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Digital Production Buzz – February 28, 2019

Tonight is all about the latest in storage technology. Data is about to get MUCH faster! New hardware, new protocols, new software – all designed to speed media creation to gigabyte speeds! Plus, in “NAB Insight,” we look at an NAB event focused on improving diversity in VR.

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 Jim Malcolm, Tom Coughlin, Larry O’Connor, Sam Mestman, Jordan Winkelman and James DeRuvo.

  • NAB Insight: VR & Diversity
  • FAR Faster Storage Is On the Horizon
  • Latest News in Direct-Attached Storage
  • New, Faster Shared Storage Technology
  • Quantum Delivers High-Performance Storage
  • The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

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Guests this Week

NAB Insight: VR & Diversity

Jim Malcolm
Jim Malcolm, General Manager, North America, Humaneyes Technologies
Humaneyes have been working in the 3D and interactive/immersive technology field since 2000. Tonight we are joined by Jim Malcolm, General Manager for Humaneyes, who talks with us on our “NAB Insight” slot about his event at NAB and how they are actively encouraging women in this industry.

FAR Faster Storage Is On the Horizon

Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin, President, Coughlin Associates, Inc.
There’s a new storage technology on the horizon: NVMe. Promising seriously faster data speeds. Tonight, Tom Coughlin, president of Coughlin & Associates, highlights the latest trends in storage technology. There is a LOT going on – especially in media.

Latest News in Direct-Attached Storage

Larry O'Connor
Larry O’Connor, Founder & CEO, Other World Computing
Larry O’Connor, president of OWC, understands the demanding needs for storage in media. Tonight, he explains what he expects at the upcoming 2019 NAB Show, along with newer, faster ways to move data from your drives to your computer and back.

New, Faster Shared Storage Technology

Sam Mestman
Sam Mestman, CEO, Lumaforge
Sam Mestman, president of LumaForge, has created a share storage solution so exciting that Apple is selling it in their stores. What are the challenges in creating shared storage? What do you need to know? How can you make it work better? Sam shares the answers tonight.

Quantum Delivers High-Performance Storage

Jordan Winkelman
Jordan Winkelman, Solutions Architect, Quantum
Quantum deliver storage and management solutions. Tonight we talk with Jordan Winkelman, Solutions Architect for Quantum, about what they do, their newest announcements around NVMe storage and what storage trends he is expecting to emerge at NAB.

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.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – February 21, 2019


Larry Jordan


Bernard Weiser, President, EIPMA (Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance)

Paul Isaacs, Director of Product Management and Design, Sound Devices, LLC

Robert Noone, Rental Manager, Location Sound Corp

Durin Gleaves, Product Manager, Audio, Adobe, Inc.

James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS


Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Buzz, we are looking at mentoring and audio. We start with Bernard Weiser, president of the newly formed Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance. As apprenticeships in the media industry decline, mentors are stepping in to help careers get started as Bernard explains tonight.

Larry Jordan:  Next, we shift our attention to audio, hardware, rentals and software. Paul Isaacs is the director of product management and design for Sound Devices. Tonight he shares his thoughts on new trends in audio that are shaping audio recording and wireless microphones.

Larry Jordan:  Sometimes you should buy. Other times, you should rent, but how do you choose?  Tonight we talk with Robert Noone, rental manager for Location Sound about how to make that choice, plus he shares his views on critical issues with wireless audio technology that will affect many of us before the end of the year.

Larry Jordan: Asking a product manager to talk about new products two months before NAB is not going to generate great answers. Instead, tonight Durin Gleaves, product manager for audio at Adobe shares his observations on key audio trends to watch, the importance of the Dante audio protocol, and how machine learning actually improves audio.

Larry Jordan: All this plus James DeRuvo with our 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.  It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I love audio. So that makes me especially interested in tonight’s show where we’re combining two things that I really enjoy. Helping young people launch their careers, and making our projects sound as good as possible.

Larry Jordan: While there haven’t been many breakthroughs in how we record audio for a few years, how we get signals from one place to another is undergoing a revolution. It’s called audio over IP and as you’ll learn tonight, it’s exploding. I first worked with this as part of our NAB coverage last year where we used the Dante protocol to create multi channel audio recordings of all our live shows, using gear that was not directly connected to the mixing console. This experience was so successful that we’re doing it again as part of our NAB coverage this year.

Larry Jordan: While Dante doesn’t help for editing, moving digital audio files via Ethernet works just fine, Dante makes a big difference when things are live. Tonight, we’ll also learn what other audio technology to expect at NAB, including new applications of artificial intelligence for audio.

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:  And now it’s time for our weekly DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Happy Oscar week Larry.

Larry Jordan: And a very happy Oscar week to you. Do you have any Oscar news for us?

James DeRuvo: There is some interesting Oscar story though that I find interesting as a camera geek, and that is, being the Oscar, we already know the big winner of the Oscars this year is going to be ARRI and that’s because once again, for like the fifth straight year, almost every Academy award winning nominated movie was shot on an ARRI platform. The ALEXA ARRI models were used on films like ‘Never Look Away’, ‘Roma’, ‘Greenbook’, ‘A Star is Born, Vice’, ‘Black Panther’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and many others. The most popular lenses though were interesting, it was a tie between using Zeiss and Angenieux.  Those were the two most popular lenses that cinematographers chose but the big winner is ARRI, for sure.

Larry Jordan: You know that’s interesting. RED gets all the news but ARRI gets all the shows.

James DeRuvo:  Yes, that’s true. RED grabs all the headlines with its bleeding edge 8K technology but it seems that ARRI is still the dominant film making technology amongst award winning cinematographers. RED was largely frozen out again this year. Even Panavision got ahead of RED, grabbing two nominations for ‘Blackklansman’ and ‘The Favorite.’

Larry Jordan: Alright, that’s your lead story. What’s next?

James DeRuvo: Blackmagic Design is teaming up with USC School of Cinematic Arts for a broadcast partnership. This three year strategic team up will give USC use of Blackmagic equipment and software for their Trojan Vision Campus TV station. Blackmagic will provide the URSA broadcast cameras, ATEM 4 M/E broadcast studio 4K switchers, ATEM camera control panels, HyperDeck Studio Pro recorders, the works. And in addition, the students will be editing on DaVinci Resolve 15. And Blackmagic is also tossing in a select collection of URSA Mini Pro Cinema cameras for more cinematic applications.

Larry Jordan: What’s your take on this?

James DeRuvo: Well I think it’s a cagey move on the part of Blackmagic which looks to help train the next generation of broadcasters and filmmakers. As we move into the next era of broadcasting going into 4K and above, Blackmagic aims to be at the forefront and giving student filmmakers use of the URSA Mini Pro for filmmaking will also show them that you can get high performance at a lower price. And when you consider that again, every Oscar season has had a USC grad nominated for best cinematographer since 1973, it’s easy to see why they’re doing this.

Larry Jordan:  Alright, well you’ve had two camera stories so far. Can you make it a hat trick?

James DeRuvo:  Yes I can. Nikon is adding 12-bit RAW to the Z series full frame mirrorless cameras. The update will provide 12-bit 4K RAW output for external monitor recorders like the Atomos Ninja 5, which relies on the ProRes RAW which isn’t strictly uncompressed RAW, but it’s close. And other models will use uncompressed RAW with the Z series platform. Other features will include an update that includes improved face tracking and eye detection and better auto focus, and the big news, compact flash express support which I’m pretty excited about.

Larry Jordan: From your perspective, what’s the importance of 12-bit RAW?

James DeRuvo: For color correcting, RAW itself is uncompressed, so it gives you all of the information that you can use. Dynamic range, color science, the whole bit, and 12-bit is going to be a lot better for color than an 8-bit or a 10-bit.  So I think it’s going to be a great addition to the Z6 and Z7. It shows that Nikon continues to be committed to the filmmaking side of the platform but I think that other killer feature support for CF Express, is really not to be ignored because it enjoys the same basic design as the XQD media cards that the Nikons use, but has faster performance. I think this is going to take the Z series to the next level.

Larry Jordan: Very cool. James what other stories are you working on this week?

James DeRuvo: Other stories we’re following include Atomos has an external monitor for vloggers. We look at whether a boom pole is worth the money, or is it just an expensive broom handle? And we also have ten cameras for under $300, for those looking to take the beginning steps out of mobile filmmaking.

Larry Jordan: James, where can we go on the web to see the stories that you and your team are covering?

James DeRuvo: As always, all these stories can be found at

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the editor in chief of and joins us every week. We’ll see you next Thursday.  

James DeRuvo: See you next week.

Larry Jordan:   Here’s another website I want to introduce you to. 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.

Larry Jordan:  Mentoring is an increasingly hot topic these days as we’ll see at NAB in a couple of months. Bernard Weiser is the president of the newly formed Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance, called EIPMA. Additionally, Bernard is vice president for the Motion Picture Sound Editors organization which is MPSE and the producer of their annual Golden Reel Awards which does not yet have an acronym. Hello Bernard, welcome.

Bernard Weiser: Thank you, glad to be here.

Larry Jordan: What first got you interested in mentoring?

Bernard Weiser: During a few years I was asked to be a guest lecturer at a class in fact at UCLA. That started my interest towards teaching and students and what happened is a transformation that is continuing with me, seeing the creativity in these up and coming students that is going to come into our industry. That’s what really led to me actually now teaching and on faculty teaching one course one quarter each year at UCLA with graduate students.

Larry Jordan: Why did MPSE decide to get involved with mentoring?

Bernard Weiser: That’s a good question. A little over a year ago Paul Rodriguez who is a long time MPSE board member passed away. He had a great effect, he was certainly involved with our awards show, but with mentoring in fact and students. So the MPSE wanted to do something to honor him and mentoring was so much a part of him we referred to him as our ambassador of sound because he was at NAB every year, he was constantly talking about post production sound, and sound editors, and as many people know, sound editors seem to be a forgotten lot in the storytelling and creative process of cinema and television.

Bernard Weiser: So he was our ambassador, we wanted to do something special for him and we announced a year ago that we were going to start a mentoring program in his honor. As that program started being talked about by our president, Tommy McCarthy, a lot of other organizations in the entertainment industry started hearing what we were talking about and said they want in. It started growing very quickly, and in fact it got so big that it went beyond just honoring Paul, but it started the EIPMA, Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance.

Bernard Weiser: One of the things with the formation of it, is a common problem that many of us in the industry saw but didn’t know how to deal with was with the lessening of apprenticeship programs through unions and such. A lot of people coming into the industry were really out of sorts as to how to proceed professionally, so it was very slow learning for them. The change from being a student or being an independent and then working within the professional system, especially the studio system. So the common problem that we saw was this gap of knowledge between the academics and the students, and the professional world. There was a need for that, and this solidified as to something that we could do to help fill that gap. EIPMA’s very conscious of that fact.

Bernard Weiser: Nobody teaches that. Nobody even discusses that, and that’s important information for anybody coming into this industry. So we become a conduit.

Larry Jordan: Does this alliance simply focus on sound editing? Is it an audio organization, or do you have a broader reach than that?

Bernard Weiser: We have ten industry organizations now, American Cinema Editors, Motion Picture Sound Editors, Cinema Audio Society, the Recording Academy, who, as you know they do the Grammies, SMPTE and Audio Engineering Society which is engineering, Hollywood Professionals Association Visual Effects Society, Avid and SoundGirls. We’re hoping to include cinematographers and writers very soon. Right now we’re very heavy on this post production side, just because those of us who formed this organization are in post, but we’re hoping to become much bigger and include all crafts in the entertainment industry.

Larry Jordan: Are you focusing on students, or is your focus people who work in the industry who could use advice?

Bernard Weiser: Right now we’re primarily focusing on students, anywhere from high school, college and post graduate students. But we don’t want to leave out what we call pre industry individuals who have a great interest in entering into our industry, such as veterans who may be coming out of the military. We want to definitely include them also. But you’re absolutely right. People who maybe are looking to change their endeavors, professionals that want to tap into their creative side more and want entry into these crafts, absolutely they are welcome also.

Larry Jordan: Are you accepting mentees now, and if so, how does the system work?

Bernard Weiser: Very soon. At the moment now we’re going to start our outreach because we are launching the organization in about two months as you noted in your intro. So we’re going to begin in probably just a week or so a very strong outreach to local universities, colleges, high schools and other academic organizations. We’ll be inviting educators and students to an open house at Sony Pictures Studios, either the last week of April or the first week of May. Actually, it’ll probably be on a Saturday.

Bernard Weiser: So how we’ll work is interested schools and educators and individuals are asked to contact us either through our website, which should go live shortly also, or through our reach out they can contact us and we would start with that organization or school with a panel for Q&A’s, with selected top level industry professionals which will begin our role as a conduit of information for the students, and these pre industry individuals.

From there we can set up group mentoring and on a higher level of college and post graduates, we will do one on one mentoring which would include even shadowing for a few days in the craft that they choose.

Larry Jordan: It’s one thing to hook a student’s attention. How are you going to find mentors?

Bernard Weiser: Ah, the mentors. In our outreach, being that all our organizations are top level professionals already, all the members, we’re going out with our colleagues and talking about EIPMA and it is amazing how many top level people are interested in becoming a mentor. They will go to our website, they will sign up on the website, they will be vetted to make sure that everybody knows that we were watching after that side of things too, and that’s how we will connect them to the mentees.

Larry Jordan: One of the critical issues inside Hollywood, in fact media in general, is diversity. How are you tackling that?

Bernard Weiser: I’m glad you asked. As a new organization we see the pluses of diversity. It’s very different. Right now diversity is such a hot topic and a lot of it is to fix problems that we already have in our industry, and that absolutely is very important. But here with this organization, we’re looking towards the future. These are our future rising stars in our industry so diversity is a little bit different. As a new organization, we see all the pluses that diversity has to offer and when you mix talent from different racial ethnic and social backgrounds, and this includes the veterans as I mentioned before, people who are bringing so much life experiences with them, new stories, new creative ideas grow in all of our crafts that make up our industry.

Bernard Weiser:  I don’t know about you, but this really excites me. Everybody I talk to, I watch their eyes get bigger. The other night I was talking with somebody from the Academy of Motion Pictures, they’re excited and want to know more about what we’re doing. It’s the future, and it’s really exciting.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to learn more or get on a mailing list to be kept informed as to what you’re doing, where can they go on the web?

Bernard Weiser: Well we will have, it is not live yet. I would expect from two to three weeks from now the website will be up and that is the place to look for information and contacts and the entry into what we are doing.

Larry Jordan: The website is not yet operational but it will be within the next two or three weeks. The website is and Bernard Weiser is the president of the newly formed Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance. Bernard, thanks for joining us today.

Bernard Weiser: Great, thank you.

Larry Jordan:  Paul Isaacs is the director of production management and design for Sound Devices. He’s responsible for the development and evolution of products for both sound devices and video devices. His background also includes work as an engineer, a product developer and a musician. Hello Paul. Welcome back.

Paul Isaacs: Hi there Larry, how are you doing?

Larry Jordan: I’m doing great, and I’m looking forward to our conversation because audio is one of my favorite subjects. But before we jump into it, let’s set the scene. How would you describe Sound Devices?

Paul Isaacs: We’re a company that has been around for over 20 years and we specialize in producing mixers, recorders and wireless products for the film and TV industry and broadcast industry. We also touch on products for the musician too.

Larry Jordan: Tonight, we’re focusing on audio and with NAB coming up, I know you can’t talk about new products but what are some of the audio trends that we are likely to hear about as we go to the show?

Paul Isaacs: A couple of things that stand out for me, I still think that there’s a lot of growth in audio over IP. The technology started many years ago, but it’s in the last I would say three, or four, five years where we’ve really seen a rapid uptake of audio, and actually video, over IP as well. We’re particularly interested in the Dante protocol which is by far the world’s leading audio over IP protocol and I think that’s really taken off because you don’t have to be an IT expert to set up a Dante network. It uses like an auto discovery mechanism which makes it easy for devices to discover one another. By virtue of that fact, it’s very easy to connect multiple channels over network very easily. Dante is really supported by most of the leading audio manufacturers now, Focus Right, Yamaha, us, many others. So it’s interconnect between different manufacturers, Dante makes that digital audio interconnect really easy.

Paul Isaacs: The fact that it supports hundreds of channels in all directions make it super simple. So I think we’re going to see more growth there, and more product which is going to jump onto that audio over IP bandwagon without a doubt. You know, audio over IP has actually been standardized in the last few years too with a protocol called AES67 which is really a wrapper that works across multiple different network formats, whether it’s Dante or Ravenna or others, so that is also going to help the interconnect between different network protocols. Although my own personal opinion is that 90 percent of manufacturers will be supporting Dante anyway, so I’m not sure whether AES67 is going to offer much of an advantage. But we’ll see.

Larry Jordan: Well let me make sure I’ve got this clear. Audio IP is the ability for us to digitize audio and send it across the network. Dante is an implementation of how that process works, is that a correct statement?

Paul Isaacs: That’s a correct statement.

Larry Jordan: And there are multiple implementations, but Dante is the market leader?

Paul Isaacs: Exactly. It’s really low latency, you can have sample rates up to 96kHz, bit depth of 24-bit and you can literally have hundreds of channels existing on a network, going in any combination between any device on that network, and you can have hundreds of devices on a network. So imagine your Dante box, you hook it up to Dante network with 100 other devices on there, and then you could literally pull off any channel from any one of those devices, and with a very simple app on your computer. It’s actually a free app that Ordinate, who are the manufacturer behind Dante, that produce an app called Dante Controller which is really just a giant matrix routing software system. It will identify every device and you can route any input to any output from any device. It’s super simple. Obviously because it’s all implemented over Cat 5 and Cat 6 network cables, it makes it very cheap, reliable and cost effective to set up a digital audio network.

Larry Jordan: Let’s shift gears. There’s another term that I’m hearing more about which is digital wireless audio. What’s the advantage of digital wireless versus the traditional wireless we’ve been working with?

Paul Isaacs: I don’t know if you know Larry, I’m sure you do, you’ve heard that we’re really seeing a squeeze on the wireless RF spectrum? There’s only a limited amount of usable space in the RF spectrum. Traditionally the most commonly used part of the RF spectrum is the UHF band which runs from about 400MHz up to about seven or 800MHz. In the last few years, the RF spectrum has been going through a process of auctioning off as cell phone companies and TV companies try and buy and reserve some of that RF space for their purposes. What this has done is shrunken the amount of RF spectrum available to film and TV and broadcast productions.

Paul Isaacs:  With that shrinking down, it’s become like a real challenge for users of traditional analog FM wireless microphones to find space to run their wireless transmission. Now think of a typical application, say a theater where they have maybe 20 or 30 actors on stage. All of whom need their own wireless lapel mic and transmitter on a separate frequency. If they’ve got very little space to work in, then the problems of interference between those wireless microphones and other signals in the environment becomes a real problem.

Paul Isaacs:  So what digital wireless has done is enabled more wireless channels to be squeezed into a smaller amount of megahertz or bandwidth should we say. Without losing any quality and still minimizing the chance of interference between channels of wireless which is an absolute no no, obviously. It can cause glitching and audio artifacts and reduced range on wireless systems.  This is without doubt a growing sector, you know many of the leading wireless manufacturers are bringing out products, and have been for the last few years, and that’s only going to grow. Wireless is such an important part of every part of the production industry.

Paul Isaacs:  So you have the likes of Shure who have their systems, Sennheiser digital systems. We have our own system as well which we released last year. Sound Devices bought a company called Audio Limited which is a highly regarded wireless manufacturer. We released our first product after buying that company, we developed our own digital wireless system which is right on the cutting edge of what’s possible. We can fit up to 20 channels in an 8MHz space which is very high density with full 20 to 20kHz audio bandwidth and very low latency. Obviously latency’s a big issue as far as wireless is concerned as well. There’s a lot of development going on in this sector, and we’re very much a part of that and it’s an exciting area.

