Digital Production Buzz
September 22, 2016
Dan May, Product Manager, Blackmagic Design, Inc.
Boris Yamnitsky, Owner, BorisFX
Laura Blum, Blogger, FilmFestivals.com
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Creative Planet, Ned Soltz Inc.
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Network
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS
Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz we have a lot more on several major announcements at IBC. We start with Dan May, the President of Blackmagic Design US, talking about their new acquisitions of both Ultimatte and Fairlight. Along with several new products that Blackmagic demonstrated at IBC.
Larry Jordan: Then, Boris Yamnitsky, the founder and President of Boris FX explains why they acquired GenArts. And what Boris FX is hoping to do with this world class effects software.
Larry Jordan: Next, Ned Soltz returns with more on new cameras and lenses, announced at IBC.
Larry Jordan: Next Laura Blum has part two in her series on how feature films are creating dramas that reflect the Arab spring uprising.
Larry Jordan: Next, Scott Page wraps up his five part series on how to grow your creative business and tonight, we look at education.
Larry Jordan: And as always James DeRuvo has our weekly Doddle News Update. The Buzz starts.
Larry Jordan: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry, covering media production, post production, marketing, around the world. Hi my name is Larry Jordan. We are still sorting out all the announcements from last week, at IBC, so tonight we have in depth conversations about two of the largest, Blackmagic Design and Boris FX. But there is more in the news than just IBC, for example, Photokina opened this week, and with new camera announcements from a variety of vendors, as we will hear from James DeRuvo.
Larry Jordan: Thinking of cameras, Apple released a beta version today of the iPhone 7 portrait mode software. Unlike lenses which create depth of field by zooming in, the iPhone uses four ground recognition technology to create a nine layer depth map. Then applies varying degrees of blur to layer it, and blur the different layers to give us the illusion of depth of field. Initial reports of the feature is pretty amazing, though still quirky.
Larry Jordan: Thinking of lenses, reminds me that Ned Soltz is on tonight, with a report of new IP lenses, as well as announcements from IBC, and Photokina.
Larry Jordan: I want to remind you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter, at Digital Production Buzz. Every issue, every week, gives you an inside look at the Buzz, links to all the different segments, and curated articles of special interest to film makers. Remember every issue is free.
Larry Jordan: Now it’s time for a Doddle News update, with senior writer for Doddle News, Mr. James DeRuvo. Hello James.
James DeRuvo: Hello Larry! How are you?
Larry Jordan: I’m talking to you, I’m doing great. So what have we got that is news today?
James DeRuvo: Well first, on that Apple portrait thing, one of the reasons why I’m holding my powder on keeping it dry on buying an iPhone 7, is that I’m kind of hoping that maybe by iPhone 7S, they will have that for video, although maybe not. I don’t know. But it’s only for still photography so I am hoping that they will be able to port that over to video someday.
Larry Jordan: I think the technology to do that live, with video, would be pretty processor intensive.
James DeRuvo: They are going to have to wait until they have something stronger, and more powerful, that’s for sure. But going to this week’s news stories, GoPro finally introduces the Karma. Which is their drone, but they are not calling it a drone, they are calling it, an Experience System. The reason why they are calling it that is, it has as its big feature, a removable camera gimbal, that you can not only attach to an included handheld device, but also any GoPro mount. So you can literally take the gimbal right off the nose of the drone, and put it on, say the handle bars of your motorcycle, and get that rock steady image that you would expect from a drone. It is a really interesting design, and the drone itself is collapsible and it comes in a back pack. And it is really an amazing looking device. For 799 it is almost half the cost of a DJI Phantom 4. They are not taking it lying down either, I believe they have been leaking pictures of their new drone, and it looks like we are seeing the emergence of a new drone category, called a selfie drone. Which is a drone that is going to be used to record experiences, rather than from the sky. That is pretty much what the Karma is going to do.
