David J. Thompson, SOC

David J. Thompson, SOC is a member of the Society of Camera Operators and has extensive credits in both feature film and television as a camera operator and a Steadicam operator. His partial credits include top projects such as: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Insurgent, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Divergent, American Hustle, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Silver Linings Playbook, Boardwalk Empire, Without a Trace and The Wire.

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John Canning

[ 00:00:19 ] I look at people like the PGA. And frankly why I originally joined it as a way to connect with other professionals in the field.

[ 00:00:28 ] I mean you can have all the sort of joint bargaining or you can have insurance but frankly what I find these associations are is being able to establish that camaraderie that understanding the ability to work with your peers to share the pain share the understanding too.

[ 00:00:45 ] You know when that one gig ends and you are looking for the next gig I have found so much value that from the guild in working with my peers.

[ 00:00:53 ] And then also being able to expand the knowledge base. Now obviously when you look at like SMP and things like that you’re going after hard core standards and establishing how we’re going to go make things or how to distribute things. But if I look at the guilds and certainly from the Producers Guild perspective for us I look at that as like the real value. You know there’s a lot of benefits but that’s the value to the yes we have an eye on the money or we have an eye for looking for the money which I think is we should think about from the From a producers perspective. Right we we’re with that project from the get go and literally like where is the money coming from. I have a beautiful project. Now how do I get financed to getting it made. We were just talking about our panel somebody was talking about the monetization. How do I make money. That’s one aspect of it. One person asked a question about budgets you know like and as we look at New Media Productions different kinds of productions. And I’m going to say everything from vr to snap chat. The the things you have to answer is you still got a budget. The reality is is typically the line items are similar sometimes are the same but the size is moving around. If we look at virtual reality what was really going on the virtual reality field and 360 production is post has really expanded because posting that is hard. There’s more to it. As I pointed out to somebody you know when you think it’s just a one camera shoot. Well maybe that virtual reality camera has actually six cameras in it so that’s a six camera shoot from a D.A. perspective. So the budgeting for storage for processing all of those things have to be taken into account. We look at monetization of some new forms and I think you have to be very practical and say you know what in entertainment we are it isn’t a I’m going to go make an x ray vr movie and it’s going to be a multi billion dollar blockbuster. What you’re saying is where’s the money from. We look at marketing expenditures. People are paying for those kind of things creating amazing things. Certainly in the enterprise space the Automan automobile industry is making a lot of marketing related projects. There’s dollars there but you have to be practical about where the dollars are coming from. Sponsored projects a lot of the platforms so whether it’s a Google or Facebook or Samsung they’re trying to encourage this medium because they know you can produce all the hardware you want but if you have nothing on it. Consumers are not going to come. So it’s that that virtuous cycle of instigating it bringing it bringing more content to it. And then then the monetization strategies will change.

[ 00:03:40 ] So that’s why that’s a million dollar question. But I think it’s it’s you have to take a step back and think about any project you’re getting into. If you decide to do a documentary project and shoot with three reds and you blow it out and want CGI. Is that going to be commiserate to what you’re going to make on that documentary. Yep same problem right. It’s just different factors. But you’ve got to weigh that in as anybody that says oh I’m going to go make a 30 minute vr piece and expect to sell like hotcakes. Well that’s great but what’s your available market from just people that can actually view like hotcakes can only get you so far when you can only sell 12 of them. You know the market is a bit bigger but it’s not that much better. You have to understand the available market size and how you’re trying to reach. But if so say that’s an interactive vr high and very intensive very small audience. But then it may be a showcase piece and maybe a marketing piece and maybe a piece associated with a major multi million dollar film release then it’s OK because we’re making the highest quality thing for the highest you know output. Then again if you were trying to reach broadbrush in and maybe you’re OK with mom and Skopec B.R. because you’re on Facebook 360 and YouTube and you’re like I want to go for high penetration and I don’t expect this piece to live forever. So it may be a short term piece not evergreen. It’s ok that it is unshod on the biggest rigs having the biggest post-budget.

[ 00:05:18 ] So you have to think those things through you know I think and I love gear.

[ 00:05:30 ] You know I’m a gearhead. But as I look at this you also to some degree are looking at what some of the top end cameras are doing inflexibility and giving to you. Sure you can go do a quick and dirty go pro-reg. If you do it stock off the shelf but you have certain limitations with that. Right.

[ 00:05:52 ] I know almost everybody that’s shooting with those rigs first thing that it was ripped the lenses off and put different lenses custom Rick. You know I see manufactured three vr 360 cameras out there. There are certain limitations certain advantages and if you’re working your productions working within those it’s great. There’s probably like three different classifications a camera I’m looking at now which is the sort of prosumer manufactured camera the pro version and then the custom rigs with the custom rigs being the people out there that are building the harnesses the housings they’re putting bodies into it. And then I’m seeing that sort of DIY. Here’s the the the template to go though go assembly around. So that kind of range is starting to meet. What is the director the film makers desire for output. Is it low light. Is it underwater. Is it Knodell shooting low light close for far.

[ 00:06:52 ] You know can I put an adjustable lens package on it so that variability I think still demands that we have that range of cameras because you don’t need a red dragon or an army for everything but sometimes what you’re going for is is that are you matching it to other footage for example. How is that shot. So all these things play into it.

[ 00:07:13 ] But I think it first is stepping back and assessing what is the shooting conditions. So I think most importantly is also having a good DP Right somebody who can assess the shooting situation and say this is what I need to get this shot because that’s what counts at the end of the day. Can you get the shot you need.

[ 00:07:37 ] It’s a good question they’re not a magic bullet. So searching cameras you can talk to anybody if you have a production team that’s shooting for the Ozo And if you go to a third party house to do post it will be more expensive because they don’t know what they’re going to get because even though they’re self stitching they’re not really self stitching right. They do the processing you can run it through there but then there’s the corrections. If you don’t shoot right you can’t fix it in a stitch. So those are all the things that you know do you have to paint something out. Don’t care if it’s a sausage in camera if I still have to paint out a boom or something like that. So those are One-Stop fixes what you see in the advantage of some of those rigs or for live streaming right. So you need that self-searching that immediate mode for pushing out live. If you’re truly going live or even near live because you may not want to go on air in 15 minutes. I don’t have time to do a full stitch and then you’re looking at systems like the jaunt or the Google job which are doing cloudbase stitching because again a self stitching is it. No it’s just moving the stitching process somewhere else. So if you look at the Google process you take that material out of the camera and push it up to the cloud you receive is stitched back. Now that means the correction may need some kind of fixing. But there’s still a process a time factor. Remember that Google camera has I think 17 cameras 17 cards. How much data is that. You’ve got to push it up and bring it back down. So all of these issues. But look if you if anybody looked at this industry right now and said oh this is it we can. It’s a raging river. It’s 100 miles an hour going past you step in and you’re going to be 100 yards down before you know it. And the trick is is that this is constantly evolving. New tools new techniques are coming along. We just see the kinds of plug ins that are going into our editing software to fix these problems fixing stabilization. So it is it is a matter of you know assessing where your costs are and what you need to do. That’s a good question.

