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Diverse Perspectives, New Technologies Highlight HPA 2006 Technology Retreat

Attendees and exhibitors discuss issues facing professional post production community (March 07, 2006)

The Hollywood Post Alliance held its annual technology retreat February 22-24 in Rancho Mirage, California. More than 400 attendees and 51 exhibitors (record numbers for the event) gathered to discuss and sometimes debate the most critical technology and business issues facing the professional post production community today.

Rights Management, Ultra-high Resolution Cameras, Displays Among the Highlights
According to Mark Schubin, Technological Consultant to the HPA, the hottest topic of the week was unquestionably content protection and rights management. A presentation by Brad Hunt, VP and Chief Technology Officer of the MPAA, generated a spirited Q&A session that was extended several times to accommodate the discussion. A primary issue was the question of whether or not restricting analog outputs to 960x540 is effective in preventing digital piracy. Demonstrative comparisons and informed debates fueled the discussion throughout the week.

Even while Hollywood is just beginning to look at 4K, HPA Retreat attendees got a look at the not-so-distant future, with the first U.S. preview of an ultra-high resolution camera from Japan --, the Olympus ?Quad HD Octavision camera offering 3840x2160 resolution -- and a session on NHKs ?Super HiVision 8K by 4K (7680x4320) camera. Displays were also a topic of focus, with demonstrations, discussions, a half day seminar and a full morning super-session devoted to the question: ?If were verging on the demise of picture tubes, both in consumer and post production facility displays, can we make a liquid crystal, plasma, or DLP screen look as good?

Other highlights included a presentation on handling multiple aspect ratios by Graham Jones of the National Association of Broadcasters that showed the industry just how far it had come, and a demonstration of audio/video sync (or lack thereof) across CRT, LCD, and DLP displays by Bill Hogan of Clarity Image that showed just how far it still has to go. And Universal Pictures Jerry Pierce may have made a case for content still being king, when he showed a commercial spoof from Saturday Night Live downloaded from iTunes and projected on high resolution screens that got the entire audience laughing despite the image being just a quarter of the resolution of standard definition television.

The Word on the Street
Attendees at the 2006 HPA Technology Retreat had this to say about the event:

?The Retreat is the most concentrated gathering of industry professionals, so its an important place to learn about and discuss the most important technology issues of the year, said Greg Ciaccio, VP of Operations at Technicolor Creative Services. I saw a couple of great demos Control Dailies [from MTI Film] and the AJA/Apple HDV demo caught my attention as excellent products for the current marketplace. I also think the Red Digital Cinema Camera looks very promising and will look forward to a demo on this in the future.

Thomas Bremond, Senior Vice President at SmartJog, noted, ?As a company based in Europe, it was great to find out what issues engineers in Hollywood face in their international work. And there was education on both sides, as we were able to give a European point of view as part of the panel on International Developments in Digital Cinema. That discussion raised important issues around tapeless workflows and we collected a lot of perspectives.

Wendy Aylsworth, VP, Technology, at Warner Bros., offered, ?At this event I was able to meet with everyone who is relevant to getting motion pictures made and network to find solutions to problems. As digital cinema evolves, the HPA network is particularly important in helping the post-production industry stay on top of new developments.

Summing up the importance of the HPA Tech Retreat, Leon Silverman, President of the Board of Directors of HPA and President of Laser Pacific, said, ?One of the most compelling aspects of the Retreat is the fact that both the program itself and the attendees represent the significant diversity of technical industry knowledge. This means that no one topic or part of the industry dominates. It allows those who attend to get updated on such a wide range of topics that our attendees come away with what seems like a graduate degree in current industry technology in a three-day full immersion course. From the breakfast roundtables to the conference and networking opportunities - including the softball game, the Retreat brings together the brain power of our industry and then covers a dizzying array of information presented in compelling, but digestible chunks. Many of our attendees comment every year that if they had only one technology event to attend, it would be the Hollywood Post Alliance Technology Retreat.

About The HollywoodPost Alliance
The Hollywood Post Alliance is the trade association 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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Related Keywords:Hollywood Post Alliance, post production, content protection, rights management, MPAA, Quad HD, Olympus, Octavision, Super HiVision, NHK, Digital Cinema, HPA Tech Retreat,


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