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Digital Production Buzz – October 1, 2015

Join Larry Jordan as he talks with Jayse Hansen, Jonathan Handel, and Jessica Sitomer.

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SPONSORED BY Key Code Media

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Guests this Week

Jayse Hansen
Jayse Hansen, Freelance Holograph, HUD and fictional UI Designer, jayse.tv
Jayse Hansen specializes in creating advanced 3D fictional user interfaces and animations for film and TV. Some of the films he’s worked on include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Max Steel, Big Hero 6, Iron Man, The Avengers, and Ender’s Game. This week, Jayse shares the secrets of creating believable interfaces for stuff that doesn’t exist.
Jonathan Handel
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter
In a little-known section of the recent agreement between AMPTP and IATSE is buried a clause that potentially more than triples the residual amounts required of indie filmmakers. Tonight, Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for The Hollywood Repoter, explains what’s going on. He also shares his thoughts on the start of the SAG/AFTRA Delegates Conference that also starts tonight.
Jessica Sitomer
Jessica Sitomer, President, The Greenlight Coach
Are you your own worst enemy when it comes to getting work? Jessica Sitomer, president of The Greenlight Coach, has some very good suggestions about what NOT to say in your cover letter. You’d be amazed at the stupid things people to that prevent them from getting work, as she writes in her newest book: Are you a pain in the ass?

Transcript: Digital Production BuZZ – September 24, 2015

Digital Production Buzz

September 24, 2015

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

(Click here to listen to this show.)

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Denver Riddle, Founder, Color Grading Central
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter
Simon Walker, Freelance trainer
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Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, Denver Riddle talks color in video. He’s a professional colorist and founder of Color Grading Central, which is a learning resource for filmmakers and colorists. He also developed Color Finale, an extremely popular color correction plug-in for Final Cut Pro X. Tonight, we’ll learn how to make our images look their best.

Larry Jordan: Next, the rules for hiring freelancers are changing. A recent Uber lawsuit ruled that in many cases independent contractors need to be considered employees. This ruling has deep implications for many filmmakers. Jonathan Handel, the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for The Hollywood Reporter joins us this week to explain what we need to know about this ruling.

Larry Jordan: Next, Simon Walker is an Adobe certified expert and instructor, plus a certified trainer for Final Cut Pro X. He was working in the Adobe booth at IBC and shares his thoughts on the latest Adobe announcements, plus some exciting new technology he discovered at the show.

Larry Jordan: All this plus a Buzz Flashback and Michael Kammes on Tech Talk looks at the new tech talk show. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer #1: Tonight’s Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at macsales.com; and by Xen Data, at xendata.com.

Announcer #2: 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: 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 and marketing around the world. By the way, our co-host, Mike Horton, will return next week and Randi Altman has the night off.

Larry Jordan: After our interview last week on drones, viewer Mike sent me some important information and clarifications that I want to share with you tonight. Mike writes, quote, ‘Current FAA rules stipulate that no drone can be flown within five miles of any airport, nor can they be flown inside any national park without a special permit, and this permit does not include state parks or national forests.

Larry Jordan: ‘Also, all flights must be kept below 500 feet. Moreover, in order to fly a drone commercially, you must have at least a sport pilot’s license and apply for and be granted a Section 333 exemption from the FAA. You must also register each air frame with the FAA and have an N license number assigned for each. Finally, for each commercial flight, a complete flight plan must be filed with the local air traffic control center. As you can tell, this flight process is not for the faint of heart.

Larry Jordan: Another consideration is local ordinances. While the only government agency with jurisdiction over all airspace in the US is the FAA, local governments can and do make their own rules. While not technically enforceable, since only the FAA can make laws governing airspace, local police will still be quite happy to confiscate a wandering drone and detain the operator. As such, operators must also check and comply with all applicable local laws before flying.

Larry Jordan: As a final note, modern drones all use a variety of systems to make their use easier. Indeed, DJI, a maker of drones, brags that the users of their drones need no flying experience. Typically, a drone will use a GPS, a barometer, a compass, three gyros and a three axis accelerometer. However, the drone can lose connection to the GPS and become uncontrollable, resulting in the loss of the drone and potential damage to persons or property. Most drones allow the operator to take full manual control of the craft and actually fly it.

Larry Jordan: The new drone operator would be well served to actually learn how to fly a toy quadcopter before moving onto something like the DJI Phantom 3. The skills and understanding gained by actually learning to fly can save the drone, as well as prevent injury. To determine if the drone operator you are hiring for a gig is certified by the FAA, which protects both you and reduces your liability, visit the FAA website and search for Section 333 exemption. The list of certified operators is easily searched. If you plan to fly drones for hire, I strongly recommend you apply for an exemption on the FAA site as well.’

Larry Jordan: I’ll be back with Denver Riddle right after this.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Denver Riddle, Jonathan Handel, Simon Walker, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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Larry Jordan: Denver Riddle is a professional colorist and founder of Color Grading Central. This is a learning resource for filmmakers and for colorists. However, Denver is better known as the developer of the well regarded Color Finale for Final Cut Pro X. Hello, Denver, welcome.

Denver Riddle: Thank you, Larry, I appreciate being on your show.

Larry Jordan: Oh, delighted. By the way, I want to start with a short story. I haven’t told this to anybody yet. I have never liked the rectangular color board in Final Cut Pro X, though I like Apple’s color tools in general. However, a while back I was complaining about the color board yet again to Apple and they immediately recommended Color Finale, so you clearly have fans in high places.

Denver Riddle: Yes, it’s really exciting the attention that we’ve had from Apple.

Larry Jordan: What first got you interested in color?

Denver Riddle: I started out my career as a director of photography and I wanted to have more control over the image from acquisition all the way to delivery, and so I saw color correction as an extension of that.

Larry Jordan: Did you decide to start the Color Grading Central website because you wanted to teach people about color, or did you create Color Finale and then create a website to support it?

Denver Riddle: What actually happened is I was first starting out in my career as a colorist and I found that there weren’t a lot of resources for learning about color correction and so I founded Color Grading Central as a means for helping others to locate some of those resources and produce tutorials that I felt would be beneficial to others.

Denver Riddle: Color Finale actually came along, it was kind of a natural extension of that because I really enjoy Final Cut Pro X as an editor and I just felt like there were some tools that were missing that were found in Final Cut Pro 7 as well as Apple Color, which of course as you know end of line. So Color Finale was my business partner’s brainchild to bring some of the professional color correction software components into Final Cut X.

Larry Jordan: All of our NLEs have had color correction tools in them for a long time. Why create Color Finale?

Denver Riddle: In the spring of 2014 there was a survey that went out that was conducted by Marquee Broadcasting which I’m sure you’re familiar with because I know that you participated in the survey, and one of the interesting things that we found was that more than half of Final Cut X editors were actually sending their projects out of Final Cut to another program to do color correction and finishing and so we felt like whatever tools were in other programs, we wanted to be able to create tools that were compelling enough that editors would be able to finish projects right within Final Cut X.

Denver Riddle: That included bringing back the three way color corrector. We introduced a proper implementation of them RGB curves and then we also incorporated a utility for applying look up tables which we had previously developed as a standalone product. We brought that in and then there’s also a really neat secondaries tool called the Vector’s Tool that allows you to do isolated corrections based on the vectors red, green, blue, cyan, yellow and magenta.

Larry Jordan: Denver, you touched on this earlier but we have a live chat running and Eric is asking why use Color Finale when Resolve is readily available for Final Cut?

Denver Riddle: We found that a lot of editors felt that learning a new piece of software was really intimidating, learning a new program, and we also found with different sized productions and budgets that companies didn’t have the time or resources to send it out to a colorist. We wanted to help those companies be able to finish all within the Final Cut X timeline without actually having to leave the program and do the round trip dance.

Larry Jordan: The color corrector inside Final Cut, which is now a standalone effect as opposed to being built into the inspector, is built on the color engine that Apple Color provides. Are you using the same color engine or do I get different results if I make the same change in Apple’s color effect versus your color grade?

Denver Riddle: Actually, ours is unique and different. In fact, we wrote our own renderer, I guess in a sense color engine. We have the ability to implement ACES which we will at some point and the lead engineer on this worked on daily systems for films like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘Avengers’ and ‘Thor’ and so it has some of the best experience that the industry has to offer in terms of color science.

Larry Jordan: Are you sitting down? I’ve got some technical questions for you. I just recently finished two webinars, one a week ago on color grading inside Final Cut and one yesterday on color grading inside Premiere. The first one is an easy one because I think you’ve got the answer to this, but I’ve got to find out what NLEs, what video editing software do you support?

Denver Riddle: Currently we support Apple’s Final Cut Pro. Adobe’s made some really incredible inroads with image grading SpeedGrade. In Premiere, it’s the… color panel. I don’t know that there’s as much of a need for what we have for Adobe products, though we do get lots of requests from Adobe users to support Color Finale in Adobe. If we were able to port it to the Adobe creative cloud, I think that we would want to bring Color Finale to a more mature state before we decide to go that route.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so so far Color Finale works just with Final Cut X, so within that context does the codec that we shoot and the codec that we edit make a difference in the color grading results?

Denver Riddle: No, it actually shouldn’t. In our tests, we’ve thrown everything at it from RED Epic to H.264 type material and anything basically that Apple will support we can use with our color corrector. I will say there are some minimum system requirements for Color Finale in order for it to run, number one being that users need to be on Yosemite 10.10 or later and also their graphics card has to support OpenCL version 1.2. Pretty much any Macintosh that was built after about 2011 has those OpenCL 1.2 specs, but those are the two main minimum system requirements in order for it to run.

Larry Jordan: Ok. It’s a wonderful answer but it’s the right answer to the wrong question. I want to ask the question again. Regardless of whether Color Finale will run – so we’ve got a late computer, we’ve got plenty of RAM, we’ve got the graphics card – does it make a difference in the results of the color grade if we’re shooting, say, AVCHD or H.264 versus shooting a raw image on a Sony or a RED camera? In other words, does the source codec make a difference in the quality of the color grade?

Denver Riddle: Well, obviously if you bring in something from the RED camera, some kind of RAW codec, you are going to have more image bits or data to work with and so the more information, the larger color space or color palette you bring in and the more options and flexibility you’re going to have with those type of sources.

Larry Jordan: So for filmmakers who are looking to have the greatest flexibility in color grade, in changing their image, they should consider the codec that they’re shooting as one of the criteria before they actually begin production.

Denver Riddle: Yes. It’s becoming more common these days for camera manufacturers to support Log type exposures and so if you do shoot in Log or one of these picture styles that gives you a flat looking image, that retains more of the detail in the shadows and the highlights, that’s going to give you more options in post in terms of how you work with that.

Denver Riddle: One of the really neat things with Color Finale is with implementing the RGB curves you can go into the master curve and you can adjust that full range to the way you want it. You can just dial in the contrast where you need it and whatever details are not important, you have that flexibility to decide what you want to keep and what you want to throw away.

Larry Jordan: Ok. Thinking that we’re now shooting a Log C or an S Log or a RAW format and I want to have good looking final output, what should I set my render settings to inside Final Cut? I’ve got a lot of different choices for rendering. What’s going to give me the best looking color?

Denver Riddle: As far as single processing or in your output settings?

Larry Jordan: In the project settings, I can go anywhere from ProRes LT all the way up to ProRes 4444 XQ. Does it make a difference which render setting I select if I’m going to be doing color grading?

Denver Riddle: I think 422 ProRes will be sufficient. From 422 to 444, this isn’t something that your eye’s going to be able to see, but there’s certainly advantages with shooting 444 with regard to doing keying and compositing, those types of things, so 422 is a good setting to color grade in.

Larry Jordan: Does it make a difference if we’re in 422 or 422 HQ? Does the extra bit rate make a difference in image quality?

Denver Riddle: To be honest, I actually don’t know that. I know that the HQ is, I guess, less of a compressed codec. As to if that’s something that you’re actually going to be able to see, that remains to be seen. I don’t know if anyone’s done any testing to see what the difference is.

Larry Jordan: I’ve done testing to test 4×4 versus 422 and there’s clearly if difference if I can originate in 4×4 versus 422, but I haven’t done testing between 422 and HQ. I should add that to my list of stuff to check. How long have you been out and who are typical customers?

Denver Riddle: Well, Color Grading Central’s been around four years now. My customers run the gamut from those who are enthusiasts who just want to make prettier pictures with the stuff that they’re shooting all the way to Fortune 500 companies that are purchasing some of the training and also Color Finale as well. It’s surprising, it seems like there’s a growing number of production companies that are adopting Final Cut 10 or chose to stick with Final Cut X when it came out.

Larry Jordan: You have a wonderful demo of Color Finale on your website – I enjoyed watching that – although I had to laugh because you were showing the difference in color grading between a RAW image and a color graded image, which is about as dramatic a difference as you can create.

Denver Riddle: Yes, that’s true.

Larry Jordan: For people who want to learn how the software works, which partly involves understanding color theory and partly involves understanding how the software works, where can they go on your website? Do you have a tutorial or training section?

Denver Riddle: I actually just recently released a tutorial on YouTube, but it’s actually available from the Color Finale product page. When you sign up, it at least points to this tutorial, but it’s available on YouTube. Basically, what the tutorial is over the summer I actually color graded a major motion pictures that’s being released this Monday and the producers edited this film in Final Cut X, so when they were looking for a colorist they tapped me for it.

Denver Riddle: I asked them if they would be interested in letting us test out Color Finale on it, which they were reluctant to do at first but we made the case and we actually color corrected the film with Color Finale. What I did is I created a tutorial around this film and took users from no understanding of color correction all the way to learning some basic principles of color theory.

Larry Jordan: And, Denver, where can people go on the web to learn more about Color Finale?

Denver Riddle: They can go to colorgradingcentral.com.

Larry Jordan: Thank you for joining us. We’re going to wrap this up. Please visit colorgradingcentral.com, check out Color Finale. Denver Riddle is the founder. Take care. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Jonathan Handel, Simon Walker, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: If you need long term archiving for your video content, then you should look at Xen Data. They specialize in providing secure long term storage of video content with a low cost per terabyte. The company has a variety of archive solutions that range from external LTO drives that can connect to your laptop to multi-petabyte storage systems using huge robotic libraries.

Larry Jordan: Xen Data Systems will store your content on LTO or Sony optical disk archive cartridges and, with their next release, they also provide an option for archiving to the Amazon cloud. They offer great compatibility with many of the third party applications used in the media and entertainment industry, including most media asset management systems. Xen Data has hundreds of installations around the world, from Los Angeles to Mongolia, so if protecting your assets is important to you, visit xendata.com.

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

Jonathan Handel: Larry, thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, you’re sitting at your desk and I still have dreams of that poor Porsche that you crashed. What’s the status of your Porsche?

Jonathan Handel: Well, the Porsche was really just a radio controlled car. The actual car that I drive is an SLK, so I brought it with me.

Larry Jordan: I will never forget Mike’s and my expression as you drove that Porsche into a cat dish. I swear, one of the highlights of The Buzz.

Jonathan Handel: It was a water dish, that’s right.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, there’s an issue we’re all wrestling with which is how do you know if someone is an employee or an independent contractor?

Jonathan Handel: It’s a tough one and that issue has come up in no less than three recent cases involving Uber, which I suppose you’d like me to talk a little bit about?

Larry Jordan: I do, because the question I’ve got – before we talk about Uber specifically – is why is the issue of independent contractor versus an employee important?

Jonathan Handel: Well, that is the threshold question. It’s important for anyone who produces or runs a crew in any way in our business and it’s important because it makes a difference in terms of issues like liability, taxes, withholding, potential for unemployment compensation, benefits, the need sometimes to pay employees expenses like when they use their car or their equipment, so there’s a whole host of issues that revolve around whether someone is an independent contractor or an employee and it’s easier to treat people as independent contractors. That’s what people tend to do when they’re operating fast and loose, but it’s not always the safest thing.

Larry Jordan: All right, well, let’s switch over to Uber, which is setting the precedents in this case. I think you said there are three cases. Set the scene, what’s the first one about?

Jonathan Handel: The most recent decision that we’ve had comes in a class action lawsuit by Uber drivers against Uber, drivers who want to be classified as employees despite the fact that Uber has been classifying them as independent contractors. What the court decided, much to Uber’s dismay, is that that case can proceed as a class action, so they’ve certified the class in legal jargon and the case is going to move forward. We don’t have a decision yet, obviously, at this early stage or even any indication as to how the court will rule on the ultimate question, but it is an important case. That’s number one.

Larry Jordan: Let’s just take that just for a second. If the case goes to trial and if it’s decided that they are employees, from the point of view of the drivers, what is the difference?

Jonathan Handel: There are several differences. One is that they have to get paid at least minimum wage and so they have the question of when is an Uber driver on duty? If they’ve got the app on, and what if they also have the Lift app on, do they have to get paid? Suppose it’s a really poor day so the number of fares they have don’t add up to cover minimum wage plus overtime for the time that they’ve worked, who’s responsible for that? Is Uber going to be responsible for topping it off, bringing them up to minimum wage? Is Lift going to be partially responsible if they also are a Lift driver? You can see the complexities.

Jonathan Handel: Expenses, the expense of using your car. When you’re an employee, you’re generally entitled to have that expense reimbursed at a rate that the IRS sets, today around 52.5 cents a mile, whereas an independent contractor is responsible for all their own expenses unless their contract says otherwise. I should say liabilities are an issue as well. If an Uber driver commits an assault or something against someone, to what degree can Uber itself be held liable? It depends in part on whether or not they’re an employee.

Larry Jordan: Ok, now there are three cases. You’ve described the first one, which is the class action suit. What’s the second one?

Jonathan Handel: The second one, where we also had a recent decision, was a California Unemployment Appeals Board case. The Unemployment Appeals Board does pretty much what its name sounds like, which is if you’re denied unemployment or you’re granted unemployment, whichever side is unhappy, the employer or the employee can appeal and an Uber driver was granted unemployment by the Unemployment Appeals Board and, of course, to be granted unemployment you have to be categorized as an employee, not as an independent contractor, so they made a decision on that same issue.

Jonathan Handel: The third case was before yet another body, the California Labor Commissioner, and there the employee was seeking back wages, potentially over time, I’m not sure, and also her expenses for driving the car. The Commission decided that she was an employee and granted her the expenses. Didn’t grant the wages, but that was really because the employee was uncooperative in providing evidence, so it’s not a decisive factor. Uber, I believe, is appealing that case. The unemployment case, I’m not sure what the status of that is, but what you see is sort of a trifecta of California cases, all of which have gone against Uber on this issue.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so Uber is not necessarily making films on a regular basis. How much of this can be extended to filmmakers as they’re hiring? We hire freelance people all the time and if it applies to us, then what criteria do we need to use to determine whether somebody is an independent contractor, a freelancer, or an employee?

Jonathan Handel: It’s a tough issue and part of that is illustrated by the fact that, although Uber has been losing in these California cases, they’ve won in other states that apply ostensibly pretty much the same rules. The reason there’s so much uncertainty on this issue is that there isn’t a single decisive factor. There are something like up to 20 or more factors that courts and administrative agencies can look at in trying to decide whether someone’s an employee or an independent contractor.

Jonathan Handel: Among the key issues are the following. First of all, if you do in fact decide to pay someone as an employee, that’s pretty dispositive, they’ll be treated as an employee. That’s the easy case, set that aside. If you treat them as an independent contractor, it doesn’t work the same way in reverse, it’s not necessarily dispositive. They can get reclassified, as the Uber cases show, and the issues include how much control you the boss or the person engaging the worker exercise over them, whether they’re excusive to your or whether they work for other people during the week doing the same sort of stuff, whether they train themselves if training is needed to do what they’re doing, whether they bring their own equipment or whether you supply it.

Jonathan Handel: Are you judging them basically by the quality of their work output, or are you judging them based on the number of hours they’re working and the exact details in the way they’re working? If you say, “No, I want you to put such and such filter in front of that lens, not a so and so filter,” as opposed to saying, “I want something that’s a hazy retro look,” those kinds of factors could help make the difference.

Jonathan Handel: So you can see, it’s not an easy call, but the more someone feels like an employee, the more someone is at your job site where you tell them, when you tell them, working primarily or exclusively for you and not holding themselves out to the general community as available for services, the more they may have to be treated as an employee.

Larry Jordan: So short term, while these cases are wending their way through the California legal system in all of its different implementations, do we need to change our behavior in hiring freelancers or do we need to protect ourselves with different contracts? What should we do?

Jonathan Handel: That’s hard, because on the one hand you want to say, “Well, I’m a small operator, I’m a small producer doing small productions, no-one’s really going to pay attention to me,” and it’s true that if you’re not 20th Century Fox or Uber or someone big, there isn’t going to be the motivation on the part of the agencies to come looking for you, but one disgruntled worker, on the other hand, can create an awful lot of dismay and headache if something goes wrong and then you are caught in the maw of a system that’s going to decide are they or aren’t they? And you’re tempted to say only their hairdresser knows for sure whether they’re an employee or not.

Jonathan Handel: Certainly in contrast, something that a producer can do is include arbitration provisions, because you can take the decision making power away from the courts and many of the various agencies by requiring the disputes be arbitrated. In fact, Uber somewhat belatedly did exactly that and so that class action law suit we were talking about only affects and only applies directly to drivers up through, I think, 2013 or so. After that, drivers were clicking yes on arbitration agreements in their contracts, so it becomes a very different look. An arbitrator is in general probably more management friendly, more company friendly, to be direct about it, and certainly less bound by some of the details of the law in some cases.

Larry Jordan: Well, it looks like we’re going to have to keep an eye on this because there’s no specific action we can take, we just need to be sensitive to it until the courts rule.

