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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:

Digital Production Buzz — June 27, 2013

  • Getting “Touched-Up” is a Touchy Subject
  • Graphics Cards, the New MacPro, and the CUDA Debate
  • Right-brain Work for leftchannel Productions
  • Lemonade from Lemons: Planning a Musical Mega-Event

GUESTS: Jim Tierney, Philip Hodgetts, Alberto Scirocco, and Bruce Nazarian

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New interviews every show! Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton LIVE this week as they talk with:

Jim Tierney, President, Digital Anarchy

Digital Anarchy recently announced a new version of Beauty Box, their video plug-in that softens and retouches skin tones. With all the talk recently about stars who do NOT want to be touched up – we thought it would be fun and timely to discuss with Jim Tierney, president of Digital Anarchy, what their software does and when beauty is fine just as it is!

Philip Hodgetts, President, Intelligent Assistance

Last week, at the WWDC, Apple provided a sneak peek at the upcoming revision to their MacPro computer. Reactions were instantaneous, with one very loud discussion centering on graphics card support and capability. Philip Hodgetts, president of Intelligent Assistance, joins us this week with his evaluation of the new MacPros, and his thoughts on the graphics card controversy.

Alberto Scirocco, Creative Director, leftchannel

Alberto Scirocco, Creative Director for leftchannel, hails originally from a long line of Italian artists. He came to the U.S. in 2003 and channeled his own passion for art into a successful venture, leftchannel, handling motion graphics for film, advertising, broadcast, and environmental design among others. This week, we talk with him about his company, his clients, his projects, and his perspective on production.

Bruce Nazarian, The Digital Guy

A couple of weeks ago, we had Bruce Nazarian, “The Digital Guy,” on the show to introduce us to Lemonade Weekend 2 – a massive multi-day musical event scheduled for 2014.We ran out of time, so we’ve invited him back to continue the discussion on how to plan an event designed to attract hundreds of thousands of people. It’s a fascinating process!

The Buzz is all the information you need now to know what’s coming next!

The Digital Production BuZZ airs LIVE Thursday from 6-7 PM Pacific Daylight Time. Ask questions during the show on our Live Chat, listen live, download an episode from the archives, or subscribe to the podcast either through iTunes or our website. Whatever you do, DON’T miss this week’s show!

Discover Magma’s Thunderbolt PCIe Expansion for the New Mac Pro

The absence of PCIe slots in the next-generation Apple Mac Pro introduces a challenge to users who rely on PCIe cards and other specialized hardware in their workflows. Now, more than ever, Magma’s Thunderbolt PCIe Expansion chassis are a key accessory for users to take full advantage of the GPU muscle in the new Mac Pro while also protecting investments in specialized PCIe cards.

Magma‘s ExpressBox 1T and ExpressBox 3T enable serious professionals to attach PCIe cards to ANY Thunderbolt-equipped computer, supporting the next generation of “outside the box” high-speed connectivity. Current ExpressBox 1T and 3T product designs will make upgrading to Thunderbolt 2 a breeze. Magma is excited to expand our Thunderbolt product line beyond basic PCIe expansion to sophisticated and cutting-edge Thunderbolt solutions.

The Magma team has worked diligently with partners to ensure Thunderbolt compatibility with our PCIe expansion products. As a result, Magma’s Thunderbolt PCIe Expansion product family will provide cost-effective options for a smooth transition from Apple’s Mac Pro Tower to the newly redesigned Mac Pro.

Next-Generation Apple Mac Pro:

  • Cylindrical design
  • New Intel Xeon Processor
  • Dual Integrated AMD FirePro Graphics
  • New PCIe based flash storage
  • All expansion is external through (6) Thunderbolt 2 ports

Magma Thunderbolt PCIe Expansion:

  • Protects your investment in PCIe cards
  • Offers smooth transition from Mac Pro Tower
  • Easy upgrade to Thunderbolt 2
  • Enables highest expansion capability
  • Compatible with most popular PCIe cards

Magma has a history of providing revolutionary expansion products that bridge the gap from classic technology to new technology for any configuration. They are committed to providing high quality, rock-solid expansion solutions to meet the needs of our customers, and they are excited to be involved with the evolution of the new generation of Apple Mac Pro products.

Click for more information about Magma’s ExpressBox 1T.

Click for more information about Magma’s ExpressBox 3T.

