Get the Latest BuZZ Each Week

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – May 28, 2015

Digital Production Buzz

May 28, 2015

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

 

(Click here to listen to this show.)

 
HOSTS

Larry Jordan & Mike Horton

GUESTS

Jon Chappell, CEO, Digital Rebellion

Ed Golya, Owner, MiXXtreme

Andy Bellamy, CION Product Marketing Manager, AJA Video Systems, Inc.

===

Announcer: Tonight’s Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at macsales.com.

Voiceover: Rolling. Action!

Larry Jordan: Since the dawn of digital film making…

Voiceover: Authoritative.

Larry Jordan: …one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals…

Voiceover: Current.

Larry Jordan: …uniting industry experts…

Voiceover: Production.

Larry Jordan: …film makers…

Voiceover: Post production.

Larry Jordan: …and content creators around the planet.

Voiceover: Distribution.

Larry Jordan: From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, The Digital Production Buzz goes 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.

Larry Jordan: We start our show tonight with Jon Chappell, the CEO of Digital Rebellion. Jon returns with an in-depth look at Kollaborate, their new cloud based media workflow platform.

Larry Jordan: Next, Ed Golya is an Emmy award winning sound re-recording mixer and ADR specialist. He joins us today to talk about how proper audio can improve the sound and the look of your projects.

Larry Jordan: Finally, Andy Bellamy is the Product Manager for AJA Video Systems’ CION camera. He joins us tonight to explain why we should consider using the CION camera in our projects, along with an amazing summer promotion that AJA announced just two days ago.

Larry Jordan: And in case you were wondering, that handsome dude sitting across from me at the table is the incredible, the ineffable, the amazing Mr. Mike Horton. Hello, Mike.

Mike Horton: I can think of a few other adjectives.

Larry Jordan: Well, I thought ineffable was pretty good.

Mike Horton: Ineffable is very nice. Is that a word, by the way?

Larry Jordan: It is a word.

Mike Horton: It is a word? Ok.

Larry Jordan: Mhmm. It’s like effervescent, only totally different.

Mike Horton: I am feeling shiny. Hey, great night last night, thank you.

Larry Jordan: It was a great night. You had a good crowd.

Mike Horton: We had a good crowd, we had you as a guru, along with the legendary Randy Ubillos.

Larry Jordan: Just sitting next to the legendary Randy Ubillos was amazing.

Mike Horton: It was great. You should have gone out for pizza with us last night. I had a really nice conversation with Randy, where he was able to tell me things he probably shouldn’t tell me and I can only share with you.

Larry Jordan: I’ll bribe you later for all the…

Mike Horton: But it was so nice of him to come down and share. It was just so great.

Larry Jordan: He did a whole presentation on creating personal movies, which was…

Mike Horton: Creating personal movies. It was fun.

Larry Jordan: I mean, all of us travel to Antarctica to shoot penguins and Easter Island to shoot sea lions.

Mike Horton: And Africa to shoot the wildebeest migration and all these other wonderful things that he gets to do.

Larry Jordan: Small personal movies.

Mike Horton: But there were a lot of good tips.

Larry Jordan: There were.

Mike Horton: People like to know this stuff.

Larry Jordan: And the other thing I liked is that he put his ten tips up on the screen and people were taking photographs of it. Is there a place where people can go to see his speech?

Mike Horton: Actually, no, we didn’t tape the speech. But we do have photographs on the LAFCPUG Facebook page with those ten tips and with some of the other tips, so we took photographs too and we have photographs of you. You were going like this… It was very good. Very good picture. There was a lot of sincerity behind that laugh.

Larry Jordan: There was, there was. It was a fun time, though, and you had two other gurus, two women that I hadn’t met before.

Mike Horton: Kylie Wall and Monica Daniel. Actually, you’ve met Monica before. Kylie is new, from Atlanta, and so she was the first time here. She just moved to Los Angeles so we were…

Larry Jordan: So she moves to LA and already she’s a guru.

Mike Horton: Absolutely. Well, she’s a presence on the internet. She writes a lot of great articles for the Creative Cow, she’s a good editor, a very talented person and this was a way of welcoming her to LA.

Larry Jordan: Absolutely. Well, it was a fun night and I was delighted to be invited.

Mike Horton: You are welcome any time, now that you’re not teaching on a Wednesday night.

Larry Jordan: I’ll come back for your July show. Are you doing one in July?

Mike Horton: Please. Yes, yes. It’s Blackmagic night.

Larry Jordan: Oh, that’ll be fun.

Mike Horton: All Blackmagic. Oh, and Imagine Products.

Larry Jordan: That’ll be good. Thinking about stuff that’s good, if you haven’t had a chance, read our text transcripts from Take 1 Transcription and remember to visit with us on Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and subscribe to our newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Mike and I will be right back with Jon Chappell right after this.

Larry Jordan: Our friends at Other World Computing are looking for a creative, fan-made commercial, so they’re hosting a video contest with an incredible grand prize of a dream video workstation. This prize package includes a 2013 Apple Mac Pro and a 4K display, an Avid Artist’s transport console and color control surface, a 16 terabyte OWC Thunderbay 4, a GoPro Hero and more.

Larry Jordan: The whole package is worth over $12,000. Whether you’re a seasoned pro shooting with high end gear or a newcomer shooting with your iPhone, now you can show off your video making talent in a 30 to 60 second commercial about OWC. The deadline for entries is June 30th, so start shooting. Visit macsales.com/video-contest for all the details. That’s macsales.com. Don’t miss out.

Larry Jordan: Jon Chappell is an editor, post production supervisor and software developer originally from the UK. He’s the owner of Digital Rebellion LLC and his company’s post production software is used by freelancers, production companies, studios and Fortune 500 companies worldwide to fix problems, optimize workflows and manage teams. Hello, Jon, welcome back.

Jon Chappell: Thanks for having me.

Mike Horton: Hello. Oh, excuse me.

Larry Jordan: Did you say hello?

Mike Horton: Yes I did. Hello Jon. Is this working? Ok. Jon, good to have you back.

Jon Chappell: Thanks, mate.

Larry Jordan: The last time you were here, a couple of months ago, we began to talk about Kollaborate and what I wanted to do is to talk in a lot more detail about how we can use Kollaborate to manage our projects and in workflow management. But before we talk about it in detail, describe what Kollaborate is.

Jon Chappell: Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform that’s aimed at video professionals and the idea is that you upload files to it and you can automatically share them with your colleagues and clients and they can approve and reject them, they can leave comments and then you can take that feedback and export it in a wide variety of ways, even bringing it back as markers into your NLE again.

Larry Jordan: Is it just for client review? Are we loading proxies up to the web or are we loading the source files? What’s the process?

Jon Chappell: A lot of our customers, in fact the vast majority of our customers, do use it for client review, but really it’s file agnostic. You can upload any type of file. I’d say it’s a lot closer to Dropbox than it is to YouTube. What we try to do is offer you a lot of flexibility, so there are a variety of different ways of getting it to work. We have uploading and transfer tools, we have folder watching apps, we have NLE plug-ins, or you can just upload via your web browser as well.

Larry Jordan: Who would be a typical client? Who’s using this stuff?

Jon Chappell: We have a variety of different types of customers. We have one man operations all the way to major studios and I think one way that we’ve managed to attract both types of customers is that Kollaborate is very scalable and it will work very well if you have huge number of people on a project or a huge number of files and it’ll work just as well if it’s just you and a few other people or you just have a few files that you need to review.

Mike Horton: When you say scalable, are we talking dozens of people or are we talking a couple, four, five max or what?

Jon Chappell: We don’t actually set a limit because really we offer you so many tools to manage things that essentially there’s no upper limit. We have departments, for example, which are basically sandboxes and so you can keep specific content away from certain people who don’t need to see it if it’s irrelevant and you can really get fine control over who sees what and who gets alerted and who doesn’t get alerted.

Larry Jordan: Walk me through in some detail. Let’s say I’m a three man editorial shop and I’ve got clients who are scattered around the city but not necessarily around the world. When does Kollaborate start? What specifically am I uploading and how am I uploading?

Jon Chappell: As I say, it’s file agnostic so you can upload anything that you need to share with other people. That could be project files, but as I say a lot of people use it for client or colleague review and so it can be in progress cuts that people can give feedback on, or it could be a finished product that is a deliverable that you’re sending to the client.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so we’ve uploaded it. Can we upload more than one file at a time?

Jon Chappell: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Do we flag it with metadata? What does the interface look like and what’s my control?

Jon Chappell: We offer a variety of different ways of uploading and so the control you get kind of depends on the method that you choose. But my preferred way to do it is with a tool that we have called Kollaborate Transfer and that just gives you a whole load of options and gives you a whole load of things that it’ll do automatically. I can upload a file and have it automatically send out links to clients…

Larry Jordan: To say that the file’s available?

Jon Chappell: Yes, automatically, and I can just go to bed and leave it to do its stuff.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so then the clients are using this. Can they annotate the video? And then how are those annotations assembled back for the editor?

Jon Chappell: They can leave comments and they can also draw over the video. You can export the comments back either as a readable text file or you can export to a variety of different editing apps as markers.

Larry Jordan: What apps do you support?

Jon Chappell: For exporting the markers, we support Final Cut Pro X, Premiere, Final Cut Pro 7 and Avid. Oh, and Edius as well.

Larry Jordan: So the comments can actually be markers which are synched to the timecode, so they just load that up in their editing app and make whatever changes they need to make?

Jon Chappell: Yes. The exact process depends on which app you’re using. For Avid, it will natively import markers, so that’s pretty easy. For the other apps, we have a free tool called Marker Import and that’s available for Mac and PC.

Mike Horton: Can we talk to each other while we’re doing this commenting, or is it just text only?

Jon Chappell: You mean audio chat?

Mike Horton: Yes, audio chat.

Jon Chappell: No, that’s not a service that’s available, but you could do that through other means, through Skype or…

Larry Jordan: We could use a telephone.

Jon Chappell: Yes.

Mike Horton: No, come on. That’s so 1990s.

Larry Jordan: Here’s a question – we recently received a batch of files from our producer, who’s been working with Kollaborate, and Cirina said, “These are some really cool video files you have to look at,” and we discovered that she sent us 20 files that were magnificent in quality and there’s no batch download button, so how do we download a bunch of files? And the bigger question is, as we use this, how do we report features that we’d like to see in the software? So first, how do we download a bunch of files?

Mike Horton: And how was she doing that, first of all? Was she using Dropbox or what?

Larry Jordan: No, we use Kollaborate.

Mike Horton: Oh, you use Kollaborate? Oh, so…

Larry Jordan: Yes, we were Kollaborating.

Mike Horton: Oh, this is a good question then. This is a hard question, Jon. All right, Jon, go ahead.

Jon Chappell: Well, that’s more of a browser limitation.

Larry Jordan: Really?

Jon Chappell: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, if you try to do a batch download in Dropbox or Google Drive, it’ll say ‘Your file is being prepared’ and then it will take 20 minutes and then it sends you an email with a link, and that’s because you  can’t initiate multiple downloads in a browser.

Jon Chappell: That’s not currently a service we offer, but we do make the download button easily available on the files page, so you could just sort of click multiple times, I guess. That would be the easiest way of doing that. It’s something we would like to add but it needs to have better browser support.

Larry Jordan: See, it needs the browser, Michael. If you’d have known that, you wouldn’t have had to ask that question.

Mike Horton: It was a good question.

Larry Jordan: It was a good question. It was driving our guys nuts, by the way, so we said we would find out. But it gets to a bigger question – how do we report features that we would like to have the software do? And how do you process those internally?

Jon Chappell: There’s a feedback link on the left hand side of every page. Click that and there’s a text field and you can just enter a note to us.

Mike Horton: Jon, I’m sure you’re aware that there’s a whole bunch of people doing what Kollaborate does and when you came up with the concept of Kollaborate, what was special about it versus the other ones that you were looking at? Why did you want to do something that’s already been done? Because you thought you could do it better?

Jon Chappell: Well, there’s that and there’s also the fact that we’re one of the few companies in this industry that’s not a start-up. We had a wide range of tools, a history of making tools for video professionals, and so when we created Kollaborate what we did is we went back and we re-engineered a lot of our existing tools to work with the cloud and so the primary advantage that we offer is that, as well as the cloud service, you get a whole load of helper apps thrown in and we have video players for Mac and IOS, we have uploaders, we have note taking apps, we have a wide range of tools – project management tools, all sorts of things.

Mike Horton: Speaking of all those tools, Kollaborate has its own separate website, even though it’s on the Digital Rebellion website, but products like the Pro Maintenance tools and Pro Media tools and all those – which are must haves, you have them, I know that, Larry, and I have them, anybody who uses any NLE has to have Digital Rebellion tools because they solve so many problems, especially when you have it at one o’clock in the morning, which is when everybody has a problem. You just run some of your tools through the thing, it’ll fix it. I guarantee it.

Larry Jordan: What is it that got you involved in utilities in the first place? What caught your fancy?

Jon Chappell: Several years ago, I was working as an editor and I had a very unreliable computer and some very strict deadlines and I had to come with a wide variety of methods of just trying to solve problems and getting my edit out on time. Then I thought, “Well, why am I going all this manually? I can automate this stuff,” and then I started hanging round the forums and I realized that a lot of people were having the same problems over and over again, someone could just automate all of this, and that’s how it was born really.

Larry Jordan: A lot of people have the idea of coming up with a utility but you had both the idea and the skill. There’s a big difference there. Mike is absolutely right, the Pro Maintenance tools that you have for NLEs…

Mike Horton: Oh my God, it’s…

Larry Jordan: …are just amazing and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used Compressor Repair to get compressor repaired so I can get stuff done again. With Kollaborate, to get back to that, how do we manage teams? How do we put a team together? How many people can be on a team and can we knock people off etcetera, etcetera, etcetera?

Jon Chappell: The exact number of people on your team depends on the package that you have.

Larry Jordan: For instance?

Jon Chappell: For instance, with the base package, it’s five people per team. The next one up is 15 and it goes up to, I don’t even know, it’s something like 150.

Larry Jordan: Now, how do you define a team? Is a team on both sides of the equation, or is it just five people internally in my organization, for instance?

Jon Chappell: It’s sort of a gray area, really, because it’s five individual people on the team page, which could be clients, could be colleagues, but you can share a file externally as a link an unlimited number of times. So really you could say that there are two tiers of users.

Jon Chappell: There are users in the project who have a bit more access and a few more capabilities and then you have people outside the project who you can send links to and it’s a bit more limited for them but it’s useful for the client that you need to send things to on a one off basis.

Mike Horton: Kollaborate works with Cut Notes.

Jon Chappell: That’s right, yes.

Mike Horton: Which is a really cool tool, by the way, and that’s another one of your tools. How does it work with Cut Notes?

Jon Chappell: What Cut Notes is is an iPad app for taking notes synced to a timecode source, and that could be Pro Tools, it could be Final Cut. There are a wide variety of sources but one of those sources is also Kollaborate. What you can actually do is sync to the timecode directly in your web browser and then use the tool as an easy way to take notes while sitting back and being away from your keyboard.

Mike Horton: Isn’t that cool?

Larry Jordan: My big concern about cloud based stuff is security. How are we handling security so my pre-release stuff doesn’t get released without my permission?

Jon Chappell: Right. Well, we have industrial grade security enabled on our server, everything’s encrypted. In addition to that, you get a lot of controls within your project. As I mentioned earlier, you can sort things into departments, you can bar specific people from seeing things and it’s completely private, so only people you invite or people you send a link out to can even see any of the files.

Jon Chappell: But on top of that, if that’s not enough for you, if you have serious concerns about that or you have government contracts or something like that, then you can host in-house as well. That’s an option we offer.

Larry Jordan: So you would provide a Kollaborate server for us?

Jon Chappell: Not the hardware, but the software to run that.

Larry Jordan: That’s what I meant.

Jon Chappell: Yes.

Larry Jordan: That’s very cool.

Mike Horton: Yes. We were talking about this earlier, about security. We’re not IRS, we’re not Target, we’re not those places that get hit daily, we’re not the Defense Department. Who the heck wants to hit us anyway? But you have your paranoia, Larry, and it’s understandable because it’s like they’re out there and they can thwart you no matter how much security you have.

Jon Chappell: Right.

Larry Jordan: Thank you.

Mike Horton: So therefore just don’t put anything in the cloud, don’t buy Kollaborate. You’re screwed.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of buying, you’ve actually got some very aggressive pricing. How is it priced?

Jon Chappell: We try to reward people who pay for a full year in advance. The month to month package is really aimed at people who are only going to be working on a project for a few months and so we offer a very steep discount for people who go for the full year. On the base package, which gives you 15 gigs of storage, five users, that’s 180 a year, which works out to $15 per month if you pay for the full year in advance.

Larry Jordan: And the next step up?

Jon Chappell: The next one up is 30 gigs and 15 users and that’s 300 a year, which works at $25 per month.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Larry Jordan: Still a great price.

Mike Horton: That’s just, yes.

Larry Jordan: $15 a month for five users, 15 gigs and $25 a month for 30 gigs and ten users?

Jon Chappell: 15.

Larry Jordan: 15.

Mike Horton: Where’s the server?

Jon Chappell: Where’s it located?

Mike Horton: Yes.

Jon Chappell: We have several servers, but primarily the web server is on the East Coast.

Mike Horton: Oh, ok.

Larry Jordan: So you have to send the files all the way to the East Coast, Mike.

Mike Horton: And it’s really far away.

Jon Chappell: Oh, I should mention that the files aren’t stored on that server.

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

Jon Chappell: They can go to kollaborate.tv.

Mike Horton: Yes, it’s a really amazing product, as all digital… products are.

Larry Jordan: That’s kollaborate.tv and digitalrebellion.com and Jon Chappell is the CEO of Digital Rebellion. Jon, thanks for taking the time to join us today.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Jon.

Jon Chappell: Thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: It’s been fun.

Jon Chappell: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: I’ve got a ton of brand new training videos showcasing all the new features in Final Cut Pro 10.2, and they’re all available today. In fact, we’ve updated our entire Final Cut training for this release. We added more than 70 new movies covering every major and minor new feature in the software.

Larry Jordan: Then I figured, as long as I was recording, I added new techniques and new ways of working that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. We’ve updated our workflow in editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut training the most comprehensive, most up to date and most affordable way to learn everything about this amazing software. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s complete.

Larry Jordan: I’m proud of all of my training and especially proud of this one. Get your copy today in our store at larryjordan.com or, even better, become a member of our video training library and get access to all of our training for one low monthly price. Both are incredible value. Thanks.

Larry Jordan: Ed Golya is an Emmy award winning sound re-recording mixer and ADR specialist with more than 40 films and television shows to his credit. He got his start doing ADR for ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. He’s worked for Universal Recording Corporation in Chicago and Fox Studios in LA, among many others. Hey, Ed, welcome.

Ed Golya: Thank you very much.

Mike Horton: Hi Ed. By the way, I have to ask you, do audio guys really hate it when we do this – hello? Is this working?

Ed Golya: And can you hear yourself?

Mike Horton: Hello?

Larry Jordan: Thank you, you’ve just destroyed his entire performance.

Mike Horton: I love that. It does, it drives these guys crazy. You never do this to a microphone. What do you do to test a microphone? 

Ed Golya: You talk and…

Mike Horton: Just like a hello?

Ed Golya: Yes, you just talk into it. By hitting that, you might damage the diaphragm if you do it incorrectly.

Mike Horton: Really?

Larry Jordan: Just let me know when you’re done, I’ll wait. That’s ok, I’ll just sit here and wait for you guys to finish.

Mike Horton: It’s a good question. Audio guys hate that.

Larry Jordan: Well, there’s a reason.

Mike Horton: Ok.

Larry Jordan: That’s why they wire you with a mic that’s placed about five feet away.

Mike Horton: Ed wants to give me a Lav, is what he wants to do.

Larry Jordan: And what got you started in audio in the first place? What caught your attention?

Ed Golya: Thank you for that question. No, that’s serious. At the age of 13 and 14, I was playing in a band, a cover band. I was also playing four nights a week at local college bars and I was very heavily into music. Not to get too personal, but I ended up going to Kent State for Architecture as a grade school for architecture, but busting my butt, 80 hours a week of homework and getting a C, I decided, ok, I love audio and since I couldn’t really sight-read to work in the industry as a player, I thought I’d sit on the other side of the glass. I ended up at a brand new studio at the time. The gentleman was a geek and he had the first Moog synthesizer in the Midwest.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Larry Jordan: Oh wow.

Ed Golya: He had a BBC Mellotron sound effects machine and the first 16 track Ampex MM-1000 in Cleveland.

00:26:30:23

Larry Jordan: The first 16 track deck in Cleveland?

Ed Golya: In Cleveland.

Larry Jordan: Wow.

Ed Golya: The point was that Cleveland Recording was a distributor for it and they didn’t have one.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Ed Golya: I got in, he took me on and for the first 18 months to two years I was on the music side, recording, because I knew what a tape recorder was. I came back from the military, he had to re-hire me – again, this is a very, very small studio, there were only three people working in it – and he decided that, since he’d replaced me with another gentleman, that he would put me on the motion picture side.

Ed Golya: Now, when I first went to work for him, I didn’t know that there were audio mixing rooms for motion pictures, but I ended up doing that. I never looked back. I got my training in motion picture mixing because we had to mix for optical track and you had to be very, very careful not to splash Ss and not to do this and not to do that, and we were also ADRing on that Mellotron. Well, not ADRing, but foleying on the Mellotron, so we were doing electronic editing before it was even known as electronic editing.

Mike Horton: Were you actually physically foleying or were you just doing the…

Ed Golya: No, we were doing it on keyboard. The machine was filled with sound effects…

Mike Horton: Oh wow.

Ed Golya: …and you had to program it to get the right sound effect on the right key and you’d watch the screen and you would play the Mellotron.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Larry Jordan: Wow. I should mention that, when Ed isn’t being interviewed, he’s running the audio board for us here at The Buzz and we’re grateful for his help. He’s been with us for a long while and all of us have learned a lot about audio.

Mike Horton: It’s the reason you cannot hear me. Hello?

Ed Golya: Testing.

Mike Horton: Is this working?  That’s what we do before the show.

Larry Jordan: When you’re done.

Mike Horton: It drives Ed nuts.

Larry Jordan: Are you…

Mike Horton: I love driving Ed nuts. All right, go ahead, Larry, ask a serious question.

Larry Jordan: You do a great job. Just I’m…

Mike Horton: Ask a serious question. Ok, go on. Or I’ll ask one.

Larry Jordan: Tell us some of the projects you’ve worked on, because you worked on some seriously big name films.

Ed Golya: Yes I did, and not even knowing it at the time.

Larry Jordan: It always is that way.

Ed Golya: We didn’t know what ‘Close Encounters’ was when it came in, this was in Chicago. It was called CE3K. Spielberg was extremely worried that someone would capture his idea of shooting a sci-fi on Earth and he shot the entire thing, from what I understand, in an airplane hangar so all the dialogue in that entire movie has been looped and the actress who played the mother of the little boy, she was working in Iowa with Stallone on a film called ‘Fist’ and…

Mike Horton: Wait a minute. Seriously, all the dialogue in ‘Close Encounters’ was looped?

Ed Golya: Yes. Who played the gentleman that toured with her?

Larry Jordan: Richard Dreyfuss?

Ed Golya: Richard Dreyfuss. Apparently he could not loop very well, so much of his stuff is not looped. But…

Mike Horton: Why?

Ed Golya: Because they didn’t like the sound of the interior of the airplane hangar that they shot it in.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Ed Golya: So we redid everything.

Mike Horton: I mean, ‘Apocalypse Now’ was, like, 99 percent looped.

Ed Golya: Yes, things like that. I will say I’ve seen the movie recently again…

Mike Horton: Because actors hate looping.

Ed Golya: Yes they do. Yes they do and you have to really treat them in a way that they can be comfortable.

Mike Horton: Incredible. I had no idea that that was looped.

Ed Golya: But I did that, I did ‘Poltergeist’.

Mike Horton: Don’t tell me that was looped.

Ed Golya: No, just parts of it.

Mike Horton: Ok, just like the normal.

Ed Golya: And the Blues Brothers were in town, well, they were shooting ‘The Blues Brothers’ and Ackroyd and Belushi came over and we looped parts of 1941, so there are three Spielberg movies looped in Cleveland. No, I’m sorry, in Chicago. That was in Chicago.

Mike Horton: Why did they go to Chicago to loop those?

Ed Golya: Anyone that was already in Chicago or in the Midwest shooting their next film and their last film was in post…

Mike Horton: You mean any actor?

Ed Golya: Yes, any actor.

Mike Horton: Ok.

Ed Golya: They would send to Chicago and luckily, and I do mean to brag but I don’t mean to brag, they started to request me by name, which I was so proud of.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Larry Jordan: That is so cool.

Ed Golya: Yes.

Larry Jordan: So when did you step out of ADR work and get into re-recording?

Ed Golya: I was into re-recording first. ADR was a secondary thing. We just happened to have the Magnetek ADR system that had won an Academy Award for what it did.

Mike Horton: Well, what did that do? It was just beep, beep, beep, right?

Ed Golya: Yes, but it was a relay driven computer, before computers were available. Basically, you dial in the numbers and it did all the action for you. It punched you into record, took you out of record, did everything by the numbers and…

Mike Horton: But the actors still had to hit the beep, beep, beep.

Ed Golya: Yes, and many of them had no…

Mike Horton: Because now we have software that slides it even if the actor doesn’t hit it.

Ed Golya: You couldn’t do that then. You had to do it right. You had to nail it or you were not good.

Larry Jordan: Wow.

Ed Golya: And then, oh, a story real quick – ‘Top Gun’. We had Tom Cruise in town shooting ‘The Color of Money’ and when they had shown that movie to a test audience, nobody could understand the plot.

Larry Jordan: ‘Top Gun?’

Ed Golya: ‘Top Gun’. So they had to rewrite the script and in order to explain the plot to the people, all the scenes of Tom Cruise in the cockpit with the mask over his face is all different than the original recording.

Larry Jordan: Ah!

Ed Golya: Luckily we didn’t have to do lip sync with him because he at that time was not the greatest.

Mike Horton: I don’t want to hear these stories.

Ed Golya: I’m sorry about that. Sorry, Tom.

Larry Jordan: So what did you get the Emmys for?

Ed Golya: Re-recording was my basic thing. I was doing all the stuff to picture, all the mixing to picture. Chicago being only second to New York in national advertising, I did many, many national spots. There were a lot of filmmakers in Chicago, so I did their films and stuff like that and occasionally I would get a film, I think we actually had one that was being mixed out here in LA and they didn’t like what was going down. The editor was from Chicago, she piled everything up and brought it back to Chicago and I mixed her film for her.

Mike Horton: We have to tell everybody, though, especially when it comes to looping and ADR, it’s not just the actors talking into a microphone. There’s got to be that room tone, there’s got to be that ambiance or it’s not going to sound well. Back when I was an actor, I did a lot of stuff at Universal, I had to go into the loop scenes from television shows and, quite frankly, some of those guys were… I can tell every single line that I looped when I watch the television show back because it sounds like it was looped.

Ed Golya: Yes, yes, and that can happen.

Mike Horton: So there is an art to looping and it takes skill, it takes some art and there are a lot of guys who are bad at it and those guys worked at Universal.

Ed Golya: I don’t know. See, I did more for Hollywood when I was in Chicago than when I moved out here. I came out to Fox and that’s where I became a sound designer as well, because I will say Fox changed the way television is presented, especially with the graphics and stuff. I remember when we did Fox Sports, when they got their first thing, I happened to have the same equipment in Chicago that they had here and they found out that nobody knew how to run it.

Ed Golya: There were only 12 of these units in the US. But every time a football was thrown, we’d put a whoosh in and all this, so we hyped up the hits and all the football and all that and I learned how to be a sound designer there; and then sitting next to editors all my career, I learned how to make a good edit and how to spread it out so that I could mix it quickly and easily, as opposed to some editors who just butt cut everything.

Larry Jordan: So what’s the best compliment you could get when somebody listens to one of your mixes?

Mike Horton: They don’t hear the…

Ed Golya: Exactly. Exactly.

Mike Horton: They don’t hear the work behind it.

Ed Golya: Exactly. That is exactly what it is. If you can’t hear what I did, then I must have done it right. I really feel that the industry is an art and I had one gentleman say, “Audio is 50 percent of the media,” and I’m like, “Sorry, audio is in a world of its own,” as is video and I don’t mean to downgrade the video aspect of it, but audio is in an entire world of its own. Turn off your television picture and you can most likely still understand what’s going on in the plot. Turn off the sound and all you’ve got is surveillance.

Mike Horton: What a great line. Yes, that’s a good line.

Ed Golya: Television without picture is radio. Television without sound is surveillance.

Mike Horton: I love that. That’s really cool. Is that your line?

Ed Golya: No. I was told that years ago.

Mike Horton: Yes, well, coin it.

Larry Jordan: It’s a great line. In the little bit of time we’ve got left, what advice do you have for editors who are doing their own mix? What’s the number one thing they’ve got to pay attention to?

Ed Golya: Naturalness and not to overdo anything. I’ve even heard in atmos and all these great new ideas of mixing. If it disturbs you to hear things moving from speaker to speaker…

Mike Horton: Boy, it does.

Ed Golya: Yes, then it isn’t done right. But if you’re there and all of a sudden you’re just engrossed in the whole thing, its subtleties. That’s all I can say. Its subtleties.

Larry Jordan: Which explains the craft of audio and re-recording and mixing, which is where Ed is amazing.