Jonathan Handel: Yes, that’s exactly right. We saw something similar with the unpaid internship issue, where people had been using unpaid interns perhaps in ways that don’t comport with the law for many years. We saw a saw a court decision that put everyone on notice and then that decision got reversed and now it appears that some of the changes that the big studios made, they might not even have had to make, so there are very unsettled areas of the law here and very politicized.

Jonathan Handel: Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you’ve got your particular opinion on this, whether you’re management or labor and the judges are influenced by who they’re appointed by, the politicians are influenced by who they’re elected by and it’s not an area of law that just is as cold as a piece of marble. It’s not obvious.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, I know next week you’re going to be going up to the SAG convention and you’re going to be giving us a report from that, so I can’t wait to talk to you, but for people who want to keep track of you, what website can they go to?

Jonathan Handel: They can go to jhandel.com or thrlabor.com.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Simon Walker, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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

Larry Jordan: Then I added new techniques and new ways of working that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. I updated our workflow and editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut Pro X 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.

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Announcer #1: Welcome to Tech Talk, sponsored by Keycode Media.

Michael Kammes: One of the most useful products to hit the market in the past year has been TalkShow by Newtek. I’m hoping you remember Newtek. They’ve been around for about 30 years and were the folks behind Video Toaster. Well, fast forward 20 years to 2005 and Newtek release the Tricaster, otherwise known as the broadcast studio in a box.

Michael Kammes: The Tricaster allows users to bump up their game in terms of production value. Elevating your production value often comes by having guests and live video within your broadcast. Sending out a crew is both expensive and time consuming. It also lacks the real time give and take a live show has. However, getting guests in a studio can often be just as challenging. Skype has usually been the go-to solution – there are over 300 million Skype users out there – but incorporating this into a live scenario has always required separate computers, scan convertors, frame size and frame rate conversions, quality loss and the inevitable kludge audio configs. This is the problem TalkShow solves.

Michael Kammes: TalkShow, which is based in Microsoft’s Skype TX, is a professional version of Skype running on a computer appliance that transmits and receives Skype feeds in a broadcast HD SDI format, so it integrates seamlessly into your broadcast chain. Because this is the pro version of Skype, you don’t have to deal with ads or pop-ups, just a clean audio and video signal. The… is pretty simple to operate. It’s got HD SDI in and out to send and receive video with the in-Skype user. There are also telelights built in so the end user knows when they’re hot and when they’re not. A local monitor can be attached to control TalkShow, as well as control multiple units for segments where multiple guests are Skyped in.

Michael Kammes: This allows not only a centralized place to control everything, but also a real time preview of the incoming Skype signal so you know what you’re going to get before you switch to it. For all of you broadcasters out there, yes, there is genlock on the unit to reduce latency issues inherent with these types of solutions.

Michael Kammes: To take pressure off of your shoulders during operation, TalkShow also has automatic features to make your life a little bit easier. It’s got built in color correction to bounce the image for broadcast levels, either set on auto or that you can set yourself; a USB 3.0 connection so you can save the recorded calls to an external drive in a pretty easily editable QuickTime format. TalkShow can have a custom still image or take a screen grab of your guest, so in the event of a video dropout or loss of picture, the audio comes through behind the still image. There are also numerous audio controls including compressors, limiters, EQs and metering to keep your audio intelligible.

Michael Kammes: All TalkShow audio is also processed in Floating Point 96K. More on audio. Yes, it is my first love. There are always issues with sound during remote interviews. For example, there can be feedback, controlling what is and what is not sent back to the field or giving cues to a talent. TalkShow handles four channels of audio on input, thus allowing more control over audio including mix minus ability. You can also utilize GPI triggers to facilitate a good talkback solution.

Michael Kammes: I do caution, however, to get help configuring and setting proper audio routing and levels during your TalkShow integration. Are you more cutting edge? Sure you are. That’s why there’s also Dante support – audio over IP. So what are you going to need? Well, first you’re going to need 1.2 megabits of internet bandwidth. This is easily accomplished at any facility that has DSL, cable or better. You’ll need an HD SDI switcher like the Tricaster. This unit is designed to work with HD SDI models of Tricaster. However, HD SDI to HD… will work just as well, albeit at an added cost.

Michael Kammes: I recommend an audio mixer. While the Tricaster does have a built in mixer with multiple audio inputs, more often than not I recommend an upward mixer for a greater level of flexibility, control and inputs. Also, keep in mind this is a single channel box, that is one caller at a time, although you can queue up the next caller. To accommodate multiple concurrent guests, you will need multiple TalkShow units. Under the hood, TalkShow is still a computer. As such, you’ll need a local monitor – I recommend DVI – keyboard and a mouse to operate it. TalkShow retails for $39.95, which makes it slightly more expensive than building a homebrew Skype solution, but the built in broadcast features make it a simple solution for easier integration into a live production environment.

Michael Kammes: So does this look like a toy you can use, or do you have another solution that works just as well? Track us down online and let us know. I’m Michael Kammas with Keycode Media.

Larry Jordan: Simon Walker is a UK based trainer and Adobe certified expert and instructor, an Apple certified master trainer in Final Cut Studio and a certified trainer for Final Cut Pro X. What he doesn’t know, the rest of us don’t need to learn. Hello, Simon, welcome back. It’s good to have you with us.

Simon Walker: Hi Larry.

Larry Jordan: Simon, last week at IBC, you were presenting for Adobe in their booth. Give us the details of their forthcoming upgrade.

Simon Walker: I wasn’t on the main stage, I was working with them on one of the pods and talking to customers about some of their new releases and things like that and it’s quite interesting, I think, what they’ve got going on, cross-referenced with what I’ve been unofficially calling the interconnectedness of all things, which is a Douglas Adams quote, of course. But it’s interesting that Adobe is supporting HDR in their new release when you cross-reference that with some of the other things that are happening, things that Sony are doing and also car manufacturers like Bluefish are doing to support actually having the ability to see HDR on the screens.

Simon Walker: It was quite interesting, wandering around all the different booths at IBC and then doing a tealeaf reading. It’s a massive technical jigsaw puzzle to actually bring these together. I’m happy to talk more specifically more than that general overview, if you like.

Larry Jordan: There are two things I want to cover. One is I’d love to get a sense of what the specific features are; but then I want to explore this whole concept of interconnectedness with you. Let’s talk about what the new goodies are in the upcoming release, which Adobe previewed but which has not yet been released.

Simon Walker: The big one was HDR and support for those formats in and out and they also have lots of small things like the video limiter now exists as an effect in the video panel, so you can apply it at the last minute if you’re doing a quick turnaround – although caveat, I’ve written a blog post about this, always better to grade your stuff first. This is just a get out of jail free card, if you like.

Larry Jordan: Hold it a second. They’ve had a broadcast safe filter for a while. Is this a replacement for that?

Simon Walker: They removed the broadcast colors effect in the 2015 version and they’ve still got the video limiter, which is the Mercury playback accelerated filter. If you put that through its paces under specific settings, that’s actually pretty good, but they’ve added the same one to the export tab for video on the export from Premiere Pro, so it’s just one of those small little extras that can help you when you’re on a deadline or doing things at 100 miles an hour.

Larry Jordan: I was thinking about it, HDR is a huge feature and so far Apple and Avid don’t support it but Adobe will be supporting it when the product gets released, which reminds me that there are really two types of features – those that get the most publicity and those that are the most helpful to editors in the workflow. Of the major features, what are you most excited about? And then I’m going to ask you what are the minor features that get you the most interested?

Simon Walker: The major one was HDR and I got very excited because I was able to play with it with one of the new Sony monitors, the BVM X300, and Sony were also demonstrating those on their stand too. So I was playing with it on the Bluefish stand and using their Epoch and their Neutron cards to actually physically change the display and I have to say it’s not until you see these things in the flesh that you really appreciate the experience that is looking at these bright HDR images, especially when you’re looking at them side by side with an SDR image and they are undoubtedly beautiful to look at and wonderfully saturated.

Simon Walker: But I can’t imagine sitting in a dark editing suite for more than about half an hour without needing a breaking or turning on the light because they are just so bright and the joke was that we were going to have to put our shades on to watch these. Then the joke extended to be the fact that 3D didn’t take on because people had to wear glasses to watch it and then suddenly you’ve got HDR, well, you might have to wear glasses with that. Boom-boom!

Larry Jordan: Let me come back at you with that, because I’ve heard this comment that HDR is really bright, because it is compared to standard dynamic range video – by the way HDR, for those who don’t know the acronym, stands for high dynamic range video, where the highlights are brighter and the shadows are darker than traditional video – but the reason that we watch video in darkened rooms is that standard dynamic range video is just dark. It’s just a really, really dim experience. Maybe what we’re doing is emulating real life, where we don’t have to walk around in dark rooms to have conversations with people.

Simon Walker: Absolutely, and that’s something I was talking about with a couple of editors when we were standing in front of the screen. We were saying this is going to be much easier for edit suites that weren’t specifically dark. I’ve been in so many edit suites that have been in open plan offices because of budgetary or other reasons, so it’s going to be very interesting to see the uptake of this because, you’re absolutely right, you don’t have to be in a dark room. Also, we were talking about how it might change the editing process because if you’re an editor and you’re going to be tempted to cut from a really dark or a night shot into a bright shot, that’s going to really wake up the audience. So you could use this for good or ill, it’s up to you as an editor, I suppose.

Larry Jordan: I’m reminded of stun lights at a heavy metal concert, where all of a sudden the front wall lights up and people’s eyes are nailed to the back of the concert hall.

Simon Walker: Yes, yes. It’s exactly that experience. Also, at the colorist mixer party, Warren Eagles – he’s co-founder of the International Colorist Academy – was joking with everybody that, yes, you’re going to have to do an HDR version and an SDR version and the joke was for the same money, just because the saturation is so difficult on them, or so different between the two versions, and we’re so used to, as you say, slightly dimmer images and the saturation isn’t as saturated, isn’t as bright and it doesn’t grab you as much.

Simon Walker: So that’ll be interesting, but there’s one more point that is if you’re looking at a 4K image side by side with an HDR image, the same spec, the same feed, the same codec, it’s just so much sharper watching the HDR image which, as I understand it, is to do with the way our eyes process light and the brighter it is, the more sharp it seems to us. So there’s something interesting in watching two 4K images side by side and seeing one visibly 30 or 40 percent sharper. That’s got to have an aspect as well, especially on outdoor big display screens.

Larry Jordan: Let’s get back to the announcements that Adobe made and a comment that you made earlier about interconnectedness. Now, one of the things that I remember reading about you writing is the interconnectedness between technology companies that are working to try to make the connections of all this different gear more seamless. How can it be more seamless than it already is? If we plug in hard discs, they show up on our desktop and software knows how to save files. What’s the missing component that you’re starting to see?

Simon Walker: I do have a comment on plugging stuff in, but interesting you should mention about the human interface. I’ve been working on a Dell laptop side by side with my old MacBook Pro and it’s the M3800, the one with the touch screen. The reason for this is that I’ve been testing out the new touch interface that Premiere Pro has got and I have to say, after many years of advising editors about working more quickly, using keyboard shortcuts and the mouse in a more efficient way, I found that physically touching stuff on the screen is so much faster. So much so, I’ve been going back to the MacBook Pro and trying to touch the screen, forgetting that it’s not a touch screen. So it’s really interesting, it’s so much faster to be able to press something on the screen rather than collect your mouse on the track pad and then go and click something.

Simon Walker: I thought originally it wasn’t necessarily going to be as ergonomic as it is, because you’re lifting up your arm to press the screen, but actually it’s very natural and I can’t imagine not doing it any more. Another reason why I’ve been hopping in between Windows and Mac is that so many editors I know are switching over to Windows, especially large facilities, so I have to jump in between both operating systems, but I have to say, given the money, if I had to buy a new laptop, I would be seriously tempted to switch to Windows. I know that’s heresy, but anyway.

Larry Jordan: Well, I was just thinking it’s going to change the pizza eating habits of a lot of editors if touch catches on like this.

Simon Walker: Yes, absolutely. You’re absolutely right. It’s actually a good thing. It’s going to be good discipline in the edit suite. “You can’t have crisps, not until you’ve finished that edit.” Maybe that’s a reward system for editors.

Larry Jordan: Do I remember reading correctly that the World Cup was using some of these touch features?

Simon Walker: We didn’t use touch at the World Cup. We certainly used Windows and, poor me, I was stuck in Rio for six to eight weeks, Copacabana and so on.

Larry Jordan: I’m so sorry.

Simon Walker: I know, I know. It’s all right, don’t worry, I’ll be ok, I’ll get over it.

Larry Jordan: Tell me about what you learned at the World Cup.

Simon Walker: I will tell you about that, but can I just go back to your interconnectedness of things? Because there was something else that I saw at IBC…

Larry Jordan: It’s your interview, you just take control. Run this however you want.

Simon Walker: All right. The other thing that I thought was quite interesting was Thunderbolt plugging into both Mac and Windows. The new Dell laptop I’ve got has got Thunderbolt on it. You have to download the drivers for it, but I have my Mac formatted discs plugged into my PC laptop and I’ve done a series of tests with things like MacDrive and Paragon’s HFS Plus for Windows and seen which is faster. By the way, the Paragon software seems to me to be about 20 or 30 percent faster, because I’m getting almost 320 megabytes a second of the Thunderbolt connection for my SSD.

Simon Walker: But in any case, what I thought was really interesting was the fact that, through Thunderbolt, you can do – like Bluefish have got – an external chassis, I think it’s a Magma chassis, where they’ve got graphics cards plugged into an external chassis that will work with a MacPro via Thunderbolt and the guys over at G Technology have made a MiniMag reader for RED cards and that plugs into the G Dog, and that plugs in via Thunderbolt, so it’s very interesting. The higher dynamic range footage requires faster speed but at the same time you’ve got all these companies doing small little connectivity things so that you can actually transfer stuff between computers or between drives and backups or RAIDs and not have to worry about which particular platform you’re on as much as we used to.

Simon Walker: That’s what I mean by the interconnectedness and it’s not as if every manufacturer’s working together to make an editor’s life easy, I know they’re in business to sell stuff too, but it’s quite interesting how they seem to be settling upon things that are really helpful and overlapping, about helping you not have to consider so much of the technical aspect, and that isn’t such a barrier to editing. At least, that was my impression over last week at IBC.

Larry Jordan: If you were to pick the top three highlights that did not involve Adobe from IBC, clearly HDR would be one, what would be the other two?

Simon Walker: The second one would be Thunderbolt on Mac and PC and how that’s being rolled out quite significantly everywhere, and the third one would be a nice tiny little gadget, again from G Technology, that is a Firewire adaptor so you can plug it in the back of your USB3 drives that they do – their EV series drives – and then you can daisy chain Firewire drives off the back of it.

Larry Jordan: A connector for Firewire that goes to USB, not Thunderbolt?

Simon Walker: Off the back of the USBs, when you plug them into the dock, they plug in via the – oh, I’ve forgotten what it’s called now. It’s that special adapter that usually you have to have that plugs into the back of a machine. It’s usually on the inside. The word’s gone from me, but you plug it into the back of the drive and it converts it into a Firewire 800. I’ve got, and I’m sure you have as well, a large plastic bucket of about 30 drives that I’ve used over the last ten years or so, most of which have been Firewire and I don’t have a Firewire port on my new laptop, so it’s quite interesting to be able to piggy view these back or daisy chain them back off each other.

Larry Jordan: That is very cool.

Simon Walker: I know. They only just introduced it and so I’ve been testing out how many I can daisy chain and how many power drives versus self powered or bus powered. So just that small thing, to be able to access old drives, I found pretty useful.

Larry Jordan: Simon, normally at this point in the interview I ask what new projects you’re working on, but I know what your next project is and I also know you’re under NDR, so instead I’m going to say that we need to have you come back and talk about this when it’s done, because it is very cool. Where can people go on the web to keep track of what you’re doing?

Simon Walker: Oh, thank you Larry. People can go to my website, which is www.simonwalkerfreelance.com, or via Twitter which is just @simonwalker and if you type in Simon Walker on LinkedIn, you can always find me as well.

Larry Jordan: The voice you’ve been listening to is Simon Walker, a freelance trainer and media maven based out of the UK. His website is simonwalkerfreelance.com and, Simon, thanks for joining us today.

Simon Walker: Thank you Larry, it’s a pleasure.

Larry Jordan: It’s time for a Buzz Flashback. Five years ago today…

Unknown female (archive): It’s two separate video streams, so that the DTs or stereographers, their job is to get the best 3D they can and certainly sometimes that’s going to be with a large 3D rig and I think for 85 percent of the rest of the application, you can probably do pretty well with 3D A1.

Larry Jordan: This was a Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: You know, it’s interesting listening to the conversation with Simon, with his reaction to seeing HDR for the very first time. I had a chance to see HDR almost two years ago in a demonstration that Dolby provided and, as Simon mentioned, the difference between looking at a standard dynamic range, the video that we’re looking at every day, and high dynamic range, where the blacks are far darker and the highlights just sort of knock you back in your seat, is stunning.

Larry Jordan: What I was especially interested in is not only are we seeing HDR supported in terms of hardware – monitors to be able to display the HDR image – but it’s now started to be supported in software, with Adobe’s recent announcements in terms of how they’re going to be supporting HDR video in the next version of Premiere, which will be shipping in the next month or so.

Larry Jordan: Personally, I think HDR has far more opportunities for us than simple 4K or higher resolution because the normal audience is going to see the difference in HDR far more than they’ll ever see at a higher resolution. The only down side is, as of right now, we can’t retrofit HDR onto existing productions.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week: Denver Riddle, the developer of Color Finale; Jonathan Handel, the entertainment labor editor for The Hollywood Reporter; and Simon Walker, a UK based trainer and media guru.

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 thousands of interviews all online and all available to you today; and please sign up for our free weekly show newsletter.

Larry Jordan: Talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner, with additional music provided by smartsound.com. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription – visit take1.tv to learn how they can help you.

Larry Jordan: Our producer is Cirina Catania; our production team, Megan Paulos, Ed Golya, Keegan Guy, Hannah Dean, James Miller and Brianna Murphy. My name is Larry Jordan, thanks for watching.

Announcer #1: 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; and by Xen Data, who provides highly competitive digital video archive solutions.

Digital Production Buzz – September 24, 2015

Join Larry Jordan as he talks with Denver Riddle, Jonathan Handel, and Simon Walker.

View Show Transcript

Watch the Full Episode

Tech Talk
With co-host Michael Kammes
SPONSORED BY Key Code Media

Buzz on YouTubeTranscript

Listen to the Full Episode


Buzz on iTunesTranscript

Guests this Week

Denver Riddle
Denver Riddle, Founder, Color Grading Central
Denver Riddle is a professional colorist and founder of Color Grading Central, which he started as a learning resource for filmmakers and colorists. He is currently engaged in software development for Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, with Color Finale his most popular plugin to date.
Jonathan Handel
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter
The recent Uber lawsuit ruled that, in many cases, independent contractors need to be considered employees. This ruling has implications for many filmmakers. Jonathan Handel, the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for “The Hollywood Reporter,” joins us this week to discuss what we need to know about this ruling.
Simon Walker
Simon Walker, Freelance trainer
Simon Walker is an Adobe Certified Master Trainer, and UK-based instructor for the International Colorist Academy. He was working the Adobe booth at IBC and shares his thoughts on the latest Adobe announcements, plus new technology he discovered at the show.

Transcript: Digital Production BuZZ – September 17, 2015

Digital Production Buzz

September 17, 2015

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

(Click here to listen to this show.)

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Randi Altman, Industry Analyst and Editor, postPerspective
Carlos Grijalva, Director/Producer, Grijalva Films
Rob Tharp, Producer/Cinematographer, Grijalva Films
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
Kim Furst, Producer / Director, Kilo Foxtrot Films
===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, drones are causing airspace issues across the US, with more than 70 near misses reported to the FAA since August 1st. Carlos Grijalva and Rob Tharp co-founded Grijalva Films to specialize in drone cinematography. Tonight, we talk with them about the challenges of flying and filming with drones.

Larry Jordan: Next, Philip Hodgetts just returned from IBC, where he attended two peripheral events – the Supermeet and FCP Expo. He shares his thoughts on those events plus IBC itself tonight.

Larry Jordan: Kim Furst is an award-winning documentary film producer, a director and an editor. Her fifth aviation documentary is Flying the Feathered Edge, which is currently in theatrical release as an independent film. Tonight, we talk with Kim about her plans for marketing and distributing the film.

Larry Jordan: All this plus Tech Talk, a Buzz Flashback and Randi Altman’s perspective on the news. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer #1: Tonight’s Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at macsales.com; and by Xen Data, at xendata.com.

Announcer #2: 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 and marketing around the world. My name is Larry Jordan. Mike Horton has the night off as he recovers from IBC.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of the 2015 IBC show in Amsterdam, we have two reports tonight – the first from Randi Altman and the second from Philip Hodgetts. IBC, which began years ago as a broadcasting conference, was huge this year – 55,000 attendees, 1800 vendors and hundreds of conference sessions. IBC, like NAB in Las Vegas, documents the rapidly shifting trends in the broadcast and media industry. As Michael Crimp, the CEO of IBC, said, “We have gone from an industry where broadcasters told us what we were going to watch to one where consumers call for content wherever and whenever they want.”

Larry Jordan: What struck me in reading the reports – and you’ll hear Randi talk about this as well – is that IBC is expanding its role, foreshadowing the future, not simply celebrating the latest product releases. As Fran Unsworth, the Director of the BBC World Service, said, “The future is digital and we need to expand on it, but not at the expense of television and radio.”

