Digital Production Buzz
May 28, 2015
[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]
(Click here to listen to this show.)
Larry Jordan & Mike Horton
Jon Chappell, CEO, Digital Rebellion
Ed Golya, Owner, MiXXtreme
Andy Bellamy, CION Product Marketing Manager, AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Announcer: Tonight’s Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at macsales.com.
Voiceover: Rolling. Action!
Larry Jordan: Since the dawn of digital film making…
Larry Jordan: …one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals…
Larry Jordan: …uniting industry experts…
Larry Jordan: …film makers…
Voiceover: Post production.
Larry Jordan: …and content creators around the planet.
Larry Jordan: From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, The Digital Production Buzz goes 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.
Larry Jordan: We start our show tonight with Jon Chappell, the CEO of Digital Rebellion. Jon returns with an in-depth look at Kollaborate, their new cloud based media workflow platform.
Larry Jordan: Next, Ed Golya is an Emmy award winning sound re-recording mixer and ADR specialist. He joins us today to talk about how proper audio can improve the sound and the look of your projects.
Larry Jordan: Finally, Andy Bellamy is the Product Manager for AJA Video Systems’ CION camera. He joins us tonight to explain why we should consider using the CION camera in our projects, along with an amazing summer promotion that AJA announced just two days ago.
Larry Jordan: And in case you were wondering, that handsome dude sitting across from me at the table is the incredible, the ineffable, the amazing Mr. Mike Horton. Hello, Mike.
Mike Horton: I can think of a few other adjectives.
Larry Jordan: Well, I thought ineffable was pretty good.
Mike Horton: Ineffable is very nice. Is that a word, by the way?
Larry Jordan: It is a word.
Mike Horton: It is a word? Ok.
Larry Jordan: Mhmm. It’s like effervescent, only totally different.
Mike Horton: I am feeling shiny. Hey, great night last night, thank you.
Larry Jordan: It was a great night. You had a good crowd.
Mike Horton: We had a good crowd, we had you as a guru, along with the legendary Randy Ubillos.
Larry Jordan: Just sitting next to the legendary Randy Ubillos was amazing.
Mike Horton: It was great. You should have gone out for pizza with us last night. I had a really nice conversation with Randy, where he was able to tell me things he probably shouldn’t tell me and I can only share with you.
Larry Jordan: I’ll bribe you later for all the…
Mike Horton: But it was so nice of him to come down and share. It was just so great.
Larry Jordan: He did a whole presentation on creating personal movies, which was…
Mike Horton: Creating personal movies. It was fun.
Larry Jordan: I mean, all of us travel to Antarctica to shoot penguins and Easter Island to shoot sea lions.
Mike Horton: And Africa to shoot the wildebeest migration and all these other wonderful things that he gets to do.
Larry Jordan: Small personal movies.
Mike Horton: But there were a lot of good tips.
Larry Jordan: There were.
Mike Horton: People like to know this stuff.
Larry Jordan: And the other thing I liked is that he put his ten tips up on the screen and people were taking photographs of it. Is there a place where people can go to see his speech?
Mike Horton: Actually, no, we didn’t tape the speech. But we do have photographs on the LAFCPUG Facebook page with those ten tips and with some of the other tips, so we took photographs too and we have photographs of you. You were going like this… It was very good. Very good picture. There was a lot of sincerity behind that laugh.
Larry Jordan: There was, there was. It was a fun time, though, and you had two other gurus, two women that I hadn’t met before.
Mike Horton: Kylie Wall and Monica Daniel. Actually, you’ve met Monica before. Kylie is new, from Atlanta, and so she was the first time here. She just moved to Los Angeles so we were…
Larry Jordan: So she moves to LA and already she’s a guru.
Mike Horton: Absolutely. Well, she’s a presence on the internet. She writes a lot of great articles for the Creative Cow, she’s a good editor, a very talented person and this was a way of welcoming her to LA.
Larry Jordan: Absolutely. Well, it was a fun night and I was delighted to be invited.
Mike Horton: You are welcome any time, now that you’re not teaching on a Wednesday night.
Larry Jordan: I’ll come back for your July show. Are you doing one in July?
Mike Horton: Please. Yes, yes. It’s Blackmagic night.
Larry Jordan: Oh, that’ll be fun.
Mike Horton: All Blackmagic. Oh, and Imagine Products.
Larry Jordan: That’ll be good. Thinking about stuff that’s good, if you haven’t had a chance, read our text transcripts from Take 1 Transcription and remember to visit with us on Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. We’re also on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and subscribe to our newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Mike and I will be right back with Jon Chappell right after this.
Larry Jordan: Our friends at Other World Computing are looking for a creative, fan-made commercial, so they’re hosting a video contest with an incredible grand prize of a dream video workstation. This prize package includes a 2013 Apple Mac Pro and a 4K display, an Avid Artist’s transport console and color control surface, a 16 terabyte OWC Thunderbay 4, a GoPro Hero and more.
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Larry Jordan: Jon Chappell is an editor, post production supervisor and software developer originally from the UK. He’s the owner of Digital Rebellion LLC and his company’s post production software is used by freelancers, production companies, studios and Fortune 500 companies worldwide to fix problems, optimize workflows and manage teams. Hello, Jon, welcome back.
Jon Chappell: Thanks for having me.
Mike Horton: Hello. Oh, excuse me.
Larry Jordan: Did you say hello?
Mike Horton: Yes I did. Hello Jon. Is this working? Ok. Jon, good to have you back.
Jon Chappell: Thanks, mate.
Larry Jordan: The last time you were here, a couple of months ago, we began to talk about Kollaborate and what I wanted to do is to talk in a lot more detail about how we can use Kollaborate to manage our projects and in workflow management. But before we talk about it in detail, describe what Kollaborate is.
Jon Chappell: Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform that’s aimed at video professionals and the idea is that you upload files to it and you can automatically share them with your colleagues and clients and they can approve and reject them, they can leave comments and then you can take that feedback and export it in a wide variety of ways, even bringing it back as markers into your NLE again.
Larry Jordan: Is it just for client review? Are we loading proxies up to the web or are we loading the source files? What’s the process?
