Archive for January 16th, 2013

LECTROSONICS WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY EXCELS ON LOCATION WITH PRODUCTION SOUND MIXER DAVID KELSON

**** Photo: David Kelson ****

Las Vegas, NV – January 2013… In the world of professional audio, location sound recording ranks right at the top when it comes to challenging audio work. Given the number of variables beyond the control of the production sound mixer, such as surrounding noise and digital RF interference, and the fact that there is little time for experimentation, the necessity of capturing sound accurately the first time around leaves little margin for error. Such are the challenges on the various movie sets of Los Angeles, CA-based production sound mixer David Kelson. Armed with a large arsenal of Lectrosonics wireless microphone products, Mr. Kelson stays at the forefront of his profession. more

L.A. Filming Benefits Homeless and Needy Families: Union Rescue Mission Teams Up with Real to Reel Locations to Bring Film Shoots to URM Facilities

Los Angeles, CA, January 17, 2013 — The Union Rescue Mission (URM,) a non-profit organization that helps provide housing for up to 800 people a night experiencing homelessness, has just teamed up with Hollywood’s premier location agency, Real to Reel Locations. Working in tandem, URM and Real to Reel will reach out to film and television productions to regularly film at URM’s two properties—the downtown LA facility and its Hope Gardens Family Center located in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.
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One hundred percent of URM’s revenues generated from filming at these two URM locations will go directly back into the programs designed to help less fortunate individuals and families living across Los Angeles. These programs include providing transitional housing for women and children suffering from domestic violence and other causes of family homelessness.
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Over the last 10 years, only a handful of film or television productions have filmed at the relatively unknown Hope Gardens Family Center location. Since Real to Reel Locations has begun representing the Hope Gardens site, a number of TV and film projects have filmed there. These include: Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” and “Review with Forrest McNeil,” CBS TV’s “Criminal Minds,” and a new feature film, “Max Rose,” staring Jerry Lewis.
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Jeffrey Spellman, Location Manager for Criminal Minds, was always curious about the Hope Gardens location. “We’ve driven past the Hope Gardens site a few times in the past, but it didn’t occur to us to shoot there. Then a script came up, we called Real to Reel, and we were told that it was now available for filming. We checked it out and fell in love with the place immediately. It’s secluded and extremely versatile—it can replicate Oregon or Virginia or Texas. The place is a real gem.”
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Real to Reel also has high hopes for the Downtown Union Rescue Mission building. Located in the heart of Skid Row, the Union Rescue Mission stands at five stories tall and offers over 225,000 square feet of space. The building has a variety of attractive looks for filming which include cafeterias, locker rooms, showers, a library, rec rooms, dentist offices, a rooftop playground, a chapel, and a gymnasium, etc. Despite the building’s amazing versatility as a film location, no production has ever filmed there. After representing the Union Rescue Mission for less than a month, RTR has already showed the building to multiple productions for possible film shoots including location managers with NBC’s hit TV drama, Body of Proof.
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Scott Johnson, Vice President of Operations, for URM said, “With the downturn in the economy, donations to our organization have been more challenging and we have had to work harder and be more creative at developing funding streams. Just recently, and on a whim, I realized that offering our two sites for film and TV productions would be a great way to generate new revenues while incurring very little overhead.” He adds, “After talking to RTR about how they could help us pursue this new idea without any expense to us, we chose them as our exclusive location agency. Our primary goals are to do whatever we can to get men, women and children off the streets and help them take their places back into society, leading productive lives.”
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“I knew Hope Gardens and the downtown URM site were special as soon as Scott Johnson contacted me,” said Gary Onyshko, President of RTR. “During our 30 year history in Los Angeles, we have had extensive experience representing multi-building campus-type locations. These days, TV shows are always seeking new ways to keep their costs down by finding properties with a variety of looks so they can shoot multiple scenes in one place. Both of the URM sites have this to offer.”
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Commenting on a just concluded “Criminal Minds” shoot at Hope Gardens, Jeffrey Spellman noted, “We’ve been working with RTR and with Scott Johnson, who’s a wonderful guy. This was a win win for everyone—they needed extra revenues to help run their terrific programs, and we needed the location. It was a perfect marriage. We always try to give something back to local charities and shooting at Hope Gardens will certainly aid a worthy cause.”
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Onyshko concluded, “Location managers are great at finding locations to suit their needs, but when we get involved with representing a property, we specialize in marketing it to them in a way that suggests they utilize it for multiple, different looks –not just the obvious ones.” He added, “While it’s always exciting to discover a new high profile building and create a successful film program, or get involved with an existing film program and improve upon it, helping the URM raise funds to benefit L.A.’s less fortunate is also very rewarding for us here at RTR — especially at this time of year, when the need seems especially great.”
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ABOUT THE UNION RESCUE MISSION:
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The Union Rescue Mission (URM) is dedicated to serving men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. It provides comprehensive emergency and long-term services to its guests to help them escape the dangerous streets of Skid Row. URM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established in
1891. Today, it is one of the largest rescue missions of its kind in the United States, and the oldest in Los Angeles. Please visit their website for more information: http://urm.org/about/
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ABOUT HOPE GARDENS:
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Union Rescue Mission’s Hope Gardens Family Center in the Northeast San Fernando Valley is a transitional living facility designed for up to 225 women and children to get away from the dangerous streets of Skid Row. Through a comprehensive program, women and families can progress from homelessness toward independent living in 12-36 months. Located on 77 acres of isolated land based at the edge of the Angeles National Forest, the Hope Gardens Family Center provides a sprawling haven of hope for struggling families. Please visit their website for more information: http://urm.convio.net/site/PageNavigator/HopeGardens_LandingPage.html
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ABOUT REAL TO REEL LOCATIONS:
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Since its founding 30 years ago, (1982) Real to Reel Locations has been helping location departments for TV shows, feature films, commercials, and other productions find exactly what they need by representing an ever changing portfolio of L.A. properties. As a location agency, RTR essentially serves as a talent agent for the locations they represent by marketing their clients properties to the greater entertainment industry.
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RTR also takes a majority of the work load associated with hosting a production off the shoulders of their property owners by handling and managing the location’s film program on the owner’s behalf. This includes all coordination, logistics, prep work, paper work, insurance, contracts, on-site supervision, and much more. All of this advance work minimizes the impact from filming, which allows the ongoing operations of the location to continue as normal. RTR’s work for a property is at no direct cost to the property owner, as they work entirely off of a commission.
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RTR is a California real estate brokerage corporation licensed by the Department of Real Estate. For more information, please visit: www.rtrlocations.com
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LOGAN East Hires EP Dan Sormani and CD/Director Alan Bibby

