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Digital Production Buzz- December 29, 2016

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Larry O’Connor, Jonathan Handel, Michele Yamazaki, Michael Kammes, James DeRuvo.

  • Technology Highlights from 2016
  • Larry Jordan Looks at 2016
  • Labor and Industry News from 2016
  • A Look at Top Plug-ins in 2016
  • Michael Kammes’ 2016 Tech Highlights
  • The Weekly DoddleNEWS Update

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Guests this Week

Featured Interview #1: Technology Highlights from 2016

Larry O'Connor
Larry O’Connor, President & Founder, Other World Computing

Larry O’Connor is the president and founder of OWC, which stands for “Other World Computing.” He is an industry leader, especially in storage and RAM technology. Tonight, we look back at the major highlights and lowlights of 2016.

Featured Interview #2: Larry Jordan Looks at 2016

Larry Jordan
Larry Jordan, Host, Digital Production Buzz

2016 was a year of significant change. Tonight, Larry Jordan shares his thoughts on the key events in distribution, hardware, software and business that affected filmmakers. Then, he and Michael Kammes have a discussion about Larry’s tests with the new MacBook Pro for speed, capability and performance. This is one interview you’ll want to hear.

Labor and Industry News from 2016

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

Tonight, Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for “The Hollywood Reporter,” takes a look back at the key labor and industry highlights of 2016.

A Look at Top Plug-ins in 2016

Michele Yamazaki
Michele Yamazaki, VP Marketing, Toolfarm

Michele Yamazaki is the VP of Marketing for Toolfarm. As a major reseller of software and plug-ins for visual effects, Michele shares her unique perspective on what worked and what didn’t during this last year. Tonight, she looks at plug-ins and 3D software.

Michael Kammes’ 2016 Tech Highlights

Michael Kammes
Michael Kammes, Director of Technology, Key Code Media, michaelkammes.com

Michael Kammes is the Director of Technology at KeyCode Media. His focus is on workflow, collaboration, codecs and all the stuff that makes editing systems work. Tonight, he looks back at the past year and offers his insights on what will change the industry.

The weekly DoddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

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 presents our weekly DoddleNEWS Update.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – December 29, 2016

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Larry O’Connor, President & Founder, Other World Computing
Larry Jordan, Host, Digital Production Buzz
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter
Michele Yamazaki, VP Marketing, Toolfarm
Michael Kammes, Director of Technology, Key Code Media, michaelkammes.com
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we look back at key trends in technology for 2016. We start with Larry O’Connor the CEO of OWC. Larry shares his thoughts about key highlights in hardware and software for the year. Next Jonathan Handel, the entertainment Labor reporter for the Hollywood Reporter, looks back at labor issues during the year and the political challenges organized labor faces in the new politics of 2017. Next, Michele Yamazaki Terpstra, the VP of marketing for Toolfarm, looks back at plug ins and three D software. Next, Michael Kammes, director of technology for Key Code Media, shares his thoughts on hardware, work flow and storage for the year past. And, as always, James DeRuvo joins us, this time with a look back at 2016 on DoddleNEWS. The Buzz starts now.

Male Voiceover: Since the dawn of digital film-making…One show serves a world-wide network of media professionals. Uniting industry experts, production, film-makers, post production and content creation around the planet. Distribution from the media capital of the world in Los Angeles California. A 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. Tonight we look back at 2016 from a variety of perspectives – hardware, software, work flow, labor, distribution and more. Part of the fun in any retrospective is checking to see how accurate we were in predicting in the future at this time last year. And based upon what I’ve been reading, we betted about, oh, 50% – mostly.

Larry Jordan: Tonight James DeRuvo looks at some of the top stories for 2016. Then Michele Terpstra covers the top 10 list of plug-ins this past year. Jonathan Handel has an interesting take on how politics is affecting labor issues, while Larry O’Connor spots key hardware and software trends. Then Michael Kammes and I have a dialog on what we’ve spotted along with a discussion on the new MacBook Pro laptop. It will be an interesting show. By the way, I want to invite you to subscribe to our free weekly newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Every issue, every week gives you an inside look at the Buzz quick links to the different segments on the show and curated articles of special interest to film-makers. Best of all, every issue is free and comes out on Friday. And now it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hello Larry. Let me be the first to wish you happy new year.

Larry Jordan: Okay. And a happy almost new year to you as well. But before we shift into the new year, let’s take a look back at 2016. What are some of the top stories?

James DeRuvo: Well I think I’m going to start with the second story because I want to save the positive story to last. I think the biggest sale this year was virtual reality. Content creators lauded out this bold new technology. Everybody’s getting into it. Amazon just hired a DP. Netflix is getting into it, Hoover’s getting into it. Virtual reality just hasn’t translated into sales because the headset is too
expensive, you have to buy a brand new computer to support it. Going with the less expensive Samsung Galaxy that works with the mobile phone, you have to still have to use their phone. So it’s just too expensive. There is not enough content yet and some people can get sick watching it and all that, plus the fact that privacy is a real big issue now, virtual reality is the dud this year. That to me was a really big story this year in 2016.

Larry Jordan: What’s another one?

James DeRuvo: Drone competitors. Three D Robotics closed its stores this year after failure to solve problems with their solo drone. I really liked the solo drone. I thought it was highly innovative. It had software that could really future proof a platform, but unfortunately, the had a lot of problems with it and they kept a lid on those problems. But they burnt through all of their capital. They only sold about 25 hundred of them and they ended up closing their doors. It was a really bad story that happened suddenly. Then on top of that, GoPro had to recall that long-awaited Karma drone due to sudden power failures. Those two companies were the only two that could really compete with DJI and now they’re all but alone at the top of the heap. There’s a shake up going on in the drone world and DJI are riding high.

Larry Jordan: We have concerns about virtual reality, drone competition, do we have any good news at all?

James DeRuvo: We do. My favorite story of the year was the fact that Jarred Land, the CEO of RED, or as he likes to call himself, the fire chief, lifted 20 RED 8K HELIUM cinema cameras for sale and they sold out in minutes. A $35,000 camera and he sold them all in literally 10 minutes. It’s got a super 35 8K sensor with 3.65 Micron pixels. It uses that DSMC2 architecture for increased dynamic range and it now supports ProRes. Land was so confident about it, he gave this 19-year-old kid his own personal helium camera and said, “Go shoot something.” And the kid came back with an amazing short film about boxers called, I believe, the Underdog and showed the incredible dynamic range of this RED HELIUM Super 35 8K sensor. I really do think that’s the story of the year.

Larry Jordan: Do you really think the story is the 8K, or do you think the story is Dynamic Range, or just the fact that they only had a few of them and they sold out?

James DeRuvo: I think the story is Dynamic Range because people kept buying and they had this big waiting list. The fact that it’s a super 35 8K sensor and they were able to do that, because they made the pixel size so incredibly tiny, and still maintained that dynamic range that RED is known for, I really do think that that was what really drove it. Film-makers were looking for a more affordable
platform to shoot on for 8K and they got it in HELIUM and it’s been so popular, they had two different versions.

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

James DeRuvo: All these and other stories can be found at doddlenews.com

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the senior writer for DoddleNEWS, returns with our weekly news update next week. Happy new year James. We’re talk to you in a week and in a year.

James DeRuvo: See you next year Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

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Larry Jordan: Larry O’Connor founded Other World Computing, which is also called OWC, in 1988. Their website, which you may know better, is macsales.com. OWC is both a reseller and a developer, supporting all things Mac for more than 25 years. Hello Larry, welcome back.

Larry O’Connor: Thank for having me back Larry.

Larry Jordan: It’s my pleasure and thank you for taking time out of your holiday week to chat with us this week. Happy holidays to you.

Larry O’Connor: Yes and merry Christmas, happy new years, happy all the holidays.

Larry Jordan: Larry, I want to divide our conversation tonight into three parts: hardware trends for this last year, software trends and then what OWC has done. So to start with, what key hardware trends have you noticed?

Larry O’Connor: I’ve tried not to notice the elimination of all the different ports. Everything’s getting to down to one interface or one net connection on these systems. Maybe there’s more than one of the same, but they’re all the same and you’ve got to have other things to use your legacy stuff and there’s definitely a push away from having different options for different peripheral types and more towards a universal connection.

Larry Jordan: A lot of people have expressed discontent with the standardization on a single port but it seems to me there’s also advantages because you have basically a single interface for everything. Am I misunderstanding this?

Larry O’Connor: No, I think we’re on the same page there. It’s just the matter of not pushing it so abruptly as opposed to any kind of transition. That’s the real issue. Five years from now, people … and although what’s going to be the hard connections for the high speed stuff, but nonetheless right now, it’s really an upheaval transition when you set up all those devices and all the different
devices …

Larry Jordan: Well I’m reminded of other times where Apple has killed ports which are almost too numerous to mention, SCSI 25 and Firewire 400 and Firewire 800 and Toslink and Applenet. I mean Apple has never met a port that it doesn’t like killing.

Larry O’Connor: …fun stuff that Apple starts and takes away.

Larry Jordan: So we’ve got the standardization or the unification to a single port. Any other hardware that’s caught your eye? Any hardware trends?

Larry O’Connor: No that’s the great thing and I guess the only other aspect, and I think we’re seeing some changes, I know we’re going to see some changes in 2017. The majority of the improvements haven’t really come. We haven’t had a lot of processor speeds. We’ve been very dependent on internal GPU. That’s one area we’re going to see some changes in 2017. We’re going to see some more meaningful processor advancements in the way the GPU process. Certainly the GPU dependencies are and what you can do with. Updating your GPU in the future I think is going to change a lot of it.

Larry Jordan: So we’re going to see more improved CPU. Let’s shift to software. What’s software trends caught your attention?

Larry O’Connor: You can separate people with more … make it more expensive for this stuff. I think it’s a really disappointing trend, all this software’s gone from the professional licenses to where you buy something and actually own it, to these annual renewals. Or you’re licensing what you use and if you don’t pay the renewal, you no longer have a license to use software apps. But that’s
certainly been a trend, within the last couple of years and really picked up steam this year. In a couple of years, I think there’s not going to be outside of … fabrications that we depend on, everything in parallels, capability, whether it’s Microsoft Office on the options to actually own software are quickly going away.

Larry Jordan: Do you think it’s a permanent trend? This sort of stuff seems to go in cycles. Back before microcomputers were invented, when main frames and minis were there, all software was rented and none of it was purchased. So it seems to me that as soon as everything all becomes subscription based there’s a new market that opens up for people that are just selling it.

Larry O’Connor: Yes. That’s okay with the Cloud and the … is there, not the support. This kind of rental environment so to speak, it’s going to stick around for a while. I agree with you, it opens up a new market, but it’s going to take something highly disruptive to turn this one back around for no other reason that the applications that have the popularity, that have the supremacies out there. We’re now faced with options with renting versus buying.

Larry Jordan: Let’s shift to the third, which is something a little bit closer to your heart which is what OWC has been working on this past year. What have you guys done that is most significant?

Larry O’Connor: I think everything that we do is significant. Most significantly, in general has been to bring solutions that avoid … strategy in hardware. These are people in a position where they got to buy a new computer just to add more storage or can’t replace a drive. So we’ve been keen to provide solutions and improve solutions and advance solutions to keep Macs running longer. And I think it important because if you look at the pressure of capability and you can buy brand new today versus five years ago. You don’t buy a new computer today because it’s too slow … started with. But some other reason. Maybe you have problem with the drive, maybe you don’t have enough capacity and without OWC out there, Apple doesn’t offer upgrades for these
things. So the solution is buying a new Mac and we continue to have an exceptional line up that avoids the necessity of buying new for something as simple more storage. And we’re going to continue that trend even with the 2016s. We have some solutions for those 2016s and actually, significantly about three years ago, we got a patent on a particular design concept, seeing
the writing on the wall on this thing coming. The other area is IMac. Millions of IMacs out there that have a firmer lock on their hard drives and … just taken off over the last couple of years. … a visual interface. It talks to SMC so you can pick out the Apple drive with its custom film ware and put any hard drive you want in and still have proper diagnostic and … monitoring. These are general things, the solution, to keep these machines.

Larry Jordan: There’s nothing wrong, I mean Apple …, these aren’t $500 dollar PCs, these are 1,000, 15 hundred, 25 hundred, over $3,000 cost systems. You get what you pay for. Apple build an awesome system, awesome that the quality is there and they last. It’s only right that there be solutions to keep on going. The other thing – talk a lot about the upgrades, focus on soft grade – the interfaces are exceptionally fast today and the kind of flexibility that soft grades provides for their … solution is without comparison, both in performance as well as in overall drive monitoring and the reliability. All three takes it up to a whole new level. We’ve continued to keep things open. We’re not forcing people into … not going into subscription based, rental program. If nothing else we’ve been true to who we’ve been for 28 years. We’ve kept our focus on solutions for the people and by choice as opposed to … eco system.

Larry Jordan: With the release of Thunderbolt 3, which has got speeds which also no storage can fill that pipe, we can start to use this for other things, not just displays, but can we start to offload either GPU or CPU tasks theoretically through this pipe or is it really going to be just storage transfer and displays?

Larry O’Connor: It’s GPU, that’s the future. What you’re going to be able to do with Thunderbolt 3 and GPUs is incredible. A lot of that we’re going to have to wait for … for. What we’re going to be able to is a relatively low … and we’re just going to plug in a GPU and … the Apple, picking out some ways to do. It can be done now but what we’re going to be doing on the PC side which … do expect Apple to open the door to. It’s really going to make for some interesting future capabilities. You won’t have to put all of your investment into a GPU boosted path. You could have a great machine for portability and then when you need to do the heavy lifting, Photoshop, three D
video, then you just plug in a GPU box and boom. We’re pretty excited about that. And it’s something else again that’s going to get the machines going for a whole lot longer, I do believe.

Larry Jordan: One of the challenges that we’ve got is that Apple is making machines which are less and less repairable and harder and harder to get into which only makes your life more complex. Is this something where Apple is ultimately going to try to lock everybody out?

Larry O’Connor: We have a solution that we’re going to be showing off. It’s top secret at the moment, but we’ll be showing it off next week at the CES. I think people are going to be, hopefully they’re going to be stoked. We’re pretty stoked about it. So far everybody we’ve been showing it to, internally at least, are pretty excited. We’re hoping for a good reception on the solution. I do have to say, I find it highly disappointing that with everything sorted, one thing that goes wrong with that computer and it’s a brick and it’s an expensive brick depending how highly you equip it. The other thing that just kills me, right now solid state storage is really expensive, relatively speaking.

Larry O’Connor: The trend this year … cost increases demand due to … and geometries and it’s a big increase in demand there. Everything kind of came together to put a crunch on supply. I reckon in the next two to three months, maybe longer, we’ll either see pressure on storage state. My main point is, I don’t care if we couldn’t do it, because it doesn’t matter, … an Apple upgrade, but the user has to spend the money up front on a product. … is no only going to go down in cost per gigabyte … ups and downs. It’s a downward trend in the long haul in terms of what these are going to cost you and how much storage. That’s only going to go up. To have an awesome machine, actually the base is now $2700, $2600 and if you buy it …you need more than … the only option is to buy a new computer. I won’t say it’s criminal, but it’s certainly pretty darn close to it. And the other … is to spend a butt load of money up front, but that’s kind of a losing game in terms of certainly on its depreciation because in two years, two terabytes, certainly not the cost of one terabyte, might be the cost of 500 gigabytes so you’re going to lose. All that extra cost you’ve got to pay up front today to have the storage you need for the future, it’s just doesn’t feel right. You talk about these rentals, maybe in another few months, we’re going to see Apple roll out a run of programs because that’s the way … the purpose everybody works these systems. But if somebody spills water on your laptop and you just finished your masterpiece, you’re in the middle of whatever, whatever the circumstance, the machine dies. Of course the Apples are very reliable, but if something happens, anything goes wrong, you’re going to have a backup of what’s on there. The machine starts working … shot and keep going on another computer. You’re done.

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

Larry O’Connor: They can visit OWC digital-dot-com, where they can check out all our great solutions, including our docks which are used for feedback and our Thunderbolt Two dock and our new Thunderbolt Three dock which bring back all those ports that Apple left quite frankly to us to provide. At Macsales.com, of course you can find a great selection of all the OWC … third parties and a lot of help.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word – macsales.com Larry O’Connor is the founder and CEO of OWC. Larry, thanks for joining us today.

Larry O’Connor: Thank you for having me, Larry, really appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment and technology attorney of Counsel at TroyGould and Los Angele. He is also the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for the Hollywood reporter and best of all, he’s a regular here on the Buzz. Hello Jonathan, happy holidays, welcome back.

Jonathan Handel: It’s a pleasure to be back and happy holidays to you and the listeners as well.

Larry Jordan: This week we are looking back at the major events of 2016. We just heard from Larry O’Connor about some of the key tech events, but now I want to turn to labor and the industry. What are some of the highlights of the past year for you?

Jonathan Handel: Well certainly one of the – I don’t know if highlight is the right word – but certainly one of the most important things that’s happened is what happened politically, the election of Donald Trump. Trump and, particularly some of his appointees, such as Secretary of Labor designate, are not pro-worker and not pro-union despite the blue collar billionaire world that Trump tried to portray during the campaign. So it remains to be seen how that’s going to affect the Hollywood unions and unions generally. But that really has to be viewed as the biggest story both of 2016 and of the upcoming year.

Larry Jordan: Labor, especially unions, have been under pressure for years. It sounds like the pressure is about to increase.

Jonathan Handel: Well that’s right and ironically, the last time the pressure ratcheted up it was under the presidency of Ronald Reagan who broke the air traffic controllers’ union and began a long term campaign against unions and it’s ironic because Reagan came to prominence initially as president of the Screen Actors’ Guild back in the 1950s. And Trump himself receives a union pension. The ironies do abound. There also is news closer to home and this again is both backward and forward looking, which is the contract cycle between the unions and the AMTPT, representing the studios and producers.

Larry Jordan: Didn’t DGA announce something earlier today?

Jonathan Handel: The DGA board has approved the tenet of deal between the DGA and the AMTPT. It now goes to the members for ratification. They released some of the details of that deal in a sort of an outline form, not the actual contract language just yet.

Larry Jordan: Are you seeing major changes in this agreement or is it a continuation of the past?

Jonathan Handel: I’d say it’s an enhancement on the past, which in the current climate is very advantageous. Three per cent wage increases per year – the same as the previous deal, increases in residuals for a high budget … , like programs made for Netflix and a variety of other improvements that they listed. But this really does contrast with what we’re seeing in the larger external political climate, the election of Trump, the anti-union feeling in the country that continues, and has continued for many years. Other union battles are something of an uphill battle in contrast to this one.

Larry Jordan: As an example of this anti-union feeling, what’s happening with SAG after it’s attempting to unionize Telemundo?

Jonathan Handel: We haven’t heard anything about that in the last month or two and that’s a very, very uphill battle because you’re talking about trying to unionize not just a non-union network, but it’s owned by Comcast, so it’s a sister to NBC and Universal, which of course are unionized, but Comcast is very anti-union. But in addition, it is a network where the performers and the people that they’re
trying to unionize are Latinos – Spanish speaking performers who don’t get the benefits of the union contract. In this anti-immigrant, anti-Latino political climate, combined with the anti-union climate, combined with Comcast’s history on unionization, that really has to count as a triply hard uphill battle.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of uphill battles, we’ve also got the Screen Actors’ Guild and Video Game Developers, don’t we?

