Friday, June 22, 2018

Toolbox

  • Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2018
JVC ProHD cameras anchor Center for Media and Design at Santa Monica College
The new Center for Media and Design at Santa Monica College features three JVC GY-HM890 ProHD cameras in its production studio.
WAYNE, NJ -- 

JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation, announced that Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, Calif., has added JVC GY-HM890 ProHD cameras to the production studio in its new Center for Media and Design.

The studio features three GY-HM890s paired with JVC FS-790 ProHD fiber optic system modules, which connect directly to the camera body via a hidden 68-pin connector. Each camera is mounted on a Cartoni pedestal and is equipped with a CueScript prompter.

Gail Fetzer, associate professor, said the cameras are used to teach multi-camera production, with students producing talk shows, music videos, and other content that is shared on YouTube and Facebook. 

Santa Monica College purchased JVC cameras in 2011 for its flypack production system, and later purchased the GY-HM650 ProHD mobile news cameras for student newscasts. Brad Lemonds, media coordinator for Media Production, wanted to stay with the same user interface for the new studio cameras. “It was a no-brainer to go with JVC again,” Lemonds said.

Located in “Silicon Beach,” an area in Los Angeles’s Westside that includes hundreds of media firms and technology companies, the Center for Media and Design provides a single facility for SMC’s media content development and design programs. 

According to Lemonds, classes moved to its new facility in phases. The first film classes began last fall, with radio classes following in the next eight-week session. Video production began in January, and students “walked in and had to pick up their jaws,” he said. “It’s a pretty awesome workspace.”

The control room and flypack are modeled after production facilities used by the Big West Conference. “Our students will either go directly to the job market or transfer,” Lemonds explained. “We wanted to emulate their systems. We’re trying to provide close to ESPN quality.”

While the Center for Media and Design is still finalizing its workflow, Santa Monica College is already planning to expand its production schedule in the fall with an advanced track for sports production. The center is considering additional GY-HM890s to update its flypack, and recently received several JVC GY-HM170 4KCAM compact camera for its documentary classes.

  • Monday, Jun. 18, 2018
Upside rebuilds its post systems with Blackmagic 12G-SDI products
Upside's machine room
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design announced that Japanese postproduction company Upside rebuilt their studio around Blackmagic Design 12G-SDI technology. As part of their upgrade from HD to 4K60p support, the company installed DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel, DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel, Teranex Express, DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G, Smart Videohub 12G 40x40 and Videohub Smart Control.

Upside was founded in 2012, specializing in editing and color grading for dramas and short films. It also has departments for shooting and lighting, and supports the complete workflow from shooting to postproduction. To meet the demand for more 4K60p content, Upside decided to upgrade their existing HD studio to support 4K60p in September last year. There are three audio engineering rooms, seven editing rooms and one grading room. Many Blackmagic 12G-SDI products were installed in the machine rooms, as well as in the editing and grading rooms.

“We already had DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel in the grading room. Online editors can apply color correction, now that we installed DaVinci Resolve Studio and Mini Panels in every online editing room. It eliminated the necessity to go to the grading room and has made the workflow more efficient. We sometimes produce a project simultaneously with DaVinci Resolve Studio, grading the material in a grading room and applying effects in an editing room. It makes the workflow enormously more smooth since you can work on a project at the same time. We also installed DaVinci Resolve Micro Panels and because you can carry around DaVinci Resolve Micro Panels, we sometimes use them for color correction on location,” said Kazunari Kurusu, a director of the postproduction department.

By building the machine room with Blackmagic 12G-SDI products, they were able to reduce cables and make connections simpler. There are 4K and HD monitors in the grading and online editing rooms, where Teranex Express is used to convert 4K signals to HD and which are also used in the online editing rooms.

In the company’s machine room, they have installed two units of Smart Videohub 12G 40x40 routers, one for HD and the other for 4K. These are at the center of the whole post production system, with signals switched on Videohub Smart Controls installed in each editing and grading room. Multiple units of DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G are used for inputs and outputs on every machine in the editing and grading rooms.

