NATO, MPAA Update Anti-Piracy Policy to Include Wearables

The National Association of Theatre Owners, which currently maintains 32,000 U.S. screens, and the Motion Picture Association of America announced in a joint statement yesterday that their anti-piracy policies would now include powering off wearable devices. “As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters,” the groups explained, “we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown.” Continue reading NATO, MPAA Update Anti-Piracy Policy to Include Wearables

Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

Hollywood continues to consider drones for media production since they have the potential to save money, offer creative options and create a safer set. Drone-makers, rigging manufacturers and aerial production companies have joined forces to offer camera-equipped drones and services. However, federal law prohibits the commercial use of unmanned aircrafts. The FAA is currently reviewing a request by the MPAA to allow drones for use by the film and television industry. Continue reading Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

SMPTE and HPA Announce New Move Toward Consolidation

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers announced it plans to provide administrative support for the Hollywood Post Alliance. The move is part of a larger plan to eventually combine the two organizations. SMPTE made the announcement yesterday during the Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age conference at Stanford University. A roadmap has been endorsed by both boards that will steer HPA toward consolidation within SMPTE as a separate affiliate organization. Continue reading SMPTE and HPA Announce New Move Toward Consolidation

Studios and Music Labels File Lawsuits Against Megaupload

Major film studios — including 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. — have filed a civil lawsuit against the now defunct entertainment website Megaupload and its founder, Kim Dotcom. The studios claim that visitors to the Hong Kong-based site illegally downloaded thousands of copyrighted works. Damages could reach a maximum of $150,000 for each infringement. In addition, four music labels filed a similar lawsuit yesterday. Continue reading Studios and Music Labels File Lawsuits Against Megaupload

Warner Bros. Exec Discusses Moving Studio Archive to the Cloud

As part of the “Media Management in the Cloud” conference running at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week, Brian McKay, executive vice president of production operations at Warner Bros., discussed the challenges and opportunities of moving the studio’s archive into the cloud. In one of the final sessions of the conference, which concluded late Wednesday, McKay appeared onstage with David Cohen, senior editor at Variety, for a one-on-one conversation. Continue reading Warner Bros. Exec Discusses Moving Studio Archive to the Cloud

Tech Startup Offers Compelling New Way to Watch Audiences

During the NAB Show, thousands of companies descend on Las Vegas. Perhaps one of the smallest is a three-man startup called Eyeris, that aims to change the way we gather data about consumer preference. Featured by the SPROCKIT program, a new venue co-sponsored by NAB that aims to highlight nascent tech companies that may have a big impact on the entertainment industry, Eyeris tracks viewer response to motion picture content using clever software and the cameras already embedded in the the devices most of us carry. Continue reading Tech Startup Offers Compelling New Way to Watch Audiences

NAB: USC’s Elizabeth Daley Speaks at Tech Summit on Cinema

The ongoing effort to utilize new technologies in the service of storytelling was the theme of USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Dean Elizabeth Daley’s keynote address Sunday at the SMPTE Technology Summit on Cinema at NAB. Digital technology is deeply engrained throughout the SCA curriculum. In fact, the Interactive Media & Games Division and the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts wouldn’t exist without it. Yet “everything has changed, and nothing has changed. Great storytelling is still key,” Daley said. Continue reading NAB: USC’s Elizabeth Daley Speaks at Tech Summit on Cinema

Chris Cookson Speaks at NAB’s Technology Summit on Cinema

“It’s all about the story” was the message of Chris Cookson’s keynote address, and a recurring theme throughout the first day of the NAB Show’s Technology Summit On Cinema: The Future of Motion Imaging and Sound (TSC), produced in partnership with SMPTE. The essence of cinema is storytelling, he said. Cinema is the canvas for storytellers to convey their ideas to the audience. Throughout his talk, Cookson used cinema in the broadest sense, to include content viewed in theaters, on TVs, and on laptops, tablets and phones. Continue reading Chris Cookson Speaks at NAB’s Technology Summit on Cinema

Panel Envisions the Future of Cinema at SMPTE Tech Summit

The through-line of Saturday’s “The Future of Cinema” panel at the SMPTE Technology Summit on Cinema at NAB was entertainment technology evolution and experimentation, for better or worse, in the service of story and the entertainment experience. Panel members from MKPE Consulting, Entertainment Technology Canada, Group 47, IMAX, Disney and Deluxe discussed a range of topics including projection systems, light sources, frame rates, dynamic range, color gamut and what moviegoers will be looking for in their theater experience. Continue reading Panel Envisions the Future of Cinema at SMPTE Tech Summit

SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

The first day of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB featured a session called “From Camera to Consumer — the New Post Production.” Digital Studio GM for Walt Disney Studios, Leon Silverman, gave a funny and animated presentation during the session about the many versions of a movie that Disney must produce for international audiences. In the case of the animated feature “Planes,” not only did Disney create dozens of native language dubs and subtitled versions, but it also changed details in the animation to please the local audience. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: Distributive Creativity in the Cloud

“Computers are like a bicycle for our minds,” Steve Jobs once said. “If that’s the case, then the cloud is a jetliner,” said Josh Rizzo, VP technology for Hula Post Production and moderator of SMPTE’s “Distributive Creativity” panel at NAB on the use of the cloud by the entertainment industry. Rizzo started off by making two overarching points: First, the entertainment industry is moving from expression to experience. Second, anything that can be built can be hacked, but the cloud is more secure than many options. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: Distributive Creativity in the Cloud

SMPTE Tech Summit: Understanding the Human Vision System

The first Saturday morning session of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB focused on factors that could impact the UHD TV rollout, including research on what humans are able to see and observe. During a panel titled “Understanding the Human Vision System,” Dr. Jenny Read of Newcastle University Institute of Neuroscience set the stage by discussing four parameters of vision: spatial resolution, temporal resolution, dynamic range, and color perception. Related studies from Dolby, EBU and EPFL were presented. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit: Understanding the Human Vision System

CreativeFuture: Coalition Looks at Solutions to Online Piracy

Independent film executive Ruth Vitale — who has held positions at New Line Cinema, Paramount Classics and First Look Studios — was recently named executive director of CreativeFuture, a coalition of movie and television producers, unions and companies that is aiming to steer Hollywood’s digital future. After tech giants convinced Congress that proposed antipiracy laws were too restrictive of online freedom, the film and television industries remain threatened by online piracy. CreativeFuture hopes to change that. Continue reading CreativeFuture: Coalition Looks at Solutions to Online Piracy

Junction: Crowdfunder Allows Fans to Invest in Film Projects

The new San Francisco-based Junction provides wealthy movie fans with an opportunity for investing in films online. It is not another Kickstarter that helps projects get made, but instead allows potential investors to contribute to projects that already have enough finances secured for production. Junction is only open to individuals with annual income of more than $200,000 a year or net worth of $1 million. The incentive for producers is that outside investors will help minimize risk. Continue reading Junction: Crowdfunder Allows Fans to Invest in Film Projects

USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

In a ceremony at the Ray Stark Theater on USC’s Cinematic Arts campus last Thursday, Dean Elizabeth Daley joined George Lucas in welcoming three USC film professors to their new endowed chairs. Made possible by a generous gift from Lucas, the three new chairs — The Sergei Eisenstein Endowed Chair for Cinematic Design, the George Mélies Endowed Chair in Visual Effects, and the William Cameron Menzies Endowed Chair in Production Design — are now held by Bruce Block, Michael Funk, and Alex McDowell respectively. Continue reading USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

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