James DeRuvo: They also announced, a Hero 5 and a Hero 5 Session, which has mostly some housekeeping fixes, and improved menu system. But they have also added voice activation and GPS, to the Hero 5 as well as automatic Wi-Fi sync and upload to the GoPro accounts in the Cloud. The GoPro Hero 5 Session, finally shoots in 4K. So that is what is coming down from GoPro. It is going to be a very lucrative Christmas for Nick Woodman and the guys over at GoPro.
Larry Jordan: Well there is a new show that opened this week, called Photokina, what is happening there?
James DeRuvo: Photokina is the big camera show. It is all cameras, all the time. This week, Sony introduced the new A99, Alpha 99 camera, for 4K DSLR, that shoots at 60 frames per second. What is really cool about it, is it has full 4K video with no pixel binning, which means you are basically recording at 6K, and then they are downscaling to 4K. So you get this amazingly crystal clear sharp image. It also has internally five axis image stabilization. So it is really like having a gimbal, without having a gimbal. It is really going to be an amazing camera.
James DeRuvo: Panasonic also finally announce the GH5, and we were hoping that it was going to be at least 5K, but it is not, it’s going to be 4K at 60 frames per second. Internally, so you do not have to rely on the external yaggy device anymore. It will have 10 bit, 422 color. Finally, Olympus announced the OMD EM1 mark II, which also will record in 4K. So that has been the big highlights of Photokina.
Larry Jordan: Oh my goodness, we have got cameras for drones, and cameras for motorcycle helmets and Sony and Panasonic and Olympus, there is plenty to keep you busy. For people that want more information, where can they go on the web?
James DeRuvo: All these and other stories can be found at doddlenews.com.
Larry Jordan: Senior writer for Doddle News is James DeRuvo, and James, as always thanks for joining us today. We will talk you again next week.
James DeRuvo: Ok Larry, take care.
Larry Jordan: Take care bye bye.
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Larry Jordan: Dan May is the President of Blackmagic Design US, and he’s been with the company since 2006. He oversees North and South American Operations, and has been an integral part of our core team which has built Blackmagic Design into a game changing force, in the feature film, post production and TV broadcast industries. Hello Dan, welcome back.
Dan May: Larry, good to be here as always.
Larry Jordan: Well it’s become tradition that both NAB, and IBC, on discovering what Blackmagic have done this time to stun the industry. So, just so we can hear it directly, what did you announce?
Dan May: Well we definitely are not ever going to be confused with being boring I suppose. We generally are always looking to advance the storyline, and continue to bring out exciting announcements that we feel are going to be game changing in the industry and expanding our product offerings and portfolios and…
Larry Jordan: Dan… will you tell us what you acquired?
Dan May: The big acquisitions we have made have been Fairlight and Ultimatte.
Larry Jordan: I want to talk to you about both of those for a second, because what puzzles me is that both Ultimatte, and Fairlight, Ultimatte that does blue and green screen compositing, especially for live shows. And Fairlight which does audio, both audio posts but more importantly live audio. Both Ultimatte and Fairlight are focused on live production, but Blackmagic’s tradition has been in post, why the shift into live?
Dan May: Well, we are always looking to expand, and we have moved quite a bit into live, without ATEM Live Productions, which is a number of our cameras which are focused on more live production. So while we have had products and acquisitions which continue to build on those core post production and resolve, and those assets that we have. We also are looking to expand the markets that we can go into. What is great about both of these toolsets that we can bring to the table, there is relevance into what we currently do. Obviously we do have quite a bit of understanding for what it takes, and what Ultimatte can bring to the table. But it is certainly a major step forward to what we currently have to offer, and what we think we can bring to the table in the future.
Dan May: With Fairlight, we are already working in post-production, we are already talking about high end color grading, and some live production with the ATEM, but now you are talking about really tacking on this big part of audio, and what Fairlight brings to the table. So while they are not necessarily, when someone thinks about, Da Vinci or Decklink cards, they definitely do have enough similarities, but are exciting as they are new waters for Blackmagic to expand its game changing philosophies into. That have not yet been done in those market spaces.