Larry Jordan: I don’t think anyone in our industry would deny that media today and in the future is digital, but there is a lot of disagreement on who the winners and losers will be as we evolve into this still murky and rapidly changing digital world. The swirling winds of technology are blowing faster than ever. IBC proved that and any pundit who says they can accurately predict the technology trends that will be successful is blowing smoke.

Larry Jordan: For example, you only need to look at tonight’s Buzz Flashback, which highlights the big new thing of five years ago – stereoscopic 3D. Our job here on The Buzz is to help you sort it all out every week. I’ll be back with Carlos Grijalva and Rob Tharp talking about drones and cinematography right after Randi Altman gives her perspective on the news.

Announcer #1: This is Randi Altman’s Perspective.

Larry Jordan: Randi Altman is the Editor in Chief of postperspective.com. She’s been covering our industry for more than 20 years. She also just returned from Amsterdam, where she was attending the IBC trade show. Hello, Randi, welcome home.

Randi Altman: Hey, Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: I am doing great. How was the show?

Randi Altman: It was a whirlwind. It’s a long show and there was a lot to see, but in general it was a good show.

Larry Jordan: That sort of encompasses a lot of territory in about two sentences. What was the big news at the show?

Randi Altman: The buzz words were HDR and UHD. The big deal that’s happening is everybody wants to find displays that they can actually do color grading and watch the content on, but right now with the spec sort of up in the air, a lot of people don’t want to invest in it.

Larry Jordan: UHD, which stands for Ultra HD, is a version of a 4K image; and HDR, which stands for high dynamic range, is a way of getting darker blacks and whiter whites, but nobody right now is supporting this from a software point of view. Adobe announced support but hasn’t released anything and Avid and Apple don’t support it. Is this still a future technology?

Randi Altman: Yes, I think it’s going to happen. Everybody agrees that they want to see a better picture. It’s just getting there.

Larry Jordan: So are these technology demos or are we shipping product? Where do we stand?

Randi Altman: Not really shipping product yet. As I mentioned about the displays, Sony had one at their booth, Canon had one at their booth, but it was all in a back room where they were able to control the light. They really wanted to show it off as best they could, but it’s not a real thing yet out there in the world.

Larry Jordan: So for editors, we need to pay attention but we don’t need to worry about spending dollars on it yet?

Randi Altman: Correct, yes. It’s a wait and see proposition.

Larry Jordan: Ok. What else caught your eye?

Randi Altman: Well, I visited Boris, which bought Imagineer less than a year ago and they’re already starting to put that technology into their Continuum products and software. The big news for them at the show, and I think this is kind of cool for editors, is that they’ve made a Mocha plug-in and that’s going to be available for Avid, Media Composer, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. So instead of where it had a standalone product where there was a workaround, now it’s a plug-in and it’s going to be seamless within those systems.

Larry Jordan: That is an amazing piece of technology. Mocha does some incredible tracking and to put that as a plug-in is huge. That’s big news.

Randi Altman: It is. It’s pretty exciting. They’re going to roll it out, I think Avid’s going to be the first one and then they’re going to follow with the others, but it’s all going to be within the next month to six weeks.

Larry Jordan: Now, I was reading something about what Snell was doing. What are they up to?

Randi Altman: Well, you know about when Snell and Quantel combined as one company and they’ve sort of been sharing technology but operating as two separate companies now for probably a year and a half. They decided to announce that the new company name is Snell Advanced Media, SAM for short, and what they did is the Quantel name still exists but it’s going to be their post production product line.

Larry Jordan: Hmm. You know, Randi, I was reflecting on your answers and traditionally new products were announced at NAB and shipping by IBC, but it sounds like IBC was more of a futures show – this is what’s coming but it’s not yet available. Is that a true statement?

Randi Altman: I would say so. There might be some early adopters that’ll jump in, but for the most part I do think it’s a wait and see type of thing. It just seems to be the prudent way to go.

Larry Jordan: Randi, what are you key takeaways from the show?

Randi Altman: I think that UHD and HDR are not going anywhere, they’re here to stay. We just have to wait and see how it progresses and then we also have to wait and see where we could watch these images. The clear takeaway was we want clearer images, now we just have to find a way to work with them and to view them on displays.

Larry Jordan: Randi, as always, it’s fun talking with you. Good luck catching up on your sleep. Randi is the Editor in Chief of postperspective.com and, Randi, we’ll talk with you next week.

Randi Altman: Thanks, Larry.

Larry Jordan: To read more from Randi Altman, visit postperspective.com.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Carlos Grijalva and Rob Tharp, Philip Hodgetts, Kim Furst, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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Larry Jordan: Carlos Grijalva and Rob Tharp are co-founders of Grijalva Films, a San Diego based production house specializing in aerial cinematography and unique camera perspectives using drones. What makes them unique is that they started their production company right out of high school. Hello Carlos, hello Rob, how you doing?

Rob Tharp: Great. How are you doing?

Carlos Grijalva: Hello, how are you doing?

Larry Jordan: Actually, I’m looking forward to talking to you guys, because there’s a lot of stuff about drones that I don’t understand that I need your opinions on. Carlos, I’m going to start with you. Why did you decide to start Grijalva Films?

Carlos Grijalva: When I was in my senior year, I wanted to be a filmmaker and I could either go to LA and be a starting artist for a while or I could start a company and try and make money and then go to LA and have a little money to back me up beforehand.

Larry Jordan: And did you and Rob start it together or did one of you start first and the other came in shortly thereafter?

Carlos Grijalva: I started it first and Rob came after that.

Rob Tharp: Carlos booked a wedding and I ended up joining the team and the synergy between us was pretty amazing and now we’re here.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that I read about is that you guys specialize in doing drone cinematography. Rob, what got you interested in working with drones, besides the fact they fly and they’re small and they go strange places?

Rob Tharp: Apart from that, I find it an amazing tool for a filmmaker, especially when telling a story and to really motivate that story with movement. I found that an interesting concept and both of us have always been huge tech nerds and that was a large contributing factor. With that came amazing cinematic shots with all the technical aspects behind it. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to tell a story through a different medium that people aren’t really used to.

Larry Jordan: Carlos, what projects have you and your team worked on? I know from Rob’s comment you started with a wedding, but it seems like it’s expanded since then. What are you doing?

Carlos Grijalva: Yes, we’ve done a couple of things, feature films. We tend to do the beginning and end sequences for the film – people like aerial a lot for that. We do a lot of weddings, we do commercial work as well, corporate videos.

Rob Tharp: One of our recent projects, we were working with the Port Authority of San Diego actually doing construction surveys. They had some development projects for 2015, so basically with our presentation piece with the aerial, demonstrating what would soon be the construction of the sites, we helped get them funding for the projects. So we’re all over the place.

Larry Jordan: That’s really cool because it’s a way of using videography without creating a feature film which can solve problems that are really hard to solve elsewhere. Are you finding more of your business is coming from filmmakers or from outside the traditional film industry?

Rob Tharp: Most of it’s actually outside the traditional industry. We’ve been working on some interesting projects with construction. That’s been huge.

Carlos Grijalva: And real estate.

Rob Tharp: Real estate, actually, is pretty big as well.

Carlos Grijalva: …It’s very engaging.

Rob Tharp: So those are the two main platforms for aerial, the construction surveys and the real estate, and then also for feature films.

Larry Jordan: With the features, are you doing the entire feature or are people calling you in as the expert in aerial cinematography and you’re just doing the aerial shots, Carlos?

Carlos Grijalva: Just aerial shots.

Rob Tharp: Well, kind of both, actually. We have two projects that we’re actually producing right now. One is called Losing in Love. There are 22 days of shooting and we’re about 18 days in. We’re working with a great writer/director up in Los Angeles, Martin [CARPAZIAN]. He actually has a film on Netflix right now called least among saints. We partnered with him to make this and it’s been a total labor of love in getting the whole thing together, so that’s been a beautiful project; and then another feature that’s in pre-production right now called Len. So there are those two projects and then all of our corporate commercial work, so definitely a lot to keep us busy.

Larry Jordan: Well, what are you flying? Let’s talk gear. Switch to hardware. What are we looking at?

Rob Tharp: Our manufacturer of choice is actually DJI. It’s basically the leading drone manufacturer right now. Really, it’s contingent on the application. Depending on what we’re doing, for instance, let’s say we were doing a wedding. It’s a sensitive event, we want to be respectful. Of course, there are some noise issues and things like that and we don’t want to intrude. With that, we would use the DJI Phantom 3 which was announced a couple of months back. With that, it actually has a proprietary camera on it. It’s integrated, shoots 4K in beautiful, beautiful cinematic quality, so that we’ve been really happy with.

Rob Tharp: It has Lognote as well, so for the colorists out there it’s definitely preferred; and then for other platforms, if it’s something with high speed, there’s the DJI Inspire I, which was released about a year ago. There’s a big update that just came out with the new gimbal, which is basically a three axis gyrostabilized device that, as you fly, counteracts the movements of the drone to allow for a very stable shot.

Rob Tharp: With that, they just released a new gimbal for the Inspire that allows for Micro Four Third, not lenses, so we’re really excited about that. That comes out, I believe, in the next month or two, so we’re on the waiting list. And then going larger, there’s the DJI S1000. That’s with an octocopter and you can fly a RED Epic. A couple of months ago, there was a video with the Phantom Flex 4K. It was the first one flown using the DJI S1000. There’s some amazing technology out there and there are a couple of different manufacturers. There’s 3D Robotics that’s actually here in San Diego and there are new ones springing up every day.

Larry Jordan: How many drones do you actually own? Or do you rent them when you need them?

Rob Tharp: We own three and then, depending if there’s a larger application for an S1000 or something like that, we’ll rent it. But otherwise the Phantom has been a remarkable choice and that’s what we’ve done a lot of our work on.

Larry Jordan: Now that we’ve got the camera mounted to the drone, what video formats do you tend to shoot?

Rob Tharp: As we got started, a lot of it was 1080/60, so we were doing a lot of slow motion, converting it down. Now it’s primarily 4K, 24 frames a second in log mode, so the color’s phenomenal. It’s actually a flat lens, it’s about a 16 millimeter equivalent, so there’s minimal distortion. It’s pretty amazing stuff, what’s currently being integrated.

Larry Jordan: Are you able to see the image while you’re flying the drone or are you just sort of winging it, so to speak?

Carlos Grijalva: No, you’re actually able to see it on an iPhone or an iPad. I think you can connect it to a computer too.

Rob Tharp: Yes, with the Inspire, what’s amazing about that, and the Phantom as well, you can do live streaming straight from the drone to your tablet or mobile device. It’s called an FPV – first person view system – and you can also output via HDMI and broadcast on something as large as the Jumbotron in 1080p. You can’t stream 4K yet, but the 1080 is still remarkable. It’s amazing stuff.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so now let’s shift gears. We’ve got the hardware, we’ve got the software. A client comes to you with a new project. What workflow do you go through to record with a drone? What permits do you need? What permissions do you need to get? What are the rules that you have to follow?

Rob Tharp: Right now, at least in the state of California, the main rule is you have to keep it under 399 feet. As for permitting, there’s currently none. The FAA has legislation under review right now by the Federal Government, so that’s going through its rounds right now. The legislation that’s coming out with the FAA is supposed to be February, but there may be some delays. That actually is pretty straightforward and we’re excited about it. It will allow for a commercial license and an airworthiness certificate for your drone.

Rob Tharp: If it’s under 55 pounds, which most professional platforms are, you’ll be able to move forward with your license as early as 2016. But currently, as long as you stay under 400 feet, you’re clear. In some different states, there’s local legislation that prevents you from flying, like in New York there are some issues right now. There was a Bill up last week that was actually vetoed that was basically going to make it impossible to fly under 350 feet, so with that we wouldn’t be able to actually take off, but that was vetoed, that was knocked out.

Carlos Grijalva: They’re so smart!

Rob Tharp: So we’re still in the clear right now, so until some actual legislation comes forth, planned for 2016, right now people are doing as they please. What’s great about DJI, though, in respect to safety, it’s all through GPS technology. They have a map and with that there’s an airport register, so as you get close to an airport, it’ll prohibit you from taking off and then as you back away, it’ll place a height cap. Once you get out of that radius, you’re fine to fly up to the 399 feet but if you get close to the airport, there are some provisions that you have to abide by.

Larry Jordan: That gets to an interesting question. In the interface that you use to fly the drone, are you able to see your altitude and your position, or do you just have to guess where 400 feet is?

Carlos Grijalva: Altitude, position, speed, ascent speed, descent speed. You can even see yourself on a map so you can click on a little map icon, it comes up and you can see where the drone is and you can see where you are in respect to the drone and it can also tell you how far away you are from the drone.

Rob Tharp: So all the telemetry data is all there.

Larry Jordan: The reason I’m asking is there’s a lot of discussion now about drones interfering with aircraft operations. Since August 1st, there have been 70 complaints of near misses filed with the FAA, none of which are your fault, I want to stress. Also, drones preventing firefighting equipment from doing fire drops because they’re interfering with air operations. Is it a true statement, then, that the drone operator really does know where they are? Or can they plead ignorance, that, “I don’t know where I am and I’m just making a mistake”? How do we prevent amateur drone people from screwing up the entire industry, preventing guys like you from earning a living?

Rob Tharp: What’s unfortunate is we found a lot of the commercial users that actually do it professionally are very, very responsible and then you do see those cases of the typical recreational user, some pleading ignorance. But they have full control over it and it’s really just a matter of common sense to not interfere with law enforcement – there have been some of those cases – and not to interfere with aircraft. With the new updates prohibiting flight near the airports, that’s been a huge advantage, so really a lot of it comes down to common sense but it is unfortunate that the recreational users are inhibiting what commercial users are wanting to do.

Carlos Grijalva: I don’t think that’s really an excuse, either. You know where you are when you’re flying. You know where you are on the map, you know where you are because you can see the city down below and you should be in that line of sight as well – you should be able to see your drone.

Rob Tharp: That’s a huge thing. With the upcoming FAA regulations, you have to be within line of sight of the drone. These drones, you can rig them out, they can go miles depending on your set-up, but the FAA recommends stay within the line of sight and that’s really the safest practice to abide by.

Larry Jordan: I’ve got a live chat going and we’ve got a couple of questions. Cesar is asking whether clients are asking for drone shots because they want them or if they’re trying to pitch using a drone shot to their client. Are you having trouble selling the concept of an aerial shot to your clients?

Carlos Grijalva: They love it.

Rob Tharp: They love it. Whether it’s the client seeking it or they’re just trying to use it as a gimmick, either way people get really excited about it. It’s really cinematic stuff and it’s really useful, especially for surveying purposes, regardless of whatever industry you’re in.

Carlos Grijalva: And it also adds a lot of power to your videos. It just gives it an extra bit of spice, a little bit of seasoning. It’s good.

Larry Jordan: Jeff in the live chat’s saying he has clients who ask him for drone shots, but most are for real estate and some for action sports. For him, it’s a fairly limited environment. It sounds like you’re working within a very limited environment in terms of it’s real estate, surveying or filmmaking, but there’s a lot of interest within those groups. Is that a true statement?

Rob Tharp: Yes, there’s definitely interest within those groups. For instance, with agriculture, with farms, that’s a huge thing as well we’re looking to get into and also for surveying for the power companies. They just got an FAA 333 exemption to actually go out and survey the power lines. It saves time, manpower and it’s innovation.

Larry Jordan: Rob, where can people go on the web to get more information about you and your company and hire you for your services?

Rob Tharp: You are going to want to check out grijalvafilms.com and that’s where you would go to find out more information about us.

Larry Jordan: And Carlos Grijalva and Rob Tharp are the co-founders of Grijalva Films. Gentlemen, it’s been fun visiting. Thanks so much for your time today.

Rob Tharp: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Philip Hodgetts, Kim Furst, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts is a wizard when it comes to digital technology and he is currently in Amsterdam, attending the IBC conference as well as a variety of peripheral events. Welcome, Philip, it’s always good to see you.

Philip Hodgetts: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Let’s start with IBC. Have you had a chance to tour the show floor at all and what’s caught your attention?

Philip Hodgetts: I did spend some time on the show floor – it’s kind of pointless coming to Amsterdam for IBC and not going onto the show floor – but I didn’t do the whole satellite station and, well, there are a lot of halls that I wasn’t that interested in, but I certainly looked around some of the metadata companies and saw that there isn’t very much new there. I was shopping to see if I could find a small 4K replacement for the GoPro when I was sad to discover that the new Micro Cinema camera from Blackmagic was still only at HD resolution, so probably next year they’ll have the 4K version for me.

Philip Hodgetts: Some of the work that we’re doing now with a cooking show is recorded in restaurants and the audio is suboptimal at times. We go pretty deep with the set-up but we don’t want to bother with wiring mics. I know we should wire the mics, don’t give me the lecture please. I know what I should do, but the interesting concept is knowing what the tools could do for me in post, maybe I be that little bit less intrusive in the restaurant and seize the moment, so I spent some time on the Isotope stand, looking and getting a demonstration particularly of their Dialog Denoise, which is far beyond the parametric equalization that I always try to use to separate out the same frequencies for the background noise, because the background noise is in exactly the same voice frequencies.

Philip Hodgetts: They’ve looked at the dynamics and what they expect dialog to sound and look like so that they can then process everything that is not dialog out of it. The more continuous that background noise is, the better, but they did show some interesting examples that intrigued me and so I’m going to give it a go because we have some examples where it’s just barely possible to pick the dialog above the crowd.

Larry Jordan: Is what Isotope is doing able to remove echoes without materially damaging the principal voice?

Philip Hodgetts: It’s one of their many tools. They certainly do a deverb tool, but they also have a tool that is called Dialog Denoise and that takes background noise out of dialog. The first example is the easy example, of course, of air conditioning noise. …pre-sample and have a clean area, which means that it can vary over time and still be cleaned up. I was particularly interested in that tool. They have a whole range of magic in their toolbox and I’m sure that it will be useful for me as well, but that was the one tool that I was really interested in finding out about.

Larry Jordan: Isotope makes some incredible audio clean-up products. The product is called RX5, or are they showing a new RX6?

Philip Hodgetts: No, they’re showing RX5 and they’re offering a $100 discount that I hopefully will be taking advantage of.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot going on at IBC which is not the show itself, there are a lot of peripheral events. We know that Mike Horton had the Supermeet, but there was also a two day event called FCP Expo going on. Tell me about that.

Philip Hodgetts: This was under the auspices of [SERVO] editors with SEP Works, which is an American based organization, and was a hybrid of presentations at one end of the space and a limited number of demonstration stations at the other end of the space. During the couple of days, we had marketing presentations from Apple, we had some interesting presentations on Frame.io, we had presentations on various workflows, there were some great demos of SliceX, of course, and everything that it can do, both in the Apple demo and in other demonstrations as well. Really, a little bit like going to church in that everyone that was there was in one way or the other already on board with Final Cut Pro 10, but of course part of going to church is to learn how to evangelize, so they were getting the evidence that they needed to go back into the wilds and deliver the good news of Final Cut Pro 10.

Philip Hodgetts: For me personally, the most fascinating was the Metronome presentation. A lot of this has been shown on fcp.co recently, but it was great to get it straight from Ronnie… and the two guys that implemented the Final Cut Pro 10 installation and workflows at Metronome. It’s… how they were big multi-person workflows; all the things that Final Cut Pro supposedly can’t do is what they’re doing on television shows and finding that this is working faster and better for them. And, of course, they want to use Lumberjack so I love them.

Larry Jordan: Well, we must admit that Lumberjack is your product, so I understand the love there.

Philip Hodgetts: Yes, absolutely, yes.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that struck me, Philip, is that you said that Apple was doing presentations at this event. This is a very unusual thing. Apple doesn’t do public presentations. Were they actual Apple people?

Philip Hodgetts: They were actual Apple people. Luke Tristram is one of the product management group at Apple. Yes, they were doing presentations at the FCP Expo, but it isn’t unprecedented. They have done similar things at the FCP Works demo room back at NAB and even at the FCP Works launch there was a presentation by Luke again as part of the launch of that group a couple of years back, so it’s not completely unprecedented but it is still rare enough to be notable.

Larry Jordan: Now, you’ve been involved with the Supermeet for years and years. Does the Supermeet and FCP Expo compete or are they the same thing? How are they different?

Philip Hodgetts: Oh, they’re completely different events. The FCP Expo was simply designed to showcase Final Cut Pro and its ecosystem to people who were interested or, as I mentioned already, largely converted to Final Cut Pro 10. The Supermeet is a gathering of creative people across all sorts of tools. There were people who favor the Adobe suite there, and Adobe were presenting again and Al Mooney was his normal excitable self on stage. They’re very different events and they suit different needs. The only trouble we had was that we were trying to have pop-up banners in the presence of both when they were on at the same time and there were only two of us, so a quick zip onto the public transport and there we were at the other meeting.

Larry Jordan: Is FCP Expo the same size as the Supermeet?

Philip Hodgetts: Oh heck, no, FCP Expo was attracting rolling numbers of people, but never more than about 35 or 40 guests at a time, whereas the Supermeet is three or four hundred, so more than ten times the number of people.

Larry Jordan: Let’s switch back to IBC before I let you go, although these are questions I’d love to spend hours talking with you about, but we’ve talked about Isotope – were there any other highlights for you at IBC?

Philip Hodgetts: The other thing that I was very keen to see at IBC was Dolby Vision. Terry Curran has told me repeatedly that I need to see Dolby Vision to understand the future of HDR television and it is very, very impressive, almost to the extent where I feel that I want to put on a pair of sunglasses to watch television. They measure television brightness in nits, for some reason. I don’t really know why we don’t use lumens, but it’s nits. A typical HD display is about 40 nits, whereas the current Dolby Vision display is 2,000 nits, so it’s about five times brighter on the brightest part, which makes the blackest even blacker. It is so dynamic. A sunrise looks like a sunrise in your face, it’s almost that bright.

