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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – February 25, 2016

Digital Production Buzz

February 25, 2016

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

(Click here to listen to this show.)

Larry Jordan

Randi’s Perspective
Tech Talk
BuZZ Flashback: Tom Dolan

Daniel Sacchelli, Event Manager, BVE & London Entertainment Week
Simon Tillyer, Managing Director, KitPlus
Rex Palmer, Freelance Lighting Cameraman


Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we’re in London at the BVE Trade Show in the KitPlus booth and we’re going to spend the evening taking a look at media inside the UK. Our first guest is Daniel Sacchelli. He is the Event Manager for BVE and London Entertainment Week and we’ll examine what the show is and why we’re all here in the first place.

Larry Jordan: Then we’ll talk with Simon Tillyer, the Managing Director of KitPlus, a publisher and broadcaster, taking a look at his perspective of media from the point of view of somebody who’s been covering it for more than ten years.

Larry Jordan: Then we’ll talk with Rex Palmer – he’s a freelance lighting cameraman – looking at where the industry has changed over the last ten years and where he thinks the industry is going.

Larry Jordan: All of this tonight on The Buzz and The Buzz starts now.

Larry Jordan: Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at; and by, the workflow experts.

Announcer: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking – authoritative – one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals – current – uniting industry experts: production, filmmakers, post production and content creators around the planet – distribution. 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 the creative content industry covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. Mike Horton has the night off and that’s because we’re in London at the BVE Trade Show, in the KitPlus booth. Well, actually the KitPlus studio. Actually, the KitPlus studio right in the middle of the tradeshow floor, which you may not have noticed and probably haven’t heard because of all the noise coming through my mic.

Larry Jordan: I’m really excited to be in London, to be able to cover the show, because we’re going to be talking about media outside the US, specifically in the UK, and we’re going to be looking at it from three different perspectives, from the point of view of a trade show, a publishing company and a freelance lighting cameraman; and being able to look at all these different points of view, I think, is going to make for a really interesting show.

Larry Jordan: Also, before we start, I want to remind you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at Every issue every week gives you an inside look at The Buzz, quick links to all the different segments on the show and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers. Best of all, every issue is free. I’ll be back with Daniel Sacchelli right after this.

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Larry Jordan: Daniel Sacchelli is the Event Manager at BVE and I wanted to start our conversation about media and entertainment in the UK with Daniel because he’s got a really good perspective on what’s happening, because this whole show is his responsibility. Hello, Daniel, thanks for being with us.

Daniel Sacchelli: Always a pleasure.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe BVE?

Daniel Sacchelli: BVE now is the hub for the entire media and entertainment industry here in the UK.

Larry Jordan: Now, what does that mean, the entire media industry?

Daniel Sacchelli: Certainly the concept for this year and going forward is to take BVE from where it used to be, which was very much a strictly UK focused production and broadcast show, lots of cameras, editing suites etcetera, and acknowledging the convergence of technologies and the way the industry is shifting to make the scope of the show a lot broader.

Larry Jordan: How has the show evolved? I remember back years ago, it was just focused on broadcast, but now there’s much more than broadcast here at the show.

Daniel Sacchelli: There is, yes. If you go back to the Earl’s Court days, that was very much the case. Still a very well respected show and attended by a faithful following. I think since we’ve moved over to ExCeL, a purpose built exhibition center, very suitable for a high end technology event like BVE, and over recent years we’ve seen, as I said, the convergence of technologies, it’s become logical that BVE shouldn’t just be focused solely on broadcast and production, but should encompass these other areas and these relevant industries that cross over very neatly with BVE, namely AV, live entertainment technology, streaming technology, all of which now play a part in the bigger picture.

Larry Jordan: I think what that also does is it opens up the market of people who want to attend the show because there’s a whole lot more gear that’s relevant to what they’re doing that a broadcaster may not be interested in but an individual filmmaker would.

Daniel Sacchelli: Absolutely. It opens up the market for potential exhibitors who possibly in the past have not seen BVE as a show for them because they thought it was just attended by broadcasters and production companies, but now they see a lot more software, a lot more services and a lot more organizations offering products and services that are outside of the traditional broadcast spectrum; and then as we see those exhibitors start to come, people start to acknowledge the fact that there is more to see than previously there had been in recent years and I think that’s the only way it’s going to go. The show is continuing to grow and it’s continuing to grow not just in size but in stature and with its reputation in the industry.

Larry Jordan: Last year I remember we had close to 15,000 people attended, so it’s a fairly large show. How would you describe who attends? Who are the people that are coming?

Daniel Sacchelli: That’s been one of the major shifts. In recent years, certainly since we’ve moved to ExCeL, if we discount for one second the core BVE audience, which are always going to be our most important group – the broadcasters, the production companies, the DOPs, the camera operators, people from television and film show floor – then we look at the sorts of organizations that now attend BVE alongside them and they are shopping centers, retailers, fixed installations like airports, the major banks.

Daniel Sacchelli: Every major bank from the city down the road has pre-registered to attend BVE and I think that’s due to the partners we’re now working with, like the AV user group, like Infocom, who are an education partner, so they’re providing educational content. The streaming media conference which is co-located at the show is starting to encourage these visitors from outside that traditional spectrum to now come to BVE, so it’s a very interesting mix.

Larry Jordan: I was just looking at your business card and looking at the logos and they talk about BVE and London Entertainment Week. Is London Entertainment Week a show, an event or what is it?

Daniel Sacchelli: London Entertainment Week was launched this day last year on site of the show. We announced our intentions to the industry to launch a London Entertainment Week, the idea being to create a weeklong series of events that addresses the wider media and entertainment industry, an all-encompassing event, with BVE at the heart of the week, so a co-located even and awards ceremony. Last night kicked off London Entertainment Week officially with the TPi Awards. TPi is a magazine by the publisher Mondiale. Amongst other magazines, they publish TPi and they have a very prestigious event for celebrating the technical expertise of live entertainment production, so concerts and touring, theater and performing arts. That kicked off London Entertainment Week and then, along with the co-located conferences, we’ve got various user group meetings and other co-located fringe activity. We’re starting to build this series of events that makes the show more all-encompassing but still remaining BVE with this three day show so that we don’t dilute the core. Everything we’re doing with London Entertainment Week is to add benefit to our current exhibitors, as well as welcoming people from different areas.

Larry Jordan: I can see the benefit to these other shows of associating with BVE, because BVE is well known and attracts a large audience, but what’s the benefit to BVE of being associated with these other events?

Daniel Sacchelli: If we take the streaming forum conference, for example, that’s a very high level technical two day paid for conference that usually happens in Central London. By working with the organizers of that event and hosting that event here – it’s a two day paid for conference on the gallery level just above the show – their sponsors, of which there are eight of Streaming Forum 2016, rather than just having a tabletop outside the conference room that you would usually expect, they get a stand on the BVE show floor, so as well as being exposed to the 200, 250 delegates that go to the conference, they’re exposed to the thousands of people who come to BVE as well.

Daniel Sacchelli: Everything we’re doing shifts this perception of BVE into something far greater. Anything that we can do that brings new buyers to the show who are potentially going to be of interest to our current supporters is an absolute benefit.

Larry Jordan: You’ve already mentioned the fact that BVE is growing from its original broadcast roots into a much broader show. What are some of the new exhibitors that you’re seeing? What are some of the news trends that are coming to the show that weren’t there a couple of years ago?

Daniel Sacchelli: For the very first time this year, as part of London Entertainment Week, we’ve got an AV and live entertainment theater. On the show floor we have a cinematography and lighting theater, a production theater, post production and workflow, The Screen, which is essentially our keynote theater where we’re holding a lot of our fantastic content, and this year we’ve added an AV and live entertainment theater. To produce three days’ worth of seminar content specifically for that sector gives that industry the security that BVE is actually investing in the industry. It’s doing what we can to drive relevant buyers to the show who are going to be interested in the content and it sits very neatly alongside the AV and live entertainment zone, which is a new zone of exhibitors who are now joining the show for the first time.

Larry Jordan: With the new exhibitors, what part of the market have you seen is expanding? Looking at the UK, what part is growing? We’ve seen that broadcast is under a lot of pressure. Where are you seeing other opportunities and other companies and what part of the industry is showing growth?

Daniel Sacchelli: From an anecdotal point of view, what I’m seeing, the way our exhibitors are spending money, there’s always pressure on budgets and that’s never going to change. People are always looking for different ways to spread their investment across the show, so what we’re seeing now is very large manufacturers taking their stand space but also looking for additional meeting facilities, additional branding opportunities to try to have a very focused way of meeting the right buyer. It’s great, you bring 15,000 people through the door. A portion of those are going to be relevant to you, so we want to try and find ways that we can deliver a more focused buyer to you.

Daniel Sacchelli: We’re also seeing a lot more software as a service at the show, it’s not just a kit show now. Some of our larger stands are Aspera an IBM Company, Pixit Media, Quantum, these sorts of guys that are starting to invest very significantly in BVE and, again, it’s not just a camera show any more, it’s a very serious business critical event for the media industry.

Larry Jordan: One of the other things that I saw first at BVE that I’m now seeing at other conferences is the whole idea of integrating the conference on the tradeshow floor, rather than have it being separate in the facility. What was the reasoning behind integrating conferences in the first place? And then secondly I want to talk about what some of the conference subjects are.

Daniel Sacchelli: Ok. The idea behind integrating the seminar content, you’ll go to some larger events that hold their conferences in a separate facility and that’s absolutely fine, those people are going to spend days accessing very high level content at a paid for conference. By making it first of all free to attend, we encourage significant numbers of the whole spectrum of people who are involved in taking content from creation to consumption. By building those theaters on the show floor instead of hosting them in a separate conference facility, what you do for your exhibitors and your supporters is you bring the people there by attracting them with the content but as soon as those sessions are finished, as soon as the post production theater finishes, those buyers are back on the show floor interacting with and testing and comparing products, and that’s what our exhibitors want to see.

Larry Jordan: So for you, the important part is the building of conversations between what they learn in a conference and then talking to the actual exhibitors.

Daniel Sacchelli: 100 percent. They’re going to come out of a conference session after hearing something new, something innovative, and they’re going to walk over to a camera manufacturer or a service provider and say, “Right, this is what I’m interested in. How can you help me solve that problem?”

Larry Jordan: What are some of your more popular conferences? What are you keynoting this year?

Daniel Sacchelli: Just walking around the show this afternoon, cinematography and lighting theater is core BVE and it is absolutely packed, it’s standing room only and has been all day, which is great. The same can be said for the post production theater. One very interesting one is the AV and live theater because it’s brand new and although there will be a certain level of interest from core BVE visitors about what exactly we’re talking about in AV and live, there are also those new visitors who have never been to BVE before.

Larry Jordan: One of the big challenges is trying to get people to show up at a trade show, and I know that is no small worry of yours as well. What is it that gets people to come to a trade show, especially in the age of the internet when so much information is available online?

Daniel Sacchelli: You have to keep evolving, first of all. We do extensive visitor and exhibitor research pre-show, post-show – what do you want to see at the show? What didn’t work so well? Who did you expect to see at the show? Are there are any new buyers groups that are of importance to you? What other shows do you do and why do you do them? – so we do really deep analytical work for exhibitors and visitors.

Daniel Sacchelli: Actually getting them, to the show, we’re an annual event so we have a 365 day marketing campaign that’s very focused, sending the right messages to the right visitors, making sure that they know that there are things for them at the show and enough to keep them at the show and to bring them back for multiple days, because what we’re seeing now is we moved to ExCeL, we knew that people who came would stay longer, but now what we’re seeing is that people are actually coming back for multiple days because there are more product launches on the show floor, there is more content and the show is growing in size and in stature so there’s more to see for people to keep returning.

Larry Jordan: You’re surrounded by exhibitors, you’ve got thousands of people showing up, everybody’s having a good time. What are you going to do next year to make the show better?

Daniel Sacchelli: The big change this year was adding the AV and live zone and everything associated with London Entertainment Week. Next year is London Entertainment Week phase two, so adding more co-located events and we’ll be announcing those very soon. We’ve got co-located conferences, training sessions, some fantastic, really exciting and innovative ideas to bring to BVE to just make it into something that’s more than just a trade show. But certainly in the coming weeks and post-show we’ll be announcing all of our plans.

Larry Jordan: It’s fun to look around the show and see the wealth of information that’s here, and the variety of exhibitors, and the people that weren’t here last year that are new this year and getting a chance to get exposed to new technology. What is it that gets you the most excited about working on shows like this? Is it the marketing? Is it the conferences? What’s the fun part?

Daniel Sacchelli: For me, it’s the actual event. This is an annual event, so we put a lot of work in from the day the show closes. We’re already working on 2017, we’ve already drawn the floor plan, we’ve already got our plans for what the content’s going to be, or the framework of it. But you can’t beat these three days, or four days including build-up, where it’s pretty unique no matter what industry you work in. If you work in events, there are 300 clients here and for four days they’re all in the same room, which is unique. It has its own set of challenges in a way but it’s really exciting and it’s what keeps me coming back for more. All year you’re building up to how you can beat the year before and create new experiences and get more people through the door. It’s something I very much enjoy.

Larry Jordan: No small amount of pressure. Much better for you than for me, I think. Congratulations. Where can people go on the web to learn more about what BVE is about?

Daniel Sacchelli: You can hit the BVE website, which is, and the Twitter hashtag is #bve16.

Larry Jordan: That’s and Daniel Sacchelli is the Event Manager for BVE and London Entertainment Week. Daniel, thanks for joining us.

Daniel Sacchelli: My pleasure. Thank you Larry.

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Larry Jordan: We’ve had a chance to take a look at the trade show side of media, but I want to shift gears and look at a company that covers it from a publishing and media marketing point of view, and I’m delighted to introduce Simon Tillyer. He’s the Managing Director of TV-Bay. Simon, thanks for joining us today.

Simon Tillyer: A pleasure, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Explain to me what TV-Bay is, because I’m sitting in a KitPlus booth, so help me understand the disconnect here.

Simon Tillyer: TV-Bay was originally founded some 12 years ago in a time when search engines were in their infancy, you had about a dozen search engines to choose from – it seems hard to imagine now with Google – and we noticed a gap in the market where video equipment was quite hard to buy and sell unless you were part exchanging it. So we developed a website called TV-Bay, where people could go on, advertise their kit for sale – a classified listing site – and we were constantly battling with search engine algorithms to get the site found and even today roughly 80 percent of our traffic comes from search engines. So we were building a business based on search engines, and they changed their mind and our business disappeared.

Simon Tillyer: So we decided to do a printed magazine and this was a monthly export of all the kit that had been added on TV-Bay that month. It was about 20 pages and it grew and grew. We added some news, added some reviews from your good self as well, articles, and it’s been about 100 pages now for the last eight years. We’ve done 110 issues.

Simon Tillyer: We realized as we were going along that the name TV-Bay had just been something we’d happened upon back in 2004 and we do so much more than TV stuff and we were pigeonholing ourselves into that name and we just wanted a change. We started doing different things – we were doing studio stuff, like we’re doing here at BVE, video production stuff, our own live show similar to your Buzz, not as good as your Buzz show, of course, but we were doing our own things like that. We felt we needed a rebrand.

Simon Tillyer: The heart of everything we do is kit based, it’s all about the equipment. We’re not really interested in people moving companies, what we’re really interested in is the equipment, so ‘Kit’ was a good word and we do lots of other things and so KitPlus came about. Some people still know us as TV-Bay and it’s going to take a while for that brand to slowly go down.

Larry Jordan: So do I look at you and think KitPlus or do I look at you and think TV-Bay?

Simon Tillyer: KitPlus from now on, I think.

Larry Jordan: All right, KitPlus, I can do that.

Simon Tillyer: Hence the KitPlus studio here at BVE.

Larry Jordan: So why are you at BVE? I’m incredibly grateful to you for sharing your studio with us, this is a huge treat and we’re delighted to be here, but why?

Simon Tillyer: We find everything we do in our business is based on marketing equipment and services offered within the broadcast and pro video industry, so basically all the exhibitors at BVE are our potential customers, people that support things we do. What can a magazine really do at a show? Well, you get two types of magazines, you have online magazines and you have printed magazines. I think it’s quite good to say we are a printed magazine that also has an online version as well.

Simon Tillyer: But either way, at a trade show you can get your three by two booth, you can hand magazines out and it’s all pretty dull and boring. So we like to do something a little up market from that. For the last four or five BVEs here in London, we’ve set up a studio, and we get our customers who are supports of the magazine to come on the show, we do roughly six 30 minute shows a day, so we’re doing 18 lives shows over three days.

Simon Tillyer: We have a presenter sat in your chair normally and she’s interviewing guests. We have four chairs here, so we have panel guests, we have ones and twos, and they’re talking about their new products, how the industry’s going and we’re basically streaming out on the BVE homepage. So we are BVE TV, for want of a better word, and we work very closely with BVE in making sure the show works. They’re very generous with their support in promoting it and in return hopefully we give them a good quality stream for the three days.

Larry Jordan: As you’ve been planning the show, because I know you’re also involved with the producing, what subjects seem to be the hottest? Which have the greatest interest?

Simon Tillyer: To be honest, most of the shows today have been on cloud based technology. It’s a big one. We had Playbox on this morning. PlayBox have a channel in the box which replaces the old machine control room, effectively, and they were saying that when they came up with the concept of a channel in a box ten years ago, they were just laughed at. How can you possibly replace these people putting VTs in VTRs? Their whole solution was a PC based system where you automate a channel and they’ve now taken that a step further and made it a cloud playout system so that instead of loading all your shows into your channel in a box, effectively, it’s all uploaded to the cloud. They’ve partnered with Tata Communications so that you can upload your week long schedule up to their cloud and play out automatically. That was a big one today. We’ve also been chatting to Gtech about the new archiving and storage options they’ve got. Who else have we had today? It’s been a busy day.

Larry Jordan: Oh, I know that feeling.

Simon Tillyer: It’s been a busy day.

Larry Jordan: When I cover NAB, I have a hard time remembering what happened 15 minutes ago. But thinking about that, I’m looking backstage, which nobody can see because you’ve got this beautiful set that you’ve designed, but we’re looking at six technical people and a whole raft of gear. What gear are you using to do the show?

Simon Tillyer: Ok, well if I talk about the people first, so KitPlus or TV-Bay, whatever, is a very small company…

Larry Jordan: So even you don’t know.

Simon Tillyer: Even I don’t know. They don’t know who they work for. KitPlus is quite a small company, there are six of us, and when you put on a show like we’re doing here, we’ve got something like 60 square meters of studio space and we’ve got an audio guy, we’ve got a vision mixer, we’re checking the stream, we’ve got an editor, we’ve got crews going around the show, so we’ve got quite a lot of personnel.

Simon Tillyer: I’m not sure whether you’ve come across Ravensbourne College at all, it’s basically one of the UK’s leading broadcast and media universities in this country, and we contact them every year and say, “We’re doing the show, anybody fancy helping?” and they’re always very generous with their time. So we get second and third year students that have got a bit of experience and, to be honest, it’s always good to see. When they come along, they come with such enthusiasm and also experience that they’ve picked up by doing their own projects. They haven’t gone into Ravensbourne knowing nothing, they’ve gone in with quite a good level of understanding of the video industry, so we’ve got some really competent people vision mixing, on the sound desk, editing and going around as a camera crew.

Simon Tillyer: We’re using PTZ cameras here, so we’ve basically made three cameramen redundant by doing that, but they’re being controlled as well on the desk. As far as the kit that we’re using, we’re editing odd cutaways on Premiere Pro, just on a Mac. We’ve got a NewTek Tricaster and we’re using a Presonus sound desk. The benefit with the Tricaster is that it can do the whole thing. It could take all the cameras in. We’re using a Polecam which just flown over my head, a Polecam and three cameras, and we’ve got three crews going around which are fitted with Videosys wireless links, so anywhere in this hall with wifi signals going all over the place, the Videosys links still give us a clean feed. We can cut to anybody anywhere in the hall. Somebody could tweet in and say…

Larry Jordan: Wait, wait, wait, live switching to the camera in the hall from here?

Simon Tillyer: Yes. From here, to two cameras, alternate. The presenter here can have a conversation with our other presenter who’s roaming the halls and we can switch between each one.

Larry Jordan: How are you getting the cameras to communicate?

Simon Tillyer: We’re using RTS. I don’t know the exact model, but RTS have loaned us a talkback system. One of the great things about our industry is everybody is so friendly and everybody just – I say just – they just loan us equipment. We work with these guys and RTS have loaned us a four belt pack so the guys roaming around can communicate. NewTek have loaned us the Tricaster. The cameras are from Panasonic. The lights from AC Lighting just over the way there and they loan this stuff freely to us so that we can talk about it, I guess, we can get them on the show to talk about it, and in the magazine we can write about it and give them as much promo as we can.

Larry Jordan: Thinking about all this technology and shifting back to your experience publishing the magazine, what new technology are you writing about and covering that’s hot? Where’s the industry headed?

Simon Tillyer: Our magazine is probably not unique, but we have a simple formula. Each month we have a feature and we’ve just done the acquisition feature, which is always one I really love because sometimes when you do a feature that’s more focused on storage and archive, getting any images to go with that is a nightmare and you end up with a very wordy magazine. It’s a good read but it’s quite a hard read. With acquisition, it’s very visual. In this current issue, we’ve been covering stabilizing which has been a very interesting one.

Simon Tillyer: We’ve also covered, and I think there are only two in the UK, a piece of kit called Perfect Horizon. They’re a very high level stabilizer that is mainly a boat based device for filming boat races, high speed races on rough seas and it can hold a big broadcast camera perfectly stable, no matter what it’s on. We’re going to actually be testing that out in the coming months as well. We’re testing that against a handheld stabilizer. That’s been quite a good one.

Simon Tillyer: Drones are always good and there’s always a lot of health and safety type editorial around drones and how the legislation’s changing. I’m guessing the legislation in America – are you more relaxed about it now or are you finding that drone legislation in the States is…

Larry Jordan: No, we do have drone legislation, started December 22nd, so you have to be registered and your drone has to be registered as well.

