Luma Pictures Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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Wed, 11/14/2012 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Visual effects company Luma Pictures is proudly celebrating its 10th anniversary. Payam Shohadai and founding partner Jonathan Betuel say they created Luma in 2002 under the guiding principles: treat people well quality is king and always spend smart. 

Since our humble beginnings we wanted Luma to be a company that is artist-run. Our staff have a lot of pride in the work they do continually innovating and always pushing their creative limits said Shohadai.

 One of Luma's inaugural projects Human Stain starring Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman brought the company its first attention. Luma was tasked with creating a CG environment for a series of integral invisible effects shots. Rather than reassemble the cast on location green screen shoots would be arranged. Luma created photoreal environments which cut seamlessly with other shots filmed on location.

Over the next couple of years Luma continued growing its credit list picking up shot packages for mainstream films like Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Wicker Park and their first foray into the Underworld series for which they would become the primary effects house on subsequent releases. This attracted the attention of Kerry Conran of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Sky Captain was an ambitious project as it was one of the first entirely green screen productions. We were hungry and wanted a piece of this landmark VFX project but we were also the little guy so we had to try and
look as big as possible said Betuel. Kerry really liked our spirit and enthusiasm so he awarded us the CG for the entire underwater battle sequence for which we were going to have to grow up and grow up quickly.

 In 2005 Luma experienced a growth spurt expanding to 24 full time staffers who filled a new office located in Santa Monica. Luma continued to build on its capabilities. That year delivered Luma its first tent pole feature: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and also a highly respected Oscar-winning film and duo: the Coen Brothers' with No Country For Old Men. The brothers and
their DP Roger Deakins would forge a strong bond with Luma returning for each of their next three films (Burn After Reading A Serious Man and True Grit.). Luma recently moved and upgraded its office facility once more to accommodate growth and enhanced infrastructure. Returning to Santa Monica where Luma first began the company's new facility boasts 100+ seats for artists a motion capture stage and screening room among additional amenities.

Ten years later we're still doing what we love guided by the same principles and surrounded by a staff we care for ” said Shohadai. ,3694
Blancanieves Spain's Choice for Oscars ,2012-11-15,Director Pablo Berger's Blancanieves has been chosen to represent Spain for the 85th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination entry. The Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members chose Blancanieves from a three-film short-list which is a rewarding testament to SGO and ImasBlue's high calibre of creativity combined with technological expertise. Blancanieves also recently won Special Jury Prize and the Best Actress Silver Shell Award for Macarena García at the 2012 San Sebastián International Film Festival. Produced by Arcadia Motion Pictures and co-produced by Noodles Productions and Arte France Cinema for Dreamcatcher  Blancanieves is an adaptation of the classic fairy tale of Snow White written by the Grimm Brothers. Set in a romantic vision of 1920s Andalusia the silent black-and-white Spanish film raises the profile of European silent films of a bygone era. After being captured on Canon 5D and Go Pro digital cameras  Blancanieves was then post produced in 2K on a 1.85 format at Spain's ImasBlue an award-winning post-production facility covering film television and commercials renown for receiving numerous Goya Awards. Mistika was used extensively. With the success of projects that include Salvador Puig Antich Camino Pa Negre and others ImasBlue is pushing new boundaries with Mistika helping to produce stunning European productions of the quality more usually the domain of big budget Hollywood blockbusters. ,3695
NATO Says Ticket Prices Remain Historically Low,2012-11-15,The average price of a movie ticket in the United States is now $7.94 according to Patrick Corcoran director of media and research California operations chief of the National Association of Theatre Owners and remains historically low. Corcoran said the average ticket price for the third quarter was $7.78. By way of comparison he said the average ticket price in 1972 was $1.70. Adjusted for inflation that 1972 movie ticket would cost $9.41 in 2012 dollars. ,3696
Nickelodeon SimEx-Iwerks and Super 78 Team Up on SpongeBob 4D,2012-11-15, Nickelodeon is teaming again with SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment and creative studio Super 78 to bring the hit cartoon series to life in SpongeBob SquarePants 4D – The Great Jelly Rescue.   With 3D graphics and a dramatic assortment of scents sounds and physical interplay the new attraction will offer an immersive one-of-a-kind 4D experience. Production of the film is currently underway and the experience will debut around the world at select venues spring 2013.
