Mathew Gilliat-Smith, CEO, Fortium Technologies
Derick Rhodes, Director, Creator Programs, Vimeo
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Red Shark News, Ned Soltz Inc.
Richard Leonarz, Director of Marketing, Memory and Storage, Samsung Electronics, America
Tad Brockway, General Manager, Microsoft Azure Storage
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS
Larry Jordan: This week on the Buzz, we have a variety of new things to share with you. We start with Mathew Gilliat-Smith, the CEO of Fortium Technologies. They’ve developed a method to keep your media files secure, even as they move from edit station, to edit station during post-production and, best of all, their system is affordable.
Larry Jordan: Next, Ned Soltz joins us with a preview of what to expect next month at IBC; new cameras, new gear and new emerging trends that we need to watch. Next, Vimeo is well known as a distribution site for filmmakers; but Vimeo offers us far more. Tonight, we talk with Derick Rhodes, the Director of Creator Programs for Vimeo, about some of their filmmakers, as well as their new support for 360 VR.
Larry Jordan: Next, when it comes to storage, we always want faster performance. This week, Richard Leonarz, Director of Marketing, Memory and Storage for Samsung Electronics America, describes their latest announcement s of new high speed flash drives. Next, Microsoft Azure is one of the big four Cloud storage and service suspenders; but, it is often the one least talked about. Tonight, Tad Brockway, General Manager for Microsoft Azure joins us, to explain what Azure is, how filmmakers can use it and what Microsoft does to keep our data secure.
Larry Jordan: All this, plus James DeRuvo with our weekly DoddleNEWS update. The Buzz starts now.
Male Voiceover: 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. Hello, my name is Larry Jordan. Tonight’s show covers a variety of subjects, all revolving around new tools for filmmakers. Increasingly, given the almost daily news of hacks and stolen programs, we’re looking for ways to improve our security.
Larry Jordan: Two guests tonight speak directly to that issue; Mathew Gilliat-Smith and Tad Brockway. Mathew has products that protect our data as it moves from place to place; while Tad provides a safe place to store our data, yet still make it available for collaboration.
Larry Jordan: Two days ago, Samsung announced new faster SSD drives that connect to both Macs and PCs. Tonight, we talk with Richard Leonarz about these new drives. I’m especially interested in learning what hardware we need to be able to take full advantage of the speed these devices can deliver.
Larry Jordan: Many filmmakers are turning to Vimeo to distribute their movies and help them make money while doing so. Tonight, Derick Rhodes explains why Vimeo is a better choice than YouTube for filmmakers and showcasing some of their new 360 VR tools. And I always look forward to talking with Ned Soltz about camera technology and trends; especially with IBC just around the corner. Now is a perfect time to prepare ourselves for the next round of technology, as IBC resets our industry.
Larry Jordan: And thinking of staying current, it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.
James DeRuvo: Larry, it’s been so long since I talked to you.
Larry Jordan: I know, I know, we will ignore the staff meeting of two hours ago. It is good to hear your voice and what’s the news today?
James DeRuvo: Oh poor HBO, they got hacked.
Larry Jordan: Oh no.
James DeRuvo: Anonymous hackers broke into HBO’s servers and released episodes of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Ballers’ and an unnamed series that’s not scheduled to come out until 2018. Then, to make matters worse, they also got a terabyte of inner studio communication, personal information on company employees and they even took over their social media account. It’s just a mess.
Larry Jordan: Well, in addition to the hack, James, didn’t HBO suffer last week from a self-inflicted wound?
James DeRuvo: Yes they did. To make matters worse, HBO Spain accidentally released episode six of this season’s ‘Game of Thrones,’ a week before it was supposed to come out. It was only up for an hour, but that was long enough; now it’s all over the internet via Bit Torrent. While streaming is an exciting new revenue stream Larry, the danger that comes with hackers gaining access could make studios have to work harder to protect their IP.
Larry Jordan: We’re going to be talking about that with one of our guests today; so that story is extremely timely. What else we got?
James DeRuvo: Well, speaking of streaming, it’s going to be streaming Thursday. Apple has committed over $1 billion to create original content. They’ve gotten some really great feedback for their two first original series, ‘Carpool Karaoke’ and ‘Planet of the App’ and now they’ve made several high profile hirer’s of Sony Television Executives and a Cable Executive from WGN; all who will oversee the … for development through Apple’s LA offices and they plan to create up to ten original series TV. We don’t know if they’re going to continue to offer it through Apple Music, or if they’re going to launch their own streaming service.
Larry Jordan: It’s interesting. Apple announced $1 billion, Netflix announced $6 billion for local programming. From Netflix’s point of view, what do you think Apple’s plans are?