Simon Tillyer: Or you can’t fly at all?

Larry Jordan: Well, you can fly as long as you don’t charge for it. If you charge for it, you have to be licensed and you have to be a licensed pilot, so you can’t just simply say, “I’m a drone operator,” you have to have a pilot’s license before you can fly a drone, which is extremely interesting.

Simon Tillyer: Wow. Yes, and do you find that’s cut down the amount of, I guess it must have cut down the amount of drone sales?

Larry Jordan: Well, no, the drones are still getting into trouble but at least now we have ways of enforcing what happens, and it also leads to greater safety on set because the people that are flying the drone know what they’re doing.

Simon Tillyer: Yes, yes. I think over here we’re still in this situation where you have to do basically a four day course, but you can see legislation tightening up on that going forwards, without a doubt.

Larry Jordan: Simon, I was just thinking, you do a print magazine in the age of the internet. Is anybody interested in reading a print magazine?

Simon Tillyer: We had this discussion at NAB in 2006, when we first decided to make the switch to print, and we were told, “Don’t do it, print’s dead, it’s of the past.” But to us, that was like a red rag to a bull, we had to try it, and it’s very satisfying because you get something through the post, you can hold it, you can feel it, you can pass it around. We did start to wonder if we were doing the right thing because the postage costs are going up, so we did a survey and it was one of those surveys that you’re afraid to push the send button, because you don’t want the wrong result, you don’t want people to tell you what you don’t want to hear. But we were actually staggered that 78 percent of our readers wanted to retain print.

Larry Jordan: 78 percent?

Simon Tillyer: Yes, only 22 percent wanted to switch to digital and of that 22 percent, ten percent wanted them both. To me, I think it’s going to go full circle and the popularity of print’s just coming back again, because people have just realized the limitations of online magazines. They’re very restricted in the Google optimization, very hard to find online and actually, if I’ve been reading or working online all day, do I really want to read stuff online again? I think it’s very personal, but we were staggered that 78 percent wanted print.

Larry Jordan: So what do you have planned for future publications? What are you covering in the next three or four issues?

Simon Tillyer: Oh!

Larry Jordan: How about next issue?

Simon Tillyer: Next issue’s quite a good one, actually. Well, all of them are great, but the next issue is our NAB preview and it’s always great to know what’s going on at NAB, so there’ll be a lot of news about new developments. Our news section is never feature specific, it’s just news. The next one is storage and archive, I think from memory, so there’ll be a lot of thoughts on where you’re archiving to. Are you archiving locally?

Larry Jordan: I want to read that because we haven’t figured that out at all at this point.

Simon Tillyer: Well, we’re only just there, and maybe not even there. But, again, it’s the big how many backups do you do and do you archive to the cloud? Is it ok to just store one copy in the cloud? If you’re archiving locally, you’re going to probably archive two copies. Should you archive to a drive that after three to five years might not power up again? There’s this whole conundrum about firstly what you back up to, why you’re backing it up anyway and how you’re going to find it once you’ve backed it up. I’m sure there’ll be editorial there on media asset management and actually finding that archive – after all, if you can’t find it, there’s no point in keeping it – and the whole cloud thing, as well as the speed of getting it up there and the speed of retrieval. That should be quite a good one. We just need to find some good pictures to go with it.

Larry Jordan: For people who want more information about the magazine and KitPlus in general, where do they go on the web?

Simon Tillyer: They can read our online version at There you’ll find a link that you read the online magazine. is just our landing page and you’ll see the kit for sale and we have articles, we have news and events as well. Anybody wanting to see the videos that we’ve been making here at BVE can go onto the event page at BVE and they’ll see probably 100 or so videos there; and NAB as well. So we’ll be at NAB in a few weeks’ time and we’ll be trawling the halls there as well.

Larry Jordan: Ah, very cool. Simon Tillyer is the Managing Director, actually one of two Managing Directors, for KitPlus. The website is and, Simon, thanks for joining us today.

Simon Tillyer: Thank you, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Welcome to Tech Talk.

Larry Jordan: Conforming a clip means to play a clip shot at one frame rate at a different frame rate, within a project, so that every frame in the original clip plays. For example, to play a clip shot at 120 frames per second at 24 frames per second in a project. Apple calls this setting an ‘Automatic Speed’ setting.

Larry Jordan: Now, this is done to achieve a very smooth, very high quality slow motion effect, so what we do is we shoot at a faster frame rate and playback at a lower frame rate, which gives us automatic slow motion with really high quality with no stutter or choppiness. Here’s how it works.

Larry Jordan: Here’s an example of we’re back in Brazil and we’ve got our dancer dancing on the top of the train. All right, not bad. It would be nice if we could run this in slow motion and not have any jerkiness because we want people to stay in the movement of the dance. Select the clip, go to the smurf menu and notice this choice called ‘Automatic Speed.’

Larry Jordan: What it’s done – let me just go back a step here and show you how we got to where we are – if I select the project, command J and open up the project settings, we see that this project is a 24 frame a second project. If I select the clip and go up to the info tab in the inspector, I see it’s a 60 frame a second clip. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to play every frame. It’s going to slow the clip down 40 percent. I’m going to play every frame in this clip and create a high quality stutter-free slow motion. Go to the smurf menu, ‘Automatic Speed,’ and now look what’s happened. No jitter, no choppiness, very smooth, clean images, no motion blur, exactly what we want.

Larry Jordan: What I’ve done is I’ve simply played a clip back at the speed at which it was shot inside the timeline, which is at a different frame rate than the clip. NFL Films is legendary for doing this. When NFL Films is shooting football and it was shooting film, it was always shooting film at 32 frames a second. You would then play that film back at 24 frames a second, slowing the clip by about 30 percent, and this gave us this beautiful balletic movement of very, very large men moving very, very quickly and violently on the football field, and yet this sense of grace and dance because we were looking at this elegant slow motion, which gave us a chance to see what was going on much more clearly that we could see it by watching in real time.

Larry Jordan: Well, let’s just take a look here and do the same thing. Here is a snowboarder. Lovely shot, but wouldn’t it be cool if we could slow it down? Well, it was shot at 29.97, it’s playing back at 24. Select the clip, go to the smurf menu, select ‘Automatic Speed.’ It slows it down 20 percent and notice now there’s no jerkiness, there’s no stutter but it’s much smoother, lovelier. It seems to hang longer. Very cool.

Larry Jordan: In order to create this effect, you have to shoot in the camera at a faster frame rate than you plan to edit in your project, then select the clip in your project and turn on ‘Automatic Speed.’ At that point, you can then adjust it manually if you want, but if you start to drag the thumb to make it any other speed than the one that Final Cut sets, you’re injecting choppiness again. The absolute smoothest setting is automatic speed and don’t make any speed changes.

Larry Jordan: We’ve had a chance to look at media in the UK from two perspective, one is trade shows and the other is publishing. But now I want to go into the industry itself and I want you to meet Rex Palmer, who is a lighting cameraman and has been working freelance in the UK for, well, let’s just say more than a year or two. Hello, Rex, good to have you with us.

Rex Palmer: Good to be here.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe your background? What have you done?

Rex Palmer: Well, I started work at the BBC many years ago as a trainee cameraman, and one of the first programs that it was my pleasure to work on, or to assist on perhaps I should say, was ‘Dr Who,’ which I think is…

Larry Jordan: Oh my goodness.

Rex Palmer: …seen by many people around the world, so that was quite an experience, working on the first ever ‘Dr Who’ which, of course, was shot in black and white, and the cameras we had in those days were rather large and heavy and difficult to move around. So they needed new young trainees like me to help move the cables so that they didn’t make noise as they moved around the studio.

Larry Jordan: Now, you describe yourself as a lighting cameraman, which is a term that we don’t use in the States. What does that mean?

Rex Palmer: That means that I can also light my own work.

Larry Jordan: Would you consider yourself a director of photography?

Rex Palmer: That is a term that, in the UK, is used by film cameramen specifically. The term for television has always been lighting cameraman, just to distinguish the fact that the actual work we do is slightly different.

Larry Jordan: Do you prefer the lighting part of it or the camera part of it?

Rex Palmer: Nowadays, the camera part of it.

Larry Jordan: How come?

Rex Palmer: That’s what I’ve ended up doing for the last 20 years, I’ve been actually working on covering the Formula 1 championship all over the world.

Larry Jordan: What are some of the projects you’ve worked on recently?

Rex Palmer: Well, that’s the main one that I’ve been doing, as I say, for the last 20 years. Before that, all sorts of sports in the UK. I started off in the studios in London with the BBC. I did all sorts of studio programs, whether it be light entertainment like ‘Morecambe & Wise,’ or doing the sports linking for the weekend sports shows or doing drama, the various different ‘Plays for Today’ – we had a series called ‘Play for Today’ back in those days.

Larry Jordan: With drama, drama’s got a script and we’re following along what’s going on. Sports is about as unscripted as it gets.

Rex Palmer: This is true. It’s a different discipline, yes.

Larry Jordan: What’s the challenge? How do you manage to keep up with sport?

Rex Palmer: You rely a lot on the director, obviously. Whereas in the studio, where you’re doing a scripted program, each cameraman has a list on his camera of all the shots that he’s going to be taking with a shot description and position where it’s got to be, whether it’s a wide shot, tight shot and so on. But when you’re doing sports, you rely on first of all knowing the role of a particular camera that you might be doing.

Rex Palmer: For example, Wimbledon tennis. Doing Wimbledon tennis, the standard when I started was to have four cameras around the court. We’d have the high wide shot, which was the overall picture of the court, then you’d have a close up over the service holder from the same end as the high wide and two side cameras looking at the players at each end. So you had to understand the role that each of those cameras did and the director would expect you to know what you had to do at any given time. He would, of course, get you to change things, he’d call for a close up or for a wider shot or whatever, so you were constantly being guided by the director as to what shot he wanted to use next, although you understood the format so you knew more or less what was expected of you.

Larry Jordan: Of all the sports you cover, which one do you have the most fun with?

Rex Palmer: I did enjoy doing Wimbledon, but then you also got to do many of ‘The Open’ golf championships as well. Different parts of the country and seeing the scenery there, because they were nearly always seaside courses, so you got to enjoy nice weather, though often it was rather breezy, and if you were doing a camera up on a tower, on a platform, the people used to look at you very strangely because you’d be wearing a big heavy coat, and maybe a hat as well and the people on the ground down around you would be in their bikinis.

Larry Jordan: You describe yourself as a freelance rather than staff. Is most of the work freelance these days or is most of the work staff?

Rex Palmer: No, most of the work now, especially in the UK, is freelance. I was a staff cameraman when I was at the BBC, obviously, because you’re working in the studios, and then on outside broadcasts you were staff, and you worked with a crew of maybe half a dozen other people, along with the sound man, the engineers who made sure the pictures looked right and all that sort of thing and you went round as a team.

Rex Palmer: But once that stopped, you go freelance, then you’re out on your own and you’ve got to find your own work, so that’s the difference.

Larry Jordan: What part of the industry is shooting these days? In the States, we’re seeing that some industries are cutting back and some outlets are increasing. Where’s the market? Where are the jobs today?

Rex Palmer: Live television is still live television, you can’t get around that, so it is still there. The difficulty is knowing the right people that will give you the sort of work that you want to do, and that’s where life becomes a bit more difficult. If you want to specialize in a particular thing, you’ve got to first of all somehow get a name for doing that sort of work so you get known and then the work will then come to you.

Larry Jordan: We’re seeing at the show a lot of robotic cameras, point and zoom cameras, which are replacing the traditional camera operator. Have they made much of an impact in terms of the work that you’ve been doing?

Rex Palmer: Not really, certainly not in something like major sports, because you can’t have too many robotic cameras which then might fail and fall on the players, for example, so no, you don’t get it so much. But the thing that really has changed is the size of the cameras, getting smaller, and the size of the lenses, getting bigger. On most sports, you’ve got large zoom lenses which can be up to 100 to one range, which is phenomenal, and when you’re doing something like that, obviously you need some very stable camera mountings because you don’t want to be wobbling about trying to take a close up of a car that’s at the other end of the pit lane.

Larry Jordan: I do remember back when I was starting out, I was working with Touit lenses, so we had to just shift from one because we didn’t have the zoom, and when the first zooms came out on the old RCA TK42s and TK43s, the camera and the pedestal and the lens weighed close to 1,000 pounds.

Rex Palmer: This is true, absolutely, yes.

Larry Jordan: And getting that thing to start dollying was a real challenge.

Rex Palmer: And that’s where one of our British companies, Vinton, came into their own making superb camera pedestals which would balance the camera and you could change the height and direction all with one hand, which made the work of the studio cameraman so much easier.

Larry Jordan: I do remember that I was dollying a camera at one point and I lost control of it and it crashed through the set, so I totally understand what you mean. Talent was a little worried as their camera got a little bit too close.

Rex Palmer: Exactly, yes.

Larry Jordan: You’re at the end of your career.

Rex Palmer: This is true.

Larry Jordan: You’ve still got 30 or 40 years left, but you’re at the end of it.

Rex Palmer: I don’t think so!

Larry Jordan: What advice would you give to the kids who are starting out? What do they need to know to be a good camera person?

Rex Palmer: That is rather difficult nowadays because the only way that camera trainees come into the business is through media colleges, and a lot of the people that go to media colleges think they want to be directors rather than actual camera operators, and the skills obviously are very different. But we’re very lucky in Great Britain that we do have a lot of very good media colleges producing lots of very good potential cameramen, and part of the camera guild of which I am a member is to encourage the media colleges to be involved in the training of the cameramen to do camera work, not just be a director, and there is an award scheme that is run in the UK where a particular student at a particular college or university will get an award for being the best of that year’s bunch.

Larry Jordan: Now, you’ve mentioned the GTC, the Guild of Television Cameramen, which is where you and I first met a couple of years ago.

Rex Palmer: Indeed.

Larry Jordan: Tell me more about what the guild does. Is it just a union?

Rex Palmer: No.

Larry Jordan: You’ve touched on more of it, but expand on that.

Rex Palmer: It’s not a union, it is a camera guild. It is worldwide, although obviously it started here and many of the members are based in the UK. We have agents all around the world, we have cameramen from Australia, China, America of course, right across the States, Canada, all over the world, though as I say the majority are based in the UK, because of where it started.

Rex Palmer: The role really is to try and maintain and, if possible, increase the standards of camera work that the cameraman do all over the world.

Larry Jordan: How do you do it? Part of it is training, part of it is experience and part of it is to want to do better, so how do you build that, how do you foster that?

Rex Palmer: One of the things we have is a members’ forum online where members can discuss with more experienced members problems they may be having trying to do a particular shot or what’s the best equipment to use for doing a particular thing. But one of the main things that the guild does, which unfortunately is only in the UK, is we hold workshops which can cover a wide range of things, lighting being an obvious one, new camera developments is another one, or actual experienced operators telling about how they got round solving particular problems, and this is a way people learn. At all these things, there are discussions afterwards and people talk to one another and learn from the interaction they have.

Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting on how technology has changed over the years. From your point of view, how does technology affect storytelling?

Rex Palmer: In various ways. Obviously, one of the things is now that the cameras have got so much smaller and therefore so much lighter that it’s easier to take a camera into a small situation that you wouldn’t necessarily otherwise have been able to do. But in terms of storytelling, it depends what the director – assuming you’re not doing a self shoot – ideas are as to how to achieve what he wants to do to tell the story.

Rex Palmer: We’re there to advise and make suggestions as to how it would be best done with maybe a change of a piece of equipment, maybe using particular camera mounting, a dolly that would give particular movement in a particular way. So that would be how we can assist the production to generate what they are trying to achieve with their end product.

Larry Jordan: Cameras are smaller and they’re cheaper and they do more. One of the things I’ve often wondered is whether art grows out of the boundary between what you want to do and what you can do, in that now our cameras can do so much that sometimes it’s hard to focus on what we want to do because there are so many different opportunities for us.

Rex Palmer: Right.

Larry Jordan: Are we better off now, when everything seems to want to do everything, or were we actually better off a while ago, where we were more limited and forcing ourselves against boundaries?

Rex Palmer: We were probably a little better off a few years ago, when there were limitations as to what any one camera could do, and you would understand the limitations and you were able to work around them. Nowadays, the cameras seem to be able to do everything, but then you suddenly find that actually the color balance is wrong or the light changes and it still doesn’t look right. So in a sense there are almost too many variables now to keep it under control, especially if you’re doing a multi camera shoot.

Rex Palmer: If you’re doing a multi camera shoot, you want to make sure that all the cameras are looking at, say, a player on a football field or a baseball field in the States, that they all make the person they’re looking at look the same color, not too pasty, not too dark, depending on what they are; or that the clothes look the same. Sometimes with modern cameras, with the sensitivity of the way the chips are now designed with a red, green and blue sensor, they’ve very narrow peak sensors and if you’ve then got stadium lighting, which is also LED, the peaks are in slightly different places. So although the player appears to be wearing red shorts when you’re live looking at it, through the camera it could suddenly appear to be a slight shade of green or something. That is a big problem.

Larry Jordan: In the time that we’ve got left, what advice would you give to somebody starting out to help them become better?

Rex Palmer: Try and get some experience with an experienced cameraman, as a helper, as an assistant for him, because that way you can see how it should be done and hopefully learn from that.

Larry Jordan: And for people who want more information about the guild, where can they go on the web?

Rex Palmer: Go online. The web address is

Larry Jordan: That’s and Rex Palmer is a lighting cameraman freelance here in the UK and, Rex, thanks for joining us today.

Rex Palmer: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Take care.

Larry Jordan: It’s time for a Buzz Flashback. Five years ago today…

Tom Dolan (archive): I think the audience is going to start to look at different sites in the sense of channels and what can I expect when I go there. And what we’re hoping to do at Festival of Films is take creative and audience groups and to provide them what that group would like to see, and so within our site you’ll find the particular type of entertainment that you’re looking for, the particular type of documentaries or information that you’re looking for.

Larry Jordan: This was a Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: It’s been an interesting time here at BVE and I’ve enjoyed listening to our guests talk because I’ve learned not only how the US and the UK are similar, I’m also hearing how they’re different. We use the same gear because they’re made by the same manufacturers, but we use them in different ways for different audiences and for different purposes; and taking a closer look at media inside the UK is what this week’s show is all about.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests tonight – Daniel Sacchelli, the Event Manager for BVE, and Simon Tillyer, the Managing Director for KitPlus, and Rex Palmer, a freelance lighting cameraman – each for their own perspective on the industry.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online and all available to you today; and remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter.

Larry Jordan: Talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook at Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner with additional music provided by Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription – visit to learn how they can help you.

Larry Jordan: Our Supervising Producer is Cirina Catania; our BVE coverage was produced by Debbie Price. Our production team is led by Brianna Murphy and thanks to our team here at BVE at KitPlus. My name is Larry Jordan; thanks for joining us for The Digital Production Buzz at BVE in London.

Announcer #1: 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; and by, specializing in workflow applications for over 25 years.

Digital Production Buzz – February 25, 2016

Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton as they talk with Daniel Sacchelli, Simon Tillyer, and Rex Palmer.

  • Inside Look at BVE
  • U.K. Media from a Publisher’s Point of View
  • A Freelance Perspective on U.K. Media
  • Tech Talk: Conform a Clip in FCP X

View Show Transcript

Watch the Full Episode

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Buzz on iTunesTranscript

Guests this Week

Daniel Sacchelli
Daniel Sacchelli, Event Manager, BVE & London Entertainment Week
BVE is a large industry trade show that falls between IBC and NAB. Daniel Sacchelli, Event Manager for BVE, joins us in London to explain what makes the show significant to everyone outside of the UK and what new technology trends they are covering this year.
Simon Tillyer
Simon Tillyer, Managing Director, KitPlus
KitPlus, formerly TV-Bay, is a media publishing company based in London that publishes KitPlus magazine, along with a variety of events and online events. Simon Tillyer, managing director for KitPlus, joins Larry Jordan at the KitPlus studio on the BVE trade show floor, talking about the media industry in the UK.
Rex Palmer
Rex Palmer, Freelance Lighting Cameraman
Rex Palmer is a freelance lighting cameraman who got his start with the original Dr. Who, produced by the BBC in the 1960’s. Over his career, he’s done drama, news and sports. Tonight, Rex stops by the Buzz studio at BVE to talk about his career in media and offers advice on what it takes to build a career in today’s world.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – February 18, 2016

Digital Production Buzz

February 18, 2016

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

(Click here to listen to this show.)

Larry Jordan

Randi’s Perspective
Tech Talk
BuZZ Flashback: David Murdico

Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Creative Planet Network
Cirina Catania, Supervising Producer, Digital Production Buzz
Aharon Rabinowitz, Director of Communities, Red Giant


Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, Ned Soltz, the Contributing Editor for Digital Video Magazine, returns with an update on the latest cameras and camera technology, along with advice on how to pick the best camera for your next project.

Larry Jordan: Next, Cirina Catania, the Supervising Producer for The Buzz, is in Berlin attending the Berlinale Film Festival. She has a firsthand report on the films that are screening, along with trends in movie making that have everyone talking.

Larry Jordan: Next, Aharon Rabinowitz is Head of Marketing for Red Giant and the Executive Producer of Red Giant Films. He joins us this week with an update on brand new releases from Red Giant and a look at why they as a software developer continue to make new films.

Larry Jordan: All this plus Tech Talk, a Buzz Flashback and Randi Altman’s Perspective on the News. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer #1: Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at; and by, the workflow experts.

Announcer #2:: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking – authoritative – one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals – current – uniting industry experts: production, filmmakers, post production and content creators around the planet – distribution. 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 the creative content industry covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. Mike Horton has the night off.

Larry Jordan: Next week, The Buzz is heading to London and will originate from the BVE Expo at the ExCel Center. BVE is the UK’s largest event for professionals involved in media. It attracts in excess of 15,000 visitors from more than 60 countries and combines seminars with a trade show. They’ve invited me to speak at several sessions, where I’ll be talking about storage and gear and the impact of the internet on media and I figured that, since we were already there, we’d bring The Buzz along, so the great folks at KITPLUS offered us their studio, which is on the show floor, to allow us to explore the world of media from a UK perspective. It should be great fun, so be sure to tune in next week, when we’ll be speaking with a British accent directly from BVE in London.