Ed Golya: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Ed Golya is a freelance sound re-recordist and does the audio here on The Buzz. Ed, thanks for joining us today.

Ed Golya: Thank you.

Mike Horton: And thank you for making this thing work. Hello? Oh, sorry Ed.

Larry Jordan: Stay put.

Larry Jordan: Andy Bellamy has worked in and around production for the last 20 years as an editor, documentarian and sound engineer, but right now he’s the product marketing manager for the CION camera at AJA Video Systems, which is what we want to talk with him about. Hello, Andy, welcome.

Andy Bellamy: Hello there, how are you?

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to be chatting with you. How’s your day going so far?

Andy Bellamy: Pretty good, yes. I am still at the office, so yes, pretty good.

Mike Horton: That’s typical, isn’t it?

Larry Jordan: Yes, true enough.

Andy Bellamy: … yes, very much so.

Mike Horton: Yes, very much so.

Larry Jordan: AJA announced the CION camera a year ago at NAB and starting shipping it last December, but for many of us the camera remains an unknown. How would you describe it?

Andy Bellamy: CION is uniquely positioned in the sense that it is an ergonomic camera. It covers the full discipline of 4K at DCI level, all the way down to HD, but essentially it’s a lightweight ergonomic camera that you can put straight on your shoulder or can work directly to any… like a tripod, a slider, on a jib or a dolly, whatever, but it offers this tremendous flexibility within any kind of environment and records directly to high level ProRes 444 or 422 and also offers RAW as another option as well, so a very versatile camera but…

Larry Jordan: The ergonomic thing is one of the things that Nick Rashby, who’s the President of AJA, stressed when they rolled the camera out in terms of how it’s designed to fit comfortably on a shoulder. How would you describe its typical uses? When should we consider this camera versus all the others that are out there?

Andy Bellamy: At the moment, we’re finding the people that are doing the most shoulder mount use are anybody doing a small film or low budget indie productions where they’re going to benefit from a looser… kind of style, put it on your shoulder and run around with it. We’ve got a number of people out there using it in anger like that, getting great results from it, and it fits very, very well in that environment. It will also work beyond that in terms of higher end commercials. If you need that flexibility to quickly go from… just break it down now… get that shot, it’s those people who are going to benefit the most from it.

Larry Jordan: So it sounds like it’s designed to be more of a run and gun camera, where we don’t have that extremely short depth of field that we would see in a Canon DSLR, for instance. The depth of field is deeper, which gives us a little bit more flexibility and focus.

Andy Bellamy: Absolutely right, yes, definitely. Yes.

Larry Jordan: Given the features that the camera has, which ones are you especially proud of?

Andy Bellamy: I think that overall it’s got to be the combination of all of the elements that lead to that image. The image right from the get-go, right even in the early stages of development has never looked like video, which was totally the aim here, to get away from a video look to produce a cinematic film-like image and that’s what we achieved and I think that’s my favorite feature.

Andy Bellamy: That’s where everything builds together, so that’s… the science behind the sensor, the…, the algorithm that we use, and then the color science that we apply to make that image, the fact that we’re always at 4K all the time and then we scale down to produce either UHD or HD or 2K and you never lose that cinematic look. Even if you’re really going for a video look, in the terms of vibrancy in color it will still give you a very nice filmic quality. That’s my personal favorite.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, looking at the AJA website, the camera is retail priced at about $8,000 and we’re looking at a Canon C300 about that same price and a Sony FS7. The FS7’s got the same kind of shoulder mount that the CION has. How would somebody decide to buy the CION, especially because it’s a new camera from a new company?

Andy Bellamy: That’s a very good question. One of the things that we’ve done this week is we announced a price drop, so actually the price has come down now. We’re just under $5,000, so we’ve moved the price point somewhat down to address the market as it stands at the moment and I know you know very well what the market is like out there. That’s to address what people want, people’s budgets and what they’re prepared to pay.

Andy Bellamy: For us in terms of where do we sit, because people will still look at us against the 300 or the 500 or an FS7, I think in terms of the years of the company, we’re almost 22 years young now, but this is the first… The camera for us, we did find the external recorder for ProRes. That was… where it all begins. It’s a very… and busy market now but once upon a time it wasn’t. We were the pioneers in that area, working very closely with Apple over third party ProRes and encoding, so that’s at the core of it, that ability to make a very, very high quality ProRes encoding in hardware is our backbone and we’ve been doing it for ten years now, or thereabouts.

Andy Bellamy: That is one of the reasons why we want people to look at us, because we know that we have very, very good encoding and great experience in terms of taking anyone’s image and encoding it. What we add in there as well is that we’ve been producing 4K based DCI equipment, well, after the dust had settled on that and the hardware started to emerge, we were part of that.

Andy Bellamy: If you’ve seen 4K projection anywhere in the world, there’s a 50/50 chance more or less that you’ve seen that projected via our hardware, so 4K is part of that DNA as well at AJA. We’ve been working for a long time in and around 4K delivery, so I think again we have something that we could add into the camera and these are all things we think are important if you want to take a step down the road towards 4K production. We’ve been involved in and around that for a long time.

Andy Bellamy: You couple that in with a very high quality codec and our ability to both capture an image in terms of that cinematic quality I mentioned, and then to record it flawlessly in this wrapper I think that’s why people should look at us. I think if you’ve used any of our products… over the years, you’ll know us from our editorial products, should know us from… and, as I said, the key for our line and these are all very important cornerstones of our business.

Andy Bellamy: The camera really fits on top of all of those things. Every other type of product we’ve done has fed into that, so it’s been a considered process over five years to get to that point and that’s why I think people should consider us, because you know us so well and the existing quality, and that’s without even mentioning the legendary customer support of the offer. Those, I think, are just some of the reasons why I think we should be considered.

Larry Jordan: Well, I want to come back to this point on ProRes. I’m a big ProRes fan, but you’re baking in the look when you record to ProRes as opposed to RAW, which gives you more flexibility. Why did you decide to go with ProRes as opposed to RAW images?

Andy Bellamy: Well, ProRes is our internal, so for the quickest turnaround in camera, and bearing in mind we have a number of different modes you can work with that ProRes. You can work in a disabled mode where the camera’s completely at the table and then you’re going to reset that later on. We also have an expanded one mode, again where you’re going to fit the black point later on in post, which gives you a very washed out, very flat look.

Andy Bellamy: You can have no color correction at all applied to that and that does give you a flat look, even with the ProRes 444, and a number of customers who we’ve been dealing recently have found, even on high end shoots, that ProRes 444 container has been more than adequate for the post production needs. However, we did want to address RAW workflow, so we have got AJA RAW, which is a cinema DNG to the letter.

Andy Bellamy: We’ve got it AJA RAW but it’d delivered DNG. There’s no denying what it is, it’s an open standard, and we can generate that. Now, we can get an output format that we would use, something like our partners at Conversion Design producing Odyssey 7Q+ or Atomos, the Shogun you can also then record there as well and take this Cinema DNG into their series, so two mobile solutions, so kind of the best of both worlds, we feel at any rate.

Larry Jordan: We have a live chat running at the same time as the show and Mel on the live chat’s asking is AJA considering making an electronic viewfinder for the CION camera, like Blackmagic did with the Ursa? Because Mel likes elegant solutions.

Andy Bellamy: Don’t we all? That’s a very good question. It’s certainly something that we’ve paid some consideration to and let’s just say that’s not the only person asking us that question at the moment, so you never know. I can’t reveal anything but certainly we get asked it an awful lot, that’s for sure.

Larry Jordan: I want to shift gears just a little bit. One of the challenges you have is it’s a new camera, not necessarily from a new company, but there are always bugs and things to work out in a new camera. The other is that people that do shooting, cinematographers and filmmakers, tend to have cameras that they like, so what is AJA doing to enable filmmakers to get their hands on this camera and get a sense of whether they like it or not?

Andy Bellamy: Well, at NAB we announced the #TryCION program. We manufactured 100 units, we worked round the clock on the run-up to NAB to put these together so we would have 100 units. We opened up the program at the top of NAB and this let North American users apply through our program and then we would send them for a specific length of time, maybe for their shoot, a CION and the requisite accessories.

Andy Bellamy: The only things we didn’t add in were a viewfinder and a battery – that was something that we asked you to add – and lenses, but everything else we gave them, so… media, the Thunderbolt dock, everything else. We felt that was a really good way for anybody who was on the fence, perhaps not able to get in touch with a demo unit at a dealer locally, to apply directly. That was hugely successful and we were absolutely slammed. By the end of the first day, we were more than four times oversubscribed. By the end of the week, we were well and truly oversubscribed, so it was incredible. I mean, you do this, you think, “We’re going to test the water here and we’ll see what happens.” We were slammed.

Andy Bellamy: It’s been a wild ride here over managing that program and we’re keeping it rolling, so we’re recycling some of the units, sometimes they’re coming back, and we’re going to pick up more people where we can. In order to expand that a little, that’s now going global, so the Japanese program is emerging over the coming weeks and so is the European program. We’ve also been running a TryCION world tour as well. We kicked that off in San Francisco, it’s been moving to North America. We are in Dallas and Miami on June 2nd.

Andy Bellamy: Any of your listeners can also go to our website and see the TryCION dates there and you can subscribe to sign up for these events and gets hands on there. You can meet John Thorne or myself. John, as you know, is the Product Manager for the camera, so get hands on with some of the guys and the camera itself. That’s in Dallas and Miami. From there… move into… gear and after that I head off to Europe for the European dates and then John goes off the Japan, Korea and China. The tour continues, yes. We’re doing everything we can, literally, apart from knocking on everyone’s door to put it in their hands.

Larry Jordan: One of the other things that you’ve done is present this summer of savings where you’ve dropped the price of the camera almost $4,000. Tell me about that.

Andy Bellamy: Yes, I think this is really in response to careful consideration of the market, looking at where things are going and making sure we want to be in a position where we want to get the camera into people’s hands. If I’m honest with you, Larry, I think it’s a heck of a camera at nine grand; I think at just under five grand, it’s an amazing deal. I think there’s an awful lot for your money there, there’s a lot of bang for your buck so to speak.

Andy Bellamy: It was important to us to keep the project true to what our aims were, which is what I said at the beginning… cinematic and I think that’s what we’ve got. That five grand price point just means… you know what it’s like out there only too well, budgets are getting smaller and smaller and smaller and we’re trying to respond to that. I think in terms of our commitment to our customer base and the prospective customer base, it’s removing another obstacle to adopting CION for your next production or your in-house purposes.

Mike Horton: If we want to just buy the camera, that’s what the price drop reflects, right? Or do we have to buy a package, say with the Ki Pro or anything like that?

Andy Bellamy: No, no, no, that’s the camera on its own. We’ve adjusted the price on the Ki Pro line, I think that was something that we also wanted to do and it was always going to be a case of timing, but we thought it just sounds nice, doesn’t it, summer of savings? Everybody likes to save. So I think we would roll these things together. The Ki Pro line, again, that’s the foundation, the larger Ki Pro standalone unit…

Andy Bellamy: These things are workhorses around the world. We know that they’re everywhere and we’re giving the opportunity to anyone who’s got the infrastructure, who’s already got them, they can have some more, refresh anyone’s where they need to add more or whatever, so we felt this was a good program but you’re not tied in to doing anything else other than if you just want this camera, that’s no problem. You can have the camera, everything else remains the same. No features have been removed, everything remains exactly as before, even in terms of the warranty as well.

Larry Jordan: Now, something you mentioned earlier that I want to talk about for just a second, you said that the camera is now $4995, which is an incredible price, but what else do we need to be able to use the camera? What other accessories do we have to buy?

Andy Bellamy: PackMedia is definitely a necessity. I think unless you are going to entirely use the camera as an imaging unit and you’re not needing any media. PackMedia is essential. It comes in 256 and 512 gig sizes, which will give you up to roughly around 45 minutes of 4K at 444 for the largest size. Those are essential. The PackDock is also I think an essential purchase. That gives you Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. You simply slot your PackMedia in there and get lightning fast transfers of all of your footage.

Andy Bellamy: I personally would also recommend a front base plate. That’s our own engineered accessory. There’s a full line of these, but the front base plate is particularly nice. It really gives you everything you need for a 15 mil rod set-up. You add a couple of rods, if you’ve got them yourself then you’re good to go anyway. As you know, it’s a global standard. That also, I think, is a really important piece to add in. Everything else, you can really use your own kit that you may have already, either something like a viewfinder or a small monitor. You may already have that from another camera, in which case we fit very neatly in with that. If we don’t then, yes, you would have to add a viewfinder or a mini monitor to it.

Andy Bellamy: We also don’t obviously include glass. It’s a body only camera, so you would make the decision yourself over which glass you want to add. We offer great flexibility, we ship with a PL mount, but some people like NTF, Wooden Camera and a bunch of other people have emerged, anything from Panavision through to… ARRI Bayonet, Canon S and D, Canon EF, Active and Nikon… so it’s a full array of glass you can use with the cameras. That’s another decision that you would make for yourself and add that to the unit as well.

Larry Jordan: Are these price reductions permanent or does the price end at a particular point in time?

Andy Bellamy: The pricing is through summer, so at the end of summer the pricing will revert. Obviously, we reserve the right to amend that as we see fit and at the end of summer maybe we’ll keep it the same. But for the time being, it’s being billed as a summer of saving, it’s time limited, so we’d urge anybody who’s wishing to get involved, summer is the time to do it.

Larry Jordan: When I was looking on your website and getting ready for this interview, I realized – as you mentioned – not only has the price of the camera dropped, but also the price of Ki Pro has dropped. But there are multiple different versions of Ki Pro. What are the principle differences between them?

Andy Bellamy: The original is the Ki Pro. This is the one that looks most like a VTR and that’s exactly what it was designed to replace. If you look at it, it’s a half… and it’s essentially a VTR replacement. That’s the original and that’s a much larger unit than the others, so that’s how we differentiate that one. Only ProRes 422 up to HQ on that particular original unit. That one has both FSD and spinning discs up to 750 gig and one terabyte respectively, so very long record times. That’s a unit for if you work in corporate – it’s going to give you great long record times and in the edit suite it’s going to give you depth control and so on… so that’s a really neat unit and that’s the original one.

Andy Bellamy: After that came the Ki Pro Mini. This uses CS Media, so there are a number of different SanDisk, Kingston and a bunch of other people who make them which are qualified. That’s really the portable unit, so that’s HDMI, it’s HDSDR and that one will fit directly on the back of any camera. If you look at the footprint, it’s very much similar to something like an IDX battery, so it’s that kind of size and both of those units actually do offer you two channels of recording, audio as well with audio monitoring on the front. The limit to those is ProRes 422 in HQ and in HD.

Andy Bellamy: From there, we offer the Ki Pro Quad. Ki Pro Quad is 4K, gives you more options. It will record a RAW from a Canon C500, it will record ProRes 4K from a Canon C500, which you can’t do without using… so it offers a whole host of extra features there; and the Ki Pro Quad actually works as a brilliant standalone player for 4K. We know a ton of people around the world who’ve used it as a player and never put it on the back of a camera, never recorded a signal once, but they play everything out using these units, so that’s nice.

Andy Bellamy: That’s essentially the difference between all of those. The Ki Pro Rack, that price remains the same. That’s the most recent of all the units and that’s really remained unchanged. That’s pretty standard.

Larry Jordan: Andy, where can people go on the web to learn more about these products?

Andy Bellamy: They can go to www.aja.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s aja.com and Andy Bellamy is the CION Product Marketing Manager for AJA Video Systems. Andy, thanks for joining us today.

Mike Horton: Thanks Andy.

Andy Bellamy: Thank you very much indeed. I’ll speak to you guys soon. Take care. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: A CION camera for $4900.

Mike Horton: Have you fooled with that? You’re a camera guy, right?

Larry Jordan: Not as much as I used to be, but the thing that just strikes me is a comment that Randy Ubillos made yesterday when he was asked what does the future of video editing hold, and he said faster, smaller, better and cheaper; and, boy, that’s nowhere more true than in cameras, because you look at what’s happened with cameras. It’s amazing what CION can do…

Mike Horton: Have you any idea what this thing can do?

Larry Jordan: Yes.

Mike Horton: This little iPhone 6? I mean, it’s just incredible.

Larry Jordan: What I find fascinating is, because stuff is getting faster and smaller and cheaper, it changes the whole business equation, it changes who can do what. NAB has asked me to write something for their website and I’m focusing on the technology of disruption and how that’s…

Mike Horton: Yes, there’s no denying the wonder of the picture that the CION produces, but an entire feature film was done on the iPhone 6 at Sundance. Great story, people loved it, they voted it, it was like an audience award. It was filmed on this.

Larry Jordan: So what are you doing with your life, Michael?

Mike Horton: I’m going to make a movie on this. Why not? Let’s do it. It’s all about story anyway. It’s all about audio. Ed, is this working? Ed? I just love driving him nuts.

Larry Jordan: You’re doing an incredible job.

Mike Horton: He’s up in the booth right now.

Larry Jordan: He is not going to talk to you for weeks.

Mike Horton: Can we get a camera on Ed up there in the booth? Ed’s going, “Oh, Jesus.”

Larry Jordan: Get him out of here. Gracious. I want to thank our guests for today, starting with Jon Chappell, the CEO of Digital Rebellion, talking about Kollaborate; Ed Golya, freelance audio mixer, re-recording artist and man who’s losing all of his hair due to Mike and tips on how to improve on…

Mike Horton: Hello, Ed? Ed?

Larry Jordan: …our audio; and Andy Bellamy, the CION Product Manager for AJA Video Systems. The microphone that won’t be working next week belongs to Mike.

Mike Horton: It’s because I’m doing this. I’m breaking, what did he call it? The brain or something?

Larry Jordan: The diaphragm.

Mike Horton: The diaphragm?

Larry Jordan: Keep your fingers off the mic because I bought that and you didn’t. There’s a lot of history of our industry and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com.

Mike Horton: It can’t breathe. Hello, microphone, you can’t breathe, can you, because I’m breaking your diaphragm. Ok.

Larry Jordan: You can talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook, at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner and additional music on The Buzz is provided by smartsound.com.

Mike Horton: I’m getting rude comments in the chat.

Larry Jordan: You are getting more than rude comments. They’ve towed your car. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. Our producer is Cirina Catania, our engineering team: Megan Paulos, Ed Goyla, Keenan Guy, Alex Hackworth, Eileen Kim, Brianna Murphy and James Stevens. The guy tapping the microphone is Mike Horton, I’m Larry Jordan and thanks for listening.

Mike Horton: Goodbye, everybody. Goodbye everybody.

Larry Jordan: The Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by Other World Computing, providing quality hardware solutions and extensive technical support to the worldwide computer industry since 1988.

Digital Production Buzz – May 28, 2015

Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton as they talk with Jon Chappell, Ed Golya, and Andy Bellamy.

  • Kollaborate for Collaboration from Digital Rebellion
  • Emmy-Award Winning Audio Mixing
  • Update on the CION Camera from AJA

View Show Transcript

Watch the Full Episode


Buzz on YouTubeTranscript

Listen to the Full Episode


Buzz on iTunesTranscript

Guests this Week

Jon Chappell
Jon Chappell, CEO, Digital Rebellion
Jon Chappell is an editor, post production supervisor and software developer originally from the UK. He is the owner of Digital Rebellion LLC and is a regular contributor to the Final Cut Pro, Avid and Adobe communities. His company’s software is used by freelancers, production companies, studios and Fortune 500 companies worldwide to fix problems, optimize workflows and manage teams in post-production. Jon joins us in the studio this week to talk about Kollaborate, his new workflow and collaboration software.
Ed Golya
Ed Golya, Owner, MiXXtreme
It is said that the best way to improve your picture is to improve your sound. But what does that mean in the real world? Ed Golya, multiple Emmy Award-winning audio mixer, joins us this week to discuss techniques you can use to improve your sound.
Andy Bellamy
Andy Bellamy, CION Product Marketing Manager, AJA Video Systems, Inc.
CION is the new camera from AJA. Andy Bellamy is the CION Product Marketing Manager at AJA Video Systems and has worked in and around production for the last twenty years as an editor, documentarian and sound engineer. He joins us tonight with a very interesting update on the CION camera.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – May 21, 2015

Digital Production Buzz

May 21, 2015

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

 

(Click here to listen to this show.)

 
HOSTS

Larry Jordan & Mike Horton

GUESTS

Uwe Greunke, Director, Global Marketing/Brand Marketing, Sennheiser

Jeff Stansfield, CEO/President, Advantage Video Systems

Brady Betzel, Editor, Contributing Writer, Post Magazine & PostPerspective.com

===

Announcer: Tonight’s Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at macsales.com.

Voiceover: Rolling. Action!

Voiceover: Since the dawn of digital film making…

Voiceover: Authoritative.

Voiceover: …one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals…

Voiceover: Current.

Voiceover: …uniting industry experts…

Voiceover: Production.

Voiceover: …film makers…

Voiceover: Post production.

Voiceover: …and content creators around the planet.

Voiceover: Distribution.

Voiceover: From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, The Digital Production Buzz goes 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.

Larry Jordan: Our show starts with Uwe Greunke. He’s the Director of Global and Brand Marketing for Sennheiser, and recently Sennheiser launched a new microphone line called the ABX. This is the first of two segments in which we’re going to talk with Sennheiser about how they decided to market this new product. Today, we’re talking marketing and viral videos. Next week, we’ll look at it from a technical perspective.

Larry Jordan: Then Jeff Stansfield, the President of Advantage Video Systems, joins us in the studio to talk about a new on set image capture system they’ve invented called 4Kase. Jeff explains how this one unit can save you time on set.

Larry Jordan: Then editor Brady Betzel joins us to talk about how he’s using 3D modeling and animation for a variety of reality television shows.

Larry Jordan: And I should mention that our esteemed, affable…

Mike Horton: Excuse me, let me swallow this.

Larry Jordan: He’s a co-host, his name is Mike Horton. Hello, Mike.

Mike Horton: Hi, I’m the co-host.

Larry Jordan: Sorry, I did not mean to catch you in mid gulp.

Mike Horton: No, that’s all right.

Larry Jordan: It’s the coffee again, isn’t it?

Mike Horton: I like the Bradley or I like the Brady or whoever we’re having here. By the way, the German pronunciation of that guy’s name was very good.

Larry Jordan: I have a 50/50 chance of getting it right and that was my one out of two chances. Wait ‘til you hear it during…

Mike Horton: You know, we’ve been doing this for ten years, you’re finally getting it right, Larry.

Larry Jordan: You’ve got a special thing happening next week.

Mike Horton: And I just booked you.

Larry Jordan: Yes, well you did, that’s true.

Mike Horton: As you were coming out of your car, I asked you if you’d be a guru at Stump The Gurus.

Larry Jordan: I would be honored to be a guru.

Mike Horton: Yes, because you know who are going to be the gurus?

Larry Jordan: I have no clue.

Mike Horton: It’s going to be Randy Ubillos, who probably knows Final Cut Pro X better than you do.

Larry Jordan: And Final Cut 7.

Mike Horton: And Final Cut 7.

Larry Jordan: And Premiere.

Mike Horton: And iMovie and Premiere.

Larry Jordan: But other than that, he’s been doing nothing with his life.

Mike Horton: And our good friend Monica Daniel, who you know. She’ll be a guru; and also Kylie Wall, who’s now moved to Los Angeles, so there’ll be four incredible experts to solve everybody’s problems.

Larry Jordan: My question is why aren’t you ever a guru? We all want that.

Mike Horton: Because I know nothing. Why do you think you hire me? I know nothing. I’m here as the comic relief. But I did comb my hair. You see this?

Larry Jordan: And it looks stunning, and it’s just…

Mike Horton: And it’s getting grayer as we speak.

Larry Jordan: It is not our fault.

Mike Horton: Grade T. Ok.

Larry Jordan: It is not our fault that Mike’s hair is turning gray. Remember, you can read our text transcripts for every show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription. Transcripts are located on each show page. You can learn more about the transcripts themselves at take1.tv and thanks, Take 1, for making it possible.

Larry Jordan: Remember to visit with us on Facebook. We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and – and this is really cool – you need to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com for an inside look every Friday at both our show and the industry.

Mike Horton: That is a definite must do. I mean, I enjoy those, so please do that, folks.

Larry Jordan: And we’re getting better and better pictures of both of us. Have you noticed that? They’re now in focus.

Mike Horton: Well, the cameras are now closer, which is not a good thing for me but a very good thing for you because you don’t have all the Irish complexion that I do.

Larry Jordan: You look so good on camera. You’re the only person I’ve ever seen who doesn’t need to wear makeup.

Mike Horton: Yes, Larry and I are self deprecating.

Larry Jordan: Mike, by the way, because Uwe Greunke lives in Germany, we recorded our conversation with him a little bit earlier, which is why Mike is suddenly going to disappear.

Mike Horton: Yes, I’m going to get some more tea.

Larry Jordan: I’ll be back with our first guest right after this.

Larry Jordan: Our friends at Other World Computing are looking for a creative, fan-made commercial, so they’re hosting a video contest with an incredible grand prize of a dream video workstation. This prize package includes a 2013 Apple Mac Pro and a 4K display, an Avid Artist’s transport console and color control surface, a 16 terabyte OWC Thunderbay 4, a GoPro Hero and more.

Larry Jordan: The whole package is worth over $12,000. Whether you’re a seasoned pro shooting with high end gear or a newcomer shooting with your iPhone, now you can show off your video making talent in a 30 to 60 second commercial about OWC. The deadline for entries is June 30th, so start shooting. Visit macsales.com/video-contest for all the details. That’s macsales.com. Don’t miss out.

Larry Jordan: Uwe Greunke is the Director of Global and Brand Marketing for Sennheiser, which is located near Hanover, Germany. They specialize in creating high end audio products and Uwe’s mission is to tell the Sennheiser story from a customer focused point of view. He was recently involved in a viral video campaign promoting their new AVX system and the movie was called ‘The Oracle’. Hello, Uwe, welcome. Good to have you back.

Uwe Greunke: Hello.

Larry Jordan: Sennheiser has been in the industry since, what, the late 1940s and their products are legendary for their quality and reliability – we use them here on the show on a daily basis. Why was it decided that a new microphone needed to be created that you were then charged with marketing?

Uwe Greunke: The new point is that we see a trend in the industry that the old… cameraman on the camera and a sound related guy only taking care of sound is not the truth any more. You have a lot of one man shows going out there and they have to do everything. It’s a one man show there, so we needed a new product especially to fulfill this need. There’s a strong desire from the market to have a simply, click it in, use it and relax.

Uwe Greunke: This was the proposal for the new device, for the new microphone, and you can see a shift in the whole industry that, especially as a German manufacturer, they like to talk about their products. But if you see very successful companies like GoPro, for example, they talk more about the user experience – their game is be a hero. They’re not talking so much about the camera, they’re talking more of the user experience.

Uwe Greunke: That’s why it was the end user… for our new device that result in front, so you want to be relaxed and concentrate on your setting and not playing around with all the sound details. This is a strong trend in the market with an emphasis on the end user experience and we really appreciate that and put it together from the product, but also from the communication and AV side.

Larry Jordan: You’re responsible for brand marketing at Sennheiser. How do you define the difference between brand marketing and just general marketing?

Uwe Greunke: That’s a good point. For me, the brand lays the strategy, the overall framework, the big picture – where do I want to see the brand in two, three, five years from now? The marketing is more the technical fulfillment of this strategy. The brand is the framework, the marketing fulfils it with the key initiatives, the things we want to emphasize. This is the relationship, more like a tool from the marketing side and the brand lays down the strategy of where we want to be with the brand.

Larry Jordan: When you’re looking at brand marketing and you’re talking about it from the customers’ point of view, it seems that one of your big challenges is dealing with cultural differences between, say, Germans and French or Americans or Australians. How do you compensate for those differences?

Uwe Greunke: That’s a very good point. First of all, I think it’s a target group related thing. If you look into the Chinese or Asian market, and at Sennheiser we are quite strongly in the Asia region, by 2020 you will have nearly one billion people living in the urban cities. If you go to Shanghai, you’ll hardly find a difference to an urban setting like London, so for me it’s more a cluster of target groups that I can find in different spots worldwide where you have a Chinese customer or a US customer.

Uwe Greunke: Maybe it’s more like what do you propose? What do you intend? You’re a videographer, you need a device that… suggestion it can do a relaxed film setting, but you like to enjoy your spare time and then you want to listen to high end music and you need high end headphones. It’s more the setting you’re in, the kind of peer group, the kind of…you want to achieve – relaxation or consumption of high end music, this kind of thing. It’s rather this than the cultural differences.

Larry Jordan: That’s a very interesting thought, that people who do similar tasks in different parts of the world are similar in personality or similar in points of view, as opposed to looking at it demographically where you have an Asian market or a European market. I hadn’t considered that before, that’s a very interesting thought.

Uwe Greunke: Yes.

Larry Jordan: The new AVX system – which, by the way, for those who are watching or listening, ‘The Oracle’ is available on YouTube, just do a search for Sennheiser or a search for ‘The Oracle’. It’s a three minute short film and highlights a brand new microphone system from Sennheiser called the AVX – you’ve talked about the fact that the AVX was designed to simplify the filmmaker’s life, especially with one man bands going out to do both production and sound. What was the charter that you gave to the production company in putting this film together?

Uwe Greunke: Good question. We spent quite a lot of time in the… background looking at what the driver was. Generally, you have a strong driver in fear – people have fear to not fulfill tasks, so they have to do a little something and maybe there are some issues, some problems coming up, so you have the fear not to deliver something. Or you want to have more, more awards, more recognition, this kind of thing, and you have to understand what drives our target group so… the target group is.

