Important Announcement
PubHTML5 Scheduled Server Maintenance on (GMT) Sunday, June 26th, 2:00 am - 8:00 am.
PubHTML5 site will be inoperative during the times indicated!

Home Explore Come hungry

Come hungry

Published by ravi, 2015-02-18 05:39:46

Description: Come hungry


Read the Text Version

WPP license no. MR/TECH/WPP-82/North/2015 License to post without prepayment Postal Registration No. MCN/99/2015-2017 Total number of pages 56Published on 3rd of every month. Posting date: 5th & 6th of every month, Posted at Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai-400001Registered with Registrar of Newspapers under RNI No. MAHENG/2009/33418Published by ITP Publishing India Vol. 7 | Issue 2 | February 2015 | ` 50come hungry. leave satisfied. Conferences: April 11–16, 2015 • Exhibits: April 13–16 NABShow.comLas Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada USA

you live, breathe and eat this stuffEXHIBITS-ONLY Over-the-top services are feeding changes in virtually every aspect of television today, from PASS CODE programming and advertising strategies to deployment and the viewer experience. DZ12 When you have a real desire to maximize your business in a digital world, developing new platforms for interactive content, embracing 4K and attracting new subscribers are the only ways to satisfy your hunger. NAB Show® is the place to fuel your desires — from building relationships with players emerging on the scene to seeing all of the technologies enabling OTT services to understanding how to capitalize on the evolving demands of today’s content consumer. come hungry. leave satisfied. Conferences: April 11–16, 2015 • Exhibits: April 13–16 Join Us! #NABShowLas Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Now Co-located:

WPP license no. MR/TECH/WPP-82/North/2015 License to post without prepayment Postal Registration No. MCN/99/2015-2017 Total number of pages 56Published on 3rd of every month. Posting date: 5th & 6th of every month, Posted at Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai-400001Registered with Registrar of Newspapers under RNI No. MAHENG/2009/33418Published by ITP Publishing India Vol. 7 | Issue 2 | February 2015 | ` 50 spotlight VFX breakdown of Raju Hirani’s PK technology Show stoppers at CEA 2015, Las Vegas showcase Pictorial wrap up of BES Show 2015 EPIC TV’S CEO MAHESH SAMAT BREAKS AWAY FROM THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH OFaimingBROADCASTING; launches A CHANNEL in THE CLOUDfor the sky

Science of the BeautifulTMCION™ is the new 4K/UHD and 2K/HD production camera from AJA. CION shootsdirectly to AJA Pak256 and Pak512 media as edit-ready Apple ProRes 4444 at up to 4K30fps, ProRes 422 at up to 4K 60fps, or output AJA Raw at up to 4K 120fps. Unrivalledmonitoring output options put CION at the heart of production. 4K sensor with 12 stops of dynamic range 4444 ProRes Recording Ergonomic and lightweight Open ConnectivityFind out more at Broadcast Tel: + 91 22 4210 9000 •

BROADCAST, SATELLITE MIDDLE EAST & DIGITAL MEDIA EVENT AFRICA SOUTH ASIALEARN, LEAD AND INNOVATE WITH CABSAT'S MIDDLE EAST Title SponsorEXCLUSIVE REGIONAL CONTENT PROGRAMME... Conference Knowledge PartnerIn Association With Sponsored by In Partnership With Diamond Sponsor Platinum Sponsor10 - 11 March: REGISTER NOW AT Scan this QR code10 am - 6 pm to register12 March:10 am - 5 pmOrganised by Proudly on Supporting Associations Supported by Official Courier Handler Official Travel Partner Official Publications TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE FOR THE SATCOM MARKET Official Publisher Official Airline Partner Official Media Partners TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE FOR THE SATCOM MARKET

february 2015 VOLUME 7 ISSUE 224 46 32 10 NEWS updates36 Developments in the national and international digital production scene.6 february 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO 24 history in making Epic Television CEO Mahesh Samat breaks away from the traditional approach of broadcasting. 32 thinking buddha DoP CK Muraleedharan talks about his experiences with the craft and his relationship with the directors. 36 alien nation Riva VFX and Animation captures the surreal journey of an alien in PK using invisible VFX. 46 WHAT’s in Store? A detailed account of the latest broadcast technologies showcased at the BES Expo held last month.

viewpoint Vol. 7 | Issue 2 | February 2015 THING OF THE PAST ITP Publishing India Pvt Ltd 898 Turner Road, Notan Plaza, 3rd floor Last month, the top brass of Doordarshan, India’s largest Bandra (West), Mumbai - 400050 broadcaster, made a scathing remark on the state of affairs T +91 22 6154 6001 of its archive department. Apparently, the national broad- caster holds over five lakh hours of content, out of which Deputy managing director S Saikumar three lakh hours are in analogue form and scattered across Group publishing director Bibhor Srivastava 100 locations in India. What made the admission even more Group editor Shafquat Ali shocking was that none of the top guys knew in what shape T +91 22 6154 6038 [email protected] this content was. Editorial At a time when big and small broadcasters are evaluating Editor Nirmal Divakaran Menon the benefits of virtualising their businesses, Doordarshan T +91 22 6154 6033 [email protected] has come under the cloud for its callous approach. It seems the broadcaster instead of moving from tapes to file-based Advertising workflow has invested heavily on compactors meant to clean India and preserve the magnetic medium. Director Manoj Sawalani T +91 98201 76965 [email protected] The story doesn’t end there. Even if the television major Regional sales manager-South Sanjay Bhan manages to restore this content, it will be a futile exercise M +91 98457 22377 [email protected] because there is no record or metadata available for a large chunk of these tapes. Part of the problem lies with the fact Studio Head of design Milind Patil that people consulting the channel are retired Doordar- Senior designer Vinod Shinde shan employees, who have never looked beyond legacy Contributor Saili Bandre systems. In fact, I came across one such gentleman at the Broadcast Engineering Show last month. He has been Production regularly offering consultancy service to the broadcaster Deputy production manager Ramesh Kumar since the time he retired in 1989. Circulation There’s no doubt that Doordarshan has to fulfil so- Distribution manager James D’Souza cial responsibilities, including strengthening national T +91 22 6154 6001 [email protected] identity and culture, but it would be disheartening to let go a treasure trove of the educational and current affairs pro- Printed by Repro India Limited, Marathe Udyog grammes of the pre-liberalised era when there were hardly Bhavan, 2nd Floor, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, any private broadcaster around to chronicle the times. For Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400 025 India. most of us, watching old footages is like treasure hunting. .................................................................................................................................... Somewhere in those faded betacam tapes are memories of an age and time that will never come back. The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The Nirmal D. Menon, Editor opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily [email protected] those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publicationWPRuePbgPliisslthiceeerdendsoenwn3itorhd. MRoeRfg/eiTsvEterCrayHr m/oWfoNnPetPhw-.8sP2po/aNsptoeinrrtgshu/d2na0tde1e4:r5LRthiNc&eInN6soteh. MotofAepHvoEesNrtyGwm/2ito0hn0otu9ht/.3Pp3ore4sp1t8aeydmaetnPta.tPrioksataClhRaengniestlrSatoirotninNgoO. fMfiCceN,/M99u/m2b0a15i--4200017001. Total number of pages 52 which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarksPublished by ITP Publishing India Vol. 7 | Issue 1 | January 2015 | ` 50 is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval systemTEWHENOROLUDGIS NHOT WIN ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the AFoEoFNNTCETURERsER’TITNAmAVKEIENIRNNmZGTIENIhNNToGTAlbTVlUhyAsEwRIIGNoAlEoohsdbsAAbslysVEsTITsohURIAsmls,IPGRhITmE PREVIEw Share your experiences, thoughts and ideas, your purpose of fair review. favourite gear and lots more with the readers of Digital bEs show 2015 Studio. The best letter to the editor will be awarded a one Printed and Published by Sai Kumar Shanmugam, Flat no 903, PRodUCTIoN year free subscription delivered to their doorstep. Building 47, NRI Colony, Phase – 2, Part -1, Sector 54, 56 , 58, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 400706, on behalf of ITP Publishing India Private Limited, makAinnegeosfbwazemlceoemoenbtahcek printed at Repro India Limited, Marathe Udyog Bhavan, 2nd Floor, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400 025, India and8 FEBRUARY 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO published at ITP Publishing India, Notan Plaza, 3rd floor, 898, Turner Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai - 400050 Editor Nirmal Divakaran Menon Published by and © 2015 ITP Publishing India Pvt Ltd RNI No. MAHENG/2009/33418 MIB no. 10/50/2008 www.digitalstudioindia

INDIA MAGAZINESDigital Studio India (English)[email protected], [email protected] The statistics on India’s entertainment and media industry speak for themselves - in 2007 the market registered a 19% compound annual growth rate, and is expected to reach the US$18 billion by 2010. Simply put; there has never been a better time for suppliers to the digital production and broadcast industry to enter the market. With Digital Studio’s compelling mix of industry news, on-location features, case studies, product showcases and reviews, the magazine provides a comprehensive monthly round-up of the latest developments driving the industry. Digital Studio provides industry professionals with an insight into the latest technological developments and market trends set to impact the way they do business. By ensur-Download Media Pack ing the highest quality editorial content and providing the best possible news and information resource, inCurrent Issue addition to technical analysis from experts in the field, Digital Studio is set to become a must-read for the industry’s key decision makers, while delivering the ideal platform for companies looking to promote their products and services to industry professionals. For more information click here to download the Media Packnow available for free on DOWNLOAD YOUR DIGITAL ISSUE TODAYGo to Apple App Store or Google Play and search for Digital Studio

Front this month in the TV AND FILM PRODUCTION indusTry I&B Minister Arun Jaitley addresses the BES ConclaveTECHNOLOGY The Minister for Finance, Corporate Af-POWERS CHANGE fairs and Information & Broadcasting,IN TV INDUSTRY Arun Jaitley has said the growth of tech- nology across the broadcasting space hadI&B Minister Arun Jaitley says that the prolific use drastically altered the pattern and methodof applications for packaging of content in the of information dissemination. The spurtbroadcasting sector drastically alters pattern in technological change had also beenand method of information dissemination. AS brought by innovations across the mediainternet connectivity becomes all pervasive in landscape, influencing content, audiencemost parts of the country, social media emerges tastes and tools of dissemination. Changeas the new voice of people. was evident across media platforms in the form and content of dissemination. The Minister said this while inaugurating 21st International Conference and Exhibition on Terrestrial and continued on page 1210 february 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