“There were no other possible choices for us when we planned to build this machine room other than using Blackmagic products, many of which support 12G-SDI. We had been using Blackmagic products for five years with no problem so we find them reliable and trustworthy. Not only are they affordable, the performance of every product is wonderful,” he concluded.

  • Friday, Jun. 15, 2018
Gener 2 chooses Avid workflow to launch CNN affiliate in Albania
BURLINGTON, Mass. -- 

Gener 2, one of the largest construction and civil engineering companies in Albania, has selected a broad set of Avid solutions to launch its first TV channel, A2 TV, in partnership with CNN. The channel will be an exclusive CNN affiliate headquartered from a major production hub in Tirana.

A2 TV’s 24-hour news service will cover Albania and reach millions more outside the country. The new channel needed a reliable end-to-end solution to support around-the-clock news coverage and provide journalists and users with the most advanced broadcast news workflow. Powered by MediaCentral®, the Avid workflow will bring state-of-the-art news production to A2 TV, which is expected to begin broadcasting later this year. The solution was installed by broadcast technology specialist and Avid partner, Teratek.

“Given CNN’s international standards and reputation, and Gener 2’s position in the Albanian market, it’s extremely important that A2 TV features the very best technology,” said Andri Kasneci, CEO of A2. “With our new channel, we are looking to set new milestones in the Albanian media, and Avid’s solutions are essential to achieving this.”  

A broad range of Avid news solutions is outfitting the new facility. MediaCentral | Newsroom Management will serve as the dynamic nerve center of A2 TV’s advanced story creation, management, and distribution, and MediaCentral | Production Management will accelerate the entire production workflow, empowering collaboration to get projects done faster. The integration of Avid NEXIS® shared storage is critical to meet the demands of 24/7 rolling news with true storage virtualization, scalability and power. With Avid Media Composer®, A2 editors will have the industry-choice video editing software to elevate their storytelling.

A2’s full suite of Maestro graphics solutions will give 2D and 3D graphics capabilities and includes Maestro™ | News universal controller for video and graphics, Maestro | TX for channel branding graphics and playout, and Maestro | PowerWall for innovative display control from a touchscreen interface. AirSpeed® will be seamlessly coupled with A2 TV’s Maestro solutions for versatile media ingest and playout.

“This is an exciting opportunity to help design a system from the ground up and see some of Avid’s newest innovations at work,” said Tom Cordiner, SVP, global sales at Avid. “We’re confident that A2 will realize its ambitions and we’re eager to see the results.”

  • Thursday, Jun. 14, 2018
Real-time gear rental bidding platform ShareGrid PRO debuts
Via ShareGrid PRO production managers can shop for the best deal on gear from trusted rental houses.
LOS ANGELES -- 

ShareGrid, a company that three years ago made its name in the film gear business with its indie style peer-to-peer rental service, is shaking things up again with a radical new approach to sourcing gear. They are calling it ShareGrid PRO and this time it’s aimed at serving large commercial and studio productions.

“This is very different kind of gear rental experience,” said ShareGrid’s CEO Marius Ciocirlan. “This new tool is designed specifically for the gear needs of large productions.”

The magic of ShareGrid PRO comes from the company joining forces with over twenty rental houses who will give quotes in a real-time bidding platform to supply all the gear for a company’s upcoming production.

“PRO is a producer’s dream tool” said Brett Blake, a Los Angeles based freelance producer. “It removes so many steps in the process of getting rental quotes and shopping around to work with new rental houses. I loved using it.”

Producers save time and money
ShareGrid PRO is a new patent-pending, centralized bidding and booking system. Production managers can submit their gear requests in under two minutes at www.sharegrid.com/pro. Each request is automatically turned into a project dashboard to view the returning bids, message rental agents, make changes, share with their team, and instantly book the gear. No more email threads.

Once a bid is selected, the client can checkout with their insurance and credit card or purchase-order already on file. Productions then communicate directly with the rental house by phone, sms, email or through the web to arrange pickup and prep. No additional payment authorization forms, contracts, or separate communications are needed. No need to manage multiple accounts since ShareGrid serves as the agent for all the rental houses.