[ 00:09:47 ] I think I’ve been fascinated by this evolution of 360 which is just because you have a 360 story doesn’t you know were shot that way. Right. Knodell shooting on high end Productions is something that is again. You’ve got the cost of moving crew moving set things like that but you also have the ability to more tightly control your suiting situation lighting sound directing acting all of those elements if you’re shooting Notably you can have a crew back there you can’t have a director back there. You can do different things with the sound. So if you think about that in some cases you won’t have to worry about that because you’re setting the scene properly and in some cases on the fly whatever situation dictates you may want to shoot full 360. You do have those issues. But then what you see is tools like Ozo has a live preview live preview is something that only a few cameras do as simple as we think of looking through a viewfinder of a traditional camera to see what you’re shooting. We have been able to do that. That is starting to happen more. But that ability to look through and say what’s in the way what can I remove that live preview will save some of that and even the john. It’s not like a preview but you can take a snapshot. I work with TVs and directors that take the snapshot look at what’s there adjust lighting natural lighting move things around and then reshoot that.

[ 00:11:09 ] Taking that moment to to deal with it but also like I said now we’re shooting in 360 producers small projects large projects we’re scrappy right.

[ 00:11:25 ] We’re always looking for funding. I’ve went through a crowdfunding campaign for a documentary I was working on. It’s you got to find your funding where you find your funding. And I think that’s that’s the that’s the long and short of it it’s got to go where you you think you can’t. It’s having a compelling story that you think the crowd wants to buy into and then you know being able to deliver on that. I think the biggest pressure I had when I was doing Crowdfunding is now I got to go make it cause it was a bunch of people just gave me the money they’re hoping I do it.

[ 00:12:04 ] You know I’m not an expert on government funding. But what just personal experience is there was a small group that did the crowd funding friends and family people who are excited about the project. They were like Just go make it. That is a much smaller set than I hope actually see the film. And it’s like sort of that active participation in an audience when you’re doing a show versus the active participation. Right. There are those people that lean in and want to get involved and vote. And then there’s those people who just want to enjoy. And I think that’s to me that’s what it feels like crowdfunding as the people that are really want to see that and just see it happen and may put a little extra in and and understand if you’re selling a ticket. You know if you look at the gaming environment at crowdfunding and games I’ve crowdfunded a game up to what I would pay the retail price and I get that game.

[ 00:12:54 ] So how they deliver how the filmmaker delivers it to their backers. And typically I can take another thought on this. When you look at what you do for your backers what prerelease prerelease screenings you can pay it forward.

[ 00:13:16 ] Only and only my thoughts as I probably even come to the show for over 20 years now and I’ve seen the ebb and flow in the industry and I think it’s wonderful that the show is is hardly not only embracing the mechanics of producing and delivering but is also also embracing the content aspect of it because I think that was something that was missing in a lot of the conversations about how you could see the bits in the bytes and the you know the color charts and things like that. But then it was like What is this for.

[ 00:13:44 ] And adding that content element on top of it I think really brings the richness of the conversation because it is the factor that we’re all dealing with this we wouldn’t be doing this unless we’re trying to deliver something and that what that something is and who’s making it and their connection to it is becoming more and more relevant.

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Backstage Conversation Season: 2017

John Dykstra Asc

[ 00:00:18 ] If you go to film one of the key issues everybody knows the larger the format of the film 35 millimeter being an SLR in the old days. Two quarter square was a roll of flax and then four by five which was a press camera. The bigger the negative the higher resolution of the film and that applied to motion pictures as well. So in the days when we were shooting on for perforation 35 millimeter film if we did an optical composite if we did a visual effect which is defined as are two or more images recorded at separate times combined into a single image to appear as though it were captured in a single pass. Then you suffered what was called a generational loss because you had to duplicate each of the negatives of the photographs of the subject you were combining in the composite. And as a result we went to a much larger format which was eight perforation called this division which is an SLR format that’s the old Nikon format that the press photographers use for years. Now that’s twice the sizes of the conventional four per format as a result. You could duplicate it in an optical printer because that’s how you put the images together essentially a projected one image onto a piece of raw stock and you projected the second image onto a piece of Rostok with some technical mats incorporated and the two images appeared on this new piece of film but it was one generation one generation away from the original. So it was higher contrast. It had more grain structure and it looked somewhat degraded by making the negative larger You could do that duplication end up with a four perfect original that looked closer to the original four for photography that was not a visual effect. If that makes sense.

[ 00:02:15 ] Personal preference. I really enjoyed the days when you had to put a subject in front of a camera and recorded on film. One of the reasons I liked that is it challenged you constantly to figure out how to put cameras into situations where they shouldn’t be or appeared to be impractical for them to be. One of the things that we used to regularly would would be we’d clamp a camera onto the strut of an airplane and fly down a canyon to get a background plate for somebody who was supposedly flying through this environment and put motorcycles and camera cars and helicopters and pretty much you name it we were mounting cameras on it going to environments like the North Pole flying over glaciers 200 feet above glacier at 300 miles an hour and a Learjet that kind of stuff really fun. So lifestyle wise that’s gone. We don’t do that anymore because everybody can make it in the box. You can make the glacier in the marsh and make the canyon in the box you can do all of the stuff in the box. So that’s a fairly generic description of the difference between then and now what happened was there those you spent an awful lot of time engineering things in the days when you had to put a subject in front of the camera. And if you took the aggregate amount of time available to make a shot you spent a larger percentage of it figuring out just how to make it physically work as opposed to what the shot really was. Now it doesn’t mean that that’s bad because it’s sort of like a handwritten letter as opposed to an e-mail or a text. There was some thought process that went into the design of the technique to execute the shot. It made you pare the shot in all of its components its composition the way the camera moved how it began and how it ended down to the essentials. So rather than the sketch you’re going into the execution of a shot with a fairly well-defined concept of what it was going to be.

[ 00:04:21 ] With the advent of digital imaging or the ability of the computer to create a image or an object or an environment that’s indistinguishable from reality and sometimes that’s questionable. You have the ability to do you have an infinitely small camera but it’s a point in space you have the ability to move it at ridiculously fast ridiculously slow. You can tailor with the depth the field you can change the speed of the lens. So all of a sudden you have an embarrassment of riches. You can do anything. And one of the problems is that people do anything and I’m not sure that it’s as well considered as it was when we had to figure out how to make the camera achieve the end result. The visual visual vocabulary of a film now requires a pretty clear dictionary if you want to call it that so that you don’t end up straying into the never never land of a camera that can move into infinitely fast or making you continue a shot that goes through the eye of a needle and then ends up you know looking at the Earth from space. They become G-Wiz but they kick you out of the movie they kick you out of the storytelling. So we spend much more time thinking about how the image influences the telling of the story and how evocative it is in terms of the development of a character as opposed to the gee whiz component which is how the how the hell do they do that because we all know how we do it now.

[ 00:05:59 ] Creativity needs constraint. Well I’m not sure I you know it’s like that’s a pretty broad statement.

[ 00:06:05 ] I think it needs consideration well look at the idea that something is indistinguishable from a real image is kind of got a psychological component and I’ll call it the physiological component. But that’s the best word I can use to define it. Psychological the component is if you take a picture of three people sitting at a table and you’re the one that took the picture when you look at it you never questioned it and it might if you showed it to somebody else it might go. That looks like a painting. But you know because you shot the shot or the audience knows because at the time before digital imaging there was no way to photograph that without taking a picture of it. It’s a real thing. Right so you don’t question the nuances of it. And I’ve seen pictures that were photographed by people that look like a bad painting but they’re real. Right. So it becomes subjective as to what the thing is. But once you’ve lost that baseline component which is that’s real because there no way that that could have been achieved unless it was real.

