some cases the world, but the 99 percent looks at that one percent and thinks, “How do they do it? How do they get there? What are they doing? We want to be better. We want to make better ads, we want to make better products, we want to make more relevant designs. How do we do it?” and so that’s really the audience. It’s not everyone at all, it’s really people who either write or receive briefs and what they can learn about what the masters have done to arrive at exceptional places.

Larry Jordan: This audience, the 99 percent of people who are creating creative products, once they’ve seen the film what do you want them to do? What’s the takeaway for them?

Tom Bassett: The ultimate thing I’m hoping is that more products and services and creative endeavors are better. In some cases, I think the clients could be better about how they work with creative resources. One of our biggest clients is Nike and we did a preview screening up there with, I think, 70 or 80 of their designers, many of whom work in a group called The Innovation Kitchen. A number of them came up to me after and said, “We need the product teams to see this, we need the marketing teams to see this,” because in a way I think it helps explain who they are and how they work and how they want to work. That’s hopefully the ultimate outcome, that there are better products and better manifestations of creativity. I think on a tactical level, if there are more and more conversations about the creative brief and maybe how it needs to evolve to catch up with where creatives are at, that would be a great win too.

Larry Jordan: Ok, put your director hat back on, let’s talk technology for a minute. What gear did you use to shoot this? What camera and what did you use to edit it?

Tom Bassett: We edit on Premiere. We used to be on Final Cut Pro. We have three editing suites here at work and our Director of Production, Scott Fitzloff, said at some point that he felt that maybe the Final Cut Pro support from a software point of view wasn’t as aggressive as it used to be, maybe because they were spending a lot of time on iPhone, and I don’t blame them – they make a lot more money off that than they do Final Cut – so we’ve been working in Premiere. The cameras are really Canon cameras. We shoot on digital SLRs but I don’t actually know the model. I approved the invoice or the bills to acquire the equipment, but I don’t know the actual equipment that we’re shooting on, if you want to know the truth.

Mike Horton: You had one hell of a cast here. How did you get these people?

Tom Bassett: There was a trick. It’s really six degrees of separation in this case. I know Yves Béhar personally – my wife works at his company and we surf together. I know John Boiler because I worked with him at Wieden & Kennedy, I know John Jay. David Rockwell came through a woman by the name of Vanessa Humes, who used to be his personal assistant and I know her through my wife and so she called him up and said, “Hey, you need to be in this film,” and he was like, “All right.”

Mike Horton: Wow.

Tom Bassett: And then similarly, Frank Gehry was a bit of a crown jewel and a former girlfriend of mine knows him because she was Jay Shiau personal assistant for seven years and so she mustered the courage to go ask him if he’d do it and he said yes because he adores her. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have had a chance of getting to him, so it’s really personal connections.

Mike Horton: Let’s do a show on networking and having the right girlfriends.

Tom Bassett: It does come down to who you know; and then luckily David Rockwell knew Myra Coleman, so he made a call to her and she said sure she’d do it, so it’s so much about relationships and who you know and having the audacity in some cases to ask.

Larry Jordan: I understand, if my notes are correct, that something unusual happened with your film when it was at Cannes. What happened?

Tom Bassett: That’s a bit of a myth that we weren’t responsible for. There was a slide that was put up – I don’t know if I’m allowed to swear on your radio show, am I?

Larry Jordan: Go ahead.

Tom Bassett: The slide said ‘Fuck Briefs’. It was put up by a couple of people who are, I think, at RGA, which is an advertisings agency, and then Dre By Beats and I think the ultimate message was similar. I think they’re expressing their frustration with the way the brief has been handled in advertising. It’s sort of a very Byzantine process and it’s really a static document. The way the brief is treated in advertising, it hasn’t changed in years and years. If you watch ‘Mad Men’, it’s the same thing. I think they were just expressing their frustration, but somehow it got attributed to us, that we were leaking this thing ahead of time to create a story and I wish we were that clever to have pulled that out.

Mike Horton: Well, people get to talk about it and the more they talk about it, the more we talk about it.

Tom Bassett: Well, that’s the thing. If it generates conversations, I think that’s really what’s going on. If you look at a broader cultural level, the fact that they had that slide in Cannes, we’re creating a film about it, maybe that will trigger a series of conversations that will make people rethink what the role of the brief is and maybe what it should be.

Larry Jordan: You’re distributing this free online. It’s hard to make money when you distribute it free online.

Tom Bassett: Yes, business models were never my forte. We try and find interesting ways for brands and designers to think like human beings. It never occurred to us, I guess, to charge for it in part because I thought if I went to Frank Gehry and I said, “Hey, I want you to be in this film and by the way we’re going to sell it,” now I’m making money off his back and I didn’t know how he’s respond to that. So we came to them and said, “Our idea is that we’re trying to inspire the 99 percent of business people who maybe aren’t doing their best creative to do better and students in the future who are working in creative spaces and our distribution model is we’ll do it free online, what do you think?” and they very quickly and resoundingly said yes. So really from the beginning we had this idea that we would release it free online.

Mike Horton: Just quickly, because we only have a couple of minutes here, but I’ve got to ask this question. You talk about the brief being either a document or verbal. If it is verbal, how important is the performance? Do we all have to be a Don Draper or can Betty Boring give that brief?

Tom Bassett: I think you’re going to always do better with Don Draper.

Mike Horton: Ok.

Tom Bassett: You have to convince people. To me as a director, this is a story about belief, right? You have to believe in what you’re doing, you have to have something believable to tell people and you have to believe in others that you can have a relationship during the course of the making to be able to have the hard conversation to say, “Your product isn’t good enough,” or whatever. Really, I think you have to believe in what you’re going to do if you’re going to be successful because you have to convince people that that’s the right direction. Even someone as famous and talented as Frank Gehry was struggling with the Eisenhower Memorial, so even the best of the best goes through this.

Mike Horton: Sure.

Larry Jordan: Now that you’ve done your first film, are you going to do another one?


Tom Bassett: I’m exhausted. I sent a preview to John Boiler at 72andSunny and he said, “This is great,” you know, it was a very nice email and he said, “I’m looking forward to the next one.” How do creative people get up for it over and over again?

Mike Horton: Part two. Part two’s coming out.

Larry Jordan: A lack of intelligence, I think, has a great deal to do with it.

Tom Bassett: Or you have a death wish. Yes, I admire them, people in the creative industries who keep putting out films and films and advertising, buildings. I mean, just to keep doing that over and over again, you put your heart on the line.

Larry Jordan: True enough. And quickly, before we do run out of time, where can people go to learn more about it?

Tom Bassett: Yes, is the site.

Mike Horton: And it’s out next week, September 30th.

Larry Jordan: That’s and Tom Bassett is the Founder and CEO and director of Briefly. Tom, thanks for joining us.

Mike Horton: I’m looking forward to it.

Larry Jordan: Take care.

Tom Bassett: Thanks. Bye bye.


Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Archiving means more than just copying files from one location to another. TOLIS Group’s BRU and ArGest solutions provide easy to use and reliable answers for all your media storage, back-up and archiving requirements; and BRU PE release 3.1 makes it even easier for Final Cut Pro X users.

Larry Jordan: Safely storing back-ups on tape for long term storage is one thing, but when you have lots and lots of files stored on lots and lots of tapes, finding exactly the right file on exactly the right tape takes some great software. That’s where BRU comes in. With BRU, you can be sure that your data is completely recoverable. BRU, because it’s the restore that matters. Download a free demo today from

Larry Jordan: It is time for Michael to get off the table and Jonathan Handel is an entertainment 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 Hello, Jonathan, welcome back.

Jonathan Handel: Well, hello Larry, hello Michael.

Mike Horton: Hello Jonathan.

Larry Jordan: It has been a long time since we’ve had you on. We’ve been feeling lonely.

Jonathan Handel: I don’t want that.

Larry Jordan: Listen, there’s been a lot of news that CNN has been making, not just reporting. What’s been happening at CNN?

Mike Horton: What hasn’t been happening for the last year?

Jonathan Handel: Well, it’s been an interesting one for them. This was last week, actually. They lost a case at the National Labor Relations Board regarding employees in their New York and Washington DC bureaus and the issue was kind of complicated. First of all, I should say the case has been percolating for about ten years. This has to do with layoffs that happened in 2003. They had been using an outside services company to supply crew for those offices and that outside services company was unionized, the crew members were represented by the Communications Workers – NABET, the National Association of Broadcast Engineering, well, I don’t remember exactly what it stands for, actually, to tell you the truth, it’s just NABET. CNN decided to in-source, decided to terminate the contract with this outside company and hire people as employees. Lo and behold, they didn’t hire very many of those formerly unionized employees and they refused to recognize the union, even though it was some of the same people certainly doing the same or similar sorts of jobs.

Larry Jordan: So then what was the ruling?

Jonathan Handel: The ruling was that CNN had violated the rights of the workers. The dramatic quote here was, “The evidence of animus,” meaning anti-union animus or prejudice, “in this case is overwhelming, as is the evidence that CNN’s explanations for its conduct were protectoral,” in other words that CNN was saying, “Well, you know, we did this for the following reasons,” but in fact, according to the Labor Relations Board, CNN really was making it up. The Board cited evidence that CNN manipulated the hiring process in order to discriminate against employees who had a great deal of experience but were union activists, for example, had been active in the union and instead hired other people who did not have the same level of experience.

Larry Jordan: If I remember correctly, this affected about 100 employees directly and about 200 that were owed back wages. Is that true?

Jonathan Handel: That’s right, 100 directly were ordered to be re-hired and another 200 compensated.

Larry Jordan: I can understand why this is important for the employees, I can understand why it’s important for CNN. Do the rest of us need to care?

Jonathan Handel: Well, yes. Just to put a bow on it with CNN, by the way, this was a particularly tough time for them because what management has been saying is going to go on in the Turner Broadcasting sector of Time Warner, including CNN, is not that they want to hire new people but, in fact, that there are going to be layoffs and, I guess, have been some layoffs and also people have been offered voluntary buyouts. To have to rehire people at a time when you’re shrinking the operation is particularly difficult. Now, why should the rest of us care? I think one of the things this illustrates is just how precarious in some ways the position of Hollywood unions is. This is a sister company, Turner Broadcasting and CNN are sister companies, of the Warner Bros studio. They’re both subsidiaries of Time Warner, obviously. Although you’ve got Warners with a very unionized operation in terms of SAG-AFTRA and the Directors’ Guild, the Writers’ Guild, IATSE crew, what you see here is that at the higher management level in these companies, there’s very much an attempt to limit and fence off the degree to which unions will have influence within the companies and will represent people. If you really step back and remember things like the alleged 40 hour work week and the weekend and so forth, Newman wage laws, all this were products of the union movement, I think what you see here is another element of a continuing shift in pallor from workers to executives, frankly.

Larry Jordan: Do unions take heart from this or do unions continue to be on the ropes?

Jonathan Handel: They take heard from this decision, except that CNN does have the right to appeal and I was just taking a look at the Labor Relations Board docket and there is a mention of some court action or something that happened a couple of days after this decision, so that may indicate that CNN has filed an appeal. It’s not quite clear to me. Unusually, they can appeal into more or less their choice of whichever Federal Court of Appeals they want and they’re likely, it seems to me, to choose the one that encompasses Atlanta, where CNN has its headquarters, rather than the more liberal Courts of Appeal that cover New York or Washington. This may not stand up, this may end up in the Supreme Court, it’s hard to know. But it certainly is possible that a more conservative Court of Appeal will reverse the Labor Relations Board. To answer your question, unions do take heart in this particular decision but I think there’s a degree of trepidation and not knowing what’s going to come next.

Larry Jordan: Who’s representing the workers themselves?

Jonathan Handel: Well, the union is attempting to. That is the function of a union. This was a unionized workforce, people lost houses, some people have died in the interim, in the last ten years. It’s a tough situation for workers.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that we’ve learned is that the Hollywood and union situation extends throughout the country and around the world and nobody covers it better than you. What are some of the other trends you’re looking at elsewhere outside of CNN?

Jonathan Handel: Outside of CNN, I think it’s worth noting that the Hollywood unions did, as we’ve talked about in the past, achieve some victories in this round of negotiations in terms of merging the SAG and AFTRA TV contracts, the basic cable, improving residuals or really instituting residuals in high budget streaming video on demand programs on Netflix and Amazon and so forth. But we live in an era of a lot of technological change and I think to try to predict, ok, what is television going to look like two or three years out from now and how is that going to affect workers and the unions is a hard one. I do think, speaking locally in terms of LA and California, that it’s going to be interesting to see whether the tax incentive legislation that Jerry Brown signed will, indeed, bring more production back into LA and reverse the trend towards runway production that’s been very difficult for people who live here. We don’t know yet, but that’s one of those fights state versus state, really, who’s going to grant the biggest incentives to different productions.

Larry Jordan: There’s no shortage of stuff to watch and we always appreciate the chance to talk with you. Jonathan, for people who want more information about what your thoughts are and what you’re writing, where can they go to read it?

Jonathan Handel: They can go to and

Larry Jordan: That’s and Jonathan Handel himself is the voice you’re listening to, of Counsel at TroyGould. Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Jonathan.

Jonathan Handel: Thank you very much.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.

Jonathan Handel: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Rollo Wenlock is the CEO and Founder of Wipster. He’s an entrepreneur and a film maker interested in how we make better films, and Wipster is a digital media review and approval platform designed for content creators, media teams and anyone creating short term video projects. Hello, Rollo, welcome.

Rollo Wenlock: Hello and thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you on the show and especially interested in learning more about Wipster. But before we talk about the website, what got you started in the industry?

Rollo Wenlock: It’s an interesting thing. When I was very young, when I was 15, my father was an architect and I was absolutely sure that I wanted to become an architect, looking at all the buildings he was designing – hospitals and things – and then I watched films with him and well and when I first watched films at that young age, I started to realize that if you made films, you could do everything inside a film. You could do imagery, music, design, everything and you could put everything creative inside a film whereas architects only had the idea of space, light and design. So film got me because I was like, “I can do everything.” That’s why I got into film.

Larry Jordan: From there, what got you involved in trying to come up with something like Wipster? What was the transition that led to the website?

Rollo Wenlock: The transition happened because I was working professionally in film and video for 15 years. I was doing post production, I was directing TV commercials, music videos for bands, doing all sorts of things. But with every short form job, there was a client and with every client meeting there was pain and the pain generally happened around trying to get on the same page with what each person was talking about. If I sent them a video file, they had to write me an email, they’d write all the timecodes. But then also, because there’d be more than one client, they’d all be sending me different emails and most of my creative job was actually figuring out what people wanted in changes rather than working on the film, you know what I’m saying?

Larry Jordan: Yes, true enough. So then you sat down at your keyboard and you invented Wipster. What’s Wipster?

Rollo Wenlock: Well, that’s kind of how it happened. This is how the idea came to me, and it’s kind of cheesy but I think you’ll enjoy it. It was very early in the morning, I’d just had my first child, so she was one month old and she wakes up very early. I was looking out a window and the sun was just coming over the hills and, as the sun came over the hills – and we don’t clean our windows all that often – the sun hit the dust on the glass and as that dust lit up – and there was a separation between me and the view which was the dust – it suddenly clicked to me. I thought, “Why don’t people making videos have conversations on the video?” and that was the moment where it hit me and then I just went crazy, started designing it in my head, I was drawing it all day long and then, within a very short period of time, only a few days, I’d gone out to the wider community of technology people and found a co-founder called Nick Green who could build this software with me; and then from there the rest is history.

Larry Jordan: How long did you spend in development?

Rollo Wenlock: I think software is always in development. It’s always been S rated, you’re always listening to customers, but before we launched it, it was being developed for ten months and through that period we gained a designer with user experience, a head of marketing. We raised investment, almost a million dollars, to push this company forward and…

Larry Jordan: So your daughter is not in high school at this point.

Rollo Wenlock: No, no, she isn’t even at school yet. She’s still under the age of two. It’s quite interesting because…

Mike Horton: But very inspirational.

Rollo Wenlock: …the company is the same age.

Larry Jordan: So you’ve got yourself funding and you’ve created the website, so now let’s talk about what Wipster is. I was doing some homework before we started and Cloud based review websites are sprouting up all over. Without even doing much research, I can think of Scenios and Production Minds, Aframe, even MediaSilo. Why should somebody pay attention to Wipster?

Rollo Wenlock: That is a good question. The major difference that we have as a product is that we’re not building a product for video makers per se. Now, that might sound controversial because our customers are video makers, but what the video maker really wants is a product that works for their customer, and if they’re non-technical customer, who’s maybe a marketing person in a company or somebody somewhere else who wants a video made, if they can’t communicate to a very simple piece of software and ask for changes that they would like or discuss changes together on top of the video, then the product has failed. Our number one aim from day one was to make a user experience that was so simple that I could send a link to a video to my mother, who’s 72 and can hardly use a computer, and she’ll be able to write me comments. I did that test and she wrote me comments on top of the video, which…

Mike Horton: Perfect.

Larry Jordan: Congratulations on passing the ultimate mother test. That’s a good thing.

Mike Horton: He is right, because some of these other sites are a bit complex and it takes a learning curve, and it shouldn’t take a learning curve.

Rollo Wenlock: Oh yes, yes. No, absolutely.

Larry Jordan: But I also like the fact that you’re focusing not on the production team, but you’re focusing on communications from the production team out to the client.

Rollo Wenlock: That’s exactly it. Really, what our product is, it’s a productivity app, you know? It’s a communication app, it’s not a video making app. The success for us comes from more and more people wanting to make videos for their companies, make videos about themselves knowing that they can use this platform and really smooth out the process of working with a creative video maker. The amount of people that I spoke to when I was researching for this product, talking to companies saying, “How’s your video going? Hiring people? Getting people in-house?” and they go, “Really, there are some fantastic artists out there but we have such a tough time,” and really they would make more videos if the process of review and approval was smoother, so that was the impetus for me to make it work for them, number one. We have it now so that a video maker sends a link before the video’s even uploaded, really, really smooth, and when that link goes to a person, that person, as soon as they open the video, they don’t have to log into anything, there’s no password, they just look at the video and as soon as they click on the video, it already knows who they are; and they click, they start to write a comment, it goes, ‘Comment by Mary at this time’, people can reply to those comments. These comments with little frames of where it was said then get emailed to everyone. It’s such a smooth experience. It takes out all the confusion and the annoyance of video and just makes it creative again.

Larry Jordan: Sorry, I was taking notes.

Mike Horton: No, good answer. I’m sold.

Rollo Wenlock: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Your website says that you’re focused on short form programs. Why the focus on short form and does it really make a difference?

Rollo Wenlock: It doesn’t make a huge difference, but really when you’re early stage – and a company that’s under two years old is still fairly early stage – it’s really good to have a target that you aim for and then you can expand on that. It’s in no way saying that if you uploaded a feature film it wouldn’t work but with the speed of the internet and compression, uploading a two hour film for a quick review is still a bit of a laborious thing. But uploading a five minute video, we have it down that our uploading is so incredibly fast that you can upload a five minute video in under ten seconds, have it to somebody in under ten seconds again and you were getting comments in under a minute.

Larry Jordan: Yes, but that’s in Australia.

Mike Horton: Yes. Try that in Los Angeles.

Larry Jordan: You have monumentally fast speeds over in your part of the world that the rest of us may not have.

Rollo Wenlock: Oh no, it’s not that. No, no, no, it’s not that we have pretty fast in New Zealand. We really don’t have internet that is that quick. It’s just how we deal with video uploading has really made it quite a fantastic experience. It’s highly compressed before it goes up, it’s only ever a view video, so it doesn’t have to be fantastically sharp and so you’re having people sharing videos. I mean, if we were to talk about social video sharing sites, they often take minutes if not an hour to upload and share a video and I’m talking in under a minute you’re getting comments back on your video. We’re speeding up the review process sometimes by days. It’s really joyful.