Jon Chappell: A lot of our customers, in fact the vast majority of our customers, do use it for client review, but really it’s file agnostic. You can upload any type of file. I’d say it’s a lot closer to Dropbox than it is to YouTube. What we try to do is offer you a lot of flexibility, so there are a variety of different ways of getting it to work. We have uploading and transfer tools, we have folder watching apps, we have NLE plug-ins, or you can just upload via your web browser as well.
Larry Jordan: Who would be a typical client? Who’s using this stuff?
Jon Chappell: We have a variety of different types of customers. We have one man operations all the way to major studios and I think one way that we’ve managed to attract both types of customers is that Kollaborate is very scalable and it will work very well if you have huge number of people on a project or a huge number of files and it’ll work just as well if it’s just you and a few other people or you just have a few files that you need to review.
Mike Horton: When you say scalable, are we talking dozens of people or are we talking a couple, four, five max or what?
Jon Chappell: We don’t actually set a limit because really we offer you so many tools to manage things that essentially there’s no upper limit. We have departments, for example, which are basically sandboxes and so you can keep specific content away from certain people who don’t need to see it if it’s irrelevant and you can really get fine control over who sees what and who gets alerted and who doesn’t get alerted.
Larry Jordan: Walk me through in some detail. Let’s say I’m a three man editorial shop and I’ve got clients who are scattered around the city but not necessarily around the world. When does Kollaborate start? What specifically am I uploading and how am I uploading?
Jon Chappell: As I say, it’s file agnostic so you can upload anything that you need to share with other people. That could be project files, but as I say a lot of people use it for client or colleague review and so it can be in progress cuts that people can give feedback on, or it could be a finished product that is a deliverable that you’re sending to the client.
Larry Jordan: Ok, so we’ve uploaded it. Can we upload more than one file at a time?
Jon Chappell: Yes.
Larry Jordan: Do we flag it with metadata? What does the interface look like and what’s my control?
Jon Chappell: We offer a variety of different ways of uploading and so the control you get kind of depends on the method that you choose. But my preferred way to do it is with a tool that we have called Kollaborate Transfer and that just gives you a whole load of options and gives you a whole load of things that it’ll do automatically. I can upload a file and have it automatically send out links to clients…
Larry Jordan: To say that the file’s available?
Jon Chappell: Yes, automatically, and I can just go to bed and leave it to do its stuff.
Larry Jordan: Ok, so then the clients are using this. Can they annotate the video? And then how are those annotations assembled back for the editor?
Jon Chappell: They can leave comments and they can also draw over the video. You can export the comments back either as a readable text file or you can export to a variety of different editing apps as markers.
Larry Jordan: What apps do you support?
Jon Chappell: For exporting the markers, we support Final Cut Pro X, Premiere, Final Cut Pro 7 and Avid. Oh, and Edius as well.
Larry Jordan: So the comments can actually be markers which are synched to the timecode, so they just load that up in their editing app and make whatever changes they need to make?
Jon Chappell: Yes. The exact process depends on which app you’re using. For Avid, it will natively import markers, so that’s pretty easy. For the other apps, we have a free tool called Marker Import and that’s available for Mac and PC.
Mike Horton: Can we talk to each other while we’re doing this commenting, or is it just text only?
Jon Chappell: You mean audio chat?
Mike Horton: Yes, audio chat.
Jon Chappell: No, that’s not a service that’s available, but you could do that through other means, through Skype or…
Larry Jordan: We could use a telephone.
Jon Chappell: Yes.
Mike Horton: No, come on. That’s so 1990s.
Larry Jordan: Here’s a question – we recently received a batch of files from our producer, who’s been working with Kollaborate, and Cirina said, “These are some really cool video files you have to look at,” and we discovered that she sent us 20 files that were magnificent in quality and there’s no batch download button, so how do we download a bunch of files? And the bigger question is, as we use this, how do we report features that we’d like to see in the software? So first, how do we download a bunch of files?
Mike Horton: And how was she doing that, first of all? Was she using Dropbox or what?
Larry Jordan: No, we use Kollaborate.
Mike Horton: Oh, you use Kollaborate? Oh, so…
Larry Jordan: Yes, we were Kollaborating.
Mike Horton: Oh, this is a good question then. This is a hard question, Jon. All right, Jon, go ahead.
Jon Chappell: Well, that’s more of a browser limitation.
Larry Jordan: Really?
Jon Chappell: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, if you try to do a batch download in Dropbox or Google Drive, it’ll say ‘Your file is being prepared’ and then it will take 20 minutes and then it sends you an email with a link, and that’s because you can’t initiate multiple downloads in a browser.
Jon Chappell: That’s not currently a service we offer, but we do make the download button easily available on the files page, so you could just sort of click multiple times, I guess. That would be the easiest way of doing that. It’s something we would like to add but it needs to have better browser support.
Larry Jordan: See, it needs the browser, Michael. If you’d have known that, you wouldn’t have had to ask that question.
Mike Horton: It was a good question.
Larry Jordan: It was a good question. It was driving our guys nuts, by the way, so we said we would find out. But it gets to a bigger question – how do we report features that we would like to have the software do? And how do you process those internally?
Jon Chappell: There’s a feedback link on the left hand side of every page. Click that and there’s a text field and you can just enter a note to us.
Mike Horton: Jon, I’m sure you’re aware that there’s a whole bunch of people doing what Kollaborate does and when you came up with the concept of Kollaborate, what was special about it versus the other ones that you were looking at? Why did you want to do something that’s already been done? Because you thought you could do it better?
Jon Chappell: Well, there’s that and there’s also the fact that we’re one of the few companies in this industry that’s not a start-up. We had a wide range of tools, a history of making tools for video professionals, and so when we created Kollaborate what we did is we went back and we re-engineered a lot of our existing tools to work with the cloud and so the primary advantage that we offer is that, as well as the cloud service, you get a whole load of helper apps thrown in and we have video players for Mac and IOS, we have uploaders, we have note taking apps, we have a wide range of tools – project management tools, all sorts of things.
Mike Horton: Speaking of all those tools, Kollaborate has its own separate website, even though it’s on the Digital Rebellion website, but products like the Pro Maintenance tools and Pro Media tools and all those – which are must haves, you have them, I know that, Larry, and I have them, anybody who uses any NLE has to have Digital Rebellion tools because they solve so many problems, especially when you have it at one o’clock in the morning, which is when everybody has a problem. You just run some of your tools through the thing, it’ll fix it. I guarantee it.