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LOGAN East is proud to announce the addition of Executive Producer Dan Sormani and multi-talented CD/Director Alan Bibby to its roster. Based out of the newly designed 7,000 sq. ft. of?ce space in Soho, they will lead the East Coast division of the company.

Previously an EP/Partner at Lifelong Friendship Society with prior stints at Brand New School, Stardust, and Lowe, Sormani has won Cannes, AICP, BDA, and SCAD awards for work his with brands like Help®, Nickelodeon, and Burger King. He also earned an MTV VMA nomination for Incubus? Megalomaniac video. His advertising and broadcast expertise resulted in successful campaigns such as 2012 Cannes Grand Prix for Good winner “Help, I’ve Cut Myself” via Droga5 NY, Burger King “Whopper Freakout,” and Tide “Talking Stain.” Additional clients include: Starbucks, Microsoft, PepsiCo., Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, Absolut Vodka, Comcast, Crest and UNICEF.

Bibby joins LOGAN East from Stardust Studios, where his clients included Mercedes-Benz, AT&T, Shell, and Subaru. He also handled several music videos, including Washed Out?s Eyes Be Closed and the epic, VMA-nominated Princess of China collaboration between Rihanna and Coldplay. Bibby’s work includes films screened at PS1 MoMA, Palais de Tokyo in Paris and various international festivals, and fashion films for labels such as Passarella Death Squad and SANS.

These new additions follow a string of successes for LOGAN, including viral hit Gymkana 5, ?lm titles for Gangster Squad, projects for Sony, Gearbox, Kohler, Google, Clinique, and Hyundai, and a 2-minute animated ?lm for Nike. LOGAN is currently at work on its ?rst video game to be released on IOS.

About LOGAN:

LOGAN (www.logan.tv) is an award-winning New York and Los Angeles-based creative studio and production company specializing in groundbreaking content creation. Their team of producers, directors, creative directors, VFX artists, and animators excel at problem solving and helping clients bring their vision to life. Concepting, ideation, design, live-action production, 2D and 3D animation, VFX, editorial, and ?nishing take place under one roof, making work?ow a truly seamless experience.

Logan & Sons (www.loganandsons.com) acts as the live-action division of LOGAN and represents a broad spectrum of directorial talent.

Known for its iconic work for top brands, LOGAN helped create many memorable cultural moments, including commercial campaigns like the Apple’s iPod Silhouettes, viral hits like the Gymkana ?lms (over 165 million views), opening titles and sequences for ?lms like Zombieland, The Avengers, Premium Rush, and Gangster Squad, content and marketing campaigns for hit video games like Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Call of Duty, Borderlands, Resistance, Metal Gear Solid, and many others.