“SpongeBob is an international super star and this exciting new attraction gives fans the opportunity to feel like they are part of his undersea world ” said Brent Young principal of Super 78.  “This experience shares a conservation message using a charming storyline and special effects that engage all the senses.  It even adds a fifth dimension of sorts that taps the capricious humor SpongeBob is famous for.”
“This is our third film partnership with Nickelodeon ” said Mike Frueh senior vice president of film distribution for SimEx-Iwerks. “Based on the success of the original SpongeBob 4D Experience and most recently Dora and Diego 4-D Adventure we are delighted to be partnering with both Nickelodeon and Super 78 to bring a new SpongeBob 4D experience to the 4D screen.”
“SpongeBob SquarePants is an iconic and beloved property with a global fan base ” said Gerald Raines vice president Nickelodeon recreation business development. “This new experience which integrates 3D technology and dazzling in-theater effects will engage fans the world over with a positive and entertaining message.” ,3698
Reading Signs VPF Agreement with Cinedigm to Convert Arthouses,2012-11-15,Reading International which runs some of the nations most prestigious and successful independent arthouses has signed a long-term virtual print fee deployment agreement with Cinedigm.   Under the terms of the agreement contemplates that Reading through its affiliates will deploy up to 253 digital systems with installation expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The agreement will enable the conversion of theatres to digital cinema under the terms of Cinedigm’s long-term agreements with all the major studios as well as ongoing interim agreements with over one hundred independent distributors.   Reading through its affiliates owns and/or operates cinemas throughout North America including the Angelika Film Center City Cinemas' Paris Theatre in NYC Consolidated Theatres in Hawaii and Reading Cinemas in California and New Jersey.  In addition to owning and/or operating cinemas in Australia and New Zealand Reading is also engaged in real estate development in North America New Zealand and Australia and operates Off-Broadway live theaters in New York and Chicago. “We feel exceptionally fortunate to play such an important role as Reading transforms their prominent theatres to digital ” said Gary Loffredo Cinedigm’s president of digital cinema services.  “Reading’s theatres are truly the cream of the crop in the markets they serve and we are certain they will immediately benefit from digital cinema technology.”    Bob Smerling the president of Reading’s U.S. cinema group said that “After a long due diligence process we are very happy to be working with Cinedigm on our digital conversion.  They will be great partners in the rapidly changing digital cinema environment.” ,3699
Douglas Sloan’s Saigon ’68 Premieres at DOC NYC Festival,2012-11-15,Douglas Sloan’s latest effort Saigon ’68 premiered this week at the DOC NYC Festival. “One image had a radical effect on two peoples lives and was said to be the photo that stopped the Vietnam War ” Sloan says. “Eddie Adams said ‘photographs do lie’ after watching this film. I hope there will be a healthy debate about whether or not viewers   agree. We are excited to have finished this film in time for DOC NYC because the festivals' director Thom Powers is a true believer in the power and importance of the documentary art form  and I could think of no better place to premiere the work.” Saigon ‘68 explores the story underlying the most influential photograph to come out of the Vietnam War – the image of a South Vietnamese police officer shooting a Vietcong prisoner in the head – and how the picture transformed the lives of Eddie Adams who captured the moment on film and Nguyen Ngoc Loan the man who pulled the trigger. Through a series of on-camera interviews with some of Adams’ contemporaries – the film reveals the surprising back-story of the events leading up to the murder and follows the conflicted lives led by Adams and Loan both before and after the photo transformed world opinion. Featuring interviews with Walter Anderson Peter Arnett Hal Buell Bill Eppridge Richard Pyle James S. Robbins Morley Safer and Bob Schieffer and dramatic readings from the journals Adams kept while in Vietnam between 1966 and 1968 by actor Danny Burstein Saigon ‘68 opens a broader inquiry into our perception and societal understanding of the visual image. “Today everywhere in the world we receive visual information at light-speed and visual misinformation or misinterpretation can be dangerous ” Sloan says. “As a society are we visually illiterate? The film encourages us to ask the question and to learn the language of images as we go forward.” Saigon ‘68 is Sloan’s fifth theatrically released documentary and as a director he is widely known for films that aspire to a strong point of view and for achieving rare warmth and accessibility from challenging human subjects.   