Digital Production Buzz
September 1, 2016
Paul Babb, President/CEO, MAXON
Michael Horton, Co-Host, DigitalProductionBuzz.com
Dan Berube, President, Boston Creative Pro User Group
James DeRuvo, Senior Writer, DoddleNEWS.com
Laura Blum, Curator/Journalist, Thalo.com
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Network
Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz we turn our attention to the IBC Expo in Amsterdam which starts next week. As the second largest expo in our industry, we’re expecting a lot of new announcements. We start with Paul Babb, the CEO of Maxon US. Tonight, Paul shares his thoughts on the latest trends that he’s expecting at IBC along with announcing a brand new release of Cinema 4D.
Larry Jordan: Next, the latest supermeet resurfaces again at IBC. Producers Mike Horton and Dan Berube join us to explain what they have planned. And just how much free stuff they’ve got in their world famous raffle.
Larry Jordan: Laura Blum concludes her two part series on how disability is portrayed in film and TV with several examples of who’s doing it right, and who’s doing it wrong. Scott Page continues his series on SPACE, a five step process designed for creative folks to enable their business to grow and prosper. And as always, we have James DeRuvo with the latest 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, my name’s Larry Jordan. September 2016 marks the start of our 17th year in production. Our first broadcast was September of 2000 and hosted by Steve Martin and Ron Margolis. Now that was a long time ago.
Larry Jordan: Since then we’ve presented more than 450 shows. Back then the state of the art was DV tape and standard definition video. Final cut was less than one year old and we were all struggling to figure out how to capture and store video on hard disks. Hard disks were so small and so slow that we needed two rates; one for video and a second for scratch files, while it took more than 30 seconds to add a blur to one frame of standard definition video.
Larry Jordan: How our industry has changed. Who could have envisioned just 17 years ago that the film industry would be all digital, that working with 4K images is now routine, and that high quality video can be easily edited in real time on laptop computers? And the Buzz has been there every week to cover it all. By the way, I want to invite 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, and best of all, every issue is free.
Larry Jordan: Now it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.
James DeRuvo: Hello Larry.
Larry Jordan: So what’s the big news this week?
James DeRuvo: Well the big news just rolled out today is Canon introduced the new Cinema EOS C700 cinema camera. It comes in either EF, PL or B4 lens options, and although it doesn’t have the 8K sensor that was rumored, it is going with a Super 35 4.5K sensor, which can shoot 4K RAW at up to 120 frames per second, using the new external Codecs CDX recorder which is coming out in the spring. You’ll also be able to get an optional global shutter sensor add-on and you’ll be able to shoot in 4K, RAW, ProRes and Canon Log 2 and 3.
Larry Jordan: 4K ProRes and what?
James DeRuvo: Canon Log 2 and 3.
Larry Jordan: Oh my goodness. What’s the retail price and did they announce a ship date?
James DeRuvo: Retail price is starting between $28 and $30,000, depending upon whether you order the EF or the PL mount. The B4 option is going to cost you a little bit more, around $6,000, and it’ll start shipping in December of 2016 with the global shutter version available a month after that. And if you’re planning on shooting in 120 frames per second, the support for the Codecs recorder will come as a firmware update in the March of 2017.
Larry Jordan: So a whole lot of different options here. Now it sounds like they’ve almost reduced the price on something. The price feels low. Is that true?
James DeRuvo: Yes, actually the biggest feature of this camera’s probably the fact that it’s dropping the price of the C500 by $3,000, so now you can buy a 4K C500 camera for about seven grand.
Larry Jordan: So what else we got that’s news this last week?
James DeRuvo: Well, yesterday the FAA enacted Part 107 of their new Drone Operation Rules. This is going to require commercial drone pilots, especially those working with aerial cinematography, to be certified through passing a ground school test, and having a mandatory background check. Now the good news about this is, is that originally the FAA was going to require all drone operators to have a pilot’s license. This has altered that, so now you just need to pass a test. You’ll also have to register your drone through the FAA if it weighs between 0.55 and 55 pounds, and you’ll have to follow some standard drone operation rules which includes no flying at night, keep your drone within a line of sight, and do not fly over crowds. But the good news is they’re also going to offering waivers if you do have to do some night time recording, you can get an FAA waiver by filling out the proper form and submitting it to the FAA for approval.
Larry Jordan: And for people that want more information, where do they go on the web?