Jonathan Handel: We absolutely do. The Screen Actors’ Guild is on strike against about 10 or some – somewhere between nine and 11 – video game companies. That strike has been going on now for about two months and that is an uphill battle also because SAG-AFTRA does not have a high degree of union density – that is percentage of work that’s covered by the union – among voiceover work that’s done for video games. Now the union does say that among cop games they’ve got much higher density, a much higher market share as it were, but statistics are hard to find an both sides are pretty dug in right now.

Larry Jordan: This year, like every year, we lose key members of our creative community. Wearing your labor hat, what key losses stand out to you?

Jonathan Handel: Ken Howard, who was president SAG and then SAG-AFTRA for about six years or so, died earlier this year and it was a difficult loss for a lot of people. Ken was a very spirited guy, very dedicated to the union. Obviously SAG-AFTRA still has political factions and there are people who did and did not like his leadership, but he was a very kind and sincere man. The union has been very lucky, it seems to me, that they had Gabrielle Carteris, the executive vice president, to step in and become acting and then elected president. She’ll be up next year for election in front of the members at large, but she has been very energetic and really has picked up the mantel and run with it quite assertively.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about what you’re thinking and what you’re writing where can they go on the web?

Jonathan Handel: Two places; jhandel.com and thrlabor.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s jhandel.com and Jonathan Handel himself is the person we’ve been talking to. Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks much, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Michele Yamazaki Terpstra is the VP of Marketing at Toolfarm. She has written or co-written two books on plug-ins as well as becoming the go to person on software and plug-ins for our editing systems. Welcome back, Michele and a happy holiday to you.

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Oh, you too.

Larry Jordan: So tonight, we’re looking back at 2016 and since you follow plug-ins pretty closely I wanted to start by asking what plug-in trends were hot this last year?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Well, it seems like there were not a lot of new plug-ins or new software. There were loads of updates for existing software where they added new compatibility, bug fixes, a few new features, but as far as new plug-ins it was a little limited. It seems to be really slowing down. I wonder if all of the plug-ins have already been made. It’s so hard to come up with new ideas.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking of that. Back in 1899 people felt that they had achieved everything that could possibly be achieved and nothing new would be invented. Do you think we’re in the same situation?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: I think maybe we’re in a little lull but I think that it will come back. It seems like Final Cut Pro X is kind of the hot spot for new products, especially with the FxFactory plug-in. There seems to be quite a few new FxFactory plug-ins this year. But for after effects there were only, I don’t know, a few, not too many.

Larry Jordan: Are more plug-ins sold for the after effects crowd or more plug-ins sold for the editing crowd like Premiere and Final Cut?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Well, the after effects users love their plug-ins and they tend to buy a lot of them. There are also plug-ins that are used for multi home so I’m not really sure what they are using it in. But they are selling all the ground, but the affect effects has always been popular.

Larry Jordan: Well, you’ve been tracking what the most popular plug-ins are haven’t you?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: We have. We have a top ten that we do every year at the end of the year and we’re extending it. It was supposed to end tomorrow, but we thought we would add another 15 days to it. I think over the holidays people just get busy or they are just bombarded with messages and we just haven’t had as many votes as we would like. So everybody can vote on their favorite plug-ins for After Effects, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Avid, Cinema 4D and OFX.

Larry Jordan: And where do they go to vote?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: It’s at Toolfarm. If you go to our news page it will be there. We are giving away a couple of Go Pros and copies of a book that we’ve put out recently, Green Screen Made Easy. My co-author and I, Jeremy Hanke released it in October. We are giving that away and also a couple of $100 store credits at Toolfarm.

Larry Jordan: And when do you announce the results because I’m really curious to see what the top ten are?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: We will announce the results just a few days after we close the survey. We are planning to close it now on January 15th so hopefully by January 20th if you’re not busy that day we will be announcing them about then.

Larry Jordan: Alright. Another thing, you’ve been exploring new software this year. How come?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Well, a couple of things. I’ve been wanting to learn some 3D software for quite a while. And it started out last fall learning MODO and NUKE. And then Cinema 4D is something I’ve been wanting to learn for ages. And now I’m enrolled in a Greyscalegorilla course on animation and we’ve been doing things like bouncing balls and arcs and the next tutorial is a bouncing ball. And it’s a once a week class where we meet live online and we have our assignments. Then I’m going to be learning Maya right after that. This is all for Toolfarm so we can support the products and so we have somebody on our staff who really knows the products well so we can recommend products by actually knowing what they do and by personally using them and begin to support them as well.

Larry Jordan: What were the challenges in learning this new software? This is not easy stuff.

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: It’s not and I’ve been in a 2D world my whole life, two and a half D with After Effects and editing software, so this is really different to work in 3D space and I’ve been using Adobe software for so long, putting out or looking at software made by other companies, that everything is laid out differently and things are called different things, which the names of things are different which you would think they would be the same. So it is a learning curve but it seems like once I had a point suddenly it all makes sense. Sitting down and having the time to learn it is probably the hardest part.

Larry Jordan: That’s true of just about everything. There’s always a shortage of time to learn something new. Is there a way you could apply your personal experience to your website to help your visitors?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Well, I’m doing a series called Michele Learns Cinema 4D and I’ve been doing it on and off for a couple of years. And I’d like to do a lot more of those. With Maya we are going to be doing a similar series when I start learning it and that should start in January. It will be Maya for motion graphics users, so I’m not really sure what I’m going to be doing with that. I think it depends on what I’m learning.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like an exciting time. For people that want more information or to vote in your contest where can they go on the web?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: To toolfarm.com.

Larry Jordan: And the VP of Marketing at Toolfarm is Michele Yamazaki Terpstra. Michele it is always fun talking to you. Have yourself a great holiday. We’ll talk to you soon.

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: You too. Bye.

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, filmmakers and story tellers. 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: In his current role as the Director of Technology at Key Code Media Michael Kammes consults on the latest in technology and best practices in the digital media communications space. He also has a strange but wonderful love of workflow and codecs and process. Hello Michael, happy holidays to you.

Michael Kammes: Thank you very much, Larry. I can’t think of a better way to bookend 2016 than to talk to you. I talked to you in January for your first show and I’m talking to you here on your last show in December. Fantastic.

Larry Jordan: I have multiple things I can say but I’m going to take it as a compliment and we are going to move on. Tonight we are looking back at 2016. What key trends from last year sticks in your mind?

Michael Kammes: It’s a shame that I’m bringing up the rear here because a lot of the folks you’ve had on today have spoken about things that I was going to talk about, so I’m furiously crossing them off my list. So I’ll talk about things that weren’t discussed earlier. One of them, and this makes me immensely happy as a creative, is that many more folks now are paying attention to color. With the availability of Resolve, with the availability of advanced color grading solutions, folks are saying, you know what, I can get cameras that have a wider gamut of color and I can now manipulate this in post. And it’s no longer just an afterthought. And I love that trend in the industry.

Larry Jordan: What makes the color so significant?

Michael Kammes: Well, aside from the obvious storytelling aspects of it, on the technical side there’s the planning for it at the beginning which is being able to light for a logged shot, an S-Log etc. Whether it’s being able to grade for HDR if you have to deliver to Netflix. Being able to hit those HDR specs. So there’s the need to look at that from the inception to the entire workflow instead of just treating it as an afterthought.

Larry Jordan: There’s been a lot of conversation especially with James in our first segment about stuff that didn’t take off. What surprised you that it didn’t succeed that you expected to be successful?

Michael Kammes: Well, as was mentioned, Apple, obviously you know a lot of creatives are hoping for a new Mac Pro which is what I was hoping for. Didn’t see it. The MacBook Pro which I think we will probably talk about later, I still felt it was a little bit lackluster for those who wanted a little bit more horsepower. I was bummed with how the GoPro foray into the drone market went. The Karma just didn’t perform how we had hoped. And lastly, Cloud storage. There has been the push for it but the infrastructure here in the US just doesn’t support that for corporations and so there’s been a big push to have Cloud storage as your primary storage and that just hasn’t panned out just yet.

Larry Jordan: We have huge storage available in the Cloud, huge storage available locally, but getting it from one to the other is a life altering just it’s ridiculously slow.

Michael Kammes: It’s an exercise in futility as far as I’m concerned.

Larry Jordan: Thank you. That was what I was struggling to say. I was hung up on the word distressing. The industry is continuing its shift to digital media and higher resolution and greater bit depth files. From your perspective what are the implications on workflow and codecs with this shift?

Michael Kammes: Well, I don’t think there’s ever been one codec to rule them all and it doesn’t make sense for a lot of the shall we say pedestrian manufacturers, the consumer or prosumer models of Sony or JVC or Panasonic to come out with cameras that shoot fat easy to edit codecs. They are going to shoot stuff that they can put on chip and doesn’t take up a lot of space and isn’t expensive to make and looks good. So we always have this struggle of acquisition codecs versus editorial codecs which you and I have discussed several times. We have yet to find one that will rule them all and as we move into HDR and now the IMF deliverables, that gap doesn’t seem to be closing unfortunately.

Larry Jordan: Some fascinating ideas, Michael. For people that want more information where can they go to learn about you on the web?

Michael Kammes: A couple of different places. 5thingsseries.com which is our web series. michaelkammes.com and of course keycodemedia.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s michaelkammes.com and as always Michael it’s fun to chat with you.

Michael Kammes: Thank you so much, Larry.

Larry Jordan: It’s my pleasure.

Michael Kammes: Before you cut me off, Larry, because you know, the rest of us have been able to talk tonight, I’d like to get your opinion on some stuff. Do we have time for that?

Larry Jordan: Yes, we do. Squeeze it in.

Michael Kammes: Okay, great. Let me turn the tables a little bit and ask you kind of what trends have you noticed aside from what we have discussed tonight, what trends have you noticed this year?

Larry Jordan: Well, it’s funny you were asking because I was thinking about writing something for my newsletter this weekend and I started to come up with a list so are you sitting down?

Michael Kammes: I am sitting down and ready.

Larry Jordan: I’ve divided it into four categories; distribution, hardware, software and business. In distribution VR has launched more slowly than we expected. Kirk Hamilton wrote that 2016 was not the year of VR, it was the year of the start of VR. And the jury is still very much out on whether we can tell stories in virtual reality or just provide experiences. I think games and a lot of what we are seeing with VR is an experiential environment but not a story telling environment. Augmented reality got a huge boost through Pokémon Go, that totally explained to everybody what augmented reality is all about even if they were jumping off cliffs and walking on freeways trying to find these characters. And there’s the other thing that struck me is there’s a lot of games that use VR but almost none of those games are any good. So we’re still trying to experiment with how VR gets integrated with real life.

Larry Jordan: I see that live streaming expands to Facebook Live and Twitter with Periscope joining Google and YouTube. Instagram launched disappearing videos and what this means is that social media is prioritizing video content. As … Ginsberg wrote for the Huffington Post, he said, social media is now driving video content. We’re in the era of live video. Which means that online video is attacking core cable audiences and traditional media audiences, especially for sports are fragmenting. Pay TV is in trouble. Cable TV’s audiences are declining. Over the top audience, meaning Netflix and Amazon, those audiences are increasing as more and more people cut the cord which clearly gives us more places we have to sell our work, but it decreases the amount of money that we can make as we sell to these different distribution outlets.

Larry Jordan: On the software side we saw that the Mac operating system continues to bring iPhone features to the computer, but there’s a lot of debate as to whether this is good or bad. There were major updates to Abode, Apple and Avid editing software, in fact for the first time in years Avid is starting to show signs of life again. There’s more emphasis on real time playback by pushing rendering to the background, which gives us more flexibility in handling high resolution images, but more importantly it’s going to ease the transition into HDR, which, although I was expecting it to be in 2016, it’s actually going to probably take two or three years to finally roll out, because although the industry is moving as fast as it can, the 4K images still, around the world, videographers are still shooting SD video because that’s all their distribution platform will support. HDR is all the rage and I think it’s the future, but we can’t monitor it because the spec is far broader than any current hardware will support. Our reach has exceeded our grasp at the moment. It’s going to take a while for people to catch up.

Larry Jordan: Are you ready for more?

Michael Kammes: The one thing that you hit on a few times, Larry, in terms of the content creation and then the last point you brought up, which is the iOS and Apple, is you recently did an article about the new MacBook Pro and the touch bar and it’s been pretty polarizing in the pro market as to what the response is to it. So I’m curious, you know, after you published it, after you’ve talked to people, are you sticking by what you said in the article? Are there any updates? What can you tell people about the new MacBook Pro?

Larry Jordan: Absolutely but I want to get you one more category before I let you go with the MacBook. On the hardware side for the Macs the big news was that there wasn’t any big news. You made reference to this yourself, in the fact that the iMac and the Mac Pro have not been updated. Apple decided to get out of the monitor and the AirPort business. The point and shoot camera market is dead. Killed by smart phones. And the last VCR, and we mourn the loss, was manufactured in July. DVDs are getting increasingly difficult to create even though there’s still a market for DVDs, especially for weddings and videographers. CPU chips, as Larry O’Connor said, are stuck in a limbo of barely increasing performance while GPUs from AMD and Nvidia are blowing the doors off in terms of performance. iMacs and Mac Pros are stretching way past their normal update cycles and personally I think this is due to Intel’s inability to update their chips in a timely fashion because Intel is not focusing on the desktop market, they’re focusing on trying to get into the mobile market and that’s hurt everybody. And the biggest hardware news is the new MacBook Pro laptop, with 4K and 5K monitors now supplied by LG, being able to plug into a laptop and be driven with the GPU inside a laptop. Oh and I should note that the Galaxy Note 7 devices were exploding in everybody’s pockets during this entire last year.

Larry Jordan: On the business side, and I want to talk about this after we talk about the MacBook Pro. On the business side I’m still seeing way too much competition for jobs which is constantly forcing budgets to decrease, which makes it harder and harder for each of us to earn a living.

Larry Jordan: Thinking about the MacBook Pro, it was launched with great fanfare. It ran into a blizzard of criticism. People were accusing it of having poor or more accurately inconsistent battery life. Consumer reports didn’t recommend this laptop, for the first time ever they did not recommend a Mac laptop. It only has 16GB of RAM and a feeling that Apple is confusing consumer needs, think thinness, with pro needs, think performance. So I decided to take a look at it and I worked with a MacBook Pro for, let’s see, it’s been three and a half weeks now and I really like the touch bar. It’s easy, it’s not distracting, it’s as good or better than F keys and you think well, it’s just a toy and to a certain point it is. It’s not yet programmable, but it’s a really cool step into the future that solves a lot of issues of providing keyboard shortcuts which are contact sensitive which we could never do before. But where I really wanted to spend time is testing how much RAM we actually need, because you remember the mantra, you and I were trained by the same people and they said get as much RAM as you can afford. Get 16GB or 32GB or with the Mac Pro it was 64GB, and with an OWC update we could do 128GB. And I said, well how much do we really need? So I put a series of tests together in my article which is ‘Is the MacBook Pro fast enough for video editing?’ And whether I was working with standard def video or high def video, whether I was working with 4K video, 4K multi cam, 4K multi cam uncompressed, I don’t care what it was, the most RAM that I needed was 6GB. Six, not 16, but six. And the rest of it was used for caching.

Michael Kammes: Was that using Final Cut? Was that using Premiere? What apps were being used for this?

Larry Jordan: It was using Final Cut, although I had a chance to talk with the engineers at Adobe about this and while there is a difference in how Premiere does rendering and how Final Cut does rendering, and how each of them uses the GPU, both of them are using RAM and using the CPU similarly. So that we would get not exactly the same but close to the same results between Premiere and Final Cut.

Michael Kammes: Interesting.

Larry Jordan: What was also interesting is the SSD inside the new MacBook Pro is the fastest I’ve ever measured. It pumped out data transfer at 2,300 megabytes a second. I mean the Mac Pro was 900 megabytes a second. The 2013 MacBook Pro from three years ago, 800 megabytes a second. A single SSD is 400 megabytes a second. A spinning hard drive is 120 megabytes a second. We’ve never had anything this fast. So what was happening in Premiere and in Final Cut is normally you would cache from the hard disc into RAM but the RAM is so fast and the SSD is so fast that you don’t need much more than 16GB for SD editing or HD editing, 4K editing. Now yes, if you get into uncompressed raw files, 12 bit, 16 bit, you are going to need some more horsepower but for 99% of us the MacBook Pro is going to be more than fast enough for editing and the key bottleneck is rendering and exporting which is where the GPU comes into play and that’s all done in the background for both Premiere and Final Cut, so really from the point of view of most editors most of the time, the MacBook Pro should be considered as a serious device. Now the battery issue is something to think about, but how many times are you doing a seriously powerful edit on battery? If you’ve got hard drives and RAIDs plugged in you’re plugged into wall power. And if you’re doing a simple edit on battery that’s fine, but for most of what we’re doing when we need the horsepower of a laptop we’re plugged into the wall. And with the ability to drive larger monitors we’re not locked into a 15” screen. I think I’m not necessarily saying that the MacBook Pro is the best possible computer that’s ever been invented and that it could not be improved, but what I didn’t know when I started this testing is how little RAM is actually needed for most video editing. The RAM and the GPUs are used in analysis and in rendering and exporting which is a background task. Not in the actual edit process itself. Even if you’re cutting 4K files. And that I thought was interesting.

Michael Kammes: I’d be extraordinarily curious to see how previous generations of MacBook Pros, utilizing the same sequence that you are using now, how much RAM it uses considering the speed and caching that’s not needed on the new machine, to see if you know, what we’ve been accustomed to over the past couple of years utilizing MacBook Pros and laptops, if that’s now null and void. Because now we have the speed of the new machine and are the results similar?

Larry Jordan: That’s a really good question and if I have some spare time I will take a look at it.

Michael Kammes: I know that we are running short on time, but one of the things you talked about earlier was business trends and I think that’s something that we don’t pay enough attention to. You had mentioned that business trends are putting pressure on freelance and small shops. I think it would be fantastic if you could elaborate on that a little bit.

Larry Jordan: The more I think about it, I think this is one of the biggest trends that we have to deal with. It isn’t hardware, it isn’t software, it’s trying to earn a living. I get emails every week from people who are trying to figure out how to earn a living in media. As software becomes less expensive, I see that creativity is no longer valued. What’s happening to media creators is what has already happened to music. It’s become a commodity. If a song is only worth 99 cents, it’s very hard for normal musicians to make money, though mega acts can make billions. But at 99 cents if you only sell a couple of hundred you’re not making enough to pay the rent. I see the same thing in video. Clients feel that because the software is easier to use, they’ll get the same results regardless of the skills of the person using the software. And this downward pressure on budgets and the devaluing of creativity and the commoditization of video editing, look at all the live streaming that’s going on, makes it hard for people to get started in the industry. If you’ve got a reputation that’s one thing, but if you’re trying to get started it’s really difficult and that one scares me the most because that’s the future.

Michael Kammes: Wow. That’s a great synopsis, Larry. It really is.

Larry Jordan: I will write it up and put your name on it, Michael. And just again, to give people the chance to remember who are you, what website can people go to, to keep track of the stuff you’re doing?

Michael Kammes: michaelkammes.com, and 5thingsseries.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s 5thingsseries.com. Michael, it’s been fun visiting. Thanks so much for sharing your time.

Michael Kammes: Have a good new years, Larry.

