Get the Latest BuZZ Each Week

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – August 25, 2016

Digital Production Buzz
August 25, 2016

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Sebastian Sage, Musician, Composer
Ryan Neil Postas, Film Maker, Elevated Minds
James DeRuvo, Senior Writer, DoddleNEWS.com
Laura Blum, Curator/Journalist, Thalo.com
Jonathan Handel, Of Counsel at TroyGould & Contributing Editor at The Hollywood Reporter, Website
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Network

===

Larry Jordan: Sebastian Sage is a musician, and an actor. Tonight on The Buzz he shares his creative journey from musician to composer, to actor to teacher. Producer and director Ryan Postas shares his experiences using Arri cameras on his latest shoots and how they’ve affected his editing workflow. Next, Laura Blum, contributing writer for Thalo.com begins a two-part series on disability in films and TV. Tonight, she looks at how film makers are responding to this issue.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel, the entertainment labor reporter for the Hollywood Reporter, looks at how Hollywood is responding to diversity issues. Musician and serial entrepreneur Scott Page has developed a five step process for growing a successful, creative business. Tonight, we begin a five part series that takes you through each step of his process and as always, James DeRuvo has a DoddleNEWS update. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer: 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 the creative content industry covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. Hi, this is Larry Jordan.

Larry Jordan: We are deep into the quiet days of August, but we have a very exciting show tonight. One of the changes that we’re making to the Buzz is to add a live news component, and expand the areas of film making that we cover. To this end, we’ve partnered with the team at DoddleNEWS which publishes industry news stories every day, to produce a weekly summary of the most important news affecting video production and post. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the DoddleNEWS websites, you owe it to yourself to check out their news and product review articles. Heath McKnight, James DeRuvo, and Danny Santos make up the core editorial team of DoddleNEWS along with a long list of guest writers.

Larry Jordan: Second, we’ve added two regular commentators, Laura Blum and Scott Page to look at film making from two new perspectives. Laura looks at content, while Scott looks at the business side of creativity. Both Laura and Scott start multi-part series tonight that I think you’ll find very interesting.

Larry Jordan: Before we get too far into the show though, I want to remind you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at DigitalProductionBuzz.com. Every issue, every week gives you an inside look at the Buzz quick links to all the different segments on the show, and curated articles of special interest to film makers. Best of all, every issue is free.

Larry Jordan: It may be the middle of August, but IBC, the second largest trade show in our industry, is just around the corner, and starts September 8th in Amsterdam. Which means my email inbox is starting to fill up with new product announcements, and thinking about news and new product announcements brings me to James DeRuvo and the DoddleNEWS update. James is currently the senior writer on DoddleNEWS and hello James, welcome.

James DeRuvo: Hi Larry. Thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: So what’s the big news story of the week?

James DeRuvo: Today, Canon’s finally announced the 5D Mark IV 4K DSLR. It’s got a 30 megapixel CMOS sensor, and a DIGIC 6+ processor. So, it can shoot in ultra-high definition at 30 frames per second, or 1080p at 60 frames per second. Honestly, I think it’s a very conservative design but the camera does come with some high dynamic range features, and a special still shot autofocus called dual pixel RAW. But having come out a few years after the competition, and at nearly twice the price, honestly one has to wonder if Canon has given us the mid-range DSLR we really deserve, and I think the biggest loser here is probably the 1DX Mark II which cost $2,000 more, and has almost the exact same features.

Larry Jordan: Have they announced when this one is going to ship?

James DeRuvo: Pre-orders are now and I’m not really sure about shipment time, but I’m guessing it’s going to be in the fall.

Larry Jordan: Well it’s probably a good guess. So what else we got that’s hot news this week?

James DeRuvo: Well, Ang Lee’s latest new film is called ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ and it’s the story of a whacky war veteran who is adjusting to life at home. And what’s interesting about this movie is that it was shot in 4K on the Sony F65, and at the high frame rate of 120 frames per second. Now we decided to debut this film at the New York Film Festival because the AMC Lincoln Square Theater where they’re showing most of the big releases during the festival, has a new state of the art projector that can show the film not only in 3D, but also at the high frame rate of 120 frames per second. And Sony and Lee are calling it ‘immersive digital.’

Larry Jordan: What’s the advantage of the high frame rate?

James DeRuvo: The concept of high frame rate was that it would make a movie more immersive, because it would look ultra realistic. But when Peter Jackson tried this with ‘The Hobbit,’ he shot ‘The Hobbit’ in 48 frames per second, and unfortunately, it looked too real. The props actually looked like props and the CGI looked awful and so at the end of the day, it was kind of a misstep back them to shoot in 48 frames per second. But there’s a very committed cadre of film makers out there that think that the future is in high frame rate because of the ultra realistic feel of it, and they think that it’s going to take some time for us to overcome 100 years of watching something at 24 frames per second. But once we do, this will be the state of the art from now on.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of state of the art, we’ve got a little bit of time left. What’s happening with DaVinci Resolve?

James DeRuvo: This is a really cool little project. A Finnish film maker by the name of Julius Koivistoinen created his own hardware interface for color grading in DaVinci Resolve, and he did it using a disc jockey MIDI controller and a free Mac utility called ControllerMate. He used ControllerMate to actually program this MIDI controller which is designed for mixing music, and what he’s able to do with it for under $300 is have a hardware interface to do color grading and it comes in three different levels so he can control luminance and color and dynamic range and every single feature that DaVinci offers. He’s created a step by step instructional on how to do it.

James DeRuvo: The only downside is that it’s only for the Mac, but there are PC alternatives to the ControllerMate software, and he’s working on a procedure for PCs which should be released soon. And when you consider that hardware interfaces run between $1000 and $30,000, for the one man band this is a very attractive option.

Larry Jordan: That’s very cool. James, where can people go to keep track of all the stuff that’s happening on DoddleNEWS?

James DeRuvo: These stories and more can be found at DoddleNEWS.com.

Larry Jordan: And James DeRuvo is a senior writer for DoddleNEWS.com. James, as always, thanks for joining us, and we’ll chat with you next week.

James DeRuvo: Alright, Larry we’ll talk to you then.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: I want to introduce you to a new website, Thalo.com. Thalo.com is an artist community and networking site for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. Thalo.com features content from around the world with a global perspective on all things creative. Thalo is the place for creative folks to learn, collaborate, market and sell their works. Thalo is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, film makers and story tellers, from photography to film making, performing arts to fine arts and everything in between. Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Visit Thalo.com and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s Thalo.com.

Larry Jordan: Sebastian Sage is an actor, composer and musician based in Los Angeles. He currently teaches at Cal State, Channel Islands in the performing arts department. Hello Sebastian, welcome.

Sebastian Sage: Hello Larry. How are you today?

Larry Jordan: I am delighted to be talking to you and I’m curious, what first got you interested in music all those years ago?

Sebastian Sage: Well I’ve been playing music my entire life. I don’t know what got me interested. Honestly, I think it’s a little bit of an obsession and so much to maybe the demise and the wishes of my parents, to get a real job. They got me started in lessons and I don’t think they realized what they were getting themselves into once I started to want to do a degree in music. I finally got a full scholarship to go to USC to do my doctorate in music, and then my dad was like, “Maybe you’re going to be OK?”

Larry Jordan: They have too many visions of penniless musicians I think.

Sebastian Sage: I agree, and how many musicians do you know that make a career out of this?

Larry Jordan: A lot of musicians want to, but not a lot of them succeed. We’ll talk more about that a little later in the show. We’ve got a segment from Scott Page talking about how to run a successful, creative business which I think could be useful for a lot of people.

Sebastian Sage: Oh terrific.

Larry Jordan: Do you prefer performing, recording or teaching music?

Sebastian Sage: Honestly I really enjoy all of them. I love performing. Being on stage feels so good, I feel at home. I sometimes feel more comfortable on stage than I do off stage honestly. And then recording and composing, that was something relatively new. I didn’t realize that I could do that and I was just like I’m just going to do something simple. I’ll write a real simple song and I felt like I opened Pandora’s Box and I just couldn’t stop. And now I have stacks of recordings and books, and lyrics and scribbling on papers. It became an obsession. And then teaching, it’s just a wonderful way to share your love with others, and sometimes it also inspires your music to be around people that are so interested in it. Like minds, people who want to do music, are inspired by it. The more you get together sometimes the more stuff can come out of it. I love collaborating with people in song writing or composition or anything.

Larry Jordan: Well I think there’s a story in how you got composing, because it wasn’t “I’m going to be a composer” was it?

Sebastian Sage: Not at all. I was playing a lot of classical music and of course a lot of pop and rock. Playing Bach on the classical guitar and then playing Beatles and all these rock and roll bands, and they just became so amazing and great and I wondered, how could I do something like that? So I just started writing some simple songs and one my colleagues at USC who was making a film asked another one of my friends to compose, and asked me to play to all the guitar on that. My friend wrote a solo guitar piece, and he apologized to me when he gave it to me, saying, “I don’t know how to play guitar or how to compose for guitar, so just do your best.” I sat at home and I was stressed out of my mind. I could not play this piece, and I couldn’t make it sound good. And then the day of the recording I didn’t say anything to them because I just felt there was something wrong with me or my guitar abilities. And the morning of the recording session I sat down and I did this weird tuning on my guitar and this song just roared out of my guitar and I’m sitting there going, “Oh my goodness, this is incredible.” I thought it was anyway and so I sheepishly went to the studio and I said to the guys, “I tried to learn this piece you wrote for a solo guitar, and it just wouldn’t work so I wrote this instead” and I played this song for them and when I looked up all their jaws were on the floor and saying “That’s incredible. We would love to have you use that piece.”

Sebastian Sage: That was my first in to writing music for movies. And the next film that one of my other friends made, they asked the two of us, the composer from the first movie, they asked us to write together. It took my friend about a month to write the score for the first feature length film he did, but when we got together, which is why I love collaboration, we wrote probably 80 percent of the score in three days. It was just fireworks going off and he would play something on the piano and I’d say, “That’s perfect.” He’d say, “Yes it was, but I can’t remember what I played.” I’d say, “Move over” and I just played exactly what he played and he said “How did you do that?” I was like, “I don’t know.” So we just had this great relationship and from there, I really got into writing music for movies and that led to other things as well.

Larry Jordan: When you’re composing, do you have a story in your mind, an emotion in your mind? A color in your mind? What’s driving the composition?

Sebastian Sage: Well honestly I think when it comes down to it, I can’t really come up with a crystallized idea other than its just intuition. I have this one friend, he doesn’t know anything about music or anything about music theory. He’s never studied music seriously, but he’s a good musician. He said to me he just does things on the guitar or turns knobs on his amp until the hair stands up on the back of his neck. And I was like, “Wow. That’s it.” It’s that kind of thing you can’t always explain what you’re trying to do. What it is exactly you want to have. You just have a feeling and a hunch and you just keep playing with it. So I was just working on a pilot for a reality show, and it was the same thing. Sometimes I would just start out with a tone or a sound, and I’d be like, “OK I like that.” And then I would just build on that feeling I had. If that makes sense?

Larry Jordan: No, it makes perfect sense. It’s, it’s like trying to describe creativity. It’s obvious when you see it, but it’s hard to describe the process.

Sebastian Sage: Right, you can study it and pick apart something that’s not even done, but when you’re going into it, it’s sort of unknown territory. It’s like you’re exploring and going into new areas. Again, there’s that feeling that “I like this, I hope someone else likes it as well.” And I think that’s what you’re always trying to do as a musician is find those people that like what you like. Not everyone is going to like your music. I met this one woman that doesn’t like the Beatles, and how can you not like the Beatles? She’s entitled to her opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion about music. It’s a very personal and passionate thing.

Larry Jordan: You’ve composed for both television and film. Is there a difference between them, and do you approach them differently?

Sebastian Sage: Well, you know, I think the approach is the exact same way. Sometimes the genres or the styles can be more different. When I did the reality show, I was using more electronic music most. I would probably say 80 percent of the music done was all electronic based. When I’ve done some other films and stuff, I find myself maybe using more real instruments and violins. I don’t know if I can say that there’s definitely a rule, because you’ll see movies where there’s a lot of electronic music, and you’ll maybe see some television shows where there’s a lot of more real instruments. Generally I might say that that has been my experience.

Sebastian Sage: Mind you though, I did a sitcom and that I’d say it was 50/50, so it all depends on the emotion or the feeling I guess you’re trying to convey musically, and the way you’re trying to accent what is going on in the film.

Larry Jordan: I’m looking back here at your bio and it says you’re also an actor. Where does acting fit into all of this?

Sebastian Sage: Well it was one of those things. I was hard headed that I’m a musician, and I kept stumbling into all these acting roles. It happened in high school. The drama teacher asked me to come over and teach one of the cast members how to play guitar for his part, and then a few days before the actor had an accident and they asked me to step in for him. I said “Sure, I’ll do it” and I went on stage and I had a great time. I felt it was where I was supposed to be. But I had this set in my mind that I was a musician, so I went back to the music department and left that behind. But it just kept happening where I would go for some sort of little audition and I would get it, whether it was commercial work. I did some theater as well. I went into it more as a composer and a musician and I ended up getting a pretty big acting role in it as well. Finally I did a sit com pilot and the thing that I love about acting is the collaboration. A lot of times when I do my music, I find I’m in the studio alone or I’m at home alone, writing music and doing all this stuff, and it can take hours. And I love people. I love being around people, and that’s one of the things that I really love about acting.

Larry Jordan: But you’re also involved in the performance art of teaching, so put your teaching hat on for a minute. What advice are you giving your students about the future of music? Where can musicians make money today?