Future proof your facility with advanced 4K SD, HD and Ultra HD mini converters!Blackmagic Design’s new high performance mini converters 6G-SDI Technologyswitch instantly between all SD, HD and Ultra HD video formats Mini Converters include multiso they’re ready for Ultra HD when you are! Mini Converters are rate 6G-SDI so you’re always future proofed! 6G-SDI is fullyavailable in regular or heavy duty models that are machined compatible with all your existing SD and HD SDI equipment andfrom solid aluminum so they look beautiful and are super tough! will automatically switch when you need to run Ultra HD!Choose from models with 6G-SDI, HDMI, analog, optical fiberconnections and more. Broadcast Quality Designed with Ultra HD technology, Mini Converters Auto Switching SD, HD and Ultra HD give you even better performance when used with SD and HD! You get low jitter, the longest SDI cable Mini Converters instantly switch between lengths and the highest quality broadcast video and audio Ultra HD and all SD or HD formats, including performance available.NTSC, PAL, 1080PsF23.98, 1080PsF24, 1080PsF25, 1080i50,1080i59.94, 1080i60, 720p50, 720p59.94 and 720p60. Updates Mini Converterscan be loaded via USB. Mini Converter SDI to HDMI 4K ....... Rs. 25,100* Mini Converter HDMI to SDI 4K ....... Rs. 25,100* Redundant SDI Input Mini Converter SDI to Analog 4K..... Rs. 25,100* Mini Converter Analog to SDI .......... Rs. 25,100* Mini Converters feature a redundant input and Mini Converter SDI to Audio 4K....... Rs. 25,100* loop through SDI output. Connect a redundant Mini Converter Audio to SDI 4K....... Rs. 25,100*SDI cable to the second input, and if the main SDI input is lost, Mini Converter Optical Fiber 4K ...... Rs. 42,100*Mini Converters will automatically switch over in an instant. Mini Converter SDI Multiplex 4K...... Rs. 42,100*That’s great for mission critical tasks such as live events. Mini Converter SDI Distribution 4K.. Rs. 25,100* Mini Converter Sync Generator........ Rs. 25,100* Pro Analog and AES/EBU Audio Standard 1/4 inch jacks are included for professional balanced audio that switches between AES/EBU or analog. Unlike other converters you don’t needexpensive custom audio cables so you’ll save thousands of dollars!*Price includes custom duties only. Excluding VAT and Octroi. Price is FOB New Delhi.

Domestic Updatescontinued from page 10 Satellite Broad- AIR MILESTONES Hiren Gadacasting, BES Expo 2015 in New Delhi lastmonth on the theme Social Media and April 1930: GovernmentBroadcasting: New Opportunities’. starts Indian State Broad- casting Service (ISBS) Speaking further, the minister said that June 1936: ISBSthe varied and prolific use of applications renamed as All Indiafor packaging of content in the broadcast- Radioing sector had also impacted the access of August 1947: AIR hascommunication to the people. Driven by six radio stations in Indiatechnology and innovation, choices avail- and three in Pakistanable to the audience had been altered. July 1952: AIR debuts music progamme broadcast The definition of news had also under- October 1957: Vividhgone change in view of the impact of tech-nology and its pattern of consumption. Bharati services launchedThe minister further stated that the radio November 1967:sector was currently witnessing a revival Radio ads begin onwith the FM channels leading the Vividh Bharaticomeback with enhanced quality August 1969: 1000 KWand competition. Compliment- Superpower MW Transmit-ing the quality of AIR broad- ter launched in Calcuttacasting, Jaitley said that it was July 1977: First ever FMone of the high points of Prasar service started from MadrasBharati as a public broadcaster. March 1990: 100th AIR station setup at Warangal Jaitley further stated that social November 1997: Prasarmedia as a medium of communication Bharati commissionedempowered the average citizens by making September 2001: AIRtheir voice accessible to different media launches FM-II in metrosplatforms. As a platform, social media not February 2002: Digitalonly offered more choice to audiences but satellite home service startsalso acted as a stimulus for technologi- December 2004: PMcal evolution, calling upon broadcasting Manmohan Singh inaugu-organizations to upscale their skills and rates DTH Service of AIRcapacities. The minister also mentioned October 2, 2011: FMthat even in a competitive environment, Gold starts 24-hoursbroadcasting organisations ought to follow servicerealistic financial models in order to avoidaberrations and imperfections. The Union Cabinet also gave its approv-al for conduct of FM Phase-Ill auctionsand migration (renewal) of Private FMRadio licenses from Phase-II to Phase-Illin 69 existing cities for 135 channels. Thiswill be on an ascending e-auction basis.Approval was also given to migration (re-newal) of private FM Radio licenses fromPhase-II to Phase-Ill on payment of migra-tion fee according to TRAI recommenda-tions. As of now, with the implementationof Phase I and Phase II, there are 243 pri-vate FM channels in operation in 86 citiesof the country, spanning 26 states andthree union territories. 12 february 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

Domestic Updates VFX guru Srinivas Mohan has a word INDIAN ARTIST LEADS THE with actor Vikram on the sets of I PACK WITH SHANKAR’S I JOINS HANDS WITH RISING SUN pictures AND WETA WORKSHOP Chennai-based Indian Artist Computer Graphics, in collaboration with international VFX studios Rising Sun Pictures and Weta Workshop, delivered 1,000 VFX shots for the Tamil romantic thriller film, I. The movie centres on Lingesan (Vikram), a body builder and handsome model, who avenges against the people who reduce him into a deformed hunchback. The story has a rich mix of visual effects, computer graphics and prosthetics. One of the most notable se- quences is a song where Vikram imagines his lady to be present in all inanimate objects. This sequence was executed by Rising Sun Pictures, a top Adelaide-based studio that de- livered VFX for Hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men: Days of Future Past, Gravity, The Wolverine to name a few. The sequences featuring Vikram as a deformed hunchback was delivered by Wel- lington-based Weta Workshop, which earned worldwide prominence producing costumes, creatures and miniatures for director Peter Jackson’s film trilogy The Lord of the Rings. “We selected around nine specialised agencies and assigned each of them a specific tasks, and the final product was truly world class,” V Srinivas Mohan, CEO, Indian Artist Computer Graphics told Digital Studio.NEWSMAKERSHEMAROO WIDENS FOCUS ON MOBILE VIDEOSLeading content house Shemaroo downloaded from Google Play. Users new trend for mobile video users andEntertainment has inked a strategic can download any video and set them producer. A user can actually play withalliance with mobile video platform as video ringtone or video wallpaper, the video and use it as video ringtonecompany 123on, which is popularising giving their phone a unique style. or video wallpaper. The partnership isa new form of mobile videos where us- aligned with our strategy to offer ourers can not only watch a video but also Consumers can choose to watch old audience entertainment on every pos-play with it. melodies to latest numbers, aarti, bha- sible platform where our consumers jans etc. from Shemaroo’s catalogue. are present,” said Shemaroo Enter- Shemaroo will offer a wide cata- The alliance will further strengthen tainment director Hiren Gada, who re-logue of Bollywood songs, devotional Shemaroo’s reach globally. cently entered the capital market withcontent and regional videos to 123on, an IPO to raise about Rs 100 international phone app that can be “We are pleased to partner with 123on as the company is creating a DIGITAL STUDIO | february 2015 13

Domestic UpdatesRUSHES APN INDIA UPGRADES CNN-IBN, IBN7 TECH INFRASTRUCTURE LAUNCH EXCLUSIVE CONTENT ON POWERS NEWS CHANNEL WITH GRASS VALLEY SUITE OF SOLUTIONS CNN-IBN and IBN7 have announced exclusive news formats to engageEX-TTN EXEC Edius desk in with audiences on Facebook. These the newsroom fresh formats will enable the IBNTO BEGIN VOD news network to connect with Delhi-based news broadcaster Access Press News (APN) the growing digital audience, whoPLATFORM has powered its 24/7 news channel with a robust line-up of have a strong affinity for Facebook future-ready solutions from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand. as a reliable source of news andAfter quitting theTimes The broadcaster’s purchase includes six LDX Flex advanced entertainment. The network willTelevision Network (TTN) imaging cameras, a K2 Summit media server, Edius editing cover an array of news items fromEnglish Entertainment software, Densité signal management system and a mixed- around the world in the form ofchannels as CEO in April format routing switcher. native videocasts. These exclusivelast year, AjayTrigunayat videos are produced for Facebook inhas decided to take a shot APN India’s news channel is broadcast entirely in Hindi the form of one or two minute newsat entrepreneurship by and reaches millions of viewers across the Delhi region, segments titled CNN-IBN FB Specialexploring opportunities delivering breaking news, weather and business affairs. This and posted multiple times a day. sophisticated combination of newsroom technologies will within the video enable APN India to rely on a powerful workflow and deliver CINEOM PARTNERS on demand superb programming without interruption, which is crucial WITH AJA VIDEO (VoD) to the smooth running of a 24/7 station. space. AJA team at BES Expo “I have “Managing a 24/7 news channel is a huge responsibility. begun When news breaks in the Delhi region, we want to be the Cineom Broadcast India last month working on first to air it, so it’s crucial for us to have the most up-to-date announced that they were now the aVoD platform newsroom technologies in place,” said R.S. Chauhan, group master distributor for AJA Video’s head BO&E, APN India. “We’ve been a Grass Valley cus- wide range of digital video interface,called Action QualityTime, tomer for many years, having worked with their LDK range conversion and desktop productsand it is likely to be launched of cameras. So when the time came to upgrade our cameras, (excluding the Cion Professionalin October or November this the LDX Flex was the natural choice as it offers stunning Camera) in India. Cineom Broadcastyear,”said AjayTrigunayat image quality at a price that meets our budget.” is one of the largest and most re-to a leading media portal. spected distributors of Film & TV Pro-“Action QualityTime will The cost-effective LDX Flex cameras also give APN duction, Post Production & Broadcasteffectively be a premium India a future-ready system, as the cameras are upgradable products in India. “We look forwardplatform and the service through the entire LDX range. The routing switcher enables to working closely with AJA Videowill be available across all easy configuration and expansion for fast and efficient per- Systems to grow the brand in India,devices.We are going to formance, and the solid K2 Summit media server delivers and we look forward to a successful,ensure maximum penetration a 24/7/365 file-based infrastructure to guarantee that APN long-term partnership,” said Vinayakamong the affluent,”he India never drops a frame of video. Densité is a flexible sig- deo, Director of Cineom Broadcast.said.The platform will have nal management system that can handle a complete range ofa mix of Indian as well as signal types from audio to video signals, SD to HD formatsforeign content for audiences. and copper to fibre broadcast infrastructures.It will also offer all formsofVoD service options,including subscription SVoD,transactionalVoD and payper view.14 february 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

