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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – January 26, 2017

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Emma Dewing, Ballerina/Yoga Instructor/Singer, Soundcloud
Patrick Vest, Fight Choreographer, Shakespeare by the Sea
Meline Tovmasian, Choreographer, melinetovmasian.com
Robert Salas, Artistic Director, Movement Theatre CoLab
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Networks
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

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Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we are talking about dance and choreography. We start with Emma Dewing, a former professional ballerina, and now choreographer, about the process and challenges of creating dances for aspiring dancers while still keeping them safe.

Larry Jordan: Next, Meline Tovmasian is a dancer, choreographer and teacher who talks about the art in choreography and her specialty, Bollywood and belly dancing.

Larry Jordan: Next, Robert Salas is the artistic director of the Movement Theater, who shares his thoughts on movement techniques and engaging the attention of the audience.

Larry Jordan: Next, rhythm and music underlies all dance, so musician Scott Page shares his thoughts on last week’s huge musical trade show, NAMM.

Larry Jordan: Next, fighting for stage and film is another form of dance, and fight choreographer Patrick Vest takes us behind the scenes of training actors for a stage fight.

Larry Jordan: All this, plus James DeRuvo with this week’s DoddleNEWS update. The Buzz starts now.

Male voice: Action.

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: 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’s show is about dance, choreography and its corollary, music. As we were planning this week’s show, we went searching for choreographers to interview and we discovered that there are as many different styles of dance as there are different styles in music. So tonight’s show represents a variety of different approaches to dance.

Larry Jordan: We start with classical ballet, move into modern dance, and end with fight choreography. Like I said, dance covers a lot of territory.

Larry Jordan: By the way, in a bit of background on our first guest, Emma Dewing started dancing at the age of three and became a professional ballerina at the age of 16, only to suffer a career ending injury that same year. Rather than give up her love of dance, she changed focus and became a choreographer, dedicated to helping young dancers succeed. You’ll learn more about her in our lead interview this evening.

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 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: Well hello Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: I am talking to you, I am doing great. What’s the news today?

James DeRuvo: Well we had a big merger this week as KitSplit bought CameraLends, creating one of the largest peer to peer camera rental portals in the world.

Larry Jordan: Where is KitSplit based? I have never heard of them before.

James DeRuvo: I’d never heard about them either, and they’re kind of all over. They have local warehouses in major cities like New York and LA. They’re known as the Airbnb of the camera rental market. It was a huge shakeup, but for CameraLends customers, if you’re really into renting your gear in CameraLends or you’re a gear rental person, you don’t have to worry about anything changing. All of your information has been migrated over to KitSplit. You’ll be able to log in with your old password, and the only problem you might have is that not every area has a KitSplit location. They’re beta testing how to work that out, so they’re going to be bringing those areas online over time.

Larry Jordan: What else have we got?

James DeRuvo: This one really stunned me. Only ten months ago, DJI had announced the Phantom 4 quadcopter, with its 4K live streaming, it was a really big splash. They did this big live stream over the web that was worldwide in four or five different locations. They killed it this week. The Phantom 4 is no longer being made. It’s being replaced by the Phantom 4 Pro, so it’s kind of just an upgrade, and so they’re not going to make the standard model any more. It kind of makes me wonder if the Phantom 5 is going to be coming really soon. They also discontinued the Phantom 3, and for those looking to buy a Phantom 4 Mavic Pro now, you’d better do it right now, because DJI is about to close down production for about three weeks in observance of Chinese New Year. Stock is going to be limited for a while, so there’s no time like the present to buy a DJI drone if you’re wanting to get into aerial cinematography.

Larry Jordan: Do you see this as streamlining or as simply upgrading from the 4 to the 4 Pro?

James DeRuvo: The answer is yes. I honestly think it’s both. The Phantom 3 was getting old anyway. The Phantom 4 Pro is a lot better, you get 4K 60 and a lot of better features, and DJI just bought Hasselblad, so I’m sure the Phantom 5 might have some of those micro four thirds features that might be able to come with it. So I think it’s a combination of streamlining and the fact that people have to decide between the Phantom 4 and the Phantom 4 Pro and the Mavic Pro. Let’s just weather it out, streamline it , get it down to our best drone and move forward, and I think that’s what they’re doing. Plus with the closing down of the production line for the next three weeks, they’re probably going to use that time to retool, and I think it’s a good idea. It just came out of nowhere, nobody was expecting it.

Larry Jordan: OK, what else have we got?

James DeRuvo: There’s this really cool new virtual reality camera called the TwoEyes and it calls itself the world’s first 4K, 3D virtual reality camera. Did you ever see the movie Wall-E?

Larry Jordan: Yes.

James DeRuvo: The cute little robot. Well the camera itself kind of looks like the head of Wall-E. It’s got four fisheye lenses, two in the front, two in the back, so that it can do a 360 binocular 3D virtual reality experience. Or, if you turn it to a vertical position, it can go as a single eye, 360 mode. So you can do a standard 360 that you can get with like the Ricoh Theta S, or the Samsung Gear VR, or you can turn it horizontally and you can do a 3D binocular 4K 360. It’s got a built in giro sensor, it switches the modes automatically, and it’s really cool. And it will also record in conventional 3D so you can get that red blue overlay kind of thing for regular 3D. So they just finished their Kickstarter campaign, and raised like five times the amount they were looking for, and it’s a really cool little 3D virtual reality camera for 360 video.

Larry Jordan: Very cool. James, for people that need more information, where can they go on the web to learn more?

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

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the senior writer for Doddlenews.com and returns with our weekly news update next week. We’ll talk to you in a week.

James DeRuvo: OK Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

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Larry Jordan: Emma Dewing is a former ballerina, now she teaches and choreographs aspiring dancers. She teaches ballet, point, partnering, yoga and acro. She’s also a singer songwriter, and is working on her first album. Hello Emma, welcome.

Emma Dewing: Hi, thank you so much for having me.

Larry Jordan: Emma, I was looking at your resume. You began as a ballerina. Why did you make the transition to choreography?

Emma Dewing: I began as a ballerina pretty young, did it my whole life. I turned professional at 16, ended up getting an injury that was pretty fatal to my career to my shins, and all that strenuous training. So I decided at that moment to never give it up, and my way of continuing was to give back to the next generation by teaching and choreographing, and it was a great way for me to still be involved after that injury happened, because when I got injured, I was 16 and that was the first year I turned professional. So it was the most exciting time, and also the most crushing because I had just made pro, and then it just got taken away in a blink of an eye. So choreography was a great way to still be a part of that world and feel like I’m still able to dance in a way.

Larry Jordan: So what type of choreography do you do?

Emma Dewing: I mostly choreograph ballet, that’s my dance of choice. I choreograph modern ballet as well, but the majority I’m working with young girls and we’re choreographing for things like ballet competitions, recitals, showcases. So it’s usually to classical music which I grew up with because of ballet, so I’m a little biased and love it, but it’s also really fun to bring in modern ballet and have lyrics and words and really be able to create a story through our dance and our movement.

Larry Jordan: So the director says to you, “Emma, we need a dance right here.” How do you start the choreography process?

Emma Dewing: For me, because I am so musical, I really need to listen to the song first, and once I listen to the song, I can really grasp what is the story behind it. Everything needs to be a story because essentially dancers are actors without words. So, once I kind of get a feel for the song and the mood, I really like to discuss it with my dancers. “What does this song make you feel? What is your story, what do you want to say today?” Because when it’s coming from them, it’s so much more organic and real because they have something that they want to express, and you can really grasp that when they start to move. So I always like to start with the music and then always have an open discussion with my dancers.

Larry Jordan: How long does it take to create a dance, and how much time do you need for rehearsals?

Emma Dewing: Creating a dance could take anywhere from maybe an hour to months. It kind of depends on what we’re working on and who I’m working with. I’ve gone into the studio and we’ve jammed it out and totally had all these ideas, and it just works and flows. Other times it’s like a really slow process, and we have to come back to it every day, be really meticulous. So a lot of times for rehearsals, if it’s a show, we’ll start rehearsing as far back as a year ahead and do rehearsals weekly. As a dancer, you’re really preparing quite ahead of time before the actual shows.

Larry Jordan: Well that gets me into an interesting point. If you’re on a tight deadline, and a director says, “We need a dance here,” how do you get it done quickly, and more importantly, how do you get it done safely?

Emma Dewing: First of all, safely. It’s super important to always start warming up your dancers, and obviously our bodies are instruments, so making sure that my dancers’ bodies are in a condition to bust out intense choreography is my most important thing. So once I get them all warmed up, and we have to crank out a dance real fast, usually movement motivates other movement, so if I could just think of a peak point of my dance, a big leap, a lift or something with a bigger expression, and then I can build smaller movement down from there, and that peak movement is the motivation for the whole dance. That’s a great way for me to be able to categorize it, and just say, “OK, this is where we’re moving from,” and it allows me to get things done a little bit quicker. But it definitely is a task to bust out a dance. I feel like when you’re living in the dance studio though, it’s sort of natural and you’re used to constantly coming up with new movements, so it can be a process, but there’s definitely deadlines that you have to make being a dancer and it just comes with the territory of knowing, “OK, when do I say no? When do I say I need to stop and this is finished?” Like when you’re doing a painting. A painter keeps going over it a million times. There comes a point where you have to step back and see what you created, and realize it’s finished.

Larry Jordan: One of my favorite adages is “If it wasn’t for deadlines, nothing would ever get done.”

Emma Dewing: So true.

Larry Jordan: How do you keep a dance approachable for a general audience because it’s easy for dance to get really esoteric?

Emma Dewing: It is, and I think that’s a big thing for me because my love for dance was so young, and my peers never understood it. So I always wanted to create pieces that would touch people that maybe are not aware of dance, or they don’t understand it. So if we can create a dance that’s a little bit more mainstream, so maybe that means picking a song that’s more relatable, that people sing at home, so they come to the dance and they feel a sense of comfort and they can relate to that because they know that song. Or maybe the story is what’s relatable. Maybe it’s something emotional or romantic, and your story is so tangible for other people to understand that it doesn’t matter that the song’s complicated and unheard of, or the dancers so new and innovative. All that doesn’t matter because the story is what connects the audience to the dance.

Larry Jordan: So what advice do you have for directors who want to work with a choreographer?

Emma Dewing: I think a huge thing with dance is really communicating what the goal is and for directors working with choreographers, a lot of times you’ll have totally different visions of things. I think it’s super important to have that conversation where you’re both on the same page before you begin the process of choreographing and working with other dancers.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to hire you as the choreographer of their next project, where can they go on the web to learn more about you?

Emma Dewing: Right now, I really run all my social media through my Instagram, and that’s turned into like a little job for me because I’ve been getting work through that, so my name’s Emmadewing on Instagram and that’s where I promote anything upcoming with my dance and my music, and all that.

Larry Jordan: So that’s Instagram, Emmadewing, a ballerina, a yoga instructor and a choreographer. Emma Dewing, thanks for joining us today.

Emma Dewing: Thank you so much, I really do appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: Meline Tovmasian is an LA based dancer and artist who joined SAG-AFTRA in the late 1990s. In 2003, she received her certificate in choreography from Glendale Community College and she’s currently teaching ballet dancing. Hello Meline, welcome.

Meline Tovmasian: Hello, thank you for having me Larry.

Larry Jordan: It’s my pleasure. I’m looking forward to this conversation, and to start, what first got you interested in dancing?

Meline Tovmasian: I actually grew up listening to all different styles of music, and my mom loved belly dancing and Bollywood. That was the top two things that we’d watch on some of the old movies, growing up. There was something that was just so exciting about that movement that drew me into that world, and as a kid I would mimic all the Bollywood moves and all the belly dance moves, and it was just something that naturally I just loved. It’s funny because you’d think being Armenian I would be drawn to the Armenian dance, which I still did, it was part of you, but I don’t know, there was something about that style that I just loved and gave me energy and was very exciting and fun. There was something about the breathing, the isolation that belly dance did for me, and it’s such a feminine dance, a sensual dance, that I just felt stronger and beautiful and confident again. So now I’m teaching at different places, and it’s really exciting to get back my body again and feel strong. It’s an amazing art form that I think everybody should try out at least once.

Larry Jordan: You’ve been choreographing for almost 15 years. How do you approach creating a dance, and do you do the dance just for yourself or do you choreograph others as well?

Meline Tovmasian: Choreography would almost come to me in my dreams. I would see visions, I would see a picture, like a movie, like a string of events, beginning middle and end. It was a story for me. You know, with dance you tell a story with your body and there’s not a lot of talking or singing. But you have to communicate with your hands and your legs and your face and your body. For me it was like, “How do I express myself to others and to see the picture that I see in my head?” That’s always difficult sometimes because there’s some things that you have an idea of that maybe some people can’t execute. I would just throw it out there, and say “OK, I want you to do this, and I want you to do this, and I want you to do this, and let’s put it all together.” When really skilful dancers would come through and execute the movements, it would be so exciting to see it come to life. All my projects were like my babies, the way I would nurture it and begin it with small movements, and then add to it, and then it would grow into this piece. I was amazed and “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I just did that.” I choreographed this piece and it’s so beautiful now and I would just want to watch it over and over again. That’s when I knew that I loved to choreograph and it was almost like a director, you know? You’re directing a movie and you’re looking at your artists breathing this character and you’re guiding them and they bring it to life, and it becomes like your little baby growing up. So that alone has been such a rewarding part of choreography because it’s on a DVD, and they see it all over, at all of our parties and concerts. I’m always excited when they start doing my moves. Does that answer your question?

Larry Jordan: Have you done choreography for film and TV, or has it all been for the stage and live performance?

Meline Tovmasian: Yes, it’s been more for schools. I’ve worked for Montessori schools. I’ve worked for stage, theater, and I’ve only done the DVD that I’m part of with a children’s show. I haven’t branched out to the TV and film market. I just got busy, I love stage and live theater, so I’ve been in that world for a while. I’ve been in TV and films as an actor, and some dance stuff, but I haven’t really tapped into that market yet.

Larry Jordan: Are the dances that you do your own design, or are you working with a director? If so, how do you merge your vision with his or her vision?

Meline Tovmasian: We have to compromise our artistic vision, so sometimes I might want one way and they want a different way, but I like to be on the same page and make sure we both have the same ideas. Let’s say I want to end it a certain way and they don’t like that, I’ve had that happen for a piece, I always try to meet on middle ground. I don’t want it to lose what my meaning is behind, say the ending, so I will try to work it out with the director to make sure that we both understand what my intentions are, and to make sure that they understand it’s not against what they want. So I try to work well with others, and we all play in the playground and have fun, and as long as it’s creative and brings a point across. I do my best to make sure we both are on the same level, artistically.

Larry Jordan: What should a director keep in mind when they’re working with a choreographer? What information do you need?

Meline Tovmasian: That’s an interesting question because I would say you work with the dancer because originally choreographers are dancers, and we use our body to send a message and communicate with the audience. Sometimes it’s a little different than when using words. You work with a dancer, and you know how the dancers express themselves with their movement. Just to be a little bit more understanding that sometimes a movement to a dancer is internal, and there come emotions and dancers are sensitive and emotional people, and they tend to do moves that are not maybe the same as a pedestrian moves. Then there are some pieces that are more pedestrian and some directors will understand how to communicate with a dancer. So, I guess just getting to know the person, and knowing how to approach them, and talking to them.

Larry Jordan: If you were to give one suggestion to a new director who’s directing their very first dance scene, what would that suggestion be?

Meline Tovmasian: To be patient with choreographers because the process in their head is, for me, there’s so many images and visions that come with a dance that sometimes you can’t fully explain to an actor if you’re doing a musical or production. I feel sometimes the break down part of choreography’s a little different than if you were sitting with a monolog or a dialog with an actor because it’s all short themes. With choreography, it’s a bigger picture and sometimes it comes altogether, and sometimes you improve and freestyle and get ideas. If you see something when the dancer’s moving, and you think “Wait a minute, you know what? I really want to add that in here.” It doesn’t all come at once, sometimes it’s in waves. So to be patient, and to trust the process that it’s all going to look good in the end, and to know that there’s a different type of expressive execution to dancers and choreographers than with an actor, or even a singer. They’re all connected, they’re all creative, but I feel like when you choreograph something, it takes time and as dancers move constantly about repetition and then cleaning it up, and then changing it a little bit. Sometimes writing is like that. When you write, you keep working on it and you change it and then you don’t need it, and you start over. So I would say patience is the biggest one, and to be open and understanding that it’s not always going to be just the way it is when they start it off. It’s going to evolve and change.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to hire you to do the choreography on their next film, where can they go on the web to learn more about you?

Meline Tovmasian: They can go to melinetovmasian.com, and they can check out my YouTube channel at Meli Belli Show.

Larry Jordan: That website is all one word, melinetovmasian.com. Meline Tovmasian is an actor, a dancer, and an artist who’s been doing choreography for the last 15 years. Meline, thanks for joining us today.

Meline Tovmasian: Thank you so much Larry Jordan. You’re awesome. Great interviewer.

Larry Jordan: Robert Salas is a choreographer and dance instructor at Moorpark College, who specializes in Laban and Somatic techniques, as a means of teaching and choreographing expression. He’s also the artistic director of Movement Theater CoLab which is a contemporary dance company. Hello Robert, welcome.

Robert Salas: Hello, how are you?

Larry Jordan: Robert, this evening we are talking about dance and choreography. How do you design a dance to tell a story?

Robert Salas: Very interesting. My approach to dance making was heavily influenced by my experience as an actor. I was a theater major early on, and then switched over to dance shortly after entering college. My process again is inspired by character analysis, looking at the inner workings of the individual, a particular concept idea and building movement around that , and using improvisation for a portion of that to get to the crux of the situation or the narrative that I’m particularly working on.

Larry Jordan: Dance can sometimes be pretty esoteric. How do you keep dance approachable for a general audience?

