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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – January 17, 2019

HOST

Larry Jordan

GUESTS

Mark Harrison, Managing Director, DPP (Digital Production Partnership)

Jim Tierney, President, Digital Anarchy

David Benson, CTO & Co-Founder, BeBop Technology

Emery Wells, CEO and Co-Founder, Frame.io

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Larry Jordan: As more companies move media production and post to the Cloud, security becomes an ever present concern. Tonight on the Buzz, we talk with experts on what it takes to keep our projects secure as collaboration increases and more assets are stored in the Cloud.

Larry Jordan: We start with Mark Harrison, managing director for the Digital Production Partnership. This international organization helps media companies cope with technological change. Tonight, Marks provides an overview of what we must know to keep our media secure in an interconnected world.

Larry Jordan: What do you do when you learn that your server has been hacked? Tonight, Jim Tierney, president of Digital Anarchy, shares his experiences when he discovered his company was hacked, and what they did to improve their security going forward.

Larry Jordan: BeBop Technology allows creative artists and companies to collaborate around the world. But what’s the risk to your media as your assets leave your control? Tonight, David Benson, CTO and co-founder of BeBop Technology explains how they work behind the scenes to make sure your media doesn’t get out of your control.

Larry Jordan: Finally, Emery Wells, the CEO and co-founder of Frame.io discusses how his company has worked to implement security for online media, why security is a moving target, and what producers need to know to keep their assets safe, both locally and online.

Larry Jordan: The Buzz starts now.

Announcer: Since the dawn of digital film making, 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: 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.  

Larry Jordan: Hi, my name is Larry Jordan. Tonight we’re looking at security as more of our media and other assets move to the Cloud, but before we start, I want to welcome back Take1.tv to the Buzz family. Take 1 provides professional grade transcripts for all kinds of media. We first started working with them five years ago, and I’m delighted to report that they are back transcribing the contents of each weekly Buzz episode. You can find our transcripts at digitalproductionbuzz.com and click the transcript button in the menu bar at the top. And you can visit Take 1 at take1.tv. Welcome back.

Larry Jordan: By the way if you enjoy the Buzz, please give us a positive rating and review in the iTunes store. We appreciate your support, to help us grow our audience. James DeRuvo is on assignment this week. He’ll be back next week at his usual time.

Larry Jordan: Our first guest is Mark Harrison. As we were chatting before the actual interview, Mark shared his impressions of the recent CES show. I found his opinions so striking, that I want to share them with you at the top of his interview, then we’ll move into security. Mark Harrison is the managing director and co-founder of the Digital Production Partnership, an international business change network for media companies. Hello Mark, welcome back.

Mark Harrison: Hi there Larry, great to talk to you again.

Larry Jordan: Mark, tonight we’re going to be talking about privacy and security as we move more and more of media and assets to the Cloud. But before we switch gears, we’re recording this interview on the last day of CES which I know you’ve been attending on behalf of your members.

Mark Harrison: That’s right, I have.

Larry Jordan: From a professional media point of view, what are the highlights?

Mark Harrison: Well do you know Larry, I think what’s extraordinary about this year’s show is that we have witnessed an absolutely fundamental change that could revolutionize media and yet nobody seems to have noticed. What we’ve seen this year for the first time, widely across a number of display manufacturers, the integration of truly intelligent content search by voice. Most of these are integrations with Google Assistant, and as you probably know Google Assistant is quite good at contextual search. It can have a bit of a chat  with you about things and it can go beyond just instructions to switch things on and off.

Mark Harrison: So what we’ve seen demonstrations of this year, have been the capability to search for content using voice. Now why do I think that’s so important? Although we’ve been talking for years about the challenges for content providers in keeping their own brands distinct in very crowded content context, once you have got search by voice you can actually disintermediate them altogether. You’re not searching now for what’s on Netflix, you’re just searching for a particular show.

Larry Jordan: This will be very analogous to Google News where they aggregate news from a variety of newspapers and news sources and delivers it in a single distribution format which is a web browser. We’re doing the exact same thing except now we’re searching for media and it’s delivering the media to us in a web browser.

Mark Harrison: That’s exactly right. It’s just like that. It’s also very much like what happened in the music industry of course, because who knows now what record label a particular album has been recorded on? Nobody does. You just search for the title of a particular piece of music, or you search for the artist.

Larry Jordan: Well that had a devastating effect on the music industry and it’s also had a devastating effect on the newspaper industry. Are you expecting the same kind of financial chaos in media?

Mark Harrison: I think there will be certainly huge change. Whether it becomes chaotic, whether the commercial models are transformed, remains to be seen. It could be that the commercial models really shift because it could in time put the commercial power back into the hands of the creatives, because the creatives can now go direct to the consumer, although I would have thought always by some kind of intermediary organizing platform of some kind. But it’s going to take a while, it’s going to take several years, but if there is a Netflix killer on the horizon, it could look something like this.

Larry Jordan: Well clearly we’re going to have to bring you back to talk about this in more detail in the future, but let’s switch gears and talk now about media security. DPP recently held a conference. What was that about?

Mark Harrison: We held a conference about security that was all about securing creativity. We wanted to lift the conversation up away from that normal one you tend to get in media where everybody talks about the kind of threats we all now face with connected media and then tends to moan about the fact that creative people and producers are very difficult to police around security policies. Now we asked ourselves, since we are a creative industry and the only reason we have security is to secure a creative industry, what will happen if we just take that a bit more seriously and actually talk to the creatives themselves about how they see this world, and how they go about trying to ensure that their content remains safe?

Larry Jordan: What did you learn?

Mark Harrison: What we learned was that there’s actually now a shift happening amongst those who are more far sighted about how to introduce security policies that will actually work in a creative environment. What we heard from security experts and technologists was that they no longer regard people as the weakest link. They actually are starting to see them as the strongest link. When we listened to producers, you really understood why because when you hear from producers about security, you actually hear about a really rich and deep contextual understanding of what it means to try and stay secure.

Mark Harrison: Because almost every piece of content making is a bit different, everything has very particular context or different locations or different people, takes place over different periods of time, different kinds of threat and risk, it’s very difficult to impose any kind of cookie cutter approach to security around media. So what we heard was that producers have got a very rich contextual understanding that actually makes them expert even though they were never trained as experts in security, and meanwhile a lot of security experts are starting to recognize that they need to listen to that expertise.

Larry Jordan: Do you see the basic problem with security being that the Cloud providers don’t understand media? Or that media providers, the producers, don’t know how to work with the Cloud or is there some other disconnect that’s keeping the two apart?

Mark Harrison: I think all those things are true. Where there are problems at the moment are fundamentally around trust. I don’t think producers seriously believe that if their content is sat in the data center of one of the global tech giants, that somebody’s just going to come in and steal it. They’re not that naïve. They do have a sense of how highly protected that content will be. But on the other hand, they also know that when content moves it becomes vulnerable and they haven’t yet got historic relationships both of working with those particular providers, and also of working with those particular technologies to know the content can nonetheless, be kept safe.

Mark Harrison: So really what we’re seeing here is a need or both the production community to start to feel comfortable with Cloud based technologies, and for the Cloud community to know how to speak to producers and how to understand their culture better so they can be more persuasive about the security that they can offer.

Larry Jordan: I can’t do anything about a Cloud vendor, but what can I do as a producer to be able to keep my assets more secure and to learn how to trust a Cloud vendor?

Mark Harrison: That’s a great question. The first thing is to let go of some of that anxiety that’s been generated by the security industry itself when it pointed out to everybody that the minute you connect you become vulnerable. This is a huge irony. They actually created the fear that they are now trying to address. Maybe that was on purpose because it’s a way of making money, but actually if producers could step past that, in fact it can be a much safer way to operate. The reason I say that, is this. Because if you are connecting to a Cloud based service, then actually your individual device hasn’t in fact got anything of much significance on it and that Cloud based environment will be being managed by one of those huge specialists with a huge  number of security staff. So it’s no longer up to you to remember to always do your software updates. It’s no longer up to you to ensure that there’s not a weakness in somebody else’s machine because they’re on the same system as you. You can actually can be a little individual doing your thing, and you can leave all the heavy lifting of security to those who manage those Cloud based services.

Larry Jordan: So then what do we need to do to start to reassure ourselves that we can trust the Cloud? Because that I think is the core question that once it gets up to the Cloud, I’ve lost control

Mark Harrison: It’s going to be hard for people to believe that that isn’t the case I think, until they start to live it. But the fact is, they are beginning to live it. You know, when you talk to producers, what you find is that actually they’re already using far more Cloud services than they realize, they’re already using a lot of social media applications to communicate with their teams, and more progressive producers, as you and I have discussed before, are beginning to use Cloud based services for editing, for sharing of content, for storage. Indeed in some recent research that we did, we found that WeTransfer is used by 100 percent of the producers that we spoke to. So it’s not as if we’re not using these services, it’s just that somehow we think that when we find a nice, simple user friendly lightweight app that somehow that’s a bit different from being in Google’s Cloud, or Amazon’s Cloud or Microsoft’s Cloud.  But fundamentally, it isn’t and actually those big Cloud vendors are probably going to be offering better security than some of the smaller applications.

Larry Jordan: So where does DPP fit into this? How can you help us to make this migration as painless as possible?

Mark Harrison: First of all, trying to stimulate this conversation between the creative community and the security community. It was fantastic to bring them together and I have to tell you, a little bit misty eyed when I sat and listened to two producers talk in turn about how they ensured security of their productions. One was a production manager who worked in undercover reporting, in news and current affairs, and one was a production executive who worked in unscripted content, in drama. And each of them talked in detail about what they do. Neither of them have any formal training in technology or in security, and this roomful of 100 security experts just fell silent in awe around their expertise. Afterwards, they couldn’t wait to get to speak to them to pick their brains further about the knowledge that they’d got. As always, the most important thing is to facilitate communication because when people understand each other, that’s the quickest way to remove distrust and anxiety.

Larry Jordan: DPP is doing so much to enable producers. Is it possible for others to become members?

Mark Harrison: Oh absolutely yes. It’s very cheap and simple for any producer to become a member of DPP.

Larry Jordan: Where can we go to learn more about what membership provides and what the DPP is doing?

Mark Harrison: Well, stand by for a rather long email address. www.digitalproductionpartnership.co.uk.

Larry Jordan: That’s one gigantically long word, digitalproductionpartnership.co.uk not .com for the DPP Digital Production Partnership of which Mark Harrison is the managing director and co-founder of the DPP, and Mark, thanks for joining us today.

Mark Harrison: Thanks so much 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 platforms specifically designed for production.  These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in depth organizational tools for busy production professionals.  DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, film makers and story tellers. From photography to film making, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed.  Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project, there’s only one place to go. Doddlenews.com.

Larry Jordan: Jim Tierney founded Digital Anarchy in 2001 specifically to develop plug ins to simplify creating visual effects. But recently he had a security experience that makes it worthwhile for us to talk with him on tonight’s show. Hello Jim, welcome back.

Jim Tierney: Hey Larry.

Larry Jordan: Tonight we’re talking about security and you recently discovered that you were hacked. Tell me what happened.

Jim Tierney: We have the different parts of the Digital Anarchy website broken up onto different servers. The server that we use mostly just for file sharing, but in the past we’d used it to manage our newsletter list, so we had the old software that we used for that, still on that server. We hadn’t used it for about three years, and we hadn’t really done anything with it including update it and somebody managed to find it and make use of and exploit or something like that and get into it.

Larry Jordan: How did you find out that you’d been breached?

Jim Tierney: Well they started sending out emails.

Larry Jordan: That’s a really good indicator.

Jim Tierney: We had people emailing us and asking us “What is this? Is this from you guys?” I’m like, “No.” So luckily in that case since it’s just a server we use mainly for file sharing and not for email, I could just go in there and turn off the mail service for the server, and that stopped any other abuse of the old email list, rather quickly. But they still probably did get access to that email list.

Larry Jordan: Are you able to determine what kind of damage they did?

Jim Tierney: It’s really just the email program, so we’re assuming that they downloaded the email list but we don’t know that for sure. We do know that they sent out about half of those phishing emails. The emails didn’t seem like they were coming from us, it’s not something we would have sent out. It’s not like “Hey, come download the latest version of Flickr Free for free,” which if they were really smart that’s what they would have done because I imagine a whole bunch of people would have clicked on the links. What they did was send out a super spammy phishing email and most people were like “Yes this doesn’t look legit.”

Larry Jordan:  So what did you do first to respond, and then second what did you do to recover?

Jim Tierney:  First thing was to turn off the mail service for the server so that no more emails could be sent out. The second thing the next day was send out an email to our current list which we run through a third party mail service, so hopefully it’s a bit more secure, just explaining what happened, why they got the weird emails and explain that that was a server that we don’t use any more, that it didn’t affect all of our customers but that they probably did get access to the email list. So it’s possible they could try emailing to that list in the future, but not through our server.

Larry Jordan: What can we learn from your problems?

Jim Tierney: Keep software updated you know, especially if you have stuff that’s sitting on a dedicated server that you’re managing and isn’t managed by someone else who supposedly will be keeping things up to date. We had this happen with our WordPress blog as well, that got hacked a year and a half ago just because we hadn’t updated WordPress and somebody just used an exploit to get into that so the really critical thing is if you’re managing a website, you really need to keep all of the software on that website up to date including stuff that you just don’t use any more, or you haven’t thought about it. Just because you don’t use it, doesn’t mean that somebody can’t just ping every address looking for xxx.com/sendstudio which was the name of the email program and just send that out to a million servers and anything that doesn’t 404, they’re like, “Hey, we can get in here.” There’s people doing that, just constantly pinging a million different servers to see if they get a hit and they get a hit, and the next thing you know they’re in and sending emails. The same works for WordPress or Joomla or any other big platforms out there. There’s hacks for these things and if you don’t keep them up to date, you run the risk of having somebody bust into your site and start posting random things or emailing stuff.

Jim Tierney: The other thing that we do with Digital Anarchy is all of the different aspects of the website, the website itself, the blog, email service, the store, they’re all on different services so that if somebody breaks into one, they can’t get access to everything else or it makes it much harder to get access to everything else. It’s basically just trying to defend yourself as well as you can and make it as difficult as possible for people to get access to stuff.

Larry Jordan: How did your customers handle it?

Jim Tierney: Pretty well. People understand that stuff like this happens. Again, because we split things up there wasn’t any financial data that was lost or any other information. It was basically just the email addresses and I think most people just assume that they’re on 50 million spam lists anyways. That’s a sad fact of our modern world. Since it was limited to just email addresses and it really only affected about half of the current email list, because again this was a list that was three years old, most people really appreciated me sending the email out immediately as soon as we found out about it because I didn’t want anybody thinking we were spammers or accidentally clicking on the email because they thought it was from us. A lot of people appreciated the immediate response  instead of doing the Google thing and waiting three months. So we didn’t really have any real fallout from it. Just people mostly thanking us for being upfront about what happened. So it’s really just being aware that you have to keep the software up to date because there’s always people phishing around for out of date WordPress instances or whatever and that’s what most websites are built on these days.

Larry Jordan:  Jim, for people that want to learn more about the products that you’ve got and now that we know that Digital Anarchy is not in the spamming business, where  can they go on the web?

Jim Tierney: Head on over to digitalanarchy.com and you can find out all about there.

Larry Jordan: That website is all one word, digitalanarchy.com and Jim Tierney is the founder and CEO of Digital Anarchy. Jim, thanks for joining us today.

