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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – August 28, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

August 28, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


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Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


Jane Jensen, Designer & Founder, Pinkerton Road Studio

Jessica Sitomer, President, The Greenlight Coach

Ali Ahmadi, Senior Product Manager, LED Lighting, Vitec Videocom


 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.

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. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan. Joining us is our co-host, the effervescent and cheerful Mr. Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: Hello, Larry

Larry Jordan: It’s good to see you, Michael.

Mike Horton: And cheerful. I had my meeting last night.

Larry Jordan: You did, and how did it go?

Mike Horton: It went very well.

Larry Jordan: Anybody show up in the middle of the summer?

Mike Horton: Well, no, but it was still really good. It was a lot of fun. Michael Cioni showed off Liveplay last night, this digital dailies collaboration app, which is just scary. It’s just unbelievable.

Larry Jordan: We’ve had Michael on the show a number of times and he qualifies as exceedingly bright.

Mike Horton: Oh boy, this is something else.

Larry Jordan: What does it do?

Mike Horton: It does everything. I mean, it really does. You can be in post production in New York while they’re shooting in Los Angeles, could be watching the shooting; as the shooting is going on, the proxy dailies are being delivered to you with a two second delay and so you can immediately start on it. It’s mind boggling what you can do. Oh Lord.

Larry Jordan: Well, thinking of things that can alter your perception of reality, we’ve got an incredible show today, starting with Jane Jenson. She’s the Founder of Pinkerton Road Studio and the designer of Gabriel Knight, one of the most popular adventure games of all time. She joins us today to talk about game design.

Larry Jordan: Then Jessica Sitomer, the President of The Greenlight Coach, stops by to talk about how to market yourself online without losing control of all your free time.

Larry Jordan: Ali Ahmadi is the Senior Manager for LED Lighting for Vitec Videocom. He travels the world designing lighting systems, and tonight we’re going to talk with him about how lighting technology and techniques vary by geography. Because the way we light in the US is not the same way they light in Europe and Ali’s going to share some of that with us.

Mike Horton: Hmm, never heard of that.

Larry Jordan: I hadn’t either. I’m looking forward to it.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder, 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. Learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making it possible.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of exciting things coming up, IBC starts in a couple of weeks in Amsterdam. Our producer, Cirina Catania, is going to IBC

Mike Horton: Yes, I just found that out. Isn’t that fun?

Larry Jordan: We are going to have reports on The Buzz for two weeks in the middle of September. She’s talking to some of the key European leaders in our industry and sharing their perspective on what’s happening, and I’m really excited to hear what she finds, because there’s a lot of interesting things happening in Europe that we don’t yet know about over here.

Mike Horton: So am I, because I’m too busy working so I could just listen to her and find out what’s going on.

Larry Jordan: And you’re not going to be doing anything in September anyway.

Mike Horton: No, I’m just going to be doing the Supermeet.

Larry Jordan: And how’s that going?

Mike Horton: Nice segue, Larry, thank you. It’s going very well and it’s on September 14th and tickets are flying out the window, Larry, they’re just flying out the window.

Larry Jordan: The thing I’ve learned, Michael, is that August is the perfect month to sell tickets for the Supermeet.

Mike Horton: Yes it is, especially in Europe. No, but it will sell out, it always sells out, so get your tickets. Oh, by the way, we’ve got a discount code for Digital Production Buzz listeners.

Larry Jordan: What is it?

Mike Horton: DPBVIP.

Larry Jordan: Do that again.

Mike Horton: DPBVIP. That’ll save you five Euros off the general admission ticket price.

Larry Jordan: So the price is normally ten Euros and it goes to five?

Mike Horton: No, it’s normally 15 and you can get it for ten, so you can take those five Euros and buy raffle tickets and maybe win a Larry Jordan mouse pad.

Larry Jordan: Or?

Mike Horton: Or a Larry Jordan T-shirt.

Larry Jordan: There you go, what more could you possibly want? Clothing for your mouse and for you. I think it’s a perfect opportunity. Remember to visit us on Facebook at We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.

Larry Jordan: We are talking game design, right after this.

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Larry Jordan: Jane Jenson is a game designer and a writer. She’s also the Founder of Pinkerton Road Studios and she is best known for her work on the award winning ‘Gabriel Knight’ adventure games and hidden object games such as ‘Dying for Daylight’. Hello, Jane, welcome.

Jane Jensen: Hi, how are you?

Larry Jordan: Well, aside from the fact that I can’t speak English today, we are doing just great.

Mike Horton: It’s just one of those days.

Larry Jordan: I was looking forward, and I continue to look forward to our conversation because I’ve always wanted to find out the answer to this first question – what does a game designer do?

Jane Jensen: It’s kind of like being a scriptwriter for a movie.

Larry Jordan: Really?

Jane Jensen: You come up with a concept, the characters, the storyline and then in addition, when you’re a game designer, you also do the interactivity design and the… design, which is sort of like the blueprint for the game.

Larry Jordan: So what’s the difference between a game designer and a programmer?

Jane Jensen: The programmer actually writes the code that makes the little guy walk across a screen and the game designer writes the script.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got some severe break-up going on your line. I heard the answer, so we’re going to move on, but do you have a slightly different position you can move to? We could try and move a cell tower closer to you.

Jane Jensen: You could also try to phone a different line.

Mike Horton: As you’re moving, it sounds really great, so maybe just keep walking.

Jane Jensen: I’ll just pace.

Larry Jordan: There you go. If I heard correctly, the game designer designs the overall strategy – you’ve described it as a scriptwriter – and the programmer’s the one that’s writing the code that implements all the ideas the game designer comes up with.

Jane Jensen: Yes, that’s correct.

Larry Jordan: Ok, good, and that actually sounds good so…

Mike Horton: It sounds more like a producer, you come up with a concept then you’re in charge of all the people to make your realization real.

Jane Jensen: But the producer usually also does the budget and scheduling and all of that, whereas a game designer is more of the writer.

Larry Jordan: Ok.

Mike Horton: Oh yes, the game designer’s smarter.

Jane Jensen: Well, it’s certainly a more creative job, that’s true.

Larry Jordan: What got you interested in game design in the first place?

Jane Jensen: I majored in computer science and I was doing mainframe programming for Hewlett Packard, actually, and I kind of went into that because I figured it would be a solid career. But I really wanted to be a novelist in my heart of hearts, and I was trying to write a novel on the side in the evenings and that’s about when I found my first… adventure game, which was ‘King’s Quest IV’, and I just fell in love with it. It seemed like the perfect blend of storytelling and technology. So I applied to the company and begged them to take me on and that’s sort of how I got started in it.

Larry Jordan: Wherever you are, don’t move, the connection is perfect, so continue standing on one foot.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Tell us about what ‘Gabriel Knight’ is, for people like me who are not game savvy.

Jane Jensen: Well, the first game came out in 1993, which was 21 years ago, believe it or not, and it was one of the first dark paranormal computer games. Now it’s like every single game is like that, but at the time the computer games that were coming out were more like ‘King’s Quest’, which was sort of Disney fantasy or humor.

Jane Jensen: In the ‘Gabriel Knight’ series, he is basically a shadow hunter, a hunter of evil. So it’s kind of like the ‘X Files’ or ‘Supernatural now’, and he tracks down these evil supernatural beings, and usually there’s a heavy mystery plot involved, figuring out who’s doing what and how to get the bad guy.

Larry Jordan: I remember back when I was a child, about 500 years ago. We had games which were all text and no pictures and we’ve got first person shooters, which are essentially all pictures and no text. Where does this game fit within that range?

Jane Jensen: It’s more like an interactive movie in that there are graphics, it’s all visual on the screen, but there’s a real story there and you move your character around and you talk to other characters and uncover clues. So it’s kind of like if you picture a murder mystery movie, like something the BBC would produce, but it’s interactive and that’s sort of what it’s like.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so we’ve got the game coming out in 1993. It’s now 20 years later and you’re involved in the 20th anniversary edition of a game that already exists. What’s left to design?

Jane Jensen: The original game, in 1993, it was very low resolution. So it was 630 pixels by 300 and something pixels. The little characters were a couple of blobs running across the screen. The new game is basically a remake of the original classic game. It’s all super high resolution. We’re doing retina resolution for iPad 3, so it’s 2048 pixels by 1900 something pixels, and you can see everything and it’s just super high definition, the music’s all redone.

Jane Jensen: The original music was midi, so it was like plink-plink-plink-plink-plink-plink, and now it’s all orchestrated. The game is set in New Orleans and it involves voodoo. So one of the really fun things about the remake is we were able to get a lot more of that New Orleans spooky, misty, drippy flavor to the game than we were ever able to accomplish in the original.

Larry Jordan: Now, how do you design the game? Walk me through the process.

Jane Jensen: The first thing I do is write the story and usually that’s about 120 pages. So that basically sets the universe, the characters, what are the character’s doing, what’s their back story, what is the actual plot in the game, the Act I and II crises and resolution and all that; and then, once the story…

Larry Jordan: Is it like a novel? Or is it more like a dictionary?

Jane Jensen: It’s more like a novel. I actually write books as well and that first process of outlining the story is similar between either a game or a book; and then, if you’re doing a game, you take the story and you have to basically do another pass to write what we call a game design bible, and that’s more like a full script. It’s the actual blueprint of the game and working into that story, all the interactivity that the player will actually do; what they click on, what their response is, where they find the clues. If they talk to a character what they can ask that character and what the characters would be. So it’s a much more detailed, blown out, full interactive script.

Mike Horton: Is this part of the design, still text? Or is it now previews with all graphics and one giant board and room filled with Post-It Notes and things?

Jane Jensen: No, the game design bible is a document.

Mike Horton: It is a document? Wow.

Jane Jensen: Sometimes there will be some logic diagrams in it and things like that, but it’s a script basically; and then from there, there’s a team – there might be one or two designers and then there could be 20 people in a team, maybe five or six artists, programmers – they take that document and they start breaking it down into things like storyboards, and character sketches, and sketches of locations and things like that.

Mike Horton: This sounds like it takes forever.

Jane Jensen: It does. One big difference between writing a book and writing a game is that it may be two to four years before I see my product actually hit the market and be available to players. Whereas with a book, I can turn around that and have it to readers in a year.

Larry Jordan: Only if you write fast. I was just reflecting, those kind of games, the adventure games, have an element of spontaneity with them in terms of something unusual happening, but how do you plan for something unexpected to occur?

Jane Jensen: You have to try to work in those moments, just like in a film script. You might have the character walk round a corner and there’s sort of a boo moment there of something jumping out at him. I can give you an example. With ‘Gabriel Knight 2’, we did it with full motion video. That is we had live actors on a blue screen. So it was very much like a film and the actual script for that was about a thousand pages.

Jane Jensen: Your normal Hollywood movie is about 120 pages. So the difference in those two are that you have to prepare for anything the player might do. If I ask you about the red shoes, there might be six different versions of that conversation based on what I already know – have I met the bartender? Have I picked up the gold coin? Is this chapter three or chapter five? And so forth. So there are a lot of variables to it and it’s like programming with words in that there’s a very intense logic element to it, as well as the creative part.

Mike Horton: Just curious in the motion capture part of this with the actors, you talk about a thousand pages. How long does it take before the actors are dismissed, can you go home?

Jane Jensen: When we shot that, I think we were filming for about four months, but it was an intense schedule – we’ve got to shoot 20 pages a day. It was really intense.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Jane Jensen: But a lot of that is Gabriel walks over to the table and picks up the pen. Ok, now he walks over to the bar and he puts the pen down. It’s not necessarily intensive acting, but certainly these games have a lot of story. So there are those story moments which are pretty intense.

Larry Jordan: Now, another game you designed was ‘Dying for Daylight’. What’s the difference between that and ‘Gabriel Knight?’

Jane Jensen: ‘Dying for Daylight’ is based on a Charlaine Harris character. Charlaine Harris wrote the ‘True Blood’ series of books, so this was a vampire character that was not in the ‘True Blood’ series but in a different sort of series that she had, and it was a hidden object/light adventure game. So you played the vampire female character, and walked around town, and played these hidden objects scenes where you’d pick up items, and then there were a few people you could talk to and some inventory based puzzles. So it was a little bit more like a puzzle game with some light story to it.

Larry Jordan: Is the design process the same? You still start with a script? How do you diverge as you move from a game like Gabriel or a game like Dying?

Jane Jensen: I do usually start with a story but it’s not as big a story. It would probably be comparable to a short story versus a novel.

Mike Horton: I’m looking at the gallery on the website and there are some. This is very cinematic, at least the Gabriel that I’m looking at. The lighting is exceptional.

Jane Jensen: The new ‘Gabriel Knight’, yes, it’s beautiful looking.

Mike Horton: Oh, it’s just gorgeous. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Are there many women in this industry in positions that you are in? Because I don’t see them.

Jane Jensen: It’s interesting. When I first started with Sierra Online in the early ‘90s, most of their big designers were women.

Mike Horton: Really?

Jane Jensen: Roberta Williams was Co-founder of Sierra Online and she had the ‘King’s Quest’ series, which is very popular; Christie Marks did ‘Conquest of Camelot’; there was Laurie Cole. So it really was a company where it was established that it was ok to be a female designer, and I think in adventure games in particular you find more female designers, because they are more story oriented and they’re more exploratory. They’re not the shooters, the fast arcades. Those tend to be more appealing to male gamers and therefore there are more men who are designing them.

Mike Horton: Does the ‘Gabriel Knight’ game appeal to females?

Jane Jensen: It really does. In fact, even in the ‘90s when I first published it, I’d get a lot of letters saying, “My girlfriend or my wife always hates me playing computer games and then I bought ‘Gabriel Knight’ and now I can’t get her off the computer,” or, “It was the first game that I played with my wife that she really got into it,” or, “My girlfriend took my copy and I can’t get it back.”

Mike Horton: Good.

Jane Jensen: Yes, it is. Gabriel is sort of a rogue character. It really has that sort of romance trope of he’s the gorgeous bad boy that…

Mike Horton: Yes, but he’s a womanizer, isn’t he?

Jane Jensen: Yes, but he’s a rogue and he’s the bad boy that we hate to love that we find him so charming.

Larry Jordan: Recently, you started your own company called Pinkerton Road Studios. Why did you decide to found it?

Jane Jensen: I’ve been doing games for a lot of years, and my husband and I moved to a farm in Pennsylvania, and I was doing some contracting work for some big companies and just getting frustrated with the fact of explaining to every new team, “Can you tell a story with a game? How do you tell it? Do people even want a story with a game?” and we just decided that we were old enough that we just wanted to focus on doing the games that we love – adventure games – and working from here on the farm, and forming our own little company and so that’s what we did.

Mike Horton: Isn’t it cool? Nowadays all you need is wifi.

Jane Jensen: Oh, man. All of our team is virtual. In fact, the team is all completely virtual. Our cinematic guy is in Iceland, we have an artist who lives in Italy and we work together every day using Skype and different cloud tools.

Mike Horton: Exactly, virtual collaboration is the new collaboration. Everybody’s doing it. It’s the cool thing to do, Larry.

Larry Jordan: I will make a note of this. Jane, in the time we’ve got left, what makes a good game? Or what makes a game not good? Whichever is the easier of the two to answer.

Jane Jensen: I think it’s similar to when I read a good book, or you see a really great film or TV show – I just have been watching ‘True Detective’ and I love that – it’s something that just touches something inside of you in a really genuine way, and makes you feel that moment of, “Oh my God, I love this,” you know? It’s heart and passion, I think, on the part of the people who made it.

Mike Horton: Like what Eric says in the chat, when’s the movie coming out?

Larry Jordan: And that’s only a 120 page script. You should be able to do that for breakfast.

Mike Horton: Exactly. You can crack that sucker out in 30 minutes.

Larry Jordan: Do you have a specific person in mind when you design a game?

Jane Jensen: Well, I’m female and I’m 51 and I think that I tend to write things for myself, for people like me. But also the adventure games have at least 50 percent of a male audience. So I try to keep it fairly gender neutral. But I definitely do probably slant it a little bit more towards the female sensibility.

Mike Horton: Well, you have your own voice. Be true to it.

Larry Jordan: I was thinking, I haven’t written a thousand page script and I never want to. But having written a couple of books, I know that I sort of have this generalized vision of somebody that’s reading the book that I’m speaking to as I write, and I was just curious if you had a particular person or if you’re just looking at a gender group? In other words, how do you focus your thoughts so that you feel like you’re communicating to the individual playing the game?

Jane Jensen: My head really isn’t there when I’m writing a story. My head is in the universe of the story. It’s in the character himself or herself and I just go there. I really don’t think about the audience so much at that point.

Larry Jordan: You’re really just focusing on the story.

Jane Jensen: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Jane, for people who want to learn more about this, where can they go on the web?

Jane Jensen: The site for ‘Gabriel Knight’ is

Larry Jordan: And does Pinkerton have a website that we should…

Jane Jensen:, yes, and there is a link to ‘Gabriel Knight’ on our first page.

Mike Horton: This is great. My son is a game designer, so I’m going to have him listen to this.

Jane Jensen: Great.

Larry Jordan: So it’s, that’s Jane’s company, and Jane Jenson’s a designer and Founder of Pinkerton Road Studio. Jane, thanks for joining us.

Mike Horton: That was great, Jane, thanks.

Larry Jordan: Wonderful having you on.

Jane Jensen: Thank you. I’m sorry about the phone problem earlier.

Larry Jordan: It is cleaned up perfectly. Thanks so much.

Jane Jensen: Ok, thanks.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Jane Jensen: Bye.

Larry Jordan: We just had a wonderful interview talking about game design, which makes me think of vacations, and vacations makes me think of our next guest. 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. But what we like best about Jessica is that she’s really good at providing really helpful job hunting advice, even when she’s on vacation. Hello, Jessica.

Jessica Sitomer: Hello, guys. Great to be here.

Larry Jordan: Where in the world are you now?

Jessica Sitomer: I am on Lake Lanier in Georgia, in a lake house. It’s incredible.

Mike Horton: Wow.

Jessica Sitomer: Kayak, yoga every day.

Mike Horton: Wow. I actually saw one of the pictures you posted on your Facebook page of the view from your porch. It’s ridiculous. It was just so pretty.

Jessica Sitomer: That’s a nice mobile office, I tell you.

Mike Horton: Ah yes, no fooling.

Larry Jordan: Mike and I took a vote and we are not talking to you any more because you didn’t invite us on your vacation.

Mike Horton: I’m still looking at the…

Jessica Sitomer: Oh great, then I’ll take over the show. All right, ladies and gentlemen, today we’re going to be talking about marketing.

Mike Horton: Marketing, yay!

Larry Jordan: You know, Jessica, let’s talk about marketing for just a moment because marketing continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Where does the new world of online marketing fit in with the tradition of resumes, demo reels and business cards?

Jessica Sitomer: I would say that the three main places that it resides is on a personal website. Having your own website, which yes you do need; social media, which I’ve made you all aware of in the past; and also the reviews and testimonials for others that show your successes. Just to be clear what that is, on my website I showcase people who have had success coaching with me.

Jessica Sitomer: However, what we’re really talking about is the success that they’ve had in the industry, so it showcases them and it comes up in SEO – search engine optimization – because I have such high SEO on my website. You can also get really good marketing by writing reviews and doing testimonials for other people or on products that have to do with something in your industry. There you go.

Larry Jordan: But if you don’t own your own company and you’re not selling your own products, do you really need a website?

Jessica Sitomer: Absolutely, because you do own your own company, and you do sell a product, and that product is you, and that company that you are the CEO of is you, and that is what people struggle with wrapping their brain around in our industry. They think that they are a work for hire, but what they actually are is the CEO of their own company. You might not have a name like Rejuvenation Spa and you sell massages, but you do have your name and your talent skills, and that is what you are marketing online.

Jessica Sitomer: What makes you different is what makes you different from everybody else. And the only way people are going to learn what makes you different, is by how you’re marketing yourself, and showing up on your website, on social media and, like I said, in reviews and testimonial.

Larry Jordan: How do you define the difference? Maybe it’s just in my imagination, which is confused enough. But what’s the difference between selling yourself and marketing yourself?

Jessica Sitomer: This question I love because people always say to me, “But Jessica, I hate selling myself, I hate selling myself,” and then they go around and they call everyone they know and just say, “I’m available, I’m available, I’m available.” Well, that’s selling. Selling yourself is saying I’m available or putting a poster on Facebook and saying, “I haven’t worked for three months, I’m available. Need work, please hire me.” That’s selling. When you are actually putting people on the spot to give you work, that’s when you’re selling.

Jessica Sitomer: Marketing is creating a relationship with people, so as they get to know you themselves, they’re going to decide whether they want to hire you without you even having to ask. They’re going to know you’re a fit, they’re going to know what you do, they’re going to know that you’re an expert and great at what you do by the way you’re marketing. So marketing is really painting a picture of who you are, what you do, how you do it, how you do it differently and building relationships with people so that they come to you. Or, even if you do have to at some point sell yourself, they already know you. So you don’t have to sell yourself to a stranger, or sell yourself online with a resume that nobody knows you.

Jessica Sitomer: With social media, it’s becoming so much easier. I meet people in person now and we say to each other, “Oh my gosh, I feel like you’re my friend friend, I feel like we’ve been friends forever,” because we have a relationship on social media but it’s actually the first time we’re ever meeting in person, or maybe the first time we’ve ever spoken on the phone, if they’re a client.

Larry Jordan: What works and what doesn’t work when you’re marketing yourself online? You’ve already made clear that online marketing is more than just social media.

Jessica Sitomer: Right. Let’s talk about what doesn’t work first. What doesn’t work is inconsistency. If you have a website and you blog and then you stop blogging, people are going to lose interest. They’re going to think that you are not consistent and that how you do one thing is how you do all things. I post a question a day and I do that without fail. That shows consistency for the last, I think it’s five years now I’ve been posting a question a day with an answer for people.

Jessica Sitomer: Negativity does not work when you are marketing yourself. You want to be aware that sometimes you don’t recognize that you’re coming off as negative. So you want to get feedback from people if you know that you’re a glass half empty kind of person. Negativity does not do well. Be very aware if you’re having a bad day. You know how you’re not supposed to drink and drive? Well, don’t social media while in a bad mood. It’s not a good idea because people remember and they’ll say, “Oh boy, they’re negative, we don’t want them on our set. We don’t want them in the edit bay,” because they just don’t want that.

Jessica Sitomer: Being ordinary doesn’t work. You’ve got to stand out in some way, shape or form. Being inauthentic or flat out lying does not work.

Jessica Sitomer: Let’s talk about what does work. Being entertaining. That could mean being funny, that could mean providing some form of something interesting, but entertaining, so that it draws attention to you, that works. Having a theme or a through line. For me, my through line is always that I’m an expert in coaching and speaking for the entertainment industry. I also bring personal stuff into it so that people know I love romantic comedies. Everyone who knows me know I’m a romantic comedy girl. I love football, I love my dog. Those are things that people can pretty much find throughout.

Jessica Sitomer: Being relatable is very important online and that’s something that I’ve really come to discover through getting more personal about myself online. Because otherwise if people think you’re too much of an expert or just too out there, they won’t even think that they can reach out to you. So that’s something that I really have been working on for the last year and a half, is becoming more relatable. So people don’t look at me like, “Oh, that’s Jessica, The Greenlight Coach. Oh, hi, hi.” Instead, they’ll be like, “Hey! Jessica, Greenlight Coach, how’s your dating life going?”

Larry Jordan: Hold it right there, take a breath. Let’s talk about this relatability bit, because I think there’s a line – and maybe not – but there’s a line between being professional, and being relatable, and being too overly personal. Is that just in my imagination again?

Jessica Sitomer: No, it’s not. I just brought up dating, but I also said that my through line is romantic comedy. I write romantic comedy, so to be talking about my dating life is not too much information. However, if you are known as an expert in editing for period pieces and all of a sudden you start showing yourself partying in Vegas, that’s getting a little bit too… you know you have to remember that everything you do on the internet stays on the internet.

Jessica Sitomer: I bashed my toe, and I put a picture of it up there because my mom wanted me to go to the emergency room and I didn’t want it to ruin my trip to Vegas. So I put up this picture of a bashed up toe and said, “What should I do for this?” and I can’t tell you the amount of negative feedback, with people saying, “I can’t believe you would post that. I was eating my breakfast.” So I immediately took the picture down, only to find out I just took it out of my timeline, I didn’t actually take it off of my Facebook page. So people were still commenting on this horrific looking bloody toe. So just think before you post. Is it in line with your brand? That was not in line with mine.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of messaging, do we need different messages or different approaches when we’re using social media such as Facebook different from Twitter, different from Instagram, different from YouTube?

Jessica Sitomer: You shouldn’t. You shouldn’t. That’s why I’m saying if it’s too unprofessional for LinkedIn, then you need to rethink what you’re putting out there. LinkedIn is probably one of the more professional ones and you actually didn’t mention that. But all of the other ones, they’re all very much in sync as far as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, they’re all very entertaining based and very visual. So as long as you feel comfortable putting it on one, it can go on all the others. LinkedIn, you might have to be a little bit more careful with.

Mike Horton: I’ve never understood LinkedIn. I know you’ve explained it to us before, I still don’t understand it.

Jessica Sitomer: It’s the business suit, that’s why.

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: That’s why Michael’s having a problem with it. In the short period of time we’ve got left. How do you balance how much time to spend online and how much time to have a life?

Jessica Sitomer: Being online, first of all, you want to think of it as strategic. This is a business strategy. So you should have a plan which includes, where online you plan to spend your time, how long you plan to spend, and then evaluate if the work you’re doing online is effective and recalibrate if it’s not. I would say schedule your personal time first, schedule the office time second and then schedule your social media after that and your online stuff, because this way you can say, “All right, I only have one hour. How can I be most effective with this one hour today?”

Jessica Sitomer: Really, if you continue to market yourself online and you use tools like Hootsuite, you could spend one day a month working on your marketing plan and then maybe 15 minutes a day at the most.

Larry Jordan: Cool. Jessica, where can people go on the web to keep track of every question you’re posting?

Jessica Sitomer: For that, they have to go to The Greenlight Coach page on Facebook, because my blog spot name is too long for that, so just like my page on Facebook. You can get to that through

Mike Horton: I follow that and I get the question and answer of the day, every single day.