Larry Jordan: What is it that got you involved in utilities in the first place? What caught your fancy?
Jon Chappell: Several years ago, I was working as an editor and I had a very unreliable computer and some very strict deadlines and I had to come with a wide variety of methods of just trying to solve problems and getting my edit out on time. Then I thought, “Well, why am I going all this manually? I can automate this stuff,” and then I started hanging round the forums and I realized that a lot of people were having the same problems over and over again, someone could just automate all of this, and that’s how it was born really.
Larry Jordan: A lot of people have the idea of coming up with a utility but you had both the idea and the skill. There’s a big difference there. Mike is absolutely right, the Pro Maintenance tools that you have for NLEs…
Mike Horton: Oh my God, it’s…
Larry Jordan: …are just amazing and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used Compressor Repair to get compressor repaired so I can get stuff done again. With Kollaborate, to get back to that, how do we manage teams? How do we put a team together? How many people can be on a team and can we knock people off etcetera, etcetera, etcetera?
Jon Chappell: The exact number of people on your team depends on the package that you have.
Larry Jordan: For instance?
Jon Chappell: For instance, with the base package, it’s five people per team. The next one up is 15 and it goes up to, I don’t even know, it’s something like 150.
Larry Jordan: Now, how do you define a team? Is a team on both sides of the equation, or is it just five people internally in my organization, for instance?
Jon Chappell: It’s sort of a gray area, really, because it’s five individual people on the team page, which could be clients, could be colleagues, but you can share a file externally as a link an unlimited number of times. So really you could say that there are two tiers of users.
Jon Chappell: There are users in the project who have a bit more access and a few more capabilities and then you have people outside the project who you can send links to and it’s a bit more limited for them but it’s useful for the client that you need to send things to on a one off basis.
Mike Horton: Kollaborate works with Cut Notes.
Jon Chappell: That’s right, yes.
Mike Horton: Which is a really cool tool, by the way, and that’s another one of your tools. How does it work with Cut Notes?
Jon Chappell: What Cut Notes is is an iPad app for taking notes synced to a timecode source, and that could be Pro Tools, it could be Final Cut. There are a wide variety of sources but one of those sources is also Kollaborate. What you can actually do is sync to the timecode directly in your web browser and then use the tool as an easy way to take notes while sitting back and being away from your keyboard.
Mike Horton: Isn’t that cool?
Larry Jordan: My big concern about cloud based stuff is security. How are we handling security so my pre-release stuff doesn’t get released without my permission?
Jon Chappell: Right. Well, we have industrial grade security enabled on our server, everything’s encrypted. In addition to that, you get a lot of controls within your project. As I mentioned earlier, you can sort things into departments, you can bar specific people from seeing things and it’s completely private, so only people you invite or people you send a link out to can even see any of the files.
Jon Chappell: But on top of that, if that’s not enough for you, if you have serious concerns about that or you have government contracts or something like that, then you can host in-house as well. That’s an option we offer.
Larry Jordan: So you would provide a Kollaborate server for us?
Jon Chappell: Not the hardware, but the software to run that.
Larry Jordan: That’s what I meant.
Jon Chappell: Yes.
Larry Jordan: That’s very cool.
Mike Horton: Yes. We were talking about this earlier, about security. We’re not IRS, we’re not Target, we’re not those places that get hit daily, we’re not the Defense Department. Who the heck wants to hit us anyway? But you have your paranoia, Larry, and it’s understandable because it’s like they’re out there and they can thwart you no matter how much security you have.
Jon Chappell: Right.
Larry Jordan: Thank you.
Mike Horton: So therefore just don’t put anything in the cloud, don’t buy Kollaborate. You’re screwed.
Larry Jordan: Thinking of buying, you’ve actually got some very aggressive pricing. How is it priced?
Jon Chappell: We try to reward people who pay for a full year in advance. The month to month package is really aimed at people who are only going to be working on a project for a few months and so we offer a very steep discount for people who go for the full year. On the base package, which gives you 15 gigs of storage, five users, that’s 180 a year, which works out to $15 per month if you pay for the full year in advance.
Larry Jordan: And the next step up?
Jon Chappell: The next one up is 30 gigs and 15 users and that’s 300 a year, which works at $25 per month.
Mike Horton: Wow.
Larry Jordan: Still a great price.
Mike Horton: That’s just, yes.
Larry Jordan: $15 a month for five users, 15 gigs and $25 a month for 30 gigs and ten users?
Jon Chappell: 15.
Larry Jordan: 15.
Mike Horton: Where’s the server?
Jon Chappell: Where’s it located?
Mike Horton: Yes.
Jon Chappell: We have several servers, but primarily the web server is on the East Coast.
Mike Horton: Oh, ok.
Larry Jordan: So you have to send the files all the way to the East Coast, Mike.
Mike Horton: And it’s really far away.
Jon Chappell: Oh, I should mention that the files aren’t stored on that server.
Larry Jordan: For people who want to learn more, Jon, where can they go on the web?
Jon Chappell: They can go to kollaborate.tv.
Mike Horton: Yes, it’s a really amazing product, as all digital… products are.
Larry Jordan: That’s kollaborate.tv and digitalrebellion.com and Jon Chappell is the CEO of Digital Rebellion. Jon, thanks for taking the time to join us today.
Mike Horton: Thanks, Jon.
Jon Chappell: Thanks for having me.
Larry Jordan: It’s been fun.
Jon Chappell: Thank you.
Larry Jordan: I’ve got a ton of brand new training videos showcasing all the new features in Final Cut Pro 10.2, and they’re all available today. In fact, we’ve updated our entire Final Cut training for this release. We added more than 70 new movies covering every major and minor new feature in the software.
Larry Jordan: Then I figured, as long as I was recording, I added new techniques and new ways of working that I’ve discovered and written about in my newsletter over the years. We’ve updated our workflow in editing training with 31 new movies and effects with 41 new movies. This makes our Final Cut training the most comprehensive, most up to date and most affordable way to learn everything about this amazing software. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s complete.
