Digital Production Buzz
January 22, 2015
[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]
(Click here to listen to this show.)
Jon Chappell, CEO, Digital Rebellion
Ken Choy, Journalist/TV Writer, GizmoPorn
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter
Kevin Gilbert, Photojournalist, Memory Evangelist, Mylio LLC
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 shutterstock.com, a global marketplace for royalty free images and videos. With over two million royalty free HD and 4K video clips, Shutterstock helps you take your creative projects to the next level; and by Other World Computing, providing quality hardware solutions and extensive technical support to the worldwide computer industry since 1988.
Voiceover: Rolling. Action!
Voiceover: Since the dawn of digital film making…
Voiceover: …one show served a worldwide network of media professionals…
Voiceover: …uniting industry experts…
Voiceover: …film makers…
Voiceover: Post production.
Voiceover: …and content creators around the planet.
Voiceover: From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, The Digital Production Buzz goes live now.
Larry Jordan: Welcome to The Digital Production Buzz – we’re laughing at our new open – 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 and joining us is our magical co-host, Mr. Mike Horton. Hello, Mike.
Mike Horton: It’s great to be here.
Larry Jordan: I tell you, isn’t it cool?
Mike Horton: We’re close, Larry, we’re so close.
Larry Jordan: And we’ve got a new set, we’ve built a new set.
Mike Horton: We’ve got a new table.
Larry Jordan: Mhmm.
Mike Horton: And Travis, the announcing guy, who I haven’t seen forever, you actually called him up and did this whole new intro.
Larry Jordan: And the music was composed by Nathan Doogie Turner, it was finished earlier today. That’s the first that we’ve aired it, is tonight.
Mike Horton: Oh, that’s awesome.
Larry Jordan: And you should see the animation that goes with it.
Mike Horton: I like it. I like it. I like it a lot.
Larry Jordan: It’s just amazing.
Mike Horton: This is wonderful. This is so much fun.
Larry Jordan: And to celebrate the fact that we’re in our studios, we have a real live guest. We’re going to start with Jon Chappell, the CEO of Digital Rebellion. He’s designed a cloud based system for video review and collaboration called Kollaborate. Tonight, Jon joins us live in the studio to explain what the system is and how it works.
Larry Jordan: The issue of runaway production remains hot in Hollywood. Tonight, Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, looks at the issue from the point of view of composers, musicians and teamsters.
Larry Jordan: Kevin Gilbert is a photojournalist with billions and billions of images to manage. A new application, Mylio, can help us better manage our media, as Kevin explains.
Mike Horton: Yes, I hope he allows me to manage my elephant seal pictures, because people are actually using those things. I post them up on Facebook and I see them on other people’s sites, which is flattering.
Larry Jordan: I think that people… anything I say is going to get somebody in trouble. Finally, Ken Choy, film maker and contributor to GizmoPorn shares his thoughts on…
Mike Horton: I love that name.
Larry Jordan: …new gear he discovered at CES that film makers need to know about, but for reasons that don’t directly affect film making. He has some interesting opinions, as you’ll discover, tonight.
Larry Jordan: Just a reminder that we’re offering text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription. Now you can quickly scan or print the contents of each show, as well as listen to it. Transcripts are located on each show page. Learn more at take1.tv and thanks, Take 1, for making this possible.
Larry Jordan: We are now live video streaming The Buzz. This week is our last tech rehearsal before we announce this to the world. To view the stream, go to digitalproductionbuzz.com and click on ‘Listen to live show’. It’s a text button at the top.
Mike Horton: Yes, I’m actually watching it right now. You look really good, Larry. It’s great, the people in the booth don’t cut to me. Oh, they do cut to me. No, don’t cut to me. Cut to him. Stay on Larry. Horton’s dark.
Larry Jordan: There it is in all our glory. You get a chance to see…
Mike Horton: People in the live chat are going, “Oh God, get back to Larry.”
Larry Jordan: I was going to ask what you think, Mike, but I think it’s pretty clear.
Mike Horton: I love this. How can you not love this? And I hope everybody comes in and drives out here and becomes a live guest.
Larry Jordan: Well, one of the things that we’re hoping to do in the near future is start to invite a live audience. It’s a small studio, but have five or ten people in the house with us, which could be just way cool. We’ll be starting that probably in February, allow people to throw sticks at you from a distance.
Mike Horton: And we can make them laugh. It’ll be great.
Larry Jordan: Visit with us on Facebook, at digitalproductionbuzz.com; we’re on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and subscribe to our fee weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com. We’ll be back with Jon Chappell right after this.
Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is now shipping its production camera 4K, a super high resolution 4K digital production camera for Ultra HD television production. Featuring a large Super 35 sensor with a professional global shutter, it also offers EF and ZE compatible lens mounts and records to a super fast SSD drive.
Larry Jordan: 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.
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Larry Jordan: Jon Chappell is the Founder of Digital Rebellion LLC with a background as an editor, post production supervisor and software developer. His company’s post production software is used by freelancers, production companies and Fortune 500 companies around the world to fix problems, optimize workflows and manage teams. Welcome, Jon, good to have you with us.
Jon Chappell: Thanks for having me.
Larry Jordan: You are our first live video guest. Man, you’re brave.
Mike Horton: We appreciate this. This is great.
Larry Jordan: We just lit your chair. It was sort of sitting there in the dark shadows, but now we have lights turned on you, it’s amazing. So glad to have you with us.
Mike Horton: Let’s see if I can see Jon. Yes, there he is. I can see him.
Larry Jordan: See?
Mike Horton: All right.
Larry Jordan: The one thing you don’t want to do is ever listen to Michael, because he will just lead you astray. So why did you decide to found Digital Rebellion? What was the inspiration?
Jon Chappell: It’s interesting, because at the time I was actually working as a video editor in London.
Larry Jordan: That’s probably where your accent is from.