Philip Hodgetts: They showed they can go eventually to 10,000 nits. I’m not sure that I want to go that far. But they’ve already starting licensing the technology to some of the television manufacturers, so we may see it. I think HDR television, where we’re getting brighter brights and darker darks, is something that more people will see the benefit of than high resolution because resolution has generally been a perception of sharpness or contrast than it has by actual resolution, so I think it’ll be great to see that.

Larry Jordan: I had a chance to see a demo of Dolby Vision about a year and a half ago and was amazed at the difference between standard HD and HDR HD. However, up until IBC, no video editing software supported HDR – Avid didn’t, Adobe didn’t and Final Cut didn’t – but Adobe at IBC announced support for HDR video in their next update, so we’re going to be able to actually play with it ourselves in video editing in the next month or two.

Philip Hodgetts: Yes, they’ve gave another great suite of announcements concerning enhancements to… Premiere Pro and to the creative cloud.

Larry Jordan: Philip, I could spend the next hour talking about highlights but I know you’ve got things to do back in Amsterdam. Thanks for taking time out of your evening to chat with us and travel safely back to the States.

Philip Hodgetts: Thanks, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Kim Furst, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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Larry Jordan: Then I added new techniques and new ways of working that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. I updated our workflow and editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut Pro 10 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.

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Announcer #1: Welcome to Tech Talk, sponsored by Keycode Media.

Larry Jordan: Well, let’s move forward and take a look at another scene. Let’s go to here, let’s just type command A, get rid of this and go to, well, here’s another example – a restaurant scene.

Larry Jordan: Here, I have a wide shot of Andrew on the left, Danielle in the middle and Lisa on the right. I’ve got an iso of Andrew and then I’ve got a camera which is Lisa and Danielle, depending upon who’s talking. This is a multi-cam clip. I don’t have the same audio on each clip. This is just Andrew’s mic, this is just Danielle and Lisa’s mic and this is just a camera picking up everything.

Larry Jordan: What I’ve done instead is where I have a clapper slate – notice the clapper slate – I’ve set a marker, the letter M, at the point the clapper slate comes down on all three clips. This to me is as fast as doing timecode except I don’t have to have timecode fed to the camera, I’m able to use the clapper slate instead. Let’s go up to file, go down to new, go down to multi-cam clip and here we’re going to do this automatically because the clip names will work. I’m going to synchronize not on timecode but on the first marker on each angle – notice there’s only one marker in each clip – and we’ll call this Restaurant Multicam – and click ok.

Larry Jordan: Again, we’ll pick this whole thing up right about where she reaches forward, right about there, we’ll set it in and the whole scene runs about there, we’ll set an out, so I don’t have to take the entire multi-cam clip. Again, think of recording an hour’s musical presentation, you want to do a multi-cam edit of each song. Set an in and an out at the beginning and the end of each song and edit it down to the timeline and we’ve got it, except my wide shot doesn’t have any audio. Andrew’s mic is on Andrew’s mic and Lisa and Danielle’s mic is on, so what do I do?

Larry Jordan: Before you build the multi-cam clip, select the audio of each one of the individual clips, go to the inspector, select the clip, go to the audio tab and make sure that this gets switched from stereo, which is how Final Cut imports it, to dual channel mono. What dual channel mono means is that now I see the entire audio picked up by the camera mic or the wireless mic that Andrew’s wearing. I’m going to turn off the general, keep Andrew by itself – notice that that’s where the women are talking – and then go to Lisa and Danielle, switch that also from stereo to dual channel mono.

Larry Jordan: Make sure to turn off the general camera mic, pick up their wireless mic so we can hear the dialog and before I build the multi-cam clip, I set the audio to be those discrete channels, so I’ve turned off all the background noise behind Andrew and just kept his mic; turned off the background noise behind Danielle and Lisa and just hear their mic and now when I go up to the file menu, multi-cam clip, it’s built the audio into that clip just as we’ve specified in the inspector.

Larry Jordan: We’ll set an in and we’ll set an out, edit it down. I don’t see audio for the wide shot because I’ve turned it off, but the audio is there for the cameras. I’ll illustrate in a second. By the way, to see the audio, double click and I can separate that or expand audio components and I can see all of the tracks of my audio. The big benefit is being able to manipulate our multichannel audio in the inspector. Remember, I’m not doing mixes, I’m just able to hear individual tracks of my audio as I switch to those cameras.

Larry Jordan: Let’s start with a wide shot. We’ll hide the browser and the library. Hide the inspector so I can see what I’ve got to work with and Lisa’s going to reach forward, I’m going to cut to Lisa, then I’m going to cut to Andrew, but I want the audio to follow so I can pick up their individual mics, so I’m going to need to do some additional trimming a little later.

Larry Jordan: Here we go, watch this. I don’t need to hear it. She reaches forward and cut back to her and cut to Andrew, looks over, Danielle talks. Ok, so notice how I’m seeing Lisa’s speech but I’m not seeing Andrew’s speech, so we can still trim this. We can open this up, go to clip, expand audio components and notice that now I’m able to see the different audio that I’ve got. Let’s just zoom in, command plus, grab this clip and drag it over so I can pick up more of her lines.

Larry Jordan: This is where Final Cut has changed audio handling a lot. I can change my audio trimming here by going in and being able to manipulate all the different audio tracks that I work with without having to mess with my edit. This makes working with multichannel audio a lot easier. All I did is I set this up as dual channel mono in the inspector first, then I did my edit, then I exposed the audio clips by going to expand audio components and, when I’m done, I just say collapse audio components and everything is back.

Larry Jordan: Kim Furst is an award-winning documentary film producer; she’s also a director and an editor. Flying the Feathered Edge is Kim’s fifth aviation documentary and it’s screening in theaters today. Hello, Kim, welcome back.

Kim Furst: Hi, Larry. It’s great to see you.

Larry Jordan: Well, you know, I was just thinking, this is the first time that we’ve seen each other, but it’s not the first time that we’ve talked because we first met you and learned about Flying the Feathered Edge in June of 2014 – I looked it up. So as a recap for people who may not have been paying attention to our June 2014 show, what is the film about?

Kim Furst: Flying the Feathered Edge is about a Bob Hoover. He’s considered to be our greatest living aviator. He’s 93 years old and he’s been a test pilot, experimental test pilot, air show pilot, World War II prisoner of war. He’s considered by many pilots to be the pilots’ pilot. He’s someone that they all look up to.

Larry Jordan: How did you ever connect with him?

Kim Furst: This is actually my fifth aviation and aerospace documentary that I’ve done as a film editor. This was my first as producer/director and I was looking for something that was in my wheelhouse, something I knew and understood and I love aviation and I’ve worked on many other aviation films, so I was looking for something that I could really sink my teeth into, and that’s how I found Bob’s story.

Larry Jordan: Yes, but there’s got to be more to it than that. You’re not 94, you haven’t been in aviation for as long as he has. How did you track him down?

Kim Furst: Well, that was fortunate. I had a friend make an introduction and he knew I was looking, he knew I was searching for a topic within aviation and that I was looking for a story and he said, “Kim, let me introduce you to somebody,” and so he invited me into a very coveted Bob Hoover dinner. There were nine or ten very accomplished pilots and myself and I got to be a fly on the wall and listened to Bob’s stories and by the end of that night, I was pretty certain I had a great story.

Larry Jordan: That is so cool. Well, when we talked a year and a half ago, you were in production and post and now you’re in an entirely different position – you’re screening the film. Tell me what’s happening now.

Kim Furst: We’re in a really neat position because the film’s done and now we have chosen to self distribute the film, which is a choice and we think we made the right choice with that. We released on DVD and Blu-Ray last holiday season and we had a diehard bunch of followers by that point. We probably had about five or six thousand people who had been following our progress over the three years it took to make the film.

Kim Furst: By the time we were ready to release, we needed some finishing funds. We actually were in a position where we had a couple of music to pay for, we had our errors and omissions insurance, there were certain hard costs and deferred costs for people who had done stuff, we’d pay them later, and so I was looking as a producer at a couple of offers for distribution that, frankly, for documentaries were solid but there was no upfront, there was no promise of anything and so I borrowed $5,000 and we printed a whole bunch of DVDs, I put them up for sale and we made all the rest of the money we needed for the film and I kind of had one thing going while the other was going and things crossed at the right time.

Kim Furst: We haven’t paid everyone back yet but I’ve got so much to say about this, I’ll just say it in a nutshell – where we are now is we’re selling the DVD, we’ve played all over the country at major aviation events, we’ve done screenings in IMAX theaters like the National Museum of the US Air Force, we’ve played big outdoor amphitheaters like Oshkosh – we had 7,000 people at one screening in the World’s Greatest Fly-In.

Kim Furst: We signed up with a company called Tug, so we’re playing at AMC theaters across the country on a one off basis, which is exciting, and I can tell you more about that later; and we just signed an agreement with an aggregator who’s going to get us on iTunes and we’re going to sign the paperwork so that before this holiday season we’ll be up on Amazon. But so far we’ve been selling off our own website and we’ve just been getting tons of press, we’ve had tons of positive press, lots of quotes from really important film industry as well as aviation industry people, we’ve got a nice thick press book.

Larry Jordan: Kim, I don’t know how to break it to you, but you had 7,000 people watching in Oshkosh. Why aren’t you rich?

Kim Furst: Well, that was free, nobody paid for that one, we gave that one away. Oshkosh is kind of our spiritual home as aviators, so we wanted to give that to the people who were there and it helped spread the word. Ok, that’s 7,000 people who may never buy the DVD, or they may. It’s a film that a lot of people have said they want to go back and watch again because it’s so dense with history and great footage and so there are a lot of people who saw it who may buy it for gifts for people for Christmas and holidays.

Larry Jordan: All right, but put your producer hat back on. I have no doubt that the film is spectacular because you do good work. But you also need to make your money back and pay all your people. You’ve been getting really good coverage, you’ve been getting good press and you still haven’t hit breakeven, so from wearing your producer hat, what keeps you from slashing your wrists? Where’s the money going to come from?

Kim Furst: This is some solid respect I have for distributors because, as a filmmaker, you’re like, “They want to take out all these marketing costs and, gosh, I’m not going to get my money back right away and how do I know where all that’s accounted for?” and if you decide to go independent distribution, roll up your sleeves because you’ve got to be ready to do a lot of hard work, unless you’re going to just let it sit and languish and you’re not really going to distribute it. The thing I’d say is that, yes, we give it away sometimes, we give it away where it’s important to give it away and we want people to know about it.

Kim Furst: For example, Oshkosh gave us a lot of collateral marketing in support in exchange for that, so we look at that. We look at, well, over the course of that week we sold about 450 DVDs and that was all through the EAA, the Oshkosh store. We had a forum, so I was giving forums and Bob always gives forums and we had authors’ corners, so there were a lot of things that we do to show up, to talk about the film and get people aware of it. That’s kind of the cost of awareness. I’ve learned a lot about distribution.

Kim Furst: Tonight, I’m going through forum language translations myself. I’ve sent them to a company to translate but, guess what, when you do your foreign language international version, if you’re the one doing it like a distributor, they have a department for that. But if you’re doing it yourself, you’re not a filmmaker for a little while, you’re a distributor and it’s fun. It’s fun, we know our audience, we love our audience, we feel protective of them, we know where they live, we want to bring this product to them but there are a lot of things that I’ve ended up doing that allow you to see why all these marketing costs come out and it takes a little while, you have to invest back.

Kim Furst: As you’ve made the film, now you don’t just go, “Great, now I’m just going to go make a ton of money out of it.” You have to advertise, you have to get the word out, you have to travel to places, travel to film festivals. Every film festival we do, we get great reviews and they go in our press book and we can publicize those to our fans, but they take money. You have to go and you have to fly there and you have to be there for their forums and talk and it takes work. I used an analogy the other day – I’m in the business right now of creating smoke. This is where we’re at, this is how it’s going and you just have to keep putting the film out there. We had the advantage because we don’t have tons of marketing dollars – as a matter of fact, we have very few – but what we can create is a longer slow burn and you have to stay at it and keep putting yourself out there to your audience.

Larry Jordan: So it’s now a year and a half, two years after this film was done. You’ve completed your sixth film without jumping in front of large moving trucks. Would you hire a distributor for the sixth film?

Kim Furst: We would have hired a distributor on this one if we’d found the right partnership and we didn’t, so in a heartbeat, yes, I would go with a distributor. I would happily give a large chunk of whatever we make to somebody who’s a professional to do it right, and that’s mostly because I’m a filmmaker and I’d like to be making films and when you decide to do this, just know you’re going to be being a distributor for at least a year, in my opinion. This is my opinion but this is what I’ve experienced and I work hard every day distributing this film.

Kim Furst: We’re very excited, though, because Tug – if I can talk about that for a second – is a tremendous tool for independent filmmakers to get their films distributed in movie theaters. What we found was, even though we’ve probably sold about 8,000 DVDs at this point and, in seven or eight months, that’s nothing to sneeze at. We released, I think, right before Christmas so I guess eight, nine months. We’ve had a lot of demands for people seeing it in movie theaters. People still equate, “That’s a big movie, wow, I see it at the AMC. I want to get all my friends together and go see that together in a group,” especially with pilots and aviators. It’s fun, it’s one of those talk back to the screen movies, it’s just fun to watch in a movie theater.

Kim Furst: Tug allows you to contact your local AMC, wherever you live – you can type in your zip code, find out what movie theater near you will screen any film which is associated with Tug, in our case Flying the Feathered Edge, and you can go to the theater, buy your ticket, encourage all your friends to buy their tickets and then you have a bona fide screening. We sold our first one in San Diego a couple of weeks ago.

Larry Jordan: Let’s talk about that for a second. You’ve released on DVD, so you’re getting some income back. But if I remember correctly, you’re also screening in New York. Are you thinking of screening in LA and qualifying for an Oscar?

Kim Furst: I have made the decision that I’m not going to go for that and one of the reasons is there are more hoops to jump through than just that and it’s a financial consideration. If I really felt we had a hardcore shot at an Academy Award, I’d do it in a heartbeat because obviously that’s what every filmmaker wants. But I wouldn’t waste my money on trying to qualify; it just would be such a long shot. That’s not denigrating my film at all, it’s a wonderful, poetic, gorgeous film with Harrison Ford. It’s beautiful, it’s got… and it’s a gorgeous little film, but what we would have to do, we’d have to book out a theater for a week in New York, a week in LA.

Kim Furst: We’d have to buy advertising space – I believe it’s the LA Times and the New York Times – and it has to be a certain size and it has to run for a certain amount of time. There are actually companies that do this for you. You can have a company do your qualification. At the end of the day, we don’t have the money to do a big campaign. We’re staying in our lane and we want to reach our fans and the people who are going to really love this film. We’re not going to try to convince everyone.

Larry Jordan: It sounds spectacular. When are you going to get out of producing and go back into directing again?

Kim Furst: As soon as I get my investors paid back. Seriously, I think about it at night. I stay up and I’m like, “I’ve got to get my investors paid back,” and that’s what motivates me, truly. It’s what keeps me hitting it hard every day, because it matters for your next film. It just matters on a personal level with the people who have trusted you. We didn’t raise a tremendous amount of money, but what we did raise, I feel like my job is done when I get them paid back plus a dollar and then I can go, “Ok, great, now I’m going to move on to what I’m doing next.” I’ve still got my teeth sunk in this one.

Larry Jordan: For people who want to help you pay off your investors, where can they go on the web to learn more about you and the movie?

Kim Furst: That is an excellent question. Please go, to see an incredible aviation documentary – you’ll never look at an airplane the same way again – thebobhooverproject.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s the bobhooverproject.com and Kim Furst is the producer and the director. Kim, thanks for joining us today. We’ll keep in touch. Thanks. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: It’s time for a Buzz Flashback. Five years ago today…

Unknown male (archive): So obviously, with all of our cards, you get a software there, which is Media Express. Media Express is a free piece of software that enables you to capture and play back video. The great thing with the Decklink HD Extreme card is it enables you to capture that 3D footage into Media Express and then combine two signals, so maybe your left and your right, into one single 3D output.

Larry Jordan: This was a Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: I’ve enjoyed following Kim as she’s put this film together because she’s shared more information with us than most producers do in terms of how she is putting the whole package together. It’s not just about making the film, which is fun, or writing the film or editing the film, which is all a piece of it.

Larry Jordan: But then at the end, you’ve got to make money on the film so you can afford the next film and I’ve been fascinated with the work that’s involved, as Kim has explained it to us, in terms of how she has funded the film and now how she’s earning the money back. I also understand that she’s been so aggressive in recruiting audience members that her web fans are buying the DVDs, which is giving her the money that she needs to be able to finish the film and to release it theatrically, as well as develop other avenues. It’s an interesting conversation. We’ll have Kim back a little later and see how the whole film resolves itself.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests – Carlos Grijalva and Rob Tharp, who are the co-founders of Grijalva Films; Philip Hodgetts, the CEO of Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System; and Kim Furst, documentary filmmaker of Flying the Feathered Edge.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com. You’ll find thousands of interviews all available to you at a moment’s notice.

Larry Jordan: Visit with us on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner, with additional music provided by smartsound.com. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription – visit take1.tv to learn how they can help you.

Larry Jordan: Our producer is Cirina Catania; our engineering team is led by Meagan Paulos and includes Ed Golya, Keegan Guy, Hannah Dean, James Miller and Brianna Murphy. My name is Larry Jordan. Mike Horton is off today but he will be back and he’s with us tonight in spirit and both of us say thanks for joining us for The Digital Production Buzz.

Announcer #1: 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; and by Xen Data, who provides highly competitive digital video archive solutions.

Digital Production Buzz – September 17, 2015

Join Larry Jordan as he talks with Carlos Grijalva, Rob Tharp, Philip Hodgetts, and Kim Furst.

View Show Transcript

Watch the Full Episode

Tech TalkMultichannel Audio in FCPX
With co-host Larry Jordan
SPONSORED BY Key Code Media

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Buzz on iTunesTranscript

Guests this Week

Carlos Grijalva
Carlos Grijalva, Director/Producer, Grijalva Films
Carlos Grijalva & Rob Tharp are co-founders of Grijalva Films, a San Diego-based production house specializing in aerial cinematography and unique camera perspectives using drones. What makes them unique is that they started their production company right out of high-school. Tonight, we talk with them about the challenges of flying and filming with drones.
Rob Tharp
Rob Tharp, Producer/Cinematographer, Grijalva Films
Carlos Grijalva & Rob Tharp are co-founders of Grijalva Films, a San Diego-based production house specializing in aerial cinematography and unique camera perspectives using drones. What makes them unique is that they started their production company right out of high-school. Tonight, we talk with them about the challenges of flying and filming with drones.
Philip Hodgetts
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
FCPExpo was a new event at IBC this year, focused on the community of vendors and products surrounding Final Cut Pro X. Philip Hodgetts, President of Lumberjack System and Co-Founder of Intelligent Assistance, attended the show and reports on what happened, as well as the SuperMeet and IBC itself.
Kim Furst
Kim Furst, Producer / Director, Kilo Foxtrot Films
Kim Furst is an award-winning documentary film producer, director and editor. “Flying the Feathered Edge” is Kim’s fifth aviation documentary and currently in theatrical release as an independent film. Tonight we talk with Kim about her marketing and distribution plans. Is she thinking about qualifying for an Oscar?

Transcript: Digital Production BuZZ – September 10, 2015

Digital Production Buzz

September 10, 2015

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

(Click here to listen to this show.)

HOST
Larry Jordan
GUESTS
Wes Plate, President, Automatic Duck
Michael Horton, Co-Host, Digital Production Buzz
Randi Altman, Editor-in-Chief, postPerspective
Michael Kammes, Director of Technology, Key Code Media
Josh Apter, Founder & President, Manhattan Edit Workshop
===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, there’s big news from Red Giant software. They’ve teamed with Wes Plate and released two new Automatic Duck plug-ins. Tonight, Wes – the founder and President of Automatic Duck – joins us to explain their new products and partnership.

Larry Jordan: Next, the huge IBC trade show starts tomorrow and two of The Buzz team are in Amsterdam covering the event – Mike Horton and Randi Altman. We have reports from both of them this evening, setting the scene the day before IBC starts.

Larry Jordan: Next, Josh Apter is a filmmaker and the founder of the Manhattan Edit Workshop. Tonight, he shares his thoughts on the latest trends in cinematography and the visual side of storytelling.

Larry Jordan: Finally tonight, we have a major update to Tech Talk. Michael Kammes from Key Code Media joins us as co-host tonight. Michael presents our first look at some new hardware, the Avid ISIS 1000.

Larry Jordan: All this and a Buzz Flashback. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer #1: Tonight’s Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at macsales.com; and by XenData, at xendata.com.

Announcer #2: 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 and marketing around the world. Our co-host, Mike Horton, is currently in Amsterdam for IBC and we’ll talk with him later in the program. Also, Randi Altman will join us a bit later as well.

Larry Jordan: I’m delighted to announce a new partnership between Key Code Media and The Buzz. One of the most requested features for this show is more product demos and the Key Code partnership is an opportunity for us to do just that. Michael Kammes, the VP of Technology for Key Code Media and I will be hosting these sessions. Michael will focus on hardware for the professional video market, while I’ll be looking at software. Michael’s first presentation is tonight, with a detailed look at the Avid ISIS 1000.

Larry Jordan: My hope is that we can quickly expand our product coverage that we talk about on the show so that we can not only talk about the latest technology, but show you how it works as well. If there’s something specific you’d like us to cover, just drop me a note.