Larry Jordan: Also, I want to remind you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at Every issue every week gives you an inside look at The Buzz, quick links to all the different segments of the show and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers. Best of all, every issue is free. I’ll be back with Ned Soltz right after Randi Altman’s Perspective on the News.

Larry Jordan: This is Randi Altman’s Perspective.

Larry Jordan: Randi Altman has been writing about our industry for more than 20 years. In fact, she’s the editor in chief of her own website, which is Randi is on the road this week but we’ve managed to nail her feet to the floor. Randi, welcome back.

Randi Altman: Thanks, Larry. Good to be back.

Larry Jordan: So where are you and what are you doing?

Randi Altman: I’m currently in Indian Wells, California at the HPA Tech Retreat.

Larry Jordan: Now, the HPA, which I learned last week stands for the Hollywood Post Association, is an organization of post production companies. What are you talking about there?

Randi Altman: Actually here at the show, they announced a new name, so they’re now the Hollywood Professional Association.

Larry Jordan: The Hollywood Professional Association. Why?

Randi Altman: Yes, they felt that was more inclusive, so that’s their new name; and they also announced that Leon Silverman, who was one of the founding members of the HPA and the HPA’s President, has stepped down and Seth Hallen from Sony has taken his place. Leon will still be on the Board and will still be very visible within the HPA, but he has stepped down as President.

Larry Jordan: What does the HPA do? What’s its role in life?

Randi Altman: Well, it began as an association for post production professionals and creatives and then manufacturers got involved as well. They do their HPA awards in November, where they celebrate talent, and here at the Tech Retreat there are tons of sessions on all sorts of topics – and we touched upon that last week as well – but it’s all about education and building community.

Larry Jordan: You were saying that you’re at a Tech Retreat. Is this like a trade show or is it more of a conference?

Randi Altman: It’s a little bit of both. They have an exhibit floor, so you can take a look at some gear if you want, but most of it is conference time, so you’re in a room and you’re learning.

Larry Jordan: Sounds like a return to school. One of the things I’m curious about is what are some of the hot topics? What are they talking about? More business or more creative?

Randi Altman: More creative, absolutely more creative, more technology, where things are going, the importance of metadata in OTT workflows. Everything is metadata. The importance of metadata has never been higher, so there’s a lot of that. There was someone from NASA talking about technology yesterday, there is an HDR session going on right now. In an earlier HDR session, there was a nice debate between HDR and 4K. Some people just don’t believe in 4K, they felt like maybe it was pushed upon them and they really do believe that the image looks better thanks to high dynamic range, so that was a debate that was going on earlier in the week. It’s been a fun show.

Larry Jordan: What struck you the most as you’re listening to all these conferences?

Randi Altman: How engaged the audience is. It’s a big room and there’s a lot going on and sessions go on throughout the day. There are breaks, but it is chockfull of information and people are just there to learn.

Larry Jordan: Randi, for people who want to keep track of what you’ve learned at HPA and to learn about your website in general, where can they go on the web?

Randi Altman: They can go to and they can also follow me on Twitter, @postperspective. We have been tweeting about the show.

Larry Jordan: Oh, very cool. Randi, thanks for joining us today.

Larry Jordan: To read more from Randi Altman, visit

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Larry Jordan: Since 1988, OWC has become one of the most trusted names in quality hardware and comprehensive support to the worldwide computer industry. With an extensive online catalog of Mac, iPhone and iPad enhancement products, as well as a dedicated team of knowledgeable experts providing first rate tech support, OWC has everything you need to take your current system to the next level. Whether you need to maximize your system’s memory, add blazing speed or enhance reliability, look no further than the friendly experts at OWC. Learn more by visiting today.

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is an author, editor, educator and consultant on all things related to digital video. He’s also a Contributing Editor to Digital Video Magazine, a moderator on 2-Pop and Creative Cow forums and – and best of all – a regular correspondent here on The Buzz. Hello, Ned, welcome back.

Ned Soltz: Hi Larry, it’s good to be back and we’ve got to add one more thing to the credits now.

Larry Jordan: I’m afraid to ask.

Ned Soltz: Oh, once again I’ve just started writing for

Larry Jordan: You have got to practice getting more sleep, guy. This is just ridiculous.

Ned Soltz: Sleep is overrated.

Larry Jordan: Ned, just when I thought it was safe to get back into the water, the whole camera section of our industry seems to be going wild. What’s going on?

Ned Soltz: It’s going absolutely crazy. It is too segmented. I’ve said it on this show, I’ve said it in print. There are just too many cameras and there is absolutely too much confusion. So what I’d like to try to do with you tonight is maybe in our discussion we can flesh out what the different segments of the camera market are, who they’re target toward and what type of user should look to what specific type of camera, if not a specific brand.

Larry Jordan: I think that’s a perfectly good idea and I want to start with the action camera market, because recently GoPro ran into some headwinds when sales didn’t meet expectations. Does this mean the action cam market is in trouble?

Ned Soltz: The action cam market is, again, segmented because you’ve got the GoPro and now you’ve got the DJI Osmo, which although not necessarily waterproof, is really taking the camera world by storm in that action camera market because of that wonderful built-in gimbal. I think GoPro stumbled as well because you sort of reach a point where you get market saturation.

Ned Soltz: Now, there are a couple of others – let me see if I can reach over right here. Ah, here it is. We hold up the box right here. This is an AEE S71T action camera. Let’s see if we can get this here without the reflection of my light.

Larry Jordan: You are just incredible at holding props up. You and Vanna White, I think, are two…

Ned Soltz: Oh yes. She’s got better legs, though, that’s the difference. But nonetheless, that’s an example of it. That’s a 2.7K camera. It’s not a 4K camera like the GoPro, but it has a longer battery life and better wifi connectivity. Then there’s another little one which I’ve got packed away in a box right now that I can’t find, which is called eCamera and this is actually a couple of young entrepreneurs and engineers in Shenzhen and you’ve really got to admire these kids. They started with a Kickstarter campaign and a big camera dealer, Adorama, kicked some money into that and they produced a camera with a Micro Four Third sensor, a Micro Four Third adapter and we’re talking something barely larger than the GoPro.

Ned Soltz: I’ve been testing it and there were some firmware issues with the first revision of the firmware and it wasn’t auto focusing with a little Panasonic pancake lens that I had on it, but they said, “Please don’t say anything bad about it until we’ve reissued the firmware,” so I think the firmware is now fixed and that’s a cute little camera. It’s about $500. It’s segmented, it’s niche and all the other dealers have it other than Adorama. But GoPro’s got competition right now and they’ve got market saturation.

Larry Jordan: So the action camera segment may not be dead, but we’re seeing that it’s starting to max out in terms of market penetration.

Ned Soltz: Exactly, and I was going to add that Sony just introduced a new action camera at CES. There are rumors that there’s a 4K action camera due from Sony at some near point. I think it’s segmented and that’s why GoPro is seeing a drop in sales.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so we’ve got the action camera segment. Would you consider DSLR a segment or a function?

Ned Soltz: DSLR is a segment which I believe is dead in terms of future development, because I think it’s moving more toward mirrorless right now.

Larry Jordan: Slow down, you’ve given me two big things. You think it’s dead simply because of the removal of the mirror or dead because video cameras are responding?

Ned Soltz: I think it’s dead because video cameras are responding and I’m not seeing any great innovations coming along right now in the DSLR world. That doesn’t mean that people are going to immediately throw away their Canon 7Ds and 5Ds. You still see a lot of those out there being shot and they’re still producing very good work, but they’re really not going terribly much further. As an example, today Canon announced the 80D which again is sort of in the high enthusiast price range, let’s put it that way, at a $1200 price point for body only.

Ned Soltz: Really, the only innovation right now in terms of their video is it’s going to do 1080 60p as opposed to 1080 30p and that’s about the extent of it. Even in the Canon 1DX Mark II, their $5,000 plus camera that they just introduced a couple of weeks ago, that’s going to have 4K internally but still with a Motion JPEG codec, so it’s really a high end still camera that has some incidental video capabilities. We’re not seeing the development and Nikon’s not been behind it, but on the other hand Sony is just going absolutely great guns with their mirrorless cameras, that Sony GH4.

Larry Jordan: Hold it, hold it. Stop! I want to get to mirrorless in about 20 seconds, but just a quick answer – do you think that the DSLRs are being constrained in terms of development because they’re recording to the chip? Because the chip itself doesn’t have a high data transfer rate. Do you think that’s constraining them?

Ned Soltz: I don’t think it is, because the mirrorless cameras are recording 4K 62V SDXC chips.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so what makes mirrorless so attractive?

Ned Soltz: Their smaller form factor and because the mirror really isn’t that essential any more because you’d really rather see an electronic viewfinder rather that something that’s optical and get a better view of what you’re looking at; as well, because more and more now, particularly with Sony and Panasonic, you have various kinds of logarithmic log recording options that are there and you want to be able to view it either log or you want to be able to apply a LUT to it and that requires the electronic viewfinder. Also greater versatility and because you’re taking that mirror out which is unnecessary, you can have a shallower flange depth of lens and much more adaptability to different lenses of differing manufacturers with the mirrorless camera. But also the size factor is a major, major factor.

Larry Jordan: In a second, I want to talk about, say, four different categories of shooting and help you pick the right camera for each category, but I was thinking that the big buzz that’s going on now at HPA is the impact of high dynamic range video. Are you seeing cameras starting to take HDR into account and what do you think the impact of HDR is going to be on camera technology?

Ned Soltz: Already so many of these cameras are shooting dynamic ranges of 12, 14, 15 stops. I think that’s pretty much been there for a while. Even the Sony F3 several years ago was still shooting between 12 and 14 stops of dynamic range. So the dynamic range has already been built into those cameras but now we’re seeing cameras designed more and more for it. My favorite that was just announced in recent days is the new Panasonic Varicam LT, in that higher market segment. I’m really big on that and they are really looking to that for HDR production. But the question now is more HDR delivery and I believe we will begin to see that in consumer sets over the next couple of years.

Ned Soltz: At last NAB we were raising that same question – do we want more pixels or better pixels? – and if I had the choice of more or better pixels, I’d take a look at better pixels.

Larry Jordan: And I would agree. I think once you see HDR, resolution becomes irrelevant. But here’s the question, then. If cameras are shooting HDR video, because you’re saying they’ve got the extra stops of dynamic range, why aren’t we seeing it in our pictures?

Ned Soltz: We’re not seeing it in our pictures because the display technology is still catching up to it. We still haven’t exactly standardized on an HDR standard, so there are several competing standards that are out there and SMPTE has not made its decision in terms of what it wants to cast its fate with, and we’ve got Dolby, we’ve got Sony and at the moment I’m not up to what every single standard is and what those technological differences, electronic differences might be, but we first need the standard, then we need the manufacturers to begin to bring that to market and the manufacturers already have conflicting signals because we’re trying to move to 4K.

Ned Soltz: At the same time, we’re trying to think about 8K down the road, which isn’t that far away, and then HDR comes into the picture and what are the manufacturers actually going to do and promote? And then how is that content going to be delivered? That’s going to take a couple of years to work itself out.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so I want to discuss four different shooting scenarios in the time that we’ve got left. Which camera would you recommend for action or outdoor shooting?

Ned Soltz: I still like GoPro.

Larry Jordan: Still GoPro.

Ned Soltz: I still like GoPro. I still like the sensor, I still like the whole ecosystem of GoPro, I like the versatility. I even like the little GoPro Studio app which gets it into a Cineform codec and flattens out the image. It’s Pro Tune if you really want to shoot its version of log. I’m still on big on GoPro in that action camera segment.

Larry Jordan: Ok, how about run and gun videography?

Ned Soltz: Oooh, you’ve got a lot of options there and it’s all going to depend upon your particular budget. I like the Sony FS5.

Larry Jordan: Which is how much in price?

Ned Soltz: That’s about in the $6,000 range, and the FS7’s in the $8,000 range, but the FS5 is a wonderful run and gun camera.

Larry Jordan: Ok, how about weddings?

Ned Soltz: Weddings, I would still go for that Sony FS5. Something that could be run and gun at weddings too is the JVC 300. That just doesn’t get enough love. I think it’s a magnificent camera. JVC just isn’t getting the love that it deserves with it, particularly because of its streaming capabilities, which are about the strongest of cameras in that segment. I think also good for weddings might be the Panasonic DVX200. As well as not getting enough love, it’s a different kind of camera, it’s a Micro Four Third sensor, it’s fixed lens but it is doing 4K; and we still shouldn’t forget in the wedding segment the Canon C100, because that still has excellent auto focus capability, although a little long in the tooth on codec.

Larry Jordan: Ok, scripted filmmaking.

Ned Soltz: Scripted filmmaking, well, low budget I would never count out Blackmagic. If you’re doing scripted filmmaking and you’re really at a very, very low budgetary point of view, you can coax some wonderful images out of the Blackmagic cameras. If budget is no object, still the ARRI Alexa is king and AMIRA is a close second to that Alexa. I also really like the Sony F55, but that Varicam LT from Panasonic I think has just tremendous potential in scripted as well as B cameras to larger, more expensive cameras and as well to higher end documentary and film production work. That’s an amazing piece.

Larry Jordan: I’ve been taking notes. These are wonderful. What I’m most interested in is, with the exception of the ARRIs and the Varicams, most of the cameras you’re recommending are below 10k. True?

Ned Soltz: I think so, yes. I think you can get a lot of camera below 10k. To put in my personal plug, I own a Sony FS7, so here we’ve got an $8,000 camera with a $2,000 back for ProRes or for batteries and for 10k I consider myself as having a very decent production camera that’s used a lot, whether I shoot it or rent it out to folks for a lot of corporate work, it’s been used in some scripted work. My FS7’s been used by MTV for concert work. I think it’s a very versatile camera and at $10,000 it’s delivering a magnificent image and that’s not the only one in that $10,000 range that can do it. The technology is there in all price ranges and now it’s just the creativity of the operator.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got about a minute left, so the question I want to wrap up with is what’s the most important criteria to keep in mind when you’re decided which camera to use for your next project? What are the top three things to think about?

Ned Soltz: How much budget do you have, what do you want to spend? What do you want to achieve in terms of final deliverable product? And finally, what are your total production workflows going to be in terms of media, delivery, ease of use, the whole pipeline? But certainly, I think your budget is the first because all the cameras are good, you really have to look at your budget and then assess which camera fills the need the best and which image you like the best personally. They’re all good images, which image do you like better?

Larry Jordan: So we look at the budget, we look at image quality, we look at deliverable and we look at workflow.

Ned Soltz: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Ned, for people who want to keep track of all this stuff – this has been a great segment – where can they go on the web to see what you’re thinking today?

Ned Soltz: You can look at or or .Those are the three sites in which my writing will appear.

Larry Jordan: There’s just no rest for the wicked. Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor for just about everybody that has print. Ned, thanks for joining us today, this has been wonderful.

Ned Soltz: Thank you, Larry, always a pleasure.

Larry Jordan: You take care. We’ll talk to you soon.

Ned Soltz: Ok, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

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Larry Jordan: Cirina Catania is the Supervising Producer of The Buzz. She’s also an independent filmmaker and has been for a long time, as well as one of the co-founders of Sundance, and we’ve got her off in the wilds of Europe somewhere checking out a new film festival. Hello, Cirina, welcome back.

Cirina Catania: Hi, Larry. I’m actually not even back yet, I’m still in Berlin.

Larry Jordan: No, but you’re back on The Buzz, which is all I care about. So what’s happening in Berlin?

Cirina Catania: Well, it started to snow a little bit today on my way home, I can tell you that. One of things that strikes me about the Berlin Film Festival is how hard my fellow journalists work. There are thousands of us here, literally thousands of us, and nobody’s getting any sleep – me included – so by the time we hit a little bit past the halfway mark, we’re all a bit catatonic. But a typical day is probably get up around three or four in the morning, after having taken a nap for three or four hours, and then I’ll work on my writing, doing research for the upcoming day, watching the trailers for the films we’re going to see and then I’m usually out the door by about seven o’clock and I take two buses to the Potsdamer Platz and the first screening starts at nine and I’ll see a minimum of three films a day with three press conferences to go with them.

Larry Jordan: The Berlinale is going on now, correct?

Cirina Catania: Yes it is.

Larry Jordan: As a journalist, are you screening the films to write about them? Are you screening them as an independent producer to look at their techniques? What are you looking at when you go to the film? And then I want to take a look at what happens at a press conference, but what’s your goal here?

Cirina Catania: Ok, several things. The main reason for me to come to Berlin is a pure love of film, as I’ve mentioned before on The Buzz. Berlin tends to be a more political festival, I should say, than other festivals like Sundance. People at Sundance are very concerned about what actors are in the movies; here in Berlin, they talk about the directors and the message of the films. So I’m here to watch the movies, see what’s being selected, and use that as research for future films that I and my friends might be working on and just get a better feel for the international market, and then just enjoy the films because these are films that you may or may not ever see in the United States.

Cirina Catania: Most of them do get distribution. If they make it to the competition at Berlinale, most of these films will get distribution. They may or may not get a wide distribution, but it’s nice to watch them. And I learn, I learn from these amazing directors that have these works. Some of them are works of art, some of them are more commercial, so it’s a learning process for future distribution and it’s just the love of the art.

Larry Jordan: All right, so let’s shift behind the scenes. What happens at a press conference?

Cirina Catania: Well, you literally have to run from the Palace Theater over to the Hyatt Hotel where the press conferences are on the second floor. You have to run because there are only a few hundred seats in there and there are thousands of people in that theater, so you run and you try to get a seat and then they have the people from the films there. It’s very well attended here at the Berlinale. For a film called ‘Genius,’ we had the director, we had the actors, we had the producers, so they’re lined up, they’re at the podium and then we all just ask our questions.

Cirina Catania: The Germans are incredibly organized about the way they handle the press conferences. They’re all taped so we have access to the tape of the conference afterwards. We also have headphones that we can pick up that allow us to listen into whatever our language is. You can listen to it in French, in German, in Portuguese, in English, in the Asian languages because there are people there from all over the world. They usually last about an hour, there’s a photo call beforehand for all the still photographers, then the videographers come in, they stand in the front line and they get all of their video and some of the stills get taken, then they move out and the reporters start asking their questions.

Larry Jordan: Cirina, what are some of the typical questions that reporters ask? Is it pretty vacuous or is there some meat in the questions?

Cirina Catania: I’m telling you, these journalists are very well educated. They understand the history of film and they also take the messages of the film, and so the room tends to get very political. Spike Lee and his group stayed quite a while, actually, and were talking about how violent America is and how many people get killed every day in America and why he made the film and they got into the politics of violence in American communities, which actually brings me to another point.

Cirina Catania: The American government is really the evil empire in a lot of these movies this year. I’m a big shocked by that. Not completely surprised, but I guess the words I would use are a bit sad.

Larry Jordan: What are you seeing in terms of the films? You’ve mentioned already that Berlinale tends to be more political than other film festivals are. Are you seeing themes emerge aside from the evil empire? Are you seeing other themes emerge from the films?

Cirina Catania: Yes, absolutely. One that comes to mind immediately is ‘Fire at Sea,’ which is up on the top of my list. It’s actually a documentary and it’s about the island of Lampedusa. It’s directed by Gianfranco Rosi. It is a heartbreaking documentary about the immigrants as they land, and are brought off the ships and everything that they go through to make those voyages, juxtaposed against the island life and all these people who are completely unaware of what’s happening, or if they are away they just don’t care. I think the director wanted to make that point, that there can be a life being lived that’s so difficult by these immigrants and we’re making pasta, we’re playing music and we’re a little kid off for a stroll on the beach trying out his play toy gun.

Larry Jordan: Cirina, there’s another film that I’ve heard about called ‘Genius.’ Tell me about that.

Cirina Catania: Oh, that’s Michael Grandage’s film. It’s a wonderfully made film about Thomas Wolfe and the editor that worked with him for so many years to help him get his books out when no-one else would publish them. There was a movie that I saw today called ‘Zero Days,’ about the Stuxnet virus, from another documentary filmmaker who’s very well respected here in Berlin, his name is Alex Gibney, and that is a frightening, frightening film literally about how dangerous cyber warfare is and the American role in that, which was very surprising.

Cirina Catania: I’m trying to think of some more political movies. Oh, there was another movie that would be very controversial in the United States. It probably would even get an X rating. It was called … It’s about being 17 and it’s a coming of age film about two young boys who discover that they’re gay and it’s quite graphic. In our country it would be, anyway.

Cirina Catania: There’s another film called ‘Letters from War,’ so you have all subjects. You’re dealing with war, you’re dealing with sexuality, you’re dealing with abortion, you’re dealing with violence, immigration issues. It’s pretty intense.

Larry Jordan: As a filmmaker, what are you learning? What techniques are you seeing that you want to borrow for your own films?

Cirina Catania: I don’t know if it’s technique so much as inspiration. I have to tell you that watching Mahana, and I wish I knew the name of the cinematographer, the Lee Tamahori film about the Maori tribes, every single shot in that movie was beautiful. It reminded me of years ago in the late ‘70s, watching Terrence Malik’s ‘Days of Heaven’ for the first time in a big theater and we don’t have that very much any more. With these smaller digital cameras, we can get beautiful images, but this movie’s very cinematic and it’s just huge. Every shot is gorgeous. It’s well lit and it didn’t take away from the story. I guess you can say that’s my big takeaway which is reinforcing two things – the story is very important and the visuals are very important, but if they don’t go together then you’ve got a mess.

Larry Jordan: Before we talk about more movies, one of the thoughts that struck me is it sounds to me like filmmakers should make an effort to attend film festivals, whether they can make the trip to Berlin or not is different, but it seems to me that there’s a huge educational component to a film festival that would benefit any filmmaker. Is that a true statement?