Robert Salas: That’s a very interesting question, and a difficult one I think to understand and to comment on. One, obviously, is dealing with performance based techniques that are easily accessible to the audience like for example ballet techniques, certain earlier modern works that deal with expression that audiences can tap into. Some of the more current techniques, the improvisation contemporary techniques are used, utilize some somatics, where the emphasis is really on dancers’ experience with the movement. Some audience members appreciate the discovery, and view that, so again it depends on the individual’s personal likings. That would definitely, as a choreographer, look to create works that speak to me as a choreographer, with the idea and hopes that they would gather an audience as well. Or entertain an audience I should say.

Larry Jordan: Well, you mentioned the word technique a couple of times and in your intro I mentioned that you teach Laban and Somatic techniques. How would you define each of those?

Robert Salas: Somatics technique is, very simply put, a field and body work and movement studies which emphasize the internal physical perception and experience. Some techniques, non dance, are Alexander technique, … so the dance focuses on the dancer’s internal sensation, their exploration, and contrast to performance technique. It really is for the performer and their exploration of their body and their mind in a particular work.

Larry Jordan: You’re also a photographer. What advice would you give to someone who’s filming a dance? What angles should they look at?

Robert Salas: It’s very difficult. The photographer definitely should see a rehearsal of the work and look at the lines that are created by the work. Look through the piece for the moments that are exciting, explosive or focusing on the individual’s acting, their expression. The most important part is capturing that, and I would recommend using, for digital cameras, a high ISO, 3200, 6400 depends on the kind of camera you have, and finding a very fast lens. A 2.8, 80 to 100 if you’re Nikon, 80 to 70 if it’s Canon. So that allows more light and allows you to stop the action to find those spectacular moments where the dancer’s leaping in the air with his legs perfectly straight in a grand jete.

Larry Jordan: There’s so much that we can talk about, from specific techniques for dancers, to specific techniques for photography. For people that want to keep track of the work that you’re doing, where can they go on the web?

Robert Salas: A web page they can go to is actually connected to my Facebook. They can go to Facebook, Movement Theatre CoLab which will take them to our particular page and shows the photography of the movements, the workshops and intensives that we present there and so forth.

Larry Jordan: That’s on Facebook, and it’s Movement Theatre CoLab and Robert Salas is a choreographer and the artistic director of Movement Theatre CoLab. Robert, thanks for joining us today.

Robert Salas: Thank you so very much for this wonderful opportunity. You have a good one.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Scott Page is a musician, technologist and serial entrepreneur. He currently serves as CEO of Ignited Network, a mobile broadcast network focused on content creators. And he’s widely toured as a professional musician. Hello Scott, welcome back.

Scott Page: Hi Larry. Great to be back, I always love doing your show buddy.

Larry Jordan: We always love having you on.

Scott Page: Thanks.

Larry Jordan: Put your musician hat on. Forget this Network business, let’s talk about the fun stuff which is creating music.

Scott Page: Let’s do it.

Larry Jordan: I attended my first NAMM in a long long time last week. Now NAMM stands for the National Association of Music Merchants. The first room I walked into must have been 50,000 square feet crammed with thousands of musicians all playing electric guitars at full volume. It redefined cacophony. What is this show?

Scott Page: I know, it’s crazy. I actually took a few people for the first time this year too, and it has just grown into this monstrous thing. It’s really hard to see. People think “Oh, I’m going to show up in the afternoon, around noon, and walk around the show.” It literally takes you three to four days to walk around the whole thing, it is just monstrous, and it is loud like you said. You’re totally competing with everything that’s out there. Man you got drums going, guitars going, saxophones going, it’s crazy.

Larry Jordan: I have to admit that when I saw the saxes I instantly thought of you.

Scott Page: Oh thanks.

Larry Jordan: The saxes, the violins, and the brass were in the back, in a corner, in a dark, in a small itty bitty little room that actually you could hear yourself think. The rest of the place was beyond noisy.

Scott Page: Yeah, it’s a tough show. It’s fantastic to go to, but one of the things I recommend for everyone if you’re going to go to NAMM, make sure you focus on doing your research and figuring out what you want to go see, otherwise you’re just completely overwhelmed. There’s no trade show like that ever in the entire world that I’ve ever seen, it’s crazy.

Larry Jordan: Before we get carried away, you’ve been going to NAMM for a long time, and you wear a musician’s hat for all your life. What caught your eye as you walked the show?

Scott Page: I always look to try to find specific things. I was on the hunt. I’ve never used any in-ear monitors, so I was out looking for those, and there’s some incredible ones out there, and you can spend nearly $2,000 plus on those, and I ran into a company that’s called One More, and they have these little triple driver in-ear headphones, and they’re 99 bucks, and they are incredible. They are insane the way they sound. I love those. I saw those and I fell in love with them, had to get a pair. Also, there’s a couple of other things that were interesting. Aspen Pittman Designs, builds a very interesting little amp. It’s like a little stereo speaker in one cabinet, and it was amazing. It sounded like your stereo from all over the room, but it was actually coming out of one cabinet. Great little audio PA system for artists to be able to work the room and it sounded great. I love that thing.

Scott Page: The other thing was, as I was really looking for different types of microphones that I could run through USB into my phone, I ran into … at DDG 650, which is an incredible little mike package. Really set up for people to plug directly into either their cell phone or into any kind of USB and it was really cool. So those are the few things that I saw that I really liked, and there was a ton of stuff there, but those caught my ear.

Larry Jordan: You’re really focused on social media. What was the buzz on social media surrounding NAMM?

Scott Page: It’s like a circus right? Everybody’s posting, so there was a lot of noise going out there online in the social world. People are starting to see how that works a lot more, you know, tons of pictures, videos. Everybody out there’s a broadcaster so you can imagine, you’ve got how many people there, about 100,000? Is that what they say?

Larry Jordan: Yes.

Scott Page: So you got 100,000 broadcasters, posting content. It’s a pretty big deal. So it was pretty wild.

Larry Jordan: We had a chance around the first of the year to talk about your projections for 2017. It was revolving around a conversation of artificial intelligence generated music. Now that you’ve been to NAMM are there new trends you’re keeping an eye on?

Scott Page: I’m really focused on the AI space because I think that’s an incredible opportunity. At the same time it can be incredibly frightening for the music community, especially now that they’ve got these AI engines being able to completely create scores. There’s one in 15 minutes you can do a complete score to a movie. I think as it starts to get fed more data, they’re going to become more realistic. So probably the new trend, I would suggest to many artists, or composers and arrangers, is to really look at how to write algorithms that actually make this stuff. So these new types of music are going to be actually built by creating algorithms believe it or not. But there’s no question the buzz is out there. So it’s really important for composers, and I think arrangers, and anybody out there that this technology is moving things so quickly. As we spoke, they’re talking about jobs, 47 percent of all jobs are susceptible to this area, so my advice to anybody out there is to start getting educated as quick as possible and start learning how these things can be used and taken advantage of to move your career forward.

Larry Jordan: The only thing is Scott, if somebody was interested in mathematics, they wouldn’t be a composer in the first place. Where would you suggest somebody who’s been allergic to tech learn how to deal with this so that they can preserve their career? Where do they go?

Scott Page: It’s called Google. Virtually everything you need to find is online. This will connect you, and it sounds simple, but it really is. Just start asking Google questions, start learning and start following the people that are really in the know, because what’s nice is, everybody’s out there giving their information right now. There’s tons of blogs and thought leaders in these spaces, so just start typing that stuff in, start finding people and start finding those people talking and blogging about this particular subject. There’s going to be opportunities and at the same time you don’t want to be left out in the cold as this starts to happen.

Larry Jordan: For people who want to follow your thoughts, where can they go on the web?

Scott Page: They can go to either Iamscottpage.com and or Ignited.live which is our application for signing up for our network.

Larry Jordan: The last one is Ignited.live.

Scott Page: Dot live.

Larry Jordan: And the first one is…

Scott Page: Iamscottpage.com.

Larry Jordan: And Scott Page himself is the voice you’ve been listening to. Scott, thanks for joining us today.

Scott Page: Thanks Larry, great talking to you.

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

Larry Jordan: Patrick Vest is an actor, a director and a fight choreographer. He earned his MFA in acting from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He started choreographing fights when he moved to Los Angeles, and he’s currently a company member of Shakespeare By The Sea, Little Fish Theater and the New American Theater Company. Hello Patrick, welcome.

Patrick Vest: Hi Larry, thanks.

Larry Jordan: What first got you interested in acting?

Patrick Vest: I think I was 15 when I discovered I couldn’t hit a baseball, and I had nothing to do one summer, and my parents had a friend who was a teacher directing at a community theater, and he said, “Hey, we’re doing a play, you want to come do it?” I played Huckleberry Finn in Tom Sawyer, and that was it, I was hooked.

Larry Jordan: It’s amazing the impact high school drama has on so many actors.

Patrick Vest: Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: Acting is one thing, and standing on stage and getting all the applause is another. But why did you decide to get into fight work?

Patrick Vest: When I was 18 actually I played Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and that was the first time I got to fight on stage. That was when I was like, “This is really cool, this is what I want to do.” Not only fighting, but Shakespeare. So over the years I’ve done over 40 Shakespeare products, and a lot of those you get to fight which is cool. Then when I went to get my Masters degree as you mentioned at Alabama Shakes, we had intensive training with the Society of American Fight Directors, where it’s like months of intensive training to get certified in unarmed combat, and in broadsword, and in rapier and dagger. I really took to it, and I loved the nuts and bolts of it as well. I love fighting, and then adding that to it, I just really got excited about the storytelling aspects of fighting, and just the fun of it.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk about storytelling in a minute, but let’s go back to this training. What’s the training about? Is it like learning how to fight?

Patrick Vest: Yes, it’s learning everything. Soup to nuts. SAFD, the Society of American Fight Directors, they’re the top when it comes to fight choreography and certifying people and making sure it’s safe. When you get those three disciplines which I got, I became an acknowledged actor combatant in the Society of American Fight Directors. It’s a good six, seven hours a day where you take some time learning about how to take care of the sword, all the parts of a sword, that kind of thing. Learning different stretches, and then learning how to safely fight, how to parry, attack, pull hair and gauge eyes and everything you can think of with those disciplines. Then, at the end of it, you have a scene with a partner. What is great about it is any scene with conflict, you can add a fight. So you pick any scene from anything, movies, TV, plays, and you fight with your partner. It integrates the play into the actual fight as if it was on stage, and then you get certified or not.

Larry Jordan: Let’s talk about this safety. If you’re gauging eyes and pulling hair, I suspect the person whose hair is being pulled and eyes being gauged is not particularly happy about this? So how do you keep people safe?

Patrick Vest: First of all, the most fun is having that stuff done to you. I played Gloucester and had my eyes put out, and it was great. Getting hit is always more fun than hitting in stage combat, because it’s not real. It’s authentic but not real.

Larry Jordan: How do you differentiate?

Patrick Vest: I think in acting and in theater in general, we’re aiming for authenticity, and not reality because in reality a fight, it’s not very interesting to watch. It’s too fast, you can’t tell what’s going on. It’s sloppy, it doesn’t do much. What we’re trying to create is something that’s plausible and authentic without being real, without actually hurting anybody. And slow enough that the eye can see it.

Larry Jordan: Slow enough so the eye can see it?

Patrick Vest: Yes, you go see plays and if it’s going too fast, sometimes you’ll see a fight and it’s like, “Wow, that was hectic.” The goal is to have it read from the stage like anything, and if it’s too fast you can’t see it.

Larry Jordan: So how do you determine what’s safe?

Patrick Vest: If we’re having a sword fight say, I make sure that the sword never crosses the eyeline, the faceline at any point because that’s the most dangerous thing is a sword putting somebody’s eye out. So we make sure that that’s the first thing you tell them. Then you create a fight, and you do it very slowly and meticulously and you rehearse and you rehearse and you rehearse and you’re building up speed very slowly, throughout the process. You check in with each other, you check in with the actors and before each show you have a fight call so that they can just check in. You do it, you watch it, you do it a few times, and then they’re ready when they get on stage.

Larry Jordan: In tonight’s show, we’re talking about dance, and it sounds very much like choreographing a fight is very similar to choreographing a dance?

Patrick Vest: I think there are a lot of similarities, although I can’t dance at all, so I don’t know why that is. I think it may be there’s an automatic sort of binary construct in fighting, so it makes more sense to me, that this person is swinging here, so I have to block here. Whereas in dance, like trying to count numbers while music is happening, I’m lost.

Larry Jordan: So your actors aren’t actually counting? They’re really just acting and reacting?

Patrick Vest: Some actors like the numbered system. There are numbers of parries, one, two, three, four, five etcetera. So I’ll give them that. But in general, when I choreograph a fight, I’m saying, “Alright, you’re attacking his tricep here. You’re attacking to his thigh there.” And those are the targets in general. It’s overhead cuts, triceps and thighs. That’s what I’m thinking, so how we do we get there? For me it’s more visceral that way and it takes on a life of its own a little more than just, “Alright, four, three, five, two.”

Larry Jordan: What do you do if you have an actor who has to have a fight scene but has limited ability or hasn’t been trained in fighting? How do you deal with that?

Patrick Vest: Yes, and that happens. As a director I know you don’t cast people because they fight well, you cast them because they embody the character. The first thing I do when I am doing a fight, if I’m not directing, is I go to the director and ask what they want from it, so we create that. The second thing I do is get together with the actors and just find out how they move. It shows up pretty early that people can’t move or they can. If you have a Romeo that can’t fight, you’re in trouble. You shorten fights or whatever. I’ve been pretty lucky in that I’ve had to take a sword out of a couple of people’s hands in group fights, but I haven’t had to do that with any of my leads so far.

Larry Jordan: You mentioned earlier the idea of stories, so I’m setting up the answer to this. What makes a fight scene successful?

Patrick Vest: I believe that from the moment the lights go up, everything you see on stage should tell a story. Then maybe in intermission you give them a breather, but every other second tells a story. If you go and see a play and a fight is just happening, and it seems like “Oh well, this is just where they fight,” then the choreographer’s not doing his job in my opinion. What weapons are they using? How many people are involved? What’s the final outcome? How do we want to create the tension of the fight? and you’ve got to marry it to the super objective, just like all your character objectives.

Larry Jordan: You’ve talked a lot about choreographing fights for the stage where it’s a live event, and the audience is watching. How would you change your choreography if you were filming it?

Patrick Vest: It’s interesting, I was just thinking about that. I’ve never done any film or television fighting. What bothers me when I watch a fight on film or television is when it’s too close or too dark and you can’t see anything. You watch those Errol Flynn movies, or as you mentioned, the Princess Bride. These are grand fights that are fantastic to watch. Then you watch something like the original Batman where it’s so dark and there’s so many jump cuts, and so much stuff that you just can’t tell what’s going on. I would probably take what I know, which is a bigger sweeping arc and try to make that work.

Larry Jordan: But sometimes jump cuts and darkness hide flaws in the fight that maybe the director wants to hide?

Patrick Vest: That’s very true.

Larry Jordan: You’re getting ready to start a new show, and you’re meeting with the director. The director says, “We need to do a fight here.” What do you need to hear from the director, and what does the director need to hear from you?

Patrick Vest: I say, “Alright, who’s fighting? What’s the story?” I read the play, but I just want to know from them what’s the story they’re telling in the fight. Who needs to win? How do they need to win? What’s the tone of the fight? Is it funny, is it serious? Is it a set piece? Is it just something like a slap? So all those things. You figure out what kind of weapons do you want? Do you want disarmed? Are there other people who are coming into it? So you just figure out the logistics of that from the director and then you talk about it, and then you put together a fight and you show the director and they say, “Yeah, that’s kind of what I want,” or “Not what I want,” or “How about this?” and then you just work from there.

Larry Jordan: How much time would you want to choreograph a fight, assuming that the actors are competent but they’re principally actors, not fighters?

Patrick Vest: I work with Shakespeare by the Sea as you mentioned, and we have a fight day where it’s six hours where we put the fights in. Just one Saturday, early on in the rehearsal process. We put the fight in and we have four or five fights that day, or whatever, and that’s just the base. So we get a base there, and then we come back, they remember it. What they do remember, what they don’t remember. You build on it from there with as much time as you can get. But generally you get most of it done in that creation process, in that first day. Then things that work or don’t work you can sub out. You tweak it and make it safer and more fun as you go along.

Larry Jordan: If there was one thing you wanted a director to know about a fight scene, what would that be?

Patrick Vest: The first thing is, always to damper their expectations of it being done, because a lot of times they want to see what it’s going to look like immediately, so it’s a very gradual process. You’re going to see a very slow fight right now that’s not representative necessarily of what it’s going to be. It’s very important to lay that out there, because a lot of times directors just want it to be there. Let’s go, it’s got to be done, but that’s not how it works. It’s a slow process and it’s going to build over time and it’ll get faster, and sometimes directors get worried about the time a fight might take out of the time that they have, that kind of thing. It’s all going to pick up, so just kind of setting that expectation is important with first time directors of fights.

Larry Jordan: For people that have decided they need to hire you to be their next fight choreographer, where can they go on the web to see your work, and track you down?

Patrick Vest: The best place to do is my Facebook fan page. Do a search for Patrick Vest and you’ll find my actor director page there. You can also find me on Shakespearebythesea.org.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, Shakespearebythesea.org.

Patrick Vest: Correct.

Larry Jordan: Patrick Vest is an actor, a director and a fight choreographer. Patrick, thanks for joining us today.

Patrick Vest: Oh Larry it was a pleasure, thank you.

Larry Jordan: Dance is as fascinating, complex and deep as acting, or directing, or any of the creative arts. I was impressed with all the guests we met this week, and look forward to more segments on dance on The Buzz in the future. And as I promised at the beginning, all of our guests tonight truly represented a really wide range of skills.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank Emma Dewing, as a choreographer. Meline Tovmasian, dancer and choreographer. Robert Salas, choreographer. Scott Page, the CEO of Ignited Live and Patrick Vest, fight choreographer as well as the inimitable James DeRuvo.

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 2017 by Thalo LLC.