[ 00:07:18 ] Once you lose that then everything comes to question. So you look at a character and you go wow. These other characters have a real character. You have to be pretty well to two sizes. You have to be pretty astute to really tell the difference between CGI characters and real characters at a certain distance. But we as human beings are keyed into the anomalies of humanity asymmetry of face irregularity of the color or the translucency of skin how hair is at once transparent but also opaque. And those subliminal cues which you’re used to and with all your life are really hard to achieve in the computer because a computer doesn’t do noise very well. And one of the things that happens all the time we’re making the city environment or we’re making a character. We’re making some combination of vehicle and end up having to go and say let’s add world noise to that. Make the lines a little irregular make the definition of the edges somewhat less sharp make there be variation in the corners. So they’re all not exactly individual point right angle turns and it’s that noise that I think is necessary to lull people into a willing suspension of disbelief.

[ 00:09:00 ] So Ghost in the shell. What was the hardest thing about ghost in the shell it was creating what was within what was already designed and conceived to be a surreal environment which is what anime sort of. That’s my interpretation of ennemies interpretation of reality. Terms of color in terms of composition the definition of the architecture everything about it has this slightly over the top or surreal quality to it. We had to go into that environment and add things which also had that surreal quality but differentiated themselves from real. And I’ll speak specifically to a thing called solid ground. If you watch the movie when you’re flying through the city you see buildings you see streets roads people whatever went around but you see these incredibly large advertising elements a Geisha pouring socky somebody lifting weights a giant dog barking at something off screen and these are integrated into the city as if they were billboards but they’re three dimensional and they stand proud of buildings and they’re built 30 stories tall. And the hard part was we had to do those characters or those images both in daytime and nighttime and nighttime is pretty easy because they are luminous and you think of a hologram as something that’s made of light and it’s luminous and illuminates the area around it and that helps it settle into the environment. When you take it during the day time all of a sudden these objects which are made of light it suddenly just become they look like they’re double exposed because they don’t they have the only lift brightness they don’t control brightness or density behind them. So we had to integrate mats to make them have transparency and opacity at the same time. We had to light them so that they look like they were like a product shot of something that was originally photographed turned into a hologram stuck on the side of the building but that hologram along with its original lighting its product lighting had to be influenced by the NBA like by the way the sun is striking it and the shadows it should apparently cast. Now it doesn’t cast shadows. It’s a hologram but it was stuff like that that we had to pay attention to you had to be counter intuitive about a lot of stuff to make these things settle into this environment had to go back and add noise which nobody likes to do and to add raster scan had the digital noise had ADD glitches little breakups and irregularities so that you could distinguish the things that were advertising from the things that were solid corporeal elements in the city.

[ 00:11:55 ] Play it by ear. There’s no there’s no absolute for it.

[ 00:12:00 ] It’s really what looks good. I mean there’s plenty of you can go into the real world and find an incredibly broad range of lighting environments.

[ 00:12:10 ] You know from diffuse overcast gray flat light to incredibly hard sun pristine clear atmosphere five to one key to fill ratio. Kind of hard Chatto stuff. It all exists.

[ 00:12:26 ] It really comes down to figuring out one what it is that the director and the director of photography want to achieve in terms of the look of the movie which was established in Ghost in the shell by the work that Jess and Rupert did just being the DP Rooper being the director in Hong Kong which has got its own ambiance because Hong Kong is overcast and has a lot of humidity so you get a lot of aerial perspective. So those things informed the approach that we had to take to doing set extensions to expanding that city or adding elements to the city as it existed. And it’s just that something you do by tour we use we use photographs all the time. We use lots and lots of scrap just like designers do. They find images that they like elements of and they bring those together and they combine them and look at I’d like to have a reflective quality that’s like this and like I’ve translucency like this I really like the way this refraction reflection is broken up by the heat shimmer from that foreground candle or whatever so there’s you’re constantly looking for reference in the real world to become an exhibit to use as a talking piece for those that you’re doing visual collaboration with. That’s why storyboards are so important. That’s why visual pre-vis is so important. That’s why concept art are so important because it’s something everyone can point to and say OK that’s what we’re trying to achieve.

[ 00:14:11 ] Well here’s the deal Prima’s as a way of making the movie before you make the movie. And it doesn’t mean that it would be right. And one of the things that you do if nothing else is you determine stuff that you don’t want to do. So print is a great way of narrowing the field of things that you want to achieve in your film. It also starts to show up which starts to show visual anomalies but it also starts to show up character and all anomalies especially when you’re doing movies where the characters have unique capabilities. Start comes down to well OK they just jumped off the roof of a building. Do we want them to jump off a roof of a building again here. Or if they become invisible they’re going to remain invisible throughout this entire sequence. So it’s a it’s a way of brainstorming if you will the ideas that are going to best execute the arc of the character and the arc of the story. And when you get on set it gives you something. Should you come to a point where your creative brain has lost its new direction that you can fall back on.

[ 00:15:23 ] So if all else fails we got Plan B.

[ 00:15:26 ] So at best it becomes something that you execute. At worst it becomes something that tells you what you don’t want to execute.

[ 00:15:42 ] Not just that it was fun it was a real challenge and I think it’s a different approach to a broad sort of tentpole movie.

[ 00:15:50 ] It’s less destroying cities and stuff. Herford sure it’s your time.

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Backstage Conversation Season: 2017

Michael Mccusker Ace

[ 00:00:17 ] With Jim. Yeah I was I was 16 an editor and you know if David Brenner who’s done a lot of lot of work you know for a long time he’s you know we’re for Oliver Stone and I started working for him in 96 on the original Independence Day. And so I was his assistant for many years and he took on a movie called kitne people. Jim had been interested in Dave’s work and wanted him to do. Girl Interrupted but I believe that’s what it was. But he was not available. So he his next opportunity work with Dave he. He got him on getting people that I was assisting. And you know as as it was and as it is now many assistants will sort of augment the cut with music and sound and what I was doing a lot of sound on that movie and Jim was real taken with the work I did. He liked what I was doing so he made note of that and then the next movie that Jim made was identity and we were told right off occasionally pulled an identity and I got a bump up into a associate editor position did a little cutting with Jim and and then Dave left the movie early because he was going to do our own Emmerich movie. Another one the day after tomorrow. So I stayed for the last couple of couple three months to finish out the identity with Jim and we kind of. Got our relationship started at that point in time and when and when the line came along he had asked Dave my boss to cut it but Dave had decided that he was going to be taking some time off. You’d been working a lot and wanted to write an aspiration to be a writer director himself so. So he came and tapped me which was like kind of pretty great. It was like winning the lottery because I never caught a movie before so I walked the line. It went really well. I got Nonni for an Academy Award so it was. A pretty good night to start. People ask How do you get your start and I say well win the lottery. You know its a little like that. I mean I worked really hard but that first break was huge. And so Ive done since waterline Ive done 3:10 to Yuma night and day. The last Wolverine the Wolverine and this movie.