Cirina Catania: I absolutely believe that so much, Larry. I think you hit it right on the nail. We need to respect and appreciate and enjoy our craft. There’s a lot of talk about the business, which is very important of course, you want to know how to sell your films, but sometimes you just need to enjoy who you are as an artist and make good product. When you get inspired by these beautiful movies that we’re seeing, or even by a movie that’s awful but still somehow gets you to think about life, I think that’s very important.

Larry Jordan: I was just looking at the schedule for the Berlinale and there’s this thing, this block, on tomorrow’s schedule. It’s an eight hour film. What’s this?

Cirina Catania: I know, I looked at my schedule when I first got here and I thought I had tomorrow off. I thought, “Oh, there’s only one movie.” It turns out it’s an eight hour movie. We’re going to be in the theater for nine hours, with an hour break in between. It’s a Filipino movie. I can’t pronounce it in Filipino, but the English translation is ‘Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery,’ so I hope it doesn’t put me to sleep. It is the mythological exploration of the history of the Philippines and it’s in black and white, very high contrast, and a lot of us are talking about whether we really want to sit for eight hours to watch one movie on the one hand, but on the other hand it really feels like an event and I’m anxious to see whether or not it’s going to be enjoyable.

Larry Jordan: I’m really curious as to whether they’ve simply abrogated their editing responsibility and said, “We can’t make a decision, we’re going to force you to watch all the dailies,” or whether there’s a big enough story there to sustain for eight hours, but it seems to me within the first half hour you’d know if it’s going to be worth investing your time in.

Cirina Catania: Yes, we’ve actually all said we’re going to sit through part of it and if it’s really bad we’re just going to go out to lunch and go finish our reviews. We have to write all our reviews.

Larry Jordan: What’s the headline of your next article going to be?

Cirina Catania: I think I’m going to talk about the American government as the evil empire here in Berlin.

Larry Jordan: An interesting story. Cirina, for people who want to keep track of all the stuff that you’re writing and your thoughts on the film festival, where can they go on the web?

Cirina Catania: Go to or

Larry Jordan: That’s or and Cirina Catania is the Supervising Producer of The Buzz and traveling to Berlinale. Cirina, thanks so much for joining us today. Enjoy the festival and have a safe trip home.

Cirina Catania: Thanks Larry, see you next week.

Larry Jordan: Welcome to Tech Talk.

Larry Jordan: So we’ve already dragged our file across. Oh, it’s the wrong file, how do I get rid of this? Highlight it, hit the delete key. It asks if you’re sure you want to get rid of it. Because there has to be one compression setting applied to clip, if I delete the compression setting, it deletes the clip. Well, that’s not what I wanted. I just wanted to change – no, no, not compressed files – up here, media. Let’s drag our dance back in again, close this file, pull it over.

Larry Jordan: To change a setting, simply grab the setting you want and drag it on top. Notice that, as I change it, the existing setting changes color. As soon as it changes color, you’re going to replace it. To add a setting, drag it on top of the file name. There’s the file name, there’s the setting. Oh, I want a third one. Drag it on top of the file name and now we’ve got three settings. Highlight the setting you don’t want, hit the delete key, press yes. If it’s the last compression setting, it will make the clip disappear. If there are multiple compression settings, it just deletes the compression setting.

Larry Jordan: To change where the file gets stored, double click it and this allows me to specify a different destination. Notice it goes to compressed files because that’s what I set as the default in preferences. Let’s just grab this header over here. Notice that there’s a thing called ‘Status.’ This shows you the compression status of the file and we’ll talk about that more in just a second. Let’s just make this a YouTube one pass, put it right there.

Larry Jordan: Once you’ve got the setting applies, once you’ve got the location set, you click the right pointing arrow and down here at the bottom it will show us the compression. Because this is one pass, it shows how much time is left, it allows us to see what’s going on in terms of what the settings are and what the movie is that we’re compressing, and then it goes away. This is from our webinar of about a month ago, talking about editing dance and music videos.

Larry Jordan: I’ve now screwed up my layout because I got carried away dragging. I’m just going to go to workspaces, reset to default workspaces. It says yes and we’re back again. But what happens if I say, “Oh, that was the wrong thing. I need to recompress it”? Notice it says ‘done’ and the green arrow doesn’t work. Just hold the control key down, click on the word ‘done,’ say reset status and now it’s ready to recompress. Just control click or right mouse click and reset the status back to ready, or if you’ve stopped it because you’ve clicked this red square.

Larry Jordan: Well, we’ve seen how we can apply settings – we go down, for instance, broadcast here, there’s the H.265 codec which is now called HEVC High Efficiency Video Codec, and we can twirl this down and drag a 4K codec on here. Now, you only get this warning once. It says HEVC codec must be installed to use this feature. Clicking ok will install and enable this codec for immediate use.

Larry Jordan: Notice they don’t give you a choice, so I’m going to click ok here and now it’s going to in the background install the H.265 codec, such that AME can compress the file, but I can’t play the file. It doesn’t install a playback codec, it just installs a compression codec so I can compress it but I can’t view it unless I load it up into Premiere.

Larry Jordan: Aharon Rabinowitz is the Head of Marketing for Red Giant and the Executive Producer of Red Giant Films and, as always, I’m delighted to say welcome back Aharon, it’s good to see you.

Aharon Rabinowitz: Thanks so much for having me.

Larry Jordan: Aharon, the big news which was announced just scant seconds ago, is the new Shooter Suite 13. What’s in this new version?

Aharon Rabinowitz: The biggest thing about it is PluralEyes 4 and I have to say that PluralEyes is very near and dear to me because I was at a trade show once and I was sitting next to Bruce Sharp, the person who created it, and he showed it to me, it was amazing, and I went to the powers that be at Red Giant and I said, “I just saw this amazing thing, I could really use a license of this,” and then a few years later they basically bought the company. I was like, “Just one license was all I wanted.”

Aharon Rabinowitz: PluralEyes, I have to say, is probably the closest thing to magic that Red Giant sells. It does audio/video sync, it does it in seconds and it’s just an amazing product. For the last few weeks, as I’ve been more involved this as Head of Marketing – and I’ve been involved in it from the beginning, but they told me all these things were coming to it and when you finally see them in action, I didn’t think we could really improve the product, but it’s a major overhaul.

Larry Jordan: Wait, wait, wait. I’m confused here, so let’s just slow down a second. We can sync clips, multicam and compound clips, in Premiere and we can sync them in Final Cut. Why would we even want PluralEyes?

Aharon Rabinowitz: That’s a great question and I think the answer is this – have you tried PluralEyes? The first thing they’ll say is if you try PluralEyes, you’ll see the difference instantly. It always works. There are no complications. What this version does in particular is you have a folder full of files, you don’t know what’s linked together, what’s not. You just drag them all into Premier Pro or directly into PluralEyes, and you hit sync, and it figures out what devices things came from and it creates new tracks for each of those things, so you don’t have to be organized at all.

Aharon Rabinowitz: There are a few cases where that may not be the case, but for the most part no thought has to go into it, you just drop the stuff in. PluralEyes does it instantly, it’s a few seconds for a sync, you get visual feedback as it’s going, you know exactly what’s happening – it’s not like some kind of black box where you’re not sure why things are happening – and there are all these different algorithms that PluralEyes can use.

Aharon Rabinowitz: Let’s say your clips aren’t in order or the sound’s not loud enough, it can do all these things and, while it’s always been able to do these things, the new version does them automatically. The user doesn’t have to try to guess any more what it can do. This will look at the sound, look at the video and it will figure it all out and just spit out what you need when it’s done.

Larry Jordan: Now, there’s a new feature you’ve got called Smart Start. I read that twice and I’m still not clear what it does, because I don’t think it can do it. What is it?

Aharon Rabinowitz: Smart Start, literally you can drag a folder full of media and drop it into PluralEyes and it will figure out which media came from which device and create new tracks for that. You could drop whole folders in and it will create tracks based on that folder structure, but the moment you hit sync it will begin to look at all that media, and it will figure out whether or not that media even belongs there and it will begin to arrange it properly.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so let’s just follow this through. I’m recording on a DSLR camera which, as we know, has terrible audio, and I’m recording on a Zoom H4N. So I’ve got the Zoom, which has got audio files in its own little folder structure and I’ve got the Canon, which has got video files in its own little folder structure, and PluralEyes is going to magically find the right audio file to go with the right audio?

Aharon Rabinowitz: Yes. Assuming that you’ve offloaded that stuff onto your computer, because you have to bring it onto your machine, and then you drag those files in. It depends, if you’ve offloaded them all into one folder, which is never an ideal solution but if you happen to have done that, and you just dump that into PluralEyes, PluralEyes will immediately figure out what’s what and arrange things, it will put them in order based on the audio.

Aharon Rabinowitz: There’s one other thing that’s really special about PluralEyes that nothing else in the universe that I know does – there’s a problem that users find, that I have found also. I never understood what it was a long time ago, before Bruce had explained this to me, but there is this problem that audio and video devices don’t always record at exactly the same speed. You experience something called audio drift and it could be just a couple of frames off, but it becomes very obvious as time goes on where people begin to not have their mouth match up with the audio. You can’t sync with that, that’s unsyncable, but PluralEyes can actually catch that and stretch and compress things as needed to make it work perfectly.

Larry Jordan: Aharon, I was just thinking, PluralEyes is a standalone application, so we’ve got to quit out of our editor, do PluralEyes, get back into our editor. Can we do anything to simplify that?

Aharon Rabinowitz: This time around, there’s been some really nice integration with Premiere Pro. In the past there was a script that you’d run within Premiere Pro that would send it over to PluralEyes. Now we just have a panel that opens in Premiere Pro that you just hit ‘synchronize’ and it does the synchronization right there in Premiere Pro. If you wanted to send it over to PluralEyes, maybe you want more visual feedback, you can do that too. But the best thing about that is that it doesn’t actually move your files around and mess up your timeline. It creates a duplicate timeline that is just a synched version of that so that you can go back to your original without having any kind of damage to it. It’s a lot more of an effortless situation for anybody who’s editing in Premiere Pro.

Larry Jordan: Now, this is part of Shooter Suite 13. Is there anything else in the suite that we need to pay attention to besides PluralEyes?

Aharon Rabinowitz: There are other products in the suite. The most notable is Offload, which actually now works with PluralEyes. Offload is a product that you use to just backup your footage, whether it’s in the field or right when you return home. You get back to your station where you’re working, you take your card, you connect it to your computer and you set it where you want it to copy from where and where you want it to go. Offload will copy it and also make an additional duplicate so you have a backup.

Aharon Rabinowitz: The way it works now is PluralEyes will detect any Offload events that you’ve done and you can just click a button and tell PluralEyes to bring in all that media and it will then sync it all up and then you can just send it right out to your editor.

Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting, you guys have had a lot of new announcements. You’ve got Shooter Suite 13, which was announced this week, but you also have done some stuff to Trapcode. What’s happening with Trapcode?

Aharon Rabinowitz: Trapcode we released at the end of last year, Trapcode Suite 13, a major upgrade to the Trapcode suite. What I will tell you is that the thing that I found that people have responded to most about Trapcode Suite 13 is Trapcode Particular, we added a new user interface. We didn’t really change the features of Trapcode Particular but it turned out that people weren’t using some of the best stuff because it was buried so deeply and some of it’s very complex.

Aharon Rabinowitz: So by creating this user interface that’s a little bit like Magic Bullet looks in the sense that you drag in things you want to use, and then you play with the values there and you get results, it’s very visual, it’s very artist driven instead of being numbers and sliders and things like that. You basically have the power of Trapcode Particular that’s always been there but now it’s just really easy to use and fun to use and you get real time feedback.

Aharon Rabinowitz: It depends on what you’re doing. You’re not going to get real time for everything, but you can actually see what you’re doing when you’re making slider, value and color changes. It all happens right in front of you.

Larry Jordan: Red Giant’s been in the plug-in business since forever, helping to define plug-ins in the first place. Are you seeing more interest in things like Trapcode, which are creating effects, or more things like utilities and Plural Eyes and Offload, which are helping us deal with media? Where’s the interest now?

Aharon Rabinowitz: I’ve got to tell you, it’s almost split right down the middle there of what you’ve just described. PluralEyes is probably our most popular single item product. Trapcode Suite is a product full of many products. PluralEyes in and of itself, if there were shelves, it would be flying off of them. People just love it. It solves a problem. I’ve learned this, there’s only one thing you can never have back in life and that is time. You can make money and you can do a lot of things – maybe sleep’s another one, I don’t know – but time is something you can’t have back and PluralEyes really gives that to you. It does in seconds what would take hours or even days and that we see is a tremendous attractor.

Aharon Rabinowitz: On the other hand, visual effects and motion graphics, I have found through my interactions with After Effects users – I ran a group called After Effects New York a long time ago – they’re more passionate about what they do than almost anyone else I’ve met. I know people love editing and they love making films, but I have found that people who create something from nothing, there’s just another way of thinking there and Trapcode has been that kind of thing for them. It’s a tool that they rely on because it lets them create something from nothing.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of something that came from nothing, about two years ago you guys released Red Giant Universe, which was your subscription based program. How’s that doing?

Aharon Rabinowitz: It’s doing great. At the end of last year we released version 1.6. We started in 2014 with 50 effects and 1.6 brought us to a total of 100 effects and it’s constantly growing. It’s full of a lot of great stuff. I’ll tell you, though, I have some fun ones that I love in there. There’s one called VHS, which I see everywhere – Saturday Night Live – I see it on tons of TV shows and commercials where it creates a look of VHS. It’s just so funny, we’re in this digital age and people just want to go back to the way things used to be. But VHS is a great one; there’s one called Retrograde, which gives it the look of 35 millimeter film and they’re very authentic. We worked with the guys at CrumplePop to capture all of the actual real elements that help make these things look real, so it’s great stuff to look at.

Larry Jordan: Why would I have Universe and buy Trapcode? Or why would I have Universe and buy PluralEyes? Aren’t they the same thing?

Aharon Rabinowitz: Red Giant Universe is a set of tools, a very specific set of tools for the editor, and PluralEyes is a different product and it’s not part of Red Giant Universe. Trapcode is obviously something for motion graphics and visual effects people. Universe has a little bit of stuff in there for everybody, but really it’s for editors who are turning stuff around very quickly. It runs on the GPU, there are 100 different kinds of effects to use, a lot of transitions, things like that. I think a lot of wedding people, people doing event videography, people doing cuts for interesting things and trying to transition between shots in TV shows, those are the kinds of things you’ll find people doing with Red Giant Universe.

Aharon Rabinowitz: I’d even venture to say that if I had to define Magic Bullet versus Red Giant Universe, Red Giant Universe is for people who really are editors, who consider themselves editors and are cutting every day and I’d say that Magic Bullet is one of those things that’s kind of across the board, but someone who defines themselves as a filmmaker might find themselves using Magic Bullet more than Red Giant Universe.

Larry Jordan: Which gets me to the last thing I want to talk with you about before we run out of time today. The second half of your title is Executive Producer of Red Giant Films. Having seen your latest action adventure, which is just really cool, why are you guys shooting films?

Aharon Rabinowitz: There are so many reasons to do it, but I’m not going to lie, there’s a great value for us in the product area, which is we use our products to make our films which means we can show them off and we learn about the process of filmmaking and what we can do better in terms of making products and things get born out of that. The last version of Trapcode, we actually created a bunch of stuff in there for a project we were working on, ‘Go Bag.’ We needed gun muzzle flashes and things like that and there weren’t these kinds of features in there that would make it easy to do, so that got put into the product because we know it’s the kind of thing lots of people were doing. We learn that by doing it ourselves, so all round from showing off the products to helping us make the products, it’s a really great experience.

Larry Jordan: Not that you don’t have any fun putting the film together in the first place.

Aharon Rabinowitz: Oh my God, it’s the favorite part of my job. I love it.

Larry Jordan: Tell me about what ‘Go Bag’ is, for people who haven’t seen it.

Larry Jordan: ‘Go Bag’ is a short film directed by Seth Worley, who’s directed most of our short films. It’s a story of a young spy who, after a mission that may or may not have gone bad – it’s not really clear – she accidentally switches her go bag, the bag of tools that she uses to stay out of trouble, guns and passport and money, with somebody else and she has to defend herself with things like a selfie stick and deodorant. It’s can she survive fighting bad guys with what people keep in their normal everyday carryon bag?

Larry Jordan: It is a well done piece with explosions and it’s a low budget film that has a high budget look. You did a really nice job with that.

Aharon Rabinowitz: Thank you, and I have… Seth, who is just an amazing guy to work with and I consider myself lucky just to be around the people at Red Giant in general because they’re so talented and they put thought into everything that they do in making products and making films and I’m just blessed to have that.

Larry Jordan: As Executive Producer, what’s your role?

Aharon Rabinowitz: Often I write the films with Seth. This one I did not, but a lot of it is just making sure that Seth has what he needs and then really just getting out of his way. The film before this, Old/New, which was narrated by Patton Oswalt, Seth and I wrote together, which is probably the most fun I’ve ever had working on anything. He and I were sending stuff back and forth, these rhymes, these very funny jokes, and then when Patton Oswalt agreed to narrate it, I think I might have cried a little bit, honestly. He liked the film with just the temporary narration that Seth had put in.

Aharon Rabinowitz: But for us, this process is just this amazing thing that kind of was born out of an idea to show off what our products do and it’s become a very big part of the essence of what Red Giant is these days.

Larry Jordan: And for people who want to see the films, where can they go on the web?

Aharon Rabinowitz: Head over to Tell them I sent you.

Larry Jordan: And for people who want to learn about the products that Red Giant’s got, where can they go?

Aharon Rabinowitz: Just go to

Larry Jordan: And Aharon Rabinowitz is the Head of Marketing for Red Giant and the Executive Producer for Red Giant Films at Aharon, a wonderful chance to visit, thanks so much for taking the time.

Aharon Rabinowitz: Thank you so much for having me, Larry.

Larry Jordan: It’s time for a Buzz Flashback. Five years ago today…

Unknown man (archive): I don’t think there are any key elements, I think it’s just something that’s unexpected, something that’s memorable, something that you would want to share. The big difference with online is a lot of people watch by themselves, whereas we used to all sit around the TV or we’d get together and have parties. Now people tend to watch a lot of content individually but you still want that sharing experience, though, so you’re like, “Ah, Charlie, you’ve got to check this out.”

Larry Jordan: This was a Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting on the diversity of tonight’s show. We started first with Ned Soltz. I was most impressed with Ned’s comments saying that we just have too many cameras going after too many segments and not only is there confusion but no one particular camera’s generating a whole lot of revenue, which doesn’t help the developers and doesn’t help us. But I was also impressed with his ideas on how to pick the best camera for the different projects we’re working with, whether it’s weddings or run and gun or whether it’s filmmaking or news. Ned’s got some really good ideas and I enjoyed that segment a lot.

Larry Jordan: I also enjoyed Cirina’s comments, Supervising Producer of The Buzz reporting from the Berlinale, about how the theme tends to be politics and how there are a lot of active discussions about what’s happening in the films in the press conferences following them; and Aharon always has great comments, Head of Marketing for Red Giant.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online and all available to you today; and please sign up for our free weekly show newsletter.

Larry Jordan: Talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook at Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugie Turner with additional music provided by Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription – visit to learn how they can help you.

Larry Jordan: Our Supervising Producer is Cirina Catania; our producer is Debbie Price. Our production team is led by Megan Paulos and includes Ed Golya, Keegan Guy, James Miller and Brianna Murphy. Megan Paulos is leaving us after tonight’s show – the studio and this show are what they are because of her energy, her skills and her enthusiasm. She is extraordinarily talented and on behalf of all of us at The Buzz, we wish Meagan the very best and let her know that she’ll be missed. My name is Larry Jordan; thanks for joining us for The Digital Production Buzz.

Announcer #1: 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; and by, specializing in workflow applications for over 25 years

Digital Production Buzz – February 18, 2016

Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton as they talk with Ned Soltz, Cirina Catania, and Aharon Rabinowitz.

  • Ned Soltz: Pick the Right Camera
  • Films Making an Impact at the Berlinale
  • New Effects and Software from Red Giant
  • Randi’s Perspective: The Latest from HPA’s Tech Retreat
  • Tech Talk: Basic Operations of Adobe Media Encoder

View Show Transcript

Watch the Full Episode

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Listen to the Full Episode

Buzz on iTunesTranscript

Guests this Week

Ned Soltz
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Creative Planet
Ned Soltz is a contributing editor for Creative Planet and a regular correspondent here on The Buzz. He returns this week with an update on the latest cameras and camera technology, along with advice on how to pick the best camera for your project.
Cirina Catania
Cirina Catania, Supervising Producer, Digital Production Buzz
Cirina Catania is the supervising producer of The Buzz, as well as a filmmaker, journalist, and former senior executive with United Artists and MGM. She is also one of the founders of the Sundance Film Festival. Today she joins us from the middle of the Berlinale Film Festival, in Berlin, with an update on which films are making an impression on the audience.
Aharon Rabinowitz
Aharon Rabinowitz, Director of Marketing, Red Giant
Aharon Rabinowitz is Director of Marketing and Executive Producer of Red Giant Films. He joins us this week with an update on the latest releases from Red Giant and a look at why they continue to make films.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – February 11, 2016

Digital Production Buzz

February 11, 2016

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

(Click here to listen to this show.)

Larry Jordan

Randi’s Perspective
Tech Talk
BuZZ Flashback: Synderela Peng

David Colantuoni, Senior Director Product Management, Creative Apps/Storage, Avid Technology
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
Dan Montgomery, President, Imagine Products, Inc.


Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, Avid just released a new version of Avid Media Composer, along with additional support for RED cameras. David Colantuoni is the Senior Director of Product Management at Avid and joins us to explain their latest release.

Larry Jordan: Next, Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Intelligent Assistance, lives on the leading edge of technology, but for many of us deciding whether to invest in new gear is a major gamble. Tonight, we’re doing something different. Rather than talk about how cool all this new technology is, Philip and I will discuss how to decide whether and when it’s time to buy new gear, because sometimes the best decision is to do nothing.