Jon Chappell: That’s right, yes, I am from England originally. I had a really, really unreliable computer and crazy deadlines and I just had to figure out all sorts of methods of getting this computer to work with Final Cut Pro 6 and meeting my deadline; and then I thought, “I could do this manually every time or I could automate it,” and so I started developing some tools and then they were far more popular than I imagined and it just sort of grew from there.
Mike Horton: Was it the actual computer that was giving you a hard time or was it just the fact that you would like to do things and so, “I’m just going to invent the software to do it”?
Jon Chappell: Maybe a bit of both.
Mike Horton: Ah.
Jon Chappell: Yes.
Larry Jordan: Do you find that you’re principally inventing tools? A lot of developers work on effects or transitions, so the tools are really to solve problems that you yourself had.
Jon Chappell: That’s right, yes. Pretty much the version one of any product I make is exclusively designed for myself.
Mike Horton: Good for you.
Jon Chappell: Yes.
Larry Jordan: Some of your tools, for instance the ever popular Compressor Repair, which I have used more times than I will ever admit publicly, are free and others of them have a fee. How do you decide what to offer for free and what to charge for?
Jon Chappell: I’m not sure that there was necessarily a lot of thought in that direction. It generally is based on how useful it is and also…
Larry Jordan: If it’s not useful at all, it’s free and if it’s useful you charge for it?
Jon Chappell: No, no, no, no, no. No, I didn’t mean that. What I mean is how many people would really benefit from it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that so many people use FCS Remover, it’s our premier product, we really wanted to make that free just to get it out there because otherwise there’s no solution at all from Apple for solving that kind of problem.
Mike Horton: Oh, I know and you probably do too, but I use Pro Maintenance Tools, which everybody uses. 90 percent of the people I know use Pro Maintenance Tools because it does everything. If you have a problem, you use Pro Maintenance Tools and that is a charge.
Jon Chappell: Yes, that’s right.
Mike Horton: You’re charged for it and it’s worth every single penny because it just solves everything. You have a problem, use Pro Maintenance Tools.
Jon Chappell: That’s right, and we’re very generous with the trial on that as well. The trial will solve a lot of problems without you having to pay anything as well.
Larry Jordan: Are you principally earning a living as a developer? Or are you still earning a living as an editor? Where does your revenue come from?
Jon Chappell: I work less as an editor now and more as a post supervisor, but pretty much still…
Larry Jordan: …post supervisor.
Jon Chappell: Yes, the majority of my time is spent doing this.
Mike Horton: And I can attest to this. I try to get him at LAFCPUG every once in a while, he says, “No, I’m working and I’m going to be gone for three months,” but yet he still updates all this stuff but I can’t get him at my local user group meeting.
Larry Jordan: No, but we got him here on The Buzz. I just think it’s a tribute to…
Mike Horton: Yes, that’s because you’re Larry Jordan and I’m Michael Horton.
Larry Jordan: I think it’s also because you’ve developed a new product called Kollaborate. Tell us about that.
Mike Horton: Ah, it’s so good.
Jon Chappell: Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform and what it allows you to do is upload files, share them with colleagues and clients and work remotely with your team.
Larry Jordan: There have to be at least 700,000 other pieces of software that do the same thing. Why should we pay attention to Kollaborate?
Jon Chappell: There’s a whole list of reasons why Kollaborate is different and a whole list of unique features, but I think one of the key reasons is that we’re an existing company, we’re not a start-up, we’ve been around for almost eight years now, we’ve developed a huge range of software and what we did when we developed Kollaborate was we went back and re-engineered our existing software to work with the cloud. So if you subscribe, you don’t just get the cloud, you also get a whole load of free apps that connect with it.
Larry Jordan: For instance?
Jon Chappell: For example, we have all sorts of apps for uploading, so many different ways to upload you can really find something that meets your workflow. You can upload via the website, we have Kollaborate Transfer, which is a batch encoding and uploading tool with a whole load of advanced features. We have a folder watching tool so you can set a folder as a watch folder and then, whenever you copy a file to that, it’ll automatically upload it to the cloud; and we also have editing plug-ins for Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro on the Mac.
Larry Jordan: Now, what does an editing plug-in do?
Jon Chappell: What it allows you to do is upload your timeline directly from your editing software to our cloud service.
Larry Jordan: From the timeline? Without having to do an export first?
Jon Chappell: That’s right.
Larry Jordan: And it works?
Jon Chappell: Yes.
Mike Horton: Yes. No, it really does. It’s really cool.
Larry Jordan: I have an allergy to the cloud, because…
Mike Horton: Boy, do you ever.
Larry Jordan: Yes, well, Sony does too, actually, when you think about it. How do you guarantee or reassure nervous nellies like me that it’s safe to move their stuff up to a server that’s not stored on premises?
Jon Chappell: We built our cloud service to be very secure and we’re using industry standard technologies, but you don’t necessarily have to take my word for it. A lot of services are either cloud only or they’re on premise and we’re the only service that I know of where we offer you a choice.
Larry Jordan: Really?
Jon Chappell: You can host with the cloud or you can take it in-house on your own servers and your own storage.
Larry Jordan: So we could use your software on our hardware, keep it inside our firewall and keep it secure?
Jon Chappell: That’s right, yes.
Larry Jordan: That is a very cool…
Mike Horton: There you go, Larry.
Larry Jordan: All right, all right, all right. I’m going to not beat him up on the cloud any more. What platforms does this work on?
Jon Chappell: The server side or the client side?
Larry Jordan: Start server side. If I want to pull the server in-house, what do I need?
Jon Chappell: You need either Linux, Mac or Windows.
Larry Jordan: So anything that’s out there, basically.
Jon Chappell: Well, yes. Ok, yes.
Larry Jordan: And how about on the client side?
Jon Chappell: The website will work on any platform, providing you’re using a relatively new browser issued within the last couple of years, but our apps tend to be Mac only.
Larry Jordan: Ok.
Mike Horton: Jon, is Digital Rebellion just you or is there somebody else too?
Jon Chappell: We’re pretty small but I keep it scalable.
