• Thursday, Sep. 19, 2019
Shipment of ARRI’s ALEXA Mini LF cameras gets underway
The ARRI ALEXA Mini LF camera

The first customer shipments of ARRI’s new ALEXA Mini LF begins. Pre-production cameras have already been used on high-end productions.

After extensive testing, ARRI quality control has approved the final production software for the ALEXA Mini LF. Cameras featuring this software started shipping today (9/18). Owners of pre-production cameras can download the updated software and install it on their cameras.

“Large format is taking off now,” said Stephan Schenk, managing director of ARRI Cine Technik and responsible for ARRI’s Business Unit Camera Systems. “In 2018, when we introduced the ARRI large-format camera system with the ALEXA LF camera, ARRI Signature Prime lenses, and LPL lens mount, the production community was excited to try something new. By now, many have worked with the ALEXA LF and are appreciative of the unique large-format look of our LF sensor. Now that the ALEXA Mini LF is officially shipping, we can offer the perfect team of tools. Together, the fully-featured, high-speed ALEXA LF and the small and lightweight ALEXA Mini LF can tackle any job.”

Both cameras share the same large-format sensor based on technology used in all ARRI digital cameras. Therefore, both share ARRI’s best overall image quality with the highest dynamic range of any production camera as well as ARRI color science for natural colorimetry, pleasing skin tones, clean VFX, and easy color grading. However, the LF sensor has twice the area of Super 35 sensors for that unique large-format look, increased sharpness, higher contrast, and smoother images combined with a lower noise floor for higher usable sensitivity.

The ALEXA Mini LF manages to fit that huge sensor in a Mini-sized body, with many new features like a media bay for the new Codex Compact Drives, a new high-contrast and high-resolution viewfinder with an additional flip-out monitor, internal motorized full spectrum ND filters, built-in microphones, additional accessory power connectors, genlock sync, and much more. The ALEXA Mini LF records Apple ProRes or ARRIRAW in-camera without any add-ons and runs on 12 or 24 Volts. Since it is almost the same size and weight as the ALEXA Mini, the ALEXA Mini LF is compatible with most ALEXA Mini mechanical and electronic accessories, making deployment fast and easy. The LPL lens mount is perfect for ARRI Signature Prime lenses as well as for other manufacturers’ large-format lenses, and the PL-to-LPL adapter allows the use of all PL mount lenses. Using the stand-alone ARRI Wireless Video Transmitter WVT-1, the ALEXA Mini LF can easily become part of the full ARRI wireless video system, which is gaining in popularity.

Marc Shipman-Mueller, product manager of camera systems at ARRI, added, “After we announced the ALEXA Mini LF, demand was so great, and many cinematographers really wanted to use the camera on their projects, that we decided to make pre-production cameras available before the official shipping date. We are happy that the pre-production camera’s performance has met our customer’s expectations. ALEXA Mini LFs have been on some spectacular high-end feature films, commercials, and TV series already and cinematographers are very pleased with the results. All that we have learned from those productions has, of course, been incorporated into the final production software.”

  • Friday, Sep. 13, 2019
Sony launches FX9 4K camera 
Sony's PXW-FX9 camera
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- 

At IBC 2019 in Amsterdam, Sony has unveiled the PXW-FX9, its first XDCAM camera featuring an advanced 6K (6K Oversampling; not 6K recording) full-frame sensor and Fast Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system. The new camera offers content creators greater creative freedom and flexibility to capture stunning images that truly resonate with audiences.

Building on the success of the PXW-FS7 and PXW-FS7M2, the FX9 uniquely combines high mobility with an advanced AF system, impressive bokeh and slow-motion capabilities thanks to its newly developed sensor. The FX9 also inherits its color science and a Dual Base ISO from the VENICE digital motion picture camera, creating the ultimate tool of choice for documentaries, music videos, drama productions and event shooting.

The FX9 was designed in close collaboration with the creative community and is an example of Sony continuously evolving cameras to innovate for the customer and market needs. The FX9 benefits from the versatility, portability and performance expected of an FS7 series “Run & Gun” style camera, while also offering High Dynamic Range and full-frame shooting features.