Larry Jordan: Sound Devices makes gear for the professional market, and really high quality gear. But recently a university came to me for recommendations on audio gear for student use. What does Sound Devices have that’s priced for education yet still provides high quality?

Paul Isaacs: That’s a really good question and we have a product range called the Mix Pre Series and this was really our first step into a more budget priced market, and obviously education’s very sensitive in that field. Now the challenge was for us, how can we bring the Sound Device’s known characteristics of really superb quality audio and rugged build to this education and more budget priced markets? That’s what the Mix Pre Series was.

Paul Isaacs:  So we were able to do that with some very clever engineering, bring out some multi channel recorder mixers, and these are very solid, die cast aluminum chassis devices that can stand up to being dropped and abused and we all know that students aren’t necessarily the most careful with these types of products. So these products are very solid. But also they have really excellent quality mic pre amps and allow the education and the students to really understand how to get great quality with great gain staging. There’s also the feature set which maybe slightly watered down compared to our high end professional recorders and mixers, but they still provide an introduction to all those types of features that you would need if you were to embark on a professional career. Things like Timecode, for instance making a mix recording separate ISOs, entering metadata. All these things have been included in a more simplified way to make it more accessible to newcomers into this industry.

Larry Jordan: Paul, I could talk to you about audio for hours but we need to wrap this up. Where can people go on the web to learn more about the products that Sound Devices has available?

Paul Isaacs: Our web page is

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, and Paul Isaacs is the director of product management and design for Sound Devices. Paul thanks for joining us today.

Paul Isaacs: Yes, thanks Larry.

Larry Jordan:  Robert Noone joined Location Sound Corporation in 1989. He became the rental manager in 1996. His role is the logistics and inventory of all of their rental gear with the goal of keeping their equipment fresh and current. Hello Robert, welcome back.

Robert Noone: Hi, how’s it going?

Larry Jordan: I always enjoy talking with you, and I’m glad that you came back because this week we’re talking about audio. Before we start though, how would you describe Location Sound?

Robert Noone: Oh we’ve been in business for over 40 years. We service the production sound needs of our industry and we carry sales, rental and service here so we’re a one stop shop for sound people and we deal with production mixers and people who gather sounds for news, broadcast, that part of the industry.

Larry Jordan: Well there’s lots of rental houses out there. Why should someone consider working with Location Sound?

Robert Noone: Just our experience, friendly nature and the ease of renting from us.

Larry Jordan: We just heard a conversation with Paul Isaacs from Sound Devices about trends that he sees in audio technology that’ll affect the new gear coming out at NAB. From your perspective, having to keep your gear current, what audio technologies are you seeing that’s starting to drive rentals?

Robert Noone: This year there’s going to be more changes in the RF market than pretty much anything else. The recorders have been pretty standardized for a while, they’re linear and stuff like that. They record on flash cards and that type of medium. But what we’re starting to see now is the FCC has made some rules that’s going to impact the wireless market. First of all they sold off a whole lot of RF spectrum to T-Mobile. So anything above I think it was 618 is going to be moved to T-Mobile and they bought them in the auctions and stuff like that. So now we’re going to be in the smaller diameter from 470 to around 618 I think is where the cut off is. They’re going to be compressed into that smaller spectrum and RF demands are not going down, they’re going up, so these rule changes are going to affect the technology and how we do wireless mics and antenna placements and lowering the power.  

Robert Noone:  Before, everybody used to put more power to put more signal strength out, now it might behoove people to actually compress the audio, put less power out, and consider putting 100 milliwatts transmitters out, you want to put them on 25 or 50 milliwatts, and use antenna placements so you’re not running into all the RF interference that’s out there now. Competing against people that are working on a stage next to you and stuff, so putting less RF power out, might help all those situations. That’s what people have to change. Before it was more power, cover more area, saturate the grounds better. But with the compression and stuff like that, it might be less power, more antennas to help it out.

Robert Noone: The other thing that they did is FCC changed the deviation rule for companies like Lectrosonics which was used in a deviation value of 75. It’s now gone to 50 so you have to make sure your transmitters match up to your receivers and if you buy newer transmitters, they might not work into your old receivers unless you have the firmware updates and stuff like that. So those things are going to cause a lot of problems because you have people that usually just keep adding on to their fleet and wireless and now if they add a new transmitter, it might not work with their backwards compatible is good, unless you have all the software updates.

Robert Noone: And then the rental houses, how that’s going to affect us, is we rent a lot of pieces and if somebody just needs a transmitter to cover a boom pole or something like that, it’s a special thing that they’re doing or a smaller transmitter, now we have to be aware that either we got to rent them the older stuff and hold onto that longer than we usually do, and not go into the new stuff as much. Or when we rent the new stuff, rent it with a matching receiver from our side, so you know you’re not going to have incompatibility.

Robert Noone: That’s going to make it very confusing, and it’s going to make it tough for a while and for people to understand what those changes are going to be.

Larry Jordan: For people that already own analog wireless gear, can Location Sound help us figure out if our gear is compatible?

Robert Noone: Yes. It’s more software updates, and the right software updates. It’s mostly going to affect the Lectrosonics fan which is pretty much an industry standard for us. But they’re the ones that had the 7D deviation and now the FCC’s rule changes made 50 which is a European standard, so most of the stuff like Sennheiser and stuff were already on the 50 deviation. So the biggest people it’s going to impact is mostly the Lectrosonics community, which is probably 80 percent of the wireless that are in production sound.

Larry Jordan: One of the things you mentioned at the beginning is that Location Sound has both sales and rental. How do we decide or what criteria should we use in deciding, whether to rent or buy our audio gear?

Robert Noone: If you think you’re only going to use it a couple of times a year, less than let’s say six, then you probably should rent. If you believe you’re going to use it six or more times a year, then you probably should add it into your fleet. Also if you’re looking to expand your package, and you’re not sure which way you go, I would recommend renting the first couple of times just to get a feel of what you want to do before you put out that outlay of capital. A lot of times what we do is if you rent from us and then buy from us, we give you discount on the previous rental. The biggest thing you have to decide is how often you’re going to use it. If you’re not using it too often, I don’t think the capital outlay is best. The more you use it the more you want to buy it. The less you use it, the less you want to buy it.

Larry Jordan: I really want to reinforce that because a few years ago, I needed to buy a collection of Lavalier mics for my studio. And one of the smartest things I did was rent about ten different mics from Location Sound. Then test them to see which ones sounded the best in my studio. What I learned in talking with your team at the time I was renting all that gear is that audio is foreign territory for a lot of video producers. So what help does Location Sound provide in making sure that we’re getting the right gear for our project?

Robert Noone: You know, when you come in and you explain what you’re doing and stuff like that, we’re going to design packages that fit your needs and cover what you’ve told us. The audio quality and stuff like that is also based on budget, so we need to know what budget range you’re looking in so we can decide if it’s better for you to buy or rent mostly, and what you can afford with the budget you have. If you have only a couple of hundred dollars, sometimes it’s better just put wireless going in the cameras. Preferably we would say, it’s always better to have it going into a recorder, you record it on the recorder and maybe send the signal to camera to have a back up track. But everything is dependent on the budget. So deciding the budget and what ways they’re going, if you’re buying or if you’re going to rent, the decision that we help you decide. If it’s over the weekend and stuff of course you’re going to rent. But then how much is in the budget to accomplish what you want to do and we try to give you the best products to solve your problem, and get what you want done accomplished based on the budget.

Robert Noone: Mics and stuff like that, a lot of that is preference per person’s ears. That is something we can give you the different mics that you can listen to them and you can decide which way you want to go on that. That’s more preference. Sometimes talent requires certain mics based on their voice and stuff. So there’s a lot of things that are more opinionated and the best thing we can do is give you a wide selection. But you know what’s more the industry standards, show you what the industry standard is and show you the comparable mics in that field and decide what your preference is. Some people like an open mike, some people like a bright mic, some people like it full sounding. So there’s different needs and requirements for the person and that is on an individual basis.

Larry Jordan:  One last question before I let you go. For producers who haven’t worked with an audio rental house before, what questions should they ask the people they are renting from before they make a decision to rent?

Robert Noone:  That pertains more to companies procedures. Some companies have very strict procedures. They need insurance, they do credit card holds on the equipment. One thing good about us is we just make you fill out the credit card authorization form and we only charge you for the rental. We assume that the card you gave us is the card we’re going to run, and if it goes through then you have a good credit card. So we don’t do a thousand dollar hold or 500 which ties up your credit line. So I would say that’s a big thing that I know a lot of people are happy that we don’t do that, and it makes it easier to process an order and stuff. Ease of operation, willing to work with people, discounts for time. Those are the things that they should be looking for. All the rental houses are very similar in price but the longer you go out on a rental the larger the discounts get and do they carry the equipment you’re looking for?

Larry Jordan: For people that want to learn more about the services and products that Location Sound provides, where can they go on the web?

Robert Noone: Go to and that’ll pull up our website and we’ll go from there.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, Robert Noone is the rental manager for Location Sound, and Robert, thanks for joining us today.

Robert Noone: OK, you have a good day too Larry.

Larry Jordan:  I want to introduce you to a new website. Thalo is an artist community and networking site for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. 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 and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s

Larry Jordan: Durin Gleaves joined the Adobe audition team in 2004. Now as product manager for audio at Adobe, he oversees audio features and workflows across several creative cloud applications, and services. Hello Durin, welcome back.

Durin Gleaves: Thanks Larry, nice to be here.

Larry Jordan: Durin, tonight we’ve heard from Sound Devices who makes hardware, and Location Sound who rents hardware, but without software all this hardware is incomplete. That brings us to Adobe. How would you define your role for audio at Adobe?

Durin Gleaves: Well my job is to effectively talk to people who are creating audio content, keep an eye out for trends, for changes in how people start to work and the way that they work, and figure out how to convert those into features in workflows and software that can have the biggest impact over the largest number of users.

Larry Jordan: Well you used a word that I love to hear, which is trends. While I don’t expect you to tell us about Adobe’s coming upgrades, much. Let’s take a look at the near future. What audio trends are you expecting to emerge at NAB? What’s caught your eye?

Durin Gleaves: I’m really happy that it looks like the podcasting pavilion is going to be bigger than it’s ever been before. I’m a huge podcasting fan, I’ve been a fan for a long time now so it’s really good to see how much it’s grown, how largely it’s been adopted, and how people are using it not just to promote their stories and their brands, but even as springboards to larger platforms.

Durin Gleaves: I’m also really excited about the growth in the voice based experiences. Things like branded experiences and entertainment for Alexa and Google devices. Those are just getting better than they have in the past and people are starting to do really interesting and innovative things on them. Beyond that, I’m really excited to see what’s new in artificial intelligence and machine learning with regards to sound and audio process.

Larry Jordan: I want to come back to artificial intelligence and audio in just a minute, but what makes podcasting so significant to you?

Durin Gleaves:  I don’t think it’s anything revolutionary to listeners, just democratizes the ability for people to share their voice. Whether that’s telling stories that are personal, whether it’s talking about historical or current news and political events, it’s just a fascinating way for people to get out there and get directly to the people that they want to talk to.

Larry Jordan: Earlier in the show we heard both Paul Isaacs and Robert Noone talk about audio over IP and more specifically a protocol within that called Dante. From a software point of view does Audition support Dante and what benefits from your perspective does Dante provide compared to traditional audio cabling?

Durin Gleaves:  Yes, Dante has software that emulates audio interfaces so it’s a virtual audio device that Audition, Premiere, other audio applications can access and as far as the application knows, it thinks it’s just another piece of hardware in the chain. But the software can communicate via these protocols with all of the different hardware options that are out there. Dante’s one of several protocols, I think it’s the most popular right now although it is a little propriety but it’s effective because, back in the day if we wanted to do a remote voiceover recording, you had to go to a studio that had an ISPN connection and that’s expensive, and kind of a pain to go out and use that. It wasn’t necessarily that good.

Durin Gleaves:  What audio over IP really lets us do is send uncompressed clean crystal clear sound, and multiple channels of it, over network cable. So it gets rid of those huge amounts of twisted snakes that get all messed up behind your desk and you have to reroute through walls and ceiling tiles, and it puts them into a single fiber optic or network cable that you plug in and it offers digital switching, digital patching. It’s so much more flexible and so much easier than it used to be.

Larry Jordan:  So from an operational point of view, if we were using Dante with Audition, it’s just going to show up as though it was a hardware device even though it isn’t really hardware, it’s pretending to be hardware and we just use it the same as we would any other device?

Durin Gleaves: Yes, it would certainly put audio hardware inside those settings, and that’s maybe now a kind of legacy term. It really should just be audio interface, whether that’s a physical piece of hardware on the desk or inside the computer system, or a virtual application running that just does the exact same thing but over the network. It’s really kind of changed how that is presented to users into studios.

Larry Jordan: Well the cool thing that I discovered about Dante as I was doing some homework for this segment, is that the machine that’s originating the Dante and the machine that’s receiving the Dante, don’t even have to be in the same state. They could be wildly different because it just uses the web for sending the signals, which just totally redefines the concept of remote.

Durin Gleaves: Yes, it’s fantastic. As long as the bandwidth is there, then it’s amazing how much discrete audio channels you can send over those protocols

Larry Jordan:  Another thing that you were interested in is machine learning and how that relates to audio. How does machine learning relate to audio?

Durin Gleaves:  There’s so many possibilities. I can tell you what Adobe has done, in our applications so far.  I’ll start with that. One of the first AI and machine learning based features that we did here at Adobe what we call Adobe Sensei, it’s a brand for our AI and machine learning technology, was remix in Audition which you can load any song. It didn’t have to be specially prepared, any piece of recorded music, and it would analyze it and it would be able to make remixes, whether they’re shorter, or longer, just by dragging the edge of the clip, and they were musically coherent, they could track a lot of different characteristics of that song, harmonies, staves, rhythm etcetera. It’s just an amazing little tool that can save somebody so much time when they have a piece of music that’s a finite length and they need to very quickly get remixed to satisfy different duration projects.

Durin Gleaves: Beyond that, we’ve done some work around auto ducking which is, we’re all familiar with either key framing a bunch of volume key frames in, so that the music comes down when somebody’s talking and then it comes back up when they stop, or what’s called riding the fader, when you record the automation and you just sit there and move the volume knob up and down. Those are great but they’re very manual, you have to do them in real time or really slower, and if you start to make changes to your timeline you got to make same changes to the automation as well.

Durin Gleaves:  So we use machine learning to actually look at clips that were tagged as dialog, look at the content within those clips, so it’s not just an in and out point, but the actual signal inside, the emphasis and the dynamic range of those clips and adjust and draw those key frames in for you. So it’s not just a black box where it just turns it all up and down automatically and you don’t have any control. It does the busy work of clicking on all those little key frames and tracking them when you move a clip around. You can still go in and manually make changes if you want to add a different effect or make some minor adjustments based on the content. But maybe in some cases the machine learning isn’t quite intelligent enough to know what you were thinking, or what you wanted there. So in some ways it just saves a lot of time.

Larry Jordan: Let me interrupt for just a second. You’ve got an audio clip, there’s volume in the audio clip. What’s the machine learning part? There’s either volume or there isn’t.  There’s either the fade up or the fade down. What’s the training and this whole mystique of training a computer to do something? I’m very confused about that.

Durin Gleaves: Well in the case of auto ducking, it’s less about understanding what is in the content, and more about reducing the busy work so you get to focus on the creative part. You don’t have to spend an hour dropping in key frames and bringing them down and adjusting them just right over the course of a few minutes of a timeline. But with other features, you know, we just recently released some new effects around … reverbs that are also machine learning based. It’s really ways of having an algorithm that finds patterns in huge data sets and being able to change its behavior over time in response to those.

Larry Jordan: But what is the machine learning?

Durin Gleaves: It depends. There’s a couple of types of machine learning. On a big scale there’s what’s called supervised and unsupervised machine learning, and supervised is where we feed an algorithm a bunch of information that we already know the answer to. You could think of it as a math class. Teacher gives an assignment, there’s a bunch of problems, and teacher knows the answers and you’re graded on how accurately you get the correct answers. Whereas unsupervised is more like an art class. Here’s a bunch of art supplies, create something and learn how they work yourself, and then you come back and show me what you’ve done and we can guide you, guide the AI or in this case the art student into being able to create better and find more things to do with those supplies.

Larry Jordan: Hm. Clearly I’m going to have to do some more homework to understand it, but it just seems like magic to me. Durin, there’s nobody else listening right now, so I just thought maybe you could give us a clue what Adobe’s going to be announcing at NAB? Your secret is safe with me.

Durin Gleaves: Oh sure, I’ll just run down the list right now.  No, I’m kidding, I can’t do that. We have lots of marketing and PR folks and they’d be very upset if I broke the embargo and let things out early. I’ll tell you what I’ve said before around a lot of what we’re doing. We’re committed to continuing to improve performance and quality of all our applications across the board and we see that as a feature unto itself. With regards to say Audition specifically or working between Audition and Premiere, we’re committed to trying to bridge that gap so between NLE and the DAW, the video editor and the audio editor, and we’re working towards this long term vision of getting rid of this idea of interchange, that lie we tell around picture lock, “Here’s the project, we’re done. Oh no, we made this change” and so it’s a lot of extra effort on the part of the audio producers and everybody else involved. So we want to get rid of that idea and just have a project where Premiere is the best video editor for that project and Audition is the best audio environment for that project, but the project exists and is shared, and everybody gets to work together and see those changes in real time. So you know, it’s a long road I think to get to that vision, but I think it’s going to be worth it when we get there.

Larry Jordan: Well it’s like waiting for Christmas. We have a few more weeks to go before we can learn the secret of what’s coming new this spring. For people that want to learn more about Adobe and its creative cloud applications, where can they go on the web?

Durin Gleaves: The best place is

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word in case you’ve been living under a rock, and Durin Gleaves is the product manager for audio at Adobe, and Durin, thanks for joining us, it is always fun to visit with you.

Durin Gleaves: It’s my pleasure, thank you so much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care, have a great evening. Bye bye.

Durin Gleaves: You too.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking, I attended a seminar this morning at USC that was talking about the fourth industrial revolution. The first was the invention of steam power. The second was the introduction of the assembly line, and mass production. The third was the advent of technology and the fourth is the extension of technology into artificial intelligence, smart machines and the interconnected internet of things.

Larry Jordan: We’re seeing this in our daily lives with Siri and Alexa smart speakers, online doorbells and refrigerators and facial recognition in our photos. As the speaker this morning made clear, we really don’t have a clue how this will play out in society or in its impact on jobs. We’ve talked in the past on the Buzz of the impact of AI extending into the editorial process. We learned more about it tonight as it becomes easier than ever to route audio from anywhere to anywhere using just an Ethernet connection or how machine learning allows us to do amazing things with audio, from removing noise to separating vocals from the backing music, in a mixed audio clip. And I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of this technological magic at NAB in just a few weeks.

Larry Jordan:  For some, these are exciting times. For others, these could foreshadow deep changes in society to come. But what this morning’s talk made clear is that we can’t stop change. Instead, we have to learn how to roll with it, and incorporate it into our own lives as Alvin Toffler said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” We whose lives are built on technology, need to memorize this and put it into action because otherwise if we’re unable to forget what we learned and learn something new, we’ll become overwhelmed.

Larry Jordan: As Mr Toffler said, “Change is the process by which the future invades our lives.”

Change is inevitable, but in a few weeks at NAB we’ll get the clearest signpost yet of where all this change is taking us. Just something I’m thinking about.

Larry Jordan:  I want to thank our guests this week, Bernard Weiser with EIPMA, Paul Isaacs with Sound Devices, Robert Noone with Location Sound, Durin Gleaves with Adobe, and James DeRuvo with

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

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

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 – February 21, 2019

Mentoring is a hot topic and tonight, we talk with Bernard Weiser, President of the newly-formed Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance about why they began. Then, we look at emerging audio trends to watch as NAB gets closer – including Audio Over IP, Dante and changes to wireless audio tech that will affect all of us.