Sebastian Sage: One of the huge areas is video games and computer games. They are making millions. I think they’re set up to be making about $100 million or something projected for some of the online video games. Remember the video game, ‘Farmville?’ Everyone on Facebook that’s playing that. They made like $32 million or something like that in 2013 or 12 or something. So there’s a lot of money and there’s a lot of need for music and voiceover actors. You know, you have all of the big actors are doing voiceovers. Sigourney Weaver, Michael Keaton, Ed Harris, Ray Liotta, Samuel Jackson. They’ve done for the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Games or any of the video games that have dialog. They’re paying really good money to actors to do these voiceovers. And it’s great exposure for the actor, and it can pay their bills as well. I’ve heard a lot of stories of actors who do movies, even Glenn Close did a role in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ and there was a quote saying that she just did it so she could continue to do her theater acting which is her true love and pay the bills.

Larry Jordan: Interesting.

Sebastian Sage: I’m like, “Hey if it pays the bills.”

Larry Jordan: And Sebastian, for people that want to keep track of you and your school, where can they go on the web?

Sebastian Sage: Well they could check out CSUCI.edu, that’s Cal State Channel Islands. The performing arts department is what I’m a part of, but I also teach a part of the digital media, where I do some audio design and recording.

Larry Jordan: Thank you Sebastian for joining us today. We look forward to talking to you soon. Take care, goodbye.

Sebastian Sage: Thank you Larry, have a great day. OK bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Laura Blum is a film and events curator, as well as a Thalo.com contributing writer, film festivals.com blogger, and former film and television development executive with Sony BMG. She gives us a regular look at the intersection of the creative arts with film making. Hello Laura. Welcome back.

Laura Blum: Thank you Larry, great to be back.

Larry Jordan: Laura, you are very involved with the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability. What is it?

Laura Blum: So the full title, and it’s a big mouthful, is the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, and we call it Pac Rim for short. And it’s presented by the University of Hawaii’s Center on Disability Studies. People come from around the world and that includes advocates and policy makers, and NGO reps and academics. And I have had the great honor for the past three years, of presenting a keynote that I call ‘Ten Films that Shook the World’ where I look at how disability is portrayed in cinema and how cinema impacts disability rights. I also program and present film festival.

Larry Jordan: Why should film makers even care about disability?

Laura Blum: Such an interesting question. Certainly the community is understanding that with diversity, more and more everybody’s got to get with the program. So part of it is just really that, to reflect a broader experience of humanity. And then there have been some very interesting initiatives over recent years by advocates in the disability community to really get the very powerful film industry to reflect the experience of disability more accurately, more appropriately, and we can talk about one of the aspects which is casting.

Laura Blum: The word disability itself can be a little bit of a controversy. Last year, I interviewed Danny Woodburn, who you’ll recall was the little person on Seinfeld. And Danny has a vision of unifying the whole disability community so that, for the 30th anniversary of the ADA, that’s the Americans with Disability Act, they can march on Washington and say, quote, we’re disabled. Say the word. So Woodburn and many others believe that it’s a powerful rallying cry and Woodburn told me quote, differently-abled downplays the importance of saying disability. So he really wants to embrace the term and he doesn’t want to be pre-judged by it.

Larry Jordan: So give me a specific example of how a film maker or a television program is addressing this issue of disability.

Laura Blum: Well this Fall, starting September 21st, ABC will debut a sitcom and it’s called ‘Speechless,’ created by Scott Silveri of Friends. It’s about a family whose oldest son has cerebral palsy and uses an assistive speech device. What’s interesting is that the characters played by Micah Fowler, and he himself has CP. So, you could say that ‘Speechless’ has avoided the pitfall of casting an able bodied actor in a disabled role.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking it would be useful for many of us to go into more detail about how different films and television programs are addressing disability. Can we talk about this the next time we visit?

Laura Blum: With pleasure.

Larry Jordan: Laura Blum is a film and events curator as well as a Thalo.com contributing writer, and Laura, thanks for joining us today.

Laura Blum: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment and technology attorney, of counsel at Troy Gould in Los Angeles, and he’s also the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for the Hollywood Reporter. And best of all, we get to talk to him regularly on the Buzz. Hello Jonathan, welcome back.

Jonathan Handel: Larry, as always it’s a pleasure.

Larry Jordan: Well I hope you can say that at the end of your segment as well, because you’ve been hob nobbing with the famous again. You recently interviewed both Gabrielle Carteris and David White regarding diversity issues in Hollywood, and for folks that don’t know, who are these people?

Jonathan Handel: Well Gabrielle is the President of SAG-AFTRA, and David White is the National Executive Director of a relationship where the difference is that David White is the top paid staff member whereas Gabrielle is the top elected official of the union. And that’s the way SAG, AFTRA, and now SAG-AFTRA, Writer’s Guild East, Writer’s Guild West, and the Director’s Guild are all structured. Separation between the elected and the executive director.

Larry Jordan: So what was the purpose of the interview?

Jonathan Handel: Well it really was to touch base with them, particularly since it’s been five months since the prior SAG-AFTRA President, Ken Howard, unfortunately died while in office. And Gabrielle who was then the executive vice president took over from him and was elected by the board to fill out his term until next fall. And so we wanted to touch base and see what is going on with the union, on diversity issues as well as a variety of other issues.

Larry Jordan: So what did you learn?

Jonathan Handel: Some key things, some of which we’ve talked about in the past. The commercials contract was finalized a few months ago, one of their big contracts. The health plans are going to merge starting in January so the separate SAG and AFTRA legacy health plans will now be a single health plan. That will make healthcare more accessible and more available to SAG-AFTRA members, given qualifying earning levels for the plan, obviously can have a particularly strong effect on people with disabilities who may have medical needs in addition to those that other folks may not.

Jonathan Handel: Beyond that, we talked as well about voice actors. Voice actors in video games have been suffering from over work. It sounds frivolous to say well you’re going in voicing, how hard can that be? But when you scream and grunt for four hours at a time, it actually can damage people’s vocal cords, sometimes permanently. So it is a health and potential disability issue that the union has been inactive around.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, recently you talked about Telemundo and age discrimination, which are both diversity issues. What’s SAG-AFTRA doing here?

Jonathan Handel: In the case of Telemundo and Spanish speaking actors, Telemundo refuses to sign a union agreement, whereas the sister company NBC of course has been a union signatory for a long time. So SAG-AFTRA is trying to organize Telemundo. On age discrimination, the particular issue is that there is a bill that is now past the legislature. It’s going to the Governor that would make it unlawful for subscription entertainment websites basically, IMDB and certain other websites, to include actors’ ages on those websites. That’s a source of discrimination and ageism that really flashes people in the face.

Larry Jordan: Is the government likely to sign it?

Jonathan Handel: We don’t know. I’m not aware that they’ve taken a position on it one way or another, but it was passed I think with pretty strong support in both houses. So people have their fingers crossed.

Larry Jordan: So for people that want to keep track of what you’re writing, where can they go on the web?

Jonathan Handel: They can go to THR Labor, The Hollywood Reporter Labor.com. And if they want to keep track of me individually, they can go to JHandel.com.

Larry Jordan: And J Handel is Jonathan Handel, of counsel at Troy Gould, and with the Hollywood Reporter. Jonathan, as always, thanks for joining us. We’ll talk to you soon.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks so much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Jonathan Handel: Bye.

Larry Jordan: Scott Page is a musician, technologist and serial entrepreneur. He currently is the CEO of Ignited Network, which is a start up music accelerator focused on teaching artists how to think like a start up. And, as a musician, he’s widely recognized as a saxophonist and rhythm guitarist for Pink Floyd, Supertramp, and Toto. Hello Scott, welcome back.

Scott Page: Hi Larry. Thanks for having me on again, I love doing your show.

Larry Jordan: We love having you here. I was just thinking, you and your company are focused on how to enable creative artists of all types to become more successful at business.

Scott Page: Yes.

Larry Jordan: You’ve described this process as SPACE. What does SPACE stand for?

Scott Page: SPACE stands for story, plan, army, conversion and education. And those I believe is really the winning formula. I f you can figure out those pieces, especially when you’re trying to build your own director consumer business which is wonderful today, because I believe this is the greatest time in history for the independent artist. But they have to get educated and they have to start learning how to use these tools to basically rise above the noise and build a successful business.

Larry Jordan: I want to spend the next few weeks talking about exactly that. Each of these five letters on their own. And today I want to start with story. What story are you talking about?

Scott Page: It’s really about your brand story. We all know story is such a compelling part of getting peoples’ attention. What we’re finding now today is that the model has really shifted where the story has to be much more than just about your product or what it is. If you look at companies like Starbucks, you don’t hardly ever hear them talk about coffee any more. They’re always talking about things like diversity or things that they’re doing in the community to be very helpful. We’re at a time right now where especially with a lot of the millennials and things, they really care about what’s going on with the environment and things that are happening with diversity and bullying. All these things, so they really care about this stuff. So it’s really a great way to not only be passionate about what you care about as far as the content of things that you’re making, but by finding your passion in other areas where you can be helpful.

Larry Jordan: What’s the difference between your story and a typical elevator speech?

Scott Page: Well it is an elevator speech, but it’s just really about what is your brand purpose? It’s like really thinking more about that, because especially a lot of the content creators today, a lot of artists, they get online and talk about buy my record, come to my shows, me, me, me, me, when it’s really about we. It’s about we first now. So it’s like how do I find a niche area where I’m passionate about other things? So let me give you an example. We have an artist that we work with that I started asking her about, what can you do besides? What else do you care about? She cares about the environment, and plastics. So I said, “Oh that’s interesting” the whole issues of plastics polluting the planet. So from that we’ve built a whole thing around this passion that she has to try to solve this problem. She’s now connected up with the Plastic Coalition and a whole bunch of people, and she’s now working gigs in that community, because she’s now found a community that she’s passionate about. So a lot of what she talks about today is not just my music, but it’s the purpose of what she cares about. So combining those passions is a great way to find your base.

Scott Page: One other thing I wanted to talk about story that’s really important, is story now gives you the key words and the phrases that we can now use to growth hack through data analytics and scraping technologies, to find your exact audience. Because you know, and any business knows, if you have your product in front of people that really care, the chances are you’re going to be able to sell your product to those folks. So the story is more than just your story to rise above the noise, it also gives you data points that are very important for you to find your audience.

Larry Jordan: Scott, I want to invite you back next week to talk about the rest of the steps in your process, would that be OK?

Scott Page: Love this, one of my favorite topic.

Larry Jordan: And for people that want to learn more about what you are doing, where can they go on the web to learn more

Scott Page: You go to ignited.network.

Larry Jordan: And Scott Page is the CEO of Ignited Network at ignited.network, and thanks Scott for joining us.

Scott Page: Thanks Larry.

Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to. DoddleNEWS.com. DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platforms specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in depth organizational tools for busy production professionals. DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, film makers and story tellers. From photography to film making, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals, or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project, there’s only one place to go, DoddleNEWS.com.

Larry Jordan: Los Angeles based film maker Ryan Postas is a cinematographer, editor, producer and director. For the last couple of weeks he’s been shooting mostly with Arri cameras, and we’re curious about the results and his workflow. Hello Ryan, welcome back.

Ryan Postas: Hey, thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: So tell me what projects you’ve been working on recently.

Ryan Postas: I have several music videos that have been shot that are in post production. I also have documentary work, something you’d call a EPK, an electronic press kit for a new band that has not had their debut yet. Those are the few that I can think of off the top of my head.

Larry Jordan: That’s not doing too bad for a summer when things tend to be slow. Why did you decide to use Arri cameras?

Ryan Postas: Well lately I’ve been falling in love with the look of the Arri ProRes with ultra-prime lenses that I’ve been using. And I’ve also used the AMIRA for some of my run and gun work that is a great camera for a single operator if I don’t have the luxury of having a first AC. Then it’s set up to be easier for me to just do things on my own. But most importantly, it’s the look that I’m happy with.

Larry Jordan: Well how would you compare the Arri with especially a RED camera?

Ryan Postas: Well the RED has the new Weapon out. And I’ve only been able to use that as a test. I’ve been wanting to shoot with the Weapon but haven’t had the luxury of the budget for it. So the RED Dragon was a camera that I used a lot. I just shot a group of concepts, scenes for a feature we did a few days back east. And we shot that with anamorphic and I love the resolution of the REDs. I feel that now that I’ve seen a lot of the work, a lot of my work with the areas, that I’m really loving the color separation. There’s a clarity to the image, but there’s also a beautiful softness to it as well. I’ve just been falling in love with playing with color correction. I’m actually getting ahead of myself in the color grading … the edit.

Larry Jordan: That’s alright, we’ll get to editing in just a minute. I want to go back to the issue of resolution. It sounds to me that resolution, in other words how many pixels you’ve got in the frame, isn’t the most important part of the image to you?

Ryan Postas: Resolution actually has been becoming more important to me the more time that I spend editing because I’m really digesting the footage. I’m really being hard on myself with the way that I’m lighting, the way that I’m working with the camera. Resolution is something that is giving me a lot more clarity in my images. If I look at something that I’ve done in 1080, and I stare at that all day and then jump over and I cut something that is in 4K the clarity and the integrity of the image is just there. And I think that the debate about whether resolution is important versus HD, I think that that should be coming to an end. I think that people should be really accepting of higher resolution. I think the higher the resolution the better because…

Larry Jordan: Yes, but you were just saying not seconds ago, that you were falling in love with the Arri because it had a softer image, you were falling in love because the color separation. Never once did the word resolution escape your lips.

Ryan Postas: That’s true. I mean I think that that’s because to me 4K is the base. I think 4K is the standard. So I wasn’t even thinking in terms of resolution for that. At the end of the day, you have to make a gorgeous image right? People aren’t going to judge it by the resolution. They’re not going to say, “Oh they didn’t shoot 4K”. That doesn’t matter really. It comes down to how the image looks.

Larry Jordan: I’m going to flog 4K just one more second. If you’re posting stuff to YouTube, are you going to be able to see the difference between an HD source master and a 4K source master when you’re looking at it inside a web browser?