“We are always listening to our customer’s voice, pushing to deliver innovation that allows them to realize their full artistic intention,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “With the new FX9, we are striking an attractive balance between agility and creative performance. We’ve combined the cinematic appeal of full-frame with advanced professional filmmaking capabilities in a package that’s extremely portable and backed by the extraordinary versatility of Sony E-mount.”

Powerful features
The newly-developed Exmor RTM sensor offers wide dynamic range with high sensitivity, low noise and over 15 stops of latitude that can be recorded internally in 4K (3840x2160 recording is initially supported; 4096x2160 recording will be supported by future update) 4:2:2 10bit. Oversampling of the full-frame 6K sensor’s readout allows professionals to create high-quality 4K footage with impressive bokeh effects through shallow depth of field, while wide-angle shooting opens new possibilities for content creators to express their creativity.

A dual base ISO of 800 and 4000 enables the image sensor’s characteristics to best capture scenes from broad daylight to the middle of the night. With S-CinetoneTM color science, the new sensor can also create soft and alluring facial tones. The camera can also capture content up to five times slow-motion with Full HD 120fps shooting played back at 24p.

The shallow depth of field available with a full-frame image sensor requires precise focus control, and the enhanced Fast Hybrid AF system, with customizable transition speeds and sensitivity settings, combines phase detection AF for fast, accurate subject tracking with contrast AF for exceptional focus accuracy. The dedicated 561-point phase-detection AF sensor covers approximately 94% in width and 96% in height of the imaging area, allowing consistently accurate, responsive tracking – even with fast-moving subjects while maintaining shallow depth of field.

Creative freedom
Inspired by the high mobility “Run & Gun” style approach from the FS7 series of cameras, the FX9 offers content creators shooting flexibility thanks to a continuously variable Electronic Variable ND Filter. This enables instant exposure level changes depending on the filming environment, such as moving from an inside space to outdoors or while filming in changing natural light conditions.

Additionally, the FX9’s image stabilization metadata can be imported to Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare software (planned to be supported by Ver.2019.2 in December 2019) to create incredibly stable visuals even in handheld mode. Sony is also working to encourage third-party non-linear editing tools to adopt this functionality.

The FX9 comes with a wide range of customizations and expansion features. These include compatibility with the new UWP-D series of wireless microphones via Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI Shoe) with digital audio interface, the XDCA-FX9 extender kit enabling 10bit Super35 4K 120fps and 16bit RAW output in a future update, compatibility with Sony BP-GL and BP-FL series batteries, D-Tap, RJ-45 interface and stable “Dual Link” streaming by using two carrier lines, as well as DWX slot-in type digital wireless receiver commonly used in broadcasting settings. The FX9 will also be compatible with the newly launched E-mount lens FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G, which uniquely balances full manual operability for professional cinema shooting and auto-control functions.

“What narrative cinematographers, documentary filmmakers, music video directors and broadcasters have in common is a need for a flexible camera that allows them to tell unique stories, no matter the environment in which they operate. As a next-generation professional camera, the FX9 captures stunning visuals with the lifelike image quality available from a full-frame sensor, while adding the benefits of advanced auto focus features and customization. This makes it the ultimate creative tool for modern storytellers,” concludes Neal Manowitz.

The FX9 will be available towards the end of 2019 and on display at the Sony stand (A10, Hall 13) at IBC 2019 September 13-17.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2019
RED Digital Cinema adds HELIUM and GEMINI Sensor options to RANGER camera system
The RED RANGER family of cameras
IRVINE, Calif. -- 

RED Digital Cinema® announced that its HELIUM® 8K S35 and GEMINI® 5K S35 sensors will be incorporated into the RED RANGER® camera ecosystem. These two new alternatives create a robust lineup for creators who prefer an integrated, all-in-one system to the more modular RED DSMC2® camera. The RANGER HELIUM 8K S35 and RANGER GEMINI 5K S35 is available now via RED’s global network of resellers, participating rental houses, and directly through RED. The cameras will be on display for the first time at IBC in the RED meeting room on the fourth floor of the Elicium at the RAI Amsterdam, from September 13-17.

Designed to meet the needs of high-end productions, the RED RANGER MONSTRO 8K VV has been well received by cinematographers since its launch earlier this year, and remains a rental house-only product.