Larry Jordan: In other big news, Adobe announced new versions of its professional video products which they’ll be demoing at IBC. The most interesting announcements to me are support for Ultra HD and high dynamic range media in both Premiere and After Effects, along with the addition of touch support for Premiere, After Effects and Character Animator using the Microsoft Surface and Apple iPad Pro tablets. The new versions will be demoed at IBC but a release date has not yet been set. Updates will be free to all creative cloud subscribers.

Larry Jordan: And thinking about staying current, I want to remind you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com. This gives you an inside look at The Buzz and the industry we’re in, plus quick links to all the different segments on the show. The newsletter is free and releases every Friday. I’ll be back with Wes Plate and some big announcements right after this.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Wes Plate, Michael Horton, Randi Altman, Josh Apter, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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. That’s macsales.com.

Larry Jordan: Wes Plate is the President and founder of Automatic Duck, which started as a father and son team in 2001. They specialize in creating timeline translation software. Tonight, Wes joins us to talk about new products and a new partnership between Automatic Duck and Red Giant. Hello, Wes, welcome.

Wes Plate: Hi, Larry, it’s great to see you.

Larry Jordan: It’s great to have you back. Every time we visit, I enjoy our chats and I need to start by asking a question. I thought that you were still with Adobe. What have you been doing?

Wes Plate: I actually left Adobe at the beginning of 2014. I was at Adobe for just over two years and at the beginning of 2014 I took some time off, dad and I did some traveling independently and also together – we did a great hike in Peru – and basically around that time we started wondering how we could work together again, what we would do, and we kind of missed the… We still had Automatic Duck as something that we had access to and so we thought, “Well, Automatic Duck should do something,” so we’ve been working ever since then on bringing Automatic Duck back.

Larry Jordan: I was stunned to get the announcement yesterday from Red Giant saying they are now releasing two brand new Automatic Duck plug-ins. Let’s start first with why the relationship with Red Giant and then we’ll talk next about what the new toys are.

Wes Plate: Sure. I think when Harry and I were considering bringing Automatic Duck back, we had to consider what the tool or product we were going to create was and then also we had to consider the logistics of bringing a company back from basically zero. We wanted to partner with somebody who could help us with that and Red Giant’s got a fantastic network of users, as well as… marketing and their website’s beautiful and they’re just also a really smart group of people that we can work with in a collaborative way, so it allows us to focus on development of product. They can help us with the marketing and they can also help us with running what we might do, give us ideas and also their engineering… can collaborate on projects and create something together.

Larry Jordan: I remember several years ago, did Adobe buy the Automatic Duck products? In other words, what’s the relationship between Adobe and Red Giant and Automatic Duck?

Wes Plate: Oh, Automatic Duck has independent relationships with each of those two companies. Adobe licensed technology from us in 2011 and that acquired technology then made its way into After Effects, as well as into Premiere Pro. What they purchased was technology, not the company, so we then brought Automatic Duck back and that’s when we said, “Hey, we’d like to make something new. Hey, Red Giant, what do you think about partnering with us?” and they were down with it and so we had a lot of conversations about how this might work. We’re super excited about it and I certainly know Red Giant is excited too. I think it’s going to open up a lot of possibilities for both of us.

Larry Jordan: So the translation software that Adobe has is different from the translation software that you released just yesterday with Red Giant, is that true?

Wes Plate: That’s correct.

Larry Jordan: Then tell me what the new toys are because I’m all anxious to learn more.

Wes Plate: In 2014, when we were trying to figure out what to do next, it coincided with me trying to figure out why people liked Final Cut 10 so much. I kept hearing great things about Final Cut 10 and so I set out to learn what the enjoyment they were getting was. Anyway, I started to really enjoy it. I set my mind to learning it and I loved the editing tools and then, as I was working, I realized I needed to get to After Effects. I needed this tool to get from Final Cut 10 to After Effects and at the time all that was available wasn’t working.

Wes Plate: There was a lot of crashing and the solution of the time wasn’t working, so I said, “Well, there’s got to be a way that Automatic Duck can come up with something that has what people expect from Automatic Duck, a level of translation, to do what people know us for,” and so it made sense for us to think about this Final Cut 10 to After Effects plug-in. So that’s what we’ve got now, is a tool called Automatic Duck Ximport AE. It’s an After Effects plug-in that lives in After Effects and it imports Final Cut 10 .xml files.

Larry Jordan: Ximport AE. Clearly some heavy marketing going on here. So what does it do?

Wes Plate: It builds a bridge between Final Cut 10 and After Effects so that you can use Final Cut 10 to mock-up, maybe get your timings all set up, maybe rough out some composites, but use it as a tool to arrange your shots that then can feed into After Effects so that you can use After Effects for its compositing tools and whatever animation you want to do.

Wes Plate: After Effects has a great interoperability because it’s made by Adobe and Final Cut 10 obviously doesn’t have that and so we’re kind of providing that same bridge of technology that we used to, the idea of that timeline translation technology from the past but we’re applying it to Final Cut 10, so we’re building a bridge so that you can work in Final Cut and, when you’re ready, bring all that stuff into After Effects really quickly with a high level of fidelity of translation, really making the tools work together almost like they’re one but much more seamlessly.

Larry Jordan: Now, do I consider this a dynamic link where I’ve got dynamic conversation going between the two apps? Or is it step by step? How does that work?

Wes Plate: It’s mostly a one way translation that you might do towards the end of a process, because it is not dynamically updating between the two applications. Basically you take a snapshot in time in Final Cut Pro when you export this .xml file and so then our plug-in will read that .xml file into After Effects, turning it into an After Effects composition. Every shot… layer. When you’re done in After Effects, then, you’ll render out a QuickTime movie, just the way that you normally would, then the editor can import that QuickTime render back into Final Cut Pro and cut it back into their piece.

Larry Jordan: I want to make sure I’m clear. What we’re doing is we’re exporting .xml using the standard .xml export from Final Cut. Your plug-in takes over once that .xml is created? Or are you a menu item that’s doing both the .xml export and the conversion to After Effects?

Wes Plate: Right now, it’s a plug-in in After Effects. The export out of Final Cut Pro step is done just using the standard Final Cut .xml export command from the file menu.

Larry Jordan: One of the challenges we’ve had working with Final Cut 10 .xml is that stuff like compound clips and multicam clips don’t necessarily export as well as we would like. Are there features within Final Cut that are not supported within your plug-in? In other words, can I apply effects and have those effects transfer to After Effects or do I need to just use raw clips and just use it from a timing point of view? Where are the limitations?

Wes Plate: There certainly are limitations. We have to take an approach of what can we do with as little loss as possible? If there is going to be something that we can’t do, a really direct translation that’s 100 percent accurate, then we may not approach that translation. But we’re able to do things like scale, position, rotation and opacity, volume, key frames. All those things can be animated, so in addition to a passage you could have your blending mode, speed changes, time remapping as well as constant speed.

Wes Plate: Third party effects translate with our tool, which allow you to apply something like, let’s say, color … from Red Giant. You could apply that in Final Cut Pro. It doesn’t have to be applied in After Effects using our plug-in with the exact same settings. The user’s guide lists all the stuff that translates and then anything that falls out of that list will be something that won’t come through. You will still get the raw clip for whatever it can translate, but since it’s all live in After Effects you can fix up whatever scaling you might need to adjust. It’s all still live and so it’s a very rich translation. Don’t get me wrong, certainly it’s not everything or 100 percent.

Larry Jordan: Now, that’s the first of two tools, that’s the Ximport AE, which is so brilliantly named, it just rolls off the tongue.

Wes Plate: It’s beautiful.

Larry Jordan: What’s the other one?

Wes Plate: The other one is brilliantly named as well, Larry, you’ll love it – it’s called Media Copy – and you’ll never guess what it does.

Larry Jordan: I hesitate to even guess, actually.

Wes Plate: I should have given you a chance to guess. So we have this other tool called Automatic Duck Media Copy, which is actually coming into version 4. This is a product that Automatic Duck used to sell a number of years ago and was particularly popular with Avid users. What this product does is read an Avid .aaf file, even an Avid .bin file or an .omf, I guess, for that matter. Also .xml from Final Cut 7 and we’ve also now added the ability for it to support Final Cut 10 .xml. What Media Copy does is it looks at that file and says, “What media is referenced by this sequence or referenced by the clips in this .bin?” and then it just copies those files to a location that you specify.

Wes Plate: It can be really handy if you need to move a sequence from Final Cut 10 on one computer to After Effects artists down the room or down the street. It can also be helpful if you just want to isolate the media for a project so that you can archive it, for example. That’s what a lot of Avid users have told us they do with it. It takes a tool that can be pretty tedious in the NLE – all the NLEs have some kind of tool for moving media – but it kind of keeps it in that NLE sandbox in a way. In the case of Avid, it creates a whole bunch of clips that an editor might not want to have in their bin, so it’s a simple way to take the media that’s associated with a project and just move it or copy it to another computer.

Larry Jordan: With Avid, the media is stored separately from the project file, but in Final Cut 10 you have the option of storing media in essentially a bundle which is inside the library. If I’ve got media stored inside the library bundle, can you still grab it and copy it?

Wes Plate: Yes, we can still find that media and copy it to a new location that will basically pull it out of the bundle; and then the After Effects plug-in, when it’s searching for media, is smart enough to search the system for those media files even though they have a different path than the .xml file states.

Larry Jordan: That is very cool, because dealing with a bundle has caused a lot of problems for a lot of people.

Wes Plate: Yes, and it can be handy to have everything in one place, but it also – like you say – causes problems and confusion.

Larry Jordan: Well, I recommend that for people who are new to Final Cut, storing media inside the library simplifies your life tremendously because you know where it is, but it’s hard to open up that bundle and pull media out without breaking your project. And again, you’re not moving media, you’re creating a copy of it. Essentially, you’re collecting it into a separate location, either for archiving or additional processing. Is that a true statement?

Wes Plate: That’s right. We don’t ever move media, which implies that the first location is going to have its media deleted. We’re always creating new files in the destination location.

Larry Jordan: Is this the start of multiple applications or is this just that you were bored and your team decided to do something and this is a stopgap until something else comes along and you take that motorcycle trip across the country? Or are we going to be seeing and hearing more from Automatic Duck in the future?

Wes Plate: The hope is that this will be the start of a new phase with Automatic Duck and, partnered with Red Giant, we’re going to be able to create more tools over time. We’ve got more ideas than we have time to implement them all and we’re going to be trying to figure out which of those ideas we’re going to tackle next. Some things are bigger than others, but we definitely have room to grow and we have plans to grow as well.

Larry Jordan: Red Giant specializes in creating effects which change looks – I’m thinking of Magic Bullet and Trapcode Suite and all the other incredible tools they’ve got. You’ve got something totally different. You’re not changing the look, you’re actually providing utilities for moving files from Point A to Point B. Why did you decide to partner with Red Giant? There’s not a one for one relationship between what you create and what the bulk of their products are.

Wes Plate: That’s true. I think it’s a nice synergy. We provide a different kind of product than they’ve had in their catalog until now, so I think that this is a nice supplement to what they’ve already been offering to their users. They’ve been offering these looks and these effect plug-ins for some time, but now Red Giant can offer a really great utility tool that complements those effects that their users already have.

Wes Plate: The ability to translate third party plug-ins is a great big benefit to all those users. Even though we are supporting plug-ins from other vendors besides Red Giant – the plug-in supports plug-ins from Boris, Digital Anarchy, Noise Industries – and so we certainly want to make sure we get as much coverage as we can. It’s also a nice thing… at Red Giant, that they happen to make at plug-ins that we’ve made sure that they translate.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, you and your dad started Automatic Duck almost 14 years ago. Is he still talking to you and is he involved with the development?

Wes Plate: Oh yes, he’s immensely involved. He’s doing great. It’s been 15 years since we started the development, you’re right. We’re still getting along great and, you know, it’s never easy working with family but we’ve developed a really great relationship.

Larry Jordan: It’s really hard to turn your back and walk away. They just keep hanging around. What are you looking at in the future? What trends are you keeping your eye on? I’m not asking for new product, but what’s caught your attention and is there some special opportunities as we start to move, with Adobe’s announcement yesterday of support, into high dynamic range media or as we move into four, five, even 8K images? Are there utilities that we need to keep our eyes on or is this media just bigger but the same as what we’re dealing with now?

Wes Plate: Oh boy. When we deal with media for our stuff, it’s just a file that we’re referencing. When I’m working as an editor, even, I rarely think about my media any more, so if it’s big or small, it almost doesn’t even matter from the perspective that I take, so I don’t necessarily have a very insightful view. What I look to is how editors can be most efficient with their workflows and what stumbling blocks in the NLE might they hit that they have to do 50 clicks to get something done, and maybe that could be streamlined? So my interest is always in trying to keep the creative flow of users in that state of just creating instead of having to be clicking and working with technology that gets in that way. So I continue to look to that and I think that transcends even files because that’s truly just a way of working beyond technology.

Larry Jordan: Are you seeing an increasing interest in collaboration? I’m thinking Avid’s had collaboration between editors down for a long time and Adobe’s continuing to experiment with Adobe Anywhere. Final Cut right now is one editor per library. Are you seeing an increasing need for collaboration in terms of multiple people in the same files at the same time?

Wes Plate: I certainly hear the need for that. In the places that I go and the people I talk to, I hear that that’s one of the major remaining criticisms of Final Cut 10, although I know that there are people and companies out there that are trying to figure out ways around that one system, one editor, one library limitation. I don’t know that I’m aware of necessarily the technologies that other companies might be developing, I’m not too up on all that, but I know that it’s certainly an issue.

Larry Jordan: It’s interesting, because I suspect that if collaboration was easy, we would have it already. But we know that with Adobe Anywhere, Adobe’s been experimenting with providing collaboration, but it’s not a trivial solution. That’s some serious hardware and software, to be able to get that to work.

Wes Plate: Yes, I was quite au fait with Adobe Anywhere during my time when I was at Adobe and I was amazed at how complex that program is; and you’re right, the more integrated you want that system to be, the seamless handout between stuff, the harder I think it is and so when you look at the kind of collaboration Automatic Duck is making possible with Ximport AE, it’s allowing Final Cut 10 and After Effects to collaborate in a new way.

Wes Plate: It’s not 100 percent seamless where you just click a button and now all of a sudden magically appears. You have to click five times, but it’s still a whole lot better than just starting from scratch and rebuilding and it still is a kind of collaboration, because… to work together all the time, and I think we’ll always be looking for ways that we can make that even better.

Larry Jordan: And I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Welcome back, by the way, it’s good to have you back on the scene, you’ve been quiet for too long.

Wes Plate: Thanks, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Are we buying the product from Automatic Duck or from Red Giant? And where do we go on the web to see it?

Wes Plate: All the sales are handled through Red Giant’s website now, so if you want an Automatic Duck product, you can go to redgiant.com. We also have stuff at automaticduck.com, information about the products and as well you can still access the old Final Cut 7 plug-ins from a long time ago from automaticduck.com. So check out both those places for information about the new stuff.

Larry Jordan: The key website is automaticduck.com. Wes Plate is the co-founder of Automatic Duck, the President and one of the chief bottle washers. Wes, thanks for joining us today.

Wes Plate: It’s great to see you Larry. Bye

Larry Jordan: Take care. See you soon.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Michael Horton, Randi Altman, Josh Apter, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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Larry Jordan: Normally, Mike Horton is sitting across the table from me, but today he’s not across the table, he’s across the ocean. He’s in Amsterdam getting ready to go to IBC and host the legendary Supermeet at IBC. Michael, are you with us?

Mike Horton: I am here. I’m here on the beautiful [FOREIGN DIALOG] Street in Amsterdam, which is in the heart of the Jordaan area, which is one of the most beautiful areas of Amsterdam and as a matter of fact, if I’m going to give you a little travelogue here, if you ever go to Amsterdam, this is where you want to stay, right here in the Jordaan area because it is the place that you’ve always imagined Amsterdam to be with all the canals and the churches and the beautiful 1600 built buildings. It is the most beautiful city ever.

Larry Jordan: Are you spending any time getting ready for the Supermeet or are you just kicking back being a vacationer today?

Mike Horton: Actually, I just got back 30 minutes ago from the RAI, which is where the big IBC trade show is, and I just dropped off a bunch of promotional material at various booths there. For those of you who do not know what IBC is, essentially it’s NAB here in Europe and where NAB is the place where they announce the products, IBC is the place that they ship the products. That’s pretty much it. And then we do the Supermeet on Sunday September 13th here in Dam Square at the Hotel Krasnapolsky and we’ve done this now for eight years.

Larry Jordan: I remember that was where I had a change to give a speech a few years ago, when we talked about Final Cut 10.

Mike Horton: Yes you did.

Larry Jordan: That’s a beautiful old hotel. It’s a spectacular location. How many people are you expecting for the event?

Mike Horton: We usually get about 500 people and we expect this to be the same, if not more, because we have the legendary sound editor Walter Murch, who’s our guest. You have been in Walter Murch’s place before in Supermeet Amsterdam and now Walter Murch is at the Supermeet Amsterdam so, Larry, you’re in very good company.

Larry Jordan: I’m in extraordinarily good company. Have you had a chance to see any of the preparation for IBC? How big is the show itself?

Mike Horton: Yes I did. I was at the show floor today, at the RAI, and I did some undercover work as much as I possibly could, but the problem is the companies there are doing better undercover work than I could possibly do. I went to the Sony booth to see what this new camera that they’re going to announce is going to be. I couldn’t see anything anywhere where this new camera that they’re going to announce is going to be, but I imagine it’s going to be some sort of 8K kind of thing like Canon announced.

Mike Horton: So I couldn’t find anything there, and then I went to these other places and I know Atomos has just introduced the Shogun Studio and they had big, huge signs all over the RAI convention center, along with Blackmagic. It was like who can do the biggest signs, Atomos or Blackmagic? It was just all over the place, and they’re out-Sonying each other. It was just this massive Blackmagic here, Atomos here, Blackmagic. It was incredible.

Mike Horton: But it’s so much fun and, I mean, I’m out here right now. It’s, what, seven o’clock now or something like that in Amsterdam and it is a beautiful day. It’s a gorgeous, sunny, sunny day although in the next couple of days it’s going to be raining, but I’m enjoying myself right now.

Larry Jordan: Well, Michael, I appreciate you taking time out of your evening, our morning – because we recorded this a few hours before the show to talk with us. Is there still room for people to sign up for the Supermeet? And, if so, where do they go?

Mike Horton: Oh, absolutely, we never turn anybody away, and this really is going to be one of the best shows that we’ve had in a long, long time so if anybody happens to be in Amsterdam at this time, the Supermeet really is the place to be because you’ll meet a lot of very, very smart people and you’ll learn a lot and that’s the whole idea of these events, just to show up and network and meet people who are much smarter than you, learn something and go home maybe with a raffle prize, who knows? There are 68,000 Euros’ worth of raffle prices.

Larry Jordan: What website can people go to?

Mike Horton: Supermeet.com. It’s that easy.

Larry Jordan: Mike Horton is the co-host for The Buzz. He’s over in Amsterdam getting ready for IBC. He’s also the legendary co-founder of the Supermeets and the one in Amsterdam is coming up this Sunday. The website is supermeet.com. Mike, thanks for joining us today.

Mike Horton: Thanks Larry, have a great show and I will see you in a couple of weeks.

Larry Jordan: I look forward to it. Travel safely and have a great Sunday.

Mike Horton: I shall. See you later.

Larry Jordan: We started our conversation about IBC with Mike Horton. Now we turn to the hard news front and we’re chatting with Randi Altman. Randi is the Editor in Chief of postperspective.com and a regular news correspondent on all things related to post. Hello, Randi, how are you?

Randi Altman: Hi, Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: We are doing great. It’s sunny, it’s warm and I understand it’s going to be raining tomorrow in Amsterdam. I wish I was there.

Randi Altman: Oh no! Well, today was a gorgeous day, so sorry you missed it. It was actually sunny and bright and beautiful, even at the RAI.

Larry Jordan: I know that it’s in the evening and we pre-tape this because you just refuse to stay up until three o’clock in the morning to join us live on the show, but what are you looking forward to at IBC? How are you going to cover the show?

Randi Altman: Well, personally I’m going to be walking around with my iOgrapher camera rig interviewing people, finding out the elevator pitch on what’s new and then I’m allowing my readers to go and try to investigate it a little bit more on their own. But there’s a lot going on. Little dribs and drabs have been announced prior to the show – 8K is now a big part of the conversation, thanks to Canon’s development of an 8K camera reference monitor, so I’m going to find out what people really think about 8K – do they need it? Do they want it?

Larry Jordan: Mike Horton was talking about the fact that it looked like there were dueling booths going on with Atomos and Blackmagic Design, each trying to outdo the other, and Sony is getting ready to introduce a new 8K camera. It sounds like we’re going to be seeing some new announcements, not just shipping product as we were expecting. Is that your take as well?

Randi Altman: Yes, absolutely. Also, Tangent Panels introduced a new affordable and small footprint panel that is good for editors and VFX artists, not just dedicated color graders. They were clear in saying that this is a prototype and that the design might change, the features might change, but they’re showing that, so there are companies here with new products that, if it’s not ready at the show, will be ready in early 2016.

Larry Jordan: What else are you looking forward to seeing? You’ve already mentioned virtual reality. Is there a booth that you want to take a look at in particular?

Randi Altman: I’m just going to wander around, and that’s going to be a big part of my show as well. While I do make some appointments, the rest of the time is spent just kind of wandering the different halls that maybe I’m not familiar with to find something new. RED is going to be here with a small booth but they may be talking in partnership, so there’s a lot going on. It’s going to be an interesting show and I’m looking forward to finding out what everybody’s planning on doing.

