Digital Production Buzz
July 31, 2014
[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]
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 take1.tv 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: Supermeet.com.
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 digitalproductionbuzz.com. We’re on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and check out the website at digitalproductionbuzz.com. We’re going to be back to talk about schools and training and students and live production all at Southeastern University, right after this.
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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 seu.edu 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 seu.edu 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 avid.com; and how about yourself, for people who want to keep track of you? Where should they go?
Philip Hodgetts: I should go to philiphodgetts.com or intelligentassistance.com or lumberjacksystem.com. 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 pop69.com for a start.
Larry Jordan: Ok, that’s pop69.com or pop69movie.com?
Johnny Brower: No, actually, you’ve got me there. It’s pop69movie.com.
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 pop69movie.com. 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, digitalproductionbuzz.com. Talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound; text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription; and you can email us at email@example.com. 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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