Producer’s Corner: September 25, 2014

I See the IBC and the BuZZ is There with Breaking News

This year was my first “in person” IBC and I walked away very impressed, not only with the quality of the exhibitors but also with a profound appreciation for the attendees, who seemed enthusiastic and polite on a level that we don’t quite see at NAB! If you can imagine 50,000 plus people all mingling with little fanfare and lots of concentration, that is IBC. No booths blaring louder than the next vying for attention and giving us headaches.


To set the record straight, I do love NAB and will continue to cover it for years to come, but it was nice to visit with all my favorite exhibitors without the cacophony of a football field after a touchdown!


Since there is so much coverage of the “majors,” I thought it would be fun to wander the halls looking for something interesting and new and… lo and behold, there were quite a few exhibitors with something unique to discuss.


You can visit the BuZZ here to hear any of the following interviews that aired on the 18th of September. And for the 25th of September show, check them out here.


One of the breaking news stories out of the gate at IBC was Blackmagic Design’s purchase of eyeon Software. Steve Roberts, CEO, talks with Larry about it on the September 18th BuZZ. This beloved compositing tool has been used on over 1,000 feature films and it fits like a glove when combined with other tools in the Blackmagic arena, namely DaVinci Resolve. The booth was BuZZing with folks wanting to take a look at Fusion 7.

Jim Geduldick, Cinema and Photo Marketing Manager at GoPro, braved the crowds to stand with me and talk about all their new gear and even gave us some tips about how to get better time lapses. I do apologize for the quality of the audio, as I was trying out a new shotgun mic that was not the best choice, but you will undoubtedly still find it interesting.

Over at the Freefly Systems booth, Sam Nuttmann let us know that the price on some of their more popular gimbals is dropping and that the M4 is shipping. Good news for all.

I love talking to executives who can give us an overview of the industry. Graham Sharp, SVP of Global Products at Vitec Videocom has been in the business for over thirty years and explains his take on why IBC is important and where he sees independent filmmakers and broadcast television going in the future.

I found a group of brilliant developers from Russia who have a company that is providing services to the news industry with the ability to stream live proxies and high res footage if the connection allows it. It is called (check it out on the web) and let the developer, Iakov Pustinlik know what you think. Impressive.

While I was covering this news, Philip Hodgetts of Lumberjack Systems grabbed the executives from Adobe: Steve Forde, Principal Product Manager, Visual Effects for the Creative Cloud and Alissa Johnson, Product Manager for Collaborative Workflows at Adobe Anywhere. Anyone involved in visual effects will certainly want to check it out on the BuZZ.

Of course, we are all total gear heads, right? So one of the first stops was to the Zeiss booth where Michael Schiehlen, Director of Sales and Service for Car Zeiss AG gave me a sneak peak at their new line of lenses specifically designed for my new Sony A7! (Saving pennies for all of these now.) This interview aired on the BuZZ on September 25th.

Speaking of the 25th, Tom Bassett interviews with Larry about a film he produced called, “Briefly,” that is being released for free viewing on the internet here on the 30th of September. Having grown up in the studio marketing sandbox, I particularly identify with the culture surrounding these infamous pitch briefs. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, this is one documentary you won’t want to miss.


One the eve of the National Labor Relations Board decision to order CNN to rehire more than 100 union technicians and compensate over 200 others, we were curious about what our legal correspondent, Jonathan Handel, might say about it. Jonathan is an Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter and the go-to person for us when we want in informed opinion. His interview is an eye-opener. See more from Jonathan Handel here.


And, Rollo Wenlock CEO and Founder of the new site, Wipster, talked to us about the importance of having an efficient and well-designed platform for Cloud-based media reviews. Wipster launched this week and the BuZZ was there to cover it. Oh, and did we tell you that it is free?


Coming up soon: The amazing 3D artists from Maxon!