Larry Jordan: You’re going to see what the news is and you’re going to report it.

Randi Altman: I will. That is my goal, yes.

Larry Jordan: Randi, do you cover press conferences? Or do you just travel the show floor?

Randi Altman: I do press conferences. Quantel and Snell are going to have a press conference tomorrow and I believe they’re going to introduce a brand new name for the company. There’s going to be an AJA press conference where I expect some new products. So yes, I’ll be going to some press events, press conferences and also just visiting booths solo.

Larry Jordan: And for people who want to keep track of what you see that’s new and that we need to pay attention to, where can they go on the web?

Randi Altman: They can go to postperspective.com. I will also be tweeting and I’m going to have some blogs from post pros who are wandering the show for me and giving me their perspective, so there’ll be a lot going on.

Larry Jordan: And the main website is postperspective.com. Randi Altman is the Editor in Chief; Randi, thanks for joining us today.

Randi Altman: Thanks, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Josh Apter, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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

Larry Jordan: Then I added new techniques and new ways of working that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. I updated our workflow and editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut Pro 10 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 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 our training for one low monthly price. Both are incredible value. Thanks.

Larry Jordan: Tonight, we have a big change to Tech Talk. The Buzz has partnered with Key Code Media to provide more in-depth product demos of professional video products. Michael Kammes of Key Code Media and I will co-host these presentations. Tonight, I’m delighted to welcome Michael Kammes to Tech Talk.

Voiceover: Welcome to Tech Talk, sponsored by Key Code Media.

Michael Kammes: There comes a time in the life of every editor to make that hard decision – do I work with local storage or do I invest in something a bit more robust? Do I worry about media management and duplication with multiple editors or do I bite that bullet and invest in central life storage that everyone can access?

Michael Kammes: When your productions end up moving to centralized storage, you need to balance cost as well as the features that your demanding editors need. It’s been rare to find that until now, and that’s why I’m super stoked to show you the new Avid ISIS 1000.

Michael Kammes: You’re probably thinking, “Hey, Michael, since Avid made this, I bet it only works with Media Composer or Pro Tools.” That’s not the case. The 1000 does not require working with Media Composer or Pro Tools. It’s open collaboration for both third party applications like Final Cut Pro 10, Premiere Pro and even DaVinci Resolve.

Michael Kammes: Let’s run down some of the facts about the Avid ISIS 1000. First, the 1000 delivers about 300 to 350 megabytes a second of performance up to the switch. That’s about 20 streams of 1080p ProRes. All systems are connected via a single or dual one… connection, plenty of bandwidth for a vast majority of the camera formats out there.

Michael Kammes: There’s 20 terabytes of storage, 16 of which are usable. That means your data is protected if a drive dies. The 1000 also supports up to 25 real time connected clients. You can also stack up to four of the ISIS 1000s for up to 80 terabytes of storage; and lastly, the 1000 uses mirrored flash SSDs to increase performance with metadata and OS.

Michael Kammes: A tech note from me wouldn’t be complete without some important notes that you need to be aware of. First, the 1000 is not direct attached storage. The 1000 requires a switch connected by a 10… uplink only. Luckily, Avid sanctioned several inexpensive switches, including those from Dell and Netgear, and even has bundles where you can get the storage and the switch from one place.

Michael Kammes: We’ve also found the 1000 is fairly loud, so I wouldn’t recommend having it in your edit bay. Put it with the rest of your network gear in a climate controlled room.

Michael Kammes: Well, enough with me. Let’s actually see the thing. Here you go.

Michael Kammes: Jumping into collaborative workflows, as I mentioned earlier, you can access ISIS 1000 media inside Final Cut Pro 10, Premiere Pro and Resolve. As an example, here we are in Final Cut Pro 10. While Final Cut Pro 10 doesn’t currently support multiple editors inside the same library at the same time regardless of what storage you have, the ISIS 1000 does allow multiple editors to access the same media at the same time all on one protected place. Avid has also made several tweaks under the hood to more efficiently stream media to and from your Mac systems and to be utilized to the fullest extent during playback by Final Cut Pro 10.

Michael Kammes: For those of you who work inside Premiere, the workflow is very similar. Multiple editors can mount the same volumes or, as Avid calls them, workspaces and all editors – if given permission – can work with the same copies of media in real time. No concurrent editors in the same project, however, without Adobe Anywhere. Media Composer still has the market cornered on concurrently shared projects.

Michael Kammes: Many folks seem to think that running shared storage is something for IT folks or us tech heads and, while the ISIS 1000 certainly does have high end administrative features, it’s still simple enough to handle through a basic web interface. Here, you have the ability to log into the ISIS 1000 via your edit station’s web browser and handle your basic functions. You can look at the virtual workspaces you’ve created, as well as how much space in that workspace has been used and how much is still free.

Michael Kammes: You can also manipulate what users can take advantage of in that workspace. Triggers can also be set as warnings when the workspace is about to run out of free space, but don’t worry – you can grow and shrink the space available with a few mouse clicks from your web browser.

Michael Kammes: I personally really dig the ability in the web interface to see which clients are connected and how much bandwidth they’re using, as well as the total bandwidth out of the box. I want to make sure I’m getting the most bang for my buck.

Michael Kammes: I’m jazzed to see heavy iron shrunk down and made affordable for smaller edit shops. Collaborative editing is increasingly important for media creation, which is where the Avid ISIS 100 shines.

Michael Kammes: Got tech questions? I’ve got the tech answers. Hit me up on one of the links below. I’m Michael Kammes of Key Code Media.

Larry Jordan: Josh Apter is a practicing filmmaker and the founder and President of Manhattan Edit Workshop, a training company in New York City. He’s also hosting the upcoming MEW Shop Sight, Sound and Story workshop focusing on cinematography. Hello, Josh, welcome.

Josh Apter: Welcome. How you doing?

Larry Jordan: I am talking to you, I’m doing great. I was just thinking about your workshop coming up – how would you define cinematography?

Josh Apter: Wow. Do we have another 16 minutes? Cinematography to me is really this extension of the director’s vision. I make movies and I co-direct with a cinematographer and we generally have this really interesting symbiotic relationship where he understands how to visualize things that we’ll either co-write or I’ll write and I think I look at that relationship between the cinematographer and the director as this very collaborative unit that is together a filmmaker, in a way.

Larry Jordan: Yes, but that’s a pretty vague statement. Is the cinematography worrying about the camera, about lighting? And where does the cinematographer end and production design begin?

Josh Apter: You bring up a great point because filmmaking is such a collaborative art form. I’ve talked to people about this, you can be a writer and write by yourself in a room and create incredible works of art; you can be a painter and isolate yourself and be an incredibly prolific and successful artist. But to be a filmmaker, you are working with a large number of people and, in a best case scenario, you’re letting their talents shine and letting them bring what they can to the situation and hopefully everybody has a common vision or the vision changes based on the strengths of the people coming to the production.

Josh Apter: Production design is incredibly important, cinematography is incredibly important, the direction, the acting. There are so many elements at play that it’s almost where does any of it end and begin when you’re really talking about these important elements of the process? So much of it is moving at the same time that, to me, it’s amazing that anything gets done.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, you’re a filmmaker yourself. When you hire a cinematographer to work with you, clearly there has to be a level of experience and trust, but are you hiring them for their camera skills and framing or are you hiring them for their ability to light?

Josh Apter: Both. I’m lucky, I’ve been working with the same cinematographer, he’s my directing partner also, but we’ve been working together since the mid-‘90s and so I no longer need to even speak out loud. The way we work together is whatever’s written there or whatever the idea is – and we improvise a lot too – he generally can understand what I’m hoping that it looks like, the visual style in terms of camera movement and lighting, and we discuss that, we toss it around. In some cases, we don’t have time to do either of those things and then we just try to grab it… light before everyone has to go home and do their day jobs.

Larry Jordan: Thinking about this, I know you’ve got a conference coming up called Sight, Sound & Story: The Art of Cinematography, and I want to talk with you about that in just a minute. But I was just thinking, are you seeing a lot of change in the field of cinematography right now or is it pretty much the same? Camera change all the time, lights change all the time, but has the craft changed because of that?

Josh Apter: It’s funny, I’m looking on my phone because just as we were talking, this Kickstarter campaign for, I think it’s called Steady XP or something, it’s a stabilization system that’s just been developed where it’s an attachment to your camera that mounts on the cold shoe that monitors your movement and then, with some software interpolation, it can counteract the camera’s movement by negating the wave forms. It will turn handheld cinematography into almost Steadicam-like cinematography.

Josh Apter: In that sense, it’s changing dramatically every day. You’re seeing what’s going on with drone cinematography and putting those capabilities into a lot of other people’s hands. The barrier of entry is a lot lower financially and this is similar to the way it was in editing. Because you can learn Final Cut Pro by bootlegging a copy and learning the buttons over a weekend, that doesn’t necessarily make you an editor in the sense that you understand rhythm and timing and character and the shape of something like that, and I think just because you have these tools and a lot of toys – and believe me, there are plenty of toys out there and they’re all getting newer and better and cheaper and bigger and with more pixels – it doesn’t necessarily make everyone who can afford them a cinematographer, so that discipline remains identical in a way. It’s about telling a story using light and image and those things are the same way whether you’re shooting on film or pneumatic tape or shooting on 8K.

Larry Jordan: I would prefer to shoot on 8K than pneumatic tape, but having done…

Josh Apter: It’s the work of the devil, right?

Larry Jordan: So that gets me to, I think, a challenge that I’ve been thinking about myself – how do we train people to understand what the craft of cinematography is, because it’s easy to get distracted by all the toys; which leads me into the speaker series you’ve got, so tell me about that.

Josh Apter: The first question about how to teach it, I think in the early days of the, quote, DSLR revolution I was teaching classes with a gentleman you may know, Jem Schofield from THEC47 and it was remarkable how much the discipline resembled film in that we were working with regular lenses, we had manual exposure control and you had to understand certain things in a way that you didn’t have to when you had point and shoot video cameras with zoom rockers and auto focus and it really brought some of that film discipline back into the training of cinematography, so I thought that was terrific.

Josh Apter: You’ll never be able to teach people to not see what they’re shooting until it gets back from the lab. You’ll never be able to recreate the excitement of that. Video assist is great, playback is great, I don’t think anyone would ever go back if they could, but there are certain things that are just different now and for good reason.

Larry Jordan: On the other hand, waiting until the next day to realize that you’ve entirely screwed up the entire day’s shoot because you had a hair in the gate, I don’t want to go through that feeling either, so there are pluses and minuses here.

Josh Apter: Right, and just like no editor that I’ve met who started in film and went to digital would ever go back to film, I don’t think any cinematographer would go back to basically wearing a blindfold for 24 hours until they know what they had got the day before.

Larry Jordan: What was your thinking in putting this workshop together? I was impressed that it’s not really a workshop, it’s a speaker series – you’re listening to a bunch of experts talking. What was the thinking behind this?

Josh Apter: It’s a symposium, much like Sight, Sound & Story, the post-production event that we’ve been doing for the past three years and then for four years before that we were co-producing… New York with American cinema editors and I’ll give credit where credit is due, the newly minted President of Manhattan Edit Workshop, Jason Bank – I just outed him because the press release isn’t out yet – was thinking ahead saying, “We’ve been doing these editing events but we do teach cinematography, we’re all interested in it, we’re filmmakers. It’s Sight, Sound & Story. We’ve done VFX panels and sound panels, why don’t we branch out and do a panel dedicated to the art of cinematography?” and he’s really taken it and run with it.

Josh Apter: I’m helping as much as I can and loving every minute of it, but I think it’s a logical extension of what we do and it’ll be just like those summits that we do in June but it’s a single evening and two panels and we’re starting smaller here, but it may end up being as big an event as the post-production event that we do every June.

Larry Jordan: Now, the panel’s caused me to think – you’ve got two tracks, one is on non-fiction and one called creative vision. Is cinematography different from non-fiction to fiction? Or does cinematography vary by budget – as you have more money, you can do more stuff and as you have less money, and most non-fiction is pretty poorly funded, you can’t do as much? Is the genre the difference or is the budget the difference?

Josh Apter: I think the genre and the budget are the difference. No amount of money will be able to buy you a real experience that’s not happening in front of your eyes. I’d say arguably reality TV tries to invent some of these experiences and I think the conventional wisdom is that some of that stuff is staged and not real, but in real documentary let’s talk about… for example. There’s no money that could buy you what happened in American Dream, and so that’s not a budgetary constraint, that’s an observational opportunity.

Josh Apter: If you’re there long enough and you get the trust of these people and you have a good enough eye to find what’s out there and see these connections between people and the situation, you’ll get that and it doesn’t matter if you have $1,000, $100,000 or $1,000,000. In that sense, I think cinematography is cinematography. The challenges are different in narrative in documentary and I think that’s why we’re dividing the two, because we really want to focus on what happens when there’s no take two? What happens when you’re thrown into an experience that has a big question mark on it?

Josh Apter: And then about the experience of shooting scripted, when you’re really trying to bring this vision, this blueprint on paper, to fruition and how does it grow from that thing that we’ve read and all fallen in love with to something that’s going to be interpreted and seen by people in a purely visual way. It’s not like we’re going to have the screenplay alongside the screen so we know what the original text was. It becomes something different, and how do you extrapolate that and turn it into something that we sit and watch in a theater and enjoy?

Larry Jordan: So who do you have doing these presentations?

Josh Apter: Let’s see. I wrote them down so I wouldn’t mangle their names. In our non-fiction panel, and they may be growing so I only want to say who we know we’re locked in for, Matt Porwoll, who just won a Sundance Award for Cartel Land, a DP who shoots non-fiction and fiction, but this is for documentary; and Jerry Ricciotti from Vice TV. They’re going to do our documentary panel.

Josh Apter: Then there’s Paul Koestner, who I think is best known for shooting with Louis CK and shooing the Louis Show, and Nancy Schreiber, ASC, whose resume is too long to list. She had The Nines, The Comeback, November, and comes with a career’s worth of knowledge in the narrative field. And the list is growing, we’re still talking to people and working things out. You know how it is, schedules open up and close up, but we know these people are going to be there and we already know some of the things they’re going to show and we’re getting really excited.

Larry Jordan: We keep our fingers crossed that most everybody is able to show up, that would be great. I want to come back to cinematography, but let’s just put a button on this. Where can people go to learn more about the speaker series? Is there still room for people to attend and how much are you charging?

Josh Apter: People can still sign up at sightsoundandstory.com. There is a discount code for Larry Jordan viewers and I wish I had it in front of me. I know what it is, I’m sure we can post it on your site. It’s probably the same code that we had for the Sight, Sound & Story event in June, I’m sure, and I think it’s $45, but with the Larry Jordan discount it would be less than that. That’s for the panels and then we throw a big party afterwards with open bar, hors d’oeuvres and you get to hang out with the panelists and the moderators and keep asking questions and poking around.

Larry Jordan: What we’ll do is you can email me the code later and we’ll put it in our newsletter that goes out on Friday, tomorrow, and it will tell the world about it and give them a chance to attend and save money at the same time.

Josh Apter: That would be terrific.

Larry Jordan: I want to come back to you the director working with a cinematographer for just a minute. What do you need your cinematographer to know for you to be able to work with them? What are the key things that a cinematographer needs? Now, the guy you’ve been working with, you’ve been working with since forever so you rely on him almost like an extension of yourself. But if you’re giving advice to filmmakers who are trying to decide to hire a cinematographer, what should they expect that person to know?

Josh Apter: I think if you’re hiring at a certain level, you’re going to have to trust that this person understands, they’ll have watched a reel, you’ll know they can light a scene, that they can operate the camera. What I would probably look for is a commonality. Sit down and talk to them and find out if they like the same kinds of films, like the same cinematography and cinematographers.

Josh Apter: I think if you find that link and you’re inspired by the same things, chances are you’ll see eye to eye when you’re working on the project together. That to me is a big thing because, like I said, there is that symbiotic relationship and what you don’t want to do is have this vision in your head of what something would look and feel like and then the cinematographer’s instinct is exactly opposite that and then either you have to come to some compromise or you’re always correcting someone, saying, “Yes, that’s not what I want,” and that’s inevitable, that will happen, that someone’s interpretation’s different than yours, and it should be, but I think some sort of simpatico relationship is really vital.

Josh Apter: You’re going to war together and you are the two keys, so you’re the ones making it all… you know what rolls downhill, I guess, as they say.

Larry Jordan: What strikes me in your answer is something that I try to stress to my students, which is technical knowledge is really important, but the ability to work with people is even more important, and that often gets lost as people get hung up in trying to learn the technology. They also need to learn how to work with people.

Josh Apter: Yes, and you’re all on the same team and there’s no room for crazy egos. I’ve been on sets with crazy directors and it just makes it an unpleasant experience. You know what? Sometimes it yields great art, but it’s a drag while you’re making it.

Larry Jordan: It’s no fun.

Josh Apter: It’s no fun at all.

Larry Jordan: What website can people go to learn more about the series again?

Josh Apter: It’s www.sightsoundandstory.com.

Larry Jordan: And Josh Apter is the founder. Josh, thanks for joining us today.

Josh Apter: Always a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: It’s time for a Buzz Flashback. Five years ago today…

Ned Soltz: The iPad is really very exciting. This has been the great development over the past year and, as I visit other studios and clients or friends or whatever, I’m just seeing the iPad almost becoming a very ubiquitous kind of editing tool as well as specific applications that are going to help creators, and I’ve got two or three right now that really are very impressive.

Larry Jordan: This was a Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: One of the interesting things I liked about talking with Josh is the relationship that develops between the cinematographer and the director and, in fact, it’s really a three way relationship between the director, the cinematographer and the production designer because they are the creative leads and each of them relies on the other to be able to make a film happen. The reason I’m so struck by this is that I spend most of my time teaching people technology and it’s an important aspect, but it’s easy to get blinded by trying to figure out what the best camera is or what the greatest resolution is or what the best speed is that you need. This is a piece of the puzzle but it’s not the entire puzzle and the ability to work well with people and be collaborative and creative and not get in the way is, I think, an even greater skill which is impossible to teach and something that you can only learn over time. I was interested in Josh’s comment on that.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests for today, starting with Wes Plate, the founder and President of Automatic Duck; Michael Horton, the co-producer of the Supermeet at IBC; Randi Altman, Editor in Chief of postperspective.com; and Josh Apter, the founder and President of the Manhattan Edit Workshop, or soon to be ex-President, from what he announced tonight.

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 thousands of interviews all online and all available to you today.

Larry Jordan: Visit with us on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugie Turner, with additional music provided by smartsound.com. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription – visit take1.tv to learn how they can help you.

Larry Jordan: Our producer is Cirina Catania; our engineering team is led by Meagan Paulos and includes Ed Golya, James Miller, Keegan Guy, Lindsay Luebbert and Brianna Murphy. On behalf of Mike Horton in Amsterdam, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for joining us on The Buzz.

Announcer #1: 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; and by Xen Data, who provides highly competitive digital video archive solutions.

Digital Production Buzz – September 10, 2015

Join Larry Jordan as he talks with Wes Plate, Michael Horton, Randi Altman, and Josh Apter.

View Show Transcript

Watch the Full Episode

Tech TalkProduct Demo: Avid ISIS 1000
With co-host Michael Kammes
SPONSORED BY Key Code Media

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Guests this Week

Wes Plate
Wes Plate, President, Automatic Duck
Yesterday, Automatic Duck announced their return with new and updated products available through Red Giant. Tonight, Wes Plate, co-founder of Automatic Duck, joins us to talk about their two new products: one for After Effects and the other for Avid, Adobe and Apple editors.
Michael Horton
Michael Horton, Co-Host, Digital Production BuZZ
IBC starts later this week and Randi Altman and Mike Horton are already in Amsterdam getting ready to explore the show. We have reports from both of them with a heads-up on what we can expect at the second-largest trade show in our industry.
Randi Altman
Randi Altman, Editor-in-Chief, postPerspective
IBC starts later this week and Randi Altman and Mike Horton are already in Amsterdam getting ready to explore the show. We have reports from both of them with a heads-up on what we can expect at the second-largest trade show in our industry.
Josh Apter
Josh Apter, Founder & President, Manhattan Edit Workshop
Josh Apter is the founder and President of the Manhattan Edit Workshop an Apple, Avid, Adobe, Autodesk and Assimilate Authorized Training Center. He’s also a practicing filmmaker. Tonight, he shares this thoughts the latest trends in the visual side of storytelling.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – September 3, 2015

Digital Production Buzz

September 3, 2015

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

(Click here to listen to this show.)

HOSTS

Larry Jordan

Mike Horton

GUESTS

Randi Altman, Industry Analyst and Editor

Patrick Griffis, Vice President, Education & Executive Director, Tech Strategy, SMPTE & Dolby

Steve Carson, Founder, Carson Filmworks, LLC

Jayce Venditti, Chief Artistic Officer & Founder, Tyme 2 Shyne Artistic Group, LLC

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, Patrick Griffis is the Executive Director for Technology Strategy at Dolby Labs. He’s also the VP of Education for SMPTE. Tonight, Patrick shares his thoughts on new technology such as high dynamic range images and what it means for us in the very near future.

Larry Jordan: Next, Steve Carson is the founder of Carson Filmworks, specializing in color grading, editing and post production. DaVinci Resolve is his tool of choice for color grading and tonight he has a report exclusively for us on the latest beta of DaVinci Resolve 12.

Larry Jordan: Finally, Jayce Venditti is a filmmaker trying to balance the arts with the planet. He’s creating a slate of films including ‘The Hat’ and developing a new studio structure concept with his Tyme 2 Shyne. He shares his artistic vision with us tonight.

