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Digital Production Buzz – NAB Show BuZZ LIVE 2019 – Show 5 (April 8, 3pm)

Join host Larry Jordan, live from our booth on the NAB Show floor, as he talks with:

  • Dan MayPresident, Blackmagic Design
    • Blackmagic Design’s Dan May describes in depth how they’re adding new capabilities into DaVinci Resolve. He also talks about their new “Cut Page,” a high-speed editing pages within Resolve that edits media the quickest and most efficient way possible. He also discusses their new hardware development involving 8K products as well.
  • David McGavranCEO, Maxon
    • David McGavran from Maxon discusses their industry leading 3D modeling software – Cinema 4D. He describes their new acquisition of Red Shift Rendering to provide high-speed GPU rendering. He also reflects about their academy awards and highlights the R.20 release in September.
  • Aharon Rabinowitz, Head of Marketing, Exec. Producer of Red Giant Films, Red Giant
    • Red Giant’s Aharon Rabinowitz talks about Red Giant’s effects software. He announces Trap Code Fluid Dynamics, where you can use particle systems to create fluid dynamic look for powerful visual effects. He also discusses Red Giant Universe 2.0 which provides over 70 tools and templates that editors can use for motion graphics.
  • Paul Isaacs, Director of Product Management and Design, Sound Devices
    • Paul Isaacs from Sound Devices discusses Sound Design’s family of portable recorders. He goes into depth about Scorpio, their most premium product ever developed replacing 7818 which has 32 channels, 36 tracks and more.

Interview scheduled for Monday April 8th, 2019 @ 3:00 pm at our Digital Production BuZZ booth ( SL10527 in the South Lower hall ).

Digital Production Buzz – NAB Show BuZZ LIVE 2019 – Show 4 (April 8, 2pm)

Join host Larry Jordan, live from our booth on the NAB Show floor, as he talks with:

  • Boris Yamnitsky, Founder / President, Boris FX
    • Boris Yamnitsky from Boris FX describes how their company specializes in visual effects. Boris FX also announces new features for their three main product lines of Boris Continuum, Sapphire and Mocha which are all going to be released mid summer.
  • Durin GleavesProduct Manager, Audio, Adobe
    • Adobe’s Durin Gleaves discusses Premiere’s new ability to manipulate audio effects in new ways. In addition he announces the brand new Punch-and-Roll recording technique in Audition that helps you correct mistakes more easily instead of starting over. He also talks about auto-ducking to quickly set levels.
  • Robert Krüger, Managing Partner, Lesspain Software
    • Robert Krüger, with Lesspain Software showcases the new features in version 1.6; released a few weeks ago. The update includes metadata exporting, importing and merging for footage. He also provided a preview of version 1.7 which is scheduled to be released in three to four weeks, focusing on new integration with Frame.io and improved Final Cut workflow.
  • Bruce LongCEO / Co-Founder, BeBop Technology
    • Bruce Long from BeBop Technology gives his perspective on The Cloud being a creative partner and how he wants your computer to easily switch between local and Cloud computing. He also announces their partnerships with Avid and AutoDesk and the ability to use any PC or laptop to access the software you need to finish your project.

Interview scheduled for Monday April 8th, 2019 @ 2:00 pm at our Digital Production BuZZ booth ( SL10527 in the South Lower hall ).

Digital Production Buzz – NAB Show BuZZ LIVE 2019 – Show 3 (April 8, 1pm)

Join host Larry Jordan, live from our booth on the NAB Show floor, as he talks with:

  • Chris BrownEVP, Convention and Business Operations, NAB
    • Chris Brown from NAB talks about several focused sections in this year’s NAB Show, including eSports and Connected Car experiences in the North Hall. Chris also talks about his goals for the NAB show, along with other new technologies such as AI and 5G, and podcasts that are featured at NAB 2019.
  • Paulina BorowskiShow Producer, Digital Production BuZZ
    • Paulina Borowski from the Digital Production Buzz goes into depth about her role now with The Buzz and how her job has evolved from last year. Paulina is responsible for overall booth operation as well as hosting all of the guests featured on The Buzz at NAB 2019.
  • Victoria NeceSenior Product Manager, Motion Graphics and Visual Effects, Adobe
    • Victoria Nece announces how Adobe is bringing content-aware fill to video in After Effects. This feature looks at the entire video, instead of just a single frame. Other features Victoria announces are for Premiere Pro, which will bring a free form view for the Files panel and new features in Adobe Audition CC. (Repeated from the 11 AM show.)
  • Dave ColantuoniVP of Product Management, Avid
    • Dave Colantuoni discusses Avid’s relaunch of a new product user interface for Media Composer and a new render farm distributed process around 8K editing. He also goes into depth on his two goals for improving the workflow for editors and improving ways to make it easier to step into Avid’s Media Composer. (Repeated from the 11 AM show.)

Interview scheduled for Monday April 8th, 2019 @ 1:00 pm at our Digital Production BuZZ booth ( SL10527 in the South Lower hall ).

Digital Production Buzz – NAB Show BuZZ LIVE 2019 – Show 2 (April 8, 12pm)

Join host Larry Jordan, live from our booth on the NAB Show floor, as he talks with:

  • Carol HessGlobal VP Z by HP Products, HP
    • Z by HP’s Carol Hess discusses their new scalable Xeon processors for the Z by HP computers that improve performance. She also talks about Dream Color monitors, along with new partnerships with Avid and RGS.
  • Michael GailingVP Marketing, Teradek
    • Michael Galing from Teradek talks about how they recently required Animon specifically to boost their support for wireless communication. At NAB, they announced the world’s first 4k wireless transmitters from camera to the “video village.”. The product will be shipping in about a month.
  • Bryce Button, Director of Product Marketing, AJA Video Systems
    • AJA Video Systems’ Bryce Button goes into depth about 8k and working with the Unreal gaming engine to give smaller operations the ability to integrate CGI into their workflow. He also announces Open Gear Cards for image processing and conversion.
  • Justin Emge, Applications Engineer Manager, Clear-Com
    • Justin Emge of Clear-Com announces communications gear that supports AES67, a new standard, providing low latency audio over an IP network. He also talks about an IP transceiver that can connect up to 10 belt packs using standard Ethernet connections without a central frame.

Interview scheduled for Monday April 8th, 2019 @ 12:00 pm at our Digital Production BuZZ booth ( SL10527 in the South Lower hall ).

Digital Production Buzz – NAB Show BuZZ LIVE 2019 – Show 1 (April 8, 11am)

Join host Larry Jordan, live from our booth on the NAB Show floor, as he talks with:

  • Dave ColantuoniVP of Product Management, Avid
    • Dave Colantuoni discusses Avid’s relaunch of a new product user interface for Media Composer and a new render farm distributed process around 8K editing. He also goes into depth on his two goals for improving the workflow for editors and improving ways to make it easier to step into Avid’s Media Composer.
  • Victoria NeceSenior Product Manager, Motion Graphics and Visual Effects, Adobe
      • Victoria Nece announces how Adobe is bringing content-aware fill to video in After Effects. This feature looks at the entire video, instead of just a single frame. Other features Victoria announces are for Premiere Pro, which will bring a free form view for the Files panel and new features in Adobe Audition CC.
  • Jon Finegold, Chief Marketing Officer, Signiant
    • Jon Finegold from Signiant talks about their new program: Signiant Jet. Signiant Jet simplifies file transfer for smaller to mid-sized companies using subscription pricing.
  • Dan Montgomery, President, Imagine Products
    • Dan Montgomery of Imagine Products discusses Shotput Pro and his new partnerships with Frame.io and Kodak. He also announces how Imagine Products Cloud is now able the DIT to share clips with other people in real time using a web portal. He also talks about True Check Macintosh to make sure files transfer accurately throughout the post-production process.

Interview scheduled for Monday April 8th, 2019 @ 11:00 am at our Digital Production BuZZ booth ( SL10527 in the South Lower hall ).

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – April 4, 2019

HOST

Larry Jordan

GUESTS

Michael Horton, Head Cutter, LACPUG

Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Red Shark News, Ned Soltz Inc.

Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System

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

James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS

==

Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, the annual NAB Show opens on Monday. New announcements are already streaming from tech companies around the world. Tonight, we preview some of the new technology and trends that you would expect to find at this year’s show.

Larry Jordan: We start with Mike Horton, formally the Co-Producer of the legendary SuperMeets. He’s now producing Faster Together. Tonight, he tells us what happened to the SuperMeet and what this new event is about.

Larry Jordan: Next, Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor for Red Shark News, shares his expectations on new camera and production technology that he expects to see at NAB, starting Monday.

Larry Jordan: Next, Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Lumberjack System looks at the four trends he’s expecting to dominate discussion at the show and, can you believe, that he’s expecting 8K video to make an impact.

Larry Jordan: Next, Michael Kammes, Director of Business Development for Bebop Technology, describes what he expects to be making news next week at NAB.

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. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan.

Larry Jordan: Unless you’ve been living under the rock, you know that the annual NAB Show opens in Las Vegas on Monday; though conference sessions start this Saturday. For the 11th year in a row, The Buzz is packing up its microphones and heading east to Las Vegas; but, before we go, I wanted to chat with some of our regulars about what they expect to make news at the show.

Larry Jordan: NAB is gigantic, exhausting and overwhelming, but it is also my favorite toy store; filled with exciting new things to learn. Expensive toys, perhaps, but still fun. Tonight, we share a collective heads up on what to watch for.

Larry Jordan: By the way, if you enjoy The Buzz, please give us a positive rating and review on the iTunes store. We appreciate your support, to help us grow our audience. Now it’s time for our weekly doddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Well, we’re on the eve of NAB Larry and we have more news than we have time for. But here’s a few stories I thought were noteworthy.

Larry Jordan: Okay.

James DeRuvo: First off, Adobe just put out their annual Spring update, with over 200  new features; with updates to Premiere Pro; Adobe After Effects; Audition and Character Animator. Highlights include faster performance for Premiere. But the big news is Content Aware Fill comes to Adobe After Effects; which basically means, with Adobe Sensei’s artificial intelligence and machine learning, you can automatically take anything out of the video image that you don’t like and Adobe Sensei will reevaluate everything around it and input the copy pixels into it; so it just looks like it just disappeared.

James DeRuvo: That’s going to be amazing. Plus, you can get faster mixing and audio decking with Audition and more flexible animation and character animator; which also now comes with a live video stream via Twitch.

Larry Jordan: Well, obviously you’re excited; but what are your thoughts on the update?

James DeRuvo: Every single one of these 200 new features is a must for your post-production quiver; but the main one for me is the Content Aware Fill. Now users won’t have to spend time and money to remove unwanted images through masking and rotoscoping or any of that and they won’t have to police their sets with military grade protection; to make sure something just doesn’t wander into frame. You can just clip a button and anything you don’t like in the image can disappear.  It’s magical.

Larry Jordan: It’s very cool; I’m looking forward to seeing the actual demos. But you said you had lots of news. What’s next?

James DeRuvo: Here’s one that nobody saw coming. New Tech got bought by Norwegian broadcast company Vizrt; focusing on video over IP, New Tech will now bring its consumer grade switching Braintrust to the Norwegian company, to create a software based switching and broadcaster application for live video over the internet. The result will be, basically, you’ll have a broadcast truck on your laptop, where anyone can create the next grade live event and share it online.

Larry Jordan: Like you, this one surprised me. What are your thoughts?

James DeRuvo: The biggest news of this is the acquisition itself; because nobody saw it coming. But in reality, both companies have worked together for several years and so it just made sense to get together to make this next step in video over IP and it shows that both New Tech Vizrt don’t just mean to be a part of that revolution, they mean to lead it.

Larry Jordan: Just a thought on video over IP, Philip Hodgetts is going to be talking about that a little bit later in tonight’s show; because this has implications far beyond what Vizrt and New Tech are doing.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got Adobe and Vizrt as your first two stories, what’s number three?

James DeRuvo: Panasonic has done your basic housekeeping updates to the Varicam LT and their brand new S1 full frame mirrorless camera. The Varicam LT now gets hybrid log gamma HDR support with BT20/20 color science; the ability to convert raw to 4K in camera; it also gets Zebra displays and improve bug fixers. Meanwhile, the S1 full frame mirrorless camera, which hasn’t really shipped yet, also gets an optional software update, that will bring ten bit 422 internal v-log recording for, I’m guessing about $99; because that’s what it is for the GH5.

Larry Jordan: Well, it strikes me that Panasonic is continuing the trend of shifting the HDR. Is that true?

James DeRuvo: Yes, everything is going HDR now and camera companies, to their credits, are doing what they can to give you, in older platforms, as much HDR recording and color science as they can. Even with a veteran camera platform, like the Varicam LT, adding HDR to this camera is going to give it plenty of legs for the next couple of years and that’s a good thing; especially for documentarians.

Larry Jordan: Given all the change in camera technology these days, anything manufacturers can do to extend the life of existing gear is a good idea in my book. What other stories you working on?

James DeRuvo: Other stories we’re following include the Justice Department is warning the MPAA that changing their Oscar rules to freeze out Netflix could be an anti-trust violation. There are four rules that you can follow to resurrect your dying YouTube channel and, did you know that you can make a gimbal stabilizer out of a dead hard drive?

James DeRuvo: Next week, we’ll also have stories from all over the showroom floor at NAB; summarizing them every afternoon on The Buzz at 5pm and we’ll have breaking news updates from our Twitter newsfeed at @doddlenews. So, everybody out there, give us a follow.

Larry Jordan: Good point James. James will be live on nabshowbuzz.com every afternoon at 5pm for a summary of that day’s news at NAB. But James, before we let you go, NAB opens Monday. What are you expecting?

James DeRuvo: First thing Monday morning is the Blackmagic  press conference and we always expect some exciting new announcements there. This is actually the first time in a couple of years that I have absolutely no idea what they’re going to be announcing; I don’t even know what I want them to announce. It’s going to be an undiscovered country, which is going to be very exciting.

James DeRuvo: We’ll also be cruising all over the halls; there’s three different halls; a million square feet of explorer space; there’s, like, 200 new exhibitors this year; I’ll be putting about 30 miles on my feet. Everybody’s going to be there, it’s the biggest party. I like to call it geek stock for filmmakers. I will bring it all to you every day at five o’clock.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more information James, where can we go on the web to find the stories that you and your team are covering?

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

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the Editor-in-Chief of doddleNEWS and joins us every week. I’ll see you on Monday.

James DeRuvo: See you then.

Male Voiceover: Join The Digital Production Buzz at the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Starting Monday April 8th, Larry Jordan and The Buzz team are taking their microphones on the road; to cover the latest news and trends from the largest media show in the world. Every hour of every day, The Buzz is live on the tradeshow floor; creating 27 new shows in four days; more than 100 interviews with key industry leaders.

Male Voiceover: The Buzz has webcast directly from NAB for 11 years, with legendary coverage that’s heard in more than 195 countries around the world.  If you’re attending the show, visit us at Booth SL10527 and say hello; or join us live every day of the show at nabshowbuzz.com. Join us as The Buzz covers NAB 2019, live at nabshowbuzz.com.

Larry Jordan: Mike Horton co-founded the Los Angeles Creative Pro User Group more than 20 years ago. He also co-founded the legendary SuperMeets  and, best of all, he’s a long-time friend of The Buzz. Hello Mike, welcome back.

Michael Horton: Hello Larry. This is the first time in, like, 25 years I’ve been back on your show. What happened there?

Larry Jordan: Well, you know, we just didn’t love you anymore; that was it. Just boring interviews all the time.

Michael Horton: Or I just figured out I wasn’t getting paid enough.

Larry Jordan: Listen, Mike, we love you so much, we’re going to double your salary.

Michael Horton: Thank you. Alright, I’m back, any time you want.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was going to say, not long-time friend but old friend; but, you know, that raises way too many issues.