Larry Jordan: I’m proud of all of my training and especially proud of this one. Get your copy today in our store at larryjordan.com or, even better, become a member of our video training library and get access to all of our training for one low monthly price. Both are incredible value. Thanks.
Larry Jordan: Ed Golya is an Emmy award winning sound re-recording mixer and ADR specialist with more than 40 films and television shows to his credit. He got his start doing ADR for ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. He’s worked for Universal Recording Corporation in Chicago and Fox Studios in LA, among many others. Hey, Ed, welcome.
Ed Golya: Thank you very much.
Mike Horton: Hi Ed. By the way, I have to ask you, do audio guys really hate it when we do this – hello? Is this working?
Ed Golya: And can you hear yourself?
Mike Horton: Hello?
Larry Jordan: Thank you, you’ve just destroyed his entire performance.
Mike Horton: I love that. It does, it drives these guys crazy. You never do this to a microphone. What do you do to test a microphone?
Ed Golya: You talk and…
Mike Horton: Just like a hello?
Ed Golya: Yes, you just talk into it. By hitting that, you might damage the diaphragm if you do it incorrectly.
Mike Horton: Really?
Larry Jordan: Just let me know when you’re done, I’ll wait. That’s ok, I’ll just sit here and wait for you guys to finish.
Mike Horton: It’s a good question. Audio guys hate that.
Larry Jordan: Well, there’s a reason.
Mike Horton: Ok.
Larry Jordan: That’s why they wire you with a mic that’s placed about five feet away.
Mike Horton: Ed wants to give me a Lav, is what he wants to do.
Larry Jordan: And what got you started in audio in the first place? What caught your attention?
Ed Golya: Thank you for that question. No, that’s serious. At the age of 13 and 14, I was playing in a band, a cover band. I was also playing four nights a week at local college bars and I was very heavily into music. Not to get too personal, but I ended up going to Kent State for Architecture as a grade school for architecture, but busting my butt, 80 hours a week of homework and getting a C, I decided, ok, I love audio and since I couldn’t really sight-read to work in the industry as a player, I thought I’d sit on the other side of the glass. I ended up at a brand new studio at the time. The gentleman was a geek and he had the first Moog synthesizer in the Midwest.
Mike Horton: Wow.
Larry Jordan: Oh wow.
Ed Golya: He had a BBC Mellotron sound effects machine and the first 16 track Ampex MM-1000 in Cleveland.
Larry Jordan: The first 16 track deck in Cleveland?
Ed Golya: In Cleveland.
Larry Jordan: Wow.
Ed Golya: The point was that Cleveland Recording was a distributor for it and they didn’t have one.
Mike Horton: Wow.
Ed Golya: I got in, he took me on and for the first 18 months to two years I was on the music side, recording, because I knew what a tape recorder was. I came back from the military, he had to re-hire me – again, this is a very, very small studio, there were only three people working in it – and he decided that, since he’d replaced me with another gentleman, that he would put me on the motion picture side.
Ed Golya: Now, when I first went to work for him, I didn’t know that there were audio mixing rooms for motion pictures, but I ended up doing that. I never looked back. I got my training in motion picture mixing because we had to mix for optical track and you had to be very, very careful not to splash Ss and not to do this and not to do that, and we were also ADRing on that Mellotron. Well, not ADRing, but foleying on the Mellotron, so we were doing electronic editing before it was even known as electronic editing.
Mike Horton: Were you actually physically foleying or were you just doing the…
Ed Golya: No, we were doing it on keyboard. The machine was filled with sound effects…
Mike Horton: Oh wow.
Ed Golya: …and you had to program it to get the right sound effect on the right key and you’d watch the screen and you would play the Mellotron.
Mike Horton: Wow.
Larry Jordan: Wow. I should mention that, when Ed isn’t being interviewed, he’s running the audio board for us here at The Buzz and we’re grateful for his help. He’s been with us for a long while and all of us have learned a lot about audio.
Mike Horton: It’s the reason you cannot hear me. Hello?
Ed Golya: Testing.
Mike Horton: Is this working? That’s what we do before the show.
Larry Jordan: When you’re done.
Mike Horton: It drives Ed nuts.
Larry Jordan: Are you…
Mike Horton: I love driving Ed nuts. All right, go ahead, Larry, ask a serious question.
Larry Jordan: You do a great job. Just I’m…
Mike Horton: Ask a serious question. Ok, go on. Or I’ll ask one.
Larry Jordan: Tell us some of the projects you’ve worked on, because you worked on some seriously big name films.
Ed Golya: Yes I did, and not even knowing it at the time.
Larry Jordan: It always is that way.
Ed Golya: We didn’t know what ‘Close Encounters’ was when it came in, this was in Chicago. It was called CE3K. Spielberg was extremely worried that someone would capture his idea of shooting a sci-fi on Earth and he shot the entire thing, from what I understand, in an airplane hangar so all the dialogue in that entire movie has been looped and the actress who played the mother of the little boy, she was working in Iowa with Stallone on a film called ‘Fist’ and…
Mike Horton: Wait a minute. Seriously, all the dialogue in ‘Close Encounters’ was looped?
Ed Golya: Yes. Who played the gentleman that toured with her?
Larry Jordan: Richard Dreyfuss?
Ed Golya: Richard Dreyfuss. Apparently he could not loop very well, so much of his stuff is not looped. But…
Mike Horton: Why?
Ed Golya: Because they didn’t like the sound of the interior of the airplane hangar that they shot it in.
Mike Horton: Wow.
Ed Golya: So we redid everything.
Mike Horton: I mean, ‘Apocalypse Now’ was, like, 99 percent looped.
Ed Golya: Yes, things like that. I will say I’ve seen the movie recently again…
Mike Horton: Because actors hate looping.
Ed Golya: Yes they do. Yes they do and you have to really treat them in a way that they can be comfortable.
Mike Horton: Incredible. I had no idea that that was looped.
Ed Golya: But I did that, I did ‘Poltergeist’.
Mike Horton: Don’t tell me that was looped.
Ed Golya: No, just parts of it.
Mike Horton: Ok, just like the normal.