Jim Tierney: Thanks Larry, I appreciate it.

Larry Jordan:  David Benson is the CTO and co-founder of BeBop Technology. Dave has spent more than 20 years developing ground breaking technology solutions for film studios, television networks, digital content developers and distributors including folks like Deluxe, Sony Pictures Television, and Final Draft. Hello David, welcome.

David Benson: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Tonight we’re looking at security for our media as we migrate more and more of both production and post to the Cloud, but before we start talking about security, how would you describe BeBop?

David Benson: I’d describe BeBop as more of a collaboration platform than anything today. Where it started four or so years ago was really focused around enabling certain use cases around workstations and storage and various other pieces and parts, where we’ve evolved to today as I said, is really more of the integration of all of those things and the way you actually interact and consume them, which turns more into a collaboration type of use case.

Larry Jordan: What do you mean by collaboration?

David Benson:  Collaboration is essentially the intersection of all of those use cases, so if you think about editorial on its own, about visual effects on its own, about animation on its own, all of those things are pieces of an overall supply chain that creates content. So when you bring all those things together, into one platform, an eco-system which is BeBop, you start talking about collaboration a lot more than pieces and parts and workstation configurations.

Larry Jordan: So it isn’t just the editor’s task or the VFX artist’s task, it’s how they relate together?

David Benson: Exactly and that’s a lot of where the security conversation comes into play, because whereas in the past you had disparate locations and regions where these things were happening, and you had to manage security in a different way. Now we have an opportunity to manage it in a more centralized way in a single logical secure environment that spans across all of these different locations and within some of the largest public Cloud providers on the planet.

Larry Jordan: What first got you interested in creating a Cloud based service?

David Benson: My previous company to this that now is called BeBop Managed Services, was a company called DSB Consulting that I started about eight years ago. We built various large platforms over the years for different studios and post production houses. When we finished a large project for one of the studios where we migrated their entire channel licensing business into AWS, the entire workflow went very nicely into the Cloud, except for one piece which was the editorial because at the time there was no way to do that viably. So once we finished that project I was starting to experiment with how to solve that problem because it was intriguing to me, and that was right at the same time that Amazon released their Teradici based workspaces product and we worked very closely AWS for many years, so I was poking around at how they had done that. Came to Teradici very quickly, I created a partnership with them and about four to five months after that, we spun BeBop out of DSB Consulting and launched the company and the rest is history.

Larry Jordan: Very cool. With the daily drumbeat of hacks and data breaches, producers are understandably nervous about moving assets outside the local premises. How does BeBop keep our assets secure?

David Benson: We work very closely with those public Cloud companies that I just referenced. It’s our belief, and I think a growing belief in the industry, that while there are incidents that do happen in any environment, whether it’s on premise or in a public or private Cloud provider, it comes down to your best practices, how you implement and enforce those for your own organization regardless of if you’re hosting your own infrastructure or using a service like BeBop. A lot of where we help our customers is creating and working and evolving those best practices that are used in Cloud environments and helping to migrate some of the ones that have been occurring on premise for a long time.

Larry Jordan: Security is like a really broad topic, like the word media and it covers so much stuff. How does BeBop define what security is?

David Benson: Security really is an awareness, from our perspective. To your point there’s a multiheaded conversation that could take many days if we wanted to try and cover all aspects of quote unquote security. Security is an awareness or a state of mind and what that really comes to is an ever evolving and changing characteristic of what we call security. So when we started three or four years ago, security meant a lot of things around terms like air gap storage, and terms like air gaps compute. Some of those terms we don’t hear as much anymore because large enterprises, large production companies, large studios have started to get used to and understand the different methodologies that the public Cloud providers use to achieve the same levels of security, just in different ways and from different approaches so you get the best of both worlds when you start to move in those directions. Where you get the scalability, you get the cost points, you get all of the things that the public Cloud promises, at the same time you get them under a secure best practice or common understanding of what those security best practices need to be.

Larry Jordan: But we can’t just leave security to BeBop. I can’t just upload my assets to BeBop and say, “OK everything is secure.” There’s also a security at the local end in terms of what producers need to think about and what producers need to do to keep their assets secure. How does BeBop help us plan or think through the workflow necessary to make sure that everything we create stays secure both locally and on the Cloud?

David Benson: We have a dedicated team called our customer success team. They’re also involved in our professional services offerings where we will very frequently work with our customers, large and small quite frankly, to do exactly what you just elaborated in terms of not only the security aspect of it, but the overall usability and user experience. So our number one job here at BeBop other than providing our platform, is to provide the best possible user experience for every user that comes on the platform, whether they work at a large studio or they’re an independent producer or even production on their own.  That aspect of what we do is of critical importance for exactly the reasons that you’re elaborating, is that if we just let people come onto the platform, didn’t provide any context, any best practice, any instruction or any tutelage around how to use the platform, similar to how an editor ten years ago learned how to use an Avid media composer or used how to learn any other editor. They went through a course, they went through some type of training, some type of indoctrination of process and institutional knowledge of how we do things in this industry. So, there’s a lot of that similarity into how we do things when we onboard people into this eco-system, it’s just that the characteristics are slightly different because of the eco-system.

Larry Jordan: What advice would you give to a producer who’s never had to work with the BeBop platform before? They’re coming to it for the first time, they’re understandably nervous, and are trying to figure out, “How do I fit this in? How do I keep my media secure?” What questions should they be asking and what should they pay special attention to?

David Benson: I think it really comes down to a lot of the same things that producers ask today, so we work with the MPAA, we work with the trusted partner network, we’ve worked with  various different security audit firms that do a lot of the work in the industry for the large studios and media companies. And a lot of those questions are the same ones that a producer would have asked in the past. The differences are really instead of “Where’s your facility? And what kind of locks do you have on the door?” The questions are more around, “Where’s your virtual facility, and what regions are you providing services in, what Cloud providers are you doing that with, and what does your partnership look like? How are those relationships managed?” and things like that.

David Benson:  To that end, we’ve done a lot of work with those same organizations to help push the envelope a little bit with current certification programs so that they’re a lot more Cloud centric and a lot more Cloud relevant. If you can imagine two, three,  four years ago, a lot of those programs, the trusted partner network wasn’t even in existence yet, but the existing MPA programs and traditional programs were really designed around certifying facilities that were handling secure content. So it was very focused around door locks and door combinations and policies of people coming in and out of those facilities and so on. Those are, I don’t want to say not relevant, but they’re less relevant for a company like BeBop because we essentially offload all of that complexity to three of the largest companies in the world that are spending the most money that’s ever really been spent on security and compliance and all of these issues.

David Benson:  So I think a culminating point on this whole thing is that really is something that I come back to a lot, is the amount of money and attention and ongoing investments that is happening between just say Amazon, Microsoft and Google from the largest public Cloud service provider perspective, that is going on today and will continue and increase as we move forward, is unprecedented. To go back to a comment that you mentioned earlier in terms of people being more secure or more confident in on premise facility, I would almost argue at this point that it is safer for it to be in a public Cloud environment with the proper best practices and management around it. That last part is a very key piece of it.

Larry Jordan: If I’m a producer that’s never been in a Cloud environment before, aside of course from using email or other Cloud communication services, am I smart enough to be able to figure out BeBop? Or do I need to have an IT department and really be working for a large facility to be able to use your tools?

David Benson: Ironically speaking, if we do have challenges sometimes in getting folks or new customers up online, those complexities typically come from larger facilities because their networks have lots of different things going on on them. We very rarely, if ever, have any types of customer support issues or questions or any issues whatever, for users that are using BeBop from remote locations, from their homes, while they’re traveling, and so on. So a longer way to answer your question, any user from an individual to somebody at a large studio that does have a large IT department can get on and use BeBop pretty much in the same way and with the same process, the same knowledge base.

Larry Jordan: Aside from enterprises who I can understand, but is there an ideal type customer on the smaller side?

David Benson: I would say that we align very closely these days with our partner Adobe. The answer to that question would probably align closely to the way Adobe would answer the question in terms of their much larger almost individual and individual producer from a person perspective, to individual or small production companies that are doing both editorial and traditional production for film television and OTT production, to visual and special effects that are done with other parts to their Creative Cloud Suite.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about BeBop’s products or to begin working with BeBop, where they can go on the web?

David Benson: www.beboptechnology.com and there’s a form that can be filled out there and we’ll reach right out to you to get in touch.

Larry Jordan: That website is all one word, beboptechnology.com and David Benson is the CTO and co-founder of BeBop, and David thanks for joining us today.

David Benson: My pleasure, thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan:  I want to introduce you to a new website. Thalo.com. Thalo is an artist community and networking site for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. Thalo.com features content from around the world with a global perspective on all things creative. Thalo is the place for creative folks to learn, collaborate, market and sell their works. Thalo is a part of Thalo Arts, a worldwide community of artists, film makers, and storytellers. From photography to film making, performing arts, to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with the resources you need to succeed. Visit Thalo.com and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s Thalo.com.

Larry Jordan: Emery Wells is the CEO and co-founder of Frame.io, a video review and collaboration platform used by hundreds of thousands of media professionals and companies. Before Frame.io Emery was an award winning producer, and visual effects supervisor. Hello Emery, welcome back.

Emery Wells: Hey Larry, always a pleasure to be here.

Larry Jordan: It is always fun to talk to you because you’ve got this wonderfully unique perspective on the industry and tonight we’re looking at security for our media. As we were planning this show, I realized that security is a very broad term that covers a lot of different uses, and media and applications. So let’s start with something hopefully simple.  How does Frame.io define security?

Emery Wells: I think broadly the way we define security is ensuring that nothing happens to your media that you didn’t want to happen. That means no-one can access it, people that are not supposed to access it can’t access it, people that are not supposed to be able to manipulate it can’t manipulate it. Any data that you upload to Frame.io is secured and encrypted, we’re following all of security best practices. I am not a security expert, I have had, as you said, a unique position as the CEO of a company that is extraordinarily security focused and so I’ve had to learn a lot about security over the past few years. At Frame.io we’re trying to move more and more of the post production process into the Cloud.

Emery Wells: I think on our very first interview, the immediate thing that you flagged, many years ago, four years ago, is “How do you do this securely?” If I look back four years, I think we were naïve. We didn’t have the expertise at the time at the company to really make any kind of broad security claims. We were following best practices, we were doing things like encrypting your data in transit and rest, but as I’ve come to learn over many years, and as we’ve built a really amazing dedicated security team, we hired one of the leading security researchers from AT&T cyber security researchers. He has dozens of patents on cyber security research, and he’s led our security efforts. There are just hundreds of things that we’ve done on the infrastructure side, there’s hundreds of things we’ve done on the software client side, there’s a lot that we’re investing in the content security side, around watermarking and encryption. So it’s a whole host of things.

Emery Wells: One of the most important things that I think everyone needs to understand about security is that first of all, there’s nothing that is truly 100 percent secure. I say that with the understanding that we all use online banks, and our money is stored, and potentially vulnerable in all different aspects of our lives, so we can get to a place where we can feel extraordinarily secure with our investments in data, our investments with money. We do it every day. But it is an ongoing process, it is not a check box. It is something that you have to do every single day. If we were secure at one snapshot in time, if we were secure today, it doesn’t mean that we’re secure six months from now. The landscape changes so quickly, the vulnerabilities change so quickly, the threats change so quickly.

Emery Wells: So really someone that can claim to be bank level secure, a lot of people use the term, bank level encryption, that is just one tiny aspect of security. You can use encryption, that does not mean necessarily that your entire platform is secure. There could be lots of other ways that you could be compromised. So, really security you think about more as an everyday motion. What are the processes that you’re putting in place and how do you monitor those processes, how do you audit those processes? And that’s what a lot of the compliance stuff is about, so we’ve now met various security compliance needs, so we have SOC2 type 1 compliance. We’re actually in the process of doing SOC2 type 2 compliance. The difference between SOC 2 type 1 and SOC2 type 2 is that SOC2 type 1 is a snapshot in time. It means that a third party, independent auditor came and evaluated all of our security systems, top to bottom, and they deemed that we were compliant. SOC2 type 2 means that they will come back six months later and they will assess if we have been following security practices as we claimed that we were going to, and do we have the audit reports? Do we have all the documentation that shows that our motion of work every day is secure? So that’s what we’re actually doing right now, our SOC2 type 2 compliance.

Emery Wells: We also did our TPN compliance and TPN is a new joint initiative between the MPAA and CDSA which is a new global security standard for content, and we went through that audit. There’s a number of things that you don’t think about. You think of the technology security but there’s also physical security we have to have throughout our organization and make sure that we’re physically securing the devices that have access to other parts of our digital infrastructure. So it’s very comprehensive, and that’s what these compliance reports provide. Now a customer can request to get one of our audit reports and they can feel safe knowing that we have invested a lot of time and a lot of money to follow a bunch of procedures.

Emery Wells: The unfortunate thing about security is that it’s expensive. There’s no way around it. If you’re a small company it’s pretty difficult to claim that you’re really truly going to be secure. We’ve invested millions of dollars at this point, we’ve hired a dedicated security team and just going through all of these processes for compliance, not only does it add tons of time to our everyday motion, we have to do lots of extra work, but it costs money to do the audits. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’ve worked with various third party auditors, we’ve worked with ISE, Independent Security Evaluators, they are one of the leading security evaluators for the media industry. They do all of Disney’s audits.

Emery Wells: So in short, it’s complicated, it is multifaceted, it is expensive and it is time consuming. But it’s also critically important. What we recognize as we started growing the company is that security has to be a core pillar of what we’re offering. We are living in an age where we hear about security breaches happening all the time. Security just seems to be the thing that’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind, for good reason, especially if you’re doing the tier one content, the Hollywood feature films, the episodic television. You can almost think of that like cash. It’s like holding cash in a bank. If someone were to get access to Stranger Things season four, three, four, five months ahead of schedule, that would be bad. That’s like someone breaking into your bank account. So we’ve done a tremendous amount of stuff to ensure that we’re actually set up to secure the most sensitive tier one assets.

Larry Jordan: I accept that Frame.io has to go through and has gone through, a tremendous effort to become secure, but to me that seems like it’s only part of the equation. The producers also as you say, need to focus on the process of being secure, and it isn’t just flipping a switch. What do producers need to think about to make sure they’re keeping their projects secure?

Emery Wells: There’s a number of parts to that we don’t touch and that a producer would. The funny thing is I understand why there’s a lot of focus on Cloud security because it feels the most vulnerable. But when you work with a company that is sufficiently large and has gone through the compliance requirements and can prove that they’re operating in a secure manner, in some ways you might be able to claim that they’re the most secure part of your entire operation. Having a PA take a drive from point A to point B is probably not so secure. Or holding the drives in your facility that could easily be broken into, maybe not so secure. I think there’s a lot of unsecure things that we do in our everyday process but we have trust baked into those processes, even though they’re not secure we have trust baked into those process. There’s a person that we know that’s doing a thing, I think in many ways that a service like Frame.io and others that make the investment are more secure than on prem solutions.

Larry Jordan: Which gets to, I think, another core part, is that we worry about the people we don’t know, Frame.io in this case. We don’t worry about the people we do know, and we don’t focus on what we can do locally to make sure that our projects are secure as opposed to worrying about these strange Cloud based companies. Is that a true statement?

