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Digital Production Buzz — July 31, 2014

  • Television Production at Southeastern University
  • Update on “Avid Everywhere”
  • John Lennon and The Pop ’69 Movie

GUESTS: Ian Fritzsche, Philip Hodgetts, and Johnny Brower

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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Ian Fritzsche, Director of Media Services, Southeastern University

Ian Fritzsche is the Director of Media Services for Southeastern University. Recently, they added Panasonic AK-HD3800 cameras to their studio. We talk with him this week to learn the why and how.

Philip Hodgetts, President, Intelligent Assistance

Avid has focused their company on “Avid Everywhere.” But what does this mean? Philip Hodgetts is attending a special briefing from the CEO of Avid and joins us this week to explain what was said.

Johnny Brower, Writer/Producer, The POP 69 Movie, Bella Luma Films

Johnny Brower is the writer and producer of “The Pop 69 Movie.” He returns this week with more stories from making the movie and his adventures with John Lennon, Eric Clapton, the Doors, Chuck Berry and many more!

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

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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – July 24, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

July 24, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


      Click here
to listen to this show.]


Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


Zack Arnold, Editor/Director

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

Marty Lafferty, CEO, DCIA (Distributed Computing Industry Association)


Voiceover: The Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra-reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

Voiceover: Live from Ralph’s Maytag Museum and Podcast Studio in beautiful downtown Burbank, it’s the Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: Production, post production, distribution.

Voiceover: What’s really happening now and in your digital future?

Voiceover: The Buzz is live now.

Larry Jordan: And welcome to The Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for creative content producers covering media production, post production, marketing and distribution around the world. My name is Larry Jordan. Our co-host, Mr. Mike Horton, has the evening off.

Larry Jordan: Editor, director and producer Zach Arnold joins us to talk about editing. He’s edited episodes of Burn Notice, Glee, The Bannen Way and many others. He’s also becoming increasingly interested in how all of us sedentary folks stay in shape. He’s started a new website entitled Fitness in Post.

Larry Jordan: Entertainment technology attorney and Buzz regular Jonathan Handel stops by to explain the significance of the recent SAG-AFTRA contract, which went into effect today; and Marty Lafferty is the CEO of the DCIA, that’s the Distributed Computing Industry Association. I’ve wanted to have a conversation with him for a long time about where the cloud makes sense for producers creating and distributing programs and where it doesn’t

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of marketing buzz about how important the cloud is and I suddenly had an insight as I was getting ready to have our conversation with Marty that there are actually three different levels to production. There are four, actually. There’s planning, production, editing and distribution and whenever I think about the cloud, I always view it through the lens of editing, which is probably where the cloud is least suited, and I realize that the cloud probably makes a whole lot more sense if we take a step back and look at the entire production process in general.

Larry Jordan: Well, Marty’s got a lot of experience with the cloud, remote servers and everything related to the internet and I thought this would be a perfect time to have a longer conversation with him in terms of where we should go and what we should consider, what we need to pay attention to and where some of the pitfalls are.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder that we are offering text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription. Now you can quickly scan or print the contents of each show, as well as listen to it. Transcripts are located on each show page. You can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making these transcripts possible.

Larry Jordan: By the way, Blackmagic had a mini trade show today in Las Vegas. No, how about Los Angeles? I had a chance to attend and chat with a lot of the people that were there, including Adobe, and took a look at the new DaVinci Resolve 11, which is still under beta, and I realized there’s a whole lot of stuff I can write about. So I’ve got some thoughts to share with you at the end of this show on some upcoming articles that I’m going to be releasing in my weekly newsletter. I want to share those with you as well.

Larry Jordan: Make a point to visit with us on Facebook at We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ; and you can subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at for an inside look at both our show and everything that’s on it.

Larry Jordan: I should talk about this newsletter for a second. The Digital Production Buzz newsletter comes out mid-morning on Fridays, Los Angeles time. Tori is our editor and she spends a lot of time making sure that we’ve got a lot of interesting stuff in the newsletter. If you haven’t signed up for it, it’s free. Not only do we have summaries of the show and the ability to listen to individual interviews as part of the show, but we also provide what we call inside insight. These are industry articles written by others that are relevant to folks like us that are working in the media community and the newsletter’s available free, comes out every Friday. Just go to and sign up.

Larry Jordan: I’m going to be back with Zack Arnold and we are going to talk editing right after this.

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Larry Jordan: Zack Arnold has been a professional editor for 15 years. Most recently on the TV series Burn Notice, his background includes editing feature films, scripted dramatic television, documentaries, theatrical trailers and DVD bonus content. He is also just finishing his directorial debut of the documentary GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story. Hello, Zack, welcome.

Zack Arnold: Hello. Thank you so much for having me here, Larry, I’m excited to be back.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you and, as I was prepping for our interview earlier today, I was getting more and more excited because I want to talk about editing.

Zack Arnold: Great. Well, I love to talk about editing…

Larry Jordan: Let’s see. Zack, I had a chance to spend some time on your website and I’m going to tell people now what it is, which is, and you seem to be editing all the programs I’m watching these days, so first congratulations on getting some great gigs.

Zack Arnold: Oh, well, thank you. I’ve certainly worked very hard to hone my craft and part of the craft is needing to meet the right people as well and I’m just a big believer that luck is when hard work meets opportunity and both of those things have happened for me.

Larry Jordan: Well, congratulations. What got you started as an editor?

Zack Arnold: I actually started as an editor, quote unquote, when I was about eight or nine years old. It’s something that I discovered when my brother and I ran around with a video camera and he was shooting all this footage – he’s about 13 years older than me – so he was already in his late teens, early 20s, bought a VHS camcorder, we shot all this footage, it was a miserable experience, I hated all of it, couldn’t believe it took so long to make this little video. Then he showed it to me and I was like, “Really? We’ve been running around for 12 hours and this is all you have to show me? This sucks.”

Zack Arnold: But then, two weeks later, he came to me with the exact same video, didn’t touch it – remember, this is all VHS to VHS, there’s no non-linear editors here – but he took the score to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and he put it under this silent video and I swear to God, it was like seeing porn for the first time. I looked at it and I said, “That’s amazing and I want to know how you did that,” so he showed me how he plugged in the cables and hit play and record and I’m like, “I want to do more of that,” so I started shooting my own home movies with my friends, but what I did was I told them, “We have to shoot everything out of order. I want to shoot it all in a different order so then that way I have to find a way to put it back together.”

Zack Arnold: I’m 12 years old doing this with two VHS tapes. I had no idea what I was doing, didn’t know that this was actually a profession. When you’re 12 years old, you go on TV and you go to the movie theaters and the stuff just exists and that’s what shows up on screen, there’s nobody actually making it. I just continued doing this all throughout high school, making videos for my high school football team, highlight tapes and video, taping people’s weddings and, you know, it was the all low budget freebie stuff that people do when they’re getting started except rather than doing that when I was in my early 20s, I was doing it when I was 13 and 14 years old. Then, when I went to college, my entire focus was on filmmaking and learning the craft of editing and my education was mostly in the theory side of it, watching a lot of old movies… in five different classes…

Larry Jordan: Ok, hold it, hold it, hold it. We’re going to flash forward to now, because otherwise we’re going to get through your entire college career and I’m going to run out of time. I went on your website, which is just a way cool website, but I want to read a portion of the first paragraph that you wrote describing yourself. You said, “I believe that my job as an editor is to account for every single frame and make sure it serves its purpose. It’s my job to know what my audience feels at any given moment and, more importantly, how to make them feel that way, because that’s why we watch films and television, to feel something.” Why is emotion so important to you?

Zack Arnold: It’s not important to me, it’s important to everybody and what I’ve learned as an editor, and I really learned this when I was working on trailers a lot, is that when people watch something, whether it’s an entire show or whether it’s a two minute trailer or whether it’s a commercial, nobody remembers anything that they watch. We are so barraged with information and stimuli and shows – I just watched a couple of shows the night before, I don’t remember most of the details but what I remember and what I’ll remember for years is how whatever I was watching made me feel, so I associate that emotion to what I’m watching.

Zack Arnold: So my job as an editor is not to entertain people, it’s not to flash all the silver things and say, “Oh, look at all the shiny stuff.” It’s what is my audience feeling at this exact moment? And if they’re not feeling it and I need them to be, what tools do I have as an editor to get them there? Because the only thing people remember is how something made them feel, so my job is to make sure they’re doing that and, if they’re not, I haven’t done my job as an editor.

Larry Jordan: You’ve edited a wide range of genres – drama, action, comedy – but I want to focus exactly on the craft of editing by looking at two specific examples that you’ve got on your website. First, in the drama Black Box, you posted a video on a hostage situation, very emotional, very powerful. How do you approach a scene like this as an editor?

Zack Arnold: Really I approach every scene basically the same way, which is you just sit down and you watch all the raw footage and you say, “What is it that I have in front of me?” Because if I were interpret the script, there’s a lot that happens between it going on that piece of paper and actually being shot in front of that camera and coming to me, so I’ll read the script of course, and people always give me a hard time because they think I don’t read the scripts when I say stuff like this but I do actually read the script, but when I watch the footage, that’s the king.

Zack Arnold: The footage is what exists and what I can make something out of and I say, “What’s the core of this? What’s the moment that I need to hit?” It’s not about making sure all the lines are in the right order or whatever. It’s like, “Oh, there’s a moment right there. There’s a look in his face or a look in the wife’s eyes, that’s what I need to build the whole scene around,” and then I start to construct it from that emotional core and say, “All right, well, I need to be here, so then where do I need to start? How do I get people there?” and then it’s just about analyzing the specific angles and the covers that you have and saying, “If this is going to be the emotional direction of the scene, what coverage gets me there? What’s the most economical way to get to this emotion and make sure that my audience is not confused?”

Zack Arnold: For an action scene, one of the biggest things is just making sure your audience knows what’s going on. You can have the coolest fight sequence in the world with the best choreography, but if it’s cut poorly nobody has any idea what’s happening.

Larry Jordan: Take a breath. Norman Hollin, who also teaches, like you do, at USC School of Cinematic Arts says that every scene that goes into anything is about change, something that changes from the beginning to the end of the scene. For you, it sounds like it’s the emotional change more than anything else. Is that a true statement?

Zack Arnold: Yes, absolutely. I’ve learned a lot from Norman, having taught under him and with him at USC, so there’s a lot of my understanding of editing that comes from his philosophies that I love and I really feel that all I’m trying to look at is the moment of change that has to do with emotion. For example, you look at the hostage scene, it’s very chaotic in the beginning and if you just watch the clip, you’re not going to be invested in those characters, you’re just going to see a random hostage scene.

Zack Arnold: But if you’re watching the show, you already have an investment in that character, so the change is all of a sudden you’re bringing in tension and fear; and then all of a sudden you’re trying to bring in this heart felt stuff, oh well, his wife is trying to bring him back and get him out of this mindset, because basically they think he’s bipolar but they actually find out that he has inflamed blood vessels in the brain and in that sense it’s kind of like House, where they’re trying to investigate intricate pieces…

Zack Arnold: But my job is just to use those moments of change to emphasize my emotion. If I’m not doing anything different, that’s just the method I’m using, is that I’m highlighting these moments of change and making people feel them and making sure that that feeling is conveying the emotion that I want.

Larry Jordan: This is a show called Black Box. How is that shot – one camera, multiple cameras?

Zack Arnold: No, it’s all multiple cameras. It’s shot with the ARRI Alexa. Pretty much everything was shot with two cameras. There was some with three cameras. For example, that scene was probably 13 or 14 set-ups with two cameras running on most and three on a couple, so you add it up and I had about 25 or 26 different angles and probably four or five takes per performance, so for one three or four minute piece I probably had an hour and a half to two hours of dailies.

Larry Jordan: How do you keep it all straight in your head?

Zack Arnold: The first thing I do is I just watch it. I know that a lot of TV editors say there’s not enough time and they kind of go and pick what they think works. That’s just not the way my brain is wired. I have to see everything because I can’t be confident knowing that I have cut the best version of the scene unless I’ve watched it all. I use Walter Murch’s old method called making a cam roll, just like the old cam film editing system, where I have my assistant take every single frame and string all the dailies out on a timeline and I sit on the couch and I hit the play button and I watch it all.

Zack Arnold: When I’m done, I’m like, “All right, what do I do?” and then I cut the scene really quickly because I don’t need to go look for stuff. It’s what I call mental digitizing. I’m mentally digitizing the scene into my brain and then I cut it knowing, “Oh, there’s one moment, this is really good in this take and this is good in that take,” and, “Oh, I want to build the scene around this one look that the wife has,” so that’s how I construct.

Larry Jordan: What are you looking for in coverage?

Zack Arnold: That’s a very subjective question based on the specific type of scene and the emotion. If we’re going to take the hostage scene, for example, I was looking for anything that was frenetic. If the camera was sitting on a tripod and it was panning back and forth into a splat, that’s not going to convey the type of physiological response and emotion that I want for a scene like that. So I would gravitate towards the coverage that’s very handheld, maybe a canted angle.

Zack Arnold: Some people say, “Oh, the cameraman kind of stumbles there and the Steadicam bumps,” and I’m like, “Yes, but that’s a great moment,” because emotionally that conveys a sense of chaos and that works for this scene. But if you have two people looking longingly into each other’s eyes in a love scene with camera bump, you’re going to take your audience out of it. So coverage is very subjective based on the emotion that you need in a specific scene.

Larry Jordan: How are you determining your pacing?

Zack Arnold: Pacing is a hard one because that’s really subjective and based on my own taste. What people don’t realize is that a lot of editors are just injecting their own taste and what they want in a show because they’re the first viewer. I will just basically do a first pass where the pacing might not be perfect.

Zack Arnold: It’s kind of like regurgitating all the information that I digitized in my head, saying, “I just need to get all these pieces down on paper, cut it together, do a rough test and then watch it,” and be like, “Ok, well this is obviously way too fast right here and it’s slow over here,” and it’s kind of a gut instinct saying, “Am I giving the audience enough time to process the information on screen before I make the next cut?” and most of the time I want to make sure the answer is yes.

Zack Arnold: Sometimes I want the answer to be no, because not getting that information might give them a physiological response of being a little anxious or agitated and maybe that’s what I want in a given situation.

Larry Jordan: What do you do to heighten the drama? Do you go in tighter for a close-up? What is it that tightens the screws?

Zack Arnold: I think that that goes back to what Norman said, which is really creating a moment of change, that lean forward moment. A lot of times, if I know, for example, not so much for the hostage scene, but if I take a very simple scene where I have two people sitting across a desk from each other, and the season’s finale is literally airing as we speak right now and there’s a scene where the head of the hospital and the main character are at odds, having a stare down and the “Are you going to fire me or not going to fire me?” kind of thing. I said, “There’s an amazing extreme close-up in this scene and I’m fading it until these two looks at the very end of the scene,” and if anybody’s watching with me at the same time, I’ve just spoiled… I think it’ll be all right.

Zack Arnold: But I said to myself, “This is the best moment of the scene. They’re just looking at each other, there are these gorgeous extreme close-ups. I’m not going to touch those until I get to the end.” So I’m making those kinds of choices very, very early on and in building towards them and that’s going to heighten the drama because I’m saving the best coverage for last, as opposed to if I use that extreme close-up ten times, it has no impact where I want it. To get that moment of emotional change and heightening the drama, I’m saying, “I’m not going to cut to the extreme close-up until the very end and then bam.” That’s my explanation.

Larry Jordan: How important is sound, thinking back to your original VHS with the music theme added, and how involved are you in the creation of the sound of the show?

Zack Arnold: I cannot stress enough how important sound is. I think that if you’re going to make a decision to put all of your effort into sound or picture, you absolutely want to put it into sound, if you’re talking about the finishing process, not the creative editing. For example, on my documentary, I put all my money into sound and did as little as possible to the picture just to make it look good enough, because people experience sound more viscerally than picture and on any show that I’ve worked on. I have a really, really deep hand in shaping all of the environments, especially in cutting music.

Zack Arnold: I will actually make some music editors angry because I don’t let them cut music until we get to the stage, because a lot of editors – not so much any more – especially editors that were working back when you only had four tracks of audio, they would just kind of slap a piece of music in, hand it to a music editor and they would cut the emotional beats and shape it to the scene. To me, I feel like that’s my responsibility from the very first pass. So when I hand in an editor’s cut, I’ve already built in all the environmental backgrounds, meaning city sounds or chirping birds or whatever it is; I’ve cut all the music into a show, and when I say cut I mean frame by frame I have a beat of music hitting exactly on the cut I want it to; and all of the hard sound effects are in.

Zack Arnold: I’m adding foley and door shutting and anything that I need in there that’s going to make the viewer, meaning my director or my producer or my show runner, feel like they’re watching it on TV. The only reason I can get all that done is because I have amazing assistants and they usually will take down a lot of that with my direction, because I just focus on cutting the picture and the music and then they do all the background sound for me.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of music, let’s shift gears to music and dance and another show that you’ve done editing for is Glee. On your website, you’ve got a sequence called Some Nights. Now, I am a huge fan of musical numbers and a huge fan of Glee. How do you approach a musical scene and do you have a different perspective of music than drama?

Zack Arnold: The overall perspective is never the same because it’s all about how do I want to make somebody feel at a specific moment. As an editor, from a technical perspective, it’s a very, very different work flow, just being able to figure out how am I going to approach this because there’s so much more material and it’s much more exacting because everything is in sync. So there’s a lot as far as sitting in front of your Avid timeline and figuring out how to approach it. But at the core theoretical level, I’m trying to do exactly the same thing, which is make sure that my audience is always looking at the right place at the right time, I haven’t lost them, and are they going to feel something at this turn of music?

Zack Arnold: And if I want them to feel a lean forward moment… or if I just want them to have an emotion, even if it’s just like a little quick jolt of adrenaline, it’s my job to make sure I’m using the right coverage and cutting at the right time to get them to feel that way. So in that sense, no different approach.

Larry Jordan: With music, you’ve got the music, you’ve got the sense of the music, but you’ve also got the storyline and the emotion. How do you balance the emotion of a tight shot with the rhythm and movement of the wide shot which has got all the dance in it? This strikes me as a really hard decision.

Zack Arnold: It is. It’s kind of like taking a regular scene with two people that are across from a table and turning it into a Rubik’s cube, where it’s the same general principle but now you have nine principal characters and you have 15 performances of a song that has three or four cameras running at once, but you also have to be very conscious of whose story it is during a specific lyric, so when you get the music, you’re just listening to the rough stereo mix. They’ll polish it a little bit, but you’re pretty much listening to the production track that is going into the final show and you just listen to it and say, “All right, well, who’s singing at this moment?” Well, nail on the head, let’s make sure that if this boy is singing this lyric, let’s make sure that he’s on camera and we’re highlighting him.

Zack Arnold: But then, on the more subtle level, there’s a lot of interaction where it might be the chorus singing, but you have two characters that are crossing and during the episode they were at odds with each other. So if I can find a good moment where one of them is rolling their eyes at the other one out of those 40 angles, I have to find the one shot that’s on her at that moment and make sure I see her eyes rolling. It’s really about building the relationship between characters and at the same time making sure the audience actually knows what they’re doing. I’m thinking to myself, “If I were standing on the stage and watching this, I’m going to see the choreography the whole time and geographically I know what’s going on,” but on TV, if I cut all cool close wides or close-ups and get all fancy, you’re going to watch it and be like, “I have no idea where anybody’s standing, I have no sense of geography,” so you also have to be conscious of that. It’s a giant Rubik’s cube.

Larry Jordan: I’m totally sympathetic because that’s an enormously complex thing to shoot. One last question, because I still have to get to your documentary, are you working with final audio when you do the edit? Or are they changing the mix based upon who’s on close-up after you get a cut?

Zack Arnold: For the most part, I’m getting final audio. I’m sure that they need to do some processing and whatever the cool things that audio guys do. We’re getting close to the final version, but I don’t believe they’re changing their mix based on the cut. I’m essentially making my cuts based on their mix, because if they’re pushing somebody doing a solo, then that tells me I need to make sure I see that person singing. From what I can remember, when I watched the aired version versus my version, there was really no discernible difference other than probably just audio processing and better technical qualities.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got about three minutes left. Do you want to talk about GO FAR or do you want to talk about Fitness First?

Zack Arnold: Your show, you tell me what you want to hear about more.

Larry Jordan: Give us a quick summary of GO FAR and why you did it.

Zack Arnold: GO FAR is a documentary film that I’ve been working on for the last seven years in my, quote unquote, spare time. It’s about one of the former national poster children for the Muscular Dystrophy Association – and for those who don’t know, that’s the charity that Jerry Lewis used to be associated with for 40 years, so he was one of Jerry’s kids. He was literally the national poster child, traveled all over the country, ended up becoming the first quadriplegic in the country who became a licensed scuba diver. He graduated from the University of Michigan with Honors and graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in law.

Larry Jordan: Why did you create the film?

Zack Arnold: I created the film because I met Chris and became friends with him in college and I really didn’t know much about his past. He was just a really cool guy, very inspiring, was a lot of fun to be around. But when he passed away, and that’s not a spoiler, I make it very clear that this is an after the fact biography. I find out that he had developed this motivational program that he called So Far, which is an acronym for Goals, Obstacles, Focus, Act and Review, and I said to myself, “That is a film. If there’s anybody that has a purpose in this life that didn’t get to fulfill it, this is it. So I’m now going to take it upon myself to tell his story and share his program and his message with people so it can get out there,” and that’s been the last seven years of my life, just trying to do that.