Michael Horton: Yes, we’re old friends Larry; we can share stories going back to the … teens.

Larry Jordan: Of the last century actually.

Michael Horton: Yes, exactly, the last century; that’s right.

Larry Jordan: Mike, what happened to the SuperMeet?

Michael Horton: Well, it’s a long, complicated story. One thing I’m getting too old to produce those things. There’s a complicated answer to it and, hopefully, I will be able to tell the story one of these days. But it was getting way too expensive to produce and it was getting a little bit too commercial for my taste. I thought, maybe, it was time to hang it up, or at least change it; but by the time we, you know, thought of any kind of changes, it was just too late and so we decided not to do it; at least this year.

Michael Horton: That’s when LumaForge turned up and talked to me and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today; which is the Faster Together stage event, which has sort of taken the place of the SuperMeet at least next Tuesday.

Larry Jordan: Tell me, what is Faster Together?

Michael Horton: It’s going to be SuperMeet like, you know, if there’s any way of describing this thing. It’s essentially the kind of show that I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time; it is all about creatives; it is all about people getting up there and telling the stories about how they did what they did. You’ll be inspired by all these incredibly talented presenters and everyone from YouTube superstars; to incredible colorists; to working editors; to producers and directors who are doing amazing films.

Michael Horton: They’re going to give their little take and show and tell on what they have done and how you can maybe learn from what they did. That’s the kind of show that I’ve always wanted to do, from top to bottom and this show, top to bottom, is that kind of event.

Larry Jordan: In the past, you’ve talked to the people that developed the tool; the Adobes of the world. It sounds like, now you’ve shifted focus to the people who use the tools and how they use them. Is that true?

Michael Horton: Boy, let me write that down. If I ever do another one of these interviews I want to be able to say it that way. Yes, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Even though Adobe and other companies are helping to support and sponsor this event, it is not about their tools; it is about how to use their tools. It’s exactly what it is. But there’s not going to be any what’s new in the tools; it’s the creative aspect of using all those wonderful tools that these people work so hard to give us.

Larry Jordan: What you’ve done is you’ve created, essentially, as you said, a SuperMeet like. Why the partnership with LumaForge?

Michael Horton: LumaForge is the one that came up with this whole idea and the reason that they did was, they had a pool of money that they wanted to do something with and it was either, let’s have a booth at NAB and then when they found out how much that thing was going to cost, they felt that that’s probably not the best place to put their marketing money. When they heard that there was going to be no SuperMeet on a Tuesday night, that left a big void. What are people going to do on a Tuesday night?

Michael Horton: Sam Mestman called me up and we talked about this whole thing and I said, I would love to partner with you; but I don’t want to do the same kind of shows that I’ve been doing for the last few years. Even though, it was still a community event, I still had a great time and I still loved doing it; I just didn’t want to do the commercial parts of it.

Michael Horton: He said, no, let’s just put on a great show that people will want to see and want to come to and it still can be all about community and I said, well alright, I’m in and let’s fill that Tuesday night void and let’s just put on a great show.  That’s essentially what they did and what they’re doing. The line-up is really excellent and I can’t wait to see these presentations. I get to host the show but I really honestly wish I was in the front of the audience, rather than the back and on stage; because I really want to see these presentations.

Larry Jordan: Give us some of the highlights. Who’s going to be there and, most importantly, when does it start?

Michael Horton: It starts on Tuesday April 9th; so you need to know that. It starts at 4:30, the doors open; so get in there early and the food starts at five o’clock. As you know, with past SuperMeets, the food runs out at about 5:15; so get there early if you actually want to eat.

Michael Horton: We have YouTube superstar Jonathan Morrison, who is a Tech Reviewer for YouTube and he has over two point six million subscribers and why? That’s kind of what we’re going to find out. Michael Chioni [ph] is going to come up and he’s going to give a sort of State of the Union address. I’m really not quite sure exactly what he’s going, but that’s what they’re calling it.

Michael Horton: Then we have this Adrienne Klotz-Floyd, who calls herself the DIT Lady. Obviously she’s going to be talking a little bit about DIT and Cheryl Ottennritter and John Aldridge and Robbie Carmen are all involved in this extraordinary film called The River and the Wall; which is going to open nationwide here in May. It’s a documentary on the wall along the Rio Grande River. If you look at its trailer, you’ll see that it’s pretty impressive.

Michael Horton: Kyle Reiter and Ernie Gilbert are two of the Editors for Atlanta. Atlanta’s the critically acclaimed TV series. Elizabeth Koffman from Kitsplit. I’m not exactly sure what she’ll be doing; but she is going to be talking and also we have the Academy Award winning short film Skin; the Producer and the Editor from that and this is the second year in a row that Final Cut Pro Ten has been used in an Academy Award winning movie. Both short films but still. They’re going to be talking about that particular film.

Michael Horton: Then, of course, I’m going to be hosting it and I am going to be doing the raffle.

Larry Jordan: Nobody can do the raffle like you do the raffle.

Michael Horton: You’re damn right.

Larry Jordan: What does it cost?

Michael Horton: It costs nothing, practically. It’s $15, that’s all it costs. If you’re a student, or a teacher, it’s only $10.

Larry Jordan: Mike, one of the things I like best about SuperMeets is the little mini tradeshow; where I get to meet companies that are maybe too small for NAB. Are you having that again this year?

Michael Horton: We are having that again next year and there are going to be several companies in there that really don’t want to spend the money, or can’t spend the money to be on the show floor at the Convention Center; so they’ll be at the SuperMeet. Yes, that’s what I really like about the SuperMeets too; it’s that a lot of the companies are getting their first opportunity to show off their stuff.

Larry Jordan: Again, what’s the website?

Michael Horton: Fastertogether.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, fastertogether.com and Mike Horton is the Producer of Faster Together and a long-time friend. Mike, thanks for joining us today.

Mike Horton: Alright, I’m looking forward to seeing you next week at NAB; I know you’re heading out, what, Sunday or Saturday or something?

Larry Jordan: Saturday. I’ll see you there.

Michael Horton: Okay, alright, I’ll give you a buzz on The Buzz show.

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is a Contributing Editor to Red Shark News. He’s also an Author, Editor, Educator and Consultant on all things related to digital video and, best of all, he’s a regular here on The Buzz. Hello Ned, welcome back.

Ned Soltz: Hello Larry, good to be back. It’s been a couple of weeks now and I guess the reviews weren’t that bad; so you’re having me back. Also good to hear from Michael Horton and see what he’s up to these days for NAB. That sounds intriguing. It’ll be a wonderful session.

Larry Jordan: It does indeed. The Faster Together sessions, they’re something I’m really looking forward to seeing and Michael, as you know, changed the focus to focus on users. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the creative output.

Ned Soltz: Right, right, yes.

Larry Jordan: Ned, tonight we’re previewing new technology and trends coming at NAB; so what are your thoughts?

Ned Soltz: Well, we’re entering a period right now where I think it’s far less radical in terms of both hardware and software introductions. You know, we’re well beyond a new camera every six months; we are well beyond the newest and latest greatest in innovative software; but we’re trying to get everything to work together right now. I think that’s about the best way to put it. A combination of workflow, a combination of improvements and under the hood types of improvements as well.

Ned Soltz: Adobe is a good example of that. Adobe, yesterday, just released its latest Creative Cloud for video updates and while there’s nothing there that is absolutely revolutionary earthshaking, there are a couple of wonderful features and improvements, again, under the hood; in terms of speed and particularly in After Effects. The greatest one of these, by the way, is Content Aware Fill, like we have in Photoshop. That’s in After Effects right now, so you can remove objects in video just like you can remove objects in Photoshop.

Ned Soltz: It’s an example of, I think, a mature product of Creative Cloud for video, just seeing enhancements and improvements and speed; which is good. We really don’t need our next whiplash situation of too much and so much new. I dare say we’ll be seeing something from Blackmagic Design.

Larry Jordan: Take a breath. You know, I was reflecting, looking over all the materials that Adobe supplied with their release, one of the things they stressed, especially with Premiere, is how much of their time was spent on improving performance and improving stability; which is, I think, a wise decision to make the stuff that you’ve got work, as opposed to keep throwing in new features.

Ned Soltz: Exactly and the new features that are there are useful. There are improvements in titling, there’s better interactivity between the various components of Creative Cloud; but it’s wise.

Larry Jordan: Before you move on to Blackmagic, because you were just starting to talk about that. One of the things that you and I have talked about a lot in the last several years is the constant churn in new Codec as new cameras come out. It seemed to me that this whole new Codec release has slowed down a lot. Would you agree?

Ned Soltz: I would agree. I mean, we’ve had two new Codec in Blackmagic RAW last year and in ProRes RAW and I think they’re our newest Codec that we’ve seen. You know, I think that, outermost users with Final Cut Pro are taking advantage of that new Codec and Blackmagic users certainly have that opportunity for ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW. Blackmagic is, in fact, cutting some of the DNG out of certain cameras in favor of its Blackmagic RAW. But that’s really it. I don’t see any new Codecs or formats that are coming up this year; we could always be surprised.

Ned Soltz: The other trend this year is that, so many products, updates, improvements and the like have been announced prior to NAB. It’s almost as if, things can just get lost in the noise if you have so many product introductions over a several day period at the trade show. Manufacturers want to, at least, get their 15 minutes of glory by being separated by a day or so, I think, from what other vendors are going to be introducing.

Larry Jordan: You started to talk about Blackmagic coming up with new stuff, what’s your thought on that company?

Ned Soltz: I dare say we’re going to see a new Resolve; I mean, I don’t have any insider information, because if I had insider information, I wouldn’t speculate about it. But I am guess that, if they hold true to form, whether it will be a Resolve 16 or whether it will be just a dot release to the current Resolve, we always have been accustomed to seeing that at NAB.

Ned Soltz: They may pull some surprises on it too; because, again, prior to NAB, they introduced a new version of the URSA Mini Pro with off-speed recording and something they just kind of snuck in under the wire is an update in Blackmagic desktop video, which is version 11.1; which runs all of their video capture cards. That’s now enabling HDR out of HDMI on a DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G; which is a card they happen to have.

Ned Soltz: This really becomes an advance in the ability to use HDMI monitors with this card; or HDR monitoring. Prior to this, it was only SDI; so you either needed an SDI monitor, or you would need a $500 Teranex SDI to HDMI mini convertor.

Ned Soltz: That’s a little thing they sort of slipped in between the cracks, which tells me, they probably have something a little bigger coming up at NAB and didn’t want to delude its impact. Again, pure speculation and, guess what, we’re going to know all about that Monday morning; when they announce and we may even know about it on Sunday, because that’s when all the banners start going on the Convention Center. We very well maybe standing out in front of the Convention Center watching the sign folks put banners up.

Larry Jordan: I can see the sign now, Blackmagic buys NAB. It would be a show stopping announcement.

Ned Soltz: That would be show stopping and, I mean, who knows. They may have another acquisition in the works; they’ve been very wise in terms of abilities that have acquisitions. By the way, speaking of acquisitions, something that was a great surprise was Vizrt acquiring NewTek.

Larry Jordan: Yes, very surprising. James mentioned it as part of the news and I’m looking forward to going to both booths on Monday to learn more.

Ned Soltz I am too and I know from a little press event that NewTek had for us, they are thrilled; not just so much for the cash that they’re going to be realizing, but more than that, the R&D development with Vizrt behind them; because NewTek, certainly with its MDI connectivity really is at the forefront of moving to video IP and it’s not just big block task installations; even smaller outfits can be utilizing video when we’re IP and NewTek’s the leader in that. I think that’s an acquisition that will be a great advance.

Ned Soltz: What I’m looking forward to, from JVC, will be some introductions of more connected cameras; that’s really been their strong suit over the last few years. If not new cameras, certainly enhanced connectivity and streaming and wireless capabilities from JVC. That’s another one that I’ll throw in.

Larry Jordan: JVC’s done a really nice job of carving out the mid-range of the market. They don’t try to play at the extreme high end, but they’ve got really affordable, very nice cameras that are mid-range.

Ned Soltz: Yes they do. They have an educational market, they have a religious market, they have an ENG market and they know how to produce products for that market. They know that they are the small guys on the block and they don’t try to overreach; which guarantees them success. They know what they can do and they do it very well.

Larry Jordan: Very true. Ned, for people that want more information about what you’re seeing at NAB, where can they go to follow your writing and thoughts?

Ned Soltz: Redsharknews.com. I will be posting throughout NAB; usually playing at the show all day and then going back to my hotel room and feverishly writing all night, just to get up again and repeat the whole process.

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is a Contributing Editor for Red Shark News. That website is all one word, redsharknews.com and, Ned, travel safely to NAB and we’ll see you next week.

Ned Soltz: See you next week as well. Looking forward to it.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts is recognized as a leading technologist; as well as the CEO of Lumberjack System. Even better, he’s a regular here on The Buzz; where he specializes in explaining new technology. Hello Philip, welcome back.

Philip Hodgetts: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Philip, tonight we’re looking at new technology or trends that we might expect at NAB. Now, we just heard from Ned Soltz about what he expects in production technology. What are your thoughts?

Philip Hodgetts: I guess, some of mine overlap a little bit with production. The four topics that I see as being quite hot at NAB 2019 are 8K production, the Cloud, machine learning and video over IP. I think these are four evolving technologies that should at least be watched; because many of them will change the way we work.

Larry Jordan: Well let’s start with 8K, which I am really skeptical about. I’m trying to be polite here. We can’t even see 4K on a monitor, why are we paying attention to 8K?

Philip Hodgetts: I know. We upgraded to a 55 inch 4K TV HDR and at the distance that we view that TV set, we can get all the benefit of 720p. We’re not getting even close to being able to maximize the benefit of 4K, let alone even standard HD.

Philip Hodgetts: The thing about oversampling at the source though is, if you can do 4K for much the same cost as HD, then I would always say do 4K; simply because, the HD that you have will look better, because it’s been started at a higher resolution. I know this, in pure basic science, doesn’t really make sense; because you’re still reducing it down to the actual pixel count of the delivery mechanism. But I have watched this happen over many, many years, that oversampling it at the source does carry a benefit throughout the entire production chain.

Philip Hodgetts: That said, I remain as skeptical about 8K as I really do about 4K outside of production. I can see some benefits and I have certainly used 4K for 1080 production, to have that zoom and framing space and so 8K for 4K post is probably a thing that’s going to happen.

Larry Jordan: Can you imagine how big those files are going to be? We’re going to have to redefine terms that define storage.

Philip Hodgetts: Well yes, I mean, it’s the panel manufacturers that are driving this, but also, they must be in cahoots with the storage folks; because they are working together to increase the amount of storage we need.

Larry Jordan: 4K is four times bigger than HD and 8K is four times bigger than 4K. The mind boggles at how many terabytes a day to a simple commercial’s going to create.

Philip Hodgetts: Yes, let alone a 16 part drama series.

Larry Jordan: Shot multi camera of course.

Philip Hodgetts: Of course shot multi camera.

Larry Jordan: Oh my goodness.

Philip Hodgetts: Yes, well talk about heads in the cloud.

Larry Jordan: Well that’s your number two issue. Tell me about the Cloud.

Philip Hodgetts: It’s important to say that, there is no Cloud; the Cloud is simply somebody else’s computer that you’re accessing remotely. I think that’s an important thing to keep in mind, because it’s not this mythical thing. You know, if you are connecting to a Cloud service, you’re connecting to somebody else’s computer; not to say that that’s a bad thing and, certainly, the trends are towards, you know, collaborating through the Cloud.

Philip Hodgetts: Avid have technologies for working remotely; Adobe have experimented with that and not incredibly successfully; stayed more in-house. Of course Bebop are pushing that sort of in the Cloud workflow. It’s going to come, it absolutely is going to come. I think, at the moment, the one tragic flaw in it is, that the upload of the original media is a challenge; but there are ways of working around that and bandwidths will increase exponentially over the next couple of years. Apparently, file sizes are going to increase exponentially as well; so, maybe that won’t work.