Larry Jordan: When does the site launch? When does the service go live?

Rollo Wenlock: Interestingly enough, the product is live right now. You can go to and you can sign up and start to use it for free for two weeks on trial and then we have a free account for people who only want to upload a small amount of video. We already have paid customers all over the place. We’ve got customers like NBC Universal using our products. We’ve got Evernote, who make a lot of in-house videos and they use the product internally. We actually got a quote from the video producer at Evernote, Andrew Burke, who said, “This is the most useful productivity tool I’ve used in the last ten years,” so we’ve really hit a nerve in the industry, I feel. We’ve got people coming to us in droves going, “Oh my God, you’ve fixed it. It works now,” so it makes me feel really good.

Mike Horton: And let’s thank your daughter for that.

Rollo Wenlock: Yes, it’s all her fault.

Mike Horton: It’s all her fault.

Larry Jordan: I’m trying to think about the logistics here. If I want to use your service to communicate with my client to get them to review the video, am I uploading a proxy file to you, just a low resolution copy? Where’s the original media stored? How does that process work from my point of view, who wants to upload a video to get comments?

Rollo Wenlock: Yes, sure. If you’re doing an edit in, say, Final Cut Pro X, you’d do a low res export, you’d do like a 960 by 540 pixel export, H264 – I’m using all these technical terms because I’m speaking… having a listen – and you’d have a video file which would probably be under 15 megabytes, which is going to upload very, very quickly. Then you simply drag that video file into the browser when you’ve got your Wipster account open. You drag it in, it starts to upload. As it’s uploading, you can click the share button, enter the email address and name of each person you want it to go to, write them a message, hit go and as soon as it’s uploaded and it’s encoded, so it plays anywhere on any device, as soon as that’s done it sends it automatically out to each of those people.

Rollo Wenlock: It gives each person a unique URL so it knows who they are and when they click open, they write the comments, they close the window, you’ve got the comments. You will then get an email showing you all the comments with all the frames that the comments were made on with a timecode. You can then either reply in the email or you can reply back with Wipster to those people saying, “Yes, I’ll do that change,” or “I’m sorry, we don’t have another shot for an option,” or “Oh my God, that is a spelling mistake, I’ll fix that.” But if you didn’t want to reply, all of those comments are also kept as a really handy to do list and that’s automatically created out of all the comments and as you’re working through the changes you tick them off and when they’re all ticked off, you upload version two.

Rollo Wenlock: You export another QuickTime file from your edit suite, drag version two on top of version one so you have a version stack of each edit you’ve ever done, and that automatically invites them again. They’re making comments, they sign it off and then you deliver the final. If you want to deliver a final file, we can also do that too, which is enormously handy because then you don’t have to use anything else to deliver the final. If you upload the high res, so if you upload a one gigabyte file, a two gigabyte file, it’ll take a little bit longer to upload but once it’s there, we create a proxy file in the cloud so when they’re playing it, it plays low res and it loads very quickly. But if they click download, if you’ve allowed that to happen, if they click download for the final file, they get the high res. So you’ve essentially delivered them the final video file.

Mike Horton: Just looking at your pricing structure. It’s interesting, you go with minutes rather than gigabytes.

Rollo Wenlock: Yes, yes.

Mike Horton: That is kind of cool. Free for 15 minutes.

Rollo Wenlock: I think that’s very important.

Mike Horton: Upload 100 minutes for 25 a month. Interesting. Minutes.

Larry Jordan: Now, is that minutes of source files, not minutes of viewing time?

Rollo Wenlock: Yes, it’s minutes of video uploaded. If you upload 90 minutes and it’s watched 10,000 times, we still only charge you for 90 minutes.

Larry Jordan: Is that pricing enough for you guys to stay around for a while? I mean, it sounds reasonably inexpensive.

Rollo Wenlock: It’s inexpensive if you view it as a competitor to the old fashioned companies who are doing review and approval and are charging hundreds, but that’s because they’re going for a different market to us. What we’ve discovered is that there is this modern market which is growing at 60 percent per year of companies who make their own videos or have their own in-house video producer or are freelancers that have loads of customers that they work with who make online videos, and so our customer is a company that wants to use a productivity app, not a video making app, and they want to spend $100, they want to spend $25. There are so many millions of these people that we’ve got a pretty fantastic looking company as we scale, whereas companies charging a few hundred dollars or maybe even a few thousand dollars, they’re really limiting their market to very big production companies, TV companies, film studios and we’re not going for those guys. We’re getting them as customers because they like the product so much, but we’re aiming at the everyday company.

Larry Jordan: We can’t help but worry about security for all of our stuff, especially if we were doing a commercial for a customer that hasn’t released the product yet and, at least in the States, places are getting hacked on an hourly basis. How are we keeping the files secure?

Rollo Wenlock: The files are as secure as any cloud platform could be because every modern app is built on a cloud platform build by a multitrillion dollar company. Our product is built on Azure, which is owned by Microsoft, and their security levels are insane, so our product is as secure as their product because we’re built on top of it. They won’t let us build anything security wise less than their level, because otherwise they’ll just turn our app off. You can be rest assured that we are as security unbreachable as the biggest companies, because it’s the same infrastructure. In saying that, Apple supposedly got hacked the other day, but what really happened there was that somebody got someone’s password to their account. So even what looks like a hack generally isn’t actually a hack. They’re not actually hacking into someone’s cloud storage, they’re just getting someone’s password for one account. In terms of security, it’s really unbeatable. The one thing that I do get questioned on is that these links that get sent out to each client where they don’t have to log in or anything, what happens there because that person can then forward that email on and then that link is available to anybody to click?

Rollo Wenlock: What we see there is that the people that are being sent the links are the clients and so they are the people who own the video and they have the product that hasn’t been launched yet and they don’t want anybody to find the video, so if they send that on then they’re only killing themselves, you know? There’s got to be a certain amount of business savviness that people have to not send those links on. We want the user experience to be so smooth that they don’t have to log in. If they keep breaching that – and so far none of them – but if they do, we would just implement a two way authentication where there’s a password sent to a cell phone… you need a password every time they get sent a link, but that’s really only a certain… of customer wants that sort of thing, like a sound studio with IM7. They would say, “Ok, I need this to be sent to me on a thumbnail with a security guard,” and you go, “Ok, fine, well, use another product because that’s not us,” so that’s kind of how it goes.

Larry Jordan: The other thing on privacy is that many videos that get posted to the web get scanned by search engines. How do you avoid a search engine picking up video which isn’t released for the public yet?

Rollo Wenlock: Absolutely. There are ways for private apps like our one, our one is completely private, there are no public links, there are ways for us to code the product so that Google can’t look at it. You can put in a whole lot of layers of code where the Google bots are told to not search and they can also, even if somebody wrote a weird bot, they still can’t do it because it’s been written in a way that they can’t read it. It’s encrypted. So none of the videos that are uploaded – and there are thousands uploaded every week – none of them can be viewed by Google, ever.

Mike Horton: Sold, Larry?

Larry Jordan: Yes.

Mike Horton: Larry has a problem with the cloud. Big, big problem.

Rollo Wenlock: There’s always a problem with the cloud, right?

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: My problem with the cloud is security and what happens if you guys, well, you see, the big thing that they’re doing that’s interesting is that they’re not taking the master files from us. They’re taking proxy files, so even if they collapse because they have such a great idea that…

Mike Horton: Well, this is a review process.

Larry Jordan: …but I don’t lose my master file, I’m just losing a review file, which is a proxy file, which is an entirely different thing, which I think is cool and I wish you great success. Where can people go on the web to learn more about this?

Rollo Wenlock: They can go to

Larry Jordan: That’s and Rollo Wenlock is the CEO and the Founder of Wipster and, Rollo, thanks for joining us today. This has been fascinating.

Rollo Wenlock: Well, thank you for having me, I’ve had a great time.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Rollo.

Larry Jordan: And you take care. Bye bye.

Rollo Wenlock: Ok, bye bye.

Cirina Catania: This is Cirina Catania reporting from the 2014 IBC. I’m here with Michael Schiehlen and I’m in the Zeiss booth. There’s some great stuff here that is not being announced until Photokina, so we’re right on target with this. Tell us a little bit about what I’m looking at here.

Michael Schiehlen: First of all, we have a new lens line called Loxia. It actually at the moment consists of two focal lengths. It’s an F2 35 and an F2 15 millimeter lens made for still photography and especially made of the Sony Alpha 7 series, so they cover the full frame sensor, 24 by 36 millimeter, and both lenses have a manual focus, a very long precise focus rotation and a manual aperture control which you can also de-click. You can use the clicked version for still pictures and you can also de-click with an easy and small screwdriver, so you can use the aperture control smoothly like the focus control for video applications.

Cirina Catania: And quietly, too..


Michael Schiehlen: It’s very quiet, exactly. The lenses are quite handy, quite small and compact and fit pretty well to the new Sony Alpha 7S camera, which is very trendy at the moment as far as we can see in the markets all over the world and I think this is a pretty good combination with our Loxia lenses.

Cirina Catania: We’re really excited about this. What else do we have here?

Michael Schiehlen: We also have the second member of the new Otus lens family. We call it a non-compromising lens. We don’t talk about aberrations here because they simply do not exist. We launched a 1.4 55 already last October, in 2013, and now at Photokina we have the big presentation of a 1.4 85 and if you see the press and the web reviews, please check them in Google, people are talking about the best lens which have ever been developed, so we are pretty excited about that.

Cirina Catania: Well, you should be. I’ve taken a look at it, it’s absolutely wonderful. What else do we have here in the cinema lens line?

Michael Schiehlen: Right. I was talking about still lenses so far. We have a new member of the compact zoom lens family. We have two zooms already in the market, which is the compact zoom 70 to 200 and a 28 to 80 millimeter, both T2.9. Now, we’re coming up with the third member. It’s a 15 to 30 auto wide angle zoom. No distortion, no vignetting. Very compact design and, as the other two lenses, the 15 to 30 also features the big advantage of covering a full frame sensor like 24 by 36 millimeter, which is unique in the cine market – there’s no other company which can do it – and we also feature the interchangeable mount set so that our customers can swap the mounts and use this system on different cameras PL mount cameras, Canon, Nikon, Sony, you name it you can use these lenses on different cameras so it’s a really future-proofed solution.

Cirina Catania: It’s amazing. I don’t know what more we could want.

Michael Schiehlen: There is not much more we can give you at the moment, at least not new. We have, of course, here in Amsterdam at the IBC all our other well known lens families like the Master Prime lenses, which have been used in many blockbuster movies like ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘King Kong’, ‘The Perfume’ and so on. We show the other prime lens family, 16 focal lengths from eight to 150 millimeter. It’s a standard lens line in the rental house market, I would say; and then we have our company prime lens family. It’s a very flexible solution, just like the zooms we presented over here. The most successful senior prime line in the world in the last four years, so we’re very happy with the company prime lenses. Last but not least, we are also showing our SLR lenses for Nikon and Canon DSLRs.

Cirina Catania: Thank you so much for taking the time and for speaking to me about something that’s really going to be announced next week. I appreciate it. We’ll take good care of this and will we see you at NAB?

Michael Schiehlen: Yes, of course. We will meet each other at NAB..

Cirina Catania: This is Michael Schiehlen with Carl Zeiss in Deutschland, but we’re here in IBC Amsterdam for the 2014 show. Thank you so much.

Michael Schiehlen: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: And that was our producer, Cirina Catania, speaking with, in English as opposed to German, Michael Schiehlen. He’s with Zeiss lenses. The Zeiss website is

Mike Horton: Cirina had a nice accent going there.

Larry Jordan: Yes. Cirina did a great job.

Mike Horton: It’s very nice to talk to you.

Larry Jordan: It’s interesting listening to her…

Mike Horton: Very nice to hear Cirina talk like that.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests: Tom Bassett, the Founder and CEO of Bassett Partners…

Mike Horton: I can’t wait to see that movie.

Larry Jordan: …Jonathan Handel of Counsel at TroyGould; Rollo Wenlock, the CEO and Founder of Wipster; and Michael Schiehlen with Zeiss lenses.

Mike Horton: I’m going to start speaking like Cirina.

Larry Jordan: Cool.

Mike Horton: An Amsterdam accent.

Larry Jordan: We will speak strongly to her…

Mike Horton: Very nice talking to you, Mr. Zeiss.

Larry Jordan: She will give you language lessons like you would not believe.

Larry Jordan: Music on The Buzz provided by SmartSound; The Buzz is streamed by

Mike Horton: Very nice to be here, Larry.


Larry Jordan: The Buzz is streamed by Text transcripts by Take 1 Transcription. You can email us at Cirina Catania is our producer, engineer Adrian Price. The voice at the other end of the table is Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening…


Mike Horton: Auf wiedersehen.

Larry Jordan: …to The Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: The 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; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years; and by, a global marketplace for royalty free images and videos. With over two million royalty free HD and 4K video clips, Shutterstock helps you take your creative projects to the next level.

Digital Production Buzz — September 25, 2014

  • Is a Creative Brief Really Necessary?
  • Why Does CNN Owe Millions of Dollars to Hundreds of People?
  • Wipster – A New, Cloud-Based Media Review System
  • Zeiss Introduces New Lenses at PhotoKino

GUESTS: Tom Bassett, Jonathan Handel,  Rollo Wenlock, and Michael Schiehlen

Click to listen to the current show.
(Mobile users click the MP3 player underneath image.)

*Right click on Download and “Save Link As…”

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

Tom Bassett, Founder & CEO, Bassett Partners

You are pitching your idea to the client. What should be in the creative brief? Brand strategist/filmmaker Tom Bassett has spent the last year probing some of the World’s greatest creative minds about the same topic. The culmination of that search is Briefly, a new free online documentary that explores the creative relationship that exists between the client and those tasked with executing the client’s vision. Tom joins us this week to explain what he’s learned and what he did.

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

On Friday, the National Labor Relations Board ordered CNN to rehire more than 100 union technicians, compensate more than 200 others, and recognize a unit of the Communications Workers of America as their bargaining representative. Why? Jonathan Handel, Entertainment Labor Reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, explains.

Rollo Wenlock, CEO, Founder, Wipster

Wipster is a new, Cloud-based media review system that’s launching this week. Join us tonight as we talk with Rollo Wenlock, CEO and Founder of Wipster, and find out more about this platform designed for content creators, media teams, and anyone creating short-form video projects.

Michael Schiehlen, Director of Sales and Service, Zeiss Lenses

This week at PhotoKino, Zeiss launched new still and cine lenses. BuZZ producer Cirina Catania talked with Michael Schiehlen at IBC about their new gear and files this report.

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 – September 18, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

September 18, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


      Click here
to listen to this show.]


Larry Jordan


Steve Roberts, CEO and Founder, Eyeon

Jim Geduldick, Cinema & Photo Marketing Manager, GoPro

Sam Nuttmann, Freefly Systems

Graham Sharp, SVP Global Products, Vitec Videocom

Steve Forde, Principal Product Manager, Visual Effects, Creative Cloud, Adobe

Alissa Johnson, Product Manager, Collaborative Workflows, Adobe Anywhere, Adobe


 Voiceover: The 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; and by, a global marketplace for royalty free images and videos. With over two million royalty free HD and 4K video clips, Shutterstock helps you take your creative projects to the next level.

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. Our co-host, Mike Horton, has the night off. He is still in Amsterdam at IBC. He’s going to be back again next week.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of IBC, the IBC trade show was this week in Amsterdam and The Buzz was there to cover it. Probably the biggest news coming out of the show was Blackmagic Design’s acquisition of Eyeon software and we begin our show this evening with an interview with Steve Roberts, the CEO and Founder of Eyeon Software, about what this new ownership change means.

Larry Jordan: Then Buzz producer Cirina Catania has three interviews from the show floor. Jim Geduldick is the Cinema and Photo Marketing Manager for GoPro. He’s going to be talking about some new GoPro goodies; Sam Nuttmann from Freefly Systems on a new UAV – that’s the new word for drones. It’s an unmanned aerial vehicle. They’ve got some new models and Freefly is going to be talking about those; and Graham Sharp, the Senior Vice President of Global Products for Vitec Videocom has a look back at IBC and the impact independent film makers are having on broadcast television today.

Larry Jordan: Finally, Philip Hodgetts, the CEO of Intelligent Assistance interviews two product managers from Adobe Systems about the new version of After Effects and Adobe Anywhere that were revealed at IBC this week. He’ll talk first with Steve Forde, the Principal Product Manager for Visual Effects for the Creative Cloud. Steve is an expert on After Effects; and Alissa Johnson, the Product Manager for Collaborative Workflows for Adobe Anywhere. Both of them are with Adobe Systems.

Larry Jordan: Just as a reminder, 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. You can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making it possible.

Larry Jordan: By the way, we also want to mention and welcome a new sponsor this week. Shutterstock joins The Buzz family. It’s because of our sponsors that we’re able to continue producing the longest running podcast covering digital media in the world.

Larry Jordan: Let’s see, what else is going on? It has been one busy week with all the press announcements coming from IBC. It’s been a never ending stream of new products and exciting new things to talk about and we’re going to actually cover it in two shows. We have some interviews this week and then Cirina has more interviews that will be airing next week. You’ll be able to hear all of it here on The Buzz.

Larry Jordan: There are so many things that we’re looking at and so many new technologies to pay attention to. I can’t wait to share it with you as both tonight’s show and next week’s show moves forward, as we say.

Larry Jordan: Remember to visit with us on Facebook, at One of the things that we do a lot with Facebook is not only are we interested in your comments, but we take a look at them and talk about them here at the office to see what we can do in terms of scheduling new guests, and coming up with some new ideas and we’ve got some stuff planned for the future that’s just really exciting. I can’t wait to share more of it with you as we get a little bit closer.

Larry Jordan: We’re also on Twitter and you can chat with us @DPBuZZ, and subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter. It’s at Every Friday morning, Tori sits down and starts to put together the newsletter, and one of the things that we work hard at is making sure not only do we tell you about the show and the great guests that we’ve got, but also give you some inside insight in terms of stuff in the industry that you may not have noticed for yourself that you need to pay attention to. Every week, the newsletter, Friday morning. It’s free, shows up in your email inbox. All you have to do is subscribe.

Larry Jordan: We’ll be back with Steve Roberts and Eyeon Software, right after this.

Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is now shipping its production camera 4K, a super high resolution 4K digital production camera for Ultra HD television production. Capturing high quality ProRes files, the Blackmagic production camera 4K gives customers a complete solution to shoot amazing high resolution music videos, episodic television productions, television commercials, sports and much more.

Larry Jordan: The Blackmagic production camera 4K also features an incredibly tempting price of $2,995. To learn more, visit

Larry Jordan: The big news coming out of IBC 2014 in Amsterdam this week was the purchase of Eyeon Software by Blackmagic Design. Steve Roberts is the CEO, I should probably say former CEO, and Founder of Eyeon and joins us this week to explain what the heck is going on. Welcome, Steve, good to have you with us.

Steve Roberts: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: That was quite an exciting way to start a week. What were the specifics of the announcement?

Steve Roberts: Blackmagic Design has acquired Eyeon and all its products, which is Fusion, Generation, Connection, Dimension.

Larry Jordan: We’ll just ask the obvious question – does that mean everybody in Eyeon is on the street?

Steve Roberts: No, not at all. It’s, in fact, the very opposite to that. Blackmagic’s a company that embraces the people that work in companies and are quite bullish about development and going forward. Everybody’s still there.

Larry Jordan: So you still have work to do?

Steve Roberts: Plenty of work to do, yes.