Larry Jordan: You take care. Bye, bye. You know, it’s interesting talking with Michael because he’s got such a great perception of what’s happening inside the industry and I love sharing ideas with him. He’s the only person aside from Philip Hodgetts that actually enjoys talking about codecs, which is a gift in and of itself. This has been an interesting show as we look back at 2016, as we have a chance to look at some of the different areas within our industry that have had highlights or stuff that hasn’t quite taken off and I want to thank our guests today, Larry O’Connor with OWC, Jonathan Handel with the Hollywood Reporter, Michele Yamazaki Terpstra with Toolfarm, Michael Kammes with Key Code Media and as always, James DeRuvo with 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. 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 producer is the ineffable Debbie Price. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.

The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2016 by Thalo LLC.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – December 22, 2016

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Joel Lipton, Photographer/PD, Joel Lipton Studio
Bram Desmet, President/CEO, Flanders Scientific, Inc.
Jourdan Aldredge, Creative Content Coordinator, Premium Beat
Scott Freiman, CEO, Qwire
Randi Altman, Editor-in-Chief, postPerspective
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, Christmas is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about food. We start with Joel Lipton, a professional photographer, who makes his living shooting food. Joel takes us behind the scenes of a food shoot; then provides a full menu of tips, to make your own food photos finer.

Larry Jordan: Next, Jourdan Aldredge and his team of writers at Premium Beat, have assembled a gift guide for your favorite filmmaker. These inexpensive gifts will brighten the heart of anyone shooting movies, without breaking your budget.

Larry Jordan: Next Scott Freiman is the CEO of Qwire a company that provides collaborative tools for everyone who works with music to picture. Their core product, Qwire Music improves the workflow in managing, licensing and clearing music.

Larry Jordan:: Next, Bram Desmet is the CEO of Flanders Scientific, a developer and manufacturer of high quality monitors for production and post. Tonight, we discuss the move to HDR media and what’s involved in seeing what we’re creating.

Larry Jordan: Next, Randi Altman returns with her look back at the key trends of 2016. All this plus James DeRuvo with this week’s DoddleNEWS update. 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. My name is Larry Jordan.

Larry Jordan: Christmas and Hanukkah are just a few days away; so we’re spending time in tonight’s show, looking at two key elements; food and gifts. If you’ve ever posted pictures of your plate on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll want to listen to our first guest. Joel Lipton is a professional food photographer. I recorded our interview a couple of days ago and we had an interesting discussion on how he shoots food. Then, after we were done, I asked him what we can do to improve our own food photography and suddenly the interview ran about ten minutes longer. I integrated his comments in our segment tonight, so that both professional and amateur foodies can improve the quality of their images.

Larry Jordan: Also, Randi Altman is back, which is always fun. Tonight, she kicks off our look back at media in 2016 with her take on the key technology trends for the year. She always has solid insights and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you. 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 the different segments on the show; and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers. Best of all, every issue is free and comes out on Friday.

Larry Jordan: Now it’s time for the DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Happy Holidays Larry.

Larry Jordan: And a wonderful Happy Holiday to you as well. What is happening in the world today?

James DeRuvo: Well, NVIDIA has revealed, they’re probably going to announce a new lower cost Titan 4K video card at CES. This thing is a beast; it has nine to 11 teraflops of computing power; from up to 3300 cores and 12 gigabytes of on board GDDR 5X memory. It was designed to go head to head with AMD’s Vega line of video cards. I’ll tell you. What’s really driving video card design these days is not the entertainment industry, it’s not filmmakers, it’s gaming. I mean, people are spending thousands of dollars to get the most powerful gaming systems they can; because the faster they are, the more advantage you have when you play your games. That’s what’s driving the video card industry right now; high quality games that are streaming in 4K and In-Video wants to take advantage of that with the new Titan 1080, 4K line of video card.

Larry Jordan: Well AMD is not standing still. As you know; they announced new stuff about a week ago.

James DeRuvo: It’s coming down. We’re going to have a video card war and it’s going to be fun to watch.

Larry Jordan: Well CES is coming up in about two weeks; we’ll just have to see what happens at the show. What else have you got?

James DeRuvo: How would you like to have your next film scored and written by a computer?

Larry Jordan: I’ve heard computer scored music before, it’s got beeps and bloops in it.

James DeRuvo: There’s this company that came out last year, called Juke Deck and it was created by a Cambridge university music graduate and published computer. He wanted to give video creators a tool that would allow them to create music without going through the complicated headache of licensing. He believes the licensing of music is broken and it’s expensive and the copyright, you need a lawyer to do it. He decided to create a service that would enable a video creator to instantly create his own music for his film. The music is made from virtual instruments and you get a lot of MIDI with clips of up to five minutes long, at various tempos. The downside is that, sometimes the algorithm spits out a tune that’s unusable; so you have to do it more than once and some of the genres, like rock and folk music just don’t translate too well.

James DeRuvo: If you want to have a lot more control and a lot more depth of genre that you want to read from, there’s another service called Filmstro, which uses real clips for studio musicians, that you can put together, and you can adjust momentum, depth and power and you can get a much better result. But those are two different loyalty free options for creative to be able to score their music, without having to pay a lot of money for it.

Larry Jordan: One of them is called Filmstro; what was the other one called?

James DeRuvo: Duke Deck.

Larry Jordan: Interesting. Okay, what else have you got?

James DeRuvo: When I was in college, I was manager of a movie theater and it wasn’t uncommon for us to have a movie in our theaters for over a year. We had ‘ET’ for a year, we had ‘Top Gun’ for a year. The whole reason behind it was, was, if you had a popular movie, it wasn’t going to come out to video until the next year, and then you’d have a sequel the year after that; so it was an every other year kind of thing. Well, currently, the release window is about 90 days now and Apple is pushing studios and theaters to go to a 17 day theatrical release window; so they could start streaming first run movies within 17 days of their original release.

Larry Jordan: Well, it’s not just Apple that’s pushing the studios, they’re pushing as well because of the falloff in optical media; so we’re seeing pressure coming in a lot of different areas.

James DeRuvo: A lot of the studios are pushing for it, because, they have their own stream video services. Disney, on the other hand, doesn’t want to play; they like it the way it is and, really, the only hold-up has been theater visitors. The simple fact of the matter is, is that, although box office figures are breaking records almost every year now, theater attendance has actually stagnated and, as a result, the theater visitors are starting to warm to the idea; turning over movies faster and signing off on this 17 day theatrical release window for streaming. There is some data to suggest that it won’t really hurt the box office in doing so.

Larry Jordan: Interesting. James, for people that need all this information and more, where can they go on the web to stay current?

James DeRuvo: All these and other stories can be found at doddlenews.com.

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the Senior Writer for doddlenews.com and he’s with us every week; with the latest on the industry. James, have yourself a wonderful holiday, we’ll talk to you next week.

James DeRuvo: You too Larry, Harry New Year.

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, 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: Joel Lipton is a stills photograph and cinematographer, who shoots a wide variety of subjects. He’s been a freelance photographer for more than 30 years and it’s a delight to talk to him now. Hello Joel, welcome.

Joel Lipton: Thank you Larry; nice to be here.

Larry Jordan: What first got you interested in photography?

Joel Lipton: What first got me interested, when I was a kid was, I was eight years old in summer camp, in Upstate New York and you could do different activities. Someone said, do you want to do the photography club? I gave it a shot and we took photos of our friends on a Rolleiflex camera; a little twin lens, where you looked down and it was backwards and it was confusing. But we took these pictures. We then went into a dark room and developed the film into negatives, which was amazing to me at eight years old. Then, we made prints of them by taking the negative, putting it in the enlarger, projecting it onto white paper in this, you know, dark room, which had yellow amber light and then, sure enough, a few minutes after they put it in the chemistry, in the trays, the image came up and I was hooked.

Joel Lipton: I was hooked from when I was a kid and then did it as a hobby, until I found that you can actually make a living at this.

Larry Jordan: Oh my goodness.

Joel Lipton: In my 20s went to college, at the Art Center in Pasadena and studied advertising and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Larry Jordan: I can see your Art Center background in your photographs and we’ll talk more about that in just a minute. The images you create are just beautiful; just beautiful. I almost didn’t make it to this interview, I was lost on your website; well I just have to see one more. They’re just captivating stuff. You’ve shot so much, what’s your favorite subject?

Joel Lipton: God, that’s a hard thing. Obviously, you know, I’m not somebody that specializes so much, I am somebody who does a lot of different things. Eclectic. I enjoy shooting people; still life; architecture; lately wildlife. I just was in Africa for the second time and shot some wildlife and that is now super fascinating to me. But I also like food photography; that’s something that I found as a real calling and enjoyed shooting that and have had great success doing food photography.

Larry Jordan: From wildlife to people to food, that is a pretty eclectic spectrum.

Joel Lipton: Very much so.

Larry Jordan: Is it the technical challenge of taking the picture? Is it the challenge of trying to light it; to bring out the life? Is it a compositional challenge? What is it that intrigues you? There’s got to be a common thread that runs through there somewhere.

Joel Lipton: For all photography, for me, the thing that brought me to photography and that I still love every day, is the creative challenge, along with the technical, because I really do enjoy the technical; the lighting, the composition, whatever camera I possibly am shooting with, or whatever format I’m using. As is the creativity, which is, how am I going to light this? How am I going to look at this? What is the client looking for? Often time, it’s me that is making that decision; if I’m doing something for myself, or it’s the client saying to me, you know, I want you to do something like this and either give me an example; then it’s my job to bring it to life for that client. Whether shooting people for a movie poster, or shooting food for a fast food client.

Larry Jordan: It’s the holidays; let’s talk about food. Because food is one of the hardest things possible to make look good on camera. We only have to look at amateur photography of what’s on our plate to realize how hard it is. How do you get food to look good?

Joel Lipton: I would say food has got different categories. If you’re shooting a cookbook or an editorial spread for a magazine; or if you’re doing something for advertising for a fast food client; or for a menu, those are very different animals, to a certain extent. Because, if you’re doing something for editorial, you’re probably going to want it to be more natural; daylight or the look of daylight coming through a window, much more sort of homey looking. If you’re doing something for advertising, you could have it much cleaner; you may have it on a white background in the studio, or sometimes you’re working with a chef who’s doing it, or sometimes you’re working with a food stylist; who is making that. Especially in the world of fast food, because, there are food technologists from a fast food company, but there’s a food stylist who makes it look good on the day on the shoot.

Larry Jordan: You’ve used four terms I need some help with. We’ve got the photographer, that person I understand; he’s holding the camera. But you’ve also used the word chef and food stylist and food technologist. What are these people doing?

Joel Lipton: Well, I would say a chef, everyone would know. When I’m shooting in a restaurant, for a particular chef, they’re making their dishes themselves; they are plating them, they are making them look beautiful and sometimes they’re making them a few times for the camera, if it’s something that has a short lifespan. Whether it’s something that has got melted cheese, or foam, or whatever. That’s the chef. The food technologist would be the person, say, from a food company or from a hotel chain; where we work with food technologists who come up with the recipe for the dish. That is from the client side. A food stylist would be somebody that I would hire or the client might hire and they’re the ones, who on the day of the shoot, will take the food from the client and make it look its best.

Joel Lipton: There’s something called truth in advertising, where you have to use the actual ingredients if you’re doing an advertisement for a product or a food; you have to use the actual ingredients in the photograph. You can’t just go, well I’m shooting a McDonalds burger, but I’m going to use a burger that I made myself. You have to use their patty, if you’re doing it for Carl’s Jr, who is a client of mine. You have to use their patties, their buns, their sauces. The food stylist can make it look beautiful and, you know, make it look pretty by putting beautiful grill marks on it; but they have to use their food. The food stylist is the person that does that, along with their assistants.

Larry Jordan: Is the food that you shoot actually edible?

Joel Lipton: Yes. I mean, it starts off edible. I mean, it depends. If we’re shooting something with a chef, I mean, at a restaurant, it’s perfectly edible, you know, if it’s coming from a restaurant or a chef or a hotel. If you’re doing something for fast food, they will cook it on the outside, but they don’t necessarily have to cook that patty all the way through, because it’s not going to be eaten by a customer. They’re more concerned about how it looks on camera.

Joel Lipton: It is all real food, it’s not fake food, but, sometimes it’s being brushed with oil and things that you’re not going to want to eat; even though it’s olive oil or cooking oil. There is a thing that they do with cheese, to melt cheese a certain way without physically melting it. They tend to rub some brushed pine salt; so next time you see cheddar cheese looking so beautiful, think of someone brushing pine salt on it, to kind of get it to have that right kind of melt. They also sometimes will use a hairdryer to kind of melt it, just a little bit; so, there’s different techniques. But it is all real food.

Larry Jordan: It starts real, it may not end up real.

Joel Lipton: If we’re shooting a burger, to get the pickles to stay there and the tomato to stay where we need it to, there’s little pins and little tiny things that are there holding it, or little pieces of cardboard, to king of lift the tomato up, to catch the light perfectly. You know, we’re in there almost with magnifying glasses, to make it look so perfect and we’re spritzing it with a little bit of water and glycerin, to get the tomato to look beautiful. Besides that, there’s things in the burger, kind of holding it, to keep its structure; otherwise it may fall apart.

Larry Jordan: I’ve never thought of a burger posing for makeup before, but the image is indelible now.

Joel Lipton: That’s true, that’s very true.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of people in the audience that really understand tech; so let’s just go to gear for just a minute. What kind of lighting do you like? Especially because you get such incredible texture out of your images.

Joel Lipton: Lighting for strobe, I mean, I use anything from Broncolor studio strobes, for lighting; to shape the light I’m using soft boxes, or sometimes I’m using direct light, through grids; and then I’m just using, sometimes, just diffusion. I mean, there’s times when I’m shooting burgers, where, you know, it’s not a full table’s worth of food; but if it’s one tiny burger and we’re shooting it with a super wide angle lens and we’re very tight on it, you’ve got to use much small controlled sources of light; much smaller grids; much tighter. You know, there’s no point using a giant 12 by 12 silk when you’re shooting a burger that’s only, you know, five inches across. You have to find the right tool for that.

Joel Lipton: When I’m shooting video, I’ve tended to lately be using LED lighting, because LED is cooler; which also helps preserve the food. The last thing I’ve been doing and this I don’t do a lot of, but when you’re doing high speed; I have the opportunity to shoot some high speed footage of popcorn and malted balls and M&Ms for a movie theater marquee and the snack bar. We shot a thousand frame per second high speed video and we were using a light that was like a strobe light, that was used capacitors and what would be like a modeling light, on a low panel. Then, when we were ready to shoot it, they would hit a button, the light would get bright for about five seconds and then it would go off.

Larry Jordan: How important is depth of field, when you’re shooting food?

Joel Lipton: Well, depth of field is important, because, you know, a look that has existed for a while, in the editorial food, is to have shallow depth of field. Some of the stuff on my website, that I’ve done for restaurants, we specifically shoot with a 120 macro on a Hosel Rod, with a 39 megapixel digital back and we’re shooting at a 456, which is very wide open, it makes it more dreamlike and more aesthetic, I think, to the customer and to the viewer. In that sense, when I’m doing an editorial, shallow depth of field is what I want. When I’m doing advertising, if you’re doing product for menu boards, we tend to keep it nice and sharp; so you need a lot more light for that.

Joel Lipton: There’s a company called Paul Buff and they make these small strobes called Einsteins and they’re mono blockheads and these mono blockheads are great, because they’re 640 watts, at full power, and they can go down as low as two watt seconds for very little power; which is great if you’re trying to balance it with available light in a restaurant; or, if you want very shallow depth of field and you just need a little bit of light. I also shoot with a 5D Mark III for a lot of stuff; my Canon. You don’t need a lot of power.

Larry Jordan: Joel, what advice do you have for people shooting food for themselves; or posting to Instagram or Facebook?

Joel Lipton: You know, everybody’s taking pictures of food and I think that people are getting a more aesthetic understanding of food; whether it looks great on their plate or not, but they’re trying to shoot good pictures of food. I also think that restaurants are plating their food nicer, because they know people are going to shoot pictures of their food and then that’s going to help their business. I think that’s sort of an interesting trend in how Instagram and people taking pictures with their food and sharing food pictures, has sort of helped the aesthetic of food in restaurants.

Larry Jordan: Aside from the fact that we can’t go through all the stagings that you can do in a commercial shoot, is there one single tip you can give people, to help them make their food photography look better when they’re sitting in a restaurant about to post it to Facebook?

Joel Lipton: Yes I can. I think that, if they’re in a restaurant and there’s some nice window light, if the light is backlighting your food and rim lighting it; in order to show texture, that would be a way for you to really show off your food. Look at it at different angles; at three quarters or look at it lower. I always tend to like to Dutch my camera and Dutch is a term where you turn your camera on a little bit of an angle. Make sure there’s no crap in the background; you know, straws or, you know, junk. Try to make it interesting. Then, if it’s dark in the restaurant, use your friend’s phone to rim light your food; because, if you just light it with the light that’s on your camera, then, it’s going to be flat; you’re going over line it in the front.

Joel Lipton: I tend to take my Wife’s camera and I top light my food, or rim light it and try to get the best angle. My Son just graduated film school; so then, he’ll take a napkin and he’ll make it softer and then my Wife gets crazy and my Daughter says, could you stop it and eat your food?

Larry Jordan: You must be impossible in a restaurant.

Joel Lipton: I sometimes am. You’re diffusing the light with the napkin, or you’re bouncing it off of a menu, to get the right kind of quality of light. Seriously, I’ve done that but, you know, not every night.

Larry Jordan: If you did it every night, they’d stop taking you out to dinner.

Joel Lipton: Exactly.

Larry Jordan: Joel, for people that want to take a look at your work and, ideally, hire you for another 6-7,000 jobs, where can they go on the web?

Joel Lipton: My website is my name, it’s just joellipton.com.

Larry Jordan: Give yourself a treat and visit Joel’s website; there’s so many different subjects and such beautiful photography. It’s just a wonderful way to look at some beautiful images. Joel, thanks for sharing time with us today.

Joel Lipton: It’s been my pleasure. Thanks Larry.

Larry Jordan: Jourdan Aldredge is a filmmaker and a writer for PremiumBeat.com. He’s worked professionally in the industry, with brands such as AT&T, Pepsi and Beats by Dre. As well as being a video journalist with the Dallas Observer. Hello Jourdan, welcome.

Jourdan Aldredge: Hello Larry.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe what you do?

Jourdan Aldredge: I would describe what I do as half actual video production and filmmaking and then half writing and journalism on that very subject. I write and manage with Premium Beat; we’re a stock music company that has an immersive and active blog; which we update multiple times throughout the day and cover everything in video production, filmmaking, video editing, writing, directing and everything in between.

Larry Jordan: Well one of the things you’ve done recently, in your copious spare time, is put together this Christmas gift ideas. Tell me about this.

Jourdan Aldredge: We have several writers on staff and use a lot of contributors as well. As a team, actually, we came up with just a list of gifts for filmmakers; not specifically filmmakers for filmmakers but just also people who have filmmakers in their family or friend group. But they all are kind of just little small knick-knack things which, if you do the right one, I mean, it could help out in a pinch or it could just be a fun thing that just enriches their lives a little bit.

Larry Jordan: Alright, I’m filled with curiosity. What’s on the list?

Jourdan Aldredge: We did this campaign, actually, it was really cool; it was a Kickstarter campaign and it was a little tongue in cheek. But it was just simply different apparel and hats and sweaters that say the word movies.