Larry Jordan: Next, we all know we need to archive our projects for the long term, but how? Dan Montgomery is the President and CEO of Imagine Products, a company that specializes in media management and archiving software. Tonight, Dan shares his thoughts on the best way to preserve our media and projects for the long term.

Larry Jordan: All this plus a Buzz Flashback, Tech Talk and Randi Altman’s Perspective on the News. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer #1: Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at; and by, the workflow experts.

Announcer #2: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking – authoritative – one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals – current – uniting industry experts: production, filmmakers, post production and content creators around the planet – distribution. 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 the creative content industry covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. Mike Horton has the night off.

Larry Jordan: The rush to announce new products, both software and hardware, continues in the run-up to NAB, creating an almost overwhelming wave of rapidly changing technology. This leads to a bigger issue that we want to explore tonight – how do we decide which new technology to buy? We don’t have unlimited funds or unlimited time, so what should we buy? What should we ignore? And what are the implications of these decisions on ourselves, our clients and the industry? I’ll have more on this shortly.

Larry Jordan: Also, please subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at Every issue every week gives you an inside look at The Buzz, quick links to all the different segments of the show and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers. Best of all, every issue is free. I’ll be back with David Colantuoni right after this.

Larry Jordan: This is Randi Altman’s Perspective.

Larry Jordan: Randi Altman has been writing about our industry for more than 20 years. In fact, she’s the editor in chief of her own website at and, as always, it’s a great pleasure to say hello Randi, welcome back.

Randi Altman: Hello, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Randi, I’ve been reading recently about the Hollywood Post Alliance, HPA, and their upcoming tech retreat next week. What’s this all about and are you going?

Randi Altman: I am going, actually, and I will be very happy to leave this frozen tundra that I live in and head down to Palm Springs. Indian Wells, actually. It’s the HPA tech retreat. HPA is now part of SIMPTE, so this is the first tech retreat where that partnership is going to be on display, so it’ll be interesting to see if it’s any different than years past. But based on what they have scheduled, it’s going to be interesting. It’s a great show – they’ve got breakfast round tables, so you walk into breakfast, you pick what topic you want to learn about that day, you sit at a table and there’s an expert and a conversation that goes on, so it’s kind of neat.

Larry Jordan: What kind of subjects do they talk about there?

Randi Altman: Everything – HDR, big data, working in the cloud, post for OTT, which is big and new, virtual reality. Anything you can think of, anything you want to learn about, they’ve got a panel for it.

Larry Jordan: Thinking about new technology reminds me that last week Avid announced a new version of Media Composer. In fact, Avid’s going to be on the show in just a couple of minutes, after you and I finish chatting. But there have also been some new announcements on cameras. What’s happening there?

Randi Altman: Yes, it’s chockfull of announcements. Canon has a new DSLR, still and video, so they’re targeting both; and then also AJA, which people hadn’t thought of as a camera company until a couple of years ago, introduced a small block camera that’s going to have some use in media entertainment and also some corporate and maybe security aspects as well. But then also Panasonic yesterday introduced a new version of the Varicam, so that’s a 4K cinema camera that’s out there. People were at the event yesterday and they were talking about it pretty nicely. It’s nice and light.

Larry Jordan: It’s the Varicam LT and one of the big advantages is it doesn’t weigh nearly as much as a standard Varicam, so it’s a lot easier to maneuver when you’re in tight place.

Randi Altman: Correct, yes, under six pounds.

Larry Jordan: A Varicam for under six pounds, can you imagine? Wow. Thinking of new gear, though, Tangent announced some new hardware. What did Tangent talk about?

Randi Altman: Tangent, which is pretty well known for its colorist panels, was at IBC in September in Amsterdam talking about its low cost offering called the Ripple and they were showing it as sort of a tech preview and they got some pretty good feedback. They were initially hoping to ship it in March, but because of all the feedback they were getting, they decided to implement some of the wish lists of users that took a look at it, so they are probably shipping closer to the end of April. They’ll be at NAB with the panel, and they’re expecting the cost to be around $350 and they’re targeting some part time colorists, editors. They’re saying that it can sit on your desk next to your keyboard and your mouse and not get in the way.

Larry Jordan: That’s very cool stuff. When do you take off for HPA?

Randi Altman: Tuesday morning.

Larry Jordan: Ah, well then we’ll wish you a safe trip and give us a report from there next week and we’ll hear what the latest tech gossip is. Randi, thanks for joining us today.

Randi Altman: Thanks. Take care.

Larry Jordan: You can read Randi’s work at and Randi will be us, as always, next week.

Larry Jordan: To read more from Randi Altman, visit

Larry Jordan: When you’re working with media, one thing is essential – your computer needs peak performance. However, when it comes to upgrading your Mac, there are so many different options to choose from that the process can be confusing. That’s why Other World Computing carries the best upgrades that lets your computer performance and storage grow as your needs grow.

Larry Jordan: Since 1988, OWC has become one of the most trusted names in quality hardware and comprehensive support to the worldwide computer industry. With an extensive online catalog of Mac, iPhone and iPad enhancement products, as well as a dedicated team of knowledgeable experts providing first rate tech support, OWC has everything you need to take your current system to the next level. Whether you need to maximize your system’s memory, add blazing speed or enhance reliability, look no further than the friendly experts at OWC. Learn more by visiting today.

Larry Jordan: Mike Horton may have the evening off, but we have a worthy replacement sitting in his chair. I’m delighted to introduce Philip Hodgetts, the CEO of intelligent Assistance, who’s going to join me as we start to chat. Philip, good to have you with us today.

Philip Hodgetts: Oh, it’s great to be back in the studio, Larry.

Larry Jordan: It has changed many years.

Philip Hodgetts: Yes, yes, it’s a long way different from that first studio, but we don’t go into that right now.

Larry Jordan: No, it’s too depressing to think about. David Colantuoni is the Senior Director of Product Management at Avid. He leads product management and the design for all of Avid’s professional video editing, storage and broadcast products, including the Media Composer family, ISA storage and motion graphics and video servers, and Pro Tools, which is the industry standard for audio post. Hello, David, welcome.

David Colantuoni: Hey there, how are you? Great to talk to you again.

Larry Jordan: Well, unfortunately I screwed up your last name while you were listening, which is the worst possible time to screw it up, but I apologize for that.

David Colantuoni: It was pretty close, actually. Colantuoni.

Larry Jordan: Well, Colantuoni?

David Colantuoni: Yes.

Larry Jordan: Well, I’ll just drop four vowels, it’ll be a whole lot easier.

David Colantuoni: Ok. If you get somebody from old school Italy, they’ll correct you.

Larry Jordan: We will let me be corrected. David, virtually all of us have heard about Avid, so I want to get right into the new. Tell us about the new Media Composer.

David Colantuoni: Ok, great. First of all, thanks for having me. I’d like to talk a little bit about Media Composer 8.5. It’s certainly been quite a few years of resurgence for Media Composer. We’ve done a lot of different work on a whole slew of things to modernize the UI, and we introduced subscription and a whole lot of other things that we’ve been working on. We actually spent a lot of time with editors.

David Colantuoni: We created this Avid customer association a few years ago, when Louis Hernandez Jr joined the company. He wanted to really reach out and have our customers have a say in the products that we’re making, and the workflows and solutions that we’re trying to come up with. We have a council that helps us choose the different features that we’re trying to put into products that gives us a lot of feedback, so this release is actually the first release that we’ve worked on that was in direct concert with our Avid customer association products and solutions council.

David Colantuoni: You’ll see a lot of changes in the product that were centered around editorial. We did some menu simplification. After 27 years of making Media Composer, engineers would put things in menus and they would not actually be logical, so customers were telling us, “We just can’t find anything,” and so now we have our customers saying they can’t find anything because we moved it where they were so used to using it, but I’ve seen a bunch of folks saying it’s logical now – a thing that’s associated with the bin is in the bin menu and things like that – so we actually spent a lot of time with folks doing that. We’ve gone through and added simple editing features.

David Colantuoni: These things make a big difference in people’s lives, being able to see a clip being dragged around in a timeline, for instance, seeing an outline. That is such a small thing but folks were telling us it could improve their lives a lot and allow them to edit faster and that’s what Media Composer’s really all about. Some of these things have been in other editorial applications for a while. Dragging clips and making a video track so that you can just drop it wherever without having to go to a preference or anything like that, those are the kinds of things that these folks have been asking us.

Larry Jordan: David, one of the things that Philip and I are going to be talking about in the next segment is how soon we should adopt new technology. Now, this is a major release for Avid, there are a lot of new features. What’s your opinion? Should everybody upgrade immediately or should they wait or should they see how the new version shakes out? What’s your advice?

David Colantuoni: That’s a really good question. It depends on where you are in a project. We recommend that – and this is for pretty much any application – if you’re in the middle of making a production, we’d suggest you wait until the end. Sometimes folks really have to wait as they’re always editing, but if you have a little bit of downtime, make sure that you’re not going to affect anything that could help you miss a deadline or anything like that. In general, since we have subscription and everyone’s on our support plan that includes upgrades now, it’s really personal. When you’re ready for it, install it. This one has a lot of features that editors have been asking for, so we think people are going to upgrade more quickly, and the reviews have been really good on it.

Philip Hodgetts: Is it going to cause an issue for the larger plant, where they might be needing to upgrade across a whole bunch of different productions? How do you advise those sorts of people to rollout a major release like this?

David Colantuoni: Generally with Avid, those customers are very big. If you take a news organization, some news organizations have hundreds, thousands of Media Composers actually tied in with Interplay, tied in with ISA storage and a whole lot of other products, so they really have to wait and plan an upgrade for a year, believe it or not, before they upgrade. That’s the extreme.

David Colantuoni: The other part, to answer Philip’s question, is it’s getting a lot easier to install Media Composer and a lot of other applications in the world. There’s not this huge installer, and you have to go find your dongle, update it and all that kind of stuff. It’s just becoming a lot easier to do larger installations. We have things like floating license servers that allow people to push updates to every computer that might be on that particular server. We have things that allow for that. But, yes, I’d say wait for your production to go down or some downtime, and that’s the time to upgrade.

Larry Jordan: There are a lot of new features that you’ve put into this – you listed some of them already in the beginning of your interview and I was on your website and exhausted three pens taking notes. One that caught my eye was HDR, high dynamic range video. How is Avid supporting that and the corollary is how are we monitoring HDR video?

David Colantuoni: One of the things about this release is there are a whole bunch of project presets that allow you to set your project to a particular HDR setting. Depending on the type of setting you’re using, for instance the simple one is Dolby, they make their own monitor so if you need to work in a Dolby HDR setting, there are output modules that allow you to view through something that can pass through an HDR setting and do it on a Dolby monitor, for instance. That is something that a lot of folks have been asking us for.

David Colantuoni: This is the next generation after resolutions. Now everyone’s focusing on color, bit depth and things like that and, of course, you’ve seen us at the last few NABs, this has been the big talk. So we’re allowing these types of settings now and there are more of them, there are ACES, there’s BBC, NHK, Sony has their own, there are many different types that are out there and with this we tried to tackle a lot of the most popular ones. It’s really just another project setting and you can output it to a monitor that supports it.

Larry Jordan: You talked about the fact that you’ve improved performance – the ability to drag clips is one thing that you’ve done – but you’re also starting to implement RAM caching. What are the benefits and what kind of RAM allocation do we need to run the new version of Media Composer? Are we looking at a hardware upgrade to get it to really work the way we want?

David Colantuoni: What we’re seeing with codec technology, particularly with the new Long GOP codecs from Panasonic and Sony, that they do require a lot of performance in the computer. A lot of computers come with a lot of RAM now, that’s the good thing, but we would say something around 16 gigs of RAM would allow you to get some RAM caching, but all the way up to 64. If you’re in an editing situation, even on Pro Tools, Pro Tools does RAM caching, it’s just a good idea to have a lot of RAM available and if you’re on Media Composer for this particular upgrade, it can help your playback performance significantly, particularly if you’re working with some of these modern codecs. If you have the ability to upgrade, it will definitely allow you to playback video streams much more easily.

Larry Jordan: Another thing I read in the release is that you’ve done more support for RED files, thinking of codecs. What are you doing with RED?

David Colantuoni: The RED folks have been great. Last year, we announced DNxHR, which is our new codec that is taking over from DNxHD and obviously DNxHD supported HD resolutions and DNxHR supports above HD resolutions. The RED folks have actually taken the codec and they’re implementing it on their cameras, the Weapon camera, Scarlet W, RED Raven, so they are working on actually making that an in-camera codec.

David Colantuoni: We work with a bunch of other partners in the industry, but RED has really taken the lead on making sure that this codec works in their camera. This, of course, helps with a really efficient workflow. If you happen to be editing on Media Composer, it’s a seamless workflow you’re capturing in that particular codec, and you can just ingest your media and start editing right away. That’s a nice feature of the new RED cameras that are coming out and it’s been great to work with them.

Philip Hodgetts: Does that imply that that codec supports high dynamic range or the range of the image out of the RED camera? Or are we just wrapping the RED codec and relying on that to handle that?

David Colantuoni: DNxHR supports high dynamic range, so it’ll also support that through the camera.

Larry Jordan: Which version of the operating system for both Mac and Windows does the current new version of Media Composer support?

David Colantuoni: Probably the biggest request. Windows 10 and El Capitan, and it supports the latest Windows and Mac releases of those.

Larry Jordan: If you were to give a brief answer to this, because we’ve got two or three minutes left, what’s the difference between Media Composer, Media Composer Cloud and Media Composer First?

David Colantuoni: Media Composer First is really a subset of Media Composer, it’s a simplified version, a simplified user interface, and it’s free. We’re still working on that and you’re going to hear more about that at NAB and throughout the rest of the year.

Larry Jordan: Excuse me, David, is Media Composer First announced or released?

David Colantuoni: We announced it last year at IBC, but we haven’t released it yet. We’re still engineering it.

Larry Jordan: Ok.

David Colantuoni: Then Media Composer Cloud is actually a much more sophisticated editorial product that allows you to collaborate using Media Composer and Interplay. It really is built for news gatherings, so if you’re on a site and you have a breaking news story you could actually ingest media and interact with media that’s way back at the home base, at the newsroom, and cut together a story in the field. So that cloud functionality is really the interactivity that you’re looking for.

Larry Jordan: Would this be Avid’s answer to Adobe Anywhere, where you have a server based client operation? A similar concept?

David Colantuoni: Yes, a very similar concept. Yes, absolutely.

Larry Jordan: And what’s necessary? Is cloud really for large organizations, or should smaller shops consider it?

David Colantuoni: It does work with Interplay and we’re seeing a lot of post production houses interested in it because they want to decentralize their editorial away from a traditional post house, and so what that means is they could actually have editors anywhere, and have all of their media back at the post house, and hire out talent and still interact with their media and edit as though the experience is seamless. So more and more we’re hearing of post production houses looking at it. It’s in a bunch of news organizations throughout the world and it’s been a very good product so far.

Larry Jordan: And what’s the difference in the product between the subscription version and the paid for version?

David Colantuoni: There are three different ways to look at purchasing Media Composer. You can subscribe to it annually and pay monthly, so effectively you can subscribe monthly; you can also buy a traditional perpetual license which allows you to use the product forever and if you want to continue to update that version, every year we’ll come back and say, “Do you want to buy an upgrade package?” and that lasts for another year and every year you’ll have to come back and renew.

David Colantuoni: Last year, we had about five or six different releases on Media Composer. This year we’ve already had one and it’s only February, so if you’re on a subscription or a perpetual license with an upgrade program, you’re actually getting a lot of updates and you just continually get them and get new features. It also comes with tech support too, so if you need help you can call Avid or contact us through the web.

Larry Jordan: Which gets me to the last question I’ve got for you today – where can we go on the web to learn more about Avid and Media Composer?

David Colantuoni: You can just go to and you can find out. We’re actually in the midst of revamping our website. I would point you to the blog section, so you can actually just type in ‘blogs’ and you can read about everything I’ve talked about for Media Composer 8.5.

Larry Jordan: David, thank you so much. David Colantuoni is the Senior Director of Product Management for Avid for their creative products. David, thanks for joining us today.

David Colantuoni: Thank you very much and thank you Philip. See you soon.

Philip Hodgetts: Thanks, David.

David Colantuoni: Take care.

Larry Jordan: Imagine Products has been specializing in workflow applications for over 25 years. They started with Executive Producer back in 1991, an all in one logging and offline editing tool. In 2006, Image Mine was used in the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and ShotPut Pro was released. Today, there are more than 30,000 ShotPut Pro users worldwide. PreRollPost for Macintosh was released in 2012. This is an LTFS archiving application compatible with any LTO tape drive, as well as Sony’s ODA. PreRollPost for Windows was released at the end of 2015. It’s the only LTFS archiving application of its kind for less than $500.

Larry Jordan: Imagine Products has three simple goals for its software – make it powerful, make it easy to use and make it affordable. It’s easy to see why Imagine Products has been successful for 25 years. Imagine what comes next. Visit to download a demo.

Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts is the CEO of Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System. He’s also involved with technology in virtually every area of digital production and post production and, even better, he’s a regular contributor to The Buzz, which I’m very grateful for. Welcome back, Philip, good to have you with us.

Philip Hodgetts: Thank you, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Much is being written today about the speed of technology change. In fact, it seems that products today are being released faster, yet they’re less developed, so this leads to a question I want to spend time thinking about – how do we decide when to invest in new technology?

Philip Hodgetts: It’s the business of production and the thing about business is that what you get to keep is the difference between what you earn and what you spend, and the more you spent on gear, the less you’ll have left in your pocket. My general philosophy is I will spend money on gear when I absolutely have to spend money on gear and not before that.

Larry Jordan: Yes, but what determines what ‘absolutely have to’ means? And there’s a time where you’re looking at a new feature that you have to have – what’s the tipping point?

Philip Hodgetts: The tipping point is where you can make more money from having that feature than you could have without it, or you can provide a service that your customers are demanding that you couldn’t provide without having that feature available. I think that’s the primary tipping point. Guys have a tendency to want to play with toys.

Larry Jordan: I have never heard that said before.

Philip Hodgetts: No, never. The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Well, I think the wise thing is those people who have a partner that looks after their finances or helps advise them on when we should spend, should listen to the partner and spend when they approve it. When you can justify it to that person, you probably are about ready. If you can justify it to everybody else at the local ITVA meeting or whatever the equivalent to that is, then that’s probably not the right time early on in the technology cycle, unless you’re going to get a major benefit in the short term, and early in the technology cycle is not a good place to buy.

Larry Jordan: Well, when should be an early adopter and when should we hold back?

Philip Hodgetts: For most people most of the time, hold back. But that said, there were people who jumped on the RED bandwagon very, very early on because they could do things with those cameras at that price point that they could not do otherwise, and that made the pain of a very unfinished system, a very raw system, worthwhile even though for a while major productions needed to carry two RED cameras so they could have a spare because inevitably one would be down at any given point in time. But the payback was a dynamic range that was unachievable at that price point, it was unachievable in that form factor beforehand, and that’s probably the driver.

Philip Hodgetts: When you can either push yourself into a whole new area that was never possible before or whether you can make something more cost effectively than it was before – and I think they’re the two criteria: will this give me an edge that puts me in front of my competitors and I can justify it, I’m not going to bet the business on it? Or is this going to provide a clear faster workflow that I can rely on to get the job done faster? Again, faster job, same income means more money in the pocket, less time spent, more customers can be serviced and so you can grow your business.

Philip Hodgetts: To me, it comes down very much to the business argument and it will be different for almost every business as to what the argument is. I love gear. Truthfully, I started asking my parents for a videotape recorder when I was 13 and, trust me, not very many parents knew what that was at that time; and when those same indulgent parents many years later gave me the opportunity to go into business, I went in, slam, I bought time base correctors, I bought vision switches, I over capitalized the heck out of that business and paid for it for the next five years. So the next time I decided to make a big technology leap I stayed behind the curve for a long time and I think behind the curve is a very good business place to be.

Philip Hodgetts: If you’re behind the curve with the technology – I’m not saying buy three-quarter inch recorders, not that far behind the curve – but if you’re just a little bit behind that leading edge – the leading edge is the bleeding edge, that’s another cliché that you hear regularly – then other people prove the technology, other people get the workflows. As a general rule of thumb, about the time the leaders, those leading edge people, are tired with it and moving onto the next thing, that’s the time for you to buy it.

Larry Jordan: Well, there’s a wild card in all of this and those are clients. When should the client drive us to get new technology, and when should we show the client that new technology exists and should we buy the gear in anticipation of getting business, or do we buy the gear because the business is there?

Philip Hodgetts: You buy the gear because the business is there is my off the cuff response to that. I think it’s dangerous, listening to clients.

Larry Jordan: Wait, I want to hear you say that again. Really?

Philip Hodgetts: I think it’s dangerous listening to clients in recommendations for technology, because most clients are not spending the time keeping up with technology, they don’t necessarily know what’s changed. Even in fairly significant workflows, people will tend to go back to what they did last time, even though last time was four or five years ago and last time was going to a digital lab.

Philip Hodgetts: This time, you just do it in the NLE that you’ve got, for example. There are times when you need to suggest to the client, “You know, there is a way that will do this that will save you money and we can equip that for you, or we can provide that service for you,” but if you’re listening to clients, they would still want three-quarter inch deliverables or one inch masters. This is not something that’s driven by a technology savvy client in general. If a client is coming back and saying, “We want to invest, we’re going to spend $100,000 a production on seven productions a year for the next five years on virtual reality. Do you have the rig?” once the ink is dry on that contract and you’ve checked they’re bone fide so they will have the money to back themselves up, then is the time to invest in the best VR rig that you can get at the time. Not the most expensive, but the one that will give you the best short term results, knowing that six months from now the technology will evolve and six months from now the technology will evolve again.

Philip Hodgetts: Sometimes making a less extreme investment in the short term to get into a space is a very good idea because you can then dispose of that investment quickly and easily and get a quick payback on it. Honestly, if you can’t get a payback on the investment within six to 12 months, perhaps that investment is not the right one for your business at that point in time.