Larry Jordan: One thing I’ve learned in following this industry and being in this industry for 40 years is the more I learn, the less I know and this is a true case of Eyeon. It’s a company that I’ve heard of but I don’t know your products. What do you guys make?

Steve Roberts: We started out with Fusion. I had a production company in Sydney, started in the late ‘80s, and it was our in-house tool. We started writing because there was nothing around to do compositing, which is to put images like CG, together with live action, and manipulate live action and so it started out doing that.

Steve Roberts: Today, it’s been used on well over a thousand feature films. Does VFX works – virtual environments and sets – all the fix it in postings that seem to be needed these days. Stereo conversion for 2D movies to get converted into stereo, stereo work with the disparity between images and fixing and everything. Motion graphics and broadcast work as well. It’s used on series like ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Orphan Black’.

Larry Jordan: Would it be best to describe Fusion as a compositing package?

Steve Roberts: Yes, yes. Traditionally they’re called compositing packages, where you would take elements and composite one image over the top of another, but today we’ve grown far beyond that point, where what we’re really doing is doing things in the 3D space. We have a full 3D engine and everything. So there are a lot of capabilities in what is generally called compositing, yes.

Larry Jordan: What was it about Fusion and Eyeon that made you attractive to Blackmagic, aside from the fact you and Grant both have Australian accents?

Steve Roberts: That part of it is certainly coincidence. You could say that basically Blackmagic is a dedicated R&D company that is making great products for clients. Everybody who are the founders of Blackmagic have been in production, they’ve been there at three o’clock in the morning sweating to get a job out for a client that has to be on air. And we’ve kind of had a similar background, a bit more film related, but we’ve been in production and everything and we keep things very focused on what the client needs and their productions are basically our productions.

Steve Roberts: As they’ve expanded and taken in products like Resolve and turned that into an absolutely fabulous editing and finishing suite, Fusion basically comes into the same family as a very good complement to all of that finishing side of what Resolve can do.

Larry Jordan: One of the things I discovered with Resolve is that Resolve spoke to a very, very limited market and Blackmagic took it and suddenly, maybe mass market is not the right word, but exploded the size of the market. Is that even a possibility with Fusion? Because right now, you’re a really, really powerful program for very, very few people to use.

Steve Roberts: I would think so. People need to do creative things. They need to keep doing creative images, creative motion graphics, things that are designed well, styled well and Fusion has all of those capabilities in there. There’s also a lot of what you don’t see under the hood of what the images are. But the actual management, collaboration and pipeline tooling that’s all built in underneath and that has far reaching effects for all television and broadcasting industries as well to automate things, to shift data and images around networks. So there are a lot of little things that can actually be derived out of this technology and that’s for an even bigger market.

Larry Jordan: We’ve talked about the fact of what made Fusion attractive to Blackmagic. What’s the benefit to Fusion the company in this acquisition?

Steve Roberts: The benefit, really, certainly for me more personally, is that a lot of the functional things you do as a CEO can now be pushed aside a bit more. Where I can actually concentrate more on the actual development of the product, where it’s going, the creative off it. So I get to unload some of the drudge work and actually work on the more fun side of developing and doing great stuff.

Larry Jordan: So it sounds like you tend to live on the development side as opposed to running the business side.

Steve Roberts: Yes, kind of, but yes, you’re always forced into doing a lot of things. As a small company, you have a lot of hats and unfortunately you have to keep wearing the hats you don’t really want to all the time.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, I’ve run my own business for 14 years. It’s different in Fusion, but you founded Eyeon Software, developed Fusion and run your own company and all of a sudden it’s not your company any more. What does that feel like?

Steve Roberts: I was wondering what I was actually going to go through when that happened. I’m actually really happy. Obviously, Fusion has been my baby for a really long time, but having a piece of software live in your basement for 26 years, it was time for it to get kicked out of the house and go and get a real job. So it’s kind of like finally getting rid of your 26 year old child.

Steve Roberts: But no, I’m very happy. I mean, this is great. The deciding part of this is where Fusion’s going to go, the clients it’s going to get and the changes it’s going to usher into the industry. I’m really stoked about that.

Larry Jordan: What are Fusion users going to see? Do they have to now contact Blackmagic for support or issues or do they contact you? How does the transition work?

Steve Roberts: The company still sits in the same form as it did, just with new owners. So they still have all the same way of support and contact, so they still go to eyeonline for all the support and the same contacts.

Larry Jordan: Fusion users should not worry at the moment?

Steve Roberts: No, in fact they’re not worrying at all. The amount of outpouring of positive sentiment to this has been really great, and so I haven’t seen a negative comment by one user yet. There are hundreds of people just congratulating us and saying this is going to be awesome. So they’re all really excited about the future.

Larry Jordan: That is a very positive thing, because if they were upset life would be much different.

Steve Roberts: Yes, indeed, yes.

Larry Jordan: Put your development hat on for a second. As you look at the effects landscape, there are lots of companies that specialize in doing compositing, and effects and 3D work. What trends are you keeping your eye on? What should we as effects people, and editors look to in the next year or two? I’m not looking for a product announcement, but what’s got your attention?

Steve Roberts: I think the biggest thing, there’s certainly been a huge change in the industry that I’ve seen. You just look over the history there. Currently, the amount of companies that are in LA have been decimated, and there have been some great studios that unfortunately just aren’t around anymore. So there’s been a lot of consolidation of the film visual effects market and all the post production stuff has been kind of split. A lot of it now is Deluxe Group, Technicolor Group, Disney now owns all of Pixar and the Render Man and everything out of them; ILM, that’s all part of Disney now.

Steve Roberts: There are a lot of big consolidations there, but what’s really going to happen for us out of this is the new wave of film makers. The film makers who thought they couldn’t do these effects because it was always done at a large company. Those people are going to be empowered by what we’ve created, and we’ll carry on creating in the future and that’s going to be the big change in what’s going to happen.

Larry Jordan: To me, it seems that it isn’t necessarily the way the software’s going, but we’ve got to figure out a way for businesses that do effects to make money at it again. All too often, they create this major film and go broke in the process.

Steve Roberts: Yes. There has certainly been a lot of discussion about the processes of everything there. Unfortunately, in the visual effects industry for film, they’re stepping into something that’s a lot unknown. They kind of say, “Well, I’m doing a thousand effects shots and we have some digital environments,” but they don’t realize how many changes and how that stuff gets directed so much that just keeps soaking up cycles of iterations of those shots through the film making process and they’re not really getting paid accordingly.

Steve Roberts: It’s a little different from on set. If the director goes, “That shoot the other day didn’t work, we need to go out on location again and reshoot all of that stuff,” and they talk to the producers and they go, “Yes, ok, we’ll fund that again,” and then they go and reset that whole scene and go out and shoot it again. All of the people that are working on that are actually being paid again. That doesn’t seem to happen in visual effects. It’s just a cycle that’s very wearing on the actual facilities.

Steve Roberts: I’m certainly hoping out of this, like I said, with the up and coming film makers, that they can get a taste of how to do this. Think about things a different way, do it smarter and create some great moments on the screen.

Larry Jordan: It is a challenging time, I agree. Where can people go on the web to learn more about Fusion and the products that Eyeon Software makes?

Steve Roberts: They can go to our website,

Larry Jordan: That’s and Steve Roberts is the former CEO and Founder of Eyeon Software and, Steve, thanks for joining us today.

Steve Roberts: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Finding the perfect royalty free image or video for your creative project can be a crucial step in the film making process. And whether it’s for your website, publication or video segment, the experts at can help you choose from over two million royalty free HD and 4K stock video clips. Including time lapses, aerials, green screens and model released clips.

Larry Jordan: Sourcing over 12,000 brand new video clips each week, Shutterstock consistently offers the highest quality stills and video clips from professional film makers. Plus Shutterstock provides sophisticated search engine tools so you can search and drill down by category, clip resolution, contributor name and more. Also, use their great no risk try before you buy option so you can see how their clips will look in your project before making a single purchase.

Larry Jordan: Try Shutterstock today – sign up for a free account. No credit card is needed and, as an added bonus to you, enter promo code BUZZ2014 before December 31st to receive 25 percent off any footage package. Discover

Larry Jordan: IBC is the second largest trade show in our industry and the 2014 version of the show ran this week. We sent our producer, Cirina Catania, over to Amsterdam in the Netherlands to learn about the latest news and she files a series of reports. Cirina.

Cirina Catania: I’m in the GoPro booth with Jim Geduldick and we are looking at some brand new accessories for the GoPro. Tell us about it.

Jim Geduldick: Sure, welcome to the GoPro booth at IBC. We have a few new accessories that we have released since we last spoke. Probably the newest, and one of the most fun is obviously our Fetch mount, which we see old Fido over here is mounted up with. Also, the famous GoPro dog chicken. You can check her out on our YouTube page.

Jim Geduldick: We’ve also announced some other accessories since we last spoke – the Sportsman mount, which can be adapted for film making and photography. People may equate it to what you would think of like a C mount or a mic stand mount. It has a C clamp that you can basically vice close and you can use it as a grip tool. It allows you to snap in place onto the back of our housing and then you can use it as a film making tool, as people would be used to using as a grip on an electric tool.

Jim Geduldick: Since NAB, we’ve also released our three way mount, which is our extendable arm. Besides folding, it works as a handle, as an extendable arm and it also has a tripod built into the base. So that’s the new three way because it’s multifunctional for film makers, photographers. Getting that upper height that you need, as well as down below, being able to pull the pieces off and use them just as a handle or just as a tripod. Comes in handy for a lot of the film makers and photographers out there.

Jim Geduldick: Also, everybody loves being able to shoot with the Firmware 2.0 that we came out with right before NAB. That’s always something good to talk about for film makers, being able to have more manual light controls over our camera, things like ED bias, GoPro color as well as flat color settings. So if you’re giving any color grading with our camera, it allows you to get that… workflow with it. A lot of the accessories are useable for film making. Here we have our two cars here…

Jim Geduldick: A lot of people like mounting a suction cup to it as well as on our roll bar mounts for that. So as always a lot of our versatile mounts are a big factor in a lot of film makers’ workflow and also just our blackout housing, which allows you to be very inconspicuous. If you’re shooting on set, sometimes some actors don’t like big cameras in their faces, and being able to use the blackout housing, whether you’re doing reality TV, studio work, it allows you to have something that’s easily addable onto a set. You have full blackout housing instead of people going out there and just gaffer taping housings fully black, spray painting them.

Jim Geduldick: We kind of did it the easier way, we came out with a black housing. So it makes it a lot easier for film makers to use and we’re always telling the story as GoPro, as a media company as well. So here not only the user generated content, so everybody listening can submit their GoPro footage for us to either feature as photo of the day or video of the day, but a lot of times we feature user generated content as our commercials.

Jim Geduldick: Everybody remembers ‘Dubstep Baby’ from the Super Bowl last year, but then as far as Super Bowl this year, we had Felix Baumgartner in relation with Red Bull media. So one key factor is letting GoPro users, both on the professional side and consumer side, as you’re captioning your films, your everyday life, make sure you submit it to us. You never know when we could feature that in a commercial or in a GoPro on YouTube or Vimeo.

Cirina Catania: Jim, how long have you been with GoPro and how did you end up working at the company? You’re a film maker as well.

Jim Geduldick: Yes I am. Just like everybody else listening, I was making contact with GoPros before joining the company. I’ve been at the company almost a year now in this role in marketing, and covering all the professional cinema and photo markets, as well as broadcast. I had a love and a use for GoPro in my personal and professional life before I joined and it kind of just seemed like an inevitable thing, coming from an action sports background and a professional photography background. It made sense to just work with my friends at GoPro.

Jim Geduldick: I love working with the passionate users we have, but then we also have very passionate people within GoPro who always want to see what people are doing in new and interesting ways with our camera systems.

Cirina Catania: A lot of people are doing time lapses now. They’re very, very popular. Can you give us one tip that you would tell people on how to get the best time lapse possible?

Jim Geduldick: Sure. One tip is definitely shoot with ProTune on. It’s going to give you a higher megabit codec to shoot with. You’re going to get upwards of 45 megabits per second shooting in ProTune. But then, when it comes down to time lapses, if you’re not shooting the video mode for that, because one trick is to cheat a time lapse on video as if you shoot regular video even upwards of 4K at 15 frames on the Hero 3+ Black is that you can speed it up to almost get a hyper lapse effect, which I’ve done and we’ve done within GoPro and the media team too.

Jim Geduldick: Cheat it shooting in the video mode, but then if you’re shooting traditional time lapses, obviously just set up your favorite interval within our camera on the stills side and then use it how you would either in Photoshop, or Light Room, or GoPro Studio. Obviously using GoPro Studio, which is free, is the easiest way to make time lapses or work with GoPro content.

Cirina Catania: You have always had a lot of athletics and a lot of action shots. Now that the camera’s very, very popular, are you seeing other types of filming with it?

Jim Geduldick: Oh yes, everything from reality TV. I don’t think you would go on TV and not see something that you could recognize as GoPro today. Feature films are also heavily involved in using our cameras, not for just that flash cam, but also not too long ago David Kronenberg shot a short all on a GoPro, in very David Kronenberg style, very immersive, getting you in, bringing you into his world and getting you immersed in that. We see a lot of different storytellers now using our cameras in very different ways, not just in the traditional action sports point of view crash cam style, but more along the lines of telling stories with our camera.

Cirina Catania: I think with the new codec, what’s happened is a lot of the broadcast outlets are now approving the use of the GoPro for network shows. We used it at National Geographic on our last film.

Jim Geduldick: Yes, and one of the great things that we announced and Adobe announced with their press release this week for the new Freedom Pod update is that you now have full GoPro Cineform codec support in the Adobe Creative Cloud. So the great thing about that is you now have access to GoPro’s high resolution, 4K and beyond encode and decode support within your favorite Adobe tool. Anything that uses the media core engine – Photoshop, Light Room, Audition, Premiere, After Effects – you can now encode and decode both on the Mac and PC side for GoPro software.

Larry Jordan: Jim Geduldick is the Cinema and Photo Marketing Manager for GoPro and their website is

Cirina Catania: This is Cirina Catania at 2014 IBC for The Digital Production Buzz. I’m here at the Freefly booth with Sam Nuttmann and we’ve got some good news. There’s something shipping today that we actually covered at NAB, so tell us about that.

Sam Nuttmann: Yes, that’s right. Today we start shipping the MoVI M15, which is our newest in the MoVI line-up. It will carry 15 pounds of camera, so you can put a Sony F55 on there with a cinema prime lens and all sorts of other goodies on there.

Cirina Catania: Tell us what you’ve got for the smaller, more mobile cameras.

Sam Nuttmann: We’ve develop a mobile kit, so you can put your iPhone on the MoVI M5, which is pretty cool. We haven’t announced pricing on that yet, we’re still finishing up with that, but it is pretty cool. We’ve also done a price announcement today, where we’re dropping the price on our MoVIs. The M15 will sell at $12,000 US; the M10 has dropped down to $8,000 US; and the M5 is at $4,000 US. Now, those lower prices does not include the controller, but you can purchase those controllers separately.

Cirina Catania: What would you say your most popular unit is? You guys have just got stuff flying off the shelves.

Sam Nuttmann: The M10 is our first product and definitely is our most popular. It really carries the widest range of cameras, from very small to very large; and the M15, it’ll be popular with particular users that like using the Sony F55, or maybe the Alexa M or something like that. I think that the M10 is still probably the workhorse of our line because it has so much versatility in weight and size.

Larry Jordan: That was Sam Nuttmann of Freefly Systems talking about the MoVI, unattended flying vehicle, being interviewed by Cirina Catania at IBC. Freefly Systems’ website is

Larry Jordan: Cirina next spoke with Graham Sharp, the Senior Vice President of Global Products for Vitec Videocom, and Graham began his conversation talking about the history of IBC.

Graham Sharp: IBC replaced what was a symposium in Switzerland about 12, 14, 15 years ago, I don’t remember exactly. There used to be a very high end broadcast symposium in Switzerland every year, and the manufacturers would trek off and it was very small, and very boutique, and what the traditional linear broadcasters have realized is that they can’t sustain the way they used to make programs. So they’ve gone down the outsource model. So almost every broadcaster in Europe has laid off staff, and all those staff have become independent videographers. They’re doing the same job they were before but they now work for themselves and they’re working for independent production companies.

Graham Sharp: The proliferation in channels has also driven down the production costs. I’ve got to make programs cheaper. So what we’ve seen is traditional broadcasters outsource more, traditional broadcast staff become independent and then, because of the growth in the whole industry, a massive influx of new people producing programs. This unique little club that existed 15 years ago in Switzerland where we all flew over and met the BBC, and ZDF from Germany and what used to be called, who the hell were the Netherlands broadcast people? I can’t remember. Whatever. You know, that’s disappeared now because we as manufacturers can’t just sell to one organization.

Graham Sharp: We’re now selling to hundreds and thousands of independent videographers. And what’s happened, the growth, I think, in things like IBC is now, Holland’s a relatively cheap place to get to. It’s connected to everywhere in mainland Europe by train. It used to be relatively cheap hotel wise, food wise. It’s big enough to house a big conference. So IBC has grown. What we see increasingly on a booth like this is we spend our days talking to the independent videographers, not the four or five key broadcasters, and I think what we see going on at IBC reflects that huge change in the industry from a few select companies making programs to the whole world making programs.

Cirina Catania: On the independent side, it’s been a very difficult few years for a lot of independent producers. Where do you see all of this going in the future in terms of monetization, not just for the manufacturers but for the content providers as well?

Graham Sharp: I think it’s rather interesting if you watch the way that some of the, let’s call them new companies are commissioning content. A few years ago, you would never have dreamt that Netflix would commission content, and you wouldn’t have guessed that all the awards are being swept by the cable shows that certainly aren’t not what you would traditionally think as mainstream content.

Graham Sharp: I think what happened was, when the internet came along, and we went from a few channels terrestrially to a few hundred channels through cable and satellite, to potentially unlimited channels through the internet, I think the more high end program makers got really worried that they were just going to get swamped by internet channels who were going to eat their lunch, take their business, take their revenue.

Graham Sharp: The reality of what’s actually happened is quality has actually prevailed and I use the analogy, because I see myself as a toolmaker, I spent the last 30 years of my career building products for people to use to make television, and I always say to people, “Look, at home I have a hammer, I have the best hammer that money can buy but I’m not a carpenter. I need skills, I need training to be a carpenter,” and it’s the same with video.

Graham Sharp: You can have the best equipment money can buy but you’re not necessarily a film maker, and I think what happened was the internet came along, the traditional channels or traditional commissioning companies went into a state of shock, drew back a little bit, but now we’re through that and quality is prevailing, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t create a YouTube channel and do what I want.

Graham Sharp: We’re in that long tail environment where if I’m a one legged butterfly collector, I can probably find a channel on YouTube that appeals to me. What we’re doing is we’re enabling the niche markets. I actually think it’s one of the most fantastic times in our industry that we’ve had in ages. There’s choice, there’s freedom. It’s enabling the long tail at one end, but there’s still a quality end at the other.

Cirina Catania: How long have you been in this business and how did you get involved with Vitec?

Graham Sharp: My first job in television was in 1984, so 30 years, and I’ve been involved with Vitec for 18 months. I joined in May of last year. Prior to that, I was CMO of Grass Valley. I was at Avid for years and years, I ran Avid for years and years and prior to that I was one of the early guys at Discreet Logic. I was VP of Sales and Marketing for Discreet Logic.

Cirina Catania: Thank you so much, you’ve given us a great overview and we’ll stay with you as we move into the future to see what else is going to happen next. Thank you.

Graham Sharp: If you’re going to need any other random thoughts, just let me know.