James DeRuvo: You go to HYPERLINK “http://www.faa.gov” www.faa.gov.
Larry Jordan: Now, unless you’re dead, Apple’s got something happening next week. What’s our next story?
James DeRuvo: Unless you’re dead, or you don’t care, the iPhone 7’s going to be announced next week at their annual fall iPhone event, and it’s going to have some really cool features for mobile film makers, including a dual rear facing camera array. It’s going to have one camera that shoots in color while the other shoots in black and white. That’s, this is the rumor. And what that is going to enable the iPhone to do is gage the distance between the subject and its background. So guess what? We may get Bokeh with the iPhone 7.
Larry Jordan: Wow. Is Apple going to be streaming the event for people that want to watch it online?
James DeRuvo: Yes, they’re going to be streaming it at apple.com. Now traditionally, sometimes it’s not the prettiest of streaming, but it will be streamed. Everybody will either be picking up a live stream or doing a live blog. And I’ll be doing a live blog through DoddleNEWS so you just check our Twitter feed, and you’ll be able to follow along.
Larry Jordan: And for people that do want to follow along, where can they go on the web, and where do they go on Twitter?
James DeRuvo: Well, it’ll be @doddleme or doddlenews.com.
Larry Jordan: That’s doddleme.com and James DeRuvo is the senior writer for DoddleNEWS and James, thanks for joining us today. We’ll talk to you again next week.
James DeRuvo: Alright, we’ll see you then Larry.
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: Paul Babb is the President and CEO of Maxon US as well as a graphics software technology expert with more than a decade of experience in 3D animation, visual effects and motion graphics. With IBC coming up, we thought Paul would have an interesting take on what to expect, so I get to say hello Paul, welcome back.
Paul Babb: Hey Larry, thanks for having me again.
Larry Jordan: It is always fun visiting with you. I always learn something, but let’s start with the basics. Describe what Maxon does.
Paul Babb: Maxon, we develop a product called Cinema 4D which is a 3D animation product used for motion graphics, visual effects, scientific and architectural and engineering visualization, all that good stuff.
Larry Jordan: Well that’s the good stuff I want to talk about because you live in the world of graphic arts. What trends are you expecting to see at IBC?
Paul Babb: You know, the same trends I’ve been seeing at all of our shows here. A lot of VR.
Larry Jordan: Is it going to be VR or AR and is there much of a difference from the perspective of a person like yourself?
Paul Babb: Well for me, everybody knows that I’m a big fan of AR. I think AR is going to be the trend where we’ll ultimately go, but the big buzz right now is VR because it’s a little closer. AR still has some time to go, other than a few things we’re getting to our phone and those types of things with AR. It hasn’t quite matured as far along as DR has currently.
Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting. September marks our 17th anniversary of being a show, so I don’t want you to go back that far in time, but if you look back over the last five years, what do you consider to be the biggest technological breakthroughs in terms of motion graphics and why do you think it’s important?
Paul Babb: Wow, that’s a good one. Well for us, it was very much the incorporation of 3D into motion graphics. I’d say the last ten years or so, we’ve done a lot of piggybacking on after effects, and the work that those folks do in providing them an easy path to incorporate 3D into that workflow. That was really exciting and a huge boost for us just in the types of graphics you’re seeing in television nowadays, especially the broadcast motion graphics. The type of work they’re doing is just phenomenal. I mean, it’s creative, technical, artistic, it’s amazing stuff.
Larry Jordan: Well I think all this has also been unlocked with the power of graphics processing cards, because those have really given us the horsepower that we need to create this stuff, true?
Paul Babb: Absolutely. That is the thing that people are able to be more creative than they used to be because the hardware and the software can service that creativity.
Larry Jordan: Well let’s shift gears a little bit. Maxon creates software for artists, and as you look at your customers, how much of their success is fuelled by the technology you create? How much by their own creativity? And how much by old fashioned business sense?
Paul Babb: Wow, that’s a great question. I think it’s different for each person. I think there are those people that have that blend of technological knowledge and creative skill and can wield that into some amazing stuff. I think there’s a lot of technicians out there, I think there’s a lot of people who know how to use the tool and they know, especially in motion graphics, they can get the work done, but maybe not as innovative as some of those people that are a little further along. And frankly, business sense is probably a great subject because it takes a certain skill to be a freelance motion graphic artist. We’ve seen some people be very successful at it, and we’ve seen some people not be so successful at it. And it really is a melding of so many different skills, not just the creative and the technical skill. Technical, there you are, you’re your own IT as well as if you’re working from home. But also that business acumen, that ability to keep clients happy, to communicate with clients, to be able to approach a job. There’s just so many aspects to it, I admire these guys.