Uwe Greunke: We really took a deep look into the setting of this target group and had really intensive discussions with the agencies, rather than sending them just the brief and say, “We need a new spot. What’s your… goals, this percentage you want to achieve?” It was more intense discussion about the target group, about the setting, about the brand proposed and about the mission we like to support from our end user, and this took us quite a while, a couple of weeks. I think we had three sessions with the agency and then they came up with several positioning sentences.

Uwe Greunke: I don’t remember all of them but there were five to six sentences positioning the new device… of the complication in different kinds of areas. The one that jumped in our face most was a relax in AV because it was very promising. It was the campaign and only a couple of words and this was the thing that attracted us most and amazed us and from there on we developed, in a certain kind of sense, the campaign itself, the pictures, the casting. But it was started by a device coming from the brand proposal, coming from the target group, with different kinds of settings, simply positioning statements, and from there on they developed the whole setting, the whole scene.

Larry Jordan: Well, it seems to me that you’ve got a very delicate balance because you work for Sennheiser, which makes a wide variety of different audio products, and you want to be careful not to say that AVX is easy, which then implies that all the rest of the Sennheiser products are hard. How do you try to balance marketing one product with another?

Uwe Greunke: Simplification is always the hardest part. This is one thing I learned in marketing. If you can put it very easily at the end, in an easy sentence, it is most likely the result of hard work. Same with Sennheiser. If you put on an HD800… this is easy, you can plug it in and listen to it and you’re filled with the sound of music. The effort it takes to make this kind of high end listening experience is immense. It took us years, maybe decades.

Uwe Greunke: So simplification at the end is a very nice tool to get a key into the end user’s mind to position ourselves in the relevant… but the knowledge taken to get there is huge. If you take our digital…, this is one of our best sellers, they are very high end, it’s a huge complex system but you don’t bother the people with, “Ok, this is the most sophisticated and complex system you can buy on the market.”

Uwe Greunke: Also, the high end system, the Digital 9000 which are used for most of the big events worldwide, the sound engineers want to have the same kind of experience. Hopefully it’s simple, hopefully it’s easy to understand and if you run a show with more than 100 people in a television setting, hopefully it’s easy to understand and notice your… It’s the same kind of setting. It’s not a difference between an AVX and a Digital 9000 and an HD800. You need leadership to bring it in this kind of direction, but at the end it must be simple.

Larry Jordan: Ok, let’s put your filmmaker hat back on again. You’re getting ready to create the film for ‘The Oracle’. From a marketing and planning point of view, what’s the difference between planning a film that’s just a straight, say, television commercial and planning a film like this one, which you want to have go viral, and planning a simple video which describes how to use the product? How does your thinking change?

Uwe Greunke: You mean from the marketing team or from the…?

Larry Jordan: From the marketing point of view, because that’s the part that you know the best.

Uwe Greunke: Yes, yes. I think it needs openers. In such a development, the old method is coming from a waterfall device, so you are building the concept and you go into development and your testing etcetera. In the new age, you go for an agile approach, more like a strong message. You come in with something of an idea, of a vision. You put on a team, you go into speak phase and you think, “Ok, where we are now, this is really… so do we have to change the approach?” and this was something similar.

Uwe Greunke: We gave the idea to…. They’re coming up with the…, they’re coming up with the treatment. Then we gave it to the film production company and they came up with some different kinds of elements, more like an agile project approach, like software development, and we saw that it was very cool and especially on set. Where we did the filming, we have this kind of key scene where we have this, before they go into the… ok, you’re ready, you know what you’re putting on your backs and they get this… there with their hands… in the scene, so it was something where we were really open and this brought us more.

Uwe Greunke: It opened new horizons for us and I think this is the difference. If you do a commercial, you have 30 seconds in mind and you must push the product. In this kind of a viral setting, you’d better be open to new ideas, new inspiring things, and just push it further. I think this is the big difference.

Larry Jordan: How far in advance of the product launch did you create the video? Or has the product launched and the video was created after the fact?

Uwe Greunke: The product idea was there. We were in development and the launch was nine to ten months away, so we started in late summer of last year with the positioning of the production, almost in Q4 last year, and then did all the preparation, the seeding and all the stuff, the PR preparation, so it was almost ten months before the launch.

Larry Jordan: That’s a fair amount of time planning a very short film.

Uwe Greunke: That’s the story.

Larry Jordan: Put your marketing hat back on again. There are a number of excellent audio companies out there, Sennheiser is one of them, and each one of them makes a variety of excellent microphones and Sennheiser makes a huge variety. As a filmmaker, how do we decide what microphone to pick? I’ll give you a specific example. Three weeks ago, our company needed to buy some more Lavaliers for our studio, so I went to a local audio post house, rented six different microphones, we brought them back here and just did tests to see which one sounded the best of the six that we rented.

Larry Jordan: But Sennheiser doesn’t have six, it’s got closer to 20 or 30 different microphones, and that’s just one company. How do you help us as filmmakers to make the right decision, aside from the fact that it’s a reliable product and you can relax when you use it? Microphones sound different, how do we pick?

Uwe Greunke: Very good question again. I think a kind of trend coming from simply the manufacturing view is that today you can use the community and the experts within the company. Neumann is owned by Sennheiser and we write in discussions what we do to develop the Neumann brand into the future. Neumann is the recording microphone for professional studios. You hardly find any production of the top 100 of all time high recordings done without a Neumann. It is good.

Uwe Greunke: There is respect to have the song heritage, but you have to know how to bring it into the future and I think the community, with all the… qualified and skilled sound engineers, could bring the knowledge into it with our experts to say you will reach the best results with this kind of setting, with this kind of different microphone. The world’s more complex and to make it simpler we as a manufacturer have to be open to the community and integrate their knowledge and combine it with ours to find the best answer.

Uwe Greunke: I think that the sound engineer of the future will tap it into Google and say, “What is the best setting for this kind of pose I have, because it’s never been done before and I want to do a recording in a new setting?” If it’s never been done before, what do you do? You need a combination, maybe also testing, and try different things and then come to the best solution. So again, be open, integrate the knowledge, provide more knowledge – that’s why we not only produced ‘The Oracle’ video as a commercial, but also we also provided three different kinds of little feature films to explain how to best use the camera.

Uwe Greunke: I think tutorial videos will become more prevalent, but also integrating community knowledge with our knowledge and giving more advice to the questions out there for things that have maybe never been done so far.

Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting, thinking about your planning this video for release on YouTube and other social channels – the job of marketing has changed a lot over the last five years. In the past, you’d be debating between doing a television ad or a magazine ad, but how would you describe the challenges of your job and getting the message out today?

Uwe Greunke: The first challenge is reading the change. First you have to convince the organization. Normally, the product engineers are really nerds about the product, they love the product, they spend years developing it and now we come in with a different kind of approach and they’re normally not used to it. They say, “Ok, no, let’s talk about the product.” We said, “No, let’s talk about the end user and bring these two perspectives together.” This was the first challenge. Your first client is your internal organization which is at the beginning very hard because you can’t convince people with results, so you have to spend quite some hours with them and convince them and open up to them.

Uwe Greunke: The next thing is how to reach the… especially for these kind of specialized devices, so you use a new combination of the channels, new suppliers, they are very specialized to getting the best out of a YouTube setting, so we also opened up to a lot of specialized suppliers helping us to bring the core of the message to the people.

Uwe Greunke: The next thing is to be flexible in the output, so not thinking about only one commercial and sending this via a lot of channels rather than having a main video, a tutorial video, making of video, emotional story about it, these kind of interviews we’re doing now.

Uwe Greunke: There are a lot of different kind of pieces put together making up the campaign, but it’s not simply only one spot you send to the world and that’s it, it’s a 20 second spot and the job is done. You have to be more alternative. It’s a different kind of puzzle which you have to bring together in a flexible steering mode, which at the end somehow is the overall campaign.

Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting about the challenges that you minimized when you say you have to convince your product-centric company to focus on the end result and not the product specifications themselves. I can just imagine how hard those meetings must have been.

Uwe Greunke: Yes. It was also fun. We started with the… campaign that you loved in America last year, a completely new approach. There’s a man we put in a headphone costume and he loves ears. It was completely new to a manufacturer, but this opened up the mindset that… groups resolve a complication and drive a difference and now we get strong support from the organization, it really loves this spot and want to develop it further.

Uwe Greunke: We had a fear in the… where they took this kind of Oracle idea into a box… and asked the box questions and this box answers you and gives you some advice about the future, but this… once the organization jumps on… is in development, so this is what I mean by putting together the overall campaign but it wasn’t maybe as straightforward as five years ago.

Larry Jordan: Uwe, where can people go on the web to learn more about your products and the AVX specifically?

Uwe Greunke: It’s simply sennheiser.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s sennheiser.com and Uwe Greunke is the Director of Global and Brand Marketing for Sennheiser. Uwe, thanks for joining us today.

Uwe Greunke: Thanks a lot.

Larry Jordan: I’ve got a ton of brand new training videos showcasing all the new features in Final Cut Pro 10.2, and they’re all available today. In fact, we’ve updated our entire Final Cut training for this release. We added more than 70 new movies covering every major and minor new feature in the software.

Larry Jordan: Then I figured, as long as I was recording, I added new techniques and new ways of working that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. We’ve updated our workflow in editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut training the most comprehensive, most up to date and most affordable way to learn everything about this amazing software. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s complete.

Larry Jordan: I’m proud of all of my training and especially proud of this one. Get your copy today in our store at larryjordan.com or, even better, become a member of our video training library and get access to all of our training for one low monthly price. Both are incredible value. Thanks.

Larry Jordan: Jeff Stansfield is the President and CEO of Advantage Video Systems, which he launched in 2001 to provide technology solutions to the media industry. Jeff has served as a general board member, treasurer and secretary of SMPTE – that’s the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. He also holds certificates in cabling systems, including fiber, and offers expertise in cameras, lighting, shared storage and asset management solutions. He’s an all around geek. Hello, Jeff, welcome.

Jeff Stansfield: Hey, Larry. Thank you so much and, Mike, good to see you again.

Mike Horton: Good to see you. I don’t recognize you without the hat.

Jeff Stansfield: I know, I haven’t got…

Mike Horton: You should go back to your car right now, get the hat and come on back.

Jeff Stansfield: I should go back and get the hat and come back. There you go.

Mike Horton: We have, what, eight minutes to go, so hurry up.

Jeff Stansfield: There you go. By the way, it is a beautiful studio.

Mike Horton: Isn’t it?

Jeff Stansfield: Really nice.

Larry Jordan: Yes, it’s really nice.

Mike Horton: Well, you helped build it.

Jeff Stansfield: Did I? Oh yes, we did it.

Mike Horton: You helped build it.

Jeff Stansfield: We did, we had a lot of fun doing this studio.

Larry Jordan: Jeff, how would you describe what Advantage Video does? What kind of work do you do?

Jeff Stansfield: Well, technically we’re systems integrators, but we really call ourselves solutions integrators. Clients come to us and say, “We have this solution,” like you came to us and said, “We want to build this studio. We have all this equipment we’re getting and we need somebody to put it together.

Jeff Stansfield: We have all these needs and we have this,” and so we came in and said, “Ok, let’s build this lighting grid for you,” and instead of going out and spending tons of money on a pole from Matthews, we would go out and find better ways to design the grid, better ways to hang lighting, better ways to design the studio so in the limited space that you have in your control room, to be able to do everything you want to do and accomplish everything you need for the budget that you have.

Jeff Stansfield: We go out and create solutions for clients’ needs, whether it’s for cameras, lighting, editing systems or streaming systems. We build custom streaming systems to TV studios, we’ve upgraded over 200 TV stations in the years that we’ve been working and we do constant projects and have a lot of fun doing it.

Larry Jordan: Are you often walking in like you did here, you walked into an empty space and put the whole thing together, is that more typical or is it more typical that you’re doing a particular system to an existing facility?

Jeff Stansfield: Well, it’s a little bit of both. We’ve done a lot of walking into an empty room and people say, “This is what we want to do,” and we sit down with them and work it all out. Every client is different. Some clients, like you, get equipment from other manufacturers because you get discounts from them and stuff like that, so we work with that.

Jeff Stansfield: Some clients come and say, “Here’s a bunch of money, we need everything,” and we go out and do it. Some clients come to us and say, “We have some old equipment that we want to work. We want to build it and we want to do this,” and so we incorporate some of that stuff and we develop a solution that works with whatever our clients want to do.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that you’ve developed recently is a box called the 4Kase. Tell us what that is.

Jeff Stansfield: 4Kase came out of a need that a lot of on-set production, people who are moving the sets, from doing post houses, moving everything on set, an on-set editorial, on-set DIT. We had a client who came to us and said, “We want to work with this new Mac Pro that Apple’s coming out with and we also want to be able to take this DIT up on top of a hill,” and their current DIT system that they were working with weighed 695 pounds, had these big giant wheels and there was no way that they could do it, so we built this thing, we took this case, we built a metal framing around it, we built shock mount handling in it.

Jeff Stansfield: We put a 28 inch 4K 10 bit color monitor in the lid that has shockproof, bullet proof lidding. You could bang on it and bang that monitor and it won’t break. We put the Mac Pro in it, we put six expansion slots in it, we put 16 drive bays and with the new fixed R-Drive that we’re working with, the six terabyte, you can get 96 terabytes of solid state storage in the case. Two LTO drives. Dual JBL speakers. Headphone jack, a power switch, everything we designed in the case is top of the line.

Jeff Stansfield: We didn’t just put a switch where you push a piece of plastic and it pushes a spring and pushes the button. We built an electrical satellite switch. We’re geeky engineer guys and we just love to make things top notch and make things work and this case, we designed it so that it weighs 142 pounds, which is important because the cutoff for regular shipping is 150 pounds, so that way you can ship it regular shipping and you don’t have to freight it. Most of our clients, they do it anyways, but we designed this case to meet all our clients’ needs so that they can take it on top of that mountain just by carrying it up the hill.

Mike Horton: So you can ship this all over the world and it’ll get there safely?

Jeff Stansfield: It’ll get there safely, you can bang on this, you can hit it, whatever you want to do to it, and it’ll stay safe. All the equipment stays in there safe. It has a UPS in the bottom of the case to give you backup power. Everything that you need in a DIT case is in this case for a third of the weight and twice the performance.

Mike Horton: Ok, so there are a lot of other post houses doing this. Why should we go with your solution?

Jeff Stansfield: There are a lot of people doing different things, like Michael Connolly at White Iron has their Lilypads and they do great work. One of the things is we don’t really like to rent ours, we like to sell our cases. We will sell to a rental house or something like that, but we like to sell our cases because they’re relatively inexpensive.

Mike Horton: So you put top of the line equipment in this, but you still sell it?

Jeff Stansfield: Yes, and there’s another company called Edit Box, it’s another good solution. It’s a little bit smaller, it doesn’t have a UPS, it has a 22 inch monitor. The guys who make it are great guys, they do a good job at it, and it’s a different solution. Ours is built really for the full end, high end, people who want the same thing that Michael built with the Lilypad but wants it in a smaller, more portable case that can go anywhere you want to go and the customer or the rental house wants to own it, not just rent it.

Jeff Stansfield: But it’s a great case and we all do different cases. Everybody who does this solution does it in a different way and a client may want that solution from White Iron and they do a great job, or the other solutions that are out there. We designed ours for a specific client who has a specific kind of need and we do a really, really good job. We have it all on a website just for that, which is 4kase.com.

Larry Jordan: For DIT work, is there a big difference between working with, say, standard HD and 4K?

Jeff Stansfield: There’s not a lot of difference in how the workflow works and there’s a difference in workflows between the people who use our case. For instance, we had one client who had six RED cameras on set and so what they did is they shot some video with the RED camera, they plugged the RED camera into our case, brought it up on a 4K monitor.

Jeff Stansfield: Then the DIT and the director and the cinematographer were able to look at this case and set up the LUTs for the cameras and then they put that onto a USB drive and then all the cameras were calibrated exactly the way that the director and cinematographer wanted, which saved them tons and tons of money and time in that all the cameras were perfect. Then they were also backing up, so the cameras are shooting and they’re shooting to drives, but they’re also plugged into our case and they’re backing up onto the two LTO6 drives we have in there and they were ingesting.

Jeff Stansfield: At the same time they were ingesting, they were backing up onto LTO drives so that they can take those drives and send them back for better editorial and better color grade, so it’s more like a workflow time saving and then they can also use it as an on-set DIT for doing on-set DIT work. They can also do on-site editorial. A lot of our clients are using the new Resolve to edit with. The new Resolve 11 is being used a lot by our clients to edit on and this can run that really, really well.

Mike Horton: It is amazing. Six months ago, a year ago, could you even have conceived of this stuff? It’s just incredible and saving people a heck of a lot of money.

Larry Jordan: Jeff, where can people go on the web to learn more firstly about the unit and then secondly about your company?

Jeff Stansfield: The 4Kase has got 4kase.com as the website for that. It’s also on our website as well.

Mike Horton: You know the real spelling is C-A-S-E?

Jeff Stansfield: Yes, I know, but I’m dyslexic so I can’t spell.

Mike Horton: That’s right.

Jeff Stansfield: Then my website is advantagevideosystems.com, or 800-287-5095 is my phone number. Give me a call.

Larry Jordan: That’s enough because we’re going to wrap it up.

Mike Horton: And he will make your day perfect.

Larry Jordan: That website is 4kase.com for the case and advantagevideosystems.com for Jeff’s website. Jeff Stansfield is the founder and President. Thanks, Jeff, for joining us.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Jeff.

Jeff Stansfield: All right, guys.

Larry Jordan: Editor and writer Brady Betzel has been working in television for over ten years, starting as an intern on the daily talk show ‘On Air with Ryan Seacrest’. Today, Brady primarily works in Avid Media Composer at Symphony Systems and Adobe After Effects with a smattering of Cinema 4D. He’s going to be at the next Editors’ Lounge, presenting an interesting concept which is 3D modeling and animation for reality TV. Hello, Brady, welcome.

Brady Betzel: Hey, how’s it going?

Larry Jordan: We are talking to you, we are doing great. Tell us about what a typical editing project is for you, because I have a very hard time putting together the concept of 3D animation and reality TV. So talk to us – what are you doing?

Brady Betzel: It’s funny, when I was coming up as an assistant editor, I noticed a lot of shows had just plain slates and that kind of got me thinking, “I think there’s something better we can do,” and I also needed a niche to get myself in the door as a real editor and I worked on a lot of reality TV shows and I just thought, “You know what? I need to bury my head in After Effects, Cinema 4D and set myself apart,” and it seemed after about 100 tutorials I started making some cool titles and stuff people seemed to grab onto.

Larry Jordan: Well, cool titles with Cinema 4D is an understatement. That’s a massive piece of gear. But before we get into that, I want to come back to the whole idea of editing reality TV. These shows have got massive deadlines, way too much footage and not a whole lot of money to work with. Can you even afford to do any kind of special look with a reality budget and reality deadline?

Brady Betzel: You know, that’s funny. Budgets are getting really tight, as you probably know, and so they want interns to do Photoshop or whatever they want to do that’s crazy and a lot of editors who have been around a while don’t like. I’m in a weird spot because I’m in the between the stage where the older editors don’t want to do the graphics, the younger editors are so good that they’re better than almost everybody that’s out there right now, so I have to learn every day how to make this cool stuff and, like you said, the budgets are small so as an editor I need to learn the tools that are the quickest and Cinema 4D’s quick, but I also like to use a program called After Effects with Andrew Kramer’s Element 3D and that thing is how I do stuff fast.

Larry Jordan: Now, when we’re talking 3D, are we talking stereoscopic 3D, the special glasses, or are we just talking world building and creating entire environments? Or are we just looking at moving text in a 3D environment?

Brady Betzel: A lot of… environments, not stereoscopic. That would be really cool, though. …some 4D 3E stuff, that would be awesome.

Larry Jordan: And describe a typical project. Give me an effect that you work with and walk me through your workflow and the software you’re using and what you’re trying to achieve.

Brady Betzel: Sure. Like I was saying earlier, a lot of opening titles to shows a few years ago were very plain and I just thought that a lot of people hadn’t seen what you could do with 3D text and 3D elements inside of the reality shows, so typically it would be a cold open to a show where they would need to either introduce characters or reveal the storyline of the last episode.

Brady Betzel: Some of the shows I’ve worked on allowed for a lot of leeway in terms of creativity, so I can come up with crazy, huge text which people on green screens could walk in front of and it was really up to my imagination. Typically, I would watch some footage that they wanted me to use and my crazy brain would just go into After Effects and start creating my own world of text and, using Rampant Design Tools, just throw in some crazy lens flares and dust and fire. I’m kind of oversimplifying it, but it is just me, a kid, playing with some crayons and markers in the end.

Mike Horton: Yes, but speaking of playing with crayons and markers and doing all those wonderful things that you are doing, do you ever get stopped by the producers that you’re working for saying, “Yes, maybe a little bit less is more”?

Brady Betzel: Yes. It’s funny, these days, the budgets are so small that you don’t really have much time for notes, so it’s either, “Yes we like it,” or “No we don’t.” When they say, “No we don’t,” that obviously kind of sucks. Once I had to start from scratch, but usually you can get by.

Larry Jordan: You were talking about the fact that you start with After Effects and start to play in your sandbox until something shows up. When do you use After Effects and when do you use Cinema 4D?

Brady Betzel: Cinema 4D isn’t as quick. I’m not as quick in Cinema 4D. As you know, it’s a complex program. You can do some amazing stuff and if I have maybe two to four weeks to do something, then I’ll jump in Cinema 4D. If I have an hour or maybe a day, then I use After Effects just because it flies.

Larry Jordan: What are some of your favorite effects inside After Effects? What do you grab first?

Brady Betzel: I love Element 3D, the plug-in, like I was saying, from Video Co-Pilot, but a lot of text, a lot of Sapphire plug-ins are pretty awesome, Boris obviously has some great stuff, but just glows and Element 3D really is it, because Element 3D allows you to bring 3D models, like in Cinema 4D, into After Effects and use them very quickly and put some material on them and it really can make a boring title or a boring bumper or a boring lower third really zing.

Mike Horton: How important is it for young editors to know everything? I mean, you know After Effects, you know Cinema 4D, you are familiar with all the wonderful plug-ins out there and you can edit. You know everything and they expect you to know everything, they expect you to know sound, they expect you to know music, they expect you to know After Effects and all these other things that you know to get that leg up. How important is that?

Brady Betzel: It’s actually very important and it’s weird, because I got talking earlier, a lot of people don’t like me doing what I do because it diminishes the craft of editing, I guess. It’s tricky, though, because you have to know everything or else the guy who doesn’t want to know After Effects or doesn’t want to jump in and use Photoshop is going to be out of a job when… on YouTube making stuff that’s way better that’s on TV.

Mike Horton: Mhmm.  Boy, I’m glad I’m not starting out nowadays. I want to tell stories, I don’t want to have to do all that crap that you’re doing. I mean, it’s not crap, but it’s…

Jeff Stansfield: Yes, a lot of people talk like that and I also agree that story is king, always. Unfortunately, though, with budgets being so tight, there’s no room for graphics departments, so if you really want to become the lead editor or become an editor from being an assistant editor, you’ve got to show your worth and for me that was where I was.

Larry Jordan: But, Mike, I was just thinking – it isn’t that he is telling stories with 3D, he’s capturing the viewers’ attention with the open. You’re trying to use 3D…

Mike Horton: No, I’m not saying that what he’s doing isn’t creative but, I don’t know, I wish you didn’t have to know all this stuff.

Larry Jordan: Well, he hasn’t mentioned audio. He’s mentioned Cinema 4D, so there’s hope for people that just do audio.

Mike Horton: All right, do you have to do sound design too?

Brady Betzel: Typically, yes. It’s a big weird world. If you send out a rough cut that doesn’t sound good, the producers could think you’re not a good editor, so you clearly have to know how to ride levels on your music and your sound effects and this and that and dialogue has got to punch through and you want stereo music. Some editors I’ve seen are using music centered so it doesn’t sound as good if it’s stereo, or the dialog’s centered. You’ve got to know a lot.

Mike Horton: Oy-yi-yi.

Brady Betzel: But that’s not to discourage anybody, because it’s fun.

Mike Horton: Ok, so long as you’re having fun, as long as you think it’s creative, that’s terrific. That’s absolutely terrific.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, listening to you, why would you not describe yourself as a visual effects artist? Why do you describe yourself as an editor? Because aren’t you really concentrating on the artistic side of putting these titles and 3D things together?

Brady Betzel: Yes, kind of. It’s funny, though, because there’s not as much room for visual effects departments at reality companies or docu-drama, whatever you want to call it, and so you have to be the editor and, like you said, know everything else. I just have to know a little bit more about visual effects than a lot of editors and I have friends who do visual effects for a living and… what they do. But they’re amazing.

Larry Jordan: By the way, there’s been a great discussion between Caesar and Eric and Grant in our live chat for the last couple of minutes, but Grant writes that it’s very important that editors know more than one application. It happens to him every day. He has to know everything from lighting to sound to camerawork, editing, post production, delivery issues, as well as be a script editor and director, so wearing multiple hats exists all over the world, because Grant’s based in Australia.

Brady Betzel: Oh yes, and if you want to get crazier, system editors have one of the hardest jobs in the world right now because they’re DITs, they’re trying to be creative editors and it’s a mess.

Mike Horton: Yes, and they need to know spreadsheets and FileMaker Pro. Oh my goodness.

Brady Betzel: Yes, and deal with people like me.

Mike Horton: And deal with people like you, yes.

Larry Jordan: And speaking of people like you, Brady, I just realized that in addition to your editing and all of your artistic skills, you also are a contributing editor for Post Perspective. Am I remembering that correctly?

Brady Betzel: That is correct.

Mike Horton: Oh, cool.

Larry Jordan: When do you have time to write?

Brady Betzel: That’s a good question too. I really have to wake up early and fit it in. I commute about an hour to Hollywood from…, so if I get to work early enough I fit in ten minutes of reviews or on the weekends, if my wife and my children let me, I do an hour of testing here or there.

Mike Horton: Oh my God, you’ve got to do the 101 five days a week? Oh my.

Brady Betzel: I take the 118 sometimes.

Mike Horton: Oh, ok.

Larry Jordan: Brady was the lead story in this week’s Post Perspective. It was a review of a new piece of software, if I remember correctly?

Brady Betzel: Yes, and I love Randi, so I would do a lot for her.

Larry Jordan: Yes, she’s good folks, there’s no question.

Brady Betzel: Yes, sure is.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of mentoring, training and writing and stuff, you’re going to be speaking at the Editors’ Lounge coming up. What are you going to be talking on?

Brady Betzel: I’m going to be going over… discuss the visual effects in reality TV, because Cinema 4D has a cool new release that has some really easy things you can do, for instance a house builder, and you can quickly build a four bedroom house in Cinema 4D, put some textures on it and render it out. For those shows that design houses or do house walk-throughs, you can have it done maybe in two hours if you’re, moderately…

Mike Horton: Have you seen that, Larry?

Larry Jordan: No.

Mike Horton: Matthias showed me that at NAB. It is remarkable.

Brady Betzel: Yes, it really is.

Mike Horton: It is remarkable and you’ll see it on all these house and garden TV shows very soon, I guarantee you.

Brady Betzel: Yes, and that’s where some of my… If I know the house builder, I could have a job on those shows for months.

Mike Horton: Absolutely, yes. You could host them. You could be one of the property brothers.

Brady Betzel: Yes, right.

Larry Jordan: Are you going to be showing examples or are you going to be showing how the software works? Is this a training exercise for people to learn software or a chance to show and tell some of your work?

Brady Betzel: No, I’m going to be showing kind of how to build that house in Cinema 4D real quick and then probably jump over to After Effects and show just a few things that, if you’re the editor and you’re in two minds whether you want to do graphics because they take too much time, I can maybe show them, hey, in 30 minutes you can make something that is a lot better than a…

Mike Horton: How important is it for people out there not just starting out, the people who absolutely know something, to share their work like you do on sites that you share your work on? I think it’s hugely important.

Brady Betzel: I agree. I think paying it forward gets me further than any work I do or anything. Teaching interns or assistant editors or anyone anything I know, for some reason it reinforces it in myself and paying it forward helps the whole community.

Mike Horton: Yes, it’s like you learn so much by teaching.

Brady Betzel: Yes, I agree.

Larry Jordan: You also learn what you don’t know when you’re teaching.

Brady Betzel: Oh my God…

Larry Jordan: Brady, Caesar on the live chat’s asking what software you edit on?

Brady Betzel: Avid. I’ll say Avid. I do a little bit in Premiere and Final Cut I’ve dabbled in, but every job I’ve had has been Avid.

Larry Jordan: And the integration between After Effects and Avid is straightforward?

Brady Betzel: There is none. Basically, you would export a high res QuickTime and then… bring them along… Avid can’t import it, which it can’t do pre-multiplied, but that’s another discussion. Yes, it’s a little dicey.

Mike Horton: No, that’s a tutorial, isn’t it?

Larry Jordan: Yes it is.

Brady Betzel: There are some good ones if anyone’s looking for them. Kevin… does a few good ones and Andrew Kramer has a host of great, simple tutorials to take a look at.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of tutorials and learning and teaching, in the time that we’ve got left, what tips do you have for people who consider themselves editors to enhance their graphics skills without necessarily spending their entire life becoming a visual artist? What are the key things that you find the market needs that are skills that people should develop?