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East Pleasant’s Bradonio Brings Boombox Man to Latest Zombie Nation Video

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East Pleasant Director Bradonio, an idea factory and creative talent with a uniquely absurdist vision, has launched his latest inventive masterpiece in collaboration with Scion AV: Boombox Man, a celebrate-the-rhythms-of-life freak of nature who walks around with a speaker built into his belly. Bradonio puts the quirky character at the center of Level, a video he directs for Zombie Nation (who wrote the stadium anthem-favorite Kernkraft 400).

Awoken by the pulsations of Zombie Nation, Boombox Man embarks on the nonstop urban dance party that is his life. He moves through the streets of New York with a cool groove all his own, transforms a coffee shop full of incredulous skeptics into a dance club, and joins a renegade team of fellow musical mutants of Bradonio’s creation: a girl with a disco ball head, a man with lights for hands, and a fumy firebrand known as smoke machine girl. Neon-laced straight-from-the-‘80s dance sequences complement the action.

“When I was first approached with the track, I asked if we could include musical body parts, like a beer belly that played some tunes. They said yes, I rejoiced, and we made this video,” exclaimed Bradonio, whose contagious enthusiasm and endless creative output have made him a favorite of the push-the-boundaries creative set. “There’s nothing more exciting than bringing a character-based, awkward, happy, rhythmic and fantastical story to life.”

Bradonio carefully measured the alternatives between creating a practical and a CG speaker, eventually working with a team that crafted a prop belly out of a vest, silicone and a car stereo speaker. He coordinated with the visual effects team EP*Vision to add movement to the speaker during a few choice moments.

“Having a practical prop, versus solely tracking marks where the speaker would have been added in post, was a huge benefit,” explained Bradonio. “In fact, it helped drive the entire production, upping the energy on set and giving us something very genuine to work with. Random people would stop and laugh at this anomaly, and often join in, something that would not have happened if the speaker belly itself wasn’t actually present.”

The unforgettable Boombox Man is just the latest freakishly weird and wacky character to emerge from Bradonio’s bottomless imagination and seamlessly carry a production with deadpan humor. The recent ADC Young Guns honoree also brought to life an army of shadow monsters for Gramatik’s Solidified music video and created an epic adventure using action figures in RJD2’s The Glow.

Touch Points:

  • Bradonio, ceaseless creative superstar director for East Pleasant, invents Boombox Man for Zombie Nation’s Level video.
  • Deadpan video showcases Bradonio’s command of the freakishly weird and absurd.
  • Boombox Man follows similar Bradonio creative efforts for Gramatik and RJD2.

Credits:

Artist: Zombie Nation
Song: “Level”
Writer/Producer: Florian Senfter
Publisher: UKW Publishing (GEMA)

Production Company: East Pleasant
Director: Bradonio
Executive Producer: David Weinstein
Producers: Daniel Gross, Stefanie Walmsley

Cinematographer: Clint Byrne
Associate Producers: Tere Villonco, Van Nguyen
Production Office Coordinator: Devon Irete
Gaffer / Assistant Camera: Andrea Boglioli
Digital Imaging Technician: Jason DeSimone
Red camera package provided by: Cut Rush Corporation

Post Production: Pleasant Post
Editor: Bradonio
Assistant Editor: Bill Saunders
Colorist: Tristan Kneschke (Exit Editorial)

Special Effects: Ruby Ann Muro, Lauren Palmer
Special Effects Assistant: Tammie Castagna

Visual Effects: EP*Vision
Creative Director: Maryam Parwana
Lead Designer: Brian Walsh

Interns: Derek DeMarc, Raphael Gibbs

Featuring
Boombox Man: Edward Rafter Jr.
Disco Ball Head: Danielle Cardona
Smoke Machine Ears: Kay Trinidad
Light Hands: Elliott Timmons

Café Patrons: Jordan Hall, Melody Joy, Nick Pezzillo, Tere Villonco, Stefanie Walmsley, Erik Yazdani

Sidewalk Dancers: Kendra Blondell, Malcolm Blondell, Noura Khoury, Swami Nikhilananda, George Olive, Calvin Teixeira, Mcferraine Villanueva, Laura Viner

Featured Artwork by Drakaso

About East Pleasant:

East Pleasant, an Emmy Award-winning production company founded in 2004, is a group of creative individuals layered in years of expertise on both the agency and production sides of the advertising industry. The studio is a highly flexible entity, able to handle traditional or nontraditional TV commercials, films, web projects, episodic TV, music videos and documentaries of any scope, perfectly tailored to its clients’ needs.