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 Bernard Weiser, Paul Isaacs, Robert Noone, Durin Gleaves and James DeRuvo.

  • Mentors Teach By Example
  • New Audio Technology Coming Soon
  • Location Sound: One-stop Rent or Buy
  • Audio Trends: The Intersection of Audio and AI
  • The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

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Guests this Week

Mentors Teach By Example

Bernard Weiser
Bernard Weiser, President, EIPMA (Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance)
Tonight we are joined by Bernard Weiser, a Supervising Sound Editor by trade but now President of the BRAND NEW group formed just last year called EIPMA (Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance). He talks with us about what they intend to achieve and why they formed in the first place

New Audio Technology Coming Soon

Paul Isaacs
Paul Isaacs, Director of Product Management and Design, Sound Devices, LLC
Audio technology continues to evolve. Tonight, Paul Isaacs, Director of Product Management and Design for Sound Devices, shares his thoughts on new trends in audio that are shaping audio recording, signal distribution, and wireless microphones.

Location Sound: One-stop Rent or Buy

Robert Noone
Robert Noone, Rental Manager, Location Sound Corp
Sometimes you should buy. Other times you should rent. How do you choose? Tonight, we talk with Robert Noone, Rental Manager for Location Sound, about how to make that choice. Plus he shares his views on new audio technology – include critical issues with wireless audio – that he expects to see showcased at the NAB Show this year.

Audio Trends: The Intersection of Audio and AI

Durin Gleaves
Durin Gleaves, Product Manager, Audio, Adobe, Inc.
Then, asking a product manager to talk about new products two months before NAB is, um, not going to generate great answers. Instead, tonight, Durin Gleaves, Product Manager for Audio at Adobe, shares his observations on key audio trends to watch, the importance of the Dante audio protocol and how machine learning actually improves audio.

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.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – February 14, 2019


Larry Jordan


Jonathan Toomey, Executive Producer, Content & Production, NAB Show

Pat Grosswendt, Co-Founder, Senior Sales Specialist, Litepanels

Stefan Karle, Managing Director and Owner, DoP Choice

Jakob Ballinger, Gaffer and Founder, The Light Bridge

James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS


Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Buzz, our NAB Insight highlights; free educational opportunities at the upcoming NAB Show. Then, we look at lighting and lighting gear; including new techniques that harken back to how the Ancient Egyptians used light.

Larry Jordan: We start with Jonathan Toomey; he’s the Executive Producer for Content and Production for the NAB Show. He oversees their main stage keynotes and floor theater programs. Tonight, he showcases highlights of these free presentations and what they see as significant emerging industry trends.

Larry Jordan: Next, Pat Grosswendt, Co-Founder of Litepanels; shares his thoughts on lighting technology and how to pick the right lighting gear for your next project.

Larry Jordan: Next, Stefan Karle, Managing Director of DoP Choice, explains the tools you need to shape light; so you get light where you need it and hide it where you don’t. Plus, he talks about the challenges of low level lighting.

Larry Jordan: Next, Jakob Ballinger, Founder of The Light Bridge, explains why they looked at how nature lights a scene, to develop the new technology in The Light Bridge and what they discovered, took them back to the Ancient Egyptians.

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

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

Larry Jordan: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz; the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry; covering media production, post-production and marketing around the world. Hello, my name is Larry Jordan.

Larry Jordan: I’ve been going to the NAB Show for decades, but I didn’t learn until this week, that I’ve missed a lot. What I didn’t realize was that the show creates a wide variety of pavilions and keynotes, directly accessible from the show floor, that are totally free and explore emerging industry trends. In fact, the floor theater’s group panel discussions, with related exhibitors; so that you can learn in-depth about a single subject, without a lot of walking around.

Larry Jordan: As you’ll learn in just a few minutes, from Jonathan Toomey, this year’s show has some exciting and free opportunities to learn about some very new technology. Also, we thought it would be appropriate for an audio podcast, to talk about lighting; so the second half of tonight’s show sheds some more light on lighting.

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, welcome back.

James DeRuvo: Happy Hearts Day Larry.

Larry Jordan: A very happy Valentine’s Day to you as well. What have we got for news this week?

James DeRuvo: Canon announced, late last night, the Canon EOS RP Mirrorless camera, which the rumor mill had been talking about for a couple of days; so I guess, Canon just decided, well, everybody knows, so we might as well do it. At 485 grams, or just over a pound, it is the lightest full frame mirrorless camera that Canon has ever made. It has a 26.2 megapixel CMOS sensor; which is only slightly smaller than the EOS R mirrorless camera. Outputs 8-bit, 422, 4K and only 24p. But sadly, there is no Canon RAW. But it’s only going to be $1299 for the body. It’ll take RF and EF lenses with an adaptor.

Larry Jordan: Where does this camera fit in our line-up?

James DeRuvo: For those looking for a budget entry level full frame mirrorless camera, I don’t think you can go that badly with the EOS RP. It’s a third of the price of the EOS R and has almost as high a resolution. Sure you can’t shoot in Canon RAW, but that’s what we have Magic Lantern for. Am I right?

Larry Jordan: Exactly correct. Magic Lantern is, well, magical. What’s your second story this week?

James DeRuvo: The FAA has made a rule change and will now mandate all drones that have visible registration numbers on the fuselage of their drones. The registration numbers must now be visible on the fuselage of any drone from 0.55 to 55 pounds and not inside the battery compartment; which was, you could either have the option of displaying it outside, or putting it inside the battery compartment, where it’s not visible. This addresses the concerns that First Responders had opening up a potentially booby trapped compartment on a captured drone; in order to ascertain the drone number and finding the drone operator.

James DeRuvo: Drone operators have ten days to comply, before facing penalties and there is no public commentary period; because they consider it a national security issue.

Larry Jordan: This regulation seems to make a great deal of sense to me; but why now?

James DeRuvo: I think it absolutely does and the new regulation is now in place in response to the Gatwick incident in Great Britain; where a commercial airliner was allegedly struck by a drone on final approach to the Gatwick Airport. But it was originally planned to be implemented in 2016; before a lawsuit challenging the authorities of the FAA to make the rules happen. But Congress has now made it the law of the land officially and, frankly, I’m okay with the new regulation.

James DeRuvo: All aircraft are required to have tail numbers for easy identification by a control tower and this is merely a commonsense extension to that. The FAA is also considering mandating a radio broadcast of registration information, that can be picked up electronically by authorities; but that’s not happening yet. I’m okay with that too, it makes total sense.

Larry Jordan: Alright, we’ve covered cameras and drones, what do you have with software this week?

James DeRuvo: Digital Anarchy has put out an email to all users of Transcriptive; the plug-in that makes transcripts for your video projects. There is apparently a bug that causes a memory leak that will crash Premiere with projects over 60 minutes in length, or 12,000 words in the transcript; potentially damaging your project files.

James DeRuvo: Digital Anarchy recommends downgrading to Premiere Pro CC 2018 until Adobe and Digital Anarchy push out a fix and they can rework how Transcriptive writes the metadata. Apparently, it takes up a lot of space. Users can also use the beta at to get their work done as well.

Larry Jordan: I think this is an important story, but why did it make the highlights?

James DeRuvo: Well, it made the highlights, one, because it’s slow news week. But the other reason is, is because, what I like is that Digital Anarchy isn’t playing hide ‘n’ seek with their problems. They want their users to be aware of it and are offering concrete steps to work around it until they push out a fix. But they warn, it could take time, as they don’t want to break something else trying to fix this problem.

Larry Jordan: Okay, we’ve covered software, drones and cameras, what other stories are you covering this week?

James DeRuvo: Other stories we’re following include, tips on how to keep your camera clean and in top shape; the best things to look out for, when buying used camera gear, so you don’t get ripped off and YouTube is testing a new feature that will give beginning content creators some exposure. That’s it for us. What’s up tonight with the Buzz?

Larry Jordan: We’ve got two things. We’ve got a brand new NAB Insight and then we’re devoting the rest of the show to lighting. James, where can we go on the web to learn more about the stories you and your team are covering?

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

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the Editor-in-Chief of doddleNEWS and joins us every week and by the way, James, you should hang around for our next guest; because, as you know, the 2019 NAB Show is less than eight weeks away.

James DeRuvo: I know, it’s so fast.

Larry Jordan: NAB Insight is a new Buzz segment, which takes us behind the scenes of the show; to give us a heads up on what to expect.

James DeRuvo: You know, last week’s episode was fantastic; that first NAB Insight. I really loved it; so I’m looking forward to tonight.

Larry Jordan: Well our next guest on NAB Insight is Jonathan Toomey. He’s the Executive Producer for Content and Production of the 2019 NAB Show and James, wait till you hear what he has to say.

James DeRuvo: I look forward to it.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Toomey oversees the content for the main stage keynotes and floor theaters; as well as contributing to the overall marketing strategy for the show. Hello Jonathan, welcome.

Jonathan Toomey: Hello Larry, how you doing?

Larry Jordan: How did you ever convince the NAB Show that they needed an Executive Producer?

Jonathan Toomey: Well I actually previously worked for NAB for about a year; overseeing content and education. I left for a couple of years to run marketing for another conference production company and I had the great opportunity to come back this year and I helped reinvent our floor theater program and helped to reinvigorate our main stage keynotes.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk about both of those; but let’s take a step back to a higher level. What themes are you emphasizing this year?

Jonathan Toomey: We’re taking, kind of, a real high level approach in terms of themes this year. You know, in the past, NAB has featured different variations of our floor theater program and this year, I think our topics are really relevant for the broadcast industry and the overall ecosystem, as far as content delivery, distribution and creation. We’ve got theaters on topics like advanced advertising, eSports, connected vehicles and the in-vehicle experience, 5G and AI in Cloud; so they’re really top of mind and big topics that are thing are a nice connection to this world.

Larry Jordan: You keep mentioning this term floor theaters; what the difference between a keynote and a floor theater?

Jonathan Toomey: Across our exhibition floor, we have a number of free educational theaters that are part of our exhibit’s past tickets. You enter the floor and you’ll see these different pavilions; focused on exhibitors and education within those topics. Using 5G as an example, we’ve got our Destination 5G theater and pavilion; so you’ll see a number of exhibitors that are all in the 5G ecosystem, as well as a dedicated theater that will feature four days of content that is focused on 5G.

Larry Jordan: Who can attend these floor theaters?

Jonathan Toomey: Anyone is able to attend the floor theater with our exhibits pass; so you don’t need an expensive ticket to get in and enjoy these really robust sessions.

Larry Jordan: When do you move something from a floor theater to a keynote? What are your criteria for setting keynotes?

Jonathan Toomey: Typically for keynotes, obviously, you know, in some cases there can be a celebrity factor; in other cases, if we feel it’s a discussion that is truly pertinent to this world; something that we want to shine an extra light on, that’s when we’ll take consideration to move it to the keynote stage.

Jonathan Toomey: One of our big ones this year, in conjunction with the fact that we’re doing a Connected Car pavilion on the floor, we’re also going to feature a Connected Car keynote. When you consider the fact that 5G and ATSC 3.0 signals and all this different technology is going to start getting rolled into vehicles, as they become truly driverless, you’re going to wonder, you know, what’s the passenger going to do? They’re going to sit there and they’re going to consume more content and, for the world of the NAB audience, that’s a big deal. We’re on the cusp of that becoming more and more and more of a reality.

Jonathan Toomey: When we see these topics that make us kind of say, you know, this is going to become a much, much bigger deal, that’s when we make the choice to elevate it to the main stage.

Larry Jordan: Clearly, the NAB needs to spot a need that can be served with a keynote and the NAB Show invites someone to speak. Do you have input on their content of the presentation?

Jonathan Toomey: Yes, so I’m overseeing building all the main stage keynotes, you know, as far as sourcing speakers; interviewing speakers; you know, building moderators; working with our overall association team, to help build some of their stuff, like the opening session. There’s lots of different pieces that make up our keynote stage, over the three days; because it does run Monday through Wednesday during the show.

Larry Jordan: The keynotes are available to whom?

Jonathan Toomey: The keynotes are also on the floor; so those are open to everyone. That’s part of the exhibits pass ticket.

Larry Jordan: Then, what part are we paying extra for?

Jonathan Toomey: We have a number of additional paid for conferences; so those are separate programs that you would buy an upgraded, or a premium ticket to get into; such as our Streaming Summit, for example.

Larry Jordan: Given the vast size of the show and one of the things I enjoy the most about the NAB Show is, it’s just overwhelmingly big, what advice do you have for attendees who are trying to plan their day? Where should they even start?

Jonathan Toomey: I’ll speak to my own experience. You know, I’ve been to NAB a number of times now and, honestly, this is advice I would give for any big trade show, there’s something to be said about going in for that first day and just taking in the floor. The different exhibitors, all the different gadgetry and technology you’ll see. Just wandering around and absorbing all that; because you can get lost in it and enjoy a full day of just seeing something new, after something new, after something new. I think there’s a lot to be said about that; just really taking in the floor.

Jonathan Toomey: If education is your thing though, that’s what’s the great thing about this, because these floor theaters are on the floor and because they’re part of that free exhibits pass ticket. You know, you can walk in and experience all the stuff and you can immerse yourself in a topic that you’re really passionate about and just see great session, after great session all day long.

Larry Jordan: You’re in charge of booking the content for the show and you’ve established that you’ve got a number of different themes you’re working with. What’s the one that’s got the most sparkle for you? What one are you most excited about; both at the floor theaters and for the keynotes?

Jonathan Toomey: I think, overall, I’m most excited about our eSports experience. You know, in the past, we’ve featured eSports sessions; we’ve never had a full dedicated pavilion and theater to it. It’s interesting, when you think of all the different technology implementers and providers and a lot of the historic companies that are our bread and butter exhibitors, this is, in many ways, kind of a new space for them. I think, figuring out, what does the back end of this eSports delivery experience look like? How is the viewer at home watching a videogame tournament? What are the different considerations, technologically, that go into that? That’s a really interesting piece of the puzzle that I think we’re going to unlock at our eSports experience theater this year.

Jonathan Toomey: You know, we’ll still have some of the traditional stuff that I think you’d expect in terms of eSports. We’re going to have a gaming area, we’ll have players actually gaming on the floor; so people can come and experience that. But this kind of behind the scenes story is, how do all these things get plugged together? That’s a real interesting thing, I think, both for the attendees and the exhibitors of NAB Show.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, as I listen to your description of the floor theaters and the keynotes and the vast range of information you’re covering, how does that relate to production and post?

Jonathan Toomey: Well, you know, it’s interesting Larry. Across these floor theaters, like I said earlier, advanced advertising; eSports; in-vehicle experience; 5G, at first blush you might not think that there’s a big production and content creator angle here and those types of folks, they’re the bread and butter of the NAB audience; those are the folks that we want to provide content, education and great exhibition experiences for. But when you look at the content we have across these theaters, you know, we’ve got stuff on immersive advertising and VR; blurring the lines between film, television and games in our eSports experience.

Jonathan Toomey: When you think of in-vehicle content consumption and what the production of that content going into a vehicle looks like, we’ve got sessions on 5G and VR experiences; AI and how it’s impacting mixed reality. There’s so many different angles in here, across these theaters, that I think the content creator and the production community is going to find it really robust and interesting.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of anxiety about whether media is still an industry where we can earn a reasonable living. What are your thoughts on the future of media; not from a consumption point of view, which is exploding, but from a earning a living, business point of view?

Jonathan Toomey: Consider the fact of where we were, you know, maybe ten years ago; give or take and think of all the technology that was just starting to unravel. 4G, 4K TVs, all these things that felt really exciting and you felt like you were on the precipice of things changing. It feels like we’re there again, in a lot of ways. There’s so many different things that are evolving and I think, that’s where opportunity comes.

Jonathan Toomey: The idea that, you know, it can be tough in this industry right now to make a living, I think there’s so much opportunity on the horizon, in terms of new technology that’s unfolding, that’s it’s going to be a really exciting time ahead of us.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to learn more about the opportunities available for keynotes and floor theaters and just the show in general, where can we go on the web to learn more about this year’s NAB Show?

Jonathan Toomey: You can just check out and all the details are there.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, and Jonathan Toomey is the Executive Producer for Content and Production at the 2019 NAB Show and, Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Jonathan Toomey: Thank you very much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to, DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource, presenting news; reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platform, specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets; along with their app; directory and premium listings provide in-depth organizational tools for busy production professionals.

Larry Jordan: DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts community; a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography, to filmmaking; performing arts, to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with the resources you need to succeed.

Larry Jordan: 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,

Larry Jordan: Pat Grosswendt is a Co-Founder of Litepanels; where he now works as a Senior Sales Specialist, supporting their sales teams in the Americas, Asia Pacific and China. He’s also actively involved in new product development. Hello Pat, welcome back.

Pat Grosswendt: Hello Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: Pat, this week we’re talking about lighting. In the past, Fresnels were the dominant lighting hardware; now we’re moving into wide and softer LED panels. How would you describe the hardware options for lighting today. Not specific products, but more styles of hardware?

Pat Grosswendt: I think it’s really exciting; especially for newcomers, as well as people who are well versed in it, with many years of experience. You know, the characteristic of lighting a lot of times depends on the style of shooting; so that could be what type of camera you’re using, if your film is a digital and also the lenses, where you’ve got these maximum increase in the ability to see more with less. I think, in terms of the olden days of lighting, where you were using a lot of Fresnels and hard light, you were basically lighting to the look and you’re having a dominant feature.

Pat Grosswendt:  I don’t think the property of where the light goes changed, just the augmenting to have something soft to begin with, but put in the right direction. The versatility of being able to dim any of these lights successfully was without too much fear and color shifting is unique. Also, the fact that a lot of the lights today, that the end user’s seeing and having choices over, is something that will create a plethora of colors from one source; compared to real old days with gels, or acetates. The mechanics of it are similar in regards to placement being the dominant factor, but the ability to use a whole boutique look of lights that will give you different types of output and rendering. It’s really cool.

Larry Jordan: The strengths of LED lights, which include less heat, smaller size, soft light and variability and color are widely recognized; but what do we do if we want sharper shadows?

Pat Grosswendt: Get further back from the subject matter and give yourself a chance to cut it. But I think there’s a lot of products out on the market where you’ve got the ability to put a cone over it; to create a soft box; or to put grids, or snap grids, or various accessory items outside of the unit. Almost kind of in the style of the old lens shaders. When somebody finally came up with the flexible, where you were able to actually just kind of wing it into position and, nowadays, with a lot of the lights not emitting so much heat, you can attach things to it quickly and use it to shape lights.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk about Litepanels’ products in a minute, but before I do, what questions should we ask, as we’re determining what hardware of light to buy? In other words, what’s a really important question and what tends to be lost more in the marketing?

Pat Grosswendt: The consumer today is more educated before they make their purchase and that has to do with the fact of the internet and availability of products increasing; because so many people are constantly coming with new products to the market. The intuitive person captures something by eye that they’re interesting in, but they’ll tend to do a lot more research as they go about it. You have this nuance of this boutique market, where people will buy several different types of light, for different accentuations they’re hoping to get. Because of the latitude of the chip and the faster lenses, where you don’t have to worry so much about exposure output, just being able to manipulate a little simpler, without having to worry if you’ve flipped from 24 frames to 96, that you have the latitude to increase it and have that depth of field and high speed you need.

Pat Grosswendt: I think the other thing that’s really helpful is, marketplaces such as yourself that put a product out, that people can listen to and use that information from different guests, to talk about, what it is that makes a product unique and how we, in turn, visualize being able to use it. I don’t think anybody’s found something that they couldn’t use; but it’s definitely something that people research a bit more and so marketing helps.

Pat Grosswendt: But, actually, I love FaceTime; I love it when we go to trade shows and I meet somebody, whether they’re an Executive, or a starter outer, it’s really a great time to share all the knowledge that many of us that have been in the industry a long time can. Not just with stories about themselves, but the industry changing. That’s a good part to relate to them, because it can find out that, maybe something they’re creating was seen before, but nobody remembers seeing it.