All three sensor variants of the RED RANGER camera system include the same benefits of the compact, standardized camera body, weighing around 7.5 pounds (depending on battery). The system can also handle heavy-duty power sources to satisfy power-hungry configurations, and boasts a large fan for quiet, more efficient temperature management.

The RED RANGER camera system consists of three SDI outputs (two mirrored and one independent) allowing two different looks to be output simultaneously; wide-input voltage (11.5V to 32V); 24V and 12V power outs (two of each); one 12V P-Tap; integrated 5-pin XLR stereo audio input (line/mic/+48V selectable); as well as genlock, timecode, USB, and control. Both V-Lock and Gold Mount battery options are supported.

As with all current RED cameras, the RANGER can simultaneously record REDCODE RAW plus Apple ProRes or AVID DNxHD or DNxHR at up to 300 MB/s write speeds. It also features RED’s end-to-end color management and post workflow with the enhanced image processing pipeline (IPP2).

RED now offers two separate but equally strong product lineups that give content creators more creative choices. The DSMC2 ecosystem continues to provide a dynamic and modular cinema camera for users who value maximum flexibility, allowing their imaginations to run wild with configuration options. RED RANGER is the perfect option for those that prefer a less complex and more standardized alternative.

“In collaboration with rental houses to bring the RANGER MONSTRO to market, we have heard great feedback from customers, inspiring these two new variants,” said RED Digital Cinema president Jarred Land. 

RANGER HELIUM and RANGER GEMINI ship complete with:

--New Production Top Handle
--Shimmed PL Mount
--New LCD/EVF Adaptor D with improved cable routing when used on the left side of the camera
--New 24V AC power adaptor with 3-pin 24V XLR power cable, which can also be used with 24V block batteries
--Lens mount shim pack
--Compatible Hex and Torx tools
--Additionally, RED plans to introduce Canon EF Mount versions of both RANGER HELIUM and RANGER GEMINI later this year.

Pricing for the two new variants is $29,950/€27,450/£24,750 for RANGER HELIUM and $24,950/€22,850/£20,650 for RANGER GEMINI.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 4, 2019
Two new lenses from Cooke Optics to make worldwide debut at IBC
Cooke's new S7/i Full Frame Plus T2.0 16mm prime lens
LEICESTER, UK -- 

Two new Cooke Optics lenses will be making their worldwide debut at IBC2019, giving cinematographers and directors of photography more ways to achieve “The Cooke Look”® for their projects.

The new S7/i Full Frame Plus T2.0 16mm prime lens is currently the widest focal length lens in the S7/i range of lenses, designed for shooting Full Frame — including up to at least the full sensor area of the RED Weapon 8K (46.31mm image circle), as well as the Sony VENICE full frame digital motion picture camera system and the ARRI ALEXA LF large format camera system.

The new Anamorphic/i 135mm Full Frame Plus T2.3 joins the Anamorphic/i prime lens range bringing The Cooke Look to large format productions with anamorphic characteristics, including flare and oval bokeh

These two new lenses and more will be available to view on the Cooke stand (12.D10) at IBC2019.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019
Film Academy launches 9 scientific and technical investigations
The Motion Picture Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony in 2016.
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that nine distinct scientific and technical investigations have been launched for 2019.

These investigations are made public so that individuals and companies with devices or claims of innovation within these areas will have the opportunity to submit achievements for review. The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards Committee has started investigations into the following areas:

--Professional desktop monitors with self-calibration

--Head-mounted facial acquisition systems

--Wireless video transmission systems used in motion picture production

--Frameworks enabling high-performance ray-geometry intersections

--Hair simulation toolsets

--Audio repair and restoration software for motion pictures

--Automatic dialog post-synchronization systems

--Costume, prop, hair and makeup tracking and inventory communication tools for physical production

--Postproduction tracking and scheduling systems

“The science and technology of filmmaking is constantly evolving and advancing. Each year, the Academy researches technology that has had a significant impact on the motion picture arts. This year, we are examining a distinct group of technologies, which includes hair simulation, facial capture and audio repair,” said Doug Roble, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. The current awards cycle will commence with a series of exhaustive investigations, conducted by a committee made up of industry experts with a diversity of expertise, and culminate with the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony in June.”