Larry Jordan: Ah cool. Okay, what’s next?

Jourdan Aldredge: Custom lens covers; so, whether you’re a personal branding or you have a small little shop with your own logo and everything, you actually can order for those people lens covers to go over their lens caps. That way, one, if they lose it, they know which one’s theirs real quick and also, it’s a little promotion; and, they’re actually really affordable, really cheap and really easy to put on; so, you never could have too many of those around.

Larry Jordan: No, lens covers means the bag a lens goes in?

Jourdan Aldredge: No, so on the lens cap, it’s just a cover to go on the lens cap.

Larry Jordan: Okay, also a cool idea. What’s next?

Jourdan Aldredge: The Lumu iPhone light meter that you’re just a person that has a light meter in your bag and maybe the battery goes out or you forgot it, this is just a little adaptor that goes on any iPhone and an app where you could pull it up and it works, pretty much just as well as a digital one in a pinch; I mean, if it’s something you really like, it’s something you could replace in your repertoire and just have with you at all times.

Larry Jordan: That’s a cool number three. What’s number four?

Jourdan Aldredge: Number four would be a magazine subscription, specifically, the American Society of Cinematographers. You‘re in the industry, it never hurts to check it; it’s kind of the top level too; so its … was behind the scenes on, I don’t know, whatever the latest ‘Star Trek’ film or summer blockbuster. They do some cool interviews and in-depth kind of industry focused stuff about the different people and the different steps they’re working on.

Larry Jordan: Another good magazine for the audio industry is called Mix and it’s the same thing as Cinematographer; it goes into the industry in-depth. You can add that to your list for next year.

Jourdan Aldredge: Yes, you could even do a little double package there for someone.

Larry Jordan: Okay, we’re up to number five. What you got?

Jourdan Aldredge: Number five would be a Gorillapod. We are linked to one made by Joby.

Larry Jordan: It’s like a bunch of pipe cleaners.

Jourdan Aldredge: Yes, exactly.

Larry Jordan: You can bend it in any position you want and it just sits there. You‘re absolutely right, it’s a very, very cool device for putting cameras in strange situations. We’ve got two left; what’s number six?

Jourdan Aldredge: This actually could go for people that aren’t even in videography; it’s really cool right now. Google Cardboard is something that Google will send you, to pair with you using their Google or YouTube virtual reality. It’s just kind of a cool, fun thing to see where VR is and where some of these videos can take you.

Larry Jordan: The first time I saw Google VR, it reminded me of the Viewmaster and you’re way too young to remember those. But it’s a very similar concept.

Jourdan Aldredge: Correct me if I’m wrong, it’s the one with the slide on the side?

Larry Jordan: Yes.

Jourdan Aldredge: Yes. I vaguely remember those.

Larry Jordan: Thank you. I appreciate that. What’s the last one on your list?

Jourdan Aldredge: Number seven, if you want to make a filmmaker happy, even if they already have all this stuff, a simple lens cleaning kit, or any other products. We link to one made by Zeiss. It just has everything from wipes, to a few blowers, a little brush; just everything you might need when you’re in a pinch and your lens is a bit smudged, there’s some dirt on it and you want to clean it up. I mean, you go through those multiple times through the years, so, it never hurts to have a stockpile.

Larry Jordan: That is a great list of very inexpensive and yet very useful gifts. You and your team did a great job. For people that want more tips and techniques on the industry, where can they go on the web?

Jourdan Aldredge: You could find more about this article and a whole bunch of other stuff at PremiumBeat.com/blog.

Larry Jordan: Jourdan Aldredge is a filmmaker and a writer for Premium Beat. Jourdan, thanks for joining us today.

Jourdan Aldredge: Thanks for having me Larry.

Larry Jordan: Scott Freiman is the CEO and Co-Founder of Qwire. They provide collaborative tools for managing music for pictures. Their core product, Qwire Music, improves workflow for people involved in creating, recording, manipulating, placing, licensing, clearing, delivering, administering or budgeting; for music in media. Hello Scott welcome.

Scott Freiman: Thank you for having me; glad to be here.

Larry Jordan: A pleasure to have you with us. How would you describe Qwire, the company?

Scott Freiman: Qwire is still a fairly small company, started by two composers who saw a need for managing the scores that they were writing for some top TV shows. The problem was that, that was only part of the puzzle; because they needed to interact with music editors, who were doing spotting notes; they needed to interact with music supervisors, who were licensing tracks; even the picture editor, who’s temping the score and proving video cuts, they wanted to interact with them as well and they couldn’t with their own sort of standalone solution.

Scott Freiman: What we built was a software package that exists in the Cloud; all these different people, picture editors, supervisors, composers, music editors, all have their own sets of tools for managing their work and yet they can communicate with each other and share information. It cuts down on redundancy, it keeps everyone in the loop; when a cut changes; when a piece of music changes; when a song can’t be licensed or budgets are overrun, everyone can know about it instantly.

Larry Jordan: Well, is this a single product, or is it a collection of products?

Scott Freiman: We think of it as a collection of modules. It’s one product we call Qwire Music; but there’s a Qwire Post for picture editors; there’s a Qwire Spot for composers and music editors. All falls under the same umbrella and you use the module or modules that you need to do your work. Often times, on a smaller budget production, you might have the composer acting as the music supervisor, for example; or the picture editor may also be acting as the music editor. Rather than try and make these all separate things, we have them each with their own functionality and you can sort of combine them like Lego; however you see fit.

Larry Jordan: Is this an application that runs locally; or is it a service; or do I access through a web browser? How does it work?

Scott Freiman: It is an application that you run local, with a centralized Cloud based data server. You connect to the server in order to share information; in order to retrieve information. Everything is secure. You can also share music sync to video with a very unique patented player that we have, that allows you to send playlists of multiple audio tracks against a single video. For example, I could share a playlist of three alternatives of songs or three different score pieces that I’ve written; one with the drums and one without the drums, with the same video. Share those with people on a completely secure manner; get comments back, right into Qwire.

Larry Jordan: How long has this been out and is anybody using it?

Scott Freiman: Yes. We have a lot of top shows using it right now. We started really getting it out into the world in 2013 and we continued to enhance it, working alongside people like Alex Patsavas, the music supervisor and John Ullrich, my partner, also an analytics composer. Music editors, picture editors and producers, all look at the product, like it and then say, wouldn’t it be great if it could do this; and we continue to enhance it. Over the last year or two, we’ve really been expanding. We’re on many, many of the shows that you watch on television and quite a few independent films as well.

Larry Jordan: How do you price it?

Scott Freiman: Today, what we’re doing is, we’re pricing it at a zero cost; so everyone can use it for free. Ultimately, our goal is to have the production studios pick up the cost for this. The reason for that is, we feel that, ultimately, all of this information rolling up to the studio is going to benefit them, in terms of being able to better manage the process; better manage budgets. But, right now, our focus is really on building adoption; getting people to use the product; really making it the best functionality for everybody, to go along with the way that they work.

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

Scott Freiman: They should go to qwiremusic.com. We have a download that will be available, if not this evening, by tomorrow certainly. You can fill out a form and request a free demo product, completely functional. It’ll work for you. If you like it, you can upgrade to the full version for zero cost.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, qwiremusic and Scott Freiman is the CEO of Qwire. Scott, thanks for joining us today.

Scott Freiman: Thanks so much for having me.

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 broadcasting, 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.

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 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: Bram Desmet is the President and CEO of Flanders Scientific Inc. a Georgia based company; best known for high quality professional equipment to the broadcast and post-production industries; including their monitors and supporting software. Hello Bram, welcome.

Bram Desmet: Thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe Flanders Scientific?

Bram Desmet: We are really focused, primarily, on displays and displays and devices that are associated with displays; thinks like LUT boxes; color management devices; measuring equipment; the final piece in the puzzle, seeing your image on a beautiful screen.

Larry Jordan: I want to run a television monitor company is not something an eight year old would normally say to themselves. What is it that got you interested in this in the first place?

Bram Desmet: Well actually, my Father was in this industry for quite a long time; he was one of the employees for BARCO CRT Division in the US, in the early 80s. I literally grew up around it, so, kind of how I learned it all and how I got kind of roped into this industry.

Larry Jordan: I’ve been looking at your name and I’m looking at Flanders Scientific, there’s no correlation between the two. How did the company get its name?

Bram Desmet: All the owners of the company are originally from the Flanders region of Belgium; now that includes myself, but I was only four years old or so when I moved to the United States, with my Father who was working for BARCO at the time. But, it just kind of came from that. We had always joked that, if we started a company, we were going to call it Flanders Scientific, kind of in homage to the idea of Scientific Atlanta or one of those types of company; and it just was a natural fit. We were just paying tribute to our homeland.

Larry Jordan: That is a very cool name. Let’s talk about some of the products that you’ve got. There’s companies that specialize in small monitors that mount to a camera and there’s others that specialize in very large systems; where do your products fit in and what do you view is your niche?

Bram Desmet: Our bread and butter products are really that 17 to 20 ish sized monitor. Now that being said, we do have everything down to a nine inch monitor and we go all the way up to a 55 inch monitor. But the bulk of what we focus on is kind of those midsized monitors; for editorial; for color grading. That’s been our strong suit for a very long time; kind of the hero monitor in a color suite. But also color critical onset monitoring is actually probably where we’ve seen the most growth. We’re very popular with DITs, camera operators; people like that, who need to see, not just an image, but they need to see an accurate image. That’s really been our specialty.

Bram Desmet: What we tend to see is still more of this trend of having a hero monitor for the colorist, which the colorist sits close to and then a larger … monitor; so they go with a plasma, or they go with a large consumer OLED or a consumer LCD. What we’ve done to address that market segment is make our little color management box; our box iO and box iO is basically a 3D LUT box, which allows you to accurately calibrate those more kind of prosumer level products; those displays that at least look more or less like the hero monitor that the colorist might be using.

Larry Jordan: Flanders is known for sending monitors back for calibration at the factory. Does that mean that I have to send my 55 inch TV set to you for calibration with box iO?

Bram Desmet: No. You can actually do all of this onsite. You know, especially for the smaller monitor, we have some people who are, you know, maybe just a camera operator, who doesn’t want to invest the time or energy or money into calibration equipment; so what they’ll do is, they’ll send it back to us. We offer a free service, where you can send it to our European or RUS headquarters, either one of those, and have the monitor calibrated for free. The user just pays shipping. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get these calibration kits, they start at 600 bucks for both the probe and the software. It’s easy enough for anybody to really do themselves, if they are willing to do that.

Bram Desmet: Lots of different options. You can send it in; you can buy the calibre and go do it yourself; you can hire a professional calibrator. Again, our approach to just be as open as possible and give people as many options as possible.

Larry Jordan: What new toys do you have out?

Bram Desmet: We do some of the newer DM series; so the DM series are our top of the line monitors. We just released a DM170, which is a 17 inch and then a DM240, which is a 24 inch. Those are newer products in our line-up and what we’ve done across the entire DM series and what we’ve just announced a week or so ago, was the new HDR preview modes; which allows operators in onset environments or quality control applications, an affordable way to monitor HDR signals. Again, this is not for mastering; so, I want to be clear about that. This is a way to provide that affordable access, to allow people to see what is actually present in that HDR signal.

Larry Jordan: Is this Rec. 2020 spec or is this P3 or what does it mean in practical terms?

Bram Desmet: We’ve added HDR preview modes to all of our DM series monitors and those HDR preview modes are really geared towards operators in onset environments or in quality control applications, perhaps in post; to allow them to affordably monitor HDR signals, to see what’s present in the content. Now, this is not for HDR mastering, but certainly for, again, those QC or preview applications, it is very suitable.

Larry Jordan: Now there’s a lot of different definitions of HDR that seem to be floating around. Are you talking P3 or are you talking a Rec. 2020 or what?

Bram Desmet: It’s important to distinguish between the EOTF, the Electro-Optical Transfer Function; which is what really makes high dynamic range have that high dynamic range to it; verse the color gamut. Our HDR mode can be used in combination with any of those color gamuts; so you can use it with Rec. 709 you can use it with P3, you can use it with Rec. 2020 color gamut. Now the Rec. 2020 color gamut in relation, because no flat panel will display all of that color gamut; but ours do a very admirable job of covering a large portion of that. Again, can be used with ST2084, which is PQ; or HLG, which is the other popular alternative that’s hybrid-log gamma. Those two flavors of HDR, we can show you preview modes on those, on our DM series units.

Larry Jordan: One of the things you’ve said in the past, as you and I were chatting, is that, we cannot yet accurately represent the full range of what Rec. 2020 is; it’s going to be a series of small steps. What I’m think I’m hearing you say is, that the way that your monitors work today, is that you’re able to express the wider saturation levels, more than the wider brightness levels. Is that a true statement?

Bram Desmet: For example on our monitors, when you’re looking at PQ for example; so the ST2084 HDR standard, we actually have two ways of monitoring. One is where we clip it at certain luminance levels. On the DM series, for example, we’ll just clip 300 nits. Obviously, HDR and most of these standards can go up to 10,000 nits; so that only shows you a small portion of it. The other thing that we have is, we have what we call a soft roll and what that does is, it shows you all the code values that are present; it just doesn’t represent them one to one, at the luminance level that they’re supposed to be at. You’ll see the difference between the code value that represents 9,000 nits and the code value that represents 10,000 nits; different levels of luminance on your screen. You can still see that accurately.

Bram Desmet: Now that’s not a full ATR experience, but if you’re on set and you have a signal coming in, from a camera that’s PQ, it would be able to see, is that information there, or are we going beyond the range, even, of what the camera can capture or show in that PQ range. That’s a very useful mode.

Bram Desmet: The saturation is also a challenge because, there’s no flat panel display that can show you that Rec. 2020 color gamut; because, it’s extraordinarily wide. We cover, I think, it’s something like 83-84% of that, depending on the model of monitor. What we do is we just clip once we can’t hit that saturation anymore. Most natural colors fall well within that; you have to go to a really nice laser projector to be able to see that.

Larry Jordan: How long do you think it will take for the industry to deliver full Rec. 2020 monitors? Are we talking a few months, a few years or decades?

Bram Desmet: That’s kind of the million dollar question there. The other part of that is, we may not necessarily want to do that. I know that sounds strange but, the way that I think of Rec. 2020 is that, it’s more aspirational than anything else and it serves as a good container. What you can do is, you can deliver something where levels are specified relative to the Rec. 2020 standard; but perhaps we do our grading on a P3 color gamut monitor and those available. That’s actually what a lot of facilities are already doing; so they are actually mastering on a P3 color gamut display, but they are simply having their deliverables, basically, as if though they are Rec. 2020 value and relatively future proof.

Bram Desmet: Again, you may not necessarily want to do Rec. 2020. There are visual issues that can happen, once you start going to those extremely wide color gamuts.

Larry Jordan: This is going to be a subject that we’re going to be talking about for a lot of months to come and Bram, thanks for your advice for this. Where can people go on the web to learn more?

Bram Desmet: You can always reach us through our website, flandersscientific.com. You’ll see our contact details there; you know, user guides, information on our monitors, all of that can be found at flandersscientific.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, flandersscientific.com and Bram Desmet is the President and CEO of Flanders Scientific. Bram, as always, a delight. Thanks for joining us today.

Bram Desmet: No problem. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Randi Altman is the Editor-in-Chief of PostPerspective.com. She’s been writing about our industry for more than 20 years; she’s an expert on what’s happening in post-production and, best of all, she’s a good friend of The Buzz. Hello Randi, welcome back.

Randi Altman: Thanks Larry, good to be back.

Larry Jordan: It has been a while since I’ve heard your voice and I’ve been looking forward to our conversation.

Randi Altman: Same here.

Larry Jordan: This is the time of year where we take a look back at the trends of 2016 and try to make sense of it all. What’s your take?

Randi Altman: You and I have had some debates, over the past year and a half, about virtual reality and where it’s going; and will it be a fad? Is it like stereo 3D? I’m here to talk a little bit about that; because I think it’s important. Well, I think it’s given our industry a nice kick in the butt, in some respects; I think that it’s gotten some traditional 2D production and post-production companies a new avenue toward revenue. I don’t know if anyone’s making a ton of money with it yet, but I think that, that’s going to happen; I do. I think, virtual reality and 360 video and augmented reality are going to happen. Now I’m assuming you have some questions for me relating to that.

Larry Jordan: Yes, a couple of things. There’s no doubt the industry is always looking for the next big thing. A few years ago it was stereoscopic 3D; then it was virtual reality; and goodness knows what it will be in 2017. From the industry’s point of view, I think VR fulfils the need of, here’s something new we need to develop equipment and software for. But recent reports in the retail industry are showing that, people are not buying VR headsets; that the consumer uptake tends to be much slower and everybody’s missing projections. I’m just curious if this indicates that this is more of a fad than a long-term trend?

Randi Altman: I still don’t’ think so and believe me, I am not optimistic in any other way, in any other part of my life. But I am fairly optimistic that this is going to be something. Whether or not it’s going to be from a narrative perspective in the media and entertainment industry; or if companies will be making their money off of media and entertainment and then making experiences for, let’s say, medical or training, or therapies; like there’s a Professor at USC, who is working with veterans who have PTSD. It might be that the entertainment industry leads us to these other kind of really great things; which also need experienced production and post-production people to be working on them.

Larry Jordan: You know, I think you may have hit on it. I think that, if we focus on VR solely in terms of narrative storytelling, I don’t think it’s going to be successful. But if we look at it as immersive experiences, whether it’s games; or museums; or education; or training; or, as you were talking about, medical imaging, there I think there’s some real benefits. It may be that this becomes a popular niche product. There are some really large niches, which is medicine and games.

Randi Altman: Well it’s true, but I also think there’s just some confusion. I wanted to buy one for my son, because I thought he would just love to be immersed in a different world; like we all would, I guess. But I don’t know which one is right. Like, we don’t have a Samsung phone; I don’t know which ones are… the ones that are probably all immersive are way too expensive; so right now it’s sort of like, do you want to invest in something that’s 300 bucks that might not be suitable in six months from now? That’s why I held back and didn’t do anything. It’s sort of a new frontier and we’ve used that term before, relating to it. But I think we’re still sort of mashing it out.

Larry Jordan: You’re right. The more you play with it and discover what it can do and what it can’t, the more valuable you become.

Randi Altman: Absolutely and companies and studios that are jumping into VR are being careful to offer more traditional experiences as well; because they know, if they put all their egg in that basket, that it’s going to be an issue. You know, they don’t have complete rose-colored glasses on.

Larry Jordan: Well it’s good that they’re not complete rose-colored glasses. In the time we’ve got left, anything else catch your mind over the last year?

Randi Altman: Just the trend continuing of people being asked to do more than their job title says and, while some of that might have to do with budgets, I also think that the artists are embracing the opportunity to try new things and be more creative; in ways that maybe they hadn’t been allowed to be creative before. That’s moving ahead.

Larry Jordan: I think that’s a positive trend, in terms of people breaking out of restrictive boxes. I just wish that there had been a way to stop the budget collapse; where people are asked to do more for less money and working harder and getting less for it. That’s a trend that still bothers me for the last year.

Randi Altman: Rightfully so; absolutely.

Larry Jordan: Randi, not only is it a delight talking to you, but you’re giving us a jump on our year-end review. Next week we’ve assembled more of The Buzz, to take a look back at 2016. You just got the opportunity to go first. For people that want more information, where can they go on the web to learn more about what you’re writing?

