ETC Several Studios to Create Voluntary IMF Spec

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Mon, 04/13/2009 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC has announced a collaborative project between several movie studios to create a voluntary specification for Interoperable Master Format (IMF).  The core contributors will be Disney Paramount Sony and Warner Bros.  The project’s goal is to encourage the adoption of a uniform voluntary specification for data types and metadata which will facilitate efficient workflow processes within and between studios and production houses.   The project will ultimately create a specification for a single digital package that can be used to output an arbitrary number of versions for varying screen sizes resolutions bit rates codecs service providers etc.  The IMF project grew out of previously independent work at the major studios. The project will also utilize input and implementation guidance from content service providers and manufacturers with close and frequent participation.  Walt Ordway formerly chief technology officer of Digital Cinema Initiatives will act as the project director. “The focus of ETC’s work is around creation and distribution of content at any time on any device. We are pleased to help to bring together industry giants to streamline the process of creating and preparing content in a way that can more cost-effectively reach the growing plethora of distribution channels.  This specification will go a long way to smooth the convergence of entertainment and technology by simplifying the preparation storage and management processes of digital media files ” says David Wertheimer CEO and executive director of the Entertainment Technology Center @ USC.   We've been fortunate for many years to have standard formats for interchange – both film and tape. Now that all-digital workflows are commonplace we need the same kind of universally-understood formats for digital master files ” says Chris Carey EVP Worldwide Technical Operations Paramount Pictures.  Wendy Aylsworth senior vice president technology Warner Bros. Technical Operations agrees saying “Especially considering the increasing downstream distribution channels a master that enables cost-effective transcoding is critical.” As a media company we're encouraged to see ever-expanding platforms on which we can distribute movies TV shows and other properties.  With that growth comes complexity – so we are supportive of efforts to provide more efficient means of content preparation for reaching a broader range of viewers says Bob Lambert senior vice president of worldwide technology strategy for The Walt Disney Company.   Bi-weekly meetings will be taking place at the studios and at ETC@USC’s Anytime/Anywhere Content Lab in Los Angeles with report-outs and input opportunities for collaborative groups periodically. The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC ,870
JVC Forms New U.S. Division,2009-04-14, JVC has completed the consolidation of its U.S. operations under a newly formed American division JVC U.S.A.  The consolidation combines JVC’s three U.S. sales divisions and its U.S. service company into a single U.S. organization.  Plans to consolidate JVC’s U.S. operations were announced earlier this year. Hiro Ishizuka has been named president and chief executive officer of JVC U.S.A.  He was previously president and CEO of JVC Company of America the organization formerly responsible for consumer products in the U.S. The four JVC companies consolidated to form JVC U.S.A. were: JVC Company of America a sales division selling consumer market TVs camcorders audio products accessories and recording media products; JVC Mobile Company of America a sales division selling car audio video and navigation products; JVC Professional Products Company a sales division selling professional cameras security and display products; JVC Service and Engineering Company the service division for all three U.S. sales companies “By consolidating our U.S. operations into a single organization we have created a more efficient and more nimble organization that will strengthen JVC’s position in the U.S. market ” Ishizuka. JVC U.S.A. ,872
Mytherapy D-Cinelab Opens New London Facility,2009-04-14, Mytherapy D-Cinelab has opened a new facility in London's West End.   Mytherapy D-Cinelab is able to handle the entire high-end digital post-production on a project or complement other post facilities by assisting in creating an efficient workflow from acquisition through post to deliverables of 2K and 4K content. Mytherapy supports cameras such as Red One Silicon Imaging 2K Phantom HD and Arri D-21.
 It is the first facility that takes raw camera processing beyond simple conversion and into the realm of advanced post-production offering services such as noise removal grain and film stock match and color artifact removal. It is also the only facility in Europe that offers real-time transfer of raw camera data in 4:4:4 10-bit log and image sequence.
 Based in Margaret St W1 Mytherapy D-Cinelab is easily accessible to the West End production and post community. 

Mytherapy D-Cinelab ,873
The Memories of Angels Entered in Competition for Focal International Awards,2009-04-14, The National Film Board of Canada has announced that The Memories of Angels by Luc Bourdon is part of the official competition for the 2009 FOCAL International Awards. The winners of this year’s awards which are designed to promote the use of archive images in the creative media will be announced during a ceremony held in London England on May 5. As the National Film Board celebrates its 70th birthday Luc Bourdon’s feature film confirms the NFB’s role in conserving one of the world’s most remarkable audiovisual collections a priceless part of Canadian and global heritage. 
  An assembly of clips from 120 films produced by the NFB The Memories of Angels is a trip through time and an exploration of the Montreal mosaic. In creating this film essay Bourdon has drawn from the fertile source of great Quebec cinema recycling and reformatting sights and sounds of the past and lending them a new and unexpected texture. Winner of the Focus–Cinémathèque québécoise Grand Prize at the 2008 edition of Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinema The Memories of Angels is also a finalist for the Jutra Award for Best Documentary. 
  National Film Board of Canada ,874
Sachtler Introduces Cine 7+7 HD Fluid Head System

,2009-04-14, Sachtler has introduced the Cine 7+7 HD fluid head a 100mm system that offers a host of cine-style features including a front pan bar. With a payload range of 4.4 to 48.5 pounds (2-22 kilograms) the new head aptly supports a variety of packages from HDV camcorders to full-sized cameras loaded with accessories. Yet at just 7.3 pounds (3.3 kilograms) the location-ready Cine 7+7 HD is one of the lightest weight heads in its class.