Philip Hodgetts: The one area where the Cloud is in common use right now is for review and approval. I mean, Frame.io are getting all of the publicity, but there are Wipster and a whole bunch of other people who are doing in the Cloud review and approval and for those people who need that, I think that’s a very useful service.

Philip Hodgetts: I am a loner, I don’t collaborate that often, but when I do collaborate, I wish I had a service like that to use; but my use is so infrequent and unnecessary that I don’t subscribe to a service. Even though I have a Frame.io account, I don’t use it very much.

Larry Jordan: There’s a couple of issues here; one is, the Cloud is much bigger than just simply editing our media. If we look at pre-production, if we look at scripting, if we look at collaboration before we start production, even collaboration on storyboards, as well as post-production for review and approval, the Cloud permeates all of production; but you and I both look at the Cloud through the eyes of editing and that, I think, is leading into its weakness, not its strength. Would you agree?

Philip Hodgetts: I agree completely and thank you for pointing that out. Because, yes, there is a lot that we can get from collaboration and I’ve only fairly recently moved to things like collaborative workflows on books and it’s really valuable, because you don’t have to have that face-to-face time with the other person. You can work on things, you can update things; everybody is up-to-date at the same time and that’s a big benefit.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk about what you’re planning for Lumberjack; but before I do, your third category is machine learning. What are you thinking about here?

Philip Hodgetts: I’m thinking that we’ll start to see a lot of uses of machine learning that are not obvious uses of machine learning. We’ve talked a little bit about this before. Machine learning is making our lives richer in many ways that we don’t even understand; you know, Adobe’s Premiere Rush is using machine learning to automatically duck music under dialogue.

Philip Hodgetts: That’s not sort of the headline artificial intelligence of a trailer sort of mindset; it’s much more useful. Better color matching, better organization, better metadata. These are all areas where we’ll see machine learning start to pop up in production workflows; without them being obviously machine learning.

Larry Jordan: Your fourth category is video over IP. Before you describe what you expect to see from it, first tell me what that means.

Philip Hodgetts: We started moving video around over composite cables, then we moved to component cables, then we moved to digital cables; SDI has been the distribution methodology for the last ten, 15 years, through various mechanisms of multiple SDI; bondings to get the higher resolutions, etc. What video over IP does is, it takes those SDI streams and effectively turns them into an IP date stream; in other words, the same infrastructure that runs the internet, runs most corporations that we have around our home, is the same infrastructure that we will use to distribute video amongst our post-production workgroups.

Philip Hodgetts:  I mean, we’ve been doing this with Ethernet connected storage for a while; shared collaborative storage like Jellyfish and Lumaforge make; among many others. This is effectively video over IP; it’s moving those streams of data over IP. Where a difference from shared storage is that, you can actually send video point to point over an IP network; as a stream of video, not as a data file and you can also pick up streams into a switcher from there. That’s what’s driving the purchase; Vizrt announced that they have purchased NewTek, mostly for their video over IP technology, which complements Vizrt’s own technology.

Larry Jordan: What video over IP announcements are you expecting at NAB; or technology I should say?

Philip Hodgetts: I think just more support; more vendors will support video IP and more interoperability. The NewTek format is the one that’s most common, even though it’s not actually the standard; so there’s people who are having to support multiple standards, in order to bring this into reality. I think we’ll see that settling down into sort of the common connectivity that we get, say, from SDI.

Larry Jordan: I would be remiss if I wasn’t asking about your own company. What is Lumberjack System doing at NAB this year?

Philip Hodgetts: This year, we’ll be doing a number of things. We’re starting NAB on Sunday night at the Content Creators Celebration. It’s a party celebrating content creation and those who do it and, like good partygoers, we’re going to bring LED, little party lights and glow sticks and, so, come find the Buffalo plaid table and grab your party favors.

Philip Hodgetts: We will be showing a little loop on the screen about what we do, but really, a party is about a party and that’s what we’re going to be doing on Monday night as well. It used to be called the Final Cut Pro Team Guru Gathering, this year it’s the Lumaforge Faster Together party. Same party and same party favors; again, it’s time to have a party, not to be too serious.

Philip Hodgetts: The work part about it is during the day and we’ll be on Central Hall Booth 2952; that’s the OWC Radio booth, we’re sharing that with those folk. That’s where you can come and see the next generation of video editing, which is the text driven video editing. If you work with transcripts, if you’ve ever thought about working with transcripts, you need to come and see Lumberjack Builder in action.

Philip Hodgetts: Either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday on Central Hall C2952, or come to the Faster Together Party on Tuesday night, where we will be attempting to interview people, logging it in real time, passing it through a lumberyard station to bring those keywords into Final Cut Pro X, passing the file across to the third station, where it will be sent out for transcription and into Builder and started to integrate into our stories about the Faster Together stage. If we can pull it off.

Larry Jordan: Some very, very cool stuff. Philip, for people that want to keep track of your company and your thinking, where can they go on the web?

Philip Hodgetts: Lumberjacksystem.com, or philiphodgetts.com.

Larry Jordan: Those websites are all one word, lumberjacksystem.com and philiphodgetts.com and the Philip Hodgetts himself is the voice you’ve been listening to. CEO of Lumberjack System and, Philip, thanks for joining us today.

Philip Hodgetts: My pleasure and I’ll see you at NAB.

Larry Jordan: I look forward to it.

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

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

Larry Jordan: As Director of Business Development for Bebop, Michael Kammes leverages his experience with creative technology and tools providers, to accelerate growth and provide strategic perspective across marketing sales and partnership. But, even better than that, he’s a frequent and welcome contributor to The Buzz. Hello Michael, welcome back.

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

Larry Jordan: Michael, you heard earlier what Philip Hodgetts expects at NAB this year. What are your thoughts?

Michael Kammes: Well, I agree a lot with what Philip said; especially regarding machine learning and Cloud and video IP; so I was trying to find something that was a little bit different. I thought, maybe one of the things I could talk about was, how NAB has kind of changed. How does that sound?

Larry Jordan: I think that’s a good place to start. Go ahead.

Michael Kammes: Great, great. You know, we’ve heard a lot of companies that are now announcing their technologies and their announcements prior to NAB starting and I think that’s a trend that, you know, some of the big players like Blackmagic picked up and now other companies are following suit behind that and doing these pre-announcements as a way to get out from the white noise. I think that’s to a lot of people’s thinking that, well is NAB even needed anymore; or should it merge with CES?

Michael Kammes: I wanted to let everyone know that it’s still a massive networking event, it’s still massive in terms of like-minded people who are in to technology and the amount of sales and business that’s done on the floor with, you know, captains of the industry and the folks who you’re working with on a business level, can’t be denied. That’s something you can’t overlook about NAB.

Larry Jordan: Another thought occurred to me, Michael, as I was listening to you. That is, if I do a pre-announcement before NAB and it catches the eye of somebody who says, hey, I’ve never heard of that company, but I like this product, it incenses them to come see their product at the booth. Whereas, if you announce everything on the first day of the show, we’ve already planned where we’re going to go and a lot of people may not show up, because they didn’t hear about it in time.

Michael Kammes: I think you’re completely right; I think there’s one augment to that. If they’re already going to the show and they hear about an announcement, they’re more apt to stop by your booth. If there’s one thing you run into a lot at NAB is, a lot of booths are very similar and a lot of them have very poor marketing and, you know, I’ve been in the business for a while and there are still booths that I walk up to and I say, I don’t know what you do. If I don’t know what you do in the first five seconds, just by your messaging, something’s wrong.

Larry Jordan: I do that to every booth, because, you know, there’s a point where I just can’t remember; there’s just too much stuff.

Michael Kammes: Am I talking to Michael Horton, or Larry Jordan?

Larry Jordan: I learned from Michael. What’s your thought on the Vizrt and the NewTek merger?

Michael Kammes: I absolutely love it, I think there are quite a few companies that are still in the hardware mode where, you know, we can sell servers and we can sell heavy iron. The companies that are really innovating or saying, look, we’re going to take a software approach and we’ll use commodity hardware; stuff that you can easily procure and I think NewTek was certainly making money selling their switchers and whatnot; but, obviously, the future of the company was NDI.

Michael Kammes: That’s something that Dr. Andrew Cross and everyone else at NewTek has been evangelizing for the past four or five years. I think when you get Vizrt and their stature in the industry, I think it gives extra credibility to what some may think is consumer grade technology of NewTek. I think it gives credibility that it’s not consumer grade and that that’s the future and by putting the minds at NewTek with the minds at Vizrt and giving the big hardware guys a run for their money, I think is fantastic.

Larry Jordan: I’ll remind Ned that it’s not consumer grade stuff. Another thing you were writing about recently is the trend that you’re seeing toward open standards away from proprietary technology. What do you mean by that?

Michael Kammes: Well, since the dawn of media creation technology there’s always standards and there’s a reason for standards; so that everyone can have a like experience. But I think, that’s being peeled away.

Michael Kammes: If we go back to what I just talked about with NewTek and NDI, the SMPTE standard that was ratified for video over IP a few years ago, it’s uncompressed video, for lack of a better term and that’s not something that most consumers, or prosumers are going to be able to deal with and it’s not something that a lot of facilities are going to transition to, because of the expense.

Michael Kammes: But utilizing NDI, which gives you better than broadcast quality over consumer gear, is fantastic and the fact that that is not a standard in the traditional SMPTE sense is fantastic.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk about Bebop, but before I do, there was one other thing that you and I were chatting about before this segment started and that’s a shift that you’re seeing from network attached storage to storage attached to the network; from NAS to SAN. What do you mean?

Michael Kammes: Well, when we first started editing video on shared storage, inside your facility, a little bit after 2000, it was all SAN based or storage area network and SANs have always been the most reliable in terms of throughput and quality of service; they’ve just been rock solid. But there was always a price point attached to that and the protocols they used were proprietary. One shared storage system didn’t work exactly the same way as another shared storage system, another SAT.

Michael Kammes: Over the past several years, we’ve seen NASs, which were traditionally used for basic IT work and, you know, moving work documents around, now they’ve built on the faster Ethernet connections, like ten gig and 25 gig and 40 gig and we’re seeing a lot of shared storage manufacturers manufacture NASs; because they don’t have to have any special protocol. It uses what’s built into the computer. Also, we’re seeing a lot more of these solutions being pushed out there and actually being used for video, as opposed to being a, you know, distant second poor cousin of SAN.

Larry Jordan: Which also decreases the price, expands the market and makes it more accessible to everybody.

Michael Kammes: Completely, yes.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of access, that reminds me of Bebop and you guys living in the Cloud. What are you announcing at NAB? If you can, share all the secrets today.

Michael Kammes: You know, Bebop does not have a booth this year, because we’ve been invited to so many other booths. We’re going to have a presence in the Microsoft booth, the Google booth, the Amazon booth, I’ll be talking at the Frame.io booth; so we’re all over the place doing demos. There’s one potential big announcement but I am foreboden to say anything.

Larry Jordan: Oh Michael, Michael, Michael, it’s just you and me; nobody else is listening.

Michael Kammes: I want to, but I can’t. It was brought up earlier in the show about Cloud computing and Cloud editing and that’s certainly what Bebop does and we’ll do demos on the show floor about how it’s pretty inexpensive to get started editing with your video in the Cloud, using your favorite Windows editor.

Larry Jordan: Well, you know, I’m interested to hear the announcement and also interested to see a demo of Bebop. Because I’ve talked to you and I’ve talked to some of the executives at the company and I’ve got a picture in my head; but I have not actually seen it work. I’m looking forward to stopping by one of your booths and taking a look at it in operation.

Michael Kammes: In fact, I’ll even do a private demo for you Larry.

Larry Jordan: You are just amazing, truly amazing. Before we run out of time, what other thoughts come to mind, thinking about NAB coming on Monday?

Michael Kammes: Well, Avid is going to have a massive announcement; it will be a huge polarizing announcement and that’s all I can say. That’s going to be very interesting. I’m really interested to hear what the community thinks when that comes out. Obviously, the Adobe announcements were fantastic. We’ll see if Resolve does get Version 16; although they just released an update today.

Michael Kammes: What else? I’m also interested to see monitor. I’m interested to see where the cost is for 4K HDR monitors. Sony has always been the gold standard, but $30,000 for a monitor is not within the realm of reason for most people; so, I’m interested to see what else is going to be there this year.

Larry Jordan: I sure hope it comes down from 30,000; because, it’s a choice between buying the helicopter and buying a Sony monitor and, boy, that’s a hard one. I’m wrestling with that one.

Michael Kammes: You just have to put off that in ground pool you’re planning in your backyard until next year Larry.

Larry Jordan: A very expensive coy, truly. Well Michael, listen, we look forward to hearing more about what your thoughts are. For people that want to follow your writing and your thinking, first, where can they go for Bebop and where can they go for you?

Michael Kammes: Beboptechnology.com and then you can also check out michaelkammes.com.

Larry Jordan: That website for Bebop is all one word, beboptechnology.com and Michael Kammes is being modest, because he’s also got a series on the web that’s worth mentioning. Michael, what’s that?

Michael Kammes: That’s 5thingsseries.com.

Larry Jordan: So michaelkammes.com and the number 5thingsseries.com and Michael is the voice you’ve been listening to. Michael, thanks for joining us today. Have a safe trip and I’ll see you in Las Vegas.

Michael Kammes: Indeed you will Larry. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking, one of the reasons I enjoy walking the halls of NAB is discovering what I don’t know. It’s easy visiting the companies you know about, it’s like meeting old friends and catching up on the latest news. But it’s the companies I haven’t heard about, or heard their name without understanding what they do that are the most interesting. For example, Vizrt is a company that I’ve heard about for years, but I couldn’t pass a test on what they do. Now that they’ve acquired NewTek, I need to find out more.

Larry Jordan: That’s just one example of a long-establishing company that is focused on a different part of the market than the one that I cover. Then there are smaller companies. Smaller companies often are the lifeblood of innovation, coming up with great new ideas and hopes of either growing, or being acquired and adding their technology to how we create media today.

Larry Jordan: This is one of our goals in inviting companies to join us for our NAB show coverage on The Buzz. There are more than 1700 exhibitors at NAB and we’re talking with 108 of them; which means, we need to select who to invite based upon their relevance to independent filmmakers; or their reputation in the industry; or because they’re new and deserve a larger audience. Our goal is to balance all three of these in the guests that we invite.

Larry Jordan: You can see our entire guest list at nabshowbuzz.com and I invite you to join us starting Monday morning, April 11th, at 11am. You can stream the show live from nabshowbuzz.com, or listen later via iTunes, or the Digital Production website, or nabshowbuzz.com. Even better, stop by our booth and say hello. We’re in the South Lower Hall, Booth 10527. I’d love to say hello and I’ll talk to you again on Monday. Just something I’m thinking about.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week. Mike Horton, Producer of Faster Together; Ned Soltz with Red Shark News; Philip Hodgetts with Lumberjack System; Michael Kammes with Bebop Technology and James DeRuvo with doddlenews.com. There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online and all available to you today.

Larry Jordan: Remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Saturday morning. Talk with us on Twitter @dpbuzz and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner; with additional music provided by smartsound.com. 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 – April 4, 2019

On the Buzz tonight, we talk with several of our regular correspondents about their expectations for new trends and technology in production and post at the 2019 NAB Show.

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

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Michael Horton, Ned Soltz, Philip Hodgetts, Michael Kammes and James DeRuvo.

  • Introducing: “Faster Together!”
  • NAB Preview: Focus on Performance
  • NAB Preview: Technology Trends
  • NAB Preview: Production Technology
  • The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

View Show Transcript

Listen to the Full Episode

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

Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week


Introducing: “Faster Together!”

