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Voice Of The Crew - Since 2002

Los Angeles, California

AFMA

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By Carl Kozlowski
Nearly 200 attendees from throughout the industry gathered to observe and discuss the latest in digital technology and its applications at “The Digital Studio” conference, hosted by the iHollywood Forum in West Hollywood on June 19 and 20.
Highlights included the unveiling of footage from the upcoming digital live-action feature Coronado, an ambitious effort with 615 effects shots from Oscar-winning effects wizard Volker Engel (Independence Day). Breakout sessions included discussions of digital mastering, digital dailies and digital storyboarding. The conference also drew a rapt audience on its second day for a discussion of how CNN reporters used satellite phones in Iraq war.
“Last fall, our conference was more focused on the whizbang aspect of digital effects and the HD transformation of TV, but this time we’re focusing on the production process and the previsualized parts of the process that are integral to these flashy consumer apps,” said iForum chair Michael Stroud, who has been organizing production-technology conferences for the past three years.
At one session, panelists discussed the widespread use of digital technology in this summer’s current releases, even beyond obvious effects films such as Terminator 3. A particular highlight was the revelation that Reese Witherspoon’s pivotal Lincoln Memorial visit in Legally Blonde 2 was entirely shot on a soundstage with bluescreens after security concerns prevented crews from shooting at the actual site.
Meanwhile, Engel showed how Coronado was shot primarily in bluescreen, offering looks at a seven-minute sequence both with and without the attendant effects background. The film was shot in 24p HD to facilitate ease throughout the “digital pipeline.”
The CNN panel offered an in-depth look at how satellite phones and videophones work by showcasing a live interview between Global Communications Solutions rep Jon Stoltz onsite and CNN satellites VP Dick Tauber in Atlanta. “If you’re in the Amazon and can’t use a cell phone back to the studio, then you use a satellite phone,” explained Stoltz.

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