Cirina Catania: Thank you, Graham. Have a wonderful IBC.

Graham Sharp: Thank you very much. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: That was Graham Sharp, the Senior Vice President for Global Products at Vitec Videocom. Their website is; and thanks, Cirina, for all these interviews.

Larry Jordan: Continuing our coverage of IBC 2014, Buzz reporter Philip Hodgetts interviewed Steve Forde, the Principal Product Manager for Visual Effects for Creative Cloud and Alissa Johnson, the Product Manager for Collaborative Workflows at Adobe Anywhere. Both are with Adobe Systems. Philip.

Philip Hodgetts: In the fore, what are the new features coming to After Effects?

Steve Forde: There are obviously a lot of features in Premiere Pro, there are a lot of features right across the board and we’ve been going through a pretty hefty investment into the architecture of After Effects. Specifically planning for the future as After Effects becomes a first class citizen in Adobe Anywhere and at the same time really fundamentally changing as new hardware is now available, new uses for the hardware in different ways.

Steve Forde: We’ve had such tremendous success with things like Premiere Pro in the graphics card utilization and all that kind of stuff, it’s time to look at After Effects and I think that the model that we’ve been really going with over the last few years is, how can I make 600 decisions instead of 100, right? When is the machine getting in my way?

Steve Forde: As an After Effects artist, usually you make a change and then you preview what you did, always, over, over, over again. So we really looked at that in our usual cadence, so it’s one of the reasons why there’s actually not that many features in After Effects, as compared to the rest of the products for this reveal. In the spring, people who have used After Effects and know After Effects well, I’m going to be very interested to see what they think.

Philip Hodgetts: We’ve certainly seen a lot of performance boosts and seem to use all that the machine can offer and it certainly would be nice to see After Effects use all the machine can offer.

Steve Forde: Yes, and not just for the pipeline and utilizing all the hardware, but it’s the fundamental shift of things. Since After Effects was 1.0, the way that it has always worked – I mean, it came out in 1992, right? Computer programs don’t work exactly the same way as they did in 1992 and I think that is probably the area that will be the most interesting to the After Effects artist.

Philip Hodgetts: But there are some new features in the full reveal?

Steve Forde: Yes. Yes, a big thing is around the UI consistency. You’ll notice some updates to the UI. This is the first generation. So all the products as we’ve looked towards touch, I mean, people are using After Effects and Premiere Pro and all that kind of stuff on a wide ranging set of hardware, so high DPI is really important. After Effects, we introduced that for the retina display specifically in the composition so that your comp looked correct, but a lot of the UI was not really taking advantage of the retina. So with the high DPI update along with the UI, we’ve got that consistently across Windows and Mac, and as people are working on really large displays and that kind of stuff, you can scale things up and get the nice aliasing that you expect on fonts, on text, on icons and all that kind of stuff. So those are big areas.

Steve Forde: At the same time, Cineware 2.0, which isn’t a small deal. What I love about the relationship with Maxon is we introduced the first iteration of Cineware not last NAB, the NAB before and the response from users was gargantuan for both companies, so we were really happy with that. The good news about having something get that much use is you get a lot of, “Ok, I need it to do this and I need it to do that,” and so there’s a very rich road map. Probably, this release was most focused around performance.

Steve Forde: People would always want things faster and that’s not lost on us. I think the interaction between CINEMA 4D and After Effects got a lot tighter, which is nice. You’ve got a lot more flexibility around your multi pass render options, there’s things in terms of how the standard workflow is set up. So a lot of streamlining in terms of where we went from 1.0 to 2.0, and those are the primary; and then obviously with Adobe Anywhere, that’s…

Philip Hodgetts: Not everyone would know what Cineware is, so you might just want to give a quick background on that.

Steve Forde: Yes, sure. I noticed, and both Oliver at Maxon and myself, Oliver’s the Product Manager of CINEMA 4D, we got talking about files. How many files people have to spit out of CINEMA 4D, create image sequence after image sequence, multiple pass renders and then bring them into the compositor and most C4D artists were using After Effects as their compositor as well.

Steve Forde: What happens when you want to go back and make a change? If you want to go back into CINEMA 4D and you’ve already brought your image sequences in After Effects, well, you have to re-run all your image sequences again. That creates a lot of data, creates a lot of folders and a lot of confusion about what files are really what, and especially with image sequences, now you’ve got thousands of files all changing over and over and over again.

Steve Forde: The idea with CINEMA 4D for coming into After Effects and creating Cineware was the opportunity to, can I just drop a CINEMA 4D project right into a composition? Can I keep it in its native format? And we kind of looked at how dynamic link works between Premiere Pro and After Effects, because you can make changes in After Effects and not render a thing and just go back over to Premiere Pro, and the idea was can we do that with a product that’s not even an Adobe product? Can we do that and work with a different vendor and see how far out we can extend it?

Steve Forde: The Maxon folks were awesome. They were up for the challenge. We had this model and we came up with something where you drop it into the comp, you can jump back to CINEMA 4D, make a change and you don’t render anything out, you just go back into After Effects and you can support your multi pass pipeline with no files, which is kind of cool.

Philip Hodgetts: Alyssa, how does After Effects feed into the Anywhere workflow? Perhaps start with a little description about Adobe Anywhere for us.

Alissa Johnson: Sure. Adobe Anywhere is our collaboration platform for collaboration between initially Premiere Pro and Prelude when we launched in market around NAB timeframe about a year and a half ago. Those were the two client applications that we went to market with and it really consists of two different components. One is a collaboration hub, and that really is a database for the metadata that keeps track of all the changes that you’re making in these shared productions where you can have multiple asset types and it has production history, it has activity streams. It’s really the collaboration side of things.

Alissa Johnson: And then we also have the streaming side of things. So you have all of your assets centrally located and we use the power of the Mercury streaming engines, which is sort of the Mercury technology that we have in Premiere Pro that we’re able to put on a server and actually use to stream out dynamically the full res media that’s in your storage and that goes out to the client applications. It’s a dynamic connection, so it will actually look at your network availability and it will add compression if you need it and so that you have a good playback experience as an editor.

Alissa Johnson: If you have really great bandwidth, it will actually give you the full resolution files, which is great if you have that kind of capacity. Even if you’re working off of a lower res stream, if you park on the frame it’ll give you the full resolution file. We launched initially with support for Prelude and Premiere Pro, but After Effects was something we really wanted to bring on board as soon as possible.

Alissa Johnson: At IBC last year, we had a preview of After Effects collaboration support in Anywhere, but it wasn’t really ready for prime time. So we’ve done quite a bit of work over the last year and what we’re showing here at IBC this year is collaboration support for After Effects. It’s a little bit different than what we offer with Prelude and Premiere. You still need to have your storage mounted to your client machine and you’re still rendering locally, but you have the power of the collaboration features in the Anywhere system.

Steve Forde: Yes, when we looked at how After Effects artists work with each other, you know, we’ve had a feature in After Effects for a long time, collect files, and that’s how everybody’s kind of taken their project and put it onto a hard drive or a thumb drive or whatever, Dropbox, and given it to somebody else.

Steve Forde: The interesting thing, though, is that we went back and said, “Well, why is it when somebody double clicks that AEP when they get it, that they’re still seeing color bursts from missing footage? Why are they missing all sorts of stuff?” and what we came down to, and I think this is one of the core principles of what Anywhere provides, is that the .AEP in Anywhere is gone.

Steve Forde: That AEP file as a project file is a binary document that people auto save like crazy, they’ll save in many different places and then say another month passes by or you pass that off to somebody else, which one’s the right one? How is the other person supposed to know that? We went back to the first principles and we basically said, “Well, what happens if we get rid of that .AEP and move into something called production?” And if that production has everything that could possibly be related to it, inside of it, and then deal with… cases like a scenario where the After Effects artist now never has to care where they store any media asset or what it’s named, because they’ll never have to worry about having that color bust missing footage again.

Steve Forde: One of the things that we looked at was, “Ok, so if it’s in a production, you don’t double click the AEP, you just sign in to Anywhere.” You use your username and password and that has a list of all your productions that you can go into. You open one. In this case, every time you lift the mouse, every time you do anything in the application where you then could normally save the project, it’s automatically recorded in an industrial database. That means you can go backwards to any point in time.

Philip Hodgetts: Wow.

Alissa Johnson: The versioning capability is pretty impressive.

Philip Hodgetts: And that’s a feature that’s been long asked for.

Steve Forde: Right. Well, that’s just it. But a lot of other systems have really tried to focus on, “How do I take these files and make that work?” Well, the problem is the files themselves and by getting into a database transactional model, now you can go and work with multiple people all signing in, doing their own thing without having to worry about trampling on each other’s work.

Steve Forde: You can version it, you can do interesting things with it and at the same time you can still go back – and this to me was, I’ve been around After Effects for a long time and the holy grail for me was when I saw something I see everybody do a lot – I’m going to go into Photoshop and I’m going to create a graphic, a PSD, and I’m going to hit save and I’m going to save it probably to the last place Photoshop saved something, and a lot of times I’m usually working so fast it’s going to say, ‘Untitled 1’, or 2 or 3 or 500, and then I’m going to drop that in my After Effects project and then I’m going to go off and do my stuff.

Steve Forde: But the problem is that I had already collected my files and I was just making a modification to the After Effects project, which means the next person who opens this up is not going to have the PSD named Untitled 1 sitting on my desktop. Where Anywhere comes in is that I can work in Photoshop, I could save my file, and as soon as I drop it into a production, Anywhere takes over. Obviously After Effects knows how to use that PSD and will continue to use that PSD, say it’s a RED 4K file that’s monstrous, but Anywhere’s going to move it over to the right place on the server where it should be, and as soon as that’s done, it’s going to start using the one on the server and ignore the one on the desktop.

Steve Forde: The user doesn’t care what it’s called because it’s in the production in context to how it’s used, and they’re also not going to care where it’s stored. They never have to go try to find that missing footage or do media management. They can focus on what they’re there to do, create, and that’s really one of the core tenets.

Alissa Johnson: To add to what Steve said, we’ve seen an evolution in the industry from tape based to file based and with Anywhere we’re really taking that file less.

Steve Forde: Yes, we believe that’s the next iteration.

Philip Hodgetts: I have a dumb question. Is that affecting the project format for After Effects that isn’t using Anywhere?

Steve Forde: No. The interesting thing is you have to be able to bring in a traditional project. At the same time, the nice thing about the collaborative nature is that you can work with a bunch of users, but at the same time you’re going to want to be able to pass that project. You’re going to want to be able to turn it into a project to somebody else, right?

Steve Forde: So it’s basically the collect files notion. What happens with the Anywhere scenario is we’re talking to the Anywhere collaboration hub, which is the core part of it, it’s the brains of Anywhere, which then may also in an enterprise location be talking to a media asset management system or something driving policies on shared storage and all that kind of stuff, and all that is opaque to the artist. The artist just signs in and starts to work, but if I do want to put that, say, on a thumb drive or something like that and send it off to somebody else, what I want to be able to do is I want to basically collect that out and turn that into an After Effects project and I want to turn that into media that I can pass along.

Steve Forde: At that point the Anywhere production is going to be as up to date as when that collect happened. The other nice idea with this is downstream we’re getting into a scenario where people do like to work remotely, they work from different places, and a lot of times being able to bring things in and put things back is challenging on its own and Anywhere really offers a new opportunity to look at that.

Philip Hodgetts: Changing topic back to almost where we started, on the performance issues. Is the work that you’re doing on After Effects going to have an ongoing impact to third party plug-ins? Because there’s a huge ecosystem around After Effects.

Steve Forde: Yes, I know, I used to be one.

Philip Hodgetts: You did.

Steve Forde: I used to make plug-ins for After Effects. I think that’s why the exercise has been quite some time in the making. We started working with plug-in developers late last year in terms of the initial builds and where we were with this architectural change. We actually have a developer’s kitchen in a week in Seattle, where basically all the plug-in vendors come in and then we go through the architecture and still have enough time to make changes to what they need for their products.

Steve Forde: The good news is that the way the model works is it’s not dramatically different, but it will require the plug-in vendors to make sure that there’s support and so forth.

Philip Hodgetts: As an After Effects product manager, do you feel at all threatened by After Effects features being moved into Premiere?

Steve Forde: The funny thing is, and I’ve told this story to a few folks so I apologize if I’m repeating it, but when I started at Adobe, I ran into two different people on the same day, it was the first day, and I think they were both from our sales organization. When I look at Adobe applications, After Effects is probably one of the most complex ones we make.

Steve Forde: The interesting thing is that if I look at every Premiere editor who wants to be able to do things in After Effects, and I see them open After Effects, then I see them immediately get fear and terror in their eyes and then close After Effects. The first thing I heard was, “Can you make After Effects easier to use? Because editors will do more things with it and naturally as a business we want more people to use the application.”

Steve Forde: But then at the same time, After Effects is like an industry standard, and people who have been with After Effects since day one have almost shaped the app their own way. The communication with the team has been so good in the sense that a lot of the way After Effects is, it was developed almost by a community in that sense. So the other person came to me and said, “Whatever you do, don’t change anything.” Ok, so make it easier to use but don’t change a thing. Ok, that’s going to be interesting.

Steve Forde: But really what it came down to was, there was a lot of folks talking about different opportunities to combine tools and I did like the philosophy of, “If I look at a cook, why does a cook have to go to two different kitchens to make the same meal?” I heard a lot of that, but at the same time if you look at After Effects and Premiere Pro, they’re each their own 747 cockpit of dials, and buttons, and knobs, and just by throwing more dials, and buttons, and knobs in each one is not the right thing either. So really what we wanted to do is try to look at it and say, “Well, what does the editor want to accomplish, especially when they maybe are working with somebody else?” If I’m working with a graphics guy, I’ve got a great broadcaster designer, I’ve got some great lower thirds or something like that. Well, I want to be able to drop them in, but do I have to go back to that guy every time just if I wanted to change the name on the lower third or something? It’s kind of ridiculous.

Steve Forde: So at the same time people would send a project and what you would see is somebody who doesn’t really even want to go down into After Effects, double clicking that After Effects project file and seeing the guy who created it, or maybe I created it six months ago, and I have no clue how this thing was put together, but I just need to do something quick. So the idea was, what can we do to put it into the editing experience from the editing perspective, and get it so that changing text, providing masking? If I’m doing things and I’m going to create a mask there should be no penalty for going back to After Effects if you want to really do something crazy.

Steve Forde: But you should also be able to lever that stuff if it’s good enough, and it should work fast, and take advantage of all the things that the editor can do. In fact, with the masking introduction and live text templates, we’ve seen more utilization of After Effects from Premiere Pro editors than before we started putting that technology really into Premiere. I think it’s a win/win. I think we may have finally figured that out but time will tell. I think it’s a good thing. I’ve been a big champion for it.

Alissa Johnson: If they can start using it in an interface they’re already familiar with and then get comfortable there, that actually might open up a pathway for them to say, “You know, maybe instead of going to my graphics guy, I can open up After Effects and work on this a little bit myself.” So we think that’ll be interesting to see as well.

Philip Hodgetts: Thank you very much Alissa and Steve.

Steve Forde: Not at all. Thank you.

Alissa Johnson: Thanks.

Steve Forde: Thanks for having us.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank Philip Hodgetts and Cirina Catania for conducting these interviews at IBC 2014 in Amsterdam. We’ll have more news and interviews from IBC on next week’s show.

Larry Jordan: In the meantime, I want to thank our guests for this week, starting with Steve Roberts, the former CEO and Founder of Eyeon Software about the new acquisition of Eyeon by Blackmagic Design; Jim Geduldick, the Cinema and Photo Marketing Manager for GoPro; Sam Nuttmann from Freefly Systems; Graham Sharp, the Senior Vice President of Global Products for Vitec Videocom; and Steve Forde, Principal Product Manager for Visual Effects for the Creative Cloud, and Alissa Johnson, Product Manager for Collaborative Workflows, both working with Adobe Systems.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows and it’s all posted to our website at You can talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook, at Music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound; The Buzz is streamed by

Larry Jordan: Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. You can email us at any time at Our producer is Cirina Catania, our engineer is Adrian Price. On behalf of Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: The 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; and by, a global marketplace for royalty free images and videos. With over two million royalty free HD and 4K video clips, Shutterstock helps you take your creative projects to the next level.

Digital Production Buzz — September 18, 2014

  • Blackmagic Design Acquires eyeon Software
  • Interviews from IBC 2014
  • Adobe Announces New Software at IBC 2014

GUESTS: Steve Roberts, Sam Nuttmann, Jim Geduldick, Graham Sharp, Steve Forde, and Alissa Johnson

Click to listen to the current show.
(Mobile users click the MP3 player underneath image.)

*Right click on Download and “Save Link As…”

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

Steve Roberts, CEO, eyeon Software

The big news out of IBC 2014 was that Blackmagic Design purchased eyeon Software. eyeon makes Fusion, a compositing tool used on over a 1,000 feature films. This week, we talk with Steve Roberts, CEO of eyeon, about the acquisition and what it means for the future.

Jim Geduldick, Cinema & Photo Marketing Manager, GoPro

Cirina Catania interviews Jim Geduldick, Cinema & Photo Marketing Manager for GoPro, at IBC 2014. Jim discusses the latest camera and attachment technology from GoPro.

Sam Nuttmann, Freefly Systems

Sam Nuttmann is interviewed by BuZZ producer Cirina Catania at IBC 2014. Sam talks about the latest UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology from Freefly Systems.

Graham Sharp, SVP Global Products, Vitec Videocom

Graham Sharp, SVP for Global Products at Vitec Videocom, got his start in broadcasting more than 30 years ago. In this interview with Cirina Catania, BuZZ producer, Graham looks back at how the industry has changed over the last thirty years and how IBC has changed with it. He also offers his thoughts on the rising influence of independent filmmakers on broadcast television.

Steve Forde, Principal Product Manager, Visual Effects, Creative Cloud

Alissa Johnson, Product Manager for Collaborative Workflows, Adobe Anywhere

Adobe Systems announced new software at IBC 2014. Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Intelligent Assistance, was at the Adobe booth and interviewed Steve Forde, Principal Product Manager, and Alissa Johnson, Product Manager, about the new announcements, with an eye on visual effects.

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 – September 11, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

September 11, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


      Click here
to listen to this show.]


Larry Jordan

Michael Horton


Jordan Soles, Executive Producer/CTO, Rodeo FX

Manon Banta, Executive Director,The Mobile Film Classroom

Grant Burton, Producer and Digital Analyst, Royal Australian Air Force


Voiceover: The 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; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra-reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

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. Our co-host, the ever-handsome Mike Horton, is in Amsterdam for the IBC trade show. We’ll hear more from him in a minute.

Larry Jordan: Our guests start with Jordan Soles. He’s the Chief Technology Officer for Rodeo FX. A Montreal based VFX company that recently won an Emmy for their effects work on ‘Game of Thrones’. He joins us to talk about what they did and how they did it.

Larry Jordan: Next is Manon Banta, the Executive Director of ‘The Mobile Film Classroom’. This traveling film education studio on wheels is helping kids in Los Angeles improve their lives through film making.

Larry Jordan: And Grant Burton, a long time friend of The Buzz, produces training videos for the Royal Australian Air Force and has been doing it for almost 20 years. He joins us tonight live from Australia to talk about his work and the challenges of producing videos at 30,000 feet.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder that we’re offering text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcriptions. 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. You can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making it possible.

Larry Jordan: Remember to visit with us on Facebook, at We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at for an inside look at both our show and the industry.

Larry Jordan: The big news this week was Adobe’s reveal of new updates to all their video software tools. Probably the most striking change was the new interface, but virtually every program received significant new features. I have a detailed description of the new software plus an exclusive interview with Bill Roberts, Senior Director of Product Management for Creative Cloud Video Products at Adobe in tomorrow’s Buzz newsletter.