The deadline to submit additional entries is Tuesday, September 17, at 5 p.m. PT. For more information on the Scientific and Technical Awards or to submit a similar technology, click here.

After thorough investigations are conducted in each of the technology categories, the committee will meet in the spring to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions.

The Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019
Panavision, Light Iron provide support for "Brittany Runs a Marathon"
A scene from "Brittany Runs a Marathon"
NEW YORK -- 

Brittany Runs a Marathon, the directorial debut of Paul Downs Colaizzo, won the Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award and got snatched up by Amazon. The film’s cinematographer Seamus Tierney had the backing of the Panavision family of services, including camera support and Light Iron postproduction.

“I knew Panavision equipment very well and that Marni Zimmerman and Sal Giarratano at Panavision New York would have my back—whatever I needed they would get it for me,” said Tierney.

The film is about a carefree woman whose life crashes down around her, prompting her on a journey of self-discovery and an unlikely entry in a marathon.

Tierney’s camera package included a couple Panavised ARRI Alexa Studio XT cameras with Panavision Primo Prime lenses and a 19-90mm Primo Compact Zoom. “I’m not much of a zoom guy,” he remarked, “but I fell in love with the 19-90 zoom so much that I ordered another for our B camera and lived on those after the first couple of days. It was the most streamlined way to go.”

Tierney came on to the production late, as can happen sometimes. “I didn’t want to come in and just change it all,” he said, “but Paul was very open and adaptable to the visuals. I lit with soft, directional lighting that allowed us to shoot almost 360 degrees. Coupled with those zoom lenses, we could plan shots on the fly, like working in free-form jazz.

“Having not been part of choosing the visual language in preproduction,” he continued, “I had a lot of questions, and Panavision, and later Light Iron, were instrumental in helping me get up to speed quickly.”

Knowing Light Iron in New York also was part of the process that put Tierney at ease. “I’ve done a bunch of movies with Light Iron, and all their colorists are great,” he said. “Luckily, we had Sean Dunckley. He color-graded my last film (Like Father), so we had a ball coloring this one. We already had a pretty good shorthand.”

Because of their previous sessions, Dunckley was able to work ahead some, shaping the image and taking down the exposure on walls--things Tierney usually thought about first. “We were able to move quicker through it,” Dunckley noted. “There were four stages in this film, each with a very identifiable look that follows the character’s journey. The transitions from one life stage to another were the trickiest and where we spent our most time.”

Though some marathon scenes were recreated, the production shot other scenes during the actual New York City Marathon. Stock footage filled the gaps.

“The director wanted that sequence to look real and slightly documentarian,” Dunckley said. “He enjoyed seeing these contrasting images from different cameras. What time I did spend was in getting the skies to match more closely.”

The film was graded with a Baselight at 2K resolution in P3 DCI color space for the Sundance Film Festival screening. After the film was acquired by Amazon, Dunckley and the filmmakers produced Rec 709 and HDR (high dynamic range) deliverables.

“When you’ve been doing an entire film in standard dynamic range and then you go to the larger dynamic range of HDR, it feels like it has so much more contrast,” Dunckley noted. “Nothing was baked into the image pipeline, so I easily did a combination of opening up the shadows and bringing down the highlights where needed to balance the contrast with whatever the moment is taking place in the film. It was a great experience having Séamus in the room; he’s always thinking outside of the box.”

“I am proud of the way the film came out,” Tierney said. “It was a challenge for sure to come into a project that I had not started from the get-go, but I knew that and with support from Panavision, Sean, and Light Iron, I could make the best of the situation. In fact, it was a freeing experience to rely purely on instinct with them having my back.”

  • Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019
U.S. tech industry becomes hotbed for employee activism
In this Aug. 22, 2019, photo Liz O'Sullivan, technology director at Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.), poses for a photo in New York. O’Sullivan, considers herself part of a “growing backlash against unethical tech,” a groundswell in the past two years in which U.S. tech employees have tried to remake the industry from the inside out, pushing for more control over how their work is used and urging better conditions, job security and wages for affiliated workers. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

When Liz O'Sullivan was hired at the New York City-based artificial intelligence company Clarifai in 2017, she felt lucky to find work at the intersection of two of her main interests: technology and ethics. Two years later, she found herself facing a moral dilemma.