Larry Jordan: It is not an easy road because creativity and running a business are not necessarily the same thing, and you have to wear multiple hats.
Paul Babb: Absolutely, and it really does take a certain type of personality. I have seen people that are incredible artists just not be able to cross over into that business relationship type of situation, and they’re better off in a studio where somebody’s going to take care of that for them. And then there are those that can hop from studio to studio, and their freelance tends to be more about working with studios, but the ones that can manage their own business as well as do the creative and the technical work is pretty special.
Larry Jordan: We’ve got a segment coming up later on the show, Scott Page who’s an entrepreneur himself and a creative musician, has developed a five step process called SPACE that allows people to think about how they can grow the business side of their business. So after they’ve finished listening to you, be sure to listen to that segment from Scott.
Paul Babb: Absolutely. I think I want to listen to him …
Larry Jordan: We’ve watched Maxon grow over the years, and I’ve had great delight in all of our conversations. One of the things that struck me, is Maxon’s emphasis at trade shows, presenting artists who are using your product. Why is this face to face contact between your trade show audience and your artists so important?
Paul Babb: Well, my father was a programmer, and my mother was an artist. So I was very exposed to those worlds very early. My father actually worked on computers in the very early stages, late 60s, early 70s, and there are times when we have done feature demos where we would get up ourselves and show off a new feature of the product. It’s just not as interesting, and while we know our way through the program fairly well, we’re not artists. I can show you the paintbrush, I can tell you what kind of strokes it makes, and I can tell you why the paintbrush is really good. But I’m not the best painter in the world. And ultimately, what you want to do is inspire the people that want to use the tool, to be creative and do it themselves. And who better than the artists who are inspiring us? I mean, they’re inspiring us to improve the tool, they’re inspiring us to create tools that will facilitate them even more. And so what we have found over the years is that community has been incredibly important to us, but also bringing those evangelists, bringing those top artists in who can sort of help people along. And bless them for coming out and sharing their tips and techniques.
Paul Babb: Boy, I’ve been in this industry for 20 some odd years, and there was a time when artists at that level would never share their tips and tricks. They felt that those were proprietary and something that they honed, and that people would need to figure that out by themselves. I love the fact that our artists are so interested in getting out there and helping each other. You probably don’t spend a lot of time on these communities, but it’s amazing to watch people helping each other, giving each other tips, giving each other feedback, offering links to resources and things to help each other.
Larry Jordan: Why so much of this emphasis on face to face and trade show appearances when you’ve got Cineversity which is your artists and your training, and it’s all online?
Paul Babb: Well I think there’s always value in face to face. I mean for me, going to the shows, spending time with artists outside of email and a few phone calls when they’re doing tutorials for Cineversity, the discussions about the work that they’re doing, and finding out about them personally, there’s those types of things as well. But also we bring in new artists all the time and we get to meet new people. These are people we don’t engage with on a regular basis. I think some of the business that we get done with other businesses, when you can sit down and hammer out ideas and concepts and get things set up, I don’t think you can replace that face to face opportunity.
Paul Babb: Actually I wrote a blog about this for the Maxon website blog. I wrote a blog about how important it is for people to get out to trade shows because I think you would probably hear from the people that we bring out to present for us at the shows that the one thing they’ll tell you is the opportunity to spend time with these other artists and exchange ideas and there’s a little bit of fandom too. Some of these guys are in awe of some of the people that they can get to see in person. And think about it. A lot of these guys are working at home, alone, you know, in a vacuum by themselves. Maybe a little communication online, maybe something on the phone, but for the most part, they don’t get to engage with other artists at that level. And so it makes for interesting dinner conversation too. When you hear them talking about how to recreate the reflections on glass or the shadows on something, it can get amusing.
Larry Jordan: Well thinking of creating reflections, gets us back to technology. Maxon announced a new version of Cinema 4D today. What’s the new news?