Emery Wells: Well I think the customers that are most concerned about security probably think about all of it. I remember speaking to someone who led security at one of the major studios and he said to me, and I’ll never forget it, he said “Our main concern is not that people who are not supposed to have access leaking our content. Our biggest concern is the people who are supposed to have access leaking our content.” And they need the protections in place so that they can protect against the people who have been authorized to access their content.

Emery Wells: That gets into other types of security, so in that case, access controls are not going to help because they have access. So things you can do on the content security side, you can do things like session based watermarking. This is an area of investment for us right now, we’re going to have some water share on that, where that’s every individual, so say you log into Frame.io Larry, something for you to review, and you watch it, and it’s going to have Larry Jordan burned in with your name, your IP address, time stamp, your information is going to be burned in for that individual play session. Now if he or she were to share the review with somebody else that person will also have their individual information burned into that content. That’s a deterrent, so you know “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t leak this stuff because my name’s all over it, and I’ll probably get in trouble.” So there’s things like that.

Emery Wells: There is DRM, so you can only view it maybe within Frame.io, but if you were to download it it suddenly wouldn’t work. You wouldn’t have the DRM keys any more. So as you said, as we talked about, lots of different facets to security, and depending on what you’re trying to protect against, there’s different things you have to think about, different things you have to invest in.

Larry Jordan: So let’s step back to a smaller producer that’s not a studio. Based upon what you’ve learned, over the last four years, what should we as producers of smaller sized projects, think about as we’re starting to plan our security? What questions should we ask ourselves?

Emery Wells: This will sound a little self-serving, but I think that even the smaller producers get to benefit from all the work we’ve had to put in to appease the larger content creators, so all this work we’re doing, it’s not exclusively available for only people who are doing high end tier one content. Frame.io runs on the same one security infrastructure, so everyone gets access to it. So it would say that first if you’re concerned about security, and not everyone is, by the way. You know, I think people that do content that is shorter lived, and faster turnover and things like that, there are people that are just less concerned about it. But if you are concerned about it, choose your vendors wisely. Choosing companies that have the time, the scale, the money to invest in a secure infrastructure. That means unfortunately, that a lot of the tools that might be developed by smaller companies are not necessarily always safe if you are sending sensitive data to them.

Larry Jordan: With Frame.io products do we need to pay extra for security?

Emery Wells: Not for any of the base level securities. There’s nothing today. We have a handful of security features that are available to the enterprise customers that are not available on the base level products, like our watermarking features. But the infrastructure, the core infrastructure, secure infrastructure, all the work that we do with threat detection and IP blocking and all that ongoing work is something that everyone benefits from.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to learn more about the products that Frame.io offers, where can they go on the web?

Emery Wells: They can go to frame.io.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, frame.io, not dot com, frame.io and Emery Wells is the CEO and co-founder of Frame.io and Emery, thanks for joining us today.

Emery Wells: Thanks Larry.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking, as I was talking with our guests this evening, I realized that security is not an us versus them proposition. Instead, it’s a partnership. Each of us holds different pieces of the puzzle, our facilities, employees, contractors, vendors and Cloud services each have a role to play in keeping our assets and media secure. As Emery Wells made clear, a totally secure Cloud service can be instantly undermined by untrustworthy employees.

Larry Jordan: As I learned from David Benson tonight, Cloud vendors may be more secure than your local office. The key is to work with them to develop the trust you need that they can handle your assets securely. Security may be more an issue of understanding and trust than technology. And to reinforce another comment from Emery, security is a moving target. What we need in the future will be different than what we have today. Be sure to pick vendors and employees that are able to continue to grow and learn from our rapidly changing technology landscape.

Larry Jordan: Which brings me to another point I want to mention this week. I’m still reflecting on Mark Harrison’s thoughts about the biggest news from CES. The ability for end users to directly reach content creators and bypass the studio system. This is analogous to what happened to both the record and newspaper industries, to devastating effect. If you’re a content producer, Mark’s thoughts are great news. It means that you can take your projects direct to consumers more easily than ever. Though this also means that you bear all the responsibility for marketing and distribution. The gatekeepers that have traditionally funded and controlled distribution no longer block your access to the market.

Larry Jordan: If on the other hand, you’re a content producer or a studio or a network with a library of titles that you expect to earn revenue on, this is terrible news. It means that your brand name and your distribution clout are quickly diminishing in value as consumers search for titles and artists not distributors. There’s also, I think, a corollary. Big budgets for production, marketing and distribution are still controlled by the studios. As the power and reach of studios becomes bypassed, those budgets will also decline. Only sure hits will be likely to see significant financing. You only need to look at the perilous financial state of newspapers, magazines and the record industry to see the potential for significantly disruptive change in our industry.

Larry Jordan: We can’t reverse technological trends, nor their impact on the market, but we can reflect on them and think about where we are vulnerable, and where we can benefit. Consider Mark’s comments a warning that, as usual, more change is coming. Just things I’m thinking about.

Larry Jordan:  I want to thank our guests this week, Mark Harrison with Digital Production Partnership, Jim Tierney with Digital Anarchy, David Benson with Bebop Technology and Emery Wells with Frame.io.

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.  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.  

Larry Jordan:   Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner with additional music provided by Smartsound.com.  

Larry Jordan:   Our producer is Debbie Price, my name is Larry Jordan, and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan:  The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2019 by Thalo LLC.

Digital Production Buzz – January 17, 2019

As more companies move media production and post to The Cloud, security becomes an ever-present concern. This week, we talk with experts on what it takes to keep our projects secure as collaboration increases and more assets are stored in The Cloud.

By the way, if you enjoy The Buzz, please give us a positive rating and review in the iTunes Store. We appreciate your support to help us grow our audience.

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Mark Harrison, Jim Tierney, David Benson and Emery Wells.

  • Security Basics for Cloud-based Media
  • We’ve Been Hacked! Now what?
  • Increase Collaboration, But Stay Safe
  • Security: A Never-Ending Process

Listen to the Full Episode

(To download the show, right-click Download and click “Save Link As…”)

Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week


Security Basics for Cloud-based Media

Mark Harrison
Mark Harrison, Managing Director, DPP (Digital Production Partnership)
The Digital Production Partnership is a UK-based organization that helps media companies cope with technological change. Tonight, Mark Harrison, Managing Director of DPP, shares his stunning observations about the recent CES show, then provides a basic overview of what we must know to keep our media secure in an inter-connected world.


We’ve Been Hacked! Now what?

Jim Tierney
Jim Tierney, President, Digital Anarchy
When you hear your server has been hacked your heart drops to your boots. Tonight, Jim Tierney, President of Digital Anarchy, shares his experiences when his company was hacked, how they discovered it and what they did to improve their security going forward.


Increase Collaboration, But Stay Safe

David Benson
David Benson, CTO & Co-Founder, BeBop Technology
Bebop Technology allows creative artists and companies to collaborate around the world. But, what’s the risk to your media as your assets leave your control? Tonight, David Benson, CTO and co-Founder of Bebop Technology, explains how they work behind the scenes to make sure your media doesn’t get out of your control.


Security: A Never-Ending Process

Emery Wells
Emery Wells, CEO and Co-Founder, Frame.io
Emery Wells, CEO and Co-founder of Frame.io, discusses how his company has worked to implement security for online media, why security is a moving target and what producers need to know to keep their assets safe; both locally and online.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – January 10, 2019

HOST

Larry Jordan

GUESTS

George Klippel, Director of Channel Sales, LiveU

Rony Sebok, VP Technology, 1 Beyond, Inc.

Scott Murray, Vice President of Product Management, Media, Telestream

Nick Mattingly, CEO, Co-Founder, Switcher Studio

James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS

==

Larry Jordan: Tonight, on the Buzz, we are looking at live production and distribution. Live has never been easier but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Tonight, we talk with the experts about the current state of live production, and streaming.

Larry Jordan:  We start with George Klippel, the director of channel sales for LiveU. LiveU enables live streaming from just about anywhere. Tonight, George explains what streaming is, why live events are better than recorded, and where LiveU can help producers with their next project.

Larry Jordan: Next, Rony Sebok is the vice president for technology of 1 Beyond. They’ve been involved with digital video for decades. Recently, 1 Beyond diversified into new automated video products, and tonight, Tony explains how live streaming technology has changed and what you need to know to get started.

Larry Jordan: Scott Murray is the vice president of product management for Telestream. Their product WireCast is used in tens of thousands of live streaming productions. Tonight, Scott explains what it is, how it’s used and the differences between planning for streaming distribution versus production.

Larry Jordan: Nick Mattingly is the CEO and co founder of Switcher Studio. This allows you to stream live directly from a cell phone or a mobile device. Tonight, Nick explains how it works and what you need to know to create successful live productions.

Larry Jordan:  All this, plus James DeRuvo with our weekly DoddleNEWS update.  The Buzz starts now.

Announcer: Since the dawn of digital film making, 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: 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.  

Larry Jordan:  Hi, my name is Larry Jordan. Tonight, we’re looking at recent changes to the world of streaming live events from sports to news to corporate communication. Just as the technology of production has undergone massive changes in the last few years, the distribution side of streaming has also changed. There are more than 100 services to help deliver your message live to the world, and as you’ll hear tonight, Microsoft made some very interesting recent announcements to its Office 365 suite of products that also affect streaming.

Larry Jordan: Streaming is the process of distributing your program to an audience via the internet. Standard video production techniques still create your show, using a wide range of gear from a cell phone to network broadcast grade equipment. It’s what happens at the output of your camera or the output of your video switcher, that we’re interested in this evening. That is where streaming gets involved, and as you’ll discover, there are a wide range of ways that you can now deliver your program live to the world.

Larry Jordan: By the way, if you enjoy the Buzz, please give us a positive rating and review in the iTunes store. We appreciate your support to help us grow our audience.

Larry Jordan:  Now it’s time for our weekly DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo.  Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Happy CES Larry.

Larry Jordan:  What a great way to start the year. CES is such fun.

James DeRuvo: There’s 110 to 180,000 media professionals, media personnel and people buying and selling technology in Las Vegas looking at the latest crazy devices, from Alexa enabled toilets to a flying taxi cab to some really cool products that filmmakers and content creators could get tempted to buy.

Larry Jordan: Let’s take a look at them, what’s the news this week?

James DeRuvo: The first one is if you swing by the Sharp booth, they are previewing an 8K pocket camera. It looks like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, it’s got a micro four thirds 8K image sensor that Sharp says records 8K at 30 frames per second using the H.265 codec but they’re working on making it 60 frames per second by the time they launch. It has this huge five inch pull out touch screen.

Larry Jordan: 8K James? 8K? What’s the image quality like?

James DeRuvo: Many are saying that the consumer oriented camera won’t live up to professional standards, due to stuffing so many pixels in a micro four thirds image sensor. That means the pixels have to be really super tiny and that’s going to invite a lot of image noise and fringing to the party, but we’ll see what they do. It does exist, they had the prototype there. It wasn’t turned on but we’ll hear more about it at NAB according to Sharp.

Larry Jordan: Sharp is out of the gate with an 8K camera, what’s next?

James DeRuvo: This is my favorite product at CES so far. It’s called the Elgato Key Light and it’s a desk mounted LED light panels for content creators. The big thing these days is either doing live video streaming, doing video blogging or live broadcasting of let’s play gaming videos is really big with the millennials, using your computer. The Elgato Key Light was designed with this type of content creator in mind. Key light is made out of 80 Osram LED ultra bright LEDs with a nice opaque diffuser built into it into a very thin adjustable light panel. The key light is adjustable to 2500 lumens, from zero to 2500 and has a color temperature range of 2900 to 7000 Kelvin. It’s controllable from your desktop, mobile device or Elgato’s stream deck controller and the best feature of all, $199.

Larry Jordan: This sounds a lot like the Lume Cube Air lights. Who’s the market?

James DeRuvo:  The market is for gamers who broadcast these ‘Let’s Play’ videos to their loving audience. That field is growing by leaps and bounds for online streaming. Right now, what gamers and content creators are doing is they’re using whatever lights they have, which means they have to pull their desk all the way out to make room for light stands and stuff. This comes with telescoping light stands that can be attached to your desk so you don’t have to move any furniture. The panels are super thin, you can control them from your computer, or your mobile device. They’re just beautiful and they cast this really great light to illuminate the content creator, video blogger, gamer, whatever. At $199, this could be my favorite product of the show so far, and it could be my best in show. We’ll see.

Larry Jordan: That’s the Elgato Key light. What’s our third story?

James DeRuvo: It wouldn’t be CES without displays, displays and more displays. The big one that’s stolen the show at CES this year is LG’s rollable 65 inch OLED TV which comes out of a cabinet much like a projection screen. You just push a button and it rolls out onto display so that you can watch television. It’s a bona fide TV set. This isn’t a screen. It’s a TV set with tuners, speakers, the works. LG not only amazed attendees with this roll up 4K OLED TV, they also built this tunnel towards their booth with hundreds of them curving in all these crazy directions. It’s a brand new technology, and it’s also being used for foldable LED smartphones which we also saw at CES this year. LG is also showing off a ridiculously wide 49 inch ultra wide monitor with a 32:9 aspect ratio. It’s got two built in ten watt stereo speakers, and supports HDR 10. It could be great for editors who need screen real estate.

James DeRuvo:  But if you don’t want to pay probably what’s going to be $3500 for a display, Targus has got this really cool quad video dock which connects up to four HD video screens through HDMI and then you connect it to your computer via USB-C and it also supports Thunderbolt 3, Display Port and works with PCs, Macs, Chromebooks and android devices.

Larry Jordan: So with all these displays what are your thoughts?

James DeRuvo: Post production requires a ton of screen real estate for color correcting, video editing, computer graphics and all that stuff. You need a lot of real estate and we’re getting by with multiple display screens. The ability to create one or buy one that’s just really super wide that can handle all of that screen real estate is really going to help because studies show that the more real estate you have the more productive you are. But the thing I don’t like about the LG 49 inch screen is if it breaks, it breaks. Then you have to go out and buy more monitors, whereas if you have a multi monitor setup and one monitor goes down, you can just plug in another one so I like that better.

James DeRuvo: Then there’s also one more that I want to share with you. Nvidia has previewed a line of up to 40 different laptops that support RED’s Red Rock codec that can work in 6K display resolution without the need to render or use proxies. These laptops are going to be launched at the end of the month and come with over 100 different configurations.

James DeRuvo: That’s what I’ve seen so far at CES Larry. What’s going on tonight’s show?

Larry Jordan: Tonight, we’re looking at live production and distribution from software to hardware solutions. How we can bring our message to an audience live.

James DeRuvo: Well if our audience has ever considered getting into live streaming on the net, tonight sounds like must see TV.

Larry Jordan: Absolutely correct with some really good ideas on ways to make it work.  And James, where can we go on the web to learn more about the stories at CES that you and your team are covering?

James DeRuvo:  All these stories and more can be found at Doddlenews.com.

Larry Jordan:   James DeRuvo is the Editor in Chief of Doddlenews.com and joins us every Thursday. James, you’re on assignment next week, so we’ll talk to you in two weeks.

James DeRuvo: See you by the end of the month.

Larry Jordan:  You take care.

James DeRuvo:  Bye bye.

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 platforms specifically designed for production.  These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in depth organizational tools for busy production professionals.  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 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: George Klippel is the director of Channel Sales for LiveU. He’s responsible for managing LiveU’s network of online reseller and distributor partners. Prior to joining LiveU he was a partner and strategic account manager at Avid Technology. Before that, he also served in the United States Marine Corps as a broadcast journalist with Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. Hello George, welcome.