Larry Jordan: One of the things Litepanels is famous for is, really defining the market for LED lighting; so, let’s shift to Litepanels. What are you excited about?

Pat Grosswendt: I’m very excited for a nuance of a new product at NAB this year, which is in Las Vegas again. It’s a product that I think will touch a lot of people’s needs; so we’ve put a lot of thought into it, but also the time involved in making sure we have, you know, core, accurate, controllable light sources. It’s a new product, which will get a lot of buzz.

Larry Jordan: You’re going to be talking about that at NAB in a couple of months?

Pat Grosswendt: Yes, we’ll actually be showing it. We’ve had it with some key updater testers. That’s what we try and do every time we develop something; get it to some people in different marketplaces that have access to the knowledge and take their feedback and continue with maybe adjusting certain things to those requests.  We’re excited about it; it’s going to be great and with the Vitec brand products that are going to accompanying us and all sorts of things.

Pat Grosswendt: Like any manufacturer, we’re excited about taking it to the show and meeting the market.

Larry Jordan: There’s a debate between whether it’s more valuable to attend CineGear or NAB. What’s your thought?

Pat Grosswendt: You know, it’s interesting Larry because, I’m traveling constantly; I just got back from London and I’m going to be heading over to Asia Pacific for two to three weeks on product training and this and that. But what I’m finding from a lot of people is, they love going to CineGear. I think some of the people actually aren’t attending NAB, because they’re a little bit more focused on what they want to see and they know they’ll see that cinematic, or that production product at CineGear; plus the fact it’s got a really relaxing atmosphere.

Pat Grosswendt: There’s not too many shows you can walk around in the sunshine; which is … California’s location and be able to have a beer and conversations with people who are likeminded. I see CineGear being a tremendous asset to the film community on a global basis and people are excited about going there.

Larry Jordan: For someone that does a lot of run and gun shooting, as opposed to cinema style, where everything is very carefully set, what Litepanels gear would you recommend as sort of a basic kit to get started?

Pat Grosswendt: Well I would recommend that people always try before they buy; so I would go to a friend that has different products of Litepanels. I’d go to a rental company, or cruise our website and see what we have.

Pat Grosswendt: I really am a firm believer in that, you wouldn’t know if it fits your needs until you’ve had a chance to try it and I welcome anybody from your listening audience, that actually has an interest in trying a product, we’ll put them together with somebody in their area, or we’ll make sure that we can try and get them something, to be able to test it. I think that for end users that are out, the notation of less is more is really important; but at the same time, being able to practice with different tools elevates your game by having the knowledge.

Pat Grosswendt: Having done it and used equipment, you have a better understanding whether you want to actually present that as an opportunity, with regards to the amount of time you or the Producer has budgeted for your creative imagery and from that experience of playing with it.

Pat Grosswendt: That’s any products, not just the Litepanel product. But I think any product you can get your hands on, rent, try, demo, will give you a better aspect of seeing what all the manufacturers have as their essential tool to fit that kit. I’d love everybody to buy Litepanel products; but I know that, until you realize why it has value, you won’t make that decision; so I recommend everybody to go to trade shows, like the NAB Show that you’re always at. You know, you’ve got products there, you’ve got people coming in, that can listen while they’re walking through the show, but you’re able to see and touch and have that tactile experience with gear that makes a lot more sense than just a brochure, or something on the web.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to start their research on the web, where can they go to learn more about Litepanels’ gear?

Pat Grosswendt: That would be

Larry Jordan: Pat Grosswendt is a Co-Founder of Litepanels; their website is and Pat, thanks for joining us today.

Pat Grosswendt: Great to visit with you again Larry. Be well.

Larry Jordan: Stefan Karle founded DoP Choice in 2008 to create high quality, easily portable lighting tools and accessories. Based in Munich, his company has since invented snap bags, snap grids and butterfly grids; among many other tools, to shape light. Hello Stefan, welcome back.

Stefan Karle: Hello.

Larry Jordan: Stefan, tonight we’re talking about lighting; so put your cinematographer hat on for a minute. Earlier in the show, we heard Pat Grosswendt talk about lighting equipment; but, I want to focus more on how to make our lighting look as good as possible and I’ve heard the term shape light. What does this mean?

Stefan Karle: Light shaping is a way that you have the light that spreads out the light in a specific light spread. What we are doing is, we direct the light, for example, for grids, you channelize the light on portions, or areas that you want to have the light and you illuminate or stop the light on areas where you don’t want to have it. Basically, if you have an interview and you have white walls that we have a lot in Germany you want to have the light on the person, but you don’t want to have the light on the white wall in the background. Therefore, you can use the metal grids, or what you have at keynote floors, like the plastic grids, or fabric grids, to get the light channelized; or you can also use flags on stands to channelize the light and then you can create contrast between the foreground and the background.

Stefan Karle: The other thing, to shape your light, is to make the light source bigger. As we are limited in the transport, or also in the housings of the LED lighting fixtures, we want to have it compact for transport; but you want to have it big on the set. That’s why you mostly put, in the simplest way, just like a big frost frame in front of the light, to make the light source bigger; or you can also use a soft box to make the light source bigger.

Stefan Karle: The soft box has the big advantage that you are also using the side light; so the light that is spread to the side wings, to reflect it back in the front; because you’re using kind of a silver material that is intensifying this light and directs it more to the front screen. This is a more efficient way and it’s also a more practical way; because you only have one stand for light and your soft box and you can easily turn it in the direction, or move it from one place to the other. If you have a frost frame, or a gel frame, or whatever, then you always have to use two stands and it’s becoming a little bit more complicated.

Stefan Karle: Basically, this is the main kind of shaping of the light, to make the light sources bigger, to direct them in the direction that you want to have for light and to control the light.

Larry Jordan: As you were describing ways to shape the light, it sounded like I heard two basic shapes; one is a soft box, which takes a small light and makes it bigger, so it wraps around someone and the other is a grid, or an egg crate; which tends to focus the light, to keep it more directional. Is there another basic tool that we have to work with, or are those the two big groups?

Stefan Karle: Basically, these are the two big groups that you are using. For sure you also have some different ways. You can also use barn doors to shape your light and this was quite easy in the times of Fresnel light; because that was really nice to control with the barn doors; especially in the flat position spotlight. But with panel lights, which we have right now on most of the LED sources, it’s really hard to control it with barn doors; because they are simply too small. They don’t cover too much and that’s why you’re using these kind of grids, for example, to control it. Even if it’s a plastic grid, metal grid, or a fabric grid.

Larry Jordan: You raised a really interesting point. For those of us that have worked in lighting for a while, we’re used to lights with lenses in front, called Fresnels. As we’re moving to flat panel LEDS, which are great at soft diffuse lighting, what do we do if we need a hard shadow?

Stefan Karle: There are some LED lights which also have these characteristics. For example, if you look on this L-series ARRI, or Digital Sputnik, or Creamsource, they also have this characteristic of having a very parallel light and a small light source. This makes a nice shadow cast. Still the best source, if you want to have it as a big punch, is to use HMI, or a strong tungsten bulb. But we are moving more into this LED area and especially mixing conventional light with LED lights, where it’s sometimes not so easy; especially later on, in the color correction, if you want to be super precise in the skin tones and so on. This is kind of the tricky part.

Larry Jordan: One of the other challenges we face is that, many cameras today shoot in very low light. How does this change how we light a scene?

Stefan Karle: This is quite interesting and this, I think, was a big push into the light controlled devices. You need to get rid of fill light. Even if you have a little bit spill to the back from your soft box, or from your frame, or whatever, this destroys the contrast in your whole scene. You’re working much more with black fill simply just using a black solid, or a black flag, close to the actor or talent, or you try to get rid of all the fill light and also have environment from the walls and so on that is not white walls.

Stefan Karle: In Germany, many, many rooms are white, compared to the US. It is such a big difference. There, you have to be some much more controlling with fill light, or light that is just hitting a little bit on white walls; because it’s destroying the contrast in a low light scene. That’s why, to control the light, especially with the digital cameras, became much more important. The digital cameras are much more sensitive in the blacks and have more difficulties in white clipping. That’s why you put more fill light in the blacks, to get some latitude and texture in it. In the digital cameras, you just do it in a reverse way; you just try to make it even darker.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk about the products that DoP Choice makes in just a second, but I have one more question. You mention that grids are made of different substances; metal, plastic and cloth. Does the construction of the grid affect the light?

Stefan Karle: Yes and no. Basically, for example, if you have a plastic grid, it takes much more light away. You have much more material between the light emitting source; for example a tube, or LED plate, because it’s very thick this plastic. The metal grids are thinner, so they are more efficient. That’s quite a good way. The big disadvantage is, they’re getting so easily destroyed and it’s a big problem, if you have a light source that is four by four feet big, to transport this grid without any damage, from one set to another.

Stefan Karle: That’s why the fabric grids are much easier to use on set; because you can fold them together. We came up with the special tension frame; we call it the snap frame, that keeps it stretched out from the sides. There’s no belly sagging and you can fold it together, to make it very compact; so you can put it in the same case as the light. That’s why the rentals and the film people on set like it; because it’s easy to use. Working as a cinematographer, I think we have destroyed, in every film, at least two or three grids. It was good for sales, for these company, but the production was always saying, “No, no, no, why do you destroy all these grids?” Therefore, with the fabric grids, you’re saving money, especially on set.

Larry Jordan: Tell us about the products that DoP Choice makes. What do you have for us and, more importantly, how do we decide which to buy?

Stefan Karle: Basically, we have a whole range of light control devices. We have grids, like the fabric grids; we have the soft boxes; we call them the snap bags. The big advantage of all our products are that they are very simple to use, very quick to set up. We also came up with a new system; it’s called …. This enables you, for example, to put a …. On an ARRI …

Stefan Karle: What is quite hot at the moment is all the accessories for tube lights; especially within the last year. A lot of manufacturers came up with very efficient and very clever systems. We also have brilliant tubes that you can use; some of them are battery driven, so you can just put it somewhere in the set and you can control it with an app. That’s really great.

Stefan Karle: We also have devices to control them and to make them a little bit bigger with the snap bags; so you can put one up to three tubes in one snap bag. On the other hand, you also have a grid that mounts directly onto a tube; but it’s super compact. You can also use this tube just as a bag light, you can put it on a shelf and you can control it super easy and you don’t get any fill light.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to find out all the products that DoP Choice has, to help their lighting look its best, where can they go on the web?

Stefan Karle: We have product finders on our website, which is Just click on the logo of the light and you will see all the products there. In the US, you can go on All our US products are here.

Larry Jordan: That website is all one word, and Stefan Karle founded DoP Choice and is CEO of the company and a cinematographer in his own right. Stefan, thanks for joining us today.

Stefan Karle: Thank you very much. Thank you. Have a great day.

Larry Jordan: I want to introduce you to a new website; Thalo is an artist community and networking site, for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. 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 the 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 and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s

Larry Jordan: Jakob Ballinger is the Founder of the Light Bridge. The Light Bridge has invented not just new technology, but a new way to light. Jakob, thanks for joining us today.

Jakob Ballinger: Thanks for having me Larry.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe your new approach to lighting?

Jakob Ballinger: Actually, it’s the oldest thing in the world that we’ve basically gone back to and it seems that, in the film industry and how we’ve developed ourselves, we look forward a lot but, sometimes, it just makes sense to stop and look back. It’s basically what Cinematographer Christian Berger did 15 years ago. He said, wait a minute, I don’t like the way we’re lighting our films these days; the way the light is being presented to me for my work. What he did is, he said, I’ll go back to what I know best, is documentary, because I found light there I really liked and see how I can implement that into my feature film work.

Jakob Ballinger: What he did is, the same as Leonardo da Vinci did, he went back and really looked at nature and what does natural light do and how does it fall onto objects, flow into room and reflect off objects? That is actually the key word, it’s reflecting lights; because light itself is not visible, we only see objects that light reflects off. That’s how we perceive light. By then saying, okay, this is the way the natural flow light is, light comes from the sun, onto earth and it bounces off a mountain, let’s say, or snow, it comes into a room and bounces off the walls, off the floors.

Jakob Ballinger:  Basically, the cinema effect lighting system which we’re building with the Light Bridge, is actually enhancing that; it’s saying, not only the light is coming off the ball, that actually, we can give complete control over that same quality and beautiful texture of natural light in a high definition form. High output and quality with diffused light, without the usual tools that you would need to create that on a film set.

Larry Jordan: What you have is, you have a light source which hits a reflector and the reflector is what’s lighting the scene?

Jakob Ballinger: It’s exactly that. The light source becomes the reflector itself and the way we perceive light. When, for example, we say we want a key light, we set up a light source and it comes in through a window and then we say we want fill light, so we set up a separate light source. Basically what the cinema effect lighting system is doing is, it’s saying wait a minute, actually the light that’s coming in through the room is creating a nice atmosphere; if we want fill light, we do not actually have to force a new light source into the room, we can use the natural reflection of the room and the use of the reflectors to enhance that; to actually get the values for exposure that we’re looking for.

Larry Jordan: We’ve been using bounce lights and reflectors for a long time. What makes your approach different?

Jakob Ballinger: The Egyptians have been using it already. It’s something that’s been there a long time. It took me a long time because I’d been a Gaffer for a long time before I met Christian, to suddenly see the way he perceives the light and how he then can use it to reflect it. The big difference really is to say, it’s a little bit of reverse engineering. We have a light source and then we say, oh it’s too hard, let’s soften it and then you put up a frame and then you see the light spilling all over the space. You need flags to contain that again.

Jakob Ballinger: Basically, the idea which we’ve been developing now with the Light Bridge is to reverse engineer it. Let’s take away the flags, but the light spilling all over the space is an issue. Well, actually, it’s the diffusion frame that’s giving us the issue; let’s take it away. Then we have the light source and we say, this is too hard, so if we direct the light onto a reflector that controls that diffused light, it actually gives us a really soft beautiful light source, similar to a frame and with all the flags necessary, but gives us the controlled environment. Now you can say, I want a soft beautiful light, but I do not need frames and flags to make this possible; actually, I just need one reflector to make it work.

Jakob Ballinger: That’s actually the magic behind it. It’s high technology engineering to have control over how the light reflects off something and it’s just a high glossy reflective surface that gives light off in all the kinds of directions.

Larry Jordan:  I’ve had a chance to look at some of the photos on your website and some of the scenes that you light are beautiful. But what happens if you want rich shadows, or sharp shadows? This strikes me as the perfect quintessential massively large soft light.

Jakob Ballinger: It’s really a major thing actually. When you have a look at the natural flow of light, when it comes into a room, it’s not only what happens with the reflections, but it also has a lot to do with inverse square Law. With the sun, it’s the same exposure everywhere. We set up a light source, if you move towards that light source, you’re going to get hotter and hotter and hotter. With the reflector, because you’re redirecting the light source further, what happens is, you do not have this effect. You can move closer to a reflector without having the feeling you’re walking towards a light source.

Jakob Ballinger: Interestingly enough, just by being really specific and careful of the laws of nature, let’s say, the same thing happens with the shadows. We know from the history of filmmaking that you have to be careful of multiple shadows; actually, natural light has a lot of shadows within it and multiple ones as well. If you look at them, it still looks very beautiful and natural and if you look at the reflectors and what you’ve seen in the images, the same thing happens. It really has to do with the inverse square law; because the light’s travelling further and the way the reflectors are reflecting the light, you actually get really beautiful rich shadows.

Jakob Ballinger: We’ve got four different kinds of diffusions, depending which kind of diffusion reflector you use, you’re going to get crispier, harder, or softer shadows.

Larry Jordan: I had a chance to browse your website and you did a really good job of showcasing the stills of scenes from a movie and showcasing your gear. But I didn’t see anything that showed me how to use your gear. How can people learn how to use this new system of reflected light?

Jakob Ballinger: It’s really the biggest task now and in 2018, coming the first time to the States and showing the system to people. You know, I’m just an Austrian Gaffer and Christian as well, a Cinematographer, for us to go out into the world and show, look, this is what we’ve been working at and for people to like it. We got a really wonderful response to that last year, so this year is all about tutorials; making videos, going out to actually explain to people how we use it. It’s really important to me. It’s not to say, this is the way you use the system, but it’s a starting point. It’s been our 15 years of development and I’m really happy to share knowledge with everybody; for everybody to find something unique for themselves, within this new tool, for their own creative developments.

Larry Jordan:  You’ve got a wide variety of products. How do I pick which one to use?

Jakob Ballinger:  Well, it really depends on the production Larry. Basically what we do is, we start with seven by seven centimeters; which is the size of the palm of your hand basically, with a reflector and it goes all the way up to almost four by four feet; which is one by one meter. We’ve got seven centimeters, 15, that’s doubling the size; 25, 57 meters and one meter. From there you can do everything from really small eye light; you can hide on a table, all the way to big stuff, when you say you need to have a big reflector outside, in front of a window.

Jakob Ballinger: From there, basically we said we’d do four reflectors; to keep it at a really easy fluid way of working with them. What we have to reflect is, it’s harder than the real mirror that you would use would be diffusion number one; Black Punch. Then you go to diffusion number two, Sky Blue. You see, already, all the inspiration actually comes from nature; looking at it, seeing which aluminum reflectors we could use for this. Then we have diffusion number three, that’s ambient Violet and then you’ve got diffusion number four that’s super wide. Diffusion number four is a really soft, really great to use for beauty shots and close-ups and the reflector was inspired by snow; because the beautiful thing about snow light is that, light doesn’t only reflect off its surface, it penetrates into the snow and then comes back out again even more diffused.

Jakob Ballinger:  Basically, what we found was that we could reduce exactly that effect into a really, really small little surface, where the light penetrates the first surface and comes back out again. That gives you beautiful wrap around and a soft look.

Jakob Ballinger: From the seven centimeters to the meter by meter, you can all those four diffusions; basically with the full variety and full control of diffused light and, depending on if you’re doing documentaries or feature films, obviously we’ve got a flight case, or easy carrying cases as well for that.

Larry Jordan: Where are some examples of where this system makes sense? Does it have to be a certain size set, or when you’ve got daylight? What are good examples of when you want to use this?

Jakob Ballinger: I think it’s mainly targeted for Cinematographers, who are looking for something unique and new. Also for Cinematographers that have been using reflected light a lot. What we find a lot is people saying, “Look, I’ve been using bounced light all my life” and finally there’s something actually with high efficiency and output and really made with quality. Those are basically the people that we tend to get.

Jakob Ballinger: In terms of which productions to use it at, it really can go all the way. We have Judith Benedikt; she’s a Documentary Cinematographer. She uses it a lot, because she uses a lot of natural light and it’s also wonderful with practicals to say, “Look, I just need an F stop more in the face” so you can just take the light that comes off the light bulb and extend it as well. Then it’s for big productions as well, when you are looking for quality of light and then it only makes sense to say, look I can enhance the inverse square law, I can get a new quality of shadows; but obviously, as we know, as a certain level of cinematography and visual output, it just takes a certain amount of effort to get there.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about the Light Bridge, where can they go on the web?

Jakob Ballinger: There’s actually three things. One is, of course, You can go onto Instagram, The Light Bridge. You can go on Facebook, The Light Bridge. There, we have a big community that we share the pictures from the set basically. Those are the three main things to go to.

Larry Jordan: That website is; also The Light Bridge on Instagram and Facebook and Jakob Ballinger is the Founder of the Light Bridge. Jakob, thanks for joining us today.

Jakob Ballinger: Thank you so much for having me; it’s an honor to be on your show.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking, Pat Grosswendt said something in his interview that I once knew, but forgot recently. What I asked him what he would recommend for quick set up lighting he said that, “Everyone’s needs are different.” His best advice is to borrow, or rent the gear you’re thinking of buying; to see if it works in your situation.