[ 00:02:32 ] So five movies for him and worked on seven of his movies you know I mean I think you answered it but I think that the idea that you know there’s trust there on both sides is very helpful. I’m allowed. He he he allows me to really kind of just wait in the scenes and work them really hard which you know sometimes will put me behind camera significantly. But he understands I’m you know that’s kind of my process. So he’s not really pumping me for cuts so much he will if there’s something that’s just logistically really challenging and he needs to see whether things are being cut together or working in the cut in those situations on movies like that. I prefer to be near him. So he does come into the cutting room and see stuff really quickly. So you know in the in the production part of it it’s it’s just allowing me to have the timing and the and I think he understands that we share a lot of the same taste. We don’t really have along a lot of conversation about it. It just seems that we kind of our line. It’s one of those kind of intangible things. Can’t really can’t really figure why it is like they were just somehow aligned in terms of what our aesthetic is and I don’t question it too much it just works really well.

[ 00:03:55 ] So well it’s funny because it’s it’s still it’s still becomes it’s still an issue to this day and you know Jim is Jim has his idea of a sonic sonic landscape whether it’s the temple where the final is that the sounds have to be unique they have to have their own.

[ 00:04:20 ] He doesn’t like anything to be what he calls great sound just kind of something is not the find isn’t sort of contributing something specific. He’s his his the best way to sort of.

[ 00:04:30 ] It’s a it’s a conglomeration of of of specificity is what he’s looking for in sound he wants specific sounds he wants unique sounds he doesn’t like anything sounds library doesn’t like a lot of shushing of Foley if it’s not really contributing to what the scene is about in any given time so he conceives of scene he can seize a sound in a scene it’s like what’s it doing for that beat and then move on to the next beat of sound as opposed to just kind of layering sound across a whole scene or sequence to fill it up and needs to be and needs to be filling in a goal. Each time he hears something. So he’s very specific about it so when I did this one thing on Kate and Leopold it was just a series of like simple sounds put together in a kind of rhythmic pattern.

[ 00:05:15 ] And that was really just cutting towards what David already done pictorially and it sort of just gave that scene a little pizzazz and I think he you know acknowledge that like that you know it’s it’s again it’s kind of sequence to sequence movie in a movie.

[ 00:05:36 ] I will my preference is not see it at all until I’m done cutting it because I like to because I find that it’s not something that’s specific to jam.

[ 00:05:47 ] I think this is just the the what happens when you’re a director is you’re you know you’re in shooting head you’re in production headspace and production headspace is a very different place to be than when you’re cutting the movie. And Jim has this great capacity to like remove himself from production and get into the full cutting once production is finished. But while he’s in production he’s still like hanging on to what the intent the specific. You know some sort of preconceived intent he had which is you have to walk in any scene as director having intent. And so if I start doing a lot of really cutting during production you start doing a lot of that stuff in post a lot of that work isn’t really coming through because it’s like we’re not hanging onto it because he’s he’s coming at the scene from a different angle he’s coming in at the scene from like whether or not he’s got enough coverage is supposed to. Whether or not the scene works dramatically. And so I like to I like to get that reaction because that’s where we’re going to be going at the end. I don’t want to be recutting recutting recutting and then trying to keep up with Dalys. So you know I’m I have progressed in this business a long way but I’m also not the fastest editor and world so I don’t like to fall too far behind Cameroon’s it’s a little stressful. So the recutting can be a lot know kind of a recipe for falling behind.

[ 00:07:04 ] So well you know I mean certainly the photography was beautiful so to me that goes a long way towards it.

[ 00:07:18 ] But you know what Jim wants in this movie what what he was going for was this kind of dirty harry PA troubled man maybe troubled by an event but at the core of them at the core of Logan is flaws in pain pain and Pech and Paul was you know I think a caring director who found that heart of his male leads they were all very much his movies but there was something in there that was damaged and hurt. And I think that that’s you know Jim’s got a strong affinity for that director and for movies of that time I think that would probably answer the earlier question is like why is it that we share an aesthetic. I think I have a very strong affinity for for that work for those years for the for the 60s and 70s the pecking pause and you know the Ashby’s and the John cool is and you know just those are my favorite time period in moviemaking. And so I think we would crossover there that we mesh at that point.

[ 00:08:23 ] Gemini I just think it was a it was great it was a great working environment.

[ 00:08:35 ] It wasn’t just it was certainly I like to have a working environment with people that that I enjoy spending time with because you have to do so much. So I try to keep it light and try to have a good time and joke around. And we did and we had a great time doing that with and without Jim but the relationship with the studio was phenomenal and they really trusted him and really trusted the thing. This idea he had and went with it and I can’t say enough about that. That is that makes it when you know they’re on your side. It just makes it very very pleasant experience. It’s one of the best experience I’ve had so it was great.

[ 00:09:18 ] Well you know I love working with music and you know I was intimidated as an assistant for a long time. So I think I got my I got baptism under fire with music when I cut a musical. The first movie I did so but I do love music and I’m always you know working with trying to find the tempo. The guy that I work for but I came up under David Brenner is very big and of like finding the tempo really early and working with music and I kind of took that lead from him and I try to do the same thing. I love working with the music editor. Music Editor I like to have come on the movie at least a month before the director comes into the cutting room so that at that point I will have some scenes that I’ve I’ve found the sound for. And then there are other scenes I haven’t had a chance to and we’ll sit down and we’ll talk and my kind of lead with the music editor at that point is like I’m the director until the director shows up. And at that point it becomes Jim’s movie but I want to put forth you know a sort of a template and an idea and a point of view in the music that supports the point of view I’m trying to give him in the movie.

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Amy Delouise NY2016

Digital Storyteller and Brand Strategist

Audiences always remember Amy DeLouise, who brings a dynamic and interactive approach to workshops and speaking engagements across the country in digital content production, brand strategy, cause marketing, and social media channels. An experienced director/producer, Amy has won more than 40 top national awards for creative excellence in video and multimedia production including the CINE Golden Eagle, New York Festivals and Telly Awards. She speaks regularly at major national and international conferences such as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Association of Independent Schools, Digital Media Expo, DRI (“The Voice of the Defense Bar”), Women in Film International and many more. Her media production and consulting clients include: ChiefExecutive.net, Federal Express, Children’s National Health System, Jewish Federations of North America, USDA, and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, among others. Known for her leadership in both entrepreneurship and media, Amy received the prized Woman of Vision Leadership award from Women in Film & Video and was named a Washington Area Woman-Owned Small Business Leader by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. She has served on the Women’s Advisory Board for The Washington Group/Mass Mutual and is a Trustee Emerita of the all-girls Holton-Arms School. An avid musician, Amy performs as the co-principal violinist of the NIH Philharmonia and sings throughout the Washington, DC region with the a cappella octet Venus d Minor. 

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Mitch Gross

[ 00:00:19 ] It’s a fascinating thing because 25 30 years ago there really were not hang out communities spaces and places for people in our industry to talk.