Ryan Postas: If you have the latest retina Macbook, or if you have a 4K TV or anything that actually can display those images, then yes, because you’re going to see that the 1080 image is being stretched to fill that nice resolution of your monitor and I believe you’ll see it. Does the average viewer care or pay attention? Probably not. But to me, I’m very particular about it.

Larry Jordan: As you’ve been working with the Arri, let’s go back to the camera for a moment. What quirks have you found that you need to pay attention to?

Ryan Postas: You mean as an upgrader? Or in regards to exposure?

Larry Jordan: Well, stuff that’s specific to the areas. Is there anything that you run into that’s a gotcha, that you need to pay attention to from an operational point of view?

Ryan Postas: No, I would say that the menus are probably a little bit more in depth. There’s a lot more that you need to learn, whereas I love that RED displays everything right on the monitor for you. Anything you need to change, it’s right there. The Arris, you have to dig in a little deeper and kind of understand how they have things set up. But that just comes with learning right? That just comes with use and experience.

Larry Jordan: That’s just most things in life I think.

Ryan Postas: Yeah.

Larry Jordan: You said you were shooting ProRes. Which flavor of ProRes?

Ryan Postas: I am shooting 4444. Mostly to get a little bit more color depth in there. But I have been researching some of the ALEXA SXT cameras with the Arri RAW which I have yet to shoot on my own projects. And I have something coming up, fingers crossed, that would allow me to shoot with that camera, and that would be the first time I’m shooting with Arri RAW and I’ll be able to compare the difference between the ProRes and the Arri RAW.

Larry Jordan: ProRes 4444 is a beautiful format. I use it a lot myself, especially for stuff that’s screen captured. But it generates fairly large files, and I’m being polite, it generates really big files. So what changes did you need to make either to media management or workflow to successfully edit in this format?

Ryan Postas: My workflow, I could tell my iMac isn’t processing the footage as well as it used to. I think that could just be a sign of a time to upgrade. Or it could be the 4444 color depth. But in terms of onset media management, it doesn’t change things. You should always have a DIT, you should always have somebody there that’s got your back with the media. I mean yesterday I just did something running on that I had to manage the media myself. So I had the opportunity to have a break and take care of that. Every four cards I went to offload everything and then get back to it.

Larry Jordan: OK talk about color grading. What’s happening there?

Ryan Postas: Color grading is something that I feel like comes from my passion for photography, has gone over to the cinematography side, and I jump back and forth between Resolve and Premier, depending on the project and depending on what I’m looking for in the color. Sometimes the Rec 709 is great and it’s going to be exactly what the client wants to see but I like to kind of push it a little further and see what I can do with just new visuals. Just adding a nice flavor to what I’ve already done in the camera. And playing around with that more actually puts ideas in my head for when I’m shooting the next project of what I could do better, or how the lighting will benefit what is happening in the grades. I love to emulate film stocks so I’m always looking for, you know, I find quite a bit of plugins and LUTS and things that I see online.

Larry Jordan: Are you shooting pretty much clean into the camera and you’re doing all your tweaks in post? Or are you making stuff look unusual in the camera itself?

Ryan Postas: With the RED, I can dial in my own settings. With the Arri you have to basically create a look and put it into camera, which I played a little bit with that as well for my own creative stuff. Clients usually don’t want us to go too crazy with looks while you’re on set. But I like the fact that I can put a look into the camera and get an idea of what I’m going to get while I’m shooting. It’s pretty cool.

Larry Jordan: Yeah, I’ve always worried that if I shoot something that looks a little bit too outrageous on the camera, I can’t go back and fix it. But I can shoot clean on the camera and get crazy in post and if I change my mind, I haven’t painted myself into a corner.

Ryan Postas: Yes, I mean the good thing about recording in Lock C but you can set the SPI and your monitors to feed. You can set that to Rec 709 or you can set it to a look. And so the client’s not seeing the raw image on set. They’re seeing a stylized image but when you get it into post, you’re back to Lock C, you’re back to very flat images and then you can go from there. You can put that look on a footage and you have the look right away, or you can start fresh.

Larry Jordan: Very cool.

Ryan Postas: Yeah.

Larry Jordan: Ryan, for people who want to keep track of the stuff you’re doing, or hire you for their next music video, where they can go on the web?

Ryan Postas: They can go to www.ryanpostas.com or they can actually find me on Instagram at just Ryan Postas.

Larry Jordan: That’s R Y A N P O S T A S, Ryanpostas.com. I had to look it up to make sure I got it right. Ryan, thanks for joining us today.

Ryan Postas: Thank you so much, I appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye. And you know, it’s interesting as we look at the range of work that’s being done, and the comments from Laura on diversity and Scott on running a creative business, and then talking with people that are in the trenches like Ryan and Sebastian, it’s an interesting experience in time in our industry, and it’s only going to get crazier with IBC getting closer.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week, Sebastian Sage, musician, composer and actor. Ryan Postas, cinematographer and director. Laura Blum, Thalo.com, contributing writer. Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for the Hollywood Reporter. Scott Page, CEO of Ignited Network and James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of industry to talk about and it’s all posted to our website at Digital Production Buzz.com, and remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Friday.

Larry Jordan: Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at DigitalProductionBuzz.com. Our theme music was composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner with additional music provided by Smartsound.com. Text transcripts provided by Take1 Transcription. Visit Take1.tv to learn how they can help you. Our supervising producer is Cirina Catania with assistance from Debbie Price.

Larry Jordan: My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for joining us for the Digital Production Buzz.

Digital Production Buzz – August 25, 2016

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Sebastian Sage, Ryan Postas, James DeRuvo, Laura Blum, Jonathan Handel, and Scott Page.

  • Inside a Creative Journey
  • Using Arri Cameras On Set and In Post
  • Ang Lee, Canon and DaVinci Resolve
  • Disability in Filmmaking – Getting it Right
  • Hollywood Tackles Diversity
  • Use SPACE to Help Your Business Succeed

View Show Transcript

Listen to the Full Episode

(To download the show, right-click Download and click “Save Link As…”)

Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week

Featured Interview #1: Inside a Creative Journey

Sebastian Sage
Sebastian Sage, Musician, Composer
Music and acting are Sebastian Sage‘s greatest gifts. He shares his gifts teaching Audio Design and Recording at Cal State Channel Islands. His creative journey started simply and became inspiring. Listen as he shares the secrets of his success.

Featured Interview #2: Using Arri Cameras On Set and In Post

Ryan Neil Postas
Ryan Neil Postas, Film Maker, Elevated Minds
Filmmaker Ryan Postas has been using Arri cameras on his last few shoots. Tonight he describes the gear he uses, the images they create and his workflow for getting those images into post.

DoddleNEWS Update: Ang Lee, Canon and DaVinci Resolve

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Senior Writer, DoddleNEWS.com
The latest industry news covering Ang Lee, new gear from Canon and Davinci Resolved, all presented by James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS.

Thalo Report: Disability in Filmmaking – Getting it Right

Laura Blum
Laura Blum, Curator/Journalist, Thalo.com
Laura Blum is a film and events curator, as well as a blogger for FilmFestivals.com, and very involved with the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity. This week, Laura looks at how filmmakers represent disability in their projects.

Labor Report: Hollywood Tackles Diversity

Jonathan Handel
Jonathan Handel, Of Counsel, TroyGould & Labor Reporter, The Hollywood Reporter, Website
Jonathan Handel, Of Counsel with Troy Gould and the Entertainment Labor reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, recently interviewed both Gabrielle Carteris and David White regarding how Hollywood is improving its diversity. He shares what he learned with us tonight.

The Creativity Business: Use SPACE to Help Your Business Succeed

Scott Page
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Network
Scott Page is a musician and serial entrepreneur. He is also passionate about enabling creative businesses to grow. Tonight, he shares his five-step “SPACE Process” that enables your creative business to grow and succeed.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – August 11, 2016

Digital Production Buzz
August 11, 2016

Click to listen:

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
James DeRuvo, Senior Writer, DoddleNEWS.com
Patrick Southern, Editor
Laura Blum, Curator/Journalist, Thalo.com
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Creative Planet Network
Lucas Maciel, Communications Management, Pond5
Michael Kammes, Director of Technology and Marketing, Key Code Media

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Buzz, we explore the new era of the super editor; especially for documentaries. Patrick Southern, a Freelance Editor for A&E and other networks, shares his thoughts on new trends and workflows in editing.

Larry Jordan: Then, Lucas Maciel, Product Manager for Pond5, describes their new public domain project and how it’s providing tens of thousands of historical clips and stills, for free, to media creators.

Larry Jordan: Next, Laura Blum, Blogger for filmfestivals.com, continues her look at hybrid documentaries; which combine elements of traditional documentaries with feature film techniques from Hollywood.

Larry Jordan: Next, Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor for Creative Planet, answers the age-old question, can my vacation photos look professional?

Larry Jordan: Next, Michael Kammes, Director of Technology and Marketing for Key Code Media, continues our documentary discussion, with a look at picking the right video Codec for non-scripted and reality programming.

Larry Jordan: And, as always, we start first with a look at this week’s new with James DeRuvo of DoddleNEWS. The Buzz starts now.

Male Voiceover: 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: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry; covering media production, post-production and marketing around the world. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan and over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at new technologies and techniques that documentaries can use to heighten their realism and attract a larger audience. That conversation continues on today’s show.

Larry Jordan: Patrick Southern will showcase new editing techniques that he’s using in the documentaries that he edits, including a free archive of historical footage, called the Public Domain Project. Later in the show we’ll meet Lucas Maciel, who’s the Project Manager for the Public Domain Project. Now this is a long-term effort from Pond5. We spoke with Lucas last night from his home in Rio de Janeiro. It was a fun conversation that I know you’ll enjoy.

Larry Jordan: Laura Blum returns with the third part in her series, on how Hollywood is influencing production techniques and documentaries and she does it by discussing Robert Greene’s film, Kate Plays Christine. Plus, long-time Buzz regulars, Ned Soltz look at camera gear and Michael Kammes on how reality shows are getting left behind in technology.

Larry Jordan: Before we get too far into the show, I want to remind you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Every issue, every week, gives you an inside look at the Buzz; quick links to all the different segments on the show; and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers. Best of all, every issue is free.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, it’s the middle of summer, my inbox is filling up. Why? Because IBC, the second largest trade show in our industry, starts September 8th in Amsterdam; that’s exactly four weeks from today and companies … using the … to catch our attention; which brings me to James DeRuvo; he has a career that spans film and radio and he’s written about technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years. He’s currently the senior writer on DoddleNEWS.com. Hello James, welcome.

James DeRuvo: Hi Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: Well it’s always good to have you back; so, what’s the latest news.

James DeRuvo: Well, the big news coming out of Sony is that they have created a new Codec that is supposed to compete with REDs [Red Raw], for having to be able to capture the amount of data that we get from a raw video image, but only have a smaller compressed size; and that new Codec is called XOVN. It was designed to support the new Sony AXF R74K external video recorder, which will be the first product to carry it in the Fall. It offers 16 bit encoding, similar to the … Format for Sony’s F55 CineAlta camera. It will increase your shooting time by 142%, while decreasing file transfer time by 59% and it does it with a sliding … encoding algorithm that can record at 661 megabits per second, at 24p, or go all the got toy up to 3300 megabits per second, at 120 frames per second.

Larry Jordan: Another Codec; I cannot tell you how thrilled I am.

James DeRuvo: Not only another Codec but another Sony proprietary Codec.

Larry Jordan: Well, we’re getting used to that. Alright. What else is happening this week?

James DeRuvo: Well, this week DitTorrent, the file sharing service, announced a new fund to help content creators distribute their films, art and music. It’s called the Discovery Fund and it will shoot out … from 2500 and $100,000. Choose 25 select filmmakers, musicians and artists who distribute their work via BitTorrent, which is the file sharing service. It will also offer marketing expertise, so that you can actually get the word out on your project.

Larry Jordan: Yes, but BitTorrent has never been the friend of filmmakers, they’ve ripped off more films than I can count. Why should we pay attention now?

James DeRuvo: Well, the piracy reputation looms like a shot over everything the creators of BitTorrent are trying to do. But they’re working really hard to go legit. They started off with a new Netflix [competitor] streaming service called BitTorrent Now, which offers a 70/30 split on all ad revenue; plus 90% of all purchases to the content creator; and they also allow the content creators to retain the rights to their project. On top of that, now they have the new Discovery Fund; so they’re trying to do things that will encourage legitimate use of the BitTorrent algorithm.

James DeRuvo: The strength of BitTorrent is that it enables content creators to distribute around the world without having to get stuck with tremendous bandwidth costs; because the bandwidth is shared by everybody who uses the Torrent. In theory, it is a very good thing for independent filmmakers. Whether or not it will actually work in practice, is anybody’s guess. But they’re trying. They’re making efforts.

Larry Jordan: Now really quickly, I just realized that Guillermo del Toro did something cool, what was that?

James DeRuvo: This is my favorite story this week Larry. A … filmmaker by the name of Chad Vader, sent a tweet on twitter to Guillermo del Toro, hoping that he would turn around and forward it out to his 375,000 followers, about a crowd funding campaign that he was doing. He was trying to raise just $666 in order to pay his actors for a horror film that he was making, in order to attract investment. But, when del Toro saw it and he saw the picture that the filmmaker had posted, which was a picture from his movie Crimson Peak, he turned around and fully funded the guy’s campaign.

Larry Jordan: Wow, very cool.

James DeRuvo: Sent him a tweet saying “fully funded; now go make your movie.” Now, he still had 20 days left on his campaign on Indiegogo and he can then turn around and focus on actually raising the real movie and make the movie, rather than just a teaser. That was just a really cool story.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more cool stories, where can they go on the web?