Larry Jordan: I made that mistake just a couple of months ago. I needed to buy some lighting gear for interviews. I researched the web and found a three light kit that featured color tunable lights stored in a portable carrying case. Exactly what I needed, so I bought three of these kits. Once they arrived, however, I discovered that these lights had very low light output; they would be good at filling in an existing scene, but nowhere near bright enough to light an interview. If I had simply rented one of these kits for a day, I would have discovered this instantly. Now, I have to live with a very expensive mistake.

Larry Jordan: All too often, we think that we can learn everything we need to know by reading about it on the web. While the web is an unparalleled research opportunity, it can’t convey how something will actually work in real life. It’s frustrating to order something, only to discover that the reality doesn’t live up to our expectations; even if the website was absolutely correct. This is what makes retail stores and trade shows like the NAB so valuable; they give us the opportunity to get our hands on production gear in person, to see if it meets our needs. Even better, at a show like NAB, you can talk one-on-one with the people who actually invented the gear; to make sure that it can do what you see in your imagination.

Larry Jordan: For me, I’m back in the market for more lights that I can use for interviews. Just something I’m thinking about.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week. Jonathan Toomey with the 2019 NAB Show; Pat Grosswendt with Litepanels; Stefan Karle with DoP Choice; Jakob Ballinger with the Light Bridge and James DeRuvo with There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews, all online and all available to you today. 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 Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner; with additional music provided by 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 – February 14, 2019

This week “NAB Insight” highlights how the NAB Show programs their main stage keynotes and on-floor theaters. Then, after casting light on the inner workings of the NAB Show, we look at lighting and lighting gear, including some new technology that harkens back to how the ancient Egyptians used light. Cool stuff!

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 Jonathan Toomey, Pat Grosswendt, Stefan Karle, Jakob Ballinger and James DeRuvo.

  • NAB Insight: Programming Keynotes
  • The Hardware of Light
  • Techniques to Shape Light
  • The Light Bridge: Brilliant Reflections
  • The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

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Guests this Week

NAB Insight: Programming Keynotes

Jonathan Toomey
Jonathan Toomey, Executive Producer, Content & Production, NAB Show
As part of the lead-up to the 2019 NAB Show, “NAB Insight” chats with Jonathan Toomey, Executive Producer for Content and Production for the NAB Show. He oversees content for the NAB Show’s main stage keynotes, floor theater programs, and marketing strategy for their Executive Leadership Summit.

The Hardware of Light

Pat Grosswendt
Pat Grosswendt, Co-Founder, Senior Sales Specialist, Litepanels
Litepanels began providing innovative LED-based lighting gear in 2001. Tonight we talk with Pat Grosswendt, Co-Founder of Litepanels, about lighting hardware, styles and how to pick the right instruments for your next project.

Techniques to Shape Light

Stefan Karle
Stefan Karle, Managing Director and Owner, DoP Choice
Once you assemble your lighting kit, you still need to control and shape the light to get the look you want. Stefan Karle, Managing Director of DoP Choice, makes tools you put in front of a light so it shines where you want and doesn’t shine where you don’t.

The Light Bridge: Brilliant Reflections

Jakob Ballinger
Jakob Ballinger, Gaffer and Founder, The Light Bridge
Jakob Ballinger, Founder of The Light Bridge, has lit sets as a gaffer for almost 20 years. During that time, he became intrigued with a new way to light sets. From that, he developed and released The Light Bridge. Tonight, he explains what it is, how it works, and why he was inspired to invent it.

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.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – February 7, 2019


Larry Jordan


Chris Brown, Exec. VP, Conventions & Business Operations, National Association of Broadcasters

Barbara Griffith, President, SCL Equipment Finance

Marius Ciocirlan, Co-Founder/CEO, ShareGrid

René Morch, Product Manager, DPA Microphones

James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS


Larry Jordan: Tonight, on the Buzz, we are introducing a new segment, called NAB Insight; where we got behind the scenes and talk with the folks who are staging, or presenting at our industry’s largest trade show. As our lead off guest, we’ve invited Chris Brown, the Executive Vice President for Conventions and Business for NAB; to talk about their plans for this year’s show and highlight some of the new features they’ve added for this year.

Larry Jordan: Next, we compare the benefits of purchasing, versus renting your production gear. When the time comes to purchase, Barbara Griffith, the President of SCL Equipment Finance, can help you more than a bank; as she explains tonight. Or, when you need to rent gear, a new web service called Share Grid connects equipment owners with equipment renters.

Larry Jordan: Tonight, CEO Marius Ciocirlan explains why he created ShareGrid and how they differ from traditional rental houses.

Larry Jordan: Next, most of us have done projects on the road, but DPA Microphones is taking remote broadcasts to a whole new level. They’ve partnered with JPL, to put a DPA microphone on the next Martian Rover; to provide live audio and video of Mars landing in February 2021. René Morch, Head of Project Management for DPA Microphones explains what they are doing.

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

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

Larry Jordan: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz; the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry; covering media production, post-production and marketing around the world. Hello, my name is Larry Jordan.

Larry Jordan: The Buzz has provided in-depth coverage of NAB for ten years; it’s a chance for me to return to my roots of live broadcast and share with you, interviews and activities happening live on the trade show floor.

Larry Jordan: Earlier this year, NAB asked if we would be interested in working more closely with them; not just in covering this year’s show, but in helping our listeners understand all the additional resources, both free and paid, that NAB provides during the show, that are away from the show floor.  The more we got to talking, the more I realized that there was a whole lot of great conferences, presentations and information that I didn’t know about and I’ve been going to NAB for more than 30 years.

Larry Jordan: The best thing that any of us can do to keep up with all the changes that we’re surrounded with, is to keep learning. My goal, over these next eight weeks, leading up to NAB, is to help all of us learn what NAB makes available; so that you can see, not only the latest toys on the show floor, but learn how to best integrate them into your business in these additional sessions. We call this segment NAB Insight and we’ll have a new one every week. There’s no better way to start than with the man that is heading up the planning for the entire NAB event, Chris Brown. He’ll join us right after the news.

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, what’s the news this week?

James DeRuvo: Larry, it’s the second week of February already.

Larry Jordan: It is, the time has flied by. In another two or three breaths it’s going to be NAB; which is two months away.

James DeRuvo: What is it, eight weeks? Good grief?

Larry Jordan: What’s our lead story?

James DeRuvo: Nikon wants you to trade in your DSLR and they don’t care what DSLR you have, for a new Z series camera and they’re willing to pay you to do it.  Less than four months after announcing the new Z7 and Z6 full frame mirrorless cameras, Nikon looks to be boosting sales by offering a trade up to Z promotion. This promotion will give users up to $400, plus the value of your DSLR, for any Z7 series camera; or $200 in trading up to the Z6 mirrorless camera and Nikon is also offering an additional $100 cashback for the FTZ lens mount adaptor when you buy your mirrorless camera.

James DeRuvo: Meanwhile, for our listeners in Europe, users are getting up to €500 cashback when you purchase a Z series mirrorless camera and you don’t have to trade in your camera and, if you do the conversion rate, that’s an additional $172 over what we’re getting here in the States.

Larry Jordan: You’ve mentioned before that DSLR sales are declining. Is this a way for Nikon to encourage users to move to mirrorless cameras?

James DeRuvo: I think it may be and, soon or later, everybody will. But many are speculating that, while Nikon’s PR campaign kept users excited for the launch of the Z series, that really hasn’t translated into the kind of camera sales that Nikon was hoping for. By offering this trade in promotion, it should stimulate users, who are on the bubble, to go ahead and pull the trigger. As for the death of the DSLR, well I don’t really think the DSLR is going to die any time soon; at least not for a while; because there are enough diehard DSLR users out there to keep it going.

Larry Jordan: Okay, Nikon’s our lead story, what’s next?

James DeRuvo: Blackmagic is addressing battery issues with a camera update to the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K; so this update version, I think it’s 6.1, fixes an issue on how the camera monitors battery life, to make it more accurate. Plus, it better manages the battery power consumption, to extend it. Plus, also, they’ve added support for pixel remapping; that will recalibrate your pixels for more accurate color and dynamic range, as time goes on and improved autofocus performance and several housekeeping fixes.

Larry Jordan: Fixing bugs is always a good idea; what’s behind this?

James DeRuvo: Well, filmmakers love the images coming out of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K; I mean, I’ve seen the footage, it’s gorgeous. Their chief gripe has been that the camera could suddenly shut down from a dead battery, even though the camera says there’s nearly half of the battery life remaining. Apparently, it’s just very poor at estimating how much battery life you have.

James DeRuvo: Listening to user feedback, Blackmagic has a fix that not only more accurately shows you what battery life you have left, but it better manages the camera power to extend that battery life even further. But for me, I like the recalibration of your pixels option. That enables you to keep your color and brightness accurate as time goes on and I think that’s a nifty feature.

Larry Jordan: I’m sensing a trend here. We’ve covered Nikon and Blackmagic; so, what other camera manufacturer caught your eye this week?

James DeRuvo: Sony is offering a high frame rate license for the Sony VENICE Camera and it will be coming this Summer. Version four of the camera update will open up frame rates up to 120 frames per second in 4K and 60 frames per second in 6K, with the new firmware update and a purchased HFR license. Support for Sony’s XOCN XT codec is also available, shooting in 4K; when using the AXS-R7 external recorder. Boy, you’ve just got to love Sony’s proprietary obsession. They will also have frame rates of up to 60 frames per second in 4K ProRes and XCD.

Larry Jordan: Great, just what we need, another new codec. How much is this thing going to cost?

James DeRuvo: How much is it going to cost? Well we don’t really know yet. But Sony expects to ship it in June of 2019; so I’m guessing we’ll have a clear picture come NAB time. Meanwhile, version three isn’t out yet; it will offer 6K and 5.7K widescreen options as well and that will be available next month.

Larry Jordan: Well that’s a lot of news about cameras, what other stories are you covering this week?

James DeRuvo: Other stories we’re following include, RØDE is launching their My RØDE Cast podcast competition. You can win up to $100,000 for making a two to three minute podcast and we finally have a price for the Panasonic S1 and S1R mirrorless cameras. They’re about $2,500 body only for the S1 and $3,700 body only for the S1R.

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

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

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the Editor-in-Chief of doddleNEWS and joins us every week. We’ll see you next Thursday.

James DeRuvo: Have a good weekend.

Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to, DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource, presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platform specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in-depth organizational tools for busy production professionals.

Larry Jordan: DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts community; a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography, to filmmaking; performing arts to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with the resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals, or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project, there’s only one place to go,

Larry Jordan: Chris Brown is the Executive Vice-President for Conventions and Business Operations at the National Association of Broadcasters. He and his team are responsible for producing all of the NAB’s major events; including the NAB Show Las Vegas and the NAB Show New York. Hello Chris, welcome back.

Chris Brown: Hello Larry, how are you? Good to be with you again.

Larry Jordan: Well I’m delighted to welcome you as the inaugural guest of our new series called NAB Insight; which leads us up to this year’s show. What are your plans coming up for April?

Chris Brown: Oh, lots of things in the works Larry, as you know. Here we are, really about, almost exactly two months out; not that we’re counting and we are in the shoot, as it were, in terms of really starting to put the finishing touches on things. In some cases we’re, you know, still in process on some of our key programs; particularly on the education and conference side. As you know, that’s a process that we’ll be tucking in right up until the last minute, as we kind of get the speakers finalized, panels prepped and a lot of work goes into that.

Chris Brown: But we’re excited about the show, you know, there’s quite a lot going on. As we talked last year, pace of change is and continues to be unbelievable; which, you know, always gives us a lot of things to focus on and bring to it. We’re excited about how it’s all shaping up and, so far, pre-registration is running strong, we’re a little bit ahead of last year, which is a good sign; so right now, our momentum is feeling pretty good.

Larry Jordan: Let’s get into the specifics and let’s start with the theme. What’s our focus?

Chris Brown: The theme this year is every story starts here and you’ll see some variants on that, as we message out, to kind of get people to actually think about that and kind of put themselves in the middle of that idea; which is, your story starts here. But, you know, this is a little bit of a turn from where we have been the last couple of years; we’ve been sort of trying to really focus on the convergence side of what’s happening and to talk about the idea around the converging of media, entertainment and technology. That was our met theme that we had for the last couple of years; which we felt really did do a good job of kind of describing the dynamics of how those three industries are sort of coming together.

Chris Brown: It was also something that, you know, appealed to a bit more of the technical side of what we do and was a little less about the emotion of what’s behind the industry that we’re all in. In reality, that’s what I love about the show is that, the people who come and participate, the people who engage and help us put this together, they’re in this business because they’re passionate about it and, at the core, it’s about storytelling and that’s what production, post-production, distributing this content, making great content is all about.

Chris Brown: Through this theme, I think we’re just trying to bring it back to that and also just highlight the fact that, guess what, it’s been talked about a lot over the last year too; content is still …. No matter what you say, we can have the show be about and talk about all the greatest technology on the planet; but all the great technology on the planet can’t make a really bad story that much better. That’s kind of what we’re focused on, you know, with the theme this year.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that I learned in talking with you in past years is how far in advance of a show you have to work on your planning, from a year to a year and a half; which means, you’re looking at your crystal balls last Summer, trying to figure out where the industry is going this Spring. What are the key trends that you’re focusing on, on the show floor and in the conference, for this year?

Chris Brown: Great question Larry. It is an interesting process and, you know, I think we do our best. We try to leave ourselves a couple of to be determined kinds of opportunities, whether that’s on the floor or in the sessions; so that we can fill them in a little bit later. But this year, getting to answer your question, I think I point first to some of the new things that we have on the floor and one of the concepts that we’re really focused on this year is to bring a bit more of the education on the floor concept to the show. That’s giving people the opportunity to kind of engage in, you know, predominantly shorter form kinds of content; presentations, short panels, individual presentations, some demo presentations, that type of thing, in theaters that we’ve laid throughout the show floor.

Chris Brown: This year, there’ll be some that are coming back from last year; things like our podcasting pavilion, which actually did really well last year. Podcasting is a real thing, obviously, and a growing thing. To that, we’ve added four new pieces; AI in Cloud; I’m calling it the AI in Cloud Campus; so bringing in a little bit more focus and sharper focus around AI and, of course, Cloud and all that’s meaning for workflow these days.

Chris Brown: Destination 5G is another area. 5G is something we just felt like we needed to talk about, one way or the other and, at this point, because it’s kind of there but not quite there, we still thought it was more about discussion; so it made sense for education and theatre and probably on the floor and less so, you know, a big formal rollout through conferences.

Chris Brown: Esports; so we have something called the Esports experience. I’m really excited about this, because I just think there’s so many threads here that sit at the core of our show and the media and entertainment world and this slice of what we do is really growing and gaining momentum.

Chris Brown: The fourth new piece is something we’re calling the In-Vehicle Experience; so that’s about the automobile; from an in-car entertainment experience perspective, what that means to people in this business and what it might mean in the future. There’s going to be a lot more opportunity, you know, in vehicles and I think in the future, this evolves just from your personal automobile, to moving vehicles of all kinds.

Larry Jordan: Before we run out of time, tell me about Birds of a Feather; what’s that?

Chris Brown: Birds of a Feather is actually a new program we’re introducing, to specifically dig in and address the needs of the production and post-production community, the cine production community, if you will, with programs that are kind of built by them for them. We are going to be reaching out to a lot of the guilds, unions, societies and other groups that really represent the craftsmen in this business and inviting them in; to kind of talk about their needs, challenges and opportunities and do it, as the name would suggest, in more of a peer to peer sharing type of way.

Chris Brown: We’ll have programs that will be done in traditional meeting space, in the convention center; but we’re going to also link that to a new feature on the show floor, which we’re hoping will be kind of a central gathering spot for that production, post, cine community, that we’re going to call Cine Central. This is truly still in the works; you won’t find any information on it yet anywhere, because we’re still building it, getting support and getting participants kind of fully lined up.

Chris Brown: But it will be in the Central Hall, which is kind of where a lot of that production equipment and technology is displayed and, again, it will be about gathering place, quick demos, seeing the rock stars, hearing from those people that are on the line doing this day to day; so, again, a lot of peer to peer, a lot of by the community for the community. We’re excited about that and we feel we need to do more of this for a lot of the different communities in our show and this will be, you know, some of the early efforts we’re looking at, to kind of do that for at least this side of the community.

Larry Jordan: What would you say to somebody who has attended NAB in the past, but is still on the fence about whether they should attend this year? How would you encourage them to attend?

Chris Brown: Well I think I’d point right away to that place of change. Again, I just think, at this point, you know, it’s so critical that people be engaged with others in their industry; whether those are, you know, partners, collaborators, or even competitors, to kind of understand how the different sides of our business are trying to approach this amazing and significant change that we’re all working through. To understand, really, what the drivers are, what those new trends are; both from a back-end perspective, which you see directly at the show; so the technology and all of those drivers that are impacting that.

Chris Brown: But also, you know, there’s a lot of discussion at the show about the business side of it; which means consumer perspective and how people are looking at consumers and the data that’s represented there and how they’re doing a better job of serving that consumer base and, therefore, what that means for those businesses as well.

Chris Brown: You know, we do our best to kind of present that full landscape and then highlight as much of the new, or at least encourage conversation and debate; to help bring all those good thoughts, ideas and sharing out. I think it just gets down to, you know, look, it’s a really, really unique time that we’re rolling through and the more information you have, the more understanding you have of how that landscape is evolving, I think the better of you’re going to be going forward. There just isn’t another place like our event, that brings all of that together.

Larry Jordan: Chris, for people that want to register for this year’s event, where can they go on the web?

Chris Brown: Our website is and just about on every page of the site you’ll find an opportunity to bounce to a registration site; with options and all the different packages that are available there.

Larry Jordan: Chris, thank you so much. That website is and Chris Brown is the Executive Vice-President for Conventions and Business Operations at NAB and, Chris, thanks for joining us today.

Chris Brown: Appreciate that Larry, thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: Bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: Barbara Griffith is the President of SCL Equipment Finance. Business need capital, so they can grow, or purchase new equipment, or even update older technology and SCL has been a leader in providing capital financing for more than 25 years. Hello Barbara, welcome back.

Barbara Griffith: Hello Larry, thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: Tonight, we’re looking at different ways for filmmakers to get the gear they need; either by renting it, or purchasing it. To get us started, how would you describe what SCL Equipment Finance does?

Barbara Griffith: SCL Equipment Finance is an equipment finance company and many of the users that are renting equipment right now will one day want to own their piece of equipment. For example, if they’re renting a RED digital camera and they’re renting that camera for $300 a day, but they really only need that camera maybe three or four times a year, it would be best that they go ahead and use a rental company and rent that equipment.

Barbara Griffith: On the other side, if that production company is using that camera three or four times a month and their payment is, let’s say, $500 a month for that gear, then it might be a wise decision to go ahead and finance that equipment, rather than rent the equipment. They would have usage of that equipment at any time.

Barbara Griffith: Business is very good, we had our biggest year last year, we‘ve had a great first 30 days in January. Businesses are continuing to invest in their companies.

Larry Jordan: Businesses can be large or they could be small and large purchases require good credit. What can we do to make ourselves look more attractive to a finance company?

Barbara Griffith: Anybody, whether you’re a consumer, or a business, we have an Experian credit report; so that would be Experian, Transunion, Equifax. Those are the three reporting agencies that report on our personal credit. Once a year, everyone, whether you’re a business, or just simply a consumer, should check their personal credit. There is one credit reporting agency that’s called; you can go on that site and you can pull your credit once a year.

Barbara Griffith: Take a look at that credit, if you see something that is derogatory, you can get online and dispute it right from that website; so make sure that you do look at your personal credit, if you see collections, if you see lates, you must take care of those. Your best credit score that you can get is 800; anything less than 650 is a problem; 670, you’re in a seed marketplace; meaning that, you’re going to get a higher interest rate on anything that you purchase. You want to kind of push to about a 700 and it can easily be done by just paying your bills on time and keeping track of your personal credit.