His short film Elliott Erwitt: I Bark At Dogs won Best Doc at the Aspen Shortsfest in 2011 as well as the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival in 2011 and Best Doc at NYC Shorts 2012. It was also an official selection at over fifteen festivals worldwide. In 2009 his film William Klein – Out of Necessity quickly became an official selection at numerous international film festivals and was broadcast on PBS’ channel WNET in New York City. The film is presently being used to promote Klein’s current show at the Tate Museum in London. His earlier film work includes Eleven Frames which explores the life of John G. Morris; and So There You Go a film profile of Annie Leibovitz.   ,3700
Scrabble Entertainment Expands into Latin America,2012-11-15, After successfully deploying digital cinema in India and the Middle East Scrabble Entertainment has announced its expansion into Latin America. The company plans to deploy DCI-compliant digital cinema equipment to cinemas in the region. To facilitate the deployment Scrabble has so far signed separate non-exclusive digital cinema deployment agreements for the region with Warner Bros Pictures International Universal Pictures International Walt Disney Motion Pictures International Sony Pictures Releasing International Corporation and expects to sign the same with 20th Century Fox International. Subject to the terms and conditions under each agreement each studio will separately provide certain financial contributions to promote digital cinema when supplying films if booked in digital form to Scrabble's exhibitors.

Scrabble's roll out plan will commence in early 2013 and will initially cover Brazil Mexico and Chile. Our creative ways and out-of-the-box model have made us successful in every country in which we have deployed digital cinema so far. The Latin American marketplace will be no different. This region has a unique set of challenges and there will be stiff competition with other deploying entities. We believe that exhibitors will be inclined to work with us because of our unique and flexible business model said Ranjit Thakur CEO of Scrabble Entertainment.

 UFO Moviez holds a controlling stake in Scrabble Entertainment. With the deployment window being so small and the end of 35 mm prints right ahead of us exhibitors in the region are scrambling to get digital equipment at the earliest. Integrators who get in first with the most practical business model for the exhibitors will be ahead of the game. With the backing of UFO's financial muscle Scrabble is prepared to have more skin in the region said Kapil Agarwal joint managing director of UFO Moviez. ,3701
SD&A Conference Announces Advance Program,2012-11-15,The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference has announced the advance program for its February 2013 event. Spanning three days from February 4-6 the conference will highlight a wide range of technical development in the stereoscopic imaging field. Themes in the technical program include: Auto stereoscopic and Volumetric Displays 3D Image Quality 3D User Studies 3D Games Applications 3D Content and Coding and Multi-layer 3D Displays. The 3D Theatre session at each year’s SD&A conference is one of the conference’s most popular sessions. The purpose of this session is to showcase the wide range of 3D content being produced around the world. The SD&A 2013 3D Theatre session will be held the first day of the conference. If you are a 3D content producer or have recently worked on a 3D production and can help obtain permission please consider submitting your work. We accept a wide range of 3D content from studio blockbusters to industrial applications to student productions. 3D content should be tightly edited and well produced. Content owners should contact the conference before November 30 for submission details. The due date for 3D content submission is December 21. Registration for the conference has begun. Click here for more information ,3702
Theatre Service Network Installs Cinedigm EMS,2012-11-15,Theatre Service Network has installed Cinedigm’s Exhibitor Management System to further integrate and streamline its feature film booking and buying services.  EMS will manage the planning and booking of all feature films and alternative content for Theatre Service Network clients.  EMS will integrate with all theatre point of sale systems consolidate and reconcile box office data compute film rental expense across multiple client companies and more. “After looking at different booking systems for months we determined that EMS was the best suited to meet the needs of our diverse customers ” says Steve Felperin owner of Theatre Service Network.  “It really modernizes booking and buying.  We’re excited that Cinedigm makes technology for the independent theatre owner.” “EMS is designed to benefit all of exhibition from the large national circuit to agile booking and buying agencies like TSN ” said Adam Mizel chief operating officer and CFO of Cinedigm.  We are thrilled that an experienced veteran like Steve Felperin is staying ahead with the latest in industry technology so he can continue to offer his exhibitor clients excellent service.” ,3705