INTERNATIONAL UPDATES SPACEX GETS $1BN FUNDING FROM GOOGLE, FIDELITY SATELLITE INTERNET ERA Elton Musk Samsung’s HyunsukKim is one of the membersINDUSTRY MAJORS Google and Fidelity InvestmentsFORM UHD ALLIANCE have made a $1 billion investment in SpaceX, the private spacecraftGROUP TO FOCUS ON CREATING AN END-TO-END ULTRA-HD ECO- venture backed by Paypal founderSYSTEM. PREMIUM ULTRA-HD DEVICES WILL BE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED Elon Musk.SO CONSUMERS CAN EASILY RECOGNISE THEM IN-STORE. “This funding will be used to sup-Leading Hollywood studios, consumer nies including DirecTV, Dolby, LG Electronics port continued innovation in theelectronics brands, content distributors, Inc., Netflix, Panasonic Corporation, Sam- areas of space transport, reusabil-post-production and technology companies sung Electronics Co., Ltd., Sharp Corporation, ity, and satellite manufacturing,”have combined to launch the UHD (Ultra Sony Visual Product Inc., Technicolor, The SpaceX said in a short statement onHigh Definition) Alliance – a new coalition Walt Disney Studios, Twentieth Century Fox its website.of companies united to set the bar for next and Warner Bros. Entertainment.generation video entertainment by establish- The company has been in news offing new standards to support innovation in “As the UHD ecosystem continues to late for its ambitious plan to createvideo technologies including 4K and higher evolve, we are strengthening our commit- a constellation of 4,000 small satel-resolutions, high dynamic range, wider colour ment to high-quality UHD content and lites — double the number of satel-gamut and immersive 3D audio. devices,” said Hyunsuk Kim, President, Visual lites now operating — to support Display Business at Samsung Electronics. satellite internet. “It’s like rebuild- The UHD Alliance was created with the “The Alliance will encourage the develop- ing the Internet in space,” Musk toldconsumer in mind; it provides information ment of high-quality UHD content while a crowd in Seattle last month. Theon premium Ultra-HD content and devices distinguishing TVs that provide the most project, he said, would cost $10 bil-to deliver best-in-class home entertainment. premium UHD viewing experience.” lion to $15 billion.The Alliance is also focused on helping con-sumers benefit from a seamless, integrated “The innovative advancements and quality Google’s ambitions in this areaand high-quality Ultra-HD ecosystem from improvements with TVs are evolving rapidly, have been clear for a while now. Inend-to-end. Premium Ultra-HD content and as seen throughout CES,” said Mike Dunn, 2013, it launched an experimentaldevices will be clearly identified so consumers President, Twentieth Century Fox Home En- network called Project Loon, madecan easily recognise them in-store. tertainment. “The UHD Alliance will benefit up of large balloons that floated consumers by identifying products and con- above New Zealand, allowing users The Alliance was formed by global compa- tent that will give the true UHD experience.” on the ground to connect to a wire- less internet network. But there was a lot of scepticism. The company now hopes to chase its satellite dreams piggybacking on SpaceX’s model.16 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

INTERNATIONAL UPDATES NBCU LOOKS AT THE BIGGER PICTURE NBCUNIVERSAL USES BIG DATA TO LAUNCH ITS AUDIENCE TARGETING PLATFORMPicture courtesy: Ad Age NBCU’s new chairman of NBCUniversal last month said that it plans ad sales Linda Yaccarino to use big data to find commercials within its broadcast and cable inventory that will target consumers with less waste and help clients achieve their marketing goals. NBCU is calling the capability its Audi- ence Targeting Platform (ATP) and says it has begun to have conversations with clients about media buys beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015. “The program will begin with a handful of categories in which demand for key commer- cial inventory exceeds supply,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships at NBC. Clients will identify their marketing plans and audience targets, and the platform will use data from set top box viewing and several third party data to find matches in NBCU’s inventory and allocate those commercials as part of the client’s TV advertising schedule. The Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) EVS BROADCAST EUROPEAN BODY board, also known as Japan EQUIPMENT BUYS CASTS MUTED PIC Broadcasting Corporation, last 100% OF SVS GMBH OF AV INDUSTRY month announced its vision towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic EVS Broadcast Equipment, the leading The European Audiovisual Observa- Games and covering the event provider of live video production tory last month revealed that the entire (and the Paralympics) in 8K (Super systems, last month announced that it audio-visual sector experienced a second Hi-Vision). NHK will also boost its has acquired the remaining 75% it did year of stagnation in 2013. According Internet access and coverage not own in Scalable Video System GmbH to its report, the market generated rev- under its ‘total reach’ objectives. (SVS).Since May 2013, EVS owns 25% enues in the order of €133 billion, with of SVS, an R&D company developing even, for the first time, a very slight fall IT-based vision mixers. The company in its revenues in 2013 (-0.1 per cent). acquired the remaining share for an The sector most affected is physical video amount of EUR 1.0 million paid in cash, (-11.3 per cent), but 2013 was also a year and a possible future earn out based on of recession for cinema receipts (-4.3 per the performance over the 2015-2020 cent), video games (-1.8 per cent) and period. In addition, EVS also acquired broadcasting services (-0.5 per cent). the remaining 5% it did not own in Dyvi The growth in the activities of pay-TV Live SA for a global amount of EUR 0.1 platforms (+2.7 per cent) and in the pro- million.These moves will enable EVS to duction of online VoD services (+46.1 per manage that promising product line in a cent) was unable to compensate for the more efficient and holistic way. decline in the other activities. DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 17

INTERNATIONAL UPDATESGODS AND KINGS IN THEIR TRUE COLOURSCOMPANY 3 USES DAVINCI RESOLVE TO GRADE RIDLEY SCOTT’S EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS Movie was graded by Blackmagic Design last month announced that DaVinci Resolvecolourist Stephen Nakamura was used at Deluxe Creative Services’ Company 3 by colourist Stephen Nakamura to grade 20th Century Fox’s epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings. The overall look of Exodus: Gods and Kings is a departure from what audiences normally associate with an epic Bible film. “The idea is that you’re watching these epic battles and the seas parting, but it’s not the same kind of movie as The Ten Com- mandments or Ben Hur. It’s designed to feel more realistic,” said Nakamura. A lot of Exodus, especially as it gets more intense, was designed to be really desaturated, with a lot of cold tones in the colour that was there. “It was something I could apply over the whole image,” the colourist said, “but there were some portions where colour, especially the red in blood, was very important to the story. He also fine-tuned colour for some of the day for night se- quences by bringing the whole look down, pulling some of the colour out and making everything a little blue to indicate moon- light. He used highlight keys to bring the sky down, along with a combination of Power Windows and tracking to bring people, especially faces, slightly up. NEW SAND AND TECHNICOLOR CROWD TOOLS POST ACQUIRES IN HOUDINI 14 THE ROOM Weta Digital recently created a Side Effects Software, which develops 3D Technicolor-PostWorks New York, the East new ray-tracing renderer called animation and visual effects software, has Coast’s most comprehensive independent Manuka along with a pre-lighting announced the release of Houdini 14. With supplier of post-production services for film tool called Gazebo. These not only a new Position-Based Dynamics solver for and television, last month announced that came in handy for The Hobbit granular simulation, new crowd pipeline it has acquired The Room, the high-perfor- finale, The Battle of the Five Armies, tools, UI enhancements and grooming mance finishing studio. Under the terms of but will also be crucial in tools for hair and fur, this release brings the agreement, The Room’s staff, equipment addressing the challenges of the a better user experience, improved scal- and dedicated 4K workflow will be integrat- upcoming trio of Avatar sequels. ability and optimised performance to VFX ed into the Technicolor-PostWorks facility. artists.The new Position­-Based Dynam- Additionally, Ben Murray, founder of The18 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO ics is a multi­physics environment ideally Room, will assume a new role as VP, Cre- suited to the creation of wet and dry sand. ative Services for Technicolor-PostWorks. In addition to sand effects, the new crowd Technicolor-PostWorks COO Rob DeMar- system uses has a Finite State Machine tin said that the objective of the move is to solver and hardware accelerated display of leverage the creative talent, workflow and crowds. The system has a seamless conduit technology that have made The Room the to Houdini’s Mantra renderer . facility of choice for content creators.