James DeRuvo: Well, global domination of course. They want to double their revenues to $50 billion by 2020 and so, even though Apple failed to secure a live streaming service at Broadcast Television, like they were planning a couple of years ago, they decided just to move on. But the big challenge is going to be that, you know, now we have all of these streaming services; everybody has a subscription service and there are over 500 scripted programs in development for the current year. But there’s just not enough time to watch everything. Then, on top of that, due to the fragmented nature of streaming services, core cutters are going to end up spending more, not less, to get their entertainment needs and that makes the piece of the video streaming pie become ever smaller, in order to compete for those ad dollars.
Larry Jordan: Okay, that’s HBO and Apple. What’s our third story this week?
James DeRuvo: Well, good news for GoPro. They had their second quarter earnings call this week and they reported that they only had a loss of $30 million for the quarter. When you consider that they lost over 300 million last year, losing 30 million means a nice little upswing in sales. They also reported that the GoPro Karma Drone is the number two bestselling drone on the market and the Hero 5 is the highest selling camera period; so, things are looking up for GoPro.
Larry Jordan: In addition to reducing expenses, have they saved any money?
James DeRuvo: They have. By simplifying GoPro’s camera line, they dropped it down to just three models; the Hero 5, the Hero 5 Black and the Hero 5 Session. By doing that and cutting their workforce, GoPro has managed to save $70 million in operating expenses. That cost-saving measure, plus increased sales driven by the Karma and the Hero 5, that means GoPro has probably turned things around and, with the Fusion camera coming out soon, things are looking rosy.
Larry Jordan: Well, I want GoPro to do well, so this is good news. What other stories are we following this week?
James DeRuvo: Now, other stories we’re following this week include, you know, MediaPass, that all you can launch movie theatre subscription; they dropped their subscription rate to $10 a month; so you can go to one movie a day for 30 days and only pay ten bucks.
Larry Jordan: Wow.
James DeRuvo: An incredible deal. But unfortunately, A&C is angry and they’re going to be threatening legal action and try and get out of their agreement with them. Nikon, speaking of self-inflicted wounds, accidentally leaked their own specs on the D850 this week and Netflix isn’t going to let Disney go without a fight.
Larry Jordan: And James, where can we go for the latest on all of this news?
James DeRuvo: All these stories and more can be found at doddlenews.com.
Larry Jordan: And James DeRuvo is the Senior Writer for DoddleNEWS and joins us every week with the latest on what’s happening in our industry. James, thanks for joining us today.
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 organisational tools for busy production professionals.
Larry Jordan: 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: Mathew Gilliat-Smith is Co-Founder and CEO of Fortium Technologies, which he started in 1999. Fortium provides digital content production solutions for the film, entertainment and broadcast industries. Hello Mathew, welcome.
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: Hello.
Larry Jordan: Why did you start Fortium?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: Well, we actually started the company about 16 years ago, with the remits of helping companies to manage content. In those days we were actually doing identification of image material and about ten to 12 years ago we got involved with the film and TV studios, in terms of managing digital content particularly in the pre-release space. There was an increasing requirement, when people had seen the issues facing the industry with digitized content, of security and we worked closely with film studios to develop solutions that help them to lock down content.
Larry Jordan: Now, when you say lock down content, what does that mean?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: To put it into perspective in today’s terms, when you’re working in pre-release or post-production, there are multiple parties, multiple people and there’s faster workflows and really we’re talking about access control. We’re trying to enable people to do their jobs and to do it in a seamless way; without any delays etc. But, as we can see from the news wireless and all the issues that happen with leaks, you need to make sure that content can’t accidentally escape and also that you’re protected against somebody’s malware threats that we’re reading about.
Larry Jordan: Well it seems to me almost impossible to balance security, which means, lock it up on a computer, put it in a closet and disconnect it from the web, with accessibility, where you want to do exactly the opposite. How do you balance these two competing challenges?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: Well it was interesting. A number of years ago, one of the studios we worked with was NBC Universal and they had an MPA audit which had been undertaken and showed they had very robust systems in place. But the one area of vulnerability was actually in the area when you’re on the sound stage and you’re doing your dubbing, you are having to work with content but, you know, at that time be working with it sort of in the clear. You have the full motion picture as a reference file and then you’re doing the audio dubs on top of it. The danger is, that content is vulnerable. We had to find a way in order to provide access control to the content in a way that it was locked to individual approved recipients.
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: Typically, you might be in a studio and there could be, you know, several people who all have access to the server; but you want to make sure only the people who you want to have access can do so. Without getting too technical, we had to build a driver based solution; which is actually called ‘MediaSeal.’ What it does is a handoff to the professional editing program, in order to make that control. Now you might ask, well, why was that necessary? Aren’t there plenty of tools out there to do that? The answer is no. The issue is, because, professional editing programs have to have unfettered access to the content; so you might be dealing with a ProRes file and if you put encryption on it, the program won’t recognise it; it’ll just see it as a file it can’t recognise. We had to build a system that could do the handoff from the actual encrypted file to the program; that is reading the file back.