Clarifai was developing aerial photography and object detection tools as one of several companies working on Project Maven, a Pentagon drone surveillance program. After several conversations with friends and colleagues, O'Sullivan realized this type of technology eventually could be used for autonomous weapons.

In January, she wrote to Clarifai CEO Matt Zeiler on behalf of a group of employees, seeking clarification on whether the technology would be used to create weapons and asking him to commit to a series of ethical measures. Zeiler later explained at a meeting that Clarifai likely would provide tech for autonomous weapons. O'Sullivan quit the next day.

"I was very surprised and had to follow my conscience," she said. Zeiler and Clarifai did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. In a 2018 blog, Zeiler defended Clarifai's involvement in Project Maven, saying it aligned with the company's mission of accelerating human progress with continually improving AI.

O'Sullivan, 34, considers herself part of a "growing backlash against unethical tech," a groundswell in the past two years in which U.S. tech employees have tried to remake the industry from the inside out — pushing for more control over how their work is used and urging better conditions, job security and wages for affiliated workers.

While some speak out and others sign petitions and attend rallies, workers are collectively taking action like never before:

  • Amazon and Microsoft employees demanded the companies stop providing services to software company Palantir, which provides technology to federal agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Army.
  • Amazon employees also have urged the company to transition to renewable energy and confronted CEO Jeff Bezos at a shareholder meeting.
  • Following last year's walkouts over Google's handling of sexual misconduct cases, employees signed a letter protesting Project Dragonfly, a search engine that would comply with Chinese censorship.
  • Staff at Salesforce, Microsoft and Google have protested their companies' ties to Customs and Border Protection, ICE and the military.

Despite six-figure salaries and unlimited vacation time, many tech workers are questioning the effects of their work and joining forces with their more precarious blue-collar, service and contract-worker counterparts, pressing for better work conditions and pay.

"It's unprecedented, both the magnitude of the power of these companies and the willingness of white-collar employees to shake themselves of the privilege that they have and to really see the impact of the work they're doing," said Veena Dubal, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law who has interviewed dozens of tech workers involved in organizing.

They're feeling emboldened because of national and global "existential crises" and the realization that tech companies "have more power than any multinational corporation has had in a long time," Dubal said.

The phenomenon is particularly strong in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to Salesforce, Google and Palantir, among others. The bastion of activism and progressive culture has been hit hard by the tech boom's housing affordability crisis.

"There's a lot of power (that) people are being asked to build for the shareholders of these companies and the management of these companies," said Ian Busher, 28, a former contract analyst for Google and an organizer with the Bay Area chapter of Democratic Socialists of America. "If you want to make the world a better place, you should exercise judgment and democracy with the people you're working with to build these tools."

Facebook and Palantir did not respond to requests for comment.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on employee activism but noted the Seattle-based company is committed to sustainability and said it provides good pay and benefits and humane conditions at its warehouses. At the stakeholder meeting, Bezos didn't directly address employees' renewable energy demands but referred to some sustainability efforts already underway.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company, headquartered in the Seattle area, appreciates employee feedback, respects differing views and provides "many avenues for all voices to be heard."

A Google spokesperson did not comment on specific incidents but emphasized that retaliation is prohibited and pointed to CEO Sundar Pichai's previous statements on worker dissent.

"There are many things good about giving employees a lot of voice," he said at a November conference. "There are decisions we make which they may not agree with."

Congress has begun to aggressively scrutinize the industry in recent years, and the Justice Department last month launched an investigation into big tech companies amid antitrust allegations. A recent Pew Research Center survey indicated Americans have an increasingly negative view of tech's effect on the country.

"As an employee in the tech sector right now, there is a fair bit of guilt or (asking), 'What is my responsibility?'" said Kellie McElhaney, a professor at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Amr Gaber, 32, a Google engineer, was among several tech workers at a July demonstration in front of Facebook's San Francisco office supporting cafeteria workers seeking a new contract. He said although the white-collar workers are more privileged, they're all working people.

"Our fortunes are tied together," Gaber said. "If the (companies) can't even treat the people who work for them well, then how can we expect them to have a positive impact on society?"