Please visit the BuZZ and feel free to write me at

More photos from IBC:


Birdseye view of the SuperMeet



Ali Ahmadi of Lite Panels with BuZZ Producer Cirina Catania

Ali Ahmadi of Lite Panels with BuZZ Producer Cirina Catania

Michael Horton and Dan Berube

Michael Horton, Dan Berube, and friends

All photos taken by Cirina Catania

Cirina Catania

Cirina Catania
Supervising Producer
Digital Production BuZZ
Write to Cirina at:

Producer’s Corner: November 22, 2013

This week on the Digital Production BuZZ, we visit Evan Daugherty’s reimagining of the uber-classic characters from Super Mario Brothers (you’ve never seen them like this before); take a walk into the world of mega-storage with Brent Bucci, Vice President of MediaFire and learn some tricks from one of Playhouse West’s charismatic acting coaches, Kathleen Randazzo.

Speaking of storage:  Did you know that MediaFire is offering up to 100 GB for under $3 a month?  What?! I’ve been watching them for a while and thought it was time to share this with you, especially since they are going into beta with a new version of the site and I’m jumping on board. Didn’t want to be selfish and leave you out.  There will be more on this in the very near future, but check them out at and join 100 million others in the playroom.  Nice.


Ok, this one is creative and so very cool.  Have you been on Polaris’ YouTube site lately? Check it out: Watch The Four Players and you’ll see a brand new take on the classic Super Mario Brothers characters that we all know and love, The Fixer (Mario), The Addict (Luigi), The Soldier (Toad) and The Star (poor Peach, still in jeopardy). You’ll be interested in what writer/director Evan Daugherty has to say about these films and his career in Hollywood. Evan wrote one of the industry’s most highly sought after spec scripts for a movie while still in college, Snow White and the Huntsman. The film grossed over $400 million. He didn’t stop there.  The prolific scribe went on to pen even more blockbusters:  He Man aka Masters of the Universe for Warner Brothers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Paramount and director Michael Bay, and the upcoming GI Joe 3 for Paramount and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura.  But it is his creative freedom on the new shorts that seems to excite Evan the most.  Let us know what you think, but my opinion is that they are well written and shot, well acted and the production value is high, especially when you consider Evan utilized his own money and lots of friends and favors.  The shorts were shot on the RED Epic in 5K and posted on FCP.  Dailies were processed on 1080p.

The Fixer (Mario)

The Addict (Luigi)

The Soldier (Toad)

The Star (Princess Peach)

Speaking of well acted, I met Kathleen Randazzo on the set of a film I was directing a few years ago where she played Dean Caine’s wife – yes, the wife of Superman, well, not Superman in that movie, but you get the drift.  If you ask her about her first loves, acting being one of them, she will surely tell you how much she also loves coaching at Playhouse West. Founded over thirty years (1981) by ago by  Robert Carnegie and Jeff Goldblum and practicing the legendary Sanford Meisner technique, the school boasts such notable alumni’s as Ashley Judd, James Franco, Jim Carrey,  Heather Graham, Sean Astin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Scott Caan…but wait, there’s more…and Adrianne Palicki (who starred in G.I. Joe, sound familiar?) Kathleen gives us tips, tricks and lots of encouragement, and she’s gorgeous with a melodic voice, so settle in and enjoy!

As ever, we are so grateful to you for listening to our show!  Please email me to if you have questions, want to suggest a guest for an upcoming show or comment on something you have heard.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Cirina Catania
Cirina Catania
Supervising Producer, Digital Production BuZZ
Write to Cirina at:

Producer’s Corner: August 8, 2013

This week’s BuZZ is going to be very interesting! We will be talking to Chuck Braverman, co-founder of Westdoc; Doug Hansel about Avid’s Media Composer 7 that shipped in July and B-Movie sensation Sharknado’s editor, William Boodell. But, before I go into a bit more detail about our line-up, there is something that I wanted to mention to you.

At the recent ComicCon in San Diego, I was struck by the hundreds of thousands of fans waiting in lines overnight for the chance to see one of their entertainment icons. Why is this important? Perhaps because we get so busy working that we sometimes forget who we are working for – The Fans – the people throughout the world who sit back and enjoy the work of creatives, executives and marketing folk and others who spend almost 24/7 to make entertainment.

(Photo credit: Cirina Catania)

I interviewed the likes of long-time stars William Shatner, Roseanne Barr and Wayne Knight and the men and women behind Marvel and DC. I moved through the halls speaking with folks who were there to work or to gawk, met some incredible producers and filmmakers at events with companies such as PCB Entertainment, the folks behind Infex, Ascend, Exile and the now classic, Black Ops (much more on them soon) and I got the inside info on Walking Dead, Supernatural, Blacklist, Hannibal, Grimm, Black Sails, Game of Thrones, Sidekick, Spider-Man and Superman. So many, that I came home in ComicCon shock. But it was fun!