Digital Production Buzz- January 26, 2017

Tonight we talk about choreography, with a detailed look at different types of dance, including fight choreography. PLUS, we have an update on music technology from the NAMM show.

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Emma Dewing, Patrick Vest, Meline Tovmasian, Robert Salas, Scott Page, and James DeRuvo.

  • Teaching Dance and Choreography
  • Choreographing Fight Scenes
  • The Art of Choreography
  • Learning the Basics of Movement
  • Highlights from NAMM 2017
  • The 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:Teaching Dance and Choreography

Emma Dewing
Emma Dewing, Ballerina/Yoga Instructor/Singer, Soundcloud

What do you do when you train for something your whole life and then an accident stops you from doing it? First, you cry, then you teach! Tonight we talk to Emma Dewing, a ballerina who describes teaching dance and choreography.

Featured Interview #2: Choreographing Fight Scenes

Patrick Vest
Patrick Vest, Fight Choreographer, Shakespeare by the Sea

Fight choreography mirrors dance in a lot of ways. In both cases, not paying proper attention to technique means someone gets hurt. Tonight we talk to Patrick Vest, an accredited fight choreographer, about how he choreographs a fight scene.

The Art of Choreography

Meline Tovmasian
Meline Tovmasian, Choreographer, melinetovmasian.com

Meline Tovmasian is a choreographer, originally from Armenia, who now choreographs professionally. Tonight, we talk with her about the art and technique of choreography; and what filmmakers need to know to make their dances look great.

Learning the Basics of Movement

Robert Salas
Robert Salas, Artistic Director, Movement Theatre CoLab

Those of us who don’t follow dance may not know there are many different ways to express story through movement. Tonight we talk to Robert Salas, Artistic Director of the Movement Theater, and teacher at Moorpark College, CA who explains Laban and Somatic movement techniques.

Highlights from NAMM 2017

Scott Page
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Networks

This week was the annual National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Anaheim, CA, and tonight Scott Page, professional musician and Buzz regular, shares the highlights.

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.

Digital Production Buzz- January 19, 2017

Words like Preditor and Shreditor are increasingly prevalent where people are doing more than one job at the same time. Also, in the latest challenge to jobs for actors are “synthespians.” Tonight’s show looks at jobs: Getting jobs, growing a career and fending off the competition.

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Nancy Schreiber, Kimberly Smith, Michele Yamazaki, Jonathan Handel, and James DeRuvo.

  • Nancy Schreiber: Award-Winning Cinematographer
  • “Movie Games” – Exercises That Teach Production by Improvising Movie-making
  • Cross-Over Jobs and the Art of Continual Learning
  • The Rise of the Synthespians
  • The 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: Nancy Schreiber: Award-Winning Cinematographer

Nancy Schreiber
Nancy Schreiber, Cinematographer, ASC

Nancy Schreiber began her career as a production assistant. She fell in love with lighting and evolved into a director of photography. She became only the fourth woman voted into the American Society of Cinematographers. And, next month, she’ll be the first woman awarded the ASC President’s Award. Tonight, we discover the secrets to her career.

Featured Interview #2: “Movie Games” – Exercises That Teach Production by Improvising Movie-making

Kimberly Smith
Kimberly Smith, Facilitator, Movie Games

Movie-making, by its very nature, can be tedious, expensive and SLOW. Tonight, we talk with Kimberly Smith, facilitator of “Movie Games” who has devised a game that allows anyone, regardless of their movie-making skills to create a movie. Discover this new combination of the 24-hour film festival with improv comedy.

Cross-Over Jobs and the Art of Continual Learning

Michele Yamazaki
Michele Yamazaki, VP Marketing, Toolfarm

Michele Yamazaki is currently the VP for Marketing at Toolfarm. But, over the years she has worn a number of wildly different hats as her career followed different paths. Tonight we talk to her about these cross-over jobs and the need to constantly be learning new things.

The Rise of the Synthespians

Jonathan Handel
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter, www.jhandel.com

Synthespians, or virtual actors, first emerged about 10 years ago. But today’s technology makes it easier than ever to recreate an actor in a movie – including after they are DEAD. As you might imagine, this presents a whole new bucket of problems. Tonight, Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for “The Hollywood Reporter,” explains the challenges and their impact on living actors.

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 – January 19, 2017

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Nancy Schreiber, Cinematographer, ASC
Kimberly Smith, Facilitator, Movie Games
Michele Yamazaki, VP Marketing, Toolfarm
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter, www.jhandel.com
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we are talking about jobs – how to get them and how today’s career path seems to veer all over the place. We start with the first woman ever given the ASC President’s Award for cinematography, Nancy Schreiber. Nancy started as a production assistant, then evolved into one of the most sought after Directors of Photography on the planet. Tonight, she explains how she got to where she is.

Larry Jordan: Next, Michele Yamazaki Terpstra is currently the VP of Marketing for Toolfarm, but that isn’t where her career started. It started in radio. She’s worn all sorts of hats as she explains tonight, including the key to her success.

Larry Jordan: Next, there’s a new term terrifying actors – synthespians. These new CGI creations are existing actors that appear in new movies with new lines after they’re dead. Jonathan Handel describes this new technology and the challenges it is giving living actors and SAG-AFTRA.

Larry Jordan: Next, Kimberly Smith invented Movie Games, improvisational exercises designed to enable pros to improve their production skills while amateurs can use these to create a movie without ever touching a computer.

Larry Jordan: All this plus James DeRuvo with this week’s 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.

Larry Jordan: Hi, my name is Larry Jordan. This afternoon, Apple released new updates to Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor. Now, these were small dot updates designed to fix problems and compatibility issues, except for Compressor. The four dots pre-release of Compressor had major problems with watermarks, DVD burning and compression speed. I got more emails about that release than anything else to do with any part of the 10.3 release of Final Cut.

Larry Jordan: I’ve downloaded the latest version, but haven’t yet had time to test it. However, given Apple’s focus on fixing bugs within the Final Cut suite of software, I suspect most of the issues with this version of Compressor are resolved.

Larry Jordan: I posted an article about the new version on my website – larryjordan.com. You’ll find it at the top of the free resources articles page. Also make sure that you turn off automatic updating in system preferences. You look in system preferences, AppStore, otherwise your apps will update with every new release which, for most of us, is not a good idea. You want to turn off ‘Install App Updates’ and turn off ‘Install OS10 Updates.’ Instead of doing this automatically, you want manual control over when updates occur.

Larry Jordan: And thinking of updates, it’s now time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello, James.

James DeRuvo: Hello, Larry.

Larry Jordan: What have you got for us that’s news this week?

James DeRuvo: Well, last night was Rode’s annual roadshow in Las Vegas and they introduced a whole bunch of really cool new microphones. There were two of them for filmmakers that look really cool. The first one is the next generation of the Rode VideoMic Pro – it’s called the VideoMic Pro Plus – and what they did, thank God, they redesigned the battery compartment to make it much easier to pull batteries in and out. I had to change a battery in my VideoMic Pro once right in the middle of a shoot and it was just, oh boy, it was terrible.

James DeRuvo: Anyway, they have also changed the power from nine volt batteries to rechargeable AA size that you can actually charge inside of the VideoMic Pro itself; and you also get the option of plugging in a micro USB cable and providing phantom power through a power brick or a P-tap or something like that for really long shoots throughout the day, so that is really cool.

James DeRuvo: They also redesigned the windscreen. It’s a microfiber windscreen now instead of the foam, but you can still buy a foam alternative if you still prefer.

James DeRuvo: But this is the microphone they’re really excited about – it’s called the VideoMic Soundfield and the Soundfield has four sound capsules in a tetrahedral array and what you can do with it is record 360 degree 3D audio, plus mono, stereo or Dolby 5.1, so it’s like getting four microphones in one. It’s going to make 3D audio available for consumers. This is a really exciting new model that’s based on the VideoMic platform, so it has the right code wire suspension and a foam top and I think it’s going to be really cool for live events, recording of ambient sound out in the wild and 3D audio for virtual reality. It’s going to be a very cool product.

Larry Jordan: Cool. What else have we got?

James DeRuvo: … Pro adding log recording to their iPhone app, so you’ll be able to record log in 4K. They’ve redesigned the app interface again to add all these difference features. The log codec is very similar to Sony’s S-log, so when you color correct you’re probably going to end up having to crush the blacks a little bit, but I’ve seen some of the examples of the color correction done after recording using the S-log data in … Pro and the dynamic range is very impressive considering you’re recording on an iPhone.

Larry Jordan: Excellent. What else have we got that’s new?

James DeRuvo: Kodak is bringing back extra chrome film.

Larry Jordan: Wow.

James DeRuvo: Responding to the resurgence of film based photography and filmmakers who want to continue to film on film, Kodak is not only bringing back extra chrome film – here’s the big thing – they’re also investigating whether or not it would be feasible to bring Kodachrome back as well.

Larry Jordan: Mmm. Paul Simon returns again, yes. When is this coming out?

James DeRuvo: We’ll all get to sing that Paul Simon song all over again.

Larry Jordan: When is this going to be available?

James DeRuvo: Extra chrome is going to be available in the fourth quarter of 2017. We don’t know when or if Kodachrome is going to be available – they’re looking into it – but that K14 process of adding the color pigments after the fact takes several days and it’s not an easy thing to do, so they’re going to try to figure out whether or not it’s actually financially feasible to resurrect it.

Larry Jordan: Interesting. Just one other note, because I am a member of the DGA, I want to acknowledge the fact that Joe Roth is retiring this spring after 22 years as head of the Guild and ten years as the Guild’s General Counsel. He’s staying on board but this is a sea change for the Guild and I wish J all the best.

Larry Jordan: James, where can people go for more of the news in our industry?

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

Larry Jordan: And James DeRuvo is the Senior Writer for DoddleNEWS and returns every week with a DoddleNEWS update. James, thanks for joining us today. I always like getting caught up to what’s happening in the industry with your report. Thank you.

James DeRuvo: Ok, thanks Larry. Take care.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

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

Larry Jordan: Nancy Schreiber worked her way up from production assistant to lighting to Director of Photography. She’s compiled an eclectic list of 130 credits in narrative film, television, music videos, commercials and documentaries. She’s a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the fourth woman ever elected to the American Society of Cinematography. She’s won numerous awards and, in February 2017, she’ll be awarded the ASC President’s Award. This is so cool. Hello, Nancy, welcome.

Nancy Schreiber: Thank you, Larry, great to be here.

Larry Jordan: What first got you interested in photography?

Nancy Schreiber: Well, I had watched my dad back in Detroit shoot a lot of home movies in 16 millimeter and there was always a still camera around. He passed away when I was quite young, but somehow it stuck with me and I picked up first a still camera – we really didn’t have video in those days. … Polaroid but I did have a 35 millimeter still camera in high school and it continued through my college, even though it was a hobby. I moved into cinematography some time in the next decade after that, but I always still shoot stills and love the medium and I love black and white and occasionally still get film printed.

Larry Jordan: Be still my heart. That technology still exists, huh?

Nancy Schreiber: And Polaroid’s back too.

Larry Jordan: I was looking at you on IMDb and reading you on the website, that when I’m talking with you I’m talking with living history. The stuff that you’ve worked on over the years has been really amazing. What are some of the projects you’ve worked on that you’re proudest of?

Nancy Schreiber: Early in my career, and this really dates me, I went to China with Shirley MacLaine and this was in the ‘70s, Mao was alive and actually it happened during Watergate, and we were one of the first US groups to ever be allowed there and it was a group of 12 women. We made a documentary, nominated for an Academy Award, but I remember it was so closed off to foreigners. We had to find out about Watergate through some reporters from Reuters that happened to be in China at the time, but there was nobody from the US.

Nancy Schreiber: That was really exciting, to be there. I’ve been back to China two other times. I went in ’99 and I could not believe how it had changed in 15 years, so I feel fortunate that I traveled there. I also went to Vietnam on a project and loved it. One of my most exciting jobs, I hardly can call it a job, was shooting the Amnesty International rock and roll world tour with Sting and Peter Gabriel and Bruce Springsteen. I just was thrilled to travel the world, six weeks of my life, and I didn’t have to really shoot during the concerts, I was more or less getting the local color everywhere we traveled, so it was quite a tour and I’m still excited to think about it.

Larry Jordan: Once you decided to become a professional, where did you go to learn the craft of lighting and creating images?

Nancy Schreiber: Larry, I earned while I learned. I have a psychology degree from the University of Michigan and I was also doing a lot of stills at the time and I have a History of Art minor, but I just didn’t want to be a psychologist any more. I am a very active person and somehow I fell into the motion picture business by answering an ad in the Village Voice, the local free paper at the time. It just fit me perfectly because it did combine a background that I had in photography and I went to a high school that was very prominent in the arts called Cranbrook in Michigan and actually the psychology has come in handy because we certainly have a lot of personalities to deal with job to job, so it all worked out. I just couldn’t get enough.

Nancy Schreiber: I loved New York and stayed there quite a long time and, as you mentioned, I worked my way up from the electric department to gaffer – a lot of people don’t know what a gaffer is, but it’s the chief lighting technician – into being a cinematographer, a Director of Photography.

Larry Jordan: Which do you enjoy more, the process of lighting a scene or framing and designing it for the camera?

Nancy Schreiber: Oh, they’re both equal. However, I could spend hours finessing the lighting.

Larry Jordan: Like every lighting person I’ve ever met. The lighting is never done, they just have to start shooting.

Nancy Schreiber: Exactly. In fact, another job that I did once, I filmed behind the scenes of this PBS documentary series on abstract expressionists and Steven Spielberg was filming Dustin Hoffman doing the wraparounds for the series at Willem de Kooning Studio in the Hamptons and I just remember the two of them looking at de Kooning’s unfinished painting that he was working on and saying to each other, “When is he finished? When he’s finished, he’s finished. In our business, we’re never finished,” and then somebody else said, “Oh, well, you can’t use green in the south, it won’t work, the cities,” and anyway, it was just a very interesting look at process about filmmaking that we could go on and on and when does a painter decide to stop and when is a piece finished?

Larry Jordan: One of the biggest lessons I’ve ever learned was the fact that if we didn’t have deadlines, nothing would ever get done.

Nancy Schreiber: It’s so true.

Larry Jordan: As you were continuing to grow in your craft, who were some of your mentors? Who did you learn from?

Nancy Schreiber: Well, first of all, I didn’t go to film school, as I said, and I’m a bit sorry about that because I’m sure I would have had mentors and also collaborators that came up with me. But I was lucky to find a way to earn my living and live in New York and not go hungry. I worked in dramatic films and commercials with a gaffer – this was when I was what’s called a best boy, even though I’m a woman we were called best boys, which is the position just under a gaffer – and I worked a gaffer named Bobby Vee who owned a company called Film Trucks and he hired me when women just weren’t being hired in the electric department.

Nancy Schreiber: I also did a lot of documentaries at the time and a gentleman named Mark Obenhaus, who is a director cameraman, would hire me a lot as well and we would do these long projects where you would go to a different city and pretty much almost live with a family and Mark had a 16 millimeter camera and when it was time for him to push me out the door, he loaned me his camera, Bobby loaned me lights and I started shooting some Colombia University shorts for the students. They didn’t have a cinematography program, which NYU did, so that’s how I started; and I know both of them still today and if I had mentors, it would be definitely Mark and Bobby.

Larry Jordan: You were only the fourth woman to be voted to become a member of the ASC, the American Society of Cinematographers. What was it like to break into an all male club?

Nancy Schreiber: It was absolutely a dream come true. When I was living in New York full time, I would get the American Cinematographer magazine and read the articles about these unbelievable artists and then I got to meet them when I started spending time in Los Angeles. I couldn’t believe it. Somehow, my work progressed and I was approached by three sponsors and had to go in front of a large membership committee and show my work and discuss why I wanted to be a cinematographer and a part of the ASC. Somehow I got in. It was really the most joyful moment of my career to that point, certainly, and I just couldn’t believe I was rubbing elbows with these idols of mine. I still have to pinch myself.

Larry Jordan: What’s the biggest challenge you find in finding work and staying busy, especially when you’re working at your level in the industry?

Nancy Schreiber: Larry, that’s a great question. You know, we’re all freelance and we’ll go from job to job and the minute it’s over, every cinematographer I know is worried that he or she will never work again, so we are constantly networking and bugging our agents and it’s a freelance world. What’s happened is there is this explosion since the digital age. People can just buy cameras and think they can become cinematographers. Some of them have done very well.

Nancy Schreiber: I came up through the system, I still think it’s a great way to work your way up, you know the politics, which is almost 50 percent of our work. Besides the cinematography, there’s so much going on with running a crew and making sure production’s happy and staying on budget and time. How does it work now? I still fortunately work. I think there are other issues now. As you know, Hollywood is a very young industry so now I’m facing young people coming up and working and many of the cinematographers my age, my generation are finding it difficult to get the work they want.

Nancy Schreiber: It’s odd because one would think you would want experience and I still enjoy even the small movies. Some people think, “I’m way beyond that and I’ve had this career, why would I ever want to do a small independent film?” and that is so far from the truth. I still love the visions of first time directors in particular – they don’t necessarily know the rules so they don’t know that they’re breaking them and they can be extremely creative, so I’ve enjoyed that. As long as I can make a living and go from television, which pays very decently, to my small movies that you’re practically working for nothing, I keep a good balance. In between that, I still like to shoot documentaries. There’s just no better way to see the world and I do believe that documentaries and meeting real people fuels my fiction work.

Larry Jordan: One of the challenges you have, and I completely identify with the feeling of, “Good Lord, I’m never going to work again,” is how do you promote yourself? How do you market yourself to find the next gig?

Nancy Schreiber: I network, I go to industry events, I belong to many organizations. I do have an agent, I have a website. I’m on some social media. I had to back off a little bit because it’s so time consuming and I am trying to have a full life not just with work. I like to go to art museums and I like to go to concerts and I like to garden. With being on social media, it’s quite addictive. I’m on Facebook and Instagram, less on Twitter, but all of these areas are very important. I used to go to a lot of film festivals and, when I can, I still go. But it’s just never ending – you’re meeting people all the time and most of the work we get is who we know or being recommended by a friend, so it’s good to be out there networking.