Larry Jordan: Earlier this week, Buzz producer Cirina Catania put on her reporter hat and took off for Amsterdam to create our coverage of IBC. You’ll be hearing more from her in next week’s show; however, earlier today Cirina spoke with our peripatetic host, Mike Horton, as he gets ready to produce this year’s Supermeet at IBC. She recorded this conversation earlier.

Cirina Catania: This is Cirina Catania, I’m here in Amsterdam with Michael Horton, the guru of the Supermeet, and there’s another one this Sunday. Michael, tell everybody what’s going to be happening this Sunday.

Mike Horton: Well, I am in Amsterdam, as are you, and I just landed about three to four hours ago and I’ve just come back from the convention center, or the RAI as we call it. This is our seventh year, Cirina, and I tell you, this is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the weather out there right now is fantastic. I’ve already seen on the streets a lot of people I know, and it’s been so much fun and it’s always been so much fun to just be here. What’s even better is that you’re here.

Cirina Catania: Well, thank you Michael. I think there are something like 50,000 people attending the IBC this year, right?

Mike Horton: I think it’s more like 70,000. It’s a huge convention. I think the only other convention in Amsterdam that is bigger than IBC is some sort of medical convention. That’s what the taxi cab driver said, but I’m not really sure. I think IBC is probably the biggest convention in Amsterdam for the entire year. Everybody knows about it. Every restaurant you go into, every pub you go into, everybody knows about IBC. Doesn’t matter if they’re in the broadcast industry business, they all know IBC is in Amsterdam.

Cirina Catania: Why go to IBC? We have NAB and there are a lot of other conventions out there. How is IBC different?

Mike Horton: You know what? There’s not a lot of difference between IBC and NAB, although there is a lot more European company presence here, there’s a lot more Middle Eastern company presence here. If you’re going to find a difference, it is the fact that there are more companies that are featured in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa here than there are at NAB.

Mike Horton: But it’s still a big networking event. It is still a place to meet people, just as the Supermeet is. It is that place to meet likeminded people who are most likely smarter than you are and you can learn from them. That’s why I’m here and that’s why I’ve been here for the past seven years co-producing the Supermeet along with Dan Berube.

Cirina Catania: Now, tell me, there are a lot of great presenters this year at the Supermeet. Who’s going to be presenting?

Mike Horton: Oh my God, we have such a good show. It is such a good show. First of all, our keynote speakers are Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey, who are two wonderful editors who have edited all of JJ Abrams movies, and who are currently editing in London as we speak the new ‘Star Wars’ movie that is coming out in 2015. They are going to be our keynote speakers. So that gives you an idea how big a show this is going to be.

Mike Horton: And then, of course, we have Blackmagic Design. Who’s going to be showing some new stuff; Adobe, which has just announced new features to Adobe Premier, and to the Creative Cloud suite of apps and they’re going to be showing some of that; HP is going to be showing some new stuff – HP workstations; Isotope is going to be showing the RX4, which is brand new; and Atomos is going to be showing the Shogun. So it’s all brand new stuff and 20 vendors out there for people to hang out with and learn from.

Mike Horton: The people who man these tables aren’t just the marketing people, these are the smartest people on the planet who know and can solve all the problems that you have. So if you’re interested in film making, oh my goodness, Supermeet is the place to go.

Cirina Catania: It really is. It’s all the creative people you could possibly imagine in one room at one time.

Mike Horton: Yes, you’ve been there, you know what it’s like. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a lot of learning, and whatever you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it.

Cirina Catania: What giveaways do you have this year?

Mike Horton: Oh, thank you for bringing that up. We have over 35,000 Euros’ worth of raffle prizes to give out, and this is valuable stuff. That, of course, is a really big deal in the Supermeet. It’s just a really fun, fun thing.

Cirina Catania: Well, a lot of people do. You have a lot of prizes for the room.

Mike Horton: We have a lot of prizes to give out. Some people call it the seemingly endless world famous raffle because it goes on forever.

Cirina Catania: There you go. Now, tell us what time, and where, and what we’re going to see when we get there.

Mike Horton: The doors open at 4.30pm, which is 16.30 in the 24 hour clock, at the Hotel Krasnapolsky, which is right in the heart of Dam Square, which is right in the heart of Amsterdam. There you will find 20 vendors to hang out with, and some of these people will actually not be at IBC, they will only be at the Supermeet. So that’s another incentive to get there.

Mike Horton: Also, another big deal here is that if you get through the doors before 6pm, HP is giving you a chance to win a fully loaded ZBook for absolutely free. It’s not going to cost you any raffle tickets, everybody’s going to get a raffle ticket and they all get a chance to win that ZBook. But the actual stage show starts at 7pm and goes on until about 10pm, then of course we have the world famous raffle after that.

Mike Horton: There’s going to be food, there’s going to be cash bars, there’s going to be a lot of networking time and it’s really up to you, the attendee, to get into the faces of all these people, say hello and you never know who you’re going to meet who might just change your life. There are plenty of seats left, but I’ve got to tell you that everybody buys at the last minute and they’re going to start buying now. I’ve already logged on and several tickets have just been sold in the last few minutes. Historically, Supermeets usually sell out.

Mike Horton: We will accommodate you as best we can, but you want to go to and just click on the button, ‘Buy a ticket’, so you are guaranteed a seat. You want to get there as early as you can, you want to spend as much time as you can with all the people there and you want to learn as much as you can. I guarantee you’re going to have fun.

Larry Jordan: That was The Buzz producer Cirina Catania interviewing Mike Horton, the producer of the Supermeet and co-host of The Digital Production Buzz. I’ll be right back with Jordan Soles after this.

Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is now shipping its production camera 4K, a super high resolution 4K digital production camera for Ultra HD television production. Featuring a large Super 35 sensor with a professional global shutter, it also offers EF and ZE compatible lens mounts and records to a super fast SSD drive. Capturing high quality ProRes files, the Blackmagic production camera 4K gives customers a complete solution to shoot amazing high resolution music videos, episodic television productions, television commercials, sports, documentaries and much more.

Larry Jordan: The Blackmagic production camera 4K also features an incredibly tempting price of $2,995. Learn more about the Blackmagic production camera 4K that is definitely priced to move. Visit

Larry Jordan: As the CTO of Rodeo FX, based in Montreal, Canada, Jordan Soles oversees all the technological aspects of the company. From IT infrastructure decisions, to software and pipeline design through to production management. He has a degree in artificial intelligence and cognitive science from the University of Toronto, and I want to find out more about how Rodeo FX managed to win an Emmy. Welcome, Jordan, good to have you with us.

Jordan Soles: Thank you very much. Thanks very much.

Larry Jordan: Well, first, thanks for staying up late. You get a gold star for that. We are very grateful, because you’re based a few hours ahead of us in time zone territory.

Jordan Soles: Yes, we’re based in Montreal, Quebec.

Larry Jordan: What is Rodeo FX?

Jordan Soles: Rodeo FX is a visual effects studio. When I first joined about four years ago, we were really focused on map painting and compositing, and the mandate from when I joined to where we are today has basically been to fill in the gaps and turn us into a fully fledged visual effects studio, being able to service all the needs that every other major visual effects studio provides.

Jordan Soles: We’ve been able to do that in such a way, that we’re not tied into years and years of old and antiquated pipelines that we’re trying to retro-fit to new software and new techniques. But rather we still take a nimble and quick approach to being able to try new software, and new technologies, and seeing if we can apply them there in unique ways to be able to make the resulting image as beautiful as we possibly can. And hopefully be able to render it in as shorter period of time as we possibly can in order to do even more work.

Larry Jordan: One thing I’ve heard a lot of visual effects companies talk about is this concept of pipelines. What’s a pipeline and why is it important?

Jordan Soles: A pipeline is basically how we move a plate that we would get delivered to us from on set and it would define all the steps in between before we actually deliver it typically back to the client or, in some cases, directly into a DI facility.

Larry Jordan: Could we consider a pipeline to be a workflow, basically a process of how the file gets from Point A to Point B?

Jordan Soles: It is. That would be it exactly. For us, a pipeline can hit a number of different departments and, on top of that, it also has a lot of color based workflows that feed into one another. Depending on the color space of the frames that we’re getting delivered to us directly from dailies, how do we convert that and how do we work with it in a way that is as non-destructive as possible, and also be able to deliver in a way that the editors, as well as the DI facility, are able to manipulate the image as much as they possibly can.

Larry Jordan: I’m confused. We’re shooting video. The video is shot on an RGB color space. It’s output to an RGB color space. What’s this business with color?

Jordan Soles: That is obviously the most ideal. The newer cameras that we’re seeing right now, for example all the RED cameras are recording in a proprietary RED log format. But we’re now beginning to see cameras like the F65 be able to record and output data using ASUS Primaries, and so we’re suddenly having to deal with a world that is slightly more complicated to be able to mitigate living in a proprietary file format or color space world. In so doing, it’s kind of complicated things just a little bit in terms of how we move from one color space to another.

Larry Jordan: I suspect complicated more than just a little bit and you’re being polite, but we’ll come back to that point. I was just reflecting, your title is Executive Producer and Chief Technology Officer, which seems to be an inherent conflict of interests because generally the Executive Producer worries about getting money and the Chief Technology Officer worries about spending money. Where do you find your time being spent and how do you balance the two?

Jordan Soles: Well, I’ve always found that in a visual effects world, it’s a balancing act between trying to get things done as efficiently as possible and also trying to do things that maybe we haven’t done before, sort of push the boundaries. And so what the CTO title allows me to do is apply a vision that I have that may not be for next month, but might be for next year or two or three or four years down the line, and see how I want the studio to grow in that direction technologically.

Jordan Soles: The cool thing about having the Executive Producer title, it also allows me to then focus in on finding projects, that allow us to be able to grow, also towards that direction and build capabilities that maybe we didn’t have before and, if we didn’t have them before, great. Four years from now, not only do I want to have those capabilities, but I also want to be able to bring in even more projects that have even more complicated effects, or more complicated creatures. Although they seem to split in terms of the actual title itself, in many ways they walk hand in hand.

Jordan Soles: I used to work at a company in Los Angeles called Sony Imageworks, and what we learned from doing fully animated films there was that there was a real need to have a person in production who had a really good, and sound technical understanding of how the actual infrastructure works and so, when I moved to Rodeo, it was a very natural fit for me. So I kind of pride myself in being able to keep my feet in both worlds, although I would suspect my wife isn’t a big fan of it, in so much as it takes up quite a bit of time.

Larry Jordan: Oh yes, I believe that. Let’s give you a chance to brag for just a minute. What are some of the projects you guys have worked on recently?

Jordan Soles: Most recently, we delivered ‘Game of Thrones,’ for which we received an Emmy, which was really cool. Also, the other projects that we delivered this summer, Luc Besson his film ‘Lucy’ with Scarlet Johansson. We also delivered ‘22 Jump Street’. I think those are probably the most recent films that were released over the course of the summer. On top of that, we have another film about to come out in October called ‘Bird Man’ and a film that’s going to be coming out in the winter called ‘Jupiter Ascending’.

Larry Jordan: What specifically are these films calling on Rodeo FX to do?

Jordan Soles: Initially, I would say about four years ago, Rodeo was really known for being able to build an expansive environment from just beautiful, beautiful map paintings and then be able to put them into the scenes as seamlessly as possible. In the last four years, we’ve obviously been building that out and… world into a two and a half to fully 3D world, and even recently we’ve been called upon to add special effects, water, fire, dust, sparks, building out planes, building out tanks, building out all sorts of assets that we are suddenly having to animate and so that’s what we were called upon for.

Jordan Soles: In fact, for the film ‘Lucy’, we had to do an entire sequence which was being filmed in Paris in August, which is a really, really difficult time to film in Paris because all of the tourists are there. So to be able to close the streets off to film a giant car chase was quite difficult. And so we ended up having to do a lot of pre-visualization with the stunt coordinator to be able to make sure that the cars that they wanted to flip and destroy, that they would fit in the area that we were planning on driving them through, and that the camera angles that they wanted to be able to shoot would indeed work, and that they would have to work with respect to the amount of time that we had in which to shoot.

Jordan Soles: We’re now being called upon, even before a film or a sequence has even been thought of and that’s really quite impressive for a company of our age. We really enjoy it.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk about the 3D backgrounds for a second, then I want to talk about some of the tools you’re using. How do you create those amazingly detailed 3D backgrounds that I was seeing on your demo reel? Some of them were spectacular.

Jordan Soles: Thank you. For the most part, it usually starts off with one of our concept artists. It’s kind of a low cost, and a really quick and easy way to go. So one of our concept artists will basically rough out a very rough sketch, either Frankensteining it from things that they find on the web, or creating it completely from scratch, but creating a number of different iterations to be able to present to both visual effects supervisor and ultimately the director. We find that being able to work that way and creating a bunch of little thumbnails…

Larry Jordan: Is this ink on paper or are they using a computer?

Jordan Soles: In this case, they’re using a computer. The toolset that they use is 100 percent Photoshop, but they’re able to really whip it out really, really quickly, and we can get… pretty easily. We get… on color and composition. We’ll create mood boards as well to make sure that we’re hitting the right colors that they would want to be present. We even describe the lighting of a particular scene in such a way to make sure that it works.

Jordan Soles: Usually from there, it really gives our artist a blueprint upon which to build, and at that point we evaluate the actual scene, and determine exactly how much needs to be in 3D versus how much of it we can leave in 2D. That particular process is really quite useful for us because it also means that we don’t have to spend quite as much time building out everything in 3D.

Larry Jordan: What’s your 3D tool?

Jordan Soles: For the most part right now, we’re modeling using a software called ZBrush. We’re in Montreal, so we’ve been using a software developed here for a very long time called Softimage that Autodesk just killed. Softimage was basically our modeling animation layout lighting tool and since we’ve been migrating everybody over to using Maya.

Larry Jordan: In the time we’ve got left, a couple of questions. I just need a short answer – when do you determine whether to shoot something in real life, think of ‘Lucy’, versus do it CGI, in terms of cost?

Jordan Soles: We always prefer to shoot in real life. In fact, we have our own RED Epic camera and we have our own shooting stage. When it comes down to it, if we can shoot something in real life, we’ll go ahead and shoot it. We find that shooting smoke, fire, whatever, those effects end up looking a lot more real, and a lot more believable to the audience than trying to do it in CG. What we’ll end up doing is shooting a lot of smoke, and then we’ll end up doing 3D smoke, and the 3D smoke will basically be a very animated 3D smoke in order to sell, and then it just sort of ends up being a blend.

Larry Jordan: Hmm. When you’re doing all these effects, you’ve got to have, like, 500 million assets. How are you managing the assets and keeping track of everything?

Jordan Soles: Yes, we use a software called Shotgun. It’s our production tracking system as well as our asset management system, and from day one we’ve let that become the brain of the facility. Everything begins and ends with the production tracking system. Again, it harkens back to my production background. A producer knows best and they’ve got the money, so they’ve also got their hands on the purse strings. So they know where and when spend the money. So we let our production tracking system be our guide for our artists.

Larry Jordan: What software tools are you using as we look around your shop?

Jordan Soles: For the most part, what you’ll see is a lot of Photoshop for map painting and concept artwork. You’ll see Maya for a lot of layout and animation. You’ll see a software called Mari that we use for texture painting. You’ll also see for compositing mostly nuke stations and then you’ll see, just because we live in the same offices as Autodesk, a bunch of flame and flare stations.

Jordan Soles: We find value in having both a Flame and Flare Station as well as a Nuke Station there. It’s very useful for two different things. On top of that, we use Final Cut and/or Avid for smoke, depending on how the production is moving forward. Then we use a tool called RV to handle dailies playback and we use a tool called CineSync that we typically use with clients.

Larry Jordan: It’s an amazing collection of tools. How big a team do you have working with you?

Jordan Soles: Well, when I started there were about 30 and now we’re totaling about 170.

Larry Jordan: 170? That’s amazing.

Jordan Soles: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Where can we go on the web to learn more of the work that you guys do?

Jordan Soles: Just That will give you a very good indication of what we’ve been involved in.

Larry Jordan: Very cool. That’s Jordan Soles is the Chief Technology Officer and Executive Producer at Rodeo FX and, Jordan, I’ve seen your demo reel, you have some amazing talent up there. Thanks for joining us today.

Jordan Soles: Thank you very much for the time.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.

Jordan Soles: Bye.

Larry Jordan: Archiving means more than just copying files from one location to another. TOLIS Group’s BRU and ArGest solutions provide easy to use and reliable answers for all your media storage, back-up and archiving requirements; and BRU PE release 3.1 makes it even easier for Final Cut Pro X users.

Larry Jordan: Safely storing back-ups on tape for long term storage is one thing, but when you have lots and lots of tapes, lots and lots of files, finding exactly the right file on exactly the right tape takes some great software. That’s where BRU comes in. With BRU, you can be sure that your data is completely recoverable. BRU, because it’s the restore that matters. Download a free demo today from

Larry Jordan: Manon Banta is the Executive Director of The Mobile Film Classroom. She’s designed standards based curriculum connecting early cinema to modern film making to promote digital literacy among at-risk youth. She is also a founding member of the Los Angeles Digital Literacy Alliance to provide digital media learning innovation for Los Angeles children ages five to 18. Hello, Manon, thanks for joining us.

Manon Banta: Hi, Larry. Thank you so much for having me on your show today.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted and I’m looking forward to learning more because I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things from people whose opinions I respect about you and the work that you’re doing, but let’s start by having you tell me what The Mobile Film Classroom is.

Manon Banta: The Mobile Film Classroom is a production studio on wheels. We’re an RV outfitted with Apple computers, flat screen monitor and sound recording booth. Everything the kids need to get on board to tell their story. We drive to the locations, we partner with schools, libraries, probation camps, foster care centers to provide the digital media storytelling training to kids and all I need is a place to park.

Larry Jordan: That’s like “have film, will travel.”

Manon Banta: Yes, very much so.

Larry Jordan: How did it get started?

Manon Banta: Actually, it was a program of the Mary Pickford Institute for Film Education. It was their educational outreach and in 2012, when that organization was winding down, we all wanted to see the program continue. So I started a new non-profit called The Mobile Film Classroom and we have been going on from there.

Larry Jordan: You started the non-profit? This is very similar to jumping off a high bridge and hoping the bungee cord holds out. That’s not a low risk activity.

Manon Banta: Yes, I think most people would be terrified about where we are. We were very lucky because we had the whole vehicle. I’ve been with the program since 2008, so I had the level of experience of running and executing programs, and working with kids and developing it, so it wasn’t just a pilot program. But not with a lot of cash to spare to start out. I have a background in indie film making at ultra low budgets, and that’s exactly what it feels like every day when you’re working with the kids. When we take them through their six week program, it’s like you’re producing that many low budget films.

Larry Jordan: I’ve had a chance to watch some of the videos that are on The Mobile Film Classroom website – we’ll get to that address in just a minute – but the kids look like they are so hooked on the whole process. That’s a major achievement, to get their attention.

Manon Banta: They get on the bus. For one, the atmosphere doesn’t feel like a regular classroom, so that helps. Then we get them hands on, put cameras in their hands right away and they’re doing it and they get into production teams, they have to come up with their idea. Usually there’s a framework of the overall scope of the project, there might be one where the kids do a silent movie, and the school or the organization wants them to focus on bullying. So from there they come up with the idea of their story, and then they work together in teams to script it out, plan it, film it and then edit it. So all the work is done by the kids themselves. There are some days where we just have to cut the power on the bus for the kids to get off.

Larry Jordan: What was it that hooked your attention back in 2008? What made you decide to join?

