ETC’s Spring/Summer Newsletter Is Now Available Online

The Entertainment Technology Center’s latest newsletter is currently posted online with updates to new and ongoing projects. Among the key announcements: ETC recently held its Studio Technology Leaders Dinner at USC’s Town & Gown. During the event, Ken Williams announced that Michael Wise of Universal has been named the new ETC Executive Board chairman. Additionally, ETC presented Leon Silverman of Netflix with the Bob Lambert Technology Leadership award. ETC selected four projects to continue with the development phase of its inaugural Immersive Media Challenge, and during a recent All Members Meeting, USC students discussed their opinions about media consumption. Visit the newsletter to read more about these topics and updates to ETC projects involving 5G, AI, adaptive production, quantum computing, archiving and preservation, production in the cloud, and more. Continue reading ETC’s Spring/Summer Newsletter Is Now Available Online

NAB Panel to Cover Digital Deliverable & Archive Standards

The move to digital has created major challenges for content creators and owners. As part of the Birds of a Feather program at the NAB Show in Las Vegas next week, Erik Weaver of HGST and an all-star panel representing key industry working groups will discuss “Redefining Deliverable and Preservation Standards for Digital Times.” The panel is scheduled for Monday, April 8, 12:00-1:00 pm in N243. Guests will include Jesse Korosi of SIM Digital, Mary Yurkovic of MESA, Seth Levenson of The Entertainment Technology Center@USC, John Hurst of CineCert, and Craig Seidel of MovieLabs. Continue reading NAB Panel to Cover Digital Deliverable & Archive Standards

The Reel Thing: Prime Focus and HBO Test 10K Scans of Film

At The Reel Thing, an annual conference at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood on “current thinking and most advanced practical examples of progress in the field of preservation, restoration and media conservation,” Prime Focus Technologies executive director of cloud media services Anthony Matt and HBO director of remastering and alternate versions Laurel Warbrick described the results of their testing of 10K scans vs. 4K scans of 35mm film. Fittingly, they titled their presentation “The Burden of 10K Dreams.” Continue reading The Reel Thing: Prime Focus and HBO Test 10K Scans of Film

The Reel Thing: Machine Learning Powers Restoration Engine

During last week’s The Reel Thing at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood, Video Gorillas managing director/chief executive Jason Brahms, formerly a Sony Cloud Media Services executive, and chief technology officer Alex Zhukov described the Bigfoot “Frame Compare” solution that leverages machine learning to speed up preservation, asset management, and mastering workflows. The engine, whose development dates back to 2007, relies on a proprietary, patented technology, frequency domain descriptor (FDD). Continue reading The Reel Thing: Machine Learning Powers Restoration Engine

SMPTE 2015: Preserving and Archiving for the Next 150 Years

In addition to tackling issues related to new technologies — from Ultra HD to high dynamic range and high frame rates — SMPTE also considers how to preserve film and assets of the past. In a wide-ranging morning of sessions, experts considered the factors required to view archival content on HDR projectors or HDR displays; how the Library of Congress maintains the viability of over 7 million audio-visual assets for a mandated 150 years; and how to restore the original, variable frame rates of silent films for digital projection. Continue reading SMPTE 2015: Preserving and Archiving for the Next 150 Years

Amazon Lets Users Convert Print Books into Kindle E-Books

Amazon has designed a Windows program that allows users to convert traditional print books to digital files (for personal, non-commercial use), which can then be read using Amazon’s Kindle software. Once converted, the digital version of these print books will function as any other Kindle e-book with adjustable font features, free cloud storage and Whispersync capabilities. However, Kindle Convert may prove to be too tedious for some readers, since it requires that users physically scan the pages of the book. Continue reading Amazon Lets Users Convert Print Books into Kindle E-Books

Filmmakers Lobby Hollywood Studios to Help Save Kodak Film

A coalition of Hollywood studios is reportedly close to a deal that will help keep Eastman Kodak in the business of manufacturing film stock, despite the entertainment industry’s move to digital production. Prior to the studios’ promise to keep purchasing film, Kodak was considering closing its manufacturing facility in Rochester, New York. Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow and J.J. Abrams were among the notable filmmakers who reportedly lobbied studio heads to save film. Continue reading Filmmakers Lobby Hollywood Studios to Help Save Kodak Film

Broadway Theater Seating Designed to Create Movie Experience

The new Broadway musical “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” inspired by the music of rapper Tupac Shakur who was murdered in 1996, will feature a stage where actors are within arms length of the first few rows of the audience. The play’s creators spent $200,000 to transform the Palace Theatre to create a sense of intimacy, dramatically changing the original seating arrangement to stadium style seating in the orchestra section. The new structure closely resembles that of a movie theater. Continue reading Broadway Theater Seating Designed to Create Movie Experience

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

HPA Tech Retreat Wraps With a Look at “Breaking the Model”

Disruptive content creation models and the resulting vulnerability of content assets were recurring themes at the 2014 HPA Tech Retreat last week, and the topics of discussion on the event’s last day. NSS Labs Sales Director Kari Grubin moderated a panel on “Breaking the Model” that took a look at both issues. She recounted her own “aha moment” at last year’s Tech Retreat, during an ETC panel featuring USC students talking about their media consumption patterns. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat Wraps With a Look at “Breaking the Model”

Library of Congress Project Seeks to Preserve TV History

At the Packard Campus of the Library of Congress’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, technicians are working to convert old videotapes into digital files, as part of an effort to preserve a collection of 1950s-through-1970s TV shows. The process is challenging, costly and time-consuming, but increasingly important considering the large percentage of original tapes that no longer exist. If the videotapes are not transformed, future generations will have very little access to an important segment of media history. Continue reading Library of Congress Project Seeks to Preserve TV History