Digital Production Buzz
September 8, 2016
Tom Andersen, Co-Founder, Palmer Andersen
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
Maxim Jago, Director, MaximJago.com
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Creative Planet Network
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Network
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS
Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, since the dawn of email we’ve been accumulating thousands and thousands of messages, but how do we keep track of all those important business communiques? Tom Andersen, the co-founder of Palmer Andersen, has developed Email Archiver Pro. Tonight, discover how this utility can help you regain control over your electronic correspondence.
Larry Jordan: Next, Philip Hodgetts travels to Amsterdam to share his thoughts on what to expect tomorrow, when the IBC 2016 trade show opens. And, thinking of IBC, Ned Soltz, contributing editor to the Creative Planet network, continues by sharing his thoughts on what new camera gear we can expect.
Larry Jordan: Then, producer director Maxim Jago reports from Venice, Italy, about the ongoing Venice Film Festival. This show has grown in importance over the years, especially for independent filmmakers, as Maxim explains.
Larry Jordan: Next, Scott Page continues his five part series on growing a successful creative business using his SPACE process. Over the last two weeks, Scott has explained the letter S and P, and tonight we discover what A stands for. And, as always, James DeRuvo wraps up the week’s news in our DoddleNEWS Update. The Buzz starts now.
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Larry Jordan: From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, The Digital Production Buzz goes live now.
Larry Jordan: And welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry, covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. My name is Larry Jordan.
Larry Jordan: Well, it’s an exciting week for filmmakers. Yesterday, Apple announced the new iPhone 7 and 7 plus, featuring a greatly expanded camera and, tomorrow, the IBC trade show opens in Amsterdam. Tonight’s show provides a variety on both of these events.
Larry Jordan: IBC is always an interesting show. It’s one of the two major events in our industry each year that many developers use to announce, promote and release new products. It’s our second largest trade show, and the largest one in Europe. It’s filled with conferences, news and exhibits that we’ll be hearing more about over the next several months. Now, I don’t expect anything revolutionary, rather I expect IBC to continue to the rapid evolution in cameras, storage, virtual reality and graphics processing that’s become an accelerating trend over the last few years, and we’ll have more on this throughout tonight’s show.
Larry Jordan: I also want to remind you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com. 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. With our first look at IBC, here is James DeRuvo with a DoddleNEWS update. Hello, James!
James DeRuvo: Hello Larry! Well, fasten your seatbelts because, even though IBC hasn’t started yet, we already have a ton of IBC news.
Larry Jordan: Well, what’s new with IBC?
James DeRuvo: Well, Adobe recently announced a new Creative Cloud update, which focuses on key projects collaboration. You’re able to edit through multiple edit workstations through the use of proxies and notifications keep track of changes and conversations so everybody stays on the same page. There’s a live text feature through After Effects, that enables you to make last minute title changes without the need of re-rendering, and Adobe has expanded its HDR10 support. In After Effects, there’s an automatic detection and monoscopic and stereoscopic video for virtual reality and, for the use of the new character animation utility, they now are able to share puppets through a .puppet file which contains all the character attributes and details.
Larry Jordan: Very cool.
James DeRuvo: Then over at Sigma, which is one of those lens brands that’s like a Visio of lenses. There’s real high performance for a very affordable price, and they just announced eight brand new lenses that are divided up into three separate categories: a high speed zoom category, a full frame zoom category, and a high speed prime category. In the high speed zoom category, they are announcing an 18-35mm T2, a 50-100mm T2, and the in the full frame zoom line, a 24-35mm T2. Then for the full frame high speed prime line, they’ve got a 20mm, a 24mm, 35mm, a 50mm, and an 85mm, and all of those lenses are at T1.5, so they’re screaming fast.
Larry Jordan: Alright, so we’ve got Adobe and Sigma, what else is new?
James DeRuvo: Panasonic also announced the VariCam Pure, which is essentially a VariCam 35 that will house the new Codex V2-Raw recorder in a combined modular fashion. The hybrid camera will only shoot in 4K Raw, at frame rates of up to 120fps, and it comes as a direct response to customer demand for being able to shoot in uncompressed Raw at those high frame rates.
James DeRuvo: There’s no word on when the VariCam Pure will be available or how much, but insiders say that users of the VariCam 35 now will essentially be able to just add the V2 Raw recorder to their camera when it comes out later this year and have a similar configuration.
Larry Jordan: Well, there’s a lot more announcements coming from IBC. We’ll have more from this on Ned Soltz and Philip Hodgetts later on in the show, but I want to take a step back and look to yesterday. What struck you as most significant in Apple’s announcements?
