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

CAT | Technology

I’ve mentioned in passing that I’ve been learning to sing over the last two years (almost to the day). Well, it seems like a reasonable outlet to sing about the things I love and do. Here’s a short musical tribute to Lumberjack’s three modes: real-time keywording; story building; transcripts and magic keywords. Adapted lyrics by Philip Hodgetts

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Just over 7 years ago I started identifying the types of metadata that would be useful in post production. One that particularly excited me was derived metadata: using a computer algorithm to derive useful information for use in post production. At the time the only example I could suggest was deriving location and type of location from GPS data.

We can now add another: Magic Keywords in Lumberjack System. Magic Keywords are derived from transcripts and are an addition to Transcript mode, added to Lumberjack at NAB 2015.

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A recent articles, and project, demonstrate an increasing trend to automate certain types of production: generally that which is highly predictable. One example uses new technology to build news videos from text articles; the other builds multiple videos based on the same XML template.

These types of technologies are but another in a series of developments on templatorization or automatic editing. Naturally, at the heart of all automated processes is metadata.

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Jan/16

11

Producing The semiSerious Foodies

The production kit for The semiSerious Foodies – Greg’s and my new project – fits on one small bag I can comfortably carry on my shoulder. Each episode of the video part of The semiSerious Foodies starts in a restaurant, and continues to local markets, on into whatever kitchen we have available when we travel.

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I am still slightly horrified whenever I hear or read of someone who “doesn’t use keywords, I just use Favorites and rename them” I am infuriated. What you want is not a Favorite. What you want is a Keyword.

A Keyword that automatically organizes itself into collections. (Unlike Favorites).

Just under a year ago I wrote Why I love Keyword Ranges. If you’re using Favorites that way, read it.

I first wrote about derived metadata back at the end of January 2009. Derived metadata uses computer analysis to derive metadata from the video source. There are now technologies for speech-to-text, meaning extraction, facial detection, facial recognition, emotion detection, image recognition, and more. One company has been accumulating these somewhat diverse technologies: Apple.

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Jan/16

6

Celtx grows up!

One of my favorite writing tools – Celtx – has revealed itself as a full production management resource.

Celtx has added a ton of new features to help not only screenwriters write scripts, but also help directors and creative teams work together on their projects using new story development and video planning tools.

Basic writing and storyboarding tools are included in the free version: $10 a month gets you it all.

If I wrote and produced narrative, I’d be all over Celtx.

Jan/16

5

A new 4K TV for Christmas? Sorry, already obsolete!

CES finally brings High Dynamic Range TV to the consumer. Brighter (really brighter) white levels, cleaner blacks and wider color gamut are more obvious to most people, than high pixel count. 10 bit sampling will allow for smoother gradients and contribute to the wider color gamut.

Fortunately, the competing technology companies came to an agreement with UltraHD Premium.

Already at CES TCL and LG have announced new models with Dolby Vision incorporated. Dolby Vision is probably the widest adopted of the HDR standards. But it doesn’t really seem to matter as UltraHD Premium is about standards met, rather than how to meet the standard. This is a good approach as it allows the technology to evolve, as long as the same basic standards are met.

 

 

I’d started writing about the inevitability of vertical video, and how we should adapt to it, when what should came up in the Frame.io blog but Say yes to vertical video.

I had come to the realization that fighting against vertical video is not a winnable battle, simply because most people really don’t care. They shoot on a mobile device, and that’s where they view it. Most mobile phones and tablets default to vertical video. Every non-industry person I interact with shoots vertical video: from my singing teach to my niece!

UPDATE: On Twitter Kenneth X or @Knesaren pointed me to an article on How Norwegian Broadcasting made the first vertical video documentary. As always, start with a good story!

UPDATE 2: Clark Dunbar of Mammoth HD tells me that they’ve had large format (HD to 6K) vertical footage for well over a decade for signage, POS and museum installations! Their vertical stock footage gallery is at http://www.mammothhd.com/MHD_QG_VertPort.html.

UPDATE 3: Carl [email protected] on Twitter, had some thoughts on vertical video today:

Vertical video haters keep this in mind: For centuries artist have used the vertical format to represent human presence intimately.

Perhaps that explains why many people (not cinematographers) are naturally drawn to the vertical. It’s not laziness as some scoff.

Rather, think about a mother who films her child. Subconsciously she goes for the vertical to intimately capture her child filling the frame.

To the mother, that’s the most natural thing in the world. Try to overcome your prejudices as a creative and see things as others do.

UPDATE 4: There’s a vertical film festival in Katoomba, Australia. Makes sense, that’s a very mountainous region!

If there was a theme to 2015 in production technology, it would be that this was the year of more. More pixels – 4K and beyond; more dynamic range with HDR video; more field of view as VR establishes; and more programming sources as Netflix et. al. become fully fledged ‘networks’.

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