Larry Jordan: I can see where Ultimatte fits in with your ATEM switcher, because the ATEM’s chrome gear that comes with it as standard right now, is not particularly world class. Have you announced specific plans on how you are going to integrate Fairlight and Ultimatte with existing Blackmagic products?
Dan May: We have not. Both of those deals were done really shortly before IBC, which for some reason always tends to be the case with these announcements. The ink is still wet when we show up at the show. For right now, both of these acquisitions, the plan is that we are going to let things simmer, as they have been. People who were already customers, or been with the sales channels, or support channels, are going through those same channels. It is going to be a “continue as normal” while we get into the details, of what do we have, and what are our plans going to be?
Dan May: The good news is now we have a track history, where people can look back and see success in all these acquisition, and all of them are difficult, and different. Certainly when we did the first Da Vinci acquisition, you definitely understood why where was scepticism or doubt, or confusion, about what Blackmagic was going to do. But here we are some seven years later, more people are going to look at this and say, why there maybe some questions about where we are going, there is still a lot more faith instilled into where things are going to go. But what those details actually are, we would all love to turn around say, look there is a $300 Ultimatte and it comes with a resolve and a camera, because why not, Blackmagic does those things. Obviously we have to dig down into the core infrastructure, of what both of these product lines have, where we think they can go, and really dig into what those next steps are going to be.
Dan May: Right now it is a really excited to have both these teams on board, it’s exciting, and both companies have been doing great work for so many years. We think that all parties involved are going to benefit, and ultimately, having faith in what is going to come, the users are going to be the ones to see the great outcomes of this. I’m really looking forward to, when we do get to those steps, I’m sure there is going to be a lot of excitement out in the market place.
Larry Jordan: In spite of the fact that I’d like you to tell me the next six companies Blackmagic is going to acquire, so I could sort of get ahead of the curve. What criteria does Blackmagic consider when deciding whether to acquire a company? What is it looking for?
Dan May: Well there is no obvious answer, that is like, hey we are going to be able to make something happen. Different things will be things like, when we see a business that has success, and generally they reach a point where they reach some kind of challenge that they cannot overcome alone. Sometimes that can just be as simple as, the cost of business is obviously high for anyone to be successful in this market place, but the things that Blackmagic does really well when it comes to the way we are organized, the way our marketing is, the way our organization has this powerhouse built behind it. That takes a lot of pressure of some of these companies that are built around a core engineering group that have a great technology, but don’t necessarily have the muscle to get to a wider audience. A lot of these products and our industry, has been prophecated on needing to sell expensive hardware because the market place will only bear so many users to maintain a business model. Ultimately, Blackmagic models a much different structure than that. We are a big believer in bringing more people to the table, being able to empower more users, and that means that we have to have the muscle and infrastructure to sell a lot more units at a lower cost. That is much more difficult to do if you have not built your company to be like that, or if you are not sure if your product can get there.
Dan May: So a big thing of what we are looking at when we look at some of these directions are, if there is a company that has a great technology and has found success out there, then maybe the metrics do not make as much sense in 2016 as they did in 2006, let’s say. Sometimes Blackmagic’s marketing development and muscle that we have through our infrastructure, can lead the two into a new beginning for those technologies. That is a big piece, kind of a starting point, but these have all been difference, they have all brought different things to the table. But usually the core piece is that that core technology is really good, has been validated out there in the market, and then it comes to what we think we can do with it.
Larry Jordan: I was looking over my press releases from IBC, all 753,000 of them, of which most were from Blackmagic, you guys announced a bunch of stuff that didn’t involve acquiring a new company. What were some of the big announcements at IBC that were not acquisition based.