James DeRuvo: Well, Apple’s announcements were basically all around cameras. The new camera of the new iPhone 7 is going to have a new six element lens, with an F1.8 aperture setting, so it’s going to be pretty fast. You’ll be able to have a lot better performance in low light. It’ll also have optical image stabilization, and the iPhone 7 plus, which is the larger twin, is going to have two rear facing 12MP cameras. One is a wide angled lens and the second a 56mm telephoto, so you’ll be able to have 2X optical zoom and a 10X digital zoom. But the killer feature is coming in a firmware update later this year, where Apple promises that shooters will be able to have a shallow depth of field and … for the first time in the iPhone’s product line. But that’s only going to be in the new portrait mode for stills. I really don’t think that’s going to impact the video portion of the camera until probably next year when they introduce the iPhone 7S.
Larry Jordan: Could be fun. There’s lots of stuff both coming from IBC and more things to learn about Apple. For folks that want to keep track of what the news is in our industry, where can they go on the web?
James DeRuvo: You can find all these stories and others at doddlenews,com.
Larry Jordan: And senior writer for DoddleNEWS is James DeRuvo, and James, thanks for joining us today. We’ll talk to you next week.
James DeRuvo: Okay, Larry.
Larry Jordan: Take care, bye! I’ll be back with Tom Andersen right after this.
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Larry Jordan: With a background in cosmology and particle physics, Tom Andersen is a serial entrepreneur who has spent two decades writing a series of successful and well-reviewed Macintosh and IOS applications. He’s the co-founder of Palmer Andersen, and has developed an interesting utility called Email Archiver Pro. Hello Tom, welcome!
Tom Andersen: Hi, and thanks for having me.
Larry Jordan: It’s my pleasure. Tom, let’s start with an easy question: how would you describe your company, Palmer Andersen?
Tom Andersen: Well, we do sort of a little bit of everything. We actually develop websites for customers like magazines and we develop web applications for all sorts of different businesses, and then we also do a couple of things on our own and one of the bigger ones, as you know, is Archiver. We do a couple of other applications on our own like our Lead Assign and Spotdox applications. I guess we’re going to talk about Email Archiver today.
Larry Jordan: We do indeed, but I have another couple of questions for you. You’re the Chief Technology Officer, why did you decide to found the company?
Tom Andersen: We used to be in Toronto and I found myself out of the city working by myself, and I basically started a very small office with a friend of mine who is more on the design side of it, James Palmer, and we decided to start a company together and hire a few people, and now we have an ongoing little concern in our small lakeside town here in Thornbury.
Larry Jordan: Well, you’ve mentioned that one of the products that you’ve created is called Email Archiver Pro. What is it?
Tom Andersen: Well, what it does is it takes an email account or a whole company’s email account and turns them into PDFs. What that does is allows it to get out paper quality archive of all your email, and people use that for various reasons, like getting a backup that they can count on, because PDFs will be a digital archive format for many decades to come, and sometimes people feel that their email is just sitting in the cloud and one bad keystroke or something like that and it’s just gone. So this allows some companies and individuals to get control of that.
Larry Jordan: Who would you continue a target customer?
Tom Andersen: I guess we have a couple of target customers. One is just a person who wants to change their email account from say, a Hotmail account, to an Office 365 account, or something like that. They may not have the technical expertise to run the whole import and export of the email on their own, and if they go and try and hire someone to do it, it will cost them a lot of money and at the same time they don’t want to take a chance and lose all that information. This allows them to get it all down on their computer and then maybe try and do the conversion, and if it works it works. If it doesn’t, they’re okay, because they still have all the information safely on their computer and organized in file folder format of PDFs and all the attachments are all exported out into folders. So that’s one kind of customer, and then the other kind of customer is small to medium size offices that need to archive their emails for reasons like business rules or laws that force you to make sure you have archives of your emails. Some of our competition, I guess you could say, for bigger companies and medium size companies is more along the Oracle sales person kind of thing, where you’re talking a lot of money before you get started. We have an app that you run on a Mac and enter in a bunch of email addresses.
Larry Jordan: I was looking at your website and thinking about this, and we’re going to talk pricing in a moment, but it’s totally affordable for individuals as well as companies. I’ve got say three computers, and I may be sending email to the same email account, but from different computers, can you pull all that information and consolidate it, or do I need to have three versions of your application, one for each computer?
Tom Andersen: Well, usually you can just run it on any computer. It doesn’t even have to be the computer where your email is on, but it depends on what your email habits are and how long you’ve had an email habit. I find a lot of people who have been, like me and probably you, who have been doing emails for decades, some of the email is just on their computer and it’s nowhere in the cloud. What we do for that kind of email is vital. We pull it out of Apple Mail or wherever it’s sitting and turn it into PDFs so that it really exists somewhere. Then the other thing we can do is connect to an IMAP account, just given the authorization for that, and then download and convert the emails into PDFs on the fly like that. So there’s really multiple ways of getting your email into it.