An unrivaled value proposition
Production companies benefit from ShareGrid PRO because they get the combination of one-stop digital convenience, choice, and the reliable service of a brick-and-mortar rental house. ShareGrid PRO does not require any fees, contracts, or disclosure of the project and company details. Production companies only pay the price of the bid they select.

“ShareGrid PRO ensures productions are getting the best deal,” said Ciocirlan.

Through ShareGrid PRO, a rental house’s service, price, available gear, location, and reputation are compared and evaluated so production managers can easily choose the best deal for their projects. Once they find what they like, they can book it with a click. 

“ShareGrid PRO was born out of necessity,” said Ciocirlan. “This is what producers have consistently asked us for. Many industries are changing rapidly with new tools and services, it’s important for all of us who supply film gear to change too.”

Rental houses get new business
Once seen as unlikely allies, ShareGrid and rental houses have more recently found a symbiotic relationship. “The past year has brought ShareGrid and rental houses together because we need each other,” says James Keblas, ShareGrid’s Director of Business Development. “ShareGrid knows how to build the best digital marketplace, while rental houses know how to provide the best gear service. This partnership was inevitable.” 

“ShareGrid has done a great job evolving their platform to benefit professional rental houses, specifically in the growing marketplace” said Suren Seron, owner of Stray Angel Films, an integrated rental house in West LA. “They have added badges, filters, fraud detection and other services that give us much more visibility to the community. PRO is the culmination of years of marketplace experience and was the logical outcome for a true online rental platform and professional rental house partnership. We view it as a promising and very valuable sales tool for growing rental houses like ours.  This brings in more business and gives us a competitive advantage through increased visibility to key decision makers at established production companies, MCNs, studios, and major content platforms.”

Brent Barbano, Los Angeles based cinematographer and ShareGrid Co-Founder described ShareGrid PRO as, “giving rental houses the ability to focus on service. Great service is the differentiator in this business. Most of the gear is the same, what rental houses provide that is special is service; being there when equipment goes down, taking proper care of their gear, and being the best at their craft.” Brent jokingly added, “We are forming the Justice League of gear rentals.”

  • Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2018
Morgan Beall named Ncam's VP of North America 
Morgan Beall
LONDON -- 

Ncam Technologies, a developer of real-time augmented reality technology for the entertainment industries, has appointed Morgan Beall to the role of VP of North America sales. With the expected growth in Ncam’s core markets of broadcast graphics, film and TV VFX, sports, and enterprise AR, Beall will play a key part in developing Ncam’s presence in North America and Canada, as the company prepares to open a dedicated sales and support office in Los Angeles.

Beall joins Ncam from RED Digital Cinema where she spent six years in increasingly senior sales roles, most recently as business development manager.

Ncam CEO Nic Hatch said of Beall, “Her extensive knowledge of the media technology industry together with her proven sales acumen will help us to expand Ncam’s reach in the region and deliver a more localized sales and support experience for our valued North American and Canadian customers and partners.”

Beall said, “We have only scratched the surface of augmented reality and its possibilities, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring Ncam’s advanced technology to a wider audience.”

  • Monday, Jun. 11, 2018
ARRI Makes ARRIRAW Available for AMIRA
ARRI AMIRA
MUNICH, Germany -- 

ARRI is enabling owners and operators of AMIRA cameras to record in ARRIRAW. The change will involve the installation of the new Software Update Package SUP 5.3, and the purchase of a license. It will give cinematographers the option to record ARRIRAW 2.8K up to 48fps, which increases the versatility of their AMIRA even further, and gives them more options to offer clients.  

“It’s a response to an increasing demand,” said Markus Duerr, the ARRI AMIRA product manager. “With the growing popularity of ARRIRAW, more and more AMIRA users have been asking us to make it available to them.” 

ARRIRAW data produced from an ARRI AMIRA can be considered a digital version of a camera negative. It is the only format that retains the camera’s natural color response and great exposure latitude as uncompressed and unencrypted sensor data. The originally recorded raw data remains pristine, providing flexibility in postproduction and raw data archiving. 