Ed Golya: And the Blues Brothers were in town, well, they were shooting ‘The Blues Brothers’ and Ackroyd and Belushi came over and we looped parts of 1941, so there are three Spielberg movies looped in Cleveland. No, I’m sorry, in Chicago. That was in Chicago.
Mike Horton: Why did they go to Chicago to loop those?
Ed Golya: Anyone that was already in Chicago or in the Midwest shooting their next film and their last film was in post…
Mike Horton: You mean any actor?
Ed Golya: Yes, any actor.
Mike Horton: Ok.
Ed Golya: They would send to Chicago and luckily, and I do mean to brag but I don’t mean to brag, they started to request me by name, which I was so proud of.
Mike Horton: Wow.
Larry Jordan: That is so cool.
Ed Golya: Yes.
Larry Jordan: So when did you step out of ADR work and get into re-recording?
Ed Golya: I was into re-recording first. ADR was a secondary thing. We just happened to have the Magnetek ADR system that had won an Academy Award for what it did.
Mike Horton: Well, what did that do? It was just beep, beep, beep, right?
Ed Golya: Yes, but it was a relay driven computer, before computers were available. Basically, you dial in the numbers and it did all the action for you. It punched you into record, took you out of record, did everything by the numbers and…
Mike Horton: But the actors still had to hit the beep, beep, beep.
Ed Golya: Yes, and many of them had no…
Mike Horton: Because now we have software that slides it even if the actor doesn’t hit it.
Ed Golya: You couldn’t do that then. You had to do it right. You had to nail it or you were not good.
Larry Jordan: Wow.
Ed Golya: And then, oh, a story real quick – ‘Top Gun’. We had Tom Cruise in town shooting ‘The Color of Money’ and when they had shown that movie to a test audience, nobody could understand the plot.
Larry Jordan: ‘Top Gun?’
Ed Golya: ‘Top Gun’. So they had to rewrite the script and in order to explain the plot to the people, all the scenes of Tom Cruise in the cockpit with the mask over his face is all different than the original recording.
Larry Jordan: Ah!
Ed Golya: Luckily we didn’t have to do lip sync with him because he at that time was not the greatest.
Mike Horton: I don’t want to hear these stories.
Ed Golya: I’m sorry about that. Sorry, Tom.
Larry Jordan: So what did you get the Emmys for?
Ed Golya: Re-recording was my basic thing. I was doing all the stuff to picture, all the mixing to picture. Chicago being only second to New York in national advertising, I did many, many national spots. There were a lot of filmmakers in Chicago, so I did their films and stuff like that and occasionally I would get a film, I think we actually had one that was being mixed out here in LA and they didn’t like what was going down. The editor was from Chicago, she piled everything up and brought it back to Chicago and I mixed her film for her.
Mike Horton: We have to tell everybody, though, especially when it comes to looping and ADR, it’s not just the actors talking into a microphone. There’s got to be that room tone, there’s got to be that ambiance or it’s not going to sound well. Back when I was an actor, I did a lot of stuff at Universal, I had to go into the loop scenes from television shows and, quite frankly, some of those guys were… I can tell every single line that I looped when I watch the television show back because it sounds like it was looped.
Ed Golya: Yes, yes, and that can happen.
Mike Horton: So there is an art to looping and it takes skill, it takes some art and there are a lot of guys who are bad at it and those guys worked at Universal.
Ed Golya: I don’t know. See, I did more for Hollywood when I was in Chicago than when I moved out here. I came out to Fox and that’s where I became a sound designer as well, because I will say Fox changed the way television is presented, especially with the graphics and stuff. I remember when we did Fox Sports, when they got their first thing, I happened to have the same equipment in Chicago that they had here and they found out that nobody knew how to run it.
Ed Golya: There were only 12 of these units in the US. But every time a football was thrown, we’d put a whoosh in and all this, so we hyped up the hits and all the football and all that and I learned how to be a sound designer there; and then sitting next to editors all my career, I learned how to make a good edit and how to spread it out so that I could mix it quickly and easily, as opposed to some editors who just butt cut everything.
Larry Jordan: So what’s the best compliment you could get when somebody listens to one of your mixes?
Mike Horton: They don’t hear the…
Ed Golya: Exactly. Exactly.
Mike Horton: They don’t hear the work behind it.
Ed Golya: Exactly. That is exactly what it is. If you can’t hear what I did, then I must have done it right. I really feel that the industry is an art and I had one gentleman say, “Audio is 50 percent of the media,” and I’m like, “Sorry, audio is in a world of its own,” as is video and I don’t mean to downgrade the video aspect of it, but audio is in an entire world of its own. Turn off your television picture and you can most likely still understand what’s going on in the plot. Turn off the sound and all you’ve got is surveillance.
Mike Horton: What a great line. Yes, that’s a good line.
Ed Golya: Television without picture is radio. Television without sound is surveillance.
Mike Horton: I love that. That’s really cool. Is that your line?
Ed Golya: No. I was told that years ago.
Mike Horton: Yes, well, coin it.
Larry Jordan: It’s a great line. In the little bit of time we’ve got left, what advice do you have for editors who are doing their own mix? What’s the number one thing they’ve got to pay attention to?
Ed Golya: Naturalness and not to overdo anything. I’ve even heard in atmos and all these great new ideas of mixing. If it disturbs you to hear things moving from speaker to speaker…
Mike Horton: Boy, it does.
Ed Golya: Yes, then it isn’t done right. But if you’re there and all of a sudden you’re just engrossed in the whole thing, its subtleties. That’s all I can say. Its subtleties.
Larry Jordan: Which explains the craft of audio and re-recording and mixing, which is where Ed is amazing.
Ed Golya: Thank you.
Larry Jordan: Ed Golya is a freelance sound re-recordist and does the audio here on The Buzz. Ed, thanks for joining us today.
Ed Golya: Thank you.
Mike Horton: And thank you for making this thing work. Hello? Oh, sorry Ed.
Larry Jordan: Stay put.
Larry Jordan: Andy Bellamy has worked in and around production for the last 20 years as an editor, documentarian and sound engineer, but right now he’s the product marketing manager for the CION camera at AJA Video Systems, which is what we want to talk with him about. Hello, Andy, welcome.
Andy Bellamy: Hello there, how are you?
Larry Jordan: We are delighted to be chatting with you. How’s your day going so far?