Larry Jordan: All this plus Randi Altman’s perspective on the news, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer #1: Tonight’s Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at macsales.com; and by XenData, at xendata.com.

Announcer #2: 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 and marketing around the world. Mike…

Mike Horton: Really, this is the first time ever just before the show – and I’ve been doing this for I don’t know how long – that Larry’s said, “Why don’t you turn on Mike’s monitor?” It’s never been on. I have never been able to see this show. I didn’t even know I had a monitor until you told me I had a monitor, so thank you, I have a monitor, and all I’m seeing right now is a countdown.  Aren’t there images or something on the monitor?

Larry Jordan: There will be.

Mike Horton: Oh, there will be? But, you know, I’ve never had a monitor to look at. You’ve always had the monitor. I’ve never had a monitor.

Larry Jordan: You know, if you’d just speak up for yourself…

Mike Horton: Thank you for having me. That’s what you said. You said, “You’re the co-host, speak up.” I didn’t know I could speak up. Ok. Guys, thank you. Damn it, I want a monitor. Next time, have that monitor at the beginning, not in the middle of the show. All right, Larry, go ahead.

Larry Jordan: I want to wish you a happy birthday, by the way.

Mike Horton: Thank you very much.

Larry Jordan: It’s in two days, if I’m not mistaken?

Mike Horton: It’s in two days and I’m very happy for making this age.

Larry Jordan: 30?

Mike Horton: Yes. 39. 40.

Larry Jordan: For the fifth or sixth time. You’re doing laps around 39.

Mike Horton: 41.

Larry Jordan: Congratulations, by the way.

Mike Horton: No, I’m actually very grateful to be this old.

Larry Jordan: We had a birthday cake for you. You noticed that the other day?

Mike Horton: Yes, it was a really good birthday cake. By the way, I posed it on Facebook so the whole world knows that The Digital Production Buzz crew up there gave me a birthday cake.

Larry Jordan: It was wonderful.

Mike Horton: Because you didn’t.

Larry Jordan: No, I certainly didn’t because I was too busy getting you a monitor.

Mike Horton: That’s right.

Larry Jordan: And trying to get it to work.

Mike Horton: Thank you, this is a great birthday present. All right, Larry, we have 45 second. Go ahead.

Larry Jordan: We do indeed and I want to stress that, for those of you who want to chat with Mike, you can read his musings inside The Buzz…

Mike Horton: Yes, the secret chat room if you can find it. It’s somewhere on the website.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of chat rooms, remember to join our conversation on Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com and subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com. This gives you an inside look at both our show and the industry. The newsletter is free every Friday.

Larry Jordan: Mike and I will be right back with Patrick Griffis of SMPTE and Dolby right after we chat with Randi Altman.

Voiceover: This is Randi Altman’s Perspective.

Larry Jordan: Randi Altman has covered the post production industry for more than 20 years. She currently runs her own website at postperspective.com. Hello, Randi, welcome back.

Randi Altman: Hi Larry. How are you?

Larry Jordan: You know, IBC is getting close and I’m getting really excited. But before we talk about Europe, on Tuesday Atomos announced the Assassin. What is it?

Randi Altman: It’s not deadly in any way. It’s actually a very good thing. It’s their…, it’s the newest one and it takes on 4K and Ultra high definition and it’s meant for… so very post…

Larry Jordan: Thinking of new announcements, on Wednesday NewTech announced a new Tricaster, the Mini HD4, which supports both HD SDI and HDMI connections in a package small enough to carry in one hand. Randi, this reminds me that IBC is coming up, which is filled with new announcements. What are you looking forward to?

Randi Altman: It’s a pretty good show. What I enjoy is the stuff that was shown at NAB in the whisper suites, not full blown technology yet, is now real and being announced at IBC. There’s going to be a lot of 4K, Ultra high definition, there are going to be monitors, there’s going to be talk of collaboration. Everybody wants to get the data from camera to post as quickly as possible and then once it’s in post they want to talk about collaboration, signing off for viewing approval. So it’s going to be about workflow.

Larry Jordan: Now, you told us earlier this summer that you were looking forward to significant announcements in virtual reality. What are your thoughts on the current buzzwords of high dynamic range video and wide color gamut video?

Randi Altman: What I’m looking forward to is what I look forward to every IBC, which is what company Blackmagic will have bought and then reduce the price of the product to $999 and I’m expecting that. It’s all just conjecture though.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe the difference between NAB in the spring and IBC in the fall?

Randi Altman: They’re big shows. Obviously, IBC is more for the international market, but it is true that a lot of the stuff that is introduced in April is now available come September. But it’s got a different vibe to it. It’s a way more laid back show. You’re talking about a convention center that is on the canal. They actually have a beach with chaise lounges and people playing volleyball. There’s beer everywhere. It’s a completely different vibe to NAB in Las Vegas.

Larry Jordan: Randi, I wish you safe travels on your trip and I look forward to talking with you again next week. You can read Randi’s currently interviews at postperspective.com and, as always, Randi, thanks for joining us today.

Randi Altman: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: To read more from Randi Altman, visit postperspective.com.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Pat Griffis, Steve Carson, Jayce Venditti, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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Larry Jordan: As Executive Director for Technology Strategy at Dolby Laboratories, Patrick Griffis helps define strategy for the company. He also serves on the Society of Motion Picture and Telephone Engineers, called SMPTE. Their executive committee is the Vice President of Education, where he helps design SMPTE’s conference technical programs and overall educational strategy. Hello, Pat, welcome.

Patrick Griffis: Hello. Great to be here.

Larry Jordan: We are actually looking forward to this conversation because Mike loves things like SMPTE and engineering and codecs and stuff, so we’re looking forward to our conversation.

Mike Horton: Yes, we’re only kidding.

Patrick Griffis: No, I hope you’re not kidding. I hope you love it, like I do.

Mike Horton: I will. Actually, your job is to make me love it, so go ahead.

Patrick Griffis: Ok, I hope to do that.

Mike Horton: All right, thanks, Patrick.

Patrick Griffis: …shall set you free, as they say.

Larry Jordan: Patrick, how would you define SMPTE? What is it?

Patrick Griffis: SMPTE, as you mentioned, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, has a rich history. Actually, the genesis goes back to 1916 and that’s a time, you might remember, when there was a World War and, believe it or not, there was a time when film standards weren’t interoperable and the US government, as we’re going to World War I, was getting film clips that wouldn’t work together and they said, “This is crazy, we need a standard,” and they set about forming a group which became the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, to create a very simple standard to make sure all the sprockets were lined up so all the film would work interoperably.

Patrick Griffis: From that humble beginning, SMPTE grew over the decades, began to take on some of the challenges of television in the ’50s and then became the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, where we are today.

Larry Jordan: If I remember right, back in the 1900s and the early teens, film cameras didn’t even have motors. The cameraman was turning the camera by hand, which meant frame rates were everything from eight frames a second to 20 frames a second. Is that one of the reasons why they needed to put this standard together?

Patrick Griffis: Yes, that was certainly one of the problems and it depends if you had coffee in the morning or not as to how fast the film would go. There was clearly a place for standards, which were very helpful, certainly for the war effort.

Mike Horton: Was this a bunch of Americans getting together and coming up with these standards? Or was this a bunch of people from all over the world coming up with this standard?

Patrick Griffis: Originally in the US, you had Kodak and a bunch of companies here, and again it was to support the war effort, but there were different film approaches from around the world, so having a set of standards, something as simple as all the sprockets and the films being standard width, was really important. I mentioned 1916 – next year is our 100th anniversary, so now we’re looking at the next generation of imaging as we head into our centennial.

Larry Jordan: Which is exactly what I want to talk about now, because we’ve moved from an analogue film basis to a pixel basis and before we start talking about this new technology, I was doing some research on you and kept stumbling over the phrase – I’m looking at my notes – the father of pixels. Where did that come from?

Patrick Griffis: That’s actually better pixels, not pixels themselves. Pixel stands for picture element, I think most people are familiar, the smallest element that makes up a picture. But better pixels comes from a notion that, as we look as next generation of imagining, there are really only three ways to make a better picture. The first, of course, is more of those pixels, technically speaking higher spatial resolution.

Patrick Griffis: You’ve certainly heard a lot about the buzz on that recently. If HD, which is two megapixels is not enough, now there’s interest in going to what people euphemistically call 4K, which is actually eight megapixels because it’s twice the number of horizontal pixels, from 2K to 4K, and then twice the number of lines. So more pixels is one of the ways.

Patrick Griffis: Of course, if you have motion, as we were talking about, and you start to pan a camera, the picture gets blurry because of motion blur and you’re losing temporal resolution. The way you fix that is to have more frames per unit of time. More frames per unit of time means more pixels per unit of time and we think of that as faster pixels.

Patrick Griffis: The last one, the notion of better pixels, actually asks, “How do I make each one of those pixels better, no matter how many or how fast I’m sending them?” and by better we’re talking about things closer to what we see every time we open our eyes – brighter whites, blacker blacks, richer colors within the palette that we have available to us – and the holy grail ultimately is getting closer to representing all the colors that we as human beings can see. So I coined the term better pixels for that notion and it’s become popular among some folks.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk about the better pixels in just a minute, but I want to go back a couple of steps. We can have more pixels, which is higher resolution; we can have cleaner pixels, which is reducing motion blur; we can have better quality pictures either with Richard color saturation or greater grayscales. But really, are we changing the pixel? Isn’t it just that a pixel’s a pixel and it’s the environment within which the pixel lives that changes? Or are we going to see a material difference in the pixel itself?

Patrick Griffis: We’re going to see a material difference in the pixel itself, because even you have more of them they still are defined today by how many bits you have per pixel and typically pixels are represented as three colors – red, green and blue – so a picture element actually has typically three elements associated with it – red, green and blue – and one of the things we do when we make them better is to have more bit depth and also have them represent a brighter transition from the maximum white to the blackest black, as well as more colors.

Patrick Griffis: I’ll explain a little bit more about that. Today in television, one of the notions we talk about is how bright something is and the nomenclature we use for that when we measure how bright something is – luminance – means that when you shine a light meter at a light source it tells you how bright it is and it’s measured in candelas, per meter squared. That’s hard to say more than three times in a row so we’ve come up with a euphemistic term NITS. One of the things people say about me is I’m nuts for NITS because I like to see more of them.

Patrick Griffis: So in making a better picture, the ability to represent those whiter whites or higher NITS, as well as the blacker NITS, takes more bits and that’s one of the things that changes the pixel as we move to this exciting new world of better pixels.

Larry Jordan: Patrick, back when we were playing with Photoshop, we could define the grayscale value of a pixel in 256 steps, where black is zero and white is 256. As you move into this new high dynamic range space, where we have more grayscale values, are we doubling that or tripling it? Or just how bright is bright and how dark is dark if we’re looking at it in the 255 step range?

Patrick Griffis: Oh, 255 steps is not enough to represent the real world. As I like to say, every time you open your eyes, you see high dynamic range and, in fact, I’m working with a lot of studios – and this is some of the standards work that SMPTE does – to agree to try to represent as much as we could for entertainment purposes with about 12 bits.

Patrick Griffis: By the way, in the real world, we as human beings deal with tremendous dynamic range, from the brightness of the sun, which is about 1.6 billion NITS, to a dark moonless night and, of course, maybe even in caves, where if you didn’t see the saber toothed tiger coming you weren’t around for the next generation. That’s ten to the minus six, so 15 orders of dynamic range as human beings we have to deal with. But, of course, we can’t see sunlight and starlight at the same time because our irises adjust up and down and we adapt to a lighting environment.

Patrick Griffis: For entertainment we don’t need 1.6 billion NITS. Apart from needing a small nuclear power plant to power the television, blinding the eyes of our consumers is probably not a good entertainment proposition. And on the dark side, while we can see in very dark environments, it takes a long time for our eyes to adjust, often several hours, so 30 minute scene changes aren’t practical.

Patrick Griffis: What we were interested in what’s the useful range for entertainment purposes and to that point what we concluded is that for CGI content, to guarantee that there’s no artifacts in any case, you actually needed 12 bits or 4,096 to use your example. So from eight bits, zero to 255, to 12 bits, zero to 4,095, I guess you could say.

Larry Jordan: Now, there’s been a lot of debate as we look as these new frame rates which give us cleaner pixels and as we look at increasing the dynamic range, that we’re losing the traditional entertainment value that we grew up with with film, that motion blur actually makes a scene more believable as opposed to the stark reality of very, very clean, sharp edges. How much do we need to worry about the past cinema viewing experience with motion blur, with low illumination, and how much does that change and perhaps degrade the viewing experience when images are brighter, pixels are crisper and we can see edges more clearly?

Patrick Griffis: That’s a great question. In fact, motion blur in the real world gives us the sense of really high speed – it’s so fast that even our eyes can’t detect it – so you’re right, and there’s been a lot of work to show that higher frame rate, imagine a boxer who’s punching and you now suddenly capture it at a very high frame rate and you can see the hands move, it doesn’t appear to be as fast as when you have motion blur. So the creatives understand that and a lot of the work we’re doing now is actually to give them the ability to dial in blur when it adds to the story, when it is part of the artistic intent.

Patrick Griffis: And there are other cases where you actually want to see that motion, particularly in some 3D scenes. When there’s too much motion and it’s too blurry, you can’t see the detail, so that becomes we think a knob you can dial in going forward. So having higher frame rate has a role and motion blur has a role and we’re now trying to come up with ways where it is actually something a creative can dial in as needed.

Larry Jordan: Well, there’s a down side to this and that is if we have higher resolution – 4K, 6K, 8K – if we have higher frame rates, if we have greater bit depth, our file sizes, which are already large, are going to be come unbelievably huge. How are we going to store all this stuff?

Patrick Griffis: It’s going to be great for cloud services, I guess. More memory, more memory, yes, and of course the storage is always an issue. One of the other lines I’m famous for is ‘Bits are bucks’, whether you’re capturing them, delivering them, storing them or rendering them, they come with a price tag or you earn money from them.

Patrick Griffis: Compression has never been shown to improve picture quality; it’s all about bit rate efficiency while preserving the quality of the image and, indeed, you’re right, the file sizes are getting bigger and as we talk about delivery over pipes like the internet or broadcast pipes, that becomes a case where we need better compression technologies to try to preserve the quality and reducing the bit rate at the same time.

Mike Horton: That was an excellent line about preserving the quality. We were just talking a couple of days ago – and it’s all over the news – VP10, which is Google’s compression codec, which will apparently take half the bandwidth of 4K out of the equation so we can have half the bandwidth. So we’re doing this almost every year, so it’ll be interesting to… well, I’m talking about codecs again, Larry, so I’m getting tongue tied here, so excuse me, but the VP9 is I guess what’s…

Larry Jordan: Patrick, I want to pick up on Michael’s point. At what point do we do compression? As soon as you do compression, you’re taking away bit depth, you’re taking away data from the file that we need for editing. For people who are doing production and post, we can’t go to compression until we’re ready to do distribution, correct? So our file sizes remain huge.

Patrick Griffis: Yes, they are huge. For a movie, you’re looking at terabytes of data. On the local storage side, local storage continues to increase and improve. Already today, if you’re doing animation, typically they work in 16 bit floating points, so the notion that going to greater bit depth actually for them is a blessing because often you take these really wonderful pieces of content and you squeeze them down to eight bits and throwaway color samples, so they’re pleased in many ways because for the first time they’ll be able to get closer to rendering something that was actually sitting in their computers. For animation, it’s actually not such a big deal but for live and these other things we have the issue of pipe size. It’s always a problem.

Larry Jordan: Before we run out of time, I want to talk with you quickly about Dolby Vision, so take your SMPTE hat off, put your Dolby hat on. What is Dolby doing in this regard?

Patrick Griffis: In this regard, Dolby Vision is really our implementation of these next generation standards. One of the things I haven’t talked about yet is how we sat down and asked, “What will the next generation entertainment experience be? What’s a useful dynamic range for entertainment purposes?” I mentioned some work that led to a conclusion that zero to 10,000 NITS would be a useful range. 10,000 NITS, by the way, is 100 times brighter than what we typically deliver in television today.

Patrick Griffis: We also realized that if we’re designing for the next generation with a clean sheet of paper, why would we use a system based on the legacy of cathode ray tubes that goes back to the ’50s and a convenient artifact of physics called gamma, which defines the way they make light? Gamma was a convenient artifact of physics, but it doesn’t represent the way the human eye sees. Some of the work we did was to ask what an ideal system would be that models the human eye, and that led to work that actually brings me back to SMPTE. We created a new standard for the future called SMPTE SD2084.

Larry Jordan: Ok, wait, wait, wait. This is going to take us the next week and a half to describe, so I want to sort of cut it short. SMPTE already has a spec for HDR and it also has a spec for wide color gamma. Why is Dolby creating its own spec in competition with SMPTE?

Patrick Griffis: Oh, the spec that SMPTE has was based on Dolby’s contribution, so we standardized the technology and now we’re implementing it. What Dolby Vision does is implements those standards, we have a variety of ways of delivering that quality in either a backwards compatible fashion, because many in the OTT world have legacy content, standard dynamic range, and you can add high dynamic range on top of existing files.

Patrick Griffis: It is an option within the Blu-Ray standard and, indeed, we also are implementing Dolby Vision in cinema, we call it Dolby Cinema. There are already theaters like AMC and then some movies from Disney that have been delivered with Dolby Vision. So high dynamic range, wide, brighter colors, better contrast than you’ve ever seen before and an end to end ecosystem. We have the tools and the delivery mechanisms, so it’s actually a full ecosystem with products and services.

Larry Jordan: Patrick, we’re going to have to talk with you again, because this is really cool stuff. For people who want to learn more, where can go on the web?

Patrick Griffis: In terms of SMPTE, they can go to www.smpte.org; and then, of course, you can go to the Dolby website to learn more about Dolby Vision.

Larry Jordan: Patrick Griffis is the VP of Education for SMPTE and the Executive Director of Tech Strategy for Dolby. Patrick, thanks for joining us today.

Patrick Griffis: It’s been fun and definitely more to say another day.

Larry Jordan: Yes, I look forward to it. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Steve Carson, Jayce Venditti, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: If you need long term archiving for your video content, then you should look at XenData. They specialize in providing secure long term storage of video content with a low cost per terabyte. The company has a variety of archive solutions that range from external LTO drives that can connect to your laptop to multi-petabyte storage systems using huge robotic libraries.

Larry Jordan: XenData Systems will store your content on LTO or Sony optical disk archive cartridges and, with their next release, they also provide an option for archiving to the Amazon cloud. They offer great compatibility with many of the third party applications used in the media and entertainment industry, including most media asset management systems. XenData has hundreds of installations around the world, from Los Angeles to Mongolia, so if protecting your assets is important to you, visit xendata.com.

Larry Jordan: Steve Carson is the founder of Carson Filmworks, a San Diego based boutique specializing in color grading, editing and on-site post production services. While Steve’s first career was in banking, starting about ten…

Mike Horton: Are you serious? Banking?

Larry Jordan: I’m serious.

Mike Horton: Steve? Banking?

Larry Jordan: Will you just hush up? This is the intro. About ten years ago, Steve fell in love with filmmaking and, for the last four years, he’s focused on color grading using DaVinci Resolve as his principle tool of choice for color grading. Hello, Steve, welcome.

Steve Carson: Hi Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: We are doing great, even if Mike does interrupt the introduction.

Mike Horton: I think it’s pretty cool that a banker goes to color grading. I think that’s really awesome. Congratulations to you for choosing a good job rather than the other job that messed up the country big time a few years ago.

Larry Jordan: Before we get into having you defend your career as a banker, how would you describe Carson Filmworks?

Steve Carson: It is a boutique based in San Diego and we have a lot of production tools and we do a little bit of everything, from documentaries to shorts, and right now we’re working on a feature film. But my personal favorite is color grading, so that’s where I focus most.

Larry Jordan: Before we talk about color grading and DaVinci Resolve, I have to ask what made you give up a secure, highly paid career in banking, mergers and acquisitions, for 25 years – if I might make a point – to leave for the far less well paid filmmaking world? Defend this choice.

Steve Carson: In a word, creativity.

Mike Horton: Yay!

Steve Carson: When you’ve bought and sold about 100 banks in the south east and the only thing creative was you took the sign out front that said ‘First State Bank of…’ whatever little town and you converted it into a sign that said ‘Bank of America’, that’s not super creative.

Larry Jordan: So you moved out of the south, came to California and set up a DaVinci suite. Why DaVinci Resolve?

Steve Carson: Because it is probably one of the most used in the industry and I started with Resolve 8 and have progressed through 9, 10, 11 and 12 and it has progressively been a more complete feature set. What it’s really done is displaced virtually all of the third party applications that I used to use, except Final Cut X. I still use that.

Mike Horton: So you’re using Resolve as an editor, as well as a color grader?

Steve Carson: Michael, even earlier than that, I do on-site DIT work, so we use it to process dailies, we use it to back up cards from the cameras, we use it to develop looks on set, so it starts from there then it goes to the edit side and then to the color side and then finally on the finishing and delivery, so it really does almost everything for us.

Mike Horton: So since Blackmagic Design actually bought Resolve a few years ago, are you happy with what they’ve done with it?

Steve Carson: I’m ecstatic with what they’ve done. It is amazing how they’ve improved the product. Like I said, I started with version 8 and version 12 is just amazing. I just could not wait for it to come out.

Larry Jordan: Tell us more about what version 12 has in it. What are some of the cool new features that you’ve discovered?

Steve Carson: Larry, you’ll like this, being a Final Cut X guy. To me – I’m a little different than a lot of the colorists – the biggest change is metadata. It now has Final Cut X -like, not completely, metadata so it has smart folders, smart bins if you will, so when you’re burning in footage you can group it any way you like, create smart folders so it automatically goes into those folders and then it carries that metadata over to the color page.