Randi Altman: They should go to PostPerspective.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, PostPerspective.com. Randi Altman is the Editor-in-Chief of PostPerspective.com. Randi, it is always a treat. Thanks for joining us today.

Randi Altman: Thanks Larry; Happy Holidays.

Larry Jordan: Randi got us started; so next week we continue our look back at 2016, with our Buzz team and some other experts. We’ll be talking with Larry O’Connor from OWC; as always, James DeRuvo, with DoddleNEWS. Michele Yamazaki with Tool Farm; Michael Kammes from Key Code media; and Jonathan Handle will take a look back, not at tech, but at the past year in the industry. By the way, we’ve got an entire show dedicated to music on January 12th.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week, Joel Lipton, the freelance photographer; Jourdan Aldredge from Premium Beat; Scott Freiman from Qwire; Bram Desmet from Flanders Scientific; Randi Altman from PostPerspective.com and James DeRuvo with doddlenews.com. There is 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 on line and all available to you today. 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.

Larry Jordan: Our 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 Producer is Debbie Price; my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.

Digital Production Buzz- December 22, 2016

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Joel Lipton, Bram Desmet, Jourdan Aldredge, Scott Freiman, Randi Altman, James DeRuvo.

  • Secrets to Photographing Food
  • High-quality Video Monitors for Production and Post
  • Top 7 Inexpensive Gifts for Filmmakers
  • New Collaboration Tools for Music Administration
  • Randi Altman Looks Back at Key Trends of 2016
  • Our Weekly DoddleNEWS Update

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Listen to the Full Episode

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Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week

Featured Interview #1: Secrets to Photographing Food

Joel Lipton
Joel Lipton, Photographer/DP, Joel Lipton Studio

The holidays revolve around friends, family and… food. Joel Lipton has been photographing food, and countless other subjects, for more than 30 years. Tonight, he explains what he does to make food look great!

Featured Interview #2: High-quality Video Monitors for Production and Post

Bram Desmet
Bram Desmet, President/CEO, Flanders Scientific, Inc.

High-quality video monitors for HDR are on the horizon. Tonight, Bram Desmet, CEO of Flanders Scientific joins us to explain the current state-of-the-art and where their monitors fit in.

Top 7 Inexpensive Gifts for Filmmakers

Jourdan Aldredge
Jourdan Aldredge, Creative Content Coordinator, Premium Beat

The team at PremiumBeat.com put together a gift list for filmmakers. Tonight, Jourdan Aldredge, Creative Content Coordinator for PremiumBeat, shares their Top 7 inexpensive choices.

New Collaboration Tools for Music Administration

Scott Freiman
Scott Freiman, CEO, Qwire

Qwire is an innovative way to handle the administration and organization of finding music. Their tools help with music clearances and collaboration between composers and filmmakers. Tonight Scott Freiman, CEO of Qwire, explains their new software.

Randi Altman Looks Back at Key Trends of 2016

Randi Altman
Randi Altman, Editor-In-Chief, postPerspective

This is the time of year to look back and take stock. Randi Altman, editor-in-chief of postPerspective.com joins us to share her perspective on the important trends from this past year.

DoddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

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 presents our weekly DoddleNEWS Update.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – December 15, 2016

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Dave Colantuoni, Senior Director of Product Management, Avid Technology
Chris Brown, Executive VP, Conventions & Business Operations, National Association of Broadcasters
Bob Bain, Executive Producer, Bob Bain Productions, Inc.
Karl Kresser, President & Producer, Cine Gear Expo
Daniel Sacchelli, Event Director, BVE
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we are looking at planning and producing live events, from broadcast television, to trade shows. But first Avid is making big news today, David Colantuoni is the Senior Director of Product Management for Avid Technologies. And joins us tonight to explain what their big announcements mean to new and existing Avid users.

Larry Jordan: Next, Bob Bain is the Executive Producer for Bob Bain Productions. He specializes in creating live events for television. These are programs like ‘Miss America,’ ‘Kids’ Choice Awards’ and the ‘Critics’ Choice Awards.’ Tonight he tells us what it takes to create a successful event, including adding a little chaos.

Larry Jordan: Next, Karl Kresser is the President and Producer of Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles. This is an industry centric event that is always located on a Hollywood studio lot. Tonight Karl explains how he plans this annual event.

Larry Jordan: Next, Daniel Sacchelli is the Event Director of BVE in London. This annual trade show is growing in importance and is ideally placed between IBC, and NAB. Tonight Daniel tells us how they plan their event and what they do to keep it relevant.

Larry Jordan: Next, Chris Brown is the Executive Vice President for the Conventions and Business Operations for the National Association of Broadcasters. Chris and his team are responsible for creating the massive, NAB trade show every year. Tonight we discuss how they create this event, how they respond to competition and what new things they are planning for next year.

Larry Jordan: All this plus James DeRuvo with our weekly DoddleNEWS Update. The Buzz starts 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, today we have a fascinating show on planning and producing live events. We will be talking with some of the largest event producers in the world, specifically the NAB show and Miss America. As well as significant regional shows like Cine Gear and BVE. We will spend time with each of these producers, discovering how they perceive the shows, how they stay competitive, what makes for a successful show and what they are planning for the future. In addition, Avid this morning made some significant announcements that will please virtually every current Avid editor. We have an in-depth interview with the head of product management at Avid, to learn about their new releases. And by the way, I want to invite you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter, at digitalproductionbuzz.com, every issues, every week, gives you an inside look at The Buzz quick links, to the different segments on the show, and curated articles of special interest to film makers. Best of all, every issue is free, and comes out on Friday.

Larry Jordan: Now it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hello Larry.

Larry Jordan: So what is the news?

James DeRuvo: Well we’ve got a lot of updates. You knew this was coming when Apple announced the new MacBook Pro with the touch bar interface. You knew that everybody was going to be scrambling to update their software to take advantage of it. Blackmagic is one of the first out of the gate, we have an update to DaVinci Resolve 12, version 12.5.4, takes advantage of the Apple touch bar interface, and it also provides HDR support in Rec 2020, and 2100 in Hybrid Log Gamma. It is interesting because, like I said, everybody is going to be updating to take advantage of that touch bar, because the touch bar is highly customizable. So we are going to see that in DaVinci.

Larry Jordan: I’ve had a chance to borrow a MacBook Pro for a couple of weeks and fired it up for the first time this afternoon, and installed 750 upgrades and that touch bar is really quite cool. I am looking forward to writing about it and I’ll have more on my newsletter on it this weekend. What else do we have?

James DeRuvo: Well it’s touch bar night. There is an editor in Great Britain who has been using it, just as you have, and he has been cutting 5K footage in ProRes using the new MacBook Pro. He says that it is so powerful that it is buttery smooth in the editing and the touch bar streamlines the workflow to the point that it is just highly intuitive. He also goes onto say that even though the main beef that people have against the MacBook Pro is that it has a lack of ports now, it only has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. He says that after an initial adjustment, and when more TB3 devices come on the market, it is just going to be considered a thing of the past. He really thinks it is a game changer. For those who really need to stick with their existing peripherals, there is a brand new device that is being raised on Kickstarter, called The HyperDrive. Which plugs into your USB-C ports, and gives you access to Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, USB-3, all of that is able to adapt so you can continue to use all your peripherals. That is on Kickstarter, and the best part is, it’s only $70.

Larry Jordan: Just the clarify the 15” MacBook Pro has four USB-C ports not two, and you are absolutely right in that the USB-C is a bus, so you can split that off into a dock of some sort and have all those different outputs, by connecting only one connector to your computer and then feeding them off the dock.

James DeRuvo: The beauty thing about this HyperDrive device, is it’s really tiny. It’s only about an inch wide, and about two and half inches long, it can fit in your pocket, and you can just leave it plugged into your MacBook Pro all the time, it is not going to get in the way.

Larry Jordan: We have talked about the touch bar, do we have any hardware stuff going on?

James DeRuvo: Well, Canon has released a huge firmware update to the C300, and the C300 Mark II. It provides shutter angle control, so you can maintain a constant shutter angle, regardless of any changes to any other camera settings. The cameramen are really going to love this, they can now adjust zebras all the way down to 5%. So you can go from 5% all the up to as high as you want. It also includes support for the electronic viewfinder, V70 and the wireless file transmitter, E8 and users can still use their E6 wireless file transmitter as well.

Larry Jordan: Which gets me to the last point, I am going to let you spill the beans. What is Avid’s new announcement?

James DeRuvo: This is huge, you remember a couple of years ago, when Avid announced, much to editor’s dismay, they were getting rid of PhraseFind, and ScriptSync, and they are bringing them back. That is the big news, they are bringing back PhraseFind and ScriptSync, in an upcoming version of Media Composer.

Larry Jordan: In fact, we are going to have the VP of Product Management for Avid on, in about 35 to 40 seconds to specifically tell us more about ScriptSync and PhraseFind and for people that want the latest news on the web, where do they go?

James DeRuvo: All news stories and more can be found at doddlenews.com.

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the senior writer for DoddleNEWS, and James it is always fun chatting to you, we’ll talk to you again next week.

James DeRuvo: Take care 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 world-wide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography, 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 is thalo.com.

Larry Jordan: As the senior director of product management at Avid, David Colantuoni is responsible for product vision, strategy and business management for Avid’s industry leading products. Which includes Media Composer, Pro Tools, Sibelius and Shared Storage. Hello David, welcome.

Dave Colantuoni: Hello Larry, thanks for having me, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today.

Larry Jordan: Well you know, it has been a while since we have chatted, and the last time we had a change to sit and talk was at NAB, about seven thousand years ago, so it is time to get up to speed on the latest news. Which is what I want to hear first, what did Avid announce today?

Dave Colantuoni: So yes, we have some great news we wanted to speak about today. A long time coming for Media Composer users, today we are announcing new versions of ScriptSync, and PhraseFind. Those products are options for Media Composer, and do some really cool things around, for scripted television, and/or ingesting media. A few years ago we had taken these options away from the product, and now we are re-introducing them.

Larry Jordan: What makes these two pieces of software so important?

Dave Colantuoni: They use some technology from a company called Maxedia, and we quite frankly have been a partner of Mexedia’s for a number of years, almost ten years. The technology allows you to take, while ingesting your media, it phonetically indexes the sounds that are in a person’s voice, and puts them in a data base. Then that data base can be used for various things, searching is obviously the most important thing. So instead of a user actually sitting down and logging, this will actually take all the words that are being said and put them in a catalog data base, phonetically indexed and make them searchable. But it speeds up the editing process very quickly.

Larry Jordan: Well if you took this away a couple of years ago, why are you bringing it back now?

Dave Colantuoni: We actually had a partnership with Maxedia for, I think it was 2007. So it is coming upon 10 years, and we went into a negotiation to renew the contract so that we could use their technology. On the ScriptSync side of the world, we actually have integrated their technology with some of the technology that we have created. So they wanted us to license their technology, fine. But we could not come to an agreement to do that. It was more just a business decision. We are also trying to do other things, Maxedia was much more than just a company that created the technology behind ScriptSync and PhraseFind, and they actually do a whole bunch of other things. But they do this on a much bigger scale, this type of functionality works in news rooms, and it has a closed captioning features, and things like that. So what we were trying to do, was actually, figure out a business arrangement that not only allowed folks to use ScriptSync and PhraseFind and Media Composer, but actually use Maxedia products on our platform. It just took a long time, and we finally worked out the deals a little bit earlier this year.

Larry Jordan: Well a lot of Avid editors have held up upgrading for the last several versions, because of this lack of ScriptSync and PhraseFind. Does this essentially replace and update what they had on older versions, so they can feel save in upgrading now?

Dave Colantuoni: Yes. So this will absolutely allow those folks to upgrade to these latest versions, and use the functionality. We are actually spending some time and doing a few things to spruce up the products. There was some old UI framework that we needed to replace, we are putting some new features in the products. We also have taken a new version of the technology that Maxedia creates, and that has been updated and that is really cool because it allows faster indexing of the phonetically indexed sounds that it is requiring, and a whole bunch of other things. So yes, they will be able to upgrade to this version, I know some folks had stayed back in version 7, because their workloads demanded it, quite frankly. Using scripted television and the time savings of this product is just so great for them, they could not move forward. So yes, upgrades are coming and we are going to allow those folks that stayed behind on the old versions to upgrade their Media Composer at the same time, for a reduced price. So we want to make sure that they are able to move forward onto the Media Composer 8 version, because they were on Media Composer 7, which was released a number of years ago.

Larry Jordan: I can just imagine all the frustration that you guys have felt. That here are all these wonderful people that want to upgrade, and they can’t because the feature is not available. So I can imagine the relief on your side to finally be able to offer this.

Dave Colantuoni: You are right. I have been the front person for this, and you are right, it was frustrating. I would say, I had so many questions from our customers, but this was by far the number one asked question. When are we going to get ScriptSync and PhraseFind back. So it is a pleasure to finally after answering that question, where I didn’t know the answer. To actually have an answer. Not only that, to introduce new features that people had been asking for, for the past few years. So it is great to be part of soM.E.T.hing positive.

Larry Jordan: A couple of logistical questions. When will the update be available and how are you pricing it?

Dave Colantuoni: The update will be available in Q1 of 2017. We have actually done a bunch of things around pricing. We are able to work with Maxedia and reduce the pricing of the existing products, that were available before, in most instances by half. To make it so that customers who already owned ScriptSync, they can upgrade and $349. If they already own PhraseFind, they can upgrade for $149. So the prices are pretty advantageous, and what we wanted to make sure was that, the folks that had waited, really had an opportunity to upgrade, without have the price be too much money, quite frankly.

Dave Colantuoni: The other thing that is kind of neat, is one thing we had a request for over the past many many years, was an education version. Because students tend to have scripts and they use us in their productions for college. We never had an available version for education and students. So we are introducing a student version, that includes both ScriptSync and PhraseFind for $49. I think that was a very very big request from the education community, and not only that, it is pretty price advantageous for them to get the product.

Larry Jordan: In the intervening time between Maxedia first developed their software and today. IBM has been working really hard with their Watson Engine to provide a speech to text conversion, and I know of at least two other applications that have renounced to take advantage of this Watson technology. Is Avid able to compete against this IBM Watson speech to text conversion? Or is this soM.E.T.hing where it just took long to get the deal done?

Dave Colantuoni: No. We have actually looked at the Watson technology. The technology, I do not know specifically the engineering that created the Watson Engine, but if it is speech to text that is a little bit different than how Maxedia uses their technology. Because they are listening to your voice and indexing the spoken word and doing that phonetically. So they are able to get more exact results when you recall, and search for, a particular word that has been said. So Watson is great, I think there might be some applications for that in the media and entertainment space in the future, or even on the media central platform for our enterprise class customers. But for now we know that the Maxedia stuff is very very well engineered, works great, and not only ScriptSync and PhraseFind work station application. Also on an enterprise level, when you are indexing, hundreds and hundreds of hours of content, it is built to do that. It is built to scale for that, and it is also built that it gives you very very exact results that you are looking for. So the Watson stuff is interesting, we’ll see how that pans out. But for now, we are pretty comfortable, we have been working with this Maxedia stuff for a while and it is pretty good.

Larry Jordan: For people who want more information about ScriptSync and PhraseFind or Media Composer in general, where can they go on the web?

Dave Colantuoni: HYPERLINK “http://www.avid.com” www.avid.com all the information around Media Composer, ScriptSync, PhraseFind, will be up there. They should be able to find everything they need.

Larry Jordan: David Colantuoni is the Senior Director of Product Management at Avid. And David thanks for joining us today.

Dave Colantuoni: As usual I love talking to you, and thanks for having me, have a nice day.

Larry Jordan: Bob Bain Productions is one of the leading, award, event and variety producers, with hundreds of live event television specialists to their credit. This includes the ‘Billboard Music Awards,’ ‘Miss America,’ the ‘Teen Choice Awards,’ the ‘Kids’ Choice Awards’ and the ‘Critics’ Choice Awards.’ Bob Bain is the Executive Producer, and just finished producing the ‘Critics’ Choice Awards’ show. Bob welcome.

Bob Bain: Thanks for having me, happy holidays.

Larry Jordan: Indeed happy holidays to you as well. What got you started producing live events?

Bob Bain: Actually, younger in my career, I had an interest, if not a potential career in music. So I was able to turn that into an interest and a sub specialty in live events that involved a lot of music in the very beginning. I often tell people who are not really familiar with my specialty, that I consider myself both the architect and the general contractor. Because I am in charge of the overall, you know, 30,000 foot, creative presentation, and then it is also my responsibility to bring together the right team for the right vision. And that, by the way, changes from show to show.

Larry Jordan: If you are given a new show to produce, they just handed it to you today, the contracts are signed, the business deals are done. What do you do first?

Bob Bain: It is not any different from doing a wedding, really in that regard. You start with the date, you then select the venue, and then you start to work down what you think the creative needs of the show are. Again, that changes. By way of example, my creative approach to the ‘Kids Choice Awards,’ is naturally much different to my creative approach to say, ‘Miss America.’ What I call it, is kind of square peg in a square hole. So the first thing you try to do is information gather from the client, whoever that is. Whether it is a network or a cable outlet, or anybody else. What are they interested in accomplishing? Who do they want to reach? How do they want to reach them? Once you start to gather enough information about what your goal is, then you can start to put together a plan to reach the goal.

Larry Jordan: Are there specific things that enable an event to be more successful? Is there like a cookie cutter approach that we need to do x, y or z?

Bob Bain: I wish there were, that would make what I do a lot easier than it is. You are always searching for, what they used to call, water cooler moments. Now they tend to be described as sort of viral opportunities. The reason that people watch live events is really, often for as much as is not planned, as it is for what is planned. There are very few people on the planet who get more bored with award shows than I do. It is because we do so many of them, our vision is to make these things entertaining.

Larry Jordan: Are you looking for opportunities for chaos to break out?

Bob Bain: The answer to that is yes, particularly as I get a little more seasoned and little older in the business. When I first started, it was like, oh my god, if chaos breaks out it’s going to be the end of my career, right? Now I look at it, hey if chaos breaks out it could be the beginning of my career. Chaos is a great thing, and soM.E.T.imes we try to almost create opportunities for chaos. It needs obviously to be the right kind of chaos. But it is that kind of unpredicted ability that is what makes live television, I think interesting to watch.

Larry Jordan: How big a team do you work with?

Bob Bain: The team shapes and grows depending on the project. So basically, there is a plan of three stages. There is the developmental stage, when we are really kind of getting the overall creative into play, that is a relatively small group. It can be a half dozen. Then with about two months to go, that ramps up to staff that ends up being anywhere from 25 to 40. Then when we get on location, which tends to be the last two weeks, then it balloons from anywhere from, I’m thinking 200 to 400. Depending on the size and magnitude of the event.

Larry Jordan: With audiences fragmenting especially for television every year. How do you attract attention to get them to watch the event?