Larry Jordan: Since not all film projects make the big bucks, sometimes we do get behind and what can we do if our credit rating is lower than we’d like; aside from paying our bills on time?

Barbara Griffith: You should call your creditors and let them know, I’m going to be late, or I’m going to make a half of a payment and really connect with your creditors. But again, the credit reporting agencies are there for a reason; the ability to pay your debt. That’s why they report and then your banking institutions are there to give you debt, let’s call it; whether that’s a mortgage, or an equipment loan, or a credit card, or a car and so, they have to determine the risk versus your ability to pay back. Best suggestion is, don’t overdo it; there’s nothing wrong with being conservative, so that you have the ability to pay your bills.

Larry Jordan: You’ve talked about a personal credit score, but is there a business credit score and, if so, what’s the difference?

Barbara Griffith: Very good question. You have two credit reports when you’re a business; whether that’s a proprietorship, a corporation, an LLC. All companies need to understand that your personal credit and your business credit are really two different entities.

Barbara Griffith: Let’s just say that John is a Film Producer and he has got good credit; let’s say it’s 680 and his business name is ABC Films. He wants to buy a camera, he gets the camera loan and he pays that camera loan on time. Now he’s created business debt under ABC Productions; because ABC Productions is the one that’s paying the bill, not John the customer, the proprietorship, but ABC Productions. Then they will be created a business report and those business reports range from Dun and Bradstreet. They’re an independent company, they’re not owned by Federal Government, but they rate on businesses; how well does your business pay back their debt.

Barbara Griffith: Then there’s Experian; Experian also has a business profile that they can report to. The last thing is PayNet, which is a new way; it’s been around no more than 15 years. All banks will report business debt; how well does John at ABC Productions pay his camera loan? John lands a large contract with Disney and he needs $100,000 worth of new equipment to produce this new gig with Disney. He applies for a new loan, for a piece of equipment we’ll say, the lenders will now look at either Dun and Bradstreet, PayNet and/or the Experian credit report, to see how, not so much John, but his company has been paying their bills.

Barbara Griffith: Now in John’s case, he’s been paying his bills on time; so that’s going to give the credit underwriting a lot better feeling about how John manages his debt and how he buys equipment for his company, because he now has a profile for ABC Productions, just like he has a profile for John under a personal credit history.

Larry Jordan: For people are weighing where to get their money to purchase equipment, how do they decide who to get financing from?

Barbara Griffith: A good way to figure out where to get your funding is through the vendor that sells the equipment. Mr Vendor, do you have a finance company? That’s always a good stop. A lot of clients think that they have to walk into their bank, like, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America and that’s not always the easiest thing to do. Remember that they’re federally regulated and it’s very hard to get that type of financing programs through a traditional banking network.

Barbara Griffith: Equipment Financing is a number one way that businesses will buy equipment; because the rules are much easier. Remember that our collateral is the equipment. Always ask the vendor that you’re buying the equipment from and that usually will direct you into a reliable source.

Barbara Griffith: You know, some of the biggest problems I see in our industry is that they have no clue that we even exist; so they’re out there all year long, trying to save money to buy that piece of equipment for that next gig and that’s really hard; when they could actually get a financing program to help pay for that piece of equipment. As that piece of equipment works and producing an income, there is the ability to have financing.

Larry Jordan: We know the banks aren’t going to go anywhere, but SCL is a small company, how do you reassure us that you’re trustworthy?

Barbara Griffith: Time in business is very important. We’ve been in business 25 years and we’ve never changed our name; we’ve been pretty steady in the community. We are contracted out with different banks; both from Wall Street, all the way to traditional key banks. How do you know we’re trustworthy? That’s a very good question Larry and, you know, I shop too; I shop for things and sometimes I have to just feel in my gut, do I trust these people?  I would also do a Google review; what does the Google review say? That’s a very good one.

Barbara Griffith: You want to always work with a reputable company, no matter what. I prefer to tell the clients to go to a smaller bank, a credit union, where you can talk to Joe and you can say, “Joe, I need a credit line” And Joe can help you, or at least tell you the guidelines to get that credit line.  A lot of times it’s the Google reviews and just following your instinct of what that company sounds like on the phone.

Larry Jordan: For people who feel they need to get their next capital loan from you, where can they go on the web, to learn more about SCL Equipment Finance?

Barbara Griffith: Google SCL Equipment Finance and it will pop up and, on that website, we have a calculator, we have information on how to look at your credit, we have information on leasing versus buying, renting versus buying; so, the website has a lot of valuable information. We do specialize in the broadcast industry; so we know that industry well and we understand that client base.

Larry Jordan: Barbara Griffith is the President of SCL Equipment Finance and, Barbara, as always, it’s fun to chat. Thank you so much for sharing your time.

Barbara Griffith: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Marius Ciocirlan is the Co-Founder and CEO of ShareGrid; a peer to peer marketplace where filmmakers and photographers make money renting their video and photo equipment to other local creatives; while letting ShareGrid handle ID checks, payment and insurance. Before he founded ShareGrid, he was a Senior Product Designer at Groupon. Hello Marius, welcome.

Marius Ciocirlan: Hello, thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: It is my pleasure and thank you for sharing your time with us today. I know that I read about it in the open, but give me a better description of what ShareGrid does.

Marius Ciocirlan: The simplest and easiest way I typically describe it is, like the Airbnb for camera equipment. It’s pretty simple. If you have a lot of equipment, photography equipment, lighting equipment, audio equipment, video equipment that you’re not using all the time, you can rent it out to somebody locally.

Marius Ciocirlan: We have a marketplace where you can list it and then people will rent it directly from you. You either accept or deny their request. But we kind of handle everything in between; the contracts, the insurance, the payment, the verifications; stuff like that and then everyone meets up locally and they exchange their gear and it’s a great way to make a little bit extra money, meet new people in the community and put the equipment to work when you’re not using it.

Larry Jordan: Why did you decide to start the company?

Marius Ciocirlan: I originally went to Film School; so, coming out of Film School, a lot of my friends kind of went down the path where they decided to invest in a lot of equipment, hoping that having the equipment would increase their chances to get hired as a freelancer. I was a little bit more risk adverse and decided to go down the corporate path and got a corporate job; but a lot of my friends ended up buying all this equipment.

Marius Ciocirlan: You know, sometimes they would get jobs, but sometimes they wouldn’t; so their equipment would be sitting around. I kept on hearing that they were planning on renting it out, but there was not a lot of great options out there. Craigslist was around, but that wasn’t necessary very safe and then renting out to friends was a good option, but that didn’t happen very frequently.

Marius Ciocirlan: By the time I thought of ShareGrid I kind of moved on out of the film industry; I started working at Groupon, designing their mobile app and being in Silicon Valley, where I was based, Airbnb was very prominent and I thought, that’s as great concept to get underutilized assets to work. The idea of helping my friends really popped into my head. My Co-Founder, Arash, is also a photographer; he kind of had the same idea and we decided to partner up on it and work together.

Larry Jordan: There’s lots of rental houses for production gear, especially in larger cities. Why would somebody consider using ShareGrid?

Marius Ciocirlan: Like I mentioned, I went to Film School; so, in Film School, renting from rental houses was a little bit scary. Being new to the industry, renting from a rental house, you typically have to call them up; if you looked at their website, they wouldn’t necessary have prices upfront on their websites. The first question would be, what’s your budget and you would tell them your measly small budget and they would sometimes almost scoff at you; like, oh, I have to deal with you.

Marius Ciocirlan: That wasn’t very welcoming and then, furthermore, if we got through the negotiation of how much I would end up paying for all the equipment, if it was available, then the hard question would be, which is, do you have insurance? Most of the time I wasn’t aware where I’d get insurance and, by the time I would talk to brokers, get all the insurance paperwork, half my budget would go towards insurance, it was just really challenging and it would take some time.

Marius Ciocirlan: That’s why we decided to build ShareGrid. One of the reasons was because, we wanted to make it easier, we wanted to make it straightforward; where you go on a website, you see the prices, the prices you see are the prices you pay, there’s no haggling, insurance is as easy as pressing a few buttons and you checkout online; so you don’t have to talk to anybody on the phone or anything. That convenience and really price, making sure that you could see upfront price transparency.

Larry Jordan: Let’s focus on this insurance issue for just a second.  If I’ve spent $50,000 and bought an ARRI Alexa, I’m really nervous about giving that to somebody that I don’t know; though I would love to get some money back to pay for it. How do I guarantee that I’m not going to lose a $50,000 camera, if it comes back broken? Walk me through that scary part of this picture.

Marius Ciocirlan: Whenever I tell somebody the idea, they said, “Wow, that’s a great idea, but how am I going to get covered?” That’s the second question. Before we even launched ShareGrid, we spent six months figuring out insurance and the way it works on ShareGrid is that, every renter is required to have coverage.

But what we’ve done is, made it really easy for those renters to get coverage; so when an owner of an, let’s say, Alexa puts up their gear, we require for them to list their replacement value. Based on the replacement value, we require the renter to make sure to have enough coverage to cover 100% of that replacement value. The way we make it really easy for renters to purchase their insurance is that we’ve made an exclusive partnership with Athos Insurance; which is a leading Insurance Broker in Los Angeles.

Marius Ciocirlan: Basically, renters fill out an application and it’s all online and they can purchase insurance up to $750,000. The really cool thing is that, once you purchase that insurance as a renter, anyone you rent on from ShareGrid will automatically get certificates of insurance, without them having to do anything; it’s all automatic. Furthermore, if you purchase insurance from ShareGrid, from Athos, that insurance also works outside of ShareGrid; so, you’re not stuck within just our system, you could use that on any other rental house. But the nice thing about the owner is that, they receive a certificate of insurance for that rental, knowing that they’re going to be covered for that replacement value of that camera.

Larry Jordan: Where does ShareGrid make its money?

Marius Ciocirlan: We make our money on each transaction; basically, we take 15% from the owner’s side every time their camera rents out and then we make a small convenience fee from the renter’s side; it’s five percent on the renter’s side.

Larry Jordan: The owner of the camera sets the rental price, knowing they’re going to pay a 15% commission to you. So they’ve got control over what their gear rents for. Is that a correct statement?

Marius Ciocirlan: Exactly. When you go to our website, you list you gear, we give you some suggestions where you should price your gear on, based on data we have, based on the market and what that camera’s currently kind of renting for. But you’re in complete control, when you want to rent out your gear and for how much you want to rent out your gear.

Larry Jordan: One of the big issues that you were trying to solve is the issue of insurance. But the other issue is, going to a website, looking at all the choices, as a rentee, and not having a clue what you need. How can you help somebody who’s, say, going on their first or second shoot; or is inexperienced in determining what gear they need, to make sure they get the right gear for their project?

Marius Ciocirlan: Nowadays, there’s so much education now online and that definitely helps. But I think, people are still, what is an anamorphic lens? Why should I shoot anamorphic versus a different lens? We actually put out a lot of education content on our YouTube; we created the largest ever anamorphic lens test and other similar lens tests; we’ve done various blogs and tutorials. That’s one way we try to educate people on what they should be renting.

Marius Ciocirlan: Furthermore, if they do have questions, our entire customer service team is in-house, everybody that works for us has worked in the film, or photography industry; so they’re just knowledgeable about this industry. Then we do have a concierge on call as well; so, if you ever want to talk to somebody and this person, who has worked a rental house prior to working at ShareGrid for over four years, has the knowledge to be able to give advice on what people should be renting.

Larry Jordan: Now you’ve got this up and running, what gets you excited about coming to work every day?

Marius Ciocirlan: Really it’s the content that gets made. I mean, we do hundreds of thousands of rental a year; so it’s just been wonderful to see all the content that has been created. The one big thing is that we’re helping up and coming filmmakers; it’s the person that doesn’t necessarily have a huge budget, but wants to shoot their feature film with the Alexa Mini, but, without the help of ShareGrid, maybe they would have otherwise not been able to and now they’ve created a wonderful film, or a wonderful piece of content.

Marius Ciocirlan: That’s what gets me up is hearing those stories; also fixing all the bugs and problems that constantly come up. Making sure that we’re reliable and we’re there for our customers when they need us.

Marius Ciocirlan: That’s the short-term drive. But the long-term kind of passion is hearing those stories and featuring those members that have created just this wonderful work.

Larry Jordan: Marius, for people that want to learn more about ShareGrid, or rent gear using ShareGrid, where can they go on the web?

Marius Ciocirlan: Just If people are looking to list equipment on ShareGrid, we just released a data report called and it gives you our top most rented gear; how much money it makes every single month and the average rental prices. This can be a great tool, if you’re looking to get into renting out your gear, for guiding you as to what gear does really well on the website. If anyone has any questions, just email me at

Larry Jordan: That’s and Marius Ciocirlan is the CEO and Co-Founder of ShareGrid. Marius, thanks for joining us today.

Marius Ciocirlan: Thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: I want to introduce you to a new website, Thalo is an artists community and networking site, for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. 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.

Larry Jordan: Thalo is a part of the 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 and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s

Larry Jordan: We all know about wireless microphones; but DPA is redefining remote, by working with JPL to put a DPA microphone on Mars. Here to tell us more is René Morch. He’s the Head of Product Management for DPA Microphones and first started working with the company back in 2006. Hello René, welcome.

René Morch: Thank you very much Larry. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe your role at DPA?

René Morch: As you said, I’m heading the Product Management; which means, my role is to secure that we have the right products in our portfolio; maintaining what we have; sometimes let some products die and, of course, seeking new opportunities and seeking to find new ways to help our industry, with new products.

Larry Jordan: Before we shift our gaze to Outer Space, I have to ask, what was it that first got you interested in microphones in the first place?

René Morch: Since I was, I guess, 15, I was working as a Sound Engineer, as a front of house and monitor Sound Engineer; so I’ve been working with professional audio for many, many years. Before I took my Engineering Degree at the university. I have had a profound interest in professional audio and, of course, Denmark is really a country of professional audio; even though we’re a fairly small country. DPA is, for me, just the best you can get.

Larry Jordan: DPA is based in Copenhagen. How did you first get involved with JPL in this project to Mars?

René Morch: Really, JPL reaching out to us. They had discovered our very small interface that goes either to an iPhone, which will not be the case on Mars, but also connects to a PC. You can use a USB interface and, with a very, very small device, you can get extremely high quality audio from any of our microphones, that can then connect via this very little device. It’s about five centimeters, two inches in diameter.

Larry Jordan: Walk me through this. What equipment are you planning to send to Mars?

René Morch: It’s an AD convertor of very high quality; it’s a two-channel device. On top of that, we have a very small pre-amplifier and our condenser capsules. The condenser capsule itself is our very famous 4006. Many, many Sound Engineers have been using this for ages. These are really the three basic things that are going up there; the AD convertor, the pre-amplifier and the capsule.

Larry Jordan: The microphone is the standard that you’ve been using for years; have you done custom work on either the pre-amp or the A to D convertor?

René Morch: The only thing that we have added, that is custom, that is not off the shelf, so to say, is putting some mouse ears, as we call it, onto the pre-amplifier; so that it can be boarded to the side of the vessel of this Rover going to Mars in 2020. That’s the only real modification that has been made to our standard items.

Larry Jordan: I think I already know the answer, but I’m going to ask anyway. How different are the products that you’re designing for Space from the products that we can buy and use in our productions?

René Morch: At a very similar level; there’s no real engineering things gone into these units. It’s really off the shelf. The only difference we made was really this mechanical automation to this kind of product.

Larry Jordan: That’s got to make you smile. You want a microphone for a production in Copenhagen, or New York, or Mars, it’s the same microphone.

René Morch: True. We just came back from them last week; we also paid a visit to the … at that point and we actually picked out the two other items that are going out there. The CEO picked one item, I picked one item and our head of R&D picked one item; so these are the ones going to Mars.

Larry Jordan: Oh wow.

René Morch: You know, we took all the serial numbers of those and said, “bye-bye.” You know, they will stay up there forever.

Larry Jordan: What’s the purpose of the project; aside from just the fact that you can brag about it to your Grandkids?

René Morch: That’s the main reason. When this Space craft enters the atmosphere of Mars, four cameras will be recording that entrance and so will our microphones. They will be turned on at this point. We can see the descent. This is what is always crucial when you put something into space, you don’t know exactly how it will end up. Will it hit the soil perfectly on the surface of Mars, or will it crash and what happens during the time when it enters the atmosphere, until it’s on the ground? That’s basically what it’s there to record.

René Morch: The whole descent stage, you know say, from this base unit until when it enters the atmosphere. It will, of course, start to generate noise; because it generates a lot of heat. At this stage, the back shell will be pushed off, what they call the Sky Crane will appear and thruster engines will start to be engaged. All of this you will be able to hear. Then, going further down towards the surface of Mars, you will see landing gear coming out; that means wires that are really lifting it down to the surface. Then these are detached, the Sky Crane flies away and, really, that’s the main mission for our part of the project. So you can see and hear what is going on at this stage.

Larry Jordan: How are you managing levels, as it’s 20 minutes to be able to talk to the microphone? By the time you’ve realized the level’s too hot, it’s too late.

René Morch: That has been tested from home. But you’re totally right, there’s about a 20 minute travel back and forth; so only about nine minutes from it’s recorded until it’s transferred to Earth. But the round trip, yes, that is about 20 minutes. You need to test everything back home and that is, of course, what you will do; just like any other job where you’re setting levels and trying to secure that you’re on the good side.

Larry Jordan: When is the launch?

René Morch: The launch itself is in August next year and then it will go in orbit, to travel towards Mars and it will touch down in February 2021.

Larry Jordan: Touchdown February 2021; that is a long time to wait.

René Morch: It’s about two years, yes it is.

Larry Jordan: What’s the part that excites you the most about this project?

René Morch: The fact that we are part of a Space adventure; because, you know, this is seen from an engineering point of view. That’s some of the most rough environments you can ever live in, so it has to withstand being lifted from the ground, the acceleration from that and all the vibration on its travel out from the Earth’s atmosphere. Leaving the Earth’s atmosphere, going into vacuum, that’s a stage that is, of course, crucial that it will survive and re-entering the atmosphere of Mars and then being able to withstand all the hassle that is there. Then being lifted down to the surface of Mars.

René Morch: Our best hope, for both NASA, JPL and us, is that it will also survive this stage and you can hear the fluid running around, heating the electronics within the Rover. The arms moving around, some of the gear making it move, etc. All these engineering skills that have been put into this are just enormous; it’s fantastic. Just being a tiny part of that is, for us, just amazing.

Larry Jordan: Are you sending a back-up device, or just sending one of everything?

René Morch: It’s actually just one of everything. Of course there’s a lot of back-up units that have already been delivered and some of them will also be used for the next couple of years, to do even further tests. A lot of tests have already been done, just to enter this stage; but the one that is going up there is really just one. It’s all about weight, so, even though it weighs only a few grams, they do consider every gram that goes up.

Larry Jordan: René for people who want to be able to follow this, or learn more about DPA Microphones in general, where can they go on the web?

René Morch: You can go to our homepage; that is Otherwise, just searching for NASA and you will find more information about this.

Larry Jordan: That website is all one work, and René Morch is the Head of Product Management for DPA Microphones. René, thanks for joining us today.

René Morch: Thank you very much Larry.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking, one of my concerns, that we’ve been covering on The Buzz for a while, is that the rate of change in our industry is exceedingly stressful; it is easy to get overwhelmed. As we were talking with the team at NAB, planning our new NAB Insight segment, I was pleased to hear that they are concerned as well; so much so, that they’ve created a series of sessions called Birds of a Feather, that are free to all attendees; specifically to help us better understand where our industry is going.

Larry Jordan: As we talked, I realized that the NAB Show is the only event that has a vested interest in the success of our entire industry. Unlike a particular vendor who creates products for a specific customer base, the NAB succeeds when our entire industry is doing well. This is one of the reasons we here at The Buzz are pleased to be working with NAB; we both want our industry to do well and, with the worldwide audience of The Buzz, I’m happy to get the word out.