There's evidence companies are listening.

Google and Facebook pledged to pay contract workers better and provide some benefits. Google ended forced arbitration for sexual misconduct cases after its employees walked out. Following employee outcry, Google declined to renew its contract with the Pentagon for work on Project Maven.

When employees asked Microsoft to cancel its contract with ICE, CEO Satya Nadella clarified that the company was not contributing to family separations at the border but supporting email, calendar and document systems.

A Salesforce spokesperson said conversations with employees led the company to create the Office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology and "hire a chief ethical and humane use officer to develop guidelines and evaluate situations around the ethical use and development of our technology."

In the wake of concerns about tech's impact on the Bay Area housing crisis, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff this year gave $30 million to UC San Francisco to research homelessness, after donating $6 million to the city last year to help provide supportive housing for the formerly homeless. Pichai, Google's CEO, also pledged $1 billion to build 20,000 homes over a decade.

Such responsiveness is good for business and for building trust with customers and employees who are more inclined to express their demands, according to McElhaney.

"Those who are not responding are ... missing a huge ocean liner that's already left the dock," she said.

Still, some tech workers say the companies' efforts fall short. In some cases, employees have said they've seen or experienced retaliation after they or others have spoken out.

"We say that tech workers have a lot of power, but tech executives have more," said O'Sullivan, who quit on principle and now has a job at a young tech company pursuing transparency in the use of artificial intelligence. "The best way to impact change is through legislation and regulation."

  • Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019
MovieLabs and Hollywood studios publish white paper on future of media creation technology
Richard Berger, CEO of MovieLabs
LOS ANGELES -- 

A new white paper presenting an industry vision for the future of media creation technology by 2030 has been published. Jointly authored by Motion Pictures Laboratories, Inc. (MovieLabs) and technology leadership teams from Hollywood studios, the paper paints a bold picture of future technology and discusses the need for the industry to work together now on innovative new software, hardware and production workflows to support and enable new ways to create content over the next ten years. 
 
The 2030 Vision paper (available for free download on the MovieLabs website) lays out key principles that will form the foundation of this technological future, with examples and a discussion of the broader implications of each. The key principles envision a future in which:
 

  • 1.      All assets are created or ingested straight into the cloud and do not need to be moved.
  • 2.      Applications come to the media.
  • 3.      Propagation and distribution of assets is a “publish” function.
  • 4.      Archives are deep libraries with access policies matching speed, availability and security to the economics of the cloud.
  • 5.      Preservation of digital assets includes the future means to access and edit them.
  • 6.      Every individual on a project is identified and verified, and their access permissions are efficiently and consistently managed.
  • 7.      All media creation happens in a highly secure environment that adapts rapidly to changing threats.
  • 8.      Individual media elements are referenced, accessed, tracked and interrelated using a universal linking system.
  • 9.      Media workflows are non-destructive and dynamically created using common interfaces, underlying data formats and metadata.
  • 10.     Workflows are designed around real-time iteration and feedback.

 
The publication of the paper will be supported with a panel discussion at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam. The panel, titled “Hollywood’s Vision for the Future of Production in 2030,” will include senior technology leaders from five major Hollywood motion picture studios and will take place on Sunday, September 15 at 2:15pm at the IBC Conference in the Forum room of the RAI Amsterdam Conference Centre. 
 
Richard Berger, CEO of MovieLabs, said: “While the next ten years will bring significant opportunities, there are still major challenges and inherent inefficiencies in our production workflows that threaten to limit our future ability to innovate. We have been working closely with studio technology leaders and strategizing how to integrate new technologies that empower filmmakers to create ever more  compelling content with more speed and efficiency. By laying out these principles publicly, we hope to catalyze an industry dialog and fuel innovation, encouraging companies and organizations to help us deliver on these ideas.”

Anthony Guarino, EVP, worldwide technical operations, Paramount Pictures, stated, “The MovieLabs 2030 Vision Paper is the culmination of the technological opportunities emerging  today that the major stakeholders in entertainment—particularly movie studios—are committed to making available for mainstream productions over the next decade. Ideally, the white paper becomes a catalyst for all participants in our industry to confidently make the technology development investments needed to underpin the next-generation workflows and guiding principles. Paramount Pictures looks forward to working with production service partners to encourage development efforts that will bring forward solutions that support this vision.” 

