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?
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?
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.