Larry Jordan: It’s more than just Jon but the size varies is what it sounds like.
Mike Horton: Depending on if you’re working or not, or if you’re working another gig or not. But in terms of support, if we have a problem, we can get hold of somebody?
Jon Chappell: Oh yes, yes. We have great support and we’ve actually found that support doesn’t necessarily scale with the number of users.
Mike Horton: Really?
Jon Chappell: Yes. We’ve actually got more users now than, say, two or three years ago and we have fewer support requests.
Mike Horton: Wow. Just because it works?
Jon Chappell: Yes, just because it works and we fix bugs very quickly and, more importantly, we just make it so people can find the information they need so they don’t even need to ask us in the first place.
Larry Jordan: One thing I’ve learned is once you know how something works, you don’t generally need support unless either it breaks or you come up with a new version and people just need installation instructions, so the hardest part has got to be getting a new user up to speed.
Jon Chappell: Right, yes.
Mike Horton: When something breaks, though, let’s take you, Larry, I mean, when something breaks, do you try to figure it out yourself before you call support? Or, “I don’t have any time, I’ll just call support”?
Larry Jordan: If there’s a chance I can figure it out, I’ll try and figure it out myself. But if it’s a brand new piece of software – and with this studio we’ve installed lots of brand new software – we’re going to call support first because we don’t have a clue where to even ask a question. I suspect for something like Kollaborate, it would be new, so I would call you right away to say, “It’s stuck, how do I get help?” So how do I use Kollaborate? I’ve got the file, I’m inside Premiere or Final Cut, I’ve transferred the file up to Kollaborate. Now what happens?
Jon Chappell: It depends what you’re intending to do with that file once it’s in the cloud. Most of our customers use it for video review and approval. If they have people they’ve invited to their team, those people will be notified automatically, you don’t even need to do anything. But if there’s someone outside of the project, like a client, you can then send them a link and what’s nice about the apps is that all you need to do is tick a box and then it will automatically send a link to the client. It’s really just one step.
Larry Jordan: So the principle use is client review, so if I’ve got clients scattered all over the country, they can quickly take a look at it, so it’s not like Adobe Anywhere where I’m using this for editing?
Jon Chappell: No, no, that’s not what it’s designed for, no.
Larry Jordan: Got it. Ok, so if I look at you versus Sorenson 360, which is another review program, what would be a difference between the two of you?
Jon Chappell: I’m not 100 percent sure of its feature set.
Larry Jordan: Ok, re-phrasing the question, what do you think makes your product unique? You said there were a number of unique features. There are a number of review programs out there, so give me some examples of why you.
Jon Chappell: Ok. For example, we have a whole round tripping capability. Whenever you upload a file, Kollaborate is intelligent enough to figure out the timecode within that file and then, whenever you leave a comment on that, it’ll automatically tag it with the correct timecode. You can then export those notes and bring them back into your editing software as markers.
Larry Jordan: Ok. What’s another feature that you like?
Jon Chappell: I also like the whole range of task management features there. I think we’ve done it in a way that’s different to other people and I feel that the way we’ve done is more the way that people work within our industry.
Larry Jordan: For instance?
Jon Chappell: For example, you create a task and there are different sections where you can link files to it, so you have a related files section. Let’s say it’s a visual effects shop. You can say, “Ok, here’s the plate for this,” or “Here’s the mock-up for this shot,” and so your visual effects artist has all that at hand and then he can go away and do the shot and then he can link the deliverables back to the task and say, “Do you like it like this? Does it need changes?” You can then go back and forth and compare deliverables that way.
Larry Jordan: I just had an insight, which I hadn’t considered. I always think of video review ‘I’ve got a rough cut of my sequence’ but it can actually be down to an individual shot or send up a background plate and say, “Here’s what we think the background looks like,” so this could be down to the shot level to get people’s feedback who aren’t necessarily located in the same facility.
Jon Chappell: Oh yes, and that’s the great thing about Kollaborate, is that it’s not just video, it’s any type of file.
Mike Horton: Isn’t that cool, that you can do that now and you couldn’t do that 18 months ago? I just find it incredible.
Larry Jordan: We could ship hard disks around VFX.
Mike Horton: Ah, come on. Who wants to use the mail?
Jon Chappell: But what’s great about the fact that it doesn’t just have video is that there are a lot of services out there that are video only, so you’ve got to pay for that service and then you’ve got to pay for something like DropBox Pro on top of that just to share all your non-video files. This is great because Kollaborate will work for both and you only need to pay for one.
Larry Jordan: How big a pipeline do I need to have of internet bandwidth to be able to make this work?
Jon Chappell: You don’t need it to be all that fast. If you had maybe, I’d say probably a minimum of five megabits.
Larry Jordan: Really?
Jon Chappell: Yes.
Mike Horton: Yes, because a lot of people are on location in hotels and motels and they have to be able to deal with this, so I think that was part of your whole collaboration as you were doing this.
Larry Jordan: Who’s using the software now?
Jon Chappell: I can’t list specific companies, but we’ve got a lot of big companies in the UK using it.
Larry Jordan: More than one?
Jon Chappell: Yes.
Larry Jordan: Ok, so it’s been released and it’s in use?
Mike Horton: Oh yes. Oh yes.
Jon Chappell: Oh yes, it’s been out since 2013.
Larry Jordan: And how are you pricing it?
Jon Chappell: It’s actually very reasonable. If you pay for a whole year in advance, then our base package, you get it for the equivalent of $15 a month.
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Larry Jordan: $15 for how many users?
Jon Chappell: That’s for five users per project, unlimited projects, and 12 gigs of space.
Mike Horton: It really is one of the best collaborators for indie film makers, as well as all the way to the studio level.
Larry Jordan: So $15 a month, even if you’re a small company, and it would be for five users. Does that mean five users are able to collaborate or view or is there a difference between people who can make notes and people who can see?