Larry Jordan: What would your advice be to other women, especially younger women, who are trying to establish a career as a Director of Photography?

Nancy Schreiber: Get as much experience as they can shooting anything as long as it doesn’t exploit them or is against their religious or moral beliefs. Find a way to get a hold of a camera, find a way to pay the rent and get food on your table, but shoot anything and offer your services for free – this is crazy but is has to be often – because you will meet people on that set and they will recommend you to the next job, which won’t be free.

Nancy Schreiber: Also, I do believe in people coming up through the system. It’s great to be able to have access to cameras, but try to work in the crew, camera or electric or grip, and learn your craft and watch those that have been doing it longer, you learn so much. I’d like to say in a kidding way, but I hope it’s true, that I will continue shooting and I hope drop dead on the set when I’m 100.

Larry Jordan: So you’re going to leave a mess for the crew to clean up.

Nancy Schreiber: I am.

Larry Jordan: For people who have decided they need to hire you to shoot their next gig, where can they go on the web to learn more?

Nancy Schreiber: www.nancyschreiber.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s nancyschreiber.com and Nancy Schreiber herself is a Director of Photography and a member of the ASC. Nancy, this has been a delightful interview, thank you for your time.

Nancy Schreiber: Thank you so much, Larry, for having me on.

Larry Jordan: Michele Yamasaki Terpstra is the VP of Marketing at Toolfarm. This is a company that specializes in plug-ins and effects for video editors. She’s 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. Hello, Michele, welcome back.

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Hi, Larry, thank you.

Larry Jordan: It is always a delight chatting with you and I’m looking forward to our conversation, but I want you to take off your plug-in hat and put on your career hat, because today’s show is about changing jobs and growing a career. What I’m curious about is what got you started in this industry?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Well, when I was a kid I wanted to go into radio, which of course is sort of a dying media now, and when I was in college to go through the program I had to take a video course to get my audio production degree. Once I took a video course, I was sold. I switched my major, I wanted to do video from then on, and I ended up getting an internship at PostWorks and I worked there for ten years. I learned After Effects. That was really what got me started, I just loved After Effects so much.

Larry Jordan: Would you consider your career to be guided or were you just grabbing opportunities as they showed up?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: It was definitely all about opportunities. It was great because stuff really just fell in my lap. I ran a site called AE Freemart, which we still have and Toolfarm ended up buying it from me. I ended up getting picked up with the move and I started at Toolfarm and it was really a good time because at my old company, it was a video company in the Midwest and a lot of our clients were in the office furniture industry or Amway, that kind of thing, and once things started to slow down in the late ‘90s they ended up having to lay off a lot of people.

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: To keep my job, I ended up learning how to program websites because that was the big thing that our clients were asking for – “Oh, do you do websites?” – so I taught myself HTML and that was what got me started in running AE Freemart and then got me in with Toolfarm and I started off at Toolfarm doing web stuff and now I’m back to video, which I love and I’m so happy to be doing video work again. That’s a career change, I went from video to web back to video.

Larry Jordan: One of the central tenets of your career growth, because I remember it not just from this conversation but the last time we had you on, has been continual education. Why is that necessary?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Well, in the video industry, if you take six months off things have changed so much. You just have to keep up with what’s going on. Things just change very rapidly. There are new tools available, new versions available and it’s just important to stay on top of things.

Larry Jordan: So how do you balance all the different hats that you’re wearing and how do you keep an eye open for new opportunities as you’re trying to guide your career?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: It’s tough to keep your finger on everything because there’s only so much … In the last year or two, I really dove into learning 3D programs and I started with Cinema 4D and then I had an opportunity to learn MODO with The Foundry and so I learned some of that and now I’m back on Cinema 4D; but next I’m learning Maya and most people wouldn’t need to learn all of those different 3D programs for their job.

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: However, with my job, I’m learning them so I can support our customers. There are a lot of things that are similar in these 3D programs. They may call things different names, but a lot of them work very similarly so it’s easy to jump into each one. I think that’s the same with editing tools, whether you’re a Final Cut Pro user or an Avid editor or Premiere. You learn one and you can easily jump into another.

Larry Jordan: What advice would you have to someone who is finding their career treading water?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: I would say to do a little research, see what’s coming upstream and teach yourself everything you can. There are a lot of great resources out there on the internet so you don’t necessarily have to go back to college to learn something. You can teach yourself with books or training videos or just online videos on YouTube even. There are a lot of great resources out there that weren’t out there even five years ago.

Larry Jordan: So basically keep your eye on new opportunities and give yourself a chance to stay current by continually learning and never give up.

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Good advice.

Larry Jordan: Michele, where can people go on the web to learn more about what you’re doing and the products that you guys offer?

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: toolfarm.com.

Larry Jordan: Michele Yamazaki Terpstra is the VP of Marketing at Toolfarm. Michele, thanks for joining us today.

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra: Thank you for having me.

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

Jonathan Handel: Well, thank you Larry, and yes, indeed, I am a regular. It’s been a number of years now since we’ve been chatting.

Larry Jordan: We’re going to have to give you an extra star on the Hall of Fame wall here in The Buzz studios.

Jonathan Handel: I’m looking forward to it.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, normally we talk with you about actors in Hollywood, but now we’re talking about synthespians. What is that?

Jonathan Handel: Synthespians are either actors that never were or actors that once were and no longer are. In other words, synthespians are synthetic thespians, synthetic actors, actors created or, in the more complicated set of issues legally, recreated, for example after their death, digitally.

Larry Jordan: You mean now actors are acting in movies that they haven’t actually acted in?

Jonathan Handel: Well, that’s exactly right and that’s the issue. One example is Paul Walker in the last ‘Fast and Furious’ that he was in. I think some footage was shot and then Walker died in an automobile accident. They partially doubled him using his brother, who I guess is a similar build, but in terms of face and so forth, they digitally recreated Paul Walker’s face, sometimes on his brother’s body, for example.

Larry Jordan: Is this an actual actor or is this more of a CGI character? And who’s getting the credit here?

Jonathan Handel: Well, let’s unpack that. Is this an actor? Yes, this is an actor but, yes, this is CGI. This is the CGI creation or recreation of an actor. If someone is scanned, face or face and body, for a movie, that data cloud outlives them if they no longer are available or are no longer alive. Who gets the credit? I’d have to check IMDb. They’re the arbiter of all things, right? I suppose it was an easier case in ‘Fast and Furious,’ where I think there was some footage of Walker himself as well, but it does become a question – do you put a little asterisk *Footnote: Avatar when you’re using a synthespian? No-one really knows.

Larry Jordan: It’s interesting because this is the ultimate CGI experience, where they’re able to reproduce a human and have it look human, which has always been sort of the goal but never achieved. What does SAG-AFTRA have to say about this?

Jonathan Handel: By the way on your preface, yes, it’s still something that’s not as achievable as having a human actor. You can’t simply animate a synthespian as realistically as a human yet, but in certain cases it’s what is done and the SAG-AFTRA agreements say nothing on this and the Union, I believe, is concerned but whether that’s going to be something they’re going to raise, let alone achieve traction on in the upcoming negotiations in the next month or two, remains to be seen.

Jonathan Handel: The Union agreement right now deals very strictly with reuse of footage – you can’t reuse footage of an actor in a different project without the actor’s permission, subject to some exceptions like flashbacks in TV series and things like that – but those provisions, of course, long predate digital, let alone CGI.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, it strikes me that there are probably two levels here. There’s the highly recognizable A list talent and then there’s the journeyman actor. Are these being treated differently?

Jonathan Handel: Well, they are. Entertainment and sports are the only fields where you’ve got individual deals and Union agreements, so they act in concert. A level talent has the leverage to put restrictions in their agreements and their individual deals saying that you can’t reuse footage and exactly what’s being done these days in the talent area I’m not completely sure, but I suspect that there are those terms. Of course, at the other extreme there are the non-recognizable sort of journeyman actor and there is less likelihood that anyone’s going to double them at all.

Jonathan Handel: But in between, you have character actors and secondary characters and so forth and they are dependent on the Union agreement which is silent on this issue.

Larry Jordan: Well, it would be like character actors like the classic Walter Brennan or a sidekick character which have a recognizable face and style but never carry the film.

Jonathan Handel: That’s exactly right and those folks are the ones who don’t have the leverage in many cases to get a restriction in their individual deal, but the Union agreement on the other hand is what they rely on and there isn’t, at least isn’t yet, any protection on this issue.

Larry Jordan: It strikes me as a complete mess.

Jonathan Handel: It really is and I think we’re going to see over the next three years or so an accelerated development in this technology and it is going to become a problem.

Larry Jordan: Where can people go on the web to keep up with this and follow your thinking?

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

Larry Jordan: And Jonathan Handel himself is an entertainment labor editor for The Hollywood Reporter. He’s also of Counsel at Troy Gould. Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks, but are you sure it was me and not a synthespian?

Larry Jordan: Now, that is a puzzle.

Jonathan Handel: There we go.

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

Larry Jordan: DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with 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: Kimberly Smith is a community activist and inventor of Movie Games. Now, this is a game that allows anyone, regardless of their movie making skills, to create a movie without using a computer. Hello, Kimberly, welcome.

Kimberly Smith: Hi, Larry. Nice to talk with you.

Larry Jordan: It’s our pleasure to have you on the phone. What first got you interested in video?

Kimberly Smith: Well, I started my life as an actor in 1981 and as I started to work on film sets I just became very curious about the movie making process and I was lucky or unlucky to have a director early on in my career who, when I’d ask questions, would say, “Well, you don’t really need to know, just do what we tell you to do,” and it kind of pissed me off, actually, so I started to learn how to make movies and the way I did that is I just started volunteering with the grips at first and then I volunteered with the lighting crew and one thing led to another and I just started working in the industry in 1986 and I didn’t learn really at school, I learned on set.

Larry Jordan: I’ve found that that’s typical of a lot of people. It’s a lot easier to learn on the job than it is to learn in school.

Kimberly Smith: It certainly has been that way in my case and I’d gone and gotten my Bachelor of Fine Arts in performance at York University in Toronto and so I was pretty fresh out of that and it didn’t make sense to go back to school and spend more money when I could learn just as effectively on sets, so that’s what I did.

Larry Jordan: So then how do we make the transition from you as an actor and person working crew to Movie Games?

Kimberly Smith: What happened is toward the middle of the ‘90s, I was working on a production in Nova Scotia called ‘Dolores Claiborne’ starring Christopher Plummer and Kathy Bates and a few people that are familiar to others and during that time I was assigned as a cast driver to Christopher Plummer and we got to know each other and he said to me at the end of that shoot, “If I come back to Nova Scotia and you’re still working as a driver, I won’t talk to you. You get out there and start doing your own stuff,” and it was just the kick in the pants I needed and so I started my own video business in 1997 called Creative Action Digital Video.

Larry Jordan: Now, I could be mistaken, but Nova Scotia is not the most populous part of North America. In fact, one could argue that it is more rural than urban. Has being based so remotely been making it difficult to advance your career?

Kimberly Smith: Actually, no. Nova Scotia is a vibrant, beautiful place. We’re right on the Atlantic Ocean on the east side of the province and then on the west we have the Bay of Fundy with the highest tides in the world. It’s quite a dramatically beautiful place and there are agricultural areas and rugged rocky cliffs, kind of Big Sur looking things, and then there’s white sandy beaches. The biggest city would be Halifax, it’s about 250,000 people I think, and there’s a vibrant film business there, lots of film business and software development going on there.

Larry Jordan: All right, well, let’s just follow this. We’ve got you from being an actor to being in production, from being in production to driving Christopher Plummer, from Christopher Plummer to starting your own company, but we still haven’t resolved the key question, which is what is Movie Games?

Kimberly Smith: Movie Games came about because early on in that process people in my community – I live in a little place called Canning, it’s about 2,000 people – and in order to do my work I had to figure out a way to work out of my house and serve my community here. I was working with non-profits and that sort of thing, working a lot with people with intellectual disabilities, with adult learners, and that’s the social activism part. As I got more deeply involved in that, my video practice almost became like social work and people would be curious and they’d say, “Kim, can you show us how to do it ourselves?” and one thing led to another and, because of my performance background, I naturally gravitated toward doing improv because that was one of the techniques that we learned in acting school, was … theater games.

Kimberly Smith: So that’s kind of how it was born and I started pulling out cameras and sharing them with people of all different ages, little kids, old people, some able to talk, some not and we just started playing with the cameras and doing a hands on thing and that led to me writing it down in 1999 and publishing it online and that’s what Movie Games is now. It’s basically a free online resource.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so now that we’ve got Movie Games created, tell me how it works?

Kimberly Smith: The way it works is you form a video improv team. Five is a good number but you can have up to seven people and they can be all different ages. It’s really a fun thing to do when you’re home with the family reunion, you’ve got grandpa and grandma and mom and dad and the kids and even the teenager will not roll their eyes too much, and you can get everybody together and play the games and they’re very spontaneous.

Kimberly Smith: There are several different kinds of games that you can play. The most simple one that I began with is a game called ‘In The Moment,’ where you’re pretending to be news reporters and everybody on the team has to appear in the video and everybody has to operate the camera. Nowadays, we’re using Smartphones to do that.

Kimberly Smith: The way it works is I might play a reporter in one part of the property and go, “Hi, I’m Kim. I’m over here by the swing set,” and then cut and then I would take the camera from you if you shot me and then I would follow you to another location in the process and shoot you and you’d do your little report, and by the end of doing this little edit in camera process which takes literally ten minutes, we’ve got what appears to be a live news broadcast coming from the family reunion.

Kimberly Smith: Then everybody goes back into the house and plugs it into the TV and, yes, exactly that, we all just sit around and we laugh and we make fun of each other and then we go out and play again. That’s kind of how it began, it was just goofing around, and then it started to get picked up. Around that time, around ’99, 2000, it got picked up by the Viewfinders Film Festival for Youth in Halifax and they offered it as one of the activities during the festival for kids.

Kimberly Smith: After that, it got picked up by a professor of education at Acadia University, a fellow named Mike Corbett, and he wanted to see if he could use that as a way to teach film and video, and he was teaching it to his second year education students. So now there are a bunch of teachers out working across Canada in different schools and this is one of the processes they use in their film and video classes in high school.

Larry Jordan: That is so cool.

Kimberly Smith: Yes, it’s been a very organic kind of process. It’s been quite a delight to watch it grow.

Larry Jordan: Who is the target audience? Is it families? Is it schools? Is it a particular age of person?

Kimberly Smith: It’s kind of taken on a life of its own. The people that seem to have embraced it most rapidly have been social workers. These are people who want to do community building, and when you go to rural areas, how do you get people involved and sticking around and taking pride in their community? So these groups have been taking it into their communities and using it as a way to re-engage people with each other and also rediscover where they live, because the location is also a character in the story and that’s the real beauty of it. Every time anybody does this, they go, “Oh, I didn’t know that was over there,” or they might look at each other and go, “I didn’t know you had that on your face,” you know? People really start to become more self aware in a positive way, not in a self conscious way but more, “Oh, hey, this is kind of cool. I’m glad I know that now.”

Kimberly Smith: It’s been really special, watching it do what it does and through that process I discovered that people actually liked forming multiple teams and then competing with each other, which was quite a laugh. We did this in a middle school in the town of Kentville – it’s a bit bigger than where I live – and we had grade 7 and 8 kids, so you can imagine, we’re talking 13 year olds, and we had ten teams and we would give them a game, there are different games.

Kimberly Smith: One of the games is called ‘First Shot Last Shot’ and the whole idea is everybody’s learning what kinds of shots there are – wide shots, tight shots, close-ups, that kind of thing – and they write those down on little pieces of paper and put them in a hat and when they play this game ‘First Shot Last Shot,’ each team has to pull a first shot out of the hat at random and a last shot out of the hat and then they are instructed to go and make their sequence of 30 shots from the first shot to the last shot, everybody sharing the camera and passing it from person to person and being in the movie. It really involves cooperation, but they do it and they do it in 20 minutes.

Larry Jordan: Wow.

Kimberly Smith: What happens is all these ten teams are going out in their school, on the property, all over the place, telling their little visual story that goes from the first shot to the last shot and then they’ll come back into the classroom, plug their cameras into the monitor and they’re all just keen to see what they made. It’s almost what it feels like when you set up a whole bunch of dominoes and you can’t wait to knock them over and see what they do. That’s kind of what it’s like, they get really excited to see what their movies look like, and their enthusiasm grows for the process. It’s been quite delightful to watch it unfold.

Larry Jordan: That is very cool. Kim, for people who want more information, where can they go on the web?

Kimberly Smith: I suggest that they go to moviegames.ca.

Larry Jordan: That’s moviegames.ca and Kim Smith is the inventor of Movie Games. Kim, thanks for joining us today.

Kimberly Smith: Thanks for having me on. I hope some people get some video improv teams going and let’s see what happens.

Larry Jordan: Indeed, yes, sounds very cool. Take care. Bye bye.

Kimberly Smith: Bye.

Larry Jordan: You know, it’s fascinating hearing all the different ways that people find of finding jobs and moving around in their career and starting in one spot and ending up somewhere totally different. Looking at jobs is what today’s show has all been about from a variety of different points of view, starting with Nancy Schreiber, a cinematographer, and Kim Smith, the founder of Movie Games, Michele Yamasaki with Toolfarm, Jonathan Handel from The Hollywood Reporter and James DeRuvo with DoddleNEWS. The process of growing and defining your career is one that continues all of your life.

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 Take 1 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 2017 by Thalo LLC.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – January 12, 2017

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Laurent Martin, Cofounder and CMO, Aitokaiku
Kevin Klingler, President & CEO, Smartsound Software, Inc
Tony Cariddi, Product and Solutions Marketing Director, Avid
Peder Jørgensen, Developer and Sound Designer, Soundly
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Networks
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

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Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we are talking about music. We start with Laurent Martin who, along with his business partner, has invented a way to create interactive music in real time using artificial intelligence. Their company, called Aitokaiku, invents music to match your mood.