Dan May: The two that jump out to be the most significant, we did announce a new Teranex AV product. We did announce Teranex mini 4k model, as far as new hardware is concerned, we did have a number of press releases. Some of them were software updates with DaVinci Resolve and Fusion which is always great to see those moving forward. We have tried to cut back on announcing products that we have ready to get out the door, so we only have two hardware announces, Teranex AV and the Decklink mini 4K. The mini 4K is really quite simple to get their head around, it is another Decklink, a long standing product family that we have. We wanted to introduce a low cost, small profile, Decklink card that is simply a HDMI in, or HDMI out to have 4K, we find so many people only need one direction, looking for that low cost solution to use with their software application. It doesn’t really come much easier as far as what this product is, than the Decklink Mini 4K model. At $200 and shipping at the show.
Larry Jordan: The Teranex interests me, that is a format converter, what is the Teranex AV in a paragraph?
Dan May: So the Teranex AV, Teranex is that up down cross converting type of product. What we really wanted to focus on is building a product more for those AV professionals that have specific needs that maybe your broadcast truck, or your post production guide does not need. A lot of that has to do with a latency that is involved in doing these conversations in switching. Obviously if I am in a post-production facility, and I am just trying to say, look someone brought in this data cam and I just need to make it Ultra HD. The fact that I’m not switching between different formats, and latency is not really an issue, and different broadcast needs. Usually I am always converting X to Y. But in the AV space, there is a lot of changes where, I need this to go to that, and this to change to this, and I need those projectors, or these TV’s and displays, where that latency and sync is all such a big deal that there is extra processing power that needs to be built into these products to be able to handle that. So the Teranex AV is really focused on that kind of space, where I am trying to do these kind of conversions, I thought 3 Gig SDI and 12 Gig SDI and a bunch of HDMIs and I need to know that whatever I am going to do, not only am I going to have that higher quality, and higher standard. But I need to know that latency is erased, so that we don’t have screens doing odd things, or various things that typical broadcasting and post production products would do. So that is the key bit here, it is very similar as some of our other Teranex expressing the light, offering writing cross conversions. The big thing there is the processing power that is needed is super low latency.
Larry Jordan: Any interesting camera announcements?
Dan May: Right now our big camera thing is still that we have done our data launch of the 4.0 software which we were showing at NAB, we launched that a few weeks. We have just done another updated, which was well received by customers. Just adds a great new functionality and usability to the Ursa mini cameras, and it is great to be able to put so much customer feedback into these. So no new hardware announcements, but we are enjoying the success of Ursa Mini being able to have this new software out in front of customers, and taking that feedback and putting it right back into the product, for people to feed this immediate reaction to the software development.
Larry Jordan: For people who want more information about Blackmagic products, where can they go on the web?
Dan May: They can always find us at HYPERLINK “http://www.blackmagicdesigns.com” www.blackmagicdesigns.com
Larry Jordan: Day May, is the President of Blackmagic Design US, and Dan, it’s always good visiting.
Dan May: Appreciate it, I always like doing the interview good job.
Larry Jordan: Laura Blum is a filmfestivals.com blogger a thalo.com contributing writer, and a discerning film critic. Hello Laura, welcome back.
Laura Blum: Thank you so much Larry.
Larry Jordan: Last week we began talking generally about new films. Looking at the Arab Spring, which was a series of protests and riots, which began in Tunisia in the winter of 2010. This week I want to get more specific and take a look at a film called, As I Open My Eyes. Tell me about this.
Laura Blum: So Larry it is really the most textured drama of the new wave that we were talking about last week. This wave of social dramas and genre of films. You have now fiction added to, what had been the first wave, let’s say. Which was more documentary. So As I Open My Eyes, made by Tunisian film maker Leyla Bouzid. What is interesting is that it unfolds in the summer prior to Tunisia’s jasmine revolution that was December 2010. So what interests her is that she is not tracking what is going on in the streets during the revolution, she was moved by the Why? Of the revolution. What was so oppressive and unfair in the lives of the characters, that would push them out to the streets to bring down the Ben Ali dictatorship?. So it takes place on the eve of the revolution.
Larry Jordan: What is the significance of treating these dramatic events dramatically rather than from a documentary point of view?