Ang Lee to Receive MPSE’s Filmmaker Award,2012-11-30,Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee will be the recipient of the Motion Picture Sound Editors 2013 Filmmaker Award to be presented at the 60th MPSE Golden Reel Awards in Los Angeles. Lee whose latest film Life of Pi is currently in theaters was selected for a body of work that has demonstrated superlative artistry and has advanced the craft of filmmaking. “Ang Lee is a fascinating innovator ” said MPSE president Bobbi Banks. “He continually breaks ground through the use of the latest technology both visually and sonically.  That continues with Life of Pi where his use of Dolby Atmos guides audiences into the emotional intimacy of the sound experience. The Motion Picture Sound Editors takes great pride in honoring his contributions to world cinema.” Ang Lee is widely regarded as one of the world’s great contemporary filmmakers. Along with Life of Pi his films include Taking Woodstock; Lust Caution; Hulk; Ride with the Devil; The Ice Storm and Sense and Sensibility. His film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Director in 2001. He won the Oscar for Best Director in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain. Lee was born in Pingtung Taiwan and studied filmmaking at the National Taiwan College of Arts the University of Illinois and New York University. He made his directorial debut in 1992 with Pushing Hands. His second film  The Wedding Banquet earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Lee has won two DGA two Golden Globe and three BAFTA awards for direction among many other international awards and honors for filmmaking excellence. The MPSE Golden Reel Awards is the preeminent awards competition for sound editors acknowledging the year’s best work in editing dialogue ADR sound effects Foley and music. The competition encompasses work for feature films television and other mediums. It also presents special awards for Filmmaker and Career Achievement. Past recipients of the MPSE Filmmaker Award include George Lucas Michael Bay Steven Spielberg Clint Eastwood Brian Grazer and Gale Anne Hurd.  Some past recipients of its Career Achievement Award include George Watters II Walter Murch Don Hall and Larry Singer. The 60th MPSE Golden Reel Awards will be held February 17 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in Los Angeles. ,3710
New Full-Service Production Studio Antenna Opens in LA,2012-11-30,Antenna a full-service studio focused on multi-platform content creation for commercial advertising film and television has launched in Los Angeles. The new company which also features a satellite production facility in Europe offers design animation visual effects live action production music composition and a broad range of digital services. Its goal is to provide advertising agencies motion picture VFX producers television studios and others with turn-key content-creation services for all media: theatrical broadcast online and print. Antenna launches with a strong pedigree and a background of groundbreaking work. Its staff of designers animators visual effects artists composers and producers as well as its technical resources is drawn from the in-house design and production department of The Ant Farm a leading entertainment advertising agency. “The key creatives behind Antenna have consistently produced innovative award-winning work and now that amazing talent is available to a much broader market ” said The Ant Farm chief operating officer Melissa Palazzo. “They know how to design produce and deliver great work; their formula for success is already in place.” Antenna is led by executive producers Marie Soto and Michael J. Katz. Soto who will lead Antenna’s sales and marketing effort is new to the company and brings broad experience as a producer and sales executive for companies involved in commercial production visual effects and design. She most recently served as executive producer at The Traveling Picture Show Company a producer of commercials and feature films. She has recently produced work for TaylorMade Sea World Chevy Infiniti and Nike. Katz who will oversee production operations has headed The Ant Farm’s design and production unit for the past two years. His background includes a stint as executive producer at Oishii Creative and extensive credits as a freelance producer for such companies as Imaginary Forces and Zoo Films. Antenna’s production services incorporate all types of content including broadcast on-line and print. “We are a complete solution for content creation ” explained Katz. “We want our clients to view us as a production partner that can do anything to execute their creative. Agencies studios and others can bring their concepts to us and we will deliver brand-based innovative ground-breaking disruptive work.” Antenna plans to tap national and international markets for both clients and talent. The company is currently assembling an international sales team and has plans to establish additional satellite production facilities in Europe and on the East Coast.  “We are developing talent and production resources on an international level that are client friendly and have experience in working in the U.S. market ” said Soto. “We are going to compete at the industry’s highest level.” The Ant Farm chief executive officer Rodd Perry noted that Antenna benefits from its experience in working with The Ant Farm’s creative team. “We have a long legacy of visual storytelling ” Perry said. “That differentiates Antenna from other studios.” Antenna ,3711
Armenia Newest Member of European Audiovisual Observatory,2012-11-30,The European Audiovisual Observatory has just welcomed Armenia as a new member. This brings the number of members up to 40. Armenia will be represented on the Strasbourg-based Observatory’s Executive Council by Gevorg Gevorgyan president of the National Cinema Centre of Armenia. Gevorgyan said “Armenia is proud and honored to become the 40th member of the European Audiovisual Observatory in its 20th anniversary year an organization which is involved in extremely significant activities in the audiovisual sector thus assisting the work of the professionals in the sphere. Research and analysis carried out by the Observatory's experts are of crucial value and play a great role at the international level. Our membership will allow European media professionals and decision makers to obtain valuable data and legal analysis of the audiovisual sector in Armenia as well.” Wolfgang Closs Observatory’s executive director said “it’s very positive for the Observatory to welcome Armenia as a new member. We have become familiar with the films of Armenian-Canadian director Atom Egoyan for example. Now we look forward to learning more about Armenia’s cinema and television industry and learning how its regulatory structures function.” The Strasbourg-based European Audiovisual Observatory is part of the Council of Europe and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Pictured left to right: Wolfgang Closs executive director of the European Audiovisual Observatory and Gevorg Gevorgyan president of the National Cinema Centre of Armenia. ,3712
Advanced Systems Group to Host Asset Management Webinar,2012-11-30,West Coast video and film integration company Advanced Systems Group is hosting a free webinar called The ABCs of MAM that will spotlight media asset management solutions. The webinar will be held on Tuesday December 11th at 10 a.m. West Coast Time. Hosted by ASG’s Tyler Berry the 90-minute webinar will offer perspectives from axle video B4M a Primestream Company and CatDV all of which specialize in MAM technologies.   Sam Bogoch CEO of axle video will showcase the company’s affordable and intuitive software which can organize assets on shared storage from any Web browser on a PC Mac or iPad. Nicholas Smith technical sales manager at channel partner JB&A will explore the CatDV cross-platform software solution which provides a number of tools beyond asset management including logging transcoding and subtitling. Warren Arenstein Primestream senior vice president of business development will talk about FORK software suite which offers a seamless end-to-end platform for digital acquisition of live and file-based video content media asset management cloud asset management editing logging control room and master control playback smart phone and tablet video contribution publishing to the Web and dynamic archiving. The presentations will be followed by a short Q&A session.   “With so much content and so many formats it’s easy for any broadcaster production house or post facility to get disorganized in a hurry ” said Dave Van Hoy ASG president. “Digital asset management is an essential part of today’s video operations. We hope our webinar will help members of our audience ask the right questions when considering asset management systems for their facilities.”   To register for The ABC’s of MAM or for more information visit ,3713