Jon Chappell: We don’t put a limit on the number of views or the number of links you can send out. It’s really five people on your team who are collaborating with you, but really you can send it to an unlimited number of clients.
Larry Jordan: For clients who want to learn more about Kollaborate, where can they go on the web?
Jon Chappell: It’s kollaborate.tv.
Larry Jordan: So kollaborate.tv and for people who want to learn more about Digital Rebellion, where can they go?
Jon Chappell: That’s digitalrebellion.com.
Larry Jordan: Digitalrebellion.com and Jon Chappell is the CEO and Founder of Digital Rebellion. Jon, it’s been great having you with us.
Mike Horton: Yes, thanks, Jon, for being our first in-studio guest.
Jon Chappell: Thanks for having me.
Mike Horton: This is awesome.
Larry Jordan: And we’re delighted to have you with us. Thanks for joining us.
Jon Chappell: Thank you.
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Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an entertainment and technology attorney of Counsel at TroyGould in Los Angeles. He’s also the contributing editor on entertainment labor issues for The Hollywood Reporter and has a blog at jhandel.com. Hello, Jonathan, welcome back.
Jonathan Handel: Well, hello Larry, and…
Mike Horton: Hello Michael.
Jonathan Handel: Hello Michael.
Mike Horton: There you go.
Jonathan Handel: There you are.
Mike Horton: I’m here.
Larry Jordan: We had so much fun talking with Jon Chappell live in the studio, we’re going to have to bring you out here live and give people the chance to see what your magnificent face looks like.
Mike Horton: And also his Porsche that he drives.
Jonathan Handel: Oh! I will bring the Porsche.
Mike Horton: Yes, there you go.
Larry Jordan: Yes, bring what’s left of the Porsche.
Mike Horton: Of the Porsche.
Jonathan Handel: Along with the cats water dish yes.
Larry Jordan: Only you, me and Michael understand the significance of that joke and we’re not sharing the secret.
Mike Horton: It’s an in-house joke, that’s what it is.
Jonathan Handel: It’s an in-house joke only for people who have been listening to the show for a good long time.
Larry Jordan: Yes, and watching videos at the same time.
Jonathan Handel: And watching videos.
Larry Jordan: Jonathan, there’s been a lot of talk over the last couple of years about runaway production costing Hollywood jobs and money. Recently, this was reinforced by a report from the Musicians Guild. Tell us about these findings.
Jonathan Handel: Sure. This is a report that was actually done by the LA Alliance for New Economy and I’m not sure whether it was literally on behalf of the Musicians Guild or just in close association with them. I should be saying, the Musicians Guild is the American Federation of Musicians, the AFM, and the Research Director of LAANE, Jon Zerolnick is the author of the report.
Jonathan Handel: What he found was an enormous decline in unionized music work over the last couple of decades, basically a decline in session wages from about 50 million down to 15 million. That’s a two-thirds decline. That’s a lot of work that’s gone primarily overseas. In Eastern Europe, he found that musicians worked for something like 25 cents on the dollar compared to what musicians work for here.
Jonathan Handel: Now, you might look at that and say, “Well, what are producers supposed to do?” but the other point that he makes is that the cost of using musicians, even of using unionized musicians here in LA, is less than half a percent of the budget of a typical movie and so the dollar figures involved, actually the dollar swing is not huge but the devastation to the core of… musicians here in LA is obviously enormous, as is the spill over effect.
Larry Jordan: You sound like you are suffering from a cold, sir.
Jonathan Handel: It was a chest cold and I sounded like death warmed over, but now I just sound a bit hoarse. I was going to say a little bit like Wilbur in…
Mike Horton: Actually, if you ask me, it sounds pretty sexy.
Jonathan Handel: I’ll have to ask you after the show.
Mike Horton: Ok.
Larry Jordan: Just hush, both of you. Is this report something that’s just sour grapes over lost jobs or is there a bigger issue here?
Jonathan Handel: The LA Alliance for New Economy, I think, is really pointing to the difficulties that workers have in a situation where capital is very mobile and where companies can make decisions that affect people’s lives at the same time that executives are making lots of money and are seeing increased salaries from year to year.
Jonathan Handel: The report really points the finger at Lionsgate, which is the largest studio that is not a signatory to the AFM agreement, unlike the traditional six majors, and says, “Look, the President of Lionsgate, what he made in an increase in his salary from one year to another would have covered union musicians for many years,” so there is an issue of equity and what kind of a society we’re building or living in at this point. Sour grapes is one way to put it, but I think it’s more than just that. It’s really where does fairness lie?
Mike Horton: What kind of society are we building? Are we building a society without unions?
Jonathan Handel: Well, that’s the interesting thing. Most of this country, the answer to that is yes. The private sector union density is only about seven percent, in other words only seven percent of private sector jobs are unionized. Hollywood is obviously very different, particularly scripted work in Hollywood.
Jonathan Handel: There just aren’t any scripted movies or television shows of any economic consequence that are not Writers Guild, Directors Guild and SAG-AFTRA. Even Lionsgate, for example, one of the stats in the report is 85 to 90 percent are signatory to those unions for its movies, but when it comes to the AFM, they had only one movie in 2013 out of a dozen or more with the Musician Union.
Larry Jordan: There’s another issue that was coming up, which is the Teamsters’ potential strike over commercials. Where do we stand with that? What’s the background and what happened recently?
Jonathan Handel: They were in negotiations with commercial producers. There was a proposal that was made that the union leadership felt was ok but the negotiating committee made up of union members was mixed on and it got voted down by the members. Voting it down is automatically a strike authorization, meaning that there could be a strike February 1st.
Jonathan Handel: But since that time, there’s been a revised proposal that both the union and the negotiating committee are unanimously behind and the members are in vote on Saturday as to whether to accept that. The Secretary Treasurer of the union, the head of the union, said to me that he’s got a lot of confidence that the members will be comfortable with the proposal and will vote it up.
Larry Jordan: Let’s see, oh, in the little bit of time we’ve got let, if I’m not mistaken – and Mike, I know, has got his calendar marked – the SAG awards are this Sunday. What’s happening there?