James DeRuvo: You can go to DoddleNEWS.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, DoddleNEWS.com and James DeRuvo is the Senior Writer at DoddleNEWS. James, as always, thank you; we’ll chat with you soon.

James DeRuvo: Talk to you later Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: I want to introduce you to a new website, thalo.com. Thalo.com is an artist community and networking site, for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. Thalo.com features content from around the world, with a global perspective on all things creative. Thalo is the place for creative folks to learn, collaborate, market and sell their works. Thalo is a part of the Thalo Arts community; a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts and everything in between. Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Visit thalo.com and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s thalo.com.

Larry Jordan: Patrick Southern is a Freelance Television Editor who has spent the last few years working on non-scripted programming for A&E, National Geographic and the Lifetime Movie Network. Hello Patrick, welcome.

Patrick Southern: Hey Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: It’s always fun chatting with you. We’ve been talking about documentaries for the last few weeks and that’s what you edit. So tell us about the kind of work that you’re editing these days.

Patrick Southern: Absolutely. Currently I’m over at a place called 1895 Films and they do a lot of archival documentaries; and we do some interview stuff. But a lot of it, I guess you could potentially call it clip show ish. It’s a lot of stuff on the Library of Congress and National Archives and a few other resources like that. Yes, we have a lot of fun doing what we do.

Larry Jordan: Tell us about one of your current projects.

Patrick Southern: Currently I am cutting on a project called History Revealed; it’s yet to be released and it’s a lot of dense images and footage from, you know, like 100 years ago, that might have been lost or people haven’t seen in forever. Often times from history stories that aren’t told in your history classes. We try to keep it as international as possible too; you know, make it interesting. You know, maybe something happened in Canada that we wouldn’t talk about here in the US; or maybe something happened in Azerbaijan or some place like that.

Larry Jordan: Well, where are you getting your footage from? I mean, historical footage is hard to find.

Patrick Southern: It is hard to find. Again, for our purposes, the places we start are places like the Library of Congress or the National Archives; or one of my new favorite sources would be Pond5’s Public Domain Project; which is a lot of, you know, footage that might be even in the National Archives but not digitized. Pond5 will go in and do a 4K scan or an HD scan of the footage and then make it available for free, which is really quite nice of them.

Larry Jordan: I like the word free, that has a nice sound. By the got toy, we’re going to have the Product Manager for the Public Domain Project, he’s a guy by the name of Lucas Maciel; he’s based out of Brazil. We’ll be talking to him a little bit later in this show; so thank you for mentioning that.

Patrick Southern: Absolutely; I’m looking forward to hearing from him.

Larry Jordan: Yes, it was a fun interview. Anyway, I want to talk about you and not him. I mean, you’ve been editing for more than a couple of weeks here, you’ve been doing it for years, how have you seen the role of the editor change over time?

Patrick Southern: Well, you know, I have to say, I have not myself experienced, yet, a scenario where you’ve got a Picture Editor, a Sound Editor, somebody else who will be the Story Editor; and I’ve heard many people talk about this mythical scenario. But, you know, from the very get-go, I’ve kind of had to learn a little bit of everything, you know. You have to know a little bit about sound mixing, a little bit about graphics, a little bit about how to do some research. You know, how do you find your footage, how do you color grade; and all that has been very much, not necessitated by the projects that I’m working on, but it’s been very helpful, I’ll say, in getting and keeping work, since I started.

Larry Jordan: Are you seeing this as budgets decreasing and people can’t afford to pay; in other words, we’re having a race to the bottom? Or are you seeing the technology is opening up new vistas for editors? Because, one could look at this as the glass is half full and the other the glass is half empty.

Patrick Southern: Certainly. I think that those two things are extremely related. I think that budgets are going down in terms of the number of people that you might have on a team; largely because, the software has become more accessible, in terms of both price and in terms of usability. You don’t really need a single person in terms of being able to press the right buttons to do picture anymore.

Patrick Southern: Certainly there is a place for somebody who is a Picture Editor who is extremely good at picture; so good that, to have them do anything else would be a shame. Those editors still exist, you know, on television shows like Empire or anything else you might find on NBC or Fox, in terms of narrative. In terms of non-scripted, a lot of the tools have become easy to get a hold of, you don’t have to have $100,000 for a seed of Avid.

Patrick Southern: Now you’ve got editors that can and should learn more than just picture editing; they need to know how to lay in sound effects and how to do at least a basic mix. I feel like, if you know how to do graphics, the better your rough cut looks the better it’s going to get through the network; the faster it will get through the network; the sooner you can launch the project and get onto the next show.

Larry Jordan: Let’s put you back in the editor’s chair. I’ve heard this new concept defined as a Super Editor, somebody that’s doing more than just cutting pictures. You’re sitting in the editor’s chair yourself and it’s nice to have all that control; but not everybody is good at everything. Are we setting ourselves up to fail?

Patrick Southern: You know, I would say that it’s possible. What’s that phrase? You’re a jack of all trades but master of none. I do think that, to a certain degree, if somebody’s like just strictly a Picture Editor, they’re probably going to be a better Picture Editor than somebody that’s doing a little bit of everything. I don’t know that there’s any getting around that. I will say that, being in a place where, you know, a non-scripted, you kind of have to be a little bit of a Super Editor and I think that the best that you can do, when facing that, is, you know, focus on one area and grow yourself in that one area.

Patrick Southern: For example, right now I have been focusing on timing, you know; making sure that my VO and my picture and my sound effects have a rhythm to them. I think that, taking the time while you’re in the midst of doing many different things and focusing in on, okay, what is a skill that I can increase in? What’s a weakness that I can work out? I think that that’s important, while you’re being the Super Editor.

Patrick Southern: I definitely think that you’re right, if somebody has the opportunity to just focus on picture, they’re going to have a much better handle on picture editing, than somebody who’s having to do everything at once.

Larry Jordan: How do we convince clients, when’s the time to bring in an expert? In other words, what’s the deciding factors?

Patrick Southern: You know, I guess in that case it’s, when you have the budget that’s large enough and you’ve got the viewing audience that’s going to be big enough. You know, other than that Larry, I honestly don’t know. I couldn’t say when the right time is to push for having somebody that’s a Picture Editor, somebody that’s a Story Editor. As I mentioned previously, you know, I’ve yet to be on a team where that’s been the case; where there’s been that many people working on post on any one particular job.

Larry Jordan: I remember when I started out in production, I was working with crews that were 20 and 25 people and the biggest crew I ever worked with in video was about 85 people; and I thought, wow, this is really cool. It only happened once but, boy, I still remember that show; so I know what you mean.

Larry Jordan: Every editor clearly wants a job and every editor needs a job. What skills do you think we need to develop to become more conversant, to survive in this new Super Editor world? What do we need to do and learn?

Patrick Southern:
I think the first thing to learn is how to learn and I that’s the one thing I am thankful for about my college education Larry. Even there, you know, it was like, the classes I’m taking it’s not enough. I think that if you can learn to learn, you know; go on Video Copilot, take tutorials and while you’re working, you know, find avenues that you can learn. Either reading a book, you know, reblinking of an eye or, you know, … podcast like this one. Find as many helpful tricks as you can; whether it be video tutorials like [Gripple] training or [London.com].

Patrick Southern: I think that, teaching yourself as much software skills as you can is good; but also, focusing on the core skills. Because software’s going to change, so, I think that if you know how to change between pieces of software, like Premiere or Final Cut, or Avid or After Effects or Fusion or Nuke or Resolve, if you have the ability to learn those quickly, as long as you know the core concepts, I think jumping from software to software is going to be a little bit easier and jumping from tool to tool and task to task is a lot easier once you, you know, learn the core skills and learn how to find those resources for learning.

Larry Jordan: Let’s put you back editing again, which is always a fun place to go. How do you find the historical footage that you get? How do you track it down? Because, it seems to me that finding the right shot when people weren’t shooting film as much as they are today, must be really tricky.

Patrick Southern: It is tricky. To be frank, there are some stories that there’s just not enough footage or enough photos to support. For the project I’m on right now, it starts out with things like searching battleship. Story around, what seems to have the largest treasure trove of images. But, you know, the best thing that I can say to do is, go out and, if you think that there might be a museum that might have stuff related to what you’re looking for.

Patrick Southern: You know, I’ve called aviation museums or naval museums and often times, you know, it’s not going to be something that shows first thing on Google when you type it in; you need to think of, okay, where did this take place? Therefore, I need to look at a museum near that location. Local museums and large archives like the Library of Congress or the National Archives are usually where I go and I usually just search, you know, you type in like you would into Google; you type in the term for the thing that you’re searching for or you think creatively, when I’m going to Pond5, sometimes I’ll just type in, okay, I know the story is about this, but I don’t have exact footage of this, so let me get something generally like it.

Patrick Southern: Sometimes you play a little bit looser with the archival footage that you’re looking for. Maybe you just need a shot of water from the 1930s.

Larry Jordan: Are you doing your own research, or do you have somebody that helps you out?

Patrick Southern: We do have a team of researchers here, but I do enjoy the research process; so I will do a little bit of the plan myself and we do have a number of researchers that, if I need something specific, then I’ll call on them and they will go and do magic that, you know, I certainly could not do.

Larry Jordan: You’re just looking for an excuse to browse the web, I can tell by listening.

Patrick Southern: Yes, well I really do enjoy looking through the National Archives and the Library of Congress; they’ve got some crazy images and it is frankly a lot of fun to look through.

Larry Jordan: Patrick, for people that want to keep track of you, what website can they go to?

Patrick Southern: They can go to twitter.com/jpsouthern; or they can go to 1895 Films to see what we’re working on over here.

Larry Jordan: Patrick Southern is the Freelance Editor there and Patrick, thanks for joining us, it’s been wonderful chatting.

Patrick Southern: Alright, thanks so much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: Laura Blum is a Film and Events Curator, as well as a thalo.com Contributing Writer, filmfestivals.com blogger and former Film and Television Development Executive with Sony BMG. She gives us a regular look at the intersection of the creative arts, with filmmaking. Welcome back Laura.

Laura Blum: it’s great to be back Larry; thank you.

Larry Jordan: You know, last week, you used a term called Hybrid Filmmaking. What does that term mean to you?

Laura Blum: Narrative Filmmaking is about entertaining, you know, fantasy and also, you know, maybe delivering transcendence. Well, traditional doc making is really about exposing the truth and traditionally it uses formal devices that are more distancing. So Hybrid Filmmaking comes along to use elements such as, let’s say, performance, special effects; animation and the whole point is to tell the true story.

Larry Jordan: Well last week, again, we talked about documentaries taking their cue from fiction films. What’s an example of this?

Laura Blum: Yes, there’s quite a few. I’m going to talk about some that are coming up. I think it’s August 24th, that Kate Plays Christine opens; that’s by Robert Greene. Some folks may know his 2014 film Actress. Kate Plays Christine stars and I do mean stars Kate Lyn Sheil, an actress people may know from House of Cards. She preps for the role of Christine Chubbuck in this film. Christine is the Florida News Reporter who killed herself rather sensationally on national television in 1974.

Laura Blum: Instead of watching real life events unfold, we watched the performance and what it brings up. Without giving too much away, it culminates in an art form that is supposed to be about objectivity, but it’s really asking us to think about how much subjectivity went into this document. There’s a moment of soap opera, quite the whole thing is … of a camera. It really asks us to think about, how much does Kate Play Christine and how much does Kate play herself.

Larry Jordan: Why are documentaries using these techniques? I mean, hasn’t the traditional got toy of revealing the truth through a documentary been sufficient?

Laura Blum: There’s two answers to that and I shall go straight for the crasser answer. One is that, for a producer there’s a real benefit because it expands the audience for non-fiction [fare]. You can really just say that a factual piece goes down easier if it’s sweetened with more familiar methods of dramatic storytelling. Think about it, it’s more emotionally involving, more memorable; you know, you could say it’s hookier, it’s more approachable. So to borrow stylistic elements from Hollywood means you might see a return on your investment.

Laura Blum: Then, you can also say that, all of the art forms have been up to this mischief in recent years or even decades, where they’ve been mixing it up with archival interpretation and staged reality. Let’s go back to filmmaking. You had Dogma Movement; making of films, TV, of course, team up with reality formats; online videos are absolutely awash with [tell all] selfies; and content makers have been more and more pulling back the curtain on how it produces content and how they come up with evidence. So we’re seeing these vogues pop up in doc making.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like there’s a number of trends that we can explore and Laura, I want to bring you back next week and we’ll continue our conversation about Hybrid Filmmaking. Laura Blum, thank you so very much.

Laura Blum: Thank you so much. Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is a Contributing Editor for Creative Planet, a moderator on 2-pop and Creative Cow Forums and, best of all, a regular here on the Buzz. Hello Ned, welcome back.

Ned Soltz: Hello Larry and hello to all of our listeners; it’s good to be with everybody this evening.

Larry Jordan: Well, welcome back from your Alaskan cruise. Did you take any pictures?

Ned Soltz: Oh, I shot about 3300 stills and rolled about an hour and 45 minutes worth of videos; so, yes, I am wading through material right now. At the same time, I’m trying to put together some kind of article, which I’ve actually done, and will appear any day now on redsharknews.com.

Larry Jordan: What gear did you take?

Ned Soltz: Well, I took a Sony A6300 Mirrorless camera body and a Sony A7R2 Full Frame Mirrorless body camera. I took a Sony Zeiss 16-70 F4 lens and the new Sony 72300 G-series lens; as well as the 24-70 Full Frame G-Master F28 lens; a Sony 16-35 lens and a Rokinon 8mm Fisheye; only for the APS system. Then, two GoPros and assorted mounts.

Larry Jordan: Did you see any of Alaska, or watch it all through the viewfinder?

Ned Soltz: I think a lot of it got watched through the viewfinder and that was part of what I was trying to prove on this trip or explore on this trip; which is, is it possible to try to go on vacation and, at the same time, do serious photographic and video work, with some series gear? I think the answer to that is a partially yes and a partial no.