Paul Babb: We announced it at SIGGRAPH, and we’re showing it off, but we actually just started shipping today which is great. People are really excited. There’s motion tracking in the motion tracker, so getting objects inside of live footage. They added … refracturing which sounds very technical, but basically you can blow things up, dice and slice them in multitudes of ways and it’s all non-destructive, so it makes the work a lot easier, and also there’s all kinds of great new materials and shading things. Light reflections you were talking about, there’s a new shader that creates that rainbowy oily effect on water. So you can make bubbles, and oil slicks and fingerprints on cars and those types of things. There’s new modeling tools, a new knife tool, just a whole host of great tools in this round. We’ve gotten so much excitement from this release this year.
Larry Jordan: Well announcing is wonderful, but shipping is my favorite part of it the whole process.
Paul Babb: And shipping with all the features we promised. That’s a good one too.
Larry Jordan: What projects are best suited for Cinema 4D? For an artist that wants to start playing with it, what would be a good way to get started with it?
Paul Babb: Well, we are definitely well known for our motion graphics. I don’t think you can beat us in the speed and ease of use in terms of motion graphics, and the integration that we have with the Adobe Suite, as you know we have a bundled version. There’s a light version bundled in with After Effects, so even after effect users interesting in playing with 3D, they can dive right in, it’s already in there for them inside of after effects. Motion graphics is great. We’re seeing a lot of these people in motion graphics, leading individual effects. We have a lot of people doing more and more visual effects, that’s why we’ve added the motion tracker, and the object tracking in there so that people can branch out into that. We’ve already had a lot of people utilizing it for matte environments in a film setting or a movie studio setting, so that’s been great. But really what’s interesting is, you’ll find that a lot of our artists do a lot of different work, like we were talking about before, these freelancers. They might do a little visual effects, they might do a motion graphics piece for a TV station, interstitial or a bumper. They might do some movie titles. They might do medical or scientific animation as well, or stills. Imaginary Forces was presenting at NAB and they’re well known for their motion graphics, but Jeremy was showing some great work he had done for a cover of National Geographic. So they’re really artists, and they’re using our tool to create different types of art.
Larry Jordan: And for people that want more information about your tool, where can they go on the web?
Paul Babb: They can go to Maxon.net.
Larry Jordan: And Paul Babb himself is the President and CEO of Maxon US and Paul, thanks for joining us today.
Paul Babb: Thanks for having me Larry.
Larry Jordan: Take care, talk to you soon.
Paul Babb: You too.
Larry Jordan: And have a good show. 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, and best of all, she is a regular here on The Buzz. Hello Laura, welcome back.
Laura Blum: Thank you Larry, great to be back.
Larry Jordan: You know the last time we talked with you, we spoke about the creative community’s response to issues surrounding disability, and you brought up a new show called ABC’s Speechless. What makes this so important?
Laura Blum: What’s really a step forward on it, is that the character who has CP, cerebral palsy, in this show, himself actually has cerebral palsy. So we’re avoiding what’s called crip face or disability drag, which is the casting of an able bodied actor in a disabled role. You think Tom Hanks in ‘Forrest Gump’ or Dustin Hoffman in ‘Rain Man,’ Sean Penn in ‘I’m Sam.’ Micah Fowler is not the first disabled actor to be cast in a disabled role, far from it. TV audiences saw RJ Mitte in ‘Breaking Bad’ and Marlee Matlin in the ‘West Wing,’ and the reality show, ‘Born This way,’ follows people with Down’s Syndrome. Interestingly, a few months ago I interviewed Gail Williamson, who’s a talent agent for performers with disabilities and she told me she used to get about six requests a year for talent with intellectual disabilities. Now she gets about three to six a month.
Larry Jordan: Laura, give me an example of a film that got it wrong.
Laura Blum: Let’s talk about ‘War Dogs’ which recently opened. It tells the somewhat true story of two friends who became arms dealers for the US army. These two swaggering 20 somethings ultimately win a $300 million contract, but they are total losers when it comes to offensive language like the R word. And I actually gasped in the movie theater when the word retard reared its ugly head and I couldn’t help but think of the 2008 movie ‘Tropic Thunder.’ You’ll recall Robert Downey Junior’s infamous line, “Everybody knows you never go full retard.” So the R word surfaced in that movie at least a dozen times. It was supposed to be funny, but not everybody was laughing.