[ 00:00:30 ] I mean you you had trade shows that people get together but you didn’t have a way of people interconnecting and sharing knowledge and moving forward. Now Jeff Boyle is a great guy great T.P. and he basically was the guy who was traveling around doing commercials and was bored having to sit in his hotel room or at the hotel bar just after shooting some commercials so it’s like you know there’s this thing on the Internet I’m going to start an AOL message board just to try and get some other deeper kind of talk. And then it you know grew into its own thing. The Web site now has a mailing list and that created CML which became fantastic because you have this high level industry level of communication real working professionals and these guys were you know. I was one of them and we were all talking to one another. And then you would see at the bottom of every e-mail it’s you know. The first five hundred thousand then up now somewhere like 60000 people are members of this there’s the at any given time 50 or 75 people who are kind of actively posting. But there’s thousands of people watching because what happens is that yes these people were talking to each other. But you know when you’re writing this e-mail you’re talking directly to this manufacturer you’re talking directly to this post facility you’re talking to whatever lab you’re every. Every level of communication is happening. And trust me when I got to the other side of it I saw it like oh we are all paying attention. They all know what’s going on and so it’s a way to have not only conversations between one another but it was a way to have sort of get your message straight through to the people that it really mattered to even if they didn’t you know you don’t hear back. You don’t know you you know that they’re watching and they’re paying attention that stuff is going on. That’s a great level of communication but it’s not the only one because then what happened in social media and throughout the internet happened on its own level in its own way for the film community and the production community. So you have different forums that have cropped out. And there’s I mean there’s several of them there’s TV info there’s TV excuser and then read user which spawned all that and there’s you know numerous others cinematography dotcom was another one that was around from early on a number of these places where everyone talked to one another.

[ 00:02:56 ] And you knew that when you would give information there that you weren’t just talking to one person you might have one guy who asked a question and you answer it. And it’s not just him that you’re talking to you’re talking to 50 other people who are reading it right now.

[ 00:03:13 ] And five thousand people who might reference it over the next six months a year. Who knows what. So it becomes a great living ongoing thing. And what happened for me is that I was just an independent DP. I was a guy in the New York independent commercial you know low budget feature thing and that sort of world. And by being someone who communicated pretty well I thought you know I’d just like to talk to people and stuff and I kind of I was into you know as a kid I read Americans and photographer and stuff and I was just into what was going on how things were made and what it meant. And then I started to get to play with the toys and stuff and started you know really understanding it. And I’m the kind of guy who you know when I was a kid I first got a Rubik’s Cube within about a couple of hours I had dismantled it because I was curious how the thing functioned. How could you keep turning it dirty. You know it’s like I know that’s just the way my mind works. I need to own it mentally. So great. Fine. I now had an outlet where I could talk to people about stuff. That was great for me as an independent cinematographer just to be able to have a way to connect to people what I never realized was that that was actually going to become business for me. I would start making connections with other people and stuff and suddenly some call me up hey you know I’ve got this job I’m you know I’m this guy out in California somewhere but you know they need to do a day of shooting in New York and you do this for me because you know I I can tell you someone knows what’s going on because you know we talked about the net and stuff and then other people will find me and hire me and you start building out a way of networking and I originally it was kind of doing it for fun. But it became a kind of a business continue that on. I have a couple of kids I decide I don’t want to be out there shooting as much as I want to be you know able to be around my family a little bit so I’m going to transition a little I still shoot some but I’m going to go and try and get a job at a facility somewhere. Well I what I realized I was doing.

[ 00:05:12 ] I had been talking to people so much that it became a level of consultation and having a sort of a business of consultation as much as I was shooting.

[ 00:05:25 ] And I kind of was getting paid for the shooting during the consultation for free. So I kind of flipped it and I joined Ableson. It was still called Ableson tech at the time.

[ 00:05:35 ] Ableson in rental and sales and I became kind of an in-house guy who just knew how to do this stuff and you know knew I started in the rental department but quickly everyone realized hey he’s the one who knows what this weird widget is when someone comes in and asked So it’s like I could just be able to talk to people and stuff and I also had been a shooter so I could communicate on the level that people what was meaningful to them as opposed to like you know sort of from the other side and what manufacturers think about and stuff and what a facility thinks about you know it’s a way of talking the language that they need to hear. And so now I got paid for doing that. And you know did a little shooting on the side so to keep kind of freshen it up and it just kind of grew from there so able Sydney as a place as a facility was someone someones who would like to really have a connection with their clientele and build an audience with them enough familiarity and just have a community going. So it became a localized community but then you know I continued on the Internet just talking to people in different ways. Now I wasn’t doing it for myself.

[ 00:06:41 ] Now I was doing it on that at the behest of this facility and you never got to talking bad about someone you know. I wouldn’t want to be rude anyway.

[ 00:06:50 ] But now I would also be sort of it became my responsibility for products that were important for us just to make sure that accurate information is out there you don’t want to go and flog anything is all you ever want to do is just make sure proper information is out there.

[ 00:07:06 ] OK I’m doing that on various forums and places and people. It’s great to have interconnection and what you realize is that very quickly other manufacturers and facilities and just places weren’t doing that. We’re dedicating that time because it can take a lot of time but that’s great because I was enjoying doing it so fine. But you realize there’s this desperate need and want for this inner connection because. In our business the one thing that you have to be if you’re a DP or the director producer or whatever it is you can’t be seen with your client.

[ 00:07:42 ] If you’re a GP with your producer director or if you’re a producer with your production company whatever it might be you can’t be seen with your client as someone who doesn’t know you have to be the answer man. You have to know well how do you know. I mean that doesn’t come by osmosis. You have to go and find out somewhere while people work on it a way to get to know they didn’t want to be able to. They don’t want to necessarily ask publicly but they wanted to have a way to find this information. So to have a way to actively get information out there.

[ 00:08:14 ] It became this wonderful back and forth thing and really growing community that people would you know just talk for the sake of it. This was people who are really one to sponge it in and take it this if it didn’t learn and continue that on you had some communities that develop for specific cameras and you’re like whoa you know I’m going to kind of just visit this community see what people are talking about. Well on one in particular was red user red user built this community up. And I would I go and I check out this community originally because I just was like All right. Well here’s a bunch of people they’re talking let’s see what’s going on and what I discovered is there were a lot of people in that community who were moved there were a lot of real industry veteran people who were interested in this new camera. But there were also a lot of independent people who were coming from cameras like Vieques 200 and just smaller level cameras a small Sony yak’s or something like that. And they were not used to the level of. Product that this camera was so they didn’t know about lenses so they didn’t know about tripods and various accessories and what certain filters man optically and through all the processes around post and stuff. So you start talking and what people recognize is hey not just this guy but maybe the company he works for there that’s a resource and it’s a place to go to find stuff out. So it becomes promotional without even thinking of promoting you know as much as just how to communicate you know. Oh yeah there’s this little zoom control thing you can use. Suddenly everyone wants to buy the zoom control thing. Oh great. You know so it helps us it helps others and stuff but it becomes a way to sort of skip past all the noise and get right to the clientele of the people who are interested in learning things and just connect to them.

[ 00:10:05 ] So I find it an extremely important thing to be you know it’s always great to come to a big trade show. It’s always great to have events at various resellers and just in different towns and just. But as an ongoing active thing communicating over the Internet and in these different forms and in different venues and just sort of putting yourself out there so that people can see that there’s a place to turn to. Now I’m working with Panasonic.

[ 00:10:35 ] And at Panasonic It’s like I’m I’m I am the product manager for America. I need to help let people know about them. It’s great for the brand. It’s great for the product. I believe in the product of course but it also means it’s something that people can know. You know I’ve got a place I can turn to if I have any questions about it immediately they can just you know know they can reach out and find information about what what I would say is that as the evolution that we’ve seen you know.