Michael Horton
Michael Horton, Head Cutter, LACPUG
Mike Horton returns with news of his newest event at NAB: “Faster Together.” Co-produced with LumaForge, Mike explains what happened to the SuperMeet, why he created “Faster Together” and who will be appearing at it.


NAB Preview: Focus on Performance

Ned Soltz
Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Red Shark News, Ned Soltz Inc.
Ned Soltz, contributing editor for Red Shark News, shares his thoughts on new trends and technology for production that he expects to hear more about next week at the 2019 NAB Show.


NAB Preview: Technology Trends

Philip Hodgetts
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Lumberjack System, shares his thoughts on new trends and technology that he expects to hear more about next week at the 2019 NAB Show.


NAB Preview: Production Technology

Michael Kammes
Michael Kammes, Director of Business Development, BeBop Technology/Creator, 5 THINGS series
Michael Kammes, director of business development for Bebop Technology, shares his thoughts on new workflow and software trends and technology that he expects to hear more about next week at the 2019 NAB Show.


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 – March 28, 2019

HOST

Larry Jordan

GUESTS

Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter

Dan Judy, Senior Colorist, DigitalFilm Tree

Todd Krautkremer, CMO, Cradlepoint

Jack Gill, Action Designer/Action Director, Stunts Unlimited

James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS

==

Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Buzz, we cover a wide range of subjects; from breaking news, to NAB. We start with Jonathan Handel, Entertainment Labor Reporter for the Hollywood Reporter. Jonathan has an update on the Writer’s Guild’s efforts to remake their entire industry and crunch time is less than ten days away.

Larry Jordan: Dan Judy is Senior Colorist for Digital Film Tree. He’s giving a presentation at NAB on his collaboration and color workflow for ‘The 100’ using DaVinci Resolve. Tonight, we learn why he thinks Resolve is such a powerful tool.

Larry Jordan: Todd Krautkremer is the Chief Marketing Officer for Cradlepoint. 5G is coming and, when it does, it has the potential to remake wireless communication as we know it. Tonight, Todd describes what they do and what’s coming.

Larry Jordan: Jack Gill is an Action Designer and Action Director and former President of Stunts Unlimited. He talks with us about the difference between a professional stunt person and a crazed idiot.

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.

Larry Jordan: Hello, my name is Larry Jordan. Most of the time, we try to plan our shows so that they have a theme; where the guests explain different aspects of a complex subject. But sometimes there’s just so much cool stuff happening, that we can’t get it all focused in one idea. That’s tonight.

Larry Jordan: While all our guests are interesting, the one issue that is deeply worrying Hollywood is the direct conflict between the Writer’s Guild and talent agents. This has the potential to disrupt every professionally scripted show in the US and beyond. Jonathan Handel has been following this closely for the Hollywood Reporter and brings us an update on the latest tonight. He follows immediately after the doddleNEWS update.

Larry Jordan: By the way, if you enjoy The Buzz, please give us a positive rating and review on the iTunes store. We appreciate your support, to help us grow our audience. Now it’s time for our weekly doddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hello Larry. One week from NAB and we’re starting to get some big news.

Larry Jordan: Oh my goodness, there is all kinds of stuff happening. My press release meter is just bouncing on overload.

James DeRuvo: My mailbox is blowing up; it was like, what do I talk about? Let’s talk about the big news. Wait, for it, ARRI announced another camera.

Larry Jordan: No.

James DeRuvo: Large format Alexa Mini. Large format Alexa LF sensor, packed into a tiny Alexa mini body, with the highest dynamic range of any production camera on the market; though ARRI stopped short of telling us how many stops it will be. 4.5K HDR image sensor with improved lossless ARRI RAW that has 40% smaller file sizes and three internal FSND motorized filters, an HD viewfinder and one terabyte codecs with hard drives.

Larry Jordan: James, another Alexa?

James DeRuvo: I know. You know, creating another Alexa shows why ARRI continues to dominate the industry; especially during award seasons. For, like, the last five years, almost every movie that was nominated for an Academy Award was shot on an Alexa. There’s now practically a different ARRI for every single use in shooting and the smaller form factor of this large format camera is bound to get great use; especially for commercials, where it has up to 120 frames per second, shooting speed and for independent projects. It’s pretty crazy.

Larry Jordan: Okay, ARRI’s the lead story, what’s our second story?

James DeRuvo: Well Small HD is updating its monitors with Teradek; to give users a lens data overlay on the monitor itself. OS 3.4.0 will open up the monitor interface, to take in lens data that will be wirelessly transmitted from the Teradek RT wireless follow focus controller. This will enable an Assistant Cameraman to pull focus with mathematical precision.

James DeRuvo: It’s supported by current Small HD monitors; including the Focus Line 700 series, 500 series, any monitor that you can use on the Bolt wireless system. But Legacy monitors and the DP line and older are not included.

Larry Jordan: What’s your take on this?

James DeRuvo: Well, this is a great feature for Small HD users; because, as it stated, you’ll be able to literally pull focus like you’re looking at the lens as you do it; even if you’re, you know, 50 feet away. But there is a catch and that catch is, first you need to update both your Small HD monitor and the Teradek RT wireless follow focus controller with the firmware update; but the real kicker is, to enable this feature, you need to pay $1,000 license fee. When you consider the cost of the Teradek RT controller is only $14.99, that’s a pretty steep upgrade.

Larry Jordan: Wait a minute, $1,000 upgrade fee? Why so much?

James DeRuvo: Look at it this way Larry, you know, this is the reason why we can write stuff off on our taxes. I know, it’s a lot of money.

Larry Jordan: James, what’s your third story this week?

James DeRuvo: Frame IO has put out a new update that will make collaboration easier with ten new features. Amongst these new features include better control over versioning; private comments that only your team can see; you can use @mentions to tag specific team members and there’s an improved real player. Users can also archive older projects and still comment on them.

Larry Jordan: What’s your thinking on Frame IO?

James DeRuvo: Frame IO is setting the standard for not only online security, but in making that online collaboration as efficient as possible. As it continues to evolve and as we continue to move into the Cloud with all of our projects, their trailblazing is really establishing the standard for collaborating in the Cloud and it’s exciting to see.

Larry Jordan: Okay, well we’ve had ARRI and we’ve had Small HD and we’ve had Frame IO, what other stories are you and your team following this week?

James DeRuvo: Other stories we’re following including the Telly Awards extends their submissions to April 5th; Pond 5 is opening up even more RED footage; with 2K through 8K video footage that you can select. I build my own camera cage out of a fruit slicer and what are the nine things that you absolutely need in your film kit, if you’re a beginning filmmaker.

Larry Jordan: Interesting. Where can we go on the web to learn more about these and the other stories you’re covering?

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

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

James DeRuvo: See you next Thursday.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is the Contributing Editor on Entertainment Labor issues for the Hollywood Reporter and covering the ongoing dispute between the Writer’s Guild and talent agencies. Hello Jonathan, welcome back.

Jonathan Handel: Larry, it’s a pleasure to be back.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, we last spoke three weeks ago, discussing the Writer’s Guild attempts to rein in what they see as runaway packaging and affiliate production fees. Since then, a lot has occurred. Bring us up-to-date.

Jonathan Handel: Every day feels like I’ve been hit by a steamroller, honestly. There is so much going on, that it’s a little bit like Groundhog Day, crossed with what some people, at least, are calling Brexit. There’s a strong feeling among people outside of the writer community that the writers are dramatically shooting themselves in the foot.

Jonathan Handel: The writers are most likely going to be ordered by the Writer’s Guild on April 7th to fire their agents on mass; assuming that, first of all a vote that is going on now, among the Writer’s Guild membership, authorizes that and that vote is going to authorize that as we know the results and these are pre-ordained; and assuming that there isn’t a negotiated solution before that, between the two sides.

Jonathan Handel: There is highly unlikely to be a negotiated solution, because what the Writer’s Guild wants is to end two practices; affiliate production and packaging fees. Those are two practices that are integral to the large agencies in particular. The agencies have no intention on compromising on that. Typically, when a writer comes to this town, besides questions about, you know, how do I format a screenplay and how do I write a good one, the most desperate question writers typically ask is, how do I find an agent?

Jonathan Handel: The question now that’s on writers’ minds is, how do I fire my agent and it looks like that’s what they’re going to be doing.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, let’s back up a step and define two terms. What are packaging fees and affiliate production?

Jonathan Handel: Packaging fees are fees that the studio pays to the talent agency, instead of the talent agency taking a ten percent commission on its clients. People think of talent agencies as taking a commission; but, in fact, in many, many instances what they do is, they’re paid by the studios. The agencies say that that saves money for the clients; the Writer’s Guild says it’s a conflict of interest; it’s a practice that’s existed for many decades.

Jonathan Handel: Affiliate production is much newer. These are separate companies that are corporate brothers and sisters of the talent agencies; that are owned by the same parent companies, that actually act as mini studios or production companies. Instead of taking a project out to a studio, the agency can actually take the project out to a company that it is related to.

Jonathan Handel: The agency say this brings more buyers into the market and they’ll be transparent with the clients about what’s going on and the deals are actually better for the clients; the Writer’s Guild says, that’s a conflict of interest. Your agent is also now acting as your employer.

Larry Jordan: I’m confused. Why are the talent agencies so reluctant to agree to this? If all their writers leave April 7th, they’ve got nobody to package or affiliate produce.

Jonathan Handel: Both of these practices bring in a lot of money for the agencies; packaging fees. The money is declining perhaps as business models change with the digital streamers; but affiliate production, in other words, becoming a media company yourself, William Morris, WME no longer being a talent agency but, in fact, mutating and evolving into a content company, they see that as the future and that was the basis, really, for a lot of private equity investment that the top three talent agencies took in, in the last ten years or so.

Jonathan Handel: They’re very wetted to these business models, they feel that they will survive; that writers will not fire them, perhaps, in their producing, or directing capacity; that they’ll have other ways of interacting with writers as production companies and that they’ve got existing deals that already are subject to package fees and those don’t get terminated if the writer leaves and they’ll be able to do it.

Larry Jordan: You mentioned, this week you feel like you’ve been hit by a steamroller. What’s the latest news?

Jonathan Handel: It’s a little hard to sort through. As I alluded to, currently the writers are voting on whether to impose a code of conduct that would ban packaging fees and affiliate production. That vote runs through Sunday; it’s a five day vote. They’re going to get their vote probably in very high percentages; that’s usually the case and the writers do seem, by and large, very united.

Jonathan Handel: Then you’ve got a week where there may be some more negotiation; but most observers don’t expect a deal and then, April 7th, the writers would be ordered to fire any agent that has not signed on to the code of conduct.

Jonathan Handel: There are some agencies that have, but only smaller ones, by and large, to our knowledge and not necessarily agencies that have to stand up to a big digital streamer, you know, or Disney-Fox, a large media conglomerate. That’s one of the questions, have these agencies gotten too big for their breaches; or is that exactly what you need in a world of media companies that have gotten so big?

Larry Jordan: What’s been happening this week? I’ve been reading a lot of articles in the LA Times about writers supporting, or not supporting the position. Are you sensing any kind of a groundswell outside of the writers and talent agencies themselves?

Jonathan Handel: Certainly the Entertainment Attorneys, for example, are very concerned about what’s going on; they feel that they’re going to lose some of the ability to negotiate on behalf of writers; they’re going to lose some leverage if the agents are disempowered. To the extent, there’s a groundswell within the writers, it does seem to be that the writers are united.

Jonathan Handel: Managers are very interested in what’s going on; because managers have been performing agent like functions, to some extent, in violation of state law and they’ve been doing producing for a number of years. This is probably going to down to the benefit of the management community.

Larry Jordan: What do you see as the impact of the industry come April 7th, when contracts expire and this new system takes over?

Jonathan Handel: I think it’s going to be chaotic. I think there’s going to be litigation; the writers are going to sue the agencies, most likely and the agencies are going to sue the Writer’s Guild. Lawsuits in both directions. I asked the head of a significant production company/almost a mini studio really just this morning, how are you going to make movies and television programs without writers having, you know, clear channels to be evaluated and submit material and all that? He just looked at me in bewilderment and said, “I have no idea.” There’s an enormous amount of uncertainty as to what’s going to happen.

Jonathan Handel: April is staffing season; the season when broadcast television programs hire writers for their writers rooms and get them on board, so they can start writing for the Fall season. That normally is a process where agents interact very closely with writers and with showrunners; the writers who run the shows.

Jonathan Handel: The Writer’s Guild is attempting to put together a patchwork of an online system that people would be able to submit, to substitute for that and says, look, if you have a manager, if you have a lawyer, a network with other writers, use our online system and, somehow, we’ll muddle through it. No-one really knows how this is going to work out.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, for people who want to follow this issue and cue track your writing, where can they go on the web?

Jonathan Handel: thrlabor.com redirects to our labor page and you can learn more about me at jhandel.com.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is the Contributing Editor for entertainment labor for the Hollywood Reporter. That website is thrlabor.com. Jonathan, thanks for joining us today; I hope you get a chance to get some sleep in the near future.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks Larry.

Male Voiceover: Join the Digital Production Buzz at the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Starting Monday April 8th, Larry Jordan and The Buzz team are taking their microphones on the road, to cover the latest news and trends from the largest media show in the world. Every hour of every day, The Buzz is live on the tradeshow floor; creating 27 new shows in four days; more than 100 interviews with key industry leaders.

Male Voiceover: The Buzz has webcast directly from NAB for 11 years, with legendary coverage that’s heard in more than 195 countries around the world. If you’re attending the show, visit us at booth SL10527 and say hello; or join us live every day of the show at nabshowbuzz.com. Join us as The Buzz covers NAB 2019, live at nabshowbuzz.com.

Larry Jordan: As part of our NAB Insight series, I want to introduce Dan Judy. He’s a Senior Colorist at Digital Film Tree. His work spans a wide range of fantasy projects from his early career on shows like ‘Swamp Thing’ and ‘Smallville’, to his more recent work on ‘The Last Man on Earth’ and ‘The 100’; which is on the CW. Hello Dan, welcome.

Dan Judy: How are you?

Larry Jordan: I’m doing great. How would you describe what you do?

Dan Judy: As a Colorist, I’m tasked with the aspect of trying to put on the screen what people have in their mind; so they have an idea of what it should look like and their designs in mind and a lot of times, when it comes time to come into my room and sit down with me, they want me to either elaborate on a look they’ve already had in mind, or they want to develop something new. I’m there to take whatever it is that their mind has envisioned and try and put it up, so that they can see it and so that everybody else can see it.

Larry Jordan: What was it that first got you interested in playing with color?

Dan Judy: Probably crayons a long time ago. I started off in Florida at a company called Century Three; many, many years ago. It had peaked my interest. I was in the Master’s Program at Central Florida and they had this internship and out of 17 interns I was offered a job, just as a PA, and they let me meld into the company. I really wanted to be in visual effects early on; but then when I saw color, because with color you get to play back a whole slew of images, as opposed to, like, one or two a day. It’s a little more rewarding and it was a pretty big challenge to try and see if I could take something on film and make it look good.

Larry Jordan: You’ve obviously succeeded, because NAB has invited you to give a talk this year at the NAB Show. What are you going to be talking about?

Dan Judy: Primarily it’s going to be about the show ‘The 100.’ Our integration of ‘The 100’ using Resolve; playing with all the aspects of post, but doing it in a remote environment, a collaborate environment and regular post-production.

Larry Jordan: What is it that makes DaVinci Resolve so compelling?

Dan Judy: I just think it’s probably the most diverse tool out there; the ability to sit here in Universal City and be able to do a collaborative, creative process to people across the globe, or across town; being able to do it remotely. The ability to edit the show, color the show, do visual effects on the show and deliver the show, all while staying in the same project is a fantastic way to be able to work.