Larry Jordan: One way is it reads the stuff that’s on the disk, and the other way is it acts like its own email client, goes up to the email server and says hi, give me whatever you’ve got?
Tom Andersen: Right, exactly. So the first time you run it, it might take a few hours or so to generate 10-50,000 emails and then the next time you run it, it just generates the 200-300 you’ve gotten in the last day or so.
Larry Jordan: You’ve seen my email collection! What platforms does it work on?
Tom Andersen: It’s a Mac only product. We are actually thinking about doing a web version, where there is no app to download, you just go on the internet and use it, but there’s a few hurdles to cross for that. I think we’ve got a handle on that, and we’re looking at that next year.
Larry Jordan: Well emails, at least on Apple Mail, and they vary from application to application, each email is an individual file stored on your computer. When we consolidate them using Archiver Pro, are they separate PDF files, which means the file size is going to balloon, or do you put them into single documents, or how does it work technically?
Tom Andersen: Each email will turn into a PDF and then if it’s got attachments those attachments go into an attachment folder of the same name as the PDF, and we name the PDF with the date and the subject of the email. There’s a few options there. But then what happens with the size of it, as I thought too when I was writing it that it would be a lot bigger, but for a typical person’s email who gets some attachments and that kind of thing, it actually is about the same storage size as the original mail file because the individual little text emails go from being 1K to say 10 or 15Kb for a PDF, but the attachments get unpacked from the bin hex way that they are, and they actually shrink by 30 percent. Those are your multi-megabyte photos and everything, so it ends up balancing out. It depends, obviously, exactly what kind of emails you’ve got. The other thing about Apple’s email format on disk is that it’s basically a cache, and Apple has been trying to hide it from their users and that kind of thing, and even us, over the years, so it’s not something you should think of as being your email but it’s rather Apple’s own private format for each file. They do have export options, but it turns them into an MBox file, which isn’t something that most people want to deal with.
Larry Jordan: So when I archive my emails, am I losing access to them in the email program, or are they actually duplicated?
Tom Andersen: Sorry, I should have pointed that out. We are 100 percent a read only company, and we make PDFs and we never erase them, so it’s an archive tool.
Larry Jordan: And the original emails remain, and I would have to delete them manually?
Tom Andersen: Yes, exactly, because there are just too many issues. Like if a user made an archive and they thought it was done and it wasn’t done, and then you know, we don’t want to delete anything! That’s up to you. If you go through and you make 40,000 and then you say “Oh yes, I have 40,000 emails in here, everything looks good,” then you go through and delete … it only take a few minutes, from your email account. That’s how we recommend dealing with it.
Larry Jordan: I should mention that these PDFs are fully searchable, which is a good thing, because I dream of getting my email organized and planned and searchable. That’s my dream, and I will probably be dead before I actually achieve that, but it sounds like this is a good place to start.
Tom Andersen: Yes. Customers like law firms and that kind of thing use us to sometimes archive a whole account or sometimes just one folder of emails for a specific client or specific project, and that allows you to take the archive of those emails and pour them into the same finished product at discovery or whatever it is, that you can send off to people, and then you have it all in one package, a record of all our correspondence over the course of the project. So we have a lot of people who do it for those reasons.
Larry Jordan: How have you priced it? How much am I investing?
Tom Andersen: The single copy is $39,99, and that’s for most people. It does five emails and it will do 500,000 emails if that’s what you have in those five email addresses. Then we have a business version that is 30 email addresses, and its $100, and then we have an enterprise version, which is basically the same as the business version. It’s unlimited email addresses, but basically the enterprise is $500 because it includes enterprise level support.
Larry Jordan: Cool, and this is in the Mac App Store, or do we get it from your website?
Tom Andersen: It is in the Mac App Store. You can buy it from our website or the Mac App Store. I kind of prefer our own website, because we make a little bit more, but also the Mac App Store has an architecture lockdown that makes it harder to write applications like email archiver. It’s the same app right now, but I can’t say what Apple will do in the future. It seems that sometimes they change their mind on certain things.
Larry Jordan: One more quick question. You develop a lot of different applications. What technology trends are you keeping your eye on now? I say that because IBC is tomorrow, and we’re always interested in what the new stuff is.
Tom Andersen: I guess I’m a developer so I look at development trends. I think the next biggest trend is this Swift language in the server space at Apple, and I think that my frustration when I write server software is that the tools just don’t compare to when I write desktop software in Swift for Mac apps and IOS apps. With Apple teaming up with IBM, they’re going to be pushing this Swift technology, and what it allows us to do is build these web apps that are just going to be so much faster and so much easier to debug and build and everything. I’m really excited about that. For me, that’s a big thing coming up, but there’s lots of other things too.
