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Automatic Duck’s Wes Plate talks about building bridges

By Randi Altman

If you’ve worked in post production during the past 14 years, there is a very good chance you know Automatic Duck and its president, Wes Plate. Over their time in business, Wes and his father, Harry, have created a number of software tools designed to make different programs and formats work together… the ultimate facilitators.

In 2011, Automatic Duck licensed its technology to Adobe, and Wes joined them as head of its Prelude team. While Adobe had acquired the technological assets of Automatic Duck, it did not acquire Automatic Duck, the company.

Fast forward a few years and the Plates and Automatic Duck are back with new products. As you might expect, Continue reading

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Quick Chat: CO3’s Stephen Nakamura on grading ‘The Martian’

Ridley Scott’s The Martian tells the story of an astronaut left behind on Mars. The director, who created that world, called on Company 3’s Stephen Nakamura for the color grade, which he completed in London to be closer to Scott and the production.

We checked in with Nakamura to find out more about his process on The Martian.

You and Ridley have collaborated in the past. We assume you have developed a short hand of sorts?
There are definitely things I know he likes and doesn’t like, but each project is also a little bit different. Obviously, he is very interested in the visuals of every shot. Continue reading

The A-List: ‘Hotel Transylvania 2′ director Genndy Tartakovsky

By Jennifer Walden

Hotel Transylvania 2 has been kicking some box office butt since it was released on September 25. In this follow up to the original, the story follows Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) and his posse as they team up to teach grandson Dennis, who is half-human/half-vampire, a few lessons on how to be a monster, all in an effort to (once again) keep daughter Mavis safely at home.

The sequel is not only a return for the “Drac Pack,” it was also a reunion for the Hotel Transylvania creative teams at Sony, with visual teams at Sony Pictures Imageworks and the post sound team at Sony Pictures Post being guided by director Genndy Tartakovsky. Continue reading

Part 1: Millennials are know-it-alls… and so is everyone else

By Josh Rizzo

Lately, many a lunchtime conversation has included speculation on how the game is changing for content creation and what it will all means for the entertainment industry — for producers, editors, post facilities, broadcasters, manufacturers and everybody in between.

These are unofficially known as “Professional WTF” discussions. Netflix? YouTube “stars”? Virtual Reality? What does it all mean? Folks are asking themselves, “How does this impact me, the individual, and how can I remain professionally relevant (a.k.a. employed) through such a turbulent time?” We aim to continue maximizing our earning potential while minimizing the effort needed to do so. Then, if we get to feel good about the result of our work at the end of the day, Continue reading


The A-List: An interview with ‘The Martian’ director Ridley Scott

By Iain Blair

A mysterious alien world in deep space, hundreds of years in the future. The gore and glory of imperial Rome, and the spectacle of its doomed gladiators. The nightmarish vision of a dystopian Los Angeles and its rogue replicants. The colossal grandeur of ancient Egypt and its massive monuments. The bloody battlefields of the Crusades. The pastoral glow of vineyards in southern France.

Those are just a few of the “other worlds” that Ridley Scott, one of the supreme stylists of contemporary cinema, has brought to life over the past five decades since making his feature debut with The Duellists in 1977. Scott’s directorial resume also includes Blade Runner, Alien and Thelma and Louise. Continue reading

Mark Mangini keynotes The Art of Sound 
Design at Sony Studios

Panels focus on specifics of music, effects and dialog sound design, and immersive soundtracks

By Mel Lambert

Defining a sound designer as somebody “who uses sound to tell stories,” Mark Mangini, MPSE, was adamant that “sound editors and re-recording mixers should be authors of a film’s content, and take creative risks. Art doesn’t get made without risk.”

A sound designer/re-recording mixer at Hollywood’s Formosa Group Features, Mangini outlined his sound design philosophy during a keynote speech at the recent The Art of Sound Design: Music, Effects and Dialog in an Immersive World conference, which took place at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City.

Mangini is recipient of three Academy Award nominations for The Fifth Element (1997), Continue reading

A look at HP’s new entry-level Z240, Z240 SFF

By Nam Tran

If you’ve been thinking about building your own PC workstation, you might want to consider two new options from HP in the form of the HP Z240, which comes in two flavors: the bigger Tower workstation and the Small Form Factor workstation (SFF). The only real differences between the two are size and fewer expansion slots on the SFF, so if you’re looking for a future-proof system, and size is not an issue, the bigger Tower workstation will be the better choice.

HP touts the new HP Z240 as the company’s “most affordable workstation.” Although the only price point known so far is $879, I’m willing to bet editors will need a minimum of a $1,300 configuration, Continue reading

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IBC Report: Making high-resolution panoramic video

By Tom Coughlin

Higher resolution content is becoming the norm in today’s media workflows, but pixel count is not the only element that is changing. In addition to the pixel density the depth of image, color gamut, frame rates and even the number of simultaneous streams of video will be important. At the 2015 IBC in Amsterdam there was a clear picture of a future that includes UHD 4K and 8K video, as well as virtual reality, as the future path to more immersive video and entertainment experiences.

NHK, a pioneer in 8K video hardware and infrastructure development has given more details on its introduction of this higher resolution format. They will start test broadcasts of their 8K technology in 2016, Continue reading

Tips from BCPC’s ‘Best Practices’ event

By Chelsea Taylor

A couple of years ago I was in an edit putting the finishing touches on the first episode of a short web series with the producer. While we were waiting for it to export, we discussed the problems we ran into so the producer could adjust for her next shoot.

My suggestions? “Next time, get more b-roll of the location, don’t let the talent ramble off topic and watch their eye line after a response.”

The producer made these small adjustments and saw the difference it made in time and efficiency. She began to spend more time in the edit understanding what I do and why, and she began consulting with me during pre-production. Continue reading

Behind the Title: Butter senior producer Annick Mayer

NAME: Annick Mayer

COMPANYButter Music + Sound (Facebook)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY? Butter is a group of talented composers and producers, who all happen to love working with each other. We create original music for moving picture, with a focus in the world of advertising. We also act as music supervisors when clients are looking to license rather than compose.

Senior Producer

As the senior producer at Butter, I am a face and a name to our clients, and the liaison between the clients and our composers. Continue reading