Mike Horton: I voted yesterday.
Jonathan Handel: Ah, well, the interesting thing about the SAG awards…
Larry Jordan: You can vote that close to the show?
Mike Horton: Yes, well, tomorrow is the deadline.
Larry Jordan: Hmm. Go ahead, Jonathan.
Jonathan Handel: The interesting thing about the SAG awards, we think of them, of course, the glitz and the glamour and they’re part of the awards season leading up to the Oscars and all that, but they did a publicity event that I attended – it was actually a stunt. They took the SAG award statue, the big fiberglass one, up to the Hollywood sign…
Mike Horton: Really?
Jonathan Handel: …the two… trademarks to each other, so I did a pretty fun piece that you can find at thrlabor.com on that, but the labor thing that was interesting was that the origin of the SAG awards was actually because the actors who came up with the idea for doing the awards wanted to keep the union front and center in the mindset of big stars, who no longer directly benefit from union minimums and things like that.
Jonathan Handel: You’re making $10 million a picture, you don’t care what the union minimum is and you probably don’t even care that much about the healthcare. But for the union to be able to give back in terms of an award was something that they wanted to do.
Mike Horton: And they’re doing a really good job. It does give back and the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, which I know you know very, very well, does also an extremely good job of keeping the union out there in front of everybody.
Larry Jordan: Jonathan, for people who want to keep track of what you’re writing and what you’re thinking, where can they go on the web?
Jonathan Handel: Two places – jhandel.com and thrlabor.com.
Larry Jordan: That’s jhandel.com and the other one, Jonathan?
Jonathan Handel: Thrlabor.com.
Mike Horton: And Jonathan, you’ve got to come out here. This is an awesome studio we’ve got.
Jonathan Handel: I’ll zip my Porsche right out.
Mike Horton: Yes, please do.
Larry Jordan: We’ll have the limo pick you up next week. Jonathan, thanks for joining us. We’ll talk to you soon.
Jonathan Handel: Thanks, guys.
Larry Jordan: Bye bye.
Jonathan Handel: Bye bye.
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Larry Jordan: Kevin Gilbert has been a professional photographer for more than 30 years, shooting pictures in over 70 countries for the Washington Times, Discovery Channel and Mark Burnett Productions, among many others. He’s helped thousands of people learn to take better pictures through the TED University program, Blue Pixel and Photo Coaches. Kevin is now the memory evangelist at Mylo, which is the creator of Mylio. Hello, Kevin, welcome.
Kevin Gilbert: Hey, good evening. How are you tonight?
Larry Jordan: We are doing great. We’ve got this cool new studio with all kinds of photographic style lights in it and Michael has never looked better. We are having a great time.
Mike Horton: No, somebody in the chat says, “Horton’s dark.” That’s part of my contract, folks.
Larry Jordan: Kevin, what got you interested in photography in the first place?
Kevin Gilbert: Oh my gosh, that’s funny, I haven’t been asked that question for many years. I worked in a movie theater sweeping the floors all through high school, dishing out popcorn when somebody called in sick, and I got fascinated by a couple of guys named Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and I found myself watching movies all the time.
Kevin Gilbert: I thought I wanted to be a film maker, I went to Syracuse University because I thought, “Ok, I’m going to go to film school, I’m going to be the next Spielberg,” and then I realized that it takes a year to do a movie and I think adult ADD kicked in and I was like, “You know what? I want to be a photojournalist, because those guys do four or five assignments a day and at the end of the day they go home and they’re not thinking about this one year long project.”
Kevin Gilbert: So I was always attracted by the visual and the epic nature of cinematography, but when it really got down to it, I was just about a visual and I just always have loved being in the news world, and the photojournalism world, and weddings, and commercial stuff and all of that kind of photography because it just really grabs my soul all the time. That’s the short answer.
Mike Horton: Are you the kind of guy that always runs around with a camera around his neck?
Kevin Gilbert: No. I always have a camera with me or very close by. You never know when a car’s going to plow into a bunch of people, which is a really morbid thing. Good photojournalists always have a camera and my friend Chase Jarvis was the one that coined that phrase, ‘The best camera’s the one you have with you’.
Mike Horton: Right.
Kevin Gilbert: For all of us, we all have an iPhone or a Galaxy phone with us at most times these days, so I always have a camera. My Samsung camera, my Nikon or whatever are all in the car in my camera bag about ten feet away, but I’ve always got a way to capture a memory, no matter what, no matter when.
Mike Horton: And those phone cameras are pretty good cameras.
Larry Jordan: You’ve been shooting now for more than 30 years. What are some of your most memorable assignments?
Kevin Gilbert: Oh, gosh. Memorable assignments. I’ve covered four Presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan when I was still a young pup, I’m not that old. I was still a young kid working at a newspaper in DC, covering Reagan and when all of a sudden you’re in the Oval Office and there’s Reagan and Gorbachev or world leaders and you’re ten feet away and you’re part of history, you’re kind of this eye on history, it becomes this treadmill of, “Wow, how can I top this?” and then you go to a Super Bowl and then another President gets elected and you’re flying on Air Force One and then you’re doing this or doing that. Everybody’s like, “Can I carry your camera bag?”
Kevin Gilbert: I don’t mean to gush, but I’ve had this really extraordinary life with extraordinary luck and throw in a little bit of talent, but it’s really about being a really good person and this is something I’ve always talked about. People are always like, “How did you get all these things? How did you go from a newspaper guy to covering the White House to Discovery Channel and then working with Mark Burnett on Survivor and Apprentice and all these reality shows?”
Kevin Gilbert: It really is about just being a good person and not stabbing the next guy in the back, about always producing great storytelling photography on deadline all the time, sometimes early, which is always a bonus, and when it really comes down to it, it’s all just about memories that you get to make and share with other people and that’s the nature of photojournalism. It’s just telling a story, whether it’s your daughter’s birthday party or a war in the Middle East. You’re still just telling a very simple story with a beginning, middle and end. Again, another long answer for a very short question.