Larry Jordan: Can people learn more about it on your website?

Zack Arnold: They can. They can go to and there are a couple of clips, but they can go to and they can learn everything about the project, what state it’s in right now – I just completed it, I’m in the distribution phase – so, yes, you can get all the information at the website.

Larry Jordan: In a short summary, why Fitness in Post?

Zack Arnold: Because we need it, that’s why. Because everybody in this industry is tired of feeling like garbage and I decided that, since I cracked the code myself, it was time to share it with everybody else and I’m like, “You know what? I’m just going to try to build a community where we can all come together, start a revolution and say, “We don’t need to feel like this any more.”” That’s the elevator pitch, that’s the short version of why it exists.

Larry Jordan: It’s a wonderful elevator pitch. Zack, I need to bring you back for about three more weeks of conversation. This has been phenomenal. Your website is?

Zack Arnold:, and

Larry Jordan: And the person behind all of it is Zack Arnold, editor, producer and director. Zack, thanks for joining us today.

Zack Arnold: Absolutely, thank you for having me, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

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Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment and technology attorney of Counsel at TroyGould in Los Angeles. He’s also the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for The Hollywood Reporter, a go to guy on the guilds and a blog at He’s also a regular on The Buzz, for which I am very grateful. Hello, Jonathan, welcome back.


Jonathan Handel: Hey, Larry, how are you? And back is partially the right word, but I’m actually away.

Larry Jordan: Oh dear. Am I talking to a mirror image here? Who am I talking to?

Jonathan Handel: You are talking to a distant friend, let’s put it that way. I’m up in San Francisco taking meetings and also getting a little bit of restorative time of my own.

Larry Jordan: Well, try to stay sober for the entire interview, would you, please? That would be useful.

Jonathan Handel: Well, I’ve had some mint iced tea, so it may be too late.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, the big news this week is that SAG-AFTRA has a new contract. What are the details?

Jonathan Handel: They are sort of what we anticipated, which is in the areas that are common across the unions, things like residuals and basic wage rate increases and so forth, they’ve got the same deal that the DGA and Writers’ Guild got, and the broad outline was three percent increases per year over the next three years – these are three year deals. The first year increase is actually 2.5 percent with a half percent as well that goes to the pension and health fund, but we can call it three, three, three; and new forms of residuals. As you know, I did a residuals chart and it was crazy and complex and highly colorful. It is now crazier and more complex and equally colorful because they added residuals formula was for high budget streaming video on demand programs, the sort of stuff that you see on Netflix or Amazon Prime, for example House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and so forth.

Jonathan Handel: So there’s a whole additional layer of complexity, a whole additional system of residuals and of minimums and so forth which depend on the budget level and on the number of subscribers on the platform. So they differentiate between, for example, Netflix versus Amazon Prime. Those are areas that the DGA got and the Writers’ Guild then achieved as well. The DGA deal was done about six or seven months ago, eight months ago, and the Writers’ Guild a few months ago and SAG-AFTRA received the benefit of those increases as well. Now, the big agenda item unique to the actors and that SAG-AFTRA had on their agenda was, in fact, that hyphen between SAG and AFTRA. Even though the unions merged two years ago, they were operating with legacy contracts in television, separate SAG and AFTRA television deals.

Jonathan Handel: They now have a unified television contract and they also have incorporated basic cable into their master contract now. It used to be a separate standalone agreement, whereas with the other two unions, the directors and writers, their master contracts included basic cable. That meant for SAG and AFTRA that there had been competition between the two unions in basic cable prior to the merger and the AFTRA contracts essentially didn’t pay residuals, or paid much lower residuals if they did pay, versus what the SAG contract paid and versus what the writers and directors get paid. The unified agreement now on basic cable matches what the writers and directors got paid. So the common theme there is that the SAG contract was used and is the one that matches the writers and directors.

Larry Jordan: How big a deal is new media in this contract?

Jonathan Handel: It’s quite significant because of two things. One is streaming video on demand. As I said, these are significant new provisions and this is obviously a very big growth area. You’re looking at not just Netflix and Amazon, but you’re looking at Yahoo talking about doing programming and various other suppliers. And there’s a lot of feeling that one of the growth areas in television, a significant area, is these internet delivered services that are competing with the HBOs and Showtimes of the world. So that’s one thing, and then the other new media provisions that date back to the writers’ strike, to the 2008 DGA and Writers’ Guild contracts, there were improvements in those areas as well, so new media is significant. But there is a separate down side that I can address, if you’d like.

Larry Jordan: Go for it.

Jonathan Handel: Ok. As I said, they used the SAG contract for basic cable, but they also, in unifying the two TV agreements, used the SAG wage rates. Now, that’s significant because when you had the separate SAG and AFTRA contracts, the AFTRA rates were three and a half percent higher. This goes back to history, basically the writers’ strike and the aftermath. AFTRA did a deal, so the writers’ strike was on, the DGA did a deal, the writers then did a deal in that same model – this is early 2008. AFTRA then did two deals in that model, but SAG then refused. They said, “This deal that’s good enough for the rest of the industry isn’t good enough for us, but we also don’t have the vote count, the 75 percent that we need, to call a strike,“ so the leadership at the time just stalemated and they stalemated for close to a year before there was new leadership installed and a deal was finally done on the same model that they would have gotten a year earlier. With the passage of time, they lost one year’s worth of wage increases.

Larry Jordan: Aha!

Jonathan Handel: Which at that time were three and a half percent. This year’s deal, like I said, was a three percent deal, for example, so they lost a three and a half percent bump. That means that the AFTRA wage rates to this day, or until these new contracts, were three and a half percent higher than the SAG rates. So what the studios were faced with was are we going to, six years later, reward SAG for having stalemated and give them a six percent increase in the first year to equalize these rates at the higher level, six and a half percent increase, three plus three and a half percent? Or are we going to hold the line and say, “Look, you’re going to have to unify these based on the lower wage rate?” and the studios held the line and their argument would be, “Look, if we gave the union an outsized wage increase, we’d be rewarding this stalemating behavior from years ago and we’d be slapping the directors and writers in the face because the directors and writers each got three percent each year and here you’d be giving SAG-AFTRA an oversized increase in the first year,” so it wasn’t going to happen. It’s an example of how much strategic thinking and how much history really goes into these things. To explain what’s going on, you have to look back really six or seven years, the 2007/08 writers’ strike and the aftermath of that. So there is some opposition within the union to this new deal, but largely I think people are likely to look at it and say, “This is the deal that was achievable, this is the best deal there”, and the deal will pass. It was overwhelmingly but not unanimously recommended by the Board.

Larry Jordan: Is there anything in this new contract that producers need to be aware of in terms of hiring talent or anything significantly new?

Jonathan Handel: I would say what is significantly new is those new media provisions related to streaming video. If someone is producing in that realm, whether it’s for a Netflix or for what’s effectively a small service, like a Yahoo or someone else, you have to be aware of what the definition of high budget streaming video on demand is, and it’s programs that are 20 minutes or longer and that meet certain budget… and in that circumstance, what are the residuals terms? You have to refer to the, as I say, complex provision of the agreement to see those. I think people who are interested in digital production and distribution will be interested to know that there are also some additional residuals terms related to syndication on secondary digital channels. Those are TV channels like 4.2 and 4.3 that are digital sub-channels of, say, Channel 4. There are new provisions there as well. The other thing that producers will notice is that in television they no longer have a choice of the SAG versus the AFTRA contract. It’s a single unified contract. In terms of any showstoppers or game changes being on those, I think there’s a lot of continuity and there’s nothing disruptive about this deal.

Larry Jordan: Perfect. Jonathan, where can people go to keep track of your latest thoughts and writings?

Jonathan Handel: The best place would be, where I talk about my law practice and also include my latest articles; and, of course, The Hollywood Reporter website.

Larry Jordan: Thank you, Jonathan. Jonathan Handel of Counsel at TroyGould, entertainment labor reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, at Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks very much, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Talk to you soon. Bye bye.

Jonathan Handel: Thank you. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Marty Lafferty is the CEO of DCIA, the Distributed Computing Industry Association, and as such he has a better handle on the cloud than just about anyone. So tonight I want to talk with him about the benefits and changes in using the cloud for media and productions. Hello, Marty, welcome.

Marty Lafferty: Thanks, Larry, good to be here.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you here because there’s a whole lot of stuff I don’t know that I’m looking forward to learning, but let’s start with, tell us about what DCIA is.

Marty Lafferty: We’re an 11 year old trade association focused on advancing cloud computing for a variety of industries, including media and entertainment, and we help the companies that are offering cloud services meet their customers and hopefully help the adoption of cloud computing progress at pace.

Larry Jordan: Now, you said it was a trade association. Who were some of the founding members?

Marty Lafferty: Some of the main members in the cloud include Amazon Web Services and some of the older members include internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast domestically; and then we have some software developers who have been members for a long time who were cool before the cloud came around and they were doing file sharing, companies like BitTorrent. So we have quite a group of cloud services, broadband network operators and software developers as our member companies.

Larry Jordan: About how many members?

Marty Lafferty: 150.

Larry Jordan: And for people who don’t understand what a trade association is, why would a trade association need to be formed?

Marty Lafferty: Usually, it’s when a new technology comes along and some of the early participants, early providers of that technology have problems they want to solve together and that could involve working with the government or helping convince the government to let them produce their technology without interference, could be solving some problems internally within the industries, standards setting. Usually it’s a way to accelerate growth where companies find common needs and can see the benefit of collaborating with each other in a way outside their normal business relationships.

Larry Jordan: Isn’t there a benefit to working within an association rather than two companies dealing directly with each other from a legal point of view?

Marty Lafferty: There certainly can be and that’s one of the driving forces for forming associations, is to have that benefit.

Larry Jordan: Ok, well, you know far more about the cloud than I will ever know and, because the cloud encompasses such a vast territory, it would be helpful, I think, to me if we could just focus tonight on its role in media and entertainment. Looking at it from a media and entertainment point of view, why is the cloud becoming increasingly important?

Marty Lafferty: I think the first thing people think about with the cloud is a way to store content that’s already been produced and deliver it in new ways that are perhaps more efficient and more cost effective in other ways. One of the great poster children for cloud use for content distribution is Netflix, which uses Amazon Web Services to help it deliver its content more efficiently. But there are other ways that the cloud can be used too, starting at the very beginning of collaboration before a camera’s pointed at anything, before a script is even written. We could trace cloud solutions through various stages of production, storage, delivery, analytics, in other words have people consumed or viewed the content once it’s created?

Marty Lafferty: Maybe the easiest way to think about it is renting versus buying of computing resources, whether they’re servers – in other words, storage computers – or access to software that may be required at various times to provide help in animation, help in editing, applying metadata which would help to store content just by the different ways to identify the individual scenes or individual pieces of content, virtually through the whole process from conception through consumption. Renting versus buying and having the flexibility to get access to the necessary resources just for the time you need them and then not have to pay for them the rest of the time or not have them go obsolete and have that investment in capital not really be fulfilled are some of the drivers. So it makes producing content and distributing it much more affordable without the large up front capital investment that have been the province of a lot of high budget, high value content production in the past.

Larry Jordan: I was reflecting as I was thinking about and planning for our interview tonight that I’ve actually been looking at the cloud from the perspective of an editor, which is probably the worst possible way to view the cloud because basically what the cloud is is a remote server. It just has a really cool marketing name associated with it. But actually, every program goes through four stages. There’s planning, there’s production, there’s editing and distribution, and whether it’s Netflix or whether it’s iTunes, being able to access something from any device, being able to access a remote server without having to dial into your home network makes life really easy. So from a distribution point of view, I think the cloud owns the world; but as we look at it in earlier parts, like in planning and in production, are there reasons to use the cloud as opposed to just using our own business network?

Marty Lafferty: Well, further tools make it easier. Your business network may be in the cloud already without you even thinking about it and some of the everyday services that we use are cloud based – Gmail, for example, if you use that for your email, is a cloud based service, most of the Google products are cloud based. Some of their tools for sharing documents are cloud based, which means if you have people that you’re collaborating with, other writers, other editors, people scouting locations, who can share documents, files, images, maybe even some dailies and so on. More instantly, more easily, as a group all at one time and keep track of it, keep track of changes. All those kinds of tools are actually made faster, easier to use and less expensive thanks to the cloud solution.

Larry Jordan: I was reflecting that the internet was developed back in the early to mid-1960s and really started to take off in the early to mid-‘90s, and yet even today we would describe the internet as almost the Wild West of high tech. So what’s being done to get the web under control, not from a technical standards point of view, because that’s pretty well nailed down, but in terms of content and distribution and ownership and security? What role does the DCIA play within that?

Marty Lafferty: We’ve had quite a few working groups focused on different aspects of security which has been an issue from when probably the music industry cut their teeth on the kind of issues that are of greatest concern, which have to do with copyright infringement, and once you move from analogue storage, from an LP to a CD, where the content is digitized and once that is copied into a file format and then can be shared instantly with not just one other person without losing any fidelity, but with ten million people, let’s say, at one keystroke, then you’ve opened up huge opportunities for distribution at no cost with very little friction.

Marty Lafferty: But at the same time it increases the potential for copyright infringement. For people to have access to content who haven’t met the requirements of the business model to pay for that content, for downloading it or streaming it or whatever they want. Encryption is important, securing the content at every stage, even during the actual production process before it’s a final product, is very important; and then having business models where your partners are also required to take great care of the content, those are important. There are certain things you can do if you only facilitate streaming as opposed to capturing and downloading, that’s a way although once content is being played so that our senses can see it and hear it, then it’s possible to point another camera at that screen and copy it again.

Marty Lafferty: It’s called the analogue hole, so there isn’t any perfect solution, any perfect prevention, so it’s a question of vigilance. Forensics play a part. On the other hand, because every single transaction is more or less recorded and there’s a record of that, you can’t really hide anywhere. So it’s possible for forensics to trace and track every instance of infringement if it’s that important. If the value is that important or if it’s a high volume one where there’s a lot of dollars at risk, then that’s exactly what happens.

Larry Jordan: Just thinking on a policy level for a second, does the DCIA have a position on the net neutrality regulations that are being considered by the FCC?

Marty Lafferty: It’s a challenge for us to find a common position, given our membership base, on that one. We did submit a commentary and we basically made four points. One, take a holistic view, so you’re not just looking at the last mile of broadband network operators, you’re looking at content, what they call peering arrangements, as it’s moving through various aspects of the overall internet, which is really a series of networks connected to each other, it’s not just your Comcast or your Verizon account that is at play when you receive content. It’s where did it come from and how many different networks did it go through to get to you, and that’s important that they look at that whole picture.

Marty Lafferty: Secondly, we said that wireless and wired lines should be treated equally. More and more people want their content anywhere on any device any time. Mobile is increasingly important, connected devices of all sizes, and people wanting to move an app from a Smartphone to a tablet to a PC to a Smart TV if they want to and people want to look at streaming video not just on a Smart TV but take it back the other direction onto all the different devices. So it’s important that the FCC not make things worse by having different rules for those different platforms, but help facilitate a move towards interoperability across many different platforms.

Marty Lafferty: The third point is that we really don’t want to see problems from content being owned by network operators being treated differently from third party content and that’s probably the biggest area of concern. If you had a streaming sports service that was owned by a broadband network operator, then one that was owned by a third party and it just so happened that the games of the third party streaming sports service always had buffering and latency problems and sputtered and stalled out and so on. Whereas the one owned by the network operator never did that, you can imagine what would happen to retention, and that’s a concern. It’s probably our biggest concern as we look at this space.

Marty Lafferty: It’s probably too late to impose cross ownership restrictions on the various players in the media and entertainment space. It’s way past that point, but when it’s not just vertical integration of a motion picture studio and a television network and several cable programming services, but it’s also the internet access provider that’s owning some of those other properties, then it’s an area for concern and an area for a great deal of vigilance so that the internet can remain an environment where it’s truly neutral for all parties to have their content treated the same.

Larry Jordan: One of the real challenges we also have is that different websites treat ownership of media and, well, the terms and conditions vary wildly from one website to another. Is anything being done to standardize so if we’re working with stuff that’s stored up to the cloud, we can expect the same treatment?

Marty Lafferty: Well, there are movements to standardize end user license agreements and certain aspects of the way content is treated, certain protocols for the way different packets are treated, not to get too technical, but it continues to evolve and continues to improve. You don’t want to freeze advancement at a certain point and not allow for further innovation. So it’s kind of a delicate balance in terms of what should be codified and standardized and what should continue to develop.

Larry Jordan: For producers, the idea of being able to put something up to the web and have it accessed from anywhere on any device is very, very seductive and for a lot of us it works perfectly. But from your point of view, what should we be aware of as we’re starting to use the cloud more and more in our pre-production and production planning? What are some of the pitfalls to be cautious about?

Marty Lafferty: I think it’s important to make sure that your service level agreement with the provider, there is some excellent guidance out there, DCIA have some and you can come to our website and find it pretty easily there. Just a checklist to make sure things like the care of your data and the services and the software you’re going to be accessing through the cloud are taken care of and with back-up, redundancy, with various considerations in terms of how valuable that content is, how important it is, how few outages you can tolerate in terms of accessing it, those kinds of things are important. But most of them are probably less complicated. They’re not deeply technical, it’s more common sense in terms of making sure that all the Ts are crossed and Is are dotted in terms of how the content is going to be treated, how their data is treated and make sure it’s secure enough that you’re community with those relationships.

Marty Lafferty: Our view is that it’s actually more secure in the cloud because the major cloud service providers have a lot more expertise, a lot more resources, a lot more at stake to make sure that that content is safe, not just yours. But there are several hundred other customers, and they’re less vulnerable to hack. They’re more advanced, they’re more astute about how to keep the content safe and continually evolving and making the storage more efficient, making access to it faster and using the most advanced technology to just have it be truly state of the art than if you buy something that you’re trying to look after yourself while you do the rest of your business, which should be your main focus rather than worrying about that kind of thing.

Larry Jordan: The DCIA has got an event coming up in October. What is it and who should attend?

Marty Lafferty: It’s called the Cloud Developers’ Summit and Expo. It’s the first of its kind that we’re doing. We plan to take these around to different regions of the country. It’s in Austin, Texas on October 1st and 2nd and we’re focusing on three verticals there – the media and entertainment sector, healthcare and life sciences and also government and military – and those are three of the industry verticals where we see the most advancement, the most adoption of cloud and the most interest in it and needs for workshops, seminars and how-to interactive sessions for those who are interested in using the cloud for various things. We’ll have all those over the course of the two days. There’s quite a lot to choose from.

Larry Jordan: Who would you like to have attend?

Marty Lafferty: Folks that should go are IT professionals in those three different verticals that I mentioned, developers certainly but also people who are responsible in their business for how their information technology should evolve, for how they store their data and how they want to advance in terms of looking at cloud and possibly using the cloud for some of their functions.

Larry Jordan: Where can people go on the web to learn more about it?

Marty Lafferty: They can visit our website,, and also the Cloud Computing Association website, which is

Larry Jordan: Marty Lafferty is the CEO of the DCIA, that’s the Distributed Computing Industry Association. Marty, thanks for joining us today.

Marty Lafferty: Larry, thank you. Appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Marty Lafferty: Goodnight.

Larry Jordan: In the few seconds we’ve got left, there are two newsletters that The Buzz publishes. Well, The Buzz publishes one, that’s every Friday at noon, but I also publish a personal newsletter which comes out every Monday at five o’clock in the morning. Anyway, this week I’ve got some really interesting articles that I want to just flag to your attention. I had a really good conversation with Adobe today, taking a look at what makes Premiere Pro unique and I’ll be writing that article up. We also have an interesting discussion on whether to configure your RAIDs as a RAID zero or RAID five and why you should care. We’ve got a review of G-Technology’s brand new G Speed Studio RAID and some inside tips that I’ve discovered on Apple’s website on how to make Compressor work better. Some really cool articles to consider. That’s a free newsletter. Sign up for The Buzz and my newsletter all at the same time, at or

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests for today – editor, director, producer Zack Arnold; entertainment technology attorney and Buzz regular Jonathan Handel; Marty Lafferty, the CEO of the DCIA.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows. Check us out at The music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound, text transcripts by Take 1 Transcription. The Buzz is streamed by, produced by Cirina Catania, engineer Adrian Price. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Buzz.

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Digital Production Buzz — July 24, 2014

  • Fitness Tips for Editing Lifestyles
  • Update on the New SAG/AFTRA Contract
  • Cloud Computing is Changing Telecommunications

GUESTS: Zack Arnold, Jonathan Handel, and Marty Lafferty

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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Zack Arnold, Editor/Director

Zack Arnold has been a professional editor for 15 years, most recently on the TV series “Burn Notice.” He made his directorial debut on the documentary: “GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story.” Zack’s latest venture is founding “Fitness In Post,” an online resource and community built specifically for people in the post-production industry who want to live a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to start. This week, he tells us more about it.

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

SAG/AFTRA is claiming “significant gains” in the new contract just ratified. Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney and labor reporter for “The Hollywood Reporter” gives us the details.