Larry Jordan: Now, let me see if I’ve got this straight. What you did is, you developed sort of a middle ware where the file is stored on the server in encrypted form; in real time it flows through your drivers, it’s decrypted and fed over to the editing system for editing; then, as it flows back to the server, the middle ware grabs it and re-encrypts it and puts it on the server?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: More or less, yes. There’s different scenarios, but that’s pretty much it. The issue really is making sure that, only the person that you have identified who should have access can get access. The access control we’re talking about is done in a number of different ways; but, basically it’s multiple types of authentication; so that it’s not just a password, it’s not just a key, it’s multiple points, including remote authentication. Such that, the person who has encrypted the file can revoke access, even after it has been sent. On top of that, there’s a full audit log of who accesses content when and where.
Larry Jordan: The mind boggles at the amount of authentication that’s going on and the ability to revoke privileges after they’ve already been granted is just really cool. But, traditionally, encryption slows things down to the point where you can’t do media editing, because there’s too much of a performance hit. How do you avoid that?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: Very good question. That was one of the main stipulations of producing the software, was to ensure there was no noticeable hit on performance. It took a long time to perfect it. In every correct instance, where MediaSeal is installed, you won’t notice the hit and it’s the way it has been developed, in order to work in these production workflows. You know, everybody has a different workflow, a different scenario; but we do absolutely understand the stresses and the trials of post-production and the speed of turnaround; so we are very, very receptive to making sure that the software rolls out smoothly. If something doesn’t go according to plan, you know, it probably isn’t to do with us, but we’re going to be the first line of fire. We work, you know, round the clock to make sure we help those post-production people, you know, get out of the hole they’re in and it’s absolutely been designed by a film studio for studio workflows.
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: We can’t take the credit for the way it was designed, we do take the credit for the strength of security and I would really recommend that people, in this current environment of heightened security threats, that they start using it. Because, making sure your network is secure is fine, but we know that networks get penetrated all the time and we’re reading about it every week now. The point is, if your content is encrypted as well, if the network is breached, God forbid, then the content won’t be able to be accessed to the extent that, you know, they can try and take the encrypted file, but they can’t do anything with it; to release it or hold you to ransom. Therefore, I would really encourage companies to look very seriously at this as a really essential additional layer of protection that they should use.
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: If you think about it as an encryption wrap-up, meaning a wrap around a file, there’s no huge amounts of data involved and it really is putting a wrapper that, if you have the right authentication, it unlocks it straightaway and so there’s no overhead involved.
Larry Jordan: You’re not actually changing the media file, you’re changing the package the media file is stored in?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: Correct, correct and that was the only way we found that we could do it, without having this overhead hit. Basically, with the way MediaSeal works, it recognises the program that’s accessing the file. If there’s a new program that we’ve never heard of before, you know, very occasionally we will have to tweak the software to do that. But MediaSeal has been in play now for four or five years and, you know, it works very smooth. That is, as I say, the most important thing, is that the person who is accessing the file, who may not be that technical, all they’re going to see is one method of authentication; whereas, those several methods of authentication going on in the background.
Larry Jordan: Is MediaSeal your product, or is MediaSeal a sort of certification of the workflow?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: It is the name of our product. I suppose, to put it into content, the MPAA, sets out a load of guidelines for, you know, the way that studios should work. Two of the key points it raises is, one, content should be encrypted in motion and, two, it should be encrypted at rest. MediaSeal, basically, allows you to encrypt it in motion, although there’s plenty of tools that do that; for example, in fast file transfer, companies like Aspera and Signiant do that. But once the content is received at the other end, generally it will become in the clear, unless it has been MediaSeal encrypted; and so we continue the encryption all the way through the workflow. You receive a file, you open it, it remains encrypted, you know, you do your editing work, it’ll re-encrypt it and it continues that encryption all the way through to the point of airing.
Larry Jordan: Who’s the sweet spot for this; as a customer?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: You know, it’s been designed that it is for the one man band, right up to the big major studio. The way we’ve done it is a per user, per month pricing model; so that, if you are one person and you’re sharing a file with two or three other people, it’s really going to be just dollars per user, per month and that’s active users per user, per month. Whereas, you know, it may be a production. One of the movies that’s just come out, for example, might have it on the aspect of doing international localization; you know, international translation dubbing and there may be 100 users working on it. It can scale very small to very large and we change the pricing model to make it work like that.
Larry Jordan: Just to ask the obvious question, what is the starting point for a small shop getting started?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: $59 per user, per month.
Larry Jordan: $59?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: That’s right. If it was literally one user, it would be $59 per user, per month. But, you know, multiply that to ten or 20 or what have you. It’s really not expensive. Clearly, if you’re using a lot of it, then it does add up; but that’s how we do the model now.
Larry Jordan: Well, I’m very impressed, because, normally security is like $100,000 word and $59 is a term that I can wrap my brain around.
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: We found that we needed to change the pricing model, because, while we did have a pricing model that was along those lines to start with, it was difficult to get traction and, you know, while some studios, who I’m sure don’t mind me mentioning their names, like FilmNation, for example, on ‘Fear of the Walking Dead,’ they said that they felt that a pricing model that was monthly or annual subscription would work much better for them, rather than having to acquire, you know, the whole asset in itself. That’s why we went down that road.