Manon Banta: I had been volunteering with a documentary film company that was part of Mary Pickford and I started assistant teaching. The hours are so much better than film production – so not getting up at 5am – but it hit all the buttons on what I like to do as far as thinking outside of the box, trying to make things happen with very little, watching the kids’ creativity and see their little lightbulbs go off and see kids that were in continuation of high school, the sense of pride they got when they finished something. That’s what keeps me hanging onto that bungee.

Larry Jordan: And hoping it holds on.

Manon Banta: Hoping it holds on, yes, yes.

Larry Jordan: Where does your support come from?

Manon Banta: We get some government grants and we’ve got a little bit of foundation and corporate support, but the bulk of our support right now is from earned income. We’ve been working with the County Libraries, for example, for the past few years and they have grants where they need programs for teens, and so they have us come in and do programming with them.

Larry Jordan: What is it that you need that you don’t have?

Manon Banta: The bus that we have was outfitted in mid-2008 so, as you and your listeners know well, technology has changed quite a bit in that time. So we are looking to get a new vehicle, an eco-friendly digital media bus and updated equipment. With the kids, we’ve been using flip cameras and sometimes we have donated cine cameras or DSLR cameras for certain projects. So any kind of upgrade in camera equipment would also be really wonderful.

Manon Banta: We are part of a $100,000 grant challenge right now in the LA 2050 program by the Goldhirsh Foundation. If people were to vote for us, it would be very helpful too because that would put us a long way towards realizing the dreams I just outlined; and we’re looking for volunteers as well.

Larry Jordan: You were also one of ten people selected to do a fast pitch in November of 2013, pitching for more revenue. How did that go?

Manon Banta: That was an amazing experience. That’s an organization called Social Venture Partners. Basically, what they’ve taken is the venture capital funding model, twisted it and put it for non-profits. It teaches us how to tell our stories, and speak in everyday language and do it quickly to get your elevator pitch down. So that was a wonderful training process and it really opened the door to so many different opportunities. We partner with other non-profits for some of it as a result of being involved with that and meeting other people.

Larry Jordan: Tell me a little bit more about the kind of projects you have the kids work on. What’s your goal?

Manon Banta: Some of the projects that we do, for example we work with elementary age students, we have them create silent movies. We start out by telling them how cinema began, and giving them that history of the art form and it also is a good way to what they call an education scaffold. So we’re talking about using very simple techniques and in a way almost mirroring the way films started.

Manon Banta: They’ve got just the very simple cameras, the flip cameras. Taking sound out of it when you’re dealing with young children is also a really good idea; and then, but not because they’re doing silent movies, they get to act out and they work collectively to create one movie. That’s five production teams and they each film and edit a part of that. Then with older kids, we like to get older kids, especially high school kids, to work on projects, whether it’s a narrative project or a short documentary or a PSA. Something that makes them start to think about their role in the community.

Larry Jordan: Manon, there’s more we can talk about but I’m going to run out of time. What website can people go to to learn more and is there a way for people to contribute?

Manon Banta: Yes, you can go to our website. It is and once you’re there, there’s buttons that can take you to donate if you’d like, and then there’s also on the homepage is a short video about our program and a pink button right there at the top that you can click on if you want to vote for us in the $100,000 grant challenge.

Larry Jordan: Thank you. That’s and Manon Banta is the Executive Director. Manon, thanks for joining us today.

Manon Banta: Thank you so much, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Good luck.

Manon Banta: Bye.

Larry Jordan: Grant Burton has been creating training videos for the Royal Australian Air Force for almost 20 years, where he is now a producer and digital analyst first as a member of the RAAF and now as a civilian. He’s also a very active participant in the live chat on The Buzz each week and it’s wonderful to be able to say hello Grant, welcome back.

Grant Burton: Good evening, Larry, how are you doing?

Larry Jordan: We are doing great, although for us it’s evening, for you it’s, like, tomorrow and before this interview is over I want to find out what our weather tomorrow is going to be like. Good to have you with us.

Grant Burton: Ah. Yes, same, same. Long time, no hear.

Larry Jordan: Here’s my question – what does the Royal Australian Air Force need with a video producer?

Grant Burton: Good question. You would think in these days of computer based simulations and aircraft modeling techniques and e-learning, it would all be a bit redundant. But due to the efficiency and the production methods of video production these days not being as costly as, say, they once were when I started about 30 years ago. It sort of faded away about a decade ago and has now come back with a… because often when you want things produced very quickly and efficiently, video is going to be a better way to go than trying to produce something like a simulator or desktop based simulation, or even e-learning practices.

Grant Burton: It’s easily amendable because of the way we do digital workflows these days. So often it’s the most cost effective method of doing training.

Larry Jordan: What’s your mandate? What kind of programs do you specialize in?

Grant Burton: From sitting in a chair ergonomically to flying an aircraft. How’s that for a dynamic?

Larry Jordan: I’d say that pretty well covers the spectrum, yes.

Grant Burton: Yes. It could be anything. It can be everything from leadership – which I’ve done a lot of things on – to ethical behavior through to engine maintenance, to the recent stuff I’ve been doing with air crew, learning how to start aircraft and fly aircraft, all that sort of stuff. We’re not able to do the stuff that the simulator can do or the real aircraft, but there’s a lot of intermediate stuff that is in paper form, in checklists, that’s very hard to understand unless you can conceptualize it, and simulators, like aircraft, cost money to run and maintain and sometimes it’s overkill. You don’t need that, you just need them to learn a procedure or learn some grout learning sort of things.

Grant Burton: It’s all up to, I guess, me having my own media advertising strategy because we’re a big organization, nowhere near as big as the American forces, but we are a diverse organization spread across the planet and a lot of people don’t know I exist, as surprising as that might sound. A lot of the time people go, “Oh well, we have to go to a commercial agency,” and this has happened.

Grant Burton: Let me give you an example which relates to the recent work I’ve just done. Someone wanted how to start a certain type of helicopter we had. They got a commercial agency, they… produced over a number of weeks and they got a $25,000 bill. It was a good product but was it worth $25,000? You’d have to ask them. So when we did similar stuff for another aircraft, they said, “Oh, you exist. You do this?” “Yes, yes, yes.” “What’s the cost?” “Nothing. I’m employed by the government, so I don’t actually cost you a thing. I’m an internal capability.” “Right. I think we need to use you then.” That’s actually happened.

Larry Jordan: Is the principle bulk of work you do training, or do you have stuff the public would see?

Grant Burton: No, I don’t do anything with public relations. That’s handled by a media public relations unit, which we do have that is fairly funded and staffed, and that’s everything from broadcast, cinema, press releases, all that sort of thing. They look after that and they are, funnily enough, ex-trained RAAF photographers, videographers and structurally they don’t exist anymore. They’re all reservists, we don’t have them any more. I used to actually do the same job myself when I was actually wearing a uniform, but now they are the reservists, or it gets contracted out, and for the Air Force, I’m the only internal capability to do training, so I’m it.

Larry Jordan: Are you a team of one? Or do you have people that help with you putting these videos together?

Grant Burton: No, team of one. I’m it. I work with what we call an SME, which is a… expert. That will be like a pilot or an aircrew specialists from a particular platform. They assist me in storyboarding and directing. They get an education of what it’s actually like to produce a video, which is always interesting. Some people think a three minute training video takes maybe five minutes to produce, and they soon get the realization that it might actually take a number of weeks to do three minutes. That’s always an interesting education. But no, I’m everything – director, storyboard, producer, lighting, editing, you name it. Even coffee maker sometimes, believe it or not.

Larry Jordan: Let’s take a look at the gear that you’re using. I know that your training is everything from, ‘how to sit in a desk chair at the office’ to ‘how to fly some incredibly sophisticated machinery’. But do you have a go to hardware set-up that you work with, camera that you like?

Grant Burton: The camera I like is the one that’s just been ordered. I know this sounds quite backwards, but I’m still on a tape based workflow. I’m still using DV tape, but that’s about to change in the next fortnight because I finally have ordered actually my first solid state camera because we’ve finally got a budget for this year to buy a nice…

Larry Jordan: Now, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Wait, wait. Did you say that you’re shooting DV tape?

Grant Burton: Correct, I am still on DV tape at this present time. But that will change in the next fortnight because we’ve finally got funding for a new camera.

Larry Jordan: Wow.

Grant Burton: But yes, I’m shooting currently on a Sony VID1, which isn’t even true high definition, it’s 1140 by 1080. But again, since I’m not broadcast and my end state for delivery to the client is DVD video or 720p to go on our internal intranet, it’s not been necessary to be at a higher resolution anyway. So we’re not really losing too much out of the quality issue by still shooting onto DV tape. But, yes, at this particular present time, it’s still DV tape, Sony Z1, a decent several thousand dollar lighting kit, a number of good Sennheiser and Sony lapel mics, Rode microphones.

Grant Burton: That’s about it. It’s quite a basic set-up. You could go and purchase it down your local video store, similar sort of gear and, in fact, the gear I’m about to use, in American dollars, probably about $10,000 worth of equipment. As I’ve found, though, it’s not always about the type of equipment, it’s more about the talent behind the camera.

Larry Jordan: I need to clarify something. You’re not actually shooting standard def, you’re shooting in a format called HDV, but it’s recorded on something that looks like a DV tape but it’s actually a version of high def.

Grant Burton: Yes, that’s correct, it is, yes.

Larry Jordan: You see, I knew as a technical person you would not want to have people think incorrect technical thoughts about the kind of work that you’re doing.

Grant Burton: No, no. Technically, anything over 720p, of course, is classed as high definition. My true definition really is 1920 by 1080 is real high definition, anything else is a… HD but I think there’s lots of technical debate now that we’re moving into 4K realms and beyond.

Larry Jordan: Yes, true enough, true enough. Aside from the fact that it’s just you, what do you find are the biggest challenges on the job?

Grant Burton: Setting realistic expectations of the client. I think anyone in the commercial world would probably come across the same things as I’ve alluded to before. Because I’m dealing with people who are not production people. They are experts in their particular fields, from management leadership, to mechanics, to pilots. Most of these people have never had direct exposure of what it’s like to produce a five minute, or ten minute training film or making, as we did last year, which was quite interesting, more like an interactive storybook where you would have decisions. You would get those decisions, you could choose a decision on the screen in Powerpoint and that would play the next segment of the video depending on your choices.

Grant Burton: But even that whole method of thinking is setting the client’s expectation of, “Well, how long will this take? How much time do I need to dedicate to it? What sort of resources will I need?” and that requires an education to the client with regard to, “Ok, this is only five minutes, this is only ten minutes. Will this take a day of my time? Will this take two weeks? How much do they need to communicate to me?” and those things I can only ever establish in pre-production meetings. I remember someone asking me once, “Oh, don’t you have a…” what do we call them? We call them basic line instructions, which just means a step by step process, “don’t you have a five step process of how I can determine as the client to question your services, how long this will take?” and my answer’s always, “Well, no, it’s like asking how long is a piece of string,” and once you get beyond the flippant remark of that, it always depends.

Grant Burton: Is it a narration piece? Is it something that requires hands-on demonstration? Do we need cutaways of certain other things, or footage I can’t get hold of off stock? You get into that. How do you want it narrated? Do you have a budget to get me a professional narrator? Because I’ve got to hire professional narrators, my voice obviously isn’t good enough, or I don’t think it is, and they sometimes will go, “No, we haven’t got a budget, we’ll have to narrate it ourselves.”

Grant Burton: Well, that’s fine, then find someone who can speak Australian English well, or they go, “Oh no, we’ve got several hundred dollars. We could afford 30 minutes of narration, and I do have some staff or clients that I can give that.” It all depends, but that all comes out of one or two pre-production meetings. It’s a real education just getting clients… how long they can expect it, what format it will take and what it will look like; and also my capabilities as well, because I’ve got to set realistic expectations that I’m not a graphic designer, I’m not a visual effects person and sometimes they go, “Oh, we’d like a big explosion to happen here.” “Not really versed in CGI. We could do it but it would… and it would cost this much,” and they go, “Hmm, maybe we’ll just do an effect, a flash and we’ll whiten the screen and we’ll simulate the same effect. Fair enough, that’s what we’ll do. We’ll save ourselves probably $1,000.”

Larry Jordan: When you’re working with clients, some of the stuff you shoot is regular office environment. Staff training is staff training, regardless of what job they have. But sometimes you’ve got to be in an aircraft and that aircraft is not necessarily attached to the ground. How do you shoot that stuff?

Grant Burton: Yes, that’s a really good question. It depends, again. Are we going to keep this aircraft flat and level? Is it going to be on the ground or in the simulators? Simulators sound like they’re really easy, but they can be just as bad as the real aircraft because they are not made to have cameras in them.

Grant Burton: As I found out, the starter switches on some of the aircraft are jammed about one inch from the pilot’s knee down to the left and there’s really no way to jam a Prosumer type camera down there, but I found a way. It’s called someone holding my back with suspenders, while the pilot actually gets to be trained how to use a focus ring, while I hold an LED light with my iPhone to light the instrument panel. Yes, it’s total fly by your seat filming.

Grant Burton: But other stuff, yes, if it’s in the cockpit and we’re moving around, we’ll move away from Prosumer cameras because that’s a safety issue. You can’t have a 20 pound camera subjected to four Gs of gravitational force being a loose object in a cockpit. You’ll do someone some rather heavy damage with that sort of thing, even wearing a helmet. So we resort to things like GoPro’s stuck around the windows and things like that.

Grant Burton: Fortunately, though, they’re only generally for flying sequences as such, and flying sequences are very much stuffed back into simulation and training like that. The stuff I concentrate on for flying is more procedural like to do an initial electrical check, or how to actually start the aircraft. They sound like simple processes, but the client also educates me. I just found out that studying one of our particular platforms is a 15 minute process of about 100 different steps. It’s quite amazing. It’s just like if we had to start cars this way, no-one would drive, but it’s the way aviation on certain platforms is.

Larry Jordan: Wow. What productions are most in demand? What are your clients most interested in?

Grant Burton: The big thing at the moment are the flying sequences, and start-up sequences and things like electrical checks, as I’ve just done recently. Doing procedural stuff is root learning. To give you an example, they might get shown a sequence once in a classroom and then they might get shown it once again in a simulator, and then they expect them to basically do it in the aircraft.

Grant Burton: That’s not enough for them to get that down pat, and the problem with that is if they don’t get that down pat, and they’re learning other things as they go along, they haven’t learnt those basics. They’ll wash out as a student and that’s expensive, as an Australian taxpayer, to wash those out.

Grant Burton: As our Chief of Air Force said, we can’t afford to lose one motivated individual, one motivated student. We have to find more innovative ways of keeping people who wish to be in the military, and especially to be pilots, and retain them. And so that’s the thing, is getting those step by step procedures, and getting them to practice that just by watching these things over and over, and just by trying to get the muscle memory in their head of what switches need to go after which, and which things to look for after what.

Grant Burton: Reading a flight manual and looking at a bunch of cockpit instruments doesn’t always gel. You can sit there and read the manual and look at them. But if you don’t know where a certain thing is out of a multitude of switches and dials, then the manual’s still not going to help you. There needs to be a visual supplement, and that’s what the videos are being used for – as a visual supplement to the flight manual, if you like, for certain procedures. The actual flying itself, that’s more decision making and that’s not an easy thing to do with videos.

Grant Burton: Video is very linear by its nature, and so the things that are linear in flying are the things that they’re concentrating on. And that seems to be the bulk of my work at the moment. We’ve discovered the value of simulators and we’ve got a number of simulators for different aircraft platforms.

Grant Burton: Only in the last two days I’ve got an email request from two other clients at two different bases for two different… aircraft requesting very much more the same that I’ve just done for the last several months. To do a whole bunch of sequences for one platform takes me about several months. So I think I’ve got about two years of work ahead of me just on those things alone.

Larry Jordan: Well, Grant, we will let you get back to work. Thank you so very much for joining us. I’d ask for a website, but nothing that you do is available to the public, so we’ll just imagine that it’s perfect in every regard.

Grant Burton: And if anyone actually does want to contact me, they can just contact me through my Gmail account, which is and I’ll be happy to take any questions there.

Larry Jordan: Give me that address again.

Grant Burton:

Larry Jordan: And the Grant himself is the voice you’re listening to. He’s a producer and digital analyst for the Royal Australian Air Force and, Grant, thanks for joining us today.

Grant Burton: Thanks for having me on, Larry. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Well, I guess you couldn’t get a more wide ranging show than tonight. We started with some of the most incredible backgrounds you can imagine for Game of Thrones and wrapped up with a one camera operation shooting training videos for the Royal Australian Air Force, and in between had a wonderful chat about The Mobile Film Classroom and getting kids excited about film making and staying in school and continuing to improve their lives.

Larry Jordan: I love the range that we have on this show and I want to thank our guests – Jordan Soles, the Chief Technology Officer of Rodeo FX; Manon Banta, the Executive Director of The Mobile Film Classroom; and Grant Burton, video producer for the Royal Australian Air Force.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows and it’s all posted to our website at You can visit with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook, at Music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound; The Buzz is streamed by

Larry Jordan: Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription and you can email us at any time at Our ever incredible producer is Cirina Catania, who’s currently at IBC in Amsterdam, as is our co-host, Mr. Mike Horton. My name is Larry Jordan and, on behalf of all of us, including our engineer Adrian Price, thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: The 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; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

Digital Production Buzz — September 11, 2014

  • Visual Effects for “Game of Thrones”
  • Teaching Filmmaking to At-risk Kids
  • Sky-High Video at the Royal Australian Air Force

GUESTS: Jordan Soles, Manon Banta, and Grant Burton

Click to listen to the current show.
(Mobile users click the MP3 player underneath image.)

*Right click on Download and “Save Link As…”

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

Jordan Soles, Executive Producer/CTO, Rodeo FX

Rodeo FX is a Montreal-based team of visual effects artists who just won an Emmy for their visual effects on “Game of Thrones.” This week, Jordan Soles, Executive Producer and CTO, joins us to talk about their work, their awards, and their workflow.

Manon Banta, Executive Director, The Mobile Film Classroom

The Mobile Film Classroom is a digital media production studio-on-wheels that brings digital media instruction to at-risk and under-served youth in Los Angeles County. Manon Banta is the Executive Director and explains their work and their successes on this week’s show.

Grant Burton, Producer and Digital Analyst, Royal Australian Air Force

Grant Burton is a long-time Buzz listener. He’s also the Producer and Digital Analyst for the Royal Australian Air Force. He joins us this week to talk about video production in some VERY challenging environments.

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 – September 4, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

September 4, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


      Click here
to listen to this show.]


Larry Jordan


Joel Stoner, President, CEO, AlterMedia

Patricia Siqueiros, Senior Program Director, College Counselor,Variety Boys & Girls Club

Cathy Aron, Executive Director, PACA/Digital Media Licensing Association


 Voiceover: The 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; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra-reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

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. Our co-host, Mr. Mike Horton, has the night off. He’s getting ready for the Supermeet next week in Amsterdam.

Larry Jordan: Joel Stoner is the Founder and CEO of AlterMedia, the creators of Studio Suite. This studio management software is used by facilities in dozens of countries to budget, schedule, produce, manage, deliver and bill massive quantities of content, both smaller stages and bigger facilities, and Joel joins us tonight to explain what this is.

Larry Jordan: Patty Siqueiros is a Senior Program Director and College Counselor at the Variety Boys & Girls Club. She works to enhance leadership and college eligibility opportunities primarily for Latino students in East and Central Los Angeles by focusing on creativity. I’m looking forward to chatting with her tonight to learn more.