Andy Bellamy: Pretty good, yes. I am still at the office, so yes, pretty good.
Mike Horton: That’s typical, isn’t it?
Larry Jordan: Yes, true enough.
Andy Bellamy: … yes, very much so.
Mike Horton: Yes, very much so.
Larry Jordan: AJA announced the CION camera a year ago at NAB and starting shipping it last December, but for many of us the camera remains an unknown. How would you describe it?
Andy Bellamy: CION is uniquely positioned in the sense that it is an ergonomic camera. It covers the full discipline of 4K at DCI level, all the way down to HD, but essentially it’s a lightweight ergonomic camera that you can put straight on your shoulder or can work directly to any… like a tripod, a slider, on a jib or a dolly, whatever, but it offers this tremendous flexibility within any kind of environment and records directly to high level ProRes 444 or 422 and also offers RAW as another option as well, so a very versatile camera but…
Larry Jordan: The ergonomic thing is one of the things that Nick Rashby, who’s the President of AJA, stressed when they rolled the camera out in terms of how it’s designed to fit comfortably on a shoulder. How would you describe its typical uses? When should we consider this camera versus all the others that are out there?
Andy Bellamy: At the moment, we’re finding the people that are doing the most shoulder mount use are anybody doing a small film or low budget indie productions where they’re going to benefit from a looser… kind of style, put it on your shoulder and run around with it. We’ve got a number of people out there using it in anger like that, getting great results from it, and it fits very, very well in that environment. It will also work beyond that in terms of higher end commercials. If you need that flexibility to quickly go from… just break it down now… get that shot, it’s those people who are going to benefit the most from it.
Larry Jordan: So it sounds like it’s designed to be more of a run and gun camera, where we don’t have that extremely short depth of field that we would see in a Canon DSLR, for instance. The depth of field is deeper, which gives us a little bit more flexibility and focus.
Andy Bellamy: Absolutely right, yes, definitely. Yes.
Larry Jordan: Given the features that the camera has, which ones are you especially proud of?
Andy Bellamy: I think that overall it’s got to be the combination of all of the elements that lead to that image. The image right from the get-go, right even in the early stages of development has never looked like video, which was totally the aim here, to get away from a video look to produce a cinematic film-like image and that’s what we achieved and I think that’s my favorite feature.
Andy Bellamy: That’s where everything builds together, so that’s… the science behind the sensor, the…, the algorithm that we use, and then the color science that we apply to make that image, the fact that we’re always at 4K all the time and then we scale down to produce either UHD or HD or 2K and you never lose that cinematic look. Even if you’re really going for a video look, in the terms of vibrancy in color it will still give you a very nice filmic quality. That’s my personal favorite.
Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, looking at the AJA website, the camera is retail priced at about $8,000 and we’re looking at a Canon C300 about that same price and a Sony FS7. The FS7’s got the same kind of shoulder mount that the CION has. How would somebody decide to buy the CION, especially because it’s a new camera from a new company?
Andy Bellamy: That’s a very good question. One of the things that we’ve done this week is we announced a price drop, so actually the price has come down now. We’re just under $5,000, so we’ve moved the price point somewhat down to address the market as it stands at the moment and I know you know very well what the market is like out there. That’s to address what people want, people’s budgets and what they’re prepared to pay.
Andy Bellamy: For us in terms of where do we sit, because people will still look at us against the 300 or the 500 or an FS7, I think in terms of the years of the company, we’re almost 22 years young now, but this is the first… The camera for us, we did find the external recorder for ProRes. That was… where it all begins. It’s a very… and busy market now but once upon a time it wasn’t. We were the pioneers in that area, working very closely with Apple over third party ProRes and encoding, so that’s at the core of it, that ability to make a very, very high quality ProRes encoding in hardware is our backbone and we’ve been doing it for ten years now, or thereabouts.
Andy Bellamy: That is one of the reasons why we want people to look at us, because we know that we have very, very good encoding and great experience in terms of taking anyone’s image and encoding it. What we add in there as well is that we’ve been producing 4K based DCI equipment, well, after the dust had settled on that and the hardware started to emerge, we were part of that.
Andy Bellamy: If you’ve seen 4K projection anywhere in the world, there’s a 50/50 chance more or less that you’ve seen that projected via our hardware, so 4K is part of that DNA as well at AJA. We’ve been working for a long time in and around 4K delivery, so I think again we have something that we could add into the camera and these are all things we think are important if you want to take a step down the road towards 4K production. We’ve been involved in and around that for a long time.
Andy Bellamy: You couple that in with a very high quality codec and our ability to both capture an image in terms of that cinematic quality I mentioned, and then to record it flawlessly in this wrapper I think that’s why people should look at us. I think if you’ve used any of our products… over the years, you’ll know us from our editorial products, should know us from… and, as I said, the key for our line and these are all very important cornerstones of our business.
Andy Bellamy: The camera really fits on top of all of those things. Every other type of product we’ve done has fed into that, so it’s been a considered process over five years to get to that point and that’s why I think people should consider us, because you know us so well and the existing quality, and that’s without even mentioning the legendary customer support of the offer. Those, I think, are just some of the reasons why I think we should be considered.
Larry Jordan: Well, I want to come back to this point on ProRes. I’m a big ProRes fan, but you’re baking in the look when you record to ProRes as opposed to RAW, which gives you more flexibility. Why did you decide to go with ProRes as opposed to RAW images?
Andy Bellamy: Well, ProRes is our internal, so for the quickest turnaround in camera, and bearing in mind we have a number of different modes you can work with that ProRes. You can work in a disabled mode where the camera’s completely at the table and then you’re going to reset that later on. We also have an expanded one mode, again where you’re going to fit the black point later on in post, which gives you a very washed out, very flat look.
Andy Bellamy: You can have no color correction at all applied to that and that does give you a flat look, even with the ProRes 444, and a number of customers who we’ve been dealing recently have found, even on high end shoots, that ProRes 444 container has been more than adequate for the post production needs. However, we did want to address RAW workflow, so we have got AJA RAW, which is a cinema DNG to the letter.