Jessica Sitomer: Awesome!

Larry Jordan: Will you hush up, both of you?

Mike Horton: It’s cool.

Larry Jordan: Be quiet.

Mike Horton: There’s a lot of really good questions and answers.

Larry Jordan: I’m trying to get the website out.

Mike Horton: Like it now, Larry. Do it right now.

Larry Jordan: Jessica Sitomer’s the President. Jessica, I’ll shut him up later, you take good care of yourself. Have a great vacation.

Jessica Sitomer: Thank you, guys.

Mike Horton: Bye.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Jessica Sitomer: Bye.

Larry Jordan: Ali Ahmadi started his career as a lighting technician and designer. And is now the Senior Product Manager for LED lighting for Litepanels at Vitec Videocom. He travels the world designing lighting systems and helping the rest of us to see what’s going on around us. Hello, Ali, welcome.

Ali Ahmadi: Hi.

Larry Jordan: It is good to have you with us.

Ali Ahmadi: Thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: It’s our pleasure. What part of the world are you in right now?

Ali Ahmadi: I’m right now in California, and I’m packing my bags and I’m about to fly to Europe in just 20 minutes.

Larry Jordan: Tell us what got you interested in lighting when you were first starting out.

Ali Ahmadi: I guess the real roots were when I was in kindergarten and elementary school. I was the class clown, and that kind of led into the world of theater over the years and light entertainment. When I started at college, I started with the goal of becoming an engineer and designing moving light fixtures that you would see in concerts or live events, and I very quickly realized that I didn’t want to just do the engineering. I wanted to get my hands dirty. I wanted to use the lights too. So I switched majors and I went into lighting design and then from there it just turned out that was the path I ended up going somehow and I ended up working in the US. I got very lucky to work with some big names here in the US, and then I moved to Europe and I got to work on some cool projects. Everything just kind of took shape from there.

Larry Jordan: Is the work that you’re doing music focused? Concerts? Live events? Film? Television? What kind of lighting do you like to do?

Ali Ahmadi: Everything. Originally I came out of the light entertainment and the theatrical side. But going to school at the California Institute of the Arts which is just on the edge of LA, and with the connections that we had through the alumni and so on, I quickly ended up working more and more in television and movies. Once I ended up working in Europe, I got more and more focused into the lighting for image capture of things and back then… had a video lighting solutions department that designed and manufactured. There’s a system integrator who make television studios all over the world. This is actually a little detail that most people in the US don’t know, and it wasn’t very strong in the United States and Canada. But in Latin America and the rest of the world they had a very strong presence in that field.

Larry Jordan: That gets to a question I was wondering about as I was thinking about this session. Do lighting techniques vary in different parts of the world? Is there a different look to the way lights are designed and lit on set when you’re in Europe versus the US?

Ali Ahmadi: Absolutely. It’s very interesting you bring that up. After I graduated and I was working in Southern California for a while and, in fact, Europe, I kind of had a culture shock. They had a very different style of lighting. Then, when I started with the Vitec Group and I got to work on studio projects around the world, I started realizing that there are variants on this.

Ali Ahmadi: It looks to me like there are two major schools of lighting that everything else kind of grew out of. Of course, in France or in Germany they have their own style or their own variant of it. But overall I like to think of the American style to be slightly more theatrical, and more dramatic and the UK or European style to be a little more utilitarian. You can kind of see that when you look at the TV studios. In the US a lot of the lighting rigs there, they’re customized specifically for that particular show. The sound stages are empty. You load in a whole rig with the light for that particular show and after the show wraps, all of it loads out.

Ali Ahmadi: A lot of the TV studios in Europe have what we in the US like to call a… It’s more like general plot that then can be added to or subtracted from, or refocused for the particular show. So they spend less time hanging lights and taking lights down, but they invest a lot more money in the initial set up. They use… and so on. The other interesting thing is that a lot of the new studios in Europe have a much higher ceiling. So they require higher wattage fixtures than, for example, in America, where they have lower ceilings and then they use a different kind of wattage of fixture – density output, and that goes full circle around to, let’s say, some shooting and so on.

Ali Ahmadi: It’s very fascinating how similar and yet different it is. This is just a very gross average that I’m making here. There is, of course, special servicing and… So I hope I’m not offending any lighting professionals out there by making very generalized statements.

Larry Jordan: Well, if they’re offended they have no sense of humor, so we’ll just keep going. Are people lighting to the same lighting levels? Or are you seeing greater contrast ratios in one area? For instance, I think the States tend to light dark and I’m just curious if that’s a true characterization or if I’m just not watching enough television.

Ali Ahmadi: It’s an interesting point you bring up. I feel like a lot of the shows that I see, first of all, it always goes in line with the caliber of the show. If you’re comparing a low budget show here to there, it’s all about budget, it’s all about time. So they’re going to have a very similar approach which is, how can we get this done in the cheapest way? But when you look at the high budget content that gets created, they then start becoming more and more similar. They’re more theatrical, more dramatic, more storytelling driven and less task driven.

Ali Ahmadi: That’s the magic thing about lighting overall, you have two very fundamental elements to it. One is I’ve got to see and the other is, what do you want to see, what do you want to tell, what do you want to convey with the lighting? Those are two very specific tasks that are fundamental and very different.

Larry Jordan: You’ve now shifted gears and you’re working as the Product Manager for LED lights for Litepanels. So you get to develop the lighting instruments that we all work with. There are so many different instruments out there, not just from Litepanels – which makes a wide variety – but from all the different lighting manufacturers that are out there. If you’re building a basic lighting kit, what gear should you have in it?

Ali Ahmadi: That’s a very good question. I think in general it heavily depends on what is it that you do most? I always like to use the example of a documentary film maker style who likes to go into people’s homes and shoot an interview, for example in your living room about you. If I come into your house and that’s the majority of my work, I’m going to have slightly different needs with my equipment than somebody who spends all of their time, let’s say, shooting football players from the sidelines, fighting the sun.

Ali Ahmadi: If I’m coming to your living room, I have certain safety and security features. I want to be able to come back to your house, so I probably not want to not burn down your house… with low circuit breakers and things like that. That’s, I think, why LED had this big push in our market, because they would run cool. They wouldn’t emit any UV or infrared. So if you were shooting inside a museum that was fine. You could work fast because it was battery powered, no cables to lay, no cables to take down, no cables to strike. It’s more like an in and out type of a situation. I think you always want to look at it from that angle.

Ali Ahmadi: To answer your question in particular, I think you’ll definitely need some sort of a lighting stands, you need some sort of grip equipment. You want to be able to have the fixtures that allow you to do a multitude of different things. The interesting thing about lighting is that the intensity always equals versatility, which is why we pushed so hard on the intensity dial for our new Astra 1×1. Because it is now four times brighter than the old original 1×1 and we firmly believe that that intensity automatically equals versatility, because now you can put a soft box in front of it and cut out a stopper too because you’ve got plenty of stop to spare, you know?

Ali Ahmadi: I think in general, in a lighting set, I would look at having at least one panel fixture as a fill. I would put some light that can really punch through and give me some intensity at my feet and one main fixture as a back light or a hair light, and then have two or three smaller fixtures that are kind of like your emergency go to, save me I’m in trouble, last minute type of fixtures. Maybe they’re battery powered. Maybe they’re smaller. You can put them somewhere or lay them on a bookshelf or something just to get a little more light into somewhere. So I would try to take that kind of an approach.

Larry Jordan: We have a live chat going during the show and I know from attending NAB the last couple of years, LEDs are all the rage. They draw less power, they generate less heat; and Eric is interested why all LEDs are not the same. Why does the quality vary from one LED to the next?

Ali Ahmadi: There is a very complicated and long technical answer. And then there’s the simple one that is, what you pay is what you get. LED technology’s moving very fast and, just like the processors inside of your iPhone, or your tablet, or even your laptop. They’re tied into… and what’s really been helping LED punch forward is this growing trend of getting more light out of less electricity, that simple approach.

Ali Ahmadi: There’s lots of development and there are companies out there that really push the edge. Both in LED development as well as in fixture development; and then there are others who just kind of go, “Ok, what they’re doing, we can do that too. This is an off the shelf component, this is an off the shelf component. We throw it together, it’s good enough.” I think in LED more so than many other technologies that are being used in our industry right now, what you pay is what you get is definitely, definitely true.

Mike Horton: Will there be a time when LED lights replace all lights until, of course, the next invention?

Ali Ahmadi: I absolutely think so. I’ve seen a lot of what other companies do and what we’re doing, of course I know what we’re working on behind the curtain of secrecy and so on in our lab…

Mike Horton: In your secret labs, yes.

Ali Ahmadi: In our secret labs, yes. Think of it like the chef from ‘The Muppet Show’, that’s basically… No, no, jokes aside, we have really smart engineers, they’re very talented. They work very, very hard and they put out really cool stuff. We actually had a group meeting today and there are great LED technology developments on the horizon. They’re not all going to come from us and there will be other people who develop other fixtures for other applications. But I am convinced that very soon we will see that LED replaces everything else and it’s simply a commercial perspective. You know, the longer lifetime, the lower heat generation, the more lumens output per watt and then especially if you consider cooling into the equation.

Ali Ahmadi: Cooling, lamp replacements, labor for lamp replacements, that’s all a very clear… We made a very deep felt… calculation about a year, year and a half ago and back then it was very clear that if you have a studio that’s operating eight hours a day for five days a week, and you have tungsten lights, and they’re working absolutely fine, no reason to repair anything and they’re fully paid off, it is cheaper for you to take those lights, throw them in the trash and replace them with all LEDs than to continue running that studio. For every day that you are delaying the transition into LED in those studios, you have to be losing money.

Larry Jordan: One of the two problems that I have with LEDs is the fact that an LED does not have variable color temperature. It’s just the inherent nature of the LED. For instance, we’ve got daylight and tungsten. The second is it tends not to have the intensity of some of the brighter arc lights that we work with. How do we solve both those issues?

Ali Ahmadi: We’re pushing very hard, like I said, on bringing up new intensity levels and bringing out fixtures with high intensity levels. We pride ourselves on having done a lot of firsts in the industry. I think that is just a matter of time. We oftentimes hear… and we go, “All right, we’ve got to wait six months. The LED guys have got to catch up to us,” so that’s just a matter of time. Regarding the comment about, it was changing color temperature, right?


Larry Jordan: Mhmm.

Ali Ahmadi: Traditionally, you had daylight sources, and you had tungsten sources and you would modify the color temperature through traditional filters. You can still absolutely do that and we do have fixtures, like our BiColor 1×1, and even the new Astra 1×1 is a BiColor fixture. You can just dial the color temperature in. In that sense, that will give you versatility that, for the longest time in lighting history was unheard of – turn a knob and you change the color temperature. Of course, that is pretty neat, especially in today’s day and age of democratization of content. You need to be able to work fast and efficiently and there’s nothing like time – time is money.

Mike Horton: And all the electricity that you’ll save.

Ali Ahmadi: Yes, absolutely.

Larry Jordan: Are you showing anything new at IBC? Could we look at some new products at the booth?

Ali Ahmadi: Yes, we have a lot of new products that we pumped out through the first half of the year. We showed the Sola INCA 9. It’s a nine inch Fresnel, a traditional 1-2 tungsten equivalent in daylight and in tungsten – Sola is the daylight version, INCA is the tungsten version – and we also put out a very high intensity panel called Hilio D12 for daylight and another version that’s the T12 for tungsten and we launched those around NAB and then at Cine Gear we unveiled the Astra 1×1 and we’ve just begun shipping Astra 1x1s this week to customers. We will be showing these products at IBC. They haven’t really gotten their unveiling in front of the European market the way they deserve.

Mike Horton: Yes, well, I’ll be there and I’ll definitely stop by the booth and take a look at them.

Larry Jordan: Ali, where can people go on the web to learn more about these products?

Ali Ahmadi: It’s

Larry Jordan: The Senior Product Manager for LED lighting at Litepanels is Ali Ahmadi and, Ali, thanks for joining us today.

Ali Ahmadi: Thanks for having me. It was a great talk, thank you.

Mike Horton: Great talking to you, Ali.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Have a safe trip to IBC.

Ali Ahmadi: See you there.

Mike Horton & Larry Horton: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Michael, one of the things that I was struck with, Jane Jenson’s comment, is how huge those scripts are that she puts together for a game design.

Mike Horton: One thousand pages.

Larry Jordan: A thousand pages.

Mike Horton: I think that was just for the mo-cap stuff, but still.

Larry Jordan: That’s a lot of writing.

Mike Horton: Holy cow, if I was an actor doing that mo-cap stuff and looked at this, oh my God, four months of this? Jeez.

Larry Jordan: Dressed in some strange motion tracking suit.

Mike Horton: How many hours a day? 12? Oh God. Oh my goodness.

Larry Jordan: Can you imagine doing that under the old lighting? Remember how hot those lights were back in the old days?

Mike Horton: Oh yes, yes. Well, still in studio situations, broadcast studios, they’re not using a lot of LEDs. They do, especially in location things because it’s so much easier, but there are a lot of Fresnels and fluorescents and a lot of electricity used. I agree with him, I think it’s going to take over the world, but I don’t know why it hasn’t by now.

Larry Jordan: Probably because it’s already been paid for.

Mike Horton: Yes, that’s true.

Larry Jordan: And there’s a strength to say…

Mike Horton: Those lights have got to go to the graveyard, I guess, and they should go to the graveyard because they just suck an enormous amount of electricity and they’re so hot. They’re just awful.

Larry Jordan: I appreciate all the notes that I was taking when Jessica was talking about marketing ourselves online. There were some good comments.

Mike Horton: Yes, there is a fine line between marketing, and being personal, and being relatable, and having your personality show through and it is something that not everybody can do and do well.

Larry Jordan: True enough.

Mike Horton: So heed her advice and be careful before you post.

Larry Jordan: Oh yes. I want to thank our guests this week – Jane Jenson, the Founder of Pinkerton Road Studio and the designer of ‘Gabriel Knight’ and many other games; Jessica Sitomer, the President of The Greenlight Coach; and Ali Ahmadi, the Senior Product Manager of LED lighting for Vitec Videocom.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows and it’s all posted to our website at Visit with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook, at Music on The Buzz provided by SmartSound; The Buzz is streamed by Our producer is Cirina Catania, our engineer the ever-affable Mr. Adrian Price. On behalf of Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Mike Horton: Goodbye everybody.

Larry Jordan: Take care.

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.

Digital Production Buzz — August 28, 2014

  • Designing Games: “Gabriel Knight”
  • Market Yourself Online
  • Lighting Styles Around the World

GUESTS: Jane Jensen, Jessica Sitomer, and Ali Ahmadi

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

Jane Jensen, Designer & Founder, Pinkerton Road Studio

A game designer and writer, Jane Jensen is best known for her work on the award-winning Gabriel Knight® adventure games and hidden object games such as “Dying for Daylight.” She talks with us today about game design and innovation.

Jessica Sitomer, President, The Greenlight Coach

Jessica Sitomer has some real-world advice about how to market yourself online. It is often hard to find the right balance between work and online marketing. Jessica has some specific tips you can use along with ideas on how to balance your time between work and online.

Ali Ahmadi, Senior Product Manager, LED Lighting, Vitec Videocom

Ali Ahmadi is a multi-national tour de force in the lighting industry, having designed systems literally all over the world. He is Senior Product Manager at Vitec Videocom. This week, he talks about the differences in lighting techniques between Europe, Asia, and North America.

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 – August 21, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

August 21, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


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Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


Tom Seufert, Creative Director, Visual Music

Grover Crisp, Executive Vice President, Asset Management, Film Restoration & Digital Mastering, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Hunter Williams, Executive Producer, Production Music 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.

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, the ever handsome Mr. Mike Horton, has the night off.

Larry Jordan: Our program tonight focuses on the business of making music. We start with Tom Seufert. He’s the Creative Director of Visual Music. This is a music boutique featuring new emerging artists and elite composers and songwriters. Tom is also a musician in his own right, though tonight we’re going to concentrate on how to market music for media.

Larry Jordan: Then Grover Crisp is the Executive Vice President for Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment. He joins us tonight to talk about archiving media, restoring films and an annual two day event that starts tonight, called The Reel Thing, which showcases the latest technology and the results of that technology in restoring films.

Larry Jordan: Finally, Hunter Williams returns us to our musical theme. Hunter is the Executive Director of the Production Music Association. Production music has undergone a quality transformation over the last ten years, much of it led by the PMA. Tonight, Hunter talks about the business of music publishing and an event they have coming up in September that looks at the challenges and future of the music publishing business.

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. You can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making these transcripts possible.

Larry Jordan: It’s the middle of the summer and everybody’s getting ready to have one more day off before all the kids go back to school, so there’s not a whole lot happening. But the big news this week is that Apple updated Final Cut Pro X to version 10.1.3. They also upgraded Compressor and Motion. This upgrade was principally a bug fix.

Larry Jordan: They didn’t have any new features released, but the bugs were significant, including some Blu-Ray writing errors and some copy and paste attribute functions that if you have no upgraded to the 10.1.3 version and you’re running 10.1 or 10.1.2, the upgrade makes a great deal of sense. I recommend you get it if you’re editing on a reasonably recent version of Final Cut 10. If you’re still on 10.0, then finish the project you’re on before you upgrade to 10.1.3.

Larry Jordan: Give us a chance and say hello, visit us on Facebook at We’ve got a team of researchers that are having a great time looking up stuff to talk about on Facebook and Twitter. We’re working together to come up with a list of interesting films to show you or trivia from the industry, famous quotes from directors, producers and editors around the world and we have a great time as we talk about what we’re planning for the week, not only in terms of articles and information, but just fun breaks to give you a sense of taking a deep breath and enjoying the strangeness of the industry, as well as announcements from other companies to keep you informed on new tools that could be beneficial to you.

Larry Jordan: You can find out more at, which is our Facebook address. You can visit with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ. We love hearing from you and we especially love the comments that you give back. You can also subscribe to our weekly show newsletter at – that’s our website. Tori puts this together every Friday morning and has a great time trying to figure out what to share with you in the weekly Buzz newsletter for an inside look at both our show and the industry.

Larry Jordan: I’ll be back with Tom Seufert 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

Larry Jordan: Tom Seufert is the Creative Director of Visual Music, a music boutique featuring new emerging artists and elite composers and songwriters. Tom was originally a recording artist for Epic and Ariola Records and now he markets and produces media and music for all media. Hello, Tom, welcome.

Tom Seufert: Hi Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: We are talking to someone who’s got more talent than I do. I am doing great.

Tom Seufert: I’m not sure about that. You have quite a resume yourself.

Larry Jordan: Ah, none of it’s true, I make it all up every Monday morning and try to just find more impressive things to write, really. Tom, what got you interested in music in the first place?

Tom Seufert: I have to say, with a lot of people in the ‘60s, it was really the music scene in the ‘60s with the Beach Boys and The Beatles and all that. Prior to picking up a guitar at 13, I thought I was going to be a fine artist. I was painting and drawing and trying every medium and then, when music came, I just dropped that like a hot potato and now when people ask me to draw, I just draw at the level I was when I picked up a guitar, which is 13, and it’s not too cool. But it’s fine.

Larry Jordan: Well, picking up a guitar, I mean, I’m guilty of that too, but there’s a big difference between playing in the bedroom and playing with people listening. When did you decide to become a professional musician?

Tom Seufert: I picked it up 13. By 15, I was in the house band at the largest club in Hollywood at the time called the Hullabaloo Club, which later became the Aquarius Theater, and I don’t know how that happened. I was hanging out with guys two and three years older than me who were in the band, and there were two or three of us that were 15 but everyone else was 17 and 18, and we opened for Neil Diamond in the season, it was a great experience. It was just there right in the mid-‘60s, in ’65, when music was just exploding and it was very exciting to be in Hollywood and wearing the high leather boots and…

Larry Jordan: Now, wait, wait, wait, wait. I’ve got to get this picture in my head. You’re 15 years old, you’re performing at a major club and your parents let you stay out past eight o’clock?

Tom Seufert: Yes. Yes, that’s because I had chaperones who were two or three years older than me and they went to the parochial school I went to, so they kind of figured that things were ok, but they didn’t know. It was one of those things. Rock and roll, you know?

Larry Jordan: Yes, the things that you got away with that you’ll never let your kids get away with.

Tom Seufert: Exactly. Exactly. There was no such thing as a play date back in those days. You just went outside and went for it.

Larry Jordan: And tried to come back by dinner.

Tom Seufert: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Tell us about your recording career, both as a songwriter and as a musician.

Tom Seufert: When I was 24, I got my first record deal with Epic Records, and that was a solo deal and David Kershenbaum produced me, and that was a very, very fun experience.

Larry Jordan: Oh yes.

Tom Seufert: I was recording that, just a fabulous studio called Producer’s Workshop in Hollywood, which later became the home of Steely Dan and some just amazing artists, and so I really lucked out because I lucked into meeting people who were fantastic engineers and fantastic people and so it was first for Epic; and then I got an album deal, I formed a band called La Seine and I got a deal with Jay Lasker’s new label, which was called Ariola America, and I was signed the same month that John Cougar Mellencamp was signed to that particular label.

Larry Jordan: An artist that we haven’t heard from since, if I remember correctly.

Tom Seufert: Well, he is having a great career and tours a lot and plays. I mean, he’s done tons of recording and he had a billion times more success than I ever had. But one of the things that happened with the Ariola album is one of the songs from the album went top ten in Holland and that got the attention of some people that worked with Ringo Starr. So Ringo Starr cut one of my songs that I co-wrote with Steven Hague who was one of the band members, and that was incredibly thrilling.

Larry Jordan: How did you get Ringo to record one of your songs? I’m sure he hears a lot of stuff.

Tom Seufert: Great publishers. Peter Berg, Jim Golden, who – God rest his soul – recently passed away, and Terry Wright. I had quite a lucrative publishing deal at the time and it was signed internationally into publishing and here in the States. So I was just walking on air there in my 20s. I felt very fortunate. I didn’t have real record sale success, but that gave me such a boost that it just kept me in music to this day because I love it so much.

Larry Jordan: Mmm, that is very, very cool. I want to do sort of a comparison of the past to the present. Give us a description of the process of recording music, say, 15, 20 years ago and then I want to talk about it currently. But give us a picture back then.

Tom Seufert: Well, I had the really good fortune to record in some of the great studios, including Sunset Sound, CBS Studios, before they closed and that’s where Simon and Garfunkel used to record, Capital. The whole thing was capturing a live performance. This was before non-linear digital workstations, so everything was on two inch and I just remember I was always in search of the perfect feel, so I was cutting and splicing two inch tape constantly. I’d have the best drummers I could get my hands on and record basic tracks and then I’d end up with a razor blade for parts of days, cutting things up, trying to get the perfect take.

Tom Seufert: I would have loved to have had non-linear back then, but it just didn’t physically exist. I learned really early on, if you didn’t have a great basic track, whatever you lay on top of that is going to kind of fall apart. It’s kind of like your foundation. It was quite different. But I really feel honored that I learned on all this great analogue equipment, all these incredible early consoles and they still sound fantastic. To this day, I still use a lot of analogue gear and microphones and signal processing as well with the digital. I love using the best of both worlds, but it was a completely different process.

Larry Jordan: Which I understand, but I want to come back to about 15, 20 years ago for a second. Putting your musician hat on, how much time is spent in the studio trying to find the best way to express a song, in other words the creative process, or the technical let’s get it recorded process? Because what I’m sensing is that that shift in where creativity comes from is different 20 years ago than it is today.

Tom Seufert: You have to go back a little bit further before there was any kind of digital recording. In that case, I would just work up demos using a TEAC four track tape recorder and drum machines and real drummers. I did a lot of work with Roger Linn after he invented the Linn Drum and the Linn 9000 and I created a library of sounds for the Linn 9000 that a lot of people ended up using.

Tom Seufert: But back then, you’d pretty much work out demos on your own before you’d go into the studio because the studios were expensive and you had to have your act together before you went in. You didn’t really experiment. Some of the big bands that were well established, they’d go in and they’d write in the studio, but us mere mortals, we had to prepare.

Larry Jordan: So really the creativity occurred before you even walked into the studio, then?

Tom Seufert: Yes, yes. You would have your song structure and you’d have charts for the musicians and usually I was working with a band, so we would have practice sessions and record work tapes, just to get the arrangement down. But with the advent of multi-track recording, when the TEAC four track came along I bought two of them so I could record four channels and then bounce them to a second machine while I was combining those four channels, and that’s really how The Beatles recorded all their early records before the eight track was invented.

Tom Seufert: The process is all kind of the same, it was just that you didn’t have as many options. You had to EQ things differently so that after you had lost four generations, there was still some high end left. Now, one can record on a laptop with just phenomenal software, but the process of writing something, especially lyric and melody, is still the same, exactly the same. You can execute things quicker, you can get ideas quicker now, but even back then if you had a little drum machine and a guitar or a keyboard, you could put ideas down and get a structure and then start working it up with the band.

Larry Jordan: Another thought that strikes me is, in the past – however we define that – music was much more collaborative, the whole band was in the studio at the same time, and now everything seems to be very fragmented. Musicians don’t even have to be in the same studio, they just simply share tracks back and forth.

Tom Seufert: Right, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Look at a contemporary person like Pharrell Williams. He works with a lot of live musicians. He probably does these little demos before he goes in the studio, but he’s got fantastic players that he collaborates with and I still think that’s incredibly important to do. Yes, there’s a lot of myopia creatively when people are doing everything themselves and sometimes it’s great to come up with ideas, like Pete Townshend did at the beginning of The Who’s career where he would do these little demos where he would play all the parts and then teach them all to the band. Keith Moon wouldn’t listen, though, because he played crazy stuff all the time and that’s what was great about him – he didn’t care.

Tom Seufert: Some of those early rock bands, what’s really interesting is they had these crazy jazz drummers that were playing way too busy, but that’s what made Hendrix and The Who and even the Jeff Beck group sound to interesting, because they didn’t have straight ahead rock drummers playing with them. I think there is a tendency nowadays for people just to do everything themselves, but I think you just cannot underestimate the magic that happens when you work with a bunch of other like-minded musicians and they start bringing things to your music, to your song, to your arrangement that you never even could have imagined.