New iPro Lens System for iPhone 5 from Schneider Optics

Renowned lens and filter maker, Schneider Optics, has announced that its popular add-on lens system for the iPhone is available for the iPhone 5. In addition, the system now offers a larger family of lenses, including a new Macro and Super Wide.

The iPro Lens System is purpose-built to enable professional quality photographic and video imagery with the iPhone by adding the benefits of interchangeable Macro, Wide Angle, Super Wide, Fisheye, and Telephoto lenses to capture more in every shot. The iPro Lens System’s professional optics are simple to use, easy to handle, and smartly self-storing in an integral black case that doubles as a handle. A bayonet mount securely fastens the lenses to the custom iPhone case.

Due to the iPhone 5 design, the Schneider team engineered an entirely new, improved outer case. With a slide-on design, the 2-piece system offers easy installation and removal. Plus, users will appreciate the soft touch feel on the rugged case.

Because the iPhone 5 camera provides increased resolution, a better lens, and improved sensor, Schneider engineered a new family of lenses: the Series 2. This includes a new Fisheye, offering 180 degrees of view with a larger image circle and sharper images. With a 150° increase in width, the Super Wide doubles the field of view of the iPhone’s built-in lens. The handy Wide Angle offers true edge-to-edge sharpness. For detailed close-ups of stamps, coins, jewelry, and flowers, there’s the new Macro. The 2X Tele lens was designed from the ground up in anticipation of the higher resolution iPhone 5’s camera — so it’s a perfect match.

Those who already own the original iPro lens series for the iPhone 4 and 4S will now be able to use their existing lenses on the iPhone 5 by upgrading to the new iPro 5 Series 1 case. The 2-section case features a bayonet mount to accept both the original iPro optics and the new Series 2 lenses as well.

Click for more information about Schneider Optics’ iPro Lens System.

Strata Pro 1.1 With Support for ATEM Production Studio 4K Is Now Shipping

Strata delivers a unique touch driven surface for controlling ATEM Switchers. Perfect for live environments, Strata communicates directly with your switcher via a Wifi access point so does not require a computer.

Strata offers a range of features, depending on the version you purchase and the device you run it on.

Strata Pro : Designed to provide extensive remote control of your switcher from an iPad, Strata Pro controls all the main buttons on ATEM TelevisionStudio & ATEM 1ME and 2ME, including both MEs of the ATEM 2ME switcher. As well as the Program and Preview busses, Strata Pro controls selection of downstream and upstream key on-air, key-next, dsk ties, dsk auto, transition style, and fade to black. In addition to the large CUT and AUTO buttons and thumb controlled T-Bar allows creative control of transitions. A second panel provides one touch assignment of sources to be routed to the Auxilliary outputs of the 1ME and 2ME (all six outputs). A third panel provides faders and metering for all the audio channels of your switcher. Finally 2 recordable EMEM Macros allow recording of control sequences up to 256 steps for immediate recall.

Strata Lite : Designed to provide basic switching control from iPads or iPhones, to be used by less experienced operators, or even by on screen talent, on iPad, Strata Lite provides control of Program and Preview busses, plus Auto, Cut and TBar. On iPhone, Strata Lite provides only program bus source selection on large buttons.

Strata View : In order to test communications with your switcher, or to use as a tally display (for a limited number of connections), Strata View is a free version of Strata Lite which displays switcher status, but does not allow control of the switcher.

Compatibility : Strata supports devices running iOS 5.1 and later delivers a unique touch driven surface for controlling ATEM Switchers running firmware version 3.4 or later. Strata has been actively tested across the whole range of Apple iPads and iPhones with iOS 5.1, 6.01 & 6.1 and ATEM 3.4, 3.5 & 4.0

Click for more information about the new Strata Pro 1.1.

Cinedeck 4.2 Software Upgrade Takes Tape Out Of The Loop

Cinedeck LLC, pioneering developer of capture systems for motion picture and broadcast production, will ship a powerful new v4.2 software release on July 1st 2013 that enables its dual-channel RX and quad-channel MX file-based recorders to cost-effectively replace traditional tapedecks in everyday editorial and post production operations. Headline features include Playlisting, RS-422 deck control, LUT shaders, Segment Record, H.264 streaming, plus enhanced Audio options, Burn-ins and Closed Caption recording. This new release will also unleash an array of additional features, including ARRIRAW recording and 3D stereo modes, which further advance the versatility of Cinedeck recorders in digital cinema and broadcast workflows.