Larry Jordan: Tony Cariddi, the product and solutions marketing director for ProTools, joins us to explain their latest update and how it enables musicians and mixers to find exactly the right piece of music when they need it.

Larry Jordan: Next, Peder Jorgensen is the co-founder of Soundly, a new cloud based sound effects collaboration tool. He explains what it is and why sound designers should consider using it.

Larry Jordan: Scott Page looks at the current state of music, from the cloud to AI to improved software tools and shares his thoughts on what musicians need to know to survive in today’s technological environment.

Larry Jordan: Kevin Klingler, the founder and CEO of Smartsound looks back at the last 25 years at the state of software manipulated music, and shares his thoughts on the industry and what still makes Smartsound unique.

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: 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: NAMM starts next week in Anaheim, California. NAMM is the annual trade show for the National Association of Music Merchants, so tonight we thought it would be interesting to look at the changing face of music. One of the themes at this year’s CES was artificial intelligence and computer learning. Our lead interview looks at how artificial intelligence can compose music. AI created music has profound implications for media, but more importantly, for musicians and the music industry which is already under severe stress.

Larry Jordan: Later in the show we’ll talk with Scott Page, a professional musician, about the challenges of earning a living and what musicians need to know to stay afloat. This should be a fun show.

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.

Larry Jordan: To get us started, it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hello Larry.

Larry Jordan: A very pleasant day to you. What is in the news today?

James DeRuvo: A pleasant and wet day.

Larry Jordan: Oh man, I tell you. I’m not knocking it, but I’m shoveling water off the back porch.

James DeRuvo: I hear you. Remember that three screened Razer Project Valerie laptop that we talked about last week?

Larry Jordan: Oh yes.

James DeRuvo: It had three screens with 4K, it’s gorgeous. It could be a game changer for gaming and maybe even video editing.

Larry Jordan: It won best of show at CES if I remember right?

James DeRuvo: Actually it won the people’s choice award, I found out, and then their Project Ariana Chroma projector took best overall gaming product. But while Razer was celebrating on Sunday the winning of these two major awards for best at CES, both their laptop prototypes were stolen out of the pressroom.

Larry Jordan: Oh no.

James DeRuvo: They don’t know if industrial espionage is involved, but something similar happened to them back in 2011 when their Blade laptop was being developed, and it was stolen out of the headquarters. So, there’s been this history of what could be industrial espionage, hitting Razer right after a big reveal. It’s a very sad story and they’re getting the authorities involved and the thing is that that’s a terrible way to end CES when you’ve had such a successful run. I hope it doesn’t delay their bringing this device to market because it’s a pretty cool device.

Larry Jordan: Let’s hope it turns out for the best. What else do we have for news?

James DeRuvo: RED announced this week that they’re future proofing their HDR workflow with enhancements called IPP2. It adds Log3G10 for more accurate tone mapping, especially to get better quality skin tones in high dynamic range. Added a new color gamut and dynamic range support to squeeze out every fraction of a stop of dynamic range they can, and it was developed right alongside RED’s Helium 8K processor which also just received the highest rating in history from DxOMark. So pretty exciting news for RED as far as HDR workflow goes for RED head.

Larry Jordan: I think HDR is going to be killer, but I’m looking forward to having it evolve over time. It is a huge task to get our stuff up to speed for that.

James DeRuvo: It is.

Larry Jordan: What else we got?

James DeRuvo: But when it’s done right, it’s absolutely stunning.

Larry Jordan: Oh yes.

James DeRuvo: I think it’s a better development than the increase in resolution.

Larry Jordan: Well I think increasing resolution may be up to 4K but beyond that, HDR and wide color gamut’s going to be much better than higher resolution.

James DeRuvo: I absolutely agree.

Larry Jordan: What else you got?

James DeRuvo: Well, Sundance is right around the corner.

Larry Jordan: True.

James DeRuvo: Robert Redford’s independent film festival up in Park City, Utah. Adobe is dominating the films and competition at Sundance this year with over 90 percent of the documentaries have used Creative Cloud or Adobe Premiere Pro in at least part of their workflow. Four out of ten of those were cut in Premiere Pro and six out of ten of the virtual reality projects used Creative Cloud in at least part of their workflow. I’m told, some 81 percent of all the films used Creative Cloud.

Larry Jordan: Creative Cloud includes Photoshop, so if people are processing stills, Photoshop would be included in that wouldn’t it?

James DeRuvo: Yes, and what’s interesting about that is Adobe also announced today that they’re working on a voice activated Siri-like assistant for photo applications that will enable a user to use voice commands to edit their photos and share them. Now, it kind of makes me wonder, can video be that far behind? Maybe in a couple of years.

Larry Jordan: I saw that demo, it is amazing to do photo retouching just by telling your computer what to do. It’s going to be a fascinating time.

James DeRuvo: It’s called Project Sensei.

Larry Jordan: And for people that need to know what the latest news is, 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.com. He returns every week with our weekly DoddleNEWS update. James, thanks so much. This has been fun, we’ll talk to you next week.

James DeRuvo: Take care Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

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Larry Jordan: Laurent Martin trained as an opera singer in Los Angeles, then sang professionally in Germany. However, three years ago, he co-founded Aitokaiku which is a mobile application that creates original music using artificial intelligence. Hello Laurent, welcome.

Laurent Martin: Hi, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: It is my pleasure. I looked this up by the way, you are only the second opera singer we’ve ever had on the program in the last ten years. What first got you interested in opera?

Laurent Martin: You know, I was really lucky to go to school at a school district in Los Angeles that put on pretty much professional productions, you know, in a 1400 seat professional theater, professional sets, orchestra, all of that stuff. And I started doing that at 12. I think at some point I started taking music lessons and opera seemed like the hardest thing I could do with my life, and for some brilliant reason, I decided that’s the path I wanted to take. You know, the hardest challenge.

Larry Jordan: So here you are in Germany performing music. What got you to shift focus into creating music using software rather than your voice?

Laurent Martin: I’m a singer but the first thing I am is an artist and a musician. I was doing performances with an Ecuadorean surrealist poet as one does in Berlin. We were doing these performances of her work in galleries all around the city, and in 2013 at some point she introduced me to my co-founder, Jarno Eerola, and said, “This guy’s from Finland, he’s going to do music.” I said “Great, nice to meet you,” and about 30 seconds before I was standing in front of the audience, he came up to me and in a very Finnish and stoic way said to me, “Everything you do is music. Every sound you make, every movement.” I actually experienced Aitokaiku’s music technology for the first time in front of an audience. I started to speak, and I started to sing and there were strings and bass and everything following with me, and when it got intimate and quiet the music matched that and went down in volume and instruments fell out. Then people applauded, and the music came back and afterwards, I said, “Wow, that was great. You’d never seen our performance before, but you were just really right with us,” and he said, “I didn’t do a thing. You created all the music.”

Laurent Martin: So I said, “OK, wait a second, let’s sit down and talk about this.” And this is where he first explained to me that, you know, he developed this technology which uses sensors to compose live music that is reactive to everything that’s going on in someone’s environment, whatever activities they’re doing, and we were doing performances with this for a couple of years and then late summer, early fall of 2015, he said, “Listen, the technology has come to a point, especially in mobile, where we can take this thing that looks like separate hardware, and a lot of human intervention, and we can actually import this to a phone. We can automate a lot of the human things that I was doing with machine learning, and I’ve got resources, we got friends to build it, we’ve got investors that are interested. Do you want to join up and help me do this?” We’ve been developing this product and this company ever since. And I wanted to make one important note there, we do have this app, the prototype is out for Android, for people to experiment with, but this technology really is extremely flexible and so, yes, it is something that we’ve been focused on trying to get a mobile app out for the last year, but it can be used in live performance.

Laurent Martin: We’ve got a cloud based server version where people can upload their own sensor data and get back a personalized soundtrack that reacts to the sounds or anything really that they give us. And it really is something that people can create from, it’s a platform. We’re artists and musicians and we want to make this something other people can play with so there’s a content layer to that where you can work with us. We can make a theme with you out of your signature sounds. The music engine takes in sensor data and it creates a music data stream, and you can think of that as like writing sheet music. From there, the content layer, the theme, that takes that sheet music and decides what are the sample stem loops, what are the sounds people are going to hear and what are the rules, what are the genre that’s going to come out of that?

Laurent Martin: So it’s also something that people can create on. Not just us and not just the end user that can then have their own unique music that goes with whatever they’re doing.

Larry Jordan: Where did the company name come from?

Laurent Martin: Ah. The name is Aitokaiku, and Aito is like a portmanteau, it’s Finnish. Aito means authentic, and kaiku means echo, so this is sort of the true music, the true sounds of coming back from your world to you.

Larry Jordan: Well that gets me to the bigger point. How does the software work? What is it actually doing?

Laurent Martin: Ah, you want the recipe to the secret sauce.

Larry Jordan: No, it’s not so much the secret sauce, but what is it doing in general? Because I know how secret sauces are guarded, but is it just randomly associating notes and blending them together?

Laurent Martin: No. This is where the machine learning working goes into it, and we’re developing the technology. One of the machine learning instances is actually teaching it how to compose and so that is feeding in bits of music, having it recognize that and turning that into learning actual composition. Almost in the way that a person would. Then the other parts to it are creating machine learning instances that identify different parts of the sensor data streams, and so as that gets more sophisticated, we can determine what kinds of things lead to positive or desired musical events, musical gestures. So we’re really bridging that gap between there’s a certain sound, there’s certain frequencies, and that leads to a music event on the other side that somebody likes or that fits in with certain patterns that we’ve determined are desirable. So then it continues to do more of that and it continues to learn how to better create music for everyone.

Larry Jordan: Looking at the website, it sounds almost like it’s a background, not quite EDM but more of an ambiance than songs. Is that true?

Laurent Martin: I would say, because this music is generative and infinite, it’s not a three and a half minute single that is really tightly produced. But in terms of that sound, we’re from Berlin. My co-founder Jarno is a very well established house music producer, and DJ, and so right now for this first edition, this sounds very much like our musical expertise in that. But now we are recruiting musicians to work with us to bring their expertise in there, and so the next round of themes will have acoustic sounds and rock sounds and jazz sounds. We’ve talked to people in a bunch of different genres that want to help create for this, and we think that’s really exciting as well to kind of push it and see all the different types of music that it can make.

Larry Jordan: You’ve currently released this as an Android application. What are your plans for IOS?

Laurent Martin: IOS is coming. I’d say it’s weeks not months and we did the Android prototype to learn a little bit from the market and see how users reacted to it. The IOS version will be a little bit more full featured out there, and that I think especially with your audience, will probably have a little bit wider appeal. I know a lot of audio guys tend to be using IOS.

Larry Jordan: I was reflecting, you got your start in music in opera, which is a shared listening experience, and what you’re creating here goes in the opposite direction where you’re creating custom music for private listening on headsets. Are you making a larger social point here?

Laurent Martin: Yes, absolutely, and I’m really glad you said that. Here’s the thing that maybe I can clarify where it’s not so much that I’m turning around for the technology as much as I’m hoping to turn around technology a little bit. Right now, as a music creator, as a musician especially opera is completely acoustic, there’s no amplification. I create music that is directly heard by human ears, and I have this idea that music is always live because that’s how I produce it and that’s how my listeners experience it. So for me, I love this idea of giving people the power to create their own music. Music is not something they wait for someone else to do. I love the idea that their music is always live, because as a performer, every time you make music there’s something different about it. There’s something different about you. So this idea that every time you go to listen to music, and you select the theme, you select something that is going to have familiarity to it, but there’s still a freshness, a uniqueness to it, and to me, that is what music is. There’s certainly recordings I know and love and will play again and again, but it’s always exciting for me to see a musician live and just see how they are doing it today and how it changes with how they’re feeling now. I want to bring that to the music making technology that everyone gets to experience.

Larry Jordan: The app is currently free. How are you going to turn this into a business?

Laurent Martin: The app is currently free for users. There are four themes that you can play around with. Two of those are sponsored, so our first customer is Visit Finland and that’s the national tourism board of Finland. They are sponsoring that content so that it’s free for users. In the future as we recruit other musicians, as I was saying we will have a marketplace so that there will be some sort of value exchange and we will share in the revenues with that for people that create content with us. I should also add, this is a really exciting thing for people like Visit Finland, because the music is created on the end user’s device, from this very unique cocktail of sensor data that’s impossible to reproduce really. It means that the music belongs to them, and it means they’re free to use it for any purpose they want, whether it’s an event or a commercial use, or to share it on any platform, or to share it globally. That’s something that’s really exciting to people like Visit Finland who can create music with us and they can give this to their users, they can use it in global advertising campaigns, and people can create music with it that they can then go and spread around. I think that part of it has been an unexpected point of appeal that we found.

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

Laurent Martin: You can visit our website at aitokaiku.com, and that’s where you can also join and follow us on social media, Twitter and Facebook and find out about when we’ll release for IOS or contact us about making a theme or plugging into Aitokaiku.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, aitokaiku.com. Laurent Martin is co-founder and chief marketing officer. Laurent, thanks for joining us today, this is fascinating.

Laurent Martin: It was a real pleasure, thank you.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Since joining Digidesign which is now Avid, in 1996, Tony Cariddi is the product and solutions marketing director at Avid, focusing on ProTools. As an audio engineer and artist he’s recorded, mixed, prepped and cued sound for just about everything or everybody. He’s also worked with such notable artists as Jennifer Lopez, Keith Richards, Joan Jett and many others. Hello Tony, welcome.

Tony Cariddi: Hi Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: What’s the latest news from ProTools?

Tony Cariddi: We’ve just released ProTools 12.7 just a few weeks ago. This is the seventh consecutive quarterly release we’ve put out in the past nearly two years. The latest release adds a lot of improvements around the fluid collaboration that we introduced with ProTools 12.5, the cloud collaboration capabilities. We kind of made that a little bit more sophisticated enabling people to have different versions, so much like you could create local versions, typically with any application, we’ve brought that smart revisioning to the cloud based projects. In addition, we’ve improved some of the music creation workflows for helping people creatively explore their sample libraries for loop creation workflows and even for post production folks who are exploring their vast, sometimes huge sample libraries for different sounds that might work for that context.

Larry Jordan: Why quarterly updates? I know on the video side where I’m more knowledgeable, we’re always leery of new updates for fear they’re going to break something, and we want to hold off updating for a while and now you’re updating four times a year.

Tony Cariddi: Well across the board we’ve transitioned to this model on the video side as well, so Media Composer and also the notation products are all taking this approach. The benefits here are, with respect to your immediate concern which is stability, is that we’re able to address stability issues much quicker than we have before. So that’s one aspect of it. The other aspect of it is the previous model, we would put out a release every 18 months, 24 months. That’s a really long time to wait in between releases, especially today. Ten years ago, 15 years ago is a different story. Today we’re in a market where things shift very quickly. Workflows evolve and transform very quickly, so what this allows us to do is be more agile. So if we see the market is responding a certain way, we’re getting requests, pulling the product in one direction or another because the business is requiring that, then we’re able to respond in a much more agile way.

Tony Cariddi: The flip side is, there’s no obligation for a customer to download or use the latest update. However, it does provide a lot of value and at the end of the day when you look at how much innovation we’ve delivered over the course of 12 months, it’s much greater than what we were able to do with the older model.

Larry Jordan: I want to come back to one of the things you mention. You’ve talked about Soundbase which is your improved searching criteria, and revision history where you’re able to keep track of multiple versions of the same project. But you’re also now bundling in samples with loop masters. What’s this?

Tony Cariddi: That’s true. That’s not a completely new theme for us, but this is a brand new curated loop library that we’re throwing in just as another added value in there. That’s a huge benefit especially for people who are just starting out. It’s a fantastic foundation to get your inspiration going. It’s also a great way to complement an existing idea. Of course a lot of the users that Legacy or existing users we have out there, they have massive sound libraries of their own, and what’s so great about Soundbase is, it deals with all the filtering and tagging and browsing in a completely open, architecture way. The Soundbase functionality is really fantastic. I’ve been using ProTools for a little while so I’ve got a decent sample library and I was able to not only get started with the two gigabytes of loop masters content that we bundled in, but also really quickly take advantage of the existing tagging that was in my library, and also quickly customize my own tag. So not only can you create favorites, but you can do a certain search criteria, control select a number of these, and tag just a select sub-group with a new name if you wanted. Personally, I’m probably most excited about Soundbase.

Larry Jordan: For people that need more information, or want to get ProTools for the first time, where can they go on the web?

Tony Cariddi: You can go to HYPERLINK “http://www.avid.com/protools” www.avid.com/protools, and if you want to just check ProTools out for the first time, there’s a free version called ProTools First, that can be found at avid.com/ptfirst.

Larry Jordan: Tony Cariddi is the product and solutions marketing director at Avid. Their website again is avid.com/protools. Tony, thanks for joining us today.

Tony Cariddi: Thank you again Larry. Take care.

Larry Jordan: Peder Jorgensen is from the cold country of Norway, far to the north. He currently lives in Oslo doing music, sound design and programming. He’s also the developer of Soundly which is what we want to learn more about today. Hello Peder, welcome.

Peder Jorgensen: Hi Larry.

Larry Jordan: Tell me, what is Soundly?

Peder Jorgensen: Soundly is a cloud based sound effects app for Mac and Windows that lets you audition files, and get them into your door really quickly.

Larry Jordan: Well, I can’t think of how many companies manufacture sound effects but there’s at least 750,000. Why create a sound effects library?

Peder Jorgensen: When I started out quite a few years ago on this project, I needed a hand with tool just to do my sound design. I didn’t want to carry around a hard drive everywhere I went, so I wanted it to be in the cloud, so I started to look into it and see if I could make something as fast, as local, but in the cloud and I kind of figured out a really good way to do it, and I just started building the whole thing and started using it. What we have found is that we’ve kind of tried to build a simple tool for doing sound design, and what we noticed is that video editors really like it, like people working in Premiere.