INTERNATIONAL UPDATESFACEBOOK ACQUIRES QUICKFIRE NETWORKSQUICKFIRE WILL LET FACEBOOK CREATE SMALLER FILE SIZES;IMPROVE MOBILE EXPERIENCESocial network Facebook acquired QuickFire Networks, a start-up QuickFire CEO Craig Leethat specializes in video encoding, last month for an undisclosed sum.The acquisition is another step in Facebook’s transformation to onlinevideo powerhouse. QuickFire’s proprietary low-bandwidth video en-coding technology will help Facebook reduce file sizes, stream smallerfiles to its growing base of mobile viewers, help mobile viewers avoiddata cap issues, and let videos load faster on any device. According to a note on the QuickFire site, the company will nowwind down operations, and “key members” will join Facebook, writescompany CEO Craig Y. Lee. The company is based in San Diego, Cali-fornia. The purchase seems to be as much about acquiring encodingpros as gaining the company’s proprietary technology. Clearly, Face-book has no interest in running QuickFire as a business. TechCrunch reports that QuickFire’s proprietary technology “reliedon custom motherboards built to accommodate 11 high-end Intel Corei7 processors. Custom software let these processors work in unison,and a layer on top of that let the start-up massively scale up by distrib-uting work among multiple motherboards.” Facebook now streams over one billion video views each day, theQuickFire note says. Facebook videos auto-start, a change the com-pany put in place last year. PIKSEL EXPANDS DAILYMOTION INTO CONTENT KICKS OFF ANEW BUYING SERVICES GAMING PLATFORM Netflix,the No. 1 subscription Piksel has launched its Piksel Content Ser- Orange’s video streaming platform Dai-video-on-demand provider, vices. The company will manage all stages lymotion has announced the launch ofended 2014 with 57.4 million of the content acquisition process for new Dailymotion Games, a new live-streamingsubscribers worldwide — OTT players, including the negotiating platform dedicated to gaming.The website,packing on 1.9 million in the U.S. and licensing of content rights, so that new, offers the gamingand 2.43 million internationally entrants to the market are armed with and electronic sports community a custom-during the fourth quarter, slightly a full ‘procurement to playout’ solution. built environment for viewing, sharing,beating expectations overseas Piksel now claims to be the only online uploading and streaming personal gaming— as it posted earnings that beat video platform vendor that also provides a and gaming competitions.The company saysWall Street estimates. tailor-made content offer. it is a “move into a strong sector”. Gaming content on the platform currently gener- Piksel Content Services will be provided ates more than 180 million video views per to customers as an addition to Piksel’s Dig- month and attracts more than 11 million ital Showcase solution, a SaaS-based video unique visitors per month globally. Key platform which enables content owners, partners include noted gaming and eSport aggregators and distributors to integrate brands like Eclypsia, Millennium, joinDO- live, linear and on-demand programming TA, OnGameNet, IGN and Gamespot. into a multiscreen environment. DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 19

TECH UPDATES/ CES 2015 Gary Shapio, president and CEO, CEASHAPING THE FUTUREFrom OLED to SUHD to pixel splitting to flexible, CES 2015 is bursting with new TV technology. he next generation of The TVs of CES 2015 “The International CES has broken every record as wireless, sensors and the internetT technology innovation  Samsung 105” bendable UHDTV combine and entrepreneurs present innova- took the spotlight as the Combining a triple-digit screen size and tions which enhance the human condition curtain rose on 2015 In- and solve problems in health care, transpor- the ability to go from curved to flat at the tation, safety and connectivity,” said Gary ternational CES. Day one touch of a button, this monster is among Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. the craziest TVs at the show. of CES saw more than 3,600 The 2015 International CES featured  Samsung 85S9W UW curved TV top executives from CBS, Cisco, Comcast,exhibitors launching new products. Owned Currently just a concept design, this ultra- Condé Nast, Fox, Google, MediaLink and The Walt Disney Company. Every majorand produced by the Consumer Electron- widescreen 85-inch curved LCD has a technology company from around the globe sleek cube pedestal stand. has convened in Las Vegas at the world’s topics Association (CEA), the 2015 CES is the innovation event by exhibiting, speaking,  Sony XBR-X900C sponsoring or’s gathering place for all who thrive Sony is shipping the non-curved X900C, During the Fast Innovation: Disrupt or beon the business of consumer technologies which is the world’s thinnest LCD TV. Disrupted keynote, moderator David Kirk- patrick, founder, host and CEO, Techonomy,and runs through Friday, January 9 in Las  Sony ultraslim XBR-X900C led a wide-ranging conversation on the Its top section has a thickness of just of Internet of Things (IoT), data security andVegas, Nevada. business practices that foster innovation. 0.2-inch. Panelists John Chambers, chairman andGary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA, CEO of Cisco; Neil Smit, president and  Sony XBR-75X940C CEO of Comcast Cable; and Werner Struth,kicked off the 2015 International CES by de- The 75-inch X940C has a full-array local chairman of Robert Bosch LLC, spoke open- ly about the need to innovate, reorganizelivering the State of the Consumer Electron- dimming backlight, just like on the XBR- X950B from 2014.ics (CE) Industry address. He announcedthat revenues for the consumer electronics(CE) industry are projected to grow threepercent in 2015 to reach an all-time highof $223.2 billion, according to The U.S.Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts,CEA’s semi-annual industry report releasedlast month. He also reinforced the impor-tance of a forward strategic path on innova-tion both for the industry and the world.20 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

TECH UPDATES / CES 2015and act nimbly as the IoT expands and more Pill shaped speakers and it should be like a toothbrush, some-of the world is digitized and connected. from Samsung thing a lot of people use at least twice a day.” The Brand Matters keynote kicked off ald’s and The Walt Disney Co. The panelists Alan Murray, editor of Fortune, inter-with MediaLink’s Chairman and CEO Mi- discussed how their “corporate DNA” dic- viewed Nick Woodman, president andchael Kassan having a one-on-one interview tates their distribution and personalization CEO of GoPro at the Leaders in Technol-with CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie strategy. The panelists agreed that all good ogy Dinner at the Venetian. WoodmanMoonves. Their discussion focused on the advertising strategy has to emanate from described the founding of GoPro as a way toopportunities for entertainment networks quality product and that mobile is offering capture his friends’ best surfing CBS. “We have to create great content unprecedented opportunities. Margo Geor- He explained how Go Pro is known for itsand get it to people in ways they want to giadis, president Americas of Google said incredible content and for allowing peopleexperience it, said Moonves. “We need to that, “technology enables personalization to capture and share their passions. “Peoplemake sure we make that content available don’t buy things, they buy solutions,” heto everyone.” He explained that CBS wants said. Woodman explained how 6,000 videoconsumers to watch their content but is not uploads of GoPro branded content wereconcerned with where it’s watched. The two uploaded in 2014, a 40 percent increase overdiscussed how viewership tracking must 2013, representing 2.8 years worth of con-be updated as consumer viewing habits tent. “Storytelling is everything,” he stated.change. “Eight-year-olds and 80-year oldsmatter,” said Moonves, explaining why the The winner clearly was the MeccaNoidrapid growth in video consumption across robotics building system from Meccano.all age categories should inspire advertisers Much like an erector set, owners can buildto focus beyond the 18-35 year-old category. the four-foot tall humanoid robot which features built-in voice recognition. Next to Their discussion was followed by a panel MeccaNoid on the winners’ stage was SCiO,conversation lead by MediaLink President the world’s first molecular sensor, whichand COO Wenda Harris Millard with execu- can scan and detect what an object is madetives from Condé Nast, Fox, Google, McDon- of and give information on it.Samsung hails visitos with large outdoor signage at CES 2015 DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 21

TECH UPDATES / CES 2015SPOTLIGHTIntel CEO Outlines Future of ComputingIntel Corporation last month announced a number Intel CEO Brian Krzanichof technology advancements and initiatives aimed ataccelerating computing into the next dimension. Theannouncements include the Intel Curie module, abutton-sized hardware product for wearable solutions;new applications for Intel RealSense cameras spanningrobots, flying multi-copter drones and 3-D immersiveexperiences; and a broad, new Diversity in Technologyinitiative, which includes a $300 million investment toencourage more diversity at Intel and within the tech-nology industry at large. “The rise of new personal computing experiences,intelligent and connected devices, and the wearablerevolution are redefining the relationship betweenconsumers and technology,” said Brian Krzanich, IntelCEO. “Our goal with Intel technology is to help solve realproblems and enable experiences that are truly desiredby people and businesses. In order to do this, we mustalso do more to lead the growth of diversity and inclu-sion within the technology industry. Women and under-represented minorities will continue to play a greaterrole as consumers, influencers, creators and leaders.” Krzanich made the announcements during a keynoteaddress at the 2015 International Consumer ElectronicsShow. He also unveiled a wearable device collaborationwith Oakley, a leading product design and sport perfor-mance eyewear brand, a 3-D collaboration with HP, andhighlighted True Key, a new cross-platform applicationby Intel Security that uses personal factors like the face,device or fingerprint to make logging in easier and safer. AUGMENTED REALITY TECH OCULUS VR Oculus VR was the elephant in the gaming sector of CES 2015 Show. The virtual real- ity goggles maker, which was acquired last year by Facebook for $2 billion, came back with a huge booth and a top-notch Cres- cent Bay demo that thousands of attendees experienced. Samsung, which uses the Oculus Rift headset, made a big push for its Samsung Gear VR smartphone-based VR headset, and it launched the Milk VR video service as well.22 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

TECH UPDATES / CES 2015 WORLD’S THINNEST TV UNVEILED Visitors examine Sony Bravia’s latest model Sony took the wraps off four new lines of inch and 65-inch models, sport a thick- Bravia 4K LCD televisions at CES 2015. The ness of just 4.9mm. The company credits company also announced what it calls the the new “revolutionary floating style” for “thinnest TV” till date, which sports a thick- the slim profile and claims that the TV is ness of just 4.9mm at the thinnest point. “virtually frameless and mounts flush to your wall.” Notably, all the new Sony Bravia TVs launched on Monday are smart TV offerings Sony however has revealed the availabil- and include the new 4K Processor X1, which ity details of the new nine models namely the company touts “further advances the the X9000C Series 4K LCD TV including clarity, colour accuracy and contrast”. All 55-inch and 65-inch models will be avail- the newly-introduced Bravia TVs also run able in Q3. The rest of the new Bravia 4K Google’s Android TV platform. LCD TVs models, including X8300C with 43-inch and 49-inch models will be avail- Out of the four, the new X9000C Series able in Q2 2015. 4K LCD televisions, which include a 55-NVIDIA DRIVES THE ADVENTINFOTAINMENT OF DRONESIN-CAR TECH Ascending TechNvidia introduced a new computer for Ascending Technologies showed off its coolthe information to be seen on the dash- Firefly drones during the Intel keynote. Theyboard of a self-driving car. Its Tegra had a cool feature of being able to avoid colli-X1 processor for the car could process sions, so much so they could navigate a densedata at 2.3 teraflops, or twice the forest on their own with no human control.computing power of the most powerful That feature was also useful for playing “dronesupercomputer in the world in the year ping-pong” during the keynote, where Intel2000. Its Internet-connected infotain- chief executive Brian Krzanich showed that youment system would also stay separate could nudge them back and forth by stimulatingfrom safety-related computers such as their collision avoidance systems. There werethe autopilot. hundreds of drones on display at CES. DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 23