Bob Bain: Well it is probably the biggest single challenge, because it is very difficult to do that. The fragmentation is getting worse and worse. It makes it that much more difficult, not only to get an audience to watch your event, but even to get an audience to know about your event. Depending on the genre, and depending on the audience, the kind of emotional challenge is very substantial. In Teen Choice for example, if we don’t attack the audience digitally, we are not going to find them at all. Because they are not watching television. It is hard enough to get them to watch the television show. But if you want to let a bunch of teenagers know about anything, you will not be able to do it by putting 30 second promos on Fox, in prime time. Because teenagers aren’t watching Fox in prime time. It is a little different when you are talking about things like ‘Miss America’ and some of the more conventional stuff, some of the Emmy stuff we do. Some of the more conventional projects, because you still have an audience that was kind of raised and weaned on television. So the promotional strategies are different depending on the audience. But it is really difficult to get audiences for these shows, these days.

Larry Jordan: You are working in a high visibility, high pressure environment, where the audience is almost impossible to find, with demanding clients and huge budgets. What is it that makes you want to even come to work every day?

Bob Bain: I think to me it is the challenge of reinvention. Which is to say, the only way I think to keep these shows on, is to continue to try to reinvent them. And to recreate them, and somehow make them interesting and entertaining. That is a challenge that do relish. You said it, I’ve done hundreds of these things for years. It is still fun, and one of the reasons it is still fun is because we are going out of our way to make them different. If I were just producing the same award show over and over and over again. I’m not sure that I would still be doing this.

Larry Jordan: Bob Bain is the Executive Producer of Bob Bain Productions who specializes in creating live events for television. Bob thanks for joining us today.

Bob Bain: Thank you for having, and again, I hope everyone out there has a safe and happy holiday.

Larry Jordan: Karl Kresser is the President and Producer of Cine Gear Expo. He and his team create, produce and oversee every part of this live three day event that is located somewhere on a Hollywood studio lot every spring. Hello Karl.

Karl Kresser: Hello Larry. Thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: It is my pleasure, thank for spending your time tonight. How would you describe Cine Gear Expo.

Karl Kresser: Cine Gear Expo is a trade show that is actually out of the box. We try to put it on a studio back lot, where the actual equipment that was invented and built for this environment, is actually being shown in the motion picture area.

Larry Jordan: How did you get started?

Karl Kresser: We got started in 1996, we used to exhibit at a different show. My wife and I came from a supplier point of view, I worked for a camera rental house. We were exhibiting at another show, and as I was talking to three people who looked at the wrong end of the camera, looked through the lens instead of the finder. Then by best customer was walking by on the other side, and I called him Roger, Roger Deakins, where are you going? He said, no you are busy, I’ll be back. And that was the last that I saw him for the weekend. So it was a disappointing set up. Then I found out how the people heard about the show, and they said, oh were just outside the door and we got asked to come in.

Larry Jordan: Where is Cine Gear located?

Karl Kresser: Located in Los Angeles. The last several years we have held it at Paramount Studios, but previous years before we moved around to Universal, and Warner Bros and we always like the life environment, the feeling.

Larry Jordan: Well the thing I love about Cine Gear is we are actually on the lot, we are in the environment where all this gear is used, and it is the widest range of production gear I have ever seen in my life. Stuff I have never heard of, is being shown at the show. How far in advance do you start preparations?

Karl Kresser: Well Larry, we are actually working pretty much all year round. But what happens is, because we have many different aspects from our film competition, to seminars, to the exhibits, to special screenings that we put on, to parties. But the issue is, you are dealing with an actual working studio, so we cannot really get confirmed until a few months out. Which throws you through a loop.

Larry Jordan: Well given all the competition, what is your biggest challenge in producing the event?

Karl Kresser: Well the biggest challenge is almost the venue. Paramount is very good with us, their team tries to do their best to make to happen, and get us all the stages that we need and the locations. But again, it is a working studio so if a feature comes in and books it for several months, and they are still there when we need it. We have to adjust and we have to find different ways, even though we have planned all year to have it there and in this location. We have to adjust and modify and go with the flow.

Larry Jordan: How do you get people to show up for a live event? With all the stuff that is available on the web.

Karl Kresser: We have slowly grown it. We grew it out of a little party, in 1996 it was seven different companies that got together and invited their customers to a Saturday afternoon at the Paramount lot, in the lobby of the theater, to have some food and wine, and then see the latest pieces of equipment we had at that time. So we built up on that, and the next year it was 30 companies, and then it was more companies. What happened was, we built up our contacts, and people wanted to come, and they heard about it. So we grew it carefully and slowly and last year we had about 16,000 attendees, from over 60 countries.

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

Karl Kresser: They can go to HYPERLINK “http://www.cinegearexpo.com” www.cinegearexpo.com

Larry Jordan: That is all one word, cinegearexpo.com and Karl Kresser is the President and Producer of CineGear, Karl this has been fun. Thanks for joining us today.

Karl Kresser: Thank you for having me Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Daniel Sacchelli is the Event Director for the BVE Conference and Trade Show every February in London. This means that he oversees the planning and day to day operations across departments to ensure the show is a success. Hello Daniel, welcome.

Daniel Sacchelli: Hi Larry.

Larry Jordan: It is good to talk to you again, the last time we spoke was last year at BVE.

Daniel Sacchelli: It was, it was on site at the show, it has been a little while. Always a pleasure.

Larry Jordan: For people that have not had the pleasure of attending, how would you describe BVE?

Daniel Sacchelli: BVE is an event in the U.K. It takes place over three days in London, in Feburary. It targets the wider media entertainment and technology sector. So there is the exhibition, the show floor, and where visitors come to test, compare and check out all the new products that are on the market. It is accompanied by a three day seminar program as well.

Larry Jordan: With shows like IBC in Amsterdam, and NAB in Las Vegas which are much much bigger than BVE, why does BVE even exist?

Daniel Sacchelli: I think there are regional events around the world, for that sector. I think the U.K., it is known that we punch above our weight, certainly in the broadcast and media entertainment space, and always have. It is a very important sector to a lot of companies. We have got a lot of big players here, the BBC, the Sky, a lot of major buyers here, and a lot of new sectors that the U.K. is pushing now as well. It is a key market, so even though those two global shows and other events are very important, I think a key touch point in the U.K. is still very much vital.

Larry Jordan: When you sit back to plan a show, what are you trying to accomplish?

Daniel Sacchelli: The show itself is a product, and we sell that product, and like any product the first thing you have to do is understand your customers. So we have to have a really granular detail on our exhibitors, speakers, and our visitors to see what is happening in the market. Exactly what is happening with the latest developments, what is making our customers tick, and what they need to get, not just out of events, but out of their wider marketing campaigns. Ensuring that my event becomes a vital part of anything strategic that they are planning across the year.

Larry Jordan: Just to ask a cynical question, you have a big room, you have a bunch of people showing products, what is to plan?

Daniel Sacchelli: That is a fair point I guess from an outsider it may look that way. We start actually an annual cycle on site, at the show. The exhibition show floor is one element of it, the conference programming is another part, and that is slightly more complex. That cannot start being planned a year in advance, because as you know, this industry is very fast paced, it is always evolving. New technologies are appearing all the time. There is a lot of logistical issues that go into planning an event as well, because you are not just trying to repeat. If you just took the formula of BVE and you said, great let’s get that all on a spreadsheet, and repeat for the following year. Yes it would be very easy, but you would lose the impact of the event. You would not be as agile, your event would not be able to evolve and reflect the industry. I guess that is the main crux of it.

Larry Jordan: Give me an example, how has BVE evolved over the last couple of years, what is new?

Daniel Sacchelli: It came from place where it was very much a U.K. focused, broadcast show, broadcast technology was the order of the day. Now, our industry once again, as you know, has changed a lot in recent years. It has diversified, there is a lot of blurring of the lines between broadcast, live entertainment, AV and systems integration. Now with new technologies like VR and other immersive experiences, AR, mixed realities, these sorts of things. BVE has got to demonstrate that we are reflecting that. Always thinking of new ways to engage visitors and exhibitors, and we are always trying to do soM.E.T.hing new.

Larry Jordan: This to me seems like it’s the hardest challenge. How do you create an event that people feel they must attend?

Daniel Sacchelli: Well that is it. Keeping it fresh is absolutely key, and it comes around again to just knowing your customers. You cannot really replace, and we’ve found this time and time again, as long as you deliver the right event. So that the people come. You cannot really replace meeting your clients face to face. Whether it is customers and being that key touch point in the year, because you don’t get time to spend going out on the road and seeing all of your customers, or whether it is being able to present all of your products and services to new customers in a really dynamic setting. Do product showcases and do demos in real time. That is really unique, and we have to capitalize on that. It would be easy to be lazy and again just keep repeating. But as long as you can really capitalize on those unique aspects of exhibitions, you can keep delivering a really unique experience I think, versus other M.E.T.hods.

Larry Jordan: So what are you planning that is new this year?

Daniel Sacchelli: We are always looking at who is buying what. Who our exhibitors want to see coming through the door. Then what we can do to add to the show to ensure those visitors come. Case in point, with the brands, we are hosting this year for the first time, a one day conference run by the Branded Content Marketing Association, which is going to be a fantastic program. All about how you create the best branded content, and it will feature the top production companies that specialize in producing branded content. Some digital marketing agents, who is presenting case studies about successful examples, and those sorts of things. That is soM.E.T.hing that is very new to BVE and very much out of the wheel house of where BVE came from, this is a brand new thing.

Larry Jordan: Well I have always been impressed with BVE in all the years that I’ve attended it. You are right it continues to evolve over time. Where can people go on the web to learn more about it, and sign up to attend?

Daniel Sacchelli: Registration for visitors is open now, and the website is HYPERLINK “http://www.bvexpo.com” www.bvexpo.com

Larry Jordan: That is all one word, bvexpo.com and Daniel Sacchelli is the event director for the BVE Conference in 2017. Daniel thanks for joining us today.

Daniel Sacchelli: My pleasure.

Larry Jordan: Here is another website I want to introduce you to. Doddlenews.com DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It is a leading online resource, presenting news, review, 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 world-wide community of artists, filmmakers 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. 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 is only one place to go, Doddlenews.com

Larry Jordan: Chris Brown is the Executive Vice President for Conventions and Business Operations, at the National Association of Broadcasters. He and his team are responsible for producing all of NABs major events, including the NAB Show in Las Vegas, the NAB show in New York, and the brand new NAB Show in Shanghai which just launched last year. Hello Chris, welcome.

Chris Brown: Hey Larry how are you? Good to talk to you.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking the last time we spoke formally was five years ago, on the trade show floor at NAB, and a lot has changed since then.

Chris Brown: Yes, no doubt about it. We are living in a world that is changing at an unbelievable pace, and so for us that manifests itself in everything from the type of companies that we work with on our exhibit floor, to the kind of programs that we put together, for our education sessions. Five years is, I think we have had fifteen years of change in that five years’ time.

Larry Jordan: One would need to be a hermit in our industry not to have heard of the NAB Show. But just to set the stage, how would you describe the NAB show.

Chris Brown: I would describe it as the world’s largest innovation forum for media and entertainment. That is a bit more of an active statement than it may have been in the past. I think shows like ours tend to be viewed that places that really just reflect what is going on in the business, and that is true. But I think we are working hard and trying to do more to give it a more active role. I think it has that, and has had that in the past, but I think now with that pace of change that we talked about, it is even more important that it would be a real catalyst for what might be ahead.

Larry Jordan: To look at the highest level, you have got a big room, you’ve got a bunch of exhibitors showing products, what is the planning? What is the catalyst? What is needed?

Chris Brown: I think you know the big thing that keeps us up at night is trying to look ahead and determine what are the trends? What are the big challenges and opportunities that are impacting the business? And that our constituents, our whole universe of potential participants would really be interested in. You know, what are they scratching their heads over, and trying to understand. Things like VR, you know, it sounds cool, everybody is looking at it, it is certainly a hot thing right now. But there are lots of questions. Then there is the more, kind of in the weeds, and operational kinds of questions. All about the impact of the internet, and kind of this shift from a hardware based business to software based business and virtualization, and working in the cloud. Which is a scary thing for a lot of people. Then trying to figure out how we will build programs that will stimulate, reflect and get us into those kinds of conversations at the show. Then on the exhibit side, what does that mean in terms of the kind of companies that really should be on the floor that can help sort through those questions.

Larry Jordan: Why is that the role of a trade show, wouldn’t that be the responsibility of the exhibitors themselves?

Chris Brown: Yes it is, absolutely, and I would be unfair if I said our exhibitors do not do a great job of that. I mean, they truly do. But we are all in this together, and I think many of them have a lot of the same questions that we do, and are trying to kind of stay ahead of that same curve. Some of them are doing it better than others, so there will be certainly some exhibitors that reflect those kinds of trends, but there is always more can be done. I think for us the job is also trying to reach out to segment sectors, sort of adjacent sectors that may not themselves see the opportunity, or recognize the opportunity and we then try to help them understand that. For us that would be companies who look at our show as a more traditional broadcaster that versus really an event that reflects where our universe is heading. So toward, digital, towards IP, towards those kinds of technologies. So it means we have got to be able to reach out to the Google, Netflix, Amazon’s of the world, and say, you guys need to be in this discussion somewhere. Ideally be a part of that conversation.

Larry Jordan: NAB stands for the National Association of Broadcasters, yet the show is expanded far beyond traditional broadcasting. Aren’t you enabling the competition?

Chris Brown: Sure, I guess yes. But I think we view it as a clear rising tide raises all ships type of approach. The idea is that this is a very very complex business we are in, it would be great I guess, to some degree, if we were in the widget business. That is not our world at all. Our world is rapidly evolving and kind of, who is friend, and who is foe? Is blurring all of the time, and there is sort of partnerships now that we would never have contemplated, you know even five, certainly ten years ago, as traditional media evolves towards new media, and new forms of media, and responds to really what the consumer is demanding. From our standpoint it never makes sense to box yourself in, and not look beyond that world, and welcome the opportunity to be in the same place and in the same conversation with folks who maybe competing with you on some dimensions. But at some point, may also be your best partners. Yes it is the NAB Show, we own the event and launch event, and have been the curator of this for a long time. We really view it as an event that is for the entire media and entertainment eco system, however that is going to evolve. For our members, we think there is huge benefit for them to be in that exhibition hall, in that conference center, having those discussions to be with all those other companies, and understanding. Even if it is just to understand what their competitors are focused on.

Larry Jordan: Competition exists at multiple levels. What kind of attention do you pay to shows like CBS, and IBC?

Chris Brown: Quite a bit, we are hyper paranoid about all of that. We try to make it positive paranoia, I think you have to do that to stay ahead of the game. So we watch very carefully what those kinds of shows are doing. With CBS it is interesting, I think they have been very very smart, they have done a good job expanding what they have become, a mega event for really all of technology. Kind of spanning consumer, up through pro consumer, to even B to B. But as they move up that B to B scale, it does bring them into our world more, and we do know that many of our members attend the event, which is a smart thing on their part. That is a great event to see that entire landscape and understand, particularly from a device, and through a consumer perspective, what those trends are. What is leading that? So that is important. With IBC, they have done a fantastic job as well. This is where in our minds competition is good, it keeps us on our toes. We know they borrowed ideas from us, we are not above borrowing ideas from them, and ideally improving on them. There again, I think there is room, given the amount of change that is occurring in this business to have events, whether they are geographically regional events, or more specifically segment target events. Which is also why we feel it made sense for us to be in the New York market, with our New York show.

Larry Jordan: What is your biggest challenge planning the show?

Chris Brown: We cannot just continue to present the same things. We are in Las Vegas year, which is a great thing, and a great advantage. But it also means we are in the same facility, and just sort of physically lay out the show, it is going to already look the same as it did the year before. We want it to be a new experience for people every time they come, so we have to really look hard at what we can do, that changes up that experience each year. Then productivity, obviously it is a big event, and big events come with lots of challenges in terms of just organizing them. Making it easy for people to navigate them, both before the show in terms of their engagement and registering with the show. Getting their hotel room lined up, and once they are there, being able to do what they need to do. Has all the tools that you need to be able to find the people you want to find, the companies you want to find, the products and technologies you want to find. The programs you might want to find, sessions etc., so that again is a really important aspect of that.

Larry Jordan: There is so much information available online, how do you make NAB a must attend event?

Chris Brown: Well it is about, I think, both breadth and depth of content. The exhibitors represent a very important part of the content side, and the elements that folks will be interested in. Then of course there is the education components that we produce, and from that stand point, it means we have got to have thought leaders. Big names, recognizable names, and smart people in that mix. We have to have a breadth of programs that sort of cover the many segments of the industry that we do bring together. We can slice and dice it, our demographics actually probably cover 20 to 30 different business types. We cannot produce programs that will go deep for every single one of those, but we can produce programs that will cut across, I think, most of those to a good enough level, and certainly an executive level, will give somebody a very very strong orientation across that. We have got the most complete offering in that regard, but we cannot take that for granted, we have to keep evolving it.

Larry Jordan: So what have you got that is new this year?

Chris Brown: One program that we are really excited about is a new executive level program, we are calling it the 40 Leadership Summit. The idea is to put the C-Suite level folks together in a room, across all those sectors. So the unique part of this will be, there are lot of other executive level programs that are out there, and we have them ourselves at NAB. But they are primarily for like people, so you are in the room with other broadcasters, you are in the room with other cable execs, you are in the room with other tech execs. We want to be able to bring all of those different sectors together, at a leadership level, and have a real interaction and real discussion that will help drive where that is going. We are bringing back, in a bigger and better way, VR. Our VR pavilion was very successful last year, but it was a first time effort. We had about 30 companies or so participating. We are expecting, and have already laid out space, for more than double that type of program. We are really exciting about that overall. The other thing that we are going to try to do is weave in a whole bunch of elements that will tie to our theme this year. Our theme this year is the M.E.T. Effect. M.E.T. as an acronym, and that stands for Media Entertainment and Technology, but more importantly the term M.E.T. Effect is really meant to describe what is happening as those three eco systems are overlapping and converging and fusing together. The kinds of new relationships that is defining all the different intersections that have been created. We are going to introduce M.E.T. Talks, which many people are familiar with TED Talks and basically short form kinds of programs. Which are thought leadership based, which again will focus on kind of the intersections of those communities. In the main lobby of the convention center, where we normally have our store. We are going to have a series of exhibits out there, that will be more focused on trying to manifest what that M.E.T. Effect really represents. So think of a YouTube studio type of program, or all of the things we can do, sort of creating content on the fly. Steaming it to mobile, to any device, those kinds of things. We have a couple of new conference programs, that are coming into the mix, including a couple that are focused on the advertising community in particular. Because that is a community that we think should be more engaged in our event. That will tie to a whole Ad-tech pavilion which we just launched in a modest way last year, and want to grow again this year. Lots and lots in the works at this point, most of it, in the shoot but not completely laid out at this point.

Larry Jordan: I’m getting exhausted just listening to the list. How bit a team do you have helping you put this together?

Chris Brown: Directly working on the show and folks that worry about this all the time, or most of the time, are about 35. NAB as an organization has about 150 total staff and in some way or another there are a lot of those other staff members who do help out. 35 people work pretty hard, but a lot of our other folks in the building also contribute, I’m not sure we could get it done without.

Larry Jordan: NAB is absolutely my favorite show ever year to attend. For people that want to register, where do they go on the web?

Chris Brown: nabshow.com

Larry Jordan: That is nabshow.com, and Chris Brown is the Executive Vice President for Convention and Business Operations at the National Association of Broadcasters. Chris this has been fascinating, thank you for your time.

