Tag Archives: VR/AR

MPC New York staffs up for growth with Kathrin Lausch, Nick Haynes

In response to an increasing amount of work in the city, MPC New York has added two senior industry vets to it staff — Kathrin Lausch and Nick Haynes.

Lausch, most recently executive producer at NYC’s Ntropic, has joined as head of new business development to focus on the growing area of client-direct work. She brings two decades of experience as an EP to her new position at MPC, having worked with a roster of production and post companies that includes B-Reel, Partizan Entertainment and Compass Films, among others. A native of Germany with advanced degrees in law and marketing, Lausch has owned and managed her own companies as well as run multinational production projects for advertising and entertainment clients during her career.

Haynes, who has a wealth of VFX and post experience, moved to New York from London in 2002 to help launch the first US office of The Mill. In his 10 years with the company he held a range of production and management positions that helped spur growth. After leaving The Mill he joined Absolute Post as GM/EP, where he helped build its New York office and supervised sales, VFX, motion graphic and design work.

“I’ve known Kathrin for some time and felt she’d be a perfect fit with what we’re doing here at MPC,” says Justin Brukman, managing director of MPC’s New York office. “Her experience, insight and contacts are unparalleled, and we’re confident she’s going to build our brand relationships across the board. And bringing on an EP of Nick’s stature to work with executive producer Camila De Biaggi ensures that we’ll continue to grow our core visual effects capabilities while we expand into areas like VR, AR, client direct and live-action production.”

These new signings come on the heels of other new hires at MPC New York, including EP Dani Zeitlin, who joined recently from Crew Cuts to lead its color grading work, and senior producers Elissa Norman and Brendan Khan.

We here at postPerspective have had the pleasure of knowing Kathrin from her Ntropic days. After hearing about her new position, we reached out with some questions.

Why was now the right time to make a move, and why MPC?
I’ve known MPC’s managing director, Justin Brukman, for a few years and have been quite impressed with his clear vision and strategy for MPC.  I personally wanted to be at a studio that has the strength and muscle to deliver, but also the flexibility to see where the marketplace is going and quickly react to changing needs. After reconnecting with Justin I felt such a strong connection and a similarity in ideas about where the business is headed, and felt that MPC would make the perfect platform for me to put my views on growing new business opportunities into practice.

You will be focusing on client-direct work. Can you talk more about that?
We’ve all seen how fast the market landscape has changed in the past few years, where vendors are becoming partners in order to facilitate the need for more content with faster execution times and more immediate responses to changes or adaptations. Client-direct work seems to be a natural progression for companies that can offer VFX, post and production, not just under one roof but across a global network. We also understand that bringing in the right creative thinking is crucial to delivering what clients need today. MPC recognizes this new opportunity and is building out that capability for specific clients. We’re not changing who we are; we’re just reacting to segments of the business that are in transition.

How important will VR and AR be in the continued growth of MPC New York?
I think VR and AR will become an ongoing part of brand engagement as an aspect of the many channels or platforms clients need to engage different demographics. Of course, both have very different emotional and functional engagement levels and will be used by brands for different purposes. We’ve been producing some amazing VR experiences and are developing great ideas, both for clients and for our own original MPC content.

In the music space, for example, we recently did a stunning VR music video for the international DJ Kygo and Sony Music that’s set to break soon. I foresee VR and AR as being an ongoing format for us, and with new technologies arriving every day, it’s going to be a commonplace part of campaigns for brands.

The Foundry updates Nuke Studio, tackles VR/AR content at NAB

The Foundry has updated Nuke Studio, its node-based VFX, editorial and finishing studio for creative individuals and teams. New features include multiple overlay tracks and blending modes in the timeline; enhanced audio editorial tools that let users view an audio track’s waveform within the timeline and apply cross-fades and fade in/out to audio tracks using handles; and XML and AAF support for grades, nonlinear retimes, transforms and cropping, which enables automatic creation of external editorial effects within the application.

The Foundry has also added a burn-in soft effect to the application’s realtime in-timeline effects, allowing users to add review information directly in the timeline for use during review. Finally, Nuke Studio and the Nuke and NukeX Flipbook now have native support for stereo playback — both in the application and through SDI-out.

At the same time, the company is developing technologies to address specific challenges in virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) content creation. These technologies are based on internal R&D, technology partnerships, and collaboration with more than 30 media and entertainment companies.

Specifically, The Foundry has worked with its VFX clients on experimental new tools and workflows to manipulate and composite live-action VR using Nuke. Developments include calibration and stitching of live-action 360-degree footage from multicamera rigs; live connection to Oculus Rift to review stitching, grading, and depth; support for compositing with ray-trace rendering for CG placement and projections; and spherical-aware operations and viewing with equirectangular images.

The Foundry will preview these experimental new VR/AR content creation technologies at the 2015 NAB Show as part of a live stream on Tuesday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PDT. The company will also demonstrate Nuke Studio’s new features during that streaming session.