Laura Blum: A few months ago, I interviewed Timothy Shriver of the Special Olympics, and he recalled the campaign that he helped launch after ‘Tropic Thunder,’ and he and others were pressing members of Congress for a resolution to condemn what they termed “hate speech” … for other things too, stepped up support. But it’s interesting to talk about that right now when the summer Paralympics are about to hit Rio. And the whole world will be watching and it really makes us wonder, how do the games resemble films about people with disabilities, like what’s in common there?
Larry Jordan: Well who is getting it right?
Laura Blum: There’s this really wonderful documentary that opens in October on Netflix which is a place to get some of these smaller things. It is called, and the title matters, ‘Aspergers Are Us,’ and it’s executive produced by Mark and Jay Duplass. It features four guys, all of whom are ‘Aspies,’ which is how they refer to themselves. They have Aspergers, and they created a comedy troupe called ‘Aspergers Are Us.’ The film asks, is it OK to laugh at autism? And, well, they are. So for anybody who’s thinking, aren’t these guys supposed to be non-communicative, emotionally illiterate loner nerds, the film will really invite a re-thinking of stereotypes. They know who they are, how they’re wired, and they own it. They have agency, you don’t feel sorry for them, you admire their dry, offbeat sensibility, and their original takes on things.
Laura Blum: The New York Times debuted last week a column called ‘Becoming Disabled.’ It asks, “Roughly one in five Americans live with a disability, so where’s our pride movement?” But what I wanted to really say about Aspergers Are Us, is film is, in isolated cases, doing their pride films.
Larry Jordan: Laura, some interesting things to think about and it’s always a delight having you on the show. Laura Blum is a blogger for filmfestivals.com and thanks for joining us today.
Laura Blum: Thank you so much Larry.
Larry Jordan: Scott Page is a musician, a technologist and a serial entrepreneur. He’s currently the CEO of Ignited Network, which is a start up music accelerator focused on teaching artists how to think like a start up. Hello Scott, welcome back.
Scott Page: Hi Larry, great to be back again.
Larry Jordan: You know, last week, we began a conversation on what you called SPACE which is a five step process that we can follow to grow our business. And the first letter, S, stands for story which is how we describe our business, but more importantly our passion to others. What’s the letter P stand for?
Scott Page: That stands for plan. And this is one of the things that I think is really important for artists today because if you think about it, we’re actually all 24 hour broadcast networks. We have that ability now. We have access to our audience, we have access basically through virtual free distribution. All these different ways that we can get out there. But having a plan to be able to run your network is really important, and one of the things that I’m a big proponent of is what is called the lean start up principles. And the lean start up movement is really about how to reduce risk and not run out of resources. And one of the tools that they have which is my favorite tool, is a thing called the lean canvas. And the lean canvas is a one page business plan. You can go to leanstack.com and you can actually create a canvas, which is really a one page business plan. This plan is a really fast way to kind of get yourself organized. You go in, there’s nine questions in that plan, and you fill it out and it gives you the tools that you need to start thinking through how your business is going to run. I think this is one of the things that most artists, especially a lot of content creators don’t really think through because they think they’re building just content creation, but really in today’s world where you’re literally a 24 hour broadcasting network, you have access to all these people on mobile devices 24/7. You can get your content out, you can post any time. You really need to start putting together a plan and part of the plan is building out your kind of media calendar. And that media calendar is like, if you think of yourself as a broadcast network, we all know that NBC knows what’s going to be on Thursday at five o’clock right? They know in advance.
Larry Jordan: Mm hm.
Scott Page: Artist and content creators need to think the same way and build their plan and put together their organized content into these sort of media calendars so that I know on Thursday I’m going to do this post. Friday its Follow Friday, so I’m going to post content on that day or Throwback Thursday. So you’ve got to really organize your media into a plan. Also, having kind of a long term plan of thinking about, where’s my business going to be over the next 18 months, once you have this plan in place it really helps define where your business and where you’re going. So I really recommend this. It’s one of my favorite tools on the planet. And I would also recommend reading a book called ‘Running Lean,’ by Ash Maurya, which is really the principles of how to create products and run your business, and this can give you some great insights on how to do that.
Larry Jordan: Should we include goals in our plan?
Scott Page: Oh absolutely. One of the things that we do is we constantly measure, test and learn, build and learn. So, we always are testing and validating what we’re doing and each one is a goal, to finally test. So, with the plan when we set up, I usually set up an 18 month strategy, we put it in 30 day increments so we can see how we’re doing every 30 days. So having a goal, knowing where you’re going, and testing and validating is really very important. That’s a big part of the lean start up principles.