Marty Lafferty, CEO, DCIA (Distributed Computing Industry Association)

The DCIA (Distributed Computing Industry Association) is an international trade organization focused on commercial advancement of cloud computing and related technologies, particularly as they are deployed for the delivery of high-value content. Marty Lafferty, CEO of DCIA, joins us this week to explain how big data, globalization and cloud computing is dramatically changing telecommunications.

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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – July 17, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

July 17, 2014

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Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


Jessica Sitomer, President, The Greenlight Coach

Michele Yamazaki, VP Marketing, ToolFarm

Emery Wells, CEO, Co-Founder,


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Voiceover: Live from Ralph’s Maytag Museum and Podcast Studio in beautiful downtown Burbank, it’s the Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: Production, post production, distribution.

Voiceover: What’s really happening now and in your digital future?

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Larry Jordan: And welcome to The Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for creative content producers covering media production, post production, marketing and distribution around the world. My name is Larry Jordan. Our co-host, the ever handsome Mr. Mike Horton, has the night off.

Larry Jordan: On tonight’s show, we start with Jessica Sitomer, the President of the Greenlight Coach. She joins us to talk about the challenges of marketing a creative company. Next, Michele Yamazaki, the plug-inologist for ToolFarm, has been looking at different plug-ins for skin smoothing and retouching. She shares what she’s learnt with us this evening. Finally, Emery Wells is the CEO and Co-Founder of, a brand new cloud based collaboration service that was launched two days ago. He joins us tonight to explain what is doing.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder that we are offering text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription. Now you can quickly scan or print the contents of each show, as well as listen to it. Transcripts are located on each show page. You can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making our transcriptions possible.

Larry Jordan: Just a quick reminder to visit with us on Facebook at We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ; and subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at This gives you an inside look every Friday at both our show and the industry. I’ll be back with Jessica Sitomer right after this.

Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is now shipping its production camera 4K, a super high resolution 4K digital production camera for Ultra HD television production. Featuring a large Super 35 sensor with a professional global shutter, it also offers EF and ZE compatible lens mounts and records to a super fast SSD drive. Capturing high quality ProRes files, the Blackmagic production camera 4K gives customers a complete solution to shoot amazing high resolution music videos, episodic television productions, television commercials, sports, documentaries and much more.

Larry Jordan: The Blackmagic production camera 4K also features an incredibly tempting price of $2,995. Learn more about the Blackmagic production camera 4K that is definitely priced to move. Visit That’s

Larry Jordan: Jessica Sitomer is a job coach and helps people find work. She’s also a regular on The Buzz and she’s the President of the Greenlight Coach. Now, normally we talk to Jessica about helping people get jobs, but today I want to have her wear her business person hat and talk about marketing her business. Welcome back, Jessica, it’s good to have you with us.

Jessica Sitomer: It is always great to be here.

Larry Jordan: You know, an area that we’ve been looking at recently is the business of running a creative business and this is exactly what you’re doing with The Greenlight Coach – you’re doing training, you’re doing job counseling and mentoring – but it really is a business focused on creativity and helping people find work. What are the challenges in running a creative business?

Jessica Sitomer: Well, as someone who’s running a creative business, you tend to be juggling different things because you’re pursuing a business, you might have a side business. Personally, I’m running three businesses simultaneously.

Larry Jordan: Three businesses? I did not know of two of them. What are they?

Jessica Sitomer: Well, one of them is a skincare business, Rodan and Fields; one of them is for females for 35 and over finding happily ever after, which is very similar to what I do with Greenlight, only for people who are entrepreneurs or moms, those overachievers who are on the brink of burn-out or have been to burn-out and are trying to get themselves back, so three things that speak very truthfully to me and I love all three of them.

Larry Jordan: They are pretty different in terms of focus. Why did you decide to start three radically different businesses instead of something that’s got some synergy from one to the other?

Jessica Sitomer: Well, there is where you tie in the marketing. Actually, they are very much related. You see, I am teaching entrepreneurs and entertainment industry people how to build their own businesses in both businesses, so I’m doing the same thing to two different marketing. Then both of them, both the entertainment industry people and entrepreneurs or people who are stay at home moms, they also need residual income or supplemental income to keep themselves going.

Jessica Sitomer: That was my biggest issue with my clients last year. I helped them get work, they were doing TV shows and then the shows would stop and they’d use up all their savings, so the Rodan and Fields, the skincare business gives them an opportunity to have a very flexible job. It’s based on posting on Facebook and marketing.

Jessica Sitomer: It’s all about marketing and word of mouth, so not only are they learning how to market by these amazing teachers, but they can then take that same marketing and put it into their entertainment careers, so I’m killing two birds with one stone. I’m helping them make residual income while teaching them that it’s ok to market.

Larry Jordan: That is so cool and an interesting spin that I would never consider.

Jessica Sitomer: Well, that’s what marketing is about – finding a way to spin things that make sense to the people you’re reaching out to – and that’s what so many entertainment industry people struggle with because they’re selling themselves, so they feel weird tooting their own horn or celebrating that they got a job or posting on Facebook because they’re trying to remain anonymous, when they don’t realize that they need to be marketing, they need to be seeing themselves as the brand and putting themselves out there.

Jessica Sitomer: I have marketed Greenlight Coach and myself in many, many different ways over the years and they’ve all been fun and in line with my romantic comedy girl brand. There are many career coaches out there who speak to people in the entertainment industry. Some come from the marketing angle, some come from ‘I’ve been in the trenches and produced’ or casting directors. I’ve done a little bit of everything and I am a storyteller and my favorite stories are romantic comedies, so I tie everything in my marketing into something funny or entertaining or stories, so that my clients can learn how to do the same thing.

Larry Jordan: Do you find running a business that’s focused on creativity is different from running, say, a, quote, ordinary business?

Jessica Sitomer: Well, if you compare skincare to the other two businesses, which are completely creative, I think that the difference is when you’re creative you take things a lot more personally. So when I’m marketing the skincare, it’s really easy because everyone has skin and everyone wants to grow old gracefully and you either want it or you don’t, so there you go. I have no attachment to it. You want to join my team? Great. You want to buy my products? Fantastic. It’s not, ‘All right, one day you will’.

Jessica Sitomer: However, when you’re marketing something, like with my Greenlight business, and I know what an impact it has on the people who buy, who get involved, who invest in themselves, I know how much it will change their lives and then people are like, “Well, I can’t really afford it right now,” and that’s my rejection that I get. The same way entertainment professionals get the rejection of, “You don’t get the job,” I don’t get the client and I take it a little more personally because I’m like, “But I know how much I can help you,” and they feel like, “But I know how good I’d be for your project,” so yes, I think marketing creatively is exactly the same as marketing for a regular brand or a product, but we take it more personally when people are not buying into our marketing, if you will.

Larry Jordan: Yes, but in listening to you I also hear a huge difference in passion as you describe the skincare – everybody needs it, you buy it, you don’t – but then your voice changed as soon as you started describing your other business and you became more passionate and you became much more committed. It seems to me that there’s a level of passion in a creative business that doesn’t necessarily exist elsewhere. Is that a true statement?

Jessica Sitomer: No, because if you saw me last night at the event I was at and when I… one of my consultants, my passion was fully there because for me it’s not about the skincare as much as it helping these women who are going to change their lives. We were talking about how one day she’s going to be retiring her husband, so I get very passionate when I’m talking about helping people change their lives, which all three of my companies do.

Jessica Sitomer: What I’m saying is my heart goes out to the creative people because they didn’t sign up for marketing, they didn’t sign up for selling. They signed up to do their craft. The people who are with the skincare, they’re signing up to be entrepreneurs, they know what they want, they know that they want to make money and make a career of this and help people and change their lives, and so it’s a little easier and we get response much faster and therefore it’s different than when you have to go out for 100 job interviews to get one job, whereas here you reach out to five people and four people respond. I mean, the response rate is very different, so there’s a lot more rejection than the other two, so I for them a lot more. Does that make sense?

Larry Jordan: Mhmm, it does.

Jessica Sitomer: I won’t do anything I’m not passionate about. I can’t.

Larry Jordan: I accept that. I was just interested and intrigued by the difference in how you were describing one versus the other. It was an interesting thing because I think, to be successful in marketing, you have to have a passion for it, you have to feel something for the product you’re marketing to be successful.

Jessica Sitomer: Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: That gets me to another thought. If we’re marketing a business, it’s different than if we’re marketing a film, because with a film we’re marketing a single entity, it’s essentially a one shot. But if we’re marketing a business, it’s ongoing, we’ve got to promote the business this week and this month, this year and next year. How do you change the way you think about marketing when you’re doing something which is ongoing as opposed to get somebody to attend a single film?

Jessica Sitomer: It comes back to that passion you were talking about. When you have a specific project, the passion is there, it’s happening, it’s coming out. There’s excitement. Here’s the time, come see it, get your friends, tell everybody. There’s an event happening, so it’s really easy to get your passion up around that. I want people to have that same ease about marketing themselves as their business, because for me, what I do is I have different offerings. So I’ll get excited about triple your contacts this month or I’ll get excited about Greenlight You, when that comes in the fall.

Jessica Sitomer: I give myself different things in my business to rally around and get excited about and involve other people – “Hey, if you want to be affiliates and make money, you can introduce this to people and you can be making some income off of what I do by sharing it.” That’s what keeps me excited.

Jessica Sitomer: For entertainment people, they have to find that same excitement and that’s why I say it’s so important to share when you’re on a project. Don’t be embarrassed and say, “Oh, well, I don’t want to toot my own horn.” This is your moment, this is your movie that’s being distributed, you know? It’s your moment, you got a job or you have an interview or you have an audition. There are actors who post about having auditions every day. That’s marketing and it makes them look more marketable because people see them posting so much, so it’s really important to fall in love with what you do and the journey of it and not feel that marketing means, “Well, I can only market when something spectacular happens.”

Jessica Sitomer: No, everyday marketing is people getting to know you and like you and trust you. I blog every single day, I enter a Question A Day, seven days a week, every single day. That is marketing Greenlight, my expertise, while helping people in the industry. So if you can come up with a way to do both, where you’re marketing yourself and helping other people, that’s why I encourage people to blog and, again, it doesn’t have to be like me, seven days a week.

Jessica Sitomer: It can be once a week, twice a month, once a month, but something that gives you credibility at what you do and also some excitement and you can ask people to share it and you’ve got social media going. Also, always be marketing wherever you go. I learned that from my mentor, James Malecek. Always be marketing. That means if you’re in post, always have a reel with you of stuff that you’ve done so when people ask what you’ve done, you can hand something to them. If you’ve worked on a project and they gave you a T-shirt and you’re going to an industry event, wear the T-shirt so people can say, “Oh, did you work on that?”

Jessica Sitomer: Always be thinking of ways that you can get people to talk to you. Every time I go to the gym and take yoga, I bring my Rodan and Fields stuff with me and afterwards I wash my face and people walk up to me in the bathroom, “Oh, what is that? What are you using?” so I’m always thinking. When I go to events, I carry my books with me. If it’s an entertainment event, I carry my And Action book and people say, “Oh, did you write that book?” Yes I did and I always carry two. Why? Because this way they can see, “Oh, well, can I buy one?” and I have ten with me and then I keep grabbing one so I’m always walking around with two.

Jessica Sitomer: When I do the women’s events, it’s the Dirty Virgin book, which is the romantic comedy fiction book I wrote. I have guys walking up to me and saying, “Can I buy that?” I’m like, “This is a chick-lit book,” and they’re like, “It looks interesting,” and I’m like, “Ok, it’s got a catchy title,” so you always want to be thinking about, “I’m walking out the door. How…” so it’s not just social media. It’s social media, yes, great, it’s a wonderful way. Having a website, fantastic. But everywhere you go, always be marketing. Think about what you can do.

Jessica Sitomer: If you’re a photographer or a DP, have your camera and if you see somebody with their child in Ralphs and you say, “You know what? That is such an awesome image, can I take your picture? I’ll email it to you. I’m a photographer,” boom, you’re marketing, you know? And if you’re an editor and you see something happening in slow motion and you see somebody trips on the sidewalk and you want to help them and you sit down and say, “Oh, you know, I’m an editor. If I could cut this out of the scene right now…” because you never know who you’re talking to, so always find creative ways to tie in and advertise what you do; and if that means going to Cafe Press and making up a T-shirt that has some kind of slogan on it that ties in – ‘Editors do it in the dark’, whatever it is – and then you wear that, people will know what you do and then they’ll ask you about it.

Jessica Sitomer: It’s really important to start thinking. I had T-shirts made up, ‘Dirty Virgins are non-alcohol beverages.’ I don’t drink, so I had a Dirty Virgin martini made up and I had tank tops and every time I go to these events where women are going to be, I wear the tank top and they’re like, “Oh, they’re so cute,” and “Where can I get one?” so I have a store for that. I mean, it’s amazing that I can get more done now with three companies because the marketing has become so much easier because I just know how to think and that’s what marketing is. It’s thinking about how am I going to share my love and what I do with people who need it?

Larry Jordan: I also think, from what I’m hearing, that in almost all cases you’ve moved away from traditional marketing – the way we used to do it with radio and TV advertising or print advertising or direct mail – and you’re almost exclusively in alternative marketing – social media, clearly, but lots and lots of other options as well. Should we give up on any kind of traditional marketing and really focus on alternative marketing?

Jessica Sitomer: I always say if you try something and it works, keep doing it. But if it’s not working, like when actors used to send out mass mailings of head shots, we really learned that that was not working very well, so to spend that money – not so great. We’re talking about personal businesses in the entertainment industry. It’s very expensive to take out a page for yourself in Variety. Should you not do it? That’s up to you, but what I would say is that networking events, social media, these things are free or inexpensive and they are alternatives to what everybody else is doing, although now people are really catching on to it, so whatever works for people.

Jessica Sitomer: If advertising on a radio show is going to get you heard and thousands of people are going to learn about you at one time, what’s that worth? Some of the big speakers in my industry pay a lot of money to be able to say, “Oh, I was a speaker at this event.” Well, what you didn’t know is that they had to pay a lot of money to speak there and get on that stage, so however you can get on your platform, on your stage, so people can see. If you’ve got the financial resources, then yes, take out an ad or get on a radio show. But make sure that it’s really great and it’s going to catch attention and it’s going to get the leads that you want.

Jessica Sitomer: I would talk to a professional about creating those ads and creating that radio spot before doing it, but whatever works for you in your budget and in your business and in alignment with your brand, I say go for it. Try anything once and if it doesn’t work but you still feel like in your soul, “Ah, maybe it just needs a few tweaks,” try it twice. Three times, I’d say you’re out. But do know that things with social media take much longer to catch on, whereas if you place an ad in a paper or if you do something on a radio show or if you do something in a magazine, that you should see immediate results from.

Jessica Sitomer: Again, sometimes the radio show plays over and over because they put it online and you might see it coming in and every once in a while you’re still getting the benefits of that and that’s something to look at as well in your advertising. A radio show that puts it on a podcast or puts it online and it can be heard over and over is definitely a better investment than a magazine that’s only going to come out once.

Larry Jordan: Let’s look at a couple of down sides here. Social media is both everywhere and everybody is involved with it. When does social media become too much? When should we not put all of our eggs in the social media basket?

Jessica Sitomer: Well, you want to go with the 80/20 rule, and that is that 20 percent of your success is where you should focus your energy. For entertainment people, Facebook is always my first choice for you because it’s so much more accessible and you can really create a relationship with people. Then the next two are Twitter and Instagram.


Jessica Sitomer: Now, Instagram seems to be getting a little bigger than Twitter and I would say that’s because it’s visual. It’s a little more challenging to have conversations with people on both of those sites, but it can be done; and then there’s Google Plus and everyone’s, like, “Well, do I need to be on Google Plus?” Well, Google Plus is Google, so it’s a search engine thing, so there’s that; and then we have Pinterest, which is really more of a shopping mall, so if you have images that you want to sell, then ok, you could be there.

Jessica Sitomer: LinkedIn is more of a professional resume type group. So what you have to do is say, “Where am I going to get to my people the fastest? And if I don’t have a lot of time, you sign up for something like, and you can pre-program your posts to go to all of your different social media sites, so if you have different people who follow you in different places, they’re all going to get that, which is what I do with my Question A Day. It comes from Tootsuite, it goes to Facebook, my Facebook personal page, my fan page, it goes to Google Plus, it goes to Twitter and it goes to LinkedIn. So I get it every day five places but only posting it once. You can simplify it for yourself, but you do want to say, “Where is my market?”

Jessica Sitomer: A director who wants to meet executives might have a better shot at meeting them on LinkedIn, whereas an editor who wants to meet other people who can hire him, filmmakers – oh, and Stage 32, that’s another great one which is specifically for the entertainment industry. That’s a good one to be on, because there can you directly find people you’re looking for – but what I was saying is for the editors who want to meet filmmakers who can hire them, Facebook is going to be better for you than Google Plus.

Jessica Sitomer: You really want to decide where your effort is going, how much time you’re going to spend on social media and then plan out your time and set a timer and when you’re done, you’re done. You can be on social media all day long and that’s not productive. You can make yourself very busy, but that’s not productive.

Larry Jordan: Jessica, I’m just taking notes so fast I ran out of ink in the pen. Where can I go on the web to learn more about your thinking on business and creativity and marketing and all kinds of interesting stuff?

Jessica Sitomer: I would say go to my Facebook page, friend me – Jessica Sitomer – on Facebook because then you can see my cover page which says ‘Multiple streams of income. Think bigger’ and you can see how I market all different things simultaneously.

Larry Jordan: And that Facebook page is?

Jessica Sitomer: My name, Jessica Sitomer. Just friend my personal page.

Larry Jordan: And Jessica Sitomer is the voice you’re listening to. She’s also the President of The Greenlight Coach and 700 other companies that I did not know about. Jessica, thanks for joining us today. As always, this has been great.

Jessica Sitomer: Yes.

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Larry Jordan: Michele Yamazaki is the plug-inologist at ToolFarm. She’s written or co-written two books on plug-ins, as well as becoming the go to person on plug-ins for all of our editing systems. She’s a regular here on The Buzz and we are glad of that. Welcome back, Michele.

Michele Yamazaki: Thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: First, let’s set the scene. Tell us what ToolFarm does.

Michele Yamazaki: We are a value added reseller for animation tools. We sell things like your editing tools and plug-ins for those tools, 3D software and plug-ins for those. Plug-ins are primarily our focus.

Larry Jordan: Now, you say value added reseller. What does that mean?

Michele Yamazaki: That means, our explanation of it, it may not be the official terminology, but we know about the tools that we sell. We don’t just resell you something. We know which tool is the best for the job, what they do, how to use them, that kind of thing.


Larry Jordan: So what plug-ins have you been looking at recently?

Michele Yamazaki: Well, I’m midway through an article on skin retouching and there are so many plug-ins out there that do this job. However, they vary greatly in the ease of use and the quality of the retouching and some of them do a really nice job with it, others will just blur out your detail, so I’m mainly talking about tools that do that and also going into just some basic techniques that you can use to get better results when you’re skin retouching.

Larry Jordan: It’s interesting you should say that, because in my newsletter, which published yesterday, I announced a new product from Imagenomic that also does skin retouching. They have been big on Photoshop for a long time, because retouching is something Photoshop is famous for, but skin retouching in video is different. What does skin retouching mean to you as you look at these plug-ins?

Michele Yamazaki: For example, I’m using a lot of footage of myself because it’s hard to get people, “Look really bad on video and then I’m going to put it on the web, please.” It’s hard to convince people to do that, so I use myself as a subject quite a bit – things like little scars or blemishes or fine lines under my eyes and that kind of thing. A lot of times people will retouch pimples and blemishes, bags under the eyes, that kind of thing.

Larry Jordan: So what we’re doing is making defects disappear or we’re smoothing the skin?

Michele Yamazaki: A little bit of both. Smoothing the skin’s always a good thing, but there’s a fine line there. You don’t want to lose the texture of the skin, you want to keep everything as intact as possible while removing problem areas. A lot of these tools, if you put them on too strong, they’ll just blur the features and you won’t have any texture left and after a while they look like a porcelain doll or just have too soft a focus.

Larry Jordan: That’s the traditional plastic look that we hear about so much.

Michele Yamazaki: Yes, yes. It isn’t a problem and it’s pretty easy to achieve that look, to be honest.

Larry Jordan: In the past, I remember when I was doing retouching before these plug-ins became available, essentially what I would be doing is blurring one clip and then compositing it on top of the same clip. Is that what is happening now with skin retouching, we’re just simply blurring the clip?

Michele Yamazaki: Some of them do that to a degree, but others have skin detection so they will create masks based on colors that you select, so if you select a skin tone, and then you can soften those areas. What they’ll do is they use certain algorithms so that you’re mainly blurring the red channel, I would say, but that’s how they work. They don’t really come out and explain it.

Larry Jordan: Something I learned a long time ago is that skin texture’s actually carried in a blue channel.

Michele Yamazaki: Oh, maybe that’s what they’re doing. I know blue is often the noisiest channel in video as well.

Larry Jordan: Mhmm. It sounds like this is almost like chroma key for the skin. They’re selecting the skin and chroma keying that to select a mask and then they’re just manipulating skin colors.

Michele Yamazaki: Yes, yes. A lot of times you don’t want to do the whole thing, though. Some of the tools will have built-in masking features so that you can bring in a matt, either on another layer or a mask on the layer that you’re on, but not all of them do. For example, I’m blonde and if I’m trying to select my skin tone, a lot of times it’ll choose my hair as well and I don’t want to blur that because I’ll lose all of the detail, so having a plug-in that allows you to do that is really helpful. But there are also other ways around that – duplicating the layer, cutting things out and that kind of thing, or scoping.