Larry Jordan: Then Cathy Aron, the Executive Director and former President of PACA – that’s the Digital Media Licensing Association – has been actively involved in the stock photo industry for over 30 years and now they’re getting involved with video. Tonight, we talk with her about why protecting our copyright is so important.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder that 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 each show page. You can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making all of this possible.

Larry Jordan: Next week is IBC. That’s one of the two biggest trade shows in the world. NAB in Las Vegas is number one, IBC in Amsterdam is number two and our producer, Cirina Catania, is traveling to Amsterdam next week to cover all of the breaking news – well, at least as much as one person can cover at a show that big – to find out what’s happening from a European perspective in our industry.

Larry Jordan: Cirina and I have been talking about this for a while. There’s a lot of very interesting things that are happening that are different from the States, and Cirina’s got a mandate to try to ferret all of that stuff out and explain it to us. So we’re going to have two different segments – one next week, which will have segments from IBC and one the week following, which is a wrap-up of what was covered at IBC and Cirina’s going to be there both weeks to present all that information to us.

Larry Jordan: I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with because, based upon what we’re seeing across our desk now, and people, and companies getting ready for the show, it looks like it’s going to be really exciting and, if you’re anywhere close to Amsterdam, you should make a point to visit at least the trade show floor.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of things to do and keep an eye on, you want to remember to visit with us on Facebook, at There’s an active, ongoing conversation on Facebook with some of the guests we’ve got on the show and some of the subjects we’re going to cover, and I’m always interested in your comments and we watch those Facebook and Twitter accounts quite closely. We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and you can subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter, which is published every Friday, by signing up at

Larry Jordan: This gives you an inside look at the show, a sense of who the interviews are and who the key people are to watch, as well as some inside insight in terms of what’s happening inside our industry. It’s put together by our web manager Tori, and she does an outstanding job. Comes out every Friday and you need to read it. You can sign up for free at

Larry Jordan: We’re going to be talking with Joel Stoner right after this.

Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is now shipping its production camera 4K, a super high resolution 4K digital production camera for Ultra HD television production. Featuring a large Super 35 sensor with a professional global shutter, it also offers EF and ZE compatible lens mounts and records to a super fast SSD drive. Capturing high quality ProRes files, the Blackmagic production camera 4K gives customers a complete solution to shoot amazing high resolution music videos, episodic television productions, television commercials, sports, documentaries and much more.

Larry Jordan: The Blackmagic production camera 4K also features an incredibly tempting price of $2,995. Learn more about the Blackmagic production camera 4K that is definitely priced to move. Visit That’s

Larry Jordan: Joel Stoner is the Founder and CEO of AlterMedia, the creators of Studio Suite. This studio management software is used by facilities in dozens of countries to budget, schedule, produce, manage, deliver and bill massive quantities of content. Welcome, Joel, good to have you with us.

Joel Stoner: Good to be here.

Larry Jordan: Well, my hope is to have you say that at the end of the interview as well as the beginning. You know, you’ve been in this industry for a long time. What got you started, especially in things like project and studio management?

Joel Stoner: Well, I started off as a recording engineer.

Larry Jordan: No way!

Joel Stoner: I was running around from studio to studio to studio working on various different projects and people would say, “Send us an invoice,” and “Where are the tapes?” and so, between projects, I started building a database to keep track of my clients, and my invoices, and the various projects, and back then the two inch tapes that we were working with, and the songs and the track sheets and this started to grow into a fairly healthy system.

Joel Stoner: If you remember way back then, when we started to see this transition to ADATs, I kind of saw the future looming for studios where it was not going to be these giant monolithic multimillion dollar structures, but people working at home in their bedrooms, and to me that sounded like a giant market that I wanted to be a part of. So I thought, “Hey, my software would be really useful to a lot of other people,” and so I started switching my focus to that, also realizing that when I turned 50 or 60, that I wouldn’t be doing heavy metal records any more.

Larry Jordan: One could hope, at least.

Joel Stoner: I hoped I wouldn’t be, yes, and so I saw this as kind of a brighter future, and a way to help out and make some money at the same time.  So back in ’97 I started the company and hired a bunch of people, and the first release was in ’98, and that was aimed at recording studios; but right away, we got calls from around the world, literally people saying, “We need this for our post production studios too.” So over the years we kept adding features, and features, and features, and now it’s used in, you said dozens, I’ll accept that, but it’s really 50 countries. We’re pretty proud of…

Larry Jordan: Well, isn’t that four dozen?

Joel Stoner: True. It is an accurate way to put it, yes.

Larry Jordan: See, you’re just being honest. I’m just making the marketing speech here. Well, you know, I was reflecting. I worked in an advertising agency in the ‘80s and one of the things we discovered was there was no good accounting software for ad agencies, and I was listening to the background of your company and realized that, in the ‘80s, I was writing software to do accounting and project management for ad agencies and sold it to a large company, because I figured that was really cool.

Joel Stoner: What they really did is they wanted to put it on the shelf so it wouldn’t compete with their product. So what I thought would be college education for the kids proved to be lunch money for about a week and a half, that was it. You, on the other hand, have made a success of it. You’ve been going since the late ‘90s. That’s a tribute to the quality of your software and your team.

Joel Stoner: Yes, it’s become kind of a lifestyle at this point, and we have a number of advertising agencies, just to touch on that, using Studio Suite as well. But during the various cycles of the industry, we’ve gone up from sometimes just myself, currently we’ve got ten or 11 people in the company. So we’re still small but extremely responsive to our customers. That’s really our pride and joy.

Larry Jordan: I was doing the math, you’ve been in business for 16 years. That’s more than just a small company, that’s a survivor and congratulations for that.

Joel Stoner: Yes. Thank you very much. 17 years, going on 18, actually.

Larry Jordan: Yes, it’s a frightening thought when you think you just started it yesterday.

Joel Stoner: I know. It seems like it.

Larry Jordan: I want to find out more about Studio Suite, but give me one more sense, what do you have as a goal of the company? I mean, what is it that keeps you moving forward?

Joel Stoner: Keeping customers happy, to be honest with you. As you know, the industry’s changed a lot, even just in the recent years. The morph that’s occurred between production and post production and, as a software developer we really need to figure out how to address that, how to handle and support our customers that are in that – well, we used to do post, but now we’re doing production and all the production companies that are now doing a lot of post on set – how do we address that? So that’s been a big part of our focus in the past couple of years, trying to get the tools to our customers that they need.

Larry Jordan: Give me the elevator pitch – what is Studio Suite?

Joel Stoner: Studio Suite is studio management software. Any production company or any organization, actually, that needs to do budgeting and scheduling, project management, media asset management, equipment inventory, including check-in/check-out of equipment or even physical media assets via barcode, track all that back to a customer so you can see their whole history. Create an invoice from it within Studio Suite, send that out to third party accounting software and the things like schedules, we sync with Google Calendar, and iCal. So people can see what’s going on at the studio just by looking at their Google Calendar; and it’s two way, so you can actually make adjustments from Google and have that reflect back into Studio Suite.

Larry Jordan: Who are some of your typical customers?

Joel Stoner: It’s an impressive range, starting as an old heavy mill recording engineer. Sony, Warner Bros, Fox, NASA, US Department of Justice, YouTube, on down to hundreds of post production companies that most people have never heard of.

Larry Jordan: Ah, but sweetheart darling. Ok, so you’re talking to guys that have got the seriously big budgets, so this has got to cost 50 to 70 thousand dollars. Why should the rest of us even care?

Joel Stoner: No, it doesn’t.

Larry Jordan: Be still my heart.

Joel Stoner: The goal from the beginning was kind of model after Microsoft – make it as cheap as you can so everybody gets it and then you’re the standard. For the first bunch of years, the first release was $349 for an unlimited number of users and it’s gone up a lot since then, I’ll be honest with you. We do have a product currently called Studio Suite Solo, which is intended for students and hobbyists, really. That’s $399. But if you’re a professional user working at home, that’s about $1200 and if you’re a network, meaning you’ve got three or five users, it goes up from there based on how many users you’ve got.

Larry Jordan: Can somebody get in for less than $5,000?

Joel Stoner: Yes, sure. Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: All right. Now, I spent some time on your website learning about this as I was getting ready for the interview. It looks like this is built on a Filemaker platform. Is that a true statement?

Joel Stoner: That is a true statement, yes.

Larry Jordan: Is Filemaker robust enough? Because I’ve heard that if it isn’t a sequel database or if it isn’t something like an Oracle database, it isn’t fast enough, doesn’t perform, isn’t secure. Should we worry?

Joel Stoner: No. I stumbled into Filemaker completely by accident, started building it when I had no idea what a database even was, but the benefits along the way have been outstanding. One is, it’s super easy, meaning all of our customers – who tend to be a creative lot – they want their screens, and all their print-outs to look just the way they want it to, with the fonts, and the colors and the positions, and with Filemaker they can do that.

Joel Stoner: It runs cross platform, so it’s Mac and PC. You can have a Mac or PC server – any mix of Mac and PC clients and IOS clients, by the way – and now with Filemaker 13, they’ve got something called Web Direct and that’s really opened the door because now you don’t even have to have Filemaker Pro on your computer, all you need is a browser, and you can log into the Studio Suite database, do everything you need in a browser and log out. So you can do that from wherever you are, if you’re in Europe, or New York, or Utah, you can get in and get stuff done. Now, as far as the robustness, what’s great about our customers is they are not typically giant corporations, and even if they are, it’s a small department within a corporation.

Joel Stoner: It’s not like we’re doing airline scheduling software that millions of people are trying to access at the same time. It’s usually a small group of one to five, ten maybe. The highest seat count we’ve got is 40. Our sweet spot is really the smaller organization or small groups within large organizations.

Larry Jordan: Is Studio Suite designed for people who run facilities or designed for people who run projects?

Joel Stoner: Facilities. You can do projects as well, but what differentiates it from something like Movie Magic Budgeting or Scheduling, whereas those are really targeted towards an individual project or whatever’s going on, Studio Suite is from the perspective of a facility, because it’s got a contacts module to track. Not only all your clients, but all your staff, and all your vendors, all the name, address, phone numbers, and also the communications between them over the years of your business, not just one particular project.

Joel Stoner: It tracks all of the equipment inventory that you’ve got – when you purchased it, what its value is today, all the maintenance that you’ve done to it, all the revenue that’s been generated by that camera, how much you’ve spent keeping it repaired, things like that. Show me the metrics on how many times Studio A has been used this year versus the year before, that kind of stuff. So it’s really a more overarching long view for a facility than a single project base type thing.

Larry Jordan: I’m thinking of another couple of project managers. Basecamp comes instantly to mind and there is other project management software. What differentiates you from them?

Joel Stoner: Well, it’d be kind of like running an auto repair business with Basecamp. Our workflow in our industry is really pretty unique. Basecamp’s really great at what it does, but it’s very general and broad, and it does get kind of specific in a lot of ways, but you can’t customize it. If you need it to look a certain way, you can do a very minimal amount of that. If you need a button that figures out, how many donuts we’ve got to buy for the crew tomorrow, you can’t do that, and there are a lot of little peculiarities that go on in the world of production and post production that need special slots, and all that is addressed pretty well in Studio Suite.

Larry Jordan: Let’s see, I’m thinking here about whether I’m going to talk more about databases or if I want to talk more about the business, and I think I want to talk about security. I mean, everybody and their cousins have been worrying about it this week. How do we keep that data secure?

Joel Stoner: First off, let’s talk about this big celebrity photo scandal that’s going on. This is a really broad topic, but you’d have to almost say that the value of privacy and security seems to be going down. That’s a whole other topic. Studio Suite, for the record, you do need a username and a password to get in it, it’s got SSL encryption on all the data, and so it’s really just as secure as anything else can be.

Larry Jordan: Is this hosted locally at a corporate site? Or is it hosted on some cloud somewhere?

Joel Stoner: Each user, each of our customers, has their own server in their facility that has only their data on it. So there’s not a chance that their stuff is going to get intermingled with any other company, or project or spied upon by some server room technician who’s curious about what the next big video game details are that’s being developed within Studio Suite. As long as your server room is behind a firewall, and in your locked building, and SSL encrypted, and needs a username and password to get onto the server and also to get into the database. That’s about as good as your bank is.

Larry Jordan: You’re not selling storage services and you’re not hosting the databases?

Joel Stoner: That is correct.

Larry Jordan: Are you planning to expand in that direction?

Joel Stoner: Possibly.

Larry Jordan: Ah. Ok, but as of right now, for people who are paranoid about security, it isn’t necessary for them to use your storage to be able to use your service?

Joel Stoner: Definitely not. All of our customers have different opinions and preferences about what kind of storage they like, or don’t like, or how they want to be connected to their network. So we leave those decision to them and we just provide them with good business management software that can talk to that data wherever it is.

Larry Jordan: I want to get back to cost for a second, then we’ll take a look at some of the specific features. You’ve mentioned that you can get sort of like a student version for $399, but to get in for a single user’s about $1200 and it requires Filemaker 13, which is the latest version of the software, which is an extra cost.

Joel Stoner: No. We bundle the Filemaker into that price.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so that $1200 includes a single user version of Filemaker.

Joel Stoner: It does.

Larry Jordan: If you had two users, I guess what I’m asking, are we subscribing to this? Are we purchasing it outright? And what are the ongoing costs?

Joel Stoner: Actually, as of this release, which is next Tuesday by the way…

Larry Jordan: As if there’s nothing else going on on Tuesday. How are you going to make any noise at all?

Joel Stoner: Yes, we found out that Apple’s following our lead on announcing some other new little product on that day. Where were we? Oh, pricing. I’m sure you are aware that there’s this new trend in software pricing to do annual or monthly pricing, and sometimes it’s being forced down our throats and a lot of us don’t like that. So we’ve always been a perpetual model, where you buy it once and use it ‘til you’re done, but now we’re going to offer the annual because a lot of people do like that.

Joel Stoner: If the $1200, including Filemaker, seems a little rich for you, you can get an annual license and that’s, I think, about two-thirds of that, or maybe half. The only catch, of course, is you’ve got to keep paying every year to do that. If you buy the perpetual, it’s a one time deal, you can use it forever; if you buy the annual, you do have to keep paying every year. The advantage to the annual, though, is you always get the latest version of the software.

Larry Jordan: Got it. A company of two people that needs to keep track of all this stuff, roughly what kind of price are we looking at?

Joel Stoner: That’s going to be about $4800 plus support.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so what we’re buying is, we’re buying the cost of Filemaker server and we’re buying the necessary Filemaker seats plus your software in a multi-user mode.

Joel Stoner: Yes. The perpetual, we talked about the $1200 per user, and then the server is $2400, so the numbers are nice and easy to figure out. Server 2400 plus 1200 each, that’s the 48, and then the annual support. You’re really going to want that the first year. That’s 20 percent of the value of the software.

Joel Stoner: You can keep paying, but it’s really that first year that you’re going to need it. If you’re the kind of organization where you’re always hiring new people along with a lot of transients, new techs, you need a lot of attention, and you might want to stay on that annual support, but that first year is pretty critical.

Larry Jordan: What’s some of the new stuff? Can you tell us what’s going to be announced on the 9th?

Joel Stoner: Yes. We’re actually doing a video series starting last week on some of this and kind of what I mentioned earlier about talking to our customers about what they need, and one of the biggest things is that people aren’t doing production in one building any more, or post production.

Joel Stoner: People are doing it in their houses, and across country, and around the world and they’re all working on the same project. So accessibility was the very first thing we focused on and, with extremely good timing, that’s when Filemaker came out with their 13 version that includes this Web Direct technology that means that anybody can access Studio Suite from anywhere in the world through the browser. So accessibility is the thing that people are wanting and a major feature of Studio Suite now.

Joel Stoner: The next one was calendar. People need to be able to have a calendar that can show resource usage and availability, but also tasks, also daily notes about, hey, so and so’s coming in at two o’clock to meet about this, but also project calendars. When we think about scheduling studios, we think about rooms, and people, and equipment and two o’clock to four o’clock.

Joel Stoner: But a lot of projects are, hey, we think we’re going to do something in December starting on the 2nd and then going to the 15th. We have no idea what resources are there yet, but we need to schedule a banner across the top. So now within Studio Suite, we’ve got a project calendar as well as a resource calendar; and also employee schedules so everybody can see in one calendar resource usage, task, notes, employee schedules and projects.

Larry Jordan: That’s very cool.

Joel Stoner: Yes. And they wanted that to be visible in other places, so that’s the Google and iCal synchronization that we got. The next big topic was people were like, “Hey, you know, my guy is in Nebraska this week and I need him to log his time into the project from where he is, but I actually have 30 guys in Nebraska working on a shoot and I don’t want to pay for 30 seats for the duration of this month long project. What can I do?”

Joel Stoner: We have a module called Quick Log, and we’ve added this to our product called WebGlancer, which is a read-only limited access version of Studio Suite that also works in a browser, but the key factor is that it does not occupy a seat. In other words, it’s for free. From this WebGlancer access point to Studio Suite, you can click on the Quick Log and then from in that you can select what project you’re working on, click on the ‘Add Me’ button, adjust your times. You can add yourself to a couple of different projects, you could also add in other resources like equipment or other services that you provided.

Larry Jordan: Very cool, very cool.

Joel Stoner: Yes. It gets it all in.

Larry Jordan: Joel, where can people go on the web to learn more?

Joel Stoner:

Larry Jordan: and Joel Stoner is the Founder and CEO of AlterMedia. Joel, thanks for joining us today.

Joel Stoner: And here you go, it’s great to be here.

Larry Jordan: Oh, it’s our pleasure. Take care. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Archiving means more than just copying files from one location to another. TOLIS Group’s BRU and ArGest solutions provide easy to use and reliable answers for all your media storage, back-up and archiving requirements; and BRU PE release 3.1 makes it even easier for Final Cut Pro X users.

Larry Jordan: Safely storing back-ups on tape for long term storage is one thing, but when you have lots and lots of files stored on lots and lots of tapes, finding exactly the right file on exactly the right tape takes some great software. That’s where BRU comes in. With BRU, you can be sure that your data is completely recoverable. BRU, because it’s the restore that matters. Download a free demo today from

Larry Jordan: Patty Siqueiros is a Senior Program Director and College Counselor at the Variety Boys & Girls Club. She works to enhance leadership and college eligibility opportunities, primarily for Latino students in East and Central Los Angeles by focusing on creativity. Hello, Patty, welcome.

Patricia Siqueiros: Hi.

Larry Jordan: It is wonderful to have you with us. Thanks for taking the time this evening to join us.

Patricia Siqueiros: Thank you. Thank you for providing me this opportunity to talk about our club.

Larry Jordan: You are welcome and we’re going to get you talking as much as possible. Start, though, by explaining what the Variety Boys & Girls Club is.

Patricia Siqueiros: The Variety Boys & Girls Club is a club that has been around since 1949 and it’s situated in the Boyle Heights community, which neighbors East Los Angeles, and we provide after school programming for students between the ages of six and 17 and the type of programming that we offer is academic, leadership development, we also offer social recreational and sports.

Larry Jordan: What was it that made you decide to get involved with the club?

Patricia Siqueiros: I’ve always had a passion for education. I grew up in a community not too far from Boyle Heights, in El Sereno, and it’s also a predominantly Latino working class neighborhood. So my passion has always been to give back to my community and I felt that this was the perfect place where I can help kids starting from a young age and get them prepared for college, which I feel is key to helping them to open the doors for other opportunities.

Larry Jordan: What is the average age of the kids at the club?

Patricia Siqueiros: For the most part, the majority of our kids are elementary age students so they’re about, I would say about nine to ten years old. But again we service kids six to 17.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that I mentioned in the intro is that one of the things you do is to enhance leadership and college eligibility opportunities. What are some of the challenges these kids face?