 The new Cine 7+7 HD fluid head is equipped with a convenient side load clamp for the camera plate. The six-inch (150mm) wide displacement area of the camera plate offers the advantage of easy lateral loading of the head via the pre-mounted camera set-up. Busy operators will appreciate that the Cine 7+7 HD brake lever and swivel arm are uniquely engineered employing a dual compound moulding procedure to promote a sure grip significantly minimizing the risk of slipping. 

The Cine 7+7 HD fluid head is well suited for a variety of HDV HD and film productions. Thanks to a 16-step counterbalance and reliable Sachtler multiple contact switching camera balancing is quick and safe. Additionally the payload can be switched between “High“ and “Low“ with the Boost Button. Seven each horizontal and vertical adjustable levels of drag (plus 0) ensure jolt-free pans and tilts. Plus the 7+7 HD offers an extensive temperature range from -40 to +140°F   (-40° to +60°C) making it ready for use in extreme climatic zones from the Antarctic to the Sahara. 

 According to Robert Zierer product manager for Sachtler “The lightweight Cine 7+7 HD offers Sachtler-quality in the 100mm size. Thus it is an attractive alternative to 150mm heads when using smaller film and HD cameras.“ The Cine 7+7 HD is available in five complete systems when matched with different types of tripods. Sachtler ,876
Sony DCSS Group Signs Deployment Agreement with Disney,2009-04-14, Sony Electronics' systems integration division the Sony Digital Cinema Solutions and Services group has entered into a non-exclusive digital cinema deployment agreement with Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International. The companies will work together to provide operational and financial resources to exhibitors that encourage them to feature Sony's 4K SXRD projection technology in both 2D and 3D digital cinema-enabled screens across North America and Europe. Sony's digital cinema group has now signed digital cinema deployment agreements with four major studios: Walt Disney Twentieth Century Fox Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Disney continues to be very excited about the possibilities of digital cinema and has long supported new technologies that give moviegoers the best possible theatrical experience and provide a wide range of benefits to our partners in exhibition says Anthony Marcoly president sales and distribution for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International. We're pleased to be working with Sony's Digital Cinema Solutions and Services group in deploying this advanced technology and finding new ways to help theater owners upgrade their equipment economically and efficiently. Sony's 4K projection system offers magnificent state-of-the-art technology and gives theaters the flexibility for high-quality 2D playback as well as the increasingly important ability to display spectacular 3D productions. With 17 3D feature films in the Disney pipeline ranging from great animated fare to fantastic live-action epics we believe that 3D exhibition and digital cinema are vitally important to the future of movie going. The Sony DCSS group was formed to provide turnkey solutions for exhibitors enabling them to efficiently convert their operations to digital technology. In addition to digital projection system deployment the DCSS group will offer installation and maintenance services customized solutions delivery of alternative content programming and high-level service support. Walt Disney Studios is known for its innovative and pioneering work throughout the history of cinema says Mike Fidler senior vice president of Sony's DCSS group. It's only natural that they are among the studios on the forefront of our industry's move toward 4K digital technology and we are truly excited to be working with them. ,877
Universal Cinema Services GDC Partner in New Installations
,2009-04-14, GDC Technology has partnered with Universal Cinema Services in order to extend its deployment reach in Guam and Arizona. GDC’s SA-2100 servers have been deployed in Tango Theatres Guam and Pavilions 12 in Tucson Arizona thanks to the support of UCS and its first sales of GDC products.
“UCS is delighted to partner with pace-setting GDC Technology ” says UCS president and chief operating officer Stan Lamb. “Their high quality products and quick turn-around time to answer customers’ requests are a winning combination when it comes to keeping our cinema customers happy.” 

“GDC is pleased to be working with such a well known and respected sales and service company ” says Dr. Man-Nang Chong founder and CEO of GDC Technology. “We are grateful to UCS for being one of GDC’s earliest resellers in America GDC’s decade of unyielding commitment in digital cinema innovation shall be rewarding to UCS for many years to come.” 
GDC Technology
 Universal Cinema Services ,879
WebMovieNow.Com And Nelson Madison Films Form Strategic Alliance
 ,2009-04-14, an Osiris Entertainment company has formed an alliance with Nelson Madison Films that makes the studio’s catalog of more than 40 titles available for the newly launched online movie rental destination.   In addition to bringing its own titles to Nelson Madison Films distribution arm Indie Rights will also serve as an aggregator of film releases from other independent distributors for the movie rental Website.
Indie Rights titles to be showcased on will include the critically acclaimed and award-winning social documentary Skid Row featuring Grammy award-winning artist Pras Michel who slept on the streets of Los Angeles for nine days to help raise awareness of the country’s growing homeless crisis.   The film played the festival circuit where it was featured at the Pan African Film and Art Festival in Los Angeles and was screened in Denver during the Democratic National Convention courtesy of Harkins Theaters.   “We are confident that exposure of the film through will help bring the film and it’s subject matter the attention it deserves ” says Linda Nelson CEO of Indie Rights.   Formed in 2003 by film producer Linda Nelson and producer-director Michael Madison Nelson Madison Films is a producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures for the global marketplace.  Among the company’s productions is the large format film NSYNC Bigger Than Live documenting the pop music mega group NSYNC which made its premiere in Los Angeles and screened at more than fifty IMAX and giant screen theaters worldwide.   The company’s next film project is the action adventure Delivered.

“Linda Nelson and Michael Madison are talented film professionals who have built an industry-wide reputation as an innovate and savvy company.  I am delighted to join with this outstanding creative team for the quality titles they bring to as well as for the extensive relationships they have within the independent film community as we work together to build our Website’s offerings ” says Evan Crooke CEO of has emerged as an exciting online movie rental destination offering consumers diversity quality and convenience.  We look forward to bringing our catalog of films to this unique service and to introducing WebMovieNow to independent film distributors as a new outlet for their product ” says Nelson.