Sometimes we forget that entertainment is not just a way to make people laugh, cry or think. It is an integral part of their lives and gives them something to look forward to in the hard times, to celebrate with others in the good times or to use to educate themselves within meaningful (or not-so-meaningful) pursuits.

Any way you look at it, we create something valuable. So when the times get tough and you think about whether or not it is worth it, or wonder if you should have taken your parent’s advice and become a doctor, don’t dwell on the doubts. Relish in the thought that what you do IS special. What we all do together in whatever small or large way we contribute to a project…well, that is valuable. How cool is that? Right?

With that thought, we move to three people who have created something very special and who are going to be speaking with Larry Jordan and Michael Horton on the Digital Production BuZZ.

Chuck Braverman is an Academy Award nominated filmmaker and co-founder of Westdoc, the West Coast Documentary and Reality Conference being held in Los Angeles from September 15-18 at the Landmark Theater. In its fourth year, the conference is fast gaining a reputation for bringing network execs, distributors and industry influencers in contact with creatives from all walks of the entertainment landscape. We are looking forward to speaking with him about the amazing roster of speakers, master classes, and events, as well as the upcoming PitchFest that traditionally marks the final day of the Conference and a special screening of Michael Jorgensen’s film, unclaimed. For further information on Westdoc or to register, click here.

Avid previewed Media Composer 7 at NAB and excitement was high. They finally started shipping MC7 in July to our relief! There are so many new features that we thought we’d ask Doug Hansel, Marketing Manager for Pro Video and also one of the designers of the product, to enlighten us. We’ll be talking about transcoding solutions, working with “bigger than HD,” for accelerated hi-res workflows, the need for a unified worldwide standard for tape delivery (using the UK as one example of a system that seems to be working) and how editors can make sure their clients are complying with the legal “loudness” standards. You won’t want to miss this one. For more information on Avid MC7, click here.

And who could have missed the broohaha on Twitter and all over the web for the new entry into the Instant Cult-Classic Club, Sharknado? Editor William Boodell has some really funny and informative stories to tell about what it was like spending three months in the editing suite on this low-budget, innovative and quirky film. Love it or hate it, you have to admit, if you see it, you won’t forget it! These are stories you won’t hear anywhere else!

Thanks for listening to the BuZZ.

As always, feel free to contact me at news(at)Catania(dot)us with story ideas or just to give me feedback on the show!

And remember, stick to your dreams. They have all the answers!

Cirina Catania
Cirina Catania
Supervising Producer, Digital Production BuZZ
Write to Cirina at:

Producer’s Corner: July 11, 2013

I was at an LAPPG (Los Angeles Post Production Group) event last night and many in the room were talking about this “industry,” and how hard it is to find work. The topics centered around the fact that many clients are not paying as much as they used to for our services. However, the presentations by members during the meeting of their current work, including a demonstration of the beta version of “Lumberjack” for logging,  faded all that into the background as I thought that, “surely, this amazing creativity will rise to the top.” And it will. Just persevere and it will pay off! Hopefully, some of the wonderful guests we bring on to the BuZZ have information that you find interesting, useful and inspiring.

Nick Campbell of Greyscalegorilla is a Cinema 4 artist and creative force with a huge fan base. He makes iPhone apps under the BananaCameraCo moniker, teaches motion design, and we are delighted to have him on the BuZZ tonight to talk about his most recent work. He has been sharing his time with students and creatives to help them become more successful doing what they love … and that is a very good thing. For what better way to be happy than to make money at your craft?

Talking about perseverance, Josh Mitchell’s short film, “Helen Keller Had a Pitbull,” sounds, well, pretty gripping…we have questions. How does someone who is working in several different arenas (writer, director, actor and publicist) have the time to finish a film? We applaud him!

I traveled to a very hip part of Culver City a couple of weeks ago to meet dynamic Ric Perez-Selsky, Technical Director at Popsugar. He is a whiz at using the Tricaster and managing live productions, which he is doing on a daily basis. Where does he find the time to also make his own films? Sounds creative to me! I watched his videos and was impressed and he kindly agreed to take time to speak with us on the BuZZ. I think you’ll like what he has to say.