Larry Jordan: Why do you think?

Peder Jorgensen: I think it’s the simplicity, because I think other people are more technical, in my experience at least, other people like the technicalness of doing things. While video editors like simplicity, they just want to get the job done in a way. So I think they like how simple it is to just search for a sound, and when you find something you like, you can just drag it straight from the cloud and into like Premiere, so it just makes everything lot faster.

Larry Jordan: Is this a plug-in, or is it just a website, and I’m dragging from the website? How does it work?

Peder Jorgensen: It’s a local app so you download an application, which is called Soundly, and then you install it on a computer and you register user in there, and from there you can go and search for sound effects, and then when you find sound effects you want to use, you can easily just select area of the sound effect you want, and you just drag it straight from the tool and onto the timeline, say Premiere or ProTools or Final Cut, whatever you’re using. It works with every door and video editing suite that we’ve tried it with at least.

Larry Jordan: So the benefit to Soundly is not only access to your sound effects library on the cloud, which means you can access it anywhere, but the ability to search for a specific sound effect, and then simply drag it from the application into our editing tool?

Peder Jorgensen: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Which makes importing simple.

Peder Jorgensen: That’s right, yes. So it’s not like a website that offers sound effects at all. It’s more like a software.

Larry Jordan: So not only can we access sound effects that are created by Soundly, but if we had sound effects that we’ve accumulated for ourselves, we can load them up to the cloud, and be able to access our stuff?

Peder Jorgensen: Yes, that is a possibility for most users, but you can also, like other sound effect software, just index your local library, and have it accessed, so when you do a search you’ll search both in the cloud and on your local hard drive.

Larry Jordan: What kind of sound effects are you guys creating, because I know you’re the programmer side, and your partner is the sound designer side.

Peder Jorgensen: Yes.

Larry Jordan: What kind of sound effects are you emphasizing right now?

Peder Jorgensen: Right now, we’ve done lots of guns, Foley and stuff like that. I had a really fun session with a friend of mine, Robin, a great recordist at the Science Museum in Norway. We had the whole place for ourselves for one night, and we went out and recorded buttons and switches and stuff like that, which I like to use in my sound design when you do animations and stuff like that. You want like chunky, weird sounds you can use. So, we’re trying to put in lots of general stuff like Foley and wind and city ambiences but also focus on like special weird things that are good to use.

Larry Jordan: How big is your library now?

Peder Jorgensen: I think we’re just past 7,000 sounds now. So we’re building it as we go.

Larry Jordan: What’s it cost?

Peder Jorgensen: It’s $14.99 a month. It’s a subscription thing.

Larry Jordan: Does the download cost anything?

Peder Jorgensen: No, it’s free. There’s always a free version, so you can download it and use it for free, or then you can start subscribing to the pro version when you want to do that.

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

Peder Jorgensen: They can go to getsoundly.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, getsoundly.com. Peder Jorgensen is the co-founder and principal programmer of Soundly and Peder, thanks for joining us today.

Peder Jorgensen: Alright, thank you very much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Scott Page is a musician, technologist and serial entrepreneur. He currently serves as the CEO of Ignited Network which is a start up music accelerator focused on teaching artists how to think like a start up. He’s widely toured as a professional musician. Hello again, Scott, welcome back.

Scott Page: Hi Larry, nice to be back on the show.

Larry Jordan: It is always good to have you on.

Scott Page: Always Larry.

Larry Jordan: Every time I talk to you I learn stuff, so it’s very cool.

Scott Page: Great, well Happy New Year buddy. 2017, let’s do a bunch of these.

Larry Jordan: A very Happy New Year to you as well. Scott, we’ve talked with you with your business hat on, but tonight I want you to switch hats and let’s talk music and music generation.

Scott Page: Sure, sounds great.

Larry Jordan: CES is all about new toys and a hot topic this year is artificial intelligence and more specifically, artificially generated music. Well as a musician yourself, what are your thoughts?

Scott Page: Well, yes, this is coming on really fast. Actually you’re going to see at the end of 2017, Sony’s putting out the first completely auto AI generated album. This whole area of music clearly has a lot of implications for musician composers and arrangers. There’s already a lot of music that’s actually being built right now using AI, commercials, you can start Googling some of these things. Google did a really nice commercial, and the entire score was done through AI, so there’s no question that it’s going to have a major impact on the musicians, composers.

Larry Jordan: Wait a minute. Let’s take a breath here for a second. What’s the difference between MIDI and sampling and artificially generated music?

Scott Page: MIDI and those things are basically tool sets where you can control it through the tool set as an artist. You create a program, then the MIDI transmits and will trigger different types of devices. What we’re talking about here is you type in a mood, give it some parameters, and it goes off and actually creates the composition on the fly. There’s a company out there right now that’s called Jukedeck where you can go in and get license free music for your scores or your background, where it will completely create a music score, under bed, directly for your project. No musicians involved, just totally built through an artificial intelligence to supply what you’re looking for.

Larry Jordan: The music industry has cratered over the last ten years with the near death of CDs, and now with the fact that music is available online from 99 cents a tune. People that are not A list musicians, who are having a hard time making a living, is this going to make their life worse?

Scott Page: Well there’s no question this is going to make it tougher. Especially when you think about a lot of the types of projects out there that now only need a groove and a bed underneath their music under dialog and stuff. There’s no question. What’s happening even more now is you’re starting to see where the music will generate on the fly, based on what you’re doing and the mood that you’re in as a listener. You know, that’s happening a lot in the game business, so there’s no question this is going to have a major impact. Just like all artificial intelligence out there, and this is a very disruptive time right now and it’s not stopping with the music business that’s for sure.

Larry Jordan: If you’re a musician, and I know you are, how do you respond to this? Do you fight it and go with it, and if you go with it, how do you make money with it?

Scott Page: That’s a really good point. Fighting it is a futile exercise. None of this is changing, this is all going to happen. So I think the most important thing is to really dive into it and learn more how you can participate in this space. At the end of the day, the real deal guys will win, because of just the soul and stuff that’s there, that comes out of a human which is really hard for machines. Although, as machines now are going into quantum computing, where before it used to be just on and off, ones and zeroes, well now they’ve added a maybe in there, so that’s going to change everything. So get ready folks, this is about to be a wild time over the next three to five years. It’s going to really start coming on fast now.

Larry Jordan: Scott, for people that want to keep track of all of your thinking, where can they go on the web?

Scott Page: They can either go to my Twitter account which is iamscottpage and I try to communicate with everybody there, or you can go to ignited.network and check out the accelerator, about which we’re actually very excited, Ignited.live, which is our broadcast platform that we’re releasing in the next few months.

Larry Jordan: That website is ignited.network, and Scott Page is a musician, and a technologist. Scott, thanks for joining us today.

Scott Page: Thanks very much Larry. Look forward to doing it again.

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: Kevin Klingler is the founder and president of Smartsound Software. Founded in 1995, Smartsound combines a large library of royalty free music, with software that allows that music to be retimed, remixed, even revised without requiring any musical knowledge. Hello Kevin. Welcome.

Kevin Klingler: Hey Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: Let’s start at the beginning. Why did you decide to start Smartsound all those many years ago?

Kevin Klingler: Well at the time in the mid 90s, I had recognized that there was a real gap between the kind of audio software that was available on the market and a whole new crop of users using audio software. And that gap was that there were a lot of media creators, video editors, and in 95 this was the old analog days, but there was a growing group of users who were not musicians, and at that time all of the music software in the industry, which I was familiar with, because as a professional film and TV composer, I used most of it. So I was highly familiar with what was available on the market, and I was getting to know and learn about and meet all these people who were making videos, and trying to put these music tracks in the videos, and really struggling with it. That was the genesis. We were the first audio software product on the market to actually be for non-musicians, for video creators and media creators. Completely unique. There wasn’t anything like that on the market at all, in those days, and actually for many years after that.

Larry Jordan: Are you still doing composing now?

Kevin Klingler: No, well actually I play guitar for fun and I write songs on my guitar and I just do all that for fun. Smartsound definitely keeps me pretty busy.

Larry Jordan: What would you describe are the key benefits that Smartsound provides that are unique to Smartsound, that we wouldn’t find in a normal music library?

Kevin Klingler: I think it’s significant, and the key benefit is that the tracks are so malleable. You can modify them so easily and in so many ways. We give you so many parameters of control over them. By the way, the software, and as you know, you’ve been a user for a long time, it’s so easy to use. It’s so easy to access these parameters. So it’s not difficult, but we give you so much control that you can actually take one of our tracks, and you have so many creative options with it, you can literally make it into hundreds of other tracks. Not only can you change the length, instantly, but you could change the arrangement, the mix, and we also call that mood mapping, and you can change the timing of certain beats and now you can change and edit your beats. To be more specific, let’s say you have a certain mix, and you change that mix and you can also change the different arrangements of that mix, and you could change that over time so that the track actually sounds like a completely different track. You could take, for example, all of the drums out, just leave in some of the basic sustaining chords and now it becomes a much more atmospheric track. You could focus on just the counterparts of the rhythm and just the melody, so creating kind of a little bit of a breakdown. All of these would make the tracks sound completely different. That’s unique to us, no-one else really does it, and certainly does it the way we do with an eye towards how it’s going to affect your visual.

Larry Jordan: I was on your website and I saw the music library, but what’s Sonicfire?

Kevin Klingler: Sonicfire is our professional desktop application. That’s actually the founding product of the company but Sonicfire Pro has been on the market since 2003 and we just released version six in June of last year, 2016. It’s very exciting, it’s been very well received and was a complete makeover of the software. We updated the interface, we made it easier to use, more flexible. We added several great new features including our cut video to music feature, and a new timing control update. Added a new sound engine. It’s just been really well reviewed and well received by the marketplace.

Larry Jordan: Do you view yourself as a music library that also has software? Or a software developer specializing in music?

Kevin Klingler: All of the above. You know what Larry? If you’re really more oriented towards music, we’re a music library that has great technology. And if you’re more of a software or a technology guy, we’re a great software company that also has good music.

Larry Jordan: Given the fact that we can make lots of different variations on the music, but if we look at the library itself, how big is it? How many pieces of music?

Kevin Klingler: We have over 4,000 separate tracks. I think we’re around 4200 now, separate and unique tracks. A lot of music libraries make a big deal about their hundreds of thousands of tracks. But to enable the tracks for this special technology, that takes time, that’s why we can’t pump out as much music as often and fast as the big libraries. However, one of our tracks, like I said, literally equals up to maybe 1,000 or more of their tracks. But more importantly, when you get one of their tracks, you are stuck with what you have. When you have one of our tracks, if the brass is coming in on your narration or dialog, take the brass out, and you can take it out right at that moment, put your mood marker right there, and take it out right there and have it be out for those next 13 seconds while you have your narration or dialog in and have it come right back in. It’s easy, and it’s quick and it gives you the most flexibility and boom, you’re done, and you’ve got a track that fits perfectly.

Larry Jordan: I want to take a step back because you’ve been in the music industry for a long time, both as a composer and as a library. With so much free music available today, why should anybody pay for music?

Kevin Klingler: That’s exactly what I think our opportunity to the customer and to the market place is. You can get free music, but you are going to just be stuck with the music that you have. You can’t fit it to anything, you can’t do anything else with it. I mean yes, you could put it on another project or something like that, but the piece is going to be the piece is going to be the piece, for as long as you have it. With us, yes, you do have to buy our tracks, but once you own that track, you have so much flexibility in customizing it that that track actually has its own value to you, the way you could form fit it to any project. The way you could form fit it and make it sound different for the next project. It really has a much longer shelf life for you as an owner of the track than a free track.

Kevin Klingler: The other thing I would say that a lot of the other libraries could say, invaluably I think, that we can say as well is, a lot of the music that’s free just simply isn’t that good. By and large, music that is free isn’t that good, or they’re trying to get you to buy something else like their composing services or something. There are strings attached. It comes with all sorts of hidden issues for you that aren’t necessarily going to be best for you. Us, it’s a straightforward inexpensive purchase. By the way, I’ll say that a permanent infinite use license for us, which includes TV use and national use, as well as corporate use, web use and other use, national film use as well, is only $49. But for that $49 not only do you get all those uses, you get to use it on all of your projects for the rest of your life, and change it for every project, and use it as many times as you want. We think that’s a fair business proposition.

Larry Jordan: How should a filmmaker pick their music? Should they look at the library? Does the library even make a difference? Should they look by composer or should they just listen? What criteria should we use for judgment?

Kevin Klingler: A lot of that’s personal. If they have a film that they’re in the process of shooting and or posting, then they probably can go straight to the aspect of looking for the track itself. If it’s more conceptual, or they haven’t started a project yet, then they should start to look at really what does the library offer me in general? Who should I partner with to be a supplier? Some libraries are very good, but you’re going to be very limited creatively with what you can do with the music. Other libraries give you more creative options, but you don’t have any creative control over the tracks themselves like Smartsound, so we try to give you the best of both worlds. If you’ve got the time, I would investigate what all of the different library options offer you in terms of the value for what they charge. For example, there are other music libraries that charge $49 for a track, and when you read their license and you read our license you discover that their license is web use only. It doesn’t include any of the corporate stuff, or any of the regional television stuff or any film festival things or any of the things that we include in national, theatrical use in the US as ours does. So not all licenses are even created equal, so need to really kind of dig deep into what you’re getting into. I think that will really help. When you see the value that something like Smartsound adds to it between the creativity of the technology as well as the broadness of our license, and by the way we have another inexpensive license that gives you pretty much all rights you’d ever want. That’s a very comprehensive license, and it’s easy. You can purchase that right at our sight for no fuss, no muss. If you’re on a project, I would first start right away looking for the music. If you have a sense of what you want. But then you want to look at what kind of technology do they offer? How can you work with the music afterwards? Can I use the music on multiple projects? Or am I just stuck with this one project? That’s another thing, a lot of music libraries will license you a track for that one project and you can’t use it ever again for any other projects. So I think that’s something very important to look at as well.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to learn more about Smartsound and its library, where can they go on the web?

Kevin Klingler: They can go to HYPERLINK “http://www.smartsound.com” www.smartsound.com.

Larry Jordan: So all one word, smartsound.com and Kevin Klingler is the founder and CEO and Kevin as always, thanks for the visit. This has been fun.

Kevin Klingler: Great, thank you Larry as always. Take care.

Larry Jordan: You know, every time I think that video is in a state of confusion, I just have to look over to music and realize what true chaos actually looks like. From software enhancements like ProTools to improve our sound, to software enhanced music like Smartsound, to artificially created music with artificial intelligence, and the challenges that technology is bringing to musicians around the world, it is an amazing time, and we’ll learn more next week at the NAMM trade show.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank this week’s guests, starting with Laurent Martin with Aitokaiku, Tony Cariddi with Avid ProTools, Peder Jorgensen with Soundly, Scott Page, Ignited Networks, Kevin Klinger with Smartsound and 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 2017 by Thalo LLC.

Digital Production Buzz- January 12, 2017

Music is the key to emotion. But creating quality music has never been easy. Tonight, The Buzz looks at different ways to create music and sound effects. From music created by musicians, modified by software, or generated entirely through artificial intelligence, tonight we bring the music to life.

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Laurent Martin, Kevin Klingler, Tony Cariddi, Peder Jorgensen, Scott Page, James DeRuvo.

  • Aitokaiku Creates Ever-changing Interactive Musical Concerts
  • Smartsound: Customize Music Instantly
  • ProTools Updates with New Tools
  • Soundly: Sound Design Collaboration in The Cloud
  • When Music No Longer Requires a Musician
  • The 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: Aitokaiku Creates Ever-changing Interactive Musical Concerts

Laurent Martin
Laurent Martin, Cofounder and CMO, Aitokaiku

Aitokaiku creates ever-changing interactive musical concerts. Co-founder and CMO Laurent Martin explains how this new music technology creates a musical soundtrack to your life.

Featured Interview #2: Smartsound: Customize Music Instantly

Kevin Klingler
Kevin Klingler, President & CEO, Smartsound Software, Inc

Twenty years ago, Smartsound revolutionized the creation of royalty-free production music by allowing it to be instantly customized. Tonight, founder and CEO, Kevin Klingler, stops by to explain what Smartsound did and what still makes them unique today.

ProTools Updates with New Tools

Tony Cariddi
Tony Cariddi, Product and Solutions Marketing Director, Avid

ProTools recently updated their software with new tools and features focused on musicians. Tonight, Tony Cariddi, Avid’s product and solutions marketing director for ProTools, joins us to explain their latest update and how musicians can use it to create new forms of music.

Soundly: Sound Design Collaboration in The Cloud

Peder Jørgensen
Peder Jørgensen, Developer and Sound Designer, Soundly

Sound effects are a critical component of sound design. A new startup – Soundly – has created a library of sound effects and moved them to The Cloud to simplify collaboration, as Peder Jørgensen, co-founder and lead developer for Soundly, explains.

When Music No Longer Requires a Musician

Scott Page
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Networks

What happens when creating music no longer requires a musician? When Artificial Intelligence is the power behind the song. Scott Page, professional musician and entrepreneur, analyzes the newest trend in music showcased at CES and shares his thoughts for the future.

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 – January 5, 2017

HOST
Larry Jordan

GUESTS
Dave Colantuoni, Sr. Director of Product Management, Avid Technology
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Red Shark News, Ned Soltz Inc.
Cirina Catania, Founder and Lead Creative, The Catania Group
Steven W. Roth, CEO, Thalo, LLC
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

===

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we will fearlessly prognosticate what’s going to happen to media in 2017. We start with David Colantuoni, he is the senior director of product management for Avid. Tonight we talk with him about the latest news at Avid, and their plans for the coming year.

Larry Jordan: Next, filmmaker Cirina Catania shares her thoughts on business and technology trends that she’s expecting to impact independent filmmakers.