Larry Jordan: Are there shots that are particularly well suited to skin retouching? And the opposite question is are there shots you shouldn’t use skin retouching for?

Michele Yamazaki: I don’t know so much about that specifically, but a lot of times bad lighting or harsh lighting will cause skin problems that aren’t really problems to be more visible, so that’s kind of a problem, or sometimes you just get a bad makeup job. I have an example there where I had a flake of something on my face or if you’re trying to cover something up and it just looks like you have caked makeup on a spot, that’s another thing that you’d want to touch up. I would say bad lighting is probably the main one.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like these would work better in close up than on wide shots, is that true?

Michele Yamazaki: Oh yes, well, in wide shots you probably wouldn’t even need to do it too much because you just wouldn’t see the effect. Maybe in a motion picture you may, or actually HD television too. Who knows?

Larry Jordan: What tools are you looking at for your article and which ones are catching your eye so far?

Michele Yamazaki: Digital Anarchy Beauty Box is a great tool and…

Larry Jordan: That’s probably a leader in the industry, isn’t it?

Michele Yamazaki: Definitely. It’s one of the few products that is made specifically for this job. A lot of the other plug-ins are included in big bundles, but this one has all the features you could want. Another one I’m looking at is HitZone, their new plug-ins package. They have all pro skin retouch tools. Thyx, they have a skin tools plug-in. Boris Continuum Complete has smooth tone.

Michele Yamazaki: Also, Boris Continuum Complete has a plug-in called Witness Protection and it has a built in tracker and you could blur out a logo on a shirt or a face or something like that, but it works great for tracking a single blemish or something like that. It makes it really small and it can hide something pretty easily, it looks really nice. Then Sapphire has a plug-in called Beauty; and then Red Giant’s Colorista has a secondary tier that works really nice for fixing skin tones and isolating problem areas and blurring them; and there’s also Red Giant Cosmo, and there are a few that I’m not even mentioning here.

Larry Jordan: With all these different choices, what criteria should we use in deciding which plug-in for our use?

Michele Yamazaki: I would definitely say download a demo if you don’t have the plug-in already. If you already own these bundles, try what you have first and see how that goes. You want to make sure that it keeps your texture and doesn’t over blur. That’s a big one. Some of the features that you’re going to need with masking and tracking are really important too.

Michele Yamazaki: I have different footage that I’m trying these different plug-ins for, comparing and contrasting what works best on which shot, and it’s really interesting how if something is lit from one side, some of them don’t pick up the color very well, the difference of the shadow versus the lighter side of the face. It just seems really uneven. But others can do that just fine. It’s interesting how different they all are.

Larry Jordan: So first, download a trial. Second, don’t look at everything under even lighting; and third, be sure you’re working with close ups sound like three good rules to start with.

Michele Yamazaki: Yes, yes. You can use medium shots too. I guess just try and see what works best for you. I just found that some tools work better on some shots and other tools are better on other shots. It’s not straight across the board.

Larry Jordan: Interesting. Michele, where can people go on the web to keep track of you and your latest articles?

Michele Yamazaki: At

Larry Jordan: That’s and the chief plug-inologist at ToolFarm is Michele Yamazaki. Michele, thanks for joining us today.

Michele Yamazaki: Thank you so much for having me.

Larry Jordan: Emery Wells is the CEO and Co-founder of was developed by people who love creating content but not necessarily the process for creating it. Specifically, is all about what happens before you begin distribution and I wanted to learn more about what was doing. Welcome, Emery, good to have you with us.

Emery Wells: Thank you very much, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Tell me what is.

Emery Wells: is a media collaboration platform. It’s for uploading all of your source media, work in progress; any assets that you have that go into making whatever it is that you’re making can be uploaded into, where you can invite your team and your clients to collaborate around that media.

Larry Jordan: What made you decide to start the company?

Emery Wells: Well, was born within a post production company and I think that’s something that’s important that sets us apart from what some of the other people out there are doing in this space. We built it out of our own necessity as a post production company and we built it the way that we wanted it to be built, as active people in the community, as active post production, the effects artists and editors and also, on the production side, producers and directing as well, so we looked around at the landscape and nothing that was out there was really solving it the way we though it needed to be solved.

Larry Jordan: How do you think it needs to be solved?

Emery Wells: There are a few aspects to this. First of all, we realized that most people are using a hodgepodge of different services. So the masses are using Vimeo for video review and Dropbox for file sharing and Gmail for communication and I’m sure a bunch of other services, Hightail, there’s an endless number of services, and that’s what the majority of people are doing. They’re just sort of using these different ones and trying to cobble together their own solution, so the first part is we needed to combine all these things into one seamless experience, so that’s where we started.

Emery Wells: Then, the next thing we looked at was there is a tremendous amount of video that’s being shot around the world and most of it is relatively inaccessible. By relatively rough calculations, we don’t know exactly how much video’s being shot, but in the neighborhood of 80 million terabytes of professional video is being generated every year and where does that stuff go? Well, it probably winds up on a RAID that’s stuck in a post house or on an external drive that gets shelved and never sees the light of day, and we wanted to liberate all that media. We want to get all of your source media into a cloud environment where it’s accessible via the web or mobile device to anybody in your team or any client or any person that you need to share and collaborate with. So what we’re launching with is going to be more focused on uploading your work in progress and getting feedback, commenting and annotation.

Emery Wells: We have a bunch of tools that we can talk specifically about, but the broader vision is about how do we take these 80 million terabytes that are being generated every year and make them accessible to everyone and to anyone? Now, when I say accessible, I mean the creative teams, not the world at large, but the teams that need access to it.

Larry Jordan: But you speak to one of the big concerns that I have about the cloud, which is the whole issue of security and who owns the assets once they’re uploaded. First, how are you keeping the assets secure?

Emery Wells: Our whole infrastructure is hosted on AWS.

Larry Jordan: AWS, which stands for…?

Emery Wells: Amazon Web Services. Amazon is the largest cloud infrastructure provider in the world. In terms of the basic stuff like physical security and network security, you have the best minds in the world. There solving these problems for us so there’s a certain inherent level of security we get out of the box with them. Then, of course, there’s a great deal of security that is important for us to get right with encryption and basic stuff like password protection and all that. We take security very seriously. There are a couple of things that I can mention about it.

Emery Wells: Number one is we don’t own your assets. You upload your footage to and in our terms of service it’ll say some scary things like ‘You grant us the right to do blah, blah, blah’ and we need the right to be able to use your footage to make it accessible to you and your team, but we in no way, shape or form claim ownership. We will never do anything with it other than what we explicitly need to do to provide the service. Does that answer your question?

Larry Jordan: Yes. Just as long as I’m in a curmudgeonly mood for the next minute and a half, I wish you great success and huge health, but in the event that decides to fold its doors, how do I get access to my assets?

Emery Wells: If that were to ever happen, we would provide a mechanism for you to download all your media. That’s not something that we ever want to happen but, being responsible citizens of the community for ten years – I’ve been in the post production industry for ten years – we would make sure that people have a way to get their assets. And, of course, if that were to ever happen, from day one you’ll have a way to get your assets. Anything you put up, you can get back down.

Larry Jordan: So I’m done being a curmudgeon. We’ll talk more cheerful things, but security is always an issue when we’re dealing with the web. The other big one is, it’s not unusual, even for small web series, to shoot a half a terabyte or a terabyte of data for even a relatively short show, because shooting ratios are now completely out of control. The bottleneck has always been the upload speed from the company that shot the assets to get it up to the web for people to look at. Are you dealing with proxy files? How are you speeding file transfer?

Emery Wells: That’s a very real issue and it’s going to be a bottleneck for a lot of people getting their source footage into The launch is focused on the work in progress review and things like that. People are welcome to upload their source media, but we’re not going to have the full toolset that is needed to make that a smooth process, it isn’t going to be in place on launch. But there are some things that we’re doing to solve these problems.

Emery Wells: This is a problem that’s going to solve itself over time. The internet is always getting faster and a few years from now, when Google Fiber rolls out its gigabit internet connections around the country or somebody else or whoever’s providing the service, it’s one of these things that people cared a lot about and then will have just completely forgotten about. It is a problem that we see solving itself over time.

Emery Wells: In the interim, we’re doing two other things. We are accelerating upload speeds, file transfers, and this is some key technology and something that we’re doing differently than what other people are doing. HTTP connections are inherently slow because there’s a two way communication that goes between the sending server and the receiving server. They’re sent in small packets and every time the sender sends a packet, it asks the recipient if it got it, says, “Hey, did you get my packet?” and the recipient says, “Yes, I got it, “ and this handshake goes back and forth and that handshake slows down connections. If you have a fast fiber connection, like a Verizon FiOS connection that’s 300 megabits, you’re never going to saturate your available bandwidth.

Emery Wells: What other people do, companies like Aspera and other companies that provide acceleration of file transfer is they use a different protocol that’s called UDP. And on a UDP protocol you can just blast as much data as the pipe can handle. But that doesn’t work in a web browser and generally the experience you have is you have to download a Java applet and I don’t know what your experience with Java applets are, but mine are always terrible because every time you try to load a Java applet, there’s some new version of Java that you have to download and then half the time the Java applet doesn’t load correctly and it’s really kind of a clunky, unpleasant experience.

Emery Wells: We’ve built a way to achieve those Aspera level speeds, which Aspera charged a ton of money for just that core service of file acceleration over an HTTP connection, and the way that we do that is we open up multiple HTTP connections and we spread the data across those connections, so we can fully saturate your available bandwidth. That is a huge improvement over a typical HTTP upload and it also means it eliminates the file size limitations, so typically there’s a five gigabyte file size limitation over an HTTP connection and we can just smash that. There’s no file size limitation.

Emery Wells: That’s the second thing that we’re doing; and then the third thing – the first thing is it’ll solve over time, the second thing is our acceleration – and the third thing is we’re going to be opening up drop locations where you can drop off your footage and have it ingested into our cloud environment for you. These locations will be in major media markets and will have a direct connection to our cloud infrastructure, so we bypass the internet entirely.

Larry Jordan: You’ve mentioned this in the future tense. It sounds like you are in the process of launching but don’t have everything rolled out, so what have we got available to us today and what are your plans for the next, say, six weeks?

Emery Wells: Today was our first launch of the public announcement of the company, so we’re telling the world what we’re doing and showing them a first glimpse of the product.

Larry Jordan: Congratulations. The first day is always exciting.

Emery Wells: Yes, it’s been very exciting. We’ve had a tremendous response. We’ve only been announced for four hours and we’ve had a tremendous response. There have been over a thousand sign-ups within four hours…

Larry Jordan: Wow.

Emery Wells: …which we’re really excited about. The announcement is just a glimpse of what we’re doing and you can sign up to be part of our beta, which is going to launch in a couple of months. Of course, we’re trying to get to market as soon as we can but it’ll likely be a couple of months from now. That release will have most of what we’re talking about and showing.

Emery Wells: We’re not going to have drop locations where you can drop your footage off and have it ingested, that won’t be ready yet. We’re not going to have the broad source file format support, so we’re going to be supporting a lot of different file types but we’re not going to have every camera on the planet that we hope to eventually have. Some of that stuff will take time to get fleshed out.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so what we’ve got is a brand new company which was introduced today – and, by the way, we’re recording this on Tuesday and airing it on Thursday – so we’ve got a brand new company which is signing up people for their launch which will be in a couple of months. Who would you expect to be the typical user and how would you expect them to use the service?

Emery Wells: We want the typical user to be everybody that’s working with video and everything about our strategy is going to reflect that. We want our pricing to be affordable for the individual and small teams as well as the bigger companies that can afford more. That’s another important distinction. As we look around at the professional solutions on the market, they’re all pretty expensive and they’re more targeted towards bigger organizations.

Emery Wells: When you talk about these ideas of getting all your source footage in, the companies that are doing that, they’re charging a lot of money. We want to make it affordable to everybody from your wedding videographers all the way up to Hollywood feature films. It sounds like a wide group of people to cater to, but the reality is that everybody has the same problems. The core set of problems are the same, so we’re starting off by marketing towards smaller teams, teams that are between one and 15 people, we think that’ll be the core of it, but really everyone has the same problems, so we think it’s something that anybody working with creative media assets would benefit from.

Larry Jordan: Emery, one of the challenges all of us face is trying to keep track of all the different versions that exist of our media. Do you provide any kind of version control?

Emery Wells: Yes, we are doing version control. This is another key differentiator of what we’re doing versus what other people are doing. We’re making version control as simple as it can be. Our whole interface is drag and drop and you can drag one piece of media on top of another and it’ll collapse itself into a version stack.

Emery Wells: You can add as many versions as you want and once those are in a version stack, when you’re reviewing, when you’re playing back, you can load any version so you can say, “What did this look like yesterday?” or “What did it look like last week?” and then we take it a step further and allow you to compare versions, so you can see two versions side by side, whether you’re versioning edits or VFX shots or color grades. Whatever it is that you’re versioning, we give you the ability to go back in time and compare side by side.

Larry Jordan: There are a number of other review and sharing sites – you’ve mentioned some like Hightail and Dropbox, which are simply file sharing, but I’m thinking Sorenson 360, which does something similar to what you’re doing. What makes yours different from anybody else that’s out there? Why should people consider using you?

Emery Wells: As I say, we’ve had a tremendous response just in this past four hours and I think it’s resonating with people because the solutions that exist, they just don’t hit the mark. They don’t have the usability or they’re not as fully featured. Small things can make a product unusable for you. The experience of having to invite people into it and them creating an account and logging in and it’s like, “Oh, this is a new service I have to sign up for. What is this service?” and maybe it’s a little confusing at first and something you have to learn.

Emery Wells: We’ve tried to eliminate friction everywhere we can. The signup flow has been something that’s really important. We want to make it usable for people to get into immediately and understand how to use it right away without having to be shown. I think our usability and our design is something that really differentiates us; and then I think our vision for how we want to transform how people are working long term is something that’s going to set us apart over time.

Larry Jordan: How does this integrate with social media? For instance, I noticed as I was wandering around your website that you’ve got registration which links in with Twitter and Facebook.

Emery Wells: Yes. For the sign up, we expected to get quite a few sign ups and we offered the ability to get to the front of the queue if you shared on Facebook and Twitter, so that’s all those buttons are. They’re just Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons that, if you share them, we’ll give you what we call…

Larry Jordan: So it is not necessary to be sharing this on social media to be able to use the service?

Emery Wells: No, no, not at all. But I’m glad you brought up social media because this is another differentiation with what we’re doing. The app is totally social and by that I mean that every action you perform is tied to your individual identity. So you’re logged in as Larry and if you upload something, we can see that Larry uploaded it and everybody that’s part of the same project will get notifications about what’s going on, much in the same way where there’s tons of activity going on on Facebook but you get notifications to see what’s relevant to you and things like that. works in a similar fashion, so if you’re a producer on a team you have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on.

Larry Jordan: How do you have this priced?

Emery Wells: We haven’t released any pricing yet. We are actually still trying to figure out what our pricing is. Like I said, we want to make it accessible, so that will be released when we launch in a couple of months.

Larry Jordan: Are you seeing this leaning toward a subscription model or project based or user based? What’s your thinking?

Emery Wells: It’ll be a subscription model, so there’ll be tiered subscriptions with different levels of storage and things like that.

Larry Jordan: And then once we’ve got a project done, can we integrate it with YouTube or Vimeo?

Emery Wells: Yes. We’re going to have export functionality. We’re going to start with YouTube and Vimeo, so you’ve uploaded your work in progress, maybe you’ve uploaded several versions and everybody’s commented and then you’ve decided on the finished one – you’ll be able to export that and publish to Vimeo and YouTube, and then we’ll add other services over time.

Larry Jordan: If you were to describe in one or two sentences to somebody who’s never heard of it but is in the industry and is interested in working with it, how would you describe it?

Emery Wells: That’s a good question. We’ve struggled with succinctly describing it. We call it media collaboration for professionals, professional video sharing. If you have an idea, tell me, because we’re looking for that key marketing line, but it can be a little bit tricky to describe in just a single line. I kind of don’t like words like collaboration, even though it is so fundamentally a collaboration tool. It just sounds so bland of meaning. We’re working on that line that really describes exactly what it is.

Larry Jordan: Well, give it to me in three lines. Give me a summary again of what it is.

Emery Wells: Sure. It’s a collaborative work space for all of your media where you can upload or view and share assets with your entire team anywhere in the world, so we’re combining the functionality of Dropbox for file sharing and Vimeo for video review and Gmail for communication. It’s combining all these disparate services into one home base for your creative projects. We want people to think about it as home base for your creative projects.

Larry Jordan: And for people who want to learn more, where can they go on the web to sign up?

Emery Wells: They can go to

Larry Jordan: That’s and Emery Wells is the CEO and Co-founder of, which had its official launch today and, Emery, congratulations.

Emery Wells: Thank you very much.

Larry Jordan: And thanks for joining us.

Larry Jordan: It’s been a great show tonight. We started with Jessica Sitomer, the President of The Greenlight Coach; then Michele Yamazaki, the VP of Marketing for ToolFarm; and wrapping up with Emery Wells, the CEO and Co-Founder of

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows and it’s all posted to our website, at You can visit with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook, at Music on The Buzz provided by SmartSound. The Buzz is streamed by Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. You can email us at

Larry Jordan: Our producer is Cirina Catania, our engineer Adrian Price. On behalf of Mike Horton, who had the night off, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: The Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

Digital Production Buzz — July 17, 2014

  • Marketing Tips for Creative Companies
  • Skin Re-touching Plug-ins Compared
  • – New, Cloud-base Project Collaboration

GUESTS: Jessica Sitomer, Michele Yamazaki, and Emery Wells

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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Jessica Sitomer, President, The Greenlight Coach

Marketing a business is not the same as marketing a film. Films are one-time-only, while a business is on-going. This week, Jessica Sitomer, president of The Greenlight Coach, shares her thoughts on successful marketing for creative companies..

Michele Yamazaki, VP Marketing, Toolfarm

Michele Yamazaki, VP Marketing at Toolfarm, has researched all the plug-in tools available for skin retouching in video clips. What should we use? How much is too much? And what are her “beauty” secrets?

Emery Wells, CEO, Co-Founder, just launched a new cloud-based video review, storage, transcoding, versioning and task management platform for creative media teams. It combines the attributes of Vimeo, Dropbox, Gmail and collaborative review and approval applications into a singular home base application for creative video projects. Emery Wells, CEO and co-founder of, joins us this week to explain.

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!

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – July 10, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

July 10, 2014

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Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


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

Kevin Spark, Graphic Artist, Onion Creative


Voiceover: The Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra-reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

Voiceover: Live from Ralph’s Maytag Museum and Podcast Studio in beautiful downtown Burbank, it’s the Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: Production, post production, distribution.

Voiceover: What’s really happening now and in your digital future?

Voiceover: The Buzz is live now.

Larry Jordan: And welcome to The Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for creative content producers covering media production, post production, marketing and distribution around the world. My name is Larry Jordan and joining us is the relaxed summertime guru that he is, our co-host, Mr. Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: Guru? I like that. Thank you, Larry, it’s great to be here.

Larry Jordan: It’s the best I could come up with on short notice. You know, a 15 cent washer makes all the difference in these microphones.

Mike Horton: It did. My microphone’s not moving any more. Thank you. If we had a camera on the show, people would watch me going from left to right, right to left, because the microphone was always moving. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Amazing, when everything is nice and tight it doesn’t change position. We’ve got a great set of guests tonight. We’re going to be talking about storage and we’re going to be talking about creativity, two wildly different aspects of the creative business. We’re going to start looking at Thunderbolt 2 RAIDs, which are finally starting to appear on the market.

Larry Jordan: These new devices promise blinding speed and capacity and to help us understand what these new systems can and, more importantly, can’t do. Larry O’Connor, the Founder and President of Other World Computing joins us to talk about their new Thunder Bay RAID 4 and the storage heavy world of 4K video.

Mike Horton: I like OWC. I use them all the time.

Larry Jordan: They make good products.

Mike Horton: Not only that, they’ve got the best damn service in the world. They’re really good people.

Larry Jordan: I’ve been impressed. I’ve been taking a look at this Thunder Bay to write reviews on it and they’ve been very helpful.

Mike Horton: Yes, you’ve got tons of stuff up in your office.

Larry Jordan: Oh, yes, I brown out half of Cleveland when I plug in the gear upstairs. Gracious.

Mike Horton: We see your electricity bill.

Larry Jordan: Kevin Spark is a graphic artist for Onion Creative, a Brisbane, Australia based creative agency. He joins us this week to discuss how he finds creative answers for demanding clients, not just creative in terms of a blank sheet of paper, but creative in terms of business solutions as well.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder, we’re offering text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription. Now you can quickly scan or print the contents of each show, as well as listen to it. Transcripts are located on each show page. You can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making it possible.

Larry Jordan: Are you doing anything, Mike, this summer that’s worth talking about?

Mike Horton: No.

Larry Jordan: I didn’t think so, but I thought I would just ask.

Mike Horton: Oh, you want to talk about something?

Larry Jordan: What’s coming up next on your agenda?

Mike Horton: Actually, the next thing that’s coming up – this is going to be really fun at the Los Angeles Creative Pro User Group on July 23 – we’re devoting the entire night to wedding and event films.