Larry Jordan: Scott, SPACE is a five step process. We’ve covered story and plan. Can we bring you back next week to talk about the next letter in your acronym?
Scott Page: Let’s do it.
Larry Jordan: And where can we go on the web to learn more about you?
Scott Page: You go to ignited.network.
Larry Jordan: And Scott Page is the CEO of Ignited Network at the ignited.network. Scott, thanks for joining us today.
Scott Page: Thanks Larry.
Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts is the CEO of Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System but even better, he’s a regular contributor to The Buzz. Hello Philip, welcome back.
Philip Hodgetts: Thank you for that welcome.
Larry Jordan: It’s good to hear your voice again. Philip, we got some sad news this week, what happened?
Philip Hodgetts: Yes, it’s kind of a sad time to be on The Buzz because Scott Sheppard who was a pioneer in internet podcasting before there was the infrastructure we have now with podcasting, before there was an Apple podcast directory. Before any of that, Scott was one of the founders of this democratization of broadcasting, so that anyone who’s got an idea for a show could get it online and start to build an audience. Long before YouTube and long before podcasting, so it’s kind of sad that Scott is no longer with us.
Larry Jordan: That’s a shame. Have you worked with him?
Philip Hodgetts: Yes, I first met Scott in the escalator in the Moscone West coming down after a fire drill when we were all told to get out during a conference. He and I ended up on the escalator together, started talking and then shortly thereafter I was a regular guest on his Inside Mac Radio, bringing the Mac video perspective to the show. And then of course Scott really brought his broadcast background to help us when we transitioned from DV Guys to the modern form of the digital production bias. He was a good advisor, a good friend, and he helped make The Buzz happen.
Larry Jordan: If I remember correctly, he did more than just make The Buzz happen, he provided the hardware for it to happen in the first place, correct?
Philip Hodgetts: Well he certainly helped with that. He guided me on what I should buy, but of course at that point in time I couldn’t just go out and buy the best of everything, so he guided me into what would get me on air, what would give me the best results, and of course the most expensive item, the all important phone hybrid to connect the phone into the audio system, Scott loaned me his spare … because you know, at that time, ten years ago, $600 or $700 for a basic introductory hybrid. And that was the most expensive component and Scott loaned it to us for six months before we had the wherewithal to buy it from him.
Larry Jordan: It’s interesting, thinking back, this September marks the 17th anniversary of The Buzz, and I know you hosted it for five or six years yourself before I had the pleasure of taking it over. But it’s the people that we meet and even more than the folks we chat with online, that make the biggest impression, at least for me. Relationships still seem to be important. Is that a true statement for you as well?
Philip Hodgetts: Absolutely. I cherish the relationships that I’ve formed, and it’s one of the things that has been a great joy in doing the Lunch with Philip and Greg series, which you can find at lunchwithphilipandgreg.com where literally, we’d just take somebody we find interesting to lunch and record it with a couple of Go Pros and some H1Ns. And publish that, and it’s been a great way of finding the people behind the name. You know, it’s a little bit beyond saying, “Hi, how you doing?” at a conference and catching up on Facebook. You learn things about people that you never knew about their background and how they got to be where they are, what their non-work interests are. So these people that we meet are I think what makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Larry Jordan: And thinking of meeting people, very quickly, you’re traveling to IBC. What’s happening there?
Philip Hodgetts: IBC is where we’ll meet a lot of friends from Europe and we’ll be taking part in the Final Cut Pro X tour event which is adjacent to the RAI, the main venue. And the supermeet there as well, we’ll be at a table then and talk to people about intelligence assistance or Lumberjack system, or the food in Amsterdam. I’m happy to do all of that.
Larry Jordan: And a website for people to go to learn more is?
Philip Hodgetts: It’s philiphodgetts.com, that’s probably the easiest, or intelligentassistance.com.
Larry Jordan: That’s philiphodgetts.con and Philip Hodgetts himself is the voice you’ve been listening to. Philip, thanks for joining us today.
Philip Hodgetts: My pleasure. Have a good evening.
Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.
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Larry Jordan: Mike Horton and Dan Berube are the co-producers of the supermeet, that legendary multi-media extravaganza, music repeating which has been travelling around the world for, I don’t know, five or 6,000 years. Hello Mike, good to have you with us.
Mike Horton: Hey Larry, good to be back.