Brady Betzel: I think the easiest ones are watching the shows that have some cool cold opens with title cards, like History Channel and Discovery Channel. They have some amazing stuff if you really break it down. There’s a show called Naked and Afraid that has some, I think, day numbers that are composited over live shots that are really incredible and it’s really not that hard. If you find the right tutorials, you can probably accomplish learning it in one or two hours.

Mike Horton: Not me.

Brady Betzel: Yes you could.

Mike Horton: No, not me. No, no, it isn’t going to happen. I can tell a story, I can’t do Cinema 4D. I can’t do it.

Brady Betzel: You can do anything you put your mind to.

Mike Horton: Yes, that’s what they say. Ok. It’s like his 12 step program.

Brady Betzel: Yes, right.

Larry Jordan: Brady, what projects are you working on now? What’s got your attention?

Brady Betzel: At the moment, I’m on online editor and I’ve been trying to focus my reviews towards the color correction software, so I’m really interested in looking at DaVinci Resolve 12. I think they’re going to send me it at some point… been doing another facet of post production that I’ve never seen.

Mike Horton: Yes, well, you know, of course, DaVinci Resolve 12 now, you can just edit your own movie and do your color correction. You can do everything in that thing.

Brady Betzel: Yes. They gave me a little… and I’ll tell you what, that is starting to look like what Sin City should have become.

Mike Horton: Yes, and it’s free.

Brady Betzel: Yes, there’s that.

Larry Jordan: Brady, where can we go on the web to learn more about the kind of work you’re doing? Do you have your own personal website?

Brady Betzel: No, I don’t really do the personal thing. I tried that.

Mike Horton: Oh, you should.

Brady Betzel: But, I don’t know, Twitter’s good and also if you just search my name on Post Perspective or Post Magazine, you can see some articles I do on there.

Larry Jordan: See, Mike, he doesn’t do everything. He doesn’t do web design.

Mike Horton: That’s right. I feel a little bit better that he doesn’t do everything.

Brady Betzel: I tell you what, though, Twitter takes up at least an hour a day in the morning of promoting myself. Holy moly.

Mike Horton: Yes? Well, put a website up and promote yourself there. But anyway, I will see you at Editors’ Lounge. I’m looking forward to seeing your presentation.

Larry Jordan: And when is the presentation for people who want to see it?

Brady Betzel: It’s going to be Friday May 29th and it’s hosted at Alpha Dogs in Burbank.

Mike Horton: And bring your own wine.

Larry Jordan: Oh, bring your own.

Brady Betzel: Apparently, yes. My wife was like, “BYOB? What is that about?”

Mike Horton: Yes, well that’s what it’s about.

Brady Betzel: Apparently I might have to…

Mike Horton: No, you’ve got to bring your own wine otherwise they won’t let you appear.

Brady Betzel: Oh. All right, I’m in, I’m in.

Mike Horton: All right, there you go.

Larry Jordan: Brady, thanks so much for joining us. Good success with your career and we’ll keep reading you in Post Perspective. Thanks for joining us today.

Brady Betzel: Awesome, thanks for having me.

Mike Horton: Thanks Brady.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.

Brady Betzel: All right, bye.

Larry Jordan: You know, Mike, it’s interesting, as we listen to the editors, as you say, people have to learn everything.

Mike Horton: I know you know everything, but how good are you at graphics?

Larry Jordan: You should see my graphics. When I teach graphics, I say, “This is why people don’t hire me as a graphics designer,” but I’m a really good editor. If you give me an existing graphic, I can modify it, but if I have to create it from whole cloth, I…

Mike Horton: But it all still comes down to taste, what works, what doesn’t work.

Larry Jordan: Mhmm. I’m a big fan of not…

Mike Horton: But you know how to do it. Do you know anything about 3D text, other than what Motion is doing now, which I love – you can take 2D text and click a button and it turns into 3D.

Larry Jordan: It’s called the Mike Horton effect.

Mike Horton: Yes, exactly. It was built for me. Says right there, ‘MH’, right there.

Larry Jordan: I do a lot of camera moves and do depth of field with 3D stuff, especially in Motion. I’m just a hacker at After Effects, but Motion…

Mike Horton: Have you gotten into Maya or anything like that and looked at the…?

Larry Jordan: No I haven’t, and the main reason I haven’t is because you really have to have a design sense to make Cinema 4D or Maya take off, to be able to see the design in your head, which is something I’ve never been able to do. I can modify but I can’t create.

Mike Horton: That is a sense of mathematics and geometry and all that other stuff, which is…

Larry Jordan: Which is a good thing, because otherwise you and I would have all the…

Mike Horton: I know what I want. See, I would hire somebody like Brady to do it. I know what I want, I think I know how to articulate what I want, other than, “Just make it better. It’s not right.”

Larry Jordan: What we’ve done here is we’ve hired several brilliant designers that are putting graphics together for this show and doing graphics for the other stuff.

Mike Horton: Oh yes.

Larry Jordan: So between Lindsay and…

Mike Horton: So what do you tell them? Do you say just, “Make it better”?

Larry Jordan: I don’t even generally give them that much. I just say, “Here, create this,” and I stand back out of the way and they turn out magic. It’s just amazing to watch.

Mike Horton: Oh, ok. So you say, “Brilliant. Oh, thank you very much.”

Larry Jordan: Yes, “Give me some magic,” that’s it, “and you’ve got half an hour.”

Mike Horton: Ok. Is that it? That’s the Larry Jordan line, “Give me some magic,” and that’s it. I like it.

Larry Jordan: Now I’m in trouble.

Mike Horton: I know how to run a business now. “Just give me some magic.” And they’ve done this to this room.

Larry Jordan: Well, the question is, remember, going back to Supermeet with Randy Ubillos, I was just thinking is there anybody that you can think of who’s had a more dramatic personal impact on the industry?

Mike Horton: No. You know what? I’m trying to write an introduction for him when I announce him next week and he’s a very humble guy, as you know, and I don’t really quite know what words to put together, but I will come up with something. But he changed the entire industry and I don’t think he knows it. I really don’t think he knows it.

Larry Jordan: He changed the world. He invented Premiere, invented iMovie, invented Final Cut, invented Final Cut X.

Mike Horton: I don’t think he knows his impact and the ecosystems formed around what he did.

Larry Jordan: Careers are built.

Mike Horton: Careers have been built around what he did and I don’t think he knows that.

Larry Jordan: Oh, it’s amazing.

Mike Horton: So let’s just tell him.

Larry Jordan: Yes.

Mike Horton: And we’ll buy him pizza later on.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests today: Uwe Greunke, the Director of Global and Brand Marketing for Sennheiser; Jeff Stansfield, the President of Advantage Video Systems; and editor Brady Betzel.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history of our industry. It’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Be sure to visit. Also talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook.

Larry Jordan: Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner; additional music on The Buzz is provided by smartsound.com, Transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription.

Larry Jordan: Our producer, the ever beautiful Cirina Catania. Our engineering team is led by Megan Paulos and includes Ailin Kim, Ed Golya, Keegan Guy, Lindsay Luebbert and Brianna Murphy.

Larry Jordan: On behalf of the ever handsome and affable Mr. Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan…

Mike Horton: Who combed his hair.

Larry Jordan: …and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Mike Horton: Goodbye, everybody.

Larry Jordan: The Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by Other World Computing, providing quality hardware solutions and extensive technical support to the worldwide computer industry since 1988.

Digital Production Buzz – May 21, 2015

Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton as they talk with Uwe Greunke, Jeff Stansfield, and Brady Betzel.

  • Sennheiser Promotes New AVX System Through “The Oracle”
  • 4K in the Field with 4Kase
  • 3D Modeling and Animation for Reality TV

View Show Transcript

Watch the Full Episode


Buzz on YouTubeTranscript

Listen to the Full Episode


Buzz on iTunesTranscript

Guests this Week

Uwe Greunke
Uwe Greunke, Director, Global Marketing/Brand Marketing, Sennheiser
How do you promote new products from an international name like Sennheiser? Uwe Greunke, Director of Global Marketing and Brand Marketing tells us about their new viral video, “The Oracle,” and other innovative solutions on this week’s show.
Jeff Stansfield
Jeff Stansfield, CEO/President, Advantage Video Systems
Advantage Video Systems provides technology solutions to the broadcast, motion picture, television and motion graphics industries. If you are working on 4K in the field, you will want to hear what Jeff Stansfield, CEO/President has to say about integrating new workflows and technology on location.
Brady Betzel
Brady Betzel, Editor, Contributing Writer, Post Magazine & PostPerspective.com
Special effects artist Brady Betzel, who will be appearing in the upcoming Editor’s Lounge at Alpha Dogs, talks to us about 3D modeling and animation for reality TV with an emphasis on toolsets for editors such as Avid F/X tools, Adobe After Effects and MAXON Cinema 4D.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – May 14, 2015

Digital Production Buzz

May 14, 2015

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

 

(Click here to listen to this show.)

 
HOST

Larry Jordan

GUESTS

Mark August, President, Society of Camera Operators

Iain Richardson, CEO, Beamshare

Seth Worley, Filmmaker , Red Giant

===

Voiceover: Rolling. Action! Since the dawn of digital filmmaking. Authoritative. One show serves a worldwide network of media professionals. Current. Uniting industry experts. Production. Filmmakers. Post-Production and Content Creators around the planet. Distribution. From the media capital of the world; in Los Angeles, California, the Digital Production Buzz goes 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.

Larry Jordan: Hi, my name is Larry Jordan and Mike Horton, our co-host, has the night off.  We’re going to start with Mark August; he’s a veteran camera operator and filmmaker with 25 years in the US Navy as a Combat Photographer.  He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and he’s a co-founder, since he returned, of the Digital Cinema Society and currently the President of the Society of Camera Operators.  There are a lot of things we’re going to talk with Mark about tonight, including, how to survive as a Combat Photographer and how to be a successful Cinematographer.

Larry Jordan: Next is Iain Richardson; he’s the CEO of Beamshare, which is a web platform for sharing and review of media files between disparate team members.  Tonight, Iain tells us more about Beamshare and what makes it better than the competition.

Larry Jordan: Then we wrap up with Seth Worley; Seth is the Resident Filmmaker at visual effects software maker Red Giant.  This week, he shares his secrets on what it takes to make these highly successful films go viral.

Larry Jordan: The big news for right now is that, today, Apple released an upgrade to Final Cut Pro 10.2.1; it’s now the 10.2.1 release and fixes a problem that a lot of folks were running into.  If you were shooting 25p or 30p AVCHD, when you loaded it to the timeline your images went black; which is frustrating if you’ve got lots and lots of video to work with.  Well the update fixes the AVCHD problem.  If you shoot a frame like 24, not a problem, but 25 and 30 would cause stuff to go black; this new upgrade fixes it.  It also fixes the problem where Final Cut would crash when you tried to launch it from the doc.

Larry Jordan: Upgrades for Final Cut are free; they’re available from the Mac App Store; all you have to do is go to the App Store and go into products that you’ve purchased and re-download it.  It will automatically erase the 10.2 version, replace it with the 10.2.1 version and you’re back and good to go.  Hopefully this fixes the problem that I was getting a lot of emails about, which is the problems with AVCHD at the 25p and 30p frame rates.

Larry Jordan: We’re actually celebrating here in the studio, well not in the studio but in the office; it’s been raining the last couple of hours and we’re looking at it like it was Oobleck falling from the sky.  It’s kind of unusual and we’re trying to figure out what this stuff is that’s falling down, rather than the ground…  But dryness is not something I have to worry about for this show; we’ve got a great group of guests and I’m looking forward to sharing some of their stories with you.

Larry Jordan: Remember, you can read text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription.  Transcripts are located on each show page; you can learn more at Take1.tv and thanks Take 1 for making it possible.  Remember to visit us on Facebook, at digitalproducctionbuzz.com; we’re also on Twitter @DPBuZZ and subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com.  It comes out every Friday and gives you an inside look at both our show and the industry.

Larry Jordan: I’m going to be right back with Mark August, right after this.

Larry Jordan: I’ve got a ton of brand new training videos, showcasing all the new features in Final Cut Pro 10.2 and they’re all available today. In fact, we’ve updated our entire Final Cut training for this release; we added more than 70 new movies covering every major and minor new feature in the software. Then, I figured, as long as I was recording, I added new techniques and new ways of working, that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. We’ve updated our workflow and editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut training the most comprehensive, most up-to-date and most affordable way to learn everything about this amazing software. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s complete.

Larry Jordan: I’m proud of all of my training and especially proud of this one. Get your copy today in our store at larryjordan.com or, even better, become a member of our video training library and get access to all of our training; for one low monthly price. Both are incredible values. Thanks.

Larry Jordan: Mark August is a veteran camera operator and a filmmaker with 25 years in the US Navy as a Combat Photographer.  He’s a veteran of the Desert Storm War in 1991 and the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan.  He’s now retired, but was a member of the Navy Dive Unit, Undersea Rescue Command; the US Navy’s only submarine rescue unit and retired from the Navy just a couple of months ago.  He’s a current member of the Camera Guild Local 600, founding member of the Digital Cinema Society; veterans in film and television and currently President of the Society of Camera Operators.

Larry Jordan: That’s just way too much stuff Mark.  Congratulations.  Welcome.  Good to have you with us.

Mark August: Well thank you for allowing me to be here and allowing the SFC to be here.

Larry Jordan: Well, once I read your résumé I had to chat with you; I mean, what got you started as a Combat Photographer?

Mark August: Personally it was meeting my Mother’s employer and he was a Combat Photographer in the army and he would share all these amazing images and photography just became something to elaborate on drawing and art, that I enjoyed doing the most and then just learning that all this composition was part of art.  I never thought it would take me to where I’m at.  I never realized that.

Larry Jordan: Was it the photography that appealed to you or the combat?

Mark August: You know, being as small as I am, in my stature; I’m only five, five and just I loved physical sports.  The photography was fun because I got to be creative and express myself through that.  A lot of Cinematographers, people that are in the industry, they like to be creative and that’s something I’m always inspired to be.

Larry Jordan: Now you were in it for 25 years.

Mark August: Yes, didn’t think I would be in that long; I’ll be honest.

Larry Jordan: What was it that caught your attention?  Why so long?

Mark August: You know, to be a Navy Photographer was to me an honor; it was not easy.  Every time I turned around I’d meet a sailor that wanted to have my job; and every time I got an assignment I got to go and meet new people in the Navy or the Army and they would learn that there are photographers in the military.  I found myself looking back and saying, I’m really lucky; I’m really lucky to have this opportunity to serve my country and to have that job description and represent the Navy; or just represent our Armed Forces.

Larry Jordan: Well cast your mind back 25 years, first gig on the job; what kind of gear were you shooting?

Mark August: Wow.  You know, first job I really was given, I was on the USS Midway, which is now an Aircraft Carrier Museum in San Diego and Mr Johnson, our Lieutenant, he had just bought a brand new Nikon FM2; brand new camera.  Had it in a box.  He took a shining to me, I was the new guy and that’s putting it lightly.  I got to go film the Battle of Midway’s anniversary with the Commanding Officer, for the little magazine that they published on the ship; so the photography that I took was going to be in the magazine, so that it’s part of the ship’s history.  My photograph made it in that magazine.

Mark August: That was my first assignment and I just remembered the basics; basic composition of shooting.  It was film and everybody said it was a great job.  It was being cut by the Commanding Officer of the ship.  That’s one of my first real assignments.

Larry Jordan: The gear’s changed since then, we’ve moved from film to digital and the cameras seem to evolve at a dizzying pace; but has the work changed?  How is being a Combat Photographer?  Think about the time that you were in Iraq or Afghanistan; was the process of shooting different?

Mark August: The process of shooting.  You know, it’s changed with digital, everything became instant; so you took some footage, if you filmed it, and, you know, my supervisors in the military wanted it immediately and we had it downloaded and would create our dailies.  Send those off to our supervisors to make sure they’re captioned right.  We were constantly working against the clock and that was the hardest part, you know, when you’re watching, trying to beat the time, and then going back out and do it again.

Larry Jordan: Now why was the clock so important?  What deadlines were you meeting?

Mark August: Well, because of, you know, the digital age; now that, you know, we’re coming into the 90s and going into 2000.  Everything was instant and before we didn’t have to do that; we could download our film, process it.

Larry Jordan: No, I understand that, but what were you delivering the photographs to?  I mean, you’re not a news organization; who was the consumer?

Mark August: No.  You know, a lot of times we weren’t told what our images were being used for, but you’d have these meetings with our chiefs telling us, you know, some of the work that we’ve done has gone all the way to the top, you know, at the Pentagon or to the President himself.  Just keep doing what you’re doing and try not to focus on what your images are going to be used for, but just focus on your job.  That kept us kind of grounded.

Larry Jordan: So, like, you were shooting and you had no idea who was seeing the pictures?

Mark August: Oh, I knew who my supervisors were sending it to, but I didn’t ask a lot of questions and it was difficult; because sometimes you knew where it was going to go or what it was used for, but it wasn’t my place to tell the people why I was taking photographs or filming something or recording.

Larry Jordan: Let’s go back to Afghanistan, when you were there.  What was a typical assignment?

Mark August: From myself there, I was with Navy Special Warfare, which was the SEAL teams and for public relations.  Just showing the conditions of the base; back then, it was just considered a tent city.  It was very brief.  Then a few patrols.  That’s pretty much all I can talk about.  It was just more public relations and showing the conditions and I think later on I saw images and didn’t recognize the base.

Larry Jordan: Were you ever in a dangerous situation that you were shooting?

Mark August: I did, I did some dumb things by not paying attention or I’d walk into a field of grass not realizing it was a live minefield.  You know, bad decisions, but, you know, we all kind of made some dumb things.  But I think the most important thing was learning from the senior guys that were there just before me or only been in the country a little while and watching what they do and paying attention and you learn real fast.

Larry Jordan: You retired in March and you’ve been involved in the filmmaking in the military for 25 years.  Now you’re trying to make it as a veteran into the film industry as a civilian.  What’s it like to make that transition?

Mark August: Well, in 1993 I left the Navy full time and I went to the reserves; so I’ve been a Reserve Combat Photographer, just for clarification.  The first time I tried to get into the industry, I just hit a lot of brick walls.  Lucky for me, a gentleman by the name of Harry Humphries, who was a Technical Advisor, who is good friends with Michael Bay, needed a photographer for a film that they had just started working on called Transformers.  I got involved with that through Harry Humphries, because of the SEAL teams and that just went onto going into Panavision, working there for five years as a technician in high definition and that transitioned into going into the union; still staying in the reserves while I was there.

Mark August: Had some assignments with North Korea for a month, took some time off from my real job at Panavision to go work for the military and just continued to grow my résumé.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that you’ve done, combat photography, you’ve done camera operation and you’ve also been a Cinematographer.  How do you differentiate between them?  What makes them different?

Mark August: In my point of view, Cinematographers are your leaders on a crew and they’re management; they’re managing not just people but a production’s money and looking at budgets and how much gear is going to cost and what gear they need to order and communicating that with the Director.  It become a leadership role, on top of lighting.  There’s many things that they’re doing; they’re handling the Camera Department, of course, the Grip Department and Electric Department.  The cinematographer is involved in a very important role on a production.

Larry Jordan: You’re really differentiating the Cinematographer as a manager, where I traditionally thought of the Cinematographer as the person who handles the lighting and the look.  There’s a big different between the two.

Mark August: There is a big difference, but when that one person’s in charge of it, they collaborate with all the key players for those departments.  Your Cinematographer is working with his Camera Operator and his First AC in the Camera Department.  In the Grip Department he’s working on his Key Grip; you know, he’s talking to them about lighting, you know, in the Electric Department; so it’s a collaboration and it’s a team effort.  It’s not a one person that’s doing all the work.  When you hear Cinematographers giving praise to their crew, it’s because, without them they can’t do their jobs.  It’s no different from the Camera Operator working with his crew and making sure that we all communicate correctly and then communicating with our grips.

Larry Jordan: Tell me what the role of the Camera Operator is then?

Mark August: The role of our Camera Operator, from my experience, has been working with the Director and looking at the composition of what the Director wants and then communicating that with the Director of Photography or the Cinematographer and working with the composition.  It’s back to photography and, at the same time, you’re communicating with your crew that’s working with you; your Dolly Grip, when you’re going to do a push-in.  Again, you’re managing the people that you’re working closely with and it just becomes a collaboration.

Larry Jordan: Clearly, with smaller films that don’t have the ability to have both the Camera Operator and a Cinematographer, all these roles roll into one.  But on a larger production, the Camera Op is more concerned about framing and the Cinematographer’s more concerned about the light inside the frame; if you exclude the management role?

Mark August: Correct to a certain extent.

Larry Jordan: How would you clarify it?

Mark August: I’ll give you an example.  I was on an NBC show and the Director of Photography was an award-winning Cinematographer and he’s Australian and he asked me a question and he said, “Mark, what do you think?”  And I said, “Well why don’t we start on a Cowboy and push into a Warner Brothers?”  And he says, “I love it.”  And then later on he says, “Why don’t we do a three T’s and go into a Haircut?”  And the crew would have no idea what we were talking about.

Mark August: Again, what it was, was the Cinematographer was giving direction on how he wanted the framing and they had already talked about that with the Director; so it was quite funny.  Because later on the Director was saying, he learned what the Haircut meant, for framing and he said, “Let’s go with the Haircut and go back to Cowboy” and everybody was like, what is going on with, you know, all these terms?  The other people on the crew had no idea what we were talking about.  The funny part was, I remember the Director saying, “Let’s push into a Haircut” and then the First AD screamed, “We’re going to a Haircut” and I thought to myself, why is he saying that?  That’s all towards the Camera Operator.  But it was funny, because the whole crew was thinking, what’s going on with Haircuts and Cowboys?

Mark August: Again, it was all framing.  All those terms are framing for the Camera Operator.  Yes, there is a big collaboration with everybody.  It’s interesting how we all work together and when you work well with others and you start communicating, that makes it so much fun.

Larry Jordan: Well it’s also interesting how people love to have jargon; they love to have a secret language, that includes them and excludes others; just as what was happening between you and the Cinematographer and Director.  You had your own secret language to sort of shortcut to how you were going to explain stuff.

Mark August: Yes and that’s fun because, in the Society of Camera Operators, which I’m currently the President, we teach these things; we teach these classes and we help others learn the language.  For example, what a Cowboy is, I’ll explain that.

Larry Jordan: Please, because I’m dying of curiosity.

Mark August: Okay.  When Westerns were being made, the Cinematographers would frame up so that you could see the bottom of the guns on the cowboy; so when they would frame it up, they would pull back the camera so you can see the bottom of the guns or see the guns; so that you can tell that cowboy had weapons on him.  That’s the framing you would start on.

Larry Jordan: That’s Cowboy framing.

Mark August: That’s the Cowboy framing; so it would just kind of look a medium shot.  Then if you wanted to push in where it was nice and tight, you would actually give the person a Haircut and Warner Brothers was famous for giving their actors Haircuts.

Larry Jordan: Now the Haircut refers to?

Mark August: To a real tight shot where it actually looked like they were cutting off their bangs.  With those terminologies you can communicate and not confuse the camera operator on what the shot wants from the Director or the Cinematographer; and they can say, hey push into a Cowboy or give me a little bit of a Haircut or not too much of a Haircut.  With those terms, it makes it easier for the Cameraman.  Those are simple things.

Larry Jordan: Well it’s much easier and more fun to say Cowboy and Haircut than close-up and wide shot.

Mark August: Oh, I remember working on ‘Revenge’ and Cynthia Pushek, our Director of Photography was calling out saying, “Where are at?  Where’s my T stop?”  And I’m, “We’re fully open at a 28 and let’s go to a four” and one of the actors says, “What’s with all the numbers; what does this mean?”  And so, you know, it was just communication on set and we’re all counting fours and twos and a 28.  It was funny because, we’re yelling it out in the middle of the crew and the crew’s going, “What’s with these numbers?”  It doesn’t always have to be the lingo but could be the apertures of the camera; so that’s where we were talking about apertures.  Because she was looking at the lighting for that scene.

Larry Jordan: Now you are the President of the Society of Camera Operators.  Tell me about the organization; what does it do?

Mark August: Absolutely.  The organization started in 1979, it was a group of Camera Operators that wanted more training for Camera Operators; just like we’re talking about with these terms.  At the time there was no organization.  The Cinematographers had an organization, on top of the union having it.  The unions would have classes on certain aspects but specifically Camera Operators.  In 1979, a group of gentlemen started this organization and they developed it into a non-profit; our non-profit benefits the Children’s Hospital Vision Center and they’ve been raising money since.  We’re at 184,000 total given to Children’s Hospital.

Larry Jordan: Wow.

Mark August: That’s donated and it’s been from men and women donating their time, as a volunteer, just like myself, to give back to a charity.  We do charity events; we have a big fundraiser.

Larry Jordan: But you haven’t told me what the organization does; let’s focus on the organization, not the results.

Mark August: Sure.  We give classes.  We’ve had a Bill Hynes course; he’s one of our founding members and we have a 101 course.  Bill Hynes teaching camera operating from a basic step.

Larry Jordan: Why does somebody need to join the organization?  I mean, there’s a Guild of Camera Operators, doesn’t the union provide this sort of training as well?

Mark August: They do provide the training but not as hands on as what we’d started to provide.  How to use wheels, which is your gear heads; which is different from a fluid head and that’s the base of the camera.  How to use that.  How to use pedestals.  How to do a sitcom.  Communicating with our Grips and working with dollies.  I teach an underwater class that’s every two years; teaching underwater with a great Cinematographer by the name of Pete Romano.  If you look him up, you’d just be amazed at some of the things that he’s accomplished and he’ll help and teach and give us tips on how to film underwater.  For example, putting a tennis ball on the end of a pole, putting that right below the surface and focusing on the tennis ball.  Then the actor can see where he or she needs to jump in the water, just before they remove the pole; so when the actor enters the water, the camera’s already in focus.

Mark August: Those are little tips you would never have known if it wasn’t for these courses and collaborating with other Cinematographers or Camera Operators to talk about these courses and classes.  We provide those all for free, without any extra costs.  Then the most important thing, recently was, we’ve re-developed our magazine.  Our articles for Camera Operator Magazine, which is the name of the magazine, is written by articles for Camera Operators by Camera Operators.  They’re all volunteers; there’s no writing staff.

Mark August: For example, this month we had one from the ‘Walking Dead,’ we’ve been working with Colin Anderson, SOC, he’s one of our active members and he’s currently working with our Editor for the new ‘Star Wars’ film; he was the Camera Operator for the film coming out in late December.

Larry Jordan: Now, who can become a member and who can get the magazines?  Do you have to be a member of the union?  Can it be an independent filmmaker?

Mark August: Well that’s the great thing about the organization, it’s not a union; you do not have to be in the union, it’s not a qualification.  We have three tiers of membership, which would be our active.  Any Camera Operator that’s been actively involved for five years of camera operating experience.  Then we have our associates and that’s our Camera Assistants; our First ACs, Seconds, Directors of Photography, our DITs; we now have Producers.  Then we have our student members and then we have our honorary members; so some of our honorary members would be Mr Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Penny Marshall.  They’ve all become members of our organization.

Larry Jordan: If an independent filmmaker wants to join the organization, can they and how?

Mark August: Yes.  Actually, if you wanted to join, you can go to our website.  It’s soc.org and if you go into membership you can apply.  From there you’ll get our magazines.  We have screenings during award seasons, all the training classes.  We have a barbecue once a year that’s coming up this weekend.  Go to all these event and learn about cameras and find out how you can become a Camera Operator professionally.  Network with some really big names in our industry.

Mark August: For example, I’ve got to become friends with, you know, Stephen Campanelli; he’s a current member and active member and he only works with Clint Eastwood and he’s just directed his second major film.  He’s moving up to Director.  Colin Anderson, I just mentioned, has just finished ‘Star Wars’ they’re all members.  Gentlemen like Dan Gold; Dan Gold is an amazing Camera Operator and works on some of the greatest comedy films.  I was asking about ‘Ted 2.’  You know, he’s worked on some great films.  ‘Hangover 1’ and talking with him.  Mitch Dubin, he works with Steven Spielberg.

Larry Jordan: How much does membership cost?

Mark August: Our membership goes off the two tiers.  We have our student members are at $35 a year and that would include your magazine and the training, for our students, because it’s affordable for them; especially since they are in school.  Then we have our associate members and that’s $100 a year.  Then we go up to 150 for our active.  It’s very inexpensive to join; you have to be sponsored.  We collaborate a network together as a group.

Larry Jordan: Now what does the word sponsored mean very quickly?

Mark August: If I were asking you to sponsor me, say you wanted to be in the organization, in your application I would put my name down as your sponsor.  The purpose of that is, so we have any questions to ask about your affiliations with any organizations or some of your skill set, we can go back to the sponsor, if you’re not available to talk to.

Larry Jordan: Mark the website again for the organization is?

Mark August: The organization is www.soc.org.

Larry Jordan: That’s soc.org and Mark August is the President of the Society for Camera Operators.  Mark, thanks for joining us.

Mark August: Thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: Iain Richardson is the CEO and founder of Beamshare.  This is a web based video review platform that soft launched last year; but essentially it’s brand new to the marketplace.  Iain, thanks for joining us today.

Iain Richardson: Thank you very much for having me.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe Beamshare?

Iain Richardson: So, as you said, it’s a simple way to get media files out to people who need to review them, comment on them, collaborate on them.  For example, our customers are using it to get drafts and final versions to corporate clients or Executive Producers who need to review the material and put in their comments and kind of collaborate on it.