Company principals – which include EP Sarah Roebuck and Directors/Founders Xander Strohm, Damien Drake, Stash Slionski and David Weinstein – oversee a diverse, globetrotting team of producers, directors and editors who focus on shooting beautiful imagery that tells relevant stories. This group has produced work for some of the most recognizable brands in the world – Nissan, Nokia, Nike, Kenmore, Clinique – while teaming with top agencies Wieden + Kennedy, TBWA, JWT, Time Inc., and Skinny to name a few.

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Sweet Sadie Helps Disney Theatrical Productions Commemorate “The Lion King’s” 15th Anniversary

New York, NY—“A call was heard in New York that echoed around the world” was the emotional theme of a video produced by Sweet Sadie, Inc. for Disney Theatrical Productions commemorating the 15th anniversary of “The Lion King’s” debut on Broadway.
The video was shown at the end of a special 15th anniversary celebration performance of the musical at the Minskoff Theater. Sweet Sadie was tasked with collecting thousands of images and video clips from over 1900 cast members and creatives from the Broadway production as well as 17 productions world wide. The media was then used to create a 3:45min compelling yet intimate video.
“Our goal was to create a cohesive story communicating the heart and soul of ‘The Lion King,’” said Rachel Lederman, founder of Sweet Sadie.
The video featured the signature song “Circle of Life” sung in various languages by its far-flung cast and employed the image of the growing branches of a the show’s Banyon tree connecting “The Lion King” with all its major productions globally. “The video was a particular challenge because we had to conceptualize, design and edit a huge amount of elements in less than a month,” she noted.
The studio, an award-winning boutique creative production company, has maintained a long-standing relationship with Disney Theatrical Productions handling its video creative. “We go back to when Disney needed an innovative 30-second commercial for ‘”The Lion King’” to play in taxicabs,” said Lederman. “They liked the work so much that we continued to be awarded more and more projects and have enjoyed a great relationship with Thomas Schumacher and his team at Disney Theatrical Productions.”
A recipient of Clio and numerous Telly awards, Sweet Sadie also spearheaded the campaigns for Disney’s “Mary Poppins,” “The Addams Family,” and the Radio City Rockettes. The studio provides production and post production, including motion graphics, visual effects, color correction and finishing, for broadcast, automotive and other clients.

Media Contact: Lanny Sher, 323-653-0380; prals@pacbell.net

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Unitecnic Selects Vizrt Media Asset Management System for beIN SPORT

beIN SPORT, a global network of sports channels operated by Al Jazeera, launched a Viz Media Engine based workflow for archiving and overall media asset management of its extensive programming content. The system is being used for the launch of two new U.S. channels under the umbrella of beIN SPORT USA – beIN Sport HD, in English and beIN Ñ , in Spanish, both having SAP capabilities.

beIN SPORT USA is a Miami-based 24-hour provider of international sports coverage, currently being carried by Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Dish, Comcast, Liberty Cablevision and Direct TV.

The Viz Media Engine selection was made by Unitecnic, a Barcelona-based broadcast and multimedia engineering firm, for beIN SPORT. Unitecnic chose Viz Media Engine based upon the specific technical requirements of beIN SPORT and worked closely with the broadcaster throughout the installation and initial implementation of the system. Unitecnic worked with the Miami-based Imagina U.S., a production and broadcast services provider company, who provided the full operational service for beIN SPORT’s new channels in his own facility.

The Viz Media Engine is integrated with beIN’s Avid Media Composer editing system and its Grass Valley K2 video servers for both import and export. The Viz Media Engine provides access to all media. Using the K2 servers, it manages all of the channel’s playout tasks. WTVision’s Channelmaker playout automation system interfaces with the Viz Media Engine, monitoring playout and triggering transfer request between the Viz Media Engine and K2 servers as needed.

beIN went live with the Viz Media Engine MAM/archiving system at the end of October 2012. The hardware and software installation was completed in just four weeks, making the overall project duration from start to launch just two months. The rapid launch was a critical requirement for beIN SPORT.

Thanks to the Viz Media Engine integration, two new archiving workflows are possible:

1) From the Avid editing system, content can be manually imported into the Viz Media Engine and then exported (either manually or via an automated request) to the K2 playout server for review before on-air delivery.

2) From the K2 server, files can be manually transferred to the Viz Media Engine after broadcast. These files can originate as a direct ingest into the K2 or as a transferred file from Avid.