Andy Bellamy: We’ve got it AJA RAW but it’d delivered DNG. There’s no denying what it is, it’s an open standard, and we can generate that. Now, we can get an output format that we would use, something like our partners at Conversion Design producing Odyssey 7Q+ or Atomos, the Shogun you can also then record there as well and take this Cinema DNG into their series, so two mobile solutions, so kind of the best of both worlds, we feel at any rate.
Larry Jordan: We have a live chat running at the same time as the show and Mel on the live chat’s asking is AJA considering making an electronic viewfinder for the CION camera, like Blackmagic did with the Ursa? Because Mel likes elegant solutions.
Andy Bellamy: Don’t we all? That’s a very good question. It’s certainly something that we’ve paid some consideration to and let’s just say that’s not the only person asking us that question at the moment, so you never know. I can’t reveal anything but certainly we get asked it an awful lot, that’s for sure.
Larry Jordan: I want to shift gears just a little bit. One of the challenges you have is it’s a new camera, not necessarily from a new company, but there are always bugs and things to work out in a new camera. The other is that people that do shooting, cinematographers and filmmakers, tend to have cameras that they like, so what is AJA doing to enable filmmakers to get their hands on this camera and get a sense of whether they like it or not?
Andy Bellamy: Well, at NAB we announced the #TryCION program. We manufactured 100 units, we worked round the clock on the run-up to NAB to put these together so we would have 100 units. We opened up the program at the top of NAB and this let North American users apply through our program and then we would send them for a specific length of time, maybe for their shoot, a CION and the requisite accessories.
Andy Bellamy: The only things we didn’t add in were a viewfinder and a battery – that was something that we asked you to add – and lenses, but everything else we gave them, so… media, the Thunderbolt dock, everything else. We felt that was a really good way for anybody who was on the fence, perhaps not able to get in touch with a demo unit at a dealer locally, to apply directly. That was hugely successful and we were absolutely slammed. By the end of the first day, we were more than four times oversubscribed. By the end of the week, we were well and truly oversubscribed, so it was incredible. I mean, you do this, you think, “We’re going to test the water here and we’ll see what happens.” We were slammed.
Andy Bellamy: It’s been a wild ride here over managing that program and we’re keeping it rolling, so we’re recycling some of the units, sometimes they’re coming back, and we’re going to pick up more people where we can. In order to expand that a little, that’s now going global, so the Japanese program is emerging over the coming weeks and so is the European program. We’ve also been running a TryCION world tour as well. We kicked that off in San Francisco, it’s been moving to North America. We are in Dallas and Miami on June 2nd.
Andy Bellamy: Any of your listeners can also go to our website and see the TryCION dates there and you can subscribe to sign up for these events and gets hands on there. You can meet John Thorne or myself. John, as you know, is the Product Manager for the camera, so get hands on with some of the guys and the camera itself. That’s in Dallas and Miami. From there… move into… gear and after that I head off to Europe for the European dates and then John goes off the Japan, Korea and China. The tour continues, yes. We’re doing everything we can, literally, apart from knocking on everyone’s door to put it in their hands.
Larry Jordan: One of the other things that you’ve done is present this summer of savings where you’ve dropped the price of the camera almost $4,000. Tell me about that.
Andy Bellamy: Yes, I think this is really in response to careful consideration of the market, looking at where things are going and making sure we want to be in a position where we want to get the camera into people’s hands. If I’m honest with you, Larry, I think it’s a heck of a camera at nine grand; I think at just under five grand, it’s an amazing deal. I think there’s an awful lot for your money there, there’s a lot of bang for your buck so to speak.
Andy Bellamy: It was important to us to keep the project true to what our aims were, which is what I said at the beginning… cinematic and I think that’s what we’ve got. That five grand price point just means… you know what it’s like out there only too well, budgets are getting smaller and smaller and smaller and we’re trying to respond to that. I think in terms of our commitment to our customer base and the prospective customer base, it’s removing another obstacle to adopting CION for your next production or your in-house purposes.
Mike Horton: If we want to just buy the camera, that’s what the price drop reflects, right? Or do we have to buy a package, say with the Ki Pro or anything like that?
Andy Bellamy: No, no, no, that’s the camera on its own. We’ve adjusted the price on the Ki Pro line, I think that was something that we also wanted to do and it was always going to be a case of timing, but we thought it just sounds nice, doesn’t it, summer of savings? Everybody likes to save. So I think we would roll these things together. The Ki Pro line, again, that’s the foundation, the larger Ki Pro standalone unit…
Andy Bellamy: These things are workhorses around the world. We know that they’re everywhere and we’re giving the opportunity to anyone who’s got the infrastructure, who’s already got them, they can have some more, refresh anyone’s where they need to add more or whatever, so we felt this was a good program but you’re not tied in to doing anything else other than if you just want this camera, that’s no problem. You can have the camera, everything else remains the same. No features have been removed, everything remains exactly as before, even in terms of the warranty as well.
Larry Jordan: Now, something you mentioned earlier that I want to talk about for just a second, you said that the camera is now $4995, which is an incredible price, but what else do we need to be able to use the camera? What other accessories do we have to buy?
Andy Bellamy: PackMedia is definitely a necessity. I think unless you are going to entirely use the camera as an imaging unit and you’re not needing any media. PackMedia is essential. It comes in 256 and 512 gig sizes, which will give you up to roughly around 45 minutes of 4K at 444 for the largest size. Those are essential. The PackDock is also I think an essential purchase. That gives you Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. You simply slot your PackMedia in there and get lightning fast transfers of all of your footage.
Andy Bellamy: I personally would also recommend a front base plate. That’s our own engineered accessory. There’s a full line of these, but the front base plate is particularly nice. It really gives you everything you need for a 15 mil rod set-up. You add a couple of rods, if you’ve got them yourself then you’re good to go anyway. As you know, it’s a global standard. That also, I think, is a really important piece to add in. Everything else, you can really use your own kit that you may have already, either something like a viewfinder or a small monitor. You may already have that from another camera, in which case we fit very neatly in with that. If we don’t then, yes, you would have to add a viewfinder or a mini monitor to it.