Cover story/ epic televisionHINISMTOARKYING Epic Television CEO Mahesh Samat breaks away from the traditional approach of broadcasting; launches a channel in the cloud. By NIRMAL MENON24 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 25

Cover story/ epic televisionS ometimes the world reveals the trials and tribulations of India’s great- are walking away from Indian television itself to us in unexpected est spies. Ekaant, on the other hand, probes because they don’t see variety of content,” ways. Who would have into the most abandoned places in India and says Mahesh Samat, managing director, Epic imagined that Mukesh provides a chilling account of the reasons Television Networks Pvt Ltd, who in the past behind the exodus. has served as the managing director of Walt Ambani and Anand Ma- Disney India. The fictional shows of the channel have hindra, two of India’s biggest also tactfully based itself on the most passed- According to Samat, the driving force for down tales through the centuries. Dhar- this systemic change has been the ongoingindustrialists, would one day join hands to makshetra, for instance, unearths buried digitisation wave in the television industry, questions of the Mahabharata and allows its which has resulted in newer channels andtake a plunge into television business? Or legendary characters to tell their side of the fresher content. It also created unique op- story. Daanav Hunters is a straight pull out portunities like the ‘segmented’ categorybetter still who would have thought that their from one of the numerous bedtime stories in Indian television, presenting thematic told in Indian households on how brave content focused on a particular genre. Epicjoint venture would give birth to India’s first young men slayed the mighty demons that Television Network was an offspring of this once walked on the face of the earth. opportunity. Soon after putting his papersgenre-specific channel based on the history in Walt Disney India in January 2012, Samat “There’re two factors that inspired me laid the blueprint of a genre channel that fo-and folklore of India? But then show business to start this channel. One was my personal cused on Indian history and mythology. interest in history and mythology. The otheris all about surprises. was the changing taste and manner in which As part of the programming strategy, television content was consumed. While I Samat also devised finite episodic contentEpic Television Networks went on air last think there will always be an opportunity that would dwell on interesting historical or and market for soaps, a lot of urban Indians mythological themes and last for about 13-26December, and since then it has grabbed theattention of viewers across the country withits rich mix of fiction and non-fiction shows.Some of the shows have gone where no tele-vision producers have dared to explore. Forinstance, Sanrachna drives through the im-pressive astronomy towers to the marvellousmausoleums of India to discover her bestkept architectural secrets. Adrishya capturesAdrishya: carry on spying Dariba Diaries: A sleuth from a bygone era Kahi Suni: the real story behind popular legends Daanav Hunters: ghost busters as we know them26 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

Cover story/ epic televisionepisodes. This is in line with the network’s PROMOTERSvision of creating new IPs, strong charactersand new heroes that could strike a chord Mukesh Ambani,with the viewers. This strategy takes a new Anand Mahindrasignificance in the light of emerging businessopportunities in the West, where companies Rohit Khattarsuch as Netflix and Amazon have made a kill-ing out of syndicated content. The game plan Mahesh Samatalso works well in Indian diaspora markets Managing Director,where such content is popular. Epic Television Networks But the biggest benefit that the channel STEAL THE SHOWreaped out of digitisation was the ability tomove its entire operations on to a cloud- ADRISHYAbased platform that virtualised its content Genre: Narrative non-fictionsupply chain and enabled it to digitally man- This show makes you experience life from the point of view of India’s great-age its business workflows. This is in stark est spies, living through the danger, the fear, the triumphs and the captures.contrast to a large section of broadcasters,who still function out of a sequential eco- DHARMAKSHETRA Aparna Pandeysystem where content production, studio Genre: Mythological drama Head – businessoperation and channel distribution continue Dharamkshetra attempts to ask some key questions about the nature ofto remain as detached functions, leading to humanity, while at the same time, it puts together the forgotten pieces of theneedless delivery delays, rampant storage is- Mahabharata we thought we knew.sues and overall operational inefficiencies. DARIBA DAIRIES Niharika Kotwal Advantage Epic! Since the time it was es- Genre: Crime drama Head-productiontablished around October 2013, the company A detective thriller series set in the 19th century Delhi before the advent ofclearly knew cloud broadcasting was the way forensics and gadgets and in 20 episodes we see cases Mirza Jaan Nawazto go. Quite early in the technology adoption solve cases by power of observation, intuition and deduction.curve they realised that they would rather DAANAV HUNTERSmanage the business of content as opposed Genre: Supernaturalto conventional approach of managing con- Daanav Hunters chronicles the adventures of a team of demon hunterstent, which meant being part of a content who’ve made it their mission to fight against the evil forces and restoreecosystem that connects all external and peace on earth.internal stakeholders on a single cloud plat-form and digitally coordinate the workflows. EKAANT Ravina Kohli Genre: Narrative non-fiction Head - development “The biggest advantage that a start-up The show explores the most abandoned places in India and the storieschannel has is that it has no legacy systems. behind the exodus.We wanted to make the best use of this op-portunity. By virtue of being on the cloud, we KAHI SUNIcan now outsource the entire broadcast op- Genre: Narrative non-fictionerations to a specialised service provider and The show packs away our scepticism and takes us on a ride through thefocus all our energies in on fostering creativ- legendary tales of India. Each destination covered in the episodes has beenity and developing the right content mix,” the birthplace of a legend and each legend has given rise to the recognitionsays Samat, while adding that the move sub- of that location.stantially brought down the capital as well asoperational expenditure of the channel. RAJA, RASOI AUR ANYA KAHANIYAAN Manish Thukral Genre: Narrative non-fiction Chief financial officer Such is the power of virtualisation that Raja, Rasoi aur Anya Kahaniyaan takes us through the history of foodthe channel, in spite of being backed by the prepared in the royal kitchens of India, an abode to some of the best andwealthiest man of this country, runs with a most delicious food in the country.technical team of four people, a productionteam of four people and an editing team of SIYAASAT Ashwin D’Silvafive people. Still better, the total strength Genre: Historical political drama Chief technologyof the entire television network, situated Based on the popular book The Twentieth Wife by author Indu Sundaresan, this show is a story of politics, inter-personal conflicts, sabotage, grandeur, officer power and above all else, the love between Salim and Mehrunissa, who was Salim’s twentieth and final wife. DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 27

Cover story/ epic televisionEkaant: the true picture behind the void Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan: palate royalDharmakshetra: the Mahabharata revisited Yam Kisi Se Kam Nahin: Meet our own Joe Blacknear the domestic airport in Mumbai, is 40 “While I think there will and technical team using the Clear serverpeople. The channel doesn’t even an IT team. always be an opportunity in our office,” says Niharika Kotwal, head ofThey don’t need one because every possible and market for soaps, a production at Epic Television, while addingcontingency is being accounted for by the lot of urban Indians are that once the master file is technically ap-channel’s technology backbone. walking away from Indian proved by both parties, it gets pushed onto television because they don’t PFT’s fibre link with Noida-based Essel What gives the channel the upper hand see variety of content.” Shyam for playout.over most of its counterparts is evidentlyits strategic partnership with Prime Focus Mahesh Samat, The production house is expected to de-Technologies (PFT), the technology arm MD, Epic Television liver the episodes either in electronic formatof Prime Focus that owns Clear, a cloud- such as a secured FTP or via hard disk withenabled media ERP platform, which helps USB 2 or higher interface or in HD formatbroadcasters virtualise their content supply on XDCAM HD422 optical discs at the PFTchain. The platform is powered by PFT’s kiosks in Mumbai. Once the productionTrue North, a 24x7 global content operations house drops the master file at PFT kiosks,hub that is built on a 17Gb media network low-resolution proxy files are created, whichand manages over 3,00,000 hours of content is then made available on the platform forfor over 200 TV channels. designated users to review. “PFT comes in at the point where our ma- The next moment three departmentsterial gets delivered. We don’t take deliver- including the programming, quality controlies of master files in our office, which means (QC) and standards and practices (S&P)we don’t need to have any machines here. examine the content for shortfalls. In caseThey do our technical as well as quality there are any changes required, commentschecks, which is overseen by our production are marked on the timecode available in the28 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