Larry Jordan: Wedding and event?


Mike Horton: Yes. We’ve been around for 14 years, as you know, we have never, ever done weddings and events.

Larry Jordan: You’ve got to be kidding.

Mike Horton: No, I know, it’s insane. I have no idea how that happened, but we’ve got three of the best people in the world to do it. It’s going to be entirely about wedding and events.

Larry Jordan: Who runs that organization?

Mike Horton: I know, it’s just terrible.

Larry Jordan: Just take them out back. So who are you gonna have?

Mike Horton: We’ve got this wonderful guy, John Goolsby, from Riverside and he’s going to be there; and also Carol Dorman from Burbank, who’s a one man band but she uses remote cameras and she sets up all the stuff herself and then she just does the whole wedding by herself; and then we’re going to talk about editing weddings in Final Cut Pro X.

Larry Jordan: Now, that will be an interesting evening.

Mike Horton: With Michael Padilla, so it’s going to be on.

Larry Jordan: When is this?

Mike Horton: This is going to be July 23.

Larry Jordan: If people can’t attend the meeting, are they able to see it elsewhere?

Mike Horton: We do tape them. Assuming everything goes correctly, we put them up on the LAFCPUG YouTube channel, but no, you want to be there, that’s what these events are all about. It’s all networking and being there.

Larry Jordan: Well, thinking of staying in touch when you’re on a remote, remember you can keep an eye on The Buzz at Facebook, at We’re on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and visit our website at to learn more about the show and the industry. We’re going to be back with Larry O’Connor right after this.

Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is now shipping its production camera 4K, a super high resolution 4K digital production camera for Ultra HD television production. Featuring a large Super 35 sensor and a professional global shutter, it also offers EF and ZE compatible lens mounts and records to a super fast SSD drive. Capturing high quality ProRes files, the Blackmagic production camera 4K gives customers a complete solution to shoot amazing high resolution music videos, episodic television productions, television commercials, sports, documentaries and much more.

Larry Jordan: The Blackmagic production camera 4K also features an incredibly tempting price at $2,995. Learn more about the Blackmagic production camera 4K that is definitely priced to move. Visit That’s

Larry Jordan: Larry O’Connor founded Other World Computing, which most of us call OWC, in 1988. I didn’t think they had computers back then.

Mike Horton: Holy cow, that’s a long time.

Larry Jordan: Their website is They’ve been supporting all things Mac for more than 25 years and were recently recognized as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the Chicago area. Hello, Larry, welcome.

Larry O’Connor: How you doing? Thanks for the intro.

Mike Horton: We pride ourselves on intros.

Larry Jordan: It’s the summer and you’ve just got to keep your hands away from Mike, that’s all there is to it. How are you?

Larry O’Connor: Well, so far, so good. Trying to stay cool in Austin.

Larry Jordan: Well, my job is to make sure that, by the time this interview is over, you are not heated up. That’s always our plan, we sometimes succeed. I was thinking back to 1988. What got you to start OWC back all those many years ago?

Larry O’Connor: I had certain limitations on my own transportation at that time and, from a budgetary point of view, found that the costs of certain upgrades seemed to be a lot more than it should be and there was a curtain that was pulled around. I guess you could say the service center where installations were done and I found it to be hiding a process. There’s always things you should take your system in to do and, that being said, there are plenty of things that you can do in the comfort of your own home without the inconvenience of taking your system offline and having to give it up for a couple of days, and that’s what led to OWC being founded – helping customers, helping users get better value out of their systems at a greater convenience and greater value in the process of enhancing the performance and the capabilities.

Larry Jordan: Did you start it as a support site to help customers with gear? Or were you a retail sales operation? What was the initial focus?

Larry O’Connor: Education and sales. The execution was to offer the product and support the actual installation and use of the product. Explain to customers and be there to hold people’s hands to make sure they could get the use of what we provided and comfortably and confidently make these upgrades and connect these different peripherals and such. It’s easy to sell a great product. There’s a little more to it in order to making sure that the user who receives the solution doesn’t end up having the solution sit on the shelf collecting dust.

Larry Jordan: Then you expanded, not only helping customers install gear that was made by somebody else, but you started making your own products. Why did you decide to get into manufacturing yourself?

Larry O’Connor: It came down to difficulty in supporting other companies’ gear and, quite frankly, there were some disappointments in what was available, especially when FireWire came out. In the ‘90s, we got big time into zip upgrades but there wasn’t a processor mark-in and we definitely had been engaged for a long time in various processor solutions for the Macintosh and then going into the early part of 2004, FireWire was big and what was available in FireWire was expensive and, quite frankly, disappointing.

Larry O’Connor: We’d already had experience at a processor board level and doing a FireWire solution was something that was right up our alley and we could do it better than what then was available and I think we provided a solution that has been top and remains top for a lot of requirements.

Larry Jordan: Do you design your own products or are you partnering with others? From a manufacturing point of view, how do you put the gear together?

Larry O’Connor: The actual design and specifications, everything in the engineering is driven out of both our Woodstock and our Austin locations. We have manufacturing or SMT physically in Austin, Texas and we, of course, partner for manufacturing with different solutions literally around the world. But the actual design and the engineering is primarily based in the US. That’s evolved – I couldn’t say that a decade ago.

Larry O’Connor: Over the course of the last 20 years, we’ve gone from more of a director type of relationship with the ODMs to an actual in-house engineering and industrial design group, which has definitely been an evolution that we’ve enjoyed. We have a lot of creativity and, as we’ve been able to bring talent into the organization, the solutions have over the course evolved to be more and more, 100 percent, our own.

Larry Jordan: One of the things I want to talk with you about tonight is storage and the reason is that, between marketing hype running amok and people not understanding and focusing on all the wrong things, there’s a lot of confusion in the market on what to buy for hard disks. I want to also talk about the new Thunderbolt products you’ve got, with the Thunder Bay.

Larry Jordan: First, I want to just get a sense that video files are pretty much out of control, both in the number of files we’re creating and in size and we’ve got so many different options – there are solid state drives and there are spinning media single drives and there are RAIDs. How do you even begin to narrow down your choices to decide what you want to get?

Larry O’Connor: It really comes down to what you ultimately need to store and also what you need to do with what you’re storing, whether it’s for editing or for hiring for an actual network that involves massive amounts of data being pushed back and forth. If something’s being for all purposes change, SSDs and even a RAID of SSDs makes exceptional sense for capture and for playback and even, quite frankly, for editing different types, an external array of hard disks. Thunderbolt today provides an exceptional solution; and then for compressed data, which requires a lower throughput, in a lot of cases a single hard drive will do playback at the right format.

Larry O’Connor: I want to also clarify something else that we’ve always done is to try to, at least with our own products, reduce confusion and set proper expectations. A lot of drives, a lot of manufacturers, don’t really publish true benchmarks. They’ll put whatever, a USB 3.0 interface they’ll list five gigabits as the data rate. With FireWire 800 they’d say 100 megabits was the throughput or USB 2.0 480 megabits. We’ve always historically, and this goes back to the first externals we put benchmarks on, in addition listing the exact drives that are inside so you know what you’re getting when it comes to the manufacture and the rotational speed and other factors of the drive and we listed true benchmarks.

Larry O’Connor: We put AJA benchmarks up. If we had a Blackmagic test, we put up a speed… that shows what the actual drive is, whether it’s a single drive or multiple drives, and the solution, what that solution is actually going to provide you configured in different ways. We don’t just put the interface speeds up because it’s fictitious to say five gigabits on a single hard drive or even two hard drives. They don’t reach those speeds. It’s not just the interface, it’s what’s inside a solution and all of our solutions have benchmarks that you can actually look at and count on.

Larry Jordan: I’m just standing here saluting because that’s such an important statement. In the past, when we had a single hard drive and we were attaching it to USB 2.0, USB 2.0 was slower than the hard drive and so USB 2.0, the protocol, would determine the speed. But now the protocols are blindingly fast with USB 3.0 and with Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 and the gating factor on speed – and correct me if I’m wrong – but the gating factor on speed is the number of the hard drives you have inside. Is that still a true statement?

Larry O’Connor: Absolutely. There was a day when drives were slower than USB 2.0 and relatively speaking it was not too long ago. The other thing, going a step back in time, USB 2.0… 480 megabits and there’s FireWire 400, 400 megabits because of overhead with the bus on USB 2.0. Fireware 400 in a practical real world sense consistently delivered higher performance than USB 2.0 by about ten, twenty percent.

Mike Horton: That begs a question. One of our chatters in our chat box has asked, at what speeds does it just not matter any more because of the limit of the bus?

Larry O’Connor: It comes back to what system you’re in and what you’re doing with it. 4K editing obviously can get up there in bandwidth requirement but, for a lot of things, once you pass 500 or 600 megabytes a second where there’s no dips below, you’re good for quite a large portion of what’s typically being done editing wise. As long as the computer has the horsepower to process whatever you’re putting out to scratch and you have a faster drive, any speed definitely benefits how fast Photoshop can complete its task.

Larry Jordan: Let’s define a couple of terms. What’s the difference between a hard disk and an SSD?

Larry O’Connor: An SSD, by definition a solid state drive, uses NAND flash chips. There are no moving parts. For all intents and purposes, it’s similar to the memory that’s in your computer. Not quite as fast and non-volatile, it’ll store the data when the drive is turned off. So it stores like a hard drive but speed is similar to the memory that’s in your computer, as opposed to a hard drive. You may have a 5400 or a 7200 or a few years ago they still were making 4200 RPM drives.

Larry O’Connor: It spins, it has… that spin inside with a number of heads and those heads have to seek out the data, both for reading and, of course, they’re locating empty blocks when they go to do the write functions. An SSD you don’t have to optimize because wherever it ends up writing the data, it’s instantly accessible. A hard drive over time, if you don’t optimize it, the OS doesn’t keep it optimized and you can actually see a drive slow down because data you delete or edit and data changes, data can be stored for the same file across multiple locations and take longer to restore. Hard drives require a little more maintenance than an SSD as a result of that, whereas an SSD you pretty much plug in and go.

Larry Jordan: How do we optimize a hard drive?

Larry O’Connor: The good news is the current OS pretty much, with 10-6 and later, does a pretty good job of keeping it optimized automatically. Tools like DriveGenius from ProSoft, and there are other utilities as well, include utilities within their suites that will do optimization, and all optimization does is goes through and reorganizes the files so that the files are contiguous versus scattered across different locations on the drive.

Larry Jordan: Is that the process we used to call defragmentation?

Larry O’Connor: Absolutely. They’re synonymous.

Mike Horton: Oh, well, I didn’t know that. We don’t defrag our drives any more because of these utilities, correct? Or is it because the new OS’s just do it automatically?

Larry O’Connor: The current OS does a pretty good job. There can be benefits to running a third party, a non-OS optimization or defrag, but truth be told the OS does a really good job today of keeping things pretty well optimized.

Mike Horton: Well, I’ll be darned. I’ve finally learned something on the Digital Production Buzz show.

Larry Jordan: Oh, thank you so very much.

Mike Horton: It’s taken me 14 years.

Larry Jordan: Larry, one of the things that you mentioned was that SSD drives are blindingly fast compared to standard spinning media.

Mike Horton: Yes, how come?

Larry Jordan: He just explained that, Michael.

Mike Horton: Yes, but I still don’t understand. Just because something spins and the other one doesn’t?

Larry O’Connor: Just like memory in your computer which is managed, there’s a memory controller tied to the processor, an SSD effectively has a processor in it that has its stores mapped out when data is called. It’s not quite as fast as memory, memory still trumps a solid state drive any day, but by comparison to a hard drive. Literally, an SSD, because of how it accesses data, there’s no seeking it, it just goes straight to the cell and pulls the data.

Larry O’Connor: For the really heavy lifting functions where you’re doing small block transfers, an SSD can be more than 100 times faster than accessing the same data from a drive. Hard drives are great for large continuous flows of data in larger chunks, but when you’re doing random access, when you’re doing smaller read/write functions, some of the editing work goes to a hard drive. The drive has an iolem and the drives today are up to, I want to say 500 or 600 IOs per second, whereas an SSD peaks at 50 to 60,000 IOs per second in a normal real world situation.

Larry O’Connor: Some of them will actually go well beyond that, but real world you’re still talking, I would say, a very substantial difference which means something a hard drive might slow down to a megabyte or less per second, one megabyte per second, considering a CD holds about 720mb or 650mb, that could be a comparison point. So 650 seconds to load the equivalent data into small chunks. An SSD will hold speed with that same kind of data load closer to 100 megabytes a second, or even over 100 megabytes per second depending, so now you’re talking a few seconds instead of ten minutes.

Larry Jordan: Why not just put SSDs on all of our gear?

Mike Horton: Because it’s expensive, isn’t it?

Larry O’Connor: SSDs are great for where the heavy work is being done, but in terms of for just archiving and storing data that’s already complete, completed data is already typically larger files, so they’re efficient to load off a hard drive and hard drives are far less expensive per gigabyte today in terms of using for that purpose; and actually, a lot of computers today do some standard with SSDs and Blackmagic uses SSDs, they have to, quite frankly, in their cameras for capturing data. That’s really where SSDs shine.

Larry O’Connor: They’re shining where the OS has to get constant read/write, hits caches, page in/page outs and for the OS, where the applications are doing work outputting completed work while they’re loading new, fresh data, they continue the process. That’s the heavy lifting, that’s where all the action is. Once the work is done and you have a video file to play back, not edit, it’s completed, it’s compressed, it’s ready for normal playback, or photos that are done, music files. You might have a minute load, the initial start might be a blink of the eye faster, but in terms of the performance, there really isn’t a benefit for that kind of purpose versus a solid state drive.

Larry Jordan: You’ve used two technical terms I’d like you to describe. One is IO, which is sometimes called IOPS, and the other is bandwidth. What is the difference and when do we care about one versus the other?

Larry O’Connor: IO is effectively, for lack of a better way, is input/output processes per second. They’re actions. It’s the drive, whether it’s a 4K chunk or four megabyte call, it’s the drive being asked to do something and it’s an independent operations, they’re operations per second for all practical purposes. Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that you can push through, whether it’s interface or it’s a computer, the maximum amount of mass data that can go through that pipe.

Larry O’Connor: To really break it down in a different way, maybe you have a single SSD that can support 500 megabytes per second throughput. That’s its max… throughput. That’s the bandwidth that it can provide over the six gigabyte bus that’s in the computer, so bus is the other supported. I don’t want to get too wrapped up in all the different pieces, but… you’ve got a computer that has a bus that can support… 6G which is technically closer to 600 megabits a second, but get a drive that has a bandwidth capability of 500 megabits a second and perhaps it has an IO capability peak of 80 or 90,000.

Larry O’Connor: In the real world it’s a little different, but IO per second comes into importance as your file size goes down. To do 500 megabytes a second, in 50 megabyte file calls that’s only ten IO calls per second. If you get down to one kilobyte, five kilobyte calls, all of a sudden that’s exponentially more actual processers being called on that drive.

Larry O’Connor: I guess if you’re looking at a piece of paper and you had to fill in the piece of paper, if you’re doing it with just pin dots or just a tiny little dot, it takes a lot of dots to fill up that sheet of paper and if you can only tap the piece of paper X number times a second with a little tiny felt tip or whatnot, it takes a lot more than if it’s a giant one. But in the case of an SSD where the hard drive might do that paper really fast with some giant tip on the pen – and this is not a great analogy, so apologies for that – the SSD can get those pinpricks done in the same blink.

Larry Jordan: For instance, I’ve heard that IOPS are important when you’ve got multiple users hitting the same drive or if you’re doing database work, where you’ve got lots of small records and bandwidth is more important when you’re downloading large files like media editing or recording media. Is that a general characterization you’d agree with?

Larry O’Connor: I’d agree with that, and they both come together. If you have a bandwidth limitation, it’s naturally going to limit your IOPS on the simple basis that, regardless of how many IOPS the drive can do and what the processor can support, for example, if you put an SSD in a USB 2.0 bus, where you’re limited to more or less 40, 45mb a second in the real world, no matter what that system can support, you’re both bandwidth and IOP limited as opposed to putting it on a 6G bus.

Larry Jordan: This gets to a couple of questions Eric is asking on our live chat. The first is: the downsides to an SSD, as Michael said, one is they’re expensive; two, they don’t hold as much as a spinning media disk. Are there other downsides to SSD that we need to pay attention to? Question two: does it make a difference, the cable that we use? Does an optical cable make a difference to a copper cable?

Larry O’Connor: I’ll hit the cable question first because that’s easier in a lot of ways. With Thunderbolt, you’re still talking a digital signal no matter what and in terms of whether the copper or the optical is better, you’re still doing a conversion and you still have an active signal, no matter how you look at it. There are controllers in both ends.

Larry O’Connor: Both cable ends have a Thunderbolt controller in them for all practical purposes and the difference between optical cable and a copper cable in the world of Thunderbolt actually has to do with whether there’s power or not and you get greater distance from an optical cable. You can’t go beyond three meters with a copper cable, but there are cables up to 60 meters in optical.

Larry O’Connor: However, for bus power devices, for devices that don’t have an external AC source, you’re limited to copper because only a copper Thunderbolt cable provides power. In terms of performance and reliability, today there’s not a difference. It’s still effectively the same signal that’s going into the device at each end. The optical is just a different way to unload the data stream.

Larry Jordan: Same performance, greater distance with optical and power with copper.

Larry O’Connor: Correct. Distance has a small impact on performance. We’ve done testing and we’ve worked with others who have done testing, but if you did three meter copper versus three meter optical, you might even get a slight disadvantage with the copper possibility just because of the conversion that’s occurring, but the bottom line is, the way Thunderbolt’s set up, it’s a very stable robust interface that is pretty consistent however it’s connected and that’s because of the certifications required where there’s not a lot of variance allowed by Intel and Apple, and it’s a relatively select few to actually enter and provide Thunderbolt peripherals and even cables.

Larry Jordan: Ok, the downside of SSDs. Why we would not get them if we had unlimited budgets?

Larry O’Connor: Honestly, I really can’t give you a good reason not to. If the budget isn’t the limit, there’s really not a good reason not to get an SSD today, in my humble opinion.

Mike Horton: There’s been this rumor about SSDs, is they get fuller and fuller, they get slower and slower.

Larry O’Connor: Well, that depends upon the processor. For all of our SSDs, we’ve focused on the LSI processor, from day one, and the reason we’ve focused on the LSI solution as a basis for our product is simply that everything else at the time – and this goes back to 2010, when we really got serious about SSDs – didn’t have good internal management and there was no tune control on the Mac; and this is going to go a little bit all over the place, but I’ll try to keep this on as tight a track as possible.

Larry O’Connor: With the Mac, unless you use a hack or effectively a software nailer that kind of tells the OS to turn on trim, even though it’s not an Apple drive, you have no trim control and trim control, from the OS side, in itself is not exactly the best solution and there are a lot of drives that get fuller even with trim on and that’s something you have manually enable in a Mac unless it’s the stock drive. A lot of drives slow down, yes, as they get fuller and fuller. They gradually slow down a bit, they also can become more erratic with their IO. I’ve seen it myself even with drives that Apple have shipped where you’re 80, 90 percent full and you see beach balls and things because the drive isn’t presenting the data the way the OS would best prefer, so that is a real issue.

Larry O’Connor: However, that is not an issue with our LSI based drives, the reason being the internal processing that these drives do. They don’t require trim to maintain full speed, whether they’re one percent full or 99.9 percent full. They’re operating at the same speed, proving at the same data benchmarks. They don’t require trim to keep the garbage collection up to date and organized. They have extremely capable and intelligent internal drive management so that a computer can effectively do its thing and the drive continues to provide data in a very efficient, consistent manner that keeps operations optimal.

Larry O’Connor: When you look at benchmarks, it depends upon the test. In random IO, they bench way up at the top; in some of the other mundane synthetics, they’re more towards the middle. But where the heavy lifting is done, the foundation that we built for our drives is always consistently a top performer in the real world where it matters and they maintain certifications for various video applications that other drives, newer drives, just won’t qualify for. These drives are built to last, they’re built to provide consistency and they’re built to provide the heavy lifting, the real data throughput, where the real work is done and they don’t slow down.

Larry O’Connor: But yes, a lot of drives, the majority of drives out there do slow down, especially as you get past even three-quarters full. The LSI controller based solutions that we build, all of our SSDs are 2.5s, the PCIs, everything that we put our name on in terms of an SSD with that LSI processer inside, they provide consistent performance day one to years down the road, from one percent to completely full.

Larry Jordan: Before we run out of time, tell me about this new Thunder Bay RAID that you’ve released.

Larry O’Connor: Certainly. Again, to us it’s a pretty common sense product. You can buy it pre-configured with four drives and up to 20 terabytes, or you can buy it with no drives inside and put your own set of four drives in it or you can mix drives and it essentially gives you the flexibility to create individual volumes, multiple RAID sets always in the same solution for a variety of different applications and data throughput.

Larry O’Connor: They were standard hard drives, close to 900 megabytes a second, and with SSDs up to almost 1400 megabytes a second. The beauty of it is, especially if you have an iMac and you’re looking at external storage, or maybe a MacPro that you want high performance with an external device, you have the flexibility and the options for pretty much anything that you can imagine that will suit your needs.

Larry Jordan: Can we combine SSD and spinning media in the same unit?