Dan May, President of Blackmagic Design has some thoughts on the recent announcements about their company’s support for Adobe and some new ways for us to use DeckLink.

Adobe made a formal announcement concerning Adobe Anywhere this week. We had seen a preview of it at NAB and have been waiting to try it out. They are right, working long-distance is a growing problem for media producers and content providers. Media files are getting bigger and bigger and the highway is getting crowded. Is this our fast lane to the future? Hope so!

Thanks for listening to the BuZZ. I am always up for questions or suggestions for stories. Email me to news (at) catania (dot) us and I’ll get right back to you.

Happy creating!

Cirina Catania
Cirina Catania
Supervising Producer, Digital Production BuZZ
write to Cirina at:

Producer’s Corner: June 27, 2013


We work all day, from early morning until late at night, close down the computer one last time (or put it to sleep if you are like me and you have 12+ programs running at once) then commute home (even if that means walking away from the desk into the living room).  Ah, time for…. TV?  Facebook?  A movie with friends? The latest video game?

Why do I mention this?  Because it occurred to me that, even though we all work LONG hours, eventually we have to take a break.  And while we are taking that break and enjoying some well-deserved R&R, someone has created something that allows us to do this!

So, once again, I am acknowledging and celebrating creativity.  Whether it is a shout-out to those who develop the software and hardware that we use every day, or those who shoot in the field creating beautiful images for us to enjoy or the sound engineer who makes it easy on the ears (or not, depending on the content)…and many more very valuable “creatives,” including the building engineer who keeps my air conditioning running in the 100 degree Burbank heat!

As soon as I post this, I am running off to a meeting of the PGA Diversity Committee, where the participants (and mentors) are being treated to a two-hour lecture on “How to work with a director,” by Paris Barclay, (“NYPD Blue,” “The West Wing” and “Glee”) the first black, openly gay President of the Director’s Guild of America. This, only a day following the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA.  It has been a milestone week.

On tonight’s BuZZ, John Tierney, President of Digital Anarchy, talks about Beauty Box version 3.0 with fast, realistic digital makeup for films, commercials and music videos.  It’s a timely subject, especially given the recent uproar over the summer billboard campaigns featuring Madonna, Beyonce and Melissa McCarthy where none of the above is recognizable!  Frankly, my ladies, we love you just the way you are and we applaud you for taking your creative teams to task about wanting to change you.  And while we are on the subject, over several major fashion designers have now announced that they will be “creating” for plus-size women, despite what those billboard punk folks at Abercrombie & Fitch are doing. But more about Beauty Box…we love that we can make our actors look beautiful without photoshopping out the curves!  And, frankly, we need Beauty Box to do it…so thank you, Jim.  Nothing wrong with digital makeup to help do the job that our lighting obviously didn’t.

Digital Anarchy's Beauty Box

 Philip Hodgetts blogged recently about CUDA.  What’s CUDA?  (I asked that as well.)  But rest easy, Philip says, don’t panic.  Adobe has thought of everything in this case and developers out there will be able to “call the card’s hardware layer” via NVIDIA’s language. More on this on the BuZZ.  And, since the WWDC was just a few short days ago, we will also be asking Philip about the new MacPro.  We think he likes, hey, Philip, he likes it!

Alberto Sirrocco comes from a long line of Italian artists, including a great-great-grandfather who worked on the architecture for St. Peter’s Square in Rome.  Now, Alberto, who I haven’t met in person yet, must be a pistol, because he got his start doing graffiti.  Can’t you just see the Italian police chasing him out of the Square?  What on earth would his grandfather think?  But, all is well in LaLaLand, as Alberto relocated here and started leftchannel, a design studio specializing in motion graphics (and more).  Somehow this interview appeals to the renegade artist in all of us, doesn’t it?  Enjoy.  I especially like his work on the Red Hot Chili Peppers “Monarchy of Roses” video.

Alberto Scirocco

Bruce Nazarian visited us briefly a couple of weeks ago and began talking about making Lemonade from lemons…a music extravaganza devoted to all things Contemporary Jazz and funk music, that came about from a disastrous experience a few years ago.  Well, Bruce, we are sorry that it happened, but looking at your Facebook page at:

Lemonade Weekend

We are kind of glad this is where you ended up. See you in Hollywood in March 2014.