Larry Jordan: It’s interesting to me. What I’m hearing you say is in all cases you need to look at where the cash is coming from, you’re not looking at the creative benefits of having a particular piece of technology. Am I hearing that right?

Philip Hodgetts: Yes, because even most run and shoot cameras, the little still camera that my mom caries with her all the time…

Larry Jordan: The point and shoots?

Philip Hodgetts: The point and shoot is the phrase I was looking for, thank you very much. But even that’s capable of 1080 video. Everybody’s got a phone in their pocket. I think, ridiculously, we have something like 12 HD cameras in our apartment between two people. Now, some of those are because they do small level production. None of those is a big investment. The most expensive camera in my arsenal I think is a $950 NEX-7 and that’s now coming up for a four year old camera and it’s performing exactly the way it did four years ago.

Philip Hodgetts: An A7 would be very, very nice, I can lust after the low light performance of that and see some benefits for some of the things that I do, but I don’t see a clear path for me to justify that expenditure to my partner because this is not a revenue producing stream for us.

Larry Jordan: How would you define when a product shifts from being leading edge to ready for prime time?

Philip Hodgetts: My general rule of thumb for societal shifts is what are people talking about at the Super Bowl party? So when people are starting to send each other recipes by email, I knew email had arrived outside the tech space. I think when there are defined workflows for a particular type of technology, when all of the pieces are in place and you can go to a vendor and say, “Look, I want a complete workflow that starts with this acquisition technology,” but it’s all going to be driven from what am I delivering at the end, and my general approach would be what is the least amount of money that I can spend that will deliver the quality and storytelling capability that my client or I want?

Larry Jordan: But I’m hearing caution every step of the way.

Philip Hodgetts: I’m coming from a position of where I was not cautious and suffered for it and so I’m probably overcompensating. Look, there can be a place for this bold move and I referenced the RED cameras earlier, and anybody who’s been the first to go and do a major production. As an example, the first editors that did a major motion picture on Final Cut Pro X were able to leverage that to make a major jump in their career to get into feature film editing at a studio level from television editing, and that’s a way of leveraging that technology job.

Philip Hodgetts: Knowing full well, if you are going to make that technology jump, you are going to pay for it somewhere – not in dollars but you’re going to pay for it in longer hours, in having to go and redo work that has been done once before because conform is not working the way you want – if you’re prepared to get some huge benefit out of it by being the first, then that’s a really good reason to jump. If it lets you do something you couldn’t otherwise do – a very minor example, but without a 4K GoPro or a camera of that size that is so non-intrusive, I couldn’t do the ‘Lunch With Philip and Greg’ series that we do because it would just be too intrusive without the ability to have small recorders, so when the technology allows you to do something you couldn’t otherwise do is a great place to do it.

Philip Hodgetts: When the business case is strong for that, then it’s time to do it. Because you want to play with the new toys, no matter how you justify that you to yourself, is not the right time to do it. As I said, technology is mature when all of the moving parts are in place, when the workflows are known, when you can hire people who know how to do that without having to go to the five specialists who are commanding a premium for their special knowledge.

Larry Jordan: Thinking at it from a personal level, how do we manage the stress of continual technology change and, worse, technology obsolescence? As you said, you buy new VR gear; six months, it’s obsolete. You buy a new drone; six months there are new drones out. That is not for the faint of heart.

Philip Hodgetts: No, no. It’s one of the questions I ask at every lunch because I like to know how people cope with that, and people have various means. Mine is I try and get some insight as to whether this is a technology that’s going to fly. I was never enthusiastic about 3D, I didn’t really think it was going to fly in television. 4K, obviously there are lots of advantages, so I shoot a little bit of 4K for those advantages.

Philip Hodgetts: Future proofing is another good reason why you might move forward in technology at this point, when the demand might not be there until some point in the future. But for a corporate presentation that’s going to come and go, no matter how important that is to the production industry, having the latest 4K RED to shoot that is probably not going to be a great payback in the extra amount that you can get for having that in that context, so it’s all about the context.

Philip Hodgetts: I’m one of these people that embrace change, I love change, I love jumping into the new, so I’m happy to put up with some of the teething pains that go with that. You have to choose where you’re going to incur your pain, and if you want to incur that up front and jump into the new technology on the risk that it’s actually not going to fly ultimately – a lot of people got into 3D that have found that it didn’t really pay off their investment – don’t go beyond the comfort point.

Philip Hodgetts: If a particular piece of gear or choice is making you feel uncomfortable deep in the gut, I’d say don’t do it because there is an instinct, I think, that we all have that helps us work out when the right time is to change and not to change. I like to get in first but I advise people to leave it as late as possible, so I’m completely hypocritical. I’m a jump in and do it first person, but I know what I’m doing and I’m prepared to put up with the pain of doing that, and I don’t have paying clients looking over my shoulder saying, “That’s not the way you said it was going to be.” If you’re in that situation, then you really do have to keep all of those moving parts in mind and encourage clients into the right place when it’s to their benefit or it’s going to make it easier for you to produce for them. Otherwise, be as conservative as you possibly can.

Larry Jordan: And for people who want to keep track of these ideas and others, Philip, where can they go on the web?

Philip Hodgetts: is where I do my sketchpad thinking, not as much as I once did, and of course and sites are always available.

Larry Jordan: That’s, and, Philip Hodgetts himself joining us in the studio. Philip, this has been great. Thanks for taking the time to join us today.

Philip Hodgetts: Thanks, Larry.

Larry Jordan: We’ll be right back with Don Montgomery from Imagine Systems, right after this.

Larry Jordan: Welcome to Tech Talk.

Larry Jordan: This is a typical shot where there is just all kinds of garbage in the shot, which is why we need to have a garbage map, we need to get rid of it.

Larry Jordan: Normally what I would do is I would apply the garbage map first, although frankly it works in both directions, but to show you the problems that we’ve got and why the matte becomes necessary let’s first apply the key.

Larry Jordan: Grab the keyer, drag it on top of the clip and let’s take a look at our alpha channel here, our matte. That which is white, which is Andrew, is fully opaque. Parts of the green screen are pure black and they’ll key out perfectly, but look at where all this garbage is here and look down here, the light’s falling off, we’ve got folds in the fabric. It’s not ideal.

Larry Jordan: Before I add a mask, I want to clean up the key, so I select the key. First thing I’ll do is go back to here, select sample color and draw a rectangle near the face but not so close that it’s going to see hair or get skin. You want to be near the face because the part of the key that’s the most important is the part near the face. If that looks good, people will forgive everything else. If the feet look perfect and the face does not, nobody’s going to even notice the feet.

Larry Jordan: Now we’ll go back to our alpha channel here. So we’ve got a good key right up here, but we’re losing it down at the bottom. Let’s scroll farther down. If there are holes in your foreground, we can fill them in by grabbing fill holes and I can tweak this a little bit, spill level compensates for green edges, but the point that I go first is down here where it says map tools.

Larry Jordan: Shrink and expand allows me by dragging this – notice what I’ve just done. I’ve gotten background to be more solid black, enough black that I can now put a boundary around Andrew, which allows me to define the area of the key that I want to keep and which area of the key I don’t want to keep.

Larry Jordan: Let’s switch back so we see the composite and now we’ll add another filter. It’s inside the mask category and it’s called ‘Draw Mask.’ Drop it on top of the clip. I’m going to add a point right here, another one there, another one here. I’m drawing a boundary around Andrew. Now, if Andrew were moving I’d have to key frame this and if I needed curves I would control click on one of these points, and I would turn it to smooth and I would then have a curve that I could then shape by grabbing one of these control handles. But fortunately Andrew is holding still and I don’t have to worry about key framing.

Larry Jordan: Key framing for a mask is the same as key framing with any other object inside Final Cut – you just have to set a position every time Andrew changes position. But what we’ve just done now is we’ve said the only part of the key that we care about is this. Everything else is transparent and we see the background.

Larry Jordan: So that which is from the top clip is inside the mask. Everything outside the mask is transparent, and we see the background behind it and the key then shows up inside the mask. This is how we get rid of all problem footage inside any kind of a key, we draw this mask, this boundary around the object. That which is inside is keyed, that which is outside is transparent, and all the light stands, and the garbage and the folded fabric, all that stuff just disappears and we don’t have to worry about it.

Larry Jordan: We can even get carried away, should we want to. Select Andrew, let’s twirl
keyer closed and go down to the transform setting. In fact, we’ll just click ‘Transform’ down here and say let’s pull Andrew off to one side. This is the big benefit of having head room and shooting both sides of the body – even if the framing doesn’t look good, I can now drag Andrew wherever I want him to be, except up because clearly I’ve cut off his bottom, but I can drag him wherever I want and position him so I get the framing that I need that fits in with the background that I’ve got, which is clicked on.

Larry Jordan: These are the basics. You apply the key, you adjust is so you’ve got a solid foreground which is white, a solid background which is black, then use the transform controls to position it and tweak it if necessary with the map to hide a mask. This is the stuff that we repeat over and over and over again.

Larry Jordan: Dan Montgomery is the President and CEO of Imagine Products Inc. He and his wife Jane founded Imagine Products back in 1991, with the concept of creating software to improve video production. From that initial dream has sprung ShotPut Pro, HDView, ProxyMill and PreRollPost. Hello, Dan, welcome.

Dan Montgomery: Hi, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Dan, one of the big conundrums for media folks is trying to figure out how to archive their projects for the long term. How would you define the difference between making backups and making archives?

Dan Montgomery: Back in the day, it was all about making copies of your analog tapes and those were backups. Archive really means it’s something you’re not going to touch very often. In a true archive, you have to have at least two copies offsite in different locations that are protected so that they can be accessed in an emergency, whereas a backup is just simply another copy that you have locally probably, and you’re making multiples of those perhaps.

Dan Montgomery: I run into people that try to use LTO. They have one copy, they make one tape and they think they’re safe, but that’s really not a good workflow. You want to have at least two and even if you have it on random access you still want another emergency copy.

Larry Jordan: It seems that there are three big issues surrounding archiving. First, what hardware should we use? Second, what software should we use? And third, and I think it’s the sleeper question, how do we play these files back in the future? I want to start with the hardware question – what do you recommend, archiving on hard drives or archiving on tape?

Dan Montgomery: Either LTO tape or Sony optical disk, something like that that’s more permanent that has a long shelf life, 20 to 30 years. Hard disks are like car batteries, they’re only good for maybe four or five years.

Larry Jordan: Do you have a preference between LTO tape and the optical media that Sony’s released?

Dan Montgomery: Not really. I think in the long run the LTO is probably cheaper and more widely adapted, but there are a lot of different companies involved in the manufacturing and also hardware that’s out there that’ll be able to access it in the future, whereas Sony is just Sony. But then again, it’s Sony and they’re pretty pervasive in our industry.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like you’re not recommending hard drives for long term storage.

Dan Montgomery: Absolutely not.

Larry Jordan: How come?

Dan Montgomery: Just not reliable. They’re not going to be there for the long term, plus the cost per gigabyte is prohibitive in the long run compared to something you can get on a tape drive. Nowadays, LTO7 is about $150 street value, $140 maybe, for six terabytes. That’s pretty cheap.

Larry Jordan: Since we can write directly to tape drives with the new LTFS technology, why do we even need archiving software?

Dan Montgomery: Because everybody’s time’s valuable, so we’re all in a hurry, and we want to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and for just dropping a couple of files onto tape, sure, use ‘Find’ or use ‘Explorer,’ that’ll be fine. But if you’re talking about lots and lots of videos, like most people are doing, you’re shooting a whole day’s worth, let’s say you’ve got six terabytes a day that you’re backing up at night, you want something that’s going to do that quickly and efficiently and index it all and also keep you from making mistakes.

Dan Montgomery: A lot of our software like ShotPut and PreRollPost backup software is all about catching the simple human errors, and keeping you from doing silly things when you’re tired and you’ve been shooting all day and you’re ready to go hit the hay.

Larry Jordan: Tell me more about what PreRollPost does.

Dan Montgomery: We started with a Mac version of that back in 2012, I believe was when we introduced that, and it’s progressed a lot over the last three or four years and we just recently introduced the Windows version. The Mac version is good for OSX 10.9, 10.10, 10.11 and the Windows version is good for Windows 10, 8 and 7, so we’ve got the last three operating systems covered on both sides.

Dan Montgomery: The whole concept of those is simply making it really easy to drop your file, and then see where it’s going, and put it onto the tape and make an offline index so that on your local computer you have the information of what’s on that tape, and we try to gather what metadata we can from the files that you’re putting on the tape and make them searchable, whether you have the tape stuck in the deck or not, so it’s a true index versus a finder copy when you’d have to have the tape in the deck to look at it.

Larry Jordan: So the benefit to PreRollPost is it’s automated, it allows you to work with more files and just a few and it keeps a record of what it’s done so you can figure out what file is stored on what tape. Is that a true statement?

Dan Montgomery: Pretty much, yes.

Larry Jordan: Is the Windows version the same as the Mac, just newer?

Dan Montgomery: Well, we didn’t have a Windows version earlier because Mac is pretty pervasive in our industry, although we’ve found that in Europe a lot of people use Windows. We saw that from our other applications so we wanted to address that market. But the Windows version of PreRollPost is significantly different in that it’s more of a single screen interface, so everything is in front of you, you can see on the left hand column your tapes that are mounted, your hard disks that are mounted, you can drag and drop between them, things like that, versus the Mac version, which is more of a wizard where it’s walking you through, “Ok, put your files here, drop them here, now get ready to back it up. Now do this, do this, do this,” so it’s a little bit different interface. It might be a little intimidating to start with, but so far people catch on pretty quickly.

Larry Jordan: There are lots of different archive utilities. Why would somebody pick PreRollPost?

Dan Montgomery: Because it’s inexpensive, and it leverages off of the technology that we’ve been involved with for the last ten years or better as far as knowing how to back things up, and to do it quickly and securely, and to make sure the copies match originals and all those sorts of things. Also, in LTFS land, there are certain characteristics you can’t use for file names, and folder names, and things like that, and an application like this keeps you out of trouble and helps you make good backups.

Larry Jordan: Is it possible to get proxies automatically created of our media so we have a chance to see what they look like without having to waste time downloading them from the tape?

Dan Montgomery: Sure. We do that with our Mac software. We have an application called ProxyMill that can do that on the fly while you’re making your tapes, or you can pre-process them ahead of time and make full length low resolution proxies that would reside on your computer and also on the tape, if you want.

Larry Jordan: One of the things I was struck with about LTO is that each LTO generation, four to five to six to seven, will read that generation and two generations back. It sounds like we can’t just simply copy our archives to a tape and forget about them, we need to actively manage them so that every five or ten years we upgrade them to whatever the current LTO spec is. Is that a true statement?

Dan Montgomery: It’s not so much the spec as it is the equipment, whether you still have that equipment that can read it or not. But look what’s happened – LTO7 is six terabytes per tape versus just two generations ago, LTO5 was about one terabyte, I think, or 600 megs, something like that, so it’s a significant increase in capacity. One LTO7 tape could hold, what, ten of your old ones. So I think, just like you saw with video over the years, a lot of times you need to plan to move all those files forward to a newer generation of equipment if you want to continue to be able to access them.

Dan Montgomery: I want to point out one thing. Our company is 25 years old now and we were invited to do the archives for the Olympics in 2002 in Salt Lake, so we were on site for 30 days, we did the whole thing and what struck me was one of the managers there that was involved with that said, “No two modern Olympics has ever been shot on the same format.” Think about that. Every four years, it’s something different and that’s a big challenge, because they archive all that stuff, but having an index to get something they can find and you keep that going forward, that’s always a challenge.

Larry Jordan: That is a challenge. For people who want more information about you and your products, where can they go on the web?

Dan Montgomery: You can go to and find all the demos, prices and download things there. If you want to know more about LTO, you can go to where there are all sorts of resources there to help you understand how the whole thing works going forward.

Larry Jordan: Dan, thanks for joining us today. Dan Montgomery is the co-founder and President of Imagine Products Inc and, Dan, it’s been fun visiting. Thank you very much.

Dan Montgomery: Thanks, Larry.

Larry Jordan: It’s time for a Buzz Flashback. Five years ago today…

Synderela Peng: For Yogi Bear, we actually had to write things down and make sure that not only is the actual animation and the transitions working, but logically you’re going from this scene to the next, it’s not all just a matter of putting in a cool transition and ignoring what the character is supposed to be really doing or communicating, so there are subtle things like that that we do pay attention to.

Larry Jordan: This was a Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: I find the discussion of finding the best balance between technology and business to be fascinating, Avid’s thoughts on updating between projects and, more importantly, finding the time to plan your upgrades, not rushing into the latest version the instant it’s released but find when that update makes sense for you; and Philip’s thoughts on that were especially insightful on establishing a business case before investing in new technology. Don’t be driven by all the marketing hype on the newest bells and whistles, but instead look for ways to make money on the technology you’ve got and ways to make money on the technology that you’re going to be adding to your operation.

Larry Jordan: It’s also interesting, listening to Dan Montgomery talking about how to protect our assets using technology, whether it’s LTO tape or the Sony optical media, to be able to make sure that we’ve got access to it in the years to come.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests for this week, David Colantuoni, the Senior Director of Product Management at Avid; Philip Hodgetts, the CEO of Intelligent Assistance; and Dan Montgomery, co-founder and CEO of Imagine Products.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online and available to you today; and sign up for our free weekly show newsletter.

Larry Jordan: Talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook at Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner with additional music provided by Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription – visit to learn how they can help you.

Larry Jordan: Our Supervising Producer is Cirina Catania; our show producer is Debbie Price. Our production team is led by Megan Paulos and includes Ed Golya, Keegan Guy, James Miller and Brianna Murphy. My name is Larry Jordan; Mike Horton will be back with us again next week, when both of us will say thanks for joining us for The Digital Production Buzz.

Announcer #1: 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; and by, specializing in workflow applications for over 25 years

Digital Production Buzz – February 11, 2016

Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton as they talk with David Colantuoni, Philip Hodgetts, and Dan Montgomery.

  • Avid Updates Media Composer
  • Buy New Gear – or Do Nothing? How To Decide
  • A Better Way to Archive Projects and Media
  • Randi’s Perspective: HPA’s Retreat, Canon’s DSLR, and More!
  • Tech Talk: Masks in FCP X

View Show Transcript

Watch the Full Episode

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Listen to the Full Episode

Buzz on iTunesTranscript

Guests this Week

David Colantuoni
David Colantuoni, Senior Director Product Management, Creative Apps/Storage, Avid Technology
This week, Avid released a new version of Avid Media Composer, along with additional support for RED cameras. David Colantuoni is the senior director of product management at Avid. He leads product management and design for all of Avid’s Professional Video Editing, Storage and Broadcast products, including the Media Composer family, and joins us to explain their latest announcements.
Philip Hodgetts
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Intelligent Assistance, lives on the leading edge of technology. But, for many of us, deciding whether to invest in new gear is a major gamble. Tonight, we’re doing something different. Rather than talk about how cool all this new technology is, Philip and Larry will discuss how to decide whether and when it’s time for new gear – because sometimes, the best decision is to do nothing.
Dan Montgomery
Dan Montgomery, President, Imagine Products, Inc.
We all know we need to archive our projects for the long-term. But, how? Dan Montgomery is the President and CEO of Imagine Products, Inc., a company that specializes in media management and archiving software. Tonight, Dan shares his thoughts on the best way to preserve our media and projects for the long term.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – February 4, 2016

Digital Production Buzz

February 4, 2016

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]

(Click here to listen to this show.)

Larry Jordan
Mike Horton

Randi’s Perspective
Tech Talk
BuZZ Flashback: Lance Maurer

Philip Nelson, Chief Relationship Officer, NewTek
Cirina Catania, Producer, Digital Production Buzz
Michael Kammes, Director, Technology & Marketing, Key Code Media


Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, the NewTek TalkShow is bringing high quality Skype video to live productions on the web and broadcast. But, as we have personally discovered, it can be tricky to set up. Tonight Philip Nelson, the Senior VP of Strategy Development at NewTek, joins us to explain how this new box works and how to make Skype calls look and sound great.

Larry Jordan: Next, Cirina Catania is the Supervising Producer for The Buzz. This month, she is traveling to the Berlin Film Festival and joins us tonight with a preview of the Berlinale and the European film market.

Larry Jordan: Next, Michael Kammes, the Director of Technology at Key Code Media, is fascinated by the cloud. Tonight he shares his thoughts on the cloud based video editing from both Avid and Adobe. Join us as we discover whether this new technology is ready for prime time.

Larry Jordan: All this plus a Buzz Flashback, Tech Talk looks at drones and Randi Altman’s Perspective on the News. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer #1: Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Other World Computing at; and by, the workflow experts.

Announcer #2: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking – authoritative – one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals – current – uniting industry experts: production, filmmakers, post production and content creators around the planet – distribution. 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 creators covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. It’s good to have you with us. Mike, the first news happened this afternoon – Apple released new versions of Final Cut Motion and Compressor.

Mike Horton: That’s right.

Larry Jordan: And Avid did a big release earlier this week on Media Composer and we’ll hear more about that from Randi.

Mike Horton: That’s right. You’re really following all the news, aren’t you, Larry?

Larry Jordan: Well, it’s because I talk with you before we go on the air. The Final Cut release is mainly a bug fix in terms of what’s in it.

Mike Horton: There’s that one thing, which I don’t know.

Larry Jordan: There are three things, actually.

Mike Horton: Yes, all right, three things? Ok. Well, I was going to do the one thing. Now, what is it? Default video and audio…

Larry Jordan: Yes, it’s a keyboard shortcut for your favorite video effect and audio effect. There are lots of bug fixes, but there’s also support for the XF-AVC format, which is shot by the Canon C300; and the other interesting thing is it’s a lot faster to access projects on a SAN, which means if you’re transferring files between editors it’s a lot quicker.

Mike Horton: That’s a big, big thing.

Larry Jordan: That’s a big thing. Thinking of other big things, Michael, you’re an actor and…

Mike Horton: Was an actor. Now I am just a co-host of the Digital Production Buzz. What the hell happened to my life, Larry? I quit acting for this.