WTVision, a provider of real-time graphics and channel automation solutions, used the Viz Media Engine APIs, that are REST-based, to integrate the Viz Media Engine with beIN’s traffic and billing software from Broadway Systems.

Critical to beIN’s selection of the Viz Media Engine was the systems’ support of Sony’s XDCAM HD422 and how it handles partial restores. Viz Media Engine include advanced and proven technology to work with partial restore throughout the complete workflow from archiving to restoring media from the LTO tape library.

The storage capacity of the archive system is designed to last beIN well into the future, but the network is already looking into extending the size of the system and adding more groups to the MAM set up.

“The Viz Media Engine had everything we were looking for in a MAM and archive system to launch these important new channels in the U.S. market,” said Marc Andreu, Media Manager, beIN SPORT. “The ease of integration with the other manufacturers, ease of use for our operators and ability to restore XDCAM files were all must-haves to make our facility function as we envisioned. We are so excited to share this way with Vizrt.”

About beIN SPORT USA

beIN SPORT, the English-language 24/7 international sports network, and beIN SPORT ñ en Español are the multi-platform sports destinations that brings to the passionate fan all the live game action, news and analysis of the top leagues around the planet, as well as exclusive and never available-before content. From American, European and Latin American live games to general sports news and in-depth analysis, beIN SPORT guarantees first row access to top leagues and major sports properties through TV, on-line and mobile platforms with games that can’t be seen on any other channel. For more information, please visit www.beinsport.tv and follow us on Twitter @beINSportUSA for breaking news and real-time updates.

About Unitecnic

Unitecnic is an engineering company dedicated to broadcast and multimedia systems integration since 1995. They design, develop and implement turnkey engineering projects, from advice and consultancy to integration, installation and maintenance of deployed systems. Unitecnic distributes leading broadcast equipment brands worldwide and have offices in Barcelona, ??Madrid, Lisbon, Miami, Buenos Aires and Dubai.

About Vizrt:

Vizrt offers a new vision for content creation and delivery with an end-to-end solution from ingest to visualization. Our solution combines Vizrt’s true 2D/3D graphics tools with Curious Software’s World Maps and Ardendo’s Asset Management. Running on non proprietary software, the combination of these unique cutting edge products ensures a seamless workflow from conception to multi-format distribution.

Vizrt’s product suite is used by the world’s leading broadcasters including: CNN, CBS, Fox, BBC, Sky, ITN, ZDF, Star TV, TV Today, CCTV and NHK. Also, many world-class production houses and corporate institutions, including both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, utilize Vizrt solutions.

Vizrt is a public company traded on the Oslo Main List: VIZ, ISIN: IL0010838154. For further information please refer to www.vizrt.com

BROAMAN NAMES D. PAGAN COMMUNICATIONS ITS PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY OF RECORD IN THE U.S.

MÜNCHEN-GRÄFELFING, GERMANY, JANUARY 16, 2013 – BroaMan, a leading German manufacturer of professional digital video, audio and data network solutions with routing, format conversion and management for a variety of markets, including broadcast, post production and AV, is pleased to announce the hiring of D. Pagan Communications (DPC), a leading public relations firm specializing in the high-tech and professional audio/video industries. As BroaMan’s agency of record for the U.S., DPC will launch an integrated public relations campaign, supported by targeted media relations and trade show support for BroaMan, in the region. These efforts will further enhance the company’s brand recognition and expand its visibility within target markets in the U.S.

“BroaMan’s technology is based on a very specific need in the marketplace for cost effective, scalable audio and video fiber transport,” says Tine Helmle, managing director, BroaMan. “Transporting professional high bandwidth 3G/HD/SD-SDI video, audio and control signals reliably for events big, small, live or filmed is an absolute necessity. In order to continue to grow our company, we have turned to D. Pagan Communications. Its team of experts will help increase our brand’s visibility among current and potential customers in the markets we serve, including broadcast, film production and professional AV.”

As its top-of-the-line product, BroaMan’s Repeat platform consists of plug-and-play devices that convert 3G/HD/SD-SDI (or MADI) signals from coaxial cables to fiber and back. Included in the Repeat family are the Repeat48 and Repeat48CWDM, the company’s most powerful yet easy-to-use and cost-effective products that include built-in multiplexers to combine multiple signals onto a single fiber that can also be interfaced to audio and data network systems including Optocore, SANE, MADI and Ethernet. Also included in the product line are the Repeat66 and Repeat33, used for flexible applications, rather than in a plug-in-play situation.

An additional product range of the BroaMan portfolio is the Route series, which includes the Route66 and Route33 devices, both unique and based on an individual customer’s level of complexity and feature requirements. Using a Digital Video Network, the customer can specify the general system performance, the interface layout-based on basic frames-and select special features. As a result, each customer receives a customized system to meet its specific needs.