Chris Brown: Great, thank you very much Larry. Appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: I’ve always had a love for producing live events, because that is how I got started in my own broadcast career. It impresses me that each one of these shows works at least a year out. They watch the competition, but watch industry trends even more. Evolution is an ongoing fact of life. All of these look at creating communities and conversations to help all of us better understand what is going on in our own industry.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week. David Colantuoni from Avid. Chris Brown from NAB. Bob Bain with Bob Bain Productions. Daniel Sacchelli from BVE London. Karl Kresser from Cine Gear. And as always James DeRuvo with DoddleNEWS. There is a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you will 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. 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 producer is Debbie Price, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.

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

Digital Production Buzz- December 15, 2016

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Dave Colantuoni, Chris Brown, Bob Bain, Karl Kresser, Daniel Sacchelli, James DeRuvo.

  • Product News from Avid Technologies
  • Planning NAB 2017
  • Planning CineGear 2017
  • Planning BVE 2017 in London
  • Our Weekly DoddleNEWS Update

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: Product News from Avid Technologies

Dave Colantuoni
Dave Colantuoni, Sr. Director of Product Management, Avid Technology

Tonight we welcome Dave Colantuoni, Senior Director of Product Management from Avid Technologies with an update on their latest product news.

Featured Interview #2: Planning NAB 2017

Chris Brown
Chris Brown, Exec. VP, Conventions & Business Operations, National Association of Broadcasters

Chris Brown is the executive VP in charge of the NAB Shows in Las Vegas, New York and Shanghai. Tonight, he talks about what it takes to plan the annual NAB show.

Planning Major Live Television Events

Bob Bain
Bob Bain, Executive Producer, Bob Bain Productions, Inc.

Bob Bain has produced hundreds of major television events, including Miss America, the Critics Choice Awards and the Kid’s Choice Awards. Tonight, he talks about what it takes to plan live television events and what he does to attract an audience in today’s fragmented TV world.

Planning CineGear 2017

Karl Kresser
Karl Kresser, President & Producer, Cine Gear Expo

Cine Gear is a unique industry-centric show where you can get the chance to see production gear up close and personal on a Hollywood studio lot. Tonight we talk to Karl Kresser, President and Producer of the Cine Gear Expo about how he plans this annual event.

Planning BVE 2017 in London

Daniel Sacchelli
Daniel Sacchelli, Event-Director, BVE

Daniel Sacchelli is the Events Director for one of the fastest growing trade shows in Europe – BVE. Tonight he joins us to talk about how they plan a trade show, how it evolves over time and what makes it a “must-attend” event.

DoddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

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 presents our weekly DoddleNEWS Update.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – December 8, 2016

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Patricia Rattray, Director of Sales and Marketing, MYT Works, Inc.
Tyler Phillips, Vice President of Product Development & Marketing, Matthews Studio Equipment
Wes Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, SmallHD
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Red Shark News, Ned Soltz Inc.
Toby Sali, Co-Owner, BBS Lighting
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we are looking at lighting and camera gear. We start with Patricia Rattray, director of sales and marketing for MYT Works based in New York City. They create camera dollies, skaters and sliders. Tonight she describes what got the company started, and the products they make.

Larry Jordan: Wes Phillips is the co-founder and CEO of SmallHD. They began as filmmakers, but a strange twist of fate led them into manufacturing camera attached monitors. Wes describes how he built his company on a foundation of potato chips.

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz helps us make sense of all the camera rigs for DSLR cameras that are out there. What do we need, and how do we pick the best option? Is a DSLR always the best choice for a video shoot?

Larry Jordan: Toby Sali is one of the co-owners of BBS Lighting. They specialize in creating LED based lighting for broadcast theater and film. Tonight Toby explains why the industry shifted to LED lighting and how to pick the best lights for your next project.

Larry Jordan: Tyler Phillips grew up in the grip industry. His father co-founded Matthews studio Gear and invented the C-stand. Tyler, who is their VP of product development and marketing, talks about the state of the grip industry, and what they are planning for the future.

Larry Jordan: All this, plus James DeRuvo, with our weekly 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 is Larry Jordan.

Larry Jordan: There is big news today from AMD and new reports that cast doubt on the success of virtual reality. James DeRuvo will have the details in just a minute. After the news we’ll focus on all the production stuff that isn’t a camera. This means the lights, monitors, stands, hooks, clamps, and gizmos you need to shoot pictures. We’ll be talking with one of the oldest grip equipment companies in the industry, along with one of the newest and we’ll also look at on-camera and production monitors and lights. To put all this gear into perspective, Ned Soltz shares his opinions on the best gear to get when shooting with a DSLR camera.

Larry Jordan: 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 the different segments on the show and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers. Best of all, every issue is free, and comes out on Friday, which means now it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hello Larry.

Larry Jordan: It is good to hear your voice again. What’s the news this week?

James DeRuvo: News from our top cub reporter, named Larry Jordan…

Larry Jordan: Small guy, yeah. Go ahead, I’m just giving myself a hard time.

James DeRuvo: AMD announced their largest graphic software update today which offers support for virtual reality applications. It was designed specifically for high performance gaming, and the creation of virtual reality, and some of these applications converge. AMD said that they found that high level users are more and more demanding professional grade tools, especially when it comes to gaming and virtual reality. So they have tweaked their software to give their graphics a 30 percent performance boost, and in addition they’ve also rebranded the FirePro GPU line to become Radeon Pro. So moving forward, you’ll be hearing the words Radeon Pro whenever they talk about their high end level graphics cards.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that impressed me about their press announcement is how much they’ve stressed how hard they’ve tested this software and the fact that they’ve given it QA levels way beyond what they’ve ever done before, and that this software now underlies all of the AMD products. So I’m curious to see what the market’s reaction is to it. It started shipping today, and the downloads are free, so curious what people say about it.

James DeRuvo: Indeed.

Larry Jordan: What else we got?

James DeRuvo: Mocha also announced a firmware update today for mocha Pro version 5.2. Again, for planar tracking material it has been completely updated and they’ve leveraged the video card GPU via OpenCL. OpenCL’s that open standard that enables you to use the video graphics card processor to lighten the load on the computer processor. It’s where everybody’s going now. They’ve also added a floating point license support to make mocha a plug-in for such applications as Adobe After Effects, Avid Media Composer and others and you can get a render license to use mocha Pro with a render farm for about $99 and that’s a good deal.

Larry Jordan: That’s an amazing deal.

James DeRuvo: The mocha 5.2 update is free to mocha 5 users. It’s mostly a housekeeping update, but that update has really tweaked the performance, so people who use mocha to do their motion tracking should notice a dramatic difference.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking about what mocha can do because it’s an amazing piece of software, and reflecting back to AMD’s announcement of their new emphasis on both gaming and VR, what have we got that we’ve heard about in the world of VR these days?

James DeRuvo: I’ve been saying for a while now that I honestly don’t think VR is really going to be the future. I think it’s more of a gimmick, because one, it doesn’t seem the public is very interested in it because in spite of the fact that you see these commercials where people at Christmastime are putting on their headsets and enjoying this experience, the sales of the headsets just doesn’t bear that out. Apparently because of the high cost of the equipment and the lack of content, people just aren’t buying it. Augmented reality has some really good applications, but I think that this type of system is going to be best suited for video gaming. I really don’t think it has a future in the cinema, simply because we want a lean back experience. We don’t want to be looking around, because if we’re looking around, we might miss something, and some people flat out get sick with virtual reality. So the latest sales figures indicate that right now, virtual reality is a bust.

Larry Jordan: James, for people that want more information about what’s happening in the industry, where can they go on the web?

James DeRuvo: All these stories and more can be found at Doddlenews.com.

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the senior writer for DoddleNEWS. James, as always, thanks for joining us and we’ll talk to you next week.

James DeRuvo: Take care 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, 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: MYT Works is a designer, manufacturer and retailer of camera motion and support equipment for professional camera operators worldwide. Patricia Rattray is their director of sales and marketing, and joins us to tell us more. Hello Patricia, welcome.

Patricia Rattray: Hi, I’m happy to be here.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you here, except I realized that I may have mispronounced the name of the company. Is it MYT or Mighty?

Patricia Rattray: Well, we are identified by both names so you can say Mighty or MYT.

Larry Jordan: Which would you prefer?

Patricia Rattray: MYT.

Larry Jordan: How did the company get started?

Patricia Rattray: We’re actually the only camera equipment manufacturer in New York founded by a professional filmmaker who had been making films for about 30 years, and he decided that he wanted to end the frustrations of setting up camera equipment and trying to achieve really great camera motion.

Larry Jordan: What was your first product?

Patricia Rattray: He knew he wanted to create something that was fail proof, and he also wanted to create something that offered the most consistent type of camera motion with very clean starts and stops. Also something that lasted a long time with very few performance issues. So the first product was our Glide slider, and that product is still our most popular product.

Larry Jordan: There’s about 800 million different pieces of camera support and sliders of various sorts. What is it that makes your gear special?

Patricia Rattray: We’re special in a lot of ways. Many people who create sliders talk about the camera motion. We have excellent camera motion because we have a very innovative design. Our slider has a sleeve wheel system so the wheels are covered, they’re protected from a lot of the dust and the grime, and it allows for long lasting performance with very little maintenance. All of our systems are designed with a natural damping, so that it’s very easy to start and stop the camera without a lot of bounce back, and we use the highest quality materials. So you can use your system over and over again without worrying about deflection in the rails, or poor quality parts getting damaged, even in the most adverse environments.

Larry Jordan: You’ve talked about your first product, but what types of products do you offer now? I’m not looking for an entire list, but what categories?

Patricia Rattray: We basically have three main groups of products. We have the slider dolly, then we have a skater dolly, which also can be used as a rigging plate. Then we have nodal tripod heads that are fluidless.

Larry Jordan: What’s the difference between a slider and a skater?

Patricia Rattray: The slider dolly is a system that has a fixed rail length, and a carriage that sits on top. It’s also very innovative, we have a detachable high hat on that slider. So you can easily take your camera off of the rail and in seconds, it’s its own mount. You can set it up and do a shot without the rail, and then you can put it right back onto the rail and continue with a moving shot. We build our systems to be modular, and that’s really what differentiates us from our competitors, that every part is multifunctional. That’s really important when you’re on set because many camera operators have to be prepared to do challenging moves and challenging set ups and they don’t have a lot of time to do so. We build with not just motion in mind, but we address the practical issues of setting up, breaking down, without needing someone else to hold the camera, without worrying about the whole system falling over because of heavy packages. We really try to address all those little nuisances that experienced camera operators face every day.

Larry Jordan: OK, I’m convinced that a slider dolly is cool, but I’m still confused what a skater dolly is.

Patricia Rattray: A skater dolly basically has a plate with actual skater wheels on the bottom, and that type of dolly runs on what we call speed rail. So you can lay rail down of any length, and the camera sits on a mount which is on a plate, and that runs along the rail. The real difference between a skater dolly and a slider dolly is the skater dolly, you can take that plate and run it along a variety of different types of rails or surfaces. With a slider dolly, you have a fixed carriage, and a fixed length rail.

Larry Jordan: Why would somebody use a slider dolly if a skater dolly gives me all kinds of arbitrary lengths? Why would I want to do something which is fixed in length?

Patricia Rattray: It speaks to the nature of being a camera operator. Sometimes you don’t have time for elaborate set ups for putting things together. A slider dolly, especially our slider dolly, is a grab and go product. So within minutes, you’re ready to go, and it doesn’t require a lot of tools or a lot of thought to assemble it, and it’s really just a fail proof way to get your shots quickly and always be prepared. A skater dolly might take a little more thought. It can be a little more flexible especially when you’re traveling because you can just carry the skater plate, and get rails on set or on location. So a lot of times it just boils down to the practical needs of the operator, which one will work for them.

Larry Jordan: You’ve mentioned several times that your products are reliable. What are they made of that keeps their reliability so high?

Patricia Rattray: All of our products are machined out of aluminum and steel and we do this right here in Manhattan in our shop. We don’t source our parts from other parts of the world because we believe in knowing where our products are coming from and who’s making them, and we have great quality control. We are a micro manufacturer. We hand assemble to order, and that means we’re testing out every single part, every single system, and making sure that the performance level is high.

Larry Jordan: Your website makes a differentiation between machining a part, and casting a part. Why is machining better?

Patricia Rattray: Machining is more precise, and you end up with a better surface finish. So we pride ourselves in having systems that have a high level of performance, and you really need precision to do that. Any slight imperfection in a part will impact your final video so you just can’t afford to have problems with either a damaged part or deflection in the rail or just pieces that don’t fit together quite correctly which gives a normal in the set up. So in order to create great video, you have to have extreme precision in how you’re making each part, and they all come together in your entire set up.

Larry Jordan: I remember you said that the founder of the company whose name you’ve never mentioned by the way, who is it?

Patricia Rattray: His name is Etienne Sauret.

Larry Jordan: He decided to make his first slider because he was frustrated with the stuff that’s out there. How do you decide which products to create, because now you’ve got a whole line of skaters and sliders and high hats and everything else? How do you decide what’s next?

Patricia Rattray: I think it comes from speaking to our clients, and really understanding the life of a camera operator. They’re really unique. They have a creative side, they have to have an eye for framing a shot, but they also have to carry heavy equipment and they have to deal with safety issues, and they have to deal with maintenance issues. They always have to be prepared. They always have to have everything in their toolbox to create a set up or to rig something the way a DP or cinematographer wants it. Everything we do is just driven by those day to day practical problems that camera operators face, and we’re asking them every day, we invite them into our shop, to demo our products, tell us their stories so that we truly understand how they work and that we can help them.

Larry Jordan: Do you do custom work if a DP has got a specific task that needs to be done? Can they come to you for some help?

Patricia Rattray: We really don’t do a lot of custom work because it’s very expensive. We do manufacture in small quantities so what we do is, we listen to a request, and if enough people are requesting something, we do look at models to see if we can build that feature into the next design. That’s really the wonderful nature of being a micro manufacturer, that we can take the feedback, and because they produce in small quantities, we can actually change our design more frequently or improve our design to meet the needs of our clients. It’s a much more facile operation than a large mass manufacturer.

Larry Jordan: How much does your gear cost? I know that there’s different prices for different gear, but give me some examples of pricing.

Patricia Rattray: Our sliders start around $1,000 and they can go up to about 1800 for the small slider. The medium is in the 2000 to 2500 range, and the large is around 3,000. Honestly, if you order a 12 foot large glide you can get up to $8,000.

Larry Jordan: How does the camera person decide which piece of gear they should get?

Patricia Rattray: Many of our clients are owner operators, and they’re doing all kinds of work, so a lot of times they’re picking tools that are the most versatile. And we also have clients with several of our systems. They might have a three foot small, for working with a smaller camera. They might have a six foot large for working with a heavier camera package. So I think a lot of it is just based on the types of sets they’re on, and they kind of work they do. Yes, it really just depends on your own preferences.

Larry Jordan: As you look at the industry, as clearly we want to have shots continue to move, and we want to have them be as stable as possible, what trends are you following? What’s caught your eye in terms of things that we might want to develop products for?

Patricia Rattray: There are trends in camera movement. Even though the idea of moving a camera has been around, many of our clients are just realizing how versatile they can be with movement. So camera movement is always new, there’s always something new you can do if you have the right equipment. Some of our clients are doing more curved shots and that’s pretty exciting. Some of our clients are just discovering that there’s this creativity in moving when they had not moved before. So it’s not necessarily that there’s some big trend in movement but when you have our tools, you’re more comfortable attempting the movement, or knowing that you’re prepared to try movement in circumstances that might be new because you have the confidence of equipment that won’t fail.

Larry Jordan: And for people that want to check out what these tools are, where can they go on the web?

Patricia Rattray: Our website is HYPERLINK “http://www.mytworks.com” www.mytworks.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, mytworks.com. Patricia Rattray is the director of sales and marketing for MYT Works. Patricia, this has been fun, thanks for joining us today.

Patricia Rattray: Thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Founded in 2009, SmallHD has become a leading innovator of on camera monitoring solutions for professional cinematographers and videographers worldwide. For example, they created the world’s first on camera HD monitor. Wes Phillips is the CEO and co-founder of SmallHD and welcome Wes, it’s good to talk to you today.

Wes Phillips: Thank you for having me on Larry.

Larry Jordan: I have to ask, how did SmallHD get started?

Wes Phillips: There is a great video produced by Hurlbut Visuals that sort of documents our start up story, and it actually starts off with submitting an ad entry into the first Doritos Super Bowl ad contest which we actually ended up winning, twice at one point, and we won some money from that and that seeded our products and got us to where we are today.

Larry Jordan: So your entire foundation’s built on potato chips?

Wes Phillips: That’s it, yes. And a little bit of creativity mixed in there.

Larry Jordan: That shifts gears, because there you were creating something like a commercial, and suddenly you’re in hardware manufacturing. What got you interested in hardware?

Wes Phillips: Yes it is kind of a weird shift. We were creative professionals starting off really and we realized that there was sort of a gap in the market. We were trying to shoot on a computer, recording to a computer really, as well as using 35 millimeter lens adapters before the DSLR revolution really happened. We needed a monitor that had a high definition resolution. We started looking around and realized that nothing existed even though the technology existed. So we just started trying to cobble together basically our own solution, and then we realized that there are other people online interested in something similar, and so it sort of evolved into a product company. But again, we started off in a basement, and it was a very small operation then, and we weren’t really thinking of forming this large company at the time. It was just to provide a solution for us as shooters. So we kind of know the plight of the shooter, which I think helps us when it comes to developing products.

Larry Jordan: Your website indicates that you are a leading innovator of on camera monitoring solutions, yet when I go to your website, I’m looking at 32 inch monitors and 24 inch monitors and 17 inch monitors which I really don’t want to have to mount and carry on a camera.

Wes Phillips: Yes, those probably won’t fit on a camera. That actually is relatively new to SmallHD. We’ve got large monitors now which sort of makes you question the name a little bit. Isn’t 32 inches sort of the new small for high definition these days, especially in the home? But we have shifted to production monitors because people have been asking us to make them for a long time, and we wanted to bring our ruggedness and just the way we think about as far as form factor, and utility to the production monitor industry, and so now you can buy an on camera monitor and a production monitor from us and have the same user experience because the menu system is effectively the same. It’s very simple, easy to use and we think that that really helps shooters work more quickly which you know, is everything when you’re on set.

Larry Jordan: That gets to a bigger question. There are a lot of monitor manufacturers out there and if I go to NAB I can’t throw a stick without hitting four of them. What makes your products unique?

Wes Phillips: There are a lot out there and a lot of them offer really great features and stuff, and on paper, sometimes ours don’t even look the best. But like I said, we offer very consistent, really nice user experience, and once people buy and own our products, they really get it, and they’re customers for life. It’s sort of the Apple effect because Apple hardly ever has the fastest hardware for the price, as a lot of its competitors, but people go to Apple and continue buying from Apple because they provide a fantastic user experience. Really, that’s our goal as a company, is to try to make the user experience the best possible experience.

Larry Jordan: One thing I noted on your website is that you’re promoting some of your monitors as being HDR. HDR is defined as more pixels for 4K. Greater saturation and greater brightness.

Wes Phillips: Correct.

Larry Jordan: It’s defined by the Rec. 2020 spec. How much of this do your monitors hit?