Ned Soltz: Alaska, of course, is noted for its wildlife; but to be a good wildlife photographer, you’ve got to sit and wait for the wildlife to appear. Because, as we learned, as large as Denali National Park is, for example, and you hear about all of these things, there are only 350 grizzly bears in the millions of acres of Denali; and only 50 wolves. The land really doesn’t support as large a livestock population as one would think it did. But you can’t do that when you’re on vacation and your wife is getting a little antsy and the tour bus is about to move on and you don’t have self-service to call Uber if you get left behind; and there isn’t any Uber in the middle of Denali National Park anyway.

Ned Soltz: You have to really grab shots as best as possible and, in fact, as I’m processing my material, I am really surprised at the quality of the material I got was able to get; which I don’t attribute so much to photographic and video skills as I really do to the versatility of the Sony equipment. I’ve really got to give Sony a tremendous amount of credit, for what they’re been able to produce with these APSC, as well as full-frame cameras.

Larry Jordan: How are you going to organize all these clips and especially the stills?

Ned Soltz: My stills are definitely organized in Adobe Lightroom. It’s also a wonderful digital asset manager. You can organize your video in Lightroom as well; so, it’s wonderful for folders and sub-folders and key words and to be able to represent those and retrieve those. I’m using a still service called smugmug.com, which is a great archiving service; which also allows various levels of subscription, one of which is actually even to be able to sell some of these stills, which I hope to be able to do. These go onto SmugMug, I am processing in Lightroom, some of the things I’m taking over to Photoshop. The GoPro video will go through the GoPro app first and then it’s going to go into Resolve for coloring and even potentially editing; because that’s another whole set of topics of how impressed I am now with Da Vinci 12.5 and today 12.5.1 editing. The main digital asset management of this project is via Adobe Lightroom.

Larry Jordan: Very cool. Ned, for people that want to keep track of you and see if you actually do edit your home movies, where can they go on the web?

Ned Soltz: Well, the best place for this particular project is to keep an eye on redsharknews.com; where this more detailed article will go up; as well as a future article on: Is the same skill set necessary or available for shooting stills as for shooting video? This will all be on redsharknews.com

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is the writer of the article and regular on the Buzz. Ned, thanks for joining us today.

Ned Soltz: Thank you so much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye-bye.

Ned Soltz: Bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: Lucas Maciel was the Lead Coordinator of Pond5’s the Public Domain Project, which is an effort to make some of the world’s most valuable and historical audiovisual assets available to all media makers for free. Hello Lucas, welcome.

Lucas Maciel: Hello Larry. It’s lovely to speak to you.

Larry Jordan: It’s my pleasure. How would you describe the Public Domain Project?

Lucas Maciel: The Public Domain Project was an effort that we started some time ago, that we believe very much in. It’s our mission to serve media makers with everything they may need, when they’re working on a project. We think that they need to have access to footage; to after effects templates; to soundtracks; to sound effects. It’s obvious to us that, one of the most valuable resources that people can use when they’re making a project is historical footage; is historical audio and speeches; and this kind of content sometimes is very hard to find, but very useful.

Lucas Maciel: Thinking of this need, that video makers have, we decided we wanted to help solve this problem; making this content that is hard to find available in an easy to use platform.

Larry Jordan: Lucas, this costs Pond5 money and you’re making it available for free. Why did Pond5 decide to do this?

Lucas Maciel: Well, first of all, I think it comes from the understanding that, this is the right thing to do; to be honest. It’s our mission. We believe that we need to fuel creativity by empowering media makers with whichever they need. We don’t think Public Domain content should be costly to people. This is content that belongs to the world, by whichever reason; be it because the government made it available; maybe because it expired the copyrights that existed over it. It should be easy for people to find.

Lucas Maciel: Of course it gives us good publicity, of course, it gives us links back to the sites; so we do gain something in the end. But most of all, we think that’s the right thing to do. It should be that hard that you have to go to the National Archives, the Library of Congress yourself or hire a researcher to look for the content that you want to use and it shouldn’t’ be difficult to find when you’re using a tool online, that had never been thought for media markers, you know, they had been built for historians. We thought it was the right thing to do, to make it available for free and in a got toy the media makers can use easily.

Lucas Maciel: I think more companies should think about doing good, you know, doing good to the world; not only doing good to their pockets, you know. We think that, when you do the right thing, that’s the real worth in having a company and we want to get fulfilled in this mission and this project is a key part of that.

Larry Jordan: How many clips are involved in the Public Domain Project? How big is the library?

Lucas Maciel: We have around 80,000 assets; 10,000 of them are video clips; around 65 are around photographs too; and we have something like 3-4,000 audio clips, which are anything from sound effects from NASA, like, “Houston we have a problem” or just the sounds from space and from the rockets, to historical speeches; from Churchill and from many historical figures. Also we have something that we acquired from the Library of Congress, like music from immigrant communities that came to the US in the 30s. They recorded their traditional … culture in music and we have those recordings available; just so it gives some diversity to the collection as well. Something around 80,000 assets from different kinds of media types.

Larry Jordan: 80,000 clips is a lot of clips. Where did you get them from and how did you decide which ones to include?

Lucas Maciel: We got those clips from a variety of sources; some of the most important forms were the Library of Congress and the National Archives. When choosing the subjects that we wanted to have in the collection, we had in mind the things that media makers need to use the most. Not only because it was historical but because it was visually interesting. Let’s say, something that people really look for is sports; so we wanted to find sports content, especially now that the Olympics is happening; and also we have some footage from the Olympics of Helsinki in 1952 that was released in the Public Domain. From lots of old sports as well.

Lucas Maciel: We had this criteria of, what’s visually interesting for people to remix; because our ultimate goal was that people tell history again, you know, like, they retell these stories; because, as long as it’s being told it’s alive. This is the criteria is that it’s visually interesting, but also about historical relevance. As I mentioned before, some historical audio and speeches made it to the collection. This is some of the criteria for selecting the subjects.

Lucas Maciel: But when it comes to selecting the sources, we had to be very careful because, we are taking about content that is free of copyright; so it really has to be free of copyright. We had to take a look at the legislation in the US and at the little details, to make sure that, what we are making available does not pose any risk to our users. You know, they can rest assured that, whichever they’re using will cause them no trouble in terms of any legal obstacles; because there are no copyrights involved.

Lucas Maciel: There is a difference between copyright and rights of images and, I mean, the laws between different countries; so, it was a very detailed oriented work. You know, like sometimes you’ll find something that is in the Public Domain but not in the US and we’re, okay, let’s throw it away. We could have had a much larger collection, but we made a smaller one that we knew was really safe for people to use. So far, I mean, the project has been live for over a year, one and a half years so far, I think, and we’ve received absolutely zero reports from customers with legal problems, with somebody that claimed copyright over the work that they used.

Larry Jordan: When you’re gathering the clips, what workflow did you use? Did you have to digitize them? If so, what format are they in and did you do any cleanup?

Lucas Maciel: What we basically do with [Foolish], for example, is we select some film, some reels that we’ve got in the archives that had not been digitized. We took them to a dark room, we shot them in 4K, as they were being projected on the screen. Then we run them through a tool that we have that cuts the reel, whenever there is a cut in the footage; so when you have a continuous sequence and it breaks to another sequence, it splits them apart into separate clips. Then we run these clips through a tool that makes auto-tagging; so it analyzes frame by frame and adds key words to each individual clip. Then we run them also through some human curation, to add extra key words and do some [futuring]. But the tool can also improve itself and give better key words.

Lucas Maciel: This allows people, for example, to search, not only for the subject of the original reel, but also the subject of that specific clip. I mean, a good example is, rather than looking for Germany and World Got tor II, you might need a shot of a soldier walking by the sidewalk when a civilian’s looking. You can search for soldier, sidewalk, civilian, daylight and then you will find that specific clip that suits your needs. That is one of the got toys that we make this content available.

Lucas Maciel: We also combine with the metadata that already exists with the file; so, the metadata that’s in the archives, you know. But this gives a good idea of the process behind making this content available in the best got toy for media makers to use.

Larry Jordan: Why did you decide to project the film clips rather than scan them?

Lucas Maciel: Actually, there are cases of both, but that’s merely practicality and we didn’t have access to the scanning tools from the archives; so this was an easy and fast got toy to do it ourselves. But we spoke with the archives, as we were doing this, and they gave us some hard drives with content that they had scanned; so we went through the same process with content that they had scanned in their machines. There’s a mix of both.

Larry Jordan: Lucas, where can people go on the web specifically, to see this Public Domain content?

Lucas Maciel: Oh, they can go to pond5.com, which is our website and if they type directly pond5.com/free, they land directly on the Public Domain Project landing page. Then, if they’re just searching, regularly, on our site, they can use the Future, to see Public Domain only results.

Larry Jordan: Lucas Maciel was the Lead Coordinator of Pond5’s Public Domain Project and Lucas, thanks for joining us tonight.

Lucas Maciel: My pleasure. You’re welcome Larry.

Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to; DoddleNEWS.com. DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource; presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platforms, specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in-depth organizational tools for busy production professionals.

Larry Jordan: DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts community, a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers; from photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals, or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project; there’s only one place to go, DoddleNEWS.com.

Larry Jordan: This is Larry Jordan, the host of the Digital Production Buzz. The following interview is an excerpt from a recent program. To hear the entire program, visit digitalproductionbuzz dot com.

Larry Jordan: In his current role as Director of Technology and Marketing at Keycode Media, Michael Kammes consults on the latest in technology and best practices. He also has a strange love of workflow, codecs and process. Hello Michael, welcome back.

Michael Kammes: Hello Larry, great to hear your voice. It makes the world right.

Larry Jordan: [LAUGHS] Thank you, I’ll send you a check tomorrow. You know, we think of Hollywood as leading the charge into new technology, but while that may be true of feature films, is it true for all of its programming?

Michael Kammes: That’s a fantastic topic and it probably won’t be very popular, but let me ask you a question Larry. When you’re editing content, what would you say the average age of your gear is? If you just had to guess, would it be a year, four years? What would be an average age for it?

Larry Jordan: Well I’m sort of atypical, because I bought everything new about a year and a half ago, so everything I’ve got is about a year old.

Michael Kammes: OK, a year old. If we look at what really makes Hollywood go around, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not feature film, it’s television. That’s what employs everyone in Hollywood. There’s just an immense amount of unscripted television. And if we look at the technology that a lot of the unscripted houses are using, they’re very risk averse.

Larry Jordan: [LAUGHS] Yes, that’s true.

Michael Kammes: Yes, believe it or not, you wouldn’t think the mecca of technology would be risk averse, but we look at the technologies they’re using, and they’re using codecs that came out in 2001. We’re talking ten to one. A lot of the houses are still using Avid Unity, which they stopped making Unities in 2005. So, we’re dealing with storage chassis that have hard drives that could be upwards of 11 years old.

Larry Jordan: I get emails every day from people saying, I’m working with a 2007 Mac Pro. What do I need to get this thing optimized? Yeah, I totally understand. Risk averse is exactly the right word.

Michael Kammes: Go ahead.

Larry Jordan: What do they need to catch up? What’s the next step?

Michael Kammes: Well it’s a domino effect. Really what we need to start doing is working with better quality codecs, but unfortunately while better quality codecs have better visual fidelity, it means you need more storage to handle these higher bit rate codecs, and that’s an outlay of cash. So if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Let’s keep using the same storage and we don’t have to change our work. But where that falls down is, in the age of social media where we have to get preview cuts out and we want to share on social media before the project’s done, it makes it so the editors have to conform every time they need to get any kind of cut out. And that’s very difficult and time consuming.

Larry Jordan: Is social media going to be a driving force, or the conversion to HDR? What do you see?

Michael Kammes: I think in this case, it’s going to be getting it out before the show is ready to air. So getting it out to social media, getting it on social media platforms, creating other content rather than just what’s over broadcast.

Larry Jordan: Well the industry is not only risk averse but they hate spending money and budgets are tight. Is this technology even affordable to most of video people today?

Michael Kammes: I think it really is affordable. If we look at XDCAM, which is a ten year old codec, that’s not a heavyweight codec, and if folks are using that for their offlines, you know have a broadcast quality broadcast screener that you can put on the web, you can send out for a view and approve, and you can do things like check focus with ten to one.

Larry Jordan: That’s a frightening thought. So Michael, where can people go to learn more about the technology they should pay attention to?

Michael Kammes: Couple of places. Fivethingsseries dot com, and my namesake, michaelkammes dot com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, M I C H A E L K A M M E S and the Mister Michael Kammes himself is the voice you’ve been listening to. Michael, it is always fun chatting. Thank you much for taking the time.

Michael Kammes: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: It’s been a fascinating conversation over the last few weeks, looking in-depth at documentaries and some of the new technology we can use to improve our projects.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week:

  • Patrick Southern, free-lance editor
  • Lucas Maciel, with Pond5
  • Laura Blum, blogger with FilmFestivals.com
  • Michael Kammes, with Key Code Media
  • Ned Soltz, with Creative Planet
  • and James Deruvo, with DoddleNEWS

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website: DigitalProductionBuzz.com. Here you’ll find thousands of interviews. All online and all available to you… today. And remember to sign up for our FREE, weekly show newsletter that comes out every Friday.

Larry Jordan: The Buzz is taking a week off next week, we’ll be back in two weeks with an all-new show. In the meantime, talk with us on on Twitter — DPBuzz — and Facebook at — Digital Production Buzz.com

Larry Jordan: Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner, with additional music provided by Smartsound.com.

Larry Jordan: Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. Visit Take1.TV to learn how they can help you.

Larry Jordan: Our supervising producer is Cirina Catania.

Larry Jordan: My name is Larry Jordan — and THANKS for joining us for the Digital Production BuZZ.