Sony Pictures CTO Don Eklund, said, “Sony Pictures Entertainment has a deep appreciation for the role that current and future technologies play in content creation. As a subsidiary of a technology focused company, we benefit from the power of Sony R&D and Sony’s product groups. The MovieLabs 2030 document represents the contribution of multiple studios to forecast and embrace the impact that cloud, ML, and a range of hardware and software will have on our industry. We consider this a living document that will evolve over time and provide appreciated insight.”

Michael Wise, SVP and CTO, Universal Pictures, added, “With film production experiencing unprecedented growth, and new innovative forms of storytelling capturing our audiences’ attention, we’re proud to be collaborating across the industry to envision new technological paradigms for our filmmakers so we can efficiently deliver worldwide audiences compelling entertainment.” 
 
Shadi Almassizadeh, VP, motion picture architecture and engineering, Walt Disney Pictures and Television, said, “Disney looks forward to working with the industry to strategically integrate technology developments into the production process over the next ten years.” 

Vicky Colf, CTO, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., stated, “In today’s entertainment landscape, creativity and technological innovation are inextricably linked. The MovieLabs 2030 vision does the important work of focusing on technology tools and processes which enable content creator artistry and ingenuity, while delivering efficiency, agility, and security to the ever evolving production environment.” 

  • Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019
Aussie sci-fi film "Quanta" shot on URSA Mini Pro and graded with DaVinci Resolve
A scene from "Quanta"
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design has announced the new sci fi film “Quanta” was shot entirely on an URSA Mini Pro, while grading was done using DaVinci Resolve Studio. The film is one of the first globally distributed films by the new Melbourne-based film production company and film collective Raygun, and will begin distribution in the U.S. and other countries in August.

“Quanta,” shot in Melbourne, tells the story of a weary physicist and an egotistical grad student who discover an immense source of information from an unknown signal in space, but face a clash of ideals with how to handle this unprecedented resource. The director on the film, Nathan Dalton, is an Australian filmmaker who has written and directed numerous award winning short films, music videos and corporate videos. Along with filmmakers Samuel Baulch, Jesse O’Brien, Christian D’Alessi, Sasha Dalton, Dalton founded Raygun Films, which has already completed a number of films using various Blackmagic Design products and DaVinci Resolve Studio software.

“Quanta” takes place in Melbourne, and Dalton used the URSA Mini Pro as the exclusive camera for the film. He wanted to capture the intense sense of foreboding coming from discovering a mysterious alien signal, as well as the vibrant life and city of Melbourne.

“For most of the film I wanted to create a sense of dark and moody. Images that made people think there is something out there just beyond sight. We used a lot of low lighting and we tried to bring in a lot of blues and greens with the LUT that we built in Resolve and used with the URSA Mini Pro,” Dalton said. “Also, we had to create high quality sci fi images, but at the same time on a low budget. The URSA Mini Pro let me do that without compromising on image quality.”

The film showed more than just dark and foreboding images. It was important for Dalton and his crew to capture the color and energy of Melbourne. This meant shooting in crowded venues that showcased a huge amount of different colors.

“There were two distinctly different scenes where the URSA Mini Pro’s color science and dynamic range stood out. In one scene, a main character was in a dark room where a computer signal was being put directly into a characters brain in front a computer. At the other end of the spectrum we shot a scene with 20 to 30 extras in a pub during a trivia night party that had an amazing amount of different colors. The URSA Mini Pro let me capture all the details we needed even in low lighting, while bringing out the warmth of the lighting and skin tones at the trivia night. You just really appreciate the color science in the camera,” he said.

Color correction and LUT development on “Quanta” was completed using DaVinci Resolve Studio.

“When we were trying to dial in the look and feel of the film, we used Resolve to create an initial LUT and a finished grade that brought in the subtle blues and greens that we needed to create a sense of foreboding,” he continued. “And beyond that, the workflow between URSA Mini Pro and Resolve could not be simpler. There was no wasted time or money on transcoding because we were able to shoot in RAW and bring the footage right into Resolve.”