“With its involvement in world-leading projects such as the 50th Constitution Day in Kuwait and with top international broadcasters including MediaCityUK, Canadian Television (CTV) and Swedish Television – Stockholm (SVT), as well as successful devices such as the Repeat48 system, BroaMan already has a proven reputation in the industry,” says Debra Pagan, DPC founder and president. “Building upon the stellar recognition the company has received from within the broadcast, post-production and AV markets, we look forward to sharing news of the company’s exciting new endeavors and delivering exceptional results in the process.”

About D. Pagan Communications
D. Pagan Communications (DPC) is a New York-based public relations firm specializing in the broadcast, film/cinema, post-production, military, aerospace and government (MAG), medical, house of worship (HOW), pro audio, live sound, installation/pro AV, education, hospitality, music industry (MI) and consumer markets. For more than 17 years, the firm has performed a comprehensive array of services for its market-leading clients, generating press releases, articles, artist profiles, white papers, newsletters and other deliverables, and supporting clients at major trade shows around the globe. Combining excellent writing with a singular dedication to the needs of its clients and the media, DPC has earned a worldwide reputation for producing high-quality work that in turn achieves great results. For more information, visit www.dpagan.com.

About BroaMan
BroaMan, (Broadcast Manufactur GmbH) based in München-Gräfelfing, Germany, manufactures infrastructure solutions for broadcast applications such as studios, OB-vans or sporting events. The turnkey solutions convert, transport and route all types of commonly used broadcast signals, including digital and analogue video, audio, intercom, and control data, over a high bandwidth fiber infrastructure. If required, this includes format conversions, e.g. from copper to fiber or from analogue to digital, as well as routing of signals based on automatic or manual rules, up/downscalers, frame synchronisers, and many more features. The company offers customized solutions for every application that requires 3G/HD/SD-SDI video transport or routing – whether a big and complex system for broadcast studio or OB Van, or a simple point to point for a small church or conference hall. For more information visit: www.broaman.com.

Imagineer Systems Honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with a Scientific and Technical Award for mocha

 

mocha and Planar Tracking Recognized by The Academy for their Contributions to Major Motion Pictures and Widespread Adoption in Hollywood

 

 

GUILDFORD, UK (January 16, 2013) — Imagineer Systems (www.imagineersystems.com) today announced it has been honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with a Scientific and Technical Award for mocha and its Planar Tracking technology.

 

The Academy formally announced last week that nine scientific and technical achievements represented by 25 individual award recipients will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday, February 9, 2013. Imagineer Systems’ Philip McLauchlan, Allan Jaenicke, John-Paul Smith and Ross Shain were selected as a winner for mocha and its underlying Planar Tracking technology. The Company was recognized for their proven record of contributing significant value to the post-production process of making motion pictures.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by the Academy for mocha and Planar Tracking. We are humbled to be in such esteemed company,” said J-P Smith, CEO of Imagineer Systems. “We first set out to develop an innovative approach to solving complex image processing challenges. Our result was a software solution that simplifies and automates some core tasks essential for visual effects and post production: motion tracking, rotoscoping, and object removal. Today, thousands of artists are using mocha to save time on manual processes, gaining efficiencies and the time to be more creative. As a small company so far away from Hollywood, it’s the ultimate validation and satisfaction to be recognized by the most sought-after and respected awards establishment, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”

Over the years, Imagineer’s mocha software has gained acclaimed notoriety within Hollywood’s visual effects community for its ability to “motion track” problematic footage such as out of focus and marker-less areas helping enable a technique called ‘digital makeup’ or ‘seamless effects.’ Visual effects artists use planar tracking to magically transform actors and locations without requiring timely makeup sessions and expensive sets, allowing directors to make important creative decisions long after the performance has been captured. Capturing accurate movement is essential and mocha has been involved in some famous digital makeup examples such as the snake-like noseless Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films, replacing Mystique’s eyes in X-Men and helping Natalie Portman undergo an amazing transformation in Black Swan.

Los Angeles based, LOOK FX is a visual effects studio that has delivered effects shots on Academy nominated films: Life of Pi, Moonrise Kingdom and 2011’s Black Swan.  Look FX artist, Buddy Gheen was faced with difficult tracking challenges on Black Swan: matching actress Natalie Portman’s movements for the famous ‘transformation’ sequence. Gheen commented, “On this shot, the actress’ body movements made the motion nearly impossible to pick up. With no tracking markers, all the wild camera movement, the mocha track was perfect. mocha stands alone; there is not a single product out there that can do what mocha’s planar tracker does!”