Larry Jordan: The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2016 by Thalo LLC.

Digital Production Buzz – August 11, 2016

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with James DeRuvo, Patrick Southern, Laura Blum, Ned Soltz, Lucas Maciel, and Michael Kammes.

  • The Latest from DoddleNEWS
  • The Era of the Super Editor
  • Hybrid Filmmaking, Part 3
  • Can Your Vacation Photos Look Professional?
  • The Public Domain Project at Pond5
  • Hollywood is Getting Behind in Tech

View Show Transcript

Listen to the Full Episode

(To download the show, right-click Download and click “Save Link As…”)

Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week

DoddleNEWS: The Latest from DoddleNEWS

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Senior Writer, DoddleNEWS.com
James DeRuvo, Senior Writer at DoddleNEWS, has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film, and publishing. Covering technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James has also won awards as a film director, with a Telly for his short film “Searching for Inspiration.” He’s also produced many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology. James brings us the latest news from Doddle.

In-depth Interview #1: The Era of the Super Editor

Patrick Southern
Patrick Southern, Editor
Patrick Southern is a free-lance Television Editor who has spent the last two years working on non-scripted programming for A&E, National Geographic, and the Lifetime Movie Network. He has a lot to say about the Era of the Super Editor! Move over Story Editor, Music Editor, Dialogue Editor, Clip Researcher and preliminary sound mixer – there’s a new workflow in town.

Thalo Arts: Hybrid Filmmaking, Part 3

Laura Blum
Laura Blum, Curator/Journalist, Thalo.com
Laura Blum is a film and events curator as well as a thalo.com contributing writer, FilmFestivals.com blogger and former film and television development executive with Sony BMG. She frequently speaks about movies for Talk Cinema, Furman Film Series, Wesleyan University and the University of Hawaii’s Pacific Rim Conference on Disability and Diversity.

Cameras: Can Your Vacation Photos Look Professional?

Ned Soltz
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Creative Planet Network
Ned Soltz is an author, editor, educator, and consultant on all things related to digital video. He is also a contributing editor for Creative Planet, a moderator on “2-Pop” and “Creative Cow” forums, and – best of all – a regular correspondent here on The Buzz. He just came back from an adventurous trip to Alaska and tells us about how what gear he took and how he is going to organize and post-process thousands of pictures!

In-depth Interview #2: The Public Domain Project at Pond5

Lucas Maciel
Lucas Maciel, Communications Management, Pond5
Lucas Maciel was the lead coordinator of Pond5’s The Public Domain Project, an effort to make some of the world’s most valuable and historical audiovisual assets available to all media makers for free. Before that, he had a pretty diverse experience as ad agency planner, circus performer, and trend hunter, which suits well with Pond5’s culture of having artists in its staff as to better serve its artists’ audience.

Workflow: Hollywood is Getting Behind in Tech

Michael Kammes
Michael Kammes, Director of Technology and Marketing, Key Code Media
Part 2 of our series on “Everything Old is New Again” (click here for Part 1) has Michael Kammes, Director of Technology & Marketing at Key Code Media, discussing codecs for non-scripted and reality. Why are these companies using old methodologies and which newcomers are moving into 4K?

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – August 4, 2016

Digital Production Buzz
August 4, 2016

Click to play:

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
James DeRuvo, Senior Writer, DoddleNEWS.com
Maxim Jago, Director, Jolie’s Garden
Laura Blum, Curator/Journalist, Thalo.com
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Network
Jonathan Handel, Of Counsel, TroyGould, Contributing Editor, The Hollywood Reporter
Chris Bross, Chief Technology Officer, DriveSavers Data Recovery

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Digital Production Buzz, director Maxim Jago talks about the top five lessons he’s learned while financing his independent film, ‘Jolie’s Garden,’ and what other filmmakers can learn from his experience.

What happens when disaster strikes and your critical data is destroyed? Chris Bross, the Chief Technology Officer for Drive Savers, presents a recent case study about one film maker’s loss of hundreds of terabytes of critical data due to an incompatibility between Mac OS X and a third party drive manufacturer’s software. Don’t let this disaster happen to you.

James DeRuvo, the senior writer for DoddleNEWS has a summary of the top media news for the week; then we welcome Scott Page, musician and serial entrepreneur, showcasing what artists need to know about running a creative business.

Next, Laura Blum, blogger on filmfestivals.com, returns with her thoughts on the blurring lines between documentaries and feature films, as illustrated in the documentary ‘Tower.’

Finally, actors at the Spanish language NBC unit Telemundo don’t get health insurance, residuals or other benefits. Those at English language NBC do. Jonathan Handel returns with major news, coming from SAG-AFTRA, amping up the pressure on Telemundo.

The Buzz starts now.

Larry Jordan: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking…

Voiceover: Authoritative.

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

Voiceover: Current.

Larry Jordan: …uniting industry experts…

Voiceover: Production.

Larry Jordan: …filmmakers…

Voiceover: Post production.

Larry Jordan: …and content creators around the planet.

Voiceover: Distribution.

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

Larry Jordan: And welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry, covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan, and it may seem like it’s the middle of the summer, but there’s a lot of interesting news happening in our industry this week from celebrating success to surviving catastrophe.

The success story starts with Maxim Jago. He’s the director of Jolie’s Garden, and just recently completed funding on his feature film. He has a number of tips, specifically five, to share with us on what worked and what didn’t.

On the scary side, Chris Bross returns with a story of data loss and destruction caused by hardware and software not talking to each other properly. Since all of us are working with digital assets, this is a story you need to hear.

We’re also introducing a new regular, Scott Page. Scott is a musician with groups like Pink Floyd and Supertramp and Toto, who still performs regularly. But what has him really excited is a new technology incubator he founded that’s designed to help artists of all types create and run a successful business. You want to hear Scott’s tips in the segment we’re calling The Startup Artist.

I also want to remind you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Every issue, every week, gives you an inside look at The Buzz, quick links to all the different segments of the show, and curated articles of special interest to film makers. Best of all, every issue is free. And thinking of newsletters reminds me of the daily newsletter from Doddle News at doddlenews.com, where James DeRuvo is the senior writer. Hello, James, welcome back!

James DeRuvo: Hi Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: So what’s the top story on DoddleNEWS this week?

James DeRuvo: Well, the top story this week is RED CEO Jarred Land listed 20 RED … cameras in a flash show on the RED’s website this week. They all sold in under 20 minutes, and at a list price of $60,000 apiece, that amounted to a fast $1.2 million for RED.

Larry Jordan: 20 minutes, they sold, or 20 units?

James DeRuvo: Yes, 20 cameras in under 20 minutes,

Larry Jordan: Wow!

James DeRuvo: It has a Super 35mm sensor, and the reason why it’s able to handle the HK revolution is thanks to some clever engineering by RED that reduces the pixel size to 3.65 microns. The 6K Dragon processor, by contrast, has a pixel size of 5 microns, so the smaller the pixels the more you can pack on a chip, the larger the resolution.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of technology, I was reading about a robbery in LA. What was this about?

James DeRuvo: Yes, Off Hollywood’s rental house in LA reported a set of five Arri Master Primes and a Fujinon Alura Zoom got stolen this week. How it happened was thieves used identity theft and, with the bogus IDs, rented these five Arri Master Primes and the Zoom lens, and by the time Off Hollywood figured out the scheme, it was too late, the lenses were in the wind.

Larry Jordan: Yes, but the robbery is in LA, why should anybody outside of LA in the Buzz audience even care about this?

James DeRuvo: Well, it’s probably going to have minimal impact if you have a rental house in your area, but if you live in a flyover country, where you are relying mostly on online rental houses like Lens Pro To Go or … lenses for all of your rental equipment, it’s probably going to make it that much harder, because you’re going to have to pay more in insurance to cover the risk. You may even have to have personal references to be able to rent cameras here, and the price is just going to go up. And the emerging shared rental market, this is where camera operators were looking to supplement their income by renting inactive gear, just may not want to take the risk.

Larry Jordan: So what else have we got happening?

James DeRuvo: Venus Optics announced a 12mm f/2.8 prime lens this week, which they say has zero distortion. It comes with an 122 angle of view, and that’s thanks to 16 lens elements and a seven blade iris that Venus says offers nearly zero distortion from corner to corner at only $800. But I think the real story here is that Venus listed the lens on Kickstarter and it’s raised 27 times its goal of $10,000 in just ten days.

Larry Jordan: Well, do you think it’s the non-distortion, or do you think it’s the angle of the lens that’s getting people’s attention?

James DeRuvo: I think it’s the distortion, because they’re basically saying you’re not going to have any distortion throughout the entire real estate of the lens element itself. It’s going to result in a sharper image with no lens bleeding or any of that problem, so I really think that’s the takeaway. But it also shows how more and more companies are going to Kickstarter to kind of test and engage with the market and see if they’re really on the right track. If they show like that, and they raise that much money that fast, they know people want it, and so Kickstarter did that for it.

Larry Jordan: It’s fascinating hearing the range of stories that DoddleNEWS is covering. For people that want to learn more, where can they go on the web?

James DeRuvo: Well, you can go to doddlenews.com and, while you’re there, you might want to catch the short film, ‘The Underdog,’ which is on the site. It’s the first test footage of the RED Helium camera, and it’s pretty compelling.

Larry Jordan: And James DeRuvo is the senior writer at DoddleNEWS at doddlenews.com. James, thank you so very much.

James DeRuvo: Thanks, Larry!

Larry Jordan: I want to introduce you to a new website, thalo.com. Thalo.com is an artist community and networking site for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. Thalo.com features content from around the world, with a global perspective on all things creative. Thalo is the place for creative folks to learn, collaborate, market and sell their works. Thalo is a part of the Thalo Arts community, a worldwide community of artist, film makers and storytellers. From photography to film making, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Visit thalo.com and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s thalo.com.

Larry Jordan: Maxim Jago is a film director, a screenwriter and author, who splits his time between film making and speaking as a futurist. He’s a regular speaker at media technology conferences, film festivals and events celebrating creativity, he is also the Chief Innovation Officer at filmdo.com and a mentor for new film makers. Hello, Maxim, welcome!

Maxim Jago: Hello there. It’s very nice to be speaking with you.

Larry Jordan: Oh, we always love having you on the show and welcome back. Maxim, tell us about your latest film, ‘Jolie’s Garden.’ What’s it about?

Maxim Jago: ‘Jolie’s Garden’ is a very beautiful psychological thriller, about a girl who has always lived in an underground garden, and she doesn’t know that the garden is artificial or that she’s blind; no-one’s ever told her that people can see. And the question of the story is, “why is she a prisoner in the garden and what happens to her?”

Larry Jordan: While I would love to talk about the actual production, I want to focus on how you got it paid for, and you’ve written about the fact that there were several key takeaways that you’ve learned as you were looking for funding. Tell me what you’ve learned.

Maxim Jago: Ultimately it comes down to the story. I found that no matter which way you approach seeking finance for a project, the thing that’s always going to capture people’s attention is going to be the story. You have to have characters that people care about, there has to be a threat to them, there has to be drama and conflict, and it has to matter. If you don’t have that, it doesn’t really matter how many bells and whistles and technological achievements you’ve got, it just doesn’t inspire people. So that’s the primary lesson I’ve learned.

Larry Jordan: In other words, people won’t spend money on your film if you talk about all the great effects you’re going to have?

Maxim Jago: Yes. You know, it’s one of those things. Nobody likes somebody really that they’re impressed by, they like people that make them feel more alive. So if you have a story that helps the listener or the audience to really feel excited about life itself, then you get engagement, and it doesn’t matter whether the person you’re speaking to is a potential ticket buyer or a potential investor, if they really get gripped by the story, they’re in from the beginning.

Larry Jordan: You mentioned that you needed both a compelling story and a compelling character, is there more weight to one versus the other? I have watched movies where the characters were interesting and the story wasn’t so great.

Maxim Jago: I think that’s a great question, Larry. I think it has to be a mixture of both, and maybe even, I don’t know, 60% story, 40% character. If you don’t have a character that you care about, it doesn’t matter how many explosions there are, how much action and how much conflict. If you don’t care about the character in the first place, you are left unmoved. But, equally, if you love the character and nothing much happens, it’s kind of boring.

Larry Jordan: It’s too much like real life: like the character but there’s nothing going on. The first takeaway is the story, the importance of story and character, what’s the next takeaway?

Maxim Jago: Well this one was a hard one for me. You know, I love to get advice, I love to ask for directions when I’m travelling, I like being informed by people who know what they’re talking about, but what I realized is that when you’re working on any endeavor, not just a film project but any endeavor, there is an ocean of advice. It’s a tide of advice. Every single person you speak to, including my mother, every single person suddenly becomes an expert on what you should do and what you shouldn’t do and why this is important, why that’s important. I talked to a good friend of mine recently Kanan Flowers, he’s an absolute genius, and he was chastising me for taking too much advice, and he quoted Steve Jobs and was saying every rule ever made by anybody was made by nobody more intelligent than you. I realized that your gut feeling about something, when you’ve done your research and you’ve thought it through, and you know your project and you know what you’re capable of achieving, and you know the team that you’re working with, is probably the best guide you have. Sometimes you just have to listen to what people have to say and thank them for it and move on and do what you feel is right.

Larry Jordan: I can identify with that. There’s a point where you’re just overwhelmed with everybody’s opinions and somebody has got to say this is the direction we’re moving.

Maxim Jago: I think that’s right. I’m the executive producer and the director on the project. I have to be the one that says we’re going this way; you have to be the helm of the ship forging ahead and, ultimately, you just have to you have to capture the energy, the spirit, the life of the thing that you’re working on and make decisions based on that. A lot of people contributing advice, they’re not there, they don’t know everything about the project. Of course, you shouldn’t go the other way and become arrogant and say I know what I’m doing and everyone else can disappear. It’s important to listen to what people have to say, but sometimes it is overwhelming and you have to step aside and just make a decision for yourself.