George Klippel: Hey Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: From Armed Forces Radio to Avid to LiveU, your career seems to mirror the shifts in technology over the last many decades.

George Klippel: It truly has. Going from a tape based world to a non-linear world to a streaming world, that’s been the course of my career path and as you said it’s mirrored the shape of technology and the way that it’s going today, absolutely.

Larry Jordan: Tonight, we’re looking at live production, but before we get to LiveU, I appreciate your unique perspective. How has live production evolved if you look at it back when you started versus what we’re doing today?

George Klippel: It’s funny that you ask that. I think it’s really evolved from the times where you had single camera live shots and satellite trucks to where we are today where things have really shrunken down from those satellite trucks and single camera shoots to live shots that could be done with systems that use bonded cellular, that are the size of units that basically can fit in the palm of your hand. That’s really where this entire industry is moving and has moved to.  Everything that used to be live, used to require satellite trucks or online systems that were fairly complex to master and to utilize, to bonded cellular which is much easier to use and much more streamlined.

Larry Jordan:  Avid is known as an industry leader in non-linear post production. What was it that attracted you from post to live?

George Klippel: When I left Avid I was really looking for another opportunity to stay closely aligned to this industry and when I found out about the LiveU opportunity, it still dealt with a lot of the same customers that the folks at Avid were dealing with, the broadcast folks, the post production people. Some are literally aligned to what people were doing with Avid Technology product. They were looking to move and make transitions into live space if you will, and LiveU really fit that mark for me and it was something that I had really wanted to explore and get into and stay aligned with what my background was in. Being around people in post-production,  broadcast, television, feature film and production work, corporate industrial, the same people that were using non-linear editing systems like Avid or Final Cut or Adobe or what have you were the same people that were starting to explore the bonds of doing live production work or even remote or Remy production work.

Larry Jordan: Tell me about LiveU. Is the company focused more on products or services?

George Klippel: it’s a little bit of both. We’re mainly focused on products but we have products that are field units, those are the products that are really the encoders. We also have servers, those products are the decoders if you will that receive the signals from the field units and these field units connect to cameras and take your video and distribute it over IP to these servers, which then distribute those signals back out to your feed via SDI or RTMP depending on where you’re going in the production process.

Larry Jordan: Your device would connect either to the back of a camera or the equivalent of a video switcher, so I would produce the video and the audio, connect that output into your device, you would then be compressing it and streaming it up to the web, and then multicasting it out?

George Klippel: That’s correct, exactly. Our device really functions in two different ways. It can connect to the output of a single camera or via a switcher as you mentioned. And then it’ll end up going to the server or a Cloud server, so you can actually take it to one of our servers and the server can output SDI, it can output NDI, and then it can also go out RTMP, so it could go out to Facebook Live if you want, or YouTube or multiple destinations depending on what your needs are specifically.

Larry Jordan:  If I wanted to do a multicast, so that I go up to your server, and then you hit all the users rather than going to Facebook or YouTube, can I do that or do I need to get a third party like … involved?

George Klippel: No, we absolutely have the ability to do multicasts, and you could do that within the LiveU environment.

Larry Jordan: So what are some of your newer products?

George Klippel: We recently announced the LU300 in December, and it just started shipping. That’s our newest HEVC product which is a small form factor, weighs about a pound, pound and a half, and that’s a … solution that just came onto the market in December. It’s the little brother of the LU600 which has been on the market for just over a year. The LU300 is our second HEVC product and it’s been very well received.

Larry Jordan: Who would be a typical customer?

George Klippel: The typical customer for the LU300 really runs the gamut. Not only broadcasters are looking at this product but we see a lot of folks in the education space look at this product, corporate space as well as the athletic or sports arenas.

Larry Jordan: Do you have any special programs for education?

George Klippel: We do, we actually have an education initiative that specifically offers bundles, special education pricing and other things that are really designed to help our education customers going in this space with the delivery of this type of technology. Our goal is for students to be exposed to the technology they’re going to see when they get out there in the real world. A lot of journalism programs use our technology, a lot of athletic programs use it, so a lot of the schools take advantage of our education initiative, absolutely.

Larry Jordan: One of the challenges that we have is trying to get a signal out of a crowded space. I do every year a broadcast out of the NAB trade show which is like massively tech oriented. How can your device help get in a crowded bandwidth like that?

George Klippel: There’s two ways that we’re able to do that. The first way is with our new HEVC codec. It allows for the transmission of high quality video images at about half the bandwidth required for H.264 transmissions. So really in a high-density area like the NAB show or CES or other events like that, you’re able to transmit in low internet speed environments down to one or two megs, you’re able to get high 1080p video output using that HEVC codec that I mentioned.

George Klippel:  But we also have a technology called the LiveU extender and that is a device that can connect to these different field units that we have, that adds additional modems and capacity that allows you to, in those same situations, have a better chance of getting out for your broadcast and it has a better chance of reaching additional cell towers because it adds additional capacity as well as additional high frequency antennas, called the LiveU extender.

Larry Jordan: What advice would you give to a producer who’s trying to decide whether they want to do a live event or record it and stream it later?

George Klippel: I think the advice I would give them is, I would always prefer to go live. Live captures that moment, it captures the real time event and gives you the feeling that you can’t really capture again with a VOD type of event. It allows users to interact in real time with your guests, it allows you to have that experience in real time, again that you can’t get with a recorded event. And I think that’s one of the things that’s really exciting about live especially if you talk about sports. But even outside the sporting events, it’s real time information. If it’s a corporate event in particular you can get the information disseminated out in real time to your constituents. I think it’s reliable today. That’s the other key thing people used to hesitate over because of the reliability, and today live reliability is something that is just 100 percent.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about the products that LiveU offers, where can they go on the web?

George Klippel: They can go to www.liveu.tv for more information.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, liveu.tv and George Klippel is the director of channel sales for LiveU, and George thanks for joining us today.

George Klippel: Thank you Larry, I appreciate it.

Larry Jordan:  Rony Sebok is the vice president at 1 Beyond Digital Video Systems, a company that designs and manufacturers professional video systems for all aspects of the production and post workflow. Hello Rony, welcome back.

Rony Sebok: Hey Larry, Happy New Year to you.

Larry Jordan: And a Happy New Year to you as well. Tonight, we’re looking at live video production and 1 Beyond has been involved in video for years. What was it that sparked the company’s initial interest in digital video?

Rony Sebok: The founder of the company bought a camera 20 years ago, digital, new DV camera, so that’s how he got into digital video.

Larry Jordan:  What products do you have today that support live video?

Rony Sebok: So what got us into streaming is it’s clearly the new way of communicating, where they said a picture’s worth a 1,000 words, video is the way everybody likes to learn and communicate. So we’ve migrated from servicing the high end professional TV and film broadcasters, to now servicing the education and corporate market to get communications out with live production.

Larry Jordan: What’s the difference between a professional broadcaster and corporate or education?

Rony Sebok: These days, corporate and education can produce something that looks almost as professional as what you would see on ESPN or any news network that you can imagine. The tools these days provide just an incredible amount of capability for not very much money. So you can add titles to your broadcast, you can do fancy spins from one video to the other, you can do side by side shots to have an interview show with somebody. The tools are quite inexpensive and available to pretty much anybody, which is why corporate education, even independent folks wanting to put on live broadcasts are able to do it now with very high quality.

Larry Jordan: Give me an example of the tools that 1 Beyond provides?

Rony Sebok: 1 Beyond has the StreamMachine, which allows somebody to manually switch between one camera, another camera, content, let’s say PowerPoint slides, add titles, composite, like we were talking about, live stream, record. The future as we see it actually is in automation. So having a crew and a lot of camera operators is very expensive and companies are looking for ways to have the same production value but without the manpower.

Larry Jordan: What do you mean when you talk about automating the system? What’s automated?

Rony Sebok: Everything from camera movement, 1 Beyond has an auto tracker camera that automatically follows a presenter as they walk around. It uses facial recognition and motion detection, so that’s for the camera operator. And then there’s the auto switcher that we now offer, called Collaborate AVS, we’re renaming it now to just AVS. That stands for automatic video switching which will switch from camera to camera based on who’s talking. The microphones in the room can sense where the audio’s coming from and the cameras automatically switch.

Larry Jordan: Well let’s take the camera first.  How do you prevent an auto tracker camera from having very jerky moves, because traditionally automatic cameras would not provide a smooth camera move?

Rony Sebok: Exactly. That’s absolutely right. So these PTZ cameras originally were designed to go from preset to preset. Very jerky, really fast motion. To do smooth tracking, you need a motor that has gears that are more finite, more gradual. So we actually had to change the camera design in order to do it.

Larry Jordan: With an automatic video switcher, how do you prevent a cough from all of a sudden changing the focus of the scene?

Rony Sebok: Yes, that’s a great question. That’s always the problem. So that’s where the smarts of the algorithm come in. You know, we did a lot of testing in a lot of real world situations to get a sense of how long does a cough last? So we don’t switch immediately when there’s audio somewhere else. You get the sense of the rhythm of a conversation and generally it’ll switch when somebody talks for a certain period of time. But that’s obviously configurable in an interface, so if somebody’s conversation is different from somebody else’s, it can be tailored, but yes you essentially have to ignore short noises like that otherwise it’s terrible.

Larry Jordan: 1 Beyond’s been in the live streaming business for years. I remember you and I worked together on an NAB show a while back where we were looking at live streaming. What changes have you seen in the industry over the last few years, especially in terms of workflow?

Rony Sebok: There are more vendors out there providing encoders and streaming boxes, the prices are coming down. From our point of view it’s the automation so that there’s less effort required and more plug and play. Now you can stream from an iPhone straight to Facebook. You couldn’t do that a couple of years ago, and then the bitrates, people’s internet connections are getting better and better. People are consuming their television through the network so all the cable providers are providing higher bandwidth and that makes the quality of the video better.

Larry Jordan: What sort of bandwidth do we need for a live event? What should we request?

Rony Sebok: When you stream and consume media, that’s the downlink speed, but when you’re sending video out that’s your uplink speed. We say that your internet provider has to be able to provide twice what you want to stream. Let’s say you have ten megabits per second capability up, then you should be setting your stream to five megabits, and that’s a really good bitrate for a 1080p stream. Five megabits is fabulous. If you don’t have that, if you’re in a place where you only have let’s say five megabits of uplink, then you might decide to stream 720 at 2500 kilobits a second, instead of the 5,000.

Larry Jordan: Can we get a good stream at a 720p image at 2500?

Rony Sebok: Yes, absolutely. People are blown away actually by the quality of the streams you can get now. People used to set their bitrates at 500 kilobits or 750, so when you double, triple that, to let’s say 2,000 kilobits a second, we call that two megabits, it’s amazing what a quality difference is.

Larry Jordan:  How do we monitor the bandwidth that we’re using during a live event?

Rony Sebok:  With the various software that’s available, it’ll show you if the bandwidth is becoming a problem and in fact what happens is that your video starts skipping then. You start dropping frames. So there are indicators on the various devices and software that will show you if your internet connection is getting weak. But it’s really important to plan that ahead of time. Because there’s no way for you on your end to adjust that. So you always want to be conservative and stream underneath what you’re going to have at the venue. The problem is that can change from hour to hour. As the internet gets busy, sometimes the internet provider will scale back what bandwidth you actually have. So you’ve got to run some tests at the time of day that you expect to do your event, to make sure that you’re going to be OK with the bandwidth that you decide to choose. But that’s the beautiful thing, depending on what’s available, you can adjust your stream accordingly. What you want to do is stream the highest quality up, because then your provider is going to stream that down at whatever bitrate people can receive it at. Anybody’s who’s watched YouTube will see that you can check auto and then it’ll automatically detect what you’re able to watch and give you the best quality or you can pick what quality you want to view. But you can’t make quality where there isn’t.

Larry Jordan:  In your opinion, what’s the benefit to doing a live event versus an on demand event?

Rony Sebok: That’s a question that comes up a lot. Sports people want to watch live, because after the fact everybody knows what the score was, but let’s talk about a corporate training session or an announcement from a company. Certain things have to happen real live time because it’s a big announcement, and after that it’s old news. Also there’s interactivity with live so when you’re doing a training for your company, you want to allow people to ask questions. You want to see that interaction and live does that much better as after the fact you can’t ask questions of the presenter. On the topic of whether it’s useful to schedule events, I think it’s very important and useful because then people come to predict and expect that there’s going to be material available every Monday or something like that. So that even if they can’t attend live, they’ll know that it’s there and that draws your audience.

Larry Jordan: This question’s a lot like asking how long is a piece of string, but for a live production, what’s the basic equipment that I would need?

Rony Sebok: At the minimum, honestly, you need a laptop with a webcam. So a laptop with a webcam with let’s say WireCast software, allows you to stream. But very quickly you’re going to realize that that’s not the best quality camera, it certainly doesn’t move around so you’re going to then look for a more professional camera and then if you want more than one camera, so you want to be able to switch between one camera and another, then you want to start looking at a system like 1 Beyond has, a StreamMachine because then you need a switcher, encoder, recorder. The 1 Beyond product just puts all those into one box.

Larry Jordan: Rony, for people that want more information about the products that 1Beyond has available, where can they go on the web?

Rony Sebok: We’d love them to come to visit our website at 1beyond.com, that’s just the numeral one, not spelt out, 1beyond.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, 1beyond.com and Rony Sebok is the vice president of 1 Beyond, and Rony thanks for joining us today.

Rony Sebok: Thank you so much Larry. Have a nice year.

Larry Jordan: Scott Murray is the vice president of product management for Telestream. He’s been in marketing for over 30 years with marketing management and executive positions at Telestream, Grass Valley Group, Scitex Digital Video and Miranda Technologies. Hello Scott, welcome back.

Scott Murray: Hi Larry, great to hear from you and talk to you. 30 years? Where’s the time gone?

Larry Jordan: I know.

Scott Murray: Oh my gosh.

Larry Jordan: Tonight, we’re looking at live production and streaming. Where does Telestream fit into this picture?

Scott Murray: We fit into it in a couple of areas. We have a product called WireCast which we have tens of thousands of customers using it, churches, corporations and even companies like Fox Sports and major broadcasters have used and continue to use the WireCast product to stream and produce their content. There’s also a second piece that we have, on the Enterprise side, so Fox Sports for example leveraged our Lightspeed Live Enterprise class streaming encoder and capture product to augment their replay production capability at the World Cup this last year. We have actually a couple of areas that we’re very strong in live production in.

Larry Jordan: Let’s focus on the WireCast side rather than the Enterprise side. Before we talk about WireCast, it seems that live production falls into two sections, the production itself with cameras and lights, talent and audio, and then there’s the distribution whether it’s via broadcast or satellite or streaming. One, do you think that’s a good dichotomy? Two, where have the greatest changes been over the last few years?

Scott Murray: You’re absolutely correct in the segmentation. I use an example. I went to a little school called Cal Poly in central California on the coast, and I love Cal Poly. As I moved up here into the mountains of northern California, I couldn’t get Cal Poly football and I wanted to stay connected to my university because I just have an affinity for it. Why couldn’t I get Cal Poly football? As I got into the video business, it became really clear there were two areas and you’ve identified them exactly. One is the cost of production, two is the cost of distribution. So the equipment historically has been very expensive so there’s a huge capital investment, and then there’s an operating expense associated with it so it takes people to run most of that equipment. That’s the production side.