Tom Seufert: That’s why bands are great. I’ve mostly been in bands through my artistic career, even if I was the sole singer or songwriter. I always loved to collaborate with great musicians and I have some really great ones that I’ve worked with in the past that I still remember wonderful times with them.

Larry Jordan: Now let’s shift up to the present, because you created a new company called Visual Music Artists. What’s that?

Tom Seufert: It’s actually Visual Music, but the website is Visual Music Artists, and what that is is a company that primarily does custom music for all media. Advertising used to be the number one thing I did. Now I’m doing so much stuff for online, but I’m very fortunate that I have three huge names on my roster, and then I have some great new young 20 something emerging artists, and then I have some phenomenally award-winning composers and songwriters. I guess the three top people that I have at the top of the food chain are Bear McCreary, I work with him. He first became known to people for scoring ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and later ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘DaVinci’s Demons’ and I don’t know how many other shows. I’m working on a huge project with him right now.

Tom Seufert: My other star composer is John Swihart, who ten years ago scored ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ and has since done tremendous work for about 40 independent films and a ton of TV shows. John and Bear both work with me primarily for advertising clients and interactive online clients. My third star is Jack Tempchin, who is the songwriter who wrote ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ for The Eagles and co-wrote ‘Already Gone’ and several other huge hits with The Eagles, and I met Jack years ago when I had a studio called Redwing Studios in Tarzana and those are my three most well known artists.

Tom Seufert: Then I have just some really incredibly talented young musicians and bands. These guys, most of them are in their 20s and they’re graduates of Berkeley College of Music and other music schools and they’re hand picked. I’ve got an incredible team. It’s very fun, though.

Larry Jordan: I was going to say, there’s no pride going here. It sounds like a great group of people.

Tom Seufert: Yes, yes. The writers that I have that are in their 30s, 40s and 50s that have got incredible experience, these have all become friends and we do things like go to the Hollywood Bowl together, and go to screenings at the ArcLight and have big dinners, or we talk shop for an hour and a half and then go in and see a phenomenal film and then take a picture at the end of it.

Larry Jordan: All right, well, let’s talk shop a little bit more. Who would hire your company?

Tom Seufert: I’m primarily hired by ad agencies. I work a lot with the Richards Group in Dallas and with Leo Burnett in Chicago. I’m working with an agency here in Santa Monica called Enso right now.

Larry Jordan: Ok, now, hold it right there. In the second half of the show, we’re going to talk with a gentleman who’s the Executive Director of the Production Music Association and clearly there’s a role of production music…

Tom Seufert: I go to their meetings. I love their meetings.

Larry Jordan: So my question is why would somebody hire you, your company, rather than just get good quality production music?

Tom Seufert: Well, I have to say the quality of production music has just gone up exponentially in the last ten years. It is absolutely incredible, but there’s nothing that can compare with a custom score…

Larry Jordan: Now, why is that?

Tom Seufert: …by someone the likes of John Swihart or Bear McCreary or a song written by Jack Tempchin. This kind of music doesn’t exist in any library. It’s created custom. It’s kind of like why would someone go get a chair custom made for them when they can go into any store and buy a chair, even a high end store? The reason is because they want it a specific way and that’s never going to change.

Tom Seufert: Sometimes you can take a piece of production music and edit it and even customize that piece of production music, but a lot of it depends on the level that people are working at in terms of the agencies, the creative staff. We’re dealing with Mad Men here, right? So you have creative directors, and then you have creative teams with copyrighters, and art directors and everybody is very, very opinionated, and there usually is a slight look downward in terms of production music and I think that that’s kind of unfair, because there’s just some amazing stuff out there from a production music availability standpoint.

Tom Seufert: But it’s a different animal when you have something done custom and what I felt that was happening, I was losing a lot of business to production music. But then it’s started to come back in the last couple of years and, oddly enough, it’s for the internet. You would never think that wow, you’ll never make as much money doing music for the internet exclusively as you would for doing something for broadcast TV. But things are changing and I’m seeing people that have really nice budgets for internet and sometimes just corporate communication.

Tom Seufert: I do a lot of work for Proctor & Gamble and I’ve been scoring a number of videos that are never seen by the general public. They’re just basically dubbed in eight different languages and it’s to build corporate unity.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so let’s put an independent film maker hat on and let’s assume that you’re not simply paying for the film with your credit cards but you have some budget attached. Would you do custom creative work for an independent film and what would budget range be?

Tom Seufert: I don’t really deal. I’ve done some documentaries and some short form but according to people like John Swihart, who used to do tons of indie films. That market has to a large extent collapsed. At the time that ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ came out, there were somewhere between 800 and 1200 indie films coming out per year and the market just cannot sustain that. That volume went down drastically and so I don’t really deal with independent films. Number one, there’s not much money in it compared to advertising and now even online, to be honest.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so let’s say I’ve got a webisode series – take our independent film, substitute webisode.

Tom Seufert: Right, ok.

Larry Jordan: How much do I budget for some services like yours? What I’m asking is do you have to be a Proctor & Gamble to call you, or can…

Tom Seufert: Oh, no, no, no. No, no.

Larry Jordan: I’m not asking for a quote. I’m looking more for a sense of range or how budgets are determined.

Tom Seufert: Right, right. A number of my composers do indie films and they work directly with the film maker or with the producer and one of my composers had just graduated top of his class at Berkeley College of Music, came out to LA. Two years later he was working for several composers and I got wind of him and he started working for me and he said he was scoring an indie film for $10,000 and it was going to be over 60 minutes’ worth of music, and it took him about four months to do.

Tom Seufert: Usually, you can get a young composer who will do it for five or ten thousand dollars just to get the credits and get his foot in the door. Except for my youngest composers and youngest bands that I’m working with, most of the people cannot work at that kind of super low level. Even webisodes now, I worked on a project a couple of years ago that was seven different episodes and it didn’t have a huge budget but it had a pretty substantial budget, up over 30,000.

Larry Jordan: But if you were willing to spend 20 to 50,000, you could get good music?

Tom Seufert: Definitely.

Larry Jordan: All right, and where can people go on the web to learn more about you and your music?

Tom Seufert:

Larry Jordan: That’s Tom Seufert is the Creative Director of Visual Music and, Tom, thanks for joining us today.

Tom Seufert: Thanks so much, Larry. I really enjoyed speaking with you and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Larry Jordan: Take care. You too. Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Grover Crisp is the Executive Vice President for Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which we often call SPE. He’s also the co-organizer, with Michael Friend, who is the Director of Digital Archives at SPE, of The Reel Thing. A unique event that opens tonight that attracts technologists, archivists, programmers and asset managers, as well as people who simply love movies, television and all things related to moving image and sound preservation, which has got to be the longest introduction I have ever read. Welcome, Grover, good to have you with us.

Grover Crisp: Thanks. Good to be here.

Larry Jordan: What does an Executive Vice President for Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment actually do?

Grover Crisp: Ah, well, there is a lot of work that’s done in my department. The asset management part of it refers to the core assets of the company, the motion pictures, the television programs and all the components that go into making those things; the film, the audio, the video, the digital files and so forth. So my department manages and maintains the storage and the safekeeping of all those assets.

Larry Jordan: So because we’re able to watch films that were shot 40 years ago is due to the work of you and your team?

Grover Crisp: Exactly. That’s where the film restoration and the digital mastering part comes in in our department, because we go back to the original film materials or video materials – whatever the program is – and repurpose it and in order to repurpose it you need to restore it and improve it. Today in the digital mastering world, with high definition displays in the home and now 4K displays in the home, the level of expectations of quality have risen so high that we continually have to go back and bring it up to those standards that people expect.

Larry Jordan: This is not a subject that most people get interested in. What got you hooked on film restoration and archiving?

Grover Crisp: Like most people who wind up in this kind of business, I didn’t start out to do that. In my college days, many decades ago, I was a film student, of course, and a lifelong film lover and a long time ago – three years ago, to be exact – I got a job working in the film vaults at Columbia Pictures and that slowly evolved over the years to where, under my department, we created a film and video preservation program that was promoted in a big way by the purchase of the studio by Sony Corporation in 1989 and it kind of took up from there. We developed our program, which is a full blown program that we have been operating for 25 years.

Larry Jordan: Hmm. The film industry is shifting from shooting film to shooting digital and, as the industry goes increasingly digital, how does that change the process of archiving films and film restoration?

Grover Crisp: Well, it changes what you need to archive but not necessarily the traditional conservation approach, which is to make sure that you first of all have what you need – the original material, whether that’s film or whether that’s video or audio or digital files – and you need to make sure that you can access it, you replicate it, you store different copies in geographically separate areas for risk management purposes and you constantly revisit it, or at least periodically revisit it, to make sure that it’s viable and you can use it. In that regard, it’s kind of a traditional process. What’s different, of course, is that all things digital change constantly, so you constantly have to adapt to what you’re going to be doing.

Larry Jordan: One of the hard parts that those of us who are working in the industry trying to create films today, must less preserve them, are wrestling with is the constant technology shift and the constant change in codecs. You must be going nuts with every six months a new codec comes out and two others have died that were popular a year and a half ago.

Grover Crisp: It seems like it’s more frequent than that, quite frankly, when you’re inside the whole production, post production workflows, because things do change. A year ago, for example, on our mastering of titles, we would finish our mastering and produce a high definition video tape. Now, we don’t do that at all. We finish and our masters are 4K files. From that, we generate things like our high definition versions for broadcast and so forth. So yes, it changes all the time but we have to adapt and in our studio we have a great core engineering team,  archiving team and infrastructure that’s allowed us to kind of at least keep pace with it, if not get out in front of it.

Larry Jordan: One way you tried to get in front of it is this event you’ve got planned for tonight called ‘The Reel Thing’. What’s this?

Grover Crisp: This is a technical symposium that Michael Friend and I have been doing for 20 years. We started it as kind of a one off little presentation in 1994 at a conference of the Association of Moving Image Archivists in Boston where, for the first time at a conference like that, we actually had digital technologies on display for preservation and restoration. That was something that was brand new and not really very prevalent anywhere and that slowly developed and people liked it, so we did it again and then again and again and now we’re doing it for the 33rd time here in Los Angeles. It’s now a two day event where we are able to show full feature restorations and have a number of presentations dealing with all kinds of areas of preservation and restoration.

Larry Jordan: Now, is this just geeks talking tech? Or is this something that film lovers should see because of the film screenings?

Grover Crisp: They should see it. It’s not just film geeks, believe me. There are presentations where the technology goes over most people’s heads, but we think that’s ok too because there are people who will benefit from that and if you’re not exposed to it you’ll never understand it. But we try to have a lot of fun at this, and we try to put on, in essence, really a show. So the presentations, for example, about large format scanning and recording – that may not sound interesting, but we’re talking about films like ‘West Side Story’, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘My Fair Lady’, where you will actually see examples of this projected on a big screen and those are the entertaining components, I think, as well.

Grover Crisp: We do like the opportunity to show full restored films where restorers have finished them, and these are usually pre-mirrors. We’re showing an early silent film from Germany that’s been restored, the first time it’s been shown in this country and we’re having premiere screenings of ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’ and one of Steven Spielberg’s early TV movies, called ‘Duel’, and it’ll be a lot of fun.

Larry Jordan: Where is it, when is it and what does it cost?

Grover Crisp: This particular event, which we have done every summer, usually in August, in Los Angeles, takes place at the Linwood Dunn Theater, which is at the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Science’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study here in Hollywood, on Vine Street. It’s open to anyone who wants to register for it. I forget what the cost is, I think it’s about $250. I don’t get involved too much in that because all of the proceeds of this go to support the Association of Moving Image Archivists. So whatever funding comes in, they get that to support their educational programs and so forth. Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Science’s Linwood Dunn Theater on Vine Street and Hollywood.

Larry Jordan: Is there a website people can go visit?

Grover Crisp: There is. It is and at that website you can see previous years’ programs and you can get a really good flavor of the kind of things that we’re putting on and that we’re showing and that we’re talking about.

Larry Jordan: That website is, not .com. It’s been founded and run by two gentlemen, Michael Friend and Grover Crisp, and Grover Crisp is the Executive Vice President for Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Grover, thanks for joining us today.

Grover Crisp: Thanks. It’s been a pleasure.

Larry Jordan: Hunter Williams is the Executive Director for the Production Music Association, a non-profit group which was founded in 1997. It has over 670 members and it is the leading advocate and voice of the production music community. Welcome, Hunter, good to have you with us.

Hunter Williams: Thank you, Larry, glad to be here. Thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: What first got you involved in music?

Hunter Williams: I started out as a kid having a keen interest in drums and banging around on everything. So I’m a musician, been a musician all my life, still play in a working band; and that led me to university outside of Nashville, where I studied music business, I didn’t study music performance but started music business, you know, the old fall back story – dad wanted me to have something to fall back on and be able to make a living – so I studied that and that took me from a career as a musician into the actual business side of things.

Larry Jordan: What got you involved with the PMA?

Hunter Williams: My background prior to the PMA, I spent 20 years at one of the three performing rights organizations here in the United States, SESAC.

Larry Jordan: Oh yes.

Hunter Williams: In my role at SESAC, I ran royalty distribution and research services and so I dealt with a lot of the PMA members on a regular basis. Those members who had affiliations with SESAC, had publishing companies with SESAC, I was usually their go to guy when they had questions about royalty statements or tracking or anything like that. So I got to know them very well and they would invite me out to their events, to speak on panels, to talk about things that we were doing at SESAC – particularly in the area of some of the technological advances that we were making – and so I got to know them really well and I became very interested in their cause, and their issues and really was empathetic towards their issues and I came to know them and it became a great fit when the opportunity came about to be part of the organization.

Larry Jordan: So when did you join?

Hunter Williams: Actually, my anniversary is this week. I’ve been there one year now, so this is an interesting time to be doing this interview. I’ve been there one year and things are really going well. We’ve got a great swathe of activities and things that we want to accomplish and we’re clipping them off at a fast pace.

Larry Jordan: Let’s go into that in just a little bit of detail. I’m a consumer of music, but the business side is not something I know real well. What does the Production Music Association do?

Hunter Williams: Larry, the Production Music Association, as you said earlier, was formed in 1997 to be the collective voice speaking to the issues unique to the production music industry. The production music industry is unique. It’s a large segment of the music industry that a lot of people don’t really know about, because so much of the music that you hear on TV is background music and a lot of that music is represented by production music companies.

Hunter Williams: Production music companies, they’re more typically known as music libraries, and what they do is they hire composers and artists to produce music and supply the music of all different genres. So they create these volumes of catalogs, and music libraries, and they own the recording rights and the publishing rights. They can go to a broadcaster, for example, and offer an efficient one stop license for both the master recording and… publishing, so it’s a very efficient way to get good quality music. It’s fast and you’re able to get a variety of styles of music.

Larry Jordan: Why can’t a network will just go to a composer?

Hunter Williams: Well, a network can and networks do, but typically when the production cycles are really fast paced and if they need a particular style of music, there’s a turnaround time to hire a composer to do that. For particular types of programs, production music provides a very fast and efficient way to find really good quality music.

Larry Jordan: But isn’t all production music like elevator music?

Hunter Williams: It’s interesting that you ask that because back in the day that was sort of the stigma that was attached to library music and I think there might have been some truth to that, back in the day. But nowadays you have some of the world’s most accomplished composers that are writing for music libraries, so the quality level of production music now is so much bigger than it ever was. They hire accomplished composers, they hire orchestras to write music. These companies definitely have raised the bar on the level of production.

Larry Jordan: So the Association’s got about 700 members. Why is an association even necessary?

Hunter Williams: Back to your point that you raised about elevator music. I think traditionally there was a tendency, because most production music, the way it’s used in… programming, it’s used as background music and traditionally there was a tendency to minimize the value of that music, just because it was background music. We saw that reflected.

Hunter Williams: One example is with the performing rights organizations, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, these are the companies that represent the rights and the royalties when music is played over the air – and traditionally the performing rights organizations weighted a background use by a featured artist. Let’s say Bob Dylan had one of his songs used in a TV show. They would weight that music higher than they would a piece of production music and so, to your question as to why is the PMA important, the PMA has worked with the PROs and has effectively gotten those values changed. We’ve seen great improvements in the weighting rules that the PROs use to achieve more balance that they’re paying. So that’s a really great example of why the PMA is important.

Hunter Williams: We’re going to bat for these libraries and the way that their music is used to effectuate better treatment at the PROs, for example.

Larry Jordan: But a lot of music is viewed as a commodity – rip it off from the web, it’s freely available. How do you change attitudes that good music is worth spending money for?

Hunter Williams: Well, that’s one of the biggest challenges that we have and surely that’s been the case on the consumer side, you know. The attitude of free has been a problem for record labels, but we’re starting to see that attitude come into play on the professional users’ side now too. First of all, it’s got to start on the professional consumer side of music. It’s got to start with better decision making by the rights owners.

Hunter Williams: Because that attitude is out there, there has been a lot of pressure and, like I said, we’ve seen that come into play now in the minds of professional buyers. There is a lot of downward pressure on the prices of music. So what we do at the PMA is we educate and inform our members. and provide them with ideas and information on how they can implement best practices for upholding the value of music.

Hunter Williams: At the end of the day, it has to come down to the rights owner to stand up and hold the bar high and one of the biggest problems we see in the industry is there are so many people lining up for bragging rights or whatever to give their music away. So it’s one of our most important missions at the PMA is to bring particularly young up and coming composers who don’t really know what they’re giving up the information that they need,  to know where the revenue streams are, know the value of those revenue streams and help them make informed decisions.

Larry Jordan: The way the organization is structured, do your pricing levels vary based upon the number of titles that have been released? Who are some of the larger organizations that are members of PMA?

Hunter Williams: The larger organizations include the production music divisions of the major publishers. So Universal Music Publishing, Warner Chappell Music Publishing, Sony ATV all have production music divisions and they’re all members of the PMA. APM is one of the larger production music libraries, one of the biggest in the world, they’re also a PMA member.

Larry Jordan: A lot of these large studios have got multiple income streams. Is there a value to a small independent publisher becoming a member of PMA?

Hunter Williams: Absolutely. Again, it goes back to the idea of having the collective voice and the opportunity to rub shoulders, if you will, with the more established players. And so many young publishers and young songwriters are looking to get into the licensing end. Licensed music for TV and film has become very attractive, particularly in a day and age where record sales are lacking, and so a lot of artists and songwriters and composers and musicians are looking to this area.

Hunter Williams: It’s very valuable if you are a young publisher looking to be in this space. It’s very valuable to be part of the PMA, again, to get the education and the information that we impart and the advocacy that we do with the PROs, but to also be in a room with the bigger players to share ideas and learn techniques and ways to properly go about doing the business.

Larry Jordan: That reminds me, thinking of rubbing shoulders and being in the same room, you’ve got a conference coming up soon. Tell us what this is.

Hunter Williams: Yes, Larry, we’re very excited, this is our first ever production music conference. It’s been a dream and a vision of the PMA for a while. There have been other conferences that have talked about music licensing, but there’s never been a conference dedicated to the production music industry. So we’re very excited to bring this to bear and that conference is going to take place on September 12th at the Doubletree Hotel in Culver City, California.

Hunter Williams: We’re expecting a great attendance and we have a great line-up of panelists, and keynote speakers and all kinds of great topics. We’ve broken it down between a business track and a creative track. So there’ll be topics on how to create world class sound on the creative side, for example, and royalty and copyright panels on the business side. So lots to discover and lots of great information that will be shared there.

Larry Jordan: So it’s more than just the business of music, it’s both the creative and the business side?

Hunter Williams: Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: Tell us about who are some of your key speakers. Anybody exciting coming to show up?

Hunter Williams: Yes, we’re really lucky to have two really respected artists/musicians/ composers. We have Stewart Copeland, who is for me and most drummers out there, a rock god and you may ask why we have a drummer being a keynote speaker at a production music conference. But a lot of people don’t know that Stewart – and Stewart, by the way, I think everybody will know this, but in case you don’t Stewart Copeland is the drummer of The Police – but Stewart is also a multifaceted instrumentalist and a composer. He’s done it all. A lot of people don’t realize that Stewart composed scores for films such as ‘Rumble Fish’ and ‘Wall Street’, he’s composed music in TV shows such as ‘The Equalizer’. He’s done compositions for video games, he’s written symphonies, ballets, he’s done it all.

Hunter Williams: We also have Jeff Beal. Jeff is one of the most respected composers in TV and film right now. Jeff is a multi-Emmy award winning composer. One of the top shows that he’s working on right now is ‘House of Cards’, which is Netflix’s premier flagship show, a very successful show. But Jeff’s written for movies and TV shows such as, ‘Monk’ and ‘Ugly Betty’, ‘Carnival’, ‘Rome’, lots of TV shows and movies such as ‘Pollock’ and ‘Appaloosa’. Jeff’s also a great musician in his own right. He comes from a jazz background and had a very successful career in jazz, having worked with the likes of Chicory and John Patitucci.

Larry Jordan: What’s your goal in having these speakers talk? What do you want the audience to come away learning?

Hunter Williams: These guys being icons in their own right in their respective areas. We believe that both in their own ways will be able to talk about their approaches to their different jobs. Stewart, doing so much in so many different areas. There are so many different approaches to the types of music that he’s creating and the role that he plays, so we expect Stewart to talk about that. Talk about the different approaches and how he manages all the different areas of composition that he does. And as well get into production techniques and expectations and requirements from the people that he’s working with; and Jeff the same thing.

Hunter Williams: We expect Jeff to discuss the way that he works with directors and music supervisors. What their expectations are and what his approaches are to those different scenarios, and also the approach to composing, the different styles, everything that goes into their day to day lives as musicians and composers. Again, these guys are at the very top level and so to have them share their wisdom and insight is going to be very valuable and much appreciated by our audience.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like it’s just an incredible conference. When it is again?

Hunter Williams: The conference is September 12th at the Doubletree Hotel in Culver City, California.

Larry Jordan: I’ll get the web address from you in a second, but before we run out of time, as you’re wearing your industry executive hat, as you’re looking forward over the next three to five years, what do you see as the biggest challenges that the production music industry has to face?

Hunter Williams: One is the current regulatory structure governing performance royalties. Right now, ASCAP and BMI – the two largest performing rights organizations – are challenging the necessity of their regulatory oversight by the Department of Justice and we at the PMA are strongly in support of those challenges.

Hunter Williams: These organizations have been under consent decrees with the Department of Justice for decades and these decrees dictate that the two rate courts, set rates, if the performing rights organizations and their licensees can’t agree on terms, and I know that’s a lot of stuff that may not resonate directly with your audience, but the point is that the rate court process is an incredibly slow process, and an expensive process, and it results in delayed and diminished payments to composers and publishers.

Hunter Williams: Again, that’s probably a lot more technical information about this issue that you may want to hear, but it is such an important issue. We’ve got to get ASCAP and BMI off of those consent decrees so that they can operate more freely and negotiate fair rates, and under the current system they can’t do it and it greatly affects the livelihoods of not only Production Music Association members, but all songwriters, composers and publishers. We’re very optimistic that that will happen, but it is a challenge. We’re talking about the DoJ and we’re talking about regulatory oversight, like I said, for decades, so it’s going to be a battle.

Larry Jordan: Hunter, for people who want to keep track of the status of this battle and all others, where can they go on the web to learn more about the PMA?

Hunter Williams: They can go to

Larry Jordan: That’s; and where can they go to learn about the conference?

Hunter Williams: They can go to the same place and on the front page of the website there’s a big PMC 2014 logo. If you click on that logo, it’ll take you to the conference information page, the registration page, all the information about the hotel, the panelists, our sponsors. It’s all right there. They can get that information from that link.

Larry Jordan: That website is The Executive Director of Production Music Association is Hunter Williams and, Hunter, thanks for joining us today.

Hunter Williams: Larry, thank you so much for having me.

Larry Jordan: You know, in listening to Tom Seufert and Hunter Williams, I’m struck by the contrast between original music created by Tom Seufert’s Visual Music and the pre-recorded production music represented by the Production Music Association, yet the key concept I get from both of them is that music is both higher quality and more affordable than ever. I was interested to hear the two contrasts in the same show and appreciate the chance to talk to both of them.

Larry Jordan: Also, thinking about Grover Crisp, who’s the archivist for Sony Pictures Entertainment, one of the challenges that we have as media creators is archiving our own material and one of the things I’ve been exploring recently in my newsletter is technology that’s been around for a while but has finally also become affordable, which is LTO tape.

Larry Jordan: I’ve discovered that there’s a whole lot to learn about archiving our projects on tape using LTO technology, not just the hardware – which I’ve already done reviews on – but the software we run with it, whether it’s something simple like a utility or a something much more complex like Media Asset Management. I’m going to be covering it in my weekly newsletter, which comes out every Monday.

Larry Jordan: You can sign up for it at and we’ve got product reviews and we’ve got software reviews, as well as a whole look at the whole industry and I encourage you to register.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests – Tom Seufert, the Creative Director of Visual Music; Grover Crisp, Executive Vice President at Sony Pictures Entertainment; and Hunter Williams, Executive Director of the Production Music Association.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows. Check out Chat with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, or Facebook, The Buzz is streamed by, our music provided by SmartSound. Our producer is Cirina Catania, engineer Adrian Price. Mike Horton’s our co-host. 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.

Digital Production Buzz — August 21, 2014

  • The Creative State of the Music Industry
  • “The Reel Thing” for Film Restoration and Preservation
  • Inside Look at the Production Music Conference

GUESTS: Tom Seufert, Grover Crisp, and Hunter Williams

Click to listen to the current show.
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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Tom Seufert, Creative Director, Visual Music

Tom Seufert is the Creative Director of Visual Music, a boutique music house with an elite roster of world-class composers, emerging artists, songwriters and sound designers. Tom was originally a recording artist on Epic and Ariola Records and now markets and produces music for all media. This week, he helps us understand the current state of the music industry.

Grover Crisp, Executive Vice President, Asset Management, Film Restoration & Digital Mastering, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Grover Crisp, Executive Vice President for Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), is co-organizer with Michael Friend, also at SPE as the Director of Digital Archives, of “The Reel Thing,” a unique event opening tonight that attracts technologists, archivists, programmers and asset managers, as well as people who simply love movies, television and all things related to moving image and sound preservation. Learn more tonight.