Larry Jordan: I’m left speechless. Anyway, one of the things I hear a lot about in word time is ensemble casts and ensemble acting. ‘The Big Short’ is an ensemble and ‘Spotlight.’ What does ensemble mean and how do you judge if it’s any good?

Mike Horton: Well, you know what an ensemble is, obviously, and the only award for ensemble acting is given out by the Screen Actors’ Guild. Did you know that? That’s the only one. They don’t give an Oscar for ensemble. It’s the leading people in the cast, it is all the people. There’s no one standout, so you give an award to all of the people, so everybody better be really good. ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Spotlight’ are really good examples of good ensembles – everybody works, everybody works well together and that is an ensemble. Same thing with a play. Everybody’s got to work very well with each other.

Larry Jordan: So there’s a sense that nobody stands out, nobody’s the star.

Mike Horton: Yes, nobody’s the star.

Larry Jordan: But all their characters are believable. In other words, it’s a group as a group, they’re believable.

Mike Horton: Right, and everybody listens to each other.

Larry Jordan: Interesting.

Mike Horton: Which is interesting, yes. There is no star.

Larry Jordan: I want to remind you, by the way, to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at Eileen, our editor, has a lot of fun putting every issue together every week. It comes out on Friday and gives you an inside look at The Buzz and the industry. Best of all, every issue is free. Mike and I will be back with Philip Nelson, right after Randi Altman’s Perspective on the News.

Larry Jordan: This is Randi Altman’s Perspective.

Larry Jordan: Randi Altman has been writing about our industry for more than 20 years. In fact, she’s the editor in chief of her own website at and, as always, I’m delighted to say hello Randi, welcome back.

Randi Altman: Hi, Larry, thanks for having me back again.

Larry Jordan: Let’s get right to the news. Audodesk is making big waves today. What’s the word?

Randi Altman: Yes, well yesterday they announced their public company, so they had to release a statement and a press release. They are actually laying off 925 people. This is what they’re calling a restructuring plan. They are intending to transition to the cloud and also subscription based products. They’re saying that it’s not as if they didn’t have a good year last year, but this is something that they need to do to streamline the transition.

Larry Jordan: When do the layoffs occur? Did they say?

Randi Altman: That I don’t know. I actually have some questions into Autodesk but I haven’t heard back yet. I’ll definitely keep you updated as I find out.

Larry Jordan: Cool, and people can go to your website – we’ll talk about that more in just a minute – to get the latest on the breaking news from Autodesk. Avid is making news. What’s Avid talking about?

Randi Altman: They introduced a new version of Media Composer this week and it’s intended to help with HDR workflows, so that’s a big deal. Then in addition to that, they also included the statement that they have made it easier to use for people that might be working on Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere currently. So I think that with this release they’re recognizing that editors aren’t just tied to one system any more, sometimes they have to work on all. So I think that goes to some flexibility issues. They don’t want to be counted out, they want to be part of what’s being used in all fashion, not just on big films or TV series. They want to be used all around.

Larry Jordan: Well, I hate to mention this next subject, but VR rears its ugly head yet again. What’s happening in virtual reality this week?

Randi Altman: Coming off of Sundance, and if you go to my site there is a ton of coverage from Sundance and we talked a bit about that recently as well, but it was a big deal and you’ve got these big film festivals and these big trade shows like CES, which are really embracing VR, so whether or not there’s this giant future – and I know that you’re questioning that – it is happening now. Assimilate announced this week that they have their scratch web, so they have embraced virtual reality with a dailies and review application. They claim it’s the first of its kind, though there have been workarounds in the past, but this is dedicated to that and it’s intended to help make the virtual production workflow from set to post easier.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of nothing in particular, we’re in the middle of the awards shows right now. What’s the latest gossip there?

Randi Altman: Oh, it’s one right after the other, it’s kind of cuckoo. Last Friday was the ACE Eddie Awards, that’s the American Cinema Editors and a lot of times that mirrors what’s going to happen with the Best Editing Oscar, so we’ll see if that rings true. But also this past weekend were the VES awards, which is the Best in Visual Effects, and I know that ILM, who was nominated for a crazy amount of Best Visual Effects Oscars, did come home with some awards. Then we’ve got the ASC awards coming up as well, so chockfull of awards.

Larry Jordan: It seems like we’ve got a bunch of As going on. We’ve got awards, Assimilate and Avid and Autodesk. It’s an A day today. For people who want to keep track of all the breaking news, what website do you recommend they read?

Randi Altman: I think they should go to

Larry Jordan: And the editor in chief of is Randi Altman and Randi, as always, thanks for joining us. We’ll talk to you next week.

Randi Altman: Thanks, Larry, take care.

Larry Jordan: To read more from Randi Altman, visit

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Larry Jordan: Since 1988, OWC has become one of the most trusted names in quality hardware and comprehensive support to the worldwide computer industry. With an extensive online catalog of Mac, iPhone and iPad enhancement products, as well as a dedicated team of knowledgeable experts providing first rate tech support, OWC has everything you need to take your current system to the next level. Whether you need to maximize your system’s memory, add blazing speed or enhance reliability, look no further than the friendly experts at OWC. Learn more by visiting today.

Larry Jordan: Live video interviews via Skype are becoming more and more frequent on television and on the web. Philip Nelson, the Chief Relationship Officer at NewTek, joins us tonight to showcase their new TalkShow hardware and explain what we need to know to make Skype interviews look as good as possible. Hello, Philip, welcome back.

Philip Nelson: Hey, how’s it going?

Larry Jordan: Well, now that we’ve got you on and you are looking stunning, it’s going great.

Mike Horton: He actually looks very, very good and I love the Tron machine in the background.

Philip Nelson: It’s a nerd’s paradise in my office.

Mike Horton: No, seriously, what is that? We can’t see it. I can see part of it, is it a video machine?

Philip Nelson: Yes, in my office I have a pinball machine and a Tron upright arcade game and a slot machine, so when you come visit us in San Antonio you’ll never be bored.

Mike Horton: Philip is the kind of guy that you would meet at Comic-Con.

Larry Jordan: Yes, and follow around for the rest of the day.

Mike Horton: And follow, yes.

Philip Nelson: I’m the biggest nerd there.

Mike Horton: Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: Philip, when we first had you on the show in October last year, we had a lot of problems with image quality with TalkShow and we figured out what was causing the problem, and we’ll about that in just a few minutes, but I wanted to invite you back so you could showcase just how good this unit can look. But let’s start with the basics – what is the NewTek TalkShow?

Philip Nelson: Broadcasters for years have brought in remote guests and historically they’ve used satellite uplink and various other technologies which are expensive, not easily accessible and now that there are over 300 million Skype users worldwide, we partnered with Microsoft to create a broadcaster’s interface for Skype. The TalkShow is a one rack unit device that allows you to bring in professional level quality guests via Skype.

Larry Jordan: But Skype is owned by Microsoft. Why is NewTek even interested in Skype?

Philip Nelson: We love Skype. It’s easily accessible. Working with various broadcasters you see now on network television that all the old school ways are doing things are starting to go by the wayside, and they just want to bring in guests from anywhere, anywhere in the world. Whether they’re on a cell phone or a mobile device or sitting in a studio with a camera hooked to a TalkShow, and so we partnered with Microsoft to bring that broadcast level interface for Skype so that it’s not just a 360 resolution image – you can get full High Definition feeds through Skype – and also our partnership with Microsoft has allowed us to add some higher end features. If you’re on a traditional Skype call, somebody may try to call in during the show or you may get ads that pop up. But through our NewTek TalkShow, it blocks out the ads, it blocks out inbound calls, it allows you to get color correction in Skype, it allows you to have audio compressors and limiters and all of these professional features that broadcasters expect now available with Skype. So whether somebody’s calling in from a television studio with Skype or from their laptop or a mobile device, it always looks pretty good.

Larry Jordan: Before I talk more about the hardware, I want to give you an opportunity to be a hero. Are you ready for this?

Philip Nelson: I’m scared, actually.

Larry Jordan: Well, the last time you were on the show, I was complaining about the high price of the unit, which was $3,999 in the US and during the show you promptly dropped the price $1,000, so can you drop it another $1,000 again today?

Philip Nelson: I can’t be that big of a hero, but the thousand bucks is what we gave you. Tough crowd.

Larry Jordan: When I wrote my initial review of the TalkShow, when you and I first started chatting in August and September, I complained about the poor image quality. But as you can see now, the image quality is really quite good, and what we discovered at our end is that the TalkShow is not compatible with all firewalls. We were originally using Dell SonicWALL, which didn’t work, and when we switched to Fortinet, which we’re using tonight for the show, the TalkShow works great. So my question is because firewalls are not under NewTek’s control but are part of the operation of getting the TalkShow to look good, does NewTek provide a list of approved firewalls that people can select from when they’re buying a TalkShow?

Philip Nelson: We really don’t, and the main reason for that is that firewalls change very quickly, and technology and IT change very quickly, and not just the hardware but they’ll do firmware updates that can change things, so we don’t specifically have a list. But we do have a document on NewTek’s website with some things to look for if you’re having issues with your quality, and one of the first things to look for is your firewall, and the ports that are open and things like that, to make sure you’re trying to get the highest quality possible. Actually, one of the benefits of TalkShow and using Skype is that even if your firewall’s not configured correctly or you have some issues, the call still comes in. In Skype, there are a couple of different types of connection and you can connect through public internet, but if you can get a direct connection using a UDP connection, you can get this High Definition video that we’re seeing today. That is one of the benefits. You weren’t able to get the high quality because of the firewall, but you were still able to get the guest and in a news situation a lot of times getting that guest is the most important thing. They want to get as high a quality as possible, but the scalability of Skype and the TalkShow solution, even if you can’t get that pristine connection, you can still get a connection. I was super bummed that we didn’t have that figured out for you before the last time I was on your show.

Larry Jordan: You were bummed, I was bummed and everybody that I talked to at NewTek was not happy, so we’re very glad that we figured it out. But I want to pick on you for one more hard question.

Philip Nelson: Ok, I’m scared again.

Larry Jordan: Set up and configuration can be challenging, you’ve mentioned this. For instance, it took our team almost a month, working with your support folks, to get the system working properly, just to be able to do simple communication because it’s not a simple box to work with. What can NewTek do to simplify the set up process to make it go easier for new users?

Philip Nelson: The definition of easy to set up can have an asterisk by it because, truthfully, setting up the TalkShow is very simple. What’s not simple is IT, and so plugging in the TalkShow, plugging in a camera, plugging in a microphone, setting up a light is actually very simple. Getting a Skype account is very simple. Probably I would say 80, 90 percent of our clients plug and play and they’re set up in five minutes, and every now and then we find a router or a firewall or something that we have some issues with, and our techs are really good about trying to figure that out or at least trying to give our customers some pointers on where they can look or have their IT people look. Those 15 percent do become frustrating but, once again, we were both able to figure it out and I’m excited that now you’re sitting here talking to me in High Def.

Larry Jordan: We are as well. Thinking of High Def, tell me about the equipment that we’re looking at. What are you using at your end for a camera and for audio?

Philip Nelson: I’m not using anything fancy. The camera I’m using is a Canon VIXIA that I got at Best Buy, so I’m not using a high end camera. It’s HDMI going into a $30 box I picked up from Amazon that converts HDMI to HD-SDI, plugged into the TalkShow. I’ve got a wireless Lavalier mic plugged into the TalkShow. I’ve got two lights, an Ikan 12 by 6 LED light that I’m pointing at and then I have another one up here on the ceiling just to give me a little bit of a fill; and then the lights you see behind me are actually the lights in my office, so I don’t have a fancy set up, it’s very simple. That’s the concept, especially with talk shows like yours even ‘Ellen DeGeneres’ or ‘The Late Late Show,’ they’re bringing in guests from all over the place, it could be fans or it could be professional broadcasters, and that’s what’s cool about this solution, that it’s scalable. But I’m not using anything fancy, like I said, it’s a $100 tripod, a $600 camera, some lights and a mic and then I also bought an $8 earpiece from Amazon that security people use for their walkie talkies, and I plugged it into a long 3.5 millimeter extension cable and I got an adapter to plug it into the output of the TalkShow so that I can actually look like I know what I’m doing.

Larry Jordan: I think I’ve got the same earpiece on my system here, but it sounds like – and I want to be clear – you’re going direct to the TalkShow. You don’t even have a computer in the circuit.

Philip Nelson: No. Basically I just plugged everything into the TalkShow, plugged my TalkShow into my hub in my office and called you guys. It’s as simple as that.

Larry Jordan: And you just have an external monitor and keyboard attached to the Skype set up in the beginning?

Philip Nelson: Yes. I just plugged a keyboard and mouse directly into the TalkShow, plugged in a monitor and here we are doing a chat. One of the things that I do want to talk about that really makes the TalkShow a superior choice, even over satellite uplink, is the latency because our latency that we’re connected at right now is less than 30 milliseconds, and one of the problems with old school technology like satellite uplink even is the delay is so great. You even see on the ‘Today’ show and national news shows, where they’re using millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, there’s a delay when they ask questions, but you and I are just sitting here talking like I’m sitting in the room with you and I hear you perfectly.

Mike Horton: I was just about to bring that up, because not only is there a delay, there’s also a sync problem with the mouth and the lips and it drives everybody nuts. We’re talking about national news, the ‘Today’ show, we’re talking about network talk shows. They bring these people on and you have a sync problem with the lips. With TalkShow, obviously, because we’re talking to you, there is no delay and it’s absolutely wonderful.

Philip Nelson: That’s what’s great, is you can actually just sit there and have a discussion. You’ll notice on network news they’ll say, “John is live in New Orleans. John,” and they’re not really having a discussion, they’re tossing to each other because of the delay. But here you can actually have a two way communication. I mentioned this last time – one of the shows that we did as one of our debut shows with the TalkShow was a variety show on NBC called ‘Best Time Ever’ with Neil Patrick Harris and they had a TalkShow in New York and a TalkShow in a fan’s house and it was a live karaoke show. They had Bonnie Tyler on stage playing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ and she would stop and the person at home would have to continue singing what she was singing and because we had such a high end low latency connection they could do that. It’s really nice to live here in the future where these things are possible and it doesn’t cost you millions of dollars. I realize our TalkShow is $2995, which is out of the reach of the average guy at home, but anybody doing a real show can actually afford it, they can afford multiple TalkShows to have multiple guests at the same time, and if you do the call correctly, and you set it up correctly, you can have multiple guests talking to each other through Skype. It is pretty revolutionary.

Mike Horton: The guests that we’re talking to, Larry, they don’t need TalkShow, right? It’s just us.

Philip Nelson: No.

Larry Jordan: No, you can have a Skype call originate from your computer, which is how the rest of our guests except Philip originate theirs.

Mike Horton: Yes, but Philip’s got TalkShow, we’ve got TalkShow. Is that making any difference?

Larry Jordan: Philip, answer?

Philip Nelson: It can make a very big difference. Where it makes the difference is on the way it’s configured with return video and things like that. If I’m at home on my laptop or I have a little 1080 webcam plugged into my computer, you have less control. If I’m talking to you through my TalkShow, I can color correct what’s coming back into me, I can adjust your audio levels a little better. You don’t really have to have the TalkShow on our end, but because we’re talking about technology I thought I’d bring out the big guns and bust out my TalkShow for my feed as well.

Mike Horton: Oh, ok. So if you’re a news reporter in Afghanistan, we’re talking to you live on NBC News, if you have TalkShow, they’ve got TalkShow, are we going to get a better product?

Philip Nelson: You’re going to get a more reliable connection, but you don’t have to have it. Odds are, if they’re out in the warzone in Afghanistan, half the time they’re on a mobile device, they’re not carrying a generator or anything like that. But we are seeing more and more television trucks add in a TalkShow so that they can connect back. The other thing is I can call you a little easier, I can have a call list, I can have multiple call lists in my TalkShow, but you can also do that with the standard version of Skype.

Larry Jordan: What kind of bandwidth do we need to be able to support a high quality picture, both 720 and 1080?

Philip Nelson: You know what? I should have prepped a little better. I think it’s something like three megabits. It’s nothing crazy. I’ve done TalkShow connections at high res. In fact, the NBC show we did, they did not upgrade anybody’s internet connection at their house. They just used their standard cable modems that were in the houses and were able to get high def connections at all the houses.

Larry Jordan: Once we’ve changed our firewalls, the quality that the TalkShow provides is really amazing. We’re having a great lot of fun playing with it. The only limitation which I have to ask you to change by next Tuesday, if you would, is it only supports one Skype call at a time. I want to talk to two people at the same time. Can you fix that?

Philip Nelson: That’s a request we get a lot. It’s not a request that NewTek can fix. It’s actually part of Skype. Skype isn’t set up in this version to allow you to do multiple callers on one box.

Mike Horton: What about on Google Chat or something else besides Skype? Do you support those?

Philip Nelson: No. This is a product that was co-designed with Microsoft. It is a Skype product and one of the reasons Skype is so important is that, like I said at the beginning, there are over 300 million Skype users and you have access to all of those Skype users out of the box, directly from the TalkShow. This is a product we developed with Microsoft. Skype is an integral part of that and that’s what makes the magic happen.

Larry Jordan: So just to confirm, because we’ve got a question on our live chat, it takes HD-SDI for video signal in, it takes a standard XLR connector for your audio, so basically a feed coming out of a video switcher or a NewTek box or a standard audio signal coming out of an audio mixer and it works easily.

Philip Nelson: Actually, one of the real benefits of this is that is does support analog audio as well as embedded SDI audio, so it depends on how you’re set up. If you are in a one large television truck, one of the challenges of using Skype in the past was getting a quality return video back to your guests. A lot of times people would just set up a webcam in the studio so they could at least see the studio, but in this configuration with the TalkShow product, you can take that program out of your show, give them embedded SDI audio from the show or do analog audio, so you have choices. That’s what I love about it, is it’s very flexible. If your internet bandwidth is bad, you can still get a call. If you don’t have embedded SDI audio, you can plug a mic directly in and you’re good to go. You just have a lot of choices with how it’s configured and how it’s used. As you well know, when you’re dealing with guests all over the world, flexibility is pretty important.

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

Philip Nelson: You can go to

Larry Jordan: And the TalkShow is a hardware box from NewTek and Philip Nelson is the Chief Relationship Officer at NewTek. Philip, thanks for joining us today, this has been a fun conversation.

Philip Nelson: Larry and Mike, thanks for having me, and I think we should win an award for an ensemble cast just for this segment.

Mike Horton: Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: You were paying attention, you get a gold star. Philip, take care, we’ll talk to you soon.

Philip Nelson: Have a great night, guys.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Imagine Products has been specializing in workflow applications for over 25 years. They started with Executive Producer back in 1991, an all in one logging and offline editing tool. In 2006, Image Mine was used in the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and ShotPut Pro was released. Today, there are more than 30,000 ShotPut Pro users worldwide. PreRollPost for Macintosh was released in 2012. This is an LTFS archiving application compatible with any LTO tape drive, as well as Sony’s ODA. PreRollPost for Windows was released at the end of 2015. It’s the only LTFS archiving application of its kind for less than $500.

Larry Jordan: Imagine Products has three simple goals for its software – make it powerful, make it easy to use and make it affordable. It’s easy to see why Imagine Products has been successful for 25 years. Imagine what comes next. Visit to download a demo.

Larry Jordan: Cirina Catania is the Supervising Producer of The Buzz, as well as a filmmaker, a journalist and former Senior Executive with United Artists and MGM. She’s also one of the founders of the Sundance Film Festival and today she’s coming to us live from Belgium, where she is, well, we’re going to say she’s filming one of her documentaries, but what she’s actually doing there – we’ll find out more in just a minute. Hello, Cirina, welcome.

Cirina Catania: Hi, Larry, from Belgium.

Larry Jordan: Yes, I tell you, you are peripatetic. You were in California just a couple of days ago and you’re en route to the Berlinale, which we’ll talk about more in just a second. But, you know, I was just thinking, now that you’ve been in Europe for all of 24 hours, what is it that strikes you about television in Europe?

Cirina Catania: I’m always blown away by how much influence the United States has all over the world and we were watching some television last night, I was watching the Belgian version of ‘The Voice,’ and I’m not talking about an American ‘Voice’ with subtitles, the Belgian version of ‘The Voice,’ and I know they have several versions. It just struck me that there’s so much US programming but that there’s also programming that has been influenced by the United States that’s running here.

Larry Jordan: I know that you’re just stopping in Belgium for a day or two and heading off to Berlinale after that. What’s happening at the Berlin Film Festival?

Cirina Catania: I call it my guilty pleasure every year because to me it is one of the most prominent festivals in the world. I just found out today their budget for the festival is 23 million Euros on average every year.

Larry Jordan: Oh my goodness.

Cirina Catania: I know, it’s huge. But what’s even more interesting is that the German federal government, the Commission on Culture and Media, provides almost seven million of that, so that tells you how much the government is really behind the filmmaking, and television and artistic community in Germany, and that’s why I think so much talent is recruited from there.

Larry Jordan: How would you differentiate between Sundance, which I know you have a lot of familiarity with, and Berlinale and, say, Cannes? Are they all the same, just different cities, or are they different?

Cirina Catania: I would say of all of those festivals, the Berlin Film Festival is the one that really brings a true love of film. Matter of fact, here in Berlin during the competition the press that are there refer to the films as the country that they originate in. So they’ll say, “Have you seen the German film yet?” or “Have you seen the Filipino film?” or “Have you seen the American film yet?” It’s really interesting; and also for me as a director, I’m always struck by how much they respect directors here. They talk about the directors and there’s really a lot of homage towards directors here, but in Berlin they screen over 400 films in various categories. To give you a picture of Berlin, you have the major competition, which I really enjoy and in ten days, I’m going see about 25 films; but they also have the retrospectives and they have a lot of independent and arthouse film for what they call the Panorama. Then they have a whole section of films just for young audiences and made by young people. We’ve had the head of the German cinema section on The Buzz. There’s a whole lot of shorts and then they have the Forum, which is really the experimental and avant-garde films. Also this year, they’re going to do indigenous films from all over the world and if that doesn’t solve your appetite for films, there’s also a whole series of films called Culinary Cinema, so you can pretty much have anything you want. In a way, it’s like putting a very hungry person in front of a huge smorgasbord. Meryl Street’s head of the jury this year.