Larry Jordan: Well I can think of any number of web based video review platforms; why did you decide to create Beamshare?

Iain Richardson: We’ve gone for something that we think meets a need for our customers; which is something that’s really simple to use, it’s particularly designed for when you need to get material to somebody outside of the edit suite, who’s maybe not so technically literate; and we wanted to make it very simple, very quick and very easy to use.  We think we’ve got possibly the simplest platform that’s out there.

Larry Jordan: I’m reminded of other CEOs I’ve talked to who always say that “We’ve designed this to be easy to use.”  How would you differentiate yourself from the competition, as they’re looking at some of the other platforms that are out there?  What makes you special?

Iain Richardson: For example, if you wanted to get a clip out to somebody, you can go to our website, you’d put in the clip, your email, their email, click send; that’ll take you about 20 seconds and then our system does it trick.  You both get a link to review it and it just works, whether you’re on a PC, a Mac or a tablet.  Very, very simple; so there’s no training, there’s no start-up time.  One of our customers described to us recently, as you go further up the management chain, for instance, in broadcasting, interest in technical stuff goes way down; so it has to be simple, it has to be quick.  That’s kind of what we’re focusing on.

Larry Jordan: Let’s walk through the process.  Let’s say that I’ve created a file and let’s say that I’m a small production company as opposed to a studio and I need to be able to get this out to the client who’s located geographically somewhere else.  What’s my process of getting that file, so that it becomes as easy as sending a link?  Because clearly we’ve got to transfer the file somewhere don’t we?

Iain Richardson: Sure, you simply select the file on your PC or Mac or whatever you’re using, you put in the email address of the person it’s going to, you put in a comment if you want to; you know, explain what it’s about and you just click send.  Then Beamshare will upload the file, it’ll process it, it’ll make it ready for whatever platform the receiver is on; whether it’s, you know, mobile, IOS, android; whatever they need they get in a very simple form.  That just works away, depending on your upload connection; it might take a little bit of time; so it’s as fast as your connection.

Larry Jordan: Okay but wait a second.  Email generally has a five to ten megabyte file limit, which means that I’ve got to then compress that file down to five meg to be able to email it?  Or, how is Beamshare getting the file from my system, say I’ve got a 70 gig master file that they need to review?

Iain Richardson: Sure.  Beamshare works through a webpage; so you’re not really emailing the file, you’re going to our webpage; it’s an online system.  Go into our webpage and you’re basically putting the filename and your email into a form and then it’s a browser based application that is uploading the file.  Then our application will send out a link to you and your client or your colleague.

Larry Jordan: So I’m not putting the email address in an email program, I’m putting it into a browser interface and behind the scenes the browser’s grabbing the master file.

Iain Richardson: Exactly.

Larry Jordan: Is there a file format that you prefer, that works best with this?  I’m sure uploading a 70 gig file would, for most people, be a little bit time-consuming.

Iain Richardson: We’ll handle whatever format you give us, but you’re quite right that if you’re, for instance, a small company with a not very fast broadband connection, you’d probably want to provide a file that’s a manageable size; simply because it’s going to be quicker to upload over your connection.  We can’t really control that.  Then what’s also good about it is that, the person at the other end doesn’t download the file, they just simply get another web interface with a play button and an easy way to put in comments and, you know, add their feedback.

Larry Jordan: Are the comments synched to timecode or can they see timecode if they’re interested?

Iain Richardson: Yes.  The comments are actually in the timeline; so if I put in a comment at three minutes 20 seconds, then that will appear with a little colored marker that identifies where it is.  Also it will have my name against it, so, what some of our customers find is that, they might have many people involved; there might be six different people who need to see this and leave their comments.  Kind of a benefit we didn’t quite expect is that everyone gets to see each other’s comments; so you tend to get a consensus.  If the first person says they don’t like, you know, this scene; the second person will at least see that, so they can kind of get their thoughts inline, without having to go round and round on email chains and lots of catch-up calls.

Larry Jordan: Now we’ve reviewed the video, how do we assemble all the comments back to deliver them to the Editor, so they can make changes?

Iain Richardson: You know, everyone involved gets to see this list of comments, colored coded against the timeline; so the editor would typically just work from that and just make sure everything’s done.  You know, then there’s usually like a loop, isn’t there, where you collect all the comments, you make the changes; then they could upload a new version.  One thing we do is we provide a way to put everything in a folder; so you can have first draft, second draft, final version.  You can also put documents in there, which is quite handy if you’ve got the original project spec that says, there’s only going to be two drafts, so if you want a third draft you’re going to have to renegotiate the contract.  You might put the script in there.  You know, collect everything together and, again, the whole idea is to get away from these big chains of emails that are quite difficult to handle and quite time-consuming.

Larry Jordan: How long have you spent developing this?

Iain Richardson: It’s been about two, two and a half years; so yes, quite a process and a lot of work and a lot of discussions with potential customers to get it in the form it is now.

Larry Jordan: What was the hardest part of the development process?

Iain Richardson: In the early days it was getting any video file watchable on any device; so, you know, doing all the work behind the scenes to produce.  Whether it’s different versions or to make it streamable.  You know, we want the people involved, the Editor and their client to not have to think too much about that; just upload a file and we do the rest of it.  That was the hard part in the early stage.

Iain Richardson: Later on, I think, it’s not so much the hard part but the interesting part has been getting people to use the early versions of Beamshare and then visiting them and looking at their workflows and then fine tuning what we do to try and make their workflows as simple as possible; just to save them time.  Kind of understanding the customers, understanding, you know, what’s important to them.

Larry Jordan: How is the system priced?

Iain Richardson: You can use it for free and a lot of people do and we just place a limit on the amount that you can actually have stored on our online system; because we obviously pay for that.  Then for customers who want to store more material or share more with multiple clients, we just charge a monthly subscript.

Larry Jordan: Is the subscription price based on the amount of material stored or the amount transmitted or the number of clients?  How are you pricing that?

Iain Richardson: We keep it quite simple; so you can store 100 gigabytes of material and you pay, it’s £15 a month, because I’m based in the UK, which is about $21-22 a month.  Some of our customers might have multiple team members; so we have a team subscription as well.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about Beamshare, where can they go on the web?

Iain Richardson: Beamshare.com, very simple; and you’ll see right on the front page a little form; put a file in, put an email address in and you can start reviewing within seconds.

Larry Jordan: That web address is beamshare.com and Iain Richardson is the founder and CEO of Beamshare.  Iain, thanks for joining us for that.

Iain Richardson: Thank you very much Larry, it’s been a pleasure talking to you.

Larry Jordan: Seth Worley is the Resident Filmmaker at visual effects software, Red Giant and the Director and Writer of short films, branded content and commercials for clients like J. J Abrams, Bad Robot Production, Leo Burnett, Steve Taylor, The Perfect Foil and more.  He lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee.  Hello Seth, welcome back.

Seth Worley: Hey, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: It’s always a delight having you.  I mean, the stuff that you do is incredible and I want to steal all your secrets so I can do it myself; so thanks so much for being on the show.

Seth Worley: Oh man, thanks Larry.

Larry Jordan: When did you first realize you wanted to be a filmmaker?

Seth Worley: How far back do you want me to go?

Larry Jordan: How far back is the answer?

Seth Worley: 1993 we discovered ‘Jurassic Park.’  I took every family member I had one at a time, so I could see it as many times as possible.  It worked and I found that I was watching the person I brought way more often than I was watching the movie.  Kind of taking credit for their entertainment experience and, like, aren’t you grateful that I brought you ‘Jurassic Park?’  It’s kind of that feeling I’ve been chasing ever since.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, I love watching the reaction of audiences to stuff that I create and see when they fall asleep and when they’re getting excited about it; so I can understand why that triggers.  You’re responsible for that emotional response, even if Steven Spielberg created the movie.  You’re the reason they’re sitting there watching the movie, so you get credit for that.

Seth Worley: Absolutely.  It’s also responsibility, yes.

Larry Jordan: Yes, because if they hate the movie it’s your fault.

Seth Worley: It’s all on you, yes.

Larry Jordan: What was the first film you made and who saw it?

Seth Worley: Oh wow.  I like to think there are several first films.  Like there was one I made in seventh grade, using those Taco Bell eyeball straws that they released, as this marketing thing, called ‘Eyes of the Invasion’ and no-one saw that except my parents and my brothers.  Then in high school I made a film called ‘Try Hard’ that was exactly what it sounds like; it was a parody of ‘Die Hard’ that all my friends’ saw.

Seth Worley: But the real thing for me was when I started being allowed to make videos for my youth group at church and simultaneously for my TV production class in high school.  At school we had a cable access channel; we were required to make programming for this cable access channel and our teacher took it very seriously.  Then in the youth group I had to make this weekly narrative content, because I offered to do it and had to stick to it; and every night it would play for this audience.  Having an audience really helped me learn the dangers of self-indulgence very quickly and very early on.  Just because it’s entertaining to you, it doesn’t mean it’s entertaining to other people.  All the secrets of keeping people’s attention.

Seth Worley: Unfortunately, every job I’ve had since, it’s been making stuff for something that has a built-in audience already; whether it be the software company I’m at right now that has a built-in customer base already and one that we build through our films, or before this job, when I was doing convention and conference programming.  These people paid to be at conferences already and they were forced to sit and watch my videos; so I didn’t have to go find the audience.  Having that audience was the biggest education.

Larry Jordan: Why is it an education?  Go into that in just a little bit of a tale.  What do you learn from watching the audience?

Seth Worley: I mean, you learn what’s working and what’s not.  I mean, just like you said, if people aren’t enjoying the movie it’s your fault; so you learn from just sitting in the crowd or sitting behind the stage and seeing when people are laughing and when they’re not laughing.  You hear the gasps.  You just feel it in the room when people are getting it or when they’re not.  The more you can do that, the better you get, I believe.  So many people can make things in a bubble and be convinced that what they’re doing is great and never grow; because they never have to experience the horrible feeling of making something that doesn’t work and having people respond to that; you know what I mean?

Larry Jordan: That gets to an interesting point.  A lot of filmmakers, especially for short films, are using YouTube for distribution and I say nothing bad about YouTube, but you don’t get any audience feedback.  It’s like you’re broadcasting and nobody’s responding.  How can you learn from a situation like that?

Seth Worley: You know, that’s something I’m learning.  My job at Red Giant, I work from home, ultimately; you know, I have worked with a crew, worked shooting things but, you know, Aharon Rabinowitz, who is the Head of Marketing at Red Giant, my Executive Producer on my films, he lives and works in New York City; most of Red Giant is based out of Portland.  I work remotely and I experience that every day; it’s that feeling of, you send it out there and you either get positive responses back or you get indifference and it’s very hard to learn that way.

Seth Worley: I don’t actually have a clear answer to that.  You can find, sometimes, when something’s not working, based on people will type super negative comments on YouTube and you’ll have to kind of figure out, what is it they didn’t like here?  Behind all their profanity, like, what is it that’s really, you know, going on?  You know, for me, I try to show it to people in person, as often as possible, because people can lie to you in an email and they can lie to you in comments; even after they’re watching, they can turn a lie to your face.  When they watching, they can’t lie with how they’re reacting; there’s the look in their eyes.  I try to show stuff to people in person and weirdly, creepily stare at them as much as possible while they watch it.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk for a minute about one of the films you’ve created which is ‘Spy vs. Guy’ which is on your website.  By the way, your website is sethworley.com; you’ve also got films on redgiant.com.  But I went to sethworley and for people that haven’t had a chance, you’ve got a number of your short films posted.  I was watching ‘Spy vs. Guy’ and it starts as this classic thriller, at night; rainy streets, Washington.  How can you not love a scene that starts like that.  All of a sudden, about half way through, the Keystone Cops break out and you’ve got guys in ZZ Top beards waving homeless signs and all of a sudden the pizza guy is in dire straits of being chased, because he’s got a quarter in his pocket.  How do you balance drama versus comedy and how do you make that transition and have the audience still stay with you, when you’re going from a serious political thriller to ‘Roadrunner.’

Seth Worley: Well I appreciate you implying that I’ve been successful in that.  For me, I always approach it seriously.  My brother Ben scores all of my films and acts in the majority of them as well, and I remember he turned in the music for one scene for ‘Plot Device,’ it was the 80s action buddy cop sequence.  He had this theme that just felt totally wrong.  I said, “Buddy, what?”  He said, “Oh this is funny.”  I said, “No, no, no, no, your job doing the music is not to be funny.”  Like it’s actually none of our jobs to be funny; we have to treat this like we really think it’s ‘Die Hard’ like we have to score this thing like it’s completely a real action film and the comedy will happen on its own.

Seth Worley: That’s kind of been my approach all along is, you know, ‘Spy vs. Guy’ really, really is dangerous because I catch myself in the middle of production, I get bummed and I’m like, oh I’m not really making a 1970s conspiracy thriller, like I’m making a comedy ultimately.  But I have to always operate under the idea that I’m really making a serious film within that genre.  The jokes are going to be acted out, they’re going to happen.  They’re situation based jokes and if we play them like jokes then they’ll fall flat; but if we play them like real cinematic moments, then I think that’s when they have the most impact.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that I was struck by is the very limited amount of dialogue; your jokes are visual jokes, it’s the contrast of the t-shirt pizza guy with the homeless veteran with the beard that goes down to his belt.  How are you setting that up so it’s funny and yet treating it seriously?  That strikes me as a very fine line to walk.

Seth Worley: It is, it is a fine line to walk.  On ‘Spy vs. Guy’ for example, I know that we looked at the genre that we were playing in, which was, you know, the 1970s conspiracy; you know, ‘The Day of the Jackal’ was the biggest reference for me on that film.  In that genre they use zoom lenses, like a kid who just got a zoom lens for Christmas.  It’s ridiculous and it’s such a kitschy thing to do nowadays.  You don’t see it very often.  Like, people actually move the camera nowadays; but back then they would just zoom, non-stop and so we did that a lot.

Seth Worley: In our production design, we always try to focus on what feels real and what’s serious.  Well, like I said, what often looks real is the funniest.  I mean, I don’t know how to explain it.  I think it’s just wild goofy people trying to make serious things and I think I know that.  Maybe there’s fear that if we actually try to make something serious one day it would just be ridiculous and stupid and funny.  People would think it was a comedy.  Maybe I’m just playing on that to our strengths.

Larry Jordan: In other words, when you’re serious you’re still funny.

Seth Worley: Yes, you can’t help it.

Larry Jordan: One of the other things I was wondering about is, so many of your videos have had massive views on YouTube; they’ve been really successful.  Do you plan a video to go viral?  Do you plan for something to make tripwires on YouTube and have it go through the roof?

Seth Worley: Oh man, you want it to.  I mean, nobody makes something and is hoping that, you know, 15 people see it.  You make something and you want a million people to see it.  There’s strategy to it, there’s all kinds of ways to go about it; I would even tell you that if it’s good it will find an audience, but sometimes it just doesn’t.  One of my favorite shorts we did was a short called ‘Form 17’ we made to promote PluralEyes and that was a very dialogue heavy but very character driven short that I’m still to this day very proud of and it did not find a maker.

Seth Worley: I think it has everything to do with luck; it’s just time of day, time of the year that you release it, what else is out there.  I mean we released our last film, ‘Old/New’ narrated by Patton Oswalt; we had Patton Oswalt, we thought we were going to get millions of views and we’re still struggling towards that million dollar thing.  You know, for a lot of reasons, one of them being a ‘Power Rangers’ related short film was released like two days after that got millions of views.  You know, it’s like, when something like that’s out there it immediately takes up the attention and understandably so; so I think it’s just luck.

Larry Jordan: Caesar, who’s on our live chat, is agreeing with you in terms of playing it straight.  He says, “That’s exactly what the Director of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter said; they had to play it straight” he writes, “if they made jokes it wasn’t going to work”, although, perhaps that movie wasn’t meant to be funny; so you never know with these sort of things.

Seth Worley: Exactly.  That’s a great example.

Larry Jordan: Put your Red Giant hat on.  I know you’re the Resident Filmmaker for Red Giant.  When you’re planning a film, when do you start to work in effects and do you design a film for a specific effect?  Because clearly Red Giant wants you to showcase what you can do with their products.  How much of your filmmaking is driven by the effects that you’ve got access to?

Seth Worley: Our best films are always the ones that start with the product.  For example, on ‘Old/New’ our last short, Magic Bullet suite was going to have a considerable upgrade and one of the main features was in the plug-in called Magic Bullet Film, which emulated old film stock, real film stocks.  Our conversation started with that.  It was, okay we have a plug-in that it’s technology that we’ve created to simulate old technology.  What are the themes inherent in this?  We start with, okay, what visually could we do here and if there’s nothing overtly visual to do, is there something thematic related to this that we could do and then tie the visuals back in?

Seth Worley: Through those conversations we came to put this idea of a guy obsessed with brand new things and then he discovers that old things are actually great.  He liked old whisky and old reclaimed wood and old records are fantastic; and then he takes it too far and he’s like old bananas are okay and old plumbing is nice.  Then he takes it so far that he’s living in a cave with a skeleton and he has no communication with the outside world, because he’s taken things so antiquated.  We just thought that’s great, it’s a great way to play up this cultural idea that like pictures don’t look finished until they look worse and older and that old things are better than new things.

Seth Worley: Through that process we were able to actually visually show this by having the look of the film become more older and older as we go into these older film stocks, as it goes on, showcasing the variety of looks that Magic Bullet Film can accomplish.  The worst ones are the ones where I have a cool idea and we just find the closest possible product we can plug-in there.

Larry Jordan: Well you got your start with effects with little eyeballs on sticks.

Seth Worley: Little eyeballs on sticks.

Larry Jordan: It boggles the imagination right there.  What is it about effects that fascinate you?

Seth Worley: I love the quote from John Lasseter, where he said that “Art challenges the technology and technology inspires the art.”  My favorite Director is probably Robert Zemeckis; I grew up the most influenced by his work; specifically ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit,’ ‘Forrest Gump.’  You know, those movies prove that like visual effects are not all about robots and dinosaurs and, you know, the big spectacle; it’s even about just the spectacled story itself.

Seth Worley: You know, it’s just problem solving.  Visual effects are such a creative form that involves such an interesting amount of problem solving.  It’s problem solving and the idea of creating an illusion for people and showing people something that they can’t see every day or that they may not be expecting.

Larry Jordan: But it seems to me, you know, you couldn’t pick a better film to be a fan of than ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit.’ That film, you don’t see a single effect; the rabbit is real, Jessica is real and it’s of course their interacting with Bob Hoskins.  What to me is, is the effect it became invisible; you couldn’t tell the story without the effect.  But the effect is not something you pay attention to, of course the curtains move when a rabbit moves past it; you don’t even notice it.  As opposed to a lot of things where, how big you can blow it up or how big an explosion you have sort of gets in the way of the story, this, they can’t tell the story without the effect.  It seems to me that you’ve got something just like that in mind.

Seth Worley: I think the thing that solidified the magic of making movies to me was the making of Roger Rabbit; seeing where the weasels come into Eddie Valiant’s office and they’re carrying around live action guns; they’re animated weasels carrying live action guns.  Their raw footage is just an invisible man movie; it’s these floating guns walking around that are being hung by strings and then Bob Hoskins has stiff handcuffs on his hand, so where Roger’s hand can be animated into it and he’s controlling it.  He’s got that machine that’s under the sink that he pulls up and it spits the water out and they paint Roger over it.  I mean, as a kid, I remember seeing that and thinking, grown ups do this for a living?  Like, this is awesome.

Seth Worley: It’s those subtle details; it’s just them having fun.  You know, when they can just simply through in some animated character; not simply obviously but can throw an animated character just holding animated weapons; but I love that extra challenge of, let’s make this a little bit harder, let’s put live action guns in there.

Seth Worley: Another thing is Bob Hoskins’ performance.  Some of my favorite actors are actors who you see work with visual effects really well because they’re just good at pretending and not only that but they enjoy doing it and they take it totally seriously.  You know, Patrick Stewart is one of them, who comes to mind; but Bob Hoskins in Roger Rabbit is one of the best live action visual effects performances from history to me. 

Larry Jordan: It was back to your tennis balls again, they were holding tennis balls that illustrated where Roger Rabbit was and Bob was acting to a tennis ball and made it completely believable.

Seth Worley: Exactly and he also gets what a lot of people can’t.  I don’t know how he did it.  He got eye line right, in that, if you have a character that’s supposed to be here but they’re not, you pretend to look at them; you’re focusing on something beyond that.  You can’t focus at nothing.  I don’t know how he does it.  In that movie he is focusing at that space; even when there’s nothing there.  It’s exceptional.  I could talk for about two hours about Bob Hoskins’ eye line in Roger Rabbit.

Larry Jordan: Which gives you an idea that you have got to get a life; I think that’s the big risk.

Seth Worley: I really do.  Look, I don’t leave this room.  My kids haven’t seen me in months, I’ve just been finishing films.

Larry Jordan: I mean, you’re not yet 60, but as you look back over the last several years of filmmaking, what’s the number one lesson that you’ve learned?

Seth Worley: Wow; that’s a question I wish I had read ahead of the show.

Larry Jordan: As you look back on the films that you’ve made and each film evolves, improves on the one before, what’s the big takeaway?  What’s the big lesson you’ve learned about filmmaking?

Seth Worley: Have fun, challenge yourself.  I’ve learned that, the best projects are the ones that I have no guarantee they’re going to work and the ones that have been the least fulfilling, that I’ve learned the least and have accomplished the least are the ones that I know they’re going to work from the beginning.  The biggest thing I constantly learn is, just constantly challenge yourself, constantly try to work with new people, do things that scare you and keep your crew safe in the process.

Larry Jordan: If you’d have rehearsed that answer it wouldn’t have been as good by the way.  Where can people go on the web to learn more about you and your products and films?

Seth Worley: You can see all my Red Giant films at redgiant.com/films; there’s also tutorials I do there; and you can see my other projects, like my commercials and such, at sethworley.com.

Larry Jordan: And the Seth Worley himself, that’s sethworley.com.

Seth Worley: Yes Sir.

Larry Jordan: Seth, it’s always a delight chatting with you, thanks so much for sharing your time today.

Seth Worley: Thanks Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care.

Larry Jordan: How can you not love talking about films with a guy who loves making films and you could tell just by watching Seth, how his eyes lit up as he starts to describe some of the films that motivated him to become a filmmaker; and if you haven’t gone to Seth’s website, to see some of the stuff that’s he’s created, some amazing short films that are fun to watch and thinking about getting involved with your work.  We were talking with Mark August about some of his challenges in being a Navy Photographer for 25 years; suddenly realizing that what he thought would be a four year gig turned into a 25 year career, with opportunities he never expected.

Larry Jordan: I love watching interviews where people’s eyes just light up and they start to share their enthusiasm of why we’re in this business in the first place; which leads me to thank our guests for tonight, Mark August, a US Navy Combat Photographer and President of the Society of Camera Operators; Iain Richardson, President of Beamshare; and Seth Worley, Filmmaker for Red Giant Films.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com; here you’ll find hundreds of past shows and thousands of interviews; all searchable, all online and all available today.  You can talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com.

Larry Jordan: Mike Horton has the night off, but he’ll be with us next week and in the meantime I’ll mention that our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner; additional music on the Buzz provided by smartsound.com.  Text transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription.  Our Producer is Cirina Catania, our engineering team is led by Megan Paulos and is joined by Ed Golya, Keegan Guy, Lindsay Luebbert and Brianna Murphy.

Larry Jordan: On behalf of Mike Horton, who is at least here in spirit, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.

Digital Production Buzz – May 14, 2015

Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton as they talk with Mark August, Iain Richardson, and Seth Worley.

  • Secrets of a Successful Cinematographer
  • Beamshare: Collaborative Media Share and Review
  • Creating Viral Videos that Work!

View Show Transcript

Watch the Full Episode


Buzz on YouTubeTranscript

Listen to the Full Episode


Buzz on iTunesTranscript

Guests this Week

Mark August
Mark August, President, Society of Camera Operators
Mark August was a combat photographer. Now, he’s the President of the Society of Camera Operators (SOC). He joins us in-studio this week to share his tips on what it takes to be a successful cinematographer. (And we’ll probably work in some stories on how to stay alive as a combat photographer.)
Iain Richardson
Iain Richardson, CEO, Beamshare
Iain Richardson is the CEO of Beamshare. This is a web platform for sharing and review of media files between disparate team members. We invited Iain to tell us more about it and what makes it better than the competition.
Seth Worley
Seth Worley, Filmmaker, Red Giant
Seth Worley is the resident filmmaker at Red Giant, with several viral videos under his belt. This week, we talk with him about how he goes about making his short films and what it takes to make a video go viral.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – May 7, 2015

Digital Production Buzz

May 7, 2015

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

 

(Click here to listen to this show.)

 
HOSTS

Larry Jordan

Michael Horton

GUESTS

Josh Apter, Founder & President, Manhattan Edit Workshop

Bruce Nazarian, CEO, Digital Media Consulting Group, Inc.

Garret Savage, Editor & President, Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship

===

Voiceover: Rolling. Action!

Voiceover: Since the dawn of digital film making…

Voiceover: Authoritative.

Voiceover: …one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals…

Voiceover: Current.

Voiceover: …uniting industry experts…

Voiceover: Production.

Voiceover: …film makers…

Voiceover: Post production.

Voiceover: …and content creators around the planet.

Voiceover: Distribution.

Voiceover: From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, The Digital Production Buzz goes 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. We’ve got a great group of guests today and we’re going to be starting with Josh Apter. He’s a regular guest on The Buzz; he’s also the owner of the Manhattan Edit Workshops. He joins us this week to talk about the state of the film industry in New York City.

Larry Jordan: Then Bruce Nazarian, the CEO of the Digital Media Consulting Group has been consulting for Warner Bros. for the last year and has some very interesting revelations about how DVDs are now being distributed and, no, they’re not dead yet.

Larry Jordan: And Garret Savage is a freelance editor in New York and will be moderating a panel for the upcoming MEWshop ‘Sight, Sound and Story’ conference, discussing how to deconstruct a scene and improve your editing, which is a very cool concept.

Larry Jordan: And thinking of very cool people, our co-host is the ever affable, ever handsome, completely relaxed Mr. Mike Horton. Hello, Mike.

Mike Horton: Hello, Larry. You know that opening graphic?

Larry Jordan: Yes.

Mike Horton: First time I’ve ever seen that. Was this the first time?

Larry Jordan: Well, you know, if you would show up for the meetings, then there would be…

Mike Horton: No, how long has that been going on? Because it never played on the monitors.

Larry Jordan: We’ve changed our playback system, but it’s been going…

Mike Horton: Who did that?

Larry Jordan: Brianna did, and Megan.

Mike Horton: Really?

Larry Jordan: Yes, amazing.

Mike Horton: Brianna and Megan, nice job.

Larry Jordan: Oh great, now I’ve got to pay them more.

Mike Horton: No, they did a great job. This looks like a really professional show now.

Larry Jordan: It is getting more and more professional every week and one of these days both of us are going to talk ourselves out of a job.

Mike Horton: Brianna and Megan are going to be doing the job.

Larry Jordan: What are you up to these days?

Mike Horton: Well, we just booked a special guest for the next LAFCPUG meeting – Randy Ubillos.

Larry Jordan: For LAFCPUG?

Mike Horton: For LAFCPUG.

Larry Jordan: Now, when is that?

Mike Horton: That’s for May 27th, so everybody who lives in Los Angeles, grab a seat right now.

Larry Jordan: Well, you know, the cool thing is I teach Wednesdays at USC and…

Mike Horton: And you said you were going to be off, right?

Larry Jordan: And I’m off. We had our finals yesterday, the students are not talking to me.

Mike Horton: I will have to have you do something for us.

Larry Jordan: And I’m available, so I’m going to have to come on down and check out what’s going on.

Mike Horton: Yes, we’ve missed you. It’s been, like, five years or ten years.

Larry Jordan: Don’t take it personally.

Mike Horton: I won’t. Go ahead, Larry, do your business.

Larry Jordan: Well, the trick is to figure out what that is at the moment, actually, but…

Mike Horton: What, did you lose the words? I can fill in for you.

Larry Jordan: You’ve got the words?

Mike Horton: We’ve got a great list of people here today. I’m not sure really sure who they are but… ok, go ahead.

Larry Jordan: Well, let’s do this. What we’re going to do is I want to remind you to visit with us on Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and you can subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com for an inside look at both our show and the industry. Mike and I will be back with Josh Apter right after this.

Larry Jordan: I’ve got a ton of brand new training videos showcasing all the new features in Final Cut Pro 10.2, and they’re all available today. In fact, we’ve updated our entire Final Cut training for this release. We added more than 70 new movies covering every major and minor new feature in the software.

Larry Jordan: Then I figured, as long as I was recording, I added new techniques and new ways of working that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. We’ve updated our workflow in editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut training the most comprehensive, most up to date and most affordable way to learn everything about this amazing software. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s complete.

Larry Jordan: I’m proud of all of my training and especially proud of this one. Get your copy today in our store at larryjordan.com or, even better, become a member of our video training library and get access to all of our training for one low monthly price. Both are incredible value. Thanks.

Larry Jordan: Josh Apter is the founder and President of Manhattan Edit Workshop. This is a training company based in New York City. He’s also the go-to guy for all editing news in New York and he’s going to be hosting the upcoming MEWshop ‘Sight, Sound and Story’ workshop. Josh, what does the Manhattan Edit Workshop do?