Larry Jordan: And Dan, good to have you with us as well.
Dan Berube: Hello. I feel 6,000 years old.
Larry Jordan: Mike, it is good to hear your voice again, especially on The Buzz, and Dan it’s always a delight having both of you on the show. Mike, how would you describe the supermeet?
Mike Horton: Gosh, how would you describe it? It is a gathering of likeminded people in the digital movie making world. People who are in production and post production and want to get together and network, and learn something new. On stage we have lots of the newest software and hardware demos, and out in the trade show area is the place to hang out, meet one another and learn from other companies who just happen to be our sponsors.
Larry Jordan: Dan, it probably is a little less than 5,000 years, but how many years have you and Mike been producing supermeets?
Dan Berube: Holy wow, well Amsterdam, we’re in our ninth year. We’ve been doing supermeets for about 15 years. 15 years in cat lives, that’s 5,000 years.
Larry Jordan: At least, maybe more.
Dan Berube: No it’s been quite a journey and I think the pedals to the metal, I think we still got some years left in it.
Larry Jordan: Well I hope so, they’re way too much fun to have you guys fold your tent and slip away into the night. But Dan, why did you decide to start supermeets in the first place?
Dan Berube: Because I love Mike.
Dan Berube: Well I think it was all part of just basically we wanted to connect with more people. You know, other than with our user groups, and we had the fantastic opportunity way back in Vegas when five of our groups, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, oh what’s the third and fourth one?
Larry Jordan: San Francisco.
Dan Berube: San Francisco. And so we just had this name called Boss Chiller, which I had to put all the user group names together, and it was at the Hilton and even before that, there were some meetings where groups were getting together and it was happening at San Francisco and what not. You said tenth, but it really is kind of like a big top for film makers to get together and really get their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening at the time, because just like the internet, supermeets grow and change dramatically almost every other supermeet.
Larry Jordan: Well Mike, thinking about that, what’s on tap for the supermeet at IBC? First, where and when is it, and then second, what have you got planned?
Mike Horton: It’s on Sunday September 11th. It’s always on a Sunday and this year just happens to be September 11, and we have on tap a really good show. First of all Black Magic. We’ll be bringing on a cinematographer who just did a documentary with the URSA mini. He’s going to be talking about using the URSA mini, showing footage and showing his work with Resolve. We’re also getting back into VR with Editor Duncan Shepherd who just happens to be here from Los Angeles. And he did a series of documentary shorts for this music video called Pure McCartney VR, and it just happens to star Paul McCartney, and directed by the wonderful Tony Kaye and he used Final Cut Pro X in that, so he’s going to play that up and he’s going to show everybody how he edited these VR documentary shorts.
Mike Horton: And then we’re going further into VR with Milica Zec and Winslow Turner who are being presented by HP and they did a VR experience called Giant which if you actually watch a little bit of it online, it’s quite intense. Takes place during the Bosnian war and one little location. It’s very immersive. Also, Adobe will be there showing the latest and greatest, and Sam Mestman of Lumaforge will be showing the ShareStation along with Ronnie … That’s going to be a real fun demo. Also fayteq which is out of Germany has got this plug in called fayIN, which is a motion tracking and compositing plug in and they’re going to show off that. Then of course we have our world famous raffle which has got a gazillion dollars worth or Euros worth of prizes.
Larry Jordan: Well I’m going to talk about the raffle in just a second, but Mike, a question for you. There’s so much training and so much information on the web, why should someone attend an event like the supermeet?
Mike Horton: Dan and I get asked this all the time. Why should they do that? It is the networking opportunity. Again, it’s like minded people and you’re going to meet somebody there hopefully, if you have the courage to go up and shake their hand and say hello, and it’s what we always say, if you do have that courage that person that you do shake the hand of, might change your life.
Dan Berube: It’s also like a user driven presentation, so it’s not something you typically get in training. You know, add one plus one equals two on the stage, and see how these tools are used.
Mike Horton: Yes, I mean if somebody’s got a problem, they get up on stage and they say here’s how to solve your problem using this, or this technique that I found, or this tool that I found. And you can learn a lot from that, and it’s also just a fun night to hang out with each other.
Larry Jordan: Mike, the other thing is, in addition to the stage show, at least at NAB supermeets, you would have small tables that have exhibits there so that people can go up and ask questions of. It’s like a mini NAB or a mini IBC. Is that still happening with IBC this year?