 

Jake Morrison, VFX Supervisor with Marvel Studios and GOAT VFX is an industry veteran. He’s credited with VFX work on an impressive list of films including Marvel’s The Avengers, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and is currently VFX Supervisor for Thor 2: The Dark World. “Every now and again comes a piece of technology like Imagineer’s mocha that genuinely improves the life of the VFX artist. It’s enabled me to do things in a fraction of the time I expected them to take, but also with amazingly repeatable results across many different types of footage. It offers an artist the ability to achieve results that would have been extremely time-consuming otherwise and, quite often, impossible without resorting to full plate reconstruction. It may actually be “voodoo” for all I know. Either way, it’s genuinely an amazing bit of technology and I’m delighted to hear that the Academy has recognized it.”

 

Level 256 VFX is a modern digital artist collective based in Los Angeles that specializes in everything 2D and 2.5D. In 2012 alone, Level 256 delivered effects shots on The Bourne Legacy, Battleship, The Dictator and This is 40. Level 256 is a long-time mochauser and has made it a key component in its VFX workflow. Scott Davids, who runs Level 256 commented, “Level 256 Visual Effects has been using Imagineer Systems’ products for years and it has continuously allowed us to execute and troubleshoot difficult shots time and time again.  Not only has mocha saved us time and money, but it has also helped us re-imagine ways to approach complex problems.  We would like to congratulate them on this amazing honor and special achievement.”

 

Planar Tracking has also become an important part of the technical process used to convert feature films from 2D to stereo 3D. To convert films, almost every object within every frame has to be segmented, a process called rotoscoping. mocha adds significant time savings in the rotoscoping and object removal process and has proven to be invaluable to customers at major post production and stereo conversion facilities around the world on 3D blockbuster sensations as Alice and Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Titanic 3D.

Additionally, industry leaders have also recognized the value of Imagineer’s Planar Tracking and software developer’s kit (Planar Tracker SDK), which has culminated in several strategic partnerships and licensing agreements with post production technology companies such as Adobe Systems, Quantel and FXhome.

About Imagineer Systems 

Imagineer Systems Ltd is the Academy Award winning developer of visual effects solutions for film, video and broadcast post production markets.  Imagineer Systems has made its mark on such marquee Hollywood blockbuster productions as The Hobbit, Black Swan, The Amazing Spiderman, Invictus, and the Harry Potter series. Imagineer’s desktop product line consists of mocha Pro™ – roto, planar tracking, compositing, and removal utility;  mocha AE™ – a planar tracking and roto utility designed for After Effects and Final Cut Pro users.  Imagineer Systems was founded in 2000 and its headquarters is located in Guildford, United Kingdom. For more information visit www.mocha-Pro.com

YUVsoft Teams Up with Industry Renown NUKE Expert Steve Wright to Develop In-Depth Tutorial Series for 2D to 3D Suite

 

Telly Award Winning Master Trainer Steve Wright to Develop Series of In-Depth, Practical, Workflow Themed Tutorials Teaching Tips and Techniques for 

High Quality, Streamlined Stereo 3D Conversion 

 

 

Moscow, Russia (January 16, 2013) — YUVsoft Corp. (www.yuvsoft.com), developers of 2D-to-stereo 3D conversion software solutions, today announced it has teamed up with renowned industry veteran and Telly Award winning master trainer, Steve Wright. As a result of this initiative, Steve Wright is working with YUVsoft to develop in-depth, workflow themed tutorials designed to provide customers with a comprehensive understanding of the techniques to master stereo conversion workflows using the Company’s flagship 2D to 3D Suite.

 

The first tutorial created is available today online at http://youtu.be/UgpRxyBvPYM and focuses on defining, and explaining the basic concepts, capabilities and possibilities enabled by YUVsoft’s 2D to 3D Suite. Additional tutorials are in development and their availability will be announced upon release.

 

“YUVsoft’s 2D to 3D suite represents a brilliant integration of automation with easy access for artist intervention only and exactly where needed. It also offers a wide range of quality all the way from high end feature film down to standard definition video with a linear labor cost,” said Steve Wright. “The truly big issue with stereo conversion is the massive amount of labor required.  YUVsoft tools provide a major solution to this by offering the highest quality stereo conversion with the least amount of labor possible. The YUVsoft plug-in set is so beautifully integrated into NUKE, you can add their nodes like any other NUKE node, and can mix Nuke operations with YUVsoft operations seamlessly.”