Laura Blum: We are now able to protect with the protagonists that allows us a way to really empathise and feel like we are in their shoes. Yes of course it is always going to be a different culture and there is a learning curve there, but let’s take the protagonist of As I Open My Eyes. She’s an 18 year old free spirit with crazy wild hair, and funky clothing, her name is Farah. She has just been tapped to be the lead singer in a band, where she is hot on rocker dude Borhene. So there is a love affair there, we can all relate to that. She is considerably less charmed by her mother’s strict rules, and fear mongering. And we can talk about that.
Larry Jordan: We are centring back to a mother daughter relationship, why is that so important?
Laura Blum: It is interesting in this particular context, the mother has a very strict sense of how Farah should carry on. Both socially and in her case, she wants Farah to forget about music, and particularly the bands provocative protest songs, which are very dangerous. She wants her to study medicine. But girls just want to have fun, these days, not so much in the traditional way. Farah is stick to death of everything being off limits, so again, things are particularly off limits to women, in this traditional view. This protagonists name is Farah, and it means joy, in Arabic. Which becomes ironic, as the worst of her mother’s paranoia turns out to be justified. So really it is a coming of age story where the age guiding Tunisia is marked by police abuse and the monitoring of ordinary citizens. It is more acute, we feel it more, by the vulnerability of this woman.
Larry Jordan: There is another film in the genre called Sand Storm, tell me about that one.
Laura Blum: Yes so Sand Storm is a particularly interesting film as well, it comes out of Israel, made by a Jewish Israeli woman, Elite Zexer. Made with a Jewish Arab crew. It is set in a Beduin village in the Negev. Like Farah, the wilful teen at the center of Sand Storm, her name is Layla. She has a secret heart throb too. Her father Suliman does not approve, I mean this guy, Suliman, on the one hand he has nurtured Leyla’s education, he has given her driving lessons, he has even given her a cell phone. But he is forcing Leyla into an arranged marriage, which is considerably less modern.
Larry Jordan: These are some wonderful specifics, but what I am interested now is, how can film makers take what is happening in these narrative films, and turn it into new films? What I would like to do is bring you back next week and look at how these films have influenced production financing in the areas. Is that ok with you?
Laura Blum: I would love to thank you.
Larry Jordan: Laura Blum is a blogger for filmfestivals.com and a contributing writer for thalo.com. Laura thanks for joining us today.
Laura Blum: My pleasure.
Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is an author, an editor, an educator and consultant on all things related to digital video. He is a contributing editor for Creative Planet, a moderator on Two Pop and Creative Cow forums, and a regular here on the Buzz, which makes me always grateful. Hello Ned, welcome back.
Ned Soltz: Hello Larry, always good to be back. We have missed a week or two, so always good to be back in the swing of things.
Larry Jordan: Well it is time to get an update, because I know you have been following the news out of IBC, especially regarding what is happening in cameras and lenses. What are you seeing?
Ned Soltz: Well the first thing I was seeing out of IBC, which is totally unrelated to cameras and lenses is more of the trend toward IP. A good example of that is new tech, introducing an entirely IP based control room, or live control situation. As well expanding their software based NDI protocol. So essentially, what we are going to be seeing, in terms of broadcast as well as production facilities, even small production houses. Is the use of IP technologies to be able to share resources. Any kind of cameras that might be on that IP network, can be available to anybody else on that particular IP network. Whether locally or remote. As well as other sources, graphics. I think we are entering a very very new world right now with the expansion of IP. And I am using New Tech as an example because their NDI protocol, their several communication protocol’s, seems to be getting a lot of traction with a lot of third party vendors coming along. As well as their whole new production switch, it’s an area to be watching for. Because I think regardless of where we are, whether individual shops, or part of a larger organization, we are just going to be seeing these new trends, and communication of devices with each other.
Larry Jordan: The only problem I have got with IP is, it requires all new hardware, all new converters and rewiring your entire shop. Which for many people is not trivial.
