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HomeGearHPA Tech Retreat Explores Workflows, Stereo 3D and File-Based Production

HPA Tech Retreat Explores Workflows, Stereo 3D and File-Based Production


HPA president Leon Silverman, courtesy of Morning Star Productions.

The Hollywood Post Alliance produced another sellout event as the 17th Annual HPA Tech Retreat brought together the leaders of the postproduction and broadcast industries for four days of seminars, panel discussions and technology demonstrations covering a broad range of issues that will shape the future of their world. This year’s event drew a record crowd of over 500 professionals, including representatives of leading studios, broadcasters, post production facilities and manufacturers, attracted by the Retreat’s emphasis on substance over sales pitches, and relaxed collegial atmosphere.

“We are so proud that the Tech Retreat has become a must attend event for the veritable who’s who of our industry,” said HPA president Leon Silverman. “The program, the people and the location help to fuel an incredible exchange of ideas and information. This event provides an opportunity to get information and access to people that just can’t happen anywhere else. Our attendees leave the Retreat energized and with a head full of vital knowledge.”

This year’s retreat included an all-day supersession on “snowflake” workflows with presentations on on-set dailies, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Image Interchange Framework (IIF), and 3D library mastering, as well as lively case studies on innovative workflows used for the television series Community and Homeland. The day concluded with in-depth seminars on the groundbreaking production and postproduction techniques used to make the films The Social Network and Tron: Legacy.

“The supersession delved into issues that we all face today in the digital age – and showcased the remarkable work that is being done to create practical solutions,” said Laser Pacific general manager Ron Burdett, who served as one of the panelists. “The supersession was extremely popular and is likely to become a fixture of the Tech Retreat in years to come.”

3D was another hot topic, providing the subject matter and fodder for debate in several sessions. Tech Retreat chair Mark Schubin discussed alternatives to current two-lens systems for 3D films. The popular breakfast roundtables included presentations on 3D stereo workflows, live 3D and 3D image quality metrics. The Retreat’s broadcast panel proved to be one of the liveliest sessions as representatives from Ericsson Television, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NAB, Fox, Sinclair Broadcasting and Roundbox discussed the merits and future of 3DTV.

The opportunity to engage in such debates with industry peers is what makes the Retreat so popular and brings back participants year after year. “Avid invests more in the Retreat each year because it offers us a unique chance to interact with other members of our community,” said Avid worldwide marketing manager/postproduction Vincent Maza. “Our business depends on relationships and the Retreat affords us the time to talk with our customers and understand their issues so that we can be part of the solution.”

Other highlights included a review of the Consumer Electronics Show by ROAM Consulting’s Peter Putnam, a panel discussion on piracy led by Brad Hunt of Digital Media Directions and panel discussion on file-based mastering moderated by Disney’s Leon Silverman.

“The crowd is so delightfully diverse that every year, no matter what question anyone has, someone will be there who knows the answer,” said Schubin. “Where else will you find someone from the National Security Agency mingling with someone from Warner Bros. or CBS?”

The Retreat’s Movie Night included a screening of a newly-restored version of Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 classic Dr. Strangelove with Sony PicturesMichael Friend on hand to discuss the restoration.

The Tech Retreat is sponsored by the Hollywood Post Alliance, serving the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content.

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