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: For the independents, the small shops that need to do content split up for a month or three months or what have you, it just makes it something that they can absorb quite easily.
Larry Jordan: What do we need to get this to work?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: It’s pretty straightforward. You hit our website, mediaseal.com and we provide a quick questionnaire of what your system is, what files you’re working with and then we get you registered. Typically people will use an ilock, which is fairly standard in post-production and you get registered for that. Then we provide the software, you know, you pay the fee and you’re set up to install and apply it to the number of users that you need. You can be up and running, you know, really in a matter of hours.
Larry Jordan: The thing I like about the monthly rental is that, we pay the money when we’re in post, but when the job is done, we don’t have ongoing fees; except, how do we get our assets back, so we can access them safe for archiving purposes, when a project is done?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: Basically, you’re installing the software on your server and you are in total control of what’s going on. The keys are resident with you and so you’re in total control of that. If the person that’s doing the encrypting has sent the content elsewhere and you want to make the content unprotected, at a certain point in time, there’s a feature in MediaSeal that enables you to do that.
Larry Jordan: For people that want more information, where can they go on the web?
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: www.mediaseal.com.
Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, mediaseal.com and Mathew Gilliat-Smith is the Co-Founder and CEO of Fortium Technologies, which invented MediaSeal and, Mathew, thanks for joining us today.
Mathew Gilliat-Smith: Thank you.
Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is an Author, Editor, Educator and Consultant on all things related to digital video. He’s also a Contributing Editing for Creative Planet and Red Shark News and best of all, he’s a regular here on the Buzz. Hello Ned, welcome back.
Ned Soltz: Hello Larry, it’s very good to be back and welcome to all those who are listening to us tonight.
Larry Jordan: It is always fun having you on; it’s like a cracker barrel conversation about all things related to media. I enjoy that.
Ned Soltz: Oh indeed, indeed.
Larry Jordan: Ned, IBC is approaching, what are you expecting to be showcased?
Ned Soltz: Well, I’m expecting just a general growth in where we’ve been; probably not too many new camera introductions. I wouldn’t be surprised, on the high end, if we actually see something about Sony as a full-frame camera, that they were teasing at Cine Gear. But, of course, that really is the extreme high end of things. What I’m really hoping to see, in the camera world, is more details about the Panasonic AU-EVA1. I think that has tremendous potential; I’ve seen one writer that talks about it as being a shot fired across the bow of Sony and Canon and Blackmagic. I think they have a lot going for them with this camera and I’m hoping that, at IBC, we see more of that in action.
Ned Soltz: I think, as well, we’re probably going to see ongoing development in lighting. NAB was excellent this year in terms of further development of LED technologies on the high end; the options for the ARRI SkyPanel; down to lower end options that actually are basically obsoleting Kino Flo’s fluorescence at this point. So I think there are a couple of things that I have my eye on for IBC.
Larry Jordan: Well, given your comments, does this mean that the pace of camera innovation is slowing down?
Ned Soltz: I think the pace of camera innovation is slowing to the extent that probably the market is slowing. I don’t want to say market saturation, but I think Sony understood that very well, for example, in trying to grow some very long legs on their F5 and F55s and the FS7; even with the little FS72. People aren’t necessarily buying and investing in new cameras; they want to know that they can keep these things a few years and with ongoing firmware updates, that they may be able to realistically get several years out of a camera.
Ned Soltz: We may see growth in firmware and other options added to the extent of the cameras, but I doubt we’re going to be seeing the spate and flurry of new cameras that we’re used to and that’s really a good thing.
Larry Jordan: It is a very good thing, because I’d like to be able to pay for the camera that I’ve already got.
Ned Soltz: Absolutely. Even with paid software updates, that some cameras might have, it still is a worthwhile investment; much more so than buying a new camera.
Larry Jordan: Panasonic seems to be making a comeback. What are your thoughts?
Ned Soltz: Oh they absolutely are; I mean, they were sort of a sleeping giant for a few years. The GH5 made quite a splash in the mirrorless camera range. I haven’t edited any footage from it yet, but from what I’ve heard from people that have actually worked with the footage, it’s quite nice; in the fact that you’ve got internal 422 10-bit and that’s transferred now over to this EVA1; which I think for a $7,500 price point, really is the Indi camera to be looking at right now.
Larry Jordan: Last week on the show, we talked about artificial intelligence. What are your thoughts on AI’s role in or impact on editing?
Ned Soltz: You know, I read a lot about that and I hear a lot about that and I suspect artificial intelligence is plausible and possible in the editing world. But still, I worry about the loss of human creativity. I don’t know whether we are anywhere near the point where artificial intelligence algorithms can be written to mimic the creativity of the other human mind. I suspect, artificial intelligence and editing will effectively be a reflection of the individuals or group that program the AI to begin with. I don’t want to see it in editing.