Scott Murray: On the distribution side, the historical distribution capabilities of cable and satellite have been prohibitive for businesses like Cal Poly to actually distribute their content. What’s gone on in the last few years is we now have tools that allow you to produce the content at substantially lower price points. In many cases, unattended live production is actually out there at this point if that’s what you want to do. Then there’s also the distribution with over the top distribution is ubiquitous. Everybody’s got a Netflix account or Hulu account or YouTube Live or Vimeo Live, Facebook Live, whatever. There are now over 100 streaming services out there, and now I can get my Cal Poly football in addition to Cal Poly wrestling, and swimming and baseball and anything else that allows me to stay connected to my university. Just because of the technology capability that has driven down the cost of equipment, cost of production, cost of distribution.

Larry Jordan: Many of us that have been in production for a while are very familiar with satellite distribution or broadcast distribution. But what is an efficient workflow? What’s like a checklist we need to keep in mind if we wanted to do live streaming?

Scott Murray: The output of your production needs to get sent to the Cloud. How do you do that? So usually there’s an encoder that’s either embedded into the software or hardware, or you take an SDI input, which is the base band output that would be normal distribution, and you encode that into an RTMP stream or an RTMPS stream. That’s the general accepted practice. That stream needs to be sent up to a Cloud provider to either a CDN that you have contracted with, or another platform such as Facebook Live or Vimeo Live, that allows you to do the distribution that you can allow your customers to dial into. So the hook between the production and the distribution really amounts technologically to quite simply, a good encoded RTMP stream. That’ll do it for you.

Larry Jordan: You mentioned the content delivery network, the CDN. I had the great pleasure of working with WireCast a couple of years ago when I was working out of my video studio. The very first live stream that we did, I didn’t know that CDNs existed, and so I had people attaching directly to my WireCast output and that didn’t work very well. How do we pick a content delivery network? What questions should we ask?

Scott Murray: Where do your customers want to go for their content? It really varies. So for example, there’s a broadcast company called Meredith which holds a bunch of local broadcast stations, Meredith broadcasting stations, and they’ve purchased WireCast Gear which is WireCast software on a preconfigured computer that we sell, that they’ve decided that their audience watches late breaking news through Facebook and Facebook Live. So what they wanted to be able to do was to send their late breaking news to Facebook, so that’s where they pointed WireCast to. But if you pull down the list of WireCast destinations, there’s a lot of destinations. Take Sunday for example. Let’s say a lot of your customers may want to be Sunday churchgoers, and they want to watch the local worship service and are not able to attend. There are other CDNs such as churchstreaming.tv and streamingchurch.tv that provide the CDN capabilities for the customers for where they want to go. So what that means is, most customers have a destination in mind of where they want to go watch their content on a website. There are cases also where you want to send it to multiple destinations and in that case, you either have to one, do it through your computer and identify all of these destinations you want to go to. Or two, you send one stream up to the cloud and you use a restreaming solution like what we have in our Telestream Cloud account that allows you to restream to all of these other destinations that you want to go to. There’s a couple of ways to go.

Larry Jordan: Earlier in the program, we talked with George Klippel who works with LiveU and as you know, LiveU makes an all in one hardware solution that does streaming. WireCast is essentially software. Why would somebody consider WireCast versus an all in one solution?

Scott Murray:  Oh different applications. We work with LiveU and LiveU has their own solution that allows you to go straight from the field into the destination that you want to go to. But if you want to provide some level of production you could use LiveU as an input into WireCast and augment the production with other things such as remote interviews with people over our rendezvous capability inside WireCast. So it’s kind of, what do you want to do on the production side? What are your camera sources? Who do you want to talk to? And how do you want to produce your event? Then you figure out where you want to go.

Larry Jordan:  The big challenge that we have that’s the unknown for many of us, is the whole concept of bandwidth. How do we plan the bandwidth that we need to connect WireCast up to the CDN?

Scott Murray: Great question. Most people think that it’s very simple and you can handle it without any problem. WireCast runs quite well on a laptop, but the horsepower required to do the encoding for multiple destinations is one thing. In addition, if you’re sending streams out to let’s say you want to do five or eight different destinations, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, CDNs and you want to do them all simultaneously, you’re going to need to send a separate RTMP stream to each one of those destinations so they can grab the stream. Now, you’re talking instead of just a really good quality four or five or ten megabit per second uplink, if you want eight systems, eight destinations, you’ve got to multiply that by eight. So you’re going, “Well crap, that’s going to cost me a lot of money to do and I’m going to have to get a big pipe.” This is where restreaming capabilities in the cloud come into play. With our WireCast restreaming capability you can send the output once up to the Telestream cloud, and then you can restream to any one of those destinations. We scale accordingly so you do not have to A, worry about the CPU encoding and B, you don’t have to worry about the bandwidth requirements from your computer or at your home or wherever you’re streaming from.  

Larry Jordan: Let’s just take that back one step. Let’s say that I want to have a single stream of 1080p. What’s my minimum bandwidth?

Scott Murray: Good quality four, five megabits per second?

Larry Jordan: OK, four to five megabits a second. And then on top of that we then have the distribution bandwidth which is based upon whatever our CDN charges.

Scott Murray: Correct.

Larry Jordan: What’s the starting price for WireCast? What does it cost to buy in?

Scott Murray: We actually have two models now. One of them is a perpetual license, we have two versions of software, Studio and Pro, 695 or 995 is the perpetual price for WireCast. Just recently, Microsoft announced if you’re a corporation they have a product called Microsoft office 365 stream and they are adding live streaming capability to their stream platform, and they have worked with us to create a version of WireCast that’s a subscription for live streaming into an Office 365 eco system for about $20 a month.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about Telestream’s products, where can they go on the web?

Scott Murray: Telestream.net.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, telestream.net, not .com. Telestream.net and Scott Murray is the vice president of product management for Telestream, and Scott thanks for joining us today.

Scott Murray: Have a great evening.

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Larry Jordan:  Nick Mattingly is the CEO and cofounder of Switcher Studio. This is an iOS app that enables anyone with an iOS device and an internet connection to capture and deliver multicam events to online audiences. Hello Nick, welcome back.

Nick Mattingly: Hey, happy to be here.

Larry Jordan:  Nick, this evening we’ve been learning about live production and streaming. Where does Switcher Studio fit into this whole process?

Nick Mattingly:  Switcher is a mobile creation platform as you mentioned. It’s a way to make video that looks like TV using devices you already own. We have a big focus on mobility and interactivity and if you’re looking to make video or you’re not chained to a desk, not looking to make a big investment in hardware before you get started, Switcher’s a great solution.

Larry Jordan:  What first got you interested in live event production?

Nick Mattingly: Prior to starting Switcher which we first launched in 2014, one of our cofounders and I had an agency and we were helping visitors that wanted to do online video and we had many clients that were wanting to make more video, higher quality video and it ended up being a big investment and so complicated in some cases that they’d have to hire someone just to run it, and we were trying to find a way to get people to say yes sooner. So we used a lot of different solutions on the market and decided to take a step back and reimagine what it would be like to make it easier for people to make this type of video and to imagine what that could look like for someone that’s never made video before so that they could give it a shot and be successful.

Larry Jordan: Well from 2014 until 2019, the world has changed. How has streaming evolved over the last few years? Where are we now?

Nick Mattingly: In 2014 when we first launched Switcher, UStream, LiveStream, those were the names that carried a lot of weight, and where a lot of the action was happening for live video. YouTube was doing a little bit, but it was primarily big events. Typically live video is something with a day, a time and a place and over the past 12 to 18 months, that’s changed a lot in our culture and as far as what’s accessible through free social platforms where Twitter and Facebook and others are offering live video as a part of their product offering. As a place where you can put content and not have to pay thousands of dollars a month for video hosting and delivery. Because of that we’re starting to see from our perspective, many businesses that are using this new format to communicate, to talk about their business and ultimately to drive sales.

Larry Jordan: Well let’s talk specifically about some of the products that you guys have got. What’s the latest news on your products?

Nick Mattingly: Just a few months ago, in October 2018, we introduced new plans so we have a personal and a professional plan. There’s our monthly subscriptions with an annual option as well. And the new professional plan allows you to do things where you can schedule broadcasts ahead of time. We also have an integration with Microsoft Stream which I think we’ll be talking about a little bit here later, and with the professional plan we also recently introduced video chat in an update just last week. With Switcher 4.0 you can now have a conversation in real time with someone from anywhere in the world, bring in a guest and make them a part of your production. On top of all the things that were already possible with Switcher. We’ve also laid the foundations for more cloud enabled tools where we can bring in real time data and push those on stream. We’ll have another upcoming release where you can take a comment from a viewer and put that on stream … activity like polling, and we’ll continue to iterate and improve.

Larry Jordan: One of the challenges that we have when we’re using cell phones for cameras, which is at the core of what you guys do, is that it’s really hard to change shot angles to zoom in or zoom out or make moves on air. How do you get around that problem?

Nick Mattingly: You see this a lot with especially social video and some things on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. It’s very easy to hit the button in those apps and go live and you don’t need anything extra to do that, but for the most part it’s one camera point and shoot. And with Switcher you can use those same devices, but you can put your logo on the screen. Or you could switch from the camera to a photo or a pre-recorded video and we even have a multi camera component so if you have a friend with another device, or you have a retired iPhone or iPad, you can open the app on another iOS device and very easily add another angle, a different perspective and as you start introducing more and more of these elements, it becomes much more engaging and people watch longer. It really changes the experience and allows you to do things that you wouldn’t be able to do with some of the native app experiences.

Larry Jordan: Totally agree, but let me ask my question a different way. Is there a way to do an on air zoom where we can change to go from a wide shot to a tight shot using your software? Or would I need to use two different cameras, one set tight and one set wide?

Nick Mattingly: OK, the answer is yes, but you would need two devices to have different perspective. You could have one camera that you could zoom with or you could adjust camera settings, white balance, ISO etcetera, but if the Switcher app is running on another iPhone or iPad, it shows up as a camera from your primary device and you can see it, and you can make adjustments to it before you choose to show it to your audience. So you have complete control of any other devices that you choose to bring in as part of your production.

Larry Jordan: So not only can we do multicam work, and we can integrate other titles or graphics, but we can also change the angle? So if we had a two shot and went to a single, and go back to a two, we could do that on one of the cameras that we’re feeding into Switcher Studio?

Nick Mattingly: Exactly. We also support what we call multi viewer … so allowing you to do a two up, or picture in picture and there’s several variations of that. There’s a lot of customizable control and that’s especially useful for things like the new video chat feature, if you wanted to show two guests on screen at the same time or a presentation or other information to go along with what you might be speaking about during your video.

Larry Jordan: One of the interesting pieces of news that Scott told us about and you’ve already mentioned it, is Microsoft Stream.  Tell me about that because at the corporate level, that’s a very exciting concept.

Nick Mattingly: Many of the listeners are probably familiar with Office 365 and as part of your Office 365 subscription you get Word, PowerPoint and Excel and a lot of these business tools that we’ve come to rely on. Over the past few years Microsoft introduced another platform within Office 365 called Stream where you could upload video and this was used for internal communication and training and as a repository for businesses to store the videos that they needed access to within their business. This past year, 2018, Microsoft Stream added the ability to do live video and Switcher was fortunate enough to be one of the launch partners for Office 365, so if you were to log into your Office 365 account and select the stream option, where you could post video or create events, Switcher’s included in the drop-down menu. You can select different encoders and we’re one of just a handful of partners and if you have a Switcher account you would select Switcher right within Office 365. You would create your event, those settings would be saved to your online Switcher account, and when you go to your mobile device, iPhone or iPad, it already knows what to do. Where to send the video. You just log in, hit the big red button and you’re ready to go.

Larry Jordan: That is so exciting and I wish you great success, especially with the corporate market with that. Before I let you go, we’ve heard from the folks at 1 Beyond and Telestream WireCast and LiveU and they all make good products, just as Switcher’s a good product. When should we consider using Switcher Studio? What’s the optimal first use?

Nick Mattingly: I think there’s a lot of different reasons to get into making video. For a lot of businesses, it’s not always something that is happening in house. In many cases it’s outsourced. Or something where you might contract a freelancer or have someone come in to do a promotional video or a video for your home page on your website or smaller, short clips for ads on social media. Live video is a really great opportunity for you to own that process and to go behind the scenes and really document what you’re doing. I would say, don’t let the technology get in the way of that. Everyone has a story to share, and all you have to do is open your phone and hit the button, and it’s built right into all these platforms that we’re using every day.

Nick Mattingly:  If that’s something that you’re starting to do and you’re having success with or you want to do more, Switcher is a really great stepping stone to be able to do more, to brand your content, to bring another element to help monetize what you’re doing and help drive sales. So I would say check out any of these solutions, everyone’s going to have different needs and they all fill different needs, but don’t let the technology get in the way. Share your story, just hit the button and when you want to do more, then you can start looking at some of these other solutions and find the one that makes the most sense for you.

Larry Jordan: For people that are ready to hit the button, where can they go on the web to learn more about Switcher Studio?

Nick Mattingly: If you want to try out Switcher, go to switcherstudio.com, there’s a 14 day trial included and then take it from there.

Larry Jordan: Switcherstudio all one word, and Nick Mattingly is the CEO and cofounder of Switcher Studio. Nick thanks for joining us today.

Nick Mattingly: Absolutely thank you.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking, as producers we have a lot of opportunities to create live productions for our clients. First this builds on all the production gear and skills we’ve developed over the years, plus the added excitement of doing it live. But planning a live production is more precise and much more detailed than planning a simple film shoot because unlike a typical recorded production, we don’t have the ability to fix it later in post.

Larry Jordan: Unlike a film shoot, which includes all the issues of planning a production, you know, the usual suspects of scripts, talent, sets, locations, crew, a live event adds the additional complexity of distribution. In the past, we would hand distribution off to a broadcast, cable or satellite partner, but today we handle it ourselves. However, just as you have dedicated specialists for actors, directors and crew, you also need someone dedicated to streaming.

Larry Jordan:  As you heard tonight, there are three main components to live streaming. First, converting the finished video signal into something the internet can understand. This is called encoding and most laptops can handle a 1080p encoding task. Next, we need to send this encoded signal, today we use H.265, to a streaming server. This is where sufficient upload bandwidth is necessary to transport the stream from the encoding computer located at the production site, to the cloud. The streaming server then delivers your signal to a CDN, a content delivery network that multiplies the signal for each audience member, and sends it out over the web for viewing. As you heard Scott Murray say, you can stream to a single network, say Facebook or multiple networks at the same time

Larry Jordan: Distribution can be simple, but it can also be complex and while most of us are more than able to handle it as part of a production package, it’s important that you plan ahead and test your entire network and workflow before the live event. This is a lesson that I learned the hard way the first time we streamed a video version of the Digital Production Buzz without using a CDN. Only three people could watch the show. Put someone in charge of the encoding and distribution that understands both networks and tech, the same way you’d put someone in charge of a camera that knows how to frame a shot.

Larry Jordan: There are more and more opportunities for producing live events for ourselves and our clients today. If you’re looking for new services to suggest to your clients, streaming has never been a more attractive option. Just something I’m thinking about.

Larry Jordan:  I want to thank our guests this week, George Klippel with LiveU, Rony Sebok with 1 Beyond, Scott Murray with Telestream, Nick Mattingly with Switcher Studio and James DeRuvo with Doddlenews.com.

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.  Remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Saturday morning.

Larry Jordan:  Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com.  

Larry Jordan:   Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner with additional music provided by Smartsound.com.  