Cover story/ epic television CLEAR PICTURE Some of the top features of Clear Platform: SMART TASKER This industry first feature allows a single console to monitor and control all resources and tasks while having deployed them on the cloud - even those across third-party tools without multiple experts having to operate them. The system allows you to pause, resume and re-prioritise tasks as varied as transcoding, HSM storage or network file transfer. It claims to offer the highest efficiency and lowest total cost of ownership.“PFT comes in at the point NATIVE FRAME RATE CONVERSION SUPPORT Clear operations cloud gets an upgrade with standards conversion support allowing for framewhere our material gets rate conversion as part of any content operations workflow. Trust Clear Media ERP suite to delight and not just satisfy you; support also extends to auto transformation of subtitle and fordelivered. We don’t take any annotation and edit performed on one frame rate version.deliveries of master files in our STORY TELLER It’s the biggest empowerment to the creative user. The application has the power to tell compel-office, which means we don’t ling stories by creating, sharpening and sharing incisive stories on the fly and in the moment across live and library content. With deep search, data overlays and filtering possibilities, youneed any machines here.” are certain to package one heck of a story.Niharika Kotwal, CLEAR PLAYER WITH DATA OVERLAYS & ADVANCED SECURITY SUPPORTProgramming head, Epic Television The secure, multi-track and frame accurate Clear Player gets a facelift. Now integrate and over- lay live data with a growing proxy, and enjoy advanced key encryption for piracy protection.platform and sent back to the productionhouse for necessary amends. The same plat- ENHANCED CLEAR STORAGE MANAGERform offers facilitates other functions such The Clear Storage Manager perfectly understands the hazards of live recording . Hence it nowas metadata editing, programme scheduling, offers store and partial restore for growing files on disk when recording live sources.traffic management and ad sales monitoring.An enhanced media player, with support for SITE-TO-SITE DR (DISASTER RECOVERY)multi-track audio, multi-language subtitles Clear hybrid cloud platform offers 99.987% availability and is ISO 27001 certified for businessand audio, can be accessed by designated us- assurance. There is no room for excuses when you are running content business on Clear. In aers from remote locations. world’s first, Clear introduces Site-to-Site application DR with support for content and applica- tion ensuring 100% business continuity. You can also manage multiple archive managers for Epic Television also maintains reason- storage and retrieval across hybrid cloud locations for high availability and instant DR.ably high production standards. The contentacquired needs to have a native resolution CLEAR EMBEDDED IN PREMIER PROof 1920 x 1080 pixels and at frame rate of 25 With Clear now natively embedded into Adobe Premier Pro, you now have access to full assetframes progressive or in Apple Pro Res HQ management functionality of Clear right with the Premiere Pro NLE. So you focus on the edit4:2:2 50i at 50 M bit/s with audio at 24 bits. without having to juggle screens.Likewise the recording formats should besupporting a bit rate no less that 50M bits/s Dolby 5.1 channel, the Dolby 5.1 mix should So whether the producers want to take the4:2:2 for acquisition. The mandated formats be delivered as indicated below. The dialogue uncompressed route or get offline or go tofor shooting are: HD Cam SR, HD Cam, AVC normalisation level should be -23dB (+/- DaVinci Resolve and take it online, we insistIntra 100, HDD5 and XD Cam HD 4:2:2. The 1db) with associated metadata specifications. them to the grade their content so the con-recommended cameras: Arri Alexa, Red, tent looks good. We also ensure they meetSony F65, Sony F55, Canon 300, Sony F 5 “We were very clear that we wanted to go all Dolby standards and lay in the 5.1 tracksand Panasonic F 9000. HD and 5.1 surround sound. So we try and properly,” says Ashwin D’Silva, chief tech- shoot with the best cameras such as Red or nology officer of Epic Television. “We have In case of sound specifications, the audio Canon C300 at the highest quality available.levels should be related directly to the line-up level (-18dBFS). Tracks 1 & 2 programpeak sound levels must not exceed line-uplevel by more than 14 dBu (6 PPM), norexceed -6 dBFS. In case of HD content with DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 29

Cover story/ epic television PFT’s Ramki Sankaranarayanan stands in the middle “In the new digital landscape where multi- to the world’s largest digital media services cloud platform is a reality, virtualisation should Operations monitoring on Clear platform enable the broadcasters to unlock new Cataloguing on Clear platform30 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO revenue streams.” Ramki Sankaranarayanan, Founder and CEO, Prime Focus Technologies also instructed our producers to only use those cameras that meet our tech specs.” In order to streamline the process, the technical team and the pro- duction team of the channel participate in the pre-production meet- ings of the production houses to ensure that the producers fall in line with the technical norms. They meet again during the first few days of the shoot to ascertain the video and audio parameters are met. This stringent move saves a lot of time and effort in the post-production. “Producers tend to salvage their work in the post, but once they get their footage or their sync sound wrong, the whole purpose is lost. So we try and eliminate all that in the production phase. These days we even check their in-house workflows to keep a tab on their systems processes and transcoding format, which again eliminates overwriting,” says D’Silva While the channel purely runs of HD format, it also acquires a lot of content in SD format. In such cases, it up-converts the video to HD using off-the-shelf software and transforms the stereo tracks into a pseudo Dolby format and then send it for playout. But what are the chances that a HD channel survives a SD television distribution without significant data loss? D’Silva explains that they run on an 8Mbps line, which is far better than the 4Mbps bandwidth that SD networks use. Which

Cover story/ epic televisionmeans the data which the channel pushes Cameras used by EPic sodes per year. PFT also manages 65 moviesis either on par with SD channels or in for HD Shoot per year for the network.some cases even better. Moreover, theother point to be noted is that although HD  Arri Alexa While Epic Television is quite committedis a fully wide screen standard with 16:9  Red to this approach, not everything is perfect.action and caption safe areas, some HD  Sony F65 The channel has its own share of issues withprogrammes may be down converted for  Sony F55 the process. There are times when produc-distribution in the areas that use standard  Canon 300 tion houses fail to cope with the stringentdefinition.  Sony F 5 specs. The QC reports keep going up and  Panasonic F 9000 down at times, which is why the channel has Another big accomplishment that the embraced a system where they sit with thenetwork has achieved through digitisation for all its shows. The app should be ready in PFT team review the process every threeis newer opportunities of monetisation of next 3-6 months. months to spot the lacunae and ensure thatits content. Within a month of its launch, it doesn’t get repeated in the future.Epic Television has struck a deal with Tata “Broadcasters need to realise that MAM isSky where it offers four episodes of Dariba not just a problem solver but also a business The true innovation in this space is goingDiaries to the DTH major before it is aired enabler. In the new digital landscape where beyond enterprise digitisation to what weon the channel. In effect, the video-on- multi-platform is a reality, virtualisation call Media ERP where an integrated contentdemand (VoD) customers of Tata Sky get to should enable the broadcasters to unlock ecosystem can be built connecting all ex-see four episodes of the show in advance. new revenue streams,” says Ramki Sanka- ternal and internal stakeholders on a singleTill date, the channel has already delivered ranarayanan, founder and CEO of PFT. The cloud based platform and digitally mediat-12 episodes to the DTH major. The story company annually handles 1,000 hours of ing workflows. This drastically enhancesdoesn’t end here. Epic Television is the pro- content for Epic Television, which includes response to market, drives down cost andcess of developing a subscription-based app 18 commissioned TV shows with 2,000 epi- unlocks creative potential like never before. This is the future. This is history in making. DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 31

CLOSE UP / CK MURALEEDHARANthinking buddha Leading cinematographer CK Muraleedharan, a master lensman, talks about his experiences with his craft and his relationship with his directors. By NIRMAL MENON k Haseena Thi (2004), Lage on. He always wanted to make a film on ex- DS How did you prepare yourself for PK? istentialism and the belief systems of people See I don’t normally read scripts. I preferE Raho Munna Bhai (2006), at large. I was involved with the script right listening to them so that I can imbibe the Johnny Gaddaar (2007), from the beginning. We started talking about picture that the director has in his mind. 3 Idiots (2009), Agent it as early as 2010, and it was a difficult script It allows me to visualise the movie at the to crack as the subject involved religion and scripting stage, and that generally leaves Vinod (2012), and now PK. religious practices. I remember him telling a deep impression. So I get the director’s me that he was awfully stuck with the script version first, and then read it only if I have His body of work is a strong and didn’t know how to finish it. He narrated to make pertinent notes. For me, PK was the script to me around June 2012. There profoundly simple in its picturisation.testimonial of his cinematographic brilliance were a lot of issues with the first narrative It wasn’t a comedy movie. It wasn’t as as the movie was dealing with people issues emotional as Raju’s earlier works. It had aand his ability to breathe life into extraordi- from an alien’s point of view. Raju and Abhi- straightforward narrative. So, we didn’t re- jat Joshi reworked on the script and called sort to any cinematic technique. Raju’s briefnary narratives. He’s also a chronicler in his me for a narration six months later. By that was to keep it simple, and I agreed with time the script had improved significantly. him on that one. But we had a pretty robustown right. Besides his master lens work, CK I told him that I always thought Lage Raho pre-production schedule. We discussed a Munna Bhai was the toughest of all his mov- lot on shot breakdowns. We had one eachMuraleedharan spent nearly half a decade, ies in terms of complexity of script, but PK for every scene, every location. We mixed clearly surpassed it all. It was a really ambi- and matched them before documenting itputting together the only serious study done tious script, and I am quite happy in the way on paper. Then we would ask crew members the movie shaped up. to stand at places, take still pictures and useon Indian cinematography, which featuredinterviews of legendary lens men such as suchas Jal Mistry, VK Murthy, Jaywant Pathare,Soumedu Roy, KK Mahajan, A Vincent andAshok Mehta. Chatting up with this mastercraftsman is an education by itself. Excerpts:DS What were your initial discussions withRajkumar Hirani on PK?This is a subject Raju (Hirani) was very keen32 february 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

CLOSE UP / CK MURALEEDHARANthem as reference in our storyboard. While we may not follow it to With director Rajkumar Hiranithe letter, but it always helps to have a plan ‘b’ on location. on the sets of PK.DS So shooting PK would have been a smooth ride, wouldn’t it? PK was shot onWe did have our share of challenges. Like, for instance, we wanted PK Arricam Lite(Aamir Khan) to stay in a secluded place in the middle of a bustlingcity, an undiscovered place where he could hide his knickknacks. It On the sets of Lage Rahowas during our recce we came across this archaeological monument Munna Bhaicalled Agrasen Ki Bawdi. It’s a 60-meter long and 15-meter widestep well in the heart of Delhi. Raju was very keen to shoot here, but DIGITAL STUDIO | february 2015 33then the authorities wouldn’t allow us to shoot. It took us almost sixmonths to get permissions. Moreover, it was supposed to be a nightshoot. Given the limited avenues of lighting, Raju suggested that wetry day for night technique. I was totally against it, which meant I hadto light up the location in an unconventional way. We created a giant‘Moon Box’ using diffusion material and suspended it using indus-trial crane so that we could bring out big soft light over the step well.The industrial crane also created a lot of problems as it blocked theonly passage available for people frequenting that area. There weretoo many logistical hurdles we had to overcome.DS How did you approach lighting at large?I used a lot of natural light in PK, but there was a pattern to it. Theopening and climax scenes were shot over an empty landscape inRajasthan that stretched till the horizon. The opening scene hasAamir walking out of the spaceship, and it happens early in themorning. The scene has two minutes of screen time. However, inthe climax scene when Anushka (Sharma) drops Aamir back tothe space ship. It happens in the evening, and it took about fiveminutes of screen time. In theory, I would have required about 20minutes of shooting these scene, but I had to shoot three days frommorning to evening so that the sun movement was visible as itmoved from east to west. On the other hand, there are shots wherewe have used a single tube light as well. So we used a lot of daylight,but it did have a ready stock of HMIs starting from 4K and going allthe way up to 12K. I sourced all of them from Mulchand Dedhia’slights and grips company. My gaffer Kamlesh Sadrani ensured thatwe had lights all times to change the way the shot looks and keepthe continuity intact. However, there were scenes where we haveshot with a tube light as well.“Never before had we shot had a love songin the middle of blazing guns and heavy-duty action scenes. And mind you the Raabtanumber in Agent Vinod was a three-minutesong captured in a single shot.”DS Tell us about your shooting gear for PK.We shot the movie on Arricam Lite. However, we used Red for onesong Bhagwan Hai Kahan Re Tu, where Aamir is shown visitingplaces of worship across the country. We had a separate unit thatvisited these places and collected these footages. As there wasn’t