Larry Jordan: Each week on The Buzz, we talk with a wide variety of content creators and industry vendors; so our focus for these new NAB Insight segments is to talk with thought leaders; who can provide a different perspective to events in media and help us better understand and prepare for the future. We also want to focus on the free sessions at NAB. While the content at the NAB Conference is legendary, sometimes the cost of the conference may be more than you can afford. We want to highlight events worth attending that won’t cost extra.

Larry Jordan: The annual NAB Show is always a pivotal moment when, as an industry, we all get together to try to figure out where the future is taking us. Our NAB Insight segments are designed to give you a heads up on the sessions you really need to attend, each week, from now until NAB in April, on The Digital Production Buzz. Just something I’m thinking about.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week; Chris Brown with NAB, Barbara Griffith with SCL Equipment Finance Marius Ciocirlan with ShareGrid, René Morch with DPA Microphones and James DeRuvo with doddleNEWS. There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online and all available to you today. 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 Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner; with additional music provided by Our Producer is Debbie Price. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.


Digital Production Buzz – February 7, 2019

NAB is eight weeks away, so, to help us all get ready, we are kicking off “NAB Insight” – a behind-the-scenes look at what’s next. Plus, we discuss new ways to buy or rent gear, plus, an amazing story from DPA on how they are sending a mic to Mars. so we can hear actual sounds beyond earth – in real time.

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 Chris Brown, Barbara Griffith, Marius Ciocirlan, René Morch and James DeRuvo.

  • NAB Insight: Planning the 2019 Show
  • A Better Way to Finance the Gear You Need
  • ShareGrid: A Rental Service for Filmmakers
  • DPA: The Sound of Mars – LIVE!
  • The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

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Guests this Week

NAB Insight: Planning the 2019 Show

Chris Brown
Chris Brown, Exec. VP, Conventions & Business Operations, National Association of Broadcasters
To launch our “NAB Insight” segment, tonight we talk with Chris Brown, Executive VP of Conventions and Business at NAB. He shares his thoughts on how they decide on the theme each year and some of the highlights of the 2019 NAB show.

A Better Way to Finance the Gear You Need

Barbara Griffith
Barbara Griffith, President, SCL Equipment Finance
How to fund your equipment purchases is an ongoing question. Tonight, Barbara Griffith, President of SCL Equipment Finance, explains how equipment financing works, what you can do to improve your credit score and what the difference is between business and personal credit scores.

ShareGrid: A Rental Service for Filmmakers

Marius Ciocirlan
Marius Ciocirlan, Co-Founder/CEO, ShareGrid
Marius Ciocirlan founded ShareGrid in 2015. This is a website where you can rent the production gear that you need – instead of buying it. What’s different is that you are renting from fellow filmmakers. Tonight he talks with us about the company, the problems it solves and why easy access to insurance was the key to starting their service.

DPA: The Sound of Mars – LIVE!

René Morch
René Morch, Product Manager, DPA Microphones
DPA microphones are legendary for their quality. Since the 1970’s, in addition to supporting media productions around the globe, DPA has put mics in racing cars. Today, they are putting a very special mic in a rocket to Mars. René Morch, Head of Product Management at DPA Microphones, explains about a unique partnership between DPA and JPL to let us hear the sounds of Mars – live.

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.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – January 31, 2019


Larry Jordan


Ted “Evil Ted” Smith, Maker, The Evil Channel

Mike Nuget, Colorist & Finishing Editor, Website

Roger Mabon, Co-founder/CEO, MLogic

Michael Kammes, Director of Business Development, BeBop Technology/Creator, 5 THINGS series

James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS


Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Buzz, we cover a range of topics from cosplay to color correction, to archiving.

Larry Jordan: We start with Ted Smith. He used to create props for Hollywood, now he creates props and costumes for cosplay. Tonight, he shares his thoughts on the burgeoning field of cosplay, what it is, and what fascinates him about it.

Larry Jordan:  Mike Nuget is a freelance colorist and finishing editor in New York City. Tonight, he explains what he does and why he prefers to handle his color work in Baselight from FilmLight.

Larry Jordan: Roger Mabon is the CEO and founder of mLogic. They design and market innovative peripheral products for desktop and portable computers. Roger is passionate about safely storing and archiving media and other assets, and tonight explains the benefits of LTO tape technology.

Larry Jordan: Michael Kammes, the director of business development for BeBop Technology joins us to showcase new ideas that we can use to get our work done faster and better, as well as options for handling large frame size media.

Larry Jordan: Plus, James DeRuvo is back and has 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.  Most of the time we try to structure our shows so that they have a theme, or at least a common subject for our guests to talk about. However, every so often, we have a collection of really cool guests that just don’t easily fit into a single themed show, like tonight. We’ve got such a range. We’re covering cosplay, color grading, archiving, and workflow. I’m looking forward to the conversations.

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:  And now it’s time for our weekly doddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James, welcome back.

James DeRuvo: I’m back from assignment, and ready for the latest Larry. Let’s do it.

Larry Jordan: Well what’s our first story?

James DeRuvo: Canon is predicting doom and gloom for the DSLR market. Executives are expecting a 50 percent market plunge in DSLR sales before it bottoms out, and after that, they figure that they’re going to be selling mostly prosumer and commercial cameras to the tune of five to six million a year after that. This is prompting them to shift their focus to industrial, government surveillance, and medical applications for the majority of their camera development.

Larry Jordan: Five million cameras is still a lot of cameras. Is the market abandoning DSLR, or is Canon abandoning the market?

James DeRuvo: I think the market is really abandoning DSLRs. If you look at the rental figures from the last two or three years, mirrorless has been the king and for the first time last year, mirrorless cameras outsold DSLR cameras, and Canon has dropped about ten million cameras per year since 2010. So I think the market is just moving on from DSLRs, although Canon says they’re not going to abandon DSLR users at all. It looks like it’s going to become more of a niche market which could be a good thing, because if it’s a niche market, that may make Canon more willing to try new things in development, so we’ll see. But we’re talking Canon here so you know, who knows?

Larry Jordan:  Canon’s our first story, what’s number two?

James DeRuvo:  Well RED and Animus have signed an agreement to license REDCODE RAW for the Atomos line of external monitor recorders. This settles a long term dispute where RED claimed Atomos was using parts of their IP to address RAW recording in Atomos external monitor recorders. The deal will give Atomos the blessing to use REDCODE RAW as a recording option for up to 8K in resolution, so long as the RED camera brain handles all the processing, and this may lead to a development partnership of products in the future.

Larry Jordan: Well what does this new agreement actually mean?

James DeRuvo: Basically what the agreement does is it avoids a nasty drawn out court battle, and that means the clear winner here is the RED user who can take advantage of more affordable external monitor recorders, without losing the benefit of recording to RED RAW. So I think it’s a win win all the way around.

Larry Jordan: OK, we’ve covered Canon, RED and Atomos, what’s our third story?

James DeRuvo: There’s a new stock footage service called ArtGrid which is being launched by ARTList. They did the same with music stock clips. This new stock footage service will offer three annual subscription levels, 1080p, four to 8K and four to 8K RAW via ProRes, REDCODE RAW and DNX files. It’ll offer a one annual fee and a worldwide commercial license with no additional charges but the real cool feature that I think is here, is that rather than go through a whole bunch of clips in the catalog and try and find which one you like, these clips are curated according to stories. Each clip will tell a story and so if you’ve got a story in mind that you’re working on, you can just focus on those stories and those clips rather than wading through a whole bunch of clips to find the right shot. That’s going to be a great feature if they make it work.

Larry Jordan: The name of the company again is?

James DeRuvo: The service is called ArtGrid, and right now they’re offering five free clips if you sign up for their newsletter, so do a Google search for ARTList or ArtGrid and sign up and you can get five free stock footage clips.

Larry Jordan: Very cool. James what other stories are you working on this week?

James DeRuvo: Other stories we’re following include RODE adding multitrack recording to their new RODEcaster pro mixer, and let me tell you, it’s pretty awesome. Red Giant software launches Red Giant Universe version three with more new retro titles, and a streamlined dashboard and there’s a great new handheld tripod for vloggers that could kill the Gorillapod. And we’ve got a ton of new hardware and software reviews up as well.

Larry Jordan: James, where can we go on the web to learn more about these and all the other stories you and your team are covering?

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

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the editor in chief of and joins us every week. Welcome back, and we’ll see you next Thursday.

James DeRuvo: Alright Larry, see you next Thursday.

Larry Jordan:   Here’s another website I want to introduce you to. 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.

Larry Jordan:  Ted Smith did not start out being evil, in fact he worked in Hollywood creating props and other physical effects, however, after many years his evil side started to surface. He left the film industry to share his tips and tricks with folks doing cosplay. From that ‘Evil Ted’ Smith along with his website, emerged. Hello Ted, welcome.

Ted Smith: Hey Larry, how are you doing?

Larry Jordan: I am talking to you, I’m doing great. What first got you interested in creating props for film?

Ted Smith: I think I was 14 years old, I saw Star Wars like everybody did, and as a kid I was like, “Oh my god it’s amazing. How do you make this stuff?” I found out very quickly there were no things in the library or YouTube or internet back then, so I started taking cardboard and duct tape and glue and putting stuff together.

Larry Jordan: I love the cardboard and duct tape image, that’s very cool.

Ted Smith: As a kid, I didn’t have access to all this other stuff so I just used what I had access to as a kid. Literally cardboard and duct tape. I made my mom a stormtrooper costume out of poster board for a Halloween party.

Larry Jordan: You work with the resources you have at hand, don’t you?

Ted Smith: Exactly. Necessity is the mother of invention Larry. It was like “I need this stuff.” So yes, Star Wars came out and Star Trek and things, and when I saw something on TV and it didn’t exist, and I wanted it. I just realized very quickly I had to make it, and I used what I had, so most of it in the beginning was cardboard and stuff and I grew my way to working with wood and plastic and stuff like that, but it was very primitive. When I finally went professional in 1989 I was 25 years old, I moved to California and that’s when I got exposed to mold making and casting resins and fiberglass and vacuum forming machines. My mind was blown and I was on the top of the pole.

Larry Jordan: I swear, half the people working in Hollywood had their careers changed when Star Wars came out.

Ted Smith: Yes, and I think nobody saw it on the horizon. I don’t even think George Lucas saw it coming either. They made this movie which was released and they were terrified, and nobody had the idea of the phenomena it had, the impact of creating this world and people bought it. So yes, I was always into sci fi and comic books, but Star Wars I tell people is what tipped me over the edge. I wanted more, like “This is amazing, I want to do this.”

Larry Jordan: Your bio uses terms like maker and builder. What do those mean to you?

Ted Smith:  There’s people that want stuff, “I want this, I want that,” just buy it. “I want this costume,” and they just want to buy it off the shelf. As a maker, the journey is to make it yourself. I always tell people passion overrides talent. If you want something bad enough, you’ll be able to make it, and I’ve known so many people, have friends of mine who are mad talented, but they’re lazy. They could make something but choose not to, and there’s people out there who are not that talented, but they have the passion to make it, and if they stick to it long enough, they’ll end up making it themselves, because they don’t  have the money to buy it, but they still have the passion to make it. If you make it yourself you don’t have to spend nearly as much money so the makers are the people who just want something bad enough they make it themselves.

Larry Jordan: Your professional career in film encompassed virtually every blockbuster Hollywood has ever turned out since the beginning of time. What did cosplay have that attracted you? Why did you leave the film industry and shift so radically?

Ted Smith: Hollywood was amazing, don’t get me wrong, I loved it while I was in it and it’s a young man’s sport. I started in my 20s, which was the perfect time to start and I ran with it. It was fun in my 20s, great in my 30s, hitting the 40s, it was OK. By the time I hit my 50s, I’m like, “This is a young man’s sport.” I was done. So I couldn’t work 15, 16 hours a day anymore and if you do anything eight hours a day over and over again, it becomes a job, and I found out very quickly that when I had my own time and my free time, I wasn’t building or making anything. I spent all that time at work in the movies, so any free time I had I stopped making things. I didn’t make for the pleasure or the joy anymore.

Ted Smith:  There was down time. I was unemployed for a duration of time and I just wanted to make something for myself so I made a simple little video, on how to make a foam helmet and it blew up and it made people think “Oh my god, I can do this out of foam,” and that brought the joy back to me. I turned into a 14 year old boy again when I saw Star Wars. And I realized that’s what it was that brought the joy back to me. It turned into a job and then it became less fun, and now it’s not a job anymore, now I get to do what I want to do, make what I want to make, and just had the joy of sharing my talent with other people, and it made it fun again.

Larry Jordan: Well would you describe that as the goal that you have in creating movies for your website, as spreading the joy?

Ted Smith: Yes. Exactly. Spreading the joy and also I want to take the intimidation out of building, because what happened was, when I was growing up, if you wanted to make something, you had to use wood or plastic or needed power tools and all this high end stuff. I realize now that format foam or EDA foam and just craft foam doesn’t need power tools, you need a sharp knife and a cutting mat, and some intuition and desire. You don’t need all that stuff now. So I realized you can make a Hollywood style prop and costume for a fraction of the budget on your kitchen table or your mom and dad’s house. It’s a different material, it’s readily available, it’s cheap, inexpensive, it’s how you seal it and paint it that makes it look amazing. So you don’t need big expensive stuff anymore.

Larry Jordan: Well now, wait a minute. I saw your latest video and you’re using a Dremel tool.

Ted Smith: OK. Well alright, spend 20 bucks people, buy a Dremel. There you go. Dip in your pockets, get $20, buy a Dremel. Yes, I always tell people you start as a novice, and people always ask me “What do I start off with?” and I say basic, cutting to a mat, and as you progress you’ll find out there’s other additional tools you want to get. But don’t make the lack of a tool a reason not to build. You don’t need it and in time you want to upstage your technique and progress, become less of a novice, you can buy some more tools. A band saw is a big one. I always recommend people get a band saw, when you start to move up a little bit bigger, a simple table top band saw, it’s great.

Larry Jordan:  Aside from acquiring a few, but essential tools, what other suggestions do you have for people who want to create their own props and create their own costumes?

Ted Smith: Oh my gosh yes, imagination’s the best. One of the things that I like about it, all the young people out there who want to build something from movies or video games is great. You need that passion to start building something. But I always tell people don’t be afraid to experiment and build your own stuff. I belong to the website Pinterest where people post images and art and I’ll Google and do image searches for robots, and I’ll see images of things and if one of them inspires me but I don’t want to do that, I like the head of this guy, I like the arm of this guy, I like the body of this guy. You start mish mashing different things and just being creative and making something that’s your own is great. I think that’s one of the best satisfactions. You walk into a convention and people say “Oh that’s so cool, what is that?” You say, “I made that myself. It’s my own design.”

Larry Jordan: I’ve tried to avoid asking this question the entire interview, but I realize I cannot not ask. Where did the Evil Ted come from?

Ted Smith: My best friend passed recently and he was my best friend but he was also named Ted. We lived together and the going joke was, we got lumped together as the Teds. My family and his family would call us Ted One, Ted Two or Ted A, Ted B. We said “No, it’s Good Ted, Evil Ted.” I wanted to be Evil Ted and they said “Why do you want to be Evil Ted?” I said “Who wants to be Good Ted?” That’s not alluring, that’s not interesting. So, and it kind of stuck and I went on tour with Rob Zombie, and I did costumes and props for his show and Rob was really confused. He said “Oh my god, there’s several Teds on this tour. You, our road manager and another guy. There’s different Teds.” I looked at Rob and went, “Dude there’s only one Evil Ted.” Everybody started laughing, and I made sure to put my name on it, and once I made my shirt with my name on it, and we did the tour, when it was over I had so many shirts and sweatshirts with my name on it, I’d wear them to work, and people just would point, laugh, and say “Oh yeah, Evil Ted.” It just got cemented.

Larry Jordan: Well do your friends call you Evil or Ted?

Ted Smith: It’s funny, my fans call me Evil. I have all these people who say “Oh Evil,” or “Mr Evil” or “Should we call you Ted or Evil?” I say “Whatever works for you guys is fine.”

Larry Jordan: Ted, for people that want to know where they can go on the web to learn more about all the stuff you’re creating, where can they go?

Ted Smith:  That amazing thing on websites,

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word,

Ted Smith: Oh it’s, that is it.

Larry Jordan: The Evil Ted himself is the voice you’ve been listening to. Ted Smith, thank you so very much for joining us today.

Ted Smith: Oh Larry, thank you so much.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Larry Jordan:  Mike Nuget has been a colorist and finishing editor in the New York City area for more than 15 years. He first worked at Technicolor-PostWorks, but then decided to branch off to start his own freelance company. Hello Mike, welcome.

Mike Nuget: Hi Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: My pleasure. How would you describe what a colorist and finishing editor does?

Mike Nuget: We are the post side of the post production process of television and film, meaning a TV show or a film will be shot, written, directed, all that stuff and then it goes to an editor who is the first part of the post production process. Once the edit is done and the content is in place, it hands off to a finishing editor, which basically takes all the original camera footage, all the visual effects, titles, things like that, puts it all together in a very high res finalized piece. Once that’s done it’s handed off to a colorist which is also something that I do as well, sometimes you feel they’re separated, then the colorist basically takes the show and gives it a look. Where a drama might be dark and gloomy and blue, versus a comedy that’s bright, orange and happy. We get to portray that and work with the director of photography and director and producers, whoever wants to come in, to really polish off the product. Then once that’s done, it goes back again, usually to a finishing editor for final titles, credits and everything else, so it’s kind of the last couple of pieces to the whole puzzle of television and film.

Larry Jordan: Increasingly, we’re editing camera native or high quality intermediate codec. Is there still a need for a finishing editor to clean up before it goes to color grading?

Mike Nuget: Most of the time yes. It depends on what they shot. If they shot at a certain level of compression and file size and their systems can handle that, then technically you don’t need a finishing editor.  They can do the finishing on their own, which happens quite often actually. Where then somebody will just give me as a colorist, I’ll play the one role, they’ll give me the file and I will color it from there. But in big picture and big theatrical films and big episodic television, the file sizes are so large now especially with four, six and 8K and HDR, normally the editors won’t use a system that’s powerful enough for six months. They don’t want to spend the money renting a system that is that much, so they’ll use compression files that somebody will make them called dailies, and they’ll use those compressed files for six months while they’re doing the creative editorializing, and then they’ll have to give it to us and we’ll have to take the original camera that’s been sitting on a drive for a couple of months, and put it back together.  So it’s not 100 percent necessary but most of the time it is especially on big budget things. If they don’t need to do it then I’ll just take the role as a colorist and take their final high res picture and work with that.

Larry Jordan: I can understand if you’re working with 4K and HDR and bigger a proxy workflow makes a lot of sense. Then you just come back and make it all look beautiful. What first got you interested in this? I can’t imagine a five year old looking up at the stars, and saying “I want to be a finishing editor.”

Mike Nuget:  Like most people when they go to college or when they first quote unquote dream of being in this industry in the post size, they always think of an editor. That’s great, that’s exactly how I got into it too, I was interested in doing music videos with a friend’s band. It wasn’t until I got into the industry in about 2003, when HD was just starting to come out, my brain got tickled by the fact that I could be quote unquote on the forefront of technology. So instead of just editing and taking that role and not really diving into the technology of it, I saw this HD thing and I was just at the right moment of being an assistant, where I had a choice to either go into more of the offline creative editorial, or stay on the online side or finishing side. I chose to say on the finishing side just because that technology kind of piqued my interest and then it just kind of grew from there.

Mike Nuget: It’s definitely not something that most people go into the industry for. I think a lot of people don’t even know that position exists sometimes. To this day I still sometimes get clients come into my room and they sit down, and say “OK, what are we doing today?”  “Well it’s kind of weird you don’t know what you’re doing with me, but you hired me for the day” or whatever.

Larry Jordan: Finishing and color grading is all about software. What’s a finishing tool that you like using?