Larry Jordan: What does the jury do?

Cirina Catania: The jury for the competition, actually my little group sits every year right behind the jury in the Grand Palast, and the jury, I think there are eight of them, watch all the films and then they deliberate and then they vote on the film, so the jury’s very, very powerful. This is for the main competition films. Meryl Streep is there and there’s a famous German actor, Lars Eidinger, the UK film critic Nick James. I’m excited because the French photographer Brigitte Lacombe is going to be there, and then you probably know Clive Owen from the UK, then an Italian actress, Alba Rohrwacher, and a Polish filmmaker who’s won many awards and she actually got the Silver Bear last year for Best Director, Małgorzata Szumowska. I hope I’m pronouncing her name right.

Cirina Catania: You know what else, Larry? They’re screening 77 documentaries in a Meet the Docs series over at the EFM. I’m particularly torn this year because you know I love doing documentaries and, in fact, I am working on one here in Belgium, but there’s a whole section on financing and distribution where they bring experts from all over the world to talk about that.

Larry Jordan: But there’s a separate issue that I want to have you talk about very quickly. There’s the film festival, where people are able to watch films, the 400 films that you talked about, but there’s also the film market, which is of interest to filmmakers, because it’s how they can turn their films into cash. What’s that?

Cirina Catania: Exactly. The EFM is about, I don’t know, 400 companies coming from all over the world and they have about 8,000 buyers. I don’t know how many they’re going to have this year but I believe last year it was 8,000 buyers came from 95 countries. Simultaneously, they have the coproduction market and the Berlinale talent, so on the money making side and the distribution side you have an entire huge venue that’s not too far away from where we’re going to be screening all the competition films, but that’s where those 77 documentaries are going to be. So if you want to know anything about documentaries you’re going to be over there watching the panels, and listening to what they say about who’s paying what and how much. So there’s the money side and then there’s the creative side and, for me, I hear a lot – because of what we do on The Buzz and because of where I migrate during the year – I hear a lot about the finance and distribution, but for me the pure joy of the creative of some of the best films that are coming in from all corners of the world, that to me is the inspiration that drives everything.

Larry Jordan: What determines if a film is accepted for screening? Because I suspect, like most film festivals, there are more entries than there are slots.

Cirina Catania: There are, and that is a yearly mystery because nobody says anything about why they particularly pick these films. But the committee that picks the films, every year we go in and we start watching movies, and we tend to be very, very critical about why they picked this, why they picked that, but by the time the festival’s over and you’ve seen these 20 to 30 films in competition, it’s just amazing. But, no, there really seems to be no formula, but that’s part of the beauty of it, because you can never predict what you’re going to see. They are amazing films though, that’s something. We don’t always agree on what we like or dislike and it’s really interesting because after the films you’ll see press people, and filmgoers, and filmmakers huddled in groups, like we were in the old days at Sundance, just discussing the films and really dissecting them. It’s just pure art form.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like a wonderful, wonderful time. When does the festival start?

Cirina Catania: It actually starts in a few days. I think the official day is the 12th. I’m going over in a couple of days, I’m working here for a couple more days, and then I’m going to migrate to Berlin by train and I’m actually this year doing something really interesting. I’m not going to film video with a big camera. I’m taking my iPad Pro and I’m going to do my interviews using the iPad Pro, which is something totally different for me, but I think it’s going to be less rigorous; and, of course, I’ll have a lot of stills I’ll take with the two stills cameras I take with me. But the iPad Pro on a tripod with a connection to the tripod and then I’ll do my sound using some of the Sennheiser rigs, most likely.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like a wonderful time. What we’d like to do is bring you back next week to get an update on what’s happening at the Berlinale Film Festival. Cirina, where can people go to keep track of you on the web?

Cirina Catania: Go to or

Larry Jordan: That’s and Cirina Catania herself, Supervising Producer for The Buzz and peripatetic traveler about the world. Cirina, thanks for joining us today.

Cirina Catania: Thanks, Larry. Goodnight.

Larry Jordan: Take care.

Larry Jordan: Welcome to Tech Talk.

Larry Jordan: Well, here we are in our opulent back yard. We’ve got a DJI Inspire 1 drone and before we take off, let’s explain what some of this stuff is. What are we looking at here?

Zach: This is one of the advanced drones in the market right now. It has GPS satellites, it has about a two and a half mile range, it has a built in camera that can shoot up to 4K. It’s incredible. The new camera that they just came out with for this actually has a Micro Four Thirds sensor, so you can put your own lenses on it. It’s really one of the most sophisticated drones on the market.

Larry Jordan: Let’s look at the components. I notice it’s got four propellers and I’ve seen drones with as many as eight. What determines the number of propellers and are the propellers replaceable if one breaks?

Zach: Yes, the propellers on this are plastic, they can be either plastic or carbon fiber if you have custom made ones. The reason that this one has four is because it has a smaller payload, it’s made to be more compact. The larger ones will have either six or eight propellers. They’re probably about twice the size of this and can carry up to a RED or a DSLR, a lot of them carry DSLRs. But this doesn’t need eight, that’s too much.

Larry Jordan: What’s the central housing here?

Zach: Central housing here holds the battery in the back and then the rest of this is just mechanics and for structural integrity.

Larry Jordan: And I also notice that the legs lift up and down – we’ll see that in just a minute. How about the camera and the gimbal? What’s happening under there?

Zach: With this camera, it’s on a three axis gimbal to keep it steady like this, no matter where you’re moving. With a second operator and another controller, what you can do is have a second operator controlling the camera to move a full 360 all the way around. It tilts up and down, sideways like that also. So if you went in for a cool effect, you have a locked off version where it’ll stay perfectly straight and with the telemetry of the drone, so if you turn it turns and it looks like you’re flying a plane. It’s a neat effect that works every once in a while, but typically for everything I do I keep it unlocked so it’s just as steady as it can be.

Larry Jordan: Well, we’ve seen the drone. What I want do see is what you’re wearing around the neck. To solve that, let me just put the drone on the ground.

Zach: Totally fine.

Larry Jordan: And I’ll put that here. What do we have here?

Zach: This is the DJI controller. It connects as a monitor through the DJI Go app. When you open it up, it has a lot of really important information not only about the actual drone itself and the camera, but it has really good safety tutorials on there. That’s really important to read if you’re a first time pilot. You can also do a flight simulation through the app where, instead of actually flying your drone, if you want to get comfortable with the controls you can actually through the app do flight simulation.

Larry Jordan: What about the section below it? What are the controllers below the app?

Zach: The controls below it, you’ve got a very simple power button and DJI is very intelligent with its batteries, so you can’t just press it once and it turns on. You press it once and then you press and hold it and then it’ll turn everything on. You’ve got your controls, which are very simple. They’re both eight directional controllers so you can go in either direction. One controls your height and the direction that it turns – your yaw – and then the other is just basic forward, backward, left and right.

Zach: This is your home button, so if you’re ever out of sight of your drone, it’s very important to keep a line of sight with the drone, it’s part of FAA regulations on learning how to fly, you press the home button and it will come back to you and land itself. If it’s close enough and in your line of sight, you can actually cancel it in the app and regain control over it.

Zach: On the back side of this – I’ll turn it around so you can see – you can see that your control are sent with two really strong antennas. You have a record button, a couple of little switches and buttons that do random things. This will control the tilt of the gimbal, so pointing the camera up or down, and then on the bottom here you have another USB port and there’s actually an HDMI port so you can do HDMI out to a monitor, so you can bring a 50 inch 4K TV with you to a set.

Larry Jordan: Ok, well let’s turn the power off and have you put this back on again and I’ll put the drone back up. Let’s turn the power on and let’s get this ready to fly.

Zach: Ok, so what I’m going to do is do the same thing as we did on the controller, we’re going to press the power button once and then press and hold it. That will turn it on and it’s going to start searching for satellites and running through its system check, making sure the gimbal’s calibrated, the compass is calibrated and all that. Here we go.

Larry Jordan: Let’s get this ready to take off. I’m going to pick it up and move it over to here, give ourselves a safe position to be in. There you go.

Larry Jordan: In his current role as the Director of Technology for Key Code Media, Michael Kammes consults in the latest in technology and best practices in digital media and, I’m delighted to say, he’s also a regular on The Buzz. Hello, Michael, welcome back.

Michael Kammes: Hi Larry, good evening, how are you?

Larry Jordan: I am delighted to be talking to you. It’s been a while but getting you to stay still is really tough. You’re here now, but now you’re leaving for the Editors’ Retreat in scant seconds. What’s the Editors’ Retreat and why are you going?

Michael Kammes: The Editors’ Retreat is a gathering of excellent editors from all around the country and the world to talk about technology, but not just technology. It’s more based on creation – best practices for editing, how to craft those certain scenes – and I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to speak there on cloud based editing technology.

Larry Jordan: Wait a minute, say that again.

Michael Kammes: Cloud based editing technology.

Larry Jordan: That’s almost like an oxymoron, isn’t it? Cloud based and editing don’t belong in the same sentence. What are you talking about?

Michael Kammes: It’s the ability to edit where you want, when you want, so you no longer have to go to those ugly square edit bays that are dimly lit. You now can sit on your couch or, as I do, sit on my couch with my puppy and edit and sit in my comfy slippers and enjoy my house while I can edit.

Larry Jordan: Let me get this straight. What you’re allowing editors to do is to edit wherever they want without tying them to the edit bay, but that really requires access to your media just about anywhere. How do we manage to make that work?

Michael Kammes: It’s very difficult but, yes, the Holy Grail is to be able to sit where you want, when you want and edit. There are a couple of different ways to do that. We have the traditional cloud paradigm, and when I say cloud I mean someone else’s storage in the cloud and you upload your media there and then you edit in a browser which is notoriously lacking in terms of feature set. Then we also have the more robust methodology which is the media sits at home base, and you sit at home, and you pull the media from your home base, and that’s when you get to use tools like Avid and Adobe. Then we have hybrid models like Avid, that also has Media Composer UX, which allows you to edit in a browser but still using the media back at the mothership.

Larry Jordan: It sounded to me, up until you used the word Avid, like you were describing Adobe Anywhere, which is a server based ability to feed, I don’t want to say proxies, but feed your media anywhere. Is this what we’re talking about here?

Michael Kammes: That’s what the most common methodology is and both Avid and Adobe have similar technologies, which is where the media sits at your data center, usually within the four walls of your facility, and it goes through a traditional local editorial process – logging, etcetera – but the editors can then take their laptops and go remote and log in to the media from remote as if they were local and then edit that media, which is streamed to their system in real time.

Larry Jordan: Are they working with proxy files? How are they able to get access to the media and have a good enough image so they can make editorial decisions? I’m not saying master quality, but good enough.

Michael Kammes: That’s where it gets a little tricky and where it varies from solution to solution. If you look at Adobe Anywhere, this is always looking at the higher… media and in real time is using the Mercury Playback engine, what they call the Mercury streaming engine, to actually generate these proxies on the fly, so it’s not a low res/high res relink methodology, it’s actually just a low res file that’s been created on the fly, so you’re not dealing with two different types of files. When we deal with Avid, this has a couple of different variants that they can stream to your system in real time, so it does have a little bit of an online/offline methodology.

Larry Jordan: You’re using the word streaming in both cases. Originally you talked about the fact that we could store the files on a cloud server somewhere, accessed via a browser, but the interface and the response time is pretty bad. But both Avid and Adobe are streaming – does that solve some of the security issues of having access to the media, preventing access to people who shouldn’t have unauthorized access to it?

Michael Kammes: There comes a point in time where there’s diminishing returns. How many times has YouTube tried to prevent people from downloading files and people still get to them? There’s a point of diminishing returns for doing that. Both Avid and Adobe have rules set in place that may prevent the end user from exporting a file. Will that stop a user from using a screen recording application and recording something? No, it’s not going to stop them at all.

Larry Jordan: No, my fault, it’s a really good answer but to the wrong question. I’m much more concerned about security of the dailies. Think of the ‘Harry Potter’ movies or ‘Star Wars,’ where security was everything on making sure people didn’t see the movie before it was released. How do you prevent unauthorized access to the raw footage that’s part of the editorial process?

Michael Kammes: There are two ways. One is internet abstinence, which is you simply don’t use remote editing for these kinds of films. I don’t think even in ten years, when another ‘Star Wars’ prequel or sequel comes out, that they’re going to allow remote editing, there are just too many things to take into consideration for security. But on projects where security isn’t as high, you can use things like VPN. A VPN is a virtual private network and it allows a secure handshake between your local machine and the mothership, and that can weed out unwarranted and unscrupulous folks. But the best practice is internet abstinence and don’t have your machines online.

Larry Jordan: Ok, so for projects which are not highly security conscious, what are we trading off for remote editing as opposed to coming into the edit bay and being able to access our masters directly?

Michael Kammes: Usually, Larry, it’s latency, the delay between a key press and what you’re seeing on the screen. Editors are all about speed and a lot of times when latency is introduced, there can be hell to pay because I don’t get that immediate gratification of playback. When you’re sitting across the country, there can be latency in there, so there has to be the expectation of a slight delay when we look at these full complete systems. There are also little things like some of your filters may not be on both systems, some fonts may not be there, so you have to understand that because you get to sit in your fuzzy slippers on your warm comfortable couch, there are going to be some performance tradeoffs for the time being.

Larry Jordan: While your dog keeps you company.

Michael Kammes: Yes.

Larry Jordan: When is remote editing appropriate? When would you recommend it?

Michael Kammes: Right now, I’m a big fan of it for predators, so those folks who are producers and editors, who want to do string-outs or logging or non-complex editorial, the pre-edit, as it were. I think that’s a fantastic way to start using these tools because you don’t need a robust toolset, you just need to see it and log it. I think for unscripted television, where you are doing string-outs of scenes and logging an immense amount of footage, I think that’s the sweet spot right now.

Larry Jordan: What hardware do we need to pull this off?

Michael Kammes: Because there are a couple of different methodologies, if we’re looking at the more traditional Avid Interplay or Avid Everywhere and the Adobe Anywhere, we’re looking at the traditional systems that you would need to run the software locally because at the end of the day you are still running that software locally, you’re just pulling the media from a remote location. So you’re going to need, and I hope I don’t annoy any of your sponsors by saying this, 80 to 100 grand. It’s going to start there, there’s no way around that. You’ll need a system that’s capable of running your Premiere or your Avid system and you’ll need a decent internet connection. Editing at your coffee shop, not so much right now. You’re probably going to need a good 40 to 50 megabits a second for a decent picture.

Larry Jordan: Wait, say that internet bandwidth again.

Michael Kammes: 40 to 50 megabits a second, which would be a cable modem running to your house. That’s pretty common.

Larry Jordan: Michael, I was just thinking, there’s got to be more than one way to do remote or cloud based editing. Are there typical ways that we can do this?

Michael Kammes: Yes, there are three main ways as I see it. There’s the more traditional cloud editing paradigm, which is all your media is sitting in a third party data center and you edit in a browser. That’s the best way I can think of to describe it, pure cloud editing, someone else’s cloud. The second one would be remote editing, which is slightly different, and that’s where the media actually sits in your data center, usually within your facility, and then when you’re sitting at home editing, you’re pulling everything via the internet from your mothership, from your office, as opposed to a third party hosted cloud; and that media can either be high res or low res depending on what solution you’re working with.

Michael Kammes: Another solution I find very interesting, and Michael Bay actually used it on ‘Transformers,’ is something by Teradici, and that uses the PCoIP methodology, the PC over IP. Your viewers out there may be familiar with TeamViewer and Remote Desktop and it’s very similar to that, only Teradici has hardware on both ends and makes sure your color’s good, you have sustained frame rate, the audio is good, so it’s like you’re sitting in front of your bay only you have a terminal at your house. It’s almost a throwback to the ’70s and the mainframe topology.

Larry Jordan: I was thinking the same thing. Mainframes have reared their ugly heads, except now they’re on laptops.

Michael Kammes: Completely.

Larry Jordan: Michael, is this beta technology or is it being used in real life?

Michael Kammes: It’s a balance of both. If you look a few years ago, a company called Forbidden had a product called Forscene, which is actually editing in a browser and all the media’s in a cloud. That was used extensively with the Olympics several years ago. Avid Interplay, also known as Avid Everywhere, since it’s closely tied into newsroom automation, it’s been used quite a bit for string-outs and remote shoots and whatnot. That being said, Adobe Anywhere is only two years old, and other solutions are still being beta tested right now to find out what can work in a real world environment and what’s just a pipe dream.

Larry Jordan: I’d love to sit in on this session at Editors’ Retreat, it sounds fascinating. For people who can attend, where can they go on the web to learn more?

Michael Kammes: They can go to or they can follow me on Twitter and I’ll have all the information there, and that’s @michaelkammes.

Larry Jordan: And do you have a website people should pay attention to?

Michael Kammes: That same name,

Larry Jordan: And the Michael Kammes himself is the Director of Technology for Key Code Media and about to catch a plane heading east. Michael, thanks for joining us today and I wish you safe travels and have a wonderful speech.

Michael Kammes: Thanks, Larry. See you next time.

Larry Jordan: It’s time for a Buzz Flashback. Five years ago today…

Lance Maurer (archive): New Mexico Post Alliance is basically an organization here in New Mexico made up of post production professionals and some people that are also shooting in the field. Our aim here is to essentially make the soil better for future post facilities that might want to move here and also to give ourselves lots of information and educate ourselves as to all the latest technology.

Larry Jordan: This was a Buzz Flashback.

Larry Jordan: It was interesting during the Tech Talk, when we were talking about drones, how all of a sudden everybody stopped moving and we were all watching the monitor together. They’re fascinating pieces of gear and give us shots that we can’t get anywhere else.

Mike Horton: You went to CES, you’re one of the few people that I know who actually went, along with the 120,000 other people, but you said that just about every booth that you went to had drones.

Larry Jordan: Oh, they were everywhere. They were like little ants, you couldn’t step anywhere without stepping on a drone. There was one booth, and they’re going to hate me because I don’t remember the name of the product, but their entire stage demo was drones. At one point they had a synchronized drone flying. There were 15 drones in three rows of five and they were going forward and back.

Mike Horton: Seriously? Was that one of those demonstrations where drones won’t run into each other, kind of thing?

Larry Jordan: They were dancing. The drones were dancing up and down, forward and back, then these two wheeled devices were rolling all over the floor and they could flip themselves up a step and so they were flipping up steps and flipping down steps. It was really quite fun to watch.

Mike Horton: That thing you were showing, that was part of a webinar that you were doing on drones, right?

Larry Jordan: Yes, we did it two weeks ago.

Mike Horton: Have you actually used the unit and flown a drone?

Larry Jordan: I have never flown a drone. I have touched a drone, that’s as close as I’ve come, and we looked at the unit. But that was a $6,000 drone that he was flying and I was not about to do flying lessons on something that expensive.

Mike Horton: Especially when there’s concrete everywhere.

Larry Jordan: But Zach was a great guest.

Mike Horton: No, that was a great segment. That was a really cool segment.

Larry Jordan: In the webinar, we had two parts of it. One was talking about how you license a drone and the rules changed on December 22nd.

Mike Horton: The rules are changing all the time. It’s now really hard. But the really cool thing is that little GPS thing that’s in all drones now, or supposed to be in all drones now. If you get into a no fly zone, it actually stops.

Larry Jordan: And comes back to you.

Mike Horton: Well, I think it stops. I’m not really sure but I know it stops. But that’s amazing. That’s just amazing. It still kind of pisses me off.

Larry Jordan: Well, we’ll add that to your list of Christmas presents.

Mike Horton: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests for today: Philip Nelson, the Chief Relationship Officer at NewTek, Cirina Catania, Supervising Producer at The Digital Production Buzz, and Michael Kammes, Director of Technology at Key Code Media.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online and all available to you today, and sign up for our free weekly show newsletter.

Larry Jordan: Talk with us on Twitter, @DPBuZZ, and Facebook at Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner with additional music provided by Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription – visit to learn how they can help you.

Larry Jordan: Our Supervising Producer is Cirina Catania; our show producer is Debbie Price. Our engineering team is led by Megan Paulos and includes Ed Golya, Keegan Guy, James Miller and Brianna Murphy. On behalf of the handsome guy on the other side of the table, Mr. Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for joining us for The Digital Production Buzz.

Mike Horton: Goodbye, everybody.

Announcer #1: 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; and by, specializing in workflow applications for over 25 years.

Digital Production Buzz – February 4, 2016

Join Larry Jordan and Mike Horton as they talk with Philip Nelson, Cirina Catania, and Michael Kammes.

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Guests this Week

Philip Nelson
Philip Nelson, Chief Relationship Officer, NewTek
The NewTek TalkShow is a hardware device that makes high-quality Skype video available for production and broadcast. However, getting it to look good isn’t easy, as The Buzz has learned. Tonight, Philip Nelson, Chief Relationship Officer at NewTek, joins us to explain how this new box works and what we need to do so that Skype calls look and sound great. Take a look for yourself as we discuss how we made it all work.
Cirina Catania
Cirina Catania, Supervising Producer, Digital Production Buzz
Cirina Catania is the supervising producer of The Buzz, as well as a filmmaker, journalist and former senior executive with United Artists and MGM. She is also one of the founders of the Sundance Film Festival. Cirina is on her annual pilgrimage to the Berlin Film Festival – the Berlinale – and joins us tonight from Belgium with a report on what we can expect at the show.
Michael Kammes
Michael Kammes, Director of Technology, Key Code Media
In his role as Director of Technology at Key Code Media, Michael Kammes consults on the latest in technology and best practices in digital media. For a long time, Michael has been fascinated by remote editing, where editors have access to all their dailies without being tied to the edit bay. Featuring products from Avid and Adobe, Michael shares his thoughts on the current state of Cloud-based editing.