Ned Soltz: New Tech tried to address that with its solution, in that it can also be backward compatible. With legacy coax situations and installations. But yes, ultimately to go totally IP there will be total rewiring of facilities. So it is an investment but I think it is a trend that we are going to be seeing, more and more of over the coming years right now.
Larry Jordan: Interesting, I am also interested in what kind of flexibility it provides. We will talk about that in the future. I want to shift gears back to lenses. What is happening in lenses?
Ned Soltz: Lenses has been fascinating this time, because we are starting to see a whole new range of lenses. We have been shooting with this less expensive large sensor cameras and essentially using still lenses on them. Or if we don’t use still lenses then we are going into much more expensive cine lenses. Now there is an intermediate level of lens. Which is marketing at a cine lens. Something available generally in EF or PL mounts. Sometimes individually, sometimes the mounts are interchangeable, depending on the product. But we are seeing lenses, let’s say the $3500 to $14000 range. With longer throws for focusing, with better cine glass, with larger elements which are more precise, so let’s focus breathing. Both in terms of primes and in terms of zoom lenses and we saw a number of introductions at IBC this year, in that area.
Larry Jordan: Well James DeRuvo, during the Doddle News update, mentioned also that there was a number of announcements at Photokina. What caught you attention?
Ned Soltz: What caught my attention at Photokina was three specific cameras. One right now, in reality, the Sony Alpha 99 ii, which will be shipping in a month or two. Which is incorporating the same sensor as the mirrorless Sony A7R ii, but it is a mirrored, although fixed mirrored camera. New auto focus system, Slog 2, Slog 3, for video shooters, extraordinarily fast auto focus, but that auto focus doesn’t carry over into video functions.
Ned Soltz: A definite advance in the Sony Alpha line. As well as the prototype announced of the Panasonic GH5, which is very exciting. With internal 4K video, 4K 60p video shot internally, I mean, that has got a lot of excitement ahead of it. As well as Olympus’ entry now, into 4K video. All of these are prototype cameras for some time next year, but certainly great developments and certainly welcomed by GH4 shooters, and other Micro Four Thirds shooters, that is going to be very exciting next year to see that development.
Larry Jordan: So camera technology is not dead?
Ned Soltz: Oh by no means, only the tip of the iceberg.
Larry Jordan: Ned for people who want to keep track of what you are writing, where can they go on the web?
Ned Soltz: Well the best place is Creativeplanetnetworks.com or redshocknews.com both of those are going to be airing articles.
Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is the writer that seems to be everywhere. Ned thanks for joining us today, we will talk to you soon.
Ned Soltz: Thank you Larry.
Larry Jordan: Scott Page is a musician, technologist and serial entrepreneur. He currently serves as the CEO of Ignited Network which is a start-up music accelerator. Focused on teaching artists how to think like a start-up. Hello Scott welcome back.
Scott Page: Hi Larry, good to talk to you again.
Larry Jordan: Well we are at the end of our five step process, the space process, which we can follow to grow our business. Just to summarise, the letter S stands for Story, and it is how we describe our business and our passion to others. P stands for Plan, it is a method for setting goals, for ourselves and our company. A stands for Army, a group of people committed to expanding our brand. C stands for Conversion which gets people to convert their interest in us, into buying our products. And that leaves, just one letter, E.
Scott Page: E stands for Education, and this one is really important because in order to implement the rest of the space model, we have to get educated. Marketing has shifted more in the last three to five years than it has in the last 50 years. We now have the ability to go direct to consumer in a different way, we can talk to our customers, so we now need to learn how to use these new tools that are so important for the new independent, kind of, contact creator businesses. So what do you do? How do you do that? I am always amazed how many people do not really use Google in the right way. All you have to do is start asking questions.