Larry Jordan: Okay, so the first is the importance of story and character, the second is to avoid getting overwhelmed by well-meaning advice, including your mother. What’s the third?

Maxim Jago: I think the third is to strive for no, actually. You know, when you’re trying to finance a film and you’re trying to put a team together, you’re trying to get people to commit, and everybody says yes, particularly in the media industry. I don’t know what is about this industry. If we were working in car manufacturing and you spoke to an engineer and said would you make this car for me? If they can they’ll say yes, if they can’t they’ll say no. But in the media it seems like every single person you speak to says absolutely yes! We’re going to do this! It’s going to be amazing, let’s go for it! But then there’s delays and delays and delays, and somehow most of the time the people that say yes don’t fulfil the promise. So one of the things I’ve learned to do is to push people to say no, because if you speak to an investor, and they’re just as bad as anybody else, they’ll say yes, you know, it sounds brilliant! Let me look at the information. You have to push for them to say no if they don’t want in, because otherwise you begin making plans on the basis of things that turn out not to be real. So I’d rather that people said no instead of maybe.

Larry Jordan: Are you suggesting that some people may over-promise?

Maxim Jago: You know, Larry, one of the things that, one day, maybe on my deathbed, but one day I will understand if not today, why people don’t do what they say they’re going to do. I must be a tremendously naïve individual, but if I say I’m going to do something I really actually will, and if I don’t want to do it I’ll say maybe or possibly or I’ll try, but if I say I’m going to, then it’s going to happen. This, it turns out, is quite unusual. It’s not that they over-promise. I think they mean it at the time, but it just doesn’t happen. In particular, with money, people will delay and delay, and I think it’s better to just say look, you let us know within a couple of weeks and if we don’t hear from you, we’ll check in with you, but we’ll understand that it’s a no and that’s completely fine and let’s talk about other projects.

Larry Jordan: I think that people don’t want to say no because they don’t want to hurt your feelings, knowing how much you like the project.

Maxim Jago: I think that’s true, too. I think it’s your job, then, to reassure them that it’s okay. You need to make sure they feel comfortable with saying no, because otherwise you just take up each other’s time and energy and it’s better just to have a cup of tea with each other and enjoy the sunshine and not have that uncertainty.

Larry Jordan: Okay, I can’t wait to hear what number four is.

Maxim Jago: You know, this one was difficult for me, because I’m a talker, I’m a words person, and I work in a visual medium, but I can’t draw, and I realized late with Jolie’s Garden that it’s important to make it visual. You really need to make sure that people can see what you’re describing, and so one of the things we invested in relatively late in the development of the project was finding a fantastic illustrator, a great photographer who did photo shoots, and we had an amazing guy do the finishing work on the photos. I hope that when people see them they’ll be as impressed as I am. Making it visual enables people to engage with the story immediately. They get a visceral reaction to what they’re witnessing instead of trying to imagine it based on what you’re saying.

Larry Jordan: Okay, number five.

Maxim Jago: Just don’t stop. You have to keep going. I forget who said the most important step is the next one. You know, what they say, keep breathing, because as long as you do that you’re winning, and I think in life and in projects in particular, my goodness, you just have to keep going. You’re going to have disappointments, you’re going to have ups and downs and, you know, it’s a rollercoaster ride. But if you just keeping going, the opportunities will come. People remember you. Those follow-up conversations will happen. We’re speaking to an investor right now who’s been talking about investing in the firm for about six months, and I was saying don’t worry about it, it’s done, forget it. Just we’ll have a beer, we’ll have a coffee, it’s okay. Just because we kept going, it’s come back around and now we’re in much more serious talks about investment in the project.

Larry Jordan: So the importance of story and character is first; avoiding too many expert opinions is second; avoiding people who over-promise; keep your film visual so people can see it, not just listen to it; and don’t stop, keep going, are your five takeaways.

Maxim Jago: You know, number three, it’s not about over-promising, it’s about getting people to say no, because it’s okay.

Larry Jordan: So, as you look back on it, first do you have all the funding you need yet, or are you still in process?

Maxim Jago: Yes, we’re in the process. I think we’re in the end game now. We’ve got several investors very interested, we’ve got a whole list of fantastic sponsors for the project, and what we’re doing, actually, is we’re mixing it up. We’re running a Kickstarter and people can find out more about that on joliesgarden.com, which gives us enough money to shoot the film. We’re also speaking to investors and going through the final stages, we hope, of getting all the money we need to make the film. Now if both of those we make a better film, and if one of them works we still have enough budget to shoot.

Larry Jordan: So it’s a sliding budget and you can improve the production based on how much money you’ve got.

Maxim Jago: Absolutely. The project’s very unusual, because it’s very achievable. Everything takes place inside the garden. It’s a case of five. It’s a small project in terms of production costs, a relatively small screw and, thankfully, our sponsors are helping us out with things like equipment, so it’s achievable, but the thing about making films is that it is a sliding scale. As much money as you’ve got, you can definitely spend on a film! I just think you have to be realistic about what really matters, and what doesn’t.

Larry Jordan: So if you were to do this all again, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

Maxim Jago: I think I would have become an accountant or a doctor! Actually, I wanted to be a philosopher. I think what I would do different is all of these things I would have kept in mind right at the beginning. You know, we had a lot of advice from experts in the media industry making a fuss about shooting 360 video, making a fuss about you know, we’re going to shoot 4K, 16-bit RAW, you know, all of these technical achievements for the project, but the truth is I don’t think anybody cares about that. I remember when HD came out and presenting on stage for Avid, and announcing HD and getting blank looks from the audiences, because they didn’t know how important HD was. They’d heard of it and thought it was good. I think we need to overcome that by showing compelling stories using the technology. In fact HDR, it is phenomenal, but you have to witness it to understand it.

Larry Jordan: So, for people that have decided that they have to throw money at your project, or want to learn more about your film, where can they go on the web?

Maxim Jago: The website, joliesgarden.com has contact information and information about the project,

Larry Jordan: That website is joliesgarden.com. Maxim Jago is the director and producer behind it and, Maxim, thanks for joining us today.

Maxim Jago: Thank you so much for having me, Larry. It’s always a pleasure.

Larry Jordan: Scott Page is a musician, a technologist and a serial entrepreneur. He currently serves as the CEO of Ignited Network, which is a start-up music accelerator focused on teaching artists how to think like a start-up. As a musician, he is widely recognized as the saxophonist and rhythm guitarist for Pink Floyd, Supertramp and Toto. Hello, Scott, welcome!

Scott Page: Hi Larry! How are you doing, buddy?

Larry Jordan: We are doing great. You know, Scott, I love the idea of talking about the creative business. Why should artists think like a start-up?

Scott Page: Well, you know listen, first of all, today I believe this is the greatest time in history for the independent content creators. This is an incredible time. We have a model of being able to go direct to consumer. Remember, all your customers are sitting there. They’ve got their cell phone, they sleep with their cell phone. They’re close by, so they’re real easy. Thinking like a start-up is an opportunity for creative people to set up their business and actually go direct and create a great business.

I have a model that I follow which is called 1,000 true fans. A true fan is somebody that will spend $100 a year on you. If I can get 1,000 of those people to generate, you know, to spend that $8 a month to get that 100,000, that’s a good start for my business. So, most content creators today don’t really think like that, and so I think really taking the principals of like lean start-up and all these varieties of new ways to kind of build a business, it’s real important and it’s a real great opportunity for them to build their own business.

Larry Jordan: Well, what’s the difference between thinking like a start-up and thinking like a businessman?

Scott Page: Well, here’s the deal. Well, remember there’s all these new strategies that are happening, and I would recommend anybody listening to go out and start looking at the lean start-up principles. There’s a series of ways of testing and validating what you’re doing before creating. What we found so far, after so many years in the business, is I’m going to go create something and then I’m going to go find an audience and make it happen. The model has shifted now that I can create something small, I can test it across the audience, make sure that there’s a great product mark and fit, and then actually create this content and have an audience that’ll actually come and buy it. So, understanding these new principles of how to build business and how to do things in an online world is really the reason why it’s important for artists to do this, or content creators.

Larry Jordan: What do you see as the big mistake that artists make?

Scott Page: There’s a couple of things. Number one, they’re not educated on the shift in the marketplace. Marketing and promotion has changed so dramatically in the last three to five years that they’ve been caught off guard. The biggest issue for artists is they can make something, they create it, they get it ready, and then they don’t know how to promote it. So understanding how to target and find your audience, make sure you’re putting your content and stuff in front of the exact audience, is the opportunity that we have now through ways of using data science and analytics. We never had any of that before. Now we have it, as an independent creator I can have all the data analytics I need to find and target a specific audience with my offer. So the mistake that they make is they’re not getting educated and learning how promotions work today.

Larry Jordan: Many artists, if they wanted to do marketing they’d have gone to study marketing. They want to do music or they want to create. What do you do if you don’t like marketing?

Scott Page: You know, that’s the hard part. What I try to do with all the artists that I work with, and I consult with quite a few of them, I say wait a minute, we need to make the marketing process and all of the promotions as part of the creative process. So, as you’re creating content, start bringing that into your process so it becomes a creative part of it. Because it is creative. Marketing used to be its own department, now we can start thinking about how do I create the creative process? What are the hooks? What are the things in my content that I can use to actually promote my business. So, unfortunately, those days of artists sitting around, you know, having a great old time, smoking fatties and playing music. It’s really tough. Those days are really, really rough! But for those artists that want to really excel, this is an incredible time and they just need to get educated.

Larry Jordan: Scott, for people that want more information, where can they go on the web?

Scott Page: You can go to ignited.network. Check it out and Larry, I’m excited to be part of your show!

Larry Jordan: And we are glad to have you, Scott, and we’ll have you back soon. Scott Page from Ignited Network, thanks for joining us today.

Larry Jordan: Laura Blum is a film and events curator as well as a thalo.com contributing writer, filmfestivals.com blogger, and former film and television development executive with Sony BMG. She gives us a regular look at the intersection of the creative arts with film making. Welcome back, Laura!

Laura Blum: Thank you, Larry. It’s great to be back.

Larry Jordan: We have been in extended discussion of what you call hybrid film making. Could you define what it means to you?

Laura Blum: So it’s a blend, it’s just really borrowing from the devices of narrative fiction film making for non-fiction and storytelling. What that can often mean is a three part structure, an often thrilling music score. There are all sorts of flourishes that really bump it up and it’s a lot of borrowing from Hollywood.

Larry Jordan: Give me an example of how hybrid film making actually applies in documentaries today.

Laura Blum: Let’s talk about the film ‘Tower,’ by Keith Maitland. I believe it doesn’t open until October, but this past Monday was the 50th anniversary of the mass shootings that took place in 1956 on the top of the University of Texas tower, and that was when an engineering student opened fire for 96 minutes, holding the campus hostage and killing 14 people. So it’s really a tragic event. ‘Tower,’ the documentary, blends quite a few different conventions. There’s rotoscoped animation, there’s vintage footage, there’s contemporary interviews. That … borrows from … theatre and it’s a suspense thriller mixed in with a journalistic retelling of events. Maitland asked survivors to relive dark moments and the result is a pretty powerful catharsis.

Laura Blum: The animation is so reductive that actually a fascinating things happens. I may be getting a little bit off track here, but I do want to talk about this. When you do finally get the photographic images in this film, whether stills or cinematography, you realize you were craving the complexity. So it’s a really interesting phenomenon like holding back in jazz or sex, where the desire builds for more and, in this case, it’s for deeper and more satisfying visual information.

Larry Jordan: Well, it seems like these films like Tower and the ones you were talking about last week, are blurring the line between performance and reality. Are we still in a documentary or are we more in a feature film fiction kind of thing?

Laura Blum: Let’s take the example of another film that’s coming out September 30th. It’s called ‘Theo Who Lived,’ by David Schisgall, and you may know him from ‘Our Idiot Brother.’ So it’s a really good example of someone toggling between documentary and narrative film making, or fiction film making. The entire film, or much of it, is a re-enactment. We go through Syria with Theo Padnos who, back in 2012 went to Syria to write about the camps. He’s a very shaggy haired independent American journalist and, actually, he’d written a book from his years in Yemen, called ‘The Undercover Muslim.’ He speaks a mean Arabic. As he goes, in 2012, he was immediately nabbed by a local Al Qaeda outfit. Again, he has this great Arabic, so his captors peg him as a CIA agent. In the film, Padnos goes back to Syria, exactly to the same spot of his captivity, and he re-enacts his ordeal, and he walks us through, he performs his memories. It’s riveting, and it is a performance’ it’s the stuff of a thriller. So you’ve got betrayal, you’ve got forbidden friendships, you’ve got escape attempts that will make you swoon. There’s a character arc which includes redemption. What more can I say?

Larry Jordan: Laura, this is fascinating. The intersection of fiction films with documentaries. I want to bring you back next week and continue our discussion, and we’ll chat with you more then. Thank you.

Laura Blum: Look forward to it. Thank you so much.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment and technology attorney of counsel at Troy Gould in Los Angeles. He’s also the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for the Hollywood Reporter and, best of all, he’s a regular on The Buzz. Hello, Jonathan, and welcome back.

Jonathan Handel: Larry, it’s a pleasure to be with you. I’m coming to you from the third floor of Netflix’s office in Beverley Hills. I just stepped out of a screening of Steve Aoki, ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.’ He’s a very hard working DJ whose dad founded Benihana, and so it’s kind of a contrast with Netflix themselves. This guy works all the time, and it was a fast moving documentary.

Larry Jordan: Well, you’ve been breaking news about SAG-AFTRA and Telemundo, what’s going on?