Larry Jordan: You’ve used the word collaborative and remote a couple of times, what do those terms mean to you? What are the people outside of your room doing?

Dan Judy: There’s a couple of ways to look at collaboration. Internally, we collaborate by the ability to be doing visual effects, or show drop ins, or titles and while that editor is sitting down with the project open, we can be in collaboration and I can be color correcting those shots as they’re getting dropped in, in a completely different bay. The client gets to see the results almost instantaneously. What seems like mere seconds later, they’re looking at a color corrected final look on a shot that just got dropped in.

Larry Jordan: What you’re saying is, the editor could be editing a scene and you could be color correcting, or color grading the same scene at the same time?

Dan Judy: Absolutely. We do that all the time. We’ve done it where we’ve had as many as two colorists, an editor and a visual effects artist on the same project, at the exact same time.

Larry Jordan: Where’s the media stored, that allows you to be able to manipulate this?

Dan Judy: It’s on a central SAN; so we have a central storage that has all the media stored on it and then we utilize Resolve’s shared database. The database allows me to log into the project and as long as the project is turned on in collaboration, or collaborative mode, the editor can log in. We don’t have to log in at the same time; I could start an hour later, I could start five minutes later and anybody else can join in, that needs to join in. If somebody were doing audio, there’s an audio tool in Resolve; so, if we did audio, you could do that as well.

Larry Jordan: How does the client view your work?

Dan Judy: Favorably I hope. You know, they can come into color, but we have a calibrated monitor that’s calibrated to our bays; so that when you’re in an edit suite, or another suite in the building, you’re looking at the same image. You know, they can look at it in there, but if they want to truly see it in a true color correction environment, they can walk down the hall and see it.

Dan Judy: A lot of times, they trust me to know that, if it looks as good as it looks in the edit suite, while they’re looking at it on a calibrated monitor, they’re fairly confident that, if they’re pressed for time, they’ll trust me to make sure that, in my environment, it’s also looking good.

Dan Judy: It’s within an eyelash between the bays and then, if they really are concerned and, you know, want to come in and just be certain that they’re seeing it right, they’re welcome to walk in.

Larry Jordan: What’s your goal in giving the talk? What do you hope to accomplish?

Dan Judy: Moving forward in the industry, there’s so much new technology happening daily almost and in the other aspect you brought up a little bit ago, remote. The other aspect of working collaboratively, in the creative sense, with my producers is, I have a producer sitting down in Santa Monica, or down in Newport Beach and they have a calibrated system in their areas as well, I can Team Viewer in; we can sit down and we can go over shots and the ability to be able to do that while I sit here in University City.

Dan Judy: I’ve done remotes to Portugal, to Vancouver, New York, Atlanta, places like that; so, I think the development of a guy like me and other people out there, that have hopefully garnered years of experience and people want to work with you, it’s the ability to be able to work with me no matter where you’re at in the world.

Dan Judy: What Resolve ushers in is that transition of being in a single location and always having to go to that location, or wait to get a file or whatever, as opposed to being able to see it in a very expedient and efficient manner.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like a fantastic talk. For people that want to be able to learn more about what you’re doing, have you work on their next project, or sign up for your talk, where can they go on the web?

Dan Judy: You can go to our website, which is www.digitalfilmtree.com. We also have Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts; which are all Digital Film Tree. Just type in Digital Film Tree and it’ll take you to those spots. That’s pretty much it.

Larry Jordan: That website is all one word, digitalfilmtree.com and Dan Judy is the Senior Color at Digital Film Tree. Dan, thanks for sharing your time today.

Dan Judy: Much appreciated Larry, thank you.

Larry Jordan: Todd Krautkremer is the Chief Marketing Officer at Cradlepoint. This is a company that provides Cloud delivered 4G LTE network solutions for business service providers and government organizations. Hello Todd, welcome.

Todd Krautkremer: Hello Larry, great to talk to you today.

Larry Jordan: I’m really glad to spend time with you, because Cradlepoint’s a company I don’t know anything about and I’m looking forward to our conversation and, in fact, I read your introduction, but I don’t understand it. What does Cradlepoint do?

Todd Krautkremer: Well, I can really put it in a way that everybody can relate to; because, chances are, those listeners that have found their way to work this morning have come in contact with Cradlepoint in some way, shape, or form.

Todd Krautkremer: Let me give you some examples. If you stopped at Starbucks on your way to work this morning, what keeps the Starbucks cash register constantly flowing is the fact they have Cradlepoint there, sitting ready the moment that wired connection to the store fails, to connect the store over the cellular network. Just like you and use our cell phones, it’s also great for connecting businesses and business connections.

Todd Krautkremer: McDonald’s, we do the same thing. If you rent CDs from a Redbox, as you drive up to the lake, or on vacation, so you can entertain your kids on the long drive, those are all connected over the cellular network via Cradlepoint.

Larry Jordan: We’re used to thinking of backup power, what you have is backup internet?

Todd Krautkremer: Well, that’s one of our major use cases; but what’s starting to happen is that, it’s not just for backup anymore. Let me give you another great example. You know, with the huge disasters that we’ve all witnessed in Katrina and, of course, what’s happened in Houston and these other super storms, a lot of our work and activity is literally underwater and people are finding that they can connect their businesses over the cellular network with greater reliability and, in many instances, greater speed, than over wired connections.

Todd Krautkremer: We’re at that point where there is a little bit of a switch going on as the world moves to more of a wireless future. So, yes, backup today is a great way of thinking about it, but in the future, it’s starting to become the primary way we connect. Not unlike our cell phones.

Larry Jordan: I was on the Cradlepoint website in preparation for talking to you and you make a big distinction about Edge computing. What is Edge computing?

Todd Krautkremer: It’s really the next step in Cloud computing. I suspect most people, by now, understand what Cloud computing is. What Edge computing is all about is the recognition that we need intelligence and computing power in more places other than the center of the internet. We need it closer to the Edge if we want our applications and our data to be faster. If we want to reduce the amount of bandwidth that we need to connect to the Cloud, we need to move some of that computing power to the Edge. This is becoming almost a staple within the IOT world, as we start to get applications like facial recognition.

Todd Krautkremer: Perhaps, you know, we’ve already started to run into those applications, I know I’ve certainly seen them every time I go through the clear line at the airport, they use my retinal scan as a way of authenticating me. But as you do more of that intensive type of processing, it’s pretty clear we can’t drag all those bits back and forth to the Cloud very responsibly and very cost-effectively; so we need to move more of that intelligence to the Edge. That’s effectively what Edge computing is.

Larry Jordan: You’ve talked about several of your typical customers, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks; but how are you relevant in media?

Todd Krautkremer: The game of media has changed quite dramatically over the last 15-20 years. Today, any sports game you watch, we all enjoy the benefits of the technology that exists on the field. To see markers on the field where the first down marker is; to get all the different views from the cameras hovering above; to hear all of the different perspectives being provided; to get all the stats seemingly in the right mouse at the right time. Well, all of that rich experience comes from connectivity; from being connected to data sources, from being connected back to the broadcast studios.

Todd Krautkremer: Today, to put on a show, a sports show is a good way of thinking about it, since it’s all around us, the internet is really a necessity; internet connectivity and connectivity from that site to all of these different destinations, in order to produce the show. A first order challenge for those organizations that travel from stadium to stadium and venue to venue and put on these shows is, how do I get fast and reliable connectivity that doesn’t cost me a fortune?

Todd Krautkremer: We talked about in our opening comments Larry, wireless is moving from kind of being this fail over scenario; it’s the connectivity of last resort, to now becoming the connectivity of first resort and that’s because it’s simple. You show up on a site anywhere, you know that Wi-Fi may be sketchy, you probably won’t be able to get an Ethernet connection; but, if you can make a call on your phone, you know you’ve got an LTE connection and as that becomes faster and faster, as that becomes a reality across the United States, wireless will become the first choice; not the last choice.

Larry Jordan: Where does Cradlepoint fit into all this? Am I getting services from you, or am I getting hardware? What am I getting when I work with you?

Todd Krautkremer: Of course, we don’t provide the cellular network, that’s Horizon and AT&T and T-Mobile and Sprint. They’ve invested billions of dollars to build a reliable, far-reaching infrastructure that’s getting faster and faster. What we provide is, think of it as, today, if you’re making a cellular call, what do you need? You need a subscription plan from one of the major carriers and you need a cell phone; you need both of those things. When you have both of those things, you can browse the internet and you can make a call. Well we fit exactly the same bay in a business context.

Todd Krautkremer: If you want to connect over wireless to the internet, to your back office, you need a carrier and a data plan; but you then need an Edge device; a wireless router if you will, that allows you to connect your PCs, your terminals, your cameras, your devices at a particular site, to that wireless connection, to be able to communicate over cellular. We become the equivalent of the phone for connecting all of your computer terminals and tablets and devices at a particular site. Does that make sense?

Larry Jordan: It does. What you would do is, you would be in the closet with our switch and our router and our normal internet connection and there would be a port off the switch that connects to you. Rather than having a lot of wired LAN, I’d be able to go wireless over your equipment.

Todd Krautkremer: You’ve got it. Exactly right Larry.

Larry Jordan: Todd, you’ve talked a lot about today’s technology, where’s wireless going?

Todd Krautkremer: Well, I’m glad you asked Larry, because it’s going somewhere very, very fast. I suspect a lot of listeners today have heard about the term 5G. At the Super Bowl there were some ads about 5G from the major carriers, it’s really the next best thing. A simple way to think about 5G is, it is as big a change in terms of capabilities as the internet was over a decade ago. It’s a big deal.

Larry Jordan: How so?

Todd Krautkremer: Well, what it means is that, you’ll be able to connect faster over wireless than you will in many instances over wired; you’ll be able to connect with less delay and latency, so this ability now to make Edge computing pervasive is possible; you’ll be able to connect a massive number of things that are almost unimaginable today.

Todd Krautkremer: Every car going down the road in the future will be communicating in real time; as a way of driving more autonomy and more security. You’ll have, literally, billions and billions of things, sensors and cameras and all sorts of different IOT devices connected over cellular networks.

Todd Krautkremer: To accommodate this massive number of connections and to do it at faster speeds and to provide greater efficiency for the carriers; so that they can have a spectrum of pricing that fits these different use cases, they need to make a quantum leap in the technology to power cellular networks and that quantum leap is called 5G.

Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about the services that Cradlepoint provides, where can they go on the web?

Todd Krautkremer: The best place to go, of course, is www.cradlepoint.com. The information that people need to know about what we do and, more importantly, about all of the different use cases and customers that we support and provide connectivity for, it’s all on there and some really great use cases. Including, by the way, a use case about Fox Sports; which is the example I gave when I was talking about why is this technology relevant for the media world.

Larry Jordan: That website is cradlepoint.com and Todd Krautkremer  Is the Chief Marketing Officer at Cradlepoint. Todd, thanks for joining us today.

Todd Krautkremer: You bet. Thank you so much for having me on your show.

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

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

Larry Jordan: Jack Gill is an Action Designer, Action Director and Stunt Coordinator. He has created some of the movie industry’s most memorable action sequences; for example, in ‘Jumanji,’ ‘Furious Seven’ and the ‘Fate of the Furious,’ ‘Ride Along’ and ‘Ride Along Two’; ‘Fast Five’ and many more. Jack is a past President of Stunts Unlimited; a member of the Director’s Guild of America; the Screen Actor’s Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been nominated and won many stunt awards over the past years. Hello Jack, welcome.

Jack Gill: How are you Larry?

Larry Jordan: I am impressed with your résumé; that and the fact that you’re still breathing, I think, is also pretty much of a shock too.

Jack Gill: And I’m still walking around; so that’s good too.

Larry Jordan: How would you describe what you do in broad terms?

Jack Gill: Essentially, what we’re doing as stunt people is, we’re creating things that other people normally can’t do in a safe manner. We’re trying to give something that they’ve never seen before and what most people think is completely out of their minds and unsafe, we create a safe environment and get it done.

Larry Jordan: Well that gets me to my most important question. I look at the images on your website of what stunt people do and I think, these people are crazy. What’s the difference between creating a stunt and doing something stupid?

Jack Gill: A lot of people have that feeling when they first see it and not to say that that changes at all; because, every single conversation we have, you know, they say, there’s just no way we can do this. But what you do is, you break it down into pieces. Once you break it down into pieces and you figure out how to do it safely and that’s how you get by.

Larry Jordan: What does safely mean to you?

Jack Gill: We’re trying to protect the stunt people, number one; because that’s where we have to start the whole process. We have to start rehearsing it without anybody around. Then we’ve got to try to protect the crew, the actors, the director, the producers; everybody that’s around it, we have to then protect as well. That’s where it becomes a little more difficult; because now you’re dealing with 300-400 people on the crew and when you’ve got cars racing through the streets and crashing, you know, it’s a big job.

Jack Gill: It’s not something to be taken lightly and it’s something that you include everybody involved; so that you can get input from every single person that’s there on the action sequence.

Larry Jordan: Every stunt is different, whether you’re falling off a building; or racing motorcycles, or crashing a car; but when  do you want to get involved in the planning of a stunt?

Jack Gill: The planning of it comes way before we ever even get out there on the set and usually, on a feature film, that’s a couple of months ahead of time. You have talked about in, you know, in a board room over amongst maybe five to ten people and then you’ve discussed it with your stunt team and then you go out and you rehearse it in a parking lot; until you’ve got it where you can do it three or four times successfully. Then you say, okay, we’ve got the kinks worked out, let’s now work the actor into it.

Jack Gill: Then you have the actor for a couple of weeks and you work the actor into the pieces that you believe the actor can do safely and do, you know, multiple times; not just once. Once you’ve figured that off, then you take it to the set and you figure out how to do it in front of cameras and where to set these cameras. There’s a lot that goes into this, but it is a process.

Larry Jordan: Wait a minute. If you’re crashing cars, or sliding a motorcycle across pavement, you can’t keep crashing cars over and over and over in rehearsal; what are you actually rehearsing?

Jack Gill: We’re actually rehearsing crashing cars and sliding motorcycles. On ‘Fast and Furious’ we’re actually doing that. We take junk cars that we buy for 500 bucks and we come in there and we do the actual crash; so we see what’s going to happen and where the pieces are going to fly.

Jack Gill: Even though it’s a little different every time, we still rehearse the actual stunt. Now, if it’s something that’s really, really big, that you just can’t rehearse; that costs maybe a couple of hundred thousand dollars to do, sure, I get your point, you can’t rehearse all of that and then it’s an accurate guess as to what’s going to happen.

Larry Jordan: I could talk about how stunts are creating forever with you, because it’s such an alien territory for me. But I want to talk from a filmmaking point of view. Your title is Action Designer, Action Director; where did these come from and what do they mean?

Jack Gill: Well, they started out, essentially, back years and years ago; you know, 20 years ago we were called Stunt Coordinators and Second Unit Director; which meant a Stunt Coordinator pretty much brings all the stunt people onto the set and then somebody else would say, here’s what they do. This guy’s going to fall off a hose; this guy is going to get shot off the top of a building and fall onto a mat. Second Unit Directors were essentially  guys who came in and shot a car that drives by a building, or a placard on a guy’s desk, or a door opening and closing.

Jack Gill: Now, over the years, it has become much more. A Stunt Coordinator has become an Action Designer and an Action Designer pretty much designs every piece of the action sequence; from its inception of trying to figure out what it is, to its actual completion at the end of the movie and then, sometimes, you’re even hired once the movie’s completely over, to figure out what you do to pick up all the little pieces, to make the movie even better.

Jack Gill: Action Designer has become a lot like a Production Designer in the art world, is that, they come in there and do everything from top to bottom and have a crew. An Action Designer in our business has a crew of stunt people or, you know, the action industry. A Second Unit Director, on the other end, is the guy that films all of the action.