Mike Horton: No, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve actually heard that. Be a good person. Just be a good person and you’re hirable. Talent obviously helps, but be a good person. Be one of these people that you want to work with, hang out with.
Kevin Gilbert: Exactly. When I was first in Washington DC, I was 23 years old, a couple of years out of college and a small internship at a newspaper, and I remember talking to this kind of veteran Associated Press photographer in Washington and he covered the White House and he was one of those legends. He’s passed away since, but Barry said to me, “Kevin, the best thing you can do in this city, with all the crazy political backstabbing things that happen not just in politics but in the press corps, just be a good person,” to be one of the good guys, to be the one that extends a helping hand and if the next guy’s battery dies, you give him an extra battery.
Kevin Gilbert: If his roll of film, he’s out, you give him an extra roll of film and I’ve always done that and always tried to keep that as part of my daily professional life. I’ll always help you out. I’ll let you use one of my lenses on a photo trip that I’m taking with a bunch of attendees. I always give people my equipment and I miss pictures because they’re getting them and, honestly, that’s what I’m there for. I guess it just carried on.
Larry Jordan: Well, that gets me to one of the roles that you have now. You’re a memory evangelist for a company called Mylo and you’re working with an application called Mylio. Why did you get involved with them and what is Mylio?
Kevin Gilbert: Let me tell you what Mylio is first, because it’s the most extraordinary thing I’ve seen in photography since I started shooting digital in 1996. Mylio’s the first product that realizes that our lives are all in a photo mess. I call it the photo chaos of our lives. We shoot so many pictures in so many ways, we save them different places, we put them on social media, we put them here, we put them there, we don’t download the cards, we stick cards in the drawer, we have old computers that we just throw in the garage. Our lives are a photo mess and it’s not getting any better.
Kevin Gilbert: Mylio was created to be the first company that says, “Hey, we realize that you need to do a lot of things. First of all, let’s gather all of your pictures together.” As a consumer, I just go, “Oh my gosh, my pictures are on Facebook, on Instagram and on Flickr, they’re 500 pixels. They’re on my camera phone or two or three generations ago. They are in iPhoto, they’re in LightRoom, they’re on hard drives, on NAS devices.” You name it.
Kevin Gilbert: I mean, it’s ridiculous where all of our photographs are, and so Mylio said, “Let’s gather all these pictures together and put them in one place so that you can tell a complete story of your life, so that you can look back and say, “Here’s my vacations. Not just one, but the last ten vacations, and look at how our kids have grown,” and do the kind of things and see the kind of things that create great stories.”
Kevin Gilbert: So that was the first thing Mylio said, “Let’s gather our photos,” and then we said, “You know what? You’re not going to be able to gather all these photos and share them with your children or grandchildren unless you find a way to protect them, keep them safe and just find a simple way that this happens automatically,” so we did that.
Kevin Gilbert: Then the third thing that we said…how many times have you guys gone on a vacation or to some event and shot with a DSLR or a mirrorless camera and some camera phone pictures and somebody says to you, “Hey, how was that football game you just went to?” and you go, “Oh yes, let me show you the great pictures I’ve got.” Then you go, “Oh, I’ve got two on my camera phone and then out of focus pictures of the guy in front of me sitting in the stands. All my good ones are back on my computer at home and I think I have some at the office.”
Kevin Gilbert: That situation no longer exists with Mylio, because we take all of your photographs and put them on your iPhone, on your tablet, on your Windows machine, on your Mac, coming soon your Android devices. All the pictures you’ve taken from everywhere, from your hard drives, from Facebook, from Instagram, from your camera phone are now all together in one place on every device that you have all the time.
Larry Jordan: But there’s a problem there, because there isn’t enough room on a cell phone for all of our pictures.
Mike Horton: I was just going to say that. There’s no chance in heck that you could do that on my cell phone.
Larry Jordan: So they’re not really stored on our device.
Kevin Gilbert: If I could show you a screenshot right now, I’d show you that I have 126,283 photographs in albums, completely editable on my phone, on my iPhone 6+. I also have that same 126,000 photos in an editable RAW format on my iPad and I also have those 126,000 photographs on six different devices in three different locations – at my home, at my office and at my mom’s house – on storage drives, old computers and my current computers…
Mike Horton: No way!
Kevin Gilbert: I love it. I love it.
Larry Jordan: So are you saying that every one of those pictures is stored locally?
Kevin Gilbert: Yes. What we did is we do not use the cloud. How would you like to say, “Hey, I’ve got two terabytes of photographs…”
Mike Horton: All of a sudden, Larry loves that.
Larry Jordan: But how are you getting two terabytes of photographs on a cell phone?
Kevin Gilbert: We have an extremely smart bunch of engineers led by our CEO, who is a former CTO of Microsoft, who said, “You know what? Our images are precious to us. We have to find ways to save them and protect them and be able to show them to others, not just sharing by putting them on social, but show people what you’ve done or where you’ve been or what your life is like,” so we take all of the originals when you bring them in, whether they’re in hard drives or whatever, you bring them into Mylio.
Kevin Gilbert: Any devices that you’ve added to the Mylio ecosystem, if you’ve added an iPad, if you’ve added a phone or 6+ or 5S or coming soon a Galaxy phone or an HTC phone, things like that, we spin down all of your raw files, your jpegs, your tifs, to the slightly less than one megabyte DNG files, which are completely editable as RAW files.
Mike Horton: Ah!
Larry Jordan: Mhmm.
Kevin Gilbert: We put all these files on your iPad. My iPad has 126,000 photos. If they were all RAW files, less than one megabyte, which we spin them down to, I could have 100,000 RAW files on my tablet, no problem, completely editable.