Larry Jordan: Steven W. Roth, the CEO of Thalo LLC joins us to discuss his plans for Thalo Arts. This is the web network which includes the Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts, the CEO of Lumberjack Systems stops by to predict what tech holds in store for the coming year.

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz, contributing editor to Red Shark News takes a long look forward at hardware, software, VR, HDR and other key trends in media.

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: CES opened this week and the flood gates opened. We’ve been inundated with press releases on a full range of products from the very exciting to the very weird. James DeRuvo will have more details in just a minute.

Larry Jordan: One of the announcements earlier today was that AMD unveiled preliminary details of its forthcoming GPU architecture called Vega. With a development cycle that took five years, this new architecture is focused on gaming, professional design and machine intelligence. The Vega architecture enables GPUs to address very large data sets spread across a mix of memory types, and this new chip is half the size and eight times faster than current GPU chips, with the ability to address up to 512 terabytes of virtual memory. Now this was a technology announcement and how AMD plans to put this into specific products was not announced.

Larry Jordan: And thinking about new announcements, it’s time for DoddleNEWS and an update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hi Larry, Happy New Year.

Larry Jordan: A very Happy New Year to you, and thinking of Happy New Year means CES and oh my goodness, what has happened this week?

James DeRuvo: Put your seat belt on friend, it’s going to be a bumpy ride let me tell you. Well, first up, we’ve got some more details about the new Panasonic GH5 and I’ve got to tell you, I just can picture thousands of DSLR filmmakers putting their cameras up on eBay right now, because the Panasonic GH5, it still records in 4K, but here’s the thing. The new chip is still micro four thirds, but it doesn’t have a crop factor anymore, so they get all of the chip for its 4K imaging. What I’m guessing they’re doing is it actually images in 6K and then processes down to 4K because it also takes 6K still images. So somewhere in the middle there, this hybrid 6K concept which could be paving the way for a GH5 mark II or a GH6 which will go into 6 or even 8K. It’s really amazing and it records 4K 60 with the new H.265 codec, and it’ll be available in March for 1999. Very exciting.

Larry Jordan: OK, what else?

James DeRuvo: We also heard that GoPro is resurrecting the Karma drone. They figured out what was wrong with it, and it’s actually a ridiculously easy fix. So they’re going to be reintroducing the drone later in 2017, and they also are heading in a new direction with their camera technology, basically marrying it to the smartphone. They’re going to come out with brand new software and all of their cameras and everything is going to be geared towards this whole live streaming and publishing onto Twitter and the whole nine yards. They’re going after SnapShot, they’re going after Periscope, and they are really doing an attack. They’re seed changing into a different way of looking at how to use the action camera in the market rather than solely rely on it.

Larry Jordan: What else?

James DeRuvo: DJI also announced new Osmo hand held stabilizers, this time wrapped around smartphones. They also have the new Zenmuse M1 which is a new gimbal that can go on older versions of the Osmo to future proof it so that they can use their smartphones.

James DeRuvo: Ricoh is coming out with a new Ricoh R 360 degree camera which will have live streaming capability and will stitch on the fly. We reviewed the Theta S last year and I found the stitching utility not to be ready for prime time, and so now it looks like they’re just going to have the camera do all the stitching ahead of time and you’ll be able to do live streaming as long as you have an internet connection. It’s not going to be available right now, they’re going to be creating development models to send out to developers in the spring, so that they can start working on connecting with apps like Periscope and Facebook Live and YouTube and things like that. That’s going to be a 2K image and that’s going to be pretty exciting.

Larry Jordan: Interesting. Well we’ve got a little bit of time left, let’s blow through some more announcements.

James DeRuvo: OK. Two more I think we can go for. SteadXP is a company that creates these little dongles that they can put on your DSLR or on the back of your GoPro Hero which has acceleramers built into it and what it does is, it records the camera movement data and then you merge the camera movement data with the video file in their software, and it takes out the camera shake. So you can add image stabilization to any camera you have, and I saw some of the video footage and it’s pretty impressive. It’s not perfect, but it does dampen out a heck of a lot of the camera shake. They had a GoPro connected up to a car and they were driving at about 80 miles an hour, and it was rock steady. Very impressive product.

Larry Jordan: Time for one more.

James DeRuvo: Finally, our favorite crazy, Razer, which is the company that usually puts out game products. They recently bought THX and showed a three screen laptop in 4K.

Larry Jordan: A three 4K monitor laptop?

James DeRuvo: Three 4K screen laptop. Basically the left and the right screens look like they’re on a sliding rail which also doubles as the screen connector, and so you open it up, slide it out and you have three screens. It weighs 12 pounds, it has the latest Nvidia 1080 GPU and it’s supposed to come out later this year. I really hope it does, because this could change gaming for sure, but in post production this could change the way laptops are envisioned, and that’s from Razer.

Larry Jordan: That’s very cool. James, 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.com, and returns next week with a weekly DoddleNEWS update. Good luck surviving the rest of CES James.

James DeRuvo: OK Larry, take care.

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: 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.

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

Larry Jordan: David, a couple of weeks ago we talked about your new announcements of Script Sync and PhraseFind which are really cool. But now, I want to learn what else is new at Avid.

David Colantuoni: Well, we’ve really spent a few years trying to build out our media central platform and that has been a very daunting task from both an engineering side and also trying to accumulate information from our customers so we’re giving them the needs and meeting their challenges that they see every day in their productions. So we’ve built this platform that really allows us to take what you knew of Avid, the Media Composers, the Pro Tools, the Interplays, and we’ve created this infrastructure that really allows other folks in the industry to participate in that platform if they need to do so. Our customers might interact with a transcode engine or something that we don’t create. We create APIs and SDKs that allow those partners, and sometimes there are competitors to participate in that platform, so we really spent a lot of time, the past three years or so since Louis Hernandez Jr joined to really try and be a center point of the industry. We’re known for Avid Media Composer and Pro Tools and ISIS Storage and those are great products and are key to the workflows that our customers use today. But we also need to know and make sure that we’re building the products of the future. We want to make sure that as we build a platform, as we introduce new things that allow us to interact with the rest of the world, that that platform is scalable to meet the needs of our customers’ workflows, that allow our partners to participate, and even do things like deploy them in the cloud eventually. We’ve been spending a lot of time doing that, and that’s really the newest information.

Larry Jordan: Is this similar to building an eco system where people like Blackmagic or effects companies like FXFactory or GenArts can work with your software?

David Colantuoni: That’s right, it’s exactly that. You could consider Blackmagic a competitor. They make Resolve which has editing functionality, but that’s not the way we see it. We see them as a partner because our customers actually use Resolve and Media Composer together. So we work very closely with them quite frankly, to make sure that there were seamless … so our customers could go back and forth from Resolve to Media Composer. Yes, it is an eco system. It is allowing folks in the plug-in world for instance to participate easily. It’s even allowing folks like other asset management systems like Dalet to participate in our eco system if they want to do so. It is all of that.

David Colantuoni: One interesting thing is with our next CD agreement that allows us to take the next CD components and use them in broadcast or enterprise or work station environment like with ScriptSync and PhraseFind, because we have a platform, that actually plugs in so nicely to the platform. They were able to take their technology, build a panel inside of MediaCentral UX which is the peek into our platform, that’s the user facing exposure that you see to the MediaCentral platform, and that panel actually sits and interacts with all the things that we build to allow a seamless workflow. We wouldn’t have been able to do the next CD integration as easy if we didn’t have that platform. So it’s just a good example of how a partner can step in and work with us closely.

Larry Jordan: Change of subject. There’s a lot of conversation these days about support for high dynamic range media. Where does Avid stand on this new media format?

David Colantuoni: We have actually worked very closely with a number of the standards committees trying to set standards and metadata interoperability for HDR and so we do support it today. It’s supported in various workflows inside of Media Composer, so you can ingest. In some cases, we allow you to adjust it or pass it through. We also take some of that metadata and include it in an AAF and pass it on to Resolve for instance, and you can also take that same media and metadata and check it into Interplay. In the editorial sense, Avid’s always been a very good metadata company and so HDR is just a good derivative of things that we’ve been pretty good at in the past. Our key sort of interactivity with it today is through Media Composer.

Larry Jordan: Can you either display some form of HDR and or color grade it?

David Colantuoni: We can. We have some settings inside Media Composer. We can also allow it to be displayed, we have display settings for output, so you could have a Dolby Vision monitor and see the actual output of HDR media directly from Media Composer. So yes, there’s definitely capabilities built in there.

Larry Jordan: It took Avid a long time to integrate Pro Tools with Media Composer. What’s your view of these two tools moving forward?

David Colantuoni: It’s just continued interoperability. I talked about the platform a little bit earlier, and part of that platform was to actually build media engines that allowed Avid products to interact because there was, at one point, a time where you had a video media engine and an audio media engine. They were only exclusive to the products, Media Composer had its own video engine, Pro Tools had its own video engine. What we did was, we spent a lot of time taking the Pro Tools media engine for audio and putting it in Media Composer, and vice versa. The Media Composer video engine in Pro Tools, so that you could seamlessly pass media back and forth. Also we have done things over the years very simple things like naming locators and markers the same name so customers can interop but we’ve also done sophisticated things like AAF functionality from Media Composer to Pro Tools. So there’s a constant interoperability challenge that we’re doing to improve the products to work together. If you know the history of the products, way back when, they really grew up in different worlds which meant that when they were created, the data models that existed in both of the products worked completely different. You know, it’s hard to get those things to merge, and that’s really what we’ve spent a lot of time doing over the past 20 years or so. Little by little, making them work better together because it’s kind of hard to rip a data model out of a product and replace it with something else and not affect past users and things like that. We see a pretty good future together with Media Composer, Pro Tools, and we also have done a few other things like Pro Tools First, where that is a premium product that gets people using Pro Tools from an entry level position and we are still working on a Media Composer First which will do the same thing. Folks that are students or aspiring professionals that want to use Media Composer, they’ll be able to get it for free too. What we’re hoping is that those folks will both use Media Composer and Pro Tools together, and grow up together on them, and start using them as creative products.

Larry Jordan: It must be enormously frustrating to have two hugely powerful tools that don’t in any way talk to each other?

David Colantuoni: Yes, it is and the engineering that has to go on behind it to make them talk together is pretty complicated stuff. What we’ve decided to do is take smaller bites. The video engine audio engine thing was, believe it or not, a big bite, but it had to be done. Then small bites like naming functions inside products, that’s a much smaller bite. So the way we look at it is, we have our maps for both products, and we just keep inching our way through to make the interoperability better. But it is frustrating I can tell you. I think a few years ago having run the business of Pro Tools, and Media Composer at the same time, there were specific needs that the Pro Tools user, they want specific features that aren’t necessarily interopping with Media Composer and vice versa. So you have to find that balance of “How are we going to make these products work better together seamlessly, but also continue to improve Pro Tools on its own and Media Composer on its own?” So yes, it’s a challenge, it really is.

Larry Jordan: But no pressure.

David Colantuoni: No pressure. They’re great products. We’re going to keep working at it, there’s no other way to do it.

Larry Jordan: You’re charged with the product vision for Avid for all of the products that most of us mere mortals work with. What trends are you looking at in the future? That’s not a product announcement, it’s just what’s caught your eye?

David Colantuoni: The biggest things that I see here, and this isn’t necessarily an editorial type thing, but we’re just getting business model deployment changes. People are looking for virtualized Media Composer or Pro Tools or they don’t want to deploy big data centers. They want to run a server based media because they don’t want to run multiple versions of work stations and things like that. So we’re seeing a lot of requests for virtualization and cloud deployment. We’ve all heard cloud for so many years now, but the technology, the pipes, the convergence of the big companies around Microsoft or Amazon or even Google, the pipes are much bigger now. It’s becoming such that it’s easier to do that. It’s easier to deploy 300 Media Composers off a virtual machine. So that’s definitely a trend. I know that it’s strange. We hear everyone’s talked about UHD and 4K for what seems like forever. Now more than ever, we’re hearing 8K. That’s because the Olympics are demanding that. And HK for instance is asking for productions to be done in 8K. VR is a big topic these days. A lot of immersive experience, both on the audio side we’re doing things on Pro Tools and in Media Composer we’re partnering with some tool companies to allow that functionality to be edited inside Media Composer. I think a couple of other trends we see are some of the emerging camera technologies. Media Composer has always been great at metadata. Things like the Lytro Cinema camera or any of the light field technology where you’re capturing all of that light metadata and you’re able to manipulate it downstream, that’s a big emerging trend that we’re starting to see. There’s a never ending request of next gen technology that’s coming.

Larry Jordan: So you’re not sitting back at your desk being bored?

David Colantuoni: No, definitely not.

Larry Jordan: David, for people that want more information about Avid, and its products, where can they go on the web?

David Colantuoni: You can visit us at HYPERLINK “http://www.avid.com” www.avid.com.

Larry Jordan: And David Colantuoni is the senior director of product management at Avid. David this has been a fascinating conversation. Thanks for your time.

David Colantuoni: Thanks again Larry, I appreciate it. Take care.

Larry Jordan: Cirina Catania is a successful writer, director, journalist, tech evangelist and filmmaker. She also produced The Buzz for almost nine years, so I am delighted to say welcome back Cirina.

Cirina Catania: Always glad to be here.

Larry Jordan: Put your filmmaker hat on and your tech evangelist hat, and your geek hat as well and see if you can get all three to fit at one time. What do you see as the biggest business trends in the coming year?

Cirina Catania: Well I think millennials are finally recognizing that there’s a big difference between a beautifully shot two minute short and a full length feature video or documentary and that’s going to help them perpetuate further business if they can figure out how to put a story to it. I see more and more of the younger generation working with the older generation. There seems to be given the cultural and political atmosphere, a lot of anger right now, but also a lot of heading back towards our families and back towards our roots and looking for things that feel more comfortable. So I think that a lot of the older generation’s going to have an opportunity to mentor the younger one. And there’s going to be less tolerance for the free model. I think everyone’s tired of that. And a lot less tolerance for the catch-all, “We’ll hire you for $50 a day if you do these ten jobs and bring your own equipment, and can you be here tonight?” I think there’s going to be a bigger return to teams, and a lot more automation in the production phase that’s going to help post production with things like our Lumberjack and the different programs from Intelligent Assistance. Philip’s on later tonight so I don’t know what he’s talking about, but ask him about FinderCat and there’s a lot of automatic transcription with things like SpeedScriber coming up soon and Lumberjack’s Auto Keywords so I would say more automation, more efficiency, less emphasis on pretty, more emphasis on story. Also less emphasis on gear. If you’re talking about gear then I think we’re going to be talking more about audio because we’ve had our phase with all the new cameras, there’s always new cameras, but for the last few years everybody’s been buying more and more new cameras. Now we have to start thinking about audio, how are we going to get really good audio for that?

Cirina Catania: Advertising and marketing’s changing too Larry.

Larry Jordan: Well let me back up a step. Just thinking about the business for a second. Are you saying that it’s going to become more likely for people to actually make a living, or is the competition for the limited jobs just going to keep budgets in the basement?

Cirina Catania: I think there’s going to be a lot of fallout for the people that were trying and can’t make it. A lot of the young kids that came in and said, “Oh I can buy a really cheap camera. I’m going to have a production business” are realizing that they can’t handle the monthly overhead unless they turn it into a business. So I do think that there will be money for us to be made because again there will be fewer of us. Maybe I’m wrong, but I really believe that if we begin to put our heads together and say “No, we’re not going to work for free,” then everyone will benefit. There seems to be a movement towards that. A lot of the user groups I’ve been going to, people are talking about that. They’re no longer willing to give it away and that can only help everyone.

Larry Jordan: There’s also a trend, and James talked about that in our first segment, at CES, where cameras were announced at 6K and 8K, and there’s a technical push to 16. Do you see any benefit to higher resolution?

Cirina Catania: Not yet, but you know, like we’ve been saying for the last few years, if they build it, we kind of have to go there eventually. I just think that we need to look at deliverables first. And we need to shoot for our deliverables. If you don’t need 8, 10, 12, 16K, don’t shoot in 8, 12, 16K and talk to your producers about not doing that. I for one am not doing that because I don’t particularly need it.

Larry Jordan: You wanted to emphasize audio. What are you seeing in audio that’s caught your eye?

Cirina Catania: Well I think there’s some amazing new technology. For example from Samson, not Samsung, for wireless for our mobile devices, because a lot of people are now shooting on those. So the audio’s catching up. Last year at CES we saw some great innovations from Sennheiser with the 3D audio and I believe they’re bumping that up again this year. I haven’t been over there to see it, but Cal-Tronics has some great solutions for wireless transmission and receiving which is going to be really important to all of us. I just think it’s going to be a pretty good year for that.

Larry Jordan: Last question.

Cirina Catania: You know, there’s a lot of emphasis in CES about the brainwaves and hopefully Philip will talk a little bit about AI. I’m not sure what the subject is tonight, but there’s a lot of emphasis on culling the human brainwaves and taking that environment and using it in learning and research and eventually that’s also going to affect our business. If we can use our eyes and our brainwaves even to manage our cameras, and what we’re shooting down the road, that could be pretty interesting.

Larry Jordan: It could indeed and Philip is talking about artificial intelligence so we’ll get to him in about five minutes. One more quick question. What’s your take on VR?

Cirina Catania: I think that VR, as we’ve been saying and it’s not going to change in my mind, it’s great. They’re saying that 83 percent of Americans are very positive about it. On the other hand, they’re not really watching it. If you’re a gamer yes. If you’re in the travel industry and you want a VR experience while you’re standing on a bridge overlooking the Grand Canyon, that’s great. But I really don’t see it having too many other uses. And 360 in my mind, I think is going to go the way of 3D.

Larry Jordan: I tend to be skeptical of VR myself. We’ll have to see what the future holds. Cirina, for people that need more information, where can they go to learn more about what you’re doing?

Cirina Catania: Go to thecataniagroup.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, thecataniagroup.com. Cirina Catania’s the founder and lead creator for The Catania Group. Cirina, it is always wonderful hearing from you. Have yourself a very Happy New Year.