Josh Apter: Well, we do a brick and mortar version, in a way, of what you do in your Final Cut training videos – we teach people the art and technique of film editing. We’re an Apple, Avid, Adobe, Autodesk and Blackmagic authorized training center in Flatiron. We started off just doing the Apple Final Cut Pro thing and have now blossomed into picture, sound, graphic design, you name it, and we just keep on growing so I couldn’t be happier.

Larry Jordan: That’s, I think, a really important point. One of the things we saw was a huge shift in the market probably, oh, five years ago where people just didn’t want to show up for face to face training. They wanted to have more online and watch it in their own time. How are you getting people to come and attend training for instructor-led classes?

Josh Apter: I think it’s the fact that instructors are all naked when they train. I think that’s a huge draw, and all grossly overweight. It’s horrible. No, I’ve always been a fan and the way that I learned personally was I really needed to lock myself in a room, turn off the phone and the internet and just really focus on training. I tried learning things from DVDs and books and whatnot and I’m too easily distracted. I do think there are people out there for whom learning online, learning from a book and these sorts of things are great. I use them as reference materials. When I need to learn a specific thing, I can look it up and there’s always the answer on the internet, but for me in terms of the core training, the instructor led experience and the total immersion of just spending the time, I always feel like that is its own reward and then the concepts catch on so much more quickly that way, and stick.

Mike Horton: Josh, I know you like to learn. Do you sit in on some of the classes that you actually give at the Manhattan Workshop?

Josh Apter: I try to. I’ve been trying to take Warren Eagle’s Resolve class for about two years.

Mike Horton: Oh, he’s the best.

Josh Apter: He’s the greatest and I still haven’t been able to sit in on his class, actually because more often than not it’s full and there really isn’t a seat for me. We can only put so many people in the class, we have a very strict student to teacher ratio and I will get in there someday. I try, I really try to learn as much as I can about the software that we are training in because I do feel like I have to keep up on it, but I am falling behind, I should be honest about that.

Mike Horton: Well, I think you have small children to take care of too, as well as run a business.

Josh Apter: Yes, there’s a mass of kids, there are two companies, you name it, and Michael you’ll be happy to know I’m almost locked on eight episodes of an original series that I started in the fall and I’ll let you know when it’s ready to watch. It’s finally out there being creative again.

Mike Horton: Finally you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. That’s great. I’m so proud of you.

Larry Jordan: I remember two years ago, Mike, you were beating up on him because…

Mike Horton: I beat up on him every time we have him as a guest, because he’s such a talented guy and he needs to be doing this kind of stuff and great, Josh, I’m proud of you.

Larry Jordan: So, Josh, stop having a life and let’s get out there and start to direct stuff in the evening and then run the business during the day. I think that’s really your…

Mike Horton: That’s exactly what he’s been doing, probably.

Josh Apter: If only I didn’t have to sleep, I think we’d have something here.

Larry Jordan: Well, what is it that Bruce Nazarian said? Bruce Nazarian said we sleep when we’re dead, and I’ve taken that as a motto in my own life.

Mike Horton: Well, in this economy you just can’t survive on one job, you need four, and Josh is proving that.

Larry Jordan: What’s the hot training right now? What are people wanting to learn?

Josh Apter: I think you might be able to back me up on this. Final Cut is staging a weird comeback. I don’t know if you’ve found that on your site, it’s growing in popularity, but I think the dust has settled and people who were initially very angry and looking the other way are getting a sense from the professional community at just how fast it is though I’m not sure that that’s necessarily new, the software’s not. There’s certainly a new version of it but we’re finding more and more people going back to FCP training now and I think Resolve is proving itself to be an amazing product and, with version 12 coming this summer that has an even more robust editor, I think we’re going to find a lot of people interested in using that as maybe a single solution for post and grading.

Larry Jordan: We’ve seen the same thing, starting about a year ago. There was a groundswell after the 10.1 update, that’s really what turned the switch, and we’ve seen a lot of people interested in our training who really have come new to the platform, so we’re seeing the same thing online as well. As you look at the New York environment, we’ve talked about what training is hot and you mentioned a Final Cut resurgence and Resolve, but what skills are in demand? If somebody wants to move to New York and earn a living, what are people hiring?

Josh Apter: If you can carry a giant tray with about eight plates of entrées on them, you’re going to do just fine. No, I think some of our graduates from our six week program have been talking about this now and it hasn’t really changed. People are looking for editors, they’re looking for someone who can edit and do color grading and do sound design and do After Effects and this whole all in one solution. They’re looking for a super human who doesn’t exist, nor do I personally think they should. You guys are from the generation of editors, there was a sound editor, there were color correction people and there were these departments where you had skilled experts in each discipline who brought their skill set to the project. I think so much of it now has collapsed into one person, or at least that’s the expectation, that I think that’s what we’re finding, that people are looking for this all in one solution and, of course, the paycheck hasn’t gone up for it either.

Larry Jordan: Producers have always wanted the fewest number of people to work as cheaply as possible, but there’s a benefit to the team approach in that you get a higher skill set to work with. Not everybody is good at color grading or audio mixing. How do you deal with the stress that puts on the editor when leading into something they don’t really know, say audio mixing, and they start to create bad work?

Josh Apter: What we teach in our six week class, because these are people who are really studying, they’re taking six weeks out of their life to study the technique, the aesthetics, the history and we do address the basics of sound design for picture editors, which is laying out your tracks in an organized way, light EQ, laying down beds of ambience, so there are basic things that I think any picture editor would be expected to do now. Screening a rough cut, I still think there’s the expectation that it’s a full experience. You don’t want somebody to get pulled out because there’s a sound effect missing or there are ambience changes from cut to cut in a dialog scene, so there are those things that I think are necessary. But even then, when you bring it to someone who really does sound design and you hear what they do and how they elevate the experience, it’s like night and day and that’s where I feel like the divide is. You really shouldn’t be trying to take something all the way to air or release as a picture editor.

Larry Jordan: As we look at New York and the media industry in New York, the very first thing that comes to mind is commercials and the second is news and live television. How would you describe the state of the media industry in New York? Is it growing? Holding its own? Hanging on by its fingernails? How would you describe it?

Josh Apter: Well, as long as there is a reality show about food or tattoos or cars, you’re going to find work in New York. It’s a big, big reality town and obviously, yes, it’s a big news town too. But the reality industry is really booming here and New York’s tax credits are better than they’ve ever been, so you’re finding more TV and film, and they’re not only shooting here but getting tax credits to post here. Yes, I think there’s a real resurgence. The last two or three years, it’s been getting better and better every year.

Larry Jordan: Really?

Mike Horton: Let’s hear it for tax credits.

Larry Jordan: And reality shows? You’re not cheering me up here. Good gracious.

Josh Apter: Well, it’s a great training ground for any sort of editing, I think. Having non-fiction is its own discipline, its own skill set, but I think that you can really apply some of that to any kind of editing. I think it’s all valuable. You can learn from cutting weddings and bar mitzvahs, things like that, if you’re really looking at it the right way.

Mike Horton: Do you watch reality television? Do you have a favorite reality television series that you are loyal to and you watch all the time?

Josh Apter: No, I wish. I don’t really watch a lot of TV. I think I carve out enough time to watch ‘Mad Men’, or what’s left of it – I’m so sad that it’s almost over – but no, I actually don’t watch reality TV and I’m not sorry, actually.

Mike Horton: I love talking about reality TV – sorry, Larry. I think the editors on reality television, especially the good ones, especially some of the network television ones, do such a good job of holding our attention through these really goofy contests that they deserve a lot of credit.

Larry Jordan: But my sense is if you can find a story in reality television, then you’re a superior editor right there.

Mike Horton: Exactly. These people take a lot of stuff and turn it into a story and it’s incredible.

Josh Apter: We had an artist in residence in our last class who cut an episode, she got a few episodes of a reality series about a New York emergency room, I believe, at the New York Presbyterian and it was incredible in that, yes, they had to find a story of the doctor, they had to find these dramatic stories about patients and lay out these story arcs and you don’t know where you’re getting it. It wasn’t one of these things where it was half-scripted, asking them to reenact this or do this again. It was really they got what they got and they had to work with that material and it was amazing. It felt much more like documentary than it did reality, so I agree, I think that when it’s done right it can be really effective.

Larry Jordan: Josh, one of the questions in our live chat, Caesar’s asking whether you find that your students, in addition to having post skills, also need to shoot or need to produce. Are we looking more at a predator market or more of an all in one editor market?

Josh Apter: Few of our students are looking to go to that predator market. We do teach production classes and most of the people in those, or at least back in the DSLR revolution days, tended to be still photographers looking to learn that new skill so they could offer it on the job. But I’ve still found that more people are sticking with either post, because they really love the idea of post, they’re not people who want to be out on set or on location necessarily, and then people in production who are the ones who love going after and capturing that moment. I still find a fair division between those.

Larry Jordan: I want to shift gears. One of the things that you do in addition to offering formal training is you put on workshops, which is beyond what the school itself does, and one of those that you’ve got coming up in June is the ‘Sight, Sound and Story’ workshop. Can you tell us what that is and, even if you can’t, lie? What is it?

Josh Apter: I think I can try. It’s a one day symposium slash bonanza of the experience of editing and talking about the craft, watching people’s work, edits as they evolve from rough cut to fine cut and really what the editor’s process is through these intimate discussions. We’ve done it for the past three years at ‘Sight, Sound and Story’ and then before that we did it for four years with American Cinema Editors, coproducing ‘EditFest New York’, so it’s been a regular stop in June for the editing community on the East Coast.

Larry Jordan: Tell us about some of the panels. What subjects are you covering and who do you have scheduled?

Josh Apter: We like to mix it up every year and hope to get a new look every time we do it. We’re moving to a new venue at the New York Institute of Technology, a beautiful, beautiful theater right off Columbus Circle. You were talking about reality, we actually are going to do a reality TV panel – so if ‘Ink Master’, ‘Mob Wives’, ‘Best Funeral Ever’ and ‘Teen Mom’ are of interest to you guys, let me know and I can introduce you to the editors. We also do a documentary panel every year. We’re lucky enough to have the editors of ‘The Jinx’, ‘Going Clear’, ‘Hotel Land’ and ‘Knuckleball’. Some of these people, I’ve seen these films and to me these are my celebrities, I get a little star struck around them and so to be able to talk to Andy Grieve about putting ‘Going Clear’ together to me is, I can’t even imagine the questions I’d ask. We’re doing a television panel, talking about how that’s evolved into this major new storytelling form. We’ve got Michael Berenbaum, who is a regular for us. He cut ‘The Americans.’ He’s going to moderate. We’ve got ‘America Horror Story’, ‘Masters of Sex’, ‘Sopranos’, ‘Ray Donovan’ and ‘Sesame Street’ believe it or not, represented.

Mike Horton: Yes, Jesse Averna.

Josh Apter: Yes, Jesse Averna, a good buddy. He’s going to be coming in to talk about what it’s like to win every Emmy possible for ‘Sesame Street’ and then our old pal Bobby O’Steen’s coming back, there’s ‘Inside the Cutting Room’, the Bobby O’Steen panel. She’s going to have a long conversation with William Goldenberg, who has been Michael Mann’s editor, I believe, since ‘Heat’ and then ‘Argo’, ‘Imitation Games’, ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’ The guy’s really got a whole lot of amazing stories to tell.

Larry Jordan: Take a breath. You’ve got an A list group of people at the show. Is this something that only high level professionals should attend or you only have seats for 20 people? Who should attend this?

Josh Apter: Actually, we get a very interesting mix of professionals and colleagues, contemporaries of these editors, and then we have people who are coming from schools who are film students or students specifically for editing who look at this as a real treat for them. You can’t learn some of this in a textbook. The actual interaction and to watch the scenes evolve in the clips that they show is a very educational experience for people and so we have students to film geeks and movie buffs to their colleagues who are coming to support them at these events.

Larry Jordan: And how are you pricing it?

Josh Apter: Well, for you guys we’re pricing it differently. The general admission cost is 89 bucks, but I believe with the code buzz15 – don’t quote me on that, I’d better find out what it is because I asked Jason before I got on the call tonight what the code is. Yes, buzz15, lower case, and that’ll get you in for $20 off.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Larry Jordan: Wow.

Josh Apter: And that also includes an open bar and a networking party. It’s got booze and food and that closes the show this year. It’s all the cheap wine you can drink and all these panels for that price.

Larry Jordan: That is very cool. The code is buzz15 and it’s $89 for people who are not clued in to the discount, and that’s an amazing lineup of speakers.

Mike Horton: Yes, that’s so cheap.

Larry Jordan: Michael, how come you don’t have your Supermeets that cheap?

Mike Horton: Yes, why don’t I have the Supermeets that cheap? That’s why we don’t make any money on the Supermeets, Larry, because we’re not as smart as Josh.

Larry Jordan: That’s it. Josh, where can people go on the web to learn more about where to sign up and register?

Josh Apter: It’s very easy – sightsoundandstory.com. That lays out the entire thing, gives you the schedule of events, the location, how to register, all the particulars and a brand new intro video that we just finished about a week or so ago that, I have to tell you, guys, that the office did a great job. It’s a really, really beautiful piece.

Larry Jordan: Josh, thank you, that’s sightsoundandstory.com. Josh Apter is the founder and President of the Manhattan Edit Workshop and sponsor of ‘Sight, Sound and Story.’ Thanks for joining us today.

Josh Apter: Thanks for having me.

Mike Horton: Thanks Josh, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Bruce Nazarian is the CEO of the Digital Media Consulting Group. He’s also a trainer, author, award winning music producer and musician, as well as an award winning production sound supervisor and re-recording mixer. He has a checkered past. Hello, Bruce, welcome back.

Mike Horton: He has a checkered past, yes.

Larry Jordan: It’s good to have you back.

Bruce Nazarian: Thank you, Larry and Mike. I am starved for visiting with you on The Buzz because it’s been way too long.

Larry Jordan: It has been phenomenally long. I was adding it up, it was 251 years ago that you last joined us on the show, Michael was a young boy at that time.

Mike Horton: They were writing the Constitution at the time that Bruce was on.

Bruce Nazarian: Yes, and I had to get my quill pen out for that one.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Bruce, you’ve spent the last year creating a department at Warner Bros. specifically to fulfill DVDs on demand and it gets back to one of the loves in your life, which is optical media. Tell us what you did.

Bruce Nazarian: Well, the long tale phenomenon that I’m sure your listeners are familiar with, which is there’s continuing life in a lot of content but not necessarily enough to justify a very expensive upfront cost for DVD replication, to service the long tale for titles that have either been in replication and have slowed down, or have never been in replication for DVD but still have an audience. We created an authoring division that authored specifically for manufacture on demand, which is burn it as you go, as the orders come in.

Larry Jordan: Wait a minute, burn as you go? But that means that you’re not replicating any more, it means that you’re burning and the media’s not the same between replication and burning a disk.

Bruce Nazarian: It’s more the same than you might think, because there is a secure burning process called QFlix, that embeds the CSS content protection into a recorded piece of media.

Mike Horton: Could you spell that, because I didn’t quite get it?

Bruce Nazarian: QFlix?

Mike Horton: Yes.

Bruce Nazarian: Yes, Q-F-L-I-X.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Larry Jordan: Now, tell me more about this because one of the things that I’ve grown up learning, because you taught me everything I know about optical media, is that with the stuff that we burn we’re working with an organic dye, and with the stuff that’s replicated we’re working with little holes punched into plastic which last forever. Where does this new system fit in?

Bruce Nazarian: What we’re trying to do is fill a need here that may not be for people who are going to collect these particular titles and keep them around for a thousand years, but there is a market for titles that have never appeared on optical disk before for which the budget does not exist to stand the upfront cost of replication. So the balance is let’s author it in a simple form to get the content, which is the interesting part, out on an optical disk that can be ordered as necessary and delivered within a couple of days of the order. It’s manufactured on demand.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Larry Jordan: And are they using million dollar piece of gear to do this? Or is it an incredibly talented database system and standard replicators?

Bruce Nazarian: It’s not standard replicators because you can’t standard replicate a single disk. What they’ve done is connected with a third party vendor who has built a system to automate the production of these recorded on demand disks based on fulfillment that comes in, orders that come in from a third party vendor or the Warner Bros. shop, for example, or amazon.com sales and if you go to the Warner Bros. shop, there are close to 2300 DVD titles online for sale, the majority of which are available as MOD titles.

Mike Horton: Now, these DVDs, maybe it’s because I’m from a different place, but I go to Ralphs all the time and I see that they have a red box thing and there’s always a huge line of people waiting to get a DVD out of that red box machine, so there’s obviously a lot of people who are still renting DVDs.

Bruce Nazarian: Correct.

Mike Horton: I just go on demand and I press a button, pay 5.99 and watch.

Bruce Nazarian: That’s fulfilling a different market. This particular market is for those titles that perhaps have never, ever been released and, if they were going to wait for the return on investment of an upfront replication cost so it could get into a red box and be rented, they would never make it to the marketplace. So what they’ve done, and it’s a very clever move, is they have enabled bringing titles out of their very extensive library at a minimum upfront cost to them to provide options to cinema television series lovers who never had these disks available. It’s pretty cool.

Larry Jordan: That is very cool. What was your role in putting all this together?

Bruce Nazarian: They asked me to specify the gear for the department and ramp up the department and staff it with authors and I basically have been running it for the last year. We’ve been cranking out titles for the Warner archive collection, a couple of which I was just looking at on the WB shop site even today.

Larry Jordan: That is so cool. What are some of the titles that would never make it into replication that have a low demand that you’re pleased with being able to bring out with this new system?

Bruce Nazarian: What’s interesting is just about every title that’s in the archive that hasn’t had a DVD release yet with the typical upfront expense of authoring and menuing and all the rest of that, is being reviewed by the Warner archive folks for potential release as an MOD disk. We did the gamut of things from old black and white movies from the ‘30s and ‘40s that never got a DVD release that now are finally getting a DVD release to serve the market of old film fans who would never be able to find this as a replicated disk because they wouldn’t have spent the money to replicate it.

Larry Jordan: That is so cool.

Bruce Nazarian: And we’re doing cool things like the ‘Dakotas’, the old black and white TV series, Western TV series. We did a bunch of great stuff over the last year and it’s really interesting, but it struck me in doing this how easy it is for content creators to do something similar, although not quite as automated, given the state of the art of DVD recordable and printable burners and media and the way that you can print Amaray case wrappers and buy blank Amaray cases. You can do these things for a couple of bucks a whack and sell them online.

Larry Jordan: In fact, there are a number of people who are doing exactly that. Their business is based on selling a limited quantity of DVDs which could never afford to be replicated, whether it’s antique cars or antique tractors or something more traditional like weddings, delivering on DVD, so it’s cool to know that the big guys have taken an idea from the small guys and that’s all due to your thinking. So yay you.

Bruce Nazarian: Yes, well, we had a great deal of fun putting the department together and getting all the kinks out of it. It’s really exciting to work as part of the Warner Bros. team and I had a great time, but I’m happy to be back amongst the independent contractors now these days.

Larry Jordan: So that gets me to my next big question – what are you working on next, now that you’ve finally got Warner Bros. on the straight and narrow?

Bruce Nazarian: I have been looking forward to having enough free time to be able to finally finish a CD of my very own, a music CD.

Larry Jordan: Oh, that’s right.

Bruce Nazarian: So I’m involved with the beginnings of putting together a CD project that I’m calling ‘Long Overdue’, for obvious reasons, and getting together some very serious musician players to help out with that.

Mike Horton: Yes, we should note that even though Bruce has been very busy with Warner Bros. for the last year, he has never, ever, ever stopped doing music and thank you for that, Bruce, because the posts that you put on Facebook about all the music and all the musicians that you know and unfortunately some of the musicians that have passed away in the last year has meant a lot to those of us who feel your passion.

Bruce Nazarian: Well, music’s in the blood and it’s part of my DNA, so no matter how technical I get from one side of the brain, I always keep getting yanked to the creative side, the other side of the brain, and reminded that first, last and always I was put on the Earth to be a musician, so I’ll do it again.

Mike Horton: And Bruce knows the best and has worked with the best.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, now that we’ve got The Buzz studio, we should bring Bruce out and have him do a Buzz concert for us.

Mike Horton: Now, wouldn’t that be great?

Larry Jordan: That would be cool.

Mike Horton: You’ve got to come out here, Bruce, and see this place. It’s unbelievable.

Larry Jordan: Seating for 250 people, a 4,000 square foot studio. It’s just…

Mike Horton: Acoustically perfect.

Larry Jordan: Set up by DTS. It’s an amazing place and it needs someone with a musical touch.

Mike Horton: Yes. Bring your friends for a Friday night concert.

Bruce Nazarian: I just may come on out there and bring some stuff, some guitars and whatnot, and roust the joint out.

Larry Jordan: Just don’t ask Mike to sing, it would not be a pretty sight.

Mike Horton: No, no, no, no, no, no, Bruce can sing.

Larry Jordan: I’ve seen Bruce sing.

Mike Horton: Is it good?

Larry Jordan: We won’t talk about it on this kind of broadcast. No, it’s an entirely different moment. Bruce, for people who are interested in learning more about what titles Warner Bros. has, I know you’re independent now, but where can people go to learn about what Warner Bros. is offering on the web?

Bruce Nazarian: If they go to wbshop.com, they can survey all of the online offerings from the Warner archive collection. There’s a little button there called ‘Warner archive’ and it’s a pretty amazingly large offering of various titles. There’s animation, there are feature films, there are television series, old and relatively recent and new. I mean, we did the ‘George Lopez Show’, we did that one…

Larry Jordan: Hold, hold, hold, I don’t have time for you to list all 7,000 of them. Thomas is asking, quickly, is it DVD or do you also have Blu-Ray?

Bruce Nazarian: There are Blu-Rays, but there’s a very limited selection of Blu-Rays because Blu-Rays are much, much harder to manufacture and ultimately they all just go to short run replication.

Larry Jordan: Last question, what’s your website, for people who want to follow you?

Bruce Nazarian: They can follow me at thedigitalguy.com or they could follow music at thedigitalguy.net.

Larry Jordan: And Bruce Nazarian is both the digital guys. Bruce, thanks for joining us today.

Bruce Nazarian: Thanks very much, you guys.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Bruce.

Larry Jordan: Take care.

Larry Jordan: Garret Savage is a documentary film editor whose work includes ‘My Perestroika’, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Peabody Award, as well HBO’s How Democracy Works Now television series. He’s also the co-founder and President of the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship. Garret, Hello, welcome.

Garret Savage: Hello, guys, how are you?

Mike Horton: Good.

Larry Jordan: We are doing just ducky in here.

Mike Horton: Ducky? That’s a Wisconsin word.

Larry Jordan: Were we not talking about ‘Sesame Street?’

Mike Horton: Yes, I think so.

Larry Jordan: All right, so we add a duck in for ‘Sesame Street’ and Garret is from New York and I wanted to try to use a New York colloquialism to make him feel at home.

Garret Savage: Ducky fit right in. … interview Dick Cavett was saying a few years ago how he… he wants to eliminate it from the English language, so I think you’ve found a nice replacement. I’ll start saying ducky more often.

Larry Jordan: The world would be a better place if ducky were used more frequently. Garret, what got you started as an editor?

Garret Savage: What got me started as an editor? I went to school, I studied at UC Santa Barbara and made some films, enjoyed the editing part of it. I moved to LA and I really had no idea what area I wanted to go into. I just PA’d and tried to meet a bunch of people, but was miserable as an office PA on a TV show and the assistant editor said, “Why don’t you come over here, take a look at what I’m doing,” and she brought me into this dark room with the curtains drawn with a coffee maker and a little refrigerator and it was actually light work and it was this calm place, so different from being on set or in the production office, and there was the footage that they’d shot the day before and I found that to be so exciting. Sandy Grubb was her name and she helped lead me into the world of post production and that’s what really got me involved professionally into it, and then I ended up – what did I do? I got lucky, my first job was cutting a friend’s independent fiction feature film and then from there I got hired at a trailer company in Los Angeles and cut trailers and then from there I moved to New York and I got involved in commercials and was an assistant editor on that and later documentaries and promos. I’ve cut promos for AMC and IFD and USA and feature documentaries, so I’ve worn a bunch of different hats in the editing world.

Larry Jordan: Do you have a preference of what you enjoy cutting?

Garret Savage: I feel pretty lucky that I’m able to go back and forth between feature documentaries and promos, that’s usually what I’m doing. It’s a nice way for me to not get stuck in a rut and to exercise different muscles. Cutting promos takes a really specific set of skills and tools and you have to be quick and you can’t really worry about it too much or over think it. You have a couple of days to put it all together and get it out the door; meanwhile, when you’re working on a documentary feature, of course, a lot more time is spent mulling it over and coming back the next day and it’s a lot more thoughtful and a lot deeper. But I like doing both of those things.

Mike Horton: You say you’ve got a couple of days to do a promo. Any tips for us in finding the story and how to do promo in a couple of days?

Garret Savage: Sure, get a good producer and have them tell you what to do.

Mike Horton: Good answer.

Garret Savage: But if you don’t have that, I don’t know. It really depends.

Larry Jordan: Well, wait, wait, wait, wait. Hold on, stop a second, back up. You’re cutting a promo of an existing show. Why is the producer important at all?

Garret Savage: The way it works in promos is you’ve got the network, let’s say it’s IFC and they’ve got a show, a… I would say, and they’re trying to promote the show so they give an assignment to a producer, who has to write a script, whether it be a voiceover or maybe there’s no words but there could be title cards or voiceover or something that says something witty or provides some kind of hook and contextualizes the footage that you’re going to put in that 30 second promo. They usually come up with that and they may even select a piece of music. As a freelancer, sometimes I come in and I don’t know what the network’s current style of promo is, so usually the producers are the people who are keeping that consistent. That’s some of it, does that makes sense?

Larry Jordan: Yes, so basically the producer’s acting as both the writer and the guide to make sure that you stay consistent with the other promos the network’s creating.

Garret Savage: Exactly, and so a lot of what they do is come up with the sometimes brilliant approaches to pitching this program or episode to the audience and then as the editor you come in and they probably don’t know how to execute it or they may have some ideas, but what I find exciting is to come in and have that intense collaboration where they’re dependent on you to say, “All right, here’s what I want to do, help me make it happen,” and then of course as the editor coming in, you’ve got to remind yourself to not say, “No, that’s not going to work.” That’s often our first reaction, “Are you crazy? There’s no way, and we only have two days,” … and just say, “Yes, all right, let’s go figure this and make it happen.” I’m joking, but it’s true. If you have a great producer and somebody who’s got a bunch of ideas, then that’s great, and oftentimes as a freelancer you establish a relationship with those people and they call you back, if they’re freelance, whatever network they’re working for. That’s kind of how you get hooked in.

Mike Horton: How often do you come into a situation where you’re doing a promo and you know nothing about the show? And how do you get that gig?

Garret Savage: Again, at a place like IFC, they have a bunch of different shows and they have some staff editors, but then their staff editors are all booked and then maybe there’s a special that’s coming up or there’s more material, more promos that need to be cut that they don’t have the staff for, and so quite often you come in and it’s a 30 minute show… spend your first 45 minutes of work just watching that show and becoming familiar with that episode; and then lots of times they’ll say, “Hey, check out these old promos we did,” to get an idea for the style and the flavor of it. You guys mentioned predating earlier when you were talking to Josh. A lot of times, more and more, I find myself in a predating position, where they say, “Here you go. Make it happen,” and those are definitely more stressful than when you don’t have a producer.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of stress, you’re a freelance editor in New York. How do you manage to survive as a freelance editor? What are the challenges? It sounds like you’re almost always in marketing mode trying to find the next gig.

Garret Savage: From my own personal experience, I think there’s a period where I was, but what I find really encouraging about New York, and lots of times people say, “Oh, you’re an editor, why are you in New York? Why don’t you do it in LA?” I explain that there’s so much content in New York that’s just needing to be edited. Every week, every month I find out about new places that I never even heard of that are hiring freelance editors. I moved here in 1997 and I’m somebody who’s been here a while. I don’t know what it’s like to talk to somebody who’s younger or newer, but after a while you do a good job and you’re personable – as you guys know, so many parts of the job is how you are as a person and how you are in a room and how up for the job and task at hand you are and just being a good person – and so after a while you establish that reputation, the same people start working with you and before you know it, you’re in demand because producers talk to each other and they say, “Well, who do you like?” and they say, “Oh, this guy, this woman,” and they talk to them. I don’t know if it’s lucky or good or a combination of both, but I think certainly in New York there’s so much work that if you prove yourself, you’ll be in demand.

Mike Horton: Yes, that’s what I always say. If you have a lot of talent, people will find you as long as you put yourself out there.

Garret Savage: Yes, and I will say, as we’re talking about promos, people say to me all the time, “That sounds great. How do I get into that?” An established editor will say that and I just sort of shake my head sometimes because most promo editors are hired from within and they start out as maybe a PA running whatever a PA does nowadays and they just sort of work their way up – they’re an assistant or they’re digitizing or organizing footage at night, and digitizing speaks to my age again, and then they work their way up and they get, “Oh, you know what? We’re going to throw you a little 15 second promo. Why don’t you cut that? You did a good job,” so they work their way up. Promos, I think, are a pretty hard thing to break your way into if you haven’t grown up in that system.

Larry Jordan: I want to change the subject. You co-founded a fellowship called the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship. Who’s Karen Schmeer and why did you found the fellowship?