Kevin Gilbert: Histograms, highlights, shadow, clarity, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah all the way through, and then at the same time, if you add a phone to the Mylio ecosystem, it says, “Well, you’re on a phone, so we take your RAW file or your tif or your jpeg, we spin it down to a very small thumbnail which is really amazing quality and still allow it to be completely editable,” and when I say completely editable, you can tone it, you can crop it, you can star rate it or flag it or color it, you can put it into albums on your phone and when you return back to your home or your office where you have wifi between devices, the local wifi will sense that you’re back in and there are changes to the catalog on the phone and it’ll change all of your devices – your hard drives, your computers, your NAS devices, your tablets. Everything will change…
Mike Horton: I like this.
Kevin Gilbert: …to reflect the change you made on your phone while you were sitting at the dentist’s office.
Larry Jordan: We’ve got about a minute and a half left and there are a couple of key questions I want to get to. First is what does it cost?
Kevin Gilbert: There are three prices for it, all based on how many pictures you have and how many devices you want to use. It starts at $50 for 50,000 pictures with three devices. There’s a lot of people who fit that category. It doesn’t include RAW editing at that level. If you go up to $100 a year, it’s 100,000 pictures and five devices including full RAW editing and global editing with all kinds of wonderful effects.
Mike Horton: Wait a minute, you said $100 a year? Not $100 a month?
Kevin Gilbert: $100 per year.
Mike Horton: For 100,000 or whatever.
Kevin Gilbert: 100,000 pictures. If you go to the $250 per year, you’re talking half a million to a million photographs in your catalog, fully editable and searchable, with full RAW editing, including a worldwide relay shuttle service so that you be at different devices in different parts of the world, having this synching capability.
Mike Horton: Wow, really?
Larry Jordan: Kevin, where can people go on the web to learn more about what Mylio has to offer?
Kevin Gilbert: Just go to www.mylio.com. It stands for My Life Is Organized.
Larry Jordan: That is mylio.com. The memory evangelist for Mylio is the photojournalist Kevin Gilbert and, Kevin, thanks for…
Mike Horton: Thanks so much. This is awesome.
Larry Jordan: …thanks for joining us today.
Mike Horton: And no cloud, Larry, no cloud!
Larry Jordan: Take care, Kevin. Bye bye.
Kevin Gilbert: No cloud! It’s all private.
Larry Jordan: Buzz producer Cirina Catania traveled to CES in Las Vegas earlier this month and interviewed film maker and blogger Ken Choy about his impressions of the trade show from a film maker’s point of view.
Cirina Catania: So the 2015 International CES just ended. I’m with Ken Choy, who is a film maker and a writer for a very popular site called GizmoPorn and you have to explain to our audience what that is.
Ken Choy: Ok, it’s porn for gizmos, not gizmos for porn. You have to make that clarification.
Cirina Catania: There you go. So really you’ve been going to CES for quite a few years now. Why? Why go?
Ken Choy: I’m an activity junkie, and plus the technology in Gizmo, just to keep up on that, it’s pretty amazing stuff, so to be technologically savvy as well as aware of what’s out there. I think that’s pretty important for today’s people.
Cirina Catania: CES is huge. It takes up, what…
Ken Choy: CES is like Comic Con for consumer electronics, but it spreads out over the entire Strip, officially and unofficially. It’s humungous. Probably around 200,000 people make the trek for CES during January.
Cirina Catania: Why would a film maker go to CES?
Ken Choy: There are a multitude of reasons why. One, if you’re a content creator, you have to be aware of what technology you want to implement into your scripts, as well as you want to be aware of possible partnerships as far as licensing and product placement is concerned. You can always make partnerships with companies to implement their technology directly into your script from ground zero, so you’re building scripts based on that technology.
Cirina Catania: Can you give me an example of something that you would see at CES that you then build into your script?
Ken Choy: I’m working on a IP myself and one of the things that happens is someone breaks into a car. Well, as a journalist I visited a company called Zakir. They’re known for their cellular charging solutions, as well as their emergency solutions, and they have several emergency solutions that fit in the palm of your hand that can bash a window in. It’s a seatbelt cutter as well, all multifunctional, all in one tool.
Cirina Catania: Ok, wait a minute. You’re holding it in the palm of your hand and it can bash a window in. You don’t cut your hand?
Ken Choy: No, it’s a window basher and a seatbelt cutter and a flashlight and a charger all in one, so it’s pretty amazing. I’m thinking, as a content creator, how can I implement that in the script? Well, I already did. I have something like that in my script, so maybe I want to partner with Zakir as far as product placement, maybe licensing, maybe a special whatever your IP’s called, special product for your content.
Ken Choy: There’s a multitude of possibilities that you can partner with these companies. You don’t have to let them get free advertising any more. You just reach out to the companies and say, “Hey, I have this scene in my script. Maybe you want to partner with me on that.”
Cirina Catania: That’s a really great idea. So you’re going around CES and you’re meeting the marketing people that handle these products and you’re meeting the people that are developing the products and thinking of it from a product placement standpoint. Does that translate, then, into money?
Ken Choy: Absolutely. Everything’s about money these days. If you want to remain with artistic integrity, well, let’s face it, film making is basically prostitution, so you always have to think about monetary and financial situations and there’s nothing wrong with that. Even advertainment, which they’re calling that, that’s something to get a product across, but you’re entertaining people as well.
Cirina Catania: Ok, you’re walking around CES, you’re thinking about product placement. Was there anything other than the window basher that interested you? Can you think of anything?
Cirina Catania: I wasn’t bored at all at CES. You never can be bored. There was one printer that uses basic copy paper to make models and that’s astounding, something you have lying around at the house. No dust from plastics, no ink dust, no particles. Very environmentally friendly. Mcor Technologies is the company. Yes, they’re dense and they’re strong. It’s not flimsy things and you can make it waterproof as well by just dipping it in solution because paper is very porous, so it’ll suck that up and it’s strong. It’s not like some flimsy thing. The printer costs $50,000, which is a good investment, but they’ve done case studies where people have turned around businesses because of that printing machine. Very astounding.
