HPA Engineering Excellence winners: BMD, Canon, Cinnafilm, IBM Aspera & Telestream

The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) Awards Committee has announced the winners of the 2018 HPA Engineering Excellence Award. Winners were determined at a blue ribbon judging session held at IMAX on June 16. The awards will be given out on November 15 at the 13th annual HPA Awards gala at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

The Engineering Excellence Award was created to spotlight and reward companies and individuals providing services to the professional media content industry for their outstanding technical and creative ingenuity in media, content production, finishing, distribution and archiving. The HPA Awards launched in 2005 to recognize creative artistry, innovation and engineering excellence in the professional media content industry.

Joachim Zell, chair of the HPA Awards Engineering Committee says, “Once again, the Engineering Excellence judging sessions brought us outstanding presentations from a variety of companies at work in different parts of the media and entertainment ecosystem. The presenters are representative of the amazing work that great companies and brilliant individuals are bringing to the marketplace. The judges had a strong field of excellent technologies to evaluate, and the results were extremely close. Based on the effort, talent and time from the presenters and the enthusiasm of the judges, it is clear that the HPA Engineering Excellence award is meaningful to our industry, and I want to personally thank our presenters and our intrepid judges. Congratulations to the winners and to the entrants for truly impressive work.”

The winners of the 2018 HPA Award for Engineering Excellence are:

Blackmagic Design – DaVinci Resolve 15
DaVinci Resolve 15, released at NAB this year, offers a major step forward for the post production workflow, a significant shift in technically and creatively matched toolsets as well as overall efficiency. The platform, designed to provide a full suite of post tools, from ingest to delivery, directly integrated in a single ecosystem, includes significant improvements in quality, functionality and time to delivery. Exchange formats, translation and conform can be eliminated, and last-minute change efficiently managed for feature film, episodic TV and short form productions.

“We’re honored to be selected by the Hollywood Professional Association for one of this year’s Engineering Excellence Awards,” says BMD US president Dan May. “Blackmagic Design’s focus has always been to help provide the most innovative tools to the entertainment industry, and being recognized by the HPA for our newest advancements in DaVinci Resolve 15 helps us feel that we are on the right path. We want to thank the judging committee as well as HPA as a whole for its dedication to all advancements in technical and creative ingenuity. Congratulations also go out to all the winners this year. We are in amazing company.”

Canon – Visual and Technical Monitoring of HDR Images
Canon has seen the need for not only visually seeing HDR images on set, in editorial and in finishing but also for engineering tools to know exact values of the HDR images and their pixels; compare SDR and HDR images; compare different HDR deliverable systems; out-of-gamut warnings; and connection to various manufacturers camera metadata.

This complete system from Canon ensures that HDR and SDR image creation is easily and accurately accomplished.

“Canon is thrilled to be among those recognized by the Hollywood Professional Association with an Engineering Excellence Award. The built-in HDR toolkit that now comes standard in our 4K reference displays is a leap forward in creating and monitoring HDR content,” says Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon USA.

Cinnafilm – PixelStrings
PixelStrings is a cloud-based video conversion service focusing on ultimate playback quality for media. Leveraging the award-winning framerate conversion, retiming, artifact/noise/telecine correction and transcode technologies from Cinnafilm, this PaaS enables the mass creation of best-possible video versions while leveraging infinite, GPU-enabled cloud compute power. The platform is a growing hub of other best-of-breed media technologies and is a simple pay-as-you-use toolset available 24/7 though a browser. PixelStings enables the freedom of a predictable OpEx process.

“Winning the HPA Engineering Award is such an amazing honor for us,” says CEO Lance Maurer. “The Cinnafilm team has created something truly special with PixelStrings — when respected peers recognize the impact an endeavor like this represents to our industry, it is really quite special.”

IBM Aspera & Telestream – Telestream Vantage With Lightspeed Live Capture Powered by Aspera
IBM Aspera and Telestream have developed a game-changing solution for high-speed capture and production of live, broadcast-quality video from remote locations for faster production turnaround. The API integration of Aspera’s FASPStream streaming technology with Telestream Vantage and Lightspeed Live enables open-file workflows so production teams can work on live video feeds from remote locations in real time, with dramatically lower costs compared to satellite delivery, fiber or on-location production and more flexible deployment options.

“Winning the HPA Engineering Excellence award is a fantastic recognition of the remarkable contributions from many individuals at both Telestream and Aspera,” says Telestream CEO Scott Puopolo. “The original concept was literally drawn on the back of a napkin at NAB 2017 by Telestream’s Dave Norman and Aspera’s Mike Flathers. One year later, it’s the backbone of Fox Sports’ FIFA World Cup post production workflow. It’s a tremendous achievement for both companies.”

Honorable Mention:
Samsung — Samsung Onyx
The Samsung Onyx Cinema LED technology with DCI certification has come to market for both cinema and post uses with two models: a 2K resolution five-meter screen and a 4K resolution 10.3-meter screen. LED technology delivers visual quality, technical performance and reliability beyond that of traditional projector-based operations. This system also features surround sound from Harman/JBL. While operating nominally with traditional 14 fT-L SDR imagery, the screen is adopting support for HDR systems such as EClairColor and PQ with operating points at least to 300 cd/m2 and black performance including “off” and 0.005 cd/m2.

In addition to the honors for excellence in engineering, the HPA Awards will recognize excellence in 12 craft categories including color grading, editing, sound and visual effects.

The recipients of the Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation and other special awards will be announced in the coming weeks.


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