Hunter Williams, Executive Director, Production Music Association

The Production Music Conference is a new, daylong event that brings together the entire music community: Composers, libraries, technology providers and music users. Hunter Williams is the Executive Director of the Conference and joins us this week to tell us what its about.

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 – August 14, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

August 14, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


      Click here
to listen to this show.]


Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


Peter Hamilton, Founder and Editor,

Arie Stavchansky, PhD, Founder, DataClay

Stefanie Mullen, CFO, Web Designer, Rampant Design


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.


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 a warm summer 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 co-host, the very cool Mr. Mike Horton.


Mike Horton: Hello, everybody.


Larry Jordan: It’s good to see you back.


Mike Horton: Actually very warm.


Larry Jordan: Well, yes, but we’ve got the air conditioning on here at the studio and your class is…


Mike Horton: Which is actually the first time all summer that the air conditioning’s been on. Usually I come away from this show losing five pounds.


Larry Jordan: That’s intentional.


Mike Horton: Which is actually pretty good.


Larry Jordan: I was going to say, this is not a bad thing.


Mike Horton: The fact that I still show up says how much I love you.


Larry Jordan: Well, you know, that and the fact that you’ve got a chilled mint julep at your left wrist helps.


Mike Horton: And it helps a lot.


Larry Jordan: Tonight, we’re going to start with Peter Hamilton. Peter is a consultant specializing in media marketing and business development and we want to talk with him about the challenges of doing business in China, what do film makers need to know?


Larry Jordan: Next is Arie Stavchansky. He’s the founder of DataClay. DataClay specializes in creating tools for creative professionals and recently they released Templater for After Effects, which makes creating customized videos a lot easier and database driven.


Larry Jordan: Then we’ll wrap up with Stefanie Mullen. Stefanie is an artist with a business mind. She runs the business side of Rampant Design Tools, yet is an artist in her own right with an extensive portfolio of oil paintings. We talk with her about the challenges of artistic entrepreneurship.


Mike Horton: Now I understand why Rampant Design works so well.


Larry Jordan: And that is?


Mike Horton: Sean. Because we’ve had Sean on this show several times and, you know, Rampant Design makes some of the coolest stuff ever.


Larry Jordan: They do.


Mike Horton: And now I know why. Sean has nothing to do with it.


Larry Jordan: No, no, no, no, no. Sean has the creative…


Mike Horton: No, Sean has nothing to do with it. We’re talking to Stefanie, she has everything to do with it. She actually secretly makes…


Larry Jordan: Sean has the creative power…


Mike Horton: She makes everything in the background. Sean just uses his face.


Larry Jordan: He’s a front piece?


Mike Horton: Only kidding, Sean. He’s in the chat, by the way. If you want to join the chat…


Larry Jordan: Yes, I know, but…


Mike Horton: Talk to Sean.


Larry Jordan: …he is not going to talk to you any more.


Mike Horton: He isn’t?


Larry Jordan: He’s going to just say…


Mike Horton: He hasn’t said a thing.


Larry Jordan: …”Ah, Horton must be on, I’m going to ignore him.” Listen, you’ve got a big event coming up, I think.


Mike Horton: We do.


Larry Jordan: Are there any seats left?


Mike Horton: Yes there are. Why do you do this to me? By the way, early bird tickets, for all you listening in Europe, if you download this show and you’re listening, on the 15th of August, it ends at midnight, early bird tickets. Save five Euros – that’s a lot of money in American dollars – so buy your tickets now. That’s It’s going to be an awesome show and it will be in Amsterdam and, let me tell you, it’s Amsterdam, for goodness’ sakes. It’s wonderful.


Larry Jordan: And have you announced the agenda?


Mike Horton: Well, not really. We don’t know…


Larry Jordan: How about the main speakers?


Mike Horton: The main speakers are the editors from the new Star Wars movie.


Larry Jordan: I know, that’s very cool.


Mike Horton: Yes. Star Wars Episode VII. That’s what they’re calling it right now.


Larry Jordan: That’s not out yet.


Mike Horton: It’s not out but they’re editing it right now as we speak at Pinewood Studios. Wouldn’t it be fun to work at Pinewood Studios?


Larry Jordan: They’re going to show what the new Star Wars looks like?


Mike Horton: No, they’re not.


Larry Jordan: Oh!


Mike Horton: Strict NDA. It’s a giant iron curtain around that.


Larry Jordan: I see.


Mike Horton: We’re going to talk to them about their wonderful career, because they’ve done some amazing movies.


Larry Jordan: That’s very cool.


Larry Jordan: Just a reminder, 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. Learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making the transcripts possible.


Larry Jordan: Thinking of other cool stuff, remember to visit us Facebook, at We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at for an inside look at both our show and the industry. We’ve got an interesting conversation on China and film making with Peter Hamilton, coming up right after this.


Mike Horton: Can’t wait.


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 $2995. Learn more about the Blackmagic production camera 4K that is definitely priced to move. Visit today. That’s


Larry Jordan: Peter Hamilton is a senior consultant who works with the non-fiction industry on marketing and business development. He’s a former CBS executive and his clients include the A&E networks, the BBC, National Geographic and many other media groups, governments and non-profits. Peter, it’s good to have you back.


Peter Hamilton: It’s great to be back.


Larry Jordan: We want to talk a lot about China, but before we move into that specific subject, give us a quick précis of your background.


Peter Hamilton: Well, I began my career as a journalist actually in Indo-China, during the Vietnam War. I became a teacher in Australia after that, evolved into educational publishing and film making, and made the leap over to the States, and crawled my way into the lower middle management at CBS and worked on international business development for CBS. Then started my own career as a consultant to apply those skills to clients, as we mentioned, like Discovery and so on.


Peter Hamilton: Finally, I’ve just recently committed myself to executive producing high end science and history documentaries, and my first project was about Jonah Salk and the development of the polio vaccine, which is on the Smithsonian Channel, and we got Bill Gates into the project and his foundation helped support it. I’m sorry for the long winded bio, but that’s the whole path.


Larry Jordan: Well, it’s not a long winded bio, it’s a fascinating bio and what I’m really curious about is: How did you decide to make the shift from being a journalist into business development? What was it that attracted you to that?


Peter Hamilton: A very good question. I arrived in the States at the beginning of the Reagan era with a very strong resume in educational publishing, television production, film making. And it was just at that moment that the Reagan administration came to power and was de-funding so many of those kinds of activities and just frankly I looked at a career as a temp in the face, you know, that was really what I had facing me, and I was already 29 or 30, I can’t remember. So I realized I had to make a shift into business because that was how I was going to be able to support myself in the States and I was very attracted to working here.


Larry Jordan: Let’s focus now on China, both as a market and from a film making point of view. Recently, you did a report on China. What was the basic conclusion?


Peter Hamilton: Well, I’ve tracked China extensively. At CBS, I was involved in the first syndication deal where CBS supplied the CBS evening news to China’s national television network, CCTV, and we sold the advertising to American multinationals – this is back in the mid-‘80s – we sold the advertising to American multinationals who wanted to build their brand exposure to this huge market at the dawn of its transformation.


Peter Hamilton: So I got in in the early days, and what was interesting about that particular model is that CBS controlled the revenue stream. They controlled the ad sales, they controlled the client relationships. They provided the program to CCTV and we split the net of the sales revenues with the Chinese. Since then, the Chinese market has exploded. It’s particularly exploded in the field of documentaries and so it’s a booming market. There are probably a dozen or 15 documentary and non-fiction channels out there.


Peter Hamilton: They’re strongly supported by the Chinese government as an alternative to trashy and what they see as the cultural pollution of reality shows, and finally the Chinese are very aspirational about serious content driven programs that teach China or have something to say about China and the world and learning. So for all these reasons we have a booming market. The big point of my coverage is that it’s very difficult for Western producers, particularly independents but even for major players, to actually profit from that market.


Peter Hamilton: The Chinese control the business relationships, they align the financial benefits of these co-production and other business relationships. They keep them very much to themselves, and it’s a Communist country with a head top down management and commercial contracts are barely enforceable. So it’s a very dangerous market for Westerners to get involved in and very, very few succeed.


Mike Horton: Being a Communist country, they can control the content too. They can edit your movies to fit whatever they want to be out in the public, correct?


Peter Hamilton: Yes. The networks have got fairly professional about respecting the editorial remit of the programming that’s supplied to them. The censorship prevails, as it does even in our own society, and I’m not comparing the two of them but just this particular circumstance. The censorship applies to the development and then the acquisition of programs.


Peter Hamilton: But just an interesting example of, shall we say, the anomalies of the market, a large regional broadcaster commissioned a program which was on a topic, let’s say it was about the weather, and they found a sponsor in this large province – which, by the way, has a population of hundreds of millions – who would sponsor the program. So the sponsor paid for the production of the program. It was for ten hours, it was a beautiful documentary on this topic, for example the weather. The national broadcaster saw the film, loved the film and said, “We want it. We want to put it on our national network. You can’t have it down there on your regional network,” and the sponsors therefore lost the market that they wanted to particularly target, which was this huge city and its regional area, and they lost all the benefits and they won’t be involved in future productions.


Peter Hamilton: It’s an emerging, complex, complicated environment and it’s definitely not one for the meek and for people who can’t afford a lot of risk.


Larry Jordan: I want to come back to that concept, but there’s a definition that you made in your report about the difference between a normal television show and a branded show. What’s the difference between those two?


Peter Hamilton: Actually, the report you’re referring to – because I wrote a lot about China – was a report I wrote that the Director of CCTV9, which is their documentary channel, was recently relieved of his post, and by Director, he would be the President or the Managing Director. He was relieved of his post after an audit that revealed, shall we say, questionable financial management. So I don’t know whether this is just an ugly political power play or whether he in fact was involved in illegal activities.


Peter Hamilton: The illegal activities applied to branded programs, allegedly. A branded program is a program which is funded by a major brand in which the interests of the brand and maybe the presentation of the brand are integrated into the program. An example would be a history of F1 racing sponsored by Porsche in which there would be promotional messages like we see on PBS at the beginning and the end of the program and maybe in another break, sponsored by Porsche. But also the content of the program would show off Porsche and the Porsche racing team in a way that appealed to aspirational car owners and drew them to the Porsche brand. So that would be an example of a branded program.


Peter Hamilton: Because license fees are very small in China, they don’t have anywhere like the resources that we have here where PBS will pay 200, 300, 400 thousand dollars and really a lot more. They don’t have those resources. Ambitious producers and ambitious networks look to these kinds of partnerships to fund the high end programming that they need to attract viewers.


Larry Jordan: I want to come back to a comment you made earlier, which is marketing films into China is not for the faint of heart. Is the only way that we could get a film into China to partner with a distributor and move in? Is there a way for independent film makers to take advantage of this market?


Peter Hamilton: I think we’ve got to distinguish between the theatrical business and my core specialty, which is non-fiction television. I’m not an expert in advising the creators of scripted television or movies on how to approach the Chinese market. If I was an independent producer and I had an ambitious quality documentary that was, let’s say, China friendly, let’s say it was about recent research breakthroughs on pandas, I would approach NatGeo or one of the major players and work with them to approach a Chinese broadcaster.


Peter Hamilton: I would not go directly to the broadcaster. The Chinese market really is drawn to big brands like, as I said, NatGeo, PBS, BBC, Discovery and so on. With respect to the theatrical films, it’s actually a booming market in China now and what’s really interesting is that it’s the fastest growing giant screen slash IMAX market, with screens being built all over China in cities, and science centers and museums. There is a lot of activity there and I would say that if you wanted to approach that market, you’d need to do a fair bit of research. There’s no simple solution but there’s definitely opportunity there.


Mike Horton: What kind of films or American documentaries do well in China? Say, ‘The Invisible War’ compared to ‘Twenty Feet From Stardom’. Is there one that would be better received over there than the other?


Peter Hamilton: Yes. I would say that the genre of the author driven, socially conscious, disturbing, socially critical documentary, strong point of view. That kind of market is fairly scarce in China right now. What’s much more likely to be of interest is a classic blue chip natural history or history program on the life of the panda or the archaeology of the Sung Empire, but told in a really compelling, entertaining way.


Peter Hamilton: I mean, the quality of the programs has become really, really high, particularly with their partnerships and even the local programs at the high end. Their technical resources are amazing, they’re learning a lot, but they want content driven, more classic informational, educational docs rather than the edgy docs that we see on TOV or on HBO Docs or at a Sundance Film Festival.


Larry Jordan: One of the things that you mentioned is that when you were a journalist you covered not just China, but other Asian countries. Are there other markets besides China that film makers could consider that are, say, easier to work with? And I use film makers to mean documentarians, by the way, because I want to lead into your strength.


Peter Hamilton: Yes, my strength is definitely non-fiction programs. It’s a really good question. Branded entertainment is much stronger everywhere else in Asia than it is in the States, although it’s definitely growing on the internet here. So therefore relationships with a strong brand, to work with a Swiss watchmaker on a lifestyle program that showed how European young trendies lived, you know, that would be a program that you could sell across Asia.


Peter Hamilton: But none of the other Asian markets have the scale. China is massive and CCTV9 reports that their average prime time viewing last year was 60 million. The wealthy markets in Asia, like Singapore is, what, six or eight million, I’m not sure; Malaysia, 30 million – much, much smaller markets – they’re wealthy and sophisticated and it is possible to develop partnerships with producers there and I’m talking about a project about the planet Pluto, which will be crossed by NASA’s New Horizons vehicle next year.


Peter Hamilton: We’re trying to explore an Asian angle to a Pluto live program. So there are possibilities there but I think they’re very scarce. The opportunities are steered more towards local producers who are supported by tax breaks and governments. I think it’s harder for Westerners, Americans, but they do exist and they can be part of a global strategy.


Larry Jordan: Peter, one of the people in our live chat, Caesar, is asking: What about India? Is that a market for American documentarians?


Peter Hamilton: We’ve had a lot of discussion about this in the last few days, China or India, and India is not a top down Communist country. It has a tradition of British rule of law. Contracts are more likely to be enforceable, but the TV industry is still very nascent with respect to developing and acquiring original documentaries or buying off the shelf completed docs.


Peter Hamilton: The seeds are very small but definitely a market to watch and to study and it seems to be maturing very fast. Even year to year I notice changes, which by the way I notice in China. Year to year, six months to six months, so many things change. But definitely India is worth watching, but doesn’t have a central buyer like CCTV that is producing million dollar projects with co-production partners in Europe and the States. It’s definitely a harder one to crack but probably long term more promising.


Larry Jordan: Thinking of that, in the little bit of time we’ve got left, what are the future trends that you’re watching in Asia? What’s catching your eye?


Peter Hamilton: I think giant screen in China is really, really interesting right now, so I’m tracking that. I think the crossover between popular reality shows and documentaries which are shown theatrically are really interesting and I wrote up a case study in my newsletter, that’s, about a documentary that was made about the stars of a reality elimination singing competition and this film raised, I think, six or seven hundred thousand dollars from the Chinese kickstarter.


Peter Hamilton: It did enormous business in the cinemas. So it was this weird hybrid crossover between a spin-off from a very popular prime time elimination competition and a documentary; and so what do I look for in Asia, in China? Hybrids, these really weird hybrids, and I think there are people that are really smart marketers who can perhaps get a piece of this.


Larry Jordan: Interesting.


Mike Horton: Well, China’s buying up a lot of theater screens here in America, so why not reciprocate and find a common ground?


Larry Jordan: Peter, for people who want to keep track of what you’re thinking and writing about, where can they go on the web to learn more?


Peter Hamilton: Thanks very much for having me. My newsletter is and we provide analysis and context of the reality TV, the unscripted TV and the documentary sector.


Larry Jordan: Peter Hamilton is the founder and, Peter, thanks for joining us today.


Peter Hamilton: Oh, I love being on your show.


Larry Jordan: Take care.


Mike Horton: Thanks, Peter.


Larry Jordan: Bye bye.


Larry Jordan: Dr Arie Stavchansky is the founder of DataClay. A company focused on creatively integrating big data with production workflows. Prior to DataClay, he worked as a visual effects artist, developed mobile and cloud based applications and taught in the radio, television and film department at the University of Texas in Austin, which is where he received a PhD in Digital Media Studies. Arie, welcome and thanks for joining us.


Arie Stavchansky: Thank you, Larry. Glad to be here. Thank you.


Larry Jordan: I’m really curious how you got to where you are. What got you focused on visual effects in the first place?


Arie Stavchansky: Great question. I love magic, so I think it started there. I was just a big fan of how things were done to create spectacle and I really got into it and I studied some computer science and I was in film classes and I’ve always wanted to merge the two together. So that’s how I got started, and I realized, though, that I also have kind of a design edge. So I worked as a designer for a little bit at Digital Kitchen in Chicago, and then I got into video game development for a short while at Sony Online Entertainment, and I realized that my heart has always been in visual effects and post, and those processes to create media and so that’s how I got started.


Larry Jordan: So why did you start DataClay?


Arie Stavchansky: I started DataClay because I wanted to see a world where big data could create personalized content for people and I want content to be more relevant for viewers. I also want to see the magic that all these visual effects artists and motionographers create. I want to see that being used with big data and I think that’s essentially why I created it.


Arie Stavchansky: There are other reasons why, but I feel like content these days is just not really meant for you and me and it’s not personalized enough. There’s no easy way currently to set up production processes to create batches of content that are personal and targeted.


Larry Jordan: Ok, wait, wait. Let’s just hold up a second because there’s a couple of things I need to have you define because I’m confused. What does the term big data mean to you? And secondly, what does personalized content mean?


Arie Stavchansky: Big data to me means feeds that are coming from all types of sources like social media, data that’s coming in from analytic engines, places that are capturing data for whatever reason and it’s data that’s not necessarily structured but has meaning.


Larry Jordan: Wait, wait, wait, stop. Give me an example.


Arie Stavchansky: I think all the data that is coming out of the fire hose of Twitter, I would classify that as big data. There’s a lot of analysis that people can do on that data and make conclusions about things and I think that there’s opportunity to not just look at it from an analytical standpoint, but to use it as the material for design processes and production processes.


Larry Jordan: Ok, so then let’s define the second term. What does personalized content mean to you?


Arie Stavchansky: Personalized content is content that really allows the viewer to identify strongly with the messages in that content. Instead of watching an advertisement that’s intended for the entire nation or even a small zip code of a particular market. For example, personalized content would target you in particular, and the message would look like it was crafted and produced for you. I think that that could help people enjoy the content that they’re consuming and I think that it’s definitely powerful when it comes across, doing that.


Larry Jordan: Ok, so we’ve got this ocean of data which is flowing from Twitter or other large databases or social entities, and we’re trying to create personalized content to get Mike Horton to slow down enough to watch television. Where does DataClay fit into this?


Arie Stavchansky: We don’t think that there’s any solution right now that allows producers and people who are actually working with visual production tools, there’s nothing out there that really gives them a conceptual model of how to set up content so that it can actually consume this data.


Arie Stavchansky: There’s no real technique quite yet for rigging up a video template to harness data that’s just out there, and DataClay’s objective is to provide the community of users – the community of producers and artists and designers – we want to give them a technique and start getting them to think about how to set up their project so that it’s ready for the data that’s just flowing out there, and that their projects can be dynamic enough so that the value of what they’re doing, the intellectual property that they’re building, can be enhanced.


Larry Jordan: Ok. Again, let’s come back to an example. Give me an example of where this could be applied.


Arie Stavchansky: You’re tasked, for example, with creating an advertisement for a client and an agency might have a creative brief and they go to a production company and say, “We need this,” and then they say, “We actually need this for 100 different purposes.” At the moment, the production company is kind of stuck, they have to do this arduous task of taking their work that they created for this one project and then go through their project and customize certain things.


Arie Stavchansky: That’s the reality of how it’s operating right now. We want to remove those pain points of the actual process of customization. So that when the agency comes to the production studio and they say, “We need 100 different iterations of this thing for different markets,” it’s as simple as pressing a button. That’s what DataClay is solving.


Larry Jordan: For instance, I could create a single ad and have it access a database that says the local store or the local phone number and have it create iterative versions of this master ad based on a template?


Arie Stavchansky: Absolutely, and one of the key innovations that we’ve brought to the table is this idea of an intelligent designer wear layout engine. Because big data’s kind of dirty and I don’t mean that in a negative way or with negative connotations. What I mean is that as designers, we like to have control over how things look in our productions and we just don’t know what certain things are.


Arie Stavchansky: We don’t know how long certain words are. We don’t know how big source images are sometimes. We don’t know what kind of audio we might want for a particular market and our product takes in the data and, through user based rules that users can set up, the data will conform to what the producer expects it should look like so that the designer left intact.


Larry Jordan: This could save a huge amount of time in customizing, because not only do you change the text, but you change the look and the sound of the commercial or the video at the same time.


Arie Stavchansky: Absolutely. We actually have a few tweets already about people saving hours and hours of work. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me feel. It really does. The idea of saving people’s valuable time is something that is a core tendon of what we’re doing at DataClay.


Larry Jordan: Now, the name of the product that you’ve created is called what?


Arie Stavchansky: Templater.


Larry Jordan: And what’s the retail price?


Arie Stavchansky: The retail price is $119.99 and it’s on sale right now through September 15th for $89.99.


Larry Jordan: And what software does Templater work in?


Arie Stavchansky: It works in Adobe After Effects.


Larry Jordan: Ok, so basically you’re creating your ad in After Effects and then you can use Templater as a plug-in to be able to access external databases and customize not just the text, but the look, the feel, the animation of the movie itself, correct?


Arie Stavchansky: Yes, that’s right and just to clarify, at the moment Templater’s supporting, the database is Google Spreadsheets. We are the only tool on the market right now that is harnessing Google’s web APIs for a different use. We think that’s extremely innovative. Setting up a database for something as simple as exploring somebody’s first name, last name and email address, let’s say, is quite complicated. So we’ve kind of used an open database, if you will, and that database is simply a spreadsheet and it’s easy to start up, it’s easy to insert data, it’s easy to edit data.


Arie Stavchansky: What’s nice also is that the database exists in the cloud. So you can have a production company who’s just reading a spreadsheet that is edited by an ad agency or a marketer in a different part of the world.


Larry Jordan: Hmm. Arie, where can people go on the web to learn more about this software?


Arie Stavchansky: They can go to and we’ve got a really nice one minute overview video about why this was made, what’s the purpose, who it’s for, that kind of stuff.


Larry Jordan: And Arie Stavchansky is the founder of DataClay. The website is Arie, thanks for joining us today.


Arie Stavchansky: Thank you, Larry. Pleasure to be here. Thank you.


Larry Jordan: Our pleasure. Take care. Bye bye.


Arie Stavchansky: Thank you. Bye bye.


Larry Jordan: Stefanie Mullen is an artist with a wide portfolio of paintings and a wide variety of media. She also runs the business side of Rampant Design Tools, which is about as far from oil painting as you can get. Hello Stefanie, welcome.


Stefanie Mullen: Hi Larry, hi Mike, it’s nice to be here.


Mike Horton: Hi Stefanie.


Larry Jordan: We are delighted to meet the power behind the throne, as Mike likes to say, of the person that runs Rampant Design Tools. It’s good to have you with us.


Stefanie Mullen: Oh, it’s great to be here. It really is.


Mike Horton: You run a good company.


Stefanie Mullen: Oh, thank you.


Larry Jordan: I just want to know, what is an artist like you doing in a software company like that?


Stefanie Mullen: Well, it’s sort of a long story. I started out getting my degree in art and actually I have a degree in biology as well and…


Mike Horton: Wow.


Stefanie Mullen: It’s a very strange combination.


Mike Horton: Yes, that’s where you tell your parents, “Oh yes, biology and art.”


Stefanie Mullen: Yes. I think they were scratching their heads on that one for a little while, but it seemed to work out and then I met Sean and he’s big time into the video world. So he started Rampant and I was teaching at the time – teaching art and biology both at the same time – and I was noticing little things like he was getting overwhelmed, because he was working a full time job as well when we first started, and I started seeing little places that I could fit in. So I started listening to him on his customer service calls and was like, “Ah, maybe I should take over doing that.”


Stefanie Mullen: So that’s sort of how it started and then from customer service I sort of went into learning how to do web coding and website design, because I found that I really liked it, and then started adding accounting and then product development. It evolved into this place for me in the company, so it’s kind of been an interesting journey.


Larry Jordan: He’s not doing anything, then, is he?


Mike Horton: Yes, Sean doesn’t do anything.


Stefanie Mullen: No, he works very, very, very hard. I’m sort of the ying to his yang. I do the other half of the business side and he does all the creative stuff, so it’s a great partnership that we have.


Larry Jordan: I can believe that. I want to come back to Rampant in a minute, but I want to first talk about the art that sort of got you started. What kind of art do you like?


Stefanie Mullen: I really like Impressionism. It’s probably my favorite genre of art. The only difference is that I don’t paint like that. I’m very meticulous when it comes to painting and I try to get freer and, as my art career has progressed, it hasn’t really worked out so well. I get too concerned about little details and the little things that you paint and stuff, but I really like Impressionism and one day I hope to get there with my painting.


Larry Jordan: When did you start painting?


Stefanie Mullen: I have actually done art since I can remember. I haven’t ever start/stopped, pretty much. I got really into painting in college, because you have to pick a specialty that you like to do and that got me going and I was like, “Oh, I really like this oil painting,” and I tried acrylic and watercolor and stuff but I really like oils because they don’t dry fast. So then my meticulous side comes out where I can put washes, and different colors together and bung them together on the canvas and it works out.


Mike Horton: Did your interest in biology at all influence your art? Or was it just something that you decided, “Oh, I’d better do this in case the art thing doesn’t work out”?


Stefanie Mullen: Actually, it did. I thought about going into textbook design at one time and doing illustrations for textbooks. I love science and I was going to go be a doctor and that just didn’t work out for me.


Mike Horton: Oh, really? Wow.


Stefanie Mullen: Yes, so I was on that path and then realized, well, no, I think I want do to this. Yes, that’s how my mind works. It’s a little crazy sometimes.


Mike Horton: You are a Renaissance woman. You’re just interested in everything.


Stefanie Mullen: I like a lot of stuff, yes.


Mike Horton: That’s cool. That’s great. That’s awesome.


Larry Jordan: Have you ever been able to exhibit any of your work? Have others been able to see it?