Larry O’Connor: Yes, absolutely. You wouldn’t put them in the same RAID, but the same device. For our own graphic design group, we’re actually set up today with two SSDs which are RAIDed for the main boot in scratch volume and they have a drive that’s used for back-up and archive and a drive that’s used for actual file storage all in the same solution and it turns an iMac into a pro solution in a very effective way.

Larry Jordan: Where can people go on the web to learn more about the products that you and the rest of your company offer?

Larry O’Connor: They can visit, click on any of our product tabs and you’ll find very thorough and very detailed descriptions on the products with a lot of information and, as we talked about before, on the storage side, benchmarks that are true real world that really let you know what the products can do and what you should expect.

Larry Jordan: That website is Larry O’Connor is the President and Founder of Other World Computing, which is the company at the end of Larry, thanks for joining us today.

Larry O’Connor: Thanks for having me.


Mike Horton: Thanks, Larry.

Larry O’Connor: Any time.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Thanks. Bye bye.

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Larry Jordan: Kevin Spark is an Australian graphic artist, not only Australian but based in Brisbane, with an interesting side career – he also writes scripts – and talking with creative people is always interesting, especially with someone who lives half a world away from Los Angeles. Mike, Australia is to the west of us. I just wanted to let you know. Hello, Kevin.

Mike Horton: I’m sorry, I’m still geographically…

Kevin Spark: Hello there, guys, how are you?

Mike Horton: Hello.

Larry Jordan: Where’s Brisbane in relationship to Sydney? Mike and I were having an argument about that earlier today.

Kevin Spark: Brisbane’s north of the country. It’s the top part. We’re actually on the border of New South Wales, which is where Sydney is. Brisbane’s at the bottom of Queensland.

Mike Horton: Now, that would be the West Coast or the East Coast of Australia?

Kevin Spark: The East Coast.

Mike Horton: I don’t get it.

Larry Jordan: See, I win my bet.

Mike Horton: I’m in Los Angeles, I look at the world map, I would think that would be the East Coast and Perth would be the West Coast.

Larry Jordan: That’s exactly right and that’s exactly what he said.

Kevin Spark: Yes, that’s right, yeah.

Mike Horton: No, the opposite of what I just said. Never mind, I’ll just listen to you two talk.

Larry Jordan: We’re going to just tuck Mike in a corner and hand him a map, I can see that.

Kevin Spark: All right, ok.

Larry Jordan: Kevin, what got you started as a graphic artist?

Kevin Spark: Oh, I think you tend to pursue what you’re good at, really, and I think when I was at school, I wouldn’t say I was particularly academic but I was very good at the arts, I was very good at English and I was very good at art itself and I think when you’re at school you’re not really given the opportunities to expand your creative horizons by being imaginative. It tends to be more rope learning and it was only really when I left school and found that actually there was an industry that embraced that. You tend to migrate towards what you can do.

Mike Horton: Could you expand on that a bit? Once you actually left school, did you go to a higher education school for graphic design? Or did you just do it on your own?

Kevin Spark: Oh, no, no, no, I went to university. No, I’ve got a BA Honors in graphic design.

Mike Horton: Was it worth it?

Kevin Spark: Oh yes, yes, absolutely. Going to uni’s great. Whether you learn what you’re supposed to, I don’t know. But yes, I had a good time there.

Mike Horton: If you ask most creative people in America whether university was worth it, “No.”

Kevin Spark: Yes, because I think the charge system’s very different. I’m English but I live in Australia because my wife’s Australian, but in England I was one of the last generations to go through the funded system, so we had pretty much government grants for our university education, so it’s very unlike America where you have a billion education deficit over… isn’t it? It’s three billion?

Mike Horton: It’s insane. Let’s just say if you go to university, you’re a couple of hundred thousand dollars in debt once you get out.

Kevin Spark: Yes, which is a real crying shame because it precludes that opportunity to actually experiment, really. I think one of the great things about university, you’re never really going to teach people to be creative and I think what they have to do is they need those several years to have that period of creative gestation where you become immersed in it and you get to meet other creative people, you’re in a world that’s basically about doing something interesting or doing something visual that’s centered around coming up with interesting ideas. But you’re kind of living and breathing it, so you need that time to experiment and find something about yourself, really.

Mike Horton: I absolutely agree, but would you be where you are today without going to university?

Kevin Spark: I doubt it, actually.

Mike Horton: You sound like somebody with a lot of drive and a lot of ambition.

Kevin Spark: It’s probably the accent.

Mike Horton: Well, no, there’s something that’s coming through the microphone here.

Kevin Spark: Yes, I don’t think I would be. It depends what you use your university education for, I guess. I was very interested in film, but I was also very interested in arts and art history. Part of my degree is also about theoretical and critical studies and I get interested in art all the way from the Raphaelites, pre-Raphaelites, the Renaissance and then modernism, cubism, all the way up to more contemporary work and I think design and advertising, it’s very crucial to have those touch points throughout history because unless you actually recognize what’s gone past, it’s very difficult to move forward.

Mike Horton: Yes, it takes a lot of self discipline to do that on your own, but when you go to university, they sort of force that upon you and, of course, you learn a lot about that and you learn that you do need that, so good answer.

Kevin Spark: Yes, that’s right, and you get interested in it, you know? You have to have an interest in it, really, otherwise it just becomes very dry subject material.

Larry Jordan: Kevin, one of the things that I’m interested in exploring with you in just a minute is sort of balancing the role of wearing a creative hat versus wearing a business hat; but before I go there, tell us what kind of projects you work on.

Kevin Spark: It’s a variety, really. I’ve tended to be, I wouldn’t say pigeonholed, but a lot of people tend to look at my work and think, “Oh, you’d do art based stuff,” which is not necessarily true because I also work for large corporations. In fact, one of my favorite clients is a construction company, a company called Laing O’Rourke, and one of the reasons I like them is just because they’re incredible smart. They’re smart in the way they think and in the way they approach their subject material and they’re quite innovative as an organization.

Mike Horton: Wow, looking at your website, if I were a construction company I would go, “Mmm, I don’t know if I’d use this guy.”

Kevin Spark: I know. Well, that’s the thing, because construction is one of those areas that…

Mike Horton: Well, we stereotype people, so that’s human nature and it’s a terrible thing to do but that’s what we do. Looking at your website and then, of course, if I was a construction worker, since I am now stereotyping them, would I hire you? Probably not. Hats off to that construction company there.

Kevin Spark: Well, you’ve just sort of hit the nail on the head, actually. That’s the point, is that for these large organizations that historically have been viewed as being uber conservative and very straight, because of that they don’t move forward, they don’t progress. What’s happening, and there’s a trend certainly in Europe, certainly in England, to put people who work in large financial organizations or organizations that have a traditionally very gray veneer associated with them, to put them in a situation where they actually get to mix with people from a more diverse and creative background. So they can actually utilize that skill set that each one has to offer. Creative people, it’s all very wonderful to work in that world, but I think you always have the risk of becoming untethered to the real world and there’s that real danger that you can just float away. As soon as you lose your ability to stay grounded, it means you’re unable to provide good solutions for people.

Mike Horton: Yes, I can’t relate to you.

Larry Jordan: As a graphic artist, or as an artist and a creator, how do you bring clients who are not necessarily willing to be ungrounded, how do you get them to get into the creative spirit and follow along with your idea?

Kevin Spark: Well, I think everyone is creative, actually. I don’t subscribe to the belief that you get different types of people who do different types of things. I think we all wear many hats and I think you have to get to know somebody well enough, and when I say well enough, you don’t have to go camping with them and spend your weekends with them, but you need to be able to have proper robust and good conversations and not be too reticent in coming forward. You’ve got to be able to speak your mind, and I think people do respond to that. People respond to honesty and as soon as you start to open up, if you’re prepared to open up, people generally open up to you. I think there’s nothing more attractive than showing something of a vulnerable side and anyone who trades in ideas, that’s what they do on a day to day basis.

Larry Jordan: Running a business, especially a creative business, is more than just designing. How do you balance the challenges of looking at a blank sheet of paper with the challenges of looking for clients?

Kevin Spark: Oh, it’s a nightmare. It really is. It’s interesting because my situation has slightly changed, actually, because Onion Creative has now merged with a larger company in a different place, they’re on the Gold Coast, which is about an hour away from Brisbane. They’re essentially a video production company and I offer more conceptual design based stuff, so it means that because content is king, and I think you’d have to be pretty naive to not recognize that, and I was tending to offer my clients more and more opportunities to develop content, so it seemed a natural fit. When you asked how I go about generating clients or looking at leads, it’s really hard and I don’t know if there’s any real answer to that because if you introduce yourself cold to somebody, it’s unlikely they will use you because they do have to get to know you, they’ve got to trust you. Generally, it’s all referral based. I think if you do a successful job for somebody, you really need to ask them who they know.

Larry Jordan: Let’s say that you’re getting ready to pitch to a client. How much time do you spend designing your concept to deliver to the pitch to have them even work with you in the first place? In other words, how much free work are you doing creatively before you even see the client?

Kevin Spark: I only pitch very rarely now, actually, and it’s only for jobs that I really, really want. Generally, if somebody just sort of phones up and says, “Are you prepared to pitch?” I just think, “Well, no, because I actually place value on my time.” I wouldn’t dream of asking somebody to come round my house and put an extension on and say, “Just give it a go first and I’ll see if I like it,” you know? And I really have a problem with the whole nature of pitching. I think it allows clients to cherry pick elements from lots of different solutions and generally most of the solutions will all have good points, but I think it undervalues what design is about, actually, and it undervalues what designers do.

Mike Horton: Are you saying that you’ve never had to pitch? You started as a superstar?

Kevin Spark: Oh, no, no. No, I didn’t say that. No, I said I don’t like to pitch, I don’t believe in it. But no, of course, everyone pitches, but it’s what you choose to pitch on. Like I said, I tend to get my work through referrals. If it’s a really good referral, like for a festival or something like that, it’s not uncommon for them to sort of say, “Look, can you put some ideas together first?” That’s not really an open pitch. You’re still presenting something without being paid for it, but you kind of know that you’ve got the job anyway. For other jobs, for example, I pitched for a film festival, and film festivals are really hard. They’re difficult to do and in terms of how they get their funding, where the money comes often dictates the level of creativity, unfortunately. This particular project was put out to tender and I know that a couple of companies actually pitched on it and then we found out later that it wasn’t actually a live pitch and they didn’t have the money and they just ended up recycling what they had before. It happens a lot, where you waste a designer’s time and it’s not a sign of arrogance or for people to say, “I’m some kind of design superstar.” It’s about actually the honesty of the industry and the honesty of your clients recognizing that you have to make a living.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, I was counting while you were answering that question, and I realized there’s exactly two billion graphic designers in the world.

Mike Horton: Really?

Kevin Spark: Oh, it’s a massively huge industry and it’s hard because it’s very competitive to get into, it’s hard to get into a good design course, it’s hard to enter the industry and it’s hard to stay in the industry.

Larry Jordan: Ok, but my question is, with all those people out there, each graphic designer, including yourself, needs to find a way of describing what makes them unique, what skills they’ve got that are unique to them. My first question is what skills do you have that are unique to you that help you to do what you do? And secondly, what can graphic designers that are in different market do to help them figure out what their own skills are? Because it has to be more than just, “I can draw a straight line.”

Kevin Spark: Well, yes. I think lots of people have probably the same skill set ultimately and I think also, in terms of what people do and what they produce, you can have a very, very talented designer and very talented art director who produces the worst piece of work and it’s not because they’re not necessarily good at what they do, it’s because they didn’t have a very receptive client that was prepared to listen to them and ended up meddling. But look, I like to think what sets me apart – and I’m sure other people do exactly the same, so I’m not necessarily unique – is I think I’m a very good listener. I do take on board what people say and I do process that, I take the time to actually think about and consider what they say and really digest it.

Keven Spark: I’m quite proactive with my ideas, I won’t sit back and just respond to a brief in more of a reactive position. I’ll work with them to actually help craft the brief and also conceptually. I think there are lots of different types of designers out there. There are people who are stylish who are very capable, very good, their work tends to be more, I suppose, transient or fashion orientated; and then there are guys who are sort of more conceptual designers. Then obviously the ones who have a mixture of both are the ones who are doing really, really well and obviously are really, really good.

Larry Jordan: How would you advise a graphic designer or a designer – define that however you want, creative person – as they’re starting to figure out their own skills, how do you help them figure out what they’re good at? Sometimes it’s hard for us to see what we’re good at because we focus on all the things we’re not good at.

Kevin Spark: Mmm. I think it’s a long journey, really, and it’s not an easy one because lots of people will assume that they’re good at something and they’ll do that and they’ll certainly find out that they’re not and they’ll be disappointed and they’ve just got to be able to pick themselves up. I think you’ve just got to try as many different things as possible. I don’t think there’s a set pathway to say, look, if you do this, you will find this out. I don’t think it works that way.

Mike Horton: Yes, I agree. You can’t argue with that, right, Larry?

Larry Jordan: Michael, I would never argue with two people as smart as you and Kevin. Kevin, how do you resolve issues where the client’s creative vision differs wildly from your own?

Kevin Spark: Oh, you’ve got to compromise, you know? That’s a very good question, actually. You know, don’t do the job. I think generally if somebody is employing you, I mean, I’ve never really had an opportunity where I’ve clashed so badly with a client that we’re at loggerheads. Generally, if you’re the designer, you’re not just employed by them doing a service when they say, “The client’s always right or the customer’s always right, so if I say do it blue, you do it blue. Again, you have to understand that they have ideas as well. If you’ve set up a company and you’ve had it running for ten years or so and you make that leap to start talking to a designer and you want to improve your brand and things like that, one of the worst things a designer can do is turn around and start trying to tell them all the things that they’ve been doing wrong regarding their brand, because for ten years they’ve been earning a living and doing quite well and they’re doing well enough to employ a designer, so I think you need to understand that and respect it.

Larry Jordan: Just waiting to see if there was more. I didn’t want to jump on top of that.

Mike Horton: Yes, that little small company that you’re working with grows up to be IBM Australia.

Larry Jordan: Kevin, where can we go on the web to learn more about you? And are you still open to taking new clients or are you booked solid for the next ten years?

Kevin Spark: No, no, we’re always up for more clients, particularly people in America. That would be great. I still have a few English clients and we’ve worked on things from feature films through to mainly broadcast television programs. Years ago, I had an animation series in the UK, which was quite fun, so I tend to know people in that sphere. But you can go to the website, my old website which is still online, is, or the company I’ve merged with is a company called Foto Media, that’s Either one of those sites you can reach me through.

Larry Jordan: Kevin, thank you so very much.

Mike Horton: Yes, thanks, it was a good conversation.

Larry Jordan: Kevin Sparks is a graphic artist and Founder of Onion Creative at or Kevin, thanks for joining us today.

Kevin Spark: Oh, it was an absolute pleasure.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: You know, Michael, one of the things I like about our guests is we’ve really run the gamut. We were looking at hardware and trying to understand technical specs with Larry O’Connor and then we suddenly shifted to an entirely different world, not of tools but of concepts with Kevin.

Mike Horton: By the way, how are you with graphics and design?

Larry Jordan: Are you kidding? I can’t draw a straight line without…

Mike Horton: Really?

Larry Jordan: I am a really, really good editor and I can help a graphics designer, I think, make their work better but if…

Mike Horton: In other words, if you wanted to redo the Larry Jordan website, it isn’t going to happen, right?

Larry Jordan: No, no, no, we are redoing the Larry Jordan website and I’ve hired a company to put it together and we’ll talk more about it as we get closer, and the company is filled with both programmers and designers because I love the creative collaboration of everybody contributing ideas and talking about it. For me, it’s more than just what I think, it’s what the whole team of people come up with.

Mike Horton: But if I were to ask you to do the poster for the Larry Jordan Film Festival, you couldn’t do it?

Larry Jordan: No, are you kidding? No, I would have a little box that says ‘This is a piece of film and come here to watch it’. It would be very grim. My ability to do graphic design is, I can’t draw a straight line without mechanical assistance.

Mike Horton: I’m that way too. I know what looks good, I think I know how to communicate it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it.

Larry Jordan: That’s why there are three people I’m in awe of. I’m in awe of people who can draw; I’m in awe of people who can dance; and I’m in awe of people who can sing and, Michael, I still like you anyway.

Mike Horton: And I’m in awe of people who can ride horses.

Larry Jordan: It’s been a great show. We’ve had some great guests. We started with Larry O’Connor, the President and Founder of Other World Computing in talking about hardware and RAIDs and trying to figure out how to separate marketing from reality; and then Kevin Spark, graphic artist and Founder of Onion Creative, now Foto Media, in Brisbane, Australia.

Mike Horton: Yes, I hope that merger works for him.

Larry Jordan: I do too. I hope so. You know, it’s nice to have steady business and a steady paycheck.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows…

Mike Horton: That’s never happened to me in my entire life. I’ve never known when my next paycheck’s coming from, ever.

Larry Jordan: I know that feeling extremely well. There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows. It’s all posted to our website at You can talk with us on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and Facebook, Music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound. The Buzz is streamed by Text transcripts by Take 1 Transcription, our producer is Cirina Catania, the man on the other side of the studio table looking for the next paycheck is Mr. Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: Bye, everybody.

Larry Jordan: My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Buzz.

Voiceover: The Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries; and by TOLIS Group, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

Digital Production Buzz — July 10, 2014

  • Picking the Right Storage for Editing
  • Balancing Creativity and Clients with Business

GUESTS: Larry O’Connor and Kevin Spark

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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

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

Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO of Other World Computing (OWC) returns to showcase their latest release: a Thunderbolt 2 RAID designed for high-performance media production. Along the way, we’ll discuss real-world speeds, the advantages and disadvantages of using SSDs, and picking the right drive to use with a RAID.

Kevin Spark, Graphic Artist, Onion Creative

Kevin Spark is a graphic artist for “Onion Creative, an Australia-based agency. He joins us this week to discuss how to find creative answers for demanding clients.

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!

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – July 3, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

July 3, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


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Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


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

Jeremy Pollard, Product Manager, Cospective

Philip Bloom, DOP, Editor, Director


Voiceover: The Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries; and by TOLISGroup, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra-reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

Voiceover: Live from Ralph’s Maytag Museum and Podcast Studio in beautiful downtown Burbank, it’s the Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: Production, post production, distribution.

Voiceover: What’s really happening now and in your digital future?

Voiceover: The Buzz is live now.

Larry Jordan: And welcome to The Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for creative content producers covering media production, post production, marketing and distribution around the world. My name is Larry Jordan and joining us is our ever affable co-host, Mr. Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: I’m back.

Larry Jordan: We are glad you are and you’ve got a front as well, which I think is even better.

Mike Horton: I’m actually trying to get into the live chat.

Larry Jordan: And it would be good to have you there. We always have a lot of good conversations going in the live chat.

Mike Horton: And it’s really easy. All you have to do is just type in your name and all of a sudden you’re there. It’s really cool.

Larry Jordan: The thing I like about you is your technical acumen, Michael, just leaves me breathless.

Mike Horton: Uh-huh.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got a great show tonight. We’re going to start with the Aereo case, which the Supreme Court ruled on last week. This has implications for independent filmmakers, especially regarding new ways of distributing content. Last week, Jonathan Handel of Counsel at TroyGould in Los Angeles gave us a quick update on the breaking news. This week, we wanted to take some more time, so we invited Jonathan back to help us understand why this decision is so significant.

Larry Jordan: Cospective won an Academy Award for Cinesync, then they built on that technology to create Frankie, a remote shot review and approval system. Tonight, live from Australia, Jeremy Pollard, the Product Manager of Cospective, joins us to share the latest news on this collaborative tool.

Mike Horton: Australia? What time is it in Australia?

Larry Jordan: It’s about 10.15 in the morning, if I remember right.

Mike Horton: Oh, I thought it was, like, 10.15 or 5.15 or…

Larry Jordan: No, the world is a big place, Michael, and the sun doesn’t necessarily shine in two places at once. Anyway…

Mike Horton: Just Los Angeles and New York.

Larry Jordan: Two weeks ago, during my speaking tour in England, which is on the opposite side of the world to Australia, I interviewed Philip Bloom, the highly respected director, director of photography and filmmaker, about what he’s learned shooting and editing 4K video. Tonight, we present the second part of his two part interview, which is picking the best 4K camera.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder that we’re offering text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription. Now you can quickly scan or print the contents of each show, as well as listen to it. Transcripts are located on each show page. Learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making it possible.

Larry Jordan: Michael, it’s been a busy week. Apple updated Final Cut Pro 10 motion and compressor on Friday morning.

Mike Horton: Yes, tell me your feelings about that real quick. You only have 30 seconds.

Larry Jordan: Well, I think the updates look really good. I like the new media management especially, the ability to be able to properly manage render files and optimization files and proxy files, and there are a lot of new features that Apple hasn’t talked about. There’s some cool stuff, including a new codec called ProRes 4×4 XQ.

Mike Horton: Oh my God, another codec?

Larry Jordan: Another codec and not only is it another codec, but the next day ARRI announced a brand new camera that records natively in the ProRes 4×4 QC format, which gives us, I think, some potential for amazing image quality and still in a somewhat compressed, not RAW, format.

Mike Horton: So it’s called 4×4 XQ?

Larry Jordan: XQ, as opposed to HQ, which is high quality. This is extreme high quality.

