Cool Stuff: Michael Kammes’ new Web series ‘5 Things’

By Randi Altman

Many of you, especially those who follow social media, might already know of Michael Kammes (@michaelkammes). As his Twitter description says, he’s a director of technology and marketing (at Key Code Media), a workflow consultant, a product specialist, a sound editor, a pundit, a geek, former Chicagoan and current Angeleno.

He is also creator of the new 5 Things web series where he picks a topic or technology and tells you the good and the bad. He has episodes dedicated to Adobe Anywhere, 4K and, most recently, Nexidia Dialogue Search. Next week the episode on Codecs will become live.

Kammes loves this industry, and spends a lot of his time sharing information for the sake of sharing information, which is how his new series happened.

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What prompted you to start 5 Things?
Several reasons.  As I’ve moved out of the chair and into the technical realm of the industry, I haven’t been able to create as much as I’d like — which is the main reason I got into the business!

In addition, I’ve come to realize that there is a perception difference between that of sales, marketing, engineering and the end user.  Each facet of the industry has its own way of interpreting information and conveying that information to others. Often times, these viewpoints don’t convey a complete picture. In my career, I’ve been able to have a hand in all of these areas, so I believe I have a rather balanced, valuable insight into the technologies and how they apply to our industry. Being able to share this information with the only goals being that of education and the desire to create “something” is an interesting take.

Are people suggesting topics or are you covering things you find are important?
Many of topics were commonly asked questions from conversations with clients, at speaking engagements and in social media discussions — even before news of the series went public.  I coupled this with the desire to challenge myself and tackle concepts AND products. This led to four episodes in the can, and an additional three written when the series launched without any real direct suggestions.

Now that 5 Things is gaining an audience, I’m actively encouraging suggestions and can work in a little bit less of a vacuum. I am tempering the planned topics with what I’ve seen that hasn’t been covered in a complete way elsewhere. I’d rather not contribute to the white noise.

Lastly, I’m interested in the way new technologies disrupt the thought process of “this is what we’ve always done.” That tech is exciting and needs an audience.

What are you shooting on and editing with?
It’s a very powerful little set-up. I shoot at my home office with a Blackmagic 4K Production Camera with a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens. To monitor while recording, I run an SDI line from the camera to an HDMI converter, and the HDMI to the same monitor I edit with: a 27-inch LCD. I use a Prompter People Flex-11 teleprompter and light with a Flo-Light 220. Sound is via a Sennheiser ew 112 G3 lavalier.

As far as editing, that’s the real fun part. Thus far, I’ve cut at least one episode in Avid, Premiere and FCPX just to keep my chops up. I suspect I’ll stick with Premiere, given my current love affair with Adobe Anywhere.

So can we expect anything on cloud-based workflows?
It’s definitely a good topic, and there are several workflows being used now: remote cloud-based editing using technologies from Forbidden (FORscene), which is editing media that sits in the cloud; Avid Everywhere or Adobe Anywhere using your own “personal” cloud; Remote Review and Approve (a la YouTube, or private web versions that are similar); disaster recovery and archival in the cloud; other solutions, like Telestream, using Vantage in the cloud, which allow enterprise users to transcode if their in-house systems are too busy; on a smaller scale, using tools like Dropbox or BitTorrent to share cuts and media.

All of these points are done and would make good articles in and of themselves. Unfortunately, the limiting factor is your upload and download speed (bandwidth), where in the US it’s not very good.

It is the future, as it allows productions to grow and shrink dependent on their workloads.  This, in turn, can be detrimental to larger brick and mortar facilities, as it expands the geographical areas with which to hire and use talent. Less overhead!

 


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