Stefanie Mullen: I haven’t. I don’t know if this sounds weird, but I’m a little scared to. I’ve never got the courage up to really put myself out there with my paintings, so my gallery is in my house and that’s where it’s stayed. I would love to get enough works up and have the courage to exhibit somewhere, but I just am not there yet. Hopefully one day.


Mike Horton: Are you hard on yourself? Is there anything in your house that is hanging on the walls now that you say, “This is really good”?


Stefanie Mullen: Not really. Everything I look at in the house I say, “I could do better. I could do that again and make it better.”


Mike Horton: Yes, ok. All right, yes.


Larry Jordan: Every artist I’ve ever met says they could make it better.


Mike Horton: Yes, sure. Sure.


Larry Jordan: That’s true of editors, it’s true, I suspect…


Mike Horton: I’ve never met anybody who said, “This is really good. This is just the best. I’m never going to part with it, I’m never going to sell it. This is genius.” No, I’ve never met any of those people.


Stefanie Mullen: Yes.


Larry Jordan: Mike and I, before the show starts, talk about acting from time to time and I ask Mike, “Has there ever been a chance you could make a performance better?” and he looks at me like I’m from another planet.


Mike Horton: Are you kidding?


Larry Jordan: Stefanie, you’re doing the creativity of art but you’re down in the nuts and bolts of getting a business to run. What does it take to make a creative business like Rampant Design Tools work?


Stefanie Mullen: I think the most important thing that we have is dedication and finding out that you have to be willing to sacrifice something that, well, that’s not what the customer wants so maybe I think something different but the customer wants this, so that’s the way I should make it. It’s just, I don’t know, a system of balances where you have to kind of figure out how things should work, I guess.


Larry Jordan: But Steve Jobs had a very interesting quote a few years ago where he said, “Customers don’t know what they want if you ask them until you show them what it is.” At what point do you follow what customers want versus give customers what they need?


Stefanie Mullen: That’s a very good point and actually Sean and I have had many conversations about that point exactly, about his quote, and it’s a very difficult line to lock. We have a beta team and we love to listen to them, but when it comes down to it, it’s still our decision and we have to do what’s best for the company and it gets very difficult. I handle the customer service side, so I actually get the emails of people saying, “Well, why did you do that?” or “Why did you have that many clips?” or “Why don’t you have enough clips?”


Stefanie Mullen: There’s always something somebody has to say but at the end of the day it’s us, it’s Sean and I, and we have to make the tough decisions. So I guess I kind of agree with Steve Jobs. You have to be the one to say, “This is how it is, take it or leave it.”


Mike Horton: Yes, I agree. People need to be shown, not necessarily led but…


Stefanie Mullen: Yes.


Mike Horton: …and that’s up to you and, of course, that’s what Sean does, at least as far as I know. I see his stuff and it’s just absolutely brilliant and I’m a big fan of his. So your customer relationships must be pretty good because you guys do good work.


Stefanie Mullen: Well, thank you. Yes, it’s fun. We listen to our customers and we love their input and we like to give people who are on the frontline who need a certain product or a certain effect. We like to hear that because then Sean can say, “Hmm, well let me figure out how I can see what I can do with that and help that customer out,” and then it turns out to be one of our biggest products.


Mike Horton: Cool. That’s awesome.


Larry Jordan: Also, you and Sean are both artists, each in your own way. How do you resolve creative differences?


Stefanie Mullen: It’s tough sometimes, but most of the time we talk it out to each other and we sort of see both sides and then we come to a middle ground as far as what it should be. But I trust him 100 percent when it comes to video because I don’t really have that extensive knowledge in the video world and the video background world. He’ll ask me, “Does this newsletter look good?” or “Does this advertisement look good?” and I can help with the artistic stuff of that, but he has a great artistic mind, like you said, and he doesn’t need a lot of help for that. So everything that he gives me, I’m usually like, “That’s fantastic,” and he’s like, “No, it needs more work,” and I’m like, “No, it looks great.”


Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting, art is taking a step back and trying to represent reality in new ways and running a business is very mechanical. I don’t mean that in a disparaging way, but the two of them require an entirely different mindset. Does your background in art help in running a business or does it get in the way?


Stefanie Mullen: It doesn’t necessarily get in the way. It doesn’t necessarily help either for what I do. The only thing that I can say that helps me is from being a teacher and my teacher background. That helps me talk to people. When I talk to my customers, I understand where they’re coming from and dealing with high school kids, you get a lot of that understanding, you learn that really fast.


Stefanie Mullen: Besides that, my art background, for what I do with accounting and sometimes web design it comes out, but most of the time it is very technical. I’m an analytical thinker, so I kind of think that works and that’s the only reason why it works. If I was strictly a painter and not anything else, I think that it would be really difficult for me especially.


Larry Jordan: So is it the analytical thinking that you find the most helpful? Or what personal skills do you have that you find most helpful in running the business?


Stefanie Mullen: Yes, I would definitely say the analytical thinking is top of that because it allows me to process everything and get everything organized and ready for Sean to do some kind of big shoot. I organize everything else and big shows, trade shows that we do, I have to organize all of that stuff. So all of that analytical, getting everything in place really helps out and keeps us going forward and not going backward.


Larry Jordan: One of the challenges that a lot of artists have is trying to separate themselves from their art to running a business and a lot of folks have a hard time making that shift. What would you advise in that case?


Stefanie Mullen: I think if you have art and you’re running a business, you should combine them in some way. You have to love what you do and if you’re not loving what you do, then your business isn’t going to be successful. Sean, his creative mind blows me away most of the time. It’s crazy and he loves what he does, so that’s why we’re successful. If you don’t have the other half, like if you don’t have a ‘me’ in your corner doing the analytical stuff, find someone who can do that.


Stefanie Mullen: Find someone whose skill set is that so you don’t have to lose your creativity, because I don’t think that that’s a good thing. You should keep that and that’s going to make you be successful at what you do.


Mike Horton: Yes. You know creative people and you work with a lot of creative people and there’s a lot of creative people around our lives and we’re not that compromising. We don’t like to compromise. I mean, obviously there are people like you who can do that, or maybe fake it really well, I don’t know. People who are very good with customer relations, as you obviously are, is there a little bit of faking it going on?


Stefanie Mullen: Yes, there is.


Mike Horton: Sure, ok, good.


Stefanie Mullen: It’s like you’re acting. When you get off the phone, the words that you say after the phone call may not necessarily be the words that you said on the phone call.


Mike Horton: Ok, good. Good, I’m glad you’re normal.


Stefanie Mullen: Yes.


Larry Jordan: By the way, we have our live chat running and Harold on the live chat says that you, Stefanie, are being humble because you are great with your customers.


Mike Horton: I’m not. Well, I don’t have customers, I just have relationships. My usual reaction is, “Bite me.”


Larry Jordan: Thank you, Michael, you can be quiet now.


Mike Horton: Thank you. Go ahead, Larry.


Larry Jordan: You have a fan on the live chat.


Mike Horton: You’ve got the next question.


Larry Jordan: What do you find is the biggest challenge of running a small company?


Stefanie Mullen: That’s a tough question. I think finding the time to do it all is the hardest thing. I just think that there’s not enough hours in the day, and sleep is so important and it’s so difficult to get everything that you want to do to feel successful in that day. That’s the hardest thing, plus you’re doing it all by yourself, so you’re really in control of it all. If you fail, if you succeed, it’s on you, so I think that’s probably the hardest thing to keep going. It’s really difficult.


Larry Jordan: So how do you pick yourself up and give yourself the energy you need?


Stefanie Mullen: Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes a vacation is necessary to reboot and come back clean and fresh to get a new look and new perspective. But Sean and I try to keep each other up and we try to complement each other and keep everything going so that we can keep Rampant moving forward and that’s how we do it, but it’s very difficult. It’s a very difficult thing.


Mike Horton: Yes, it takes a lot of discipline because it is you. You’re not working for somebody else. There’s nobody hitting you with the whip, “Where’s that next pay check coming from?” It is you. It’s an enormous amount of discipline.


Larry Jordan: What are you looking forward to in the next 12 months? What goals have you set for yourself that you can share?


Stefanie Mullen: Well, basically for Rampant, we’re just trying to build Rampant. We’re still new, we’re only four years old and that’s still relatively new for the business world. So for us it’s just keep doing what we’re doing with our products, and keep pushing forward, and meeting people, meeting you, meeting Mike, and it’s just the relationships and branching out for people to know who we are.


Stefanie Mullen: I think we as Rampant, we look like a big corporation but we’re really just a husband and wife team trying to make it and doing what we love. In the next 12 months, I just hope we’re bigger than we are right now.


Larry Jordan: I can identify completely with that sentiment.


Mike Horton: Do we have time for this question here? ‘Cause this is a good one.


Larry Jordan: Absolutely.


Mike Horton: I know Sean is listening somewhere. This is from Caesar in our chat. How long does it take to start and complete a new animation? Let’s just take a typical one.


Stefanie Mullen: For a clip, like a clip for a product?


Larry Jordan: No, let’s say a title that you release.


Stefanie Mullen: So a whole product, right?


Larry Jordan: Yes.


Stefanie Mullen: For example, we’re coming out with a new toolkit – it’s going to be a distortion toolkit – and we’ve been working on that one for about three, four months. But we’ve previously released flares and that took us eight months to finalize.


Mike Horton: Oh, flares are brilliant. Oh, they’re amazing.


Stefanie Mullen: Oh, thank you. We have lenses from Germany and things that I’ve never, they look like spaceships to me when they’re on the camera. They’re crazy but we spent so much time on that. So I guess it just depends on what’s being done and that artist in both of us is like, “Well, it’s not quite finished yet. Let’s just do a little bit more.” But I think eight months has been our longest that we’ve created. Usually it’s between three and four months.


Mike Horton: That’s discipline.


Larry Jordan: Yes, and I can just say that the discussions, “You want to buy what to make this thing happen?”


Mike Horton: Yes, exactly.


Larry Jordan: “When did you need it by?” Oh, I can just imagine. How do you guys manage to talk to each other when you’re working and living together?


Mike Horton: Oh, I know.


Larry Jordan: You’ve got to be near killing each other by Saturday.


Stefanie Mullen: Well, we actually aren’t. We really work well together. I’m sort of the grip for Sean. He just tells me what to do, because I don’t know a lot of the camerawork stuff, and he’s like, “Put this here, put this light here,” and it just works. I don’t know how it works.


Mike Horton: Well, you do all the tutorials, like the Final Cut Pro 10 tutorials and some of that on the site, right?


Stefanie Mullen: Yes I do.


Mike Horton: They’re excellent. They’re fun, they’re entertaining. They impart the stuff that you need to impart. You do a great job.


Stefanie Mullen: Oh, thank you very much. I enjoy doing those. I feel like that’s a little bit of my teaching coming out there.


Mike Horton: Well, you’re obviously very good at it and you’re also very good behind a microphone.


Larry Jordan: She just thinks about teaching grade school kids and that’s perfect for many of us, I think.


Mike Horton: You just need to have the Larry Jordan voice.


Larry Jordan: Yes, well, I think that’s going to be more tough.


Mike Horton: That’s what I’m working on. I’m working on the Larry Jordan voice.


Larry Jordan: What’s the next big project?


Stefanie Mullen: Right now, distortion toolkit and after that I’m not sure. I haven’t been clued in on what’s next in Sean’s great mind, so I’m sure that’ll be coming.


Mike Horton: Yes, well, I’m sure it’ll be something wonderful.


Stefanie Mullen: Yes, I’m sure it’ll be something great.


Larry Jordan: For people who want to learn more about Rampant Design Tools, where can they go on the web to learn what you guys have got to offer?


Stefanie Mullen: They can go to and they’ll find everything there, on the top link the tutorials and training and we have a bunch of free stuff as well.


Larry Jordan: That’s and, Stefanie, do you allow people to make suggestions on cool stuff they’d like to have you create?


Stefanie Mullen: Yes we do. You can send me an email. You can do it through the website and send me all your suggestions. I really do keep them, I really do listen and I tell Sean and we have a database of stuff that customers want and what we’d like to create.


Mike Horton: George in the chat – quickly, because we don’t have much time – but he is suggesting live training off your site, so consider that.


Stefanie Mullen: Ah, that is very interesting.


Mike Horton: Why not? You can do it better. Don’t worry about the competition, just do it better.


Stefanie Mullen: There you go.


Larry Jordan: Stefanie, thanks very much for joining us. Stefanie Mullen is the CFO, web designer and chief trainer of Rampant Design Tools. Stefanie, it’s been wonderful visiting. Thanks for joining us today.


Stefanie Mullen: Oh, thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure to be here.


Mike Horton: Thanks a lot.


Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.


Stefanie Mullen: Bye.


Larry Jordan: You know, it’s got to be fun when you’ve got such incredibly gifted people and gifted things to work with that Stefanie’s got, to be able to market it, but it’s still a huge amount of work.


Mike Horton: Yes, I tend to get a little gushy over Rampant Design, but I love their stuff. So if I love their stuff, I’m going to tell everybody who is listening. They make really good stuff and I had no idea that Stefanie actually wrote and produced and did all the tutorials, but they’re really good. It’s not just the tools of Rampant Design, it’s a website you should go to if you want to learn particular products and their tutorials that Stefanie does are terrific.


Larry Jordan: Well, you know, I was also impressed with her comment that in order to make a small business succeed takes dedication and I just look at you, for instance…


Mike Horton: Well, look at you.


Larry Jordan: …with all the stuff that you do.


Mike Horton: Yes, me. No, look at you. My God.


Larry Jordan: It’s either dedication or stupidity, Michael, in terms of putting all the stuff you put together on.


Mike Horton: Yes, let’s interview each other one day and talk about what it takes to run a business.


Larry Jordan: I’m not sure anybody else would be interested.


Mike Horton: Yes, I subscribe to the Larry Jordan school of business. This is why you and I live in each other’s house. But you’ve got more content.


Larry Jordan: Yes, well, I think there’s a certain level of foolhardiness involved in starting your own business.


Mike Horton: Yes, but gosh, Larry, you and I are just so happy.


Larry Jordan: Most of the time, every so often, once in a while I think that’s absolutely true.


Mike Horton: We’re just married to very, very good women.


Larry Jordan: Very forgiving, that’s for sure.


Mike Horton: We trust their judgment.


Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests for today. We started with Peter Hamilton, a marketing and business development consultant working…


Mike Horton: Oh, we’ve got to have him back on. I want to talk to him much more.


Larry Jordan: He does a great job. He’s been on before, he’ll be on again.


Mike Horton: Ok.


Larry Jordan: Dr Arie Stavchansky, the founder of DataClay, talking about Templater; and Stefanie Mullen, the COO, CFO and chief trainer of Rampant Design Tools.


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 is 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, Cirina Catania, our engineer Adrian Price. On behalf of the ever-handsome and affable Mr. Mike Horton…


Mike Horton: And wine by Jane.


Larry Jordan: …my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.


Mike Horton: Goodbye, everybody.


Larry Jordan: Take care.


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.

Digital Production Buzz — August 14, 2014

  • The Challenges of Working in China
  • Expanding the Reach of After Effects Templates
  • Blending Art with Business in a Creative Company

GUESTS: Peter Hamilton, Arie Stavchansky, and Stefanie Mullen

Click to listen to the current show.
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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Peter Hamilton, Founder and Editor,

Peter Hamilton is a senior consultant who works with the nonfiction industry on marketing & business development. A former CBS executive, his clients include A+E Networks, the BBC, National Geographic, and many others. We talk with him this week about the challenges of doing business in China.

Arie Stavchansky, PhD, Founder, DataClay

Arie Stavchansky is a software developer in Austin, Texas, whose company, “DataClay,” recently released Templater. This is an After Effects plug-in that easily integrates external data into After Effects templates. We talk with him about how this can be used to easily create customized videos.

Stefanie Mullen, CFO, Web Designer, Rampant Design

Stefanie Mullen is an artist with a business mind. She runs the business side of Rampant Design Tools, yet is an artist in her own right with an extensive portfollio of oil paintings. We talk with her about the challenges of artistic entrepreneurship.

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 – August 7, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

August 7, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


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Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


Tony Cacciarelli, Product Marketing Manager, AJA Video Systems

Lydia Cornell, Actress

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


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.

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 co-host, is the exceedingly handsome Mr. Mike Horton.

Mike Horton: Hello, Larry.

Larry Jordan: It’s good to see you back. We missed you last week. Or were you here? I can’t remember.

Mike Horton: No, I was here. Wait a minute.

Larry Jordan: You were?

Mike Horton: I was here, Larry.

Larry Jordan: I thought there was a photograph sitting in the chair.

Mike Horton: Yes, I just didn’t say anything. I just let you do the whole show and it was really good, by the way.

Larry Jordan: Thank you very much. I very much appreciate the contribution you made for that show.

Mike Horton: I was just giving you little hand signals.

Larry Jordan: Yes, but we won’t talk about them in polite company either. We’ve got a great show this week as well. We’re going to start with Tony Cacciarelli. He’s a Product Marketing Manager for AJA Video Systems and recently he’s been doing a lot of work with 4K and 8K video.

Mike Horton: 8K?

Larry Jordan: 8K.

Mike Horton: Holy cow.

Larry Jordan: So we invited him to join us to talk about the future of extremely high resolution media and that future is coming sooner than we expect.

Mike Horton: High Def. future’s here, isn’t it?

Larry Jordan: Well, 4K is and 8K is showing up really soon.

Mike Horton: Oh, it’s insane.

Larry Jordan: Michael, you remember Lydia Cornell?

Mike Horton: Yes I do.

Larry Jordan: She came to fame for her role on ABC’s ‘Too Close For Comfort’. Since then, like yourself, she’s developed a successful career as an actress, although you’re probably an actor not an actress. Nonetheless, the concept is the same. This week, she joins us to talk about what it takes to create a successful career when you are multitalented.

Mike Horton: Hey, I’m a successful actor. Look where I am. Digital Production Buzz co-host. That’s right at the top of my resume.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you as the co-host of the Digital Production Buzz wherever it is on your resume. And Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for the Hollywood Reporter is also a lawyer of Counsel at TroyGould and he’s been following with interest the legal sagas of both the Bryan Singer and Sarah Jones cases. Tonight, we talk with him about what we as producers need to know to avoid problems with sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions on set.

Larry Jordan: Just as a reminder, 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. Learn more at and thanks Take 1, for making the transcripts possible.

Larry Jordan: Michael…

Mike Horton: Mhmm?

Larry Jordan: …I don’t know if you know this, but IBC is coming up.

Mike Horton: Yes, I do know this very well.

Larry Jordan: Is everything planned?

Mike Horton: Yes, we have a Supermeet, and thank you for asking. And, oh, you know that I was going to make this big announcement last week…

Larry Jordan: Right.

Mike Horton: …and I couldn’t…

Larry Jordan: Right.

Mike Horton: …until I got home and…

Larry Jordan: Because you forgot

Mike Horton: No, I couldn’t make the announcement until about an hour after the show was over, but now I can make the announcement.

Larry Jordan: And that is?
Mike Horton: So for those of you who are going to IBC and going to the Supermeet, you will be able to meet the two film editors who are editing right now in London, ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ directed by JJ Abrams and that is Mary Jo Markey and Maryann Brandon, two wonderful ladies, wonderful editors, and they will be our keynote speakers.

Larry Jordan: That is so cool.

Mike Horton: Isn’t that fun?

Larry Jordan: How did you manage to get them?

Mike Horton: I wrote them. Really.

Larry Jordan: You asked, huh?

Mike Horton: I asked.

Larry Jordan: And JJ let them off to be able…?

Mike Horton: Absolutely. Well, the Supermeet’s a Sunday night, so they have the weekends off, and then we just have to fly them early back to London on Monday morning.

Larry Jordan: That is so cool.

Mike Horton: It just worked out really well and they’re delighted to do it and they’re sweet people.

Larry Jordan: Are they going to show clips?

Mike Horton: Well, no, not of ‘Star Wars’, but we will show clips of some of their other movies like ‘Mission Impossible 3’ and ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ and all the other movies that they’ve done and the TV shows and it’s going to be so much fun.

Larry Jordan: That is great. Supermeet,…

Mike Horton: Yes.

Larry Jordan: …and be sure to sign up. We’ll talk more about it in just a minute.

Mike Horton: Ok.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got Tony Cacciarelli coming right after this.

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Larry Jordan: Tony Cacciarelli is a Product Marketing Manager for AJA Video Systems. He’s also a media and entertainment industry veteran, with over 25 years’ experience as an editor, visual effects artist and facility designer with a special emphasis in workflow. Hello, Tony, welcome.

Tony Cacciarelli: Hi Larry, how’s it going?

Larry Jordan: It is going great because I have a feeling I know what we’re going to talk about, because this conversation started over dinner Tuesday night in Santa Clara at the Flash Memory summit and I was so blown away by what you had to say that I demanded that you come on the show – and we’ll let your kids go in just a minute now that you’re here – but before we get there, set the scene by describing what AJA Video Systems does.

Tony Cacciarelli: Sure. AJA Video Systems is a hardware manufacturer primarily. We build a lot of the pieces that go into broadcast, post production and production workflows, everything from mini converters to IO devices to get video in and out of computer systems. We’ve got acquisition products – our Ki Pro line was one of the first products to really start this whole file based revolution and be able to capture video directly as files onto removable drives so that you can get them into your edit quickly – and our latest and greatest is we’re now in the camera business. We announced at NAB that we are making a 4K and HD capable camera called CION and we’re in development on that and it’s due to release later this year.

Larry Jordan: I was at the press release for the CION camera and there were a lot of jaws on the floor when Nick Rashby, the President of AJA, made the announcement. That’s a cool thing. We’ll talk about it a little bit later, but I want to come back to this Flash Memory summit that you and I were both speaking at on Tuesday. It was a gathering of more than 5,000 engineers learning about the latest technology related to flash memory and storage. What were you talking about during your presentation to this group?

Tony Cacciarelli: Well, during my presentation I was really trying convey a sense of the priorities for AJA as a company, building products that are used in the media and entertainment industry. There’s a lot of emphasis within the flash memory area for enterprise products and larger scale or even consumer, at the other end but I don’t know that they really pay a lot of attention to the media and entertainment industry and we’re a gigantic consumer of media and specifically flash media as we start to move into SSD drives for acquisition of all of our video. So really I was trying to give them a perspective from a manufacturer’s standpoint of the challenges we have in trying to build devices that operate inside the media and entertainment world.

Larry Jordan: Why is flash so important to video?

Tony Cacciarelli: We’ve been upping resolutions and upping frame rates as we’ve been climbing from standard def to high def to 4K now and even possibly beyond that, and that increase in the amount of data that we’re presenting in an image, we need to store all of that. So our media demands keep going up and in order to record things in real time, we have to be able to do it very, very quickly and flash media right now is the primary way to do that, because the record and playback speeds are faster using fewer devices than if we go to standard high drives, where we have to get a lot of platters involved in order to get the bandwidth to be able to handle all that data.

Larry Jordan: And the reason is because there’s more data because there are more pixels in the image?

Tony Cacciarelli: There are more pixels in the image. The jump from high definition to 4K is four times the number of pixels in an HD image; and then also we’re starting to see higher frame rates where, instead of 25 or 30 frames per second, we’re now recording at 50 and 60 frames per second to really smooth out that motion, especially in the sports world and anything with fast moving imagery. We need those higher frame rates in order to have a nice smooth picture, so all of that is added data and it all has to go somewhere.

Larry Jordan: That gets me to a trend that I see happening at the high end of the industry, which is that our resolutions are rapidly escalating. We sort of take for granted shooting at a 4K image, but we’re shooting, with some of the RED cameras, at 5 and 6K and we’ve got 8K camera tests going on and even higher resolutions being talked about. How is AJA involved in these higher resolutions?

Tony Cacciarelli: We’re actually taking on a few different angles for this. At the very high end, as you said, there’s an increase in resolution need. We’ve seen some 8K work happening through NHK in Japan. We’re expecting to see 4K and 8K work on the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 and we’re working with companies along those lines. But I think one of the interesting things too is, we’re also approaching not just a 4K end to end workflow – where you acquire at 4K and then you distribute 4K – but also taking into account the fact that there is still a lot of HD production going on, but 4K as an acquisition format can actually still be useful even in HD workflows, so we’re experimenting a lot with that.

Larry Jordan: One of the things you were talking about as we were at dinner Tuesday night is this concept of regions of interest – as opposed to moving the camera, we move the frame within the camera. Tell me what that’s all about.

Tony Cacciarelli: Yes, that’s part of what I was talking about. If you can acquire a 4K resolution, you’re acquiring a much larger image than you’re going to need for your HD output. For example, in the sports world, tracking movement on a field. Say a football game or a baseball or basketball game or even hockey, we can use a wider shot at 4K and then be able to extract down in real time, regions of interest within that 4K frame so we can actually reframe our shot based on where the action might have been, or be able to create alternate replays because we want to be able to see multiple angles. We can do that all from a single 4K camera. We’re still outputting HD as our final output, but because we have this higher resolution acquisition format, we have the ability to really reframe and zoom in on any area of the frame that we want to and kind of create the framing and the timing that we’re looking for, for any particular replay or even multiple replays.

Mike Horton: Holy cow. We can’t do this on the fly, though. Is this for playback? This is amazing.

Tony Cacciarelli: The system’s called ‘True Zoom’ and it’s a combination of some hardware and software that we’ve come up with. It actually does operate in real time, but a typical sports situation right now is done primarily for replay. We’re recording everything as we go and then we can use a timeline to control our playback speed. We can pause, slow down, speed up and be able to then create our moves around the frame and it’s all done through a touchscreen interface. It’s all really nice and interactive. From an operator’s standpoint, it’s incredibly intuitive to use.

Mike Horton: So we’re seeing that now?

Tony Cacciarelli: That’s being used now in a few different areas. We’ve done some work with NFL, major league baseball and NHL hockey. All of them are working with the system and finding different ways to incorporate it into their live broadcasts. So yes, that’s all happening now.

Mike Horton: Oh my Lord. That’s amazing.

Tony Cacciarelli: Well, it’s actually interesting as well, because outside of the sports arena we’ve got this being used in local government, where they have all of their representatives sitting at a table and they can point a 4K camera at them and create presets, not for moving between them, but just to be able to isolate individual speakers and representatives. So that during a broadcast of their proceedings, they can have presets set up for each of their representatives and whoever’s speaking, they just punch a preset and we extract out that piece of the 4K frame and that’s what goes out to air.