Steve Carson: A good example might be you could rename all of the files – each clip typically has a name that doesn’t make sense to a lot of people – but you can rename it to ‘Scene 23 take 1’, ‘take 2’, ‘take 3’, and that creates a displayed name and that name carries throughout the project. So when you’re in the color page color grading and the director says, “Hey, let’s take another look at scene 23a. Can we do something with that?” I can filter the timeline in Resolve.

Steve Carson: For a feature film, you might have 1500 clips on your timeline and they could be chopped up all over, so scene 23 could be in the beginning of the film, the middle or the end, but what I can do is filter that timeline and show all of the clips from scene 23a that were used and then I can color grade them all at once side by side to make sure they match. It’s an unbelievable new tool.

Mike Horton: Could you not do that with Resolve 11? Is this new in Resolve 12?

Steve Carson: No you could not to the degree that you can now. For instance, in 11 you could put a blue flag on it, so you would have had to manually go through and blue flag each of the clips, then you could filter the timeline and say, “Show me all the blue flags,” which coincidentally happened to be, let’s say, scene 23a. But it was much more labor intensive to do that and you only had a certain number of colors that you could work with, whereas with the new metadata it’s unlimited.

Larry Jordan: Can we use Resolve for editing itself? And, if so, do we have to have a high quality video monitor and a control surface to be able to use it? Or can we get in much less expensively without buying all that hardware?

Steve Carson: The latter. One of the new features in Resolve 12 is the ability to manage the overhead, if you will, of the system. Remember with RED, how you can go with half size or quarter size or one eighth size? Same concept you can do now in DaVinci and there’s a whole host of tweaks that you can do to your settings to make it easier on the lighter weight computers.

Steve Carson: Also, another really nice change is on the user interface, it now scales perfectly, so if you’re working on the 5K iMac, what you see as the user interface will just shrink down automatically and I’ve heard you can even do it on a 12 inch Macbook Air. That’s pretty amazing, that that interface just…

Mike Horton: Yes, I’ve actually seen that and yes you can.

Larry Jordan: That’s amazing.

Mike Horton: And it’s free.

Steve Carson: Just remember, it’s all free.

Larry Jordan: Well, it isn’t all free. You’ve got the high end version.

Mike Horton: Yes, there’s the high end version which you and I don’t need. We can use the free version. Do you use the free version or the high end version?

Steve Carson: Well, I happen to own three Blackmagic cameras and they’ve changed the nomenclature. The light version is light no more, it’s called DaVinci Resolve 12. What you would have called the fully paid version is now DaVinci Resolve Studio, and so there’s the distinction there.

Larry Jordan: What’s one of your favorite new features, aside from the metadata handling?

Steve Carson: On the DIT side, you can now sink dual source audio with wave forms, so that’s really big. That’s very helpful. As a colorist, what I like is there are a whole host of new features that make us more efficient. There’s a new keyer that keys much more dramatically, if you will, and more easily. There’s a tracker. DaVinci has always been known to have a really good tracker, but they have a new tracker that’s even better and it’s just amazing, it saves a lot of time. That would be my vote for the features on the color side. It’s just a lot of the efficiencies.

Larry Jordan: If we’re just editing and we don’t have the skills to do color correction, can we use Resolve for editing and let somebody else do the color grading? Or would we be better off working with other applications?

Steve Carson: Let’s put it this way – if you’re editing and you’re willing to edit on Resolve, then I’m very happy with you and I would love to work with you because it makes it so much easier to jump back and forth between edit and color. Right now, the edit features are amazing. They have virtually every feature you could ask for and so, yes, you could definitely edit. You could make a career using DaVinci Resolve 12, the ‘free’ one, and it’s a very capable editor.

Mike Horton: You know, a lot of people are using Premiere because they can go back and forth with After Effects. Well, now we can edit in Resolve and go back and forth with all the color correction tools that everybody is using within Resolve, so why not stay with Resolve? And it’s free.

Larry Jordan: How do the effects packages in Resolve look compared to, say, Premiere or Final Cut or Avid?

Steve Carson: I love them. If it’s an OFX effect, you can use it. One of the new upgrades in 12 is a whole host of audio effects, so if you’re a fan, for example, of RX4, it’s available to you. Then the other big change is you can now export directly to Pro Tools, so if you’re doing high end audio finishing, it’s very easy now to send that work out to the audio specialist.

Larry Jordan: Steve, where can people go on the web to learn more about your work and you and hire you to do their next color grade?

Steve Carson: The website is www.carsonfilmworks.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s carsonfilmworks.com and Steve Carson’s the founder of Carson Filmworks. Steve, thanks for joining us today.

Steve Carson: Thank you.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Steve.

Steve Carson: I enjoyed it.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Still to come on The Buzz – Jayce Venditti, Tech Talk and Buzz Flashback.

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

Larry Jordan: Then I added new techniques and new ways of working that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. I updated our workflow and editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut Pro X 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 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 our training for one low monthly price. Both are incredible value. Thanks.

Voiceover: This is Tech Talk from The Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan: Let’s take a look at lighting. Here, I’ve added some text and the text is against a background. Again, I’ve already added some light, so I’m in 3D space, but let’s look at this from the top. I want to have a separation between the ‘Let there be light’ – that’s the text which is out here – and the rectangle.

Larry Jordan: Again, if you want to have elements interact with each other, they can’t be at the same Z space. Either we move it forward or backward, select it, go to the inspector, go to properties and we can move stuff backwards and forwards by grabbing the Z and just dragging it. I’m moving it with the mouse and dragging the position of this text. Control A to go back to the camera view.

Larry Jordan: Now, let’s add a light. Let’s just deselect this. There are four kinds of lights – ambient, spot, point and directional. Ambient is where everything is equally lit regardless of what direction it’s facing. That’s the default setting and it’s a really good choice when you’re not messing with lights. To add a light, select our project, go up to object, go down to light and by default it adds a point light. Let’s switch this to ambient and you can see there it is. The only difference between adding an ambient light and the default setting is here I can add a color for the ambient light and have everything be lit with whatever color light you want.

Larry Jordan: In this case, though, I want to switch this to a directional light. A directional light can be pointed. Let’s make this, oh, let’s make it yellow. Click hold and drag and notice that I’ve dragged the light totally off, I can’t see anything. Now we’re adding a yellow light and now it’s bright and now it’s fading out and now it’s gone again.

Larry Jordan: The directional light points in different directions and, depending upon how you have it pointed, you can get different lighting results. Let’s switch this back to white again. We can adjust the intensity, we can adjust the diameter to say how focused the light is, from very broad to very narrow, or very close to narrow, and again we can spin it with these on-screen controls to determine which way it’s pointing.

Larry Jordan: Let’s go back up to our top view again. If we look at our text, there’s our text right out here. There’s the rectangle right on the red line and here’s our light. Well, I want the light moved here and pointed toward our background, right about there. Notice that our ‘Let there be light’ is way out here. Our light is between the ‘Let there be light’ and the text and the background. When I go back to our light, let’s make it kind of a reddish color, right around here, and take a look at it. Now we’ve got a ‘Let there be light’ directional light which illuminating the background and foreground. Well, let’s slide up the foreground as well. Let’s add another light. We’ll make this one a point light and we’ll pull it back in Z space so it lights up our text.

Larry Jordan: There we go. So now I’ve got the point light lighting up our text and yet the background has got a different color light on it. Here’s where this can really start to play. I want to turn on shadows and it’d be nice if this point light hit the text and the text cast a shadow on the background. So go back to light, double click it – this is our point light and this is the directional light. With the point light selected, now go to light and see where it says shadows? I’ll just turn the shadows on. Look at that. Now we’ve got light. Let’s go back to the light properties, let’s raise it up just a bit. Our shadows go down. Let’s move it from side to side.

Larry Jordan: As the light pans, the shadows move; and notice that our foreground text is white, our background text is red. Why? Because I’ve got two lights. I’ve got the point light shining on ‘Let there be light’ and I’ve got the directional light, which is red, shining only on the background, which means it’s filling in those black shadows with a red cast light, which you’ve got to admit is kind of cool, and we’re taking advantage of the depth that is provided by having our text V in the foreground and our rectangle be in the background, and we can use multiple lights. We can also, for that matter, use multiple cameras, but we’ll save that for another session than today.

Voiceover: This Tech Talk was shared from Larry Jordon’s website at larryjordan.com.

Larry Jordan: Jayce Venditti was raised on a farm by an artistic family, where he fell in love with the arts and the planet.

Mike Horton: Are you serious? He was raised on a farm?

Larry Jordan: Forced to choose…

Mike Horton: That’s so romantic.

Larry Jordan: Forced to choose between soccer and his love for singing, acting and dancing, the arts won out. He’s developing a film, ‘The Hat,’ and creating a new studio concept with Tyme 2 Shyne. Hello, Jayce, welcome.

Jayce Venditti: Hi. Thank you, guys, for having me.

Larry Jordan: Let’s start with a question that is most on Mike’s mind. What was it like growing up on a farm with two very creative parents?

Jayce Venditti: What was it like? Honestly, it was a blessing. My dad’s a world known fine artist, my mother was a singer at the time and I was able to build an appreciation for something that I don’t think I would have been able to, which was nature, animals. It made me think, I was forced to think about other things because I wasn’t in town. I was on a 12 acre farm out in the middle of nowhere.

Larry Jordan: Was it a working farm or just simply a place where your family lived?

Jayce Venditti: It was at one point. It changed over when I was young. It was a smaller version of, my grandmother had a 200 acres dairy farm out in Bodega Bay and it was a break off of that and changed when I was younger, yes.

Larry Jordan: Where did a choice between soccer and the arts come from?

Jayce Venditti: I started out as a child actor doing a lot of musical stuff and my friends were all in sports and they would tease me, make fun of me, kind of scare me out of being a dancer, singer and an actor, even though my parents loved it and noticed I had a knack for it, which also put added stress on it, so I said, “It’s not fun any more. My parents are stressing me out with it, my friends are giving me a hard time,” and so I fell in love with soccer and I played it for most of my life, realized something was missing and in junior college I tried to figure out where my life was to go. I took a singing class, a dancing class and an acting class and I was like, “What have I been doing?”

Mike Horton: What junior college did you go to?

Jayce Venditti: Santa Rosa Junior College in northern California, Sonoma County.

Mike Horton: That’s a beautiful area.

Jayce Venditti: Oh, so beautiful. So beautiful.

Larry Jordan: So singing, dancing and acting – of the three, which one did you enjoy the most?

Jayce Venditti: Ah, wow. Honestly, for the only reason that it came much more naturally to me, acting. Singing, I really, really had to work hard at and dancing, I loved it, but acting just happened naturally. It was a meant to be kind of thing. I loved singing and dancing because it was a different outlet, it was live and there was a different type of energy there.

Larry Jordan: I had a chance to look at the trailer for ‘The Hat,’ which is your film and we’ll talk more about that in just a minute, but do you see a relationship between the way that dancing helps you think about your body and how your body moves and do acting and singing reinforce each other in terms of your craft? Or do you see them as separate?

Jayce Venditti: No, they all actually intertwined at one point. I didn’t really understand the mechanics behind singing until probably when I moved to LA, which was around 2000, and I happened into a boy band, which was pretty amazing. It was like an off the bucket list kind of thing. I realized how you really have to pay attention to your breathing and there are certain muscles that are things that we don’t think about, that are more second nature and you really have to work on controlling those. So those tied into working out, which ties into dancing. They’re all involved at some point; and then, of course, performing as an actor… stage stuff, movement is vital.

Mike Horton: Yes, you go to a four year theater or cinema program or anything like that, especially for acting, you always take not only acting classes but movement classes, you always take singing classes, you always take vocal classes. You always take all of that because it is interconnected.

Jayce Venditti: It’s interconnected, yes. Everything feeds off of everything.

Mike Horton: Right.

Larry Jordan: Tell me about this new Tyme 2 Shyne idea that you’ve got. What’s this?

Jayce Venditti: When you’re a, “starving actor or entertainer,” there’s a vicious circle that exists. You need money to get your website up and running and to get head shots and for this and that, but you need those to get the money and the gigs.

Mike Horton: That vicious circle.

Jayce Venditti: That vicious circle. Luckily, my mom also got into graphic arts when I was young and I’m kind of a computer nerd as well, I love anything creative, so I got into editing a little bit, I got into Photoshop and I realized, hey, I could do this for myself, I could implement these skills for other artists who can’t afford what the industry standard at the time was and they didn’t have that pocketbook, I guess you could say, so it started there.

Jayce Venditti: Tyme 2 Shyne, the… is – cheesy as it sounds – it’s everybody deserves a Tyme 2 Shyne, so the concept was it doesn’t matter what your pocketbook allows or doesn’t allow, you should get an opportunity. That’s where that concept came about. I started a business plan back in 2007. It was 72 pages geared more towards the performing arts and music, because that’s what I was really intense with at that point, but over the last eight or nine years it has developed into an all round artistic utopian concept, everybody helping everybody whether it’s networking, producing, showcasing, distributing. A little bit of everything.

Larry Jordan: Where is this based?

Jayce Venditti: Right now, it’s home based, it’s here in San Diego. Steve, who you guys did an interview with prior, is one of my partners and we’re working right now with some potential investors in the first of what’s going to be three phases. There would be just a small place where the new team can get together and gather for some of these feature films that we’re helping partner with LA and a couple here in San Diego; and then once those get moving, the goal is to move to a build out of a 40,000 square foot warehouse and then we have connections to some land down here for the first 60 acre to 200 acres build out, which will take about five to ten years and it’s motion picture, fine arts, music and performing arts.

Mike Horton: Did I hear you right when you said a 72 page business plan?

Jayce Venditti: That was in 2007 and that only revolved around music and performing arts, yes, it was 72 pages.

Mike Horton: And you’re going to build a studio? Is that what I heard?

Jayce Venditti: We want to. I don’t want to build it, I’d like to utilize it, but we’ve been blessed. It’s really crazy how – which we’ll talk about when we get to ‘The Hat’ – the love attraction most definitely is in the air and is working for us. We’re gathering the right people as far as people who have the right vision and mission and who care about things, also artistic and creative. We have access to three different types of land in San Diego and investors now, because of ‘The Hat’ teaser that has been floating around. Yes, things are moving along.

Larry Jordan: Is there a point of view that you’re bringing to your creative vision? Or is it just ‘We’re going to make films’? Do you have a specific idea of the films that you want to make?

Jayce Venditti: Most definitely. The films have to have a message. It doesn’t have to be present right there in your face. For example, ‘Avatar.’ I fell in love with it for the main reason that it kind of told the story of the Indians and the Pilgrims and in a cool way it pulled the masses in. It’s really difficult to take something that has meaning and something that has cool, that wow factor, and Avatar was a great film that did that and that’s what I want to do with projects that we accept, whether they’re feature films or fine art or music based.

Jayce Venditti: We want somebody that’s got that star quality or that creative juice and potential, but we’re looking for people who want to make a difference with that. Will Smith had a great video that I watch all the time when I need to be inspired and one of the things he said – and he pulled this quote from somebody else – is, “If you’re not making somebody else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time,” and luckily, being raised on a farm, connecting with nature, having parents that really cared, I think that’s a vital piece of the puzzle.

Larry Jordan: Well, Jayce, it could be argued that message films are the fastest way of losing money on the planet, that nobody turns out for a message film. Why even bother?

Jayce Venditti: Because it matters. It just matters. Look at what’s going on with media now. It’s all I, I, I, me, me, me. Everybody’s saying, “Look at me,” and they’re not looking at what’s going on over here and before they know it, that’s going to come full circle and affect them. The pendulum’s always going to shift. Change is the only constant that exists in this universe, so change will happen. It’s just when and you’ve got to keep fighting the fight and I’d rather not settle and give in to, “Oh, I just want to make money,” because ultimately when I’m… by myself I won’t be happy with myself.

Mike Horton: You want to change the world.

Jayce Venditti: Ultimately, yes. I want to be a part of that. I can’t do it myself. Cirina had a… don’t underestimate the power of one. That’s all it takes.

Mike Horton: Yes, if anybody’s going to change the world, it’s going to be Cirina, our producer.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that you’ve done is you are working on a film called ‘The Hat.’ What’s this?

Jayce Venditti: The goal is to take franchises that are successful and implement into that multi idea franchised film something that matters. I did a photo shoot back in 2007, it was really cool. It was three actors and models and we all wore the hat at different points in the storyline of a photo shoot and whoever wore the hat had power in that picture. It always bugged me, since 2007 it’s bugged me. 2012, finally I decided I’ve got to do something about this. I was really heavily into the law of attraction and a light went off and I was like, “Ok, I want to do with the law of attraction what Inception did with the concept of lucid dreams.” So that’s where ‘The Hat’ was spawned from.

Jayce Venditti: You have the double meaning of the hat – what hat are you going to wear in life? What role are you going to play? – and that’s why the item ended up being the hat, but you find out that this hat has actually changed form over history. It was once the cloak of a religious individual; it was once a handkerchief of another political leader. You find out that all of these people throughout history had it in one form or another as…, I guess you could say. So that’s what it is.

Jayce Venditti: The goal is to create a 12 saga independent feature film blockbuster. Three trilogies and the last film of the last trilogy would be a three part. So my goal is to take your Harry Potters, your Fast and Furious, your Avatars and create an independent saga.

Mike Horton: Go for it! Absolutely, Jayce. Love you.

Larry Jordan: What stage is the film in? I notice that you’ve got a teaser for it.

Jayce Venditti: We have a teaser. We actually have a lot of footage that we put together for a longer trailer that was a little more involving, because obviously what’s out now is very mysterious – what is this about? Kind of thing. The one that we have footage for, I don’t think it’s ready, I don’t think the footage we’ve shot is up to the par from the teaser and it was geared towards creating a social media marketing campaign. They were 15 second parts of the first feature film that we were going to put on Instagram and Vine to start creating momentum and fan base.

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

Jayce Venditti: Thehatfilm.com.

Larry Jordan: Thehatfilm.com and your website is?

Jayce Venditti: Jaycevenditti.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s jaycevenditti.com and, Jayce, thanks for joining us today.

Jayce Venditti: Thank you guys for having me.

Mike Horton: Good on you, Jayce.

Larry Jordan: Take care. See you soon. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: It’s time for a Buzz Flashback. Five years ago today…

Oliver Breidenbach: We like to call it a TV truck without the truck. It can do anything a big TV production system can do – 3D graphics, character generation, video switching, video scaling, green screening – you name it, it can do it. So it’s basically a versatile video production system.

Larry Jordan: This was a Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: Michael, you’ve got to admit that this is a show which spanned the waterfront. We started talking about the technology…

Mike Horton: Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: …high dynamic range video and brand new ways of displaying pixels and then we’re doing color grading with a new application for Resolve…

Mike Horton: And then we’re talking to a guy with a lot of wonderful idealism.

Larry Jordan: Changing the world. It’s very cool.

Mike Horton: Yes. Very inspiring. People are so smart and so idealistic and it’s just, ah, you know, there’s something about this in almost every show that we do, there’s something inspiring and something idealistic and something wonderful in all these people. It’s what keeps me coming to this place. That and birthday cakes.

Larry Jordan: That and birthday cakes.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: And a very happy birthday again…

Mike Horton: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: …two days early. I want to thank our guests for today – Patrick Griffis, the Executive Director for Technology Strategy at Dolby Laboratories; Steve Carson, the owner of Carson Filmworks; and Jayce Venditti, the filmmaker of The Hat with a wonderful vision for the future.

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, even thousands, of interviews all online and all available to you today.

Larry Jordan: Talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugie Turner, with additional music provided by smartsound.com. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription and make a point to visit take1.tv to learn how they can help you.

Larry Jordan: Our producer is Cirina Catania; our engineering team is led by Megan Paulos and includes Ed Golya, James Miller, Keegan Guy and Brianna Murphy. On behalf of the ever handsome and affable Mr. Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for joining us for The Digital Production Buzz.

Mike Horton: Goodbye everybody.

Announcer #1: 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; and by XenData, who provides highly competitive digital video archive solutions.

Digital Production Buzz – September 3, 2015

Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton as they talk with Patrick Griffis, Steve Carson, and Jayce Venditti.

  • New Technology to Make Better Looking Pixels
  • Sneak Peek at the New DaVinci Resolve 12 Beta
  • An Artistic Vision that Gives Back to the Community

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Guests this Week

Patrick Griffis
Patrick Griffis, Vice President, Education at SMPTE & Executive Director, Tech Strategy at Dolby
As Executive Director for Technology Strategy at Dolby Laboratories, Patrick Griffis helps define future technology strategy for the company. He also serves on the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) Executive Committee as Vice President, Education where he helps set SMPTE’s conference technical programs and overall educational strategy. Tonight, we talk with Patrick about the latest pixel technology to make our images look even better.
Steve Carson
Steve Carson, Founder, Carson Filmworks, LLC
Steve Carson is the founder of Carson Filmworks, LLC, a San Diego based boutique specializing in color grading, editing and on-site post production services. He began shooting and editing  documentary films, but has focused on color grading for the past four years. DaVinci Resolve is his tool of choice for color grading and he has a report for us on the latest beta of Resolve.
Jayce Venditti
Jayce Venditti, Chief Artistic Officer & Founder, Tyme 2 Shyne Artistic Group, LLC
Jayce Venditti was raised on a farm in an artistic family where he fell in love with the arts and the planet. Faced with a choice between soccer and his love for singing, acting and dancing, the arts won out! He is now pushing a slate of films, including “The Hat,” and developing a new concept for the studio structure with his “Tyme 2 Shyne.” He shares his artistic vision with us on this week’s show.