CLOSE UP / CK MURALEEDHARANany paraphernalia, it was easier for them to move around and shoot. Likewise, the delivery sequence in the climax of 3 Idiots wasThese footages were collected before the shoot, and we later on digi- shot in a huge set with a complicated lighting arrangement. Thetally transposed Aamir into these shots. That also required some bit sequence had Aamir and his friends helping Mona Singh deliver herof shooting in digital medium so that we could maintain the look. baby on a pool table in the wee hours of the night. Lights go out inAdditionally, I had the works in terms of lensing, and it was pretty the next scene and people start running helter skelter to find torchmuch in sync with the shot breakdown we had finalised in the pre- lights. Aamir walks out of the club into a porch completely sub-production stage. merged in water. Soon, Boman Irani follows Aamir and apologisesDS You have worked with Hirani on Lage Raho him for his ruthless behaviour and you realise that the sun has risen. That was my daybreak, and that’s my sunMunna Bhai and 3 Idiots as well. How were you see in the shot. In effect, we were dealing withthese projects different from PK? five different layers of lighting. Also, diverse lo-Like I said before PK was not a comic cations such as the IIM campus in Bangalorefilm. It was a movie about an outsider’s to the rigours of shooting in Leh added toview of our beliefs systems. It was a the scale of the movie.simple story simply said. Lage Raho DS You have also worked with SriramMunna Bhai and 3 Idiots were com-edies with loads of human emotions, Raghavan in Agent Vinod, Johnny Gad-and lots of song and dance. Both mov- daar and Ek Hasina Thi. How would youies had elaborate sets, but PK wasn’t all compare Raghavan with Hirani in terms ofthat complex. filmmaking technique?If you recollect the Samjho Ho Hi Gaya Raju, Sriram and I belong to the 1987 batch ofsong in Lage Raho Munna Bhai, you may find Alumnus of 1987 Film and Television Institute of India. It’s the sameit amusing, but it was a complicated shoot. For batch of FTII batch that has nurtured talents such as Bishwadeepthat sequence, we needed four roads to shoot four Chatterjee, Anuj Mathur and Jitendra Chaudhary in thedifferent situations: an empty street where Sanjay Dutt and Ar- field of sound engineering. So, we have more or less the similar sen-shad Warsi wobble; a street where the kissing car cruises; and a street sibilities, but our approaches are vastly different. For instance, Rajuhosting marriage procession. And all these situations had to be shot and Sriram are poles apart in terms of filmmaking approach. Theyin three consecutive nights. Given the logistical challenge, the best are diametrically opposite in terms of style. Raju has a very classicalway forward was to shoot on one road and keep changing the location approach to filmmaking. He doesn’t really experiment with the vi-and lighting design. Which meant I had to light up for all the four sual medium. He likes to show his craft to people, so you find a lot ofsetups at the same time. Moreover, we were shooting from one end of close-ups and over-the-shoulder shots. Sriram, on the other hand, isthe street so that we could see the whole length of the street in frame. a radical. He likes to experiment with his spaces and lights. All of hisIn effect, we are actually looking into the same space again and again movies including Agent Vinod, Johnny Gaddaar and Ek Hasina Thiand changing the same space into different sets. had clearly distinct styles. And if you were to ask me the most chal- Calling the shots with Sriram Raghavan On the sets of Agent Vinod34 february 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

CLOSE UP / CK MURALEEDHARANOn the sets of Johnny Gaddar Rig created specially for the train shotlenging projects of my life, I unquestionably has to be Sriram’s mov- captured. By the time I reached the video monitor to inspect the shot,ies. His films can push you against the wall. there were cheers, high-fives and applause in the air!DS Agent Vinod was definitely an edgy film… DS That sounds exhilarating. I am sure Johnny Gaddaar had itsAlmost 80 per cent of Agent Vinod was shot using a monopod and a share of thrills and chills.zoom lens. The movie had an entirely different approach especially The highlight of Johnny Gaddaar was its train sequence. During the rec-the Raabta song between Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Never ce, we realised if we really wanted to capture the essence of the ricketybefore had we shot had a love song in the middle of blazing guns and ride of the train, we had to keep it off the tripod. That meant we neededheavy-duty action scenes. And mind you it was a three-minute song to separate the camera from the floor. After a lot of thinking, we designedcaptured in a single shot. a rig using bungee ropes so that the camera could be easily fastened. It had a design of two ‘A’ frames connected together with a square frame at I remember discussing the scene with action director Peter Heinz. the bottom and a rod at top. The entire rig was constructed with slottedHe outrightly rejected the option because his contention was action angles so that I could hook anything anywhere. Then I got my team toscenes cannot work without cuts, and we would fall on our faces if we make a cheese plate to lock the camera (Arri435). We hung the cheesewould even attempt to do it. plate with bungee ropes. Four hooks at the four corners of the plate helped me to hang the camera at any height. Thin bungee ropes where Our art director came up with the suggestion of putting the set in used to adjust the tension of the main bungees or to balance the level ofa real space instead of a studio. He suggested the empty 1st floor in the camera. These ropes helped me to control the movement of the cam-Film city with a ceiling height of 12 feet with pillars all over. He came era also. This mechanism could be placed anywhere in the train corridor.up with the design of a motel with a bar, lobby and a corridor withrooms on either side. Also, there were hardly any space to hide lights DS But how did you shoot the exterior shots in this case?because the camera was meant to move throughout the set with 360 There was another camera placed in the engine room from where wedegree turns. We finally managed to find a few corners where we could shoot stations approaching. I had told my team member, whocould hide Dedo lights ranging from 300W to 650W. Sriram, Peter was operating the second camera to shoot at 6 frames and 12 framesand I had our own ideas of the single shot. Peter emphasised on ac- whenever he saw any lit area like stations or townships passing by.tion, and Sriram on element of surprise. I was more concerned about They would inform us through the radio about the approaching litthe seamless camera movement. But our goal was similar. We had to areas and we would quickly set up a shot with a window or door inmake this happen. frame. All the shots were shot with my movements through the rig. The final output was certainly an experience in itself. On the day of shoot, Peter got busy rigging up the explosions. I wasexplaining the movements and framing to my Steadicam operator DS Great! What are you shooting next?Sunil Khandpur. We got into our dry runs with all the cast. The brief I have a couple of television commercials lined up after which I willwas once the camera starts moving each actor should pick his cue and be heading to Bhuj for three months for Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Mo-enter into frame at a pre-determined time. Every lighting change, henjo pan and pace were given cues. At the last count there were 36cues for just one shot. It was almost like a music composer conduct-ing a 36-piece orchestra. Three minutes and 21 seconds the shot was DIGITAL STUDIO | february 2015 35

VFX / PKAnLaItEiNon Riva VFX and Animation moves away from the conventional treatment of science fiction movies; captures the surreal journey of an alien in PK using invisible visual effects. By NIRMAL MENON36 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

VFX / PK ow do you capture an alien to see if I could help him realise his vision for PK,” says Thakkar, who has been the visualH spacecraft? A problem effects supervisor for top Hindi films such of filmmakers and visual as Krrish-3, Bhaag Milka Bhaag, Talaash and effects professionals, es- Barfi, to name a few. pecially those involved Thakkar quickly prepared a rough cut of the spaceship amid the clouds, and that pretty with essaying stories of extra- much ensured a boarding pass to Hirani’s flight of imagination. What followed was aterrestrial beings, is that irrespective of how deal of 700 shots, which encompassed not only creating the spaceship, but giving Aamirdifferent his or her plot is, the alien spacecraft Khan that alien look with protruded ears, creating a train blast from the scratch, on-setalways comes across a blinking flying saucer compositing of chanting crowds.with misplaced denizens who more or less “Our brief was to keep the look as realistic as possible and not take away the film’s nar-look like walking, talking light bulbs. rative, which was deeply rooted in emotions and value systems. If you closely watch theEarly last year, filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani movie, you will notice that visual effects are there yet it’s invisible and non-intrusive,” saysencountered a similar problem. He was mak- Prashant Thakur, VFX supervisor, Riva VFX and Animation, while adding that a team ofing PK, a satirical comedy on an alien visiting nearly 100 artists worked on this film for over eight months, out of which one group workedEarth on a research mission and questioning non-stop for three months just to get the spaceship right.religious dogmas and superstitions. There Another interesting sequence in the moviehave been quite a few references available, was the bomb blast in the train. As opposed to the traditional approach of taking widebut Hirani was clear he didn’t want to follow shots of a real-life explosion, Thakkar and his team chose to shoot with smoke machinesthe trodden path. At one stage, he thoughtmaybe concealing the spacecraft in a cloudcould yield some fresh thought and probablyadd a dash of authenticity.After several rounds of discussions, fel-low filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehrasuggested him to meet Viral Thakkar, thecreative head and partner of Riva VFX & Ani-mation. Thakkar was then the creative headof Pixion.“He had this doubts about the opening se-quence of the movie, where the central char-acter walks out of a spaceship, and he wanted DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 37