Garret Savage: I’m glad you asked. Karen Schmeer was a film editor, a documentary editor, one of the best, I dare say, of her generation. She worked on many films with Errol Morris. She cut ‘Fast, Cheap and Out of Control’ that was her first film back around ’97/’98 and she’s somebody who started in Errol’s office and worked her way up pretty quickly to cut the film that he thought was uneditable and she was the second editor on that and figured it out and it went on to become a classic. From there, she worked on ‘The Fog of War’ which won the Academy Award. She worked on ‘Mr. Death’ she worked with Robb Moss on ‘The Same River Twice.’ She cut 13 films and eight of them, I think, premiered at Sundance and besides all those accomplishments, she was just an amazing person and really the best friend somebody could have. I met my wife at a dinner party that she hosted and she was just a dear, wonderful person. In January of 2010, she was crossing the street on the Upper West Side in Manhattan and there was a police chase and these guys were trying to get away from a silly drugstore robbery and they were going at high speed and they hit her and she died. They ran away but were ultimately caught and prosecuted. After she died, we were listless and confused and sad and lost and thought, “Let’s do something positive with this,” and Karen was always very supportive of younger editors and often insisting on younger editors who may not on the surface show that they’re ready for a job but she’d call the producer and say, “You should really promote them and get them to cut your film,” so we thought the best thing we could do was start a film editing fellowship in her memory, to carry on her legacy and also to actively help and support emerging documentary film editors.

Mike Horton: Well, congratulations to you because a lot of people still talk about Karen and I’ve had conversations with Jenny McCormick about Karen over at Ace, so thank you so much for doing what you’re doing.

Garret Savage: I’ll tell you more about it briefly, and you can cut me off if I get too longwinded, but I just want to sketch it out and then we can tell people how they can apply and how they qualify.

Larry Jordan: Go ahead, tell us.

Garret Savage: This is our fifth year. We just awarded our fifth fellowship to an excellent emerging editor named Anna Gustavi. She’s the editor of ‘Seymour: An Introduction’ a film that Ethan Hoff directed. It’s still playing in theaters, it’s a wonderful film, her first feature editing job. She’s going to get a range of benefits. She gets a class at Manhattan Edit Workshop, thanks to Josh and those guys. They’re one of our biggest partners. She gets special membership at ACE, as you mentioned, Jenny McCormick there a huge partner of ours. She gets tickets to South by South West. We present the award to the fellow at South by South West, at their award ceremony. She gets $1,000. She gets passes to other film festivals and the most important thing we find is she gets mentorship. We set her up to have three veteran mentors, documentary editors – Bob Eisenhardt, Toby Shimin and Matthew Hamachek – and she’s already established relationships with them and consults with them throughout the year and they’ll bring her into the edit room and show her rough cuts and that’s just one of the best things that the fellows get.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Garret Savage: Yes, it’s great; and we have a new partnership with the Sundance Film Festival, so the fellow gets to get to Sundance and this year our organization partnered at the festival and we presented the first ever Editors’ Brunch during the festival, about the art of editing. They’ve had brunches for years for producers and directors but never for editors, so we got about 150 editors in the room together. Joe Bini, Werner Herzog’s editor, gave a fantastic keynote address that’s available online and I highly recommend people seek out and find Joe Bini, Sundance, Editors’ brunch will probably get you there if you Google that.

Larry Jordan: Garret, before we do run out of time, where can people go who would like to apply for this fellowship?

Garret Savage: They can go to karenschmeer.com. I’ll just tell you really briefly, the basic requirements are you need to have cut between one and three feature documentaries and be living in the United States during the year of your upcoming fellowship. I think those are the two main things.

Larry Jordan: That’s very cool. Well, the other thing that you’re doing that I want to touch on briefly is a workshop coming up at the ‘Sight, Sound, Story’ workshop that Josh was talking about earlier and your panel is on something that I’m very interested in, which is deconstructing a scene. Tell us about that.

Garret Savage: Yes, it’s going to be awesome.

Larry Jordan: Well, before you talk about the panel, tell us what deconstructing a scene is.

Garret Savage: Ok. There are different ways to do it. We can simple show a scene and an editor can talk about it and we can talk about what went into it. I ask my talent to find scenes that presented some big challenge during the editing of the film. I find that when I moderate panels, it’s best to cut right to the chase. Cutting anything is really hard but cutting documentaries is really, really hard and so I think it’s beneficial for the audience to find out what was really hard about this movie that we’re talking about. What I like to do sometimes and we may have this year – we’re still figuring it out – is to show a scene from a rough cut, maybe that was presented as a rough cut, and then they got feedback on it and they figured out it was problematic but they knew it had to be in the film. We’ll show that and then talk about it, talk about why it was a problem, talk about what went into solving those problems and then show the final scene and show how it works. It may be early to say this but I’m going to go ahead and say it, we may be showing a scene from ‘The Armstrong Lie’ edited by Andy Grieve. When Alex Gibney was making that film, from what I understand, I don’t totally know yet, but he was filming for years with Lance Armstrong, and believing everything Lance Armstrong told him. I mean, he was making a film about it. And then once the fact that he was doping came out, that changed everything.

Mike Horton: Yes, well, that changed the entire film.

Garret Savage: Yes, and much of the film was already cut, so they had to go back and change a lot of the film, so we may be showing a scene before that news came out and then what the scene turned into.

Larry Jordan: Now, help me understand, why is deconstructing the scene so helpful when you’re doing an edit?

Garret Savage: When you’re doing an edit? Well, if you’re an editor of documentary films, it’s important to deconstruct a scene and deconstruct how the scenes fit into the structure. Documentary films don’t follow the Hollywood beginning, middle and end structure. Usually that’s part of the excitement of documentaries – we can start anywhere and go anywhere, I find – so it’s a huge puzzle, a huge mystery and so to get in a room with these experts and these people who are so versed in breaking down structure and figuring out ways of talking about it I think is incredibly valuable and it really doesn’t happen very often.

Larry Jordan: That’s for sure. Also, it’s like watching a production with the sound turned off – you’re suddenly paying much more attention to camera placement and actor blocking because you’re outside the story and you’re able to look at how they put it together and how they shot it.

Garret Savage: That’s really true, even if our sound is up while we’re watching the scene, just to isolate a scene and talk about what came before and what came after. I find myself all the time watching a great documentary and I just slip into it and it’s only when it’s over or later when I’m talking about it that I really piece together how hard it was. That’s one thing I love talking about with editors. On a project, every documentary editor, if they admit it, which they usually do because they’re cool people, that they’re working for a long period where they have no idea what they were doing or where it was going and I love voicing that. If you’re trying to be a great editor, it’s scary when you don’t know, but here these veterans admit that too.

Mike Horton: Yes, how do you find the story?

Larry Jordan: Garret, what website can people go to who want to keep track of what you’re doing?

Garret Savage: The best thing is the karenschmeer.com website, I think. Go to the Manhattan Edit Workshop website to find out about the…

Larry Jordan: Thank you. That’s karenschmeer.com. Garret, thanks for joining us today.

Garret Savage: Thanks for your time, Larry.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Garret.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Mike, do you remember that conversation?

Mike Horton: I remember that. I usually don’t remember yesterday but I remembered that. I remembered Nollywood.

Larry Jordan: We’ve been doing The Buzz for more than eight years, believe it or not. You were a young child at that point.

Mike Horton: That’s right.

Larry Jordan: We just had a look back at some of the…

Mike Horton: I’ve still got my hair and so do you, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Yes, yours and mine is both glued on. We thought it would be worthwhile to look back five years and see how the industry… we had last week, it’s a company that doesn’t exist any more. The industry changes that quickly.

Mike Horton: Really?

Larry Jordan: Yes.

Mike Horton: It changes every six months, let’s face it.

Larry Jordan: IBC and NAB, actually.

Mike Horton: Oh, I’d love to go to this Manhattan Edit Workshop thing.

Larry Jordan: I’ll fly you out, by the way. The Buzz has got a large budget.

Mike Horton: June 13th. You know, I’m not doing anything on June 13th.

Larry Jordan: I’ll add you to the list.

Mike Horton: I want to go.

Larry Jordan: It’s a great group of editors, isn’t it?

Mike Horton: It’s only money.

Larry Jordan: $89.

Mike Horton: Oh, I know that. It’s just flying there.

Larry Jordan: But for you, I can save you 20 bucks.

Mike Horton: I’ve got buddies in New York with couches.

Larry Jordan: buzz15.

Mike Horton: There’s no excuse, I’m going. I’m going. Josh, save me a seat. Ok.

Larry Jordan: And thinking of saving a seat, you’ve got something cool coming.

Mike Horton: Yes I do. Oh, we haven’t really announced it, kind of, but we’re doing a Supermeet-up in the Bay area on June 26th, alongside the Final Cut Pro X conference but it’s a separate event, and guess who we booked.

Larry Jordan: I’m afraid to ask.

Mike Horton: Randy Ubillos.

Larry Jordan: Two for the price of one.

Mike Horton: I know, it’s like the Randy Ubillos farewell tour. It is, that’s what I’m calling it because he’s retired from Apple, so I’m having him down here and then we’re going to bring him up there. We’re going to bring him around the country so everybody can see him and say thank you and hi and all that kind of stuff, because he hasn’t been able to do this stuff since he was working at Apple.

Larry Jordan: And when’s the meet up?

Mike Horton: 26th June.

Larry Jordan: And where can people go?

Mike Horton: And the LAFCPUG meeting is 27th May.

Larry Jordan: Yes. Oh, the LAFCPUG meeting I will meet you at.

Mike Horton: And you’re coming.

Larry Jordan: I will be there.

Mike Horton: Yes. If you want to meet Larry and you’re in LA…

Larry Jordan: And can people sign up?

Mike Horton: Yes they can.

Larry Jordan: Where?

Mike Horton: Lafcpug.org. I’ve got to change that one of these days.

Larry Jordan: But not today.

Mike Horton: And supermeet.com.

Larry Jordan: And the guy that co-produces Supermeet is Mike Horton, that handsome dude right there.

Mike Horton: That’s right.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests, Josh Apter, the owner of the Manhattan Edit Workshop, Bruce Nazarian…

Mike Horton: I’m coming to New York, Josh.

Larry Jordan: …Bruce Nazarian, CEO of the Digital Media Consulting Group; and Garret Savage, freelance editor based out of New York City.

Larry Jordan: On the digitalproductionbuzz.com website you’ll find a history of our industry – hundreds of past shows, thousands of interviews, all searchable, all online and all available. You can talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook, at digitalproductionbuzz.com.

Mike Horton: I’m looking busy.

Larry Jordan: You are doing an incredible job. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner; additional music on The Buzz is provided by smartsound.com. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription.

Larry Jordan: Our producer is Cirina Catania. Our engineering team is led by Megan Paulos, and includes Alexia Chalida – we will miss you, by the way – Ed Goyler, Keegan Guy – we’ll miss you too – Lindsay Luebbert and Brianna Murphy.

Mike Horton: Wait, is everybody leaving?

Larry Jordan: Yes, they’re gone. Thanks for listening…

Mike Horton: It’s Larry Jordan and Associate.

Larry Jordan: …to The Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan: The Buzz is copyright 2015. Thanks for listening.

Digital Production Buzz – May 7, 2015

  • An Update on Editing in the Big Apple
  • DVDs on Demand
  • Deconstructing a Scene Helps Improve Editing

GUESTS: Josh Apter, Bruce Nazarian, and Garret Savage

Click play button to watch the current show.

(For audio only, click the MP3 player)


Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton as he talks with:

Josh Apter, Founder & President, Manhattan Edit Workshop

Josh Apter is the founder and president of the Manhattan Edit Workshop, a training company in New York City. He joins us this week with an update on the editing scene in New York City as well as his plans for the upcoming “Sight, Sound and Story workshop.

Bruce Nazarian, CEO, Digital Media Consulting Group, Inc.

DVDs continue to be a vibrant way to deliver media to the home. How do the major studios handle their DVD sales? Bruce Nazarian, CEO of the Digital Media Consulting Group, returns after a long absence to enlighten us what’s happening in optical media.

Garret Savage, Editor & President, Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship

Garret Savage is an editor and president of the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship. He is also moderating a panel at MEWshop’s upcoming NYC-based “Sight, Sound & Story” conference. This week, Garrett shares his thoughts on how deconstructing a scene can improve your editing.

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, watch live, download an episode from the archives, or subscribe to the podcast either through iTunes or our website. Whatever you do, DON’T miss this week’s show!

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – April 30, 2015

Digital Production Buzz

April 30, 2015

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

 

(Click here to listen to this show.)

 
HOSTS

Larry Jordan

Michael Horton

GUESTS

James GardinerThe CineTech Geek

Jess Hartmann, CEO, ProMAX Systems

Justin Thomson, Founder, Ashridge Films

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight’s Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Shutterstock and Other World Computing.

 

Voiceover: Rolling. Action!

 

Larry Jordan: Since the dawn of digital film making…

 

Voiceover: Authoritative.

 

Larry Jordan: …one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals…

 

Voiceover: Current.

 

Larry Jordan: …uniting industry experts…

 

Voiceover: Production.

 

Larry Jordan: …film makers…

 

Voiceover: Post production.

 

Larry Jordan: …and content creators around the planet.

 

Voiceover: Distribution.

 

Larry Jordan: From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, The Digital Production Buzz goes 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. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan and joining us, as ever, our co-host, Mr. Mike Horton.

 

Mike Horton: Hello everybody and hello Larry.

 

Larry Jordan: Good to have you with us. We’ve got a great group of guests tonight, starting with James Gardiner. He’s the CineTechGeek. He helps theaters transition from film to digital projection. His 30 years in the industry have focused on software development for digital cinema and content preparation. He joins us this week to discuss the recent CinemaCon conference and trends in digital cinema.

 

Larry Jordan: Jess Hartmann is the CEO of ProMAX, which has developed a series of products that enable backup and archive of valuable media assets. This week, he discusses techniques that we can use to safely protect our precious media assets long into the future.

 

Larry Jordan: And Justin Thomson is an actor and filmmaker with over 20 years of acting and producing experience. However, until this year he’s never attended NAB and, Mike, he’s never…

 

Mike Horton: Oh my gosh.

 

Larry Jordan: …attended the Supermeet.

 

Mike Horton: Oh my gosh.

 

Larry Jordan: He joins us in the studio this week to share his reactions and insight on these two key industry events and what they mean to young filmmakers.

 

Mike Horton: A little bit off his bucket list.

 

Larry Jordan: Mike, it’s an exciting time in the industry as manufacturers turn their promises into products. As you look back at NAB and the haze of Supermeet, anything special stick in the mind from the stage presentations that caught your attention?

 

Mike Horton: You mean the stage presentations on the floor?

 

Larry Jordan: Well, Supermeet, because I know you were really watching those closely.

 

Mike Horton: I love Cirina’s. I did. It’s not just because Cirina’s the producer of this show, but I really loved what she did because it was inspirational and also because she was the only woman on stage. You know how hard that is to get? It’s really hard to get a woman on stage; and not only at my local user group meetings, but at Supermeets.

 

Mike Horton: We were lucky and fortunate enough to have two great editors at the Amsterdam Supermeet, the ‘Star Wars’ editors, but it’s very difficult to get women because, you know, it’s a boys’ club. NAB’s a big boys’ club, so the more women you get on stage in front of other women, it’s really ,really important. So Cirina getting in front of those women empowered the women in the audience and she didn’t know that, but I knew that and it was a big deal and she was great.

 

Larry Jordan: That’s very cool.

 

Mike Horton: So I was very, very happy for her and for us.

 

Larry Jordan: What was the highlight of the Supermeet besides Cirina’s talk? You had 1200 people in the audience. What was it that got the biggest reaction?

 

Mike Horton: I don’t know because I’m so busy working backstage with the boys from Ripple Training because of 10.2. There were a lot of FCP X fans out in the audience. I didn’t know that and I didn’t think that there would be, but there were a lot of Final Cut Pro X fans and that’s a big difference between this year and maybe a couple of years ago.

 

Larry Jordan: Oh yes.

 

Mike Horton: And so that was surprising and they got a lot of applause. But quite frankly, and not to be politically correct, all the presentations were great. They were fun, which is what Supermeets are all about. You’re going to learn a little bit, but they’re fun.

 

Larry Jordan: That’s a cool thing. Remember to visit with us on Facebook, at digitalproductionbuzz.com. We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com for an inside look at both our show and the industry. Mike and I will be right back with James Gardiner after this.

 

Larry Jordan: Finding the perfect royalty free image or video for your creative project can be a crucial step in the filmmaking process and, whether it’s for your website, publication or video segment, the experts at shutterstock.com 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 filmmakers. 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 shutterstock.com.

 

Larry Jordan: James Gardiner is one of the co-founders of DigitAll, a technology company that develops software and intellectual property for use in cinema exhibition. However, he’s better known as the CineTechGeek and for all the videos he’s created explaining digital cinema technology. Hello, James, welcome.

 

James Gardiner: Hello, Larry, how are you today?

 

Larry Jordan: Well, we’re talking to you, so that’s a great place to start; and thinking of that, what got you started as the CineTechGeek?

 

James Gardiner: Many years ago, I don’t know, about six or seven years ago, I started a company that was just doing the VPF contracts for Australia. The VPF contracts were where the studios would help cinemas transition to digital and at that time it was a very difficult thing for these cinemas to do because it’s like a completely different sort of model to what they’re used to, going from the cogs and wheels of cinema to basically an IT infrastructure and they had very little idea what was going on, so I basically took it unto myself to start making videos to try and help them understand and be informed about the technology that they were going to buy and hopefully hasten the transition, because it’s easier to transition to something that you understand than to something that you don’t.

 

Larry Jordan: You’ve been in software development for, gosh, 30 years I would guess. What is it that caught your attention about digital cinema?

 

James Gardiner: Well, you had black and white to color and you had the no sound and the talkies etcetera in the original days, those are historical transitions in the art of cinema, and I just saw that that was coming again, with the change from film to digital, and I wanted to be involved with it and to contribute to it because I thought it was such an historic thing to happen and I wanted to be there.

 

Larry Jordan: When I think about a theater – and this is because I don’t know as much as I should – you’re just taking out a film projector and putting in a digital projector. What makes the transition so much more difficult?

 

James Gardiner: Cinema is an art form and it’s something that people are extremely passionate about. For example, there has been lots of discussion about which is better, film is or digital, over the years and even now with Mark… I think the director’s name is, there’s lots of talk about him and he wants to stay on film and the studios are still keeping Kodak going for the next so many years because they want to keep access to that content or a capability to still create on film.

 

James Gardiner: It’s a very passionate thing and the industry still wants to hold onto it, and good on them for doing that. But going to digital for exhibition was such a big change for them that they needed help to understand it, we needed more understanding on how it was going to change the business, because it is completely different now in terms of what’s running up there in the bio booth. It’s nothing like it used to be and I wanted to help people to understand it, but as I kept making… I’d get more and more involved and deeper into the knowledge and the technology and right at this stage now, the digital transition is considered roughly done.

 

James Gardiner: In Australia it’s pretty much 100 percent done; in America it’s about 98 percent done. Only in Africa and some of those other countries they are around 85 percent, so realistically we are now digital in cinema and the interesting part of this year is that there’s a lot of focus shifting from all the changes happening in cinema now that we are all digital and more interested and movement happening to NAB, where we’re going to take advantage of being digital. High dynamic range, for example, was pretty much the topic of the show for both CinemaCon and NAB.

 

James Gardiner: If you were lucky enough to go to CinemaCon, you would have seen the Dolby cinema projector with the amazing contrast ratio. When they did a demonstration of that projector in the Coliseum at Caesar’s, they showed basically a typical projector and how the black levels were a certain brightness and then they showed the capabilities of the new Dolby projector and you literally heard the audience go, “Wow!” all at the same time because it was that impressive.

 

James Gardiner: High frame rates, for example, which is a capability that is coming via digital, there’s a lot of resistance to it and the industry isn’t really taking it on. High dynamic range, it looks like it’s completely the opposite. They seem to want to embrace high dynamic range and it’s probably going to push us quite fast into that sort of realm and there is an amazing amount of work being done by SMPTE and many organizations, trying to figure out how to get us there as soon as possible, especially the TV manufacturers who want to sell us new televisions. So it was a very interesting year this year.

 

Larry Jordan: James, I want to contrast something. NAB is a trade show which really focuses on the creation of content. How would you differentiate NAB, which most of us in the audience know, with CinemaCon, which most of us have not heard of. What’s the difference between the two shows?

 

Mike Horton: CinemaCon is specifically aimed at what I’d call exhibitors, the side of the business which shows movies to the public in the big theaters. CinemaCon is focused on them and how they do their business and their needs. There are lots of presentations there about how to market your cinema, there are popcorn manufactures, lots of seat manufacturers; all the things you would need to make a really nice cinema are there.

 

James Gardiner: As you could expect, the transition to digital was where it was focused and that’s where I was focusing. It’s a very niche market and that’s one of the reasons I focused on it, because there’s no-one else in the world really doing my sort of content, but I thought it was very much needed because we all love cinema and that’s where we see these images.

 

James Gardiner: You were talking about ‘Star Wars’. I was a kid, I was eight or nine when I saw it and that’s what made me fall in love with cinema to a degree, was that story on the screen that changed the way I thought about my life and what’s going forward. As you can see, it’s very important to many of us and I’ve really put it on myself to try and help those transitions and make that magic as magical as possible going forward.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, you bring up ‘Star Wars’, but wasn’t ‘Star Wars’ – at least the one that’s coming out here in December – shot on film?

 

James Gardiner: That one was still shot on film, yes, and there are lots of people who still make the decision to shoot on film. That’s a creative decision. We shouldn’t think of it as one’s better than the other, we should think of it as a creative decision and that’s one of the big things that I’ve found out that came up at the show, especially at NAB.

 

James Gardiner: With the advent of immersive audio, object based audio and all these new capabilities, high dynamic range etcetera, we now have so many options and so many new tools that we can’t really say one is better than the other or one should be used and one shouldn’t be used. We have to holistically take a look at it as these are now all tools in our filmmaker’s toolbox that we can take advantage of and that’s a good thing that I’ve actually seen over the last couple of years.

 

James Gardiner: The polarization of one technology being better than another technology needs to be put behind us. We need to basically just take all these technologies as a set of tools and make the best of all of them together.

 

Mike Horton: You talk about making videos to help the theater owners understand this whole digital projection system, but how hard was it to convince them to pay all the money to take all their film projectors out and replace them with digital cinema projectors, which are very expensive?

 

James Gardiner: It wasn’t an issue of convincing them, it was just a commercial reality that it had to happen. My main issue was that at the time there was a lot of misinformation around. I wasn’t really happy with the way some of these things were being sold and how some of these people who were new to this area were taken advantage of and realistically that’s one of the main reasons I started my videos. It’s why in a lot of them I say, “You need to make informed decisions,” because a lot of them weren’t being informed correctly, so I was hoping my videos would help combat that thing that I didn’t like happening in this market.

 

Larry Jordan: James, what were some of the subjects of your videos? What were some of the things you were talking about?

 

James Gardiner: This year in the videos I mainly talked about how laser is pretty much coming on – this was the year of the laser to a degree with the introduction by Barco of a full road map of lasers to replace the current Xenon based systems. This is quite a significant issue because it brings on another partial digital transition. In a couple of years, it has pretty much been indicated that Xenon lamps will no longer be viable, or lasers will be so much more efficient that you won’t be buying Xenon based projectors any more.

 

James Gardiner: But the whole industry… not selling Xenon projectors any more, that means, like film, Xenon lamps may eventually die out. At some stage in the next ten years, everyone will need to replace their projectors again because of that and that’s significant news that I covered and it’s the sort of thing I like to socialize with the cinema owners.

 

James Gardiner: As you know, when cinema converted, there were a lot of little cinemas which held fundraising to try and switch to digital because they weren’t really prepared for it economically and I don’t want that to happen again when something like this happens, so I’m trying to educate the market early, socialize it early so they do put $5,000 away per year so they know that when it comes to that next transition they’ve got the money, they can move forward and we don’t lose any screens. We don’t want screens going dark, as it’s mentioned in the industry.

 

James Gardiner: But also, there’s the fact that high dynamic range is coming, like was shown by Dolby. Very interesting. I’m not really sure how that’s going to affect the industry. I’ve got some videos coming out from Barco where we talk deeply about what is required for high dynamic range and the ins and outs and it gets very geeky. But if you’re really into that side of the market, the post-production side, the contrast ratios required, ambient light issues, having all these technical issues together and being standardized through SMPTE you’ll find all that stuff very interesting and this is going to shape how we see pictures on screens in the future, so it’s worth talking about.

 

Larry Jordan: I want to come back to this idea of high dynamic range. I had a chance to see a demo at Dolby probably nine months ago now, showing Dolby’s version of high dynamic range and you can almost feel the heat radiating off the sun or feel the coldness because the contrast ratios are so great and the images just scream off the screen. But don’t we have to shoot all new material to be able to take advantage of HDR?

 

James Gardiner: Not at all. Most cameras, 15 up stops, actually have enough information in those images for you to pull out a high dynamic range picture. You do have to take it to another grading process. For example, there were a number of demonstrations at the show where they had an original film that had gone through a typical post-production workflow and they give it back to the editor, give him a brand new high dynamic range monitor and they’re capable of regrading it to the capabilities of these new displays and new projects, and pretty much that’s what you need to do.

 

James Gardiner: The real work that’s going on in the standards community these days is more about this is going to affect you and your production workflow, you don’t want to have to grade the thing once for 709, once for high dynamic range, once for this light level for 3D, once for that light level for that etcetera. The proliferation of masters is becoming a big mad, it’s just crazy, so there’s a lot of work to try and come to standards so we know how we can go, for example, for a high dynamic range master and easily come out with standard def masters or processes to enable these masters to be displayed on these new higher grade monitors, which may be a certain percentage of P3 or 20,20 and there’s a lot of working being done there, because you don’t want to have to make masters for every type of capable monitor out there.

 

Mike Horton: Just quickly, you brought up the Xenon lamps and I think that probably every theater owner out there would love to have those things go away because they’re extremely expensive to replace. When do you see lasers coming in to fruition and replacing the current digital cinema projectors?

 

James Gardiner: Xenon lamps are not really that expensive compared to lasers currently. The current main lasers are known as the primary base lasers, where red, green and blue are created by sets of lasers and those in the big Christian Barco lasers that go to the super bright 60,000 lumes, they’re only really used for what’s called LPF or Large Premium Format, where you’ve got screens which are towards 30 meters, the biggest screens you’ve ever seen.

 

Larry Jordan: James, I’m going to need to wrap you up. Where can people go on the web to learn more about the stuff you’re writing?

 

James Gardiner: Well, I’ve started posting my NAB videos at cinematechgeek.com and also on youtube.com/cinematechgeek. I’ve posted three so far.

 

Larry Jordan: That’s cinematechgeek.com and James Gardiner himself is the CineTechGeek. James, we could talk for another 20 minutes on this. Thank you so very much for your time. Take care.

 

Mike Horton: I’ve got so many more questions!

 

Larry Jordan: When you’re working with media, one thing is essential – your computer needs peak performance. However, when it comes to upgrading your Mac, there are so many different options to choose from that the process can be confusing. That’s why Other World Computing carries the best upgrades that let your computer performance and storage grow as your needs grow.

 

Larry Jordan: Since 1988, OWC has become one of the most trusted names in quality hardware and comprehensive support to the worldwide computer industry. With an extensive online catalog of Mac, iPhone and iPad enhancement products, as well as a dedicated team of knowledgeable experts providing first rate tech support, OWC has everything you need to take your current system to the next level. Whether you need to maximize your system’s memory, add blazing speed or enhance reliability, look no further than the friendly experts at OWC. Learn more by visiting macsales.com today.

 

Larry Jordan: Jess Hartmann, the CEO of ProMAX Systems, has a strong background in computer engineering and is deeply involved in the development of products at ProMAX that help us to back up and archive our valuable media assets. Hello, Jess, welcome back.

 

Jess Hartmann: Hey guys, how you doing?

 

Mike Horton: Hi Jess.

 

Larry Jordan: We are doing great. For people who haven’t been paying attention, how would you describe ProMAX?

 

Jess Hartmann: I would say that ProMAX Systems is a manufacturer of workflow servers for the media and entertainment industry.

 

Larry Jordan: Which means that you both design and manufacture your own gear, or you’re reselling gear from others?

 

Jess Hartmann: We design and manufacture our own gear. As you guys know, we’ve been in the business since 1994 and there was a period of time when the original owner created it and I took over that it was really important for our business, but over the last three to four years we’ve really turned it back to being a manufacturer.

 

Mike Horton: Jess, that brings up the question. When did you decide, “We’re not going to do this VAR stuff any more. We’re going to manufacture our own thing and become a whole new ProMAX”?

 

Jess Hartmann: I decided, because I had to find my passion back, I’d been building technology and doing software development for almost 30 years now – I hate to say it – but about three or four years ago I was just working with customers and kind of got excited about doing some things that others weren’t doing in the industry and that was really around the idea of collaboration and improving workflows, and certainly you can do that with lots of third party products and putting them together as a VAR, but really the passion started when I thought we could create our own thing.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, you obviously did a heck of a job. But that was a risk, wasn’t it? That was a big risk.

 

Jess Hartmann: It’s called… the boats, right? On the beach, that’s what we did.

 

Larry Jordan: Oh, I can identify with those. One of the challenges that all media folks have is protecting their assets for the long term, not something that we just need for day to day but what we call archiving. Why can’t we simply store our media on a hard disk?

 

Mike Horton: Yes!