Cinedeck recorders are already sweeping aside tapedeck technology in live and mobile OB production. With the v4.2 release, new playlisting capabilities and enhanced RS-422 deck controls, combined with the recorders’ renowned abilities to connect to SAN and NAS shared storage, expand their deployment options within editorial and post production operations. Now, the Cinedeck RX and MX can be utilized as either players or recorders in a range of master/slave configurations, and undertake the tasks of two or four tapedecks respectively.

FotoKem, a leading full-service post production facility headquartered in Burbank, CA, has already implemented the v4.2 upgrade, successfully replacing traditional tapedecks with Cinedeck recorders. Others companies to similarly employ the new software include Modern Video Film and broadcast network Nickelodeon.

Highlights of Cinedeck v4.2 software upgrade:


Harnessing the non-linear editor built-in to the Cinedeck interface, editors or machine room operators can select multiple clips, and play them in a desired sequence with clean cuts. Cinedeck’s playlist function allows the arrangement of clips in any order, from any folder and from any compatible format. Additionally, the playlist functions enable users to set in- and out-points on a clip to create sub-clips, which can be included in a playlist.

Enhanced RS-422 Deck Control:

The latest RS-422 enhancements allow Cinedeck RX and MX to directly control, or be controlled by, other devices in a “machine-to-machine” editing mode, where Cinedeck is the recorder or the player capable of creating instant, non-linear assemble-edits using file-based media. Uniquely, the interface of a remote tapedeck can be emulated on the Cinedeck screen, giving users complete control of a tapedeck via the RX or MX. Two channels of RS-422 control with the RX, and four channels of deck control with the MX, allow the recorders to be deployed in a range of master and slave configurations with nonlinear editing systems, outboard controllers and tapedecks.

LUT Shaders:

Users can import and apply LUTs (Look Up Tables) non-destructively in realtime, and view the results via the on-board display on the RX and MX devices, or on output monitors. Users also have the option of recording the master and/or proxy files with LUTs applied.

Segment Record:

Also known as “user-defined chunking”, Segment Record allows long recordings to be split into segments of specific shorter duration. During a recording, each time the specified duration is reached, the current file is closed and the next segment file begins. Segments can be fully-accessed for playing, copying, and transfer to a SAN. Breaking large recordings into smaller pieces also allows the use of auxiliary storage devices that have file size limits.

Enhanced Burn-in Options:

The new v4.2 release allows users to select from a range of burn-in options including timecode, file names and LUT names. The ability to burn-in additional data, such as GPS coordinates, will be released in subsequent software updates. New character overlay tools allow users to control the horizontal and vertical position of character overlays, as well as character size, foreground and background colors for each channel independently.

Closed Caption Support:

Version 4.2 software supports the recording and playback of standard CEA-608 and CEA-708 ‘DTV’ Closed Caption data in MOV-wrapped recordings. Closed captions in Op1A MXF, AFD and V-chip will be supported in a 4.2 maintenance release.

H.264 Streaming, Extended Encoder Audio Support and more:

Cinedeck has added extra H.264 encoding profiles, and MP4-wrapped H.264 is now streamable. Advances in audio recording include support for MOV-wrapped with interleaved audio, mono audio or separate WAV audio files, and input-to-file channel remapping. Other enhancements include 10bit to 8bit video input down-sampling for 8bit codecs (XDCAM, H.264), and gang-playback of multiple channels.


Cinedeck is also releasing ARRIRAW recording and enhanced 3D stereo modes in a v4.2 update, scheduled for July 2013:

ARRIRAW Recording:

With this forthcoming feature, the RX and MX recorders can directly record the RAW, full-resolution signal from ARRI Alexa cameras at standard frame rates up to 60fps. Users can record master and proxy versions of ARRIRAW material, and have full access to Cinedeck’s unrivalled choice of codecs if they want to use multiple channels for each camera.

Expanded 3D Stereo Modes:

The Cinedeck RX and MX models can perform synchronized recording and playback of 3D material using any codec from Cinedeck’s unparalleled range. They support Anaglyph Flip-Flop, and vertical/horizontal side-by-side viewing of 3D images.


Click for more information about Cinedeck’s v4.2 software release.