Cirina Catania: Thank you, Happy New Year. Bye.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Steven W. Roth is the creator and president of Thalo LLC and its websites, Thalo.com, Doddlenews.com and digitalproductionbuzz.com. Thalo is an artist community with a global perspective on all things creative, and Steven is also the executive producer of the Buzz. So, this seems a perfect time to learn more about Thalo, and Steven’s plans for the future. Hello Steven, welcome.

Steven W. Roth: Hi Larry, Happy New Year.

Larry Jordan: What is it that brought you to have such an interest in the creative arts?

Steven W. Roth: Larry I have an investment in another company called Chartpak Inc. Chartpak originally was a company that focused in on manual tools and accessories for architects, engineers and draftsmen. When I got involved in transforming Chartpak into a creative products company, we felt that the next evolution really was for us to get into education, so we wound up creating classes for Michaels Craft chain, so it’s been a natural evolution for us. Then I felt it was time to build a community where artists and creative people can meet on the same platform, share their experiences and their tips and techniques and any other types of resources that they want to offer. So we wound up creating Thalo.com and Thalo.com really is a site for all creative people. Subsequent to this, as you know, we’ve acquired Larry Jordan and we’ve acquired DoddleNEWS and we’ve acquired Digital Production Buzz, so today what we really are is a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers and what we’re trying to do is to provide tools and training and resources to expand peoples creativity and also to help them monetize their assets by building and growing their business.

Larry Jordan: We’ve had the pleasure of James DeRuvo from DoddleNEWS giving us news every week on The Buzz. Is DoddleNEWS just a news site?

Steven W. Roth: No, DoddleNEWS actually started out providing product information on technology and also about film viewing news. So what we’ve done is since we’ve been fortunate enough to acquire Larryjordan.com and Digital Production Buzz, we’ve been able to try and coordinate between film viewing and filmmaking news. What we’ve done on the Digital Production Buzz is we’ve started to expand the members that are contributing to our content. You know, James DeRuvo, we moved him into your weekly shows and focusing in on film and technology. We’ve taken a writer from Thalo, her name is Laura Blum, and she’s been focusing on new films and events, and we’ve also had a regular on named Scott Page who’s the CEO of Ignited Network and he’s been basically focusing in on artists and filmmakers and helping them trying to monetize their assets through business strategies and marketing techniques.

Larry Jordan: So going forward, what are your plans for the family of companies for 2017?

Steven W. Roth: The year of 2016 was a year of acquisition, integration and planning. For 2017, what we want to do is bring on new trainers, and we’re also going to be covering new topics that we haven’t covered before. Doddle will continue to report on its film viewing news, and we’ve just recently upgraded Doddle’s mobile app. It’s a digital call sheet that helps independent filmmakers manage people around an event. We’ve just recently upgraded the IOS app from Apple, and we’re waiting for the approval and we’re going to be offering new types of products on Larryjordan.com and the digital production call sheet will be one of them.

Larry Jordan: What’s got you most excited about 2017?

Steven W. Roth: Well I think with 2017, this is the year where we can really launch Thalo Arts in its entirety. You know, what we’re trying to say is that Thalo Arts is going to be our corporate site where we have our very focused websites of Thalo.com, Larryjordan.com, doddlenews.com and even possibly where we’re toying around with coming out with Thalo casts, which Digital Production Buzz will be a part of. Basically, Thalo Arts incorporates a creative community and then it drills down deeper by website to be very focused and relevant to the users that are interested in the information that each site provides. We’re very excited about expanding the library as I mentioned. We’re very excited about going out and now marketing much more heavily. We’re going to not only expand our training as I just mentioned, but we’re also looking forward to actually doing live training classes where we may set up a city tour.

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

Steven W. Roth: They can go to thalo.com. They can also go to larryjordan.com. And also to doddlenews.com.

Larry Jordan: Not to mention thedigitalproductionbuzz.com and Steven, as the executive producer of the Digital Production Buzz, thanks for joining us today.

Steven W. Roth: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts is a technologist and the CEO of Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System. Even better, he’s a key technology expert for The Buzz. Hello Philip, Happy New Year to you.

Philip Hodgetts: Happy New Year to you too Larry.

Larry Jordan: I am really looking forward to our conversation because I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going to tell us. What key trends do you see happening in 2017 that we need to watch?

Philip Hodgetts: Well I think there are probably three key trends that I’ll be watching this year. They are the virtual reality, high dynamic range and the various implementations of what are loosely put under the umbrella of artificial intelligence, but really what you and I talked about a couple of weeks ago where there are now a whole range of these smart APIs which is a programming interface that connects different types of applications together so that the smart APIs can be used by programmers. So they’re the three things that I think will be interesting this year.

Larry Jordan: I want to go in reverse order. What makes artificial intelligence so important? I mean, programs have been talking to each other since programs have been talking to each other.

Philip Hodgetts: Well, you may be surprised to hear it comes back to an interest of mine, metadata.

Larry Jordan: It does come as a surprise to me.

Philip Hodgetts: I know. Nobody knows that about me, but it really does come down to. What metadata is used for is organizing our media and the better and quicker we can get our media organized, the more time we have to do the creative process. In an increasingly pressured world, that’s the one thing that we probably have to have, is that creative talent. So what the smart APIs will let us do is to get metadata faster without taking up human time. So for example, SpeedScriber is an iteration of a new type of transcription tool that largely uses a web API for the basic transcription that has an excellent interface for correcting that. Lumberjack System does already use a smart API to pull out the key words from the transcripts provided. It’s only reasonable that this year these will be implemented further so that we’ll be able to get sentiment recognition so we’ll know if somebody’s emotionally charged or somebody’s restful in a particular shot. All the artist’s information on what the shot contains in terms of object identification. We’ll get information about recognizing faces and putting names to them in most cases and of course speech detect has been the one that everybody has wanted desperately for many years, and I think is the one place where we’ll get practical speech detects not absolutely perfect, but no transcription is ever perfect. So once we have practical speech detects, we then have a mirror into the content that we can start to do all these other sentiment and emotion and key word extractions from. So I see those as being very important, and I’m pretty sure that this is the year that some people are going to implement them, because the aforementioned SpeechScriber is already in Beta and I certainly have an inside into one company’s plans for this year.

Larry Jordan: Well let’s shift to something else you were following which is virtual reality. It will not surprise you that I am somewhat skeptical. What’s your take?

Philip Hodgetts: I am skeptical about virtual reality but not as skeptical as I was about 3D, can we go with that? I was incredibly skeptical about 3D and some of the same things concern me for the widescreen implementation. But the ability to experience another location and be able to have that entirely subject I think will really power on in the gaming industry, in the remote presence industry, impractical tours, in fact tours of places where you don’t actually have to go. Imagine a street view where you can literally walk down the street and look around any which way, at any point in the last ten years. I mean, these are practical implementations that I see great value in. I’m sure there will be people who do amazing things in experimental narrative, but the very nature of having to have that headset on, makes it very much a solitary activity and you know, movies and television are very much communal activities and I’m just not seeing how those two things will meld together.

Larry Jordan: We’re just going to have to talk to you again every month or so to find out where we stand in this whole process. Philip, for people that need more information, where can they go on the web?

Philip Hodgetts: My random thoughts are at philiphodgetts.com and the companies are at lumberjacksystem.com and intelligentassistance.com.

Larry Jordan: And where are your non-random thoughts?

Philip Hodgetts: My non-random thoughts are in the company sites, and here of course.

Larry Jordan: That is all one word, philiphodgetts.com or intelligentassistance.com. Philip, thanks as always, we’ll talk to you soon.

Philip Hodgetts: Happy New Year.

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

Ned Soltz: Hello Larry, and Happy New Year to you as well to as to all of our listeners.

Larry Jordan: And a very Happy New Year to you as well. Cirina earlier in the show talked about some of the business trends she was watching and we also talked about VR and Philip was talking about AI, artificial intelligence, and VR which I’m sure covers everything that could possibly be said. So that only leaves, let’s see, hardware and software and…

Ned Soltz: Hardware and software and delivery and only a few other dozen assorted things.

Larry Jordan: So let’s start with hardware. What do you see?

Ned Soltz: Well of course the big announcement that has all the buzz these last couple of days is Panasonic finally announcing the GH5 and it’s finally available for pre-orders with shipping beginning the end of March.

Larry Jordan: Why is it such a big deal, because James made the same point at the beginning of the show?

Ned Soltz: It’s a big deal for a couple of reasons. The GH4 is still, to this day, extraordinarily popular as a still camera, and is probably one of the most feature-laden of all the hybrid cameras. Still popular, just because of its versatility, its image quality, the quality of the Panasonic V-Log, and the GH5 has a number of advances, most notably, the on-sensor image stabilization. I wonder out loud how much Sony technology Panasonic may have licensed for this, but of course neither Panasonic nor Sony would tell. But it’s very similar, at least in the smell test if you will, to the camera’s on-sensor stabilization, of the A7 series and now the A6500, but faster auto-focusing. The big thing of course, among other things, is there’s a 10 bit internal 422 codec for HD. HD up to 120 frames per second. It will do 4K 60p and dual SD card slots, and UHS2.

Larry Jordan: Now Cirina was saying that we all bought cameras and maybe this year is the year where we take a step back away from cameras. Do you think this may be a wonderful device but it may be falling on deaf ears?

Ned Soltz: You know, that’s very hard to tell. For Micro Four Thirds and Panasonic folks, this is something that I think is a major advance from the GH4. I do believe that GH3, particularly, and maybe even some GH4 users are going to look at it, and it may be just enough to tip the scale with some Canon users who maybe are seeing a little bit of a disappointment on the Canon side with essentially motion JPEG capture codecs and the new 5D mark whatever it is these days. Really more disable the video with Canon trying to push people … so it may push some of those people toward Panasonic. I think that has a good ring to it and I would certainly watch it and I think Panasonic has a lot of potential with it.

Larry Jordan: Let’s shift gears away from that camera. Any other hardware stuff you’re watching?

Ned Soltz: Well I’ve been playing with a nice toy for the last week and it’s got to go back tomorrow so I’m going to play with it a little bit more tonight after we get off the phone, and that’s the GoPro Karma Grip. This takes the Karma gimbal from its ill fated Karma drone, but there was nothing wrong with the gimbal, so it takes the gimbal from that and mounts that into a handle which can then easily fit the standard mount, for the Hero 5 black, but there’s also an optional mount for the Hero 4. As I say, I’ve been playing with it and the impressive thing here is like with any handheld gimbal, how stable the images are but how much integration there is with the camera. Particularly because this thing can run for about five hours on a charge. It powers the GoPro, it just plugs right in to the USB and HDMI ports of the GoPro in the mount. I think it’s a real winner.

Ned Soltz: The other thing too is, because I’ve played with some of the handheld gimbals for smartphones or GoPros from other brands, and they’re a pain in the neck to balance. This is already pre-balanced for the GoPro, so you just slide your GoPro in, it’s balanced, and you just power it up and it takes five seconds or so to start up, and there it is. So if you’re a GoPro user already, and you want to do some stabilized shots, this is the way to do it. It’s got even one added bonus, because there’s also included with it a little clip of these GoPro mounts, and you can actually mount it to anything with a GoPro mount which could be anything from handlebars to the body pack or anything else that has the GoPro mount. So I think for $300 this is a pretty good adjunct to fill out your GoPro. And while I’m at it, I’ve been playing with the Hero 5 which I did get and that’s the best GoPro ever. I know they’re falling on hard times, and there’s a lot of inexpensive competition out there, but I’m still very bullish on GoPro because they have the software development. They know what they’re doing in these small cameras. I’m pulling for them with drones. I hope they can recover with the Karma. But DJI is a pretty formidable adversary these days in drones, so who knows what’s going to happen with them there. So that’s another bit of hardware I’ve been playing with.

Larry Jordan: Well, one of the announcements I was reading this week is the new HDMI spec. Help me understand what that means.

Ned Soltz: Ah yes. The spec is issued by the specification group that calls itself The HDMI Forum, and it’s HDMI 2.1. What this essentially is is the bandwidth of the cable first of all which is going to be like a 48g cable. We’re really passing some data right here, and this 48g is going to be sufficient to be able to pass uncompressed video. But it’s spec, they’re saying right off the bat, is up to 8K 60p or 4K 120p, and buried in the small print is that it may even be able to ramp itself up to resolutions of 10K, 100 or 120p. It’s going to be able to carry that much data.

Larry Jordan: Ned. Why do we need resolutions that high?

Ned Soltz: Because we can. Because we’re human beings…

Larry Jordan: I was afraid you were going to say that.

Ned Soltz: …and we test the laws of physics and we even try to violate those laws of physics whenever possible. I think the 10K might be a little ambitious, but the 8K I certainly think is significant in motion picture and feature production.

Larry Jordan: I’m going to argue with that, but not right now. Actors wear makeup for a reason. The one thing they don’t want is an 8K close up. Everybody’d be intimidated by that.

Ned Soltz: Yes, well the worst though I will say, is not so much an 8K but the 48p, I saw ‘The Hobbit’ in 48p a year or two ago, I can’t remember. It was too realistic. You could see where the prosthetic devices were, so I think there is the case of the human eye resolves at essentially 48 frames per second. It was just too realistic. But again, like with anything, even with 4K, if you’re starting with 8K worth of pixels, and then down res even to HD, you’re going to get that much better a solution. More than that, you can pull a better still from 8K. You know, I think it’s there and…

Larry Jordan: Yeah.

Ned Soltz: RED’s offering it, I dare say we may see it this year in other cameras.

Larry Jordan: They’re testing the Olympics at 16K. It’s ridiculous. Anyway, before we run out of time, anything else you want us to pay attention to?

Ned Soltz: Pay attention to the new tech Wowza media DS box. Just announced yesterday, it’s a $12,000 box, but basically what this can do is take 4SDI or NDI signals, and it’s essentially a built in media encoder and distributor that works in cooperation with Wowza’s distribution network. Essentially allowing you such things as to be able to take one feed and stack it to various delivery modes, so you can take one feed, record and encode that and stream that out to the web or for browsers, Apple TV type devices or the like. So really what is happening here is, we content creators now are going to have more opportunities with devices such as this, to be able to get content out to a wide range of devices all done in real time, all with a relatively inexpensive hardware appliance that our delivery folks would be acquiring and utilizing to push our content out.

Larry Jordan: You know, what’s happening is we’re all turning into individual broadcast stations. I find that very fascinating.

Ned Soltz: It is.

Larry Jordan: Ned, where can people go to keep track of your latest thinking?

Ned Soltz: Well, my latest thinking these days will be on HYPERLINK “http://www.redsharknews.com” www.redsharknews.com where I’ve added a few pieces over the last few days, and there should be more coming out over the next couple of days, or creativeplanetnetworks.com where there are a couple of older pieces from November, but there’s a constant flow going there as well.

Larry Jordan: And Ned Soltz is the creative editor for both Red Shark News and Creative Planet Network. Ned, as always, thanks for joining us. I learn every time I talk with you.

Ned Soltz: What a pleasure, and again, Happy New Year.

Larry Jordan: Same to you. Take care, bye bye.

Ned Soltz: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: It’s a fascinating question, “What does the future hold?” It’s one we’ve been asking and trying to answer since we could speak. This year is no different, and I’m sure that everything we project is not going to happen. It’s going to be something totally different, and I’m always curious to see what that is.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests tonight, David Colantuoni who is with Avid, Cirina Catania, independent filmmaker, Steven W. Roth with Thalo, Philip Hodgetts with Lumberjack System, Ned Soltz with Red Shark News and Creative Planet Networks, and James DeRuvo with DoddleNEWS. It is a great group of people to try to figure out what’s coming down the road.

Larry Jordan: Looking forward is good, but looking backward is too. There is a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online, and all available to you today. And remember you can talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com.
Larry Jordan: Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner with additional music provided by Smartsound.com. Text transcripts 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 2017 by Thalo LLC.

Digital Production Buzz- January 5, 2017

The food has been eaten and the lights are down – with 2017 well and truly started – we are joined by old friends to talk about the year ahead and what trends they are seeing emerging.

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Dave Colantuoni, Steven Roth, Cirina Catania, Philip Hodgetts, Ned Soltz, and James DeRuvo.

  • Avid’s Plans for 2017
  • Ned Soltz’s Predictions for 2017
  • Cirina Catania’s Thoughts for 2017
  • Thalo Looks Ahead to 2017
  • Philip Hodgetts’ Key Trends for 2017
  • The Weekly DoddleNEWS Update

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Guests this Week

Featured Interview #1: Avid’s Plans for 2017

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

David Colantuoni is the senior director of product management for Avid. Two weeks ago, when Avid announced the upcoming release of ScriptSync, we spoke with David about his plans for the coming year. Tonight, we air part two of our interview.

Featured Interview #2: Ned Soltz’s Predictions for 2017

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

Ned Soltz grabs his favorite crystal ball and shares his 2017 predictions for hardware, software, virtual reality, HDR and other tech trends. Grab something to write this, this will be fun!

Cirina Catania’s Thoughts for 2017

Cirina Catania
Cirina Catania, Founder and Lead Creative, The Catania Group

Cirina Catania is a successful writer, director, journalist and tech evangelist.  She is one of the original co-founders of the Sundance Film Festival and produced The Buzz for almost nine years. Tonight, she shares her thoughts on key business and tech trends for 2017.

Thalo Looks Ahead to 2017

Steven W. Roth
Steven W. Roth, CEO, Thalo, LLC

Steven W. Roth is the CEO of Thalo LLC. This creative community of artists and websites includes Thalo.com, DoddleNEWS.com and the Digital Production Buzz.com. Tonight, Steven looks ahead to 2017 and what he sees happening with this creative arts family.

Philip Hodgetts’ Key Trends for 2017

Philip Hodgetts
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System

Philip Hodgetts is one of the most respected names in tech today. He’s also the CEO of Lumberjack System. Tonight, he shares his perspective on the technology trends he expects to see in 2017.

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.