The ARRI AMIRA is a versatile camera system that combines exceptional image quality and affordable CFast 2.0 workflows with an ergonomic design optimized for single-operator use and extended shoulder-mounted operation. Ready to pick up and shoot straight out of the camera bag, AMIRA is tough enough to take anywhere and features in-camera grading with preloaded 3D LUTs, as well as 200 fps slow motion. It is suitable for a great variety of production types, from reportage and corporate films, to TV drama and low-budget movies.

  • Thursday, Jun. 7, 2018
Chesapeake Systems names Nick Gold lead technologist
Nick Gold
BALTIMORE -- 

Chesapeake Systems, the workflow solutions architects for advanced media technology systems, has named Nick Gold to the newly created role of lead technologist. With a focus on identifying, engaging with, and evaluating new technology and vendor partner options in the marketplace, Gold is responsible for developing evolving product and service offerings for Chesapeake. He will also provide senior oversight of R&D efforts for the company.

Part of the Chesapeake team since 2004, Gold will continue to work with both clients and industry partners, developing a deep understanding of their technological and operational needs and capabilities. His new position underscores Chesapeake’s mission of engagement and partnership with clients, concentrating on analyzing the industry, anticipating future needs and challenges and identifying progressive solutions for Chesapeake’s clients’ needs.

Gold has long been focused on pioneering asset management solutions that enable creative teams and drive efficiencies in media operations. Over the years, working closely with companies that focus on the production of compelling media as their central activity, Gold has helped devise video-centric workflows for short-term production activities and long-term archive in a number of major media companies.

Jason Paquin, CEO of Chesapeake Systems, said, “As the demands for advanced technological solutions become more challenging for Chesapeake’s clients, we saw a need for expert evaluation and analysis of options. Nick has worked closely with our customers and technology vendors for many years, and brings an uncommon ability to understand the needs of clients and the technologies available to them.  We saw an incredible opportunity to put his strengths to work for our customers.”

Active in both the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), Gold speaks frequently at industry events. He will continue to be based in the Baltimore headquarters of Chesapeake Systems, which also has offices in New York and Los Angeles.

  • Monday, Jun. 4, 2018
Microsoft paying $7.5 billion for GitHub
In this April 28, 2015, file photo, a man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Microsoft says it's paying $7.5 billion in stock for the popular coder hangout GitHub.

GitHub is a platform where software developers can go to host and review each other's code.

The San Francisco startup was founded in 2008 and has grown sharply since announcing its first outside investment in 2012. It now counts about 27 million software developers around the world who use its platform to share code and build businesses. It's free to use GitHub for open-source projects, but some developers and businesses pay a monthly fee to access private code repositories and other services.

Microsoft said Monday it expects the deal to close by year-end.

  • Thursday, May. 31, 2018
NBCUniversal to showcase LightBlade LB800 At Cine Gear Expo
NBCUniversal LightBlade debuts its new LB800 product at Cine Gear Booth S107
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- 

NBCUniversal LightBlade announced its newest LED product, the LB800, in partnership with Cineo Lighting. As with its other LightBlade fixtures--the LightBlade 1K, the Ladder Light, and 1, 2 & 4 Blade configurations--the LB800 uses proprietary phosphor-converted white light LEDs, as well as phosphor-converted saturated color LEDs, to create a balanced, natural-looking spectrum.  Additional features on the LB800 include support of both 8-bit and 16-bit DMX data, as well as multiple color space personalities.  The LB800 can store and recall multiple fixture settings for quick access to frequently used lighting parameters.  NBCUniversal LightBlade is showcasing the LB800 at the Cine Gear Expo, Booth # S107.

“NBCUniversal Set Lighting Department is a principal thought leader when it comes to new technologies in lighting, and the LightBlade LB800 is no exception,” said Jamie Crosbie, VP of studio services at NBCUniversal. “The LightBlade product line continues to provide content creators the necessary tools for developing cutting edge lighting techniques in an ever evolving industry.”

The NBCUniversal LightBlade LB800 is a 24” x 48” fixture that can be configured in 10 independent zones, with complete DMX/RDM control over each zone.  It features local and remote dimming, 0-100%, calibrated in f-stops, and can be controlled via wired or built-in wireless CRMX control.  NBCUniversal LightBlade products feature reference-quality variable white light from 2700K to 6500K. They have superior color rendering with typical CRI>90, R9>95, and a saturated color engine that works creatively with high-CRI white light.  NBCUniversal LightBlade products are versatile, lightweight, silent and flicker-free, and built to endure the wear and tear of staging and production. 