Ned Soltz: I’d love to see it in lighting; I’d love to be able to set up some lights and say, light this thing and give me nice soft light on the subject; a little bit of a shadow and some separation for the background and my lights do it. That, I think, has a real application on artificial intelligence; but never in editing, no.
Larry Jordan: Our Director of Photography would probably disagree with you.
Ned Soltz: The Editor and the Shooter right, yes.
Larry Jordan: What we’re hearing is that editing is not probably going to be affected, but logging and puling selects and transcripts and the Assistant Editor is probably going to be.
Ned Soltz: That has some possibilities for sure. Logging, I think, definitely; artificial intelligence is going to be an appropriate technological development; particularly in terms of logging collection and analysis of metadata.
Larry Jordan: All things to keep an eye on. Ned, for people who want to keep track of your latest writings, where can they go on the web?
Ned Soltz: Well, they can look at creativeplanetnetwork.com, or they could look at redsharknews.com and there are lots of writing samples out there.
Larry Jordan: Redshark, all one word?
Ned Soltz: Redshark, all one word, redsharknews.com.
Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is the Contributing Editor for Red Shark and, Ned, thanks for joining us today.
Ned Soltz: Good to be with you tonight.
Larry Jordan: Take care, bye-bye.
Larry Jordan: A Brooklyn based filmmaker, Derick Rhodes, has spent much of his career focused on emerging technologies and video. Currently, Derick is the Director of Creator Programs at Vimeo. Hello Derick, welcome.
Derick Rhodes: Hello Larry, thanks for having me.
Larry Jordan: What’s your role with Vimeo?
Derick Rhodes: I’m the Director of Creator Programs, which is kind of an umbrella term for a couple of different parts of the business; so it’s the Events Team and the Video Production Team and then the curation side of Vimeo. That’s kind of the umbrella of my role.
Larry Jordan: That’s events, video production and the creation program. What’s events?
Derick Rhodes: Events is basically all of the public facing, like trade shows and, you know, conferences, meet ups and that sort of thing that are involved. Whatever we’re doing, like South by Southwest and Sundance; so that side of Vimeo’s presence publicly I’m responsible for.
Larry Jordan: And video production?
Derick Rhodes: Video production is basically all of our in-house work on the video side; so marketing videos and ads that are all about Vimeo; interviews and content for the blog and for other social channels and that sort of thing. But basically all of our in-house production.
Larry Jordan: And curation?
Derick Rhodes: Finally, curation is the team that basically looks through, you know, the mountain of videos that come onto the site every day and decides on which ones of those can quality and be staff picked. You probably know our staff picked program is one of the cornerstones of Vimeo and the emphasis on quality in the community that’s kind of built up a pretty big following over the years. That’s a lofty goal for a lot of filmmakers, is to get their own staff pick and be part of that team’s, you know, attention.
Larry Jordan: Our audience is primarily filmmakers. What should they know about partnering with Vimeo and the underlying question that I want to get to next is, why Vimeo and not YouTube?
Derick Rhodes: I think, as far as partnering with Vimeo goes, I mean, one of the things I’d like to say and make sure people understand is that, Vimeo is much more than a place just to publish your work. The community that has been built up at Vimeo over time, since we launched, has really become like one of the strongest and most kind of professional oriented communities for getting feedback and interacting with other folks; from a higher end kind of world, on the internet for video.
Derick Rhodes: The thing that first drew me to Vimeo was kind of a combination of that; so being able to post my work and get, you know, meaningful, insightful, like, critical feedback from other professionals; but then also the curation and the work that I was seeing featured kind of spoke to me in a way that, you know, you just don’t see on other sites. I mean, there’s a focus on quality, both technically with the player and the other tools we release; but then, from my perspective it’s just a more serious domain. The conversations that you have on Vimeo are very different than you would see on some of these other platforms.
Larry Jordan: But YouTube is the 800 pound gorilla; delivers 800 billion viewers every nanosecond. Why should we even bother with Vimeo, if we’re trying to reach an audience?
Derick Rhodes: From my perspective, one of the biggest things is about quality; so, you can have a gigantic massive audience and that might not be a very qualified audience, it might be people that are very casually viewing your work and you can also have an audience that’s much more in line or in tune with the work that you’re doing. Reaching an audience that’s more like in line with what I’m interested in and that is more interested in my work, in terms of aesthetics and storytelling and, you know, is relating to what I’m doing in a more kind of artful way, perhaps.
Derick Rhodes: I know people that use YouTube a lot; a lot of times it’s sort of a younger demographic; you know, like, I have a 12 year old who’s totally a YouTube nerd. But, I think the overall quality of the videos and the quality of the interactions is just vastly different. One of the more obvious ways that I could point out is just the advertisements on YouTube content. I mean, Vimeo’s a place where we really prioritize and focus on quality and so you won’t see those distracting ads while you’re watching Vimeo videos; it’s really about the work. I think, for filmmakers that take their work seriously, that’s really important.
Larry Jordan: How does a filmmaker make money on Vimeo?