 

About YUVsoft’s 2D to 2D Suite

YUVsoft 2D to 3D Suite is a family of stereo 3D conversion plug-in software tools designed to support the conversion workflow in Adobe After Effects and The Foundry NUKE environment. The 2D to 3D Suite includes tools for fast, near-automatic construction of plausible depth maps, background creation, depth map editing and high-quality stereo generation. It also includes YUVsoft’s Stereo Generator Suite – a complete toolset for high quality stereo generation, with specialized tools for fuzzy boundary processing and background reconstruction.

 

The Stereo Generator Suite is included with the 2D to 3D Suite, or is available as a stand alone product.

 

 

 

 

Key features of the 2D to 3D Suite include:

 

  • Semiautomatic and nearly automatic generation of realistic depth maps using a variety of approaches;
  • Ability to propagate depth from key frames—using just a few hand-painted or automatically generated depth maps. The software calculates depth maps for an entire scene by:
  • Generating background depth for ultra-high-quality conversions of blockbuster theatrical releases
  • Propagating edits throughout a scene
  • Depth map refinement tools:
  • Control the detail level and border accuracy of the depth map
  • Add realistic details to hand-painted depth maps, thus avoiding the cardboard effect
  • High-quality stereo generator:
  • Fully automatic stereo generation from 2D+Depth
  • Special attention to accurate processing of transparent, fuzzy edges

 

For more information, or to purchase the 2D to 3D Suite, please visit www.yuvsoft.com.

 

 

About Steve Wright

Steve Wright is a Senior Compositor, 2D Technical Director and a senior industry veteran in visual effects compositing with over 20 years of production experience. He has over 70 film credits such as Night at the Museum 2, Shutter Island, Solaris, Traffic, U-571, Air Force One, Hart’s War and many, many more and has also created the visual effects for 70 broadcast television commercials. Steve is now a master trainer traveling around the world conducting VFX compositing training for major visual effects studios using Nuke and Shake, and has won two ‘Telly Awards’ for his Nuke tutorials.  He also produces training programs and conducts classes and workshops both on-line and location based. He has published two books on this fascinating subject (available on Amazon.com) and his Nuke and Shake training videos are available on Lynda.com. He is a member of the Visual Effects Society (VES) and the Digital Cinema Society (DCS).

About YUVsoft

Founded in 2006, YUVsoft develops 2D-to-stereo 3D conversion and post production software solutions for feature film and television production studios worldwide. We provide powerful, sophisticated software that significantly accelerates the complex 2D-to-stereo-3D conversion workflow, with tools for automating and simplifying depth map creation, processing and high quality stereo generation. The company also has broad expertise in stereo video processing, video quality estimation, including stereoscopic, multiview and 2D+Depth video, and in 2D video processing for quality enhancement, compression and analysis. For more information, please visit www.yuvsoft.com.

Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800s Debut with The Pennsylvania Ballet

The Pennsylvania Ballet, which makes its home in Philadelphia, is shining a new light on its 25th anniversary production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” by using a dozen Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800 fixtures supplied by Pin Point Lighting in Aston.

One of the nation’s premier ballet companies since 1963, The Pennsylvania Ballet continues the enchanting holiday tradition of staging “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” which is marked by spectacular sets and costumes and appearances by The Philadelphia Boys Choir and local dance students. Pin Point Lighting provides quality lighting equipment rentals, production and design in the Philadelphia area and nationally. Since 2000 the company has been the exclusive professional lighting supplier for The Pennsylvania Ballet.

Pin Point Lighting’s John Duncan, who also serves as assistant electrician with the ballet, suggested the Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800s to lighting designer John Hoey. “We needed to change out from our old fixtures,” Duncan says. “I had looked at the Alpha Spot QWO 800s a couple of months ago and thought they would be great. We try to think ahead and pick fixtures that will be around for the next ten years.”

Clay Paky’s Alpha Spot QWO 800 uses the latest MSR Platinum lamp, an 800W light source that produces an intense sparkling light – brighter even than older 1200W lamps. The Alpha Spot QWO 800 is equipped with optical features placing it at the top of its class, including a very wide zoom range from 7.6º to 55º, a uniform beam distribution at all zoom angles and a unique Stay-Sharp-Zoom feature that locks images in focus while zooming. The fixture is small, lightweight, silent and has low power consumption making it an excellent tool for TV, theater, corporate events and many other demanding lighting applications.

The lights are making their debut with the ballet on the beloved holiday production, which is drawing packed houses. “They are performing perfectly,” Duncan reports.

A.C.T Lighting is the North American distributor for Clay Paky.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “The QWO 800 is one of our newest fixtures and we’re thrilled to see it applied to so many interesting applications such as this one.”

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