[ 00:11:14 ] First there was two thirds into video and that was news.

[ 00:11:17 ] And you know live production sort of thing. And then you had 60 millimeter film for a certain kind of things and you had 35 millimeter films for you know anything of a certain scale. Okay fine. And then everyone wanted to take that two thirds into video as it was growing and try to make it getting so much better and better and like OK digital cinema question whatever you want to call it. Let’s try to make something more out of it.

[ 00:11:41 ] And the first easy thing to do was not so easy but the first obvious thing to do was try to make it look more like 13:5 because that was the thing. So all these stupid biggest optical adapters were spinning that and all the problems. Oh what a nightmare those things were. But everybody was trying it out because they wanted to try and move your way towards that look. And then you had a couple of companies come in with large sensor digital cameras and instead of having this little to 30 inch electronic sensor. Now you had a large sensor and so it could give that 35 millimeter depth of field field of view sort of depth and look. And now you were at the races. Now it’s like all right we’re getting more in this direction. You even had on the lower end you had the cabin five that suddenly everyone’s like oh my goodness I can get this look for this very relatively tiny amount of money. It’s got this large sensor look and it has a certain sort of cinematic feel. You know there is I mean look cinematic feel. Citizen Kane everything’s in focus from the front the back. You know it’s like what is the cinematic look. You know I mean you can go back and forth on that nonsense for a lot. But it’s what people associate with these things. What happened is that film kind of went away.

[ 00:12:55 ] I mean there’s a little bit of film now that basically film went away and the video split into two directions which was sort of a broadcast Industrial which still is primarily two thirds inches also some smaller sizes. But that direction. And then you had your production did the digital cinema look and so broadcast industrial might be something where you’re going to switch your systems and you’re going for you know televised broadcast you’re going as the price point came down you were going into things like house of worship and more sports things and stuff where you know people who couldn’t necessarily afford to go into that space now are heavily into that space and actually people are spending a fortune in it for because they cannot take in live lifestream and such that you have the you know the churches that can hold 5000 people in it but then they’re like casting out to another 50000 people every weekend. There’s a huge kind of operation that’s going on there it’s really quite amazing in outreach of them. Well but that’s a certain kind of camera technology and kind of production. And Panasonic was actually quite active in that. But this other side of the camera that you would operate on its own and you would do you know one or maybe two cameras and shoot it and it would be a little production there and then you take it back and edited that. That type of production work which is also includes digital cinema but sometimes it’s just short piece production. It’s not what we associate with a live production or multi-cam production so the not so much. It wasn’t as much for Panasonic. So you kind of you didn’t hear that and that’s sort of to a lot of people that’s sort of the sexy side. So it might not be the big business side but it might be the sexy side. And so we’re doing a lot of conversations about that stuff going on and because Panasonic was not as active in it. We didn’t hear about Panasonic as much. And then there was a commitment from Panasonic to like OK we want what we’re doing very well in this space. We want to move back into this space I mean Panasonic’s a huge company that there’s that giant gigabit Gigafactory out in the desert which is. A partnership with Tesla and stuff and you know.

[ 00:15:15 ] We’re we’re doing pretty well but we’re a little sideshow in comparison. That’s a huge huge operation and they’re doing very well in the battery world and other business to business I think.

[ 00:15:25 ] But Panasonic was like are we going to make a commitment back towards this sort of work and they actually had people study it you know came to the U.S. and other major production centers and for a year like you know when I looked into what is it that people might want to develop in there what kind of product they might want to have and then move back into that space with the biggest. I mean part of it sort of slipped into it with cameras like the JH 3D. JH four and a half but then on the big side came in with him and Cam for caid digital cinema camera Super 35 sensor. This gorgeous the gorgeous color.

[ 00:16:07 ] And look that Panasonic has always been known for but now brought into a digital cinema world and it you know unparalleled kind of image quality and stuff. And and then it’s now we’re expanding that line there’s there’s three Actually all you can say for about three different model Panasonic there are Cam cameras and then the system is expanding and adding new products we have a sneak peek now and stuff but it’s expanding out that way.

[ 00:16:35 ] And that’s part of why I’m here as well that’s my product line. It’s also we want people to know that we’re here and we’re going to be working in this area and we’re going to be doing this sort of work and we care about this stuff.

[ 00:16:48 ] Too. It’s not just you know that industrious up into all these Panasonic digital projectors and stuff. Huge business for the company and it does very very well. Excellent products. Not a sexy not as fun to be talking about people. So you don’t really hear about so much stuff for the people in that area. They know that Panasonic is doing fantastic stuff. They’re going to come back into this stuff too and really is an active production community that does very how would I put it very out there you know.

[ 00:17:24 ] Well noticed that’s a way of phrasing it work and so people will see that sort of stuff much more than they’ll see business.

[ 00:17:34 ] That is huge is doing a lot of work but this is stuff that people will you know kind of notice. So so happens now with so good to be back in that well noticed area. But you know company never went away and it’s you know just decided it’s going to focus on activity in that area again.

[ 00:18:00 ] I’ll talk about the Wii are the Wii or 360. It’s an interesting bit of kit that we’ve got. It’s kind of you know some people are looking at ads for sports. Some people are looking at it for industrial use actually. There’s others that are looking at it as an experiential thing. So they like. As for instillations they know whether it’s at. You know like a theme park kind of thing or just up at a space that you would have you know whether it’s in museum or wherever there’s lots of different ways that people are trying to exploit the R and just exploit sounds like an ugly word try to utilize VR is whether it’s a storytelling technique or as something that just you know expands the experience that you’re having. I know that you know some friends of mine work at the New York Times and they’re making this very dedicated work to be like how can we expand report Taj using VR. Is this something that can enhance what is and expand upon the storytelling experience. And now this is not saying that you don’t throw away regular coverage. You do it but perhaps by a form of immersion you can learn more about it. So we have this interesting vr 360 camera system that will do self stitching. So in the camera you know as opposed to taking it in post to have it because of our lives sports and broadcast work that the idea behind this is that it’s all going to happen right at the camera or happen live and then you can utilize the imagery from that whether it is going into a VR environment and you know having a goggles on being able to look around within it or as it happens or alive or be able to extract images to then utilize in a traditional 16 by 9 frame you know an output you know in that way it’s something that you can cross purpose. So that’s something we actually have it. It’s no longer seeking it in the booth we have it as a as a product. So there’s a number of people who are playing vr this one plays to a particular way where you can actually actively use it live Panasonic Hamline. Now let’s say that the Panasonic cinema lineup for case and my cameras.

[ 00:20:29 ] You have you started with 35 and then we added the computer which is you know purely purely a digital raw signals only and such as the 35 as you know the same exact hammerhead but it has for video recording.