Mike Horton: Oh, I love that. You can catch their bad behavior too. That’s wonderful.

Tony Cacciarelli: We have the whole 4K frame there of it all.

Mike Horton: Exactly.

Tony Cacciarelli: You can see everything. Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: So essentially what we’re doing is we’re not panning the camera any more, we’re leaving the camera locked down and we’re panning the portion of the frame that we want to see within a locked down shot.

Tony Cacciarelli: That’s correct. Exactly.

Larry Jordan: What kind of gear do we need to pull this off?

Tony Cacciarelli: You need a 4K camera. We’ve done some work initially with the Canon C500. We’re able to take the raw data off of that camera and process it in real time to extract out the 4K images from that. But we also have our CION camera that we’re working on right now and that’s become a part of this system as well. By sending raw data over SDI back to our ‘True Zoom’ system, we can actually record up to 120 frames per second at 4K, and that allows us to have a nice smooth playback. As I was talking about, even 60 frames, you can jump up to 120. Now you can get really nice smooth slow motion playback as well. So for the sport folks, they’re loving that, to be able to have that kind of temporal resolution and then the 4K image to work with is pretty incredible and it’s helping them out a lot to be able to cover games and have an interesting angle on things.

Tony Cacciarelli: There’s some hardware involved, obviously, with being able to do all the image process. We’ve got our scaler technology that we’ve worked on over years and years of doing up and down conversion and we’ve applied that to this to get some really nice clean scaling. So even if you’re taking a region of interest that’s smaller than an HD sized window on your 4K monitor, you’re still able to blow that up to HD and have a nice looking image that can go out to broadcast.

Larry Jordan: So we’ve got the camera, which is essentially being used as the lens and the image sensor; we’re taking a feed out of the camera, feeding that via an HD SDI cable into your hardware, and is ‘True Zoom’ the hardware or is it something else that’s hardware for the processing of this?

Tony Cacciarelli: ‘True Zoom’ is the name of the software. The actual hardware device is called ‘Corvid Ultra’. It’s part of our development partner technologies. We have a whole slew of technology that we use in conjunction with development partners. So we have other folks that are taking this and using it as well to perform the same function. That’s the bit of hardware that we have there, and then obviously there’s a storage component to it which, again, getting back to our flash memory discussion, we have a tremendous need for very fast storage and a lot of it with a system like this, and then it runs off of a PC which controls all the software and interfaces to everything.

Larry Jordan: Roughly how much are we looking at in terms of cost?

Tony Cacciarelli: The ‘True Zoom’ system, I believe is in the $20,000 range, which is actually an order of magnitude cheaper than a lot of other systems that do the same thing. So it’s a fairly affordable system for what it’s doing and that’s also another reason why it’s been really popular with folks.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, I remember EVS systems, which would cost close to $100,000 to do something very similar to what you’re providing, which is high quality slow motion and being able to have random access to any part of the frame and any part of the video stream. For 20k, for people that do this, that’s, I’m not going to say dirt cheap, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than it has been.

Tony Cacciarelli: It certainly is, yes, and it certainly is helping them with their smaller budgets. Even on the bigger productions, they’re still having to watch their pennies. So anything we can do to make it more affordable, they’re certainly all for that. But it’s a pretty powerful system and, yes, we’ve managed to put it all together and it’s really getting some good traction. So we’re pretty excited about it.

Larry Jordan: Are you seeing any interest in resolutions higher than, say, 8K, which NHK is working with?

Tony Cacciarelli: Not yet. Anything that’s in the 8K and above range is pretty much a pretty big science project at this point still. There’s a lot of stuff being done there, but it is still all very experimental. We’re still seeing 4K getting into the mainstream. We’re seeing a lot more of it but I think we’re a way away from seeing any 4K broadcasts and we’re really starting to just see people get into the 4K acquisition side. We have cameras now that are in the range where, if you’re going to buy a new camera, you may as well look at a large format camera and start acquiring your stuff at a higher resolution. Even if you just want to future-proof it, even if you’re not going to be delivering 4K right now, just to be able to have that on the shelf to go back to in the future. A lot of people are really interested in that as well.

Mike Horton: Tony, you’re working with all these cutting edge people and you’re doing cutting edge stuff and you’re off in a secret lab somewhere in Japan or Los Angeles or something like that. You know what’s happening and we’re talking about 4K as a distribution resolution. When do you think that’ll be viable and sustainable? Three years? Five years? Ten years?

Tony Cacciarelli: I think a lot of that’s going to really depend on the compression technology and if we can get compression technology that can sit within the broadcast bandwidth limitations that we have without compromising the image quality to the point where we lose the benefits of 4K, so I think we’ve got some work to do there. I’m pretty sure, in my own opinion, I would say we’re at least three to five years away from seeing anything mainstream with that.

Mike Horton: Would you go out and buy a 4K television?

Tony Cacciarelli: I’m probably not going to rush right out and get one. Actually, I’m looking at one more for using with my laptop rather than for television.

Mike Horton: For editing.

Tony Cacciarelli: I did a little experiment and plugged my MacBook Pro into a 4K monitor and then had to send the 4K monitor back and, boy, I miss it now.

Mike Horton: I bet.

Tony Cacciarelli: I really got used to all that real estate. But I think it will start coming and the prices are certainly coming down, you know, we’re starting to see 28 inch 4K monitors that can handle 60 frames per second in the 500, 600, 700 dollar range right now.

Mike Horton: Yes, isn’t that amazing? Wow.

Tony Cacciarelli: Yes, that’s certainly going to drive adoption and for people, when they do need to buy a new TV set, they may just end up buying a 4K set just because there’s really no cost difference.

Larry Jordan: Interesting.

Tony Cacciarelli: I think the last HD TV I bought ended up being a 3D TV, just because there was no price difference between buying a 3D capable one and not.

Mike Horton: Yes. I bought one of those 3D capable ones. I’ve never seen 3D on it since I bought it and that was four years ago.

Larry Jordan: Tony, I want to talk quickly about the CION camera. It’s still in development. Are you guys going to be releasing that in our lifetime?

Tony Cacciarelli: Absolutely, yes. Barring any major tragedies that happen to us overnight, yes, we plan to be releasing that. Our current timeframe is the summer of 2014, so we’ve got a little bit of time left. We’re still developing it, we’re still working on some of the image quality aspects of it. With any CMOS based camera, a lot of the development effort goes into the mast that takes that raw data and actually turns it into an RGB image. So we’re spending a lot of time on that to make sure we’re going to have great looking pictures once it comes out. But we are planning on releasing pretty soon and things are moving along really well. We’ve made progress from what we had at NAB and work continues, as they say.

Larry Jordan: Now, you’re not going to shoot uncompressed image. You’re shooting to ProRes. What version of ProRes and why did you select it?

Tony Cacciarelli: Yes, the camera records to an SSD drive, which is our Pak media drive, it’s the same one that we used in our Ki Pro Quad. That goes right into the camera. We’re recording ProRes and we can do ProRes 444, 422, LT and Proxy. So we have the ability to change to different quality levels within ProRes, depending on your particular situation. If you’re shooting a talking head or an interview or something that doesn’t have particular motion in it, you may be able to shoot at 422. Also, if you’re going to step up to the higher frame rates, we can do 4K at 60 frames per second at ProRes 422 right onto those Pak media drives. So that’s a really nice compact way of being able to record directly onto camera.

Tony Cacciarelli: ProRes is a great format. It’s become a pretty well received format in the industry. It balances high quality imagery with a good amount of compression for storage so that we’re not chewing up a lot of drive space. It really strikes a nice balance there, so that was our primary reason for choosing that. We do also have the ability to output, over four SDI outputs we can output RAW data or high frame rate SDI broadband 4K. So we can output out of the camera as uncompressed or RAW data and then on the camera itself we’re doing a real time ProRes encode right on the camera; and then you have a removable drive that you can throw into a little dock on your editing system. Since it’s a ProRes file, most of the editing systems out there talk to it natively so you don’t have any of the transcoding or ingest or logging time that you would have had if we want to hark back to the days of tape and having to log things. It really speeds up the workflow of being able to get from camera into your edit really nice and quickly and we think that’s a huge advantage especially in 4K workflows.

Larry Jordan: Tony, what website can people go to learn more?

Tony Cacciarelli: Well, is our website. From there, you can get all of the products. All of our brochures are online, all the information on all the products is there.

Larry Jordan: Tony, thank you so very much. Tony Cacciarelli is a Product Marketing Manager for AJA Video Systems at Tony, thanks for joining us today.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Tony.

Tony Cacciarelli: Thanks for having me, guys. Appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Tony Cacciarelli: Bye.

Larry Jordan: Michael can get down off the table now.

Mike Horton: I love that music.

Larry Jordan: He always dances during that music. Lydia Cornell won the People’s Choice Award for her role as Sara Rush in ABC’s ‘Too Close For Comfort’ and has worked non-stop ever since. Her professional career extends beyond acting in theater, film and television, as she has just about finished a new novel. Welcome back, Lydia, good to have you with us.

Lydia Cornell: Oh, hi Larry, I’m so happy to be back. I missed you.

Larry Jordan: Ah! Well, we miss you. Michael was saying…

Mike Horton: I know. You were on three years ago.

Larry Jordan: …it seems like just a few months ago.

Mike Horton: I thought you were on two months ago.

Lydia Cornell: Oh my God! I know, time goes way too fast.

Mike Horton: No, that’s how well I remember you.

Lydia Cornell: Warp speed. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Well, how can you forget Lydia? That’s my question.

Lydia Cornell: Ah, thank you.

Larry Jordan: You know, Lydia, you’ve been acting since the 1980s. Michael, I think, has been acting since the 1950s but nonetheless…

Mike Horton: No, it was the 1890s.

Lydia Cornell: Hi, Michael.

Larry Jordan: What are some of the projects that you’ve worked on? I know you started with ‘Too Close For Comfort’, but what are some of the other things you’ve done?

Lydia Cornell: ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, ‘Full House’, ‘Quantum Leap’, the pilot, 250 other shows. Every show you can name from ‘Hunter’, ‘A Team’, ‘Knight Rider’, five ‘Love Boats’, three ‘Hotels’, all those Stephen J Cannell shows where I played a race car driver, ‘Dukes of Hazzard’… you know, action adventure shows and I’m in a Ferrari or jumping out of a race car. It was crazy. Oh, ‘Simon and Simon’ was fun and ‘Hunter’ and a show called ‘Hardball’ with Richard Tyson from…

Larry Jordan: What was it that got you started as an actor?

Lydia Cornell: My obsession with Walt Disney. I wanted to be Disney. I came to Disneyland when I was five and I got lost in the Sleeping Beauty Castle and I never wanted to come home. I wished I, you know obsessed with Disney. Now my son goes to CalArts, it’s a great college. Walt Disney standards.

Mike Horton: Oh my God, he does? Oh.

Lydia Cornell: Yes.

Mike Horton: What is he studying up there?

Lydia Cornell: And John… just spoke at the graduation for, my son’s a junior going into junior year, he does graphic design.

Mike Horton: Oh, cool.

Lydia Cornell: Graphics designer and he’s going to be developing video games and his girlfriend is a year above.

Mike Horton: Well, you don’t get much better than that school.

Lydia Cornell: I know, it’s really cool.

Larry Jordan: Looking at Michael, who is a case study in something, but how have you managed to keep your career going all these years? Getting a job as an actor is hard enough, but staying as an actor is a huge amount of work. How did you do it?

Lydia Cornell: Well, I took a lot of time off to have children. I call it raising… Life with Boys, that’s one of the titles of one of the books I’m doing. I took time off. You can’t just stay in a career as an actor forever and ever. You have to morph into some other being and I had a family and I had to get sober – I’m 20 years sober on September 11th, which is a great thing because it gets you focused back on your creativity and if you’re a creative person, you’re always excited by life. I’m always discovering new things. So I’m developing five new shows.

Larry Jordan: Wow.

Lydia Cornell: One, I’m working with Naval Intelligence on a very cool show, kind of a mysterious show. I’m also doing an adventure show, I’m doing a bunch of comedies and I just did a series… that was here last night I did a play in Hollywood called ‘Hollywood Shorts’.

Mike Horton: Oh, cool.

Lydia Cornell: The Whitefire Theater and we just had our last performance last night and it was with all these Emmy award winning actors, writers and TV producers and we just picked this on Facebook. A bunch of our friends… owner of the theater contacted all of us and he said, “Be in my play,” so Marcus Dinas was my co-star, he’s the host of the Hallmark Channel ‘Home & Family’ Show and he was the Entertainment Tonight co-host for 20 years. He’s a really recognizable face. So we played husband and wife, bickering, in this funny little bit. They were ten minute short plays and we just finished doing six weeks. I just like to be constantly creating something. If you have a curiosity about life, you’ll be happy working all the time. You have to create your own work nowadays, though.

Mike Horton: Yes, and it’s especially difficult, and I don’t want to age you but I imagine you’re a woman over 40 and a woman over 40 in Hollywood is considered somewhat invisible and if you don’t make your own traction, you will remain invisible. So good for you.

Lydia Cornell: Yes, I play 20 years younger, for some reason. See, I don’t really believe in aging unless you believe in it. That is… I just don’t. I don’t even think about it.

Mike Horton: Well, it’s a good attitude.

Lydia Cornell: Well, actually it does work in a weird way to avoid being typecast, because the play I was in last night, clearly there were lines in there that implied that I’m a lot younger and my child is 20 now so, you know, it’s great. It’s great. If you think that you’re old, you’re going to be old. If you’re worried about your food and you’re constantly hyper vigilant about everything you eat and drink, I think that you kind of bury yourself, you limit yourself or you stay stuck in your own limitations. Do you know what I mean?

Larry Jordan: Mhmm, I do.

Mike Horton: When women come up to you and talk to you about career and acting, is that a common response that you give to them?

Lydia Cornell: It’s very difficult to keep yourself happy and excited and positive if you don’t create your own work. I’m always writing and writing is a great release. I’d rather produce and write and direct – I’m going to be directing a show that I wrote and I have a couple of investors already who are dying to put money into it, which is really interesting because I wasn’t even thinking in that direction last year. I was a little bit rudderless, so I was actually floundering around going, “What am I going to do next? I have all these books that I want to morph into TV series,” and basically I just laughed. I want to laugh my way through life. I turn every tragedy into comedy.

Lydia Cornell:, So the past three years have been a really big learning process of coming out of a divorce and having been betrayed by my husband and then betrayed by this stalker, who I thought was a federal agent and a war hero, and it turns out that nothing’s true. So how can I make this sustainable and funny and not die underneath it? You could actually go down a bad spiral if you’ve been betrayed and you’ve lost all your money or you’ve been abandoned. Life is a creative process. You have to keep turning into something good. It’s corny, but you have to somehow get out of depression and pick yourself up and see the good around you and just move forward. Progress.

Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting, enthusiasm is a part of it, but also doing different things. You’ve forced yourself not to do the same thing. You’ve been expanding into different areas and it seems that learning something new is a huge part of your creative challenge.

Lydia Cornell: Exactly. Learning something new, exactly, and not going back to the old. The old stereotypical feeling an actor gets is that there’s a limited amount of roles for me. I have to stay with typecast and the industry’s changing really fast. There are no more gatekeepers. You don’t really need an agent any more, you don’t really need a network any more you can create your own. So while I do want to work with a network, it seems that the audiences are dwindling for each network or they’re spreading out. I started a podcast of… with Hell’s Kitchen chefs and these sports guys and MTV stars and they asked me to be on their podcast network and wanted me to be on a radio show. After that, we saw the model and there are some of these podcasters that are making a fortune just talking to one segment of the audience.

Mike Horton: Yes. Oh, that’s Larry.

Lydia Cornell: That’s Larry. That’s Larry!

Mike Horton: He’s making a fortune.

Lydia Cornell: Well, actually, you are exactly talking to the market that you most want to deliver your message to, right?

Mike Horton: Absolutely.

Lydia Cornell: Good. You’re doing the right thing.

Mike Horton: And so are you, and that’s why we had you on.

Lydia Cornell: Thank you. Yes, but it’s not always easy, believe me. It’s not easy to stay out of the artistic depression or whatever, but you have to figure out a way. I actually believe in higher consciousness.

Mike Horton: Well, you are a human being.

Lydia Cornell: Yes, exactly.

Larry Jordan: In the little bit of time we’ve got left, if you were to give yourself advice when you were starting out, what would be the most helpful advice you could have given yourself?

Lydia Cornell: To stop caring what other people think of you and to go with your true north, to really sit inside yourself quietly and ask, “What is the most exciting, fun thing I can do in life? What am I passionate about?” and do not ever do anything half measures. Don’t ever do anything just to make someone else happy that isn’t in your heart as far as a career goes. Does that make sense?

Larry Jordan: Of course it makes sense.

Lydia Cornell: I was mistaken for a hooker by my mother and the police on my way to a movie audition wearing a dog collar and leather thigh high boots. I got into a car accident on Coldwater and I had to get out of the car looking like this and I had to say, “I’m an actress, I’m not a hooker,” and I was thinking, “I don’t want to play roles like that any more, unless they’re really well written,” you know?

Larry Jordan: Yes. Anywhere else, they would not buy that excuse; but in LA, they probably would.

Mike Horton: Write your own, now, Lydia. It’s democratized out there. Write it, produce it, direct it and put it up there for the whole world to see.

Lydia Cornell: Exactly. I love you for saying that. That’s what I’m doing and the writing is so much fun when it’s truly your own voice and you know what works. I mean, I really know what fits me at this point.

Mike Horton: Great.

Larry Jordan: For people who want to keep track of you and your writing and all the other things that you’re doing, what website can they go to?

Lydia Cornell:

Larry Jordan: That is the Lydia Cornell herself. Her website is Lydia Cornell started as an actress and now is just fascinated by everything. Lydia, it’s been wonderful chatting with you. Thanks for joining us.

Lydia Cornell: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Take care.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Lydia.

Lydia Cornell: Thanks, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Lydia Cornell: Lots of love. Bye, Michael.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment technology attorney of Counsel at TroyGould in Los Angeles. He’s also the Contributing Editor on entertainment labor issues for The Hollywood Reporter. He’s got a blog at and Mike and I took a vote before the show and we are convinced he does not sleep. Hello, Jonathan, welcome back.

Jonathan Handel: Well, thank you. It sounds like I won that vote.

Mike Horton: Yes, you did, you did, so I’m going to sleep during this interview.

Jonathan Handel: Ah! Well, I hope not, not because of me.

Larry Jordan: No, no, it would never be because of you. It’s because of the host. I know how that works.

Mike Horton: Yes, ask Jonathan about codecs or something, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan knows everything about codecs and he’s polite enough not to talk about it.

Mike Horton: He probably does. He probably could intelligently discuss ProRes codecs.

Jonathan Handel: I’m just enjoying listening to the two of you discuss what I can discuss.

Mike Horton: Yes, ok.

Jonathan Handel: I think it’s a meta discussion.

Mike Horton: It could be a meta discussion.

Larry Jordan: I’m changing the subject.

Mike Horton: All right.

Jonathan Handel: Fair enough.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, there are two legal cases which are fascinating Hollywood that I think have potential implications for producers around the world. There’s the Bryan Singer case and the Sarah Jones case, because both of these touch on key issues that we all need to be aware of. One is sexual harassment and the other is unsafe working conditions. I want to start with sexual harassment. Give us a summary of the Bryan Singer case.

Jonathan Handel: Well, the allegations were that Bryan Singer and three Hollywood executives – some of whom have done some producing, others of whom were TV executives – sexually abused and harassed the plaintiff, who at the time was a teenager. Now, a couple of things to know. One is that – and I know we’ll get this into more deeply in a minute as you ask me about it – but we should say at the top that a lot of those allegations have been brought into great question due to credibility issues and contradictions that have emerged. But the other thing to think about is that, although everyone looks at this and says, “Ok, this is a high profile allegation of teen sex abuse and sex parties and stuff.” There is something that’s important for producers to be thinking about, and that is that among the allegations was that there were promises that, if you do certain sexual things, you’ll get a job with us and also threats that if you don’t do certain sexual things that you won’t work in this town again. Now, those take this into the realm not just of alleged sexual abuse, but also into the realm of sexual harassment from a job standpoint. And I know that that’s the aspect that we want to focus on here in terms of meat and potatoes question for producers.

Larry Jordan: That’s exactly right. I mean, the casting couch has long been emblematic of sexual harassment in the media. What can producers do, first, to prevent it occurring in the first place; and second to prevent from being accused of participating in sexual harassment?

Jonathan Handel: The answer to that is several fold. One of the answers, of course, is don’t have non-consensual sex with people. Don’t tell people that, as was alleged here but again it’s important to note that the allegations have fallen under a great cloud…

Larry Jordan: Just a second, stop right there. Tell us what the cloud is so you can be more direct about that.

Jonathan Handel: Yes, absolutely. The allegations were that these things happened over a period of 1997 to ’99 in mansions and Encino, California, the Los Angeles area, and Hawaii. But it turned out that the same plaintiff had actually sued in 2000 and in 2003 had given a deposition in that case and he had sued the owners of the Encino mansion. So he didn’t sue any of the people that he now sued in 2014, he sued different people; and in his deposition he said several things that were very important. One is he said he’d never been to Hawaii with these people or actually apparently never been to Hawaii at all. His mother wouldn’t let him go on such trips, and yet in 2014 he sues four people for sexual abuse that allegedly occurred in Hawaii.

Jonathan Handel: The other thing is that in 2003 in his deposition, he said that no-one other than the people he was suing at that time had participated in these kinds of actions, and yet a decade later he sues four other people for exactly those kinds of activities. In 2003, he signed a sworn statement, a statement under the penalty of perjury, that one man in particular had never touched him and had never had sexual contact with him, and yet ten years later that man was one of the four people, one of the three executives in addition to Bryan Singer, who was sued. Finally, as the 2014 suits wound around, the defendants presented their own evidence in the form of credit card receipts, cell phone receipts, and sworn declarations from people who booked their travel and things like that to demonstrate compellingly. One would have to say, that they were never in Hawaii during this time period.

Jonathan Handel: So, as all of that emerged, what happened was that the plaintiff, Michael Egan, withdrew three out of the four complaints that he’d filed, complaints against people other than Bryan Singer. Then his lawyers sought to withdraw from the remaining case, the Bryan Singer case. That motion was granted in the last day or so. In addition, Egan sought to dismiss the Bryan Singer case, but Bryan Singer objected. Now, why did Bryan Singer not want the case against himself dismissed? The answer is that Egan wanted to withdraw it with what’s called without prejudice, in other words so he could re-file it at his discretion some other time. Singer has a motion pending to dismiss the case with prejudice. So the whole thing would be done and gone, and that’s important from a legal standpoint because it provides for vindication, if granted, and it also provides a stronger foundation if Bryan Singer wishes – and there’s indication that he does – to bring a malicious prosecution lawsuit against Michael Egan and his lawyer, Jeff Herman.

Jonathan Handel: In fact, one of the other men who was sued, Garth Ancier, has already brought exactly that sort of a lawsuit. The cases have appeared to have largely collapsed, but there’s a caveat which is that there were cases filed against four anonymous defendants in California that appear to be the same four who were sued in Hawaii by Egan and these cases have sort of lain fallow for a bit, but Egan has engaged new Counsel and it’s not clear if that new Counsel intends to activate the Los Angeles cases and bring these cases back up to speed and back in active state again or whether they are here because Egan wants to sue his former lawyer Herman or whether they’re here for some other reason altogether. We don’t know.

Larry Jordan: Ok, well, let’s take it back up a step again. Regardless of the merits of this particular case, as producers we need to protect ourselves against both unwarranted behavior and unwarranted accusations. What would you advise?

Jonathan Handel: That’s exactly right and there are several things that producers can do. One of them, of course, is not to have sexual relations with someone who doesn’t want to have sex. That should be obvious but we know that throughout the history of Hollywood this sort of thing has happened and whether it’s gay or straight, male on male, female on female, whatever combination of genders you’re talking about, the same principles apply. The second thing is don’t have sexual relations where you’re supervising someone or where there’s a power differential. Now, when you’re a producer, you’re an employer and that means that you should not be having sex, intimate relationships, romantic relationships, whatever it might be, whatever guise you might think it is, with anyone on the production. Now, I know that goes against what often happens. People are thrown together in very intense circumstances, a motion picture production is sort of like a political campaign, it’s a pressure cooker. Everyone a lot of times is on location. There are a lot of reasons why people are in close quarters.

Jonathan Handel: A lot of people in the business, of course, are very physically attractive. They get attracted to each other and one thing leads to another. But there is a very distinct downside to that, which is that it can lead to hurt feelings which in turn can lead to disagreements as to what was consensual and what wasn’t and when breakups happen, memories often differ for better or for worse as to what happened and it can lead to lawsuits; and it’s not just the two people involved. It’s also everyone else. If someone else in a given department is not getting those romantic attentions from the boss, the producer, are they not getting the plum assignments? Their work’s not being showcased, perhaps. They’re not getting overtime, perhaps. They’re not getting as large a trailer or as nice accommodations or whatever it might be. Sexual harassment doesn’t just involve the two people who are engaged in sexual conduct. It also can involve the disfavoring of other people who did not receive sexual attention from the supervisor or boss, so it’s a very fraught situation.

Mike Horton: Yes, but in the case of Bryan Singer, this supposedly never happened. This never happened and there’s some guy accusing him of it happening and so his reputation is forever tainted because he has been accused.

Jonathan Handel: That is right. His reputation is in many ways going to be forever attached to those.

Mike Horton: Right!

Jonathan Handel: As is, by the way, the other three people who are lumped with Bryan Singer and it may be that certain people do certain things and other people don’t do certain things, but they’re all lumped together. Taking this back to producers, it’s very difficult because this is a business where you are going to be spending late nights with people, you’ll be alone with people sometimes. So the circumstances are always there for someone to say, “We were alone and there was no-one else who saw and he attempted to kiss me or he touched me here or he did this or he did that.”

Mike Horton: Yes. Are we supposed to spend the rest of our lives not being alone with people? It’s just, ah, I don’t know.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, how does the law define sexual harassment?