Derick Rhodes: There are a couple of ways. You know, we have a video on demand platform, where filmmakers that post their work and publish it there and license it to viewers take home 90% of the revenue and they can set their own prices on that platform. That’s really one of the more direct ways. What I see happen a lot more though, to be honest, with people that I interact with is that, people post their work to Vimeo and it’s such a rich and quality focused group of filmmakers that, a lot of people find that they’re approached by companies, whether it’s brands, pretty soon their own commercials or someone needing a shooter or an animator for a project, they’re being active on Vimeo. That’s not just people getting staffed picked, but people that, you know, use their Vimeo account almost as like their calling card, as a professional in the industry.
Derick Rhodes: They’ll publish and feature the videos that they like and that they think best show their work and for kind of serious professionals in their production space, Vimeo is really a destination for finding that work and connecting with those creators. I hear all the time about people getting commercial projects and other film projects based on relationships built on Vimeo.
Larry Jordan: Recently, at NAB, which was just a couple of months ago, but seems like a lifetime, Vimeo announced some new VR 360 technology. What did you guys announce?
Derick Rhodes: Right, so we announced support, for the first time, for 360 video. You know, we weren’t necessarily the first in there, but I think, the focus was really making sure that our player was at a quality level that distinguished us from what’s available out there in the rest of the world. You know, our privacy tools on the site really let people control who gets to see their video. What we heard from our community was that, especially for 360 projects, they needed a way to share with clients, in a higher quality than what they were seeing elsewhere, you know, that 360 project and getting feedback through a password protected environment; which is something that we offer.
Derick Rhodes: Also, our transcoding is always two paths for 360; which just ensure like a different kind of quality level. We take up to 8K uploads and, you know, we’re seeing really quick adoption of 360 on Vimeo. We have a channel dedicated to featuring that work, we’ve had multiple 360 staff picks; so I think our community was making it clear that they wanted support for 360 and, from the growth we’ve seen so far, I don’t see that slowing down any time soon, as far as the demand and people using it in their workflow.
Larry Jordan: For filmmakers that want to learn more about the tools and technology that’s available through Vimeo, where do they go on the web?
Derick Rhodes: The best place to go is just to the main site, to vimeo.com. If people want to dive into more of like a tutorial or a behind the scenes kind of content, then they can go to vimeo.com/blog and that’s the best place to get started. You’ll see, you know, our staff picks are very up and front right there and it’s easy to kind of get a feel for the latest features that we’ve launched in our pro and business accounts there.
Larry Jordan: That website is vimeo.com and Derick Rhodes is the Director of Creator Programs at Vimeo and Derick, thanks for joining us today.
Derick Rhodes: Thanks so much for having me Larry.
Larry Jordan: Richard Leonarz is the Director of Marketing for Memory and Storage at Samsung Electronics. In this role, he serves as the primary US spokesperson for solid state drives in the business to business channel. Hello Richard, welcome.
Richard Leonarz: Hello Larry, thank you so much for having me.
Larry Jordan: Oh, it is my pleasure. Let’s get right to the exciting news. What did Samsung just announce?
Richard Leonarz: We just announced our latest portable storage called the T5. This is now the third generation of our award-winning line-up; like a very small form factor drive; it’s about the size of a business card. A little bit lighter, of course, using solid state flash memory; so it’s very fast. Because there’s no moving parts, it’s secure, robust. If you drop it, you don’t have to worry about your data being lost and it has encryption too. We know the content creators are careful with their images and videos they take, they don’t want anybody having access to those; so you can put password protection and the internal one has access to your information.
Larry Jordan: Let’s talk about encryption for a second. What kind of a performance is there if we’re encrypting and decrypting media files?
Richard Leonarz: Well the nice thing with the storage device we have in here, the encryption is done on the device itself; so it’s a self-encrypting drive. That means, there’s no performance loss. After data goes through what’s called the controller, it’s encrypting on the fly; there’s no compression needed on the storage; so there’s no loss in data feed as you’re encrypting the data.
Larry Jordan: So it’s encrypting it but not compressing it?
Richard Leonarz: Correct.
Larry Jordan: How fast is it?
Richard Leonarz: The speed on this, it’s a USB device, so it’s about 540 megabytes per second. This would be four times faster than a spinning disk hard drive and it’s actually about 20% faster than our previous generation. This is using the USB 3.1; the Gen Two; so it’s ten gigabit per second … on the device.
Larry Jordan: If we don’t have the type C connector, that little flat panel that came out recently on Macintosh’s, can we use this on USB Gen One devices and does it work?
Richard Leonarz: Absolutely, it’s backwards compatible; so if you have a Gen One, Gen Two or, of course, a Gen Three, you can use it on any one. We include the cables with the device; so there’s both a USB, two USB A’s and a USB C connector; so, if you have an older device, you can still plug it into that. Now one nice thing too is that, you can plug this into an Android phone as well and then you can nano-encryption and move files off your Android phone onto the device.