Scott Page: My first thing that I would tell these, find the thought leaders, the people that really understand your business and start following them and learning. You can go online and you can type in, like last week, talk about conversation funnels. Type it in, and you will find tons of information on that. Start looking and finding different folks that you can gain knowledge. I have a couple of sites that I would recommend. One is called Hubspot. And Hubspot is a company that has online marketing services, but what they have in there is a tab called the Academy Tab. In there is over a hundred free ebooks, ebooks like How to Use Twitter for Business, How to Run a Facebook Ad Campaign. All the types of things you need today to really understand, how to reach and target your audience and convert. There is another one I want to bring up, Copyblogger.com. One of my favorite sites of all time, this is all about content marketing and how to write compelling copy. It’s my favorite email, I would suggest signing up to their newsletter, and getting that everyday. So it is really about finding those folks, that have great information, and can help you learn the different things that you need to really succeed today in this new world of how marketing works.
Larry Jordan: So education is not for our audience, the education is for ourselves?
Scott Page: Exactly, because it is so different now than I was before. Marketing used to be a different thing, now we have the ability to do a lot of these things ourselves. There are so many wonderful tools out there to help you, but if you do not know about them, and you are not educated, you are going to have a hard time figuring this stuff out.
Larry Jordan: So, Story, Plan, Army, Conversion and Education. A five step process to growing a business. Scott this is very cool. Where can people go on the web to learn more about the stuff you are doing?
Scott Page: Go to Ignited.network that is no dot com, just ignited.network.
Larry Jordan: And Scott Page is the CEO of Ignited Network. Scott this has been a great visit, thank you so much for your time.
Scott Page: Thanks again, Larry, talk to you soon.
Larry Jordan: Here is another website I want to introduce you to, doddlenews.com. Doddle News gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It is a leading online resource presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. Doddle News also offers a resource guide, and crew management platforms specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings provide in depth organizational tools for busy production professionals. Doddle News is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, film makers and story tellers. From photography to film making, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals, or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project. There is only one place to go, doddlenews.com.
Larry Jordan: Boris Yamnitsky is the founder and president of Boston based, Boris FX. His company creates effects and graphics tools for the video, post production, and broadcast industries. He founded Boris FX in 1995, and currently they have more than a million users. Hello Boris welcome back.
Boris Yamnitsky: Hi Larry.
Larry Jordan: So I just want to hear the news directly. What did you announce at IBC?
Boris Yamnitsky: Well our biggest news was the acquisition of GemArts and the Sapphire product line.
Larry Jordan: Why did you acquire GenArts?
Boris Yamnitsky: Well it is a fabulous product, we have been working side by side for so many years. I am a big fan of the company and their products, and we have been working the same market, same customers. There is a lot of synergy, a lot of momentum that is very beneficial for both companies in this merger. I usually refer to it as a merger, because it is basically a merger of the minds and the merger of the teams, and technologies that make up all these products.
Larry Jordan: Well you have been working side by side for so many years, why suddenly change your thinking and bring them on board?
Boris Yamnitsky: Actually the idea is not new, it has been bounced around for years. We just thought it was the right time, and right opportunity and of course, both companies jumped at it.
Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting, you started the company in 1995, and for the first ten years, give or take a little bit, you were happily moving along doing your own thing. Then in 2014, you merged with Imagineer, and now in 2016 you are merging with GenArts. Is this a new focus on acquisitions rather than internal growth?
Boris Yamnitsky: It is both. We are always interested in other companies and what other teams are doing in the industry. Obviously we would like to benefit from more than just our internal development team. At the same time our internal development team have done very nice really, in the sanctity of time. Moving our product lines along. So it is a dual strategy. But it works very well for our business.
Larry Jordan: So what happens to the GenArts team?
Boris Yamnitsky: We are all going to be working out of Boris FX headquarters in downtown Boston. Side by side. This is a very exciting opportunity because just this morning we had an engineering conference call, where engineers from Imagineer who are working out of the UK, Cambridge office, so GenArts and the Boston office of Boris FX, were all sharing ideas about plugging integration, about technology, about knowhow, and for me personally it was very very exciting me to hear this happening, and the brightest engineers in the space all essentially working under the same roof.