Jack Gill: Second Unit just didn’t really describe what a Second Unit Director did; so Action Director pretty much describes that he designs all of the action, he goes in there with the Action Designer and figures out where the cameras go and how to film each and every aspect of it.

Jack Gill: Those two terms, from Stunt Coordinator, became Action Designer and Second Unit Director morphed into, you know, Action Director. They are new terms that we are using now to more aptly describe the industry.

Larry Jordan: What’s the relationship then between the Director and the Action Designer, or the Action Director?

Jack Gill: Very, very close; I mean, they worked hand-in-hand; usually are working every single day together, to try and figure it all out. Because, you know, an Action Designer can design an incredibly exciting piece, but then when you talk to the Action Director, he has to figure out how to shoot it and sometimes he does have to break it into pieces. Then you go hand-in-hand and sit down on a table with a model and you figure out which piece you’ve going to shoot first, where all the cameras go, where the crew goes, how much the actor’s going to do.

Jack Gill: You know, there’s a lot that goes into it and that’s what I think most people don’t’ really understand is that, you don’t really shoot these things all in one piece; even though, when you’re seeing it in the movie theater, it feels like one piece. That’s what we’re trying to convey. We’re trying to keep the movie audience goers to feel like there are part of this sequence; so if they are in the car, or jumping off the building, or lit on fire, they’re really part of the movie. That’s what we’re trying to do.

Larry Jordan: Jack, you’ve mentioned the Academy wanting to change the name to Action Designer and Action Director, why have there not been any awards for stunts?

Jack Gill: That’s a great question and the problem I’ve had is for 29 years, we have been asking the Oscars for an action category and they have shut us out every single year. I wish I could give you an answer to that Larry, but for some reasons they have a deep-seated problem with bringing in an action category; even though I think it would bring their ratings up. Maybe we just need the public to get involved and to try and convince the Academy that we need an action Oscar.

Larry Jordan: One of the things about being a stunt person is staying in shape. I was curious, when you’re training, what’s the most important part? Is it working on your strength, working on flexibility, working on stamina? What makes a good stunt person physically?

Jack Gill: I think you do have to stay fit the entire time you’re trying to do stunts because,  you know, there are so many avenues that the stunt world can go into. Sometimes you’re doing horse pictures, sometimes you’re doing car pictures, sometimes it’s all high falls; you can’t ever tell which way it’s going to turn. As a stunt person, you have to be completely fit in all avenues; so you’re continually training in almost every aspect of the stunt business.

Jack Gill: What’s always very exciting is what you’re doing week in and week out; but if you don’t stay fit you’re going to get hurt and that’s the problem. You’re trying to continually not get hurt. That’s not to say it’s not going to happen, because the business has gotten inherently safer than it was when I first started. But that’s the thing you’re trying not to do, you’re trying not to get hurt; because, once you get hurt, you’re out of the business and people forget about you pretty quickly.

Larry Jordan: Let’s flip the same question. When you’re training, what’s the most important mental aspect of the job?

Jack Gill: That’s a great question because, the mental aspect of it is just as important as the physical aspect of it; because there are lots of stunt people who are extremely fit and extremely athletic and you think these guys are going to be fantastic in our business and then you find out they don’t have the mental capacity to understand it. Either they don’t have commonsense, which has a lot to do with it, or they can’t think on their feet quickly.

Jack Gill: If you can’t think on your feet quickly, you’re going to have a real problem in this business; because things go wrong and when things go wrong, you have to understand what you’re going to do when those things go wrong and make the right choice. Some people can’t do that, some people freak out and just break down and can’t make an adjustment.

Jack Gill: What makes a great stunt person is being able to make a great adjustment under fire and that’s where we see the really fantastic stun people shine is, when something has gone wrong and they still make the right choice to make it through whatever it is that they had to do to get through, without hurting anybody.

Larry Jordan: You mentioned earlier that you like to get actors involved as much as possible and as early as possible in creating a stunt. How do you decide how much dangerous stuff an actor can do?

Jack Gill: Well, I mean, you start from the inception understanding the actor and what they’ve done in the past. You know, if I don’t know the actor ahead of time, we’ll bring him on board and let him watch most of the rehearsal process, so he gets a feel for it and then, once he’s gotten a feel for it, we’ll bring him in very gingerly to start with. The last thing we want to do is even twist an ankle, or create a bruise; because actors are irreplaceable in the business.

Jack Gill: Once the action arranger has gotten a feel for what we can do, we take him in there and we say, let’s start you off with, you know, something small and you graduate from there to see how much they can do. But you never want to put him in a situation where there’s only a 50/50 chance he’s going to get through without getting hurt; because that would be asinine on, you know, the Stunt Designer; because you can’t afford to get an actor hurt. We put them in as many pieces that we can, to see that we can duplicate it as many times as possible.

Larry Jordan: If you’re talking to an audience of filmmakers, not stunt people, what would you tell a filmmaker are the key things to keep in mind when they’re thinking of doing stunts for a movie?

Jack Gill: Well, I mean, I think as a filmmaker, you have to understand that you need to listen to your Action Designer and to your Action Director and you need to look at a lot of the videos that they did beforehand; to show you the rehearsals. A lot of times, filmmakers can help you out. They can come in and say, well I see what you’re doing, you’re doing it in a lot bigger piece; I think I can put the actor in here.

Jack Gill: It’s great to get input from filmmakers, to find out what we can do to make our job easier, or to make it a better piece. There’s lots of input that really helps us in that situation; so it’s great to see the rehearsals ahead of time and then to expand on it and say, here’s what I think I can do to help.

Larry Jordan: How is CGI affecting the stunt industry?

Jack Gill: That’s a question that has come up quite a lot in the past. It used to be that we thought CGI was going to replace the stunt industry and the special effects industry. What we’ve found out is that, the viewing public, the audience members, are much more savvy than what the studios thought they were and that they can tell when things go completely into the CGI world. Once that happens you’ve lost your audience; they don’t really want to go see those movies time and time again.

Jack Gill: We went back to doing things live as much as possible, to try and do senior pan stunts and try and do everything as real as possible and use CGI as a partner; where they’ll replace backgrounds for us, so they’ll take cables out. But it has become a real close partnership with CGI in that, they’re allowing the action industry to do as much as possible live and then they will help us as much as they can. It’s become a really tight-knit partnership.

Larry Jordan: Jack, I could talk to you for hours, but because we have a limited amount of time, for someone that wants to hire you for their next gig, where can they go on the web?

Jack Gill: You can go to www.stuntsunlimited.com and you can find me there. They’ll hunt me down and, you know, I can do whatever you would like.

Larry Jordan: That website is all one word, stuntsunlimited and Jack Gill is an Action Designer and Action Director.  Jack, this has been fun, thank you for your time.

Jack Gill: Thank you Larry, I appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking, the annual NAB Show is a clear indication of the turbulent times we live in. It seems like we’re continuously buffeted by forces beyond our control; technological change, equipment obsolescence, financial pressures, increased competition and exploding distribution just to name a few. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

Larry Jordan: Next week, to help us get a head start on the changing landscape of technology, we present our annual look ahead at NAB. During next week’s show, we’ll chat with our regular contributors about what trends they expect to emerge out of this year’s show. The forces of change are not slowly down, if anything, they’re getting faster; which means that it’s almost impossible for one person to keep up with the industry. Rather than get overwhelmed and depressed, let’s focus instead on our unique gifts; telling stories with moving pictures.

Larry Jordan: I was talking with one of my students yesterday, who was trying to decide what to major in. I told her that, while it was important to know how technology works, anything she learns today about technology will be obsolete in three years. Rather than focusing on tech, focus on storytelling; focus on content. Clients don’t hire us because we know how to use a Red or ARRI camera, they hire us to use the gear at our disposal to tell visual stories that attract audiences and effect change.

Larry Jordan: Media has always blended traditional gear with cutting edge technology; just because it’s new, doesn’t make it better and just because it’s old, doesn’t make it obsolete. Lenses, lighting gear and microphones come immediately to mind when thinking of high quality older gear that still works perfectly.

Larry Jordan: We live in a time of almost limitless creative possibilities, which sounds great; but what I’ve learned is that creativity is at its best when it’s pushing against something. We are at our most creative when someone else says, no you can’t do that. Perhaps we need to think of all this swirling new technology not as an overwhelming wave, but as a force that we need to push against,  in order to do our best work. Just something I’m thinking about.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week; Jonathan Handel with the Hollywood Reporter, Dan Judy with Digital Film Tree, Todd Krautkremer with Cradlepoint, Jack Gill with Stunts Unlimited and James DeRuvo with doddlenews.com. There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online and all available to you today and remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Saturday morning.

Larry Jordan: Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner, with additional music provided by smartsound.com. Our Producer is Debbie Price, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.

Digital Production Buzz – March 28, 2019

We cover a wide range of subjects tonight on The Buzz. The Writers Guild is upending the entire media industry, DaVinci Resolve provides state-of-the-art collaboration tools for editors and colorists, wireless network speeds are getting faster and an inside look at the insane world of stunts.

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 Handel, Dan Judy, Todd Krautkremer, Jack Gill and James DeRuvo.

  • WGA vs. Talent Agents – Update
  • Color Grading & Collaboration
  • Get Ready: 5G is Coming
  • Stunts: Planning Not To Die
  • The Weekly doddleNEWS Update

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Listen to the Full Episode

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Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week


WGA vs. Talent Agents – Update

Jonathan Handel
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter
We are moving ever closer to April 7, the day when the Writers Guild may require all its members to server relationships with their agents. The industry upheaval this could cause is incalculable. Tonight, Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for “The Hollywood Reporter,” has an update on what’s happening right now.


Color Grading & Collaboration

Dan Judy
Dan Judy, Senior Colorist, DigitalFilm Tree
Dan Judy is the senior colorist at Digital Film Tree. Tonight, on “NAB Insight,” Dan shares his thoughts on color grading trends, along with how he uses the powerful collaboration tools built into DaVinci Resolve.


Get Ready: 5G is Coming

Todd Krautkremer
Todd Krautkremer, CMO, Cradlepoint
Todd Krautkremer is the Chief Marketing Officer for Cradlepoint. 5G is coming and, when it does, it has the potential to remake wireless communication as we know it. Tonight, Todd describes what they do and what’s coming.


Stunts: Planning Not To Die

Jack Gill
Jack Gill, Action Designer/Action Director, Stunts Unlimited
As a veteran in the stunt industry, Jack Gill has seen a lot of changes. Tonight he joins us to talk about his career, changes in the stunt industry and what separates a professional stunt person from an crazed idiot. The line is narrower than you might think …


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 – March 21, 2019

HOST

Larry Jordan

GUESTS

Jen Soulé, President, OWC

Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, Red Shark News, Ned Soltz Inc.

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

Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System

James DeRuvo, Editor-in-Chief, doddleNEWS

==

Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Buzz, we are talking about intriguing ideas that caught our attention; from new camera gear, to new ways of working in the Cloud, to whether spending more money for a commercial creates a better commercial.

Larry Jordan: First though, we start with news. OWC announced this week, they’ve acquired three new companies. Tonight, we talk with Jennifer Soulé, President of OWC, about who they acquired and why.

Larry Jordan: Next, Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor to Red Shark News, looks at things we can hang on our camera and things we can hang our camera on.

Larry Jordan: Next, Michael Kammes is fascinated by how the Cloud can improve media workflows. However, as he explains tonight, the Cloud requires us to think differently from what we’re doing now.

Larry Jordan: Next, Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Lumberjack System was intrigued by whether spending more money for production makes a difference in the message. Philip reports on wistia.com’s experiment to create the same commercial with budgets of 1K, 10K and 100K. The results were surprising.

Larry Jordan: All this, plus a special tribute to Norman Holland and, as always, James DeRuvo presents our weekly doddleNEWS update. The Buzz starts now.

Male Voiceover: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking. Authoritative: One show services 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: In this intensely quiet period, before the start of this year’s NAB Show, I thought it would be interesting to look at media technology in a different way. Interesting ideas that caught the attention of our regulars. Ned Soltz, I discovered, is fascinated by the gear that attaches to our cameras. Michael Kammes is struck by how the Cloud requires us to think differently and Philip Hodgetts was captivated by a recent series of documentaries on what happens when you shoot the same commercial with three different production budgets. All intriguing ideas.

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. Now it’s time for our weekly doddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hello Larry.

Larry Jordan: What’s the news this week?

James DeRuvo: Cupertino gives us updates to both hardware and software. The first thing that came out today, Apple updated Final Cut Pro Compressor and Motion with key updates and bug fixers. The biggest feature is that version 10.4.6 of Final Cut Pro, plus the latest versions of Compressor and Motion, will now automatically detect media files that may be incompatible with future versions of macOS after Mojave. It’ll then convert them to a compatible 64 bit format. They will also be several fixes to issues where share destinations and workflow extension buttons will just, whoof, disappear out of nowhere. There are also several other annoying bug fixes and housekeeping updates. All three applications will improve reliability in sharing your files to YouTube.

Larry Jordan: What’s your view of the update?

James DeRuvo: Well, most of version 10.4.6 is a mere housekeeping updates; fixing several annoying bugs. The big feature of this update is Apple taking steps to automatically identify and reformat legacy Codecs, so that users can prepare for a future after macOS Mojave. This will give all Final Cut Pro, Motion and Compressor users a leg up in futureproofing their old legacy media.

Larry Jordan: Apple announced at the Worldwide Developer Conference last year, 2018, that Mojave would be the last that supports 32 bit; so for developers, this is not new news. But for all of us users, we’re still panicking to make sure things are going to work. What especially impresses me here is that we can use compressor, which is a $50 program and use it to convert legacy media, for instance, Premiere users can use this, or Avid users can use it, as a way of doing your conversion. Even if you don’t edit with Final Cut, Compressor makes this something that all of us could take advantage of.

James DeRuvo: Do it automatically.

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

James DeRuvo: Well Apple, yesterday, announced what could be the last Intel based iMac refresh. 4K and 5K iMacs get a modest boost in performance with eighth and ninth generation Coffee Lake processors. The iMacs will receive the AMD Radeon Pro 500X GPUs with the 4K iMac receiving four gigabytes of VRAM on the Radeon Pro; while the 5K iMac will receive eight gigabytes of VRAM on the Radeon Pro.

James DeRuvo: The 5K iMac users will also get the option of upgrading to the Radeon Pro Vega. IMac Pros will also get a tiny little update with the Radeon Vega upgrade option and up to 256 gigabytes of DDR4 EEC RAM for the processor.

Larry Jordan: What’s your take here?

James DeRuvo: To tell you the truth, it’s difficult to get excited about this last update. After waiting over two years for a refresh of the iMac lines, getting a processor that’s at least 12-18 months old isn’t really all that sexy; even if it does boost performance by a promised 40-80%. This update though is clearly just a placeholder to placate the Apple faithful, until their new Apple designed processors come out in the iMac in 2020.

Larry Jordan: I agree, the update is nice and, by the way, spending more money for a GPU increases your speed, but doesn’t increase your image quality. Still, the upgrade’s minor.

James DeRuvo: Speaking of image quality, the display used in both models is exactly the same as the previous model; so you’re not really going to see any difference on the screen.

Larry Jordan: All good to know. What’s our third story this week?

James DeRuvo: Nikon is now bundling their Z series camera with a free FTZ adaptor. If you buy the Nikon Z7 or Z6 full frame mirrorless camera, Nikon will throw in the FTZ lens adaptor now for free; before you got $100 off. Now, the entire adaptor will be included in your purchase and that’s a $250 value. The FTZ adaptor also opens up the use for over 350 F mount Nikkor lenses, plus an additional 90 other lenses in the Nikon line.