[ 00:20:47 ] And so you know more CBC-TV versus features if you will. It does either cut it that way. And then we have had the LTE with the MLT is you know much of the same exact same tensors and gorgeous image but limit’s certain other features so that we’re able to shrink the size and the weight and the cost make the camera which means that we can sell it to people for less. And then we had a big jump big gap. So you got down to the little cameras that were like the divi x 200 or the five you know little mirrorless camera that’s sort of a big you know you had you know a few thousand dollars to you know 10 times the price kind of thing that for the next step and it was a big open space there so we really thought you know it takes a lot of time to develop camera systems. You know this has been in the works for quite some time but it’s like we need to re-enter this space we need to have cameras in this zone if you will that you know certain kind of price point but also really it’s about a certain kind of size certain kind of feature set a certain way certain kind of media so that it appeals to a certain type of use. Well that’s what we’re sneak peaking right now. So it’s just has a little cover over it you’re like oh you know just letting people know. Here’s the lineup of stuff and there’s going to be this thing here you know we’re not quite telling what it is but only five weeks from now. We’re recording this at this moment we are going to be unveiling it at our next show. And then it will actually be shipping in the fall because it’s not like some vaporware thing like this has been in product development and we want to let people know. Right now it’s like hey you know it’s like think about think about like when a new car is released I go.

[ 00:22:26 ] They don’t want to just drop it on the market. Here it is. You know you guys want to buy it. You know where where it got a factory going and they’re making 200 yea. I hope you want to buy them because we’re going to stack them up.

[ 00:22:37 ] No no no we want to let people know that these things are coming so we tell them a little bit about it beforehand. We kind of give you and here’s what it’s going to look like. And then you know here’s some more you know when we get a little bit closer we’re going to give you lots of information about it so you kind of really get to know. And then you know then it’s becomes available you can order it from your favorite dealer and you will get your product. So you’ll soon and get to know more about the camera. You know but you were showing it with our digital cinema lineup. So you know it’s going to have that sort of cinematic look. These are all cameras that have larger sensors so it’s going to be a cab with a larger sensor. It’s going to be something that’s small and lightweight and kind of show people you know roughly the size of this blob that we’re kind of showing. And then it also is going to use you know we’re saying it use an inexpensive type of me. So and the workflow will be relatively inexpensive. So more comfortable for people to be able to work and then after that it’s like you know where. You can get some more details in a little over a month than in another four or five months after that. It’ll be out there and you can buy it. Be my guest but we’ll get some more information along the way. It used to be a thing and a B that you would show a product and say you know what. And then you get some feedback. They never came to exist it never happened. There was one product that when I was still working at the former job we were all we were like OK this is you know we went through the whole process and went through a development thing with them because we were interested and we got right up like we need to order these things now and they’re like yeah we just decided last week we’re not going make what what are you wasting my time for. And you know I can understand where people you know companies needed to see how the market reacted. You know are people going to be interested you know or maybe they see this like we are really I would buy it except if it just did this instead of do that or maybe you should think about this. Oh that’s a good idea. OK. You had a development process there that used to happen in a very public way at any b. Not so much anymore. Now what did they do. I mean they’re so people do it but it drives people crazy because any be as huge as it was was a space for professionals who had a lot of experience with things and the Internet kind of wasn’t out there is a thing now so much of what an A B is. There’s a lot of this. I mean you have a lot of yeah there’s people at the show and that’s important but there’s a heck of a lot of the value of an A B is a giant promotional Internet savvy event and it’s just a way of getting everyone together so we can all talk to put things out to the rest of the world.

[ 00:25:33 ] So if you show something and it don’t exist and it ain’t gonna exist that’s a real problem because it kind of reflects poorly on you.

[ 00:25:42 ] It looks like you’re the boy who cried wolf with your products kind of thing. So that happens and it still happens.

[ 00:25:48 ] You know people are developing they want to get a response that kind of happens behind the scenes in know private rooms and such doesn’t happen on the show floor where some companies puts out an array of little plastic boxes and none of them actually do anything and they never will because they never show up. I got one that was always kind of interesting and fun but that kind of went away.

[ 00:26:09 ] And I think thankfully so I think that we need to mitigate you know the message of you know this is a real product this is going to be a real product. This one we’re just kind of looking for feedback in looking for feedback. Let’s let’s pull you in and let me show it to you in private instead of just putting it out there like that.

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David Heuring

David Heuring has been writing about cinematographers and their work since 1987, when he joined the staff at American Cinematographer Magazine. After serving as editor there in the early 1990s, Heuring became a freelance writer, penning more than 1000 articles about cinematography for Kodak’s In Camera Magazine and other publications. Today, Heuring lives in Madison, Wisconsin, writing and consulting on communications for a stellar roster of companies that serve filmmakers. He writes a weekly column on the personalities behind the lens for the ASC website titled Parallax View, and was recently presented with the Technicolor William A. Fraker Award for Journalistic Contributions to the Art of Cinematography.

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David Geffner

Before becoming Executive Editor of ICG Magazine, in July 2008, David Geffner covered film/TV and new media for more than ten years as a freelance journalist. Geffner has written stories about green architecture, health care, eco-travel, and pulp fiction for outlets like Humanities Magazine, Westways, UCLA Medicine and The Surfer’s Path. A screenwriter and documentary filmmaker, Geffner lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife and children. His stewardship has helped ICG Magazine garner eleven Maggie Awards, including Best Overall Trade Publication, 2012.

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Jason Hoch

Jason Hoch is a digital innovator with over 20 years of senior leadership experience at both major media companies and tech start-ups. He is currently the Chief Content Officer at HowStuffWorks, where he is responsible for the creation and growth of all original media, including text, video and the brand’s 12 unique podcasts. He previously worked as SVP, Digital Operations at WWE, and as VP, Product and Mobile for Discovery Communications. 

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Shira Lazar

[ 00:00:19 ] So the genesis of what’s trending it started in 2011. But the idea came before that we launched in 2011. That is all things. Nothing happens overnight. Right. I was always doing interviews and covering entertainment in pop culture. As the tech scene in L.A. started to grow. I kind of started to merge both worlds. And then I became this person that was blogging and interviewing people with my phone. And I wasn’t covering tech. I wasn’t a tech reporter but I started covering digital culture as I like to put it. And that led me to getting a job at CBS News where I was their first blogger blogger and I was a one woman band. I did everything. I got my interviews I shot I posted I blogged about it and after kind of figuring out my beat and interviewing a lot of Internet stars it was the beginning of that. It was for a lot of the talk shows and morning shows had viral stars on it on them then I would get the exclusive because we would do a Skype interview or something. And at the time they wouldn’t make them be exclusive for digital be like well that’s TV where he doesn’t compete with digital. Now they’re like exclusive for everything. So it was an interesting time and I interviewed the double rainbow man and Antwan Tyson. He’s like old school viral stars. And I found it really exciting to be able to bring a spotlight see this new creator movement as well as I would say traditional talent that we’re playing in this space. And so I became that person at the intersection of both worlds and covering both worlds and bringing that to the bigger publishers and to a more mainstream audience. And that’s kind of where such training came into play where I was doing all this one off stuff and short form content. And I said wow there really has to be a show around this culture and I I wanted to cover everything from pop culture to politics through the lens of the social WaterCooler. And so that’s kind of how we’re training him to be. And it was one of the first broadcast quality live shows for the Internet by the internet people. You brought the people that you were following on social media to life within this show. Now it’s something I feel like a lot of people do. Every company every traditional media brand has their version of what’s trending or their division that covers this culture viral trends.

[ 00:02:41 ] The creators and influencers. But we were doing it. From the beginning and it’s something we’re really passionate about. And so now we’ve kind of evolved not just being a show but more a digital media brand and publisher for millennials with a very strong focus on live programming emerging platforms and the emerging creator community.