And, keep creating!

Cirina Catania

Cirina Catania
Supervising Producer, Digital Production BuZZ
write to Cirina at:

Producer’s Corner: April 4, 2013

Tonight’s DPBuZZ is all about friendship, hanging out and sharing news and information. It doesn’t matter what the “economy” is telling us. We need a place to congregate –  to see, hear and interact on a personal level with our geeky peers.  What better place than the 2013 NAB Show!  The Woodstock of broadcasting/creative/tech conventions, it is a virtual mecca for all things, well.. broadcast, creative and tech.

If you can’t find someone to talk to in the middle of 100,000+ of your best friends surrounded by over 1,500 exhibitors with the latest and greatest, you need to crawl into a tunnel and stay there for a few years!

Our first guest tonight is Tim Jenison, who I met recently while attending an event at NewTek in Hollywood with @ThatKevinSmith and @LisaKudrow (among others) about the #FutureOfTV.  Tim is the original developer of Video Toaster and was quoted in the late 1990′s predicting that there would be a revolution in the way video was produced – basically, signaling the emergence of the desktop video revolution. I know that Larry Jordan and Michael Horton will love taking a walk down Memory Lane with Tim.  Senior VP of Artists and New Media Relations, Philip Nelson joins us in the conversation.

Do you know that we have listeners in over 170 countries?  Grant Burton has been on the live chat with us every week since the original BuZZ with Philip Hodgetts!  We finally get to meet him in person tonight, since he’ll be live with us in the studio.  Grant is the Video Producer and Learning Technology Analyst with the Royal Australian Air Force!  We are honored.

And, I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of boring and mostly cheesy licensed music.  Haven’t you heard it all before?   DJ’s and Music Producers, Matt Nelson and Tom Hinton co-founded Remix Your Brand and they claim to have something much more relevant to offer.  Their lives are immersed in club and electronic music and their production music reflects their young and trendy attitude towards scoring creative productions. We’ll find out more tonight.

For our tech family, the yearly Media Motion Ball at the NAB Show is something we look forward to on an annual basis. It’s like the relatives gathering around the holiday table.  All those behind the scenes folks who work together every day to make our hardware and software solutions work and make us better at what we do. Carey Dissmore has been one of the main organizers of the event for many years and he’ll give us the inside scoop tonight.  Oh, and Carey is also the founder of the famous IMUG list.  Want to be on the list?  Tune in tonight and find out how.

The NAB Show is exhausting. By the time the six days is over, all we will have left are lots of information/memories, a suitcase full of thumb drives, sore feet and.. well, maybe a trophy from the KISS Monster Mini Golf Tournament.  Indoors, black lights and should we come in wierd makeup?  Eric Harnden, organizer, tell us everything we need to know, including how to cross the street from the Hard Rock after the official NAB opening party.  See you there!


Don’t forget to contact me with suggestions for guests: - please put The BuZZ in the subject line!

See you on Twitter at @Cirina and @DPBuZZ

Thanks for listening!

Cirina Catania
Producer, Digital Production BuZZ

Producer’s Corner: March 14, 2013

The marriage of technology and creativity – ah, it’s magical!  

Don’t you enjoy observing how developers and engineers build the technical foundations that exist to support us as we create media content? And isn’t it amazing to then turn around and witness that technology working to make content come to life in the hands of creative people? It is truly a daily miracle in Hollywood.

ATEME is a French company that has been on the forefront of technology since the 1990′s.  There have been some recent announcements concerning the upcoming h.264 codec and changes on the MPEG4 front.  So why is this important?  Because it will change the way we create, transport and store our media as we move into hi-def, 4K and beyond. Benoit Fouchard is Chief Strategy Officer at ATEME and he is involved at the highest level with these new developments and is coming to the BuZz to tell us more. 

Photo by Cirina Catania

Shanaya Fastje is a lovely and talented young lady who inspires me every day in so many ways.  She is a sought-after motivational speaker with a special commendation from President Obama, author of 3 books, the most recent being, “Bully in the Mirror.”  She runs a production company, 13th Productions, and is creating a web series entitled, M.D. Squared.” Shanaya is also a singer/songwriter with two popular songs selling on iTunes.  She is a high school graduate and…she is only 13! So if you are having a day where you can’t seem to get motivated, just listen to her for a few minutes and you will realize that you can never give up!