Wes Phillips: We are sort of at the mercy of the panel manufacturers, so we don’t make the glass part of the very front of the display. LG or Samsung or Sony or some other company you’ve never heard of, makes that part of the display for us, and then we make the back light section for it, and all the surrounding circuitry and hardware to drive it. So when it comes to the displays, we’re a little bit at the mercy of those making it, and something that you can’t control is the saturation that you’re talking about, that’s called color gamut. And Rec 2020 has a very broad color gamut, and most displays cannot come close to touching 2020 at this point. So it’s sort of a target to shoot for as a general rule. As we move forward, our newer displays have a wider and wider color gamut that goes toward Rec 2020 but it’ll take some time to get there. The brightness, because we can control the back light brightness, we apply that for the HDR displays. We’re able to juice it up well over 1,000 nits, which is more than most of the consumer displays doing HDR can perform. That’s our sweet spot for that, and we do that with 10-bit color depth which is just the number of colors. If you have a higher bit depth, it doesn’t mean that it’s more vivid in any way, it just means that you see less banding in a gradient. So if you have a gradient from one dark gray to a light gray, it just means you’ll see less vertical stripes or banding the more bit depth you have. That’s something that’s important to HDR because of how much range there is. If you had low bit depth, you’d see lots of banding.

Wes Phillips: That’s where we fit. We don’t do 4K displays yet, again because most people on set are not actually transferring 4K signals around set and monitoring on them as a broad rule. It’s still 1080p because there hasn’t become a very common standard for 4K distribution on set yet.

Larry Jordan: So the Rec 2020 spec which defines what HDR is, is a goal and what we’re doing now is we have a series of incremental steps to get to that goal, but we’re not there yet?

Wes Phillips: Correct.

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

Wes Phillips: They can go to smallhd.com and find everything they need.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, smallhd, and Wes Phillips is the CEO and co-founder of SmallHD. Wes, thanks for joining us today.

Wes Phillips: Thank you again.

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is an author, editor, educator and consultant on all things relating to digital video. He’s also a contributing editor for Creative Planet, and Red Sharp News, and best of all, he’s a regular here on The Buzz. Hello Ned, welcome back.

Ned Soltz: Good to be back Larry. Good to be back. I hope you’re nursing that cold along.

Larry Jordan: We will soldier on in spite of our severe illness, I tell you.

Ned Soltz: We’ll make it right?

Larry Jordan: We’ve been talking about everything except cameras today, and with you I wanted to talk about the gear that we attach to DSLR cameras. If I’ve got a DSLR, what gear should I consider adding to it to enable me to shoot better pictures?

Ned Soltz: Well, DSLR and or mirrorless. I like to extend that right now, because so many of these hybrid still video cameras are in the mirrorless range, as opposed to the DSLRs, so I think we need to extend the terminology. But having said that, of course there’s a place for them in production. I don’t think we need to rely upon them quite as much right now since there are smaller dedicated video cameras. But if you are shooting those, usually for perhaps B-roll, perhaps for something on the go, you have to sort of weigh the portability of these cameras against rigging them out so, you know, so Frankenrig to use the term that a lot of people are using, that you actually have something that becomes almost as costly and more cumbersome than a dedicated video camera.

Ned Soltz: But having said that, I think the most important thing, particularly if you’re moving with this, is some form of stabilization. That’s the most critical.

Larry Jordan: What does stabilization mean to you?

Ned Soltz: Stabilization can mean to me the internal stabilization, such as with some of the Sony cameras right now, with the on sensor stabilization. That still isn’t stable enough really for extensive hand held or motion video. That can either mean one of these hand held gimbals which can be in the under $1000 range, but they can be very heavy if you’re trying to hold these things one handed, depending upon the camera and the lens, and a little difficult to balance. Or something like a Ronin, which of course is going to be a little bit more costly, but once you’ve got that balance, you’ve really got the best of all possible movement types of gear for these mirrorless and DSLR cameras. So that’s one thing. I think the stabilization is the most critical.

Ned Soltz: Beyond that, perhaps the cage which will give you some mounting points for microphones and or viewfinders. I hear we just had Wes Phillips on with SmallHD, so with a SmallHD monitor or whatever you’re using as a viewfinder, and lights and a mike, and external power. I think that’s pretty significant, but then some people may want to add a shoulder mount to it, and then you may want to add handles. Oh and then of course the rods to attach those handles. Don’t forget your matte box for light control purposes as well as for mounting filters, because of course small cameras, hand held cameras like this, don’t have ND filters like dedicated video cameras do, so you may need to throw some ND in front of the lens. And you see how it goes on and on and on and it never ends.

Larry Jordan: I was just picturing this erector set with a camera in the middle of it.

Ned Soltz: And that’s what it is. The other thing that I would really caution people about, in terms of kitting these cameras out extensively, is that every time you attach one more item, that’s one more mounting point. That’s one more thing to come loose. That’s one more thing that may need more precise adjustment to be straight or to be level. So I think that we’ve really got to be careful in this extensive kitting. And the other side of that too is, people often look at the very inexpensive Chinese knock off kinds of cages, and mounts. They’re just not as precise. To mention a brand name, nothing is built like a Zacuto. Nothing is priced like a Zacuto. I mean, you get what you pay for. It’s a higher priced item, but it’s an item that lasts. The Redrock micro is also similar to that. It’s something that is a more precision created and milled and fitted item. So I think there are a lot of caveats when kitting out your DSLR or mirrorless camera. But the most important thing is with any kind of movement, some kind of stabilization.

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

Ned Soltz: Well, the best place to go is HYPERLINK “http://www.redsharknews.com” www.redsharknews.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, redsharknews.com and Ned Soltz is a contributing editor there. Ned, as always, a delight chatting. We’ll talk to you soon.

Ned Soltz: It’s a pleasure Larry, thank you.

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 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, 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: Toby Sali has a background in audio technology as well as marketing for visionary brands like Light Panels, and the Open Television Network. Now, Toby is co-owner of BBS Lighting, and marketing their new LED lighting gear. Hello Toby, welcome.

Toby Sali: Hey Larry, how you doing?

Larry Jordan: I am doing great. How did BB&S Lighting get started?

Toby Sali: This company is 17 years old, started in Copenhagen, Denmark. Peter Plesner with 20 years of opera lighting, and Henrique was doing 20 years of world cup and Olympics lighting. They formed a company to do only LED lighting, 17 years ago which is actually kind of scary.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of LED lighting companies out there. Why should someone consider BB&S?

Toby Sali: Well the technology. They started out building lights for Arri, Desisti, Robert Johnson, Robert Juliat, and all the professionals. The first four or five years they went to IBC International show in Amsterdam, and NAB, all the factory guys knew them, all the manufacturers knew them, but no consumers knew them because they built stuff for everybody else. About seven years ago, they started using their own name as Brother, Brother & Son, BB&S Lighting, so that’s what we’ve called it, and we’ve just reincorporated under BB&S Lighting again, and we’re merging our two websites worldwide.

Larry Jordan: So they got their start doing OEM work, manufacturing for others?

Toby Sali: Yes. Very specially worked because they were the only ones who really knew how to power an LED light and get something out of it. I mean it was very difficult back in the beginning to get an LED that actually worked, and they were a terrible color.

Larry Jordan: Yes, well I was going to talk about that, because LEDs were really limited in their color spectrum for a long time. How did that change, and how have these guys addressed it?

Toby Sali: BB&S, Brother, Brother & Son, BBS Lighting is known for having the best white light LED in the business. Against all of our competition. I mean, CNN went out and tested every light on the market place before they rented and bought all their lights for the debates, for the elections this past year. We won. James Cameron’s doing a film right now with Rod Rodriguez, and they checked out all these lights, and they called us up and we didn’t even know we were in the running. They called us up and said “Give us a couple of hundred of these things.” So it’s pretty amazing, but what we’ve done is, we’re over 90 CRI which is really good white color. We don’t do a lot of black, we only have one black color product, and there’s 40 of those on the new Alien spaceship, the new Alien movie coming out next year. Secret sauce there.

Toby Sali: But we’ve gone into remote phosphor and remote phosphor means that we remote the phosphor from the LED itself. The biggest problem over all these years has been as soon as you put electricity into an LED, you start to do a color shift, and you burn the phosphor around the smallest edges, like a chocolate ice cream cone. It drips around the edges. You get too much electricity in there, the heat builds up and it burns right there, and it changes the color of the LED. That’s why no LEDs ever matched. There was nothing, even four, five years ago, they weren’t even the same color, and after three months they’d be a different color again, and you just didn’t know what was going on. So, even the light panels, we went through that whole process of trying to find and buy the right batch of LEDs, buy the best color you could get. With remote phosphor, we’ve remoted the phosphor from the LED, so we use blue LEDs, and then we put the phosphor about anywhere from a quarter of an inch to an inch away from the LED itself. So no heat, no dissipation, no color shift, no flicker, no change, and it works fabulously with all these new cameras and they have really fast chips that are sampling so fast that they’re looking for daylight. it’s not the amount of light, it’s the proper quality of light. So the new cameras can work their best, good magic.

Larry Jordan: I like the idea of separating the phosphor from the LED, that’s very innovative. And for people that want more information, where can they go on the web?

Toby Sali: HYPERLINK “http://www.bbslighting.com” www.bbslighting.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, bbslighting.com and Toby Sali is a co-owner in the company. Toby, thanks for joining us today.

Toby Sali: Hey thank you so much Larry, take care.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Tyler Phillips is the vice-president of product development and marketing for Matthews Studio Equipment. This means that he manages the engineering and tech support teams and helps plan the future product and marketing strategy of the company. Hello Tyler, welcome.

Tyler Phillips: Hey Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: When I started in this industry, Matthews was already legendary in terms of its grip equipment, but for people that may not be familiar, how did Matthews get started?

Tyler Phillips: It goes back about 47 years ago, a gentleman by the name of Roy Isaiah had a small sewing shop. My father met him and they kind of partnered up and started doing a number of things together, including the development of industry standard hardware and after about a year or so of my father working with Roy, Roy decided to go in a different direction and my father bought the company from Roy. Took it to where it is by developing the first folding spring loaded C-stand, many various types of hardware. He also helped standardize what we know now as the baby pin, or five eighths inch pin, and the junior pin, the inch and an eighth pin. Our catalog now has just over 1400 different lighting control, probably a couple of hundred different versions of stands, and menace arms, and jibs and dollies and you name it, if it holds something we have it.

Larry Jordan: Your dad’s blog, which is on the Matthews’ website, reads like a history of grip equipment. You grew up in the industry, I mean you spent your whole life there. What was it like growing up and watching this evolve?

Tyler Phillips: I didn’t spend all my time here but I did go out on my own for a while when I was in college, and I pursued the banking industry which I did ending in high school, throughout college. You know, mid way through college I ended up changing my major from finance into film and television and graduated with a film and TV degree and I almost got a job at NBC. I was offered a job and then my father said, “Wait, what the hell am I going to do? You need to come work for me.” That’s really how we came together, although I did kind of grow up in the shop, I wasn’t here for a lot of my teenage years and half of my college years.

Larry Jordan: Putting your product development hat on, there’s about 283 million pieces of grip equipment in the world. What are the most popular pieces?

Tyler Phillips: Right now, as far as our catalog goes, things like Matthellini clamps and Mafer clamps and now our micro grip line are selling every day into probably over 100 countries in this world. On top of that, things like grid clamps and pipe hangers and bread and butter hardware is an everyday sale for us.

Larry Jordan: As a marketing guy, that’s wonderful news. But as a product development guy, you’ve already got thousands and thousands of pieces of gear in your catalog. You’ve standardized on typical interconnects. What’s left to create?

Tyler Phillips: Well I can kind of hint at where we’re going with it. Yes, there is a standard now, you know, the baby and the junior and the Matthellini clamps and the C clamps and the junior pipe clamps and things like that. We’re working on a system that’s all interchangeable, where you can take a standard C-clamp that may not have a baby or a junior on it, or a Matthellini clamp that may not have a pin that goes, you know, left or right or straight. But we’re working on a system that you can take one clamp and turn it into a junior or a baby, or you can put a right angled pin on it, or you can take a pin and make it six inches instead of three inches. I think that’s probably the direction we’re going to go in in the next year or so.

Larry Jordan: More interchangeability or more convertibility? Is that what I’m hearing?

Tyler Phillips: Yes, more convertibility, more interchangeability.

Larry Jordan: When you’re designing a product, what’s the process? Are you doing clay models, or talking to customers or lathing aluminum? How does it work?

Tyler Phillips: Conceptual starts with one of two things. It’s either we’re working with an industry professional like a key grip. I’ll give an example, like the Max Menace Arm, which is a very popular product for us, was developed by one of the better key grips in the world, Richard Mall. And ten, 12 years ago, him and my father worked together on bringing that to market and still today we work with a variety of dolly grips and key grips to develop together in conjunction things like our new Dutti dolly or the Matthellini clamp which was done by Steve Cardolini and others like that. Today we now have our own product development team which consists of a couple of engineers, my father, myself, our VP of sales and a few other people around the office. Sometimes it starts with a napkin, a couple of beers at a bar, and eventually goes to a CAD system, like solid works, where it gets drawn up and we can tweak it and we can see it in a 3D space. Once we’re happy with the design and solid works, we’ll go ahead and prototype it either on a lathe, or a four axis CNC. We haven’t really got into the 3D printing yet, but it’s something we’re looking into. Really starting with solid works and then going into our machine shop from there, and then we get to test it out. Take it out in the field, hand it off to a few people we trust, get their approval and that’s really the process there.

Larry Jordan: Does product development start with a customer coming to you? Or does it start with you having an idea and you contact a customer to see if they’d be interested?

Tyler Phillips: A little bit of both. My job and part of my passion is to really read what the market trends are. I see lighting control going to let’s say LEDs, you know, maybe they need something smaller, lighter, faster to travel with. Or we may have a customer like a grip or a gaffer or a DP come to us, and say “I need a widget bar that goes this way. Can you do that for me?” We’ll go ahead and make it and prototype it, and if it’s decided among the team here that it has potential, we’ll bring it to market. Or sometimes we’ll just do a few of them for a smaller group of grips or gaffers or DPs.

Larry Jordan: That’s something I never even considered. You’ll do custom work as well as mass production work?

Tyler Phillips: Yes, absolutely. Sometimes that’s where some of our better ideas come from. Or technical parts. We’ll do a one off run for a client, and they’ll come back, and go “Oh man, everybody on set loves this thing and I’ve got people interested. Can I send them to you?” That little one off part maybe turn into a catalog product. But yes, absolutely we’re more than happy to do custom work, whether you want a piece of camera support or a stand that has five legs instead of three legs, or something that’s powder coated in red instead of chromed. Yes, we’re totally open to doing all of that.

Larry Jordan: One of the things you mentioned earlier is that you’re interested in developing better interchangeability and convertibility amongst your gear. What other trends are you watching that might turn into products in the future?

Tyler Phillips: Since I really started heading the product development team, we’ve been focusing on camera support and how to really move the camera faster, safe of course, but faster and make the gear lighter so you can get your shot off a little quicker, and you don’t break your back bringing it up the stairs or you don’t have a problem getting it into your car. Because today everything has to do with mobility as far as the video world. Of course we still have the larger items we sell for the major cinema world, but our focus has really been smaller, lighter, faster when it comes to camera support.

Larry Jordan: What’s your newest toy?

Tyler Phillips: There’s really two that kind of go together. One being the Dutti dolly, which is a very simplistic dolly system that fits in a small case that can go on an airplane, that is capable of being put onto a couple of stands or you can ride it like a skateboard, with a … on it if you want. Or you can put a seat on it and ride it down the middle of a bus aisle or an airplane aisle. And if you want to get really tricky you add our new elevator system to it, which is about a three and a half foot elevation system that uses basic Olympic counterweights to move your camera vertically, so you combine the elevator with the duty dolly, and you get this nice little tracking shot with a little elevation to it. Both of those things are super lightweight and super easy to maintain, and really easy to travel with. We’ve had tremendous feedback with those two products.

Larry Jordan: You’ve been in this industry your whole life. What still makes it fun?

Tyler Phillips: Working with the best of the best grips in the world, or helping somebody bring their product to life. I think that still gives me a ton of passion. Bringing it to market and seeing how people use this stuff. We come up with a product for one use, and then we find out people are using it another way and that is really cool for me to see how people use the gear we make.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to take a look at the gear you have available, where can they go on the web?

Tyler Phillips: The website would be msegrip.com or for social media would be matthewsgrip.

Larry Jordan: That’s msegrip.com and Tyler Phillips is the VP of product development and marketing for Matthews Studio Equipment. Tyler, this has been a fun visit, thank you for your time.

Tyler Phillips: Hey, it’s been a pleasure Larry. Thank you so much.

Larry Jordan: It is an industry filled with toys. Whether we’re dealing with booms that connect microphones to the rest of the production, or we’re dealing with lights or the stands that hold them, or camera supports and skaters and sliders and dollies, it’s a never ending collection of really weird stuff that makes production so much fun. In finding new ways to tell stories with pictures we have to have new gear that makes said story telling possible.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week, Patricia Rattray from MYT Works, Wes Phillips from SmallHD, Ned Soltz of Red Shark News, Toby Sali of BB&S Lighting, Tyler Phillips of Matthews Studio Equipment, and as always, James DeRuvo with DoddleNEWS.

Larry Jordan: There is 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. 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 are provided by Take1 Transcription. Visit Take1.tv to learn how they can help you.
Larry Jordan: Our producer is Debbie Price. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.

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

Digital Production Buzz- December 8, 2016

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Patricia Rattray, Tyler Phillips, Wes Phillips, Ned Soltz, Toby Sali, and James DeRuvo.

  • Dollies and Sliders Born Out of Frustration
  • From the Folks Who Invented the C-Stand
  • Built on a Foundation of Potato Chips
  • The Best Rigs for DSLR Cameras
  • Better LED Lights
  • Our Weekly DoddleNEWS Update

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Guests this Week

Featured Interview #1: Dollies and Sliders Born Out of Frustration

Patricia Rattray
Patricia Rattray, Director of Sales and Marketing, MYT Works, Inc.

MYT Works was born out of frustration with existing camera tools, so they started creating their own dollies, skaters and sliders. Patricia Rattray is their director of sales and marketing and joins us this week to talk about her company and their camera support gear.

Featured Interview #2: From the Folks Who Invented the C-Stand

Tyler Phillips
Tyler Phillips, Vice President Product Development & Marketing, Matthews Studio Equipment

The C-stand was invented by Matthews Studio Equipment, along with much of the grip equipment we use every day. Tyler Phillips, VP product development and marketing, takes us on a tour of their history, some of their most popular products and the trends he’s watching for the future.

Built on a Foundation of Potato Chips

Wes Phillips
Wes Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, SmallHD

SmallHD got its start by winning the Doritos Superbowl Contest – twice. From that financial investment, they created a company specializing in high-quality camera monitors, as Wes Phillips, CEO and co-founder, explains.

The Best Rigs for DSLR Cameras

Ned Soltz
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Red Shark News, Ned Soltz Inc.

DSLR cameras are good for doing video work but what does it take to make them GREAT? Ned Soltz, contributing editor to Red Shark News, shares his thoughts tonight about the rest of the gear you need to make your DSLR camera really shine!

Better LED Lights

Toby Sali
Toby Sali, Co-Owner, BBS Lighting

BBS LIGHTING is a leading international manufacturer and developer of high-end LED lighting for television, theatre and movie production lighting. Co-owner Toby Sali joins us tonight to describe what they do and why we should consider their gear for our next shoot.

DoddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

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 presents our weekly DoddleNEWS Update.