JEDI Project Wins Gold ITEA Achievement Award,2012-11-30,The JEDI (Just Explore Dimensions) project has won a Gold ITEA Achievement Award. JEDI a part of the Information Technology for European Advancement - Eureka cluster program is supported by the Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology and focuses on an end-to-end high definition 3DTV chain (stereoscopic HD TV broadcasts with Blu-ray quality). This includes methods of capturing production distribution and display of stereoscopic HD video. The JEDI project was carried out by 21 partners from three European countries: Belgium France and Spain. With 11 industrial enterprises 3 research/academic partners 6 SMEs and 1 public broadcaster the consortium was not only very diverse but also encompassed the complete HD 3DTV value chain – from camera-capturing and encoding to transmission and decoding to display. An important part of the project was also to assess and optimize user experience. Because the JEDI project serves as a first step toward multi-view 3D it also included a study of how multi-view 3DTV for consumers will evolve and in which timeframe. Barco was the leader of the Demonstrations & User Assessment Work Package one of the five work packages in the JEDI project. The objective of the work package was to explore innovative ways of displaying 3D content in the most comfortable way for the viewer. The lessons learned by participating in this project have proven to be extremely valuable for Barco’s product development. Results are already visible in a broad range of products including stereoscopic LED walls and video wall cubes. ITEA 2 is the premier cooperative R&D program for software intensive systems and services in Europe (pre-competitive research) and a cluster of Eureka a leading pan-European platform for R&D-performing entrepreneurs. “The objective of the JEDI project was to give European companies a competitive edge in the development of 3DTV solutions ” says Andy De Mets coordinator external R&D and innovation programs for Barco. “This Gold ITEA Achievement Award proves that we have succeeded in all areas including innovation exploitation and dissemination. It puts the European partners in pole position for the development of 3DTV solutions a market that is expected to become mature in the next five to ten years.” ,3714
Prime-Cache5 Now Shipping,2012-11-30,Cache-A Corporation is now shipping a substantially improved and more durable edition of its Prime-Cache5 desktop archive appliance. The company says that this version is quiet-enough for both office and on-set use and sports a new and toughened chassis plus a built-in 2.5-inch HDD RAID that significantly accelerates disk-based transfer speeds. These enhancements are made with Cache-A’s latest v3.1 software upgrade based on 64-bit enterprise level CentOS 6.2 adding new LTFS capabilities. Prime Cache5 integrates into file-based workflows and its connectivity options include a dual GB Ethernet port plus two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. “Archiving has never been so affordable. Anyone needing a compact and portable entry into LTO-5 archiving will really appreciate the capabilities and blazing-fast performance of the improved Prime-Cache5 ” said Phil Ritti CEO of Cache-A. “It is easy-to-use ultra-quiet and unobtrusive in the office or in an on-set production environment.” The new Prime-Cache is priced at $7 995. ,3717
Christie to Acquire VR Solutions Expand in Australia and India,2012-11-30, Christie Digital Systems USA has entered into an agreement to acquire VR Solutions which has offices in Australia and India subject to completion of certain conditions. These acquisitions will provide Christie with subsidiaries and offices in Australia and India – markets that are witnessing increased demand for Christie’s products and solutions. After closing Christie intends to rebrand both companies under the Christie name.
 “We’re excited by the potential of this acquisition ” said Jack Kline president and chief operating officer Christie Digital Systems USA. “VR Solutions is a natural fit with Christie having been a valued partner and integrator of Christie products for several years. The team at VR Solutions also brings a wealth of expertise in design sales and service of visual technology solutions to expanding markets for Christie.” 
 Acquiring the VR Solutions companies is one component of Christie’s continuing long-term commitment to better serve its rapidly expanding customer base worldwide.  The new Australian subsidiary of Christie will become the main sales and support entity in Australia and New Zealand and the new Indian subsidiary of Christie will be integrated with Christie’s existing Indian operations. 
  “VR Solutions is extremely well respected in the market for their knowledge and technical expertise. We’ve represented Christie products for over five years and with our established ecosystem of integration partners we have accomplished many innovative projects in advanced visualization oil and gas live events and corporate display sectors ” said Michael Bosworth president VR Solutions. “In becoming part of the Christie brand it allows us the natural progression to further support our partners expanding our presence to supply of one of the world’s most respected projection product lines to Australia New Zealand and India.”
