The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for March 2011

After perhaps one tsunami video too many, we got to talking seriously about backup and how “secure we were”. It was a disturbing revelation, particularly for people who live in an earthquake zone where the next “big one” is expected before I die!

Of course we both have dedicated drives for our Time Machine backups (being all OS X based here) but they’re in the same physical space as our computers, so if for some reason that was destroyed, we’d be no better off than having no backup.  Ditto the demonstration media and archives of projects. Locally they’re stored on a RAID 1 drive for redundancy.

Having started raising the question, what are the answers? And that leads to the examination of what it is that you would need to get your “life back”, at least close to where it is now. I thought I’d share our thinking to stimulate your thinking, not only about a total disaster, but an immediate smaller one.




7 Things “Dexter” Taught Me About the Future of TV

7 Things “Dexter” Taught Me About the Future of TV

I think the seven trends Will Richmond identified  through his experience with catching Dexter seasons 1 & 2 on iPad, are truly indicative. He explains each in detail, but here they are:

  1. The term “reruns” is obsolete – as is thinking Netflix is just for reruns;
  2. Data is king (real data about consumption way beyond Nielsen)
  3. The bar for advertisers is getting higher. More alternatives that are not advertising supported. (Again, see Netflix!)
  4. TV is personal and portable. Perhaps the biggest change of all along with:
  5. The concept of “scheduling” is upside down – count me as one of the “binge consumers”.
  6. Packaged media is dead.
  7. TV Everywhere is absolutely essential for pat-TV operator’s success, but they’ll manage to find a way to make it not work, and get beaten by, yes again, Netflix!



Death to the Shiny Disc

Death to the Shiny Disc

Ethan Kaplan was recently heading up Warner Music’s technology efforts, particularly their digital side. His insider take is hard to set aside, despite its bottom line that the highly profitable monopolies have gone away, and that’s a good thing. Ethan puts it exceptionally well, so I’m only going to make one quote. Read the whole article if you care about the future of media.


At the most recent meeting of the Editor’s Lounge (held at Keycode Media) Steve Cohen – blogger and author of Avid Agility – expanded on some of his blogged thinking on the possibilities of a new, more fluid editing interface. An interface that didn’t stop every time you did something!

And that got me thinking about how Apple might change up the interface, riffing on some of what has been rumored.


On Thursday night I did one of my regular sessions for the Digital Production BuZZ, where Larry wanted to me to predict what was going to be “hot” at NAB 2011. But before we got to that, he played back my predictions for NAB 2010 – the equivalent show of a year ago.

You can listen to my segment on the BuZZ with this year’s predictions and last year’s roundup here.

I thought I did OK and the live chat audience during the show gave me 100% accurate. Check it out and tell me whether you think I’ll be as good with 2011!



The Terence and Philip Show Episode 23

The Terence & Philip Show Episode 23: The tape shortage crisis and what it means Are we facing a non-tape future

Terence and Philip start discussing the tape shortage crisis – particularly HDCAM SR – caused by the situation in Japan: is tape dead, or will it merely lead to a resurgence of D5! Who’s accepting file-based delivery, is that even practical, and who gets to drive the need for tape delivery.

Considerations of tape shortage leads to discussion on archiving non-tape sources, and the issues surrounding that. What do we do in a world with tape shortage and ever increasing costs of hard drives.

Dear Hollywood: It’s Time To Realize Artificial Scarcity Is Gone… And That’s A Good Thing

The economics of physical goods followed a supply and demand curve, as you no doubt learnt in high school: the larger the supply of something, the lower the cost; conversely the tighter the supply (a.k.a. scarcity) lead to higher costs. But classic economics doesn’t deal happily with “goods” that are effectively infinite, such as digital copies of media are.


Why ‘Big Media’ Was Just a Historical Blip

The question isn’t so much that Big Media is giving way to New Media, but rather that the era of Big Media – i.e. mass media, is a historical anomaly.

Before mass media all media was small, serving local audiences or (with books) very slowly distributed over wider territories. Then came an era of mass capital and limited airwaves that allowed broadcasters to build mass audiences, up to the 130 million Americans that saw “Roots” during its first broadcast.

The movie studios once owned all the production technology, talent and distribution channel – the movie theaters. That structure was forcibly broken apart, but the broadcast industry has fragmented due to the proliferation of cable channels, and now direct Internet distribution.


This will be my 14th consecutive NAB, starting in 1998 when I travelled from Australia for the conference. (And again in 1999 and 2000 before moving to the US in 2001.) Needless to say, I find it worthwhile both professionally and socially.

You absolutely need an Exhibits pass – going to NAB without one will make the trip much less worthwhile. Good news is I can offer you a code to get a free one:

Simply register at to get the discount automatically, or at http://www.nabshow/register using the code SM08

Even better, that code will also give you a $100 discount off any education package, including:

  • SMART Pass (all-access!)
  • Conference Flex Pass (access to all Conferences except Post|Production World)
  • Post|Production World


Semantic Text Startup for: Cliff notes, keywords, key points and important facts derived from raw text.

One of the technologies I’ve been following, because I think it’s relevant to my goals with Assisted Editing (to take the boring out of postproduction). One piece of the “boring” is deriving keywords and concepts from spoken word (transcribed, of course).

Technologies like this, and others developed for the Library and Archivist industries, are becoming very sophisticated.

In an Assisted Editing context, the extraction of keywords (particularly) from a “chunk” of transcribed spoken word (let’s say an interview for a documentary), removes the need for a human to enter the keywords.

Having keywords is valuable because you can search for all instances of the keyword (to find common themes), which is something prEdit really does well, whether you’re going to build the initial outline manually in a tool like prEdit or Final Cut Pro, or use an Assisted Editing tool to get to a rough first assemble.

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March 2011
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