Larry Jordan: Why do you think Nikon’s doing this?

James DeRuvo: Well, while the hype for the Z series full frame mirrorless and camera was pretty huge and, admittedly, the footage is pretty impressive, the word on the street is that this hasn’t translated into the kind of sales figures that Nikon was hoping for. The thinking is likely that, Nikon users are balking at having to reinvest in another round of new glass; especially when some of the best glass that Nikon makes is up to 40 years old.

James DeRuvo: They also didn’t want to have to pay for an adaptor to use it. Therefore, Nikon is pulling out all the stops and adding this FTZ adaptor free, as part of the bundling purchase; in order to lure those users and get some more sales.

Larry Jordan: James, what other stories are you and your team working on this week?

James DeRuvo: Other stories we’re following include, Nvidia is using artificial intelligence to create photo realistic, real-life images from simple doodles and sketches. Apple resurrects the iPad Air and iPad Mini, with new A12 bionic models and the filming of that Apollo 11 documentary I mentioned last week, required literally reinventing the film scanning reel, to handle thousands of hours of unseen 65mm and 70mm footage. In doing so, they probably saved a valuable historical artefact; the footage itself.

Larry Jordan: Where can we go on the web to learn more?

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

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

James DeRuvo: See you next Thursday.

Larry Jordan: Jen Soulé is the President of Other World Computing. She has been with OWC for 21 years, starting on the sales team in 1997. She’s a strong advocate for OWC’s green initiatives; including alternative energy, a corporate recycling program and water and packaging efficiencies. Hello Jen, welcome.

Jen Soulé: Hello Larry, thank you, it’s great to be here.

Larry Jordan: You know, I was just thinking, normally we talk with Larry O’Connor, but you are the brains of the operation; so let’s get right to the news. What did OWC announce this week?

Jen Soulé: On the product side, we announced our memory for the brand new iMacs that will be shipping in, I should think, a week now and also wanted to announce our overall expansion into both Asia and Europe, as well as here within the US.

Larry Jordan: What did you do in terms of the expansion? I understand you acquired three companies; what did you acquire?

Jen Soulé: Two of the companies are related, Extron and Akitio. Akitio is sort of the brand that people would be familiar with; they sell external storage solutions and docs, a lot of EGPU and PCI expansion boxes and then the engineering arm that’s in Taiwan, it was under the name Extron. Essentially, two different companies, purchased the US side and then the Taiwan side and then a separate distribution company that we bought in Belgium, to better support our European customers.

Larry Jordan: I can understand the benefit of buying a European distributor; that distribution’s always good, but OWC’s been making storage since the beginning of time, why were you interested in bringing in Akitio?

Jen Soulé: We’ve been pretty impressed with their engineering and production quality; something I think we’ve done really well as well. But theirs is just a little more polished on some of the designs and how they were able to accomplish it in production and I think a lot of that was how close their engineering and production is to the supply chain. For us, that really became a key element. We had a small engineering team in the US, but it was largely bolstered by a lot of our partners overseas; so now, sort of, instead of being bolstered by partners, it’s bolstered by ourselves.

Larry Jordan: What are your plans, now that you’ve got these three new companies under the hood. What’s it going forward?

Jen Soulé: For our customers, our European and Asian customers are going to have better sales support, better customer service, better text support; because it will be on the ground, in the same language and in the same time zone; which obviously gets rid of a lot of delays. They will also see an improvement in the availability of the product on both the continents. Both OWC and Akitio. Akitio will remain a brand, but a lot of that product is going to end up folding in under the OWC brand.

Jen Soulé: From a product perspective, people can expect to see, you know, products coming out faster from us; as we can kind of control more of the process from the idea all the way to the production. I think, with the additional engineering both on the hardware and software side, we already were working toward really pulling those together and you’ll see that accelerate; so you’ll see more full hardware, software solutions coming out of us, over the course of the next year.

Larry Jordan: What is it that’s most exciting about these acquisitions for you?

Jen Soulé: For me, it’s just seeing the company really be able to expand in these critical areas. You know, when you have a salesforce, you know, sitting here passionate about the product in the US, the messaging doesn’t necessarily come across. There’s idiosyncrasies in every geographical region and every country and we didn’t frankly sell well into Asia. I mean, it’s 60% of the world’s population; so, in particular, that aspect of really being able to convey what’s exciting about OWC products and talking to customers and hearing their story, that part really excites me.

Jen Soulé: Also, tying in the engineering and expanding the engineering capability; because we have so many ideas and sometimes have them limited by that capability. Now that we have a much bigger team, then we’re going to be able to do more. I’m kind of excited about both those aspects.

Larry Jordan: Jen, for people that want to learn more about the products that OWC has, where can they go on the web?

Jen Soulé: OWC.com and that really kind of talks through a lot of the different brands that we have and it’s a jumping off point to take you to macsales.com. If you’re looking for specific products you’re looking at buying right now; both OWC, Akitio and other brands that are of particular interest to Mac customers. Also, of course, it will lead you to Akitio, Softraid, Mediafour; all the different brands that we carry and that are now under the OWC Monika.

Larry Jordan: That website is three letters, owc.com and Jen Soulé is the President of Other World Computing. Jen, thanks for joining us today.

Jen Soulé: Larry, thank you so much for having me.

Male Voiceover: Join the Digital Production Buzz at the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas Nevada. Starting Monday April 8th, Larry Jordan and the Buzz team are taking their microphones on the road, to cover the latest  news and trends from the largest media show in the world. Every hour of every day, the Buzz is live on the tradeshow floor, creating 27 new shows in four days; more than 100 interviews with key industry leaders. The Buzz has webcast directly from NAB for 11 years, with legendary coverage that’s heard in more than 195 countries around the world. If you’re attending the show, visit us at Booth SL10 527 and say hello, or join us live every day of the show at nabshowbuzz.com. Join us as the Buzz covers NAB 2019, live at nabshowbuzz.com.

Larry Jordan: Ned Soltz is a Contributing Editor to Red Shark News; he’s also an author, editor, educator and consultant on all things related to digital video. Best of all, he’s a regular here on the Buzz. Hello Ned, welcome back.

Ned Soltz: Hello Larry, it’s wonderful to be back. I was waiting for the call. I haven’t been on the show in a few weeks and I was hoping that I would be shown a little love and, now, here it is.

Larry Jordan: I would have called you sooner, but I just had to talk to a couple of other people first.

Ned Soltz: Oh, okay, I can understand that.

Larry Jordan: It has nothing to do with a lack of love Ned; oh my goodness, no. You are deeply appreciated. Ned, you’ve given us an interesting hook when you wrote that you were going to talk about things to hang your camera on and things to hang onto your camera. Let’s start with the things that hang on cameras. What’s caught your eye?

Ned Soltz: What’s been catching my eye lately, there’s a lot of this small, but powerful lighting and I’ll mention two brands in particular. I’ve got the whole new Litra kit sitting right here in front of me, as a matter of fact and then there are also new offerings from Lume Cube. These are two very impressive little lights. They’re not very expensive, we’re talking in the $100 range, but, you know, particularly with the Litra, looking at it now, there is a soft box attachment, there’s barn doors, there are diffusers, they have a variable color temperature and intensities and the light is very true. It’s excellent and very high lumen. These are impressive little lights.

Larry Jordan: Now, there were two companies you mentioned; which were the company names again?

Ned Soltz: Litra and Lume Cube.

Larry Jordan: Have you worked with the Lume Cube? I have been getting emails from them about five times a day; so their marketing is aggressive. But I have not yet had a chance to buy any. Have you played with them yet?

Ned Soltz: Yes, I’ve played with them. I would say Litra and Lume Cube are pretty much the same quality of light; they each have their own little looks. The Lume Cube is waterproof and a little more sealed; the Litra just projects its light a little differently. But in practicality, they really are going to be about the same; it’s a matter of just what your own personal preference might be.  

Ned Soltz: Both are going to have a maximum life of really a little over an hour; but if you run them at full power, it will be less. There’s USB charging; however, if you have a camera that has a USB output on it, that also provides power, you could power your little lights from that.

Larry Jordan: Well the Lume Cube is the size of a children’s building block, it’s about one inch square. Does it really generate enough light to be able to illuminate anything besides itself?

Ned Soltz: It puts out a lot of light. Both the Litra and the Lume Cube are about the same size. It puts out up to 1500 lumens; but, you know, again, for an on camera light, you’re really not looking to light an auditorium, or light an entire set. This is for fill, or for facial lighting for interviews, or relatively small areas, or documentary, or handheld work. That stops with really any on camera light; I mean, nobody has quite come out with a full HMI 2001 equivalent to hang on your camera.

Larry Jordan: I’d be afraid to turn that one on, I think.

Ned Soltz: That’s right, yes. But seriously, I think, particularly where you have options for these now that range from barn doors to diffusers, with a soft box, for example, these can be very nice interview lights on your camera; if you’re really operating as a solo operator and run and gun and don’t have the luxury of being able to come up with a multiple light set up.

Larry Jordan: What else have you got?

Ned Soltz: Well, there also are, of course, microphones. In the low end of things, inexpensive, that Rode video mike has been around for ages and, you know, it’s a pretty good piece of audio equipment for the money and certainly very useful for mirrorless/DSLR shooters. If you are obviously looking at higher level mikes, of course, those can always be hung onto that camera as well; even with small mixers that you could attach on it.

Ned Soltz: I still have a Sound Device’s MixPre-D; you know, it’s a two mike mixer. It’s a pretty expensive thing, but Sound Devices are not exactly a cheap product; however, you really get what you pay for with it. You can hang a little mixer onto the camera and be able to mix two mikes. I think on camera audio is important.

Ned Soltz: Then, as well, look at a company called Tether Tools. They make all kinds of interesting things, from power adaptors, to something that they call a … cables; particularly if you’re having to deal with HDMI cables coming in and out of your camera, there’s no locking on that whatsoever. Just like the old Firewire cables; we’re old enough to remember Firewire.

Larry Jordan: I’m quite old enough to remember Firewire, thank you very much.

Ned Soltz: The worst of it was that four pin Sony cable, that engineer should have just been thrown off of Mount Fuji for coming up with that. Also, other manufacturers, there are stoppers to be able to secure that cable and a variety of arms and, don’t forget, if you have a wireless mike, to be able to put a holder on that for wireless mikes.

Ned Soltz: This brings me to the fact that, if you are going to be hanging gear on your camera, regardless of mirrorless, DSLR, or a traditional video camera, it’s really a good idea to have a cheese plate; so that you have multiple attachment points for all of these mikes and mounts and arms and everything else that you’re going to be putting on these cameras.

Larry Jordan: What did you call that again?

Ned Soltz: A cheese plate.

Larry Jordan: Why a cheese plate?

Ned Soltz: Well, because it’s got holes like Swiss cheese. We should call it a Swiss cheese plate, or an Emmenthal cheese plate; rather than just a cheese plate. But it’s just something that has all the holes in it and most cameras today have a couple of mounting points on the camera itself, or on the camera handle and it’s always good to have something with multiple mounting points and that could be a cage, or just an add-on on the top of your camera.

Larry Jordan: Just so I understand, because I haven’t worked with cheese plates for a long time. The camera mounts to this piece of aluminum that’s got holes in it and that’s what mounts to the tripod?

Ned Soltz: That piece of aluminum can mount on top of your camera.

Larry Jordan: Oh, on top of your camera?

Ned Soltz: Or it could be, like with the DSLRs and mirrorless particularly, cages are really popular. On those cages, you’re going to have cheese plate like multiple attachment points. Or, for example, in my FS7, I have one where the handle comes off of it, you mount the cheese plate on top, you can mount the handle back on it and you have a number of different mounting points; particularly for articulating arms and things like that, where you’re maybe wanting to mount lights, or attach that wireless mike adaptor.

Larry Jordan: Eric, who’s listening in our live chat, he’s saying that he mounts his with rods to the rear of the camera; just to be able to have more accessories attached.

Ned Soltz: Absolutely, that’s another way of doing it. Particularly if you’re going to be attaching batteries to it as well; that’s another important thing that you’re maybe wanting to attach, is extra batteries.

Larry Jordan: Let’s just get a quick laundry list of the companies you’ve mentioned. You’ve mentioned Lume Cube and you’ve mentioned Tether Tools and who else? 00:25:00:17

Ned Soltz: I’ve mentioned Litra, I’ve mentioned Rode. There certainly are others, in terms of lighting; there’s another lighting company that I want to mention that’s Aladdin. They have this little eye light that’s inexpensive, but really just a great thing to have on the camera and they have a few other camera mounts. What I find is, a bargain isn’t a bargain if you don’t get acceptable results out of it; so I don’t necessarily look for the least expensive of products, particularly in lighting. Although LEDs are getting better, you still have to watch for color discrepancies and color fidelity and CRI and other things that measure the fidelity of your color.

Larry Jordan: You make a good point, saving money and ruining a scene is not a cost effective way to save money.

Ned Soltz: Exactly. One of the things that I really try to advise people, when they ask me about cameras and gear and getting starting is really, the camera is probably almost the smallest part of your investment. It’s the lighting, it’s the audio, it’s what you hang onto that camera and then, as we can transition to the other important thing, is what you hang that camera onto.

Larry Jordan: That will have to have a longer conversation about in the future. For people that want to keep track of what you’re thinking and where you’re writing, where can they go on the web?

Ned Soltz: The best place to find me these days is redsharknews.com.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, redsharknews.com and Ned Soltz is a Contributing Editor to Red Shark News and, Ned, thanks for joining us today.

Ned Soltz: Thanks for having me Larry and see you at NAB.

Larry Jordan: Take care, we’ll absolutely see you at NAB. Bye-bye.

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. Best of all, he’s a frequent and welcome contributor to the Buzz. Hello Michael, welcome back.

Michael Kammes: Good to hear your voice Larry, thank you very much.

Larry Jordan: You know, this move to BeBop is relatively new; how’s it going?

Michael Kammes: I tell you, some days you feel like a rock star and other days you feel like the guy who’s cleaning up after the rock stars. What’s very interesting is that, over the course of my career, it’s been about getting a faster horse; right, more horsepower, faster storage, just incrementally make things better. Even moving from tape to tapeless was an incremental step; now that I’m working at BeBop and everything is based around Cloud methodologies, it’s no longer trying to get a faster horse, it’s introducing people to Teslas and cars; it’s a complete different way of thinking.

Larry Jordan: That’s what I want to talk about; because, this week, we’re looking about interesting ideas that have caught our attention. What’s an interesting idea that’s occurred to you?

Michael Kammes: In retrospect, it almost seems like, why didn’t I think of this earlier? You know, in post-production especially, we’ve been relegated to the technology that is on our desktop, or on the floor next to our desk, or in a machine room that’s down the hall. It’s very rare that we leverage the power of data centers around the world to do a lot of the heavy lifting that we’re still relying on our local machines for.

Larry Jordan: But, when you say heavy lifting, a data center is essentially a server that’s located somewhere other than our site; but a server’s being shared by multiple users. How does moving to a server help us, because, now we’re time sharing?

Michael Kammes: That’s a great way of looking at it and I’ll address the second part first. When you’re dealing with data centers, yes, it’s brokered time; but the work that you may need to do may not require you to have that investment of that $9,000 Mac Pro. You may be able to get by with paying a few dollars for compute time and then be done with it. There is something to be said for the financials of something like that.

Michael Kammes: The other angle is that, when we look at these data centers, the machines that are in data centers are far faster than just about anything any of us are going to have on our desktop, or again, even in our machine room. By leveraging the power of these machines, whether they’re shared or not, to render faster, to export faster, to playback in real time what our local machine can’t and to use the bandwidth that these data centers already have to the internet at large. There’s no reason we shouldn’t offload all of those responsibilities to data centers, instead of relying on what we have at home, or at work.