Larry Jordan: Cool! Tom, for people that want more information about Email Archiver Pro, where can they go on the web?
Tom Andersen: Well, that’s simple. Just go to emailarchiverpro.com.
Larry Jordan: And the co-founder of Palmer Andersen, the company that wrote Email Archiver Pro, is Tom Andersen. Thanks for joining us today.
Tom Andersen: Thank you for your time and thank everyone for listening.
Larry Jordan: Our pleasure. Take care, bye-bye.
Tom Andersen: See you!
Larry Jordan: Maxim Jago is a film director, a screenwriter and an author, who splits his time between filmmaking and speaking as a futurist. He is also the Chief Innovation Officer at filmdo.com and a mentor for new filmmakers, and he is on the road. Hello, Maxim, welcome back!
Maxim Jago: Hello, Larry, it’s lovely to be speaking with you.
Tom Andersen: I have to ask, where are you?
Maxim Jago: I’m in Venice. I’m actually on the Lido at the Venice Film Festival.
Larry Jordan: Now we’re talking Italy here, not California, correct?
Maxim Jago: That’s right. I’ve still never been to Venice Beach. I hear the ice cream is good there, too.
Larry Jordan: The ice cream is amazing, but the architecture is totally different! Why are you at the Venice Film Festival?
Maxim Jago: Well, usually at this time of year I’m on my way to Amsterdam to speak at IBC, but we’re working hard to build up the public awareness and raise the finance for ‘Jolie’s Garden,’ our feature project, so I’ve come over to Italy. It’s my first time at the festival; I’m a regular at others, but this one I think will be a regular visitor for in the future.
Larry Jordan: Well, the Venice Film Festival has been growing over time. What is it that attracts you to it?
Maxim Jago: I read it’s the oldest film festival in the world now, and what’s interesting for me is, if you look at the films that come out in festivals like Sundance, maybe Sundance Toronto and here in Venice, they have a great emphasis on the visual, a great emphasis on the cinematography, on the composition, the art direction, and so we felt that it was a good festival to make a proper connection with.
Larry Jordan: Are they focusing on a particular genre of film, or are they screening everything?
Maxim Jago: Well, they’re screening everything. In fact I’ve just come out of a screening of a beautifully restored presentation of Woody Allen’s ‘Manhattan.’ But what’s interesting for us as well, is this is a festival where they’ve fully embraced and incorporated 360 film into the festival. They’ve been having screenings and what was billed as the first 360 feature film, which is a VR film, ‘Jesus 360,’ a film about Jesus the Messiah, which has been screening in specially designed theatres with 30 swivel chairs and headsets so that people can experience the story in VR. I haven’t seen the film, but they absolutely meant it. You know, it’s a serious story that’s told earnestly, and apparently people find it very moving. So they are fully embracing very new technology and new mediums in addition to it being a very well-established classic film festival.
Larry Jordan: Have you watched any of the 360 films? Can they actually tell a story using VR 360?
Maxim Jago: I haven’t watched the 360 films here at the festival, but I have seen other 360 films. You absolutely can tell a story. I think that the dramatic mechanism is the same as immersive theatre, and as long as you understand those rules you can make films using this new medium. It’s actually very freeing. Interestingly, I saw a film by Amir Naderi, ‘The Mountain,’ and he won a Glory to the Filmmaker award for it. It’s not a 360 film, but it’s interesting, because it’s very immersive, and it’s very emotional, with very little dialogue, really just about the texture. A friend of mine, Tom Paul, did the mix for it, and it’s all very much about the audio. That’s something that I think is really wonderful about this festival is that it places emphasis on films which are more experiential and not necessarily classic narrative.
Larry Jordan: For people that are interested in learning more, the Venice Film Festival’s website is labiennale.org. You’re heading on to IBC, but for people that want to keep track of you, Maxim, between now and then where can they go on the web?
Maxim Jago: I’m maximjago.com, pretty easy to find. The film we’re developing, ‘Jolie’s Garden,’ is joliesgarden.com.
Larry Jordan: And that’s Maxim Jago, a film director and producer and screenwriter. Thanks for joining us today.
Maxim Jago: Thank you so much, Larry, lovely to speak to you.
Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is an author, editor, educator and consultant on all things related to digital video. He’s also a contributing editor for Creative Planet, a moderator on 2-Pop and Creative COW forums, and a good friend to the Buzz. Hello Ned, welcome back!
Ned Soltz: Hello, Larry! Good to be with everybody tonight.