  • Tuesday, May. 29, 2018
Tokyo Sound Production creates new edit rooms with DaVinci Resolve Studio, Universal Videohub
DaVinci Resolve Studio
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design announced that Tokyo Sound Production installed a number of Blackmagic products to create a set of new postproduction studios. The new site now has DaVinci Resolve Studio, DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel, Universal Videohub 72, Smart Videohub 40x40, and a number of additional products, including Videohub Smart Control, MultiView 16, ATEM Television Studio HD, HyperDeck Studio, Audio Monitor and UltraStudio HD Mini.

Tokyo Sound Production, founded in 1963, has seven studios and offices in Tokyo. It specializes in shooting, video editing, audio engineering and music productions, as well as the production of TV programs and video material. After merging with Video Pack Nippon last summer, Tokyo Sound Production decided to create a new floor as part of their Tokyo based EX studio. The new floor includes two linear editing rooms, two non-linear editing rooms, an audio post production room and a machine room.

To help support editing, grading and audio postproduction, DaVinci Resolve Studio and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel were installed in the non-linear editing rooms.

“The main reason we decided to install DaVinci Resolve Studio is that it now supports Fairlight and you can finish editing, grading and audio postproduction in one package,” said Shuhei Koike, technical manager of the editing department. “Previously we had many issues of version compatibility between editing software and audio software. I think DaVinci Resolve Studio is the most advanced software out there because you can complete the whole post production flow in just one system.”

“We have two systems of DaVinci Resolve Studio, one on Mac and the other on Windows, so that you can always use the best OS in any given situations. Before, it was common to use different applications for editing and audio but we expect that the situation will change and DaVinci Resolve Studio will be a mainstream tool in the post production industry in the near future. We hope that we are ready for that transition now, thanks to the new system we installed on this floor,” explained Koike.

For their new machine room, Tokyo Sound Production has installed Universal Videohub 72 and Smart Videohub 40x40 to route signals in the other rooms.

“We have two non-linear editing rooms and Smart Videohub 40x40 in the machine room that routes signals for these rooms, and use them for our title production work. In the production of TV programs it is always required to put titles. In non-linear editing, putting in titles can be a time consuming process because you need to export files so clients can see the result and if some corrections are to be made the process would need to resume again. To make the process simpler, we are using Smart Videohub 40x40 and ATEM Television Studio HD. We route signals on Smart Videohub 40x40 and combine titles and backgrounds on the ATEM Television Studio HD. This way it is faster and easier to show the result to our clients and it improved the efficiency. Even if some modifications are necessary, you can change it and show another version in a second,” said Tomoyuki Muroi, chief of the editing department.

He continued: “Smart Videohub 40x40 can be controlled by PC but adding Videohub Smart Control turned out to be a great choice, because you don’t need to start a PC and you can route signals quickly and intuitively. It is an essential part of the entire system. I also like the feature to assign SDI A and SDI B on one button, making it possible to route dual-link signals easily.”

For the linear machine rooms, Universal Videohub 72 has been installed to provide routing, along with a MultiView 16 for SDI video feed management. Typically, when SDI sources get switched for the main linear editing switchers, sources get switched in the same way on MultiView 16 simultaneously and automatically, using the SDI A/B routing feature on Videohub Smart Control. The signals for the line editing switchers are clean, while the signals for MultiView 16 have timecode burnt in.

“We had the experience of using Universal Videohub 72 for four years on another floor and decided to install another one since we were aware of how it is simple to use. It is easy to organize devices on PC and, even when you add another VTR, you can put labels and reorganize the system without stress. We also installed HyperDeck Studio so that clients can bring home data, without rendering out clips on NLE software. It is very convenient to output a signal from a NLE system and record the signal with one button. We find it advantageous that it supports not only ProRes but also DNx codecs. By supporting both codecs, HyperDeck has great compatibility with a wide range of NLE applications,” concluded Tomoyuki Muroi.