Richard Leonarz: Currently we don’t have an iOS software option for it, but there’s always development going on and I could see that happening at some point in the future.
Larry Jordan: With the SSD, can we use these for long-term storage? Can we unplug them, put them on the shelf and expect our data to be there in a year or two?
Richard Leonarz: For most of these devices yes, the data for these type of storage would be about a year retention. We recommend, always plug it in, giving a little bit of power and then we can continue to extend this for another year. Plus, later and later time as well. Any device is going to require some sort of maintenance to it; either spinning disks need to be exercised and powered through them. Tape storage also needs to be maintained properly. It’s similar to most other storage devices, you don’t just set it and forget it, you do need to go back and … and make sure you’re adding energy to this device.
Larry Jordan: What capacities does this support?
Richard Leonarz: This new version, starting line is 250 gig, going all the way up to two terabytes.
Larry Jordan: 250 gig to two terabytes and for people that want more information, where can they go on the web to learn more?
Richard Leonarz: Sure, it’s very simple. They can go to samsung.com/T5.
Larry Jordan: The voice you’re listening to is Richard Leonarz, the Director of Marketing for Memory and Storage at Samsung and, Richard, thanks for joining us today.
Richard Leonarz: It’s a lot of fun, thank you Larry.
Larry Jordan: Take care, bye-bye.
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Larry Jordan: Tad Brockway is a 19 year veteran of Microsoft and currently the General Manager for Microsoft Azure Storage; which is the core data durability service for the Microsoft Azure Cloud. Hello Tad, welcome.
Tad Brockway: Hello, thanks for having me Larry.
Larry Jordan: How would you describe Microsoft Azure Storage?
Tad Brockway: Yes, sure, good question. First of all, how about if I start with, what is Microsoft Azure?
Larry Jordan: Alright, start with that.
Tad Brockway: Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s public Cloud platform and it enables customers to host their data, their applications, their services and Microsoft then is responsible for managing the servers, virtual machines, network, all the infrastructure associated with making their applications and services run well; so that customers don’t have to worry about the details of posting their own IT as much anymore, their own servers and all those kinds of things. It enables and empowers customers to focus on their business, rather than some of the details that they’ve historically had to worry about in IT.
Larry Jordan: Given your description, there’s four big Cloud services vendors; there’s Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft. Seeing as all four could give almost exactly the same definition you gave, why should we consider Azure?
Tad Brockway: Great question. The Azure platform and, I would say, Microsoft’s position in the public Cloud market, we view ourselves as being the Cloud platform that meets customers where they are, in their transformation to the Cloud. As you know, I’m sure, our history as a company is in developing and delivering platform and product solutions for customers, for traditional enterprise IT. Microsoft is just part of our DNA and culture and the way that we work, that, we know how to work with enterprise customers and to meet their needs.
Tad Brockway: As we think about this new transformation into Cloud, which is impacting all customers in a fairly dramatic way over time, we think that we’re the best vendor to help customers through that transformation, in a way that factors in their existing requirements, as well as where they want to go into the future.
Tad Brockway: We contrast our approach with some of our competitors in that regard, in that some of our competitors tend to bring the Cloud to the customer on their terms, rather than on the customer terms; where we come in and we deliver by virtue of our existing platforms and services that already run in customer data centres and then bridging those platforms into our cloud in a pretty seamless manner and delivering in a form that we call hybrid cloud.
Larry Jordan: Hybrid Cloud, meaning?
Tad Brockway: Hybrid Cloud, meaning that, a customer’s existing enterprise IT assets; their own data centres, their own servers, their own networking, their own security, being able to connect that type of IT environment into our public Cloud platform in a way; so that their applications can run in the public Cloud. Or they can run on Prim in the customer’s data centres and then all of that can be wired up securely through our networking infrastructure and services; so that it appears to the customer as one shared and single IT environment.
Larry Jordan: I accept that Microsoft has managed to get enterprise IT departments to join them at the hip; I’m amazed at how tightly the two of you work together. But the lens that the show views through is the independent filmmaker and the small production house; that’s generating terabytes of data, but does not necessarily have its own IT department. If you don’t have an IT department, should we even consider working with Azure?
Tad Brockway: Absolutely, it’s a great point. When we think about the notion of traditional IT, that also applies to small and medium businesses; because, even small and medium businesses will frequently work with a service provider to provide that traditional IT capability. Our ecosystem includes big customers, big enterprise customers who have their own data centre; it also includes the massive universe of providers who have data centres or specific verticals like media, for instance. From my perspective, that’s all just included in the overall way that we think about our value proposition.
Larry Jordan: One of the other things that media folks are desperately concerned with, especially given the release of ‘Games of Thrones’ and HBO’s hacking is, how do we keep our data secure? How does Microsoft make sure that our data doesn’t leak?