There is a reason why Stephen Nakamura is one of the most sought-after digital intermediate colorists in Hollywood.  His work at Company 3 has brought him to some of today’s top features.. Prometheus, Zero Dark Thirty, The Departed, Kill Bill, The Terminal, The Aviator and more.  His most recent work was on OZ.  Speaking with Stephen, we learned that the filmmakers wanted to use a film-style LUT. It seems unusual and  not necessarily the norm, particularly when the workflow included the RED camera and the film was never going to go “out to film” again. We also want to know more about color choices for those amazing costumes, the production design and numerous visual effects.  Color is an art form and Stephan’s work is beautiful.

Dave Basulto is one of those great and memorable teachers.  He also has another life creating and inventing and writing.  He is, on the one hand, a media arts and animation instructor at San Marino Hight School in Southern California.  (The program is part of the Los Angeles county Regional Occupational Program.) His students win multiple awards on a consistent basis.  When not teaching, he is a journalist specializing in Avid products and the post-production community and he loves iPads for teaching, content creation and social media.  With the advent of the iOgrapher, we can add inventor to his list of titles.


Don’t forget to contact me with suggestions for guests: - please put The BuZZ in the subject line!

See you on Twitter at @Cirina and @DPBuZZ

Thanks for listening!

Cirina Catania
Producer, Digital Production BuZZ

Producer’s Corner: March 7, 2013

We have been debating 4K here at the BuZZ and with our tech friends around the globe. Do you think it will resonate with audiences? Do you think content providers will be able to make a living producing with 4K in mind? Although there are some who would disagree, I believe we will have no choice.  When new codecs are developed that support the bandwidth requirements and when large corporations like Sony declare publicly that they will be creating avenues for us to enter this marketplace, I can’t help but think that we will have no choice.

Larry Jordan just got back from BVE (Broadcast Video Expo) in London, where he gave a talk about H.265 and 4K.  You can see it here.

Benoit Fouchard of ATEME joins Larry for a lively discussion about H.265, 4K, bandwidth and all that we will need to move into that arena. I think you will find it enlightening. The discussion ranges from how production at high resolution needs to change from HD, a timeline for when we can distribute 4K images and why faster frame rates are almost inevitable with higher resolutions.

photo courtesy of Build Your Own Drone Ltd.

While we are on the topic of BVE, Larry also brought back three interesting interviews. If you know Larry, you know he just loves anything electronic that comes under the category of “toy” and some that are more sophisticated – sort of the big boy toys, right?  So when he walked by the booth for a company called Build Your Own Drone, Ltd, he just couldn’t leave it alone. His talk with Martin Toovey, Director, about a portable flying platform for cameras that just might replace more traditional helicopter shots makes us want to go out and spend our allowance. Oh, and Larry says, it is a “really cool three-foot, spider-looking-thingy.”  Put this one on your list for next Christmas.

Also at BVE, Larry spoke with Alex Panton, a London-based agent in the 4K arena  who,  apparently, is putting the fear of you know what into producers everywhere, because he represents below-the-line techs.  We like that.

Finally, in the BVE segment of tonight’s broadcast, Chuck Silber, COO, of NewTek updates us on this company that has become the darling of anyone who broadcasts over the internet and for anyone left who works in old-fashioned television.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist..

Sean Mullen is someone we’ve been watching for about a year now.  He is a highly experienced special effects designer who has worked on literally hundreds of film, television and music video projects.  His company, Rampant Design, is growing so fast we almost can’t keep up. The good news is he has numerous solutions for video producers who need drag and drop effects for their work.  How hard is it to balance between the left and right side of the brain, run a business and still stay creative?  I’ll bet we can all relate to that, right? 

Philip Hodgetts and his partner, Gregory Clarke were invited to exhibit their app, Lumberjack, at the recent Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA).  While there, they also noticed that there was some very interesting technology emerging from some of the other exhibitors.  Philip is here to tell us about what he observed, what he learned and how Lumberjack was received.