Mike Horton: Oh yes. We have two. Supermeets are always this way that we have the theater, and then we have what we call the digital showcase and out in the digital showcase will be 19 little tables and those sponsors who basically pay for this event, will be showing off their stuff and without these sponsors there just wouldn’t be any supermeets.
Larry Jordan: Dan, tell me about the world famous raffle.
Dan Berube: Oh yes. Well since we updated the website, we have close to 73 million Euros. 73,000 Euros in prizes. And we have a door prize. We always do a door prize with HP to give away a 15 inch HP Zbook.
Larry Jordan: Wow.
Dan Berube: Which is eligible to the first 500 people that show up, or before six o’clock whichever comes first.
Mike Horton: Actually that’s 300 people. 500 people in Vegas, 300 people in Amsterdam.
Dan Berube: Right. That in itself is a pretty big value. We always have our staples, AVID, Adobe, we’ve got this wonderful VR starter pack from The Foundry which is like 10,000 Euros, and a Game Artist Starter Pack which is another 3,000 Euros or something like that. Lumaforge is giving away a 24 terabyte Jellyfish HD RAID which is over 8,000 Euros. I mean, it’s amazing what we have going. We have anything from software to hardware, lots of hardware this time actually.
Mike Horton: Yes, lots of hardware.
Larry Jordan: That is very cool.
Dan Berube: People who fly into the supermeet they’re going to be flying back with some hardware. Yeah.
Larry Jordan: Well I have attended many of your famous raffles, and what you manage to get a crowd to do, and get them on their feet and cheering for these prizes is just a piece of stage theater that cannot be adequately described in words. It can only be witnessed.
Dan Berube: That’s the wonderful thing we love about Amsterdam because those people aren’t afraid to get up and show their appreciation.
Mike Horton: Well I remember the first time we did it in Europe at IBC in Amsterdam. We didn’t know what was going to happen but they knew, they took right to it. I mean they did a bigger show for us than NAB.
Dan Berube: Yes. They’re wonderfully creative and crazy people and I love them all. That’s why we love the Amsterdam supermeets so much.
Larry Jordan: Mike, are there still seats?
Dan Berube: I’m amazed at how many people want to pick up Michael, toss him around.
Mike Horton: Yes, exactly. We have a few pictures of it too.
Larry Jordan: Michael, are there still seats left?
Mike Horton: There are still seats left and all you need to do is go to supermeet.com and click on the buy ticket and, if you’re listening very carefully, you can save five Euros off the 15 euro price.
Larry Jordan: How?
Mike Horton: By using promo code DPBVIP and that’ll save you five Euros.
Larry Jordan: Say it again because I love saving money.
Mike Horton: DPB, which is digital production buzz, VIP. Very important person. Digital production buzz, DPBVIP, and that’ll save you five Euros.
Larry Jordan: You are so amazing at how you come up with these coupons. It’s just…
Mike Horton: Yes, I know, it’s really creative isn’t it?
Larry Jordan: Mike, you got about 20 seconds left. If you could tell people one thing to make them come to the supermeet, what would you tell them?
Mike Horton: Gosh, fun.
Dan Berube: Bitterballen.
Mike Horton: You get really good food, fun, networking and honest to goodness, there’s something might happen that night that’ll make your career. But you don’t know until you get out of the house.
Larry Jordan: That was very cool. Mike Horton and Dan Berube are the co-producers of the supermeet and have been doing it for the last 15 years. Gentlemen, thank you so very much for your time, and I wish you a great show.
Dan Berube: OK well thanks for having us on Larry.
Mike Horton: Thanks Larry.
Dan Berube: I hope to see you soon.
Larry Jordan: I look forward to both of that. Thank you, take care.
Dan Berube: Alright, see you later.
Larry Jordan: Bye bye.
Mike Horton: Bye.
Dan Berube: Bye.
Larry Jordan: I love talking to folks like today’s show. It’s always a fun time. I want to thank our guest Paul Babb, the CEO of Maxon US. Mike Horton and Dan Berube, co-producers of the supermeet. Laura Blum, blogger for filmfestivals.com. Scott Page, CEO of Ignited Network. Phil Hodgetts, CEO of Intelligent Assistance, and James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS.
Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you’ll find thousands of interviews, all online and all available to you today. And remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Friday. You can talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com.
Larry Jordan: Our theme music is 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.