Jonathan Handel: I can’t give you the literal legal definition off the top of my head, but basically there are several different types of sexual harassment, as I indicated. And one of them is creating a hostile working environment, a working environment that is sexually charged; another is literally harassing someone, unwanted touching, repeated comments, repeated staring at sexual portions of a person’s body, those kinds of things. There are gray areas when you’re dealing with adults. Is it sexual harassment if a supervisor asks a person out once and they say no and then it’s never brought up again? That would not be a very good ask for a producer to make of someone in their company. Is that sexual harassment? Well, you really want to consult a lawyer who’s completely expert on it and the answer may vary by state, but is it a bad practice and a great way to find yourself on the receiving end of a sexual harassment complaint, a sex discrimination complaint? Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: All right, so let’s shift gears. Give us a summary of the Sarah Jones case.

Jonathan Handel: Yes. The Sarah Jones case involves allegations of a deliberate lack of concern or a deliberate recklessness, anyway, regarding safety. What’s alleged in the Sarah Jones case is that the producers, including the producer/director, of the film ‘Midnight Rider’ told the cast and crew to film on a train bridge and ushered them onto a train bridge to shoot footage, that allegedly there was no permit for the shooting, there was no permission, allegedly, from the railroad company, the cast and crew allegedly were told that trains were not expected but that if one did come by, that they would have 60 seconds to get off the bridge. In the event, as it happens, a train did come and they had allegedly less than 60 seconds to get off the bridge and Sarah Jones was killed. About six or seven other members of the company were injured and at least one of them somewhat seriously.

Jonathan Handel: They reportedly had to run towards the oncoming train in order to get off the bridge, because that was the closer side of the bridge apparently. Now, the lessons here for producers are, number one, when you don’t have a permit, you don’t have a permit. Don’t do it. When you’re just stealing a shot in a dangerous situation, what you’re doing is putting people’s lives at risk and you may find yourself on the receiving end of a criminal prosecution as well as civil lawsuits, and both of those kinds of legal actions have been brought in this case.

Larry Jordan: What I find especially interesting is that the producers of the film are exactly that. They’re charged with a criminal indictment, which carries the potential for jail time, not just financial penalties. That makes it especially difficult.

Jonathan Handel: That’s right, and again the allegation here is, in fact, that they requested a permit from the railway and were denied one and filmed anyway. That involves, according to the prosecutors, both some species of negligent homicide – I forget the exact charge that was brought and the kind of terminology varies from state to state, but in essence here they’re not alleging that obviously the producers intended anyone to get killed, but there was negligence and that did happen – and secondly they’re alleging criminal trespass. It’s not legal to walk on train tracks when you’re not allowed, when you don’t have a permit, and there’s no evidence as well that there were any people stationed a mile or whatever down the tracks in either direction to warn of an oncoming train. It was allegedly a very guerrilla kind of shoot.

Jonathan Handel: There are non-binding safety guidelines in this industry that relate to all sorts of things. It’s an almost darkly humorous catalog of the dangers of the world, from reptiles that bite and poison, to sunstroke, to airplanes and helicopters and, you know, a sort of Murphy’s Law compendium of guidelines with specific guidelines as to each of these bad sorts of things. And there are safety guidelines regarding shooting on train tracks and among the very first things that that guideline says – and I’ve read it – is that you need to coordinate and obviously get permission from the railway and local authorities. The allegation here is that those things were not done.

Larry Jordan: Where can producers go to learn more about how to keep their crews safe? Where can they get those safety guidelines?

Jonathan Handel: They’re online. IATSE Local 80 coordinates this. I think if you Google for motion picture safety guidelines, it’s a website whose name I don’t remember, it’s an unusual website, but if you Google for that sort of terminology you’ll find them and, as I say, there are dozens of safety guidelines and they’re all available to download and to follow.

Larry Jordan: What it sounds like to me is that there’s no magic protection. Because we’re working on film, producers are treated like employees and crew is treated like staff and we have to recognize that and act like it, even if the production only lasts for four weeks.

Jonathan Handel: Yes, producers are treated like employers, to be specific, and cast and crew are employees, and that’s exactly what they are. There is no cinematic immunity from danger and, in fact, on the contrary. To get interesting shots, people are more likely to do things like stand on cranes that are 25 feet in the air and lean over with cameras and shoot on train tracks that normal people don’t do. So it’s quite the opposite of cinematic immunity and that’s why every shot has to be a safety shot, because no shot should be someone’s last.

Larry Jordan: A very, very good point. Jonathan, where can people go on the web to learn more about the stuff you’re writing and thinking about?

Jonathan Handel: They can go to, which is my website. It relates to my legal practice and has links to my writing as well.

Larry Jordan: That’s and Jonathan Handel himself is the voice we’re listening to. Jonathan, an excellent set of advice. Thanks for joining us today.

Mike Horton: Thanks, Jonathan.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks very much.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.

Jonathan Handel: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Michael, I was just thinking of the productions that I’ve worked on and, I’m sure, ones that you’ve worked on and it’s always a balancing act between trying to get all the paperwork done, and keep everybody safe, and get the shots that you need and it’s often easier to just sort of ignore safety because this is just one quick shot.

Mike Horton: I tell you, I’ve done a lot of television shows and movies and a lot of them had a lot of action and that sort of thing, and yes, there is the adrenaline rush where you might be doing something that’s a little unsafe. But if you have a bunch of professionals on the set, there’s always one or two that are going to just calm everybody down and make sure that everybody is safe and if there’s an out of control director, if there’s a stuntman on set, that stuntman will knee the guy in the nuts before he lets him do anything stupid. So the case of Sarah Jones is just one of those horrible tragedies where there was probably somebody on the set yelling, “You know, we shouldn’t probably do this,” but yet it’s not that everybody was complicit or one person was responsible. It’s just one of those horrible, horrible tragedies, but there’s always, especially when it comes to shooting films, on something with a budget anyway. A lot of people very, very concerned with safety. There are a lot of veterans on a set, they’ve seen everything and they’ll be very concerned with safety before anything else and they’ll make it known, believe me. Believe me, you know, they want everybody to go home safely.

Larry Jordan: Well that I think is something that a young producer and a young director needs to learn, is that the goal is to get everybody through the shoot.

Mike Horton: Yes. Maybe a young producer and young director, but if they were smart to hire veterans, those veterans will keep them in line. But there are tragedies that happen. I mean, they just happen.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests for this evening. We started with Tony Cacciarelli, a Product Marketing Manager for AJA Video Systems; Lydia Cornell, the successful actor; and Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for The Hollywood Reporter and of Counsel for TroyGould in Los Angeles.

Larry Jordan: 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 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 special guest engineer Tori Hoefke. On behalf of the Mike Horton…

Mike Horton: Tori, you did an awesome job.

Larry Jordan: …my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Mike Horton: Goodbye, everybody.

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.

Digital Production Buzz — August 7, 2014

  • 4K Recording and 8K Video
  • Creating a Successful Acting Career
  • Preventing Sexual Harassment and Unsafe Working Conditions on Set

GUESTS: Tony Cacciarelli, Lydia Cornell, and Jonathan Handel

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

Tony Cacciarelli, Product Marketing Manager, AJA Video Systems

Tony Cacciarelli, product marketing manager for AJA Video Systems, is deeply involved in the industry’s shift to higher-resolution video. This week, he talks with us about current experiments using 8K video for sports, the benefits of shooting extreme high-resolution video and the intriguing shift from panning the camera to panning the frame.

Lydia Cornell, Actress

Lydia Cornell is an LA-based actress who has appeared in numerous theater, film and television shows, including the hit series, “Too Close for Comfort.” She talks with us today about building a successful acting career, how to polish your acting skills, the importance of relationships and her plans for the future.

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

What do producers need to know to prevent problems like sexual harassment or unsafe working conditions on set? Jonathan Handel, Of Counsel at Troy/Gould in Los Angeles, and the entertainment labor reporter for “The Hollywood Reporter,” joins us this week to help us understand how to avoid problems like sexual harassment or unsafe working conditions on set.

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 31, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

July 31, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


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Larry Jordan

Mike Horton


Ian Fritzsche, Director of Media Services, Southeastern University

Philip Hodgetts, President, Intelligent Assistance

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


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. Joining us is our co-host, the ever-affable Mr. Mike Horton.


Mike Horton: Hello, Larry.


Larry Jordan: Michael, it’s good to have you back. We missed you last week.


Mike Horton: I know, I was down at that Blackmagic event in Burbank, which I know you were there.


Larry Jordan: I was there, but I went earlier.


Mike Horton: Yes, and I had to go later because I had a meeting with some of the big…


Larry Jordan: Because you were bad and got held after school.


Mike Horton: That’s right, but a lot of really cool stuff down there. I don’t know if you saw everything. It’s amazing that one company can just throw a little event and 2,000 people will show up.


Larry Jordan: Well, have you seen the equipment they’ve got from the Blackmagic cameras to all the different, I mean, they had a ton of toys there to look at.


Mike Horton: Yes, and I also saw the seminars that Marco gave for the cameras and Alexa for Resolve and it was great stuff.


Larry Jordan: It was. I had a chance to watch all of Alexa’s seminars. They were good to watch.


Mike Horton: Yes. Are you ever going to use Resolve as an editor?


Larry Jordan: I have used it a little bit. I’m going to get a copy of it soon and start to work with it.


Mike Horton: Because you know it’s free? It’s free.


Larry Jordan: It’s what?


Mike Horton: It’s free. Just download it.


Larry Jordan: Wow, I should probably…


Mike Horton: Especially in the beta version, it’s free; and the beta version’s rock solid.


Larry Jordan: Yes, I’m looking forward to playing with it. It’s already being shipped, so I’m going to get a copy of it because I want to get some manuals to go with it.


Mike Horton: And then you can teach it. Another thing to teach.


Larry Jordan: Ok, then I will teach you, because I can just imagine teaching you Color would be pretty incredible. Not as bad as codecs, however. But things that are good are our guests. We’re going to start with Ian Fritzsche. He’s the Director of Media Services at Southeastern University, which is based near Orlando. He runs one of the largest student operated studios in the country.


Mike Horton: Student operated? Wow.


Larry Jordan: He joins us to talk about live production and student training. Then Philip Hodgetts, President of Intelligent Assistance, spent today at an Avid event learning about the new Avid Everywhere strategy. He’ll give us a report this evening; and Johnny Brower is a musician, promoter and film producer of the POP 69 Movie. He joins us tonight to talk about music and films and, if we’re lucky, some stories about the rock scene of the 1960s.


Larry Jordan: Just as 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. You can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making this possible.


Larry Jordan: Michael…


Mike Horton: Mhmm?


Larry Jordan: …it’s the last day of July.


Mike Horton: Holy cow.


Larry Jordan: And then there’s August.


Mike Horton: Holy cow.


Larry Jordan: And then there’s the Supermeet.


Mike Horton: Yes. I know, it’s only, like, six weeks away.


Larry Jordan: Where is it?


Mike Horton: It is at Amsterdam, the beautiful city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands on September 14th.


Larry Jordan: Oh, that’s where IBC is.


Mike Horton: And we’re going to have a really big announcement. I was actually really hoping to make that announcement tonight, but the powers to be said no.


Larry Jordan: No?
Mike Horton: No, for some reason. I mean, this is a done deal.


Larry Jordan: Don’t they know who you are?


Mike Horton: It’s a done deal. What’s the big deal here? It’s a done deal, so…


Larry Jordan: But you can’t announce it.


Mike Horton: I can’t. Probably tomorrow morning, or probably right after the show ends.


Larry Jordan: Thank you. Thank you, I appreciate that. Where can people go to learn more about the Supermeet?


Mike Horton:


Larry Jordan: And for those of you who are interested, does it cost a fortune to attend?


Mike Horton: It doesn’t, it’s so cheap. It’s ten Euros. Ten Euros, God.


Larry Jordan: Ah, cheap at half the price.


Mike Horton: That’s what it costs for a Heineken.


Larry Jordan: Remember to visit us on Facebook at We’re on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and check out the website at We’re going to be back to talk about schools and training and students and live production all at Southeastern University, 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 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: Ian Fritzsche is the Director of Media Services at Southeastern University, a Christian school located near Orlando, Florida. Ian runs one of the largest school based production facilities in the US. Hello, Ian, welcome.


Ian Fritzsche: Good evening, Larry. Thank you for having me.


Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you with us, especially because you’re staying up late to be able to join us on the show today. We appreciate that.


Ian Fritzsche: Hey, we like being up late.


Mike Horton: It’s not that late.


Larry Jordan: It’s dark already over there. Yes, this is…


Mike Horton: Oh, just barely.


Larry Jordan: Well, all right, maybe a little. Ian, tell us what is Southeastern University.


Ian Fritzsche: Southeastern University, as you said, it’s a private Christian college. It was founded in 1935 and so it’s gone through several revisions and generations since then. We started the beginning of our broadcast program there in the early ‘90s and, at that time, it was just a concentration under some sort of ministry degree – I wasn’t there at the time. That grew into a full communications degree that had some concentrations in broadcasting and some other areas and now we have a full four year degree in broadcasting, along with all the other majors that we offer under the communications department and under all the other majors of the university as well.


Ian Fritzsche: We really focus on getting equipment into the hands of our students as early as possible and giving them a live production training, the same as they would experience in any professional situation, and we try to get them in that type of environment as soon as possible so they can learn as much about it as possible.


Larry Jordan: Well, I’m not sure that training and professional situation go hand in hand. It’s sometimes better to get training before you move into a professional situation. But what’s your role there?


Ian Fritzsche: I have been the engineer there since 2005. I recently took over as Director of the entire department, so up until recently my main role has just been taking care of the television studio, all the equipment there, planning out the upgrades and then making sure that the students use the equipment appropriately. Last summer, 2013, we overhauled the entire studio, did a complete HD upgrade and I pretty much planned that out from end to end – worked with the vendors and the manufacturers and I saw that through to completion. So we’re really proud of our 100 percent digital HD studio at this time and we’re really happy with it.


Larry Jordan: I want to talk about your gear in just a second, but let’s go back to the university. How many students are in the program?


Ian Fritzsche: We’ve had several hundred students go through the broadcasting program. Usually we have about 75 enrolled at a time between broadcasting and film and so I don’t know the exact numbers, but we’ve graduated several hundred with broadcast degrees to this date.


Larry Jordan: And you said the school was founded, I think, in 1935, if I remember right, and they got started with media in the 1990s. What was the impetus to get involved with media?


Ian Fritzsche: I think that the staff and the administration at the time really saw the writing on the wall and realized the impact it would have. Probably to them at the time, they were thinking about… ministries and churches and they just realized that that was a new tool that was really going to play a special part in our society as a whole and they wanted to be a part of that and they wanted to start training students so they could go to a private Christian university but also be professional in that growing trend.


Larry Jordan: I’ve never told this story to Mike because I was afraid it would offend him, but back before he was born, when I was a young student, I had a three month career in radio and was fired because I was a second tenor and they wanted a baritone.


Mike Horton: And now that you are a baritone…


Larry Jordan: And I’ve been working on being a baritone for the last 50 years. Anyway, the reason it’s so important to me is that the same day that I was fired in radio, I got hired at a television studio at the University of Wisconsin, WHATV, and I can just imagine the thrill the students have at Southeastern matches the thrill that I had, of suddenly walking into this massive TV studio and realizing that it was something that I could use as I was going to graduate school. What kind of facilities do you have there that the kids are working with?


Ian Fritzsche: Our main television studio is about a 50 foot square studio, which is the largest probably between Tampa and Orlando. We use it for ourselves and we also rent it out occasionally to other users in the area that may need more space than they have in their own studio. So we try to maintain good relationships with those other local companies and organizations. We’re set up for a four camera shoot in that studio, so the students are able to produce their own shows in that studio.


Ian Fritzsche: They also use the space for film or ENG style shoots. We also have the studio wired to the building next door, where we have several chapel services and theater events and other events that happen on our campus, so that’s about 500 feet away, and so the students will take the cameras over to that venue and produce live shows out of those events as well. Some of those shows are kind of unstructured – students will come in and say, “Hey, I want to shoot this show,” or “As part of my class, I want to produce this.”


Ian Fritzsche: Every semester we have a recurring talk show called RAW TV – Real and Willing Television – that was started by students probably seven or eight years ago. So now that’s become a class that students can take and the class basically becomes the crew and talent for the show and every semester they produce a new season and that gets aired on some channels on Direct TV and also several places online. So yes, it really gives the students a sense that, “Hey, I can actually do something in here. This can actually mean something,” and I think they do have a tremendous sense of potential when they arrive.


Mike Horton: Do you use virtual sets in your studio?


Ian Fritzsche: No. It’s something we’ve considered but we’re not doing that at this point and we do do some typical green screen here and there, but we’re not using any virtual sets yet.


Mike Horton: Well, it’s so cheap. It really is, and it looks awesome, it really does. It’s amazing, the price from, like, four years ago versus now. It’s extraordinary.


Larry Jordan: Ian, what gear do you have in the studio?


Ian Fritzsche: For our cameras, we went with Panasonic HC3800, which is a full 2.2 megapixel chip, beautiful looking camera, so we went with the full Panasonic chains for the cameras, auto script, prompters. We’re using DeSisti fluorescent lighting, which has been in there for several years, before this upgrade, but we’ve been really happy with it, it looks really good. We put in a brand new Ross Carbonite 24 input switcher and I can’t say enough good things about that; and then we pretty much went with Ross for the rest of the terminal gear – the converters, the routers, DAs, all that – so primarily Ross and then Panasonic with some other script for the prompters and we’ve really been happy with all of it. It’s really all very solid gear.


Larry Jordan: How about audio?


Ian Fritzsche: Audio is probably the next thing that’s on the list to be upgraded. We’re doing pretty much all analogue audio right now. There’s an older Soundcraft Ghost that we’re using, which some would hardly consider a broadcast console at all, but it does well for the space and the thing about using an analogue console is it’s very easy to take a student who knows very little about audio and teach them on that console and so, unfortunately, using a digital console, while it’s great, there’s still a substantial amount of learning curve.


Ian Fritzsche: Where you may be able to take a student who has had some basic audio experience in a church or some other type of organization and put them into a larger analogue console pretty easily, moving them straight up to a digital console and expecting them to be proficient is a little bit farther of a jump. We will be there, but we’re not there quite yet. Because that space interacts with so many other spaces on our campus – the main chapel venue and other rooms – we kind of have to do our audio upgrades all at one time, so they have to be thoroughly planned out and budgeted for.


Mike Horton: What was the main reason that you chose the Panasonic? That’s a serious camera and it’s quite expensive compared to some of the other ones that are out there.


Ian Fritzsche: We really wanted to be at a camera that would produce stuff that we could be proud of and especially today there are so many cameras from a few thousand dollars and obviously you can go up to multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars. Panasonic worked with us and really showed us what we needed and helped us to be at the place that we needed to be and at the end of the day, stacking that camera up against everything else in its price range or probably a little below and above its price range, it just looked amazing. The pictures coming out of that camera are incredible.


Ian Fritzsche: In our planning phases, we were considering going with a slightly lower cost HD studio camera and a couple of months ago I was able to do a shoot actually using that camera we were previously considering and I had to bring one of the 3800s to supplement because we were one camera short and switching back and forth on the shots between those two, I was just blown away. I mean, I knew there would be a difference, but I was really blown away at the perceptible amount of difference going between those cameras and the Panasonic just looked amazing. At the end of the day, it’s just a great looking camera – low noise and the way you can work in high contrast environments with their DRS function, it’s just a really great looking camera.


Larry Jordan: You mentioned many times that most of your work is done live. Why the emphasis on live production versus recorded?


Ian Fritzsche: It is done live and we use that for IMAG and other sources. The RAW TV that we shoot is shot live to tape, but we really do put that emphasize on the live because I think that that gives the students the tools they need to succeed in any situation. I know that there are a lot of universities that are maybe only teaching film style or maybe only teaching an ENG or an interview style production. I feel like we’re one of the few that are really teaching, you know, “let’s get in here, let’s produce the show” and then we’re going to be done and I think that once you operate on that level with people next to you in different positions, it really just gives you a better sense for production as a whole.


Ian Fritzsche: I think that once you can operate in that way, in that environment, I think that that trickles down to any other type of shooting or production that the students would do. I know production as a whole has changed a lot in our industry over the past couple of years. Where most schools were teaching news before and now, only a couple of years later, the way that stations are shooting and doing news is totally different, so you can’t really teach that the same.


Ian Fritzsche: But I think the live production, where it is happening, it’s happening the same and we’re really proud to be teaching students in that high stress, if you will, environment so that they can learn in that environment, make mistakes as they need to make mistakes and then, when they go out into the industry, they’re ready and they’re ready to be put back into that high stress situation because they’ve spent the last couple of years in school doing that exact same thing and also learning what part of that process resonates with them the most and they feel like they’re the best at and want to focus in.


Larry Jordan: I think that gets to the crux of it. How do you balance between creating professional grade work that people want to watch and student training? There’s always a balance. You want to give the kids a chance, but as soon as you give them a chance, there’s a chance for a mistake and on a live show it’s going to be pretty obvious.


Ian Fritzsche: No, absolutely, and I think that in a lot of ways I’m a perfectionist, so it’s really hard for me to take a step back and realize, “Hey, we’re doing this. This is, to the best of our ability, going to be a professional show,” but at the end of the day, some of these students have been doing this for years and some of the students have been doing this for months and it’s really interesting to sit down after working a show with students who have been around several years and who really can run a show end to end seamlessly, the same way that you would expect in any professional situation, versus, “Hey, I just got ten or 20 new students, they’ve never done this before,” and absolutely for someone who is trying to put up a professional product, that’s frustrating.


Ian Fritzsche: But I have to remind myself and the professors have to remind themselves that this is what we’re doing, this is a teaching tool and so it’s a lot of practice. It’s a lot of shows that never make it to air. It’s shows that you shoot that you throw away at some point, and it’s doing a lot of other smaller things other than those shows that you promote and broadcast where students will learn, where they make mistakes, where they hook stuff up the wrong way, where they white balance the wrong way and that’s ok. They need to be able to learn in that environment and so all that you can ask of the students is that they do the best that they can, that they pay attention and that they don’t make the same mistake twice.


Larry Jordan: True enough. What’s your plan for the future, now that you’ve got more control here? Where are you headed?


Ian Fritzsche: Oh gosh. RAW TV is going to keep happening, I’m really excited about that. We’re proud of where that show is going and we’re proud that that’s something that students can put on their resumes and in their reels and it really looks good now. Having this HD studio has really taken it to the next level. We also recently overhauled all of the projection systems in that main venue next door that we work with, so that gives us a lot more ability to tie in feeds from those HD cameras into a truly HD projection environment and multiple feeds at the same time and we’re working through what that looks like and how we can best tie those systems together to really make excellent experiences.


Ian Fritzsche: But we just want to keep doing more, we want to keep putting out higher and higher quality stuff that we can be proud of as a university that the students can be proud of. We’re launching a football program in the fall here in about six weeks. At this time we’re not going to be shooting football out of the studio because there’s some infrastructure there that we have to put in place that we probably won’t be able to get in place by the first game, so we’re going to shoot that with a portable system for now, but down the road we’re absolutely planning to wire the same control room to the football stadium which is on campus about a quarter of a mile away, and that’s really why we went with fiber back cameras, to really facilitate being able to do that in an easy and cost effective way.


Mike Horton: Well, if you do that football program and you do it in studio with analysts and things like that, you need that virtual set. I’m here to tell you go get that virtual set, because it’s really, really cheap and it looks fantastic.


Larry Jordan: I will add a football field to my virtual set.


Mike Horton: You can do all that stuff so cheaply now, it’s amazing, and the portability with the new tech stuff, the Tricasters and all that, oh my gosh. It’s incredible what you can do. But I love the idea, I love what he’s talking about – throwing these kids into a live situation which is an enormous amount of stress. If you can get through that, yes, there are going to be mistakes and people understand that in live situations, but if you can get through that, you can get through anything.


Larry Jordan: Ian, is your goal to improve the programming or improve the technology? What’s your key focus?


Ian Fritzsche: Well, my department is really responsible for teaching the curriculum, so we do as much as we can to improve the program and improve what they’re turning out. But at the end of the day, I think my job is to give the professors and the students the most up to date, most appropriate technology that I can.


Ian Fritzsche: I think that there’s a big gap that can happen between academics and whatever’s going on in the rest of the industry professionally, and so myself and all of my staff try to do a good job to go to trade shows and read the things that we need to read and stay in touch with other people not in academic situations so that we can kind of keep a pulse of what’s going on and mirror those things that are appropriate on our campus so that we implement technology the same way it’s being implemented in every other industry that uses that technology.


Ian Fritzsche: We don’t want to have to say, “Hey, these corporations are doing this, but we’re a university and we’re four steps behind.” We want to be right there and we want to be giving students the tools that they need to have so that when they leave the university, they’ll be able to use those skills right away and not be behind the curve.


Larry Jordan: Ian, where can people go on the web to learn more about the services the school offers for people who want to add this to their career considerations?


Ian Fritzsche: Our website is and there are write-ups on all the different programs, you can read about RAW TV on there. There are some past episodes of RAW TV on iTunes, View as well. Most of the ones on there right now are old seasons that are in standard def, so don’t hold that against me, but you can certainly look on there and get a taste for the type of work that we do here.


Larry Jordan: That website is and Ian Fritzsche – is it Fritzsche or Fritzsche?


Ian Fritzsche: It’s Fritzsche.


Larry Jordan: Fritzsche, all right. See…


Mike Horton: I love it. That’s a great name.


Larry Jordan: …that’s why I ask. Ian Fritzsche is the Director of Media Services for Southeastern University. Ian, thanks for joining us today.


Mike Horton: And get that virtual set.


Ian Fritzsche: All right, I’ll put it on the list. Thank you so much, guys, I appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: Take care. Bye bye.


Ian Fritzsche: Bye bye.


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Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts is the CEO of Intelligent Assistance and involved in the technology of virtually every area of digital video. He’s also a regular contributor to The Buzz and he is on location at a secret place that we cannot mention on the air. Hello, Philip.


Philip Hodgetts: Hey!


Mike Horton: Hello, Philip.


Philip Hodgetts: Oh, hey, Michael, hi.


Mike Horton: Yes, who’s there? Who am I talking to?