Larry Jordan:   Our producer is Debbie Price, my name is Larry Jordan, and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan:  The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2019 by Thalo LLC.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – January 3, 2019

HOST

Larry Jordan

GUESTS

Michael Kammes, Director of Business Development, BeBop Technology

Philip Hodgetts, President / CEO, Lumberjack System

Maxim Jago, Director, MaximJago.com

Larry O’Connor, Founder & CEO, Other World Computing

Emery Wells, CEO and Co-Founder, Frame.io

Paul Babb, Head of Worldwide Marketing, Maxon

James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, DoddleNEWS

==

 

Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Buzz, we look forward into 2019 to spot emerging trends that will impact the media industry this year. We’ve invited seven futurists to share their thoughts on what’s coming.

Larry Jordan:  We start with Michael Kammes, the new director of business development for BeBop Technology. Then we’ll hear from Philip Hodgetts, the CEO of Lumberjack System, producer director Maxim Jago, Larry O’Connor, the CEO of Other World Computing, Emery Wells, the CEO of Frame.io, and Paul Babb, the new head of worldwide marketing for Maxon.

Larry Jordan:  All this, plus James DeRuvo with the weekly DoddleNEWS update.  The Buzz starts now.

Announcer: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking, Authoritative: One show serves a worldwide network of media professionals.  Current: Uniting industry experts. Production: Filmmakers. Post-production: And content creators around the planet.  Distribution: From the media capital of the world, in Los Angeles, California, the Digital Production Buzz goes live now.

Larry Jordan: 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.  

Larry Jordan:  Hi, my name is Larry Jordan. The start of a new year is as good a time as any to take a look around our industry to try to figure out what’s going on, and tonight, we’ve collected a great group of industry leaders and I’m looking forward to learning something new during our conversations. This will be an interesting show.

Larry Jordan: By the way, if you enjoy the Buzz, please give us a positive rating and review in the iTunes store. We appreciate your support to help us grow our audience.

Larry Jordan:  Now it’s time for our DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo.  Hello James, Happy New Year.

James DeRuvo: Happy New Year 2019 Larry.

Larry Jordan:  It’s going to be an exciting time, no question, and I can’t think of a better way to start than with you and the news. What you got for us?

James DeRuvo:   Well we’re still recovering from a post holiday stupor so I thought since we were going to be talking about trends in 2019 tonight, that we’d talk about what may be coming in the next few months.

James DeRuvo:  So kicking off the first story of the year of course RED had to get in the mix and they previewed a picture of their new Lithium 4V holographic camera that they’ve been developing with Lucid Technologies. It’s going to contain dual 4K image sensors for an 8K stereographic image, and the control hub for this camera, it’s not going to have a conventional brain like you think. It looks like it’s going to be controlled by the RED Hydrogen One 4V smartphone.

Larry Jordan: Well let’s back up a step for people that don’t necessarily live on the cutting edge of future technology. What’s 4V?

James DeRuvo: 4V stands for 4 view, and the best way I can describe it is, you remember those old Viewmasters that we got to play with when we were kids? A 3D image with depth and everything. It’s kind of a very high-tech image like that but only more advanced, coming from your smartphone screen, so you don’t need any type of virtual reality glasses or goggles or anything like that. It’s just there. But honestly, I think it’s too soon to tell if 4V holographic content is going to take off. If we look to the past to see what these kind of technologies perform, we only need to look at both 3D and virtual reality to see that 4V may be the next great technology but it may also be a very small percentage of the market.

Larry Jordan: That’s RED. What’s your number two story?

James DeRuvo: It has to do with CES. If we’re going to talk about trends in 2019, the first place to hit the ground running is the Consumer Electronic Show which is now for some reason, just known as CES. They’re going to be showing electronic technology from all over the world, from every single conceivable electronics category you can think of. I like to call it Nerdstock, and the big buzz word is going to be the emergence of 5G mobile internet access. Not only with your mobile phones, but Intel is pushing 5G for your laptops, so that your internet access will always be on no matter what device you’re carrying and no matter where you are.

James DeRuvo: TV manufacturers will also be showing off the future 8K monitor designs, but industry analysts all agree that this year is going to be an off year for TVs as 4K prices have come down and content is only now getting to the point of market saturation where we’re going to see every Blu-ray coming out in 4K. But even then, we’re still in a 1080p in the broadcast world and even some broadcast channels are still broadcasting in 720p. So the only place that you’re going to see 8K broadcast is out of Japan right now. Industry analysts all agree that 8K is still way over the horizon.

James DeRuvo:  The other thing that’s going to be big at CES is going to be augmented reality as it officially replaces virtual reality in many hearts and minds this year. Application developers are opening up their apps for overlaying data onto real world images from their app, and that means that augmented reality is really going to be the hot thing this year instead of VR. VR by contrast is going to be going through an adjustment period as manufacturers like Oculus tack their way towards devices that are lower priced and don’t require a high priced computer to drive them. But even then, I still think VR isn’t long for this world.

Larry Jordan: OK, 5G at CES means that it’s still a while before it hits the mass market but this is exciting news for those that need faster wireless download speeds. What’s your thought?

James DeRuvo: 5G is closer than you think. AT is already starting to push what they call 5G enhanced, and you should be seeing a 5GE logo on your mobile devices in the next few months. But T mogul executives are arguing that it’s just a marketing ploy and that it’s not really here yet. But many carriers are gearing up for it, and it’s expected that 5G will launch later this year.

Larry Jordan: What’s our third story?

James DeRuvo: Well I know you don’t really like rumors, but there’s persistent talk that Sony may showcase an 8K full frame mirrorless camera in response to the full frame mirrorless cameras that were announced last year by Panasonic, Canon and Nikon. While that may happen at CES, I don’t think it’s going to be an official major announcement, and even then, it’ll likely be much like the A73 which uses a 6K sensor that downscales to a 4K image. So even then, I think it’ll technically be an 8K image sensor in an A74 but look for it to be a 6K image that comes out the other end.

James DeRuvo:  Meanwhile, in an interview with DP Review, Panasonic executives stated that their company is developing 8K cameras, but they’re not even going to be putting one out until after the Olympics in 2020.

Larry Jordan: I’m very curious to see where this resolution battle ends up because while I can understand the value of 4K, I’m not sure the value of 8K images or beyond is worth compared to say HDR and lower resolutions.

James DeRuvo: I completely agree. I think if anything the market for 8K would be in the movie theaters, but even then, those movie theaters only recently underwent an extensive and expensive refit to 4K projection, so I don’t think their advancement timetable for 8K is as quick as the manufacturers would like. That’s just the way it is, so I don’t think we’re going to see 8K anywhere until after the Olympics in 2020. That’s the beginning of 2019 Larry. That’s where we are and the good news is NAB is only four months away.

Larry Jordan: Oh very true.

James DeRuvo: Tell me more about what’s going on on the Buzz tonight.

Larry Jordan: Well tonight on the Buzz we’re picking up on your idea of looking forward into the year 2019 with some of our favorite futurists talking about what we can expect in the upcoming year, and it’s going to be an interesting show.

James DeRuvo: You know, I always love looking over the horizon and seeing what’s coming.

Larry Jordan: Especially when we can guess right.

James DeRuvo: Indeed.

Larry Jordan: And where can we go on the web to learn more about the stories you and your team are covering?

James DeRuvo:  As always in 2019, all these stories and more can be found at Doddlenews.com.

Larry Jordan:   James DeRuvo is the Editor in Chief of Doddlenews.com and joins us every week.  Have yourself a great year, and we’ll see you next Thursday.

James DeRuvo: Happy New Year.

Larry Jordan:  As director of business development for BeBop, Michael Kammes leverages his experience with creative technology and tools providers to accelerate growth and provide strategic perspective across marketing sales and partnership. He’s also a frequent and welcome contributor to the Buzz. Hello Michael, welcome back.

Michael Kammes: Larry, great to hear your voice and Happy New Year.

Larry Jordan: And a very Happy New Year to you. Michael, as you just heard on our DoddleNews update, we’re taking a look back at 2018 and projecting coming trends for 2019. But before we start, there’s a new title attached to your name. Congratulations. Tell me about your new position.

Michael Kammes: I’m working at BeBop Technology which is obviously a technology company that focuses on editorial and VFX and creative applications in the Cloud. So instead of having a machine local next to you that you have to upgrade every couple of years and take care of, you can use any pedestrian computer, access a virtual machine in the Cloud, and edit whether it be video or motion effects like you’re sitting in front of the machine.

Larry Jordan: Congratulations on your new position and your new company and I wish you all success in the future.

Michael Kammes: Thank you so much Larry. I appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: So put your technology hat on, what are some of the highlights that caught your eye from 2018?

Michael Kammes: Well in Hollywood at least, we got really excited because Google’s put in a data center in Hollywood. So that means anyone who wants to access the aforementioned Cloud, can do it with local resources, meaning in town, and that helps out a lot. I know that’s not great for people who are outside Hollywood, but for the microcosm that is Hollyweird, it’s fantastic.

Larry Jordan: Back that up. Yes, Google’s got a data center in LA, but we still have to dial out or whatever it is up to the web before we can get to it. Why is having a local resource important?

Michael Kammes: Well I don’t know about you Larry but I don’t do much dialing lately. I ran out of my AOL hours so I’m not dialing as much anymore. But you’re right, for the folks who are local, you do obviously have to get out to the internet. So it is dependent on your connection at home. But if you’re playing video live, trying to back files up, trying to copy files back, you can interact with them faster if they’re sitting on Google storage in a data center that’s near you. It also allows developers to put together applications that require that kind of short latency by having that data center close to you. So for us folks out here, it’s fantastic.

Larry Jordan: OK, well don’t tell my phone that I can’t dial out anymore.

Michael Kammes: The other big thing I saw last year was folks can finally afford NVME flash media. For years we’ve had to deal with spinning disks and then we went to SSDs which were a great tradeoff between speed and cost, and solid state flash memory has always been prohibitively expensive. But we’re seeing that price drastically drop and now you can use that to house the OS on your PC. You can use these kinds of storage solutions in multiple types of computers which allows you to get thousands of megabytes a second of throughput as opposed to dozens or hundreds like we had with SSDs and spinning disks.

Larry Jordan: What’s the difference between an SSD and an NMVE disk?

Michael Kammes: The NVME is essentially flash memory and depending on what kind of form factor it has it’s commonly referred to as M.2 which is the form factor which attaches to the mother board. So you’re effectively using that NVME which is flash storage, as a ‘hard drive’, and you get much better performance.

Larry Jordan:  Do we have the same level of reliability that we do with an SSD?

Michael Kammes:  Completely because it’s solid state, there isn’t moving parts which means you’re going to have much increased reliability compared to hard drives, and even better shelf life than SSDs.

Larry Jordan:  Let’s flip forward to 2019, what trends are you looking forward to?

Michael Kammes:  Well I know a lot of editors aren’t going to like this, but we’ve seen this over the past couple of years, and that’s moving from a CapEx to an OpEx, and let me explain that a little bit. Traditionally you buy software and you own it. Avid used to do that back in the day, Adobe did it, Apple still does it today. You buy it, you own it, done. A lot of folks like that, because it’s a one time expenditure, but what we’re seeing is a lot more companies, especially in editorial space, have said “We can’t project how business is going to fly, so we’re going to start charging per month.” I know a lot of editors do not like that, however there is something to be said for shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re not using it on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. So I think people are going to have to start adjusting the way they spend money to go on a monthly plan or maybe paying at the beginning of a year than having to just fork it out once and be done with it.

Larry Jordan: OK, I can see that that’s going to cause a lot of controversy.

Michael Kammes: Luckily, Adobe took the bullets on this one and now everyone’s falling in line. I’m also a fan of video over IP. Obviously the standard has been ratified I think SMPTE 2021 if I’m not mistaken, and 2022. The big player is NDI which is network device interface, and this is from a company called NewTek which was one of the first companies to look at this video over IP standard and say, “This is fantastic but it’s not great for a majority of people out there because they don’t have that kind of infrastructure, either for their network or for their internet pipe.” So NewTeK came out with a way of taking full motion video, SD, HD etcetera, and compressing it down to a video stream over your network, which means you now can beam video around your network like a traditional video router, and even outside your network to distant places without getting a satellite truck, and without expensive interconnects.

Larry Jordan: Now that’s very cool. We’ve got to bring you back to talk more about all of this stuff, but for people that want to keep track of what you’re thinking and writing, and especially 5 Things, how can we find you?

Michael Kammes: Well thank you so much for that. Michaelkammes.com and we also have my technology podcast and web series, 5thingsseries.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s the number five, 5thingsseries.com and Michael Kammes is the director of business development for BeBop and Michael, I promise we’ll bring you back soon.

Michael Kammes:  Hope you feel better Larry. Thank you.

Larry Jordan:  Take care, bye bye.

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 platforms specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in depth organizational tools for busy production professionals. 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 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 recognized as a leading technologist as well as the CEO of Lumberjack System. Even better, he’s a regular here on the Buzz where he specializes in explaining new technology. Hello Philip, welcome back.

Philip Hodgetts: Happy New Year to you Larry.

Larry Jordan: A very Happy New Year to you as well. You know, it seems appropriate seeing as this is the first Thursday in a new year, to look and try and figure out what’s coming, and nobody can spot the future better than you can so I’m going to dump the whole burden on your shoulders. What do you see as key trends this coming year?

Philip Hodgetts: I would like to point out that if I was really good at predicting the future, I’d be a whole lot richer. So keep that in mind. I think it’s going to be one of those years where we get both the high and the low end exploding at the same time. By which I mean at the high end I think we’ll see a lot more raw acquisition, that’s been an ongoing trend over the last couple of years. At the low end I think mobile production is just going to explode. Of course machine learning and artificial intelligence is going to be at our side the whole year, so to me they’re the three big things that I’m looking at this year.

Larry Jordan: At the low end you talked about exploding production, what do you mean?

Philip Hodgetts: I have within grabbing distance, five HD cameras. Within the room I could add another two to that, all 4K cameras. None of them would be too big to put into my pocket. Yesterday I carried an entire multi camera live streaming kit in a bag, and that included tripods for the cameras, tripods for lights, battery powered LED lights on very low footprint plant. Using Switcher Studio to do a live stream, the two cameras were old iPhones that are essentially now wifi cameras. Network connected smart cameras. An iPad, and that was the production kit. Everything to do a live stream out to Facebook was there in a very small bag. Most of which was mounts to put up lights and cameras. You combine that with other software options on mobile like LumaFusion from LumaTouch, that’s a very powerful professional NLE on an iOS device. These tools are just exploding, and they’re putting the creativity into the hands of everybody. This has always been Apple’s goal, to put the tools of creativity and make them accessible to everybody, and now we’re seeing this explode. Whether you’re on iOS or Android or other platforms you have the ability to produce high quality video and stories. So it’s really up to you now to tell the story you want to tell, to find those stories rather than have these blockages that we had when we started our careers, where access to quality equipment was expensive and hard to find.

Larry Jordan: Part of this is not only access to low cost production equipment, but also a diversity in delivery platforms. Distribution has also exploded. What’s your thought on that?

Philip Hodgetts: Absolutely. I see that Netflix are planning to do 90 feature films this year with budgets up to 200 million dollars a film. I mean, that’s almost a 25 percent increase in the amount of feature films that are created every year. I see a number of pressures that’s going to happen from this increase in production, one is that it’s going to push good talent, and make good talent much more valuable. But I think it’s going to push people to use tools to assist themselves be more productive and bring the cost of production down.

