Tag Archives: Zak Tucker

IBC: Thoughts on Dolby and Nokia

By Zak Tucker

Strolling the halls of IBC in Amsterdam this past week, I found a lot of interesting tools and tech. Here are just a few thoughts about a of couple companies I visited.

Dolby
On Picture: Dolby is presenting their PQ workflow, which enables HDR and SDR deliverables seamlessly. Recognizing that there will be a real transition period as consumers adopt HDR home viewing environments, Dolby has written algorithms that detect the native specs of each monitor that is Dolby-enabled so that it can interpret the intent of the PQ color and translate it to the specific monitor. In demos, the HDR media is optically more vibrant and true-to-life colors are also more accurately represented compared to traditional SDR. Also, the SDR that Dolby is able to draw from the HDR is optically more vibrant and sharp than the traditional SDR.

On Sound: Dolby is pressing forward with its home immersive sound experience. Through its sound bar and associated sub-woofer, Dolby is producing a home Atmos sound experience that is quite compelling. Dolby can also work with the additional speakers that can be installed by home users. Dolby’s home Atmos is able to dynamically adjust to various home speaker installations.

Nokia OZO
They have developed and delivered a purpose-built VR camera that records both picture and sound. The form factor, not any bigger than a person’s head, is clean and small so as to address the concern of most VR rigs that are large and overly obtrusive — often an issue with talent, for example, when capturing a live event such as a concert. This camera is cable of north of 4K resolution and the current stitched deliverable is a 4K, 3D, VR file. The accompanying software can accomplish both a Fast auto stitch as well as a higher quality stitch. The software is also capable of taking a live stream from the VR camera and transmitting it, stitched, to a platform, such as YouTube, in real time. In the demo, the stitching is quite seamless.

Zak Tucker is president and co-founder of Harbor Picture Company in New York.

Harbor Picture Company opens theatrical sound mixing division

Harbor Picture Company has launched Harbor Grand, a multi-million-dollar studio servicing audio mixing for theatrical projects. This comes after a year of planning and construction and with support from the Empire State Development.

Harbor Sound is the sound post division of Harbor Picture Company, which offers dailies, offline editorial, VFX, picture post, sound post, digital deliverables and commercial production services. Harbor occupies 50,000 square feet in SoHo New York and offers talent, technical infrastructure and engineering to the feature film, television and commercial industries.

HARBOR_GRAND_theater_screen_0050_2133x1422

The new facility features 26-foot ceilings, a private lounge, editorial space and kitchen. The mix stage itself is equipped to mix Dolby Atmos, IMAX and 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound with 2K, 4K and 3D projection capability. They use a Euphonix System 5 console

According to Harbor, this opening not only represents the most significant expansion of a post company since the New York State Post-Production Tax Credit was strengthened in 2012, it is also the largest sound mixing stage of its kind in New York.

“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, a strengthened Film Tax Credit Program has made New York a top destination for both production and post-production work, creating job opportunities for thousands of people and contributing significantly to the state’s economy,” says Empire State Development president/CEO/Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “Harbor Picture Company’s expansion, from 30 to 65 employees helps demonstrate the industry’s continued growth in New York State.”

“Having a mix stage of this level in New York City will be a powerful tool to continuously attract Hollywood-level features and TV shows to complete their post-production in New York City. We now have the infrastructure, the technology and the experience to deal with projects at a premier level.” says Harbor’s president, Zak Tucker. “As larger productions choose to locate the post-production process in New York, a significant number of artistic, technical and management jobs will become available in the city, supporting the idea that New York is a primary destination for post production.”

To encourage Harbor Sound to increase employment at its headquarters in Manhattan, Empire State Development. has offered $550,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credits, which are tied directly to the creation of new jobs in the post-production industry. This specific incentive complements the impact of the legislation that Governor Cuomo signed in 2012 to strengthen the State’s existing post incentive program in order to attract additional film post activity to all regions of New York State.

This law increased the percentage of tax credits available for projects that did not film in New York but qualify for credits for post-production work done in New York State. The qualified film and television post-production credit increased from 10 percent to 30 percent in the New York metropolitan commuter region.

Harbor’s facility expansion is part of an emerging trend of private companies boosting the creative economy by looking to New York as a home for their content-driven enterprises. For instance, Amazon’s Alpha House and Netflix’s Orange is the New Black are both being filmed at Kaufman Astoria Studios, while YouTube opened a 20,000-square-foot facility in Chelsea. New York’s largest film studio, The Weinstein Company, also struck a deal with Netflix, bringing $60 Million into NYC to produce a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.