Many of Raygun’s other films and projects also use DaVinci Resolve. “Blackmagic Design as a company is a game changer. We are able to affordably shoot and handle post production without compromising on quality. We are creating Hollywood level films, and Blackmagic has been part of what has allowed us to make the jump into starting our own film production company,” Dalton said.

  • Friday, Aug. 16, 2019
IABM gears up for IBC2019
GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK -- 

IABM, the international trade association for broadcast and media technology suppliers, will have a major presence at IBC2019--set for September 13-17 in Amsterdam--to support its 500+ member companies. Member services at the show include lounges, meeting rooms and IABM TV. In addition, IABM is continuing its mission to share knowledge and reward innovation across the industry with a series of inclusive events. IABM will also be distributing its Strategic Industry Analysis special report at the show, featuring up to the moment research on the state and direction of the industry carried out in the run-up to IBC2019 by the IABM Business Intelligence Unit.

The show-opening IABM State of the Industry breakfast session is on Friday, September 13, at 7.45am in the Forum, under the banner “Seeing clearly in the cloud – strategies for business transformation.” The session kicks off with a run-down of the latest IABM research findings on how the supply and buying sides of the industry are faring, and where we are heading next.

The broadcast and media industry is at the tipping point of its transformation to an on-demand, data-driven world with the cloud at its heart. Every level of our industry is being disrupted – people, technology and business practices. Powered by IABM’s business and technology insights with expert presentations and an interactive debate, the session will explore the challenges and opportunities of transformation to a cloud media ecosystem. Panellists include: David Kline, chief information & technology officer, Viacom; Timothy Shoulders, president, Grass Valley, a Belden Brand; Morwen Williams, head of UK operations, BBC News; and Bhavik Vyas, head of M&E Global Partnerships and Alliances, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
 
IABM Future Trends Theatre in the IBC Future Zone
Following its successful debut at IBC2018, the IABM Future Trends Theatre returns for this year’s show with more than twice as many presentations across a huge range of future-looking topics. The presentations are designed to give attendees an understanding of new technology and business trends and how they can enable business plans now; to illustrate this with practical, real-world use-cases; and look beyond the horizon at emerging technologies that will bring new possibilities. The IABM Future Trends Theatre is running from September 14-17.

Future Zone Launch Party
IABM has gotten together with the IET to launch the Future Zone with a bang on September 13, 5pm – 7pm. With an international guest list from the broadcast and media industry, the Future Zone Launch Party will provide an ideal opportunity for networking with colleagues, competitors, visitors and the wider industry at a fun and relaxing event where attendees can exchange views and ideas at the end of the first day of the show. 

BaM Awards® party
Saturday, September 14, 6pm: The IBC2019 edition of the BaM Awards® has attracted a record 189 entries--a clear demonstration of the value to innovators of the industry’s only truly independent technology awards. IABM’s BaM Awards® recognize outstanding innovation in each of 10 categories across the entire BaM Content Chain®. Open to all IABM members and the trade press, the BaM Awards® party celebrates and rewards the winners with IABM’s coveted BaM® winners’ sculptures--the culmination of an arduous judging process carried out by IABM’s panel of 40+ independent experts over the weeks running up to IBC Show. As well as giving attendees a first-hand view of the top innovators, the BaM Awards® party is also a prime networking opportunity. 

IABM member lounges and meeting rooms
IABM will have two member lounges at IBC2019--in the Hall 8 foyer and on Level 2 in the Amtrium (Hall 4)--the latter with bookable meeting rooms. With ample seating and Wi-Fi available, the lounges are a great location to conduct meetings or to catch up on business in a quiet, stress-free environment.

IABM TV
IABM TV will be relaying members’ news from the show floor and covering panels on developments in each segment of the Bam Content Chain® as well as presentations to continue growing the Knowledge Vault on the IABM website into the industry’s most comprehensive and up-to-the-minute reference resource.

“Once again, we’ve pulled out all the stops to help our members get the most out of their investment in IBC,” said Peter White, CEO, IABM. “As well as supporting their activities, we’re also providing unique platforms for engagement and the exchange of ideas across the industry to help everyone do better business now and also be prepared for the future as the rate of transformation in broadcast and media continues to accelerate.”

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