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Recent Blog Posts in February 2010

February 11, 2010
  Sony 3D Technology Center at Sony Pictures Studios
Posted By Barry Goch
Sony has launched a new technology center to share their experience and knowledge in creating 3D entertainment. According to Chris Cookson, president of Sony Pictures Technologies and chief officer of the 3D Technology Center, their 3D experience can be shared across the industry more broadly and elevate the overall knowledge in the business. This initiative is not limited just to 3D theatrical exhibition, but also to 3D in the home via Blu-ray, 3D television broadcasts, and 3D gaming.

Buzz Hayes, formerly of Sony Pictures Imageworks, is senior vice president of the Technology Center. Buzz gave an excellent overview of 3D terms visually with CGI figures in the Tech Center's 3D theater. He also demonstrated some of the pitfalls of 3D production. For example, he showed via these CGI scenes, some effects of bad 3D, the worst being divergence where the 3D image is created such that ones eyes are forced to look in opposite directions outward to see the 3D imagery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divergence_(eye)

To help avoid these issues, the center has begun 4-day training sessions with cinematographers and directors for film and television, live events, and games. They have many educational resources, such as sets, virtual cameras, 3D previs programs by FrameForge3D, and 3D test shoots. Participants will learn how 3D storytelling techniques are different from traditional filmmaking methods.

Steven Poster, president of the International Cinematographer's Guild, said this training center follows in the footsteps of a previous Sony training initiative with the first high-end Sony HD cameras. He said this is a real boon for the industry

Harry Friedman, executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, treated us all to 3D footage from Wheel. He stated, to keep the shows fresh and exciting, they have always added new elements to their productions, like when they were one of the first syndicated shows to switch to HD.

We then moved to the Tech Center's living room demo where Chris Fawcett, VP of Television for Sony Electronics, spoke about home entertainment in front of a prototype 3D Sony Bravia TV. He said that Sony choose active glasses for 3D in the home due to the fact that it is the only system at this time capable of the "gold standard" for the home theater experience, true 1080p. We were treated to 3D game footage playing back on the Sony 3D monitor and it looked awesome. I'll definitely be an early adopter for this one.

3ality is Sony's partner in providing 3D stereo camera rigs to the Tech center. DP Dave Drzewiecki led the attendees through the demonstration of the 3ality camera system. You can find a video of Dave speaking about the 3ality system on the Post Magazine's Website under Featured Videos.

In my opinion, this is a fantastic development for the future of 3D entertainment and good for the industry as a whole. This initiative to bring the highest level of 3D talent in the industry together and share that experience is a winner.
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February 09, 2010
  Next Generation Content Event, Trailer Park, Hollywood 2-4-10
Posted By Barry Goch
Last Thursday, I attended an event called Next Generation Content in the offices of Trailer Park, across from the Mann’s Chinese Theater in the Heart of Hollywood. The event was geared toward new media marketing executives, and was an opportunity for the speakers to demonstrate how their agencies are answering the challenge of marketing in this new media environment. How all this relates to Post Production will become clear as we proceed.

The first speaker was Nathan Martin, CEO of DeepLocal. He promoted the idea of Gutter Tech – looking at rules and conventions in a fresh, questioning way, abandoning assumptions and finding solutions with an innovative and low-tech approach. He also brought focus to one of the overarching themes of the day: Speed. In his specific case, because his agency is small, the speed that ideas become reality due to the swiftness in their decision making process and execution.

The next speaker was co-host Rick Eiserman, CEO of Trailer Park. A key point in his presentation was changing the way teams are built to work on projects. No longer are the lines of responsibility so clearly drawn around ones title. He builds hybrid teams of multi-talented individuals to bring a wide variety of perspectives to the creative process. He also encourages continual professional growth – expanding one’s toolset. Like Martin, he emphasized the need for speed – working at the speed of thought.

Sha Hwang, Design Technologist for Stamen, presented some very thought provoking images. He found that people have a hard time understanding the mass of data that we’re exposed to daily and he found a way to visualize complex data sets to create organic expression of technology. Look at cabspotting.org to see how taxicabs’ GPS position data was transformed into the beating heart of a city.

After a short break, co-host Jessica Greenwood, Deputy Editor, Contagious Magazine, took the floor. She stated, “everything was advertising”. Every impression makes a difference, but also not to be too caught up in technology for its own sake. Rather, see the utility in the technology and make use of it for all its worth.

She went on to breakdown the successful new marketing strategies behind http://www.comparethemeerkat.com/ and Gatorade Replay and finished with the incredible story of how a brand ripped itself off, Love Jozi/Luv Jozi:

http://www.marklives.com/wordpress/?p=238

The final speaker was Susan Bonds, President, CEO, and Founder of 42 Entertainment. She was hired by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails to produce a viral campaign to create buzz for an upcoming album release. She detailed an amazing plan of action that started with a code formed by different colored letters on a tour t-shirt spelling out a command which led the fans down the rabbit hole, following her trail of clues which included: planting flash drives in the men’s bathroom at concert venues with unreleased songs from the upcoming album, planting an image in the spectrograph of the song that corresponded to images on websites her team developed. What does this mean for Post Production professionals? For me, it means that creativity is still king. That the new marketplace for creative content requires some Gutter Tech, new approaches to create buzz in an oversaturated media mélange. Speed to market is crucial. Technological innovations like AJA’s KiPro will speed up the process from acquisition to distribution. Video is clearly the medium of today. There’s never been so much content created in one type of technology in the history of our planet. It’s a huge opportunity for those who get it. It’s a time of change and challenge in Post. Those who adapt will survive and thrive.
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February 01, 2010
  StorNext 4.0 Launch Event, Morton’s Burbank 1-26-10
Posted By Barry Goch
Hello Post readers. Happy New Year! After a brief and restful break, I'm back to my continuing adventures in the world of LA post production. And what a great way to start the year off by having lunch at Morton's Steak House in Burbank, CA, courtesy of Quantum! This is part of a multi-city launch tour to celebrate the release of StorNext 4.0.

Now I'm not Mr. IT, so a lot of what they talked about was a bit over my head, but hey that's how you learn. StorNext is software for high performance file sharing, as well as enterprise data-management and protection. Chris Duffy, product marketing manager, lead the presentation.

The two main things that I picked up were deduplication and time-code based partial file recover. Data deduplication is the process of reducing storage requirements by reducing the number of instances a same file that is saved and saving pointers, instead of data, for each additional occurrence of the file.Here is a link to the definition on the Quantum Website:

http://www.quantum.com/solutions/datadeduplication/index.aspx

The other topic (see photo) is timecode-based partial file recovery. It allows you to grab part of a longer clip and create a new piece of media for that shorter section. I can see this as a huge benefit for sports, for example, where you only need a few short clips of a game for a highlight package.

Shawn Klein, director of partner development, said that the Genome project is generating 2TB of data daily and that StorNext is the system that manages such a large and important data set.

The next two events are in New York and D.C. this week.

http://quantum.mv.treehousei.com/Surveys/27/6E1D06994CAC2036/EventReg.aspx
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