Larry Jordan: Well, we are glad to have you with us because, you may be surprised to know, that IBC starts tomorrow and, in case it doesn’t come as a surprise, what’s the latest news in cameras…
Ned Soltz: Well, with all of the press releases that have been coming across the desk and all the articles I’ve been writing the last day or two, I’m not surprised about IBC at all! So we’re seeing camera introductions in the Canon C700, that was a surprise that came out of nowhere for everybody.
Larry Jordan: Last week.
Ned Soltz: Last week, right. But we’re also seeing a lot of lens introductions, and I think that’s also speaking to some interesting trends right now. Specifically I know we’ve already talked about the Sigma line that’s coming out, the Cine House lenses, and the zooms and the primes.
Ned Soltz: Zeiss has had a number of announcements this week already, with 21-100mm lightweight zoom, and a T2.9-3.9 and again, we’re looking in the $10,000 range for that, as we are with the full frame Novus lenses, 15 and 18, at 135mm, and they’re in the under $3,000 range. Lenses that are suitable for still as well as for prime work and video.
Ned Soltz: The most unique of all of these, though, are these Angenieux EZ series. The EZ1 and the EZ2 are being marketed by Angenieux in cooperation with Band Pro, that had some aspect of development, I’m certain, in the whole project. Basically each of these, the EZ1 and EZ2 have interchangeable lens elements which allow them to either be a Super 35 or a full frame. So the EZ1, for example, in the Super 35, is a 30-90mm T2. You change the lens element out, and they have a YouTube video of how to change it and, of course, the technician makes it look very easy, and I know the moment I would do it I’m going to have screws all over the floor! The cat will eat them, and I’ll be combing the litterbox for the screws! But it then can be exchanged for a rear element that turns it into a 40-135mm T3.
Ned Soltz: Likewise, their EZ2 is a 15-40 T2 in a Super 35 format. Change out that rear lens block, and you have a 22-60mm T3. Now we’re probably talking in the $20,000 plus range here.
Larry Jordan: Well, I could say that a lot of new lenses are coming into focus.
Ned Soltz: Oh, they are coming into focus, but also what’s coming into focus here is, I think, a certain maturation in the industry, and the recognition that, for many uses and many applications, we can use our relatively inexpensive 35mm still lenses for video, but those that are really looking for high quality or high production value are really going to have to look to the cine lenses. The excitement of Sigma is, I dare say, these are going to be a little more popularly priced, but we’re still at the $3,000 plus range.
Ned Soltz: But again, the other thing I tell people is they will begin to shy away at these prices, you don’t have to own it!
Larry Jordan: That’s true.
Ned Soltz: They’ll be shipping over a lot of gear these days. You’re probably far better off, if you do have a shoot on that level, of renting that lens and building that cost into your production. On the other hand, I know a shooter that had a significant gig with the PGA, for example, and so it was certainly economical of him to own, in his case, a very nice Angenieux zoom in the $20,000-$25,000 range, but he was using that every week in PGA. But by and large, rental is a possibility, so I think there’s an excitement there.
Larry Jordan: And Ned, we don’t have an entire evening here!
Ned Soltz: Well, we got a lot of lenses, that’s the problem.
Larry Jordan: What’s happening with Convergent Design?
Ned Soltz: They’ve got this unique upgrade to the Odyssey or the Apollo, that they’re calling Titan, which effectively allows you to shoot in 4K, output that to your Apollo or to your Titan and then create three shots out of that, and then a fourth shot for Alpha. So you bring in the 4K signal, you’ll get a representation on the screen of the full image, and then you can create two windows that effectively, at HD resolution, and you can switch between all of them just by pushing or dragging either a cut or a dissolve, depending on how you set that. So essentially you can use one camera for a multicam. We’re doing a lot of that now, where I know I shoot a lot of 4K for HD delivery, and just reframe in post. Now a lot of that can be done right on the recorder, and it’s not even permanent, because you’ll get the ISO’s of all of this, and then Titan will write an EDL to your SSDs, so you can bring that EDL into any of your NLEs and make adjustments accordingly and have all of those cuts that you’ve done in the recording device. That’s going to be a $1295 add-on to your Odyssey or Apollo, but they’re going to have an introductory special of $995.
Larry Jordan: And what’s happening with Sony? I understand there’s some big news coming.
Ned Soltz: Well, they have a press conference on Friday morning, and I do know of a couple of things that are going to be announced there that I really can’t talk about right now, so you’re just going to have to watch the Sony conference at 9 am CET, which East Coast is 3 am, but for you guys over on the west coast, California, that’s going to be midnight.
Larry Jordan: I will have my feet up on the sofa and some popcorn ready to go.