  Lin Yu vice president Christie Asia Pacific who will oversee these new Christie operations was equally enthusiastic.  “On completion of the acquisition the existing capabilities of our Indian office will be expanded across markets and in Australia and New Zealand this move will also expand the support we can provide to independent theatres for their digital projection conversions ” said Yu. ,3718
Cinesite Ventures into TV Production Secures Programming Deal with Discovery Networks,2012-11-30,Cinesite one of the world’s leading digital visual effects facilities has announced that it has completed its first venture into TV production by co-producing and selling its very first TV series  Rod and Rucksack to Discovery Networks across its EMEA markets. The five-by-60-minute travel and adventure series charts the journey of seasoned fisherman Guy Elson as he takes the trip of a lifetime to some of the world’s most remote and beautiful places in the name of extreme fishing. Elson’s travels take him to Australia Bolivia Canada Mongolia and Panama to find the very best in wildlife people culture and fishing. The co-production with gassProductions was filmed in HD at the end of 2011. “Our venture into TV production is a natural development of the Cinesite brand as we look at increasing the services and content we offer in addition to visual effects ” said Antony Hunt managing director of Cinesite and executive producer of Rod and Rucksack. “Our experience as a leader in the visual effects industry gives us the creative knowhow and technical ability to produce and co-produce an array of programming. Rod and Rucksack is our first television production and people may be surprised to learn that there are no visual effects in it; it’s simply a stunning travel and adventure series. We’re delighted that Discovery is the first broadcaster to pick up the rights and we relish the opportunity to develop more productions with gassProductions.” Andy Smith managing director of gassProductions said “It’s been an incredible journey producing Rod & Rucksack. Our crew has travelled around the world and filmed in the most testing of environments to capture Guy Elson fighting unbelievable fish. We’re extremely proud of the series and delighted with its initial sale to Discovery Networks. We look forward to co-producing more exciting and original television content with Cinesite.” ,3719
Createasphere to Launch TransVergence Summit,2012-11-30,Createasphere is launching a new conference focusing on the convergence of technology branding and storytelling in Los Angeles in the first quarter of 2013 with additional dates scheduled for New York and Amsterdam. Dubbed the TransVergence Summit each two-day event will explore the convergence of media brands intellectual property marketing technology and delivery in an evolving multiplatform ecosystem. The conference will offer interactive panel discussions expert consultation opportunities in-depth case study analysis engaging demonstrations and keynote addresses. Attendees will learn about the emerging tools and strategies needed to successfully integrate and execute cross-platform and transmedia campaigns for maximum consumer engagement. Noted transmedia expert and producer Kate McCallum is curating the TransVergence Summit. She is supported by a group of industry luminaries selected for their unique experience and perspectives in guiding programming and direction of the content. Createasphere president Kristin Petrovich Kennedy says “Storytellers are increasingly empowered to engage audiences in new and compelling ways. While stories are and will always be the bedrock of engagement technology is the driving force behind user interaction and new experiences across multiple platforms. Intertwining planning strategy management and implementation through all the current and future offerings has made transmedia an important concept to be understood and executed.” Conference sessions will focus on the many facets of these powerful new techniques in advertising television cinema mobile gaming publishing and themed and live entertainment. Producers content owners and distributors programming and development executives brand managers corporate marketing professionals game designers cutting-edge technology companies and innovators that service the hypermedia ecosystem should not miss this event as an opportunity to discover and assess the current state of convergent media new technologies audience interaction and storytelling at its best.   McCallum says “From second screen to games apps and augmented reality media is more immersive and interactive than ever. At the TransVergence Summit some of the most intriguing and experienced professionals will be sharing the latest information from freemium model successes or VOD failures and real-world knowledge about the next steps in bringing brands and stories to viewers in exciting innovative ways. The possibilities of transmedia are almost limitless but the TransVergence Summit is designed to help attendees make sense of the latest information and take away valuable insights.” To complement and support the Summits Createasphere is also launching an online component the TransVergence Coalition which will be developed as the leading community and information resource for experts in the field. For further information and registration visit ,3721