Patricia Siqueiros: Boyle Heights, as I mentioned, it neighbors East Los Angeles and it’s close to downtown Los Angeles, but Boyle Heights is plagued with gang violence. Also the vast majority of the families who reside in Boyle Heights live below the federal poverty level, and so we see a lot of families who are making less than 23,000 and these are families that consist of four members or more. There are also high rates of obesity, diabetes and a lot of our students are academically behind at least two grade levels.

Larry Jordan: How are you challenging or encouraging them or whatever the right word is? What are you doing to get them excited about college?

Patricia Siqueiros: Every day, we provide tutoring, one on one assistance with their homework. We find that our kids are struggling, so we have to oftentimes re-teach the lesson. But in addition, we do get them motivated and encouraged to pursue a college education. We start teaching them at the elementary age level about college. We take them on college field trips.

Patricia Siqueiros: We also have what is called our College Club and that focuses on kids that are in elementary school and we teach them about college through interactive games that we’ve created here, that I’ve created, such as College Monopoly, College Bingo, College Jeopardy. So the kids are already learning about college, and they’re all excited and so we have kids that are six or seven years of age saying that they’re going to go to Harvard. So we’re planting the seed for the kids.

Patricia Siqueiros: For the older kids, we start doing case management, and we follow them, and we track the classes that they’re taking,  and we make sure that if they need tutoring, that we provide the tutoring.

Patricia Siqueiros: Then for the kids in high school, we continue those same services but we also provide them SAT prep training to help them score better, because we find that our kids are doing ok in terms of grades but they’re also struggling with their SATs.

Larry Jordan: Where does creativity fit into this whole equation?

Patricia Siqueiros: That’s a key component of our programming. We know that our kids, unfortunately their school funding’s cut. So first thing they cut is the arts programming, and so we want to make sure that we provide a space, or an opportunity for the kids to express themselves creatively. Whether it’s in our arts and crafts department where they’re doing painting, and sketching and wood burning, or whether it’s in our digital media center, where they’re participating in our photo club or a film class.

Larry Jordan: Now, why a photo club?

Patricia Siqueiros: The photo club, I think, it provides the kids the opportunity to learn about a medium that they may not have and so they’re taking pictures; but then these pictures, they realize that they can use photography as a way to represent their stories about their family, their community, their lives, their school and so in our photo club the kids are taking pictures of images around them, and we’re empowering them to tell a story and to advocate for their community.

Larry Jordan: What is it that the kids like about being a part of the club?

Patricia Siqueiros: I think for them, given the circumstances around them, this becomes a second home. In many cases, a lot of the kids say that this is their first home and it provides them with a space where they feel safe. Where they know that there are people here, adults who care about them and are helping them achieve their academic potential.

Larry Jordan: What kind of gear do the kids have to work with to take photos?

Patricia Siqueiros: Unfortunately, we don’t have as many resources as we wish we could provide our students. In terms of our photo club, it consists of about 15 members, and the 15 kids that are in the photo club are sharing one camera, which is our photo club instructor’s camera, his own personal camera. They take turns, so each member has an opportunity to take up to five images and then they rotate. Then the next member will be able to use the camera.

Larry Jordan: How did the photo club get started? And how can people contribute, say, hardware or cameras they don’t need any more? Are you willing to take contributions?

Patricia Siqueiros: Yes, any contributions we would gladly accept and, yes, they can make a donation. They can visit our website, come and drop them off, or call us and we would gladly pick up the donations. To answer your first question, our photo club started a few years ago and Juan is now doing a fabulous job of teaching the kids how to use photos to represent what goes on in their lives and, again, to tell their story creatively and be able to use pictures to voice their opinion about certain issues.

Patricia Siqueiros: We have kids taking pictures of the images of the graffiti, and then they’re taking images of all the liquor stores around their community. So essentially they’re becoming change agents and where photography is providing them with a voice.

Larry Jordan: I understand that last year your kids were competing in a photo contest. What was the contest and how did they do?

Patricia Siqueiros: We’re one of many boys’ and girls’ clubs across America and so our kids competed. We submitted photos and five of our kids were selected at a national level and recognized and became finalists, and so they were images, again, of their community, of their cultural traditions, and I think that was key in why they were selected to compete at a national level, because they really did a great job of defining who they were and what community they came from.

Larry Jordan: This has got to be a feeling of incredible pride as you watch these kids succeed.

Patricia Siqueiros: It is. It’s the best thing. To be able to come here every day, the staff here feels a little overwhelmed because our kids are dealing with so many issues and unfortunately we can’t address them all, but we feel rewarded when we see the progress that our students are making. We offer scholarships to our students to pursue a higher education and we know that some of our students are pursuing a higher education at Georgetown University. It’s so gratifying when we know that all of our hard work is paying off.

Larry Jordan: What are your hopes for the future? What does the next six months to a year look like for you?

Patricia Siqueiros: For me, it looks like we’re going to continue working on our programming, and making sure that we’re providing the highest quality programming to provide our students the best opportunities so that we make sure that they’re ready to go off to a higher education.

Larry Jordan: For people who want to go on the web to learn more about the club and your organization, where should they go?

Patricia Siqueiros: They can visit our website, which is and there on our website there’s information about our programming and also our contact information.

Larry Jordan: That website is and Patty Siqueiros is the Senior Program Director and College Counselor at the Variety Boy & Girls Club. Patty, thanks for joining us today.

Patricia Siqueiros: Thank you again for giving us this opportunity.

Larry Jordan: Oh, and best wishes for the future.

Patricia Siqueiros: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Patricia Siqueiros: Bye.

Larry Jordan: Cathy Aron is the Executive Director and former President of PACA. That’s the Digital Media Licensing Association. She’s been actively involved in the stock photo industry for over 30 years and was formerly the President of Photo Network Stock, a very successful general stock photo rights managed archive. Hello, Cathy, welcome.

Cathy Aron: Hi, Larry.

Larry Jordan: It is wonderful to have you with us. Thanks for joining us today.

Cathy Aron: Thanks for having me. I’m thrilled to be on.

Larry Jordan: The pleasure is ours. What got you involved in working with stock media when you first started out?

Cathy Aron: Well, that’s an interesting question. I really kind of fell into it. I’m not a photographer by trade, although I grew up in a house where my dad was a amateur photographer, it was something he did on the side. And he… my trade that bought a business that did a catalog of images for schools, and things like that, and asked me to run it for him after I was done with college.

Cathy Aron: I was doing it part-time, and then unfortunately he passed away, and I was kind of thrown into doing it full-time, and I didn’t really know anything about reproduction rights or anything like that. It was kind of a thing that people used when they went on trips and… turned out they had title slides and pictures from all over the world.

Cathy Aron: I quickly learned all about reproduction because they were selling rights to Warner Bros and places like that, and found out that there was a lot more money to be made in reproduction rights than there was in selling 55 cent… images. That’s kind of what got me started in it and then I branched out from there.

Cathy Aron: It seems like a lifetime ago since I’ve been Executive Director for PACA for ten years. But my love of photography, I think, has been a lifelong love and now my focus has really been on the copyright protection angle, and the importance of copyright, protecting the rights of creators. I think that in the last few years of media, and everything that’s happened since the advent of the internet has changed, everything about what creators need to do to protect themselves.

Larry Jordan: Wait, wait, wait, take a deep breath. You’re going to do the whole interview in 30 seconds.

Cathy Aron: No, no, no. But I just mean that my love of photography has really changed to protection of photography and of media. That’s been an evolution.

Larry Jordan: Ok, well, let’s take a step forward. We’ve now got you deeply involved in the industry and you’re the Executive Director of PACA, except I don’t know what PACA is. What’s PACA?

Cathy Aron: Ok, well, we’re a 50 year old association and we started out as the Picture Archive Council America, and since the world of digital content licensing has changed so much, we realized last year that our role as an association has changed as well, and we’re changing our name actually to DMLA, which is the Digital Media Licensing Association.

Cathy Aron: But since we’ve been known for so many years as PACA, we kind of have to make that a slow change. So we’re no longer just an association of pictures, we now have motion and digital, and all kinds of licensing are now joining our association, so it’s not just photos any more.

Larry Jordan: All right, so we used to be PACA, we’re becoming DMLA – I’m trying hard not to say DIMLA – but we’re becoming…

Cathy Aron: I know, I know.

Larry Jordan: Who are some of your members?

Cathy Aron: Well, our biggest member is Corbis and then I would say that most of our members are smaller archives. Pond 5, well, Pond 5 is not a small archive, but that’s our biggest motion company at this point.

Larry Jordan: I notice you’ve got Pond 5, and you’ve got Shutterstock and you’ve got a few others, but there are also a number of royalty free houses – Create Us, Getty Images, Artbeats – that are not on your membership list. Why would somebody want to be a member? What’s the benefit to a stock house joining, and can individuals join as well?

Cathy Aron: Individuals can join, as long as they’re licensing content. If you’re producing but you’re not licensing, then you wouldn’t qualify for membership. So that’s the basis for membership, although you could join as an affiliate member but you couldn’t be a general member.

Larry Jordan: Tell me what the words licensing images means to you.

Cathy Aron: Licensing content.

Larry Jordan: Ok. What does that mean?

Cathy Aron: That means that you have some kind of content that you are licensing for reproduction. Whether it is motion, or images, or it could even be other kinds of work that you are licensing for reproduction. So someone is taking your work and re-using it.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so let’s slow this down just a little bit more because I’m still not keeping up. What does licensing for reproduction mean? I’ve shot this video, I’m putting it up to the web and I’m selling it. Is that licensing? Or is it…

Cathy Aron: That’s licensing. That is licensing.

Larry Jordan: So it’s when I put an image up to sell and somebody else buys it, even if it’s only to one other person?

Cathy Aron: Correct.

Larry Jordan: Well, that’s easy. Why didn’t you say that the first time? Selling your images. Any producer who’s shooting video and is selling their images into stock could theoretically become a member?

Cathy Aron: Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: Why should they?

Cathy Aron: Why should they?

Larry Jordan: Yes.

Cathy Aron: Ok, that’s an interesting question. Why should you become a member? Well, our goals are to build a stronger and more unified industry, and I would say one of the most important things that we’ve been doing over the last few years is fighting for the rights of creators. We believe that copyright is really under attack.

Cathy Aron: I think everybody was fully excited about the internet and we are too. It was supposed to level the playing field. It does in some ways, but it’s very difficult to protect your rights on the internet and Google isn’t making it any easier. They don’t care if their search takes someone to a pirated site or a legitimate site. So one of the main things we work on through our legal counsel, Nancy… who’s very well known in the copyright arena, is we lobby and we work with other content associations to work with the Copyright Office, and Congress and other important bodies to protect copyright.

Cathy Aron: I think that those of us in the know realize that, once things are put up on the internet, it’s really hard to know if someone has pirated it, is using them illegally, and that’s one of the things that we work toward and that’s kind of what the association does. It does as a group what individuals can’t do on their own. We use dues money and other money that we bring into the association to fight those issues. So that’s one thing that we do.

Cathy Aron: We also build, I think it was three years ago we built something called PACA Search and it’s a mega search engine. I think we have 80 archives up on it right now. We have both motion and stills, where people can search and brings you in an instant, from using keywords, what you’re looking for and everything up there is licensable content. We built it as an alternative to using Google Image search, and that way our buyers can find images that are able to be licensed and it doesn’t bring them things that aren’t licensable.

Cathy Aron: Other things that we do for our members, we have a conference once a year and we bring things that are changing the industry, like new technologies, the latest on legal issues. A lot of our members are smaller, two to three person companies and don’t have time to really pay attention to what’s going on. We talk about social media, how to use it in your business, we talk about advancements and image testers, things like that. We talk about how buyers are buying, what’s the newest way that people are searching for images or motion. We talk about changes in search and anything that’s the new thing that have happened over the last year, we bring that to the conference. So in two days people can hear what they might have wanted to be working on in the last year but they just haven’t had time to do it.

Cathy Aron: We have that, we do webinars, we are just starting to have monthly webinars. We’ve had a few in the last year that bring new information to our members, and also we have a blog where we post information that’s happening in the industry or on the internet that’s important to our industry.

Larry Jordan: Ok, hold it, take a breath. My turn again. Cathy, a lot of the people who listen to this podcast are new film makers, or relatively new film makers. Could you define copyright for someone who’s not a lawyer to understand, and then go on from that into explaining, why copyright is important in the first place?

Cathy Aron: Copyright is the creator’s ownership of what they create, and by the copyright law, anything you create is yours. The copyright law says if you create it, you own it. If you go to court, if you haven’t registered the copyright of your creation, you don’t have all the benefits of the copyright, you can’t get damages and things like that. So you always own a copyright once you’ve created it. Once we start diluting the copyright, it becomes a little harder for people to go after people who have infringed their copyright.

Larry Jordan: What does infringed copyright mean?

Cathy Aron: If I go on the internet, and I download your picture, and I put it in my brochure or book and I never pay you for that, then I’ve infringed your copyright. That’s called copyright infringement. If you find out that I’ve used that image, you can sue me for copyright infringement. A lot of times people will just say, “Just pay me what you would have paid me if you had contacted me to use it,” or by law you can charge more for that because of the infringement part of it. It’s become harder and harder to find infringements on the internet because there are so many images and material on the internet.

Larry Jordan: All right, so we’ve got copyright infringement is when somebody uses a creative work that you’ve created without your permission, without paying you. But the first question then becomes, how do we find that work, how do we find that infringement? And the second question is, the legal system right now is not the most efficient way, especially if you’re a small company. Are there other options than trying to go to court, which could take a long time and cost a lot of money?

Cathy Aron: Sure, and that’s another thing we provide for our members. We have legal documents, which are great especially for new people coming into the industry and small businesses. As a PACA member, you get all the legal documents that you could possibly need for running your business. Included in those are Take Down Notices and infringement letters, and that would always be the first recourse that anybody would send out to someone if they catch them infringing their imagery, or their motion, or whatever it would be. Hopefully that would do it and you would send them a bill saying, “You used my image, or my video and here’s the bill for what it would have been if you would have contacted me first,” and often that’s just all it takes.

Cathy Aron: There is a development with the Copyright Office this year, where they’ve asked for comments and they’ve actually had some sessions with many people in the industry who have gone and testified in front of the Copyright Office on a small claims court for copyright, and that would act pretty much like a small claims court does in the public arena for small infringement issues. So infringements that you could actually go to a copyright small claims courts for and take somebody to court there. You wouldn’t need a lawyer or anything like that, and that would be just awesome because most cases are small.

Cathy Aron: They’re not big violations, they’re just small ones. So we’re really hoping that takes place and comes to fruition because I think that would be really helpful for photographers and other creators. So if they didn’t pay your invoice, you could take them to small claims court, just like you would in any other kind of business.

Larry Jordan: One of the things you said earlier is that we’re losing control of our copyrights. First, define that; and second, how can we get control back?

Cathy Aron: We can get control back by education, and that’s one of the major things that PACA or DMLA stands for. See, I’m not even using it and I need to. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Education is really, really where it has to start, Larry, and it needs to start in elementary school. I think the thing that we’re fighting is that you’re in an era where kids start out with the whole idea that everything on the internet is free, and they start that thought process at a very young age. So even in college, in some of the classes where they’re learning design and stuff, they’re encouraged to copy and paste pictures for projects and there’s really no great copyright program in colleges.

Cathy Aron: We have a copyright program – it actually needs to be redone, it’s a little out of date, things change so quickly – but we have a copyright education program on our site and it is all about copyright and wrong, and teachers all over the country call me and ask if they can use it in their classes because there’s no program that are set up, and I think that’s the whole thing. It needs to be education, and I think if people knew that things are copyrighted and can’t be used, they wouldn’t use them. I think it’s lack of knowledge for the most part that keeps people unaware that things need licenses before they use them.

Larry Jordan: In the little bit of time that we have left, tell me how search engines are making our life difficult.

Cathy Aron: Because they don’t identify if things need to be licensed or not. Bing just came out with a new image widget last week that brings up a collage of images and lets you put them on your website, and there’s not one word about if those images or licensable or not. That’s the problem. If the search engines are not going to talk about licensing and copyright, then how is the potential buyer or user going to know about it?

Larry Jordan: And if there isn’t some indication on the image that it’s a copyrighted image, they’ll just assume that it’s free to use.

Cathy Aron: They take that off. The search engines take it off.

Larry Jordan: Well, I think you’ve got work for the next 50 years ahead of you.

Cathy Aron: I think I do too. I just hope I can live that long.

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

Cathy Aron: It’s

Larry Jordan: That’s and Cathy Aron is the Executive Director and former President of PACA, soon to be Digital Media Licensing Association, simply to confuse the heck out of all of us. Cathy, this has been wonderful. We will bring you back because I think an understanding of copyright is important for every film maker, and copyright applies to both moving and still images, and having you on to explain that, I think, is really useful and I want to thank you so very much for your time.

Cathy Aron: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Cathy Aron: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: I’m struck by Cathy’s comments on the ubiquity of images, and the ubiquity of moving images and the complete lack of understanding about copyrights; and, for those of us who need to make a living based upon selling images, having a clear differentiation between that which is available for free and that which we need to charge a fee for I think could be a useful place to start. So I encourage you to take a look at that website – – and learn a bit more and see what you can do to help get the word out on the importance of copyrights.

Larry Jordan: I was also impressed with our conversation with Patty Siqueiros and the fact that she’s running a photo club at a kids’ club – a boys and girls club – that’s sharing one camera between 15 kids. That strikes me as an opportunity for some additional hardware donations; and Joel Stoner talking about the whole idea of being able to keep track of all the different elements in a facility, whether it’s scheduling, or people, or billing, or everything in between.

Larry Jordan: It’s been a fascinatingly diverse show and I’m glad you were here to join it with us. I want to thank our guests, Joel Stoner, the Founder and CEO of AlterMedia; Patty Siqueiros, the Senior Program Director and College Counselor at the Variety Boys & Girls Club; and Cathy Aron, the Executive Director and former President of PACA, which is becoming the Digital Media Licensing Association.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows. Be sure to visit our website at, talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook, at Music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound; The Buzz is streamed by; text transcripts by Take 1 Transcription. Email us if you’re bored at Our producer is Cirina Catania, Tori Hoefke is our engineer. Mike Horton has the night off. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: The 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; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

Digital Production Buzz — September 4, 2014

  • Manage Massive Quantities of Content with Studio Suite
  • Using Creativity to Encourage Young Kids to Continue School
  • Managing Digital Media Assets and Protecting Copyright

GUESTS: Joel Stoner, Patricia Siqueriros, and Cathy Aron

Click to listen to the current show.
(Mobile users click the MP3 player underneath image.)

*Right click on Download and “Save Link As…”

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

Joel Stoner, President, CEO, AlterMedia

Joel Stoner is the Founder and CEO of AlterMedia, the creator of Studio Suite. This is a studio management software solution used by facilities in more than 50 countries to budget, schedule, produce, manage, deliver and bill for massive quantities of content. He joins us this week to explain how it works.

Patricia Siqueriros, Senior Program Director, College Counselor, Variety Boys & Girls Club

Patricia Siqueiros, Senior Program Director and College Counselor at the Variety Boys & Girls Club (VBGC) uses creativity to enhance leadership and college eligibility opportunities for young students in East and Central Los Angeles. Her goal is to convince youth of the importance of a post-secondary education. We talk with her about her work.

Cathy Aron, Executive Director, PACA/Digital Media Licensing Association

Cathy Aron, Executive Director and former President of PACA (Digital Media Licensing Association), has been actively involved in the stock photo industry for over 30 years. She was also formerly the president of Photo Network Stock, a successful general stock photo rights managed archive. Cathy shares her thoughts on copyright protection of our digital assets.

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!