 

Jess Hartmann: Well, some of you can and for some of it, it works out. But then there are other people who try to spin those hard drives up and find out they don’t work any more or find out that after they stored their projects on them and they hadn’t backed them up, that there’s corruption and you can’t get the data back and so you know what happens. All three of us have been there.

 

Mike Horton: Oh, I got a story for you because I tried that two nights ago on a project that I needed to bring back onto my computer. It was stored on a hard drive that was left on my shelf for two years. I can’t get into it, I can’t do anything. I finally was told by somebody to put it into a refrigerator – no, seriously. I put it into my refrigerator, left it in there for eight minutes, took it out and it worked again. But that’s luck.

 

Larry Jordan: Those are frozen assets.

 

Mike Horton: That’s frozen assets.

 

Larry Jordan: Jess, walk me through – I want to read this so I get it right – walk me through a process, not in terms of equipment but of process. I’ve just completed my film, I’m starting to make money on it. What should I do that would allow me to make money on different versions of the film, in other words I’m going to cut it and cut it and cut it, depending upon who needs it. I want to sell my B roll to a stock footage house and, most importantly, I need to keep track of all the different media that I’ve created along the way. Help me as a filmmaker figure out what questions do I need to ask and what answers do I need to seek to be able to make money from my film in the future?

 

Jess Hartmann: I think you’re talking about figuring out how to monetize existing assets, and you’ve got to look at a system of organization to do that. Clearly, one project, no problem. Five projects, no problem. 20, 30, 40 projects, attempting to remember where everything is, attempting to be able to find that clip is pretty critical, so you need a system of organization, an asset management system of some form, and that can be done in a lot of different ways. We built it through our existing Viacom system, we built an asset management feature right into the shared storage device so that you can find stuff and you can get it out to the customers quickly.

 

Larry Jordan: So where do you fit in? Are you providing the hardware that this asset management system hangs off of? Or do you provide the actual software that allows me to track the assets? And what’s the difference between tracking assets during production and archiving assets for the long term?

 

Jess Hartmann: What we do is we build something called a ProMax platform, which goes all the way from a very portable device all the way through an online system that runs hundreds of users. It is a shared storage collaborative workflow server and I particularly call it a workflow server because what we are trying to do and what we do is, from ingest all the way through to archive, we’re going to manage that asset.

 

Jess Hartmann: We build the hardware, we build the software, we make an appliance and to me, in this industry, the reality is what creatives care about, what is important to them, is working on their craft and the result of their project. They’re not necessarily excited about being a technologist. I think most of us don’t want to be a technologist in this field, and so we built an appliance that’s going to take you from ingest to archive.

 

Larry Jordan: Now, when you say an appliance, what does that mean?

 

Jess Hartmann: It means hardware and software put together, tested through various different workflows that you can bring into your facility, plug in and begin to use. So you’re going to log into the thing, you’re going to have the authority to have asset management; if you ingest your clips into it just by copying your information onto the shared storage device, it’s going to index it and it’s going to generate proxies for it; it can set up transcode workflows so that media is transcoded into your mezzanine format; you can edit directly onto the system; you can transcode back out and all of that will be tracked in the asset management system.

 

Larry Jordan: And this works?

 

Mike Horton: Good question, Larry.

 

Jess Hartmann: Well, yes actually.

 

Mike Horton: We can’t accuse Jess of selling.

 

Jess Hartmann: Hey, it’s hard to be in the industry for 30 years unless you can figure it out, right?

 

Mike Horton: Absolutely.

 

Larry Jordan: One of the challenges we’ve got is with archiving, because there’s no media out there that allows us to store permanently forever and be able to pull it back. What media are you recommending for not day to day backups, but long term archives? What media are you recommending and how often do we need to update it because that media changes?

 

Jess Hartmann: I think LTO is still one of the industry standards. It’s accepted by insurance companies that insure projects. As you guys may know, last year we purchased Cache Corporation, which is an archive appliance organization, we purchased those assets and that software to be able to integrate it into our core platform product and we still believe that LTO at the moment is one of the better bets. It’s a 15, 20 year shelf life.

 

Jess Hartmann: It’s about a three model back approach, which means that if you’re LTO6, you can read back to LTO4, and so you want to stay within three models of the current LTO drive appliance and once you do that you’ll be able to read it. They say 15, 20 years as long as it’s stored in the right temperature environment kind of the cold archiving is probably going to last a lot longer than that.

 

Mike Horton: You know that in these secret labs in Japan, optical disks are 50 years.

 

Jess Hartmann: That’s right.

 

Mike Horton: I’ve heard that.

 

Jess Hartmann: That’s what they say.

 

Mike Horton: I have no idea if it’s true.

 

Jess Hartmann:

 

Larry Jordan: But there’s a, I’m not going to say it’s a downside but it’s something people need to be aware of with LTO, is that about every 18 months we go from LTO5 to 6, from 6 to 7, from 7 to 8 and they’ve published the road map and said, “This is where we’re going,” so it’s not a surprise. One of the things that, as media creators, we need to pay attention to is that about every three to five years we’re going to need to buy a new LTO drive and migrate all of our assets. Is that still a true statement? Because we won’t be able to read LTO1s on LTO6 devices

 

Jess Hartmann: Yes, I think that’s true, but what you’ll find, Larry, is even though it’s been a cycle of 18 months, we’re starting to stretch that out. LTO7 is not really going to be available until the beginning of next year. The capacities are about doubling every time we go up to a next generation and so, although maybe we can get 2½ terabytes on a current LTO6 device and maybe we can get close to five plus on an LTO7, there’s a place here, unless we’re all storing everything in 4K, where you’re not going to have to continue to upgrade your drive. Your projects are going to be just ok on an existing drive.

 

Larry Jordan: But I think it’s important to note, and again you’re welcome to disagree with me, that we sort of need to in the back of our mind plan for having to upgrade our archives every period of time, whether that’s three years or five years or eight years, that we can’t just simply put the tape on the shelf and expect it to last forever.

 

Jess Hartmann: Yes. Well, I think the point is that it’s not going to last forever but it can last 15 or 20 years. Your issue is do you have a drive that’s going to be able to read it? So if you keep your same drive system in place and that drive system’s operating accurately, then you don’t necessarily have to re-archive stuff. But if obviously you can’t get hold of that drive any more or can’t use that drive any more, then you have to re-archive.

 

Larry Jordan: Let’s come back to keeping track of all these. We’re going to need to be able to keep track of our assets for productions on a daily basis. This is what asset management is all about; and then we need to be able to keep track of what’s on tape because we’re storing that for the long term, that’s what archive software is all about. Do your systems provide both daily asset management tracking and archiving? Or do they lean and specialize more in one than the other?

 

Jess Hartmann: As we bought Cache Corporation, we bought that for the purpose of integrating the Magic Veil TO management into our platform appliance, so today where those are somewhat separate in separate catalogs, within the year those will be integrated and so what that means is that as you have your shared storage, your collaborative environment, you’re putting your production on that, you’re working on it and ultimately you push it off to archive, all of that information that’s pushed off to archive, whether it be the metadata of the clips, the metadata of the project, all that information as well as proxies remain in the core system so that you can go in, look at those proxies even though the footage is on the tape.

 

Larry Jordan: Cool. I forgot to write down, as I was looking at your website, what this stuff costs and whether it can be afforded by independent filmmakers or do I need to have a studio behind me to buy it?

 

Jess Hartmann: The products range all the way from the portable which is just under $6,000, all the way through in a price level that’s going to run into six figures. But the core platforms are very affordable, especially to studios. You’ve got systems that are certainly less than $10,000 and we work pretty hard at not nickling and diming. You can look at base prices on a lot of systems and they look very inexpensive and then you start throwing everything in and it gets crazy. But when I give you those prices that includes all the software. It’s an appliance, so everything comes with it.

 

Larry Jordan: How about installation? One of the things that you mentioned, I think, that’s absolutely true, and we’ve discovered it here in our own office, is that we love doing all the editing and putting the projects together, but getting all this stuff hooked up and working requires a different set of brains. Can we get this appliance working ourselves or do we need to hire a consultant or your company to come in and put it together?

 

Jess Hartmann: As a manufacturer now, we have resellers and distributors in 22 countries and so we’ve got hundreds of resellers that are selling our product. We don’t typically do the installation or anything, we have resellers and there’s a huge network of folks that do this stuff. It is pretty easy to do, so many, many, many, many – I don’t know what the percentage is but I would say at least 50 percent – of the installations are plug and play, people buy them and they don’t need somebody to come on site and install. When we do larger organizations, then it’s an installation but mostly it’s just get it out of the box and turn it on.

 

Larry Jordan: You’ve done a really wonderful job, I think, of repositioning ProMAX as a developer of its own hardware and the platform is just a very cool product. Where are you taking it? Where’s it going to go in the future? What should we look forward to not necessarily in terms of product announcements, but what trends are you following?

 

Mike Horton: New cameras!

 

Jess Hartmann: New cameras, new codecs. I mentioned this at the NAB show: the reality is that, from my perspective – and if you saw the number of shared storage vendors that were at NAB, we had 34 shared storage vendors and I was watching The Buzz from last week and there was another one that just got announced that was on your show – the reality is that shared storage as a collaboration technology is becoming a commodity and, as a commodity, that means that the prices are going to come down, which is good for the community at large, but it doesn’t make it easier to use.

 

Jess Hartmann: Just because shared storage is available to everybody and it’s a commodity doesn’t mean it solves workflow problems and so where we’re taking it, where I’m taking it, where I’ve always wanted to take it is an intelligent appliance that really helps you through the workflow, really helps creatives who don’t want to be technologists with how to do this stuff, how to make this a very simple web interface, control your environment, be able to really get from ingest to archive more simply.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, it’s really hard to choose the right shared storage system because there are so many out there and everybody seems to be doing the same thing but they’re not doing the same thing.

 

Larry Jordan: You’ve only asked him the hardest possible question to answer with 30 seconds left in the show, so for people who need to know the answer to this…

 

Mike Horton: Well, can we bring him back?

 

Larry Jordan: We’ll bring Jess back but, Jess, where can people go on the web to get the answer to the question of why they should pay attention to ProMAX?

 

Jess Hartmann: They can take a look at our stuff at www.promax.com. What you’ll find is we concentrate on workflow, we don’t concentrate on the hardware, and at the end of the day what you need to do is improve your workflow process from ingest through to delivery so that you can get your projects done.

 

Larry Jordan: And that website is promax.com. Jess Hartmann’s the CEO. Jess, thanks for joining us today.

 

Mike Horton: Thanks Jess.

 

Jess Hartmann: Thanks, guys, see you soon.

 

Larry Jordan: I’ve got a ton of brand new training videos showcasing all the new features in Final Cut Pro 10.2, and they’re all available today. In fact, we’ve updated our entire Final Cut training for this release. We added more than 70 new movies covering every major and minor new feature in the software.

 

Larry Jordan: Then I figured, as long as I was recording, I added new techniques and new ways of working that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. We’ve updated our workflow in editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut training the most comprehensive, most up to date and most affordable way to learn everything about this amazing software. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s complete.

 

Larry Jordan: I’m proud of all of my training and especially proud of this one. Get your copy today in our store at larryjordan.com or, even better, become a member of our video training library and get access to all of our training for one low monthly price. Both are incredible value. Thanks.

 

Larry Jordan: Justin Thomson is an actor. He’s a filmmaker and he’s the founder of Ashridge Films. He has over 20 years’ experience in the industry, but he’s never attended the NAB show, nor has he ever attended the Supermeet, if you can believe people like this still exist. So tonight we want to chat with him about his experiences and what he’s learned at both these events that applies to young filmmakers. Hello, Justin, welcome back.

 

Justin Thomson: Greetings.

 

Mike Horton: Hi Justin.

 

Justin Thomson: Yes.

 

Larry Jordan: I want to find out first, before we grill you on all of the things that you’ve learned, what was your overall impression of NAB?

 

Justin Thomson: Well, it was very exciting.

 

Mike Horton: Really?

 

Justin Thomson: Yes. I loved it.

 

Mike Horton: Actually, my first one was very exciting too. Go ahead.

 

Justin Thomson: Being a NAB virgin, the only thing that I found disappointing is I thought there’d be some sort of initiation thing, like ‘Burning Man’ has.

 

Larry Jordan: You just walk through the front door and you’re initiated.

 

Justin Thomson: Yes, but I thought we’d have to run a gauntlet naked with just our name tags and that was it, that you’d be part of it. But no, there’s this unique experience where, when those doors open, there is this huge flood of people because they want to know what’s on the cutting edge of the industry, what’s out there, what’s next. I thought it was amazing. As a filmmaker, it’s not only important to see what the technology is that’s coming up, but it’s meeting the people that are behind it and just spending face time so you can understand where the future of the whole industry is going.

 

Mike Horton: Did you have anything that you specifically wanted to see before you even got through the doors?

 

Justin Thomson: You.

 

Larry Jordan: You!

 

Justin Thomson: You.

 

Mike Horton: Good answer.

 

Larry Jordan: You poor guy, I’m so sorry.

 

Mike Horton: I don’t think this microphone is working. By the way, if it’s not working, guys, you can come in here. This is a live show and we can just make the thing work.

 

Justin Thomson: Or we could share. I’m willing to share.

 

Mike Horton: Or we can share, yes, all right.

 

Justin Thomson: We’ll go back and forth.

 

Mike Horton: No, I’m getting notes that say the mic’s not working, which doesn’t matter because nobody ever listens to me anyway.

 

Justin Thomson: It’s like you’re married to this microphone.

 

Mike Horton: So talk to Larry and I’ll just sit back.

 

Justin Thomson: You just look so pretty.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, exactly.

 

Larry Jordan: Before you walked into NAB, I’m sure people had told you that it’s an overwhelming experience, and it truly is, but what were you expecting before the doors opened and you saw the show for the first time?

 

Justin Thomson: What was I expecting? Well, I didn’t have anything particular, I wanted to be a totally open book. I knew that there were going to be amazing gizmos so for people like us, it’s almost like porn. You’re walking around and you’re like, “Oh my God, I love this, I want to look at this, I want to touch it. Can I play?” Shotover had that incredible aerial rig which is a half million dollar rig without the camera included – they’re competing with Cineflex – and you get to play around with this stuff. It’s awesome and not everybody gets to do that every day. It’s an exciting expo.

 

Larry Jordan: One of my favorite sections was the helicopter section, not drones but where they’ve got actual news helicopters and then the Belcher.

 

Mike Horton: Oh, you mean outside.

 

Larry Jordan: Well, actually it was in the back of Building C. They’ve moved it outside but it used to be in the back of the Central Hall; and then they had $6 million remote trucks just to track their trailers and I called my wife, I said, “Jane, I have to buy a helicopter.” Now, she’s very smart, she did not say no because she knows that I would have figured out a way to buy the helicopter. Instead, she says, “Larry, where are you going to park it?”

 

Justin Thomson: Oh, minor detail.

 

Larry Jordan: At that point, she had won the argument because I couldn’t park it in the backyard.

 

Mike Horton: That space in the RV lot just doesn’t work for a helicopter.

 

Larry Jordan: Now that you’ve attended NAB, what are some of the highlights that stick in your head?

 

Justin Thomson: There are a few. There was something called Supermeet, are you familiar with it?

 

Mike Horton: Yes.

 

Larry Jordan: A whole Supermeet.

 

Mike Horton: Did you actually go to that? I’m always backstage, so I never get to see anybody.

 

Larry Jordan: But hold the thoughts on Supermeet, I want to come back to that. I want to talk NAB for just a second.

 

Justin Thomson: Sure. At NAB, I found, of course obviously the drone section this year in particular…

 

Mike Horton: Wasn’t that fun?

 

Justin Thomson: …was incredible.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, it was really amazing. You never got up there, right? It was this big sort of…

 

Larry Jordan: Cage.

 

Mike Horton: …yes, netted kind of thing where the drones would be flying around while people would be talking about them. I was just hoping to see 50 drones just flying all…

 

Larry Jordan: Be crashing into each other.

 

Justin Thomson: Drone battles.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, exactly, drone battles. That would have been wonderful.

 

Justin Thomson: No, there were some amazing pieces of kit which were shown and one of the things that I think was most impressive was the Isotope RX4.

 

Mike Horton: Oh yes.

 

Larry Jordan: Mhmm, that’s amazing.

 

Justin Thomson: Unbelievable.

 

Mike Horton: That’s stupidly magical. It makes morons like me just…

 

Larry Jordan: Well, what you can do with it…

 

Mike Horton: You can really screw up in post production or production.

 

Justin Thomson: We don’t even have to do anything any more.

 

Mike Horton: Exactly.

 

Justin Thomson: There’ll be footage and everything, it’ll edit and do a storyline. It’ll be like a studio film. It’ll just happen.

 

Mike Horton: It is, it’s amazing.

 

Justin Thomson: Yes.

 

Larry Jordan: Now, the other part to NAB – and even though he’s here, we still have to talk about Supermeet – Supermeet is… well, what’s your reaction to it? How would you describe Supermeet to somebody who hasn’t been there?

 

Justin Thomson: How would I describe Supermeet to somebody who hasn’t been there? It’s a room full of cool nerds who are amazingly energetic and jazzed up. It was, and I don’t say this purely because you’re here…

 

Mike Horton: Well, you should.

 

Justin Thomson: Ok, I’m saying it just purely because you’re here.

 

Mike Horton: You say anything bad, I’ll throw this coffee in your face.

 

Justin Thomson: It is amazing. It is an excitement and an energy and through the presentations it’s a window to the future, like Isotope did the demonstration of the RX4 there, some of the Adobe stuff – I love the Adobe animation thing that they’re starting to develop.

 

Mike Horton: Wasn’t that amazing?

 

Justin Thomson: It’s incredible.

 

Larry Jordan: Mhmm, character animator, yes.

 

Mike Horton: Yes.

 

Justin Thomson: And you get to interact with…

 

Mike Horton: Or Morph Cut.

 

Justin Thomson: Yes, Morph Cut, incredible. So you get to interact with the people who are giving these presentations, like the guys from Brain Farm who are creating some of the best films that I think exist currently visually.

 

Mike Horton: I wish they would have shown more video. That’s the only thing that I didn’t like.

 

Justin Thomson: It’s unbelievable; and then there’s, of course, the raffle which is exciting and seeing people who literally, these incredible gifts are changing somebody’s life and potential career trajectory. It’s totally awesome.

 

Larry Jordan: Well, the reason I ask is, as you look around NAB and as you look around the Supermeet, it tends to skew a little older and for young filmmakers, they say, “Why should I even bother to go? It’s just a trade show,” how would you convince them that NAB and Supermeet’s a life changing experience?

 

Justin Thomson: You make a really good point. People just see it as a technical thing, it doesn’t apply to me as a filmmaker, as a creative. But these are the tools that we use in order to make the films and the better understanding you have of it, the more you can push the possibilities of getting your vision across and telling a story. It’s crucial to do it and you have to also develop the relationships in person with those people who create the products in order to give suggestions. I mean, I gave some suggestions to people who developed sliders and jibs. Combine those things, it’s an ideal possibility for brainstorming. It’s not just a trade show.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, there’s nothing like face to face.

 

Justin Thomson: Oh, totally.

 

Mike Horton: We tend to spend our lives virtually, you and I do. My son, who’s 25 years old, has gone to NAB a couple of times now. He’s an editor and he’s getting more out of those face to face meetings than he would from all this virtual stuff that he meets and sees on the websites and things like that, and that’s the big difference. You do have to force yourself and you do have to have a few bucks to go to Vegas and a lot of millennials don’t, so that’s the way it is.

 

Justin Thomson: You make a good point. You’re also going to Vegas, why would you not want to go? And there are some incredible parties. AJA threw an unbelievable party.

 

Mike Horton: Yes. Did you go to that one?

 

Justin Thomson: I did.

 

Mike Horton: Oh man! See, I’m too old to go to that party, they won’t let me in. Larry and I, we went together one time, they wouldn’t let us in.

 

Larry Jordan: It was how you were dressed, Michael.

 

Mike Horton: I think that was it. They said they saw your gray beard and my gray hair and they said, “No, you’re too old.” You couldn’t get past the ropes.

 

Justin Thomson: It’s only because they didn’t want you to show them up on the dance floor, that’s why.

 

Mike Horton: Exactly. White men can dance.

 

Larry Jordan: As you look at NAB and think of the toys and tools that you saw there, how would what you saw change your life as a filmmaker? What’s going to change your creative vision?

 

Justin Thomson: Big question. Well, I just realized that there are more tools with which I can capture images in a more cost effective way than ever before. I think when you look at Brain Farm, they make some incredible content, but part of what allowed them to achieve it is they said, “You know what? Let’s take a Cineflex system, which is normally just put on a helicopter, and we’re going to put it onto a truck and we’re going to put a Phantom into it and we’re going to be able to capture images in ways that we didn’t do,” and I think that kind of technology is a great example. It’s completely changed the way that they approach filmmaking and they’ve made it into something really special.

 

Mike Horton: They were one of the first to put the Phantoms on a drone.

 

Justin Thomson: Yes.

 

Mike Horton: Did you see that viral video they did with the truck going through the mud? It’s just so cool.

 

Justin Thomson: It was at Freefly, they had an Alexa attached to their giant drone…

 

Mike Horton: Yes.

 

Larry Jordan: Wow.

 

Justin Thomson: …it was unbelievable.

 

Larry Jordan: But that was the drone that was about eight feet across, wasn’t it? I mean, that was huge.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, those things cost a lot of money. Those are octocopters or whatever the heck they are, they’re not those dinky little things with the GoPros. These are big, big expensive drones.

 

Justin Thomson: I asked if I could just attach a chair to it and then fly myself over 405 traffic.

 

Mike Horton: Did you find a toy that you really, really wanted or did you buy a toy while you were there?

 

Justin Thomson: I did not purchase a toy, no. The Shotover aerial rig, yes, I loved that, but half a million dollars is a little tricky.

 

Mike Horton: Really? Oh, ok.

 

Justin Thomson: At this point, you know?

 

Mike Horton: Yes. Who knows? Aim big.

 

Justin Thomson: But I think the 3DR solo drone was incredible, because what they’ve managed to do is they’ve made it very consumer friendly where they actually do camera movements that are pre-programmed into it so you say…

 

Mike Horton: Holy cow, really?

 

Justin Thomson: …”Ok, I want to have this swooping 360,” and I think they’re even including specific shots for movies, so you basically click on that and then the drone will perform that.

 

Mike Horton: Oh!

 

Justin Thomson: It’s amazing.

 

Mike Horton: Well, for that kind of money it’d better be.

 

Justin Thomson: Yes.

 

Larry Jordan: Mike is just unhappy that nobody bought him one for Christmas.

 

Mike Horton: No, we really wanted to show drones at the Supermeet but we can’t get permission to fly drones in the ballroom.

 

Justin Thomson: You know, one thing that I thought was really nice was at Supermeet, it’s not just technical presentations but like Cirina Catania’s presentation, which was about the support of filmmakers all together creating content and that we have each other’s back. That was beautiful.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, we have to thank OWC, because it costs to be on stage at a Supermeet and it costs a lot of money and they said, “Well, we just don’t want to get up there and sell hard drives. We want to be inspirational,” and they sent Cirina up there and it worked out just great, and we would love to have those kinds of presentations all the time but unfortunately they do have to sell product every once in a while. But it’s user driven, that’s the difference. It’s not marketing driven, it’s user driven. A user will get up there and say, “This is what works for me, this is how I did it and this is how it solved my problem,” and that’s kind of the difference between a Supermeet and a lot of other presentations.

 

Justin Thomson: Because one can identify with it.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, exactly. I’d rather listen to a user than a marketing guy.

 

Justin Thomson: Any day.

 

Mike Horton: Right. Right, Larry?

 

Larry Jordan: Well, I think most of the time that’s correct, because if all you’re doing…

 

Mike Horton: Although marketing guys know their stuff.

 

Larry Jordan: If all you’re doing is just pitching the product and not pitching the benefit of the product, then that’s no value. But I’ve listened to a lot of users talk.

 

Mike Horton: And some of them are good and some of them are not. Yes, I know.

 

Larry Jordan: But what you really want is you want to hear a presentation that talks about the benefits that you get from using something as opposed to it’s got this size and that speed. It’s how do I benefit by buying this toy? And the more that you remain focused on the benefits that you get, whether that’s a really smart marketing person or whether it’s a really smart user, but when you focus on the benefits then people tune in and pay attention.

 

Mike Horton: Very good point.

 

Larry Jordan: Thinking of other good points, NAB is not only about what, it’s also about who. We’ve already established the fact that Cirina has completely knocked the socks off the entire audience, but aside from Cirina who else at NAB or Supermeet impressed you? The who, not the what.

 

Justin Thomson: The who. I was very impressed with a couple of individuals. There was a gentleman from Panasonic, and I cannot remember his name now, but they have this 4K camera that’s not just your standard kind of kit but it’s perfect for documentary filmmakers because you have digital zoom included on… switch out lenses, everything like that, and he was a man who took the time and truly explained things. I thought he was awesome. And I know I keep going back to it, but there was a guy at Shotover who was probably the best pitch person I’ve ever met.

 

Mike Horton: Who was this?

 

Justin Thomson: I can’t remember his name.

 

Larry Jordan: What’s the company?

 

Justin Thomson: Shotover. They do these aerial stabilization kits and what’s special about them over Cineflex is they have an extra axis that they can rotate. I’m just a regular filmmaker, I’m not necessarily going to buy this, but it didn’t matter. He took the time and allowed me to engage with it. Now I’m the biggest fan of this company ever and I never knew they existed. I’m telling people if they’re like, “I need to buy a home video camera.” “Go to Shotover and get the aerial rig.”

 

Larry Jordan: Well, now that you’ve had to add two more suitcases to your luggage to fly home…

 

Justin Thomson: Yes.

 

Mike Horton: I’m looking at their website right now. Oh gosh! Yes.

 

Larry Jordan: Where can people go on the web to learn more about you and the projects you’re creating?

 

Justin Thomson: There are two places. One is the website, www.ashridgefilms.com; or Instagram, BJustincredible.

 

Mike Horton: I hate Instagram.

 

Larry Jordan: That website is ashridgefilms.com. Justin Thomson’s the founder of Ashridge. Justin, thanks for joining us today.

 

Justin Thomson: Thank you.

 

Larry Jordan: Michael, as you’re booking the Supermeet, who do you look for as a guest? What qualities are you looking for? Because clearly Justin was impressed.

 

Mike Horton: Well, we do actually send a one page thing on what works and what doesn’t and we do like user driven types of presentations because people can relate to users, like we all said. It’s one thing to have a marketing person up there who’s very articulate and is always going to be very, very good – for instance, Al Mooney from Adobe. You can’t get better than him and he can sell you a refrigerator in Alaska in the winter. He is passionate and he is good but users tend to relate better to the audience and that’s who we like.

 

Larry Jordan: More human.

 

Mike Horton: Yes, more human. This is my problem, this is what solved it, this is how it’s solved, and that’s the kind of demos I like.

 

Larry Jordan: That’s very cool. How long have you been doing Supermeets?

 

Mike Horton: 15 years.

 

Larry Jordan: Seems like 30, doesn’t it?

 

Mike Horton: Yes.

 

Larry Jordan: You got anything coming up that we should pay attention to?

 

Mike Horton: We might have an announcement next week.

 

Larry Jordan: Cool.

 

Mike Horton: So yes. But, of course, the next Supermeet will be in Amsterdam, definitely.

 

Larry Jordan: Which is for IBC.

 

Mike Horton: For IBC, which you’ve done.

 

Larry Jordan: I have. I remember, I was there three years ago, it was wonderful.

 

Mike Horton: That’s right. You were there…

 

Larry Jordan: I flew in, gave a speech then left.

 

Mike Horton: …you flew in, gave the speech, flew out, yes. You didn’t see any of Amsterdam.

 

Larry Jordan: The shortest trip I’ve ever made in my life.

 

Mike Horton: That’s Larry Jordan for you. You want him to come play, he’ll fly in and fly out. That’s the way it is.

 

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests for today: James Gardiner, the CineTechGeek; Jesse Hartmann, the CEO of ProMAX; and Justin Thomson, filmmaker.

 

Mike Horton: Jesse Hartmann? Jesse Hartmann? It’s absolutely perfect. Jess Hartmann!

 

Larry Jordan: Did I say Jesse?

 

Mike Horton: Yes.

 

Larry Jordan: Well, I shouldn’t have. It’s Jess.

 

Mike Horton: That’s what he used to be called when he was 12.

 

Larry Jordan: I’m sorry, Jess, it’s my fault. Michael obviously picked up on the mistake. By the way, for all of our NAB coverage, visit nabshowbuzz.com – more than 80 interviews with industry leaders showcasing the latest in technology.

 

Mike Horton: By the way, next week I promise to shave.

 

Larry Jordan: Uh-huh? I’ll believe it when that actually shows up.

 

Mike Horton: Yes? Ok.

 

Larry Jordan: Visit the digitalproductionbuzz.com website to listen to any current or past show, along with thousands of interviews.

 

Mike Horton: Do this, save water.

 

Larry Jordan: You could use makeup too. Talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ.

 

Mike Horton: I could use makeup.

 

Larry Jordan: Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner; additional music on by smartsound.com. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. Our production crew is led by Megan Paulos, producer Cirina Catania. Mike and I say goodnight and thanks for listening.

 

Mike Horton: Goodnight.

 

Voiceover: The Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by shutterstock.com, 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; and by Other World Computing, providing quality hardware solutions and extensive technical support to the worldwide computer industry since 1988.