Larry Jordan: I want to bypass the first mile, last mile speed challenge; instead, I want to look at the workflow concept. Is our workflow the same if we’re editing using locally attached storage, versus editing versus the Cloud?

Michael Kammes: That’s a great question and I think, when folks try and look at using the Cloud, the first immediate knee jerk reaction is to use one of the great sites like Frame IO and even YouTube, to some extent; where it’s the last mile for the review and approve process. That’s a fantastic way of using the Cloud, but that only augments what you’re doing on Prem. You’re still following the workflow you’ve been using for years.

Michael Kammes: When we start introducing the Cloud into post-production workflows, we have to look at, well, do we want to push high resolution media up to the Cloud and edit with that? Sure it will take longer, but the machines up in the Cloud can handle it faster, can render it faster and then you can deliver from the Cloud, as opposed to bringing the media back down to wherever you’re working and push it out from there.

Larry Jordan: It sounds to me that, a good alternative would be a proxy workflow; store the high resolution media locally, feed proxies to the Cloud and use the power of the Cloud for proxy editing.

Michael Kammes: You’re completely right. If you want to cut down on the time it takes to upload, you can certainly utilize proxies and then you can localize the project file and reconnect to the high resolution. In that case, then it falls somewhat into our more traditional offline and online process. However, if you’re uploading proxies, you now are stuck with what proxies are in the Cloud; which means, you always have to localize.

Michael Kammes: We also look at things like disaster recovery and just simple backups. If you’re working on Prem and your non rated drive goes down, or your SAN, a drive goes dead, unless you’ve got back-up somewhere, you’re in a really, really tough spot. If you’re working in the Cloud, traditionally, there’s snapshotting, there’s back-ups, there’s what they call five nines uptime, or 99.999% uptime. While there is a longer upload time with media, you have all these fringe benefits, including disaster recovery already in the Cloud.

Larry Jordan: Should I mention last week’s Facebook’s outage of multiple hours, in terms of 99999 reliability?

Michael Kammes: I believe that, for Facebook, it wasn’t for where media is usually stored, internetable fashion, like Amazon, or Google, or Microsoft.

Larry Jordan: Alright, well I won’t mention it then. Where do you see the best use of the Cloud? Is it really the editorial process? Is it more in review and approval? Is it more in distribution? I mean, do we really have to commit our entire workflow to the Cloud, or can we pick and choose?

Michael Kammes: You can certainly pick and choose and you can certainly have hybrid workflows; because the Cloud, as you pointed out, isn’t perfect in every aspect. For example, if you want to grade something on a server in a data center, if you’re doing high end grading, you’re going to need something that can transmit that from a data center in real time and, right now, that’s only in theoretical deployments. It’s not something that we can just turn on and it just works. There has to be some concessions somewhere.

Larry Jordan: What’s the best option? If we’re nervous about the Cloud, where should we start dipping our toe in the water?

Michael Kammes: I think a lot of folks will dip their toes in the Cloud water by saying, okay, maybe I’ll use TeamViewer, or maybe I’ll use Remote Desktop, or maybe I’ll use any of these free, or almost free apps for my media workflow. I think what most people have to realize is that, many of these tools are not meant for the niche media and entertainment industry; so it’s important to find Cloud tools that are optimized for media and entertainment and then exploit those, as opposed to trying to fit a square peg in a round whole.

Larry Jordan:  What are some tasks that the Cloud is eminently suited for?

Michael Kammes:  That’s a good question Larry. Workflows are a lot like dominoes, or houses of cards. If you move one, then you may move all of them and that can be disastrous. If you’re looking for something that the Cloud can do well, that isn’t a big change or burden to what you’re doing now, then review and approve. I think a lot of services have already done that. I’ve already mentioned Frame IO, among a handful of others that are already doing this to facilitate that review and approve process.

Michael Kammes: However, if you look at data centers, they have more horsepower than you could ever have; so their best job is for the rendering and is for the exporting of media. The problem with that is, for you to utilize rendering in the Cloud, you have to have a good chunk of media up there as well, or some kind of proprietary application, which can render in the Cloud and then localize those results, without too much impact to your workflow. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of services out there that can do that for creative editorial.

Larry Jordan: You’ve been involved in workflow since you and I first met many, many years ago and now you’re really working for a company which is focused on Cloud services. What is it about the Cloud that most excites you?

Michael Kammes: The fact that it’s brand new and when I say brand new, I mean, brand new for the media and entertainment industry. If we look, at some of the leaders in our industry, in terms of creative software, we look at things like Avid, right? Their Cloud offering is just beginning. If we look at companies like Apple, in terms of creative editorial, they’re not even doing a lot that’s public, I should say. Then we look at Adobe, who has been dipping their toe in the Cloud for years, but still doesn’t have a complete Cloud solution.

Michael Kammes:  It’s very exciting to see these tools that I’ve worked with for decades, that drive our creative industry in terms of technology and for them not to have a solution, that means it’s new technology and I’m uber excited to see where it goes.

Larry Jordan: Are you really that hopeful about media and the Cloud?

Michael Kammes: I am. My biggest concern is that, we’re too early.  My concern is that, the bandwidth that we’re afforded here in the US will not increase significantly enough to make this viable. But the tech is there, the tech works, I really feel it’s going to be the future; just whether we’re too early.

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

Michael Kammes: A couple of different places. You can go to michaelkammes.com; you can also check out 5thingsseries.com and, lastly, beboptechnology.com.

Larry Jordan: Let’s do my favorite website, which is michaelkammas.com and 5thingsseries.com and, Michael, thanks for your time.

Michael Kammes: Thank you for yours Larry, take care.

Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to, doddlenews.com. DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resources, 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, doddlenews.com.

Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts is recognized as a leading technologist, as well as the CEO of Lumberjack System. Even better, he’s a regular here on the Buzz, where, to my eternal gratitude, he spealizes in explaining new technology. Hello Philip, welcome back.

Philip Hodgetts: Hello Larry.

Larry Jordan: Philip, this week we’re talking about interesting ideas that caught our attention. What’s caught yours?

Philip Hodgetts: What I’ve found really caught my attention lately was this documentary series from a company called Wistia out of Boston. The documentary series has the premise that, if we took the same general idea, a 90 second promotional piece for Wistia software and we did it for a $1,000 budget, we did it for a $10,000 budget and we did it for a $100,000 budget, how would that look different at the end and how would the process be different? I’ve always found this intersection of budget and quality very interesting; particularly in an era where, within ten feet of me, I probably have six HD cameras that would have been of a quality I would have died for in the early part of my career.

Larry Jordan: Well, Wistia is an online company that creates video software for growing businesses. What was their ad about?

Philip Hodgetts: Their ad is about one of their pieces of software called Soapbox; which is a Google Chrome plug-in; so that you can record both the computers, camera and the screen at the same time and then in the Soapbox software, you can lay out how you want those to go, whether you want to be on screen, whether you want the screen, or some combination to go together. This is the piece of the software that all three promotional pieces reference this software. They kind of build on each other, the three pieces, but they’re all still a Soapbox promotional piece.

Larry Jordan: Tell me what they did. $1,000 for the production and post, $10,000 and $100,000. What did they do for $1,000?

Philip Hodgetts: Well, each one was shot in a day and they were all done by Sandwich Video; so the same creative company did all three promotional pieces. For $1,000 you get one person for one day, you get an iPhone taped to the computer, you get shooting in carefully chosen but available light and some very, very basic hand cut out paper graphics to carry the message.

Larry Jordan: In other words, it looked really cheesy and cheap?

Philip Hodgetts: Well, no it didn’t, they actually managed to give it a fairly decent look. It didn’t look cheesy and cheap, but when you see it in context of the higher budget pieces later, you really see its deficiencies. But standing by itself, it doesn’t feel like it’s been doing incredibly cheaply. It’s certainly been done on a low budget, but it doesn’t feel cheap.

Larry Jordan: Alright, let’s move up to the $10,000 version. What are the differences between that and the 1K version?

Philip Hodgetts: The same Director, the person who was the solo person in the first one; but we get now a Director and a crew of nine people in total. We get a little bit classier camera, which is a Canon C300 and we get a lighting kit and somebody to look after the lighting and somebody to do professional audio. We do a little bit of lighting, but we don’t do much set decoration, we do a bit of basic clothing and makeup and a lot of lighting and that’s what you get for $10,000.

Larry Jordan: So the 1K is working with available light, the 10K is working with more people, better audio and better lighting?

Philip Hodgetts: That’s pretty much it, better camera gear all round and more people to have creative input. Of course, when you get to $100,000, you get a lot more people. I think the crew on that one was about 30 people in total and in that one, they completely rearranged the office, they had a Set Designer in to reposition everything. The artworks on the wall were all specially created for the promotional piece, they hired actors to play the same people that were in the second piece; which were the employees of Sandwich Video.

Philip Hodgetts: They had a lot higher quality graphics, higher quality lighting. They completely blacked the place out and controlled every bit of the lighting and some really classy graphics. You got custom written music, not library music; all the polish that you can possibly want and you had an Arri Alexa for the camera; with some very nice primes.

Larry Jordan: Clearly, the production quality of each of these improved from the low budget, to the middle, to the high; but what about the message? How did the message feel to you?

Philip Hodgetts: I think, in every case, the message was really creatively done and I want to really emphasize that the budget doesn’t affect the story or the ability to communicate. All three pieces were effective, they were entertaining for the 90 seconds that they were to be watched. They just got more and more polished, I think is the way you’d say it; more and more attention to detail, more people involved, more people in and around the frame, more control over that and more creative input from more people. The downside of that is lack of constraints.

Larry Jordan: Well you run your own company Philip, let’s pretend that you had the money to afford all three of these and you were trying to make the decision of how to promote your own software; which is Lumberjack System. Given what you’ve seen with these three documentaries, where would you spend your money?

Philip Hodgetts: I would try and go to the $1,000 budget, but I think realistically, if you want to do something that does carry a message of a quality company, then I think then the $10,000 budget price point is the sweet point for me and it’s pretty much what the three in-house video guys from Wistia came to as well. The $10,000 gave them polish and it gave them a look that they didn’t otherwise get and that they didn’t get in their own productions, but that the $100,000 gave you, which is ten times more; so you could do ten productions at the 10K level for what the $100,000 production cost. It created a lot of polish and a lot of gloss, but they didn’t feel that it provided the best bang for buck and I think I feel the same way.

Larry Jordan: Let’s take a global look at this, just for a second. Wouldn’t that be a contributing factor to why budgets are decreasing; because we can get so much good video quality and good audio for smaller budgets?

Philip Hodgetts: Yes, it was interesting to see that, you know, although the quality of the camera went up, the actual additional daily rental on a C300 versus an Arri Alexa and the extra primes wasn’t a significant part of the increased budget. The increased budget went on set design, it went on costume, it went on casting and paying actors, it went on a lot more lighting and a lot bigger crew. It didn’t necessarily go on better image quality; I think they got more out of the professional grade of the video than they got out of the Alexa over the C300. I think, if they’d put the same money into grading the C300, we would have got a lot closer.

Larry Jordan: What’s your takeaway, as you look at these three? What’s the lesson that we can learn from this?

Philip Hodgetts: The two lessons that we can learn from this is that, one, story still counts over the technology; always and hopefully always will. But the second was that, a lack of constraints actually was considered to be a hindrance to the creative message, rather than a help. The fact that, you know, when you went from $10-100,000 budget you just jumped in so many more possibilities; you could do all these crazy things that maybe don’t always enhance the story. Maybe superhero movies could learn a less from that as well.

Larry Jordan: One of the things I was impressed with, with Claude, who’s the Director and was the actor for the $1,000 is he said, when you’re doing a $1,000 commercial, what you’re doing is, you’re getting rid of everything that doesn’t relate to your message and it really helps to focus you on what is the most important thing you want the audience to learn? He found it creatively challenging, because, one of the quotes that he had, that I saw, that I liked a lot was the fact, he didn’t think you could shoot a video for less than $10,000 and so he took the $1,000 video just as a personal challenge. He said, what it did is, it focused so much of my attention down to what’s the essential. To me, it strikes me as your point, it gets down to what’s the real story you’re trying to tell?

Philip Hodgetts: Yes and the budget doesn’t really impact that as much as you would think it does. The effectiveness of it, having to focus on getting the most succinct message you can, with the least amount of investment, is always a challenge. I think we all grow creatively when we’re fleeced into these corners of having to deal with limitations. I think, the worst thing for creativity is to have no limitations.

Larry Jordan: I send nasty emails off to companies that say remove all the boundaries. Unlimited creativity is about the worst thing you can say to an artist, because now, there’s so many options they don’t even know where to start.

Philip Hodgetts: Can’t even chase down all the creative opportunities they want to; they suddenly have even more to chase down. It’s like, oh no, don’t do that to me. Give me constraints, give me limitations; ‘because I will thrive within them.

Larry Jordan: That’s the truth. Philip, where’s the website people can go to watch these videos?

Philip Hodgetts: It’s at wistia.com and click the series link and go down to one, ten, 100.

Larry Jordan: That website is wistia.com. There’s a button at the top that says video series, click that and they’re talking about their product called Soapbox. Philip, for people that want to keep track of the things that you’re doing, where can they go on the web?

Philip Hodgetts: Philiphodgetts.com, or lumberjacksystem.com would be great.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, lumberjacksystem and Philip Hodgetts is the CEO of Lumberjack System and, Philip, we’ll talk to you in a couple of weeks and figure out what’s going to happen at NAB. Thank you so much for your time today.

Philip Hodgetts: Looking forward to it. Thanks Larry.

Larry Jordan: All of us at the Buzz were shocked at the news this week of the passing of Normal Holland. Norman was a frequent contributor to The Buzz; a Professor at USC, a Film and Music Editor and an Invetorate Lecturer at schools around the world. But most of all, he was a good friend.

Larry Jordan: I first met Norman in the Summer of 2008; he invited me to lunch and, as we sat down he said, you know, we should work together? From that initial conversation came 2 Reel Guys; a 32 part web series that Norman wrote and we both hosted; teaching the basics of filmmaking. The series took four years to fund, develop and produce and every few months I’d find myself sitting at Norman’s dining room table, collaborating on scripts for the next series of shows.

Larry Jordan: What these dining room table sessions became, really, was a masterclass in filmmaking. I focused on technology, but Norman focused on story and, over the years, I realized just how correct Norman was. Normal really loved teaching; he taught his students, he taught our audience and, most of all, he taught me. He taught us to tell stories, because he was such a great storyteller himself.

Larry Jordan: Over the years, I invited Norman to guest lecture for my classes; I took more notes than my students and shamelessly stole his ideas for future lectures. He’s been on the Buzz 14 times, the most recent being last November.

Larry Jordan: In the tributes I’ve read to Norman over the last few days, they mentioned is skills as an Editor and he was very skilled with feature films to his credit. His lectures at schools and universities across the globe and he was teaching in Tokyo when he died. But it was his all-encompassing warmth that I remember the most; his kindness in answering questions, his gentleness working with students, or the crew during long days of shooting and his sense of humor. He had a career to be proud of, but he never took himself that seriously.

Larry Jordan: To his wife Janet and Daughter Elizabeth, I send my deepest sympathy. Norman was unique and he will be deeply missed. If you want to see Norman in action, watch any episode on www.2reelguys.com; you’ll see a true master talking about a subject that he deeply loves, filmmaking. I still hear his voice echoing in my head; it is always about the story. Norman, it was an honor working with you.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week. Jennifer Soulé with OWC; Ned Soltz with Red Shark News; Michael Kammes with BeBop Technology; Philip Hodgetts with Lumberjack System; and James DeRuvo with doddleNEWS. There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online and all available to you today and remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter, that comes out every Saturday. Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com.
Larry Jordan: Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner, with additional music provided by smartsound.com. Our Producer is Debbie Price. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.