Larry Jordan: Which gets into your feeling on AI. What are your thoughts there?

Philip Hodgetts: I’ve had a little bit of a change in thinking about AI over the time we’ve been talking about it. I’ve started to see the big potential, like wouldn’t it be great if we could do basic stringouts or automatically tag key words and things? And I see that it’s still being reasonably good goals to achieve, but not something that we’re going to get to quickly, if ever. But what I am seeing is that machine learning is there around us all day every day. Somebody today was on Twitter saying that they had a new way of removing backgrounds from portraits, just using machine learning, that they had just fed in a lot of images, and the machine learned how to take backgrounds out from around fine hairs and the like. The color matching in Adobe Sensei, in Premiere Pro, that’s all AI based, not just a simple algorithm that says “Well if this color is at this level, then we need to adjust it to that level and that color.” Simple color matching has been made more sophisticated. To the degree that it will start to take away the need for some of those colorist jobs who can now devote all their attention to the raw footage they have to process.

Larry Jordan: We had a good conversation about a month ago with Terry Curren from AlphaDogs and Mark Raudonis from Bunim/Murray. The market seems to be splitting into the high end and the low end where the middle ground is disappearing. Is it still possible for us to make money in the middle ground, or is it really just splitting into two groups?

Philip Hodgetts: I think that’s indicative of the way society’s intending to split into two groups, one at the top and one at the lower end. These are great times to be making content, but the sort of business where we saw production technologies and skills as being the thing we sold, I think is the area that’s going to be most at risk because it’s something people feel they don’t need to pay for anymore. The technology’s become a lot cheaper and those skills are taught in school.  That’s becoming yet another threat to the mainstream media, because the generation of tweens and young teens and below are just making video for themselves. They’re not waiting for some gatekeeper to let them in and to start getting access. So when those corporate clients see that sort of thing going on around them, they see the kids doing that, they wonder what the value is that they’ve been paying for and that’s where I think those businesses get a little bit stretched in the middle.

Larry Jordan: Philip, for people that want to keep track of your thinking on the web, where can they go?

Philip Hodgetts: Philiphodgetts.com or lumberjacksystem.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, philiphodgetts.com and Philip Hodgetts himself who’s the CEO of Lumberjack System is who we’ve been chatting with. Philip, have yourself a wonderful New Year and I look forward to talking to you soon.

Philip Hodgetts: And to you too Larry. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Maxim Jago is a film director, screen writer and author who splits his time between film making and speaking as a futurist, especially at events that celebrate creativity. Welcome back Maxim.

Maxim Jago: Hello Larry, it’s nice to be with you.

Larry Jordan:  Tonight we’re taking a look back at 2018 and then using that to help figure out what’s coming in 2019. As you look back, what were some of the key highlights for you in 2018?

Maxim Jago: A few things that jump out at me, one thing is that we really are seeing now the distribution landscape changing. So that people genuinely can make a living and get an income from what used to be called social media platforms, but now I think perhaps out to just be called media.  We’ve seen this transformation of online distribution platforms like Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Studios, transforming into full blown studios that are operating in the same way that the other studios have for decades. So I think that we’ve completed the migration from traditional distribution mediums to the new wave. New media can no longer be called new media. I think one of the other lessons that I’ve taken away from 2018 is that more pixels definitely does not mean a better user experience, and I think that the companies developing technologies to support audiences are coming around to the importance of the audience experience above the color acuity and the pixel count and that kind of thing. So for example, we’ve seen not an enormous take up of VR headsets where you need more complex technology, more complex configuration, but we’ve seen great take up for standalone VR headsets, that you just turn on and although they have simplified functionality, they’re much easier for people to access. So I think there’s been this shift of thinking towards easier audience experiences.

Larry Jordan: One of the things you mentioned was that distribution has expanded far beyond traditional broadcast and cable into what we used to call social media. But from what I’m hearing from others, the business model has not shifted so that we’re not making the same amount of money with social media outlets as we are with traditional broadcast and cable. The dollars have not kept up which has implications for higher quality or more expensive productions. Would you agree or disagree?

Maxim Jago: I think I would totally agree, and I think what we’re seeing is almost a repeat of, if you look at the early stages of commercial cinema and commercial TV, there was this kind of battle of experiences where people would argue that it’s not as good on TV but others would argue it’s more accessible and how can you make the same money? Ultimately they’re different beasts that have different benefits, different costs. I think that what we’ve seen is a watering down of the distribution landscape which has been very challenging for the smaller operators producing independent content for example, or the smaller distributors.

Maxim Jago:  But what I think we’re seeing with the larger studios is really business as usual. If you look at companies like Netflix for example, they really do seem to be operating in a studio model. They won’t take meetings with just anybody, they want introductions and they are already looking very seriously at taking on a ship of theaters so that they can have both an online and a traditional theatrical release. So I think for the majors, it kind of is business as usual.  They’re taking command of every output channel possible. But it is less efficient than just saying “We have broadcast TV and we’ll do a license deal and we’ve got cinemas and we own them all, and that’s the end of it.” Now what we’re starting to see is this much more complex process where each different distribution platform requires its own deals. And those are very inefficient legally. If you don’t have an in house legal team, which of course these major studios have, it can take a massive chunk of the potential revenues away.

Maxim Jago:  So one of the things that’s very interesting that’s coming up and I may be jumping ahead here, is the implementation of smart contracts to manage payments in productions, particularly independent productions, and there’s some very interesting developments coming there.

Larry Jordan: Let’s take a look forward then. Building on what you saw in 2018, what’s coming in 2019?

Maxim Jago: First of all, Nvidia have shown these examples of artificial faces. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of that? It’s absolutely fascinating because they really are pretty much indistinguishable from natural human faces but they’re not based on anything. They’re procedurally generated and this is both beautiful and terrifying because it puts into question the role of actors in films, that combined with Google’s procedurally generated human speech system, it’s not a speech synthesis system, it’s actually generating speech, means that we’re moving towards virtual actors, which I think is something we’ve spoken about before.

Maxim Jago:   So we’re seeing some new technologies coming online. We’re seeing very high quality built in inside out motion tracking VR headsets. Oculus have announced something that’s coming, the Quest headset. I’ve been working with a company, GameFace Labs, producing core.live which is a micro form factor super computer for VR and other gaming experiences.  We’re seeing this new generation of technology coming online but all of that to me is just another medium, it’s another way for audiences to experience things. And what it always comes back to, is the story and that’s not changing at all. People need to tell stories, and they need to tell stories that people care about.

Maxim Jago: But what I also see happening is in the business side of production. We’re now looking at the meaningful implementation of cryptocurrencies which, to put as briefly as possible, is just a more efficient way for us to transact money, but what crypto currencies allow us to do is use smart contracts where you can build into the whole process of distribution the payments that are due to participants in the project.  So for example, if your music composer is due to get perhaps one and a half percent of your net profits, that can literally come from each individual ticket sale via an automated process with nobody in the middle promising to be honest about what the revenues are, because the whole thing is automated and every transaction is recorded on a block chain, which means that it can be verified and checked and can’t be faked. So we’re starting to see mechanisms coming in that are automating a very honest, what people are referring to as a trustless transaction system, where trust is irrelevant to the transaction because we don’t need trust. We have a mechanism in place that is by design honest. And I think that’s going to be very interesting for collaborative creative productions where people just get together and decide to make something amazing and everybody who participates benefits.

Larry Jordan: Fascinating. For people that want to keep track of what you’re thinking and researching and especially the projects you’re working on, where can they go on the web?

Maxim Jago: I’m easy to find. I’m at maximjago.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word maximjago.com, and Maxim Jago is the voice you’ve been listening to. Maxim, thanks for chatting with us today.

Maxim Jago: Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s always a pleasure.

Larry Jordan:  Larry O’Connor is the founder and CEO of Other World Computing, which we all know as OWC. Founded in 1988, OWC is both a developer and a reseller supporting all things Mac for more than 30 years. Hello Larry, welcome back.

Larry O’Connor: Hey, how you doing Larry?

Larry Jordan: Well, aside from a cold I’m doing great. How about yourself?

Larry O’Connor: No complaints at all.

Larry Jordan: That’s always a good way to start the year. This week we’re looking back at the highlights of 2018 and projecting key trends for 2019. But before we do that, congratulations to OWC’s acquisition of Akitio which was announced this morning. Why did you acquire the company?

Larry O’Connor: You know, they’re a good fit for us. They complement us in areas where we have some gaps and we have different technology that accelerates and enhances their product line so for lack of any other good reason, they’re a really good fit for us and there’s plenty of other great reasons that made this something that we really couldn’t pass up. It’s a win for both organizations.

Larry Jordan: What happens to the Akitio team?

Larry O’Connor:  They’re now part of the OWC family. So everybody who was part of Akitio is remaining with OWC. So they have now become a part of Team OWC as of just a couple of weeks ago.

Larry Jordan: Congratulations to everybody. As we look back at 2018, from your perspective what were some of the highlights?

Larry O’Connor:  We saw bigger hard drives, we saw faster Thunderbolt arrays, more drives NRAs, solid state drives finally started to come down in price. I could go on and on. The big thing that didn’t change of course, the number of ports on these machines and the need for additional ports that connect into them. We did see for the first time 32GB in Apple laptops which is a nice jump forward with Apple’s new MacBook Pro line but still we face the port challenge.

Larry Jordan: That brings up your reactions to the new Mac Mini.

Larry O’Connor: The Mac Mini is kind of a step in the right direction. We unfortunately got the solid state … but you do have some nice ports for expansion on the back. It’s got nice Thunderbolt 3 ports, they’re still fixing a little power issue with those Type-C ports, but the memory’s upgradable. That was a reversal of what they did in 2014 and instead of being limited to only 16GB from the factory, now you can upgrade all the way up to 64 gigabytes and that’s something you can do starting from 8GB, and at your leisure move all the way up. So it’s nice to see Apple bringing back user expandability and upgradeability again. I like the Mac Mini, I think it’s expensive but I do like its long term flexibility and the ability to keep it future proof.

Larry Jordan: I confess I purchased one and I’ve been having a great deal of fun playing with it, so I second your opinion. It may be a bit expensive but it’s a great tool. As you look at hardware looking back at 2018, what do you see driving hardware changes in 2019?

Larry O’Connor: I hope the user gets a chance to drive some of those changes. I hit the Mac Mini real quick and with the ports it’s got you can give that the same horsepower as a MacBook Pro or even an iMac Pro. Now it’s just like connecting a VGA … EGPU card, like a Helios FX, into one of the … ports that you can upgrade the GPU, give it a GPU in this particular case, do the same kind of heavy lifting that an iMac Pro can do. In 2019 I like what Apple did with the Mac Mini last October, and I really hope they continue those thoughts when we get to the next Mac Book Pro, the next iMac. And of course hopefully a Mac Pro refresh to bring back the ability for the user to have some flexibility in where its future goes and gosh, I hope they do something about the keyboard on the Apple laptops. Maybe younger folks don’t mind, but I have a hard time with that. The butterfly one, two, three, I don’t care. Whispers, you’re tapping on like hitting a board compared to the nice keyboards that Apple I would say abandoned with the Retina after 2015.

Larry Jordan: For someone who spends a lot of his time writing, the keyboard is a really important aspect of that to me. We are all keeping our fingers crossed for what Apple develops for the modular Mac Pro. I think that is one of the key driving factors of excitement in the coming year.

Larry O’Connor:  I’ve been saying for a long time that the base systems become less and less relevant as we go forward in terms of what’s built into it and to some degree what, even what OS is some degree run on it. People want things to get the job done, as more move to the Cloud, less dependencies on that core system. Apple needs to listen to its user and give the user what they’re asking for. Give the consumer what the consumer needs. Give the professional users a machine that they really can make great use of.

Larry Jordan: What’s been the reaction to the EGPU? Has it been well received?

Larry O’Connor:   It’s been fantastically received. It gives new life to systems that otherwise might have been shut out. The new AR and VR technologies and even what … does in terms of its different effects. Knowing that you have a processor that’s great and a big load is put on the GPU and now you can upgrade that GPU but to something that plugs in externally, is really sweet. When you look at the Mac Book Air 2018 that just got introduced about the same time as the Mac Mini, there’s another machine that on its own is fine for a lot of basic work. But you can get back to base, plug in a dock, plug in an EGPU, and now it’s a workstation.

Larry Jordan: What trends in media are you expecting for 2019?

Larry O’Connor : We’re seeing the first 8K broadcast coming up soon in Japan and that of course finds its way back here. 8K sets are coming out so more and more demand on high resolution video capture means more demand for capacity, store the media that’s going to be generated at that high resolution. The nice thing that supports that for the editing and the processing side, is the lower cost per gigabyte on the sellers state drive side. We’re going to see a lot more … SSD, or something for the editing, for the post processing. And just greater demand for hard drive storage to have all those raw files, all the duplicates, the backups of that source.

Larry Jordan: Michael Kammes was seeing a shift from SSD to NVME storage. Are you seeing the same thing?

Larry O’Connor : NVME is just another interface for flash, but when we’re talking SSD the traditional SATA drive, the NVME which is a PCIE direct storage solution, I would absolutely agree with that more and more. It’s definitely going the NVME route, even in our externals. All of our new solutions are now NVME based. We still support the standard systems for USB 3.0 the standard two and a half inch SSD, but everything USB Type-C gen two and everything, Thunderbolt 3 it’s all going NVME. So I guess the easier way to put it out there, there’s going to be more flash solid state flash storage going forward for the heavy lifting versus in the past where budgets kind of constrained that. But yes, data is in general, and we’re talking not just sad interface, solutions for anything where speed is talked about that’s going to become the minority versus NVME, PCIE the flash spotlight.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about the products that OWC offers, where can they go on the web?

Larry O’Connor : You can visit OWC.com and find everything via OWC digital, find out where to buy, what’s new and what we can do for your computer. So everything’s there now.

Larry Jordan: Larry O’Connor is the founder and CEO of OWC and Larry, thanks for joining us today.

Larry O’Connor: Great way to start the new year off and thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Emery Wells is the co founder and CEO of Frame.io, a video review and collaboration platform used by hundreds of thousands of media professionals and companies. Prior to Frame.io he was an award winning producer and visual effects supervisor. Hello Emery, welcome back.

Emery Wells: Hello Larry, always a pleasure to be here.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that a change in the year does is it gives us a chance to look back and look forward. As you look back on 2018, what were some of the key highlights?

Emery Wells: A couple of key highlights for Frame.io was our launch of workflow extensions for Final Cut Pro and I think that was something that’s going to be important for the industry at large. We were a launch partner with Apple in launching the very first workflow extension. I think ProRes RAW is going to be something that is important. I’m quite proud of the workflow guide that we launched at Frame.io. It’s 100,000 word guide on everything you need to know about workflow from capture to delivery and it was a huge effort on our part and hopefully will be something that is referenced for many years to come.

Larry Jordan: I have not yet read every word of network flow guide, but that which I’ve read is amazing. You guys deserve a huge pat on the back for putting that together. It’s excellent.

Emery Wells: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: What trends and news do you expect for 2019? Let’s flip it around and look ahead.