Producer’s Corner: February 28, 2013

Richard Symons, founded a company called Spirit Level Films in 2001. In true independent fashion, the company makes films that they want to make on their terms

photo courtesy of Spirit Level Films

and in their own way.  This preserves the creative vision, allows them to tell stories that are compelling and important to them, but also makes life very challenging as they are completely self-financed.  Their two-film endeavor, Price of Kings, has received critical acclaim from all corners of the globe.  It was not easy to produce, however, and interviewing Yassar Arafat and Shimon Peres took many months of planning.  The team persevered and the results are classic documentary filmmaking at its finest.  Richard joins us to talk about how it was accomplished, what he learned during the process and what he might do differently next time.

Bruce Nazarian, CEO of Digital Media Consulting Group has been a long-time friend and contributor to the BuZZ.  I was speaking with him a couple of weeks ago and asked him if he would  clarify his take on the continuing discussion many of us have been having about the  “death” of flash, the rise of HTML 5 and how best to use H.64.  He wrote a great post about what is happening to each of these in all aspects of our production and post-production lives and Larry talks to him on the show so we can more details.

There are many unsung heroes in our business, some of them are tech experts, creative gurus and consultants who are buried several levels behind the front lines and who work behind the scenes with major companies on major projects.  Because they are consultants, however, we don’t often get to meet them and we certainly don’t see their names up there in the credits.  Mistika post production solutions have been used recently on films such as,  The Hobbit, Prometheus,  and The Amazing Spiderman.  Nicholas ‘Nico‘ Recagno is an online stenographer, with SGO Mistika and tells us more about what it is like to provide technical support for some of those award-winning projects.   

I’ve been privileged to have been involved for a very long time with the Producer’s Guild of America Diversity Committee. Each year for the last few years, the Committee announces a Call for Entries and accepts applications from people around the globe who wan to vie for a chance to be accepted into the Diversity Workshop.  Ten lucky people are chosen each year to attend a nine-week series held at the Guild offices in Beverly Hills.  Guest mentors have included such notables as Marshall Herskovitz, Damen Lindelof, Ali LeRoi, Luis Barreto, Shonda Rhimes, Mark Gordon and more.  Subjects covered include story development, pitching, packaging, financing, marketing and new media in the areas of tim, television, docs and web.  It is a veritable master class.  We want all our BuZZ listeners to know that the 2013 Call for Entries opens on February 25th and invite you to submit yourself and your projects for consideration.  If you have a project that you believe might be appropriate for a diversity workshop, act now, as you only have until April 15th to apply.  You can go here for more information.

Tonight’s show has been pre-recorded because Larry Jordan is on his way to London to speak at the BVE.  We are looking forward to hearing how the trip went and what new information he will be gathering while he is there.  Visit this link to see the list of seminars the Larry will be conducting from 26-28 February, 2013, at the BVE in London!


Don’t forget to contact me with suggestions for guests: - please put The BuZZ in the subject line!

See you on Twitter at @Cirina and @DPBuZZ

Thanks for listening!

Cirina Catania
Producer, Digital Production BuZZ

Producer’s Corner: February 21, 2013

Michael Cioni, CEO of Light Iron. was on the BuZZ a few weeks ago to let us know that he was going to have some “big news” in the very near future. Sure enough, he wasn’t kidding.  Shortly thereafter, Light Iron purchased Off Hollywood and Michael moved to New York City, where he is loving life in the Big Apple and creating more post production magic.    

Norman Hollyn, Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts has some very interesting things to say about directing comedic productions.  It isn’t as easy and not always as funny as you think!

Michael Kammes, Director of Technology and Marketing at Key Code Media tells us about Nexidia’s Dialogue Search and a cloud-based editing service from Forescene.

Our  legal expert, Jonathan Handel, Entertainment Labor Reporter for the Hollywood Reporter takes a step back and looks at what SAG and AFTRA have scheduled on their calendars for the year.  He maintains that we can predict what is going to happen with these guilds by what he sees there.  Interesting concept and we tend to believe him. You can read a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter and then tune in tonight for more information!

And Jessica Sitomer, The Greenlight Coach is back with more career advice.


Don’t forget to contact me with suggestions for guests: - please put The BuZZ in the subject line!

See you on Twitter at @Cirina and @DPBuZZ

Thanks for listening!

Cirina Catania
Producer, Digital Production BuZZ