Wiredrive Enhances Service To Deliver Lightning Fast Upload Speeds to Customers Worldwide

Wiredrive, the leader in cloud media sharing for advertising, production and marketing teams, has announced enhancements to its media assets management service that increase file transfer speeds by up to 11x, making it one of the fastest file transfer and collaboration services in the marketplace today. The enhancements are available immediately to all of its customers at no additional cost.

Wiredrive confirmed that updates to its network increase user upload speeds by an average of 6x in North America and Europe, with some areas like London (11x) and New York (9x) experiencing far greater improvements. Other major cities tested include Tokyo at 6x, Sao Paulo at 6x and Sydney at 5x. Wiredrive upload speeds were verified in a study by Gomez, the web performance measurement division of Compuware.

The new upload speeds provide exceptional value for creative teams working with large HD video files. More than 75% of Wiredrive’s current customer base is involved in creation, production, post- production and asset management for advertising agencies, with the remainder spread across the consumer products and entertainment industries.

Wiredrive’s new upload speeds are made possible by hardware and software-based network enhancements that connect all Wiredrive clients directly to the company’s secure, private datacenter in California, bypassing bottlenecks and traffic jams typical on shared networks.

Accounts for Wiredrive’s cloud based production management and library service allow unlimited users and projects within any account.

Click for more information about Wiredrive Network Update Pricing.

Click for a demonstration of Wiredrive’s new upload speeds.

Click for more information about Wiredrive’s Network Update.

Introducing the Kessler K-Plate

The K-Plate from Kessler Crane is a Kwik Release plate and all-around mounting solution designed to help keep your accessories organized. Built with CineDrive in mind it provides the compact mounting needed to organize tools such as monitors, audio equipment, CineDrive focus and zoom motors and much more. Its wide footprint with rubber-tipped feet allow for stable table-top mounting and its array of threaded holes provide near infinite customization. Add to the fact that it accepts 15mm rods and can include an optional side-mounted cheese plate and the K-Plate delivers incredible versatility.

15mm Rod Support

The K-Plate is compatible with industry standard 15mm rods for mounting follow focuses, CineDrive FIZ motors, matte boxes and more.

Table-Top Use

Rubber supports provide extra gripping security when set on top of most surfaces to keep the rig steady and to avoid slipping.Use with our K-Plate Kickstand to maintain balance when long lenses cause the system to be front heavy.

CineDrive F.I.Z./Magnelink Compatible

Use the K-Plate with CineDrive FIZ motors, motor control boxes and in conjunction with Kessler’s innovative Magnelink system to keep your camera and devices organized and in an all-in-one configuration.

Multiple Mounting Holes

Features several mounting holes for use with monitors, microphones, etc. Use our K-Plate Cheese Plate for even more mounting holes.

Arca-Swiss Compatible

Compatible with industry standard Arca-Swiss style dovetail quick release systems and the Kessler Kwik Release system for ultimate versatility.

Click to see the instructional demo of the new Kessler K-Plate.

Click for more information about the new Kessler K-Plate.


Maximize your Avid Workflow with the New EditStor EO and EditStor ES

Fast, affordable, highly scalable and full of media workflow features, Archion Technologies‘ EditStor is available in two models – EditStor ES and EditStor EO – both of which enhance Avid, Apple and Adobe workflows. Take advantage of important editing tools like Avid project sharing (bin locking) across your Macs and PCs.

Archion understands media workflows and our shared storage solutions are designed with this in mind. With over 13 years serving thousands of editing professionals globally, Archion is committed to the best solutions for post production and related workflows – storing, creating and editing. Consider a few highlights:


  • Up to 1500 MB/sec through single EditStor engine
  • Client support for bonded GigE and 10GigE
  • Auto defragmentation during writes


  • Hot pluggable, low cost expansion chassis
  • Up to 960TB per engine
  • Unlimited clients support (no per seat software cost or license)


  • On the fly volume expansion
  • Transparent Avid project sharing (bin locking)
  • Automated near line and replication tools

Discover the advantages for yourself by joining a shared storage technical specialist for a web demonstration or a consultation.

Click for more information about Archion Technologies’ EditStor ES.

Click for more information about Archion Technologies’ EditStor EO.

Inside Insight: Training by Marc Loftus

These days, pros looking to expand their skillsets need not travel any further than their computer screens. The Web has become an incredible resource for those looking to be trained or build their existing creative muscles on current post tools.

There are lots of free tutorials available online, but those looking for more in-depth instruction might want to consider any of a number of paid online resources.

Click here to read more.