Cirina Catania: I could see that modeling actors and movies and selling the toys.
Ken Choy: But not only that. Production designers can render models on the cheap. They don’t have to spend an enormous amount of time making those models, so I think there’s a lot of implementations, not only for the consumer but for the film maker as well.
Cirina Catania: What are some of your other favorites?
Ken Choy: I am drooling over Pelican and their suitcases. They have consumer suitcases and I just have an orgasm over the idea of Pelican making suitcases. I’m a power junkie as well, so solar power, solar chargers, anything that consolidates power into a pocket I love. Definitely anything like that I want.
Cirina Catania: So what else did you see that you liked?
Ken Choy: I liked Walk It. Everybody’s talking about security these days. This is basic a credit card maker and you can store information for up to 10,000 cards – loyalty cards, gas cards, gift cards, gym memberships – all into one device. It can render a number that can be usable for 60 seconds, two minutes, however long you want to give a person that code and then it expires and it’s no longer good any more.
Cirina Catania: So does it actually print out a little card that is good for a specified amount of time? So the waitress, for example, if you want to use your American Express, the Walk It would print out an American Express card with a special code on it that implodes in 60 seconds?
Ken Choy: Well, it keeps the same magnetic strip, so it’s a digital code that it makes. But yes, it expires in 60 seconds or however long you want to set it, it’s no longer valid.
Cirina Catania: So if you dropped that card, nobody could use it.
Ken Choy: No-one can use it and, as long as you have that reader, and that could be touch oriented, touch secure, no-one can get your personal information. It can render barcodes as well, so there’s a multitude of uses. But I think the association is wondering has the technology progressed as much as consumer needs are? And I think there needs to be a balance as far as what people are putting out there, as well as what people need.
Cirina Catania: We were talking at the show about the difference between the future and the past and the merging of the two and connectivity and everybody prior to CES was talking about how amazing CES was going to be and they were going to be showing everything for connectivity. Did you really think it was as great as you expected?
Ken Choy: Like I said, I’m never disappointed by CES. I enjoy myself. I am a junkie, I am a New Yorker at heart even though I was born in California, so I’m fast pace. I love the activity, I love the new tech, I love the gizmos, I love stuff. But again, there’s a need for these things that you really have to pay attention to, whether consumers are actually going to buy it. I think they’re using the example of a connected crock pot. Now, very few people use crock pots to begin with, but will people use a connected crock pot? I don’t know, you know? You just have to think about what you’re putting out there and what technology will do for people.
Cirina Catania: That’s a really interesting report from CES from Ken Choy, film maker and writer at GizmoPorn. Where can we go to find out more about you?
Ken Choy: You definitely can go to gizmoporn.com, as well as my Twitter page, gizmoporn, as well as KenChoy is also one of my handles.
Cirina Catania: That’s Ken Choy. Thank you, Ken.
Ken Choy: Thanks, Cirina.
Larry Jordan: Thank you, Cirina, for doing that report. It was wonderful to have you and Ken chat at CES. Michael, this is our last tech rehearsal. This is the last show…
Mike Horton: Is it working?
Larry Jordan: Yes, well…
Mike Horton: Hello? Can you see me?
Larry Jordan: We’ve got several people in the live chat who’ve got separate opinions on that.
Mike Horton: Horton’s dark. Horton’s dark. He’s got a bright red face.
Larry Jordan: They are suggesting that we just shoot you with a wide shot.
Mike Horton: Exactly. Nobody wants to see my close-up anyway.
Larry Jordan: Next week we’re going to tell the world that the studio is here. What we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be promoting the show to YouTube. The Digital Production Buzz has a YouTube channel; starting next week, all the shows get posted to YouTube.
Mike Horton: This will be huge. 50,000 people will be turning in and…
Larry Jordan: Our senses were 60,000, I think, is the last number that I read. It’s going to be some incredible number.
Mike Horton: At least 10,000 in the chat. Why has that Horton guy got a red face?
Larry Jordan: Well, we will put the Mike Horton filter on the camera.
Mike Horton: Please do.
Larry Jordan: We were chatting with Jeff in the live chat and they’ve…
Mike Horton: Tiffin makes one.
Larry Jordan: …they’ve found the Mike Horton filter. It’s going to be great. Anyway, next week is going to be a chance to tune in live and watch the stream and then you’ll be able to watch the show afterward on YouTube. We’re going to make a star out of you, Mike. Your acting career could be assured.
Mike Horton: Yes, there we go. I do like your profile, though.
Larry Jordan: Thank you, thank you. We want to thank our guests today – Jon Chappell, the CEO of Digital Rebellion; Jonathan Handel, the entertainment labor reporter for The Hollywood Reporter; Kevin Gilbert, photojournalist; and Ken Choy, film maker and gear head.
Mike Horton: And gear head.
Larry Jordan: There’s lot of history in our industry…
Mike Horton: I’m checking out GizmoPorn right now as we speak.
Larry Jordan: And I can’t think of a better technologist than yourself. I want to hear your report is what I want to hear.
Mike Horton: Holy cow! I can’t get to it because I have a filter in my… Nice job there, Mr. Choy.
Larry Jordan: Can I get to the credits or are you just going to stay in here and…
Mike Horton: Yes, go ahead, go ahead.
Larry Jordan: Any time would be… if you want to visit our website…
Mike Horton: Trust me, you want to go to this page.
Larry Jordan: Just put a lid on it.
Mike Horton: It’s awesome.
Larry Jordan: Digitalproductionbuzz.com – hundreds of past shows and thousands of interviews, all online and searchable for you. You can talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ…
Mike Horton: Don’t understand any of this.
Larry Jordan: …Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Just kill Michael’s mic. Music on The Buzz is provided by Smartsound. Our theme music was composed by Nathan Doogie Turner. Text transcripts provided by Take 1. Our producer is Cirina Catania; that other warm voice, Mike Horton. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Buzz.
Mike Horton: All right, goodbye everybody. Next week, makeup.
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