Ninth CVMP Conference Returns to London,2012-11-30,The 9th annual European Conference on Visual Media Production is returning to London this month. From December 5-6 Leicester Square’s Vue Cinema will be the setting for and production and post-production specialists from the film broadcast and games industries will gather to share ideas. The confirmed speaker list includes: Mike Romey: CG Supervisor at ZOIC Studios Olga Sorkine: Assistant Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich Tom Mertens: CEO and Co-Founder at Camargus Fredo Durand: Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology John Zubryzcki: Archives Research Section Leader at BBC Research and Development Alexander Seaman: Effects Animation Supervisor at Double Negative Mark Wilson: CG Supervisor at Framestore Hannes Appell: Cinematic Artist at Crytek Adrian Hilton: Vision Speech & Signal Processing at University of Surrey Irregular modeling techniques broadcast innovations undertaken during the London Olympics and retrieving visual data once thought to be invisible are among the speaker topics up for discussion; academic topics will explore ideas like Can Our TV Robustly Understand Human Gestures? and Collaborative Visual Story Boarding. CVMP is an impartial event organized by The Foundry a world-leading innovator in visual effects software and committee members Trinity College Dublin BBC R&D and the University of Surrey. Leading sponsors include: Google MPC The Visual Effects Society and CG Channel. For more information visit ,3723
China’s Dadi Digital Cinema Has Banner Year,2012-11-30,Dadi Digital Cinema one of China's largest theater chains expects its total revenue to reach almost 1 billion yuan ($160.4 million) this year an increase of about 400 million yuan compared with last year. Liu Kaijun general manager of investment at the company made the announcement which was reported first in China Daily. The company which was established in 2005 and ranks fifth among theater chains nationwide only projects digital films. Most of its cinemas are located in second and third-tier cities and it currently operates more than 160 cineplexes with more than 750 auditoriums. Liu told the China Daily that Dadi cinemas account for a market share of about five percent in the country and that the company aims to expand that figure to one-third of the market share in the future. ,3724
Putting Production Gear to the Test at the Dakar Rally,2012-11-30, The famous Dakar Rally is considered the hardest desert rally in the world. Participants are not the only ones who are put to the test; the reporters' equipment also has to overcome challenges. DakarPress Team member Dirk van der Veen summed up the requirements for the equipment saying During this demanding 19-day shoot in Argentina Chile and Peru we had to be prepared for all possible weather conditions. We expected not only perfect protection and easy portability of our equipment from our bags and backpacks but also maximum flexibility in order to cope with the various shooting conditions. And that’s what we found in Petrol Bags.”

The Dakar Rally route not only runs through rough terrain; it also exposes the drivers and the news teams to a variety of weather conditions – wetness cold extreme dryness and heat are characteristic. In the Atacama Desert in Chile temperatures of up to 131°F (55°C) are quite common. In addition we also had to deal with the highest UV Index in the world there. The Digibag DSLR Camera Bag (PD221) and the DSLR Sling Bag (PD333) protects our DSLR equipment perfectly even when the bags were left in the sun the whole day and the air was full of dust. In other regions it was often raining heavily and persistently so we used the PD510 Transparent DSLR Plus Rain Cover (PD510) to protect our cameras. The rain cover is completely waterproof easy to use and enables both good viewing and fast access to the camera. This is an extremely useful accessory said van der Veen.

 The drives over rough terrain are a further challenge for the DakarPress Team. Anyone who is familiar with the Dakar Rally immediately visualizes adventurous routes and technicians who are busy with repairs. To keep the press team from joining the latter it is important that the equipment be safely transported during long stretches in the jeep. According to van der Veen The strength of the materials used is the best thing about Petrol Bags. When we drive through rocky terrain by car the backpacks constantly vibrate. They are then strained by dust sand and extreme heat. After such torture it is also astonishing that even the zippers still function correctly and easily glide as usual. For the long trip the DakarPress team also had to think about packing of course as the team only had a limited amount of space available for the almost three weeks in the cramped jeep. In comparison to their size the enormous amount of storage space of Petrol Bags backpacks and bags was a very welcome feature for van der Veen. A further Petrol Bags bonus is the versatile interior. We were very surprised at how spacious the small DSLR Sling Bag is ” he said. “The backpacks by Petrol Bags are lightweight robust and enable safe transport of the equipment. Deciding to use Petrol Bags was definitely the right decision.