Mike Nuget: There’s definitely a good number of them out there. At a certain level it starts to weed out some of the software that can’t handle certain things, so for example, there’s only a handful of finishing software like Avid and Smoke and Flame and then there’s really only a handful of color systems. In my case I chose FilmLight, a company whose product is Baselight. It’s a color product. I got into that in about 2011 when they made a new plug in called Baselight addition plug in for the Avid. So I was able to stay in Avid which was my normal native software, and then I was able to dive super deep into color, having the Baselight color tools right there in front of me.

Mike Nuget:  That really piqued my interest and then when I started moving into more color and I realized there’s also a full Baselight system of big Linux box and a big control panel, I got more involved with the company and I started to help develop workflows that would go easier from the Avid to the Baselight and back and things like that, and they just came out with a plug in. So I was lucky enough to be on the forefront of that, and I even did some demos in 2016 and 2018 and at IBC for FilmLight showing these workflows and showing off the plug in that they’ve created for Avid. So that’s definitely one of my go to things when it comes to color correction.

Larry Jordan: Why should we consider Baselight rather than DaVinci Resolve?

Mike Nuget: I always consider it almost like the same argument of what’s better, Windows or Mac? The answer is whatever tool is best for you at that moment. That’s why I always suggest for everybody to learn everything. I’ve learned obviously Windows and Mac, I’ve learned Resolve, I’ve learned Baselight and everything else, so it’s a personal thing I think. It’s like holding a camera in your hand. Are you a Canon guy? Are you a Nikon guy? It’s just physical features or something like that.

Mike Nuget:  The features that I’ve seen in Baselight, I’ve actually not seen in a lot of other places, and it’s a smaller company. I’ve worked very closely with these guys. I know most of the developers and the code writers and they’re very into being different and trying to be better and developing things that you didn’t even think of, like the last version that just came out, version five, had tools in there that I didn’t even know I wanted. When I started using them, I wondered how I did not have them before, and it’s nice to know that there’s a company out there who was thinking like operators, but developing like developers. So that’s a really nice handshake. They’re really good with that.

Larry Jordan: Give me a couple more specifics and features that you really like in Baselight that make it special to you.

Mike Nuget: First off, the workflow between Avid and Baselight was phenomenal. I mean, we used to have to flatten a file out which mean basically making a full file, which could take 20, 30 minutes. Baselight guy would have to ingest it, color it, make a new file, another 100GB or so, have to bring that back into Avid, put titles back on it, and then make another file. So now they’ve developed this Baselight workflow where you’re just exchanging metadata. So now you’re changing about a 3MB file which is emailable, super quick and all that. Then it goes to the colorist, and when it comes back from the colorist, the color grade is still alive because of the Baselight plug in. So I can actually see every single thing the colorist did, every single layer, every single shape they created, all the features they used, and I can even manipulate them further if needed. If we’re in title session and all of a sudden the client says, “You know, the vignette on that is a little too strong, let’s make it less.” I have the ability to do that without having to go back and forth, so it eliminates the need to have two people always there at the same time, and have two systems running. That was a huge thing. That’s what I’ve been talking about for years with them.

Mike Nuget: As far as features go, the new texture equalizer that they came out with is amazing. It’s basically like a blur and sharpen but it breaks down the picture by detail, so if you have a close up picture of a guy’s face, and you hit one certain button, it’ll just sharpen the hairs on his eyebrows. Versus sharpening the skin on his face. And vice versa, there’s also features that will sharpen or blur the big chunks, and not touch the little chunks. So in something like interviews which I do a lot of in documentary work, things like that, it’s an amazing thing to be able to pull out in front of a client.

Larry Jordan: What advice do you have for other colorists who are trying to decide what software to use on their next project?

Mike Nuget: It really comes down to what the project needs. I always promote the learn everything because if I go to a session and I say “I only know Baselight” and they say “Well we really wanted to work in Resolve” then I’d be out of luck. The good thing is I can switch back and forth. So I definitely advise to do that, at least to a point where you can handle jobs. With the Baselight, what I always tell people too is the Baselight plug in is only $1,000 and I know that’s not chump change, but that’s nothing compared to like a full color system, which could be $30 to $50,000, whatever it is. So for $1,000 you can get the Baselight color tool set and the interface right in your Avid. With that you can learn as much as you want on your own, that’s exactly how I did it, I learned it for about two years, and then when I went to jump on the full Baselight system, with the full panel, the exact same software was sitting in front of me with even more tools, and then I just had to learn the panel.  

Mike Nuget:  So for that price point, to be able to learn a system like that, I think that’s really good. My advice would be just try it out. There’s a free trial, and then you can decide on where you want to go from there.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to hire you to do their next project, where can they go on the web?

Mike Nuget: My website is

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, and Mike has been a colorist and finishing editor for a long time. Mike thanks for joining us today.

Mike Nuget: Thank you so much for having me.

Larry Jordan: Roger Mabon is the co-founder and CEO of mLogic which designs and markets peripheral products for desktop and portable computers. Prior to mLogic Roger co-founded G-Technology which is known to media folks around the world. Hello Roger, welcome back.

Roger Mabon: Hello Larry, how are you today?

Larry Jordan: I’m looking forward to talking with you because the last time we spoke was like earlier last year. What have you guys been up to recently?

Roger Mabon: Well we’re still just plugging away making easy to use and affordable archiving systems for content creation pros.

Larry Jordan: Well why the focus on LTO which is the tape format you guys are using?

Roger Mabon: Yes, we have a whole line of LTO tape products. We’re currently on what’s known as the eighth generation of the LTO technology, so LTO-8, and we have a line of products that are very popular out there, called the mTape and they’re desktop units, shoebox size device and people use these things on set to be able to do things like offload original camera files on set, deliver content on LTO and just archive completed projects to LTO tape.

Larry Jordan: Well there’s two directions I want to go. First, why LTO? The second is, what’s the features in the eighth version, so let’s talk why LTO first? What’s the advantage of tape versus just putting a hard disk on a shelf?

Roger Mabon: That’s a great question. This is a question which we field every day and basically if you keep data on a spinning hard drive, one of my older G-Tech drives for instance, stick it on a shelf, and then go back four or five years later, the chances are that data’s not going to be accessible. And it has a lot to do with the way a hard drive is made, it’s got platters, it’s got a motor, it’s got heads and these things deteriorate over time. It’s not if, but when a hard drive will fail. So that’s where this tape idea came in. I’ve sold a ton of hard drives in my life, and the new mission here now is to preserve the assets that reside in all those drives, and LTO tape is by far the safest media to place your content. This is why banks use it, why the IRS use it, anything that is very critical and has to be preserved for the long term always ends up on tape.  That’s why you want to have an LTO device in your workflow.

Larry Jordan: I think up until about three years ago, that was an appropriate argument, but now there’s a challenger, which is storing our assets or backing up our assets to the cloud. Which it is argued could be cheaper. Why would we consider LTO tape which has got a high upfront cost versus the cloud?

Roger Mabon: Well yes, obviously the cloud is a big deal. There’s definitely a place for the cloud. The issues with the cloud is it can become quite expensive, especially when you try to retrieve data, there’s different pricing structures. You can put it up there relatively cheap but when you try to pull it back down, it’s much more expensive.  With 4K, 8K cameras, and multi camera shoots on productions nowadays, you’re generating terabytes upon terabytes of data per day. That takes a long time to get to the cloud and it can be cost prohibitive. So there’s definitely a place still and will be for some time for these LTO tape systems because like you said, there is an upfront cost for the hardware, but the media is incredibly affordable. For instance, an LTO-7 tape that holds six terabytes of data has a list price around $60 so it’s very much cheaper than say a spinning hard drive.

Larry Jordan: The other advantage is once we’ve purchased the LTO drive, we don’t have to keep spending money each month as we do with a cloud service. True?

Roger Mabon: This is true, very true. You invest in the hardware upfront, and then you will eventually start winning. If you’re using hard drives or using a cloud service, eventually you will win with LTO because the media’s so much cheaper.

Larry Jordan: Let’s talk about the latest product, the LTO-8. What does that give us that seven or six did not?

Roger Mabon: So the big advantage of eight is the capacity per cartridge. An LTO-8 tape cartridge can hold a native capacity of 12 terabytes of data and that’s versus six terabytes for the seven cartridge. So it’s twice as large as the previous generation in terms of capacity.

Larry Jordan:  Is it just capacity that’s the difference or is there a speed difference or performance, or what else?

Roger Mabon: It’s mainly just capacity. The LTO-7 spec is actually the same speed as LTO-8 and that’s 300 megabytes per second. So when people think tape, they go “Wow, tape’s kind of archaic and slow,” but an LTO-7 tape deck is faster than a hard drive by quite a margin.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that we have to have in order to use an LTO tape is we have to have software to drive it. You make the hardware, but other companies make the software, and you bundle or support a wide variety of software. But you’ve also started creating your own utility software specifically for mTape. Why?

Roger Mabon: That’s very true, so now we’re supply an LTFS based utility from ourselves. It comes bundled free with our mTape products. It’s a very simple archive and retrieve app that gets the job done, offloading from camera cards or spinning drives, Raids, whatever it might be, onto LTO tape so that is a free utility that comes in the box. But we also have many software partners like you alluded to, so we have people such as Archiware, YoYotta, Imagine Products, Storage DNA and the list goes on. Each one of these third party archive applications has their own features and benefits. Most of them if not all have a database application, which makes it really nice for plugging in metadata and being able to browse tapes that are currently not inline in the LTO unit. So offline browsing. If you’re going back and looking for that shot from whenever it might have been, it’s easy to find. So our utility is very simplistic, works great, but if you’re looking for a little bit more robust feature rich software, we do recommend some of our partners.

Larry Jordan: LTO drives like hard discs are not made by mLogic, they’re made in this case by IBM and Quantum. Why should we consider buying an LTO system from mTape when you guys are not making the drive itself?

Roger Mabon: Good question. So the actual LTO tape mechanism is an IBM product, so anybody’s that’s selling an LTO8 A system has purchased the drive from IBM. IBM and the likes of Quantum that you mention, they do sell LTO systems. The big difference between what mLogic is doing with its mTape and those products is that our devices have Thunderbolt 3 connections on the back of these units. So they’re simply plug and play with any Mac or PC that has a Thunderbolt port on it which makes things very simple when you’re doing an archive.

Larry Jordan: What’s the price of an LTO-8 device?

Roger Mabon: The list price is $4999 for the hardware.

Larry Jordan:  Would an LTO-7 or six be cheaper for people who want to start with something smaller?

Roger Mabon: Yes, so an LTO6 drive mTape would be $3000 and an LTO-7 mTape is $4500.

Larry Jordan:  As you mention, data stored on an LTO tape lasts up to 30 years, but the tape drives themselves change about every 18 months. From LTO-6 to seven to eight. What’s the best practice for managing assets stored on tape?

Roger Mabon: I know we discussed in the recent past that you have some LTO-6 tapes now and you’re wondering how to read them because unfortunately LTO-8 does not read those tapes. It used to be that there was a two generation back read capability which has unfortunately broken with LTO-8 but will return with LTO-9. But when the newer generation devices come out, you can skip two generations typically which is six plus years before you have to even think about your data. When you do need to do it, you need to migrate the data from the older generation tapes to the latest generation tape. So say from six to eight right now, and we actually came out with a product recently called mRack Migrate for this exact purpose. This device has both an LTO-6 tape drive in it and an LTO-8 tape drive and it is designed to migrate the data off the older LTO-6 to LTO-8 media. It’s a migration thing that needs to happen.

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

Roger Mabon: They can go to

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, and Roger Mabon is the co-founder and CEO of mLogic, and Roger it is always fun talking with you. Thank you so much for spending time with us.

Roger Mabon: Thank you for having me Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.

Roger Mabon: Bye bye.

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Larry Jordan: As director of business development for BeBop Technology, Michael Kammes leverages his experience with creative technology and tools providers to accelerate growth and provide strategic perspective across marketing, sales and partnerships. Hello Michael, welcome back.

Michael Kammes: Hello Larry, good to hear your voice.

Larry Jordan: Michael, tonight I want to talk about workflow but first, tell me what you’re doing for BeBop and explain what I said in the intro because I don’t know what you’re doing.

Michael Kammes: BeBop is a newer company that focuses on visual creativeness in the cloud. So BeBop has a platform that you can edit on from the safety of wherever you like to edit and because we’re working with all the major data centers like Google and Microsoft and Amazon, we can put all your media near to where you are, to cut down on latency. So folks can edit from their machine, on a virtual machine in a data center, and harness the power of that virtual machine in the data center.

Larry Jordan: And your role with Bebop is to do what?

Michael Kammes: My role is director of business development, so not only am I coaching technologists on why BeBop is a platform for them, but also evangelizing the BeBop technology to the greater industry.

Larry Jordan: Well let’s evangelize more than just BeBop. Let’s take a look with workflow. Clearly deadlines are not getting any longer. What changes to workflows have you seen recently?

Michael Kammes: What we’re seeing is the media getting to the creatives faster than ever before. While there still is a place for shipping hard drives or in some cases, hand carrying the hard drives on a plane, there are an increasing number of productions which are using devices on set that can convert the media in real time from the camera, to a proxy format and then beam it over 4G or over wifi to an Amazon data center, or a Microsoft, and editors can then pull that down and start working with it. This is especially important with unscripted television, when you’re maybe shooting overseas, or shooting in remote areas, when you may not be able to get the media on the drive transferred, hand carried, that frequently. So being able to beam it wirelessly cuts down on that downtime.

Larry Jordan: Are we giving up too much in terms of being able to see the image if we’re looking at proxies?

Michael Kammes: No, I don’t think so. Ten, 15 years ago when we were still doing the Avid 14 to one, 15 to one, which believe it or not is still being used, I think now that we’re using decent frame size H.264, I think with H.265 kind of on the roadmap and starting to be used, I think we’re getting more quality than we ever have with offline or proxy editing.

Larry Jordan: But we’re shifting codecs. If we’re looking at a ProRes 422 file, which is designed for efficient editing, H.264 is really cumbersome, and requires a whole lot more horsepower. Are we trading off on storage and sacrificing CPU power?

Michael Kammes: We are. I mean there’s always going to be a give and take. By getting the 264s and in the future the 265s to editorial faster, they can start doing the assemblies, and then by the time the high res comes in, they can relink to that. It should also be said that a lot of the cameras that are out there being shot, many of them aren’t doing ProRes anyway. They’re doing XAVC or some other compressed format as well, just in a larger frame size and higher data rate. So whether it’s proxy or high res quite often we’re being stuck with the limited processing power of the computer anyway.

Larry Jordan: You mentioned XAVC and other codecs. What’s your advice for dealing with our continually expanding world of codecs that we need to work with?

Michael Kammes:  There’s two different schools of thought. One of them is the mezzanine workflow and I’ll explain what that means. That’s converting all your source footage to a stable robust codec that retains as much fidelity as possible without making your storage bust at the seams, so that would mean taking a 4K XAVC and flipping it to a ProRes 422HQ. Obviously, that’s not the highest res possible because we’re not doing ProRes 4444, but we’re using a fat enough codec with enough latitude that we can still work with it and not lose any quality. So a lot of folks will move to a mezzanine format.

Michael Kammes:  The other workflow is to continue the tried and true method of offline, online or proxy formats, so that would be cutting with either a proxy that the camera generates, or creating a proxy from your high res, doing your creative cut with that, your creative editorial, and then reconforming back to the original on a high performance machine.

Larry Jordan: That also says that proxies are shifting to the camera rather than creating a proxy after the fact, is that true?

Michael Kammes: In that instance, yes. And it all comes down to how long the editors have to work on the project. If the post production cycle is that short, like a reality or news, they need that real quick. If it’s something more creative, like maybe an Amazon Original or a Netflix Original where you have a little bit more latitude in terms of time, then you can go the tried and true method of capturing high res and then creating proxies after the fact and working with that.

Larry Jordan: Thinking also of codecs, brings me to mind that Apple is discontinuing support for its Legacy 32 bit codecs in the next version of the MacOS. What’s your opinion on this?

Michael Kammes: That’s a really good question and those who are listening probably heard about the kerfuffle a month or so ago which I think you spearheaded part of Apple rectifying that kerfuffle. Developers were alerted to this a while ago, that QuickTime was being deprecated and that 32 bit codecs were on their way out. But what wasn’t really publicized is that Adobe knew about it, Avid knew about it, they just didn’t publicize the details of it, so everyone was scared that maybe this was catching Apple, Adobe and everyone else off guard. But the fact is that aside from the paltry bit of information that Apple initially had on their website, it’s not a big deal. Avid and Adobe have been planning for this for quite a while, and already have engines under the hood to handle playing back those old codecs and Larry, I got to tell you, I’m so very happy that you put up that blog post and were able to get Apple to fully flesh out the blog post on the 32 bit codecs going away because without that we’d really all be lost.

Larry Jordan: Well I will confess when I first read that warning from Apple, I was afraid that all of our Legacy media was going to disappear, so I’m glad that everybody has got a handle on it and was finally able to talk about it.

Michael Kammes: Agreed. I think it put a lot of people’s minds at ease. I think there was a concern that “Hey we can’t use any of our Avid codecs. We can’t use any of our Legacy codecs for other systems.” And the fact that Apple fleshed that out and that Avid responded to it and Adobe responded to it, I think you have that on your blog, I think put a lot of people’s minds at ease.

Larry Jordan: You know, thinking of technology changing which it seems to do on an hourly basis, reminds me that we’re just a couple of months away from NAB and right now we’re in the middle of a quiet time as everybody’s got their heads down coding. What are your thoughts for what to expect at the show? What trends are you thinking are going to happen based upon what you’re seeing here?

Michael Kammes: I think you’ve probably seen that it seems to be every other year there’s something big at NAB, whether it was 3D, VR, 4K and then HDR. So this year I honestly think it’s going to be kind of an off year. I haven’t seen anything revolutionary come down the pipe or even in whispers over the last year or so. I think companies are going to continue to refine what they’ve already promised, so we’re talking about applications that are running in a data center, in a cloud. I think we’re going to be seeing more machine learning being applied to tasks in post production. I think obviously there’s going to be more 265 encoders, but none of this is, dare I say, new. This is stuff that’s been talked about for years, we’ve seen other companies come out with in the past two years, and I think we’re just going to see more of a proliferation in the industry of that at NAB this year.

Larry Jordan: Well you realize as soon as you say that, the entire industry is going to say “We’re going to make Michael Kammes wrong and create all kinds of new stuff.” So we’ll just have to actually see what happens come April.

Michael Kammes: I love being wrong Larry. I’m sure you know that real well.

Larry Jordan: Michael, for people that want to keep track of what you’re doing and thinking, where can they go on the web?

Michael Kammes: A couple of different places. You can go to or you can check out my web series on technology, at

Larry Jordan: Let’s go to, all one word, and Michael is the director of business development for BeBop and Michael, as always, thanks for joining us today.

Michael Kammes: Thank you so much for the time Larry.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking about Mike Nuget’s comments about software. As Mike made clear in his interview, he makes a point to learn all the software tools that apply to his work, at least learn them well enough to get a job done with them. While he has favorite tools such as Avid and Baselight, he’s not so foolish as to limit himself to one piece of technology, and this is good advice for the rest of us. As we’ve talked about in the past, one of the challenges to making a living in the creative arts today is distinguishing ourselves from the competition. The more we focus on the results we can achieve, rather than the tools that we use, the easier it becomes for clients to realize that what they are paying for is not someone who knows which button to push, but why to push that button in the first place.

Larry Jordan: The world is changing. Technology used to be expensive, and complex. Now it’s fairly cheap and commonplace. This means that knowing how the tools work is not enough to earn a living.  People skills, project management and creativity are equally important. Just something I’m thinking about.

Larry Jordan:  I want to thank our guests this week, cosplay prop maker Ted Smith, colorist and finishing editor Mike Nuget, Roger Mabon with mLogic, Michael Kammes with Bebop Technology and James DeRuvo with

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

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