Mike Horton: Ok.

Larry Jordan: And what’s been the reaction on your email?

Mike Horton: Actually, the reaction’s been pretty good, especially about media management, but I’m seeing a lot of incremental increases, but you’re seeing features.

Larry Jordan: Oh yes. Well, the media management’s incremental but good incremental and there are some interesting features that I found especially interesting. I’m spending the weekend writing and recording some new training, so if you ask me on Monday, I’ll have a whole lot more information for you.

Mike Horton: Well, I shall talk to you tonight before it comes out.

Larry Jordan: Yes, except I haven’t done my homework yet.

Larry Jordan: Be sure to visit with us on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and subscribe to the free weekly show newsletter at I’ll be back with Jonathan Handel right after this.

Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is now shipping its production camera 4K, a super high resolution 4K digital production camera for ultra HD television production featuring a large Super 35 sensor and a professional global shutter. It also offers EF and ZE compatible lens mounts and records to a super fast SSD drive. Capturing high quality ProRes files, the Blackmagic production camera 4K gives customers a complete solution to shoot amazing high resolution music videos, episodic television productions, television commercials, sports, documentaries and much more.

Larry Jordan: The Blackmagic production camera 4K also features an incredibly tempting price of $2,995. Learn more about the Blackmagic production camera 4K that is definitely priced to move. Visit That’s

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment and technology attorney of Counsel at TroyGould in Los Angeles. He’s also the Contributing Editor on entertainment labor issues for the Hollywood Reporter and he has a blog at Hello, Jonathan, welcome back.

Jonathan Handel: Well hi, Larry, hi guys.

Mike Horton: Hi Larry. Larry! Hello, Jonathan.

Jonathan Handel: How are you?

Mike Horton: Happy 4th of July pre-4th of July.

Jonathan Handel: Happy 4th of July to you both.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, last week you were on giving us the breaking news on the Supreme Court decision on the Aereo case, so before we get into the significance of it, give us a summary of what the Aereo case was about.

Jonathan Handel: Sure. Aereo, again, was a system that, in broad outline, looked sort of like a cable system. You could watch live broadcast TV on your mobile device or your other internet connected device but what was key about the way this system worked, key to understanding the case, is that Aereo would assign an individual antenna to the user when you logged on and clicked that you wanted to watch a particular channel.

Jonathan Handel: That antenna would be tuned to that particular station only in response to your request that you wanted to watch a particular channel, the signal would stream from the antenna to a designated part of the hard drive just for the individual user, even if someone else was watching the same program at the same time, and the from the hard drive to the user with something like a seven second delay, even if you were watching live.

Larry Jordan: Now, what was their thinking in putting this kind of very individualistic antenna system in place?

Jonathan Handel: Well, they were relying on a case in the Federal Court of Appeals in New York, the Second Circuit, from several years ago called Cable Vision and that was a case where broadcasters challenged Cable Vision’s remote storage DVR, so that’s a DVR functionality where the hard drive and the control and so forth are located at the cable company’s head end, the cable company’s offices, rather than in your set top box and the Court decided there that a remote storage DVR was legal, was legitimate, basically relying on the 1984 precedent in the Betamax case, where the Supreme Court had decided that video tape recorders were permissible, were not a copyright infringement.

Jonathan Handel: What Aereo did was they said, “Ok, let’s design a system,” that, in Aereo’s thinking, follows those rules, or in the thinking of the broadcasters who later sued exploits a loophole, depending on your point of view, “and we’ll design a system where there’s an individual antenna so there’s a private pathway from the antenna to the hard drive, there’s a private one to one pathway from the hard drive to the user; even when they’re watching live, they’re actually watching delayed,” so they’re watching DVR functionality – a digital video recorder has recorded the program and is then streaming it them remotely – and so Aereo constructed a system that on the one hand looks a lot like a cable system but with internet capability, but on the other hand looked a lot like a remote storage DVR, and that’s what they presented to the courts when they were sued.

Larry Jordan: How did the Supreme Court actually look at this case?

Jonathan Handel: Well, the Supreme Court looked at it and they saw basically one thing only, which was something that looks like a cable system. They said, “Look, we recognize these technical details in the way you’ve implemented your system, but those are details that are under the hood. They don’t make a difference to the consumer, they don’t make a difference to the aggrieved broadcaster and therefore they don’t make a difference to us in our analysis of this.”

Jonathan Handel: Now, that’s a little curious, because if you read copyright cases over the last several decades involving networks and computers and copies of software and things of that sort, you’ll find that these cases are very technical, that they read almost like a cross between a legal opinion and a computer technical manual, looking at buffer copies and temporary copies and how long is this copy made and it’s a complete copy that the program kept in memory at the same time and all sorts of stuff like that, so the courts have gotten very much into the technical details in trying to analyze what provisions of copyright law do or do not apply.

Jonathan Handel: But in this instance, the Supreme Court declined to do that and instead said, “Look, this really resembles a cable system.” Now, they’re not saying it is a cable system because if it is a cable system, it would be entitled to a compulsory license from the broadcasters. Now, they’d have to pay for that license, they didn’t pay for the broadcasting that they were doing, which is what the broadcasters were aggrieved by, so the Supreme Court sort of left Aereo hanging in the worst possible position. It’s not a cable system, but it looks so much like one that for purposes of an infringement analysis, we’re going to treat it that way.

Larry Jordan: The specific decision was that Aereo was violating copyright and, because of the violation of copyright and because it was not paying fees, the broadcasters won and Aereo lost. Is that the right summary?

Jonathan Handel: Yes, that’s exactly right.

Larry Jordan: Then what did Aereo do since the decision?

Jonathan Handel: They put their service on pause.

Larry Jordan: Oh what?

Jonathan Handel: Pause.

Larry Jordan: That’s what I thought you said. They haven’t died, they haven’t lived, they’re pausing.

Jonathan Handel: They’re pausing. They’re merely pausing, they say.

Larry Jordan: How do you interpret that?

Jonathan Handel: Well, I think they’re dying. They’re pausing for what, exactly? You could say, well, they could negotiate with the broadcasters and maybe they are trying to, and one of their main backers financially is Barry Diller, who of course is one of the founders of the Fox network and all sorts of stuff, you know, a very long Hollywood broadcast pedigree, so they certainly would have the channels to try to negotiate, but where’s the leverage?

Jonathan Handel: The court has said what you’re doing is infringing and they’ve built this system that doesn’t have technological value apart from complying with or exploiting a loophole. It’s sort of unclear. They did say in their brief at one point, “Look, our array of 10,000 micro sized antennae,” because these are little dime-sized antennae for each user, “fits in a box and is smaller and has certain technological advantages and size advantages on rooftops. You can sometimes put it up where you can’t put a receiving antenna up,” so, I don’t know, is there some value to the technology itself and some value to doing it Aereo’s way, if it’s licensed, as opposed to doing it some other way? Maybe. It’s unclear, but it doesn’t jump out at you and say, “Gee, this is a really strong negotiating position.”

Mike Horton: Well, apparently they’ve taken the issue to the users and asked the users to write to their Congress people to tell them how much Aereo means to them and their families to try to overturn the decision. Now, this is a very ignorant question, but has Congress ever overturned a Supreme Court decision?

Jonathan Handel: Yes.

Mike Horton: Ok.

Jonathan Handel: Congress has and Congress could here, if it were so inclined, because this is a statutory decision, not a constitutional one. In other words, the Supreme Court didn’t say the constitution dictates such and such a result. The Supreme Court said, “We’re going to interpret the copyright statute.”

Jonathan Handel: Now, in fact, part of their interpretation was based on the last time that Congress created a massive overhaul, in that case a massive overhaul of the copyright statute, because the Supreme Court had made certain decisions related to early cable TV systems and one of Congress’s purposes in acting the 1976 Copyright Act, which is the current Act that we’re under – it’s been amended since then but it’s the current overall version – one of Congress’s purposes was, in fact, apparently to overturn one of those Supreme Court decisions. More recently and notably, there was a decision the Supreme Court made in how much equal pay someone can sue for, how far back – if they’d been discriminated against, can they sue? – and the Supreme Court’s decision was a very conservative, very narrow one and Congress effectively overturned that by revising the statute.

Jonathan Handel: So Congress could, but how many users does Aereo have? It never revealed the numbers, but no-one that I know of thinks that it’s in the millions.

Larry Jordan: The number that I saw that was discussed the day after the court case was that Aereo had said they had 500,000 users.

Jonathan Handel: That sounds like a…. I don’t know.

Mike Horton: And they’re all in New York.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got two questions on the live chat that I want to get here. Eric is saying it’s all going to be the internet soon anyway. Is this case really important? And Grant says it’s just a bunch of old media dinosaurs trying to cling to their old methods of viewing media. Right now, the Supreme Court has said Aereo can’t do what it’s doing. Why should filmmakers pay attention? What makes this case so important?

Jonathan Handel: Well, what makes it important is that it extends the clinging on to existing business models that the broadcasters have. What it means is that in the next couple of years you will be able to get broadcast TV on internet connected devices, but it will be from applications that are approved by the establishment, by Hollywood and the broadcasters, and one of the things that will be required, that already is required in the case of, I think it’s ABC that has an app out there already, is that you’ll have to be a cable subscriber.

Jonathan Handel: So in other words, if you want to get free over the air broadcast signals on your cell phone, you’re going to have to be a paying subscriber to cable, so it extends the control that large media companies have and that does reduce access, I think, for independent filmmakers. It’s complicated because it also props up cable channels that might otherwise have a hard time existing.

Jonathan Handel: The big issue here that really was never argued in the briefs is that Aereo posed a threat to cable system bundling, where you have to pay for 500 channels and pay 100 some odd dollars, even if you only watch typically 15 of them. Unbundling, which is good for the consumer, is going to be slower to arrive but unbundling also has an impact on the creative community, because it means there may be less money to go around and fewer channels alive. SAG-AFTRA, for example, and I think some of the other unions as well, filed briefs against Aereo and in favor of the broadcasters.

Larry Jordan: Well, broadcasters and cable have been losing audience steadily. Will this ruling help or hurt the trend?

Jonathan Handel: Steadily but fairly slowly and it’s not clear if that trend’s accelerating or not. It’ll be very interesting to see in the next couple of years. I think this ruling in the short term helps the cable companies, because somebody who wants to cut the cord but nonetheless wants to be able to get, say, broadcast sports on their cell phone, to the extent that sports is still broadcast and hasn’t moved to ESPN and so forth, it’s a harder decision for them.

Jonathan Handel: They’re going to have to continue to subscribe to cable if they want to be able to watch that content on cell phones. In the short term, it helps but it also allows the cable companies to continue to raise prices and I think ultimately you’re going to see some very adamant backlash. I talked about people cutting the cord but, of course, younger people are really more cord nevers rather than cord cutters. They just haven’t subscribed to cable, they watch Netflix and they watch YouTube channels and other content, MCNs, and that’s what they watch.

Mike Horton: Why did the Supreme Court even hear this case and where’s the FCC in all this?

Jonathan Handel: Well, it’s not an FCC issue because this isn’t a cable system. It’s a copyright infringement issue rather than a cable loyalties issue, and that’s a very almost tangled distinction, but it is the distinction and it was the challenge that the broadcasters brought. They didn’t bring an FCC type communications law challenge.

Jonathan Handel: The court could have said, “Look, this is only at the preliminary injunction stage. Go back and have a trial and finish this,” but the broadcasters were filing across the country in multiple courts and Aereo ultimately agreed to have the Supreme Court decide this. They didn’t challenge the appeal.

Mike Horton: Well, sounds like they’re dead.

Jonathan Handel: I kind of think so.

Larry Jordan: Do you think that the ruling will have an impact on Netflix or what Apple’s doing or what Google is doing?

Jonathan Handel: Well, it may help Netflix and Amazon, for example. Apple and Google have less of a bead on how it might affect them but Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, if you want to watch Hollywood content on your internet device, on your mobile for example, this is one less competitor for Netflix. It allows Netflix to grow.

Larry Jordan: Well, it sounds like the last shoe has not fallen, although for right now Aereo is fading out of the picture. We’ll see what happens over the coming months. Before we let you go, because we still have a couple of minutes left, I know Mike is very interested in the answer to this question – what’s going on now with SAG-AFTRA?

Jonathan Handel: I was worried that you were going to ask that.

Mike Horton: I keep reading ’24 hours more, 24 hours more’.

Jonathan Handel: Well, that’s right, that’s right. The contract expired Monday night, June 30th, and they’ve extended three times now in increments of 24 hours to continue negotiation. The issue seems to be that they are still hung up on exactly how to merge their television contracts. Now, how far they’ve gone on that, I don’t know.

Jonathan Handel: Again, to put this in context, the DGA did a deal six months ago or so, October of last year, I think, actually. The Writers’ Guild did a deal several months ago following the DGA template in terms of things like the wage increases and some new provisions for residuals for Netflix and that kind of thing.

Jonathan Handel: Those kinds of issues that have already been set, presumably the SAG-AFTRA contract will follow those as well, but there are issues that are specific to actors and among those this year was, ok, we merged the unions two years ago but we still have separate SAG and AFTRA TV contracts with separate wage rates – the AFTRA wage rates are 3½ percent higher.

Mike Horton: I can’t imagine how complicated and political this is.

Jonathan Handel: Yes, very complicated and very political. That’s absolutely right.

Larry Jordan: Well, that just slowed everything down by months.

Mike Horton: Well, no. It’s amazing, increments of 24 hours and 24 hours. Either somebody has really done their homework and they’re making it a lot easier than we think they are, but it seems to me on the face of it that it’s just so difficult and so complicated when you’re dealing with two separate entities, trying to bring them together. Who is it? David White or…

Jonathan Handel: Yes, David White’s the National Executive Director.

Mike Horton: Oh my goodness, I wouldn’t want to be him.

Jonathan Handel: No, and you know what? It’s actually one entity. It’s two contracts but SAG-AFTRA is a single union now, right? But they’re trying to unify these legacy contracts and meanwhile they do still have two separate health and pension plans.

Mike Horton: Right, again. Oh my Lord.

Jonathan Handel: And the actors, they have so many constituencies that even in a normal year, they’ve got to not only get through the template that’s been set by the DGA or whoever, but they’ve got to deal with, ok, what more are we going to give the extras, the background actors? What are we going to give the stunt community? And so forth, so there’s just always a quantity of stuff they’ve got to get through.

Mike Horton: I wish you could sit through some of those negotiations. It’d be a lot of fun, make a great book or a great television miniseries.

Jonathan Handel: Yes, your definition of a lot of fun is maybe a little elastic.

Larry Jordan: So they’ve extended until when, midnight tonight?

Jonathan Handel: Midnight tonight.

Mike Horton: And they’ll do it again because tomorrow’s July 4th.

Larry Jordan: Do you think it’s going to get resolved tonight or are you expecting another extension?

Jonathan Handel: This is one where I would leave odds making to the folks in Vegas.

Mike Horton: It’s a 50/50 coin toss.

Larry Jordan: Could be anything.

Jonathan Handel: It’s really a coin toss but, you know, if they extend it’ll probably be two or three days rather than 24 hours this time.

Larry Jordan: Yes, probably because of the holiday and to give people a chance to think about stuff.

Jonathan Handel: Right.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, by the way, I have to say in the seconds we have left, your blog has an excellent, excellent series on driverless cars, which has nothing at all to do with media…

Mike Horton: Oh, I’ve got to read that.

Larry Jordan: …but an outstanding look forward to the future on what driverless cars are. Brilliant writing and congratulations.

Jonathan Handel: Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

Larry Jordan: And your blog is where?

Jonathan Handel: It’s at

Larry Jordan: That’s and Jonathan Handel’s of Counsel at TroyGould. Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks very much.

Larry Jordan: Take care.

Mike Horton: Thanks Jonathan.

Jonathan Handel: Goodnight, guys.

Larry Jordan: Archiving means more than just copying files from one location to another. TOLISGroup’s BRU and ArGest solutions provide easy to use and reliable answers for all your media storage, back-up and archiving requirements and BRU PE release 3.1 makes it even easier for Final Cut Pro 10 users.

Larry Jordan: Safely storing back-ups on tape for long term storage is one thing, but when you have lots and lots of files stored on lots and lots of tapes, finding exactly the right file on exactly the right tape takes some great software. That’s where BRU comes in. With BRU, you can be sure that your data is completely recoverable. BRU, because it’s the restore that matters. Download a free demo today from That’s

Larry Jordan: Jeremy Pollard is Product Manager for Australia based Cospective, the award winning company behind Frankie 2.0, which is browser based software that allows content creators in multiple locations to interactively review, annotate and discuss videos. Hello, Jeremy, welcome back.

Jeremy Pollard: Thanks, Larry. Thanks for having me on the show again. It’s wonderful to be here.

Larry Jordan: Well, you did such a good job the first time, we always like rewarding people by inviting them back. Good to have you with us.

Jeremy Pollard: Great to be here.

Larry Jordan: Give us a quick capsule. What is Frankie?

Jeremy Pollard: Frankie is a browser based video review tool. It’s designed for collaborative reviews of video where the participants are in different locations. Now, that could just simply mean different floors of the same building, or it could mean continents apart, and you could have several people involved. The idea is we want to replicate the concept of all sitting around the same screen discussing, pointing at screens and talking about the media in that really casual way that makes people feel like they’re properly connected.

Larry Jordan: What got Cospective started in this business of remote video review in the first place?

Jeremy Pollard: We started out with a solution called Cinesync, which we launched in late 2005 and that was designed for feature films. We have a sister company involved in visual effects for feature films and they were looking for a way to essentially synchronize playback of QuickTime videos, so that was the start of it and over many years we had feedback from people saying they’d like to use this same kind of technology on short form production and so we wanted to build something that was lightweight, really easy to use, really fast and suitable for creating TV commercials, music videos and other types of short form media, particularly when you have non-technical people involved who just can have creative input without having to worry about the technology.

Larry Jordan: What’s in the latest version of Frankie?

Jeremy Pollard: We’ve actually come a long way, Larry, since we last spoke. We are now up to Frankie 2.4, which came out recently, and the biggest part of that is that we’ve introduced new pricing plans as part of that Frankie offering. Previously, we just had the single plan, keeping things really simple but, over the past 12 months or so, we’ve had demands from a lot of smaller studios and freelancers who tell us how much they love Frankie, the simplicity and ease of use.

Jeremy Pollard: Some of them have used it at the larger shops or some of them have just tried out the software, and so we wanted to make some versions available where they could use it on all of the jobs that they’re working on, not just the larger ones. We now have new plans starting from $49 a month – that’s our basic plan. We have a Plus plan at $99 a month and the top level Pro plan at $249 a month.

Jeremy Pollard: The Pro plan is essentially what people have been using previously, but it offers a whole lot more capacity than before and a whole lot of great new features. Hand in hand with these new plans, we’ve also introduced the ability to pause your account when you don’t need it between productions, so this means for a small monthly fee – just $9 a month – you can retain everything, all of your content, your data and your settings and the knowledge that Frankie is there, ready to go to switch on as soon as another production comes on. You don’t have to bear the cost in between, you don’t have to worry about losing that data.

Larry Jordan: Give me an example. You said that one of the reasons you created Frankie was to be able to use it for smaller shorter form projects. Give me a couple of typical examples of where Frankie could be useful.

Jeremy Pollard: Sure. We actually have a great local example, a company here in Australia based in Melbourne, called Airbag Productions. They contacted us earlier this year and were interested in trying out Frankie and expressed a lot of positive feedback after using it.

Jeremy Pollard: They compared several different solutions on the market and, after trying all of them out for several months and weeks, they decided that Frankie was by far the easiest to use and they really loved the PDF summary – I think I spoke with you about that last time, the way that you can generate a PDF document that encapsulates the entire review – and so they really wanted to use Frankie, but the scale of the jobs that they tended to work on, being a smaller shop, didn’t justify the full plan.

Jeremy Pollard: We introduced these new plans and they’ve now come on board on our Plus plan and can now utilize Frankie as part of their standard tool set on every job that they work on.

Larry Jordan: How does it actually work? Do I need to load all of my media files up to the cloud? Is it working with proxies? What do I need to have where and what kind of hardware do I need to support this whole program?

Jeremy Pollard: The hardware requirements are minimal. Basically, your standard modern computer will work. We run everything in the cloud, so the media is stored in the cloud and our servers are all run remotely. When you’re using it, you’ll simply upload the files you want to distribute for review and when you’re ready send out a link to each participant you want to provide feedback.

Jeremy Pollard: They just need to click on that link and they don’t need to install anything – it will run in multiple browsers across all of the platforms – so it’s a really simple way of sharing that media; and the great thing is you’re not just sharing it, you’re giving them an interactive environment where they can draw on the video, they can add notes and you can save all of that feedback both in the active review and also in that PDF summary that it will generate at the end of it.

Jeremy Pollard: You can also, if you choose to, run it as a kind of offline review where as a host you don’t have to be present. We find that that’s definitely the most effective way to do things, but there are times when you might find that schedules don’t align or you’re working with people in other time zones and so you can gather that feedback while you’re out of the office and when you come in the following morning, it will all be there ready for you to have a look at.

Larry Jordan: Sorry, I was taking notes. I wanted to make sure I got it all down before I finished writing.

Mike Horton: I’m finding it fascinating.

Larry Jordan: How many people would be involved in the collaborative process for Frankie to be useful? If you’re a team of one, you just need to talk to yourself, which Mike does on a regular basis, but for the rest of us, what size group is this optimized for?