[ 00:03:11 ] The word influencer came about because we wanted to put a term on the people who are using this new medium that we couldn’t really describe or understand and we didn’t want to see they were celebrities we didn’t want to see they were talents or actors or artists. So we’re like they have influence so we’re going to see an influencer. But I do believe like any other medium you have different types of talent that have different place each one doing his thing as a different expression and passion and so in the end talent is talent.

[ 00:03:41 ] And I don’t think it’s right to say one talent more valuable more worthwhile than another. Because they all have their place and not everyone is going to be you know a good actress or not.

[ 00:03:53 ] Everyone’s going to be a filmmaker and artistic and look for deeper value and meaning in their art. Just like anything. But I think there’s room for that as well. Just like I think back in the day when reality TV came up we’re like What do we do with these people. So I think everyone has influence. Everyone can be an influencer. I think it is. What is your. Talent. Represents and what is your expression and that’s what we should be talking about.

[ 00:04:30 ] It’s so important to what we do and how we create and how we look at what successful and what’s not successful. And it’s sometimes sucks and it’s scary because like I could see like the data says it all. You can’t.

[ 00:04:46 ] You can’t lie. The data does not lie. So it kind of sucks sometimes when you’re like this was good your life. See the shows that people don’t care. Which kind of sucks. But art is are those nuns argue it without seeing it. But the value viz a viz a viz the content is and also the community around and who engages with it. And I think that if you’re a creator you want people to see your content Earlston like what’s the point if it doesn’t create impact.

[ 00:05:17 ] And so with what’s trending we’re definitely looking at all the social platforms the velocity forwards trending we’re looking at all the social platforms how stories and videos are trending the the last of the which they’re trending how they’re being shared and what communities are being shared. And we’re looking at sites like you know Reddit were a lot of the conversations begin. We’re also using data when we will get once again the success of of the content and how we can be better at curating what we’re doing and producing what we’re doing. And I look at all the creators like it’s funny when I talk to creators this day and age and I tell them your job doesn’t. And when you just write the piece or doesn’t and when you just add it and publish. I would say half of the job is figuring out how you get out there. And that has to do with putting out great stuff storytelling and the value behind that. But it also has to do with the thumbnail these days. The title The CEO all of that like you’d be surprised how much that is a huge part of it and people go back and forth on emails. The editorial teams just on a title just like anything like a headline in a newspaper back in the day or within a blog. The same for video. But I don’t think we like talking about those things or having these conversations because it’s like that. Is that something that as storytellers or producers like we used to tell great story and it’s all about the content but the more we are empowered by that and embrace that. I think the more we can do with you know something is working when they’re there are views there’s engagement around it. People care their comments and shares usually even even if there’s not a ton of use but there’s a lot of shares that’s meaningful even and that people want to come back for more when you don’t post when you’re on when you’re not on your schedule and people are asking what’s wrong what’s going on. That’s a meaningful. They’re asking for the follow up. They’re asking for more. They care where the brand is going. They’re part of the conversation.

[ 00:07:37 ] No longer is it that I’m a company I’m an exec I’m a talent and I do what I do. I threw it out there. If I don’t talk to me there’s a wall between me and audience.

[ 00:07:45 ] If anything my audience is what allows for my success. I want them there I want to hear from them. They’re my They’re my focus group. They’re what keeps pushing forward in the brand forward. If they’re not there then what’s the point. Like I’m not going to just continue my content just because an exec says it’s cool or because someone pays me yes like sort of pays me to do it. Great but it’s meaningless if there is no community an audience there that cares.

[ 00:08:10 ] It’s not just one. It’s like it’s not sustainable.

[ 00:08:15 ] You know if if there is not an audience there engaging with the content readers are figuring out new ways to monetize all the time when you’re watching this maybe right now this is months later from when I’m talking or years later who knows. Is going to be changes literally all the time. People have been making money for years and you see with their partner program that even recently change with the restricted mode and advertiser boycott people are monetizing through licensing and distribution on other platforms and partnering with big media companies that are now coming into the game and then have great deals great CPM and are doing splits with partners like me and what’s trending. Also native advertising.

[ 00:09:05 ] That’s a big play integrations and packages. I would say a mixed media package is what I like to call it where you’re packaging your aggregate audience you’re saying OK we reach 2 million people daily So we’re going to figure out integration into all those platforms that hit all those people every day. And it might be different on a platform but you’re getting that bulk audience instead of just saying oh you just want you to do just what you just want. Twitter integration or do you want a media package. I think you need to look at that and traditional media companies will be doing that. They will say to advertisers OK I’m not going to just say how much we get on the TV network but. On our OTTF on our site like this is the mass audience that we reach and that’s going to be more valuable and they’re going to use one against the other.

[ 00:09:56 ] They’re going to say like OK you want to you want to buy on digital it will give you a commercial on TV will like leverage you want to get to the other. And so as an independent Creator that is awesome the possibilities are there and opportunities are there. But it’s also scary because we’re.

[ 00:10:11 ] Any time that you can’t really you can compete with big media companies were having those like relationships with advertisers like the one their legacy relationships.

[ 00:10:23 ] And even if they’re not these relationships they’re going to give them something extra to get that deal done.

[ 00:10:27 ] You just can’t bring them and you can bring them often to see an audience. But they soul soul have big media spins and they want the big idea and a lot of times some of these social platforms don’t provide the data that perhaps an advertiser needs so we all need to work together on this so that we can make this ecosystem sustainable because we didn’t have any careers like it’s and it’s about us all collaborating together. Innovation happens when there’s independence disruption. And so how do you maintain that wall working with their companies that can scale what you do.

[ 00:11:14 ] You get her the more that’s out there. It’s hard to get her to prioritize as a publisher. Also if you don’t have a ton of resources but yet perception wise you need to be on everything. It’s like how are you still to compete when big companies can even know they’re not making revenue and yet they can invest in those.

[ 00:11:30 ] I mean that’s the reason why discover on snap chat has a ton of big media companies and need one present and pitch something great first step to discover and they need to show that they’ll have seven employees. They’re going to put in and invest the money into that before even making money when they’re doing the whole licensing things. But.

[ 00:11:50 ] Yet how how are we all to keep up.

[ 00:11:54 ] And then that’s where there’s also the distraction from the storytelling. It’s like half the time you can’t even focus on the art and the craft and that’s what’s the scary part. It’s like I love this multitasking place we’re in where there’s so much it’s possible with building up friends and communities. And like I’ve said it’s a want to be empowered by this instead of fighting it. But it’s also sometimes you wish for some times you wish that you like it be great to just be able to focus on what you’re doing and not think about marketing and off thinking about this and say you know if this is good it will speak for itself. And I think that that tension is still there. And I do think the next generation I’m wondering if they’re just getting used to it. A part of their brain functioning in that way it’s not even about those things being separate It’s like yeah that’s just old makes sense together. So you think that’s the future but then you have like a whole group of people that go against the grain or rebel against it. It’s got to be like the people who in the end want to chip in their head and want to be half robot and the people that just want to keep it raw and real like that and the way we used to create they think you’re going to see those types of communities that emerge in the Creator space as well.

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Backstage Conversation Season: 2017