Emery Wells: For 2019, this next generation of video creator is going to become the most important video creator. I think they’ve been second tier, the traditional filmmaker or professional filmmaking industry that’s been focused on broadcast and feature films and things like that have always been the face of the industry, but I think that’ll start to flip in 2019. Certainly the broadest base of creators are not producing work for those platforms anymore, and it’s a whole new generation of creators that care about different things. They don’t have the baggage of hating Final Cut. They don’t hate Vertical Video. They grew up making video on mobile devices and I think there’s a lot of wide reaching implications for the rest of the industry. I think that group cares less about quality, and I think quality has become almost more of an aesthetic choice. We had to fight really hard to try to make something look halfway decent, halfway professional. I think the technology and the quality has gotten good enough where now it’s become really more of a choice. Of course quality and quest for quality is going to always continue in the background, but how people utilize it is changing. It’s not necessarily what works on the largest distribution channels any more. Social media channels are the largest distribution channel that we have for the content that we’re creating, and the type of content that works well on those channels is just very different than what works well on television or movies.

Larry Jordan: You called these the next generation video content creators. How would you define what those people are?

Emery Wells: They’re certainly younger. I think they’re graduating high school and college now, so they’re a new generation. They’ve grown up with a different set of technologies, as I was saying. They grew up making video on their phones. They grew up making video for social. They have a different set of goals than I think the creators that are producing stuff right now.

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz last week as we were talking with him, made reference to the same group of a new flavor of content creator. The question that I’ve got is can you make a living at it? You can absolutely create all kinds of video for free, but what does it do for a business model?

Emery Wells: I think that’s a really good question. Certainly the number of people that are making a living off of essentially creating their own brand, that is a growing population of people that are making video to promote their own brand and really their business is their brand. So it’s an important distinction to make. But then there’s still going to be the people that are just producing video for social. There’s always generations in every industry and so naturally a younger generation is going to approach things a little bit differently with a different set of principles, criteria, concerns. I think really the biggest thing is just they embrace the channels for distribution that exist today in a way that I think the older generations and the folks that have been doing this for a longer time, they continue to reject. The idea that any film making today rejects Vertical Video is absurd. The idea that any creator today rejects Final Cut Pro is absurd and they just don’t have the baggage.

Larry Jordan:  You’ve talked about the new generation video creator who tends to be a single individual and yet you’ve built your company based on collaboration. Are we getting out of sync between where your company is headed and where these new media creators are going?

Emery Wells:  I don’t think it’s that they necessarily don’t work with one another. I think that what we found with Frame.io is that the majority of the people who we sell to today are individuals and small teams. We have large organizations as well that have thousands of people who are producing stuff and that’ll continue to exist. But even the folks that are buying our entry level plans for 19 and 29 dollars a month, they’re still working with people. Even when you’re producing media for social, it’s still a very collaborative art, a very collaborative process. I think that group of people don’t really have necessarily a full blown business with full time employees, but they have a loose collection of characters that they’re pseudo in business with. That they’re usually working with all the time. So even in those one man bands I find that there typically is this loose collection of people that are almost full time, not being paid or employed full time, but are kind of working together on a consistent basis.

Larry Jordan: Some very interesting thoughts. Emery, for people that want to learn more about what you and your company are doing, where can they go on the web?

Emery Wells: They can go to Frame.io.

Larry Jordan: That’s Frame.io not .com. Frame.io and Emery Wells is the co founder and CEO of Frame.io and Emery, thanks for joining us today.

Emery Wells: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan:  I want to introduce you to a new website. Thalo.com. Thalo is an artist community and networking site for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. Thalo.com features content from around the world with a global perspective on all things creative. Thalo is the place for creative folks to learn, collaborate, market and sell their works. Thalo is a part of Thalo Arts, 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. Visit Thalo.com and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s Thalo.com.

Larry Jordan: Paul Babb is the head of worldwide marketing for Maxon as well as a creative artist and designer with more than 20 years experience in 3D animation, visual effects, motion graphics and graphics design. Hello Paul, welcome back.

Paul Babb: Happy New Year Larry.

Larry Jordan: A very Happy New year to you as well. Paul, this seems to be a time of new beginnings for many folks so congratulations to you on your new role with Maxon. What are you doing these days?

Paul Babb: Thank you very much Larry. Well, I’m learning how to focus on markets outside of north and south America these days, where since the complete acquisition of Maxon by Nemetschek and the placement of Dave McGavran from Adobe as our CEO, we’ve been learning how to become a global company and we’re using all the resources around the world and working together. It’s been a very exciting time.

Larry Jordan:  I wish you great success and many congratulations on the new position.

Paul Babb:  Thank you.

Larry Jordan:  Wearing your visual effects hat, what were some of the highlights for the VFX industry in 2018?

Paul Babb: Wow, highlights for the visual effects? Well, I’m really excited about some of the things I’ve been seeing where applications of VR and AR in terms of VFX have been getting closer and closer to some pretty exciting developments where the offerings are way more practical than they’ve been in the past. It seemed like for a few years VR was the buzz word but everybody was playing around, and it seems like in 2018 we start to see the beginnings of some practical applications and make exciting uses of it and I think 2019 will show us even more.

Larry Jordan: As you look at software marketing from last year to this, what trends in marketing are you seeing start to emerge?

Paul Babb: Well, it’s a challenging time for a marketer these days. With the GDPR in Europe, everybody has to be concerned about people’s privacy, and of course we have always been very respectful about how we contact people and giving them the option of opting out and making sure we’re not spamming. I’m very sensitive to it myself, I don’t like it but GDPR is another animal altogether. It puts a lot of restrictions on you as a marketing person and how you can reach people. And because it’s Europe and you can’t sequester people, you can, you can break up the markets but at the same time it’s better probably just to work it all together. But it’s a very challenging time for marketing people to get the word out. So I think our approach over the last 20 years of building community has really paid off because that seems to be where you find people and it’s where people want to be found is in a community with their peers, with other artists. And exchanging ideas, getting inspired, exciting each other and it’s a great validation of what we’ve been doing over the years to a certain point.

Larry Jordan: But it takes and puts all the pressure really on word of mouth and takes the control away from you and puts the control really in the hands of the user?

Paul Babb: Right and I would guess for a lot of corporations they wouldn’t like that. Personally, I love that. What it does is it behooves us to make sure our customers are happy. It puts a little bit of responsibility on us to make sure that our customers are getting serviced properly, and they’re getting their needs taken care of. I’m very comfortable with my customers speaking for us at this point because I feel that we do bend over backwards and try to give them everything we can. We support community as much as we can. We try to provide resources and service as much as we possibly can. I think customers need that. It’s also assurance. Not to single them out, but when Adobe a few years back went subscription, everybody’s concern was that they would be beholding, they would be stuck with this subscription, they don’t know where to go. Adobe’s done a pretty good job of making sure that there’s been value in that subscription, that the updates have been coming out on a regular basis, that new technology has been coming on a regular basis, and I think if you keep people happy, that if your customers are speaking for you, you shouldn’t be worried.

Larry Jordan: So what’s going to be driving the visual effects industry in 2019?

Paul Babb: I truly believe it’s going to be interactive. AR and VR types of application. The smaller shows where the heads of studios or the heads of departments at TV studios or film studios, the smaller events that I have been where I’ve been hearing people speak, they’ve been talking about how to incorporate some of this new technology. The interactive technology. A lot of specifically how to incorporate maybe the game engines into some of the work that they’re doing. I think there’s still a lot of exploration going on but I think we’re starting to see fruit from that exploration. There were some minor inclusions at last year’s Super Bowl in terms of AR and the application of that, and I know that they want to take that even further and I’ve noticed this season of the NFL, there’s been a lot more pushing those boundaries, and I think you’re also seeing that a bit more in the visual effects industry.

Paul Babb: We’ve got to the point now where they can pretty much make a movie about anything that they want to make. Years ago it used to be “Well, we’re not going to be able to pull off Aquaman, because how are you going to do all that water etcetera?” Nowadays, they’re doing it. So I think the next part is how can you get the audience involved? Sort of like what we’re talking about with marketing is how can you get the community involved, and they’ll do your marketing for you. I think the entertainment industry has to find that same avenue. How can you get the audience involved? Because you’re drawing them in to see some of these films but there’s a lot of people not going because “Ah, I can do this at home, I’ve got a big screen TV and I’ve got 4K and I’ve got better surround and I don’t have to hear other people chewing on popcorn.” How can they take that next step in interactivity or involvement in some shape or form?

Larry Jordan:  How do you see the role of the creative professional evolving this year?

Paul Babb: It’s a different time. I was listening a little bit to your interview before with Emery, and talking about the smaller houses and a lot of these guys who are not hired guns. The industry is driven by great artists, hired guns who are not necessarily employees, and it’s really interesting because those guys who are, for lack of a better word, the renaissance men of the visual effects industry, the guys that can do everything and can visualize everything, it’s becoming more about those guys and less about the giant pipelines where people are just plunking in colors. I think that is going to be the bigger change, that may be, I hope, we’ll start to get to know those artists even a bit more. I’ve noticed friends who are not in the industry are starting to understand that it’s not so much … or Disney or this big studio or that big studio, but the artists who are making it happen. Like back in the old days, Disney was well known by the nine old men of animation or the seven. I think it’s the nine old men?

Larry Jordan: I think it’s seven, but we’ll pretend it’s nine.

Paul Babb: Seven, thank you. OK either seven or nine was in my head. So the seven old men of animation were known for the work that they did and I’m hoping, and maybe this is just personal wishful thinking, that the individual artists or the teams of artists that accomplish these tasks will get more recognition or will be revered more for the work that’s being turned out.

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

Paul Babb: They can go to www.maxon.net.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, maxon.net and Paul Babb is the head of worldwide marketing for Maxon and Paul, thanks for joining us and have yourself a very happy New Year.

Paul Babb: You too Larry, thank you.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking of the opening lines from Tale of Two Cities. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. Charles Dickens must have worked in media. The start of a new year is a good time to spend a few minutes taking stock on where we are and where we’re going. As you heard tonight, there’s no shortage of exciting new technology on the horizon. But as Emery Wells said tonight, at the end it all comes down to story. The technology we need to tell compelling stories has never been more accessible or more affordable.

Larry Jordan: Distribution has given each of us access to audiences that we could not even dream of a few years ago. Still, technology and distribution are only two sides of the media triangle. The third is story. That’s where each of us can make a unique contribution because each of us tells stories in different ways. Yes, we are in a challenging business environment, but there is a never ending hunger for great stories, and stories both large and small, are our stock in trade.

Larry Jordan: I wish you and all your stories a very successful 2019.

Larry Jordan:  I want to thank our guests this week, Michael Kammes with BeBop Technology, Philip Hodgetts with Lumberjack System, producer director Maxim Jago, Larry O’Connor with Other World Computing, Emery Wells with Frame.io, Paul Babb with Maxon and James DeRuvo with Doddlenews.com.

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.  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.  

Larry Jordan:   Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner with additional music provided by Smartsound.com.  

Larry Jordan:   Our producer is Debbie Price, my name is Larry Jordan, and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan:  The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2019 by Thalo LLC.

Digital Production Buzz – January 10, 2019

Live production and streaming have never been easier – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Tonight, we talk with the experts about the current state of live production and streaming.

By the way, if you enjoy The Buzz, please give us a positive rating and review in the iTunes Store. We appreciate your support to help us grow our audience.

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with George Klippel, Rony Sebok, Scott Murray, Nick Mattingly and James DeRuvo.

  • LiveU Means Live Anywhere
  • 1 Beyond Automates Live Video
  • Telestream Wirecast Streams Live
  • Switcher Studio: Mobile Live Production
  • The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

Listen to the Full Episode

(To download the show, right-click Download and click “Save Link As…”)

Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week


LiveU Means Live Anywhere

George Klippel
George Klippel, Director of Channel Sales, LiveU
LiveU enables live streaming from just about anywhere, and just released two new products to help with our live events. Tonight, George Klippel, Director of Channel Sales at LiveU, explains what streaming is, why live events are better than recorded and where LiveU can help producers with their next project.


1 Beyond Automates Live Video

Rony Sebokl
Rony Sebok, VP Technology, 1 Beyond, Inc.
Next, Rony Sebok is the vice president for technology of 1 Beyond, a company involved with digital video for decades. Recently, they diversified into new, automated video products. Tonight, Rony presents how live streaming technology has changed and what you need to know to get started.


Telestream Wirecast Streams Live

Scott Murray
Scott Murray, Vice President of Product Management, Media, Telestream
Next, Scott Murray is the vice president of product management for Telestream. Their product – WireCast – is used in tens of thousands of live streaming productions. Tonight, Scott explains what it is, how it’s used and the differences between planning for streaming distribution vs. production.


Switcher Studio: Mobile Live Production

Nick Mattingly
Nick Mattingly, CEO, Co-Founder, Switcher Studio
Next, Nick Mattingly is the CEO and co-founder of Switcher Studio. This allows you stream live directly from a cell phone or mobile device. Tonight, Nick explains how it works and what you need to know to create successful live productions.


The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS.
James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief at doddleNEWS, has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. With experience covering technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James presents our weekly doddleNEWS Update.

Digital Production Buzz – January 3, 2019

This week, to celebrate the new year, we reflect back on 2018, then look forward into 2019 to spot emerging trends that will impact the media industry this year. We’ve invited seven futurists to share their thoughts on what’s coming.

By the way, if you enjoy The Buzz, please give us a positive rating and review in the iTunes Store. We appreciate your support to help us grow our audience.

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Michael Kammes, Philip Hodgetts, Maxim Jago, Larry O’Connor, Emery Wells, Paul Babb and James DeRuvo.

  • Kammes: What to Expect in 2019
  • Hodgetts: What to Expect in 2019
  • Jago: Blockchain and Smart Payments
  • O’Connor: Top Hardware Trends in 2019
  • Wells: The Next-Gen Content Creator
  • Babb: The VFX Artist is the Industry
  • The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

Listen to the Full Episode

(To download the show, right-click Download and click “Save Link As…”)

Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week


Kammes: What to Expect in 2019

Michael Kammes
Michael Kammes, Director of Business Development, BeBop Technology
A regular contributor and thought leader for our industry, Michael Kammes, Director of Business Development for Bebop Technology, joins us tonight to share his key highlights from 2018 and the trends he expects in 2019.


Hodgetts: What to Expect in 2019

Philip Hodgetts
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
Continuing our look into 2019, Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Lumberjack System, discusses AI/Machine learning and the trends in production he expects in 2019.


Jago: Blockchain and Smart Payments

Maxim Jago
Maxim Jago, Director, MaximJago.com
Producer, Director and futurist, Maxim Jago, looks back at 2018 and the emergence of social media as a distinct distribution platform, then shares his thoughts on what coming in 2019.


O’Connor: Top Hardware Trends in 2019

Larry O'Connor
Larry O’Connor, Founder & CEO, Other World Computing
Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO of OWC Computing, offers his thoughts on key hardware from 2018 and the trends he expects in 2019.


Wells: The Next-Gen Content Creator

Emery Wells
Emery Wells, CEO and Co-Founder, Frame.io
Emery Wells is the Co-Founder and CEO of Frame.io, a video review and collaboration platform used by hundreds of thousands of media professionals and companies. Tonight, he looks back at the highlights of 2018 and shares what he expects for 2019.


Babb: The VFX Artist is the Industry

Paul Babb
Paul Babb, Head of Worldwide Marketing, Maxon
Paul Babb, Head of Worldwide Marketing for MAXON, has a new perspective on the visual effects industry and shares his expectations with us tonight.


The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS.
James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief at doddleNEWS, has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. With experience covering technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James presents our weekly doddleNEWS Update.