AMD 2.1

Dell and AMD host events to talk trends and user needs

By Randi Altman

Our industry is one of deadlines and ever-tightening budgets. That all equals less time to get the job done. What helps? Organizational skills, talent and tools that don’t get in your way. That includes workstations with powerful graphics optimized for the software that artists use everyday.

Dell and AMD have been working together to provide powerful and speedy graphics workstations for post pros, but they realize they can’t operate in a vacuum. They need to be out there talking to users and potential users, asking about their workflows and needs.

And recently they did just that, with two cocktail events — one in New York City and the other in Santa Monica, and both produced by my own postproNetwork division — targeting those working in films, TV, spots, audio and color grading.

Juan Salvo and Jason

Chatting Colorists: The Colour Space’s Juan Salvo and Vision On’s Nick Metcalf at Houndstooth in NYC.

The New York event was held a couple of weeks ago at the Houndstooth Pub. There, Dell’s Bob Korn, media & entertainment sales specialist for Precision Workstations, had a M4800 mobile workstation and a T7810 tower workstation, along with monitors, running Da Vinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Creative Suite, and some very fun footage from Sharknado 2, provided by that film’s editor, Vashi Nedomansky (more on him in a bit).

The intimate event hosted pros from cablenets, post houses, audio post studios, agencies and more.

Dell’s Bob Korn demo-ing in New York.

Said Korn, “Our goal in hosting an event like this was to bring together a diverse group of people from all aspects of content creation, editing and post production to share stories and get feedback on the solutions they need and use to get their jobs done. I was amazed at the turnout and the willingness of everyone to share their personal stories with us. Everyone I met and chatted with was eager to share, and I learned a lot.”

“Getting to know the NYC post pros in a friendly pub, talking about high-performance graphics and getting valuable feedback  – what could be better?” asked AMD’s Molly Connolly, senior. business development manager, global M&E market|pro graphics. “It was great to hear directly from the users and technology advisors on their demanding needs for professional graphic workstations.”

New York winner, MPC's

AMD’s Molly Connolly with FirePro W8100 winner, audioEngine’s Tom Goldblatt.

For their part, the pros who attended not only enjoyed the food, drink and mingling with peers, they also appreciated being heard as well as  learning about more options for their workflows.

Cory Choy, co-owner of NYC-based audio post house Silver Sound Studios, said, “That event was really great because much of the post production world that doesn’t want to be locked into very specific hardware (like the new Mac ‘trash cans’) is wondering what alternative they have. It’s exciting to know that companies like Dell and AMD are providing expandable solutions that can easily handle today’s needs, such as multiple 4K screens via DisplayPort.”

According to BAFTA board member James Knight from BluStreak Media, “I was able to reconnect with some old colleagues I hadn’t seen in a while and meet some new contacts.  In a way it was like a reunion of sorts, and given the project I’m embarking on now — recreating historical events with virtual production — I found meeting new people from AMD and Dell is simply brilliant timing.  Of course, it being at an English pub like Ye Olde King’s Head was icing.”

At the Santa Monica event Animatrik Studios’ Bruno Sargeant caught up with BAFTA board member James Knight.

The event in Santa Monica about a week later mirrored the one in New York City. It was held at Ye Olde King’s Head, and it was fun to watch people who have known each other from other lives reunite and talk trends.

“The Santa Monica Dell and AMD FirePro event was a fabulous evening where industry pros discussed and celebrated post production technologies, techniques and industry trends in a relaxed social setting. Old and new friends came together and shared ideas and made plans for empowering production.”

On both coasts, a few lucky attendees even walked away with their own AMD FirePro graphics cards, thanks to raffles held throughout the events, including Vashi Nedomansky, Bunim Murray’s Mark Raudonis and Network Resources Bob Wright in LA and audioEngine’s Tom Goldblatt, Silver Sound Studios Dan Brohawn and MPC’s Tom Hipolito in NYC.

Our main photo is LA-based editor Vashi Nedomansky and Bandito Brothers senior director of post Lance Holte.

Check out our photo gallery of both events:

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