Larry Jordan: So Philip, wait, wait, wait, there you go, now you can talk to him..


Mike Horton: Ok. All right.


Larry Jordan: We turned his mic off, Philip, but I’m sure it was…


Mike Horton: Yes, that’s what Larry does all the time, is turn my mic off.


Philip Hodgetts: I’d always thought I wanted to, but I never did.


Mike Horton: Yes you did, or Greg did or somebody did.


Larry Jordan: Philip, where is this secret location that you are holed up at today?


Philip Hodgetts: It’s the very beautiful George Lucas building at the USC Cinematic Arts Department down on the campus there in Los Angeles.


Mike Horton: Yes, isn’t that amazing, that place?


Philip Hodgetts: It is a beautiful building. It’s a new building but, boy, it fits in beautiful on that campus.


Mike Horton: Oh boy, does it ever. I mean, it does, it does, it fits. It’s beautiful. If you get the chance to tour the entire building, there are lots of nooks and crannies and lots of beautiful little spaces.


Larry Jordan: Ok, now that we’ve established the geographic location and the loveliness of the building, what were you attending?


Philip Hodgetts: It is the Avid Everywhere Live event. This is really a follow on from Avid’s customer association event at NAB and they’ve been rolling that out now around the world in, I think, 106 scheduled events…


Mike Horton: Wow.


Larry Jordan: Wow.


Philip Hodgetts: …to get the message of Avid Everywhere, this grand vision that they have for the future, to all the people that have a stakeholding in Avid’s future.


Larry Jordan: Who are some of the key presenters?


Philip Hodgetts: Really, predominantly it was presented by Louis Hernandez, who’s the current CEO of Avid, and a couple of demo artists who were showing us a little bit about some of the technologies that are being implemented and the way they work. But really, it was mostly Louis Hernandez expounding on the vision of Avid Everywhere.


Mike Horton: How does he come across? I hope a lot better than the other guy.


Philip Hodgetts: He comes across as a very nice guy, sounds genuine. At face value, you really want to believe that they have a vision for the future of Avid and it’s a very big vision and that they are capable of delivering on it and I think that’s the message that he wanted us to get, and how important the Avid customer association is to Avid going forward. How they have set up this completely independent organization with its own board of directors, funded by Avid but where Avid doesn’t get a vote in the results, to advise Avid on a whole range of things moving forward.


Larry Jordan: Was this a strategic presentation – this is what the company is doing – or was it expressed as products or was it a business plan? Help me get my brain around this.


Philip Hodgetts: Yes, I think everyone had the same feeling after NAB. It’s like this Avid Everywhere sounds great, but what is this? Is there something here for me? And, you know, there’s a lot. It’s a very grand vision. I’m pleased to see that Avid has come back out of a wilderness of apparently not really having a strategic direction, but they have this very, very grand vision.


Philip Hodgetts: I think Avid want to solve all of your workflow and monetization problems with Avid Everywhere. Everything comes down to that. They want to be there with you when you create and they want to be there when you distribute, they want to be there in the marketplace… creative content, your music and video productions, film and television. They want to be with your partner, they want to be the glue, the APIs that mix Avid products in with the toolsets from third party vendors. They want to be the most open company in the marketplace.


Mike Horton: So this is not just what most of us think. You can now subscribe to the Avid rather than buy it.


Philip Hodgetts: That is not even part of the Avid Everywhere…


Mike Horton: Ok, so there you go. That’s what I got out of this whole thing.


Philip Hodgetts: Yes, really, they’re announcing some currently… with this strategic vision, but I think the problem that they have and why so many people have the same feeling that you do, Michael, that this is confusing, is that it is a very big vision; and when you have a very big vision, it’s very hard to communicate a big vision simply.


Mike Horton: So there are no soundbites, I’m assuming?


Philip Hodgetts: No. They want to help you create great content and monetize it, focus on revenues from assets, improve the value proposition – these are the notes that I made – focus on monetizing in more complex workflows. They’re filled with opportunity but there are challenges. Budgets keep going down and they showed figures of more budgets tending to go towards the IT and infrastructure side and they want to be able to move more of those expenses back to make them available for creative work, pointing out that something like 21 percent of budgets are spent on gluing workflows together.


Mike Horton: Wow.


Philip Hodgetts: If you took one-fifth of a production budget, that’s a couple of extra weeks in editorial to give you a really, really polished result or it’s a couple more visual effects. It’s better spent in the product than in the glue making it work and Avid believe that they have a platform and APIs that will allow them to be the glue that glues the RD products together with Avid’s vast product range in storage and distribution.


Larry Jordan: Philip, you mentioned that they had some demo artists there that were showing off products. Were the products they were showing helping to realize this or just simply, “Here’s some cool stuff”?


Philip Hodgetts: Both. They showed the Avid remote workflow, working back between the local ISIS system and then the wifi through the local ISIS system and then working remotely from a server in Boston, at the headquarters there. But really the way the vision is being implemented is it’s implemented in the applications that we use now. So there are not necessarily new applications or having to wait for new versions of applications. In many cases, Avid Everywhere is gluing this stuff together and I expect that probably the Avid folk are going to listen to this to see how successful their communication’s been today, to see if I’ve got the message right or not.


Larry Jordan: So Avid Everywhere is essentially a strategy of enabling you to work wherever you want. Whereas Adobe Anywhere is a specific product that’s designed to meet a particular need. Really, what you’re saying is that the Avid Everywhere concept is sort of guiding the direction of the entire company, as opposed to a single product?


Philip Hodgetts: It’s guiding the direction of the entire company, but I would not see it as paralleling Adobe Anywhere. Adobe Anywhere parallels Media Composer Remote – I think that’s what they call it. I could have that wrong – but what Avid Everywhere should be thought about as is the operating system for your workflow in production, post production and distribution. Louis Hernandez really hammered onto that allegory, that it is the operating system.


Philip Hodgetts: You have a lot of different apps that sit on top of your OS10 operating system, your Windows operating system, your iPhone operating system. They all have a similar look and feel and they all work well together because they’re on a common operating system and Avid Media Central Platform is the operating system for post production, I think, and distribution and all of the workflows that go with that, and monetization. I think that would be Avid’s position on that.


Larry Jordan: What’s your key take away, now that you’ve spent the day listening to all this?


Philip Hodgetts: It’s an incredibly grand vision and I think that’s very, very encouraging, because I haven’t seen grand vision from Avid for quite some time, since really the very early days, and again they were referred to regularly as being part of the DNA that makes the company what they are. They are building on the 200 existing patents they have.


Philip Hodgetts: They announced that they had ten additional to that granted patents specific to Avid Everywhere and they have 14 more patents pending specific to Avid Everywhere, and they’re going to give an update on those numbers at IBC and I suspect that that means that they are going to announce that those numbers are actually higher. They’re putting the research and development in.


Philip Hodgetts: They did leak today, and nobody signed an NDA, so I can say that they have said that Media Composer resolution independence, DNX resolution independence, will be coming and 4K workflows will be supported… Media Composer at some future time.


Mike Horton: Ok. That’s really good news. We’re hearing a lot of positive news coming out of Avid.


Larry Jordan: Which is an improvement and change, that’s true.


Philip Hodgetts: Absolutely.


Larry Jordan: Phil, did they give you a web address for people who want to learn more about Avid Everywhere?


Philip Hodgetts: I would just think go to Avid. I mean, Avid Everywhere is everywhere over the Avid website. Avid Everywhere is the Avid of the future, I think. What Avid Everywhere represents is what Avid wants to be now that it’s grown up.


Larry Jordan: Ok, so that would be; and how about yourself, for people who want to keep track of you? Where should they go?


Philip Hodgetts: I should go to or or I’m kind of busy.


Mike Horton: Yes.


Larry Jordan: Yes, you are. Can’t get caught when you move in so many different places. Philip Hodgetts is the CEO of Intelligent Assistance and Philip, as always, thanks for joining us today.


Philip Hodgetts: My pleasure.


Mike Horton: Thanks, Philip.


Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.


Philip Hodgetts: Bye bye.


Larry Jordan: Johnny Brower is a musician. He’s also a rock promoter, art collector, writer and movie producer who was deeply involved in the emerging rock industry in the late 1960s and ‘70s. He’s also the producer of the POP 69 Movie, based on the historical events that prompted John Lennon and Yoko Ono to travel across the world to perform for the first time as The Plastic Ono Band. Hello, Johnny, and welcome back.


Johnny Brower: Well, thank you. Thank you so much, Larry. I’m feeling like a regular now and one more appearance and we’ll have a trilogy.


Mike Horton: Yes, we do. We send you a box of chocolates.


Larry Jordan: Yes. Not only that, but then we make you a regular, we give you regular T-shirt.


Johnny Brower: Oh no, I love it.


Larry Jordan: Yes, it’s the shirt that Mike is wearing now and he generally throws it out and we give it to a regular.


Mike Horton: Yes, until we’re on camera, then I’ll never wear it again.


Johnny Brower: Thanks, Mike.


Larry Jordan: Give us a quick précis for people who didn’t hear the first time you were on. Tell us about what the POP 69 Movie is about.


Johnny Brower: It’s about the experience that we all had in the summer of 1969, getting ready for the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival, which took place on September 13th 1969 and was originally planned as a rock and roll revival with Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Bo Diddley. Then we added a band nobody had really heard of, Alice Cooper and we had Chicago and then we threw in The Doors for good measure.


Johnny Brower: Somehow or other, in an inexplicable moment of rock and roll, it just did not really take off and it was going to be cancelled for lack of ticket sales on Monday the week of the show and in a last minute desperate Hail Mary attempt, Kim Fowley, the legendary Hollywood record producer who had come up to Toronto to see this show, said, “Listen, John Lennon loves all these old rock and roll bands. You’ve got to call Apple tomorrow and tell them you’ve got Chuck Berry, Little Richard. The Beatles have done songs by them. Don’t tell them about the other bands, just tell them the old rock and rollers and invite he and Yoko to come and be the MCs.”


Johnny Brower: So I said, “That would be fantastic. How are you going to get John Lennon on the phone?” He said, “You’ve got to call Apple and basically just tell them what you’ve got and see how you do,” so we called Apple, of course, and told the receptionist that I had Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley etcetera and would John Lennon like to come and be the MC, and a few seconds later John came on the phone and said, “Hello? Who is this?” and “You’ve got Chuck Berry?” etcetera, and I said, “Yes, this Saturday and would you and Yoko accept our invitation to be the MCs? “ and he said, “Well, we wouldn’t want to come unless we could play.” I said, “Well, you mean The Beatles?” and he goes, “No, just me and Yoko and we’ll put a little band together,” and I said, “Well, sure, we’ll squeeze you in,” you know?


Johnny Brower: So he said, “Call me tomorrow, I’ll give you the names for the plane tickets.” I said, “You know, well, I can’t pay you really, you’re priceless, but we’ll fly you over and take care of you here.” So I called the next day and we get the names for the plane tickets – John Lennon, Yoko Ono Lennon, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, Alan White, Mal Evans, The Beatles’ tour manager, and Anthony Fawcett, Yoko’s assistant – and that began a week that I will relive forever in my mind and will never be duplicated.


Johnny Brower: We, of course, went to the big radio station and told them the news and they just looked at us like, “Yes, sure. Yes, right. Get out of here,” because they knew the tickets were not selling, the show was failing. They thought we were coming in there with some fantastic story that we’d get them to believe and go on the radio with and sell out the stadium and then John wouldn’t show.


Larry Jordan: Yes.


Johnny Brower: Well, it was an uphill battle, of course, but we did get Russ Gibb in Detroit, who had a radio program every night and had been promoting shows with me and knew that I would never tell him a story, and he listened to the tape, because we taped Anthony Fawcett the next day giving us the plane ticket information – I had hoped to get John on the phone. The radio station still didn’t believe that in Toronto. We played the tape for them, they just went, you know, “Get out of here. You got some guy with a pretty good English accent making a fake tape,” and so Russ Gibb in Detroit played the tape every hour on his radio show during that week. We sold 10,000 tickets in Detroit alone.


Larry Jordan: Wow.


Johnny Brower: By Friday, I organized the Vagabonds’ motorcycle club, AD Motorcycles, to come out and escort John in and at four o’clock in the morning Friday night, Anthony Fawcett calls me from Heathrow airport at nine in the morning and says, “I’m at the airport with Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, Alan White, Mal Evans and myself and I just talked to John and he says he can’t make it, send flowers.”


Mike Horton: Oh jeez.


Johnny Brower: Well, I came out bad like I got hit with a cattle prod because my life passed before my eyes, because the bikers had told me they’d heard the rumors that he wasn’t coming, it was all a bunch of nonsense and that he’d better come or else. So I saw the bikers putting these flowers on my grave and I had absolutely one Hail Mary and that was to get Eric Clapton on the phone.


Johnny Brower: So I got Clapton on the phone and I had promoted… in July and lost a bunch of money, the record didn’t come out in time, and I reminded Eric of that and said, “Look, you’ve got to help me. If John doesn’t come, I’ve got to leave my country… my city. I’m coming over there to move in with him.” I thought that’s the only place the bikers won’t find me. So Eric got really mad, you know, “I don’t come out to the airport this time in the morning for anybody, and I’m really upset,” and he used a little… language than that, so I said, “Could you get John on the phone, please?”


Johnny Brower: So they got John on the other phone and Eric gave him an earful and I guess John, we found out later, was so upset that Eric was mad at him that he got out of bed – he was just there – and he and Yoko got there and they got the next plane and they arrived and the rest is history.


Mike Horton: You know, what’s amazing about this story is that you had a hell of a line-up without John Lennon and you weren’t selling tickets.


Johnny Brower: We weren’t, and the tickets were only $6, by the way. I was concerned that that might have been the problem. That was a pretty high price back then.


Mike Horton: Well, I paid $6 to see The Beatles in 1964 in Seattle and $6, well, it was a lot of money but I got to see The Beatles in Seattle for $6.


Johnny Brower: Yes, well I think you did pretty good.


Mike Horton: Yes, I think I did too. But I’m still amazed. What’s wrong with Toronto that The Doors and Chicago and a bill like you had without John Lennon, you couldn’t sell tickets?


Johnny Brower: I just don’t know. We did a pop festival in June, a couple of months before Woodstock, where we sold 30,000 tickets and we had Sly and the band and Steppenwolf and we had a lot of top acts, many of whom were at Woodstock. But for some reason or other, the old rock and rollers just didn’t gel in Toronto, and remember that The Doors had just had their incident in Miami a month or so before and there may have been a backlash there with parents who still actually controlled what their kids did and doled out the dollars and may have just said, “You know, I don’t want you going to that show.” I don’t know.


Mike Horton: I thought Miami was the last concert they gave. I didn’t even know that they were going to go do Toronto, because I thought the whole tour was cancelled after that.


Johnny Brower: Well, it was, but I had a pretty good relationship with them. Jim liked me, we had a little personal experience that was a kind of magical thing. My first concert, major one, was The Doors. I was still living at home at my mom’s and that was the year before, in April of ’68, and the agent had told me, “You need to bring six beers to the airport. Jim’s in one limo, the band’s in the other and no Budweiser.”


Johnny Brower: Well, they didn’t sell Budweiser in Canada then anyway, I brought Heineken. So Jim and I were in one limo and he looked at the beers and there was an opener and he opened one up and drank one and opened another and he nodded to me. He didn’t say anything, he just nodded to me like, “Yes, have a beer.” So I had a beer and he drank the rest of them on the way down and we got to the hotel and the limo driver jumped out and ran around and opened the door and Jim stepped out and he stopped and he turned back in and he looked at me and he said, “Hey, man, thanks for not talking.”


Johnny Brower: I was so terrified, I didn’t even open my mouth. I mean, first time in a limo, I’m with Jim Morrison and I’m speechless. Apparently he had told the agent manager, “I really like that guy in Toronto.” So when we requested a year later for them to come, because coming back from Woodstock and I’d been on stage at Woodstock for the Saturday and Sunday, I came back going, “We’ve got to have a big act. We’ve got to have a big headliner here.” Chicago had one hit, Alice Cooper was unknown. Of course, they had a chicken incident at that show, which made them world famous, but as Alice said to me last year, he said, “You know, no matter where I go, no matter what, people just want… They don’t care about me playing golf with Gerald Ford. They don’t care about this. All they want to know is “Tell me about the chicken.””


Mike Horton: Yes, there’s a documentary out there. He spouts that whole thing.


Larry Jordan: So how did the film come out of this? And what’s the status of the film?


Mike Horton: Film? This is, like, the greatest story ever.


Johnny Brower: This is the greatest story never told, ok? Well, how the film came out of it was two years ago, Bravo did a series in Canada called Young Street Toronto Rock and Roll Stories, because Young Street’s like the Broadway of Canada, and they interviewed me extensively for the third hour.


Johnny Brower: It went from the late ‘50s into the early ‘60s and the late ‘60s. So I was prominently featured in the third hour and I told some of these stories and apparently they got phone calls and letters and emails and everything saying, “Wow, we want to hear more stories by that guy.” So the director, Bruce McDonald, said to me, “You know what? You really need to write that story down about the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival,” and so I did and over the course of the last few years it’s become a screenplay, it’s been rewritten a hundred times, as any screenwriter will tell you. It’s like a record producer, they always want to go back in the studio and listen to it one more time and see if there’s another little tweak they can do to it.


Johnny Brower: But I wrote a screenplay based on my life between March and September, so it sort of sets up us as rock promoters in Toronto. We were the big promoters in Canada because we were the only ones, but we were young and we had a lot of chutzpah and we had some rich friends who were induced into bankrolling this madness and it ended up that we did this big pop festival and then we ended up with the Revival and the next thing you know, timing and opportunity walk hand in hand and next thing you know, we’re walking into the history books.


Larry Jordan: Wow. Well, ok, but now…


Mike Horton: I want to see this movie.


Larry Jordan: …we’ve got the script done. Are we just looking at the script? Do we have funding? Do you have a director? What’s happening?


Johnny Brower: I have funding and we are on a quest for a director. I almost feel that a quest for a director is like the movie… for Fire, or whatever. I promise you, the last time we got… director of Twenty Feet from Stardom and if you know him, give him a call. I love the guy and…


Mike Horton: Actually, I do know him.


Johnny Brower: One of the problems with funding is we have a very, very senior movie executive whose name I don’t feel it’s appropriate to mention, but he is prepared to put the funding together but he knows that my partner and I are first timers and he said, “If you want to learn this business, start by learning how to go and get a director. I’m not going to do this for you. Show me that you can do this,” and it’s not easy.


Johnny Brower: Directors are very busy, they’re hard to get to, you can’t have access to them. But we are very close with a couple right now, one of whom is a Canadian – I also won’t mention his name, but very, very famous recently – and it’s just a question of getting to them at the right time with the right presentation. The funding, you know, these people pick up phones and they get hedge funds and insurance companies to finance a lot of these movies if you have credibility. The main thing they want to know is who is the director and the director has to be the eye at the top of the pyramid.


Johnny Brower: The agents that represent actors want to know who the director is, because the director can make or break an actor’s career and so it’s a process. We’re going through it, we’re very close. I hope that next time, if there is a next time that I’m honored to be on your show, that I have the announcement of the director. But one thing I can announce to you is that in September at TIFF, which is, of course, Toronto International Film Festival. We’re going to announce the documentary, Did A Rock Festival Break Up The Beatles? It will be a documentary, it will not be a feature the way POP 69 will, but it will interview and talk about what the impact was on the people that actually made this thing happen. From the bands, from Clapton, Klaus Voorman, Alan White, Anthony Fawcett, Yoko.


Johnny Brower: I mean, Yoko’s already been interviewed about this a number of times in the past, including in the intro to Sweet Toronto where the entire John Lennon performance was put out on a DVD by… in the ‘80s, so all of those people and what’s the historical impact of this experience on their lives and the implications of everything for The Beatles etcetera. We expect to have Ringo and Paul on camera as well. That’s going to be announced at TIFF and we’ll be announcing the director – we have him already but I’m not going premature that announcement – so that’s going to be announced in September and that will start shooting immediately.


Mike Horton: You can’t get any better venue than the TIFF to announce that, that’s for sure.


Johnny Brower: Especially about a Toronto event.


Larry Jordan: Johnny, you’ve been a rock promoter for a while, but you’re a first time film producer and now that you’re this far into the process, what have you learned? What’s the take away?


Johnny Brower: What I’ve learned is that they told me in the beginning, “This is the hardest thing you’ll ever do,” and I laughed at them and I shouldn’t have, because it is. This is absolutely, from all of my experience, and I drilled oil wells, ok? I’ve been in a few businesses, but the combination of people that are required and the sequence of events in order to make a film is almost unfathomable to come into it blind and come in at the top. I mean, I didn’t come in as an intern and learn the business.


Johnny Brower: I have had to come in at the top and learn the business and at the same time juggle the dealings at that level and it’s been an enormous challenge, but it’s been a gift as well because at my age it’s almost like having a second life, without having to be on the internet playing games. It’s fascinating, it’s personal, it’s a blessing.


Johnny Brower: To actually be involved in something that is a very important aspect of the transition from a Beatle to John Lennon solo artist, that seminal turning point, that moment when it turned, it’s a big responsibility and everybody involved takes it that way and honors the fact that this is an honor for us to be able to be a part of this experience.


Larry Jordan: That’s just way cool. I like what you say about it being a second career. I think that’s exactly right, and coming in at any level, whether you’re an intern or a producer or somewhere in between, the whole industry is unfathomable. If you look at this from the outside, you say, “This makes sense,” and you get inside it and you say, “There’s no sense here anywhere that I can see.”


Mike Horton: It makes no sense ever.


Johnny Brower: Well, all you have to do is stay in a movie theater long enough to read the credits and realize that this is not a one man show. I mean, it takes so many people and each one of them, in my opinion, is as important as the next because without that person, it’s like the weak link in the chain, everybody’s important and it goes on for minutes and minutes and minutes of credits.


Larry Jordan: Yes, well, you’re preaching to the converted here. Both Mike and I are nodding our heads, it’s true.


Mike Horton: Yes, that’s for sure. I’d love to sit down with you with a beer for about two or three hours.


Johnny Brower: Well, I’m in LA for the next month so…


Mike Horton: Are you really?


Johnny Brower: …and I like to drink beer.


Mike Horton: Are you really? You’re in LA?


Johnny Brower: I’m in Venice right now.


Mike Horton: Oh my goodness, I’m going to give you an email and you and I are going to get together and reminisce.


Johnny Brower: Fantastic.


Larry Jordan: Whatever you do, Johnny, be sure that Mike pays for his own drinks or you’re going to be walking back home. You’ll have to pawn…


Johnny Brower: Well, I’ll tell you one thing. If Mike brings the T-shirt, I’ll cover his drinks.


Mike Horton: That’s a Larry Jordan thing.


Larry Jordan: Johnny, where can people go on the web to learn more about the movie?


Johnny Brower: They can go to for a start.


Larry Jordan: Ok, that’s or


Johnny Brower: No, actually, you’ve got me there. It’s


Larry Jordan: It’s your website, man.


Johnny Brower: Yes, it’s my website but we have a few of them. But I’m launching a book, by the way, this month on another rock festival.


Larry Jordan: You’re going to have to talk about the book another time. Johnny Brower…


Johnny Brower: I just forgot the website on this one.


Larry Jordan: It’s all right.


Johnny Brower: I’ve got a couple of things going on here, Larry.


Larry Jordan: Johnny, hush up. Johnny Brower is the producer of POP 69 Movie, at Johnny, thanks for joining us today.


Johnny Brower: Thank you so much, guys.


Mike Horton: Thanks, Johnny.


Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.


Johnny Brower: Bye bye.


Larry Jordan: I don’t know, Mike, do you think Johnny’s interested in his subject or what?


Mike Horton: That guy’s great. I’ve got to have him at LAFCPUG. He’s in Venice. Maybe he’s going to be here all month, so why not have him at LAFCPUG, right?


Larry Jordan: Even if he isn’t here all month, you can record something with him and it would be phenomenal.


Mike Horton: Oh, did you just give that to me? Or was that Cirina who did? I got his phone number. I got his phone number! Ok, then. Oh, I want to hang out with this guy. I just want to hear all the stories. It’s just, oh my God.


Larry Jordan: I don’t think you can get all the stories heard in less than two hours.


Mike Horton: Well, it’ll take a couple of nights in a bar, but that’s ok, I’m Irish and looking forward to it. You got a T-shirt, by the way? You don’t have a T-shirt, do you?


Larry Jordan: We’ll find a T-shirt.


Mike Horton: Yes, you don’t have Larry Jordan T-shirts, do you?


Larry Jordan: I have Larry Jordan mousepads, but we just…


Mike Horton: Oh, that’s right. Oh, by the way, I gave away 20 mousepads at the last meeting to the entire student filmmaking population at El Cerrito College.


Larry Jordan: Very cool. We are going to make some Larry Jordan T-shirts.


Mike Horton: Cerritos College? El Cerrito? Whatever. It’s some course in California.


Larry Jordan: It’s going to have Mike Horton’s face on the front of it and says, “I am not Larry Jordan.”


Mike Horton: Michael Horton with one of those goatee thingies, Van Dyke beards that everybody has been wearing.


Larry Jordan: It’s carefully crafted. It’s actually Photoshopped on. There’s a Photoshop filter that fits right in front of my face.


Mike Horton: I don’t know how you shave those things.


Larry Jordan: With great caution.


Mike Horton: Absolutely.


Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests who were on the show. We started with Ian Fritzsche, he’s the Director of Media Services for Southeastern University over in Orlando, Florida – near it at least; Philip Hodgetts, the President of Intelligent Assistance; and Johnny Brower, musician…


Mike Horton: And, yes, he and I are going to be down in Venice at the bar.


Larry Jordan: You should sell tickets for that.


Mike Horton: Yes, talking ’69.


Larry Jordan: The promoter and film producer of the POP 69 Movie, which you just heard is actually in pre-production.


Larry Jordan: There’s a lot happening at The Buzz between shows and it’s all posted to our website, Talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook at Music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound; text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription; and you can email us at If you have questions about Mike Horton that you want to get answered, don’t hesitate to send those directly to me.


Mike Horton: Who is Mike Horton?


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


Mike Horton: Goodbye, everybody.


Larry Jordan: Take care.


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