Larry Jordan: GenArts is best known for Sapphire, which has been around for a long time. Are you going to leave Sapphire as a standalone product, or is it going to get integrated into Boris Continuum Complete, or whatever that becomes in the future?
Boris Yamnitsky: There is obviously no plans to change any of the existing brands, or existing product lines. What will happen though is a lot of the technologies that are on both sides, or I should say all three companies, will be leveraged, will be shared between the products. We have already successfully proven that strategy with integrating Mocha tracking into the Boris Continuum. In the end our customers will benefit from this merger.
Larry Jordan: How about existing GenArts customers, what do they need to do? What do they need to know? And should they be nervous?
Boris Yamnitsky: They definitely should not be nervous, as a matter of fact, Sapphire announcement about a week ago, and shipping is scheduled within days. If anything they should expect more integration, more features, better performance and in the end better solutions, in the product they know and love.
Larry Jordan: Earlier in the program we talked to Blackmagic about their announcements at IBC, where they acquired both Ultimatte and Fairlight. You have been acquiring recently both Imagineer and GenArts, is consolidation where the industry is headed right now?
Boris Yamnitsky: It is not so much consolidation, and I want you to think for a moment that both Mocha and Sapphire are the best. Very well developed and fast moving products. They actually represent the future of this market. These are not slowing down or undervalued products, these are really the flagships of the market.
Larry Jordan: So you don’t think consolidation is the future?
Boris Yamnitsky: I do not think so. It is not just about consolidation, it is not just about putting several companies or products in the same space. It is leveraging the technology, it is taking advantage of teams working together, sharing their knowhow, sharing their experience. Plus there is a lot of advantage in smaller companies joining together, not so much in smaller companies joining a very large company, but smaller companies when they join together, every company has to have a website and all kinds of marketing and sales tools, expenses and trade show booths. So all this can be put together under the same roof and resources can then be channelled in more productive ways. So there is a lot of benefit for the companies and customers.
Larry Jordan: I know that the big announcements was the acquisition of GenArts, but you also made some other IBC announcements, what is happening elsewhere with Boris and Mocha?
Boris Yamnitsky: I think our biggest news at IBC, was the announcement of Mocha VR, and that is our layer of foray into the emerging VR space which is very exciting. It is a brand new direction for the company and for the group of the companies, and both products. We are very active and working in this space, and very excited, to be early adaptors of this technology. Mocha VR is going to be pretty amazing, and at the same time, we announced more support of DCC.
Larry Jordan: What can we look forward to in the future, what do you think next year is going to hold? What trends are you watching at the moment?
Boris Yamnitsky: On the market in general there is definitely going to be more visual effects used, in both production, broadcast, film. That is the general trend, and I just know that our group of companies and that Imagineer, Boris and GenArt will be very well positioned to address the growing need for visual effects. With three excellent product lines, Mocha Boris Complete and the GenArt Sapphire.
Larry Jordan: Boris, for people that want more information on the web, where can go?
Boris Yamnitsky: They can definitely go to HYPERLINK “http://www.borisfx.com” www.borisfx.com there is also HYPERLINK “http://www.genart.com” www.genart.com and HYPERLINK “http://www.imagineersystems.com” www.imagineersystems.com
Larry Jordan: Three websites and no waiting. Boris Yamnitsky is the founder and president of Boston based, Boris FX Boris it is always fun visiting with you, thank you very much for joining us.
Boris Yamnitsky: Thank you very much Larry for having me.
Larry Jordan: We will continue our look at announcements from IBC next week, as we talk with the CEO of Cooke Optics about their latest cine lenses. It has been an interesting exploration of IBC, not only new technology and new products, but new spins on existing technology, which I find fascinating. I want to thank our guests for this week, Dan May of Blackmagic Design US. Boris Yamnitsky of Boris FX. Ned Soltz with Creative Planet. Laura Blum with Thalo Arts. Scott Page, Ignited Networks and James DeRuvo with Doddle News.
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