Ned Soltz: Right, and you’ll see what they’re doing. You know, the one thing that I do know for sure that my Sony folks have told me, and that I’m cleared to be able to say, is there’s not going to be an F5 or F55 replacement announced tomorrow, nor is that really even on the immediate horizon. So we can put that to bed. Those cameras are being constantly improved through firmware v8, and the F5-55 will ship on the 15th of September, as well as the new AXS-R7 recorder, which will have the dual slot recording as well as the XOCN compressed 16 bit codec.
Larry Jordan: And Eric in our live chat wants to know if VR is going to be as prevalent at IBC as it was at NAB?
Ned Soltz: That’s a good question. I know KIA got some announcements that they are doing about an SDK for their little device that looks like a tortured Princess Leia. That’s all I can think of when I see that KIA device. You know, I think it’s there, I think the potential is there. It’s not going to reach its full potential until somebody really discovers how to create true narrative work in VR, and then to be able to distribute it publicly. I think we’re going to see it, and Adobe’s already announced that a future version of the Creative Cloud is going to be greater VR support. It’s there, it’s a player and I’m sure we’ll see more development of it at IBC than we did at NAB this year.
Larry Jordan: Very cool. Ned, for people that want more information about what you are thinking and writing, where can they go on the web?
Ned Soltz: Well, they can first of all these days go to redsharknews.com, and creativeplanetnetworks.com as well. So that’s two places where I hang out and can be seen.
Larry Jordan: Thank you, Ned Soltz, contributing editor for Creative Planet, now owns Red Shark as well. Ned, thanks for joining us today, we’ll talk to you soon.
Ned Soltz: Goodbye.
Larry Jordan: Bye.
Larry Jordan: Scott Page is a musician, technologist and serial entrepreneur. He currently is 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: Hey Larry, it seems like we just did this!
Larry Jordan: You know, we are in the middle of a conversation on what you call SPACE, the five step process that we can follow to grow our business. S stands for Story, and it’s how we describe our business and our passions to others.
Larry Jordan: The letter P stands for Plan, which is to set measurable goals that we can use to determine where we’re headed as a company and whether or not we’re meeting them, but what’s the letter A stand for?
Scott Page: That stands for Army, and what I mean by that is when we did Monty Python and we launched Pythonline, one of the first things I did was build the Python army. What I did was put out a cattle call to all the fans, all the super fans out there, and said I need a Photoshop guy, I need a video editor, I need some bloggers. I built that army, and that army became my content and marketing engine, and it really didn’t cost me anything, so what I try to teach artists or content creators is you need to build your army first. Those are the early adopters, those people, and bring them into the fold and basically be able to start using. So it’s really looking at the influencers, because I believe influencing the influencer is one of the great tools that you can use to kind of help grow your business. So building your army is really finding those people that are passionate, figuring out how to get them involved in your content creation, and have them be part of your marketing engine.
Larry Jordan: Well it’s easy to say, but it’s hard to do. How do we find them, and then how do we convince them to sign up?
Scott Page: Well see, that’s the trick! Here’s the deal, finding your super fans is really critical. So if you are a content creator, and you have your social media, you want to find those people that are constantly talking about your content, retweeting your content, sharing your content and finding those folks. The second thing is just look around you. You know, one of the things I tell artists is that you’ve got fans that come to the club every week, and I’m saying do you know what they do? We found one artist, they started asking, and they said well, I found one guy’s a web developer, another one is a copywriter, so I was able to talk to them, put a plan together and actually bring them into the fold. But if you don’t know what your fans are doing, it’s very difficult to know what to expect and what you can actually do. You really have to put up some kind of value proposition for them, but you can definitely find those folks that care about your stuff and bring them into the fold. It’s interesting how many of them will really like to get involved.
Larry Jordan: So you’re asking them to work for free. How do you convince them to give you a hand?
Scott Page: Well, it’s not necessarily for free. That’s part of what you have to do as a business owner is figure out some sort of value proposition for them. I’ve seen it where some people have looked and found super fans that will work and do things, and they’ve even given them equity. I’ve seen them give them perks. I know with Monty Python we were giving away signed posters, we were giving away tickets to different shows. So you have to find some way to create value for that person, right? So it really depends on your business and what you can bring to the party.
Larry Jordan: Scott, we’re three letters in, we’ve got two more to go. Can we bring you back next week to talk about what the letter C stands for?
Scott Page: Absolutely. That’s the one where most people really fall down, and that’s a really critical one, and that’s called conversion.
Larry Jordan: And we will talk about that next week. For people that want to learn more about you, where can they go on the web?
Scott Page: Ignited.network
Larry Jordan: And Scott Page is the CEO of Ignited Network, and Scott, thanks for joining us today.
Scott Page: Thanks, Larry!
Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to: doddlenews.com. DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource, presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platform 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. DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts community, a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with the 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’s only one place to go: doddlenews.com.
Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts is the CEO of Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System. Even better, he’s a regular contributor to the Buzz. Hello Philip, welcome back!
Philip Hodgetts: Hello, Larry.
Larry Jordan: Philip, where are you right now?
Philip Hodgetts: Well, I am in a beautiful apartment in Amsterdam waiting for IBC to start tomorrow, and I love IBC because it’s an excellent reason to come to Amsterdam! It’s also a great way to learn about what’s going on in the technology space. It’s become the European counterpart to NAB in Las Vegas in April. Generally what gets announced in April gets shipped in September at IBC. It always used to be that way, anyway.
Larry Jordan: I was struck by that. IBC is the second largest trade show in our industry, and NAB in Las Vegas, as you mentioned, is the largest, but it seems like products, even more than they were in past years, are announced at NAB and then they don’t actually ship for about six months and they’re shipping at IBC in September. Do you think that’s an increasing trend?
Philip Hodgetts: It certainly has been a fairly prominent trend over the last couple of years. I guess there’s this push to get their message out there as quickly and early as they can in order to try and capture the space before they get competitors into it, so they announce it at NAB. But generally what they’re announcing at NAB is somewhat unformed, or not fully finished yet and, certainly, we have announcements at IBC that are not really fully finished and we’ll probably talk about this in a minute.
Philip Hodgetts: It also is a very different trade show, because it’s in Europe and not in the United States, and it appeals to more Europeans. You know, there are differences in culture, plus the fact that IBC goes for one extra day than NAB means that it’s a more relaxed pace and it just generally seems to be quieter. We don’t have quite as many booths that are competing in volume with the adjacent booths. So I tend to like it as a show better than I like NAB, and I like Amsterdam a lot more than I like Las Vegas.
Larry Jordan: Well, you made an interesting comment I want to follow up on. What are the cultural differences between a trade show in Europe and a trade show in the States?
Philip Hodgetts: I think it’s predominantly, that it is quieter, that people seem to be more polite. There’s no huge crowds in the aisles. Occasionally around a Black Magic or an Adobe booth there’ll be a crowd formed for a presentation, but overall the aisles aren’t as crowded, the booths aren’t as busy. You can get more face time with the people you want to talk to, and it’s just generally a more relaxed pace and that makes it more pleasant.
Larry Jordan: Amidst this relaxed pace and fewer crowds and more pleasant environment, what are some of the announcements you’re looking forward to hearing tomorrow?
Philip Hodgetts: I’m really looking forward to getting onto the Adobe booth and seeing a demonstration of their new team collaboration tools. This is what I was referencing to at the beginning. This is a pre-announcement of something that will ship later in the year, so we’re not seeing a finished product yet, but I find it very exciting to see where they’ve gone with Adobe Anywhere on the Mercury streaming engines to Adobe Anywhere on your local SAN infrastructure and now to this team product, which is another variation that runs on their cloud server and proxies, but also locally, and you can have multiple copies of it, and you can map file paths so that the drive that I have doesn’t have to have the exact same name, same location as the media files as the drive that you might have, but we can share projects and edits backwards and forwards.
Larry Jordan: I’m seeing an increasing emphasis on collaboration. I get a lot of press released before IBC starts, and collaboration is clearly one of the themes, not only between individuals and individual teams, but across companies, and collaboration between software. I’m very curious to see what you see at the show tomorrow.
Philip Hodgetts: I certainly will be looking out for it. Although I won’t get to the show probably until Monday, because of other things that have been happening in our schedule, but obviously anything to do with collaboration and particularly metadata and collaboration is going to be something that I’m interested in. It’s really the last unique feature that Avid’s Media Composer has that prevents other NLE’s taking over that segment of the market. I don’t think any NLE is going to take over that segment of the market quickly, but at least if there are shareable bins and shareable projects that people can collaborate on and, of course, in the Adobe world you can collaborate on After Effects and Audition projects as well through this team tool. So that’s a little bit more than you can do in Media Composer but, until we have that outside Media Composer, there’s no chance that people could substitute any other tool, and so I’m excited to see that Adobe are adding another choice to the mix.
Larry Jordan: Last week, we talked about Paul Babb – he’s the CEO of Maxon US – about his expectations regarding new announcements in virtual reality and augmented reality. Are you expecting anything there?
Philip Hodgetts: I’m sure there will be announcements in virtual reality and augmented reality. It’s a very interesting field, particularly, I think augmented reality over virtual reality. I see a bit future for virtual reality, but I also see a lot of hype. I see it having lots of applications outside narrative feature film, because what seems to happen is although you’ve got all this 360 or 180 degree view, people settle down and watch about 20 percent of the overall area that’s available to them once they’ve got over the novelty of it. The problem with virtual reality in a narrative setting is that a director has worked very, very hard, the director and editor together, to make you look where they want you to look when they want you to look there. Virtual reality is the exact opposite of that, so there are going to be some serious challenges for the way it works in narrative, but it’s going to be great for telepresence things, for gaming and for a range of other uses. It’s going to be fabulous.