Andy Bellamy: We also don’t obviously include glass. It’s a body only camera, so you would make the decision yourself over which glass you want to add. We offer great flexibility, we ship with a PL mount, but some people like NTF, Wooden Camera and a bunch of other people have emerged, anything from Panavision through to… ARRI Bayonet, Canon S and D, Canon EF, Active and Nikon… so it’s a full array of glass you can use with the cameras. That’s another decision that you would make for yourself and add that to the unit as well.
Larry Jordan: Are these price reductions permanent or does the price end at a particular point in time?
Andy Bellamy: The pricing is through summer, so at the end of summer the pricing will revert. Obviously, we reserve the right to amend that as we see fit and at the end of summer maybe we’ll keep it the same. But for the time being, it’s being billed as a summer of saving, it’s time limited, so we’d urge anybody who’s wishing to get involved, summer is the time to do it.
Larry Jordan: When I was looking on your website and getting ready for this interview, I realized – as you mentioned – not only has the price of the camera dropped, but also the price of Ki Pro has dropped. But there are multiple different versions of Ki Pro. What are the principle differences between them?
Andy Bellamy: The original is the Ki Pro. This is the one that looks most like a VTR and that’s exactly what it was designed to replace. If you look at it, it’s a half… and it’s essentially a VTR replacement. That’s the original and that’s a much larger unit than the others, so that’s how we differentiate that one. Only ProRes 422 up to HQ on that particular original unit. That one has both FSD and spinning discs up to 750 gig and one terabyte respectively, so very long record times. That’s a unit for if you work in corporate – it’s going to give you great long record times and in the edit suite it’s going to give you depth control and so on… so that’s a really neat unit and that’s the original one.
Andy Bellamy: After that came the Ki Pro Mini. This uses CS Media, so there are a number of different SanDisk, Kingston and a bunch of other people who make them which are qualified. That’s really the portable unit, so that’s HDMI, it’s HDSDR and that one will fit directly on the back of any camera. If you look at the footprint, it’s very much similar to something like an IDX battery, so it’s that kind of size and both of those units actually do offer you two channels of recording, audio as well with audio monitoring on the front. The limit to those is ProRes 422 in HQ and in HD.
Andy Bellamy: From there, we offer the Ki Pro Quad. Ki Pro Quad is 4K, gives you more options. It will record a RAW from a Canon C500, it will record ProRes 4K from a Canon C500, which you can’t do without using… so it offers a whole host of extra features there; and the Ki Pro Quad actually works as a brilliant standalone player for 4K. We know a ton of people around the world who’ve used it as a player and never put it on the back of a camera, never recorded a signal once, but they play everything out using these units, so that’s nice.
Andy Bellamy: That’s essentially the difference between all of those. The Ki Pro Rack, that price remains the same. That’s the most recent of all the units and that’s really remained unchanged. That’s pretty standard.
Larry Jordan: Andy, where can people go on the web to learn more about these products?
Andy Bellamy: They can go to www.aja.com.
Larry Jordan: That’s aja.com and Andy Bellamy is the CION Product Marketing Manager for AJA Video Systems. Andy, thanks for joining us today.
Mike Horton: Thanks Andy.
Andy Bellamy: Thank you very much indeed. I’ll speak to you guys soon. Take care. Bye bye.
Larry Jordan: A CION camera for $4900.
Mike Horton: Have you fooled with that? You’re a camera guy, right?
Larry Jordan: Not as much as I used to be, but the thing that just strikes me is a comment that Randy Ubillos made yesterday when he was asked what does the future of video editing hold, and he said faster, smaller, better and cheaper; and, boy, that’s nowhere more true than in cameras, because you look at what’s happened with cameras. It’s amazing what CION can do…
Mike Horton: Have you any idea what this thing can do?
Larry Jordan: Yes.
Mike Horton: This little iPhone 6? I mean, it’s just incredible.
Larry Jordan: What I find fascinating is, because stuff is getting faster and smaller and cheaper, it changes the whole business equation, it changes who can do what. NAB has asked me to write something for their website and I’m focusing on the technology of disruption and how that’s…
Mike Horton: Yes, there’s no denying the wonder of the picture that the CION produces, but an entire feature film was done on the iPhone 6 at Sundance. Great story, people loved it, they voted it, it was like an audience award. It was filmed on this.
Larry Jordan: So what are you doing with your life, Michael?
Mike Horton: I’m going to make a movie on this. Why not? Let’s do it. It’s all about story anyway. It’s all about audio. Ed, is this working? Ed? I just love driving him nuts.
Larry Jordan: You’re doing an incredible job.
Mike Horton: He’s up in the booth right now.
Larry Jordan: He is not going to talk to you for weeks.
Mike Horton: Can we get a camera on Ed up there in the booth? Ed’s going, “Oh, Jesus.”
Larry Jordan: Get him out of here. Gracious. I want to thank our guests for today, starting with Jon Chappell, the CEO of Digital Rebellion, talking about Kollaborate; Ed Golya, freelance audio mixer, re-recording artist and man who’s losing all of his hair due to Mike and tips on how to improve on…
Mike Horton: Hello, Ed? Ed?
Larry Jordan: …our audio; and Andy Bellamy, the CION Product Manager for AJA Video Systems. The microphone that won’t be working next week belongs to Mike.
Mike Horton: It’s because I’m doing this. I’m breaking, what did he call it? The brain or something?
Larry Jordan: The diaphragm.
Mike Horton: The diaphragm?
Larry Jordan: Keep your fingers off the mic because I bought that and you didn’t. There’s a lot of history of our industry and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com.
Mike Horton: It can’t breathe. Hello, microphone, you can’t breathe, can you, because I’m breaking your diaphragm. Ok.
Larry Jordan: You can talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook, at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner and additional music on The Buzz is provided by smartsound.com.
Mike Horton: I’m getting rude comments in the chat.
Larry Jordan: You are getting more than rude comments. They’ve towed your car. Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. Our producer is Cirina Catania, our engineering team: Megan Paulos, Ed Goyla, Keenan Guy, Alex Hackworth, Eileen Kim, Brianna Murphy and James Stevens. The guy tapping the microphone is Mike Horton, I’m Larry Jordan and thanks for listening.
Mike Horton: Goodbye, everybody. Goodbye everybody.
Larry Jordan: The Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by Other World Computing, providing quality hardware solutions and extensive technical support to the worldwide computer industry since 1988.