Jonathan Handel: I certainly have, and it’s news in Espanol. SAG-AFTRA is trying to make it muy caliente for Telemundo. Telemundo, of course, is a Spanish language network, in many ways number one. They’re owned by NBC Universal but, unlike NBC and Universal Studios and some of the other assets of that company, ultimately Comcast, Telemundo is non-union, and has refused to sign a SAG-AFTRA agreement. That means that Spanish language performers, in some cases, may well get paid less than their English language counterparts. They don’t get residuals. They don’t get health insurance. They don’t have any of the other protections of the SAG-AFTRA agreement, and that doesn’t sit well with the union.

Larry Jordan: So why is this important?

Jonathan Handel: Well, it’s important for different people in the entertainment ecosystem in different ways. But what it’s an example of is the tension between the unions and the production entities in town, the studios, the networks and so forth, in this town and, in this case in Miami, where Telemundo is headquartered. The management attitude really is something along the lines of, you know, we accept that these unions have existed for 80-odd years, since 1930s and they have jurisdictional over scripted English language movies and scripted English language TV, but we kind of draw a line and, when it comes to unscripted shows (which, of course, are actually scripted, you know, reality and so forth) or when it comes to Spanish language, or when it comes to some cable stuff, and on and on, there you really see the attitude towards work that you see in the larger US economy, which is very un-unionized, by and large.

Larry Jordan: So what do you think the outcome is going to be?

Jonathan Handel: Well, that depends. It’s hard to know at this point. It depends on how effectively SAG-AFTRA can amp up the pressure. Telemundo issued statements saying they treat their workers well and they’re competitive and so on and so forth, but they declined to answer my question, simply put, of well, you know, how come you guys don’t sign union agreement, even though your sister companies like NBC do? SAG-AFTRA has gotten some of the local politicians in Miami involved, but until there’s an opportunity, if there is an opportunity, for the union to bring actual economic pressure on Telemundo, I would have to assume that this is going to be an uphill battle.

Larry Jordan: Then again, it seems to me that most of the union battles are uphill battles, if I recall my history correctly.

Jonathan Handel: Well, you know, it’s interesting. That’s the contrast. You know, if someone walked into town and said I’m starting a steel mill, uphill battle on the part of the unions. They walk into town and say I’m making a movie, not an uphill battle. They sign with the Writers Guild, the Directors Guild, certainly quite frequently and, of course, with SAG-AFTRA. But if they walk into town and say I’m making unscripted reality show or I’m shooting in Spanish, uphill battle, and this one certainly is.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, for people that want to follow this issue and the other stuff you’re writing about, where can they go on the web?

Jonathan Handel: They can find me at Jhandel.com, and thrlabor.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s jhandel.com, and Jonathan Handel, entertainment and technology attorney at Troy Gould, thanks for joining us today. It is always fun.

Jonathan Handel: Likewise. Thanks very much, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to: doddlenews.com. DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource, presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platform specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in depth organizational tools for busy production professionals. DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts community, a worldwide community of artists, film makers and storytellers. From photography to film making, performing arts to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with the resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project, there’s only one place to go: doddlenews.com.

Larry Jordan: As Chief Technology Officer at Drive Savers data recovery, Chris Bross guides the development of new tools, technology and techniques for the data recovery lab. Since joining the company in 1995, Chris has engineered his way round gear that has physical trauma, mechanical damage and encryption issues to recover data from all types of storage devices. Hello, Chris, welcome back!

Chris Bross: Hello, Larry! It’s always a pleasure to speak with you.

Larry Jordan: Well, you know it’s been almost eight months. It’s time for us to get tanked up on security and data recovery, which reminds me I’ve been hearing about a major incompatibility issue between Apple’s Mac OS operating system and one of the major hardware manufacturers. What’s going on here?

Chris Bross: Well, I think what you’re referring to is actually old news, and there’s a nasty recipe out there that no-one has the exact ingredients or measures of, but it has to do with it appeared to be Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks is when it unearthed its ugly little head, and one of the drive manufacturers’ formatting driver software utilities and some ugly perfect storm of incompatibility that, in fact, Larry, I saw was reported on a thread on a review that you did back in 2014 on a promise product.

Larry Jordan: That’s true. I remember hearing both about issues with OS 10.9 and OS 10.10, but what’s driver software, and how much do we need to care about driver software and the operating system?

Chris Bross: Sure. Well, the Mac operating system, for some years now, has really provided pretty much all of the functionality you needed for any Apple sold storage device or any third party storage advice that’s attached externally in order to, when I say formatting software, to create a volume, to mount that volume on the desktop and, in the case of a RAID configuration, it might configure your RAID at a RAID 01 or 5 level. Well, Apple historically have provided all that functionality in its disk utility product, but a couple of years ago actually yanked some of that functionality out of it. So some of the third party developers and manufacturers of drives will ship a companion piece of software with their storage device that you can install to handle some of the management of those functions, but that’s, again, not Apple issued software and, although it’s supposed to pass the smell test and all the checks and balances, sometimes, and historically over many years, there have been some conflicts that can cause bad disk behavior and, in some cases, data loss.

Larry Jordan: Well, can the data be recovered, or once the data is lost… In other words, are there different stages of data loss if I lose like… I mean where do we stand here? Data loss has such a frightening sound; I’m trembling just saying the words.

Chris Bross: Sure. Well, there’s data loss that’s unrecoverable, and there’s data loss that’s recoverable. Data loss that’s unrecoverable would be a case where all the data is literally overwritten at a physical layer and no longer available, even using forensic mechanisms like we use at Drive Savers. But, in a recoverable space, like the case we’re talking about, and you can read about this in various online support forum threads, what happens is that the drives that are attached get re-initialized as new empty volumes that show all of their capacity but none of your data. According to the director, and according to the operating system they are, in fact, empty. But, in reality, they have not been completely overwritten at the physical layer, but the directory contents, the pointers to where the files are located, the file names, etcetera, can be lost. If you have a complex kind of file system with a lot of file names and projects and videographer work or film maker work, it can be very complicated to piece that stuff back together.

Larry Jordan: What’s the difference between a directory and the actual data?

Chris Bross: The directory is the table of contents for your drive and think of it as a dynamic table of contents that changes as you add and delete information from the drive. Some refer to that as metadata, but as a directory it’s really like the table of contents. It occupies a small physical portion of the drive but, just like the table of contents in a book, if you lose the first ten pages it’s hard to find out what’s in each chapter. So when you lose that information, you then have to extract it from the data set itself, which can be very time consuming, especially on large capacity drives or RAID arrays and, in some cases, you can retain of all that information, file names etcetera, and in some cases you lose that data.

Larry Jordan: Is the word metadata and file directory the same thing?

Chris Bross: It’s not but the terms are used interchangeably sometimes. Metadata is really data about data, depending on what you’re talking about in computing and storage. It has different connotations. For the sake of simplicity for the listeners, let’s call the directory really the table of contents for the drive.

Larry Jordan: And that table of contents could point to a single file or it could point to metadata like a sidecar file. So metadata could be a whole separate entity from the data itself.

Chris Bross: Sure, or that directory could point to a very, very large video file that’s been edited many times, that has 100 fragments on the drive, all of which are tracked by those directory entries and, therefore, very important in the recovery process.

Larry Jordan: Which gets me to the next point. If we see that we’re missing data, what should we do? In other words, should we use some of the software tools that are out there like, you know, the data recovery tools that we see advertised, or is that a bad idea/

Chris Bross: Well, we understand human nature is that everybody wants to fix a problem quickly for free, by themselves, first. We just recently ran into a case with an independent film maker who was affected by this particular nasty perfect storm that we’re talking about, where they lost over 20 hard drives and 100 terabytes of data at one fell swoop.

Larry Jordan: Wow

Chris Bross: All directly attached to their work station at a very critical time. It literally nuked very, very volumes simultaneously and well, understandably, you know, from a cost perspective and a time perspective, the film maker was in a very tight bind and was looking for a solution to really help out quickly, and the folks over at OWC and SoftRAID actually extended a hand to help out and put in like 80 hours of labor to help recover data for this film maker to really help the person out. Inevitably, they couldn’t quite produce the results that they needed and, in that particular scenario we were engaged as kind of the forensic recovery provider and, in fact, are returning good data back to the user. Just a quick moral of that story is that you really want to stop and ideally engage a professional that specializes in this as quickly as possible because, even with all the best efforts and all the valiant, you know, time and effort spent by those companies in commercial tools, the data couldn’t come back cleanly. Luckily, it didn’t get any more contaminated, and it was produced in a fashion where we could still recover it. We can provide a free evaluation to a user to see if something’s recoverable or not, really at the point of data loss before it gets worse.

Larry Jordan: Well, it probably makes more sense to try to avoid the loss in the first place. What should we do to protect our data?

Chris Bross: Go back to paper and ink, and real film! Remember those days?

Larry Jordan: Yes, nice try, dream on. Option two is what?

Chris Bross: Option two is protecting yourself more than you think you need to. When you’re budgeting for data storage for your entity or your business, you need the storage itself, you need to provide a budget for the backup storage, and you need to provide a budget for a contingency plan. I know that’s hard to do on a budget, and on a small budget, for sure, for indies, but things do happen and you need to allocate resources if that does occur. The way to prevent it is to have a backup strategy that provides at least three layers of protection. You want an online backup, that’s one that’s attached to what you’re working to. You want an offline backup; that is something you can put your arms around quickly that’s in your building or your facility, but not attached to your system in real time. Then you need an offsite backup which, heaven forbid, you have a theft or a fire or something you can still access that data offsite. That’s three layers there, and that’s the minimum amount of protection that you want to have to avoid something like this occurring.

Larry Jordan: You know, it’s easy to look at that and say, you know, that’s really expensive, that’s a lot of hard drives. On the other hand, re-shooting is far more expensive, and we sort of have to put it into perspective.

Chris Bross: Absolutely true, and every data set has a different value to every owner and user, depending on what they’re doing with that data. Yes, data loss can put you out of business for sure. We’ve seen that happen with customers. Ideally, the kind of services that we provide, although very specialized, we can provide users up front, you know, with estimates and evaluations before they spend any money, and we can determine whether or not the condition will be recoverable. In some cases, insurance is actually paying for data recovery. So if you lose data and it’s related to driving income, definitely make a claim depending on your insurance policy. If you happen to be a member of the PPA or organizations like that, some of them actually provide coverage for data recovery as well.

Larry Jordan: Chris, for people that want more information, where can they go on the web?

Chris Bross: Well, they can easily find us at drivesaversdatarecovery.com. We’re open 24 hours a day as well. Reach out to us anytime if you have questions about data storage or data loss.

Larry Jordan: And Chris Bross is the Chief Technology Officer at Drive Savers Data Recovery and Chris, thanks for joining us today.

Chris Bross: Thank you, Larry, appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye-bye.

Chris Bross: Bye.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week: Maxim Jago, the director of Jolie’s Garden, and Chris Bross Chief Technology Officer at Drive Savers; James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS; Scott Page, the CEO of Ignited Networks; Laura Blum, curator and journalist, and Jonathan Handel of counsel at Troy Gould, and entertainment labor reporter for the Hollywood Reporter.

There’s a lot of history in our industry, and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com, and remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter, that comes out every Friday. Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuzz, and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-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. Our supervising producer is Cirina Catania, and by the way, be sure to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter. It comes out every Friday, but we are continuing to redesign it and I’m looking forward to showing you the new issue that comes out tomorrow. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for joining us for the Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan: The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2016 by Thalo LLC.

Digital Production Buzz – August 4, 2016

Join Larry Jordan as he talks with James DeRuvo, Maxim Jago, Laura Blum, Scott Page, Jonathan Handel, and Chris Bross.

  • The Latest from DoddleNEWS
  • 5 Tips for Financing Your Indie Film
  • When Documentaries Act Like Features
  • Think Like a Startup
  • Trouble in Telemundo
  • Avoid the Disaster of Data Loss

View Show Transcript

Listen to the Full Episode


Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week

DoddleNEWS: The Latest from DoddleNEWS

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Senior Writer, DoddleNEWS.com
This week, James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS, looks at the new Helium Red camera, new lenses from Laowa, and new graphics cards from NVidia.

In-depth Interview #1: 5 Tips for Financing Your Indie Film

Maxim Jago
Maxim Jago, Director, Jolie’s Garden
Maxim Jago is the Director of Jolie’s Garden. Tonight, he talks about the top five lessons he learned while financing his independent film, and what filmmakers can learn from his experience.

Thalo Arts: When Documentaries Act Like Features

Laura Blum
Laura Blum, Curator/Journalist, Thalo.com
Laura Blum, blogger on FilmFestivals.com, returns with her thoughts on the blurring lines between documentaries and fiction films, with a look at the upcoming Tower documentary.

The Creativity Business: Think Like a Startup

Scott Page
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Network
Scott Page is a musician, technologist, and serial entrepreneur. Tonight we welcome Scott as our newest show regular as he showcases what artists need to know about running a creative business.

Labor Report: Trouble in Telemundo

Jonathan Handel
Jonathan Handel, Of Counsel, TroyGould, Contributing Editor, The Hollywood Reporter
Actors at the Spanish-language NBCUniversal unit don’t get health insurance, residuals or other benefits; those at English- language NBC do. SAG-AFTRA, which has been quietly organizing over the last several months against NBCUniversal’s Telemundo unit, amped up the pressure on the non-union broadcaster Wednesday. Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for the Hollywood Reporter has the details.

In-depth Interview #2: Avoid the Disaster of Data Loss

Chris Bross
Chris Bross, Chief Technology Officer, DriveSavers Data Recovery
What happens when disaster strikes and your critical data is destroyed? Chris Bross, the Chief Technology Officer for DriveSavers, presents a recent case-study about one filmmaker’s loss of hundreds of terabytes of critical data due to the incompatibility between Apple OS X and 3rd-party drive manufacturer’s software. Don’t let this disaster happen to you!