Larry Jordan: You let this little thing drop a little earlier in the interview that your schedule has changed. What exciting news do you have?
Philip Hodgetts: Well, about a week before we left to fly over here, I received a phone call, ironically while out in the yard chopping up some branches, inviting me to the IBC Insight Forum, which is a new addition to the show this year that is trying to attract new delegates to the show and give it more diversity in geography and industry segments. So it’s a sea level opportunity – and seal level is the chief executive or chief operating officer or chief financial officer or a chief technical officer, that level of person. Because my registration says Chief Executive Officer they thought that I was important and they invited me onto this Insight Forum, which is going to be a great networking opportunity and also includes a full pass to the show.
Larry Jordan: That’s very exciting. Thinking about exciting, what are you doing at IBC itself? What are you companies doing?
Philip Hodgetts: Both companies are going to be participating in the Final Cut Pro X tour event which is in Spaces Zuidas, which is right near the IBC venue; it’s a short walk around the corner. It’s a very nice space. It’s expanded a lot from last year. There are two days of presentations, on Saturday and Sunday from about 10 until 4.30 and I’ll be doing one of those presentations on Saturday, showing some of the features of Lumberjack and how quickly you can put together and get results from a series of testimonial style interviews, and just generally talking to people about how we can improve our apps, how they are using them and what else we can help them do to make their life easier. And of course, on Sunday night is the Supermeet which, as you know, is a great group of people, because you’ve presented there in the past. It’s an exciting way for video enthusiasts in Europe to get together and share in the insanity that is the Supermeet. And it’s the best food of any Supermeet, absolutely! You’ve got to get your priorities right! I think it’s definitely the best food of any Supermeet!
Larry Jordan: If the food’s good, the event is good. We had a chance to talk to mike Horton and Dan Berube last week, and they have really showcased a wonderful show, so I’m sorry that I’m not able to attend, so watch for both of us. By the way, you’ve mentioned something a couple of times. Tell me what Lumberjack does.
Philip Hodgetts: Lumberjack is a real time keywording and pre-editing set of tools for Final Cut Pro X. We took the idea of keyword ranges and ran with that so you can create this keyword ranges during the shoot or with other tools after the shoot on existing material. It also pulls together things very quickly. So what I’ll be demonstrating on Saturday morning is how I’ve taken a series of three interviews that I logged, make one single multicam clip – two cameras, one audio angle – for the entire hour and a half of the shoot and then send that to Lumberyard. Lumberyard, which is where logs get processed, of course, and Lumberjack is called that because it’s a logger at its core. From Lumberyard you immediate get back not only each of the interviews identified by the person, but also a set of string-outs based on the content of the keywords. So all of the keywords, all the “Why did you get into singing?” keywords go together in one timeline. “What are your biggest problems?” go into one timeline. So pretty much you timeline keywords together, every timeline that you start working on. Then I wrap up that demonstration by showing how we can take multiple different shoots and bring the same keyword string-outs to the multiday shoot. At the heart that’s what Lumberjack does, it just makes that organizational and pre-editing setup much, much simpler.
Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about Lumberjack, where can they go on the web?
Philip Hodgetts: Lumberjacksystem.com will show you everything you want to know, and it will even show me singing its praises with a link right from the home page.
Larry Jordan: Philip, for people who want to keep track of you, where can they go on the web to read your latest thoughts?
Philip Hodgetts: philiphodgetts.com is where I write regularly and, of course, intelligentsystems.com is where you can find out about those…
Larry Jordan: That’s philiphodgetts.com, and the Philip Hodgetts himself, CEO of Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System, thanks for joining us today.
Philip Hodgetts: My pleasure.
Larry Jordan: There’s going to be lots of new coming out of IBC this week and, between the Buzz and Doddlenews.com, we will keep you covered. I want to thank my guests this week: Tom Andersen, the CTO of Palmer Andersen; Philip Hodgetts, the CEO of Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System; producer/director Maxim Jago; Scott Page, the CEO of Ignited Networks; Ned Soltz, contributing editor for Creative Planet; and James DeRuvo, the senior writer for DoddleNEWS.
Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry, and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com. 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 that comes out every Friday. You can visit with us on Twitter @DPBuzz, and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com.
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Larry Jordan: Our supervising producer is Cirina Catania with assistance from Debbie Price. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for joining us for the Digital Production Buzz.
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