Jeremy Pollard: It caters for a whole range of sizes of group. We have people who will just be working with maybe one other person, either in the same city, perhaps – they just don’t want to deal with traffic – or another part of the world; and then we have jobs where you’ll have dozens of people involved and multiple levels of approval, and so we’ve had Frankie sessions that ranged from just a single person, believe it or not, we have a client that regularly uses it just for note taking in that way because it provides a really effective way to summarize thoughts in a combination of visual drawings with the comments providing supplementary notes; and then we’ve had reviews where we’ve had perhaps six connections in different parts of the world and each of those connections are probably two or three people looking at the screen, so it can be really good for even those very large meetings where everybody wants to have their say.

Jeremy Pollard: One of the new things that we’ve added, actually, in the latest version is a presentation mode, so we find some of those larger meetings, people just want to have their say and so they want to draw on the screen and click around and participate, but there are times you want to keep everybody focused on the task at hand, so the presentation mode allows you to take control of that session and lock out the guest controls so that you can just go through the ideas you want to, and then you can switch it off and later on have everybody interactively add their feedback.

Larry Jordan: Is the biggest challenge that Frankie helps to resolve allowing multiple people to share media at the same time or to be able to collaborate on note taking or to be able to gather up everybody’s comments in a single place? What’s the hottest hot button?

Jeremy Pollard: It actually addresses a few different points. One is the tyranny of distance, of course. We all know that productions are now regularly conducted in a distributed fashion, so people need to find different ways of working together. There are visual effects shops popping up that are entirely virtual, where everybody involved is all over the world. But beyond that, it just helps people work more effectively together.

Jeremy Pollard: We have a customer in South Africa called Embassy and they’re a production and post house and they did a story with us recently and commented that their Frankie sessions are more effective than being in the same room because everybody is focused on the session. They find that it just means people concentrate on the task at hand; and then beyond that, as you say, it gives you a way of keeping all of the feedback coordinated and connected with the media that you’re talking about. In the short form production world, historically people might email a QuickTime somewhere and then the feedback would be in disparate forms.

Jeremy Pollard: Somebody might email a response, somebody might call up and just give you a verbal rundown on what they think, somebody else might type it into a spreadsheet; and then trying to coordinate all of that feedback later was a really big task, particularly when you weren’t sure what version they’re talking about. With Frankie, you know exactly what version you’re referring to, you have all the feedback in one place and, as a bonus, you get a very neat PDF summary at the end of it that you don’t even have to manually generate.

Larry Jordan: Jeremy, for people who want to learn more, where can they go on the web to learn more about what Frankie can do?

Jeremy Pollard: They should visit

Larry Jordan: And the Product Manager of Frankie is Jeremy Pollard, working with a company called Cospective and, Jeremy, thanks for joining us today.

Jeremy Pollard: Thanks very much, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Thanks, we’ll talk to you soon.

Larry Jordan: When I was recently in London, I had the chance to talk with Philip Bloom, a gentleman who needs no introduction. He’s a director, director of photography, an editor ad extensive writer and the owner of Some Like It Shot Productions. This is the second of two parts of the interview that I did with Philip and, in this interview, we look at picking the right 4K camera and specific issues revolving around shooting and editing high resolution media.

Larry Jordan: Philip, you and I have been wandering the cities of the United Kingdom this week for a tour that’s been sponsored by TV Bay and I’ve been fascinated with your presentation on looking at 4K from a practical point of view. A business question and then a production question – can you charge more for your 4K work or are they not willing to pay more money for 4K?

Philip Bloom: You have to charge more for your 4K work. If you’re not going to get paid any more for your 4K work for clients, you don’t do it because it’s costing you more money on the hard drives and everything else. If you can’t pass the cost onto your client, you should not be doing it.

Larry Jordan: For filmmakers who are trying to decide what they should do, either what camera to rent or what camera to buy or whether they should shoot 4K and they don’t have an unlimited budget, what would you recommend?

Philip Bloom: I get very scared when I read some of the questions that are asked of me. I get a lot of emails and a lot of Facebook questions and tweets to me saying, “I’m going to buy this camera. What do I need with it?” and my reply would generally be, “Why do you want to buy that camera?” because they say, “I’m just starting out and I’m going to buy this 4K blah, blah, blah camera,” and I am scared for them.

Philip Bloom: I have to ask them, and it goes back to that fundamental question, why do you need 4K? Considering 95 or 99 percent, or whatever it is, of professionals working today do not need it, why do you need it and why is somebody who’s just starting out, with a limited budget, are you even considering such a thing? If you have clients who are saying, “We need 4K from you,” fine. If you don’t, then why are you doing this?

Philip Bloom: Because don’t forget there is such a thing as rental. You buy an HD camera, one you can afford, one you can use for jobs, and then when a client does say they want 4K, you rent it, you pass the cost on. It’s very simple.

Larry Jordan: What is going to have the biggest impact on our picture, a 4K acquisition, a better lens, better lighting or better codec?

Philip Bloom: You missed the most important thing out of all of those.

Larry Jordan: Ok.

Philip Bloom: You. You are going to have the biggest impact on the camera, the lighting, the lens, the codec, by far. You can have the best camera in the world and you could have the worst camera in the world and if you have no skills, that great camera won’t give you great pictures, but if you have amazing skills, that really bad camera, you’ll make it sing and that’s the key thing. An expensive camera that shoots in fancy formats isn’t going to make you better. It’s not the most important thing, by far.

Philip Bloom: Now, if you’re going technically into it, sensors are incredible important and then it’s the processing behind the sensor, because we have cameras with the same sensors and they’re so different because it’s what’s done behind them. Optics are incredibly important, but you don’t have to go out and buy Master Primes. You don’t have to do that. Stills glass, fine. There’s some amazing stuff. They have their limitations – most of them are mechanical more than anything, just the way they operate.

Philip Bloom: Codecs are important but for the web, for HD, ACHD is fine. The key thing is, when you’re working with a more compressed codec, you just need to make sure you get things right in camera more, which is what you should be doing anyway.

Larry Jordan: Get things right how?

Philip Bloom: Expose correctly. That’s the key. Obviously, focus and stuff like that, but exposure’s key. You’ve got more latitude when you shoot RAW if you scrub the exposure, but don’t deliberately just, “Oh, I’m not sure if this is ok, but let’s just hit record anyway.” With ABC HD and compressed codecs, you just simply have to make sure you get it as close as you possibly can, which is really what you should do in the first place, so those are key, really.

Philip Bloom: But yes, I think you are the most important person. Don’t think buying the latest, most expensive thing that’s out there that you are being told by whoever that this is what you need is going to make you any better or more successful. The only way a more expensive camera can make you more successful is purely for appearance’s sake and getting the work from the clients.

Philip Bloom: A client is more likely to hire you if you have a C300 than if you have a T2i or something like that, so that actually is important when it comes to owner/operator sides. You need to have a camera which is in demand, but you can always rent. You can always rent and that’s the key thing.

Larry Jordan: Philip, for somebody who wants to experiment with 4K video, what cameras would you recommend they look at?

Philip Bloom: 4K cameras which are affordable – affordable is a very difficult word to define because something that’s affordable to you is not affordable to somebody else – certainly the cheapest by far that’s of good quality is the GH4. I only had it maybe three of four weeks…

Larry Jordan: That’s from Panasonic.

Philip Bloom: From Panasonic, yes. It’s Micro Four Thirds and it records in HD as well, but does a 4K, a compressed 4K, and that’s part of the reason why it’s good, is that the format is a relatively low bit rate, it’s only 100 megabits a second but it just means that you can put on, I think, 45 minutes to an hour, something like that, on one 32 gigabyte card, which is wonderful when we’re talking about half a terabyte for 24 minutes.

Philip Bloom: This is a camera you can play with and I showed some stuff today, the first time I’ve seen some GH4 stuff on a 4K projector, and I was very impressed with how well it held up. Is it the best 4K camera in the world? No, but for the money it’s great and you don’t need to spend a fortune on it like, say, the Blackmagic 4K, which is of a comparable price, slightly more money, but you need to then spend a lot of money on SSDs, rigs, battery solutions, so many different things for it, and it isn’t anywhere as good a camera as the GH4. It may shoot ProRes HQ and at some point it’s going to shoot RAW, but these things don’t make a camera. Just because it can shoot in a higher quality format doesn’t make the camera any better and it certainly isn’t. This GH4 is wonderful.

Philip Bloom: I always carry a proper camera with me wherever I go and it’s been with me solidly since I got it and it’s nice to be able to just capture some beautiful video of some amazing things in 4K. I was Asia recently, in Thailand, and I was just flying into a resort in Thailand and I was in a window seat and there were the most astonishing clouds I’ve ever seen in my life. It was like a window into another dimension just opened, I’ve never seen anything like it – it was at sunset – and I’d been told that the cloud formations in that area were spectacular, but I’ve never seen anything like it. I was agog.

Philip Bloom: I just pulled out the GH4 and started shooting it and I looked back at it and went, “My God.” It captured it so beautifully and that in itself is just wonderful. It’s just in my bag and I got the shots of it and that’s lovely, I love being able to do that.

Larry Jordan: Can you do 4K on a handheld? Or do you have to lock it on a tripod?

Philip Bloom: It depends on the camera whether you need to have a tripod or not. Most cameras, unfortunately, have what’s called rolling shutter issues, which is the way the CMOS sensor captures images. You see it on your cell phones and in Smartphones. It’s Jell-O. Everything goes wobbly, so you’ve got to be very careful with certain cameras, and the same with the GH4.

Philip Bloom: What’s going to help is a tripod, sure, but you’re not always going to have a tripod on you, so a lens which has image stabilization is key. I have the GH4 in my hand right now and it has a stabilizer lens on it. Walking around with a camera with a lens, especially a lens that isn’t that wide, that’s just like a standard length, if you don’t have stabilization on, unless you are a rock, you are going to get vibrations through it and it’s awful.

Philip Bloom: Maybe I don’t have enough coffee, maybe I have too much coffee, I don’t know what it is, I can’t use a camera without a stabilization handheld, because you see it. Now, there are cameras with global shutters – the Blackmagic 4K does have a global shutter. You may not get the Jell-O, but you’ll still get vibrations, don’t forget. Vibrations are going to be there no matter what and that looks ugly, so image stabilization lens is absolutely key, I think, for shooting handheld. They make such a difference.

Larry Jordan: You’ve liked the GH4. What’s the next camera up that you like?

Philip Bloom: I own a ludicrous amount of 4K cameras. You want me to list them for you? It’s ridiculous.

Larry Jordan: Pick your top three.

Philip Bloom: Ah. Well, I have a mobile phone, it’s a Sony Z2, which is ok as 4K goes. Do you really need it in a mobile phone? Of course you do not, but it’s there. The GH4 is very cool, Blackmagic 4K is ok, but I would say the next camera up from that is a 1DC. The Canon 1DC is still probably my favorite camera of all time because it is a beautiful stills camera, it is a beautiful 4K camera, shoots lovely HD, it’s built like a beast, it’s wonderful. It’s quite expensive, though; and then probably the camera up from that, which I think is the best camera out there full stop, period, whatever you want to call it, is the Sony F55.

Larry Jordan: The F55.

Philip Bloom: It’s a beast. It’s very expensive, it’s the first camera I’ve bought that I’ve had to have a business plan in for about six years. Every other camera price, a couple of jobs will pay this off. Suddenly, I have to figure out how I’m going to pay this off, and that’s a bit of a scary thing and I spent about $20,000 on media for that camera.

Philip Bloom: That was scary when I worked that out, but it’s incredible. It is the most beautiful camera, it’s capable of shooting amazing images. It can be a feature film camera, can be a documentary camera. It’s not small, but it’s not too big. It’s a proper camera. I think it’s the most flexible thing out there. Shoots amazing super slow motion and it’s incredibly good in low light. It ticks all the boxes I need. The only thing it does, it just takes my money.

Larry Jordan: When you move to 4K, from what I’m hearing from you, it sounds like there’s a fair amount of risk involved in terms of you’ve got to learn how to shoot it, you’ve got to learn how to light it, you’ve got to learn how to edit it, you’ve got to learn how to store it and we haven’t even touched on archiving, which is a whole other issue. It seems to me that if you’re trying to decide what camera to buy, the best option is to rent.

Philip Bloom: Renting has become very common practice again in the past few years. In the old days, you’d buy a camera which would be a digital Betacam from Sony and it would last you forever, and those days are long gone. Camera lives are very short, maybe two years, three if you’re lucky. The thing is, you buy a camera and it’s been replaced, it doesn’t mean your camera is suddenly no good any more.

Philip Bloom: It’s as good as it was when you bought it, it’s just there is another camera out there which is better and the only thing that’s going to cause you problems is if a client’s insisting on that new camera. You need to make sure that you can pay off your cameras. If you can’t pay off your cameras, then you shouldn’t be buying them. You should buy a simple camera and then rent everything else. The days of you dictating what’s going to be used, I wouldn’t say they’re gone completely but the days of a DP saying, “We are shooting on this,“ are very rare now. That’s going to be decided by somebody else and you may own an F55 and you need to pay it off, you need to use it, and they’re insisting on a RED Epic.

Philip Bloom: Well, that’s unfortunately tough luck. You have to rent the RED Epic, that’s what the client wants. It this is happening all the time, that’s a huge problem, so should you have bought that camera in the first place? It’s a very scary thing. If you have to think about and it’s no longer spontaneous, you need to really sit down and think, and that’s what’s key. Work it out, figure out if this is what you need. Very few big really successfully directors of photography actually own their cameras.

Philip Bloom: It’s the smaller production companies, the one man production companies, people like myself who will own the cameras. The top end Hollywood guys, they don’t own cameras, of course not. They’re brought in. The only people who actually would do that of those are guys who are savvy when it comes to money. They’ll buy the cameras for themselves, for their companies and rent them to the productions. They know they’re going to be used, they know they’re on a series which is going to last eight months of filming, they know that they can pay off this camera and then some by buying it and then renting it to the production.

Philip Bloom: That’s very rare for most people, so just be very careful about spending lots of money and getting yourself into debt to have a camera that you don’t even know is going to get you work, because there are some cameras that will cost a fortune and you still won’t get hired to have them. I think RED is a very good example. Nobody’s going to hire you because you have a Scarlet. They’ll hire you if you have an Epic, but, “Oh, we must get this guy, he has a Scarlet,” it’s not like that.

Philip Bloom: They’re going to want the best, so unless you can offer the best, then you must be able to afford it. Same with the C300. People are going to hire you for a C300, not because you have a C100. The 100’s a great camera and it will be used by you, but just not as, “Hire me because I have a C100.” It’s just “Hire me,” and the camera’s a side product of it. Just remember that.

Larry Jordan: An email just came in and the person’s asking you, “Philip, what’s the best camera?”

Philip Bloom: That email has come through a thousand times since we started and I have an auto responder on my email which actually says, ‘If you’re asking which is the best camera, go to this blog post.” I list the pros and cons of all the current cameras, because what’s good for you isn’t necessarily going to be good for me and vice versa most likely.

Philip Bloom: If I tell you you need this, I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what work you do, I don’t know what your budget is, I don’t know what your skills are. I don’t know anything about you. There are so many questions that need to be asked. Only you can decide. There is no best camera. The best camera would be an F55 in the size of a GH4 and the price of a GH4, and that doesn’t exist.

Larry Jordan: Not yet.

Philip Bloom: But when that does exist, we’ll want something more. We’ll want the next thing, which is the size of an F55 and the price of an F55 and we’ll want that, it’s never ending. There is no perfect camera. Just tick as many boxes as you can, that’s the key thing.

Larry Jordan: To me, aside from the fact that we all need to improve our skills, the real trick, I think, is in good lighting. Good lighting is what really makes for pictures that catch people’s attention. Would you agree?

Philip Bloom: Without light we have nothing, of course. The biggest problem we had when DSLRs came out and suddenly we had cameras which were sensitive to lower light situations is people without experience found that they weren’t getting exposure, so what did they do? They put the ISO up wrong. Lighting creates mood, creates feeling, creates emotion, creates everything. Lighting can make something and it can ruin something, it’s good and it’s bad. Bad lighting kills it, good lighting makes it.

Philip Bloom: Lighting doesn’t necessarily mean putting up lights, it’s about harnessing available light, harnessing natural light. Look at Terrence Malik’s work. Watch something like Tree of Life, using only available light. But look how beautiful it is and look how clever it is and just think about where the light sources are, if they’re going to change, all that sort of stuff. Don’t have your back to your main light source. Think about what sort of mood and feel you want to go for, how contrasted you want it to be. It is something you need to learn about, it really is. One of the best ways of learning how to light is watch stuff.

Philip Bloom: My lighting is always very, very simple. Very rarely will I put up a lot of lights. It depends on what it is. A lot of my interviews, you do traditional lighting for interviews, three point lighting. Good, learn your three point lighting and then don’t bring three lights out. Bring out what is needed for the shot, which can be one. It could be two, sometimes it could be six if you’ve got something really problematic and you need to highlight different areas, but I like to keep things very simple.

Philip Bloom: More lights up, longer things take. The more limited your angles are and where you can point the camera. A limited amount of lighting, but enough to actually make it suddenly have a character, the light is the character.

Larry Jordan: Philip, for people who want to read what you write, where can they go on the web?

Philip Bloom: They can read my full of spelling errors and bad grammar and correctly spelled words, though, lots more vowels than you use on my website, which is

Larry Jordan: That’s and, Philip, thanks for joining us today.

Philip Bloom: You’re welcome.

Larry Jordan: Michael, you’ve been doing a lot of webinars, especially covering 4K. What are the hot topics?


Mike Horton: Big time. There’s a lot of controversy, obviously. Number one, the difference between acquisition and the actual broadcast. I’m looking at a CRT television here in the Maytag Museum here…

Larry Jordan: We have the good one upstairs. This is sort of a museum piece down here.

Mike Horton: First of all, there’s very little 4K out there that you can actually broadcast, but acquisition, that makes a big, big difference and, of course, it is very complex because you’re dealing with storage capability and editing and all this other stuff, so acquisition good, distribution [MAKES NOISE]. It isn’t there yet, Larry.

Larry Jordan: But there’s a middle ground, which is post production and whether you edit 4K or shoot 4K and scale it…

Mike Horton: I still don’t understand why people edit in 4K. I don’t. I don’t understand it. Why can’t you edit in just ProRes in just an offline/online sort of deal? I guess if you don’t want to do an offline/online, fine, but that’s a lot of storage, that’s a lot of hard drives. If you’re a one man band, you’re talking about towers and towers of storage here because it takes up so much space.

Larry Jordan: True enough. We’re going to be covering more on 4K as the year rolls on. We were just talking with our engineer, Adrian, who’s saying that Samsung has decided it’s going to be producing 4K cameras come the fall.

Mike Horton: Yes, by the way, that new codec is at…

Larry Jordan: ProRes? The 444 XQ codec is designed at a high data rate to provide really outstanding color and a high dynamic range. It’s going to be cool. I’m looking forward to learning more about it.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank this week’s guests, Jonathan Handel…

Mike Horton: Sounds boring, actually.

Larry Jordan: …of Counsel. Jonathan is not boring.

Mike Horton: No, Jonathan’s not but…

Larry Jordan: And he’s of Counsel at…

Mike Horton: Are we doing a whole show next week on codecs?

Larry Jordan: Codecs, it’s going to be wonderful.

Mike Horton: Oh God.

Larry Jordan: Jeremy Pollard, Product Manager…

Mike Horton: I’m not going to be here.

Larry Jordan: …at Cospective; Philip Bloom, director, director of photography and filmmaker.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows. Check it all out at

Mike Horton: And I’ll see you in two weeks.

Larry Jordan: Visit with us on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and Facebook, No-one knows codecs the way Mike Horton knows codecs. Music on The Buzz provided by SmartSound. We’re streamed by Transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. Our producer is Cirina Catania, our engineer Adrian Price. The snoring voice at the other end of the microphone is Mike Horton. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Buzz.

Voiceover: The Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries; and by TOLISGroup, the BRU guys, pioneering the development and support of ultra reliable data backup, archival and restore solutions for nearly 30 years.

Digital Production Buzz — July 3, 2014

  • Analysis: Why the Aereo Case is Important
  • Frankie: A Remote Review and Approval System
  • Philip Bloom: Picking the Best 4K Camera (Pt. 2)

GUESTS: Jonathan Handel, Jeremy Pollard, and Philip Bloom

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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Jonathan Handel, OfCounsel, Troy Gould

Late last week, the Supreme Court ruled against Aereo in a copyright case brought by broadcasters. This week, Jonathan Handel, Of Counsel at TroyGould briefs us on the significance of this landmark case.

Jeremy Pollard, Product Manager, Cospective

Cospective’s new online service, Frankie 2.0, builds on the technology behind the developer’s Academy Award-winning cineSync to provide a remote shot-review and approval system that runs in an ordinary web browser. Jeremy Pollard, Product Manager, showcases their latest version and tells us how it can help us with remote collaboration.

Philip Bloom, DOP, Editor, Director

This week, we continue our interview with Philip Bloom, filmmaker and director. Recorded in London, we talk about how to pick the best 4K camera as well as when it makes sense to shoot and edit 4K video. If you are thinking about working in high-resolution media, you need to hear this interview.

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!