Tad Brockway: This is certainly a topic that is top of mind for our customers; especially in light of some of the recent events. From our standpoint, of course we take our customers’ data, their application, their security and privacy very seriously. This is an area that is not new territory for us. Customers have been trusting us with their most precious IT assets for decades now and so this is something that is just part of who we are as a company, where our core competency is in engineering and making sure that we have engineered solutions that factor those requirements into our designs and just everything having to do with the way that we work and deliver value to our customers.
Tad Brockway: A few areas that I’d like to point out are, how is Microsoft differentiated from some of the other players that are out there? One of the areas where we’ve put a lot of energy into and this is back to meeting customers where they are, is making sure that Azure is available to customers in their region, within their specific requirements. Let’s say if it’s a government customer, for instance, where Azure can be instantiated in an environment that meets the specific requirements of a given customer. That can scale from, we can host Azure via a product that we call Azure Stack; where a service provider from, let’s say, a small to medium business, their service provider can host their own instance of Azure, in their data centre; as well as Microsoft is the leading vendor when it comes to developing our public Cloud to regions around the world.
Tad Brockway: We are more regions around the world than our primary competitors combined and, with respect to compliance, for instance, we have more certifications than our competitors combined as well. This is, again, all back to that theme I talked about earlier, of making sure that we meet customers where they are.
Larry Jordan: Let’s think a little bit more about security. Taking a bigger picture, which is the bigger risk to our data? Someone hacking into Microsoft servers or human error, such as an end user sharing passwords or fishing?
Tad Brockway: These are both things that are very different threats, obviously; so it would be hard to stack rank them. These are areas that we have to factor in. In terms of the latter, I guess, making it possible for our customers to avoid those kinds of threat factors with their applications and the way they’re designed and the way the types of authentication protocols and capabilities that we provide to them. That’s something that we have in mind, as we go design our authentication services and so on for our customers. But then, protecting our platform is just intrinsic to what we do as a company in the Cloud.
Larry Jordan: What features have you added recently to Azure?
Tad Brockway: From a security standpoint?
Larry Jordan: No, back to Azure itself and your particular part of it.
Tad Brockway: Okay. Coming back to Azure Storage; I never fully answered the question at the top of the interview.
Larry Jordan: We get distracted a lot.
Tad Brockway: Yes, it’s easy, I guess. I’m responsible for the Azure Storage business and technology and Azure Storage is our public Cloud or our Cloud Storage platform. We have support for a view large store. Our object storage is something that the industry refers to as the sort of current Gen of storage technology; but also, traditional file system storage, we’re able to do that in the Cloud, as well. Supporting existing and familiar file systems protocols, for instance.
Tad Brockway: In that sense, we are one of the most core capabilities in the Azure platform and one of the workloads that our customers will typically adopt as their first workload in the Cloud. If you think about media, in particular, for media customers, there’s a lot of new data that’s being generated by customers and then there’s also existing data that customers want to keep around and have it be secured and resilient to disaster recovery and so on. Leveraging the Cloud for those capabilities, to give customers more confidence when it comes to data durability and resilience, but also more flexibility in terms of sharing data, by moving it into the Cloud. That’s something that’s all possible via public Cloud Storage, which is our area.
Tad Brockway: Specifically for the media industry, where the artists and the innovators in media can be spread out all across the world and they can be federated and need to all work together and collaborate, the public Cloud with Storage at the core is very powerful and essential in that regard. It enables innovators and artists in different places in the world all to meet together in the cloud and to have their content and data sharable in a secure fashion; in a central place where they can all get together, in a very flexible way, and take advantage of that content that they’re building.
Tad Brockway: The rate in which we’re renovating in Storage and just in the Azure platform overall, we are every single day shipping new features into production and we have a whole slew of new services and capabilities that are rolling in within Azure Storage and I wouldn’t even know where to start.
Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about what Azure can do, where do they go on the web?
Tad Brockway: Great question. For more information, we encourage all of your listeners to go to azure.microsoft.com.
Larry Jordan: Tad, we’ll bring you back to talk more about Azure in coming weeks. Thanks for joining us. Tad Brockway is the General Manager for Microsoft Azure Storage and, Tad, we’ll talk to you soon.
Tad Brockway: Thank you Larry.
Larry Jordan: Bye-bye.
Larry Jordan: It is a fascinating thing, all the different technology that we’ve been able to cover on this show and what interests me is, how security factors into the core of all of it. Whether we’re looking at being able to access our storage in the Cloud, or whether we’re trying to transfer files from one point to another; or we want to make money on the files that we’ve got. Whether we’re looking at storing our data on a brand new SSD drive, security is everywhere and that wasn’t the case a couple of years ago. I’m struck by that.
Larry Jordan: I’m also struck by the fact that it’s time to wrap up. I want to thank our guests this week, Mathew Gilliat-Smith, Derick Rhodes, Ned Soltz, Richard Leonarz, Tad Brockway and James DeRuvo. 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. Remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Saturday.
Larry Jordan: Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner, with additional music provided by smartsound.com. Text transcripts are Take 1 Transcription. Visit take1.tv, to learn how they can help you. Our Producer is Debbie Price, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.