VFX / PKGreen screen shot of Muhharam scene Set compositing of a live event CG explosion of train Train blast powered by smoke machines and orange fog lights38 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

VFX / PK Digitally FitBefore and after shot of the climax scene HFO Camera Cable TUFCALinside the bogies. Warm orange lights were running towards Sauram Shukla was real life Have you ever seen this?beamed inside the compartment so that the gathering of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art This HFO Camera Cable is Incrediblyflames could look real. For exterior shots, of Living Foundation. The trick allowed us to heavy-duty and Unbelievably flexible.the fire was created using CG. “The original drop Aamir in a sea of people, and it lookedplan was to shoot fire against back plates, but pretty much real. Various SMPTE connector panels are also available.that wouldn’t look convincing, so we endedup simulating the fire using computer graph- Among other things, the Riva team also,” says Riva’s Thakkar, while adding that put together the protruding ears of Aamir.his team also simulated CG people running According to the team, Aamir made a passing DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 39across the platform because the master plate mention that he had one particular cartilagewhich was a wide shot, didn’t feature passen- which was rare to find in human beings. Thegers on the run. team replicated the exact size and the resolu- tion of the ear in high resolution, and created Thakkar further added that the sequence a fresh pair of alien ears completely in CG.was pre-visualised on a computer screen,which meant no extra time was consumed “We not only created the ear in CG, but alsoin setting up the shot. It also translated into rendered it a wiggly movement as requiredhuge savings for the producer, who in any in one sequence,” says Sudhir Trivedi, CGIother situation would have to cough up huge head at Riva. Overall, the visual effects havesums of money and time to explode a train successfully achieved what it was set out well as hire a crowd to shoot the breakout The director is happy that he could narrate aafter the blast. dream-like without over indulging in visual effects because all he wanted was people to There were also some amusing assort- watch a movie about religious dogmas andments of crowd compositing. Most of the superstitious using the courteous dispositionreligious sermons and gatherings were shot of an extraterrestrial being. If there are intel-on green screen with a few people and they ligent beings out there, they should know thatwere further composited into the master you don’t need huge tracts of wastelands andplates of real-life discourses. For instance, scrap yards to shoot a spaceship movie. A littlethe Manka sequence where Khan is shown bit of special effects can prune the distance.

“The lucky thing withthe premiere was thatthere were lots of filmpeople there, from majorHollywood producers tomajor people involved inthe chain.” Stuart Cameron40 february 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

production / ALL YOU NEED IS LOVEdare to hopeDirector Stuart Cameron on the making of his uplifting documentary about the GoodMorning School on the Thai-Myanmar border espite having met Hol- their homeland. Community leaders includ- ing for a new school building in Mae Sot. ing Paw Ray, chairman of the Burmese Stuart Cameron realised the potential ofD lywood giants James Migrant Education Committee, who set up Cameron and Sigour- the school for migrant Burmese children in a documentary about the school, not least ney Weaver during the the area, as well as teachers and volunteers, because it fitted with Portfolio Productions’ introduce the viewer to the community and aim of making positive films about impor- course of making his the hardships it faces, including a dire lack tant social issues and projects. of jobs and basic services such as running latest documentary All You water and healthcare. “As a business we had done pretty well and we were looking for a cause related proj-Need Is Love, Dubai-based director Stuart But the main focus of the film is the chil- ect to get involved in,” Cameron says. “Our dren and the redevelopment of their school first trip was to meet the local communityCameron is clearly not a man to boast. from an overcrowded, leaking shack to a based organisation that runs the schools modern building with a working farm. This and to visit the Good Morning School inIndeed, Cameron is far more at home project provides the narrative arc of the Mae Sot. film, giving a sense of progression.talking about the subject of his film, a “We visited the school and we were intro- Cameron was informed about the school duced to the kids. Their positivity, attitudeschool in Mae Sot, Thailand, for Burmese by his business manager, who introduced to education, general demeanour, the way him to Suzy Amis Cameron (the wife of they helped each other naturally, all of thischildren who are technically stateless. Hollywood director James Cameron). Amis was surprising to us. Many had parents Cameron is an advocate for passion-based with drug and alcohol problems. They’reThe film, which premiered in Los Angeles learning and the founder of a network of economically disadvantaged and have no schools under the MUSE School banner. papers, but the children were happy…thisin the latter part of 2014, was produced by She formed a partnership with the Good positive spirit inspired me. Morning School in 2007 to collaborate withPortfolio Films, a company set up by Cam- learning initiatives and help generate fund- “I thought if I can capture that positiv- ity and actually transfer it to an audience,eron and his collaborator of 15 years, Stuart they will feel better about themselves andHigton, in 2008.The documentary follows a group ofchildren and other members of the Burmesecommunity in Mae Sot as they redeveloptheir school. As the 78- minute footageunfolds, the viewer is introduced to head-strong characters who have been forcedto live on the fringes of Thai society afterescaping from the military junta that ruled DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 41

production / ALL YOU NEED IS LOVEmaybe we can help raise funds and aware- Key facts everything handheld, which is essentialness of the issue on the border through the because you can’t do set-ups. And becausedocumentary.” project: Documentary about Good of the image, as long as you’re not panning, Morning School on Thai/Myanmar the imagery you get is perfect HD quality,” Cameron decided to make a “good old border. Cameron adds.fashioned fly-on-the-wall BBC style docu- Production company: The Portfoliomentary”, so the team started the shoot Group, based in Dubai. The crew itself was also lean. Most of thewith a “slimmed down crew” including a Equipment used: Canon 5D Mark II shoot was done with four people: producerhighly experienced DoP, Kev Robertson, Ezrah Ortega, Cameron directing, and Rob-and sound specialist Brian Copenhagen. just all encompassing,” Cameron says. ertson and Copenhagen. When selecting a DoP and sound team, While an experienced, slimmed down Cameron described Robertson and Co-crew and agile technology is important Cameron called on two trusted profession- penhagen as being “like conjoined twins”when making documentaries such as All als he had worked with previously. “I had during the shoot – a trait that benefitted theYou Need Is Love, Cameron adds that the worked with a great doc cameraman and production. “In documentaries the soundchildren who were the subject of the film sound team on multiple projects and we guy becomes your eyes when you’re runningwere also ideal to work with. brought them over to do the first phase of backwards,” he says. shooting, to set the style, a method of shoot- “As a fly on the wall documentary you ing - a look,” Cameron says. Both had the ideal combination of expe-need crew that are experts and your equip- rience and stamina required by such a proj-ment has to be consistent with invisibility, The documentary was shot on a Canon ect. Cameron cited the ability to “focusbut luckily these kids were not nervous 5D, which was small enough to be unobtru- pull” as one example of the importance ofabout anything: you ask them to sing they’ll sive and agile. “It’s cost effective and small. experience. “When you’re camera operatorsing, ask them to climb, they’ll climb, dance With a very skilled cameraman you can do in the film business you need to be a focusthey’ll dance. They haven’t been condi- puller. When you’re handheld with a semitioned to think ‘is this cool?’ Their natural long lens, to be static – to focus pull your-instinct toward entertainment and fun are self – is difficult to do. Most cameramen with less than 15 years’ experience can’t“The challenge is that you’ve got this block of stone with do it properly. It’s about the technique and also to have the visual awareness on top of130 hours of footage. In there is a documentary. It is a case that,” Cameron says. “They can do all the things a 20 year old can do plus they haveof chiseling it away to 78 minutes of a story that makes all this experience, so we were very luckysense.” Stu Higton Executive producer Patrick Dunn, James Cameron, Suzy Amis Cameron, Meddy Ezrah Ortega, Stuart Cameron, Erin Terzieff and Stu Higton at the Charity Premiere. (Photo by Todd Williamson)42 february 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

production / ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE Children at the Good Morning School in Mae Sot, Thailandto have this team working together.” After a few false starts, the team found “She’s [sigourney weaver] Cameron adds that the entire film was an experienced documentary editor, John an absolute delight to Kerry, in the UK. After just a few minutes of work with. When you haveshot using only natural light. “We were hearing about the project, he “got it” accord- someone as highly skilledhandheld for the majority of the film, a ing to Cameron. as Sigourney, you let hersingle camera plus no artificial lights, which do her stuff and if she hasI am very proud of as a technical accom- “Kerry is BBC trained and has 40 years a question you answer it.”plishment.” of documentary filmmaking experience. He Stuart Cameron started off as a splice editor and was a film Given the cost of hiring crew as experi- school graduate before going into editing. James Cameron. A few phone calls later andenced as Robertson and Copenhagen, the I spent another three hours outlining the Weaver confirmed her involvement.production team decided to bring in an ad- project. He understood it, and it was aboutditional camera crew from the Philippines 22 weeks later that we had a cut that was Cameron explains that the team wantedto shoot non-sequential footage to help flesh ready,” Cameron says. “The relief of know- “a powerful woman” to do the narrationout the narrative. ing you weren’t insane and knowing the as the documentary itself hinges around story was there was palpable.” strong women, such Paw Ray, head of the In total, the two crews took about 15 Burmese Migrant Worker’s Educationmonths to complete shooting, finishing by The first cut was about 106 minutes, Committee and Erin Terzioff, the Musethe end of the 2012 academic year. Portfolio and this was brought down to 87 minutes programme director who works closely withProductions then moved on to a lengthy through further cuts, with the documentary Good Morning phase. As with many increasing its focus on the children and thedocumentary films, editing proved tough, development of the school. Kerry used Final “She was wonderful to work with,” Cam-partly owing to the sheer volume of footage. Cut Pro to edit the film. eron says of Weaver. “She came in, graceful,“It was originally planned as a 12 episode elegant and professional. She’s wonderful toseries. Through various circumstances we Colour and sound grading was carried out work with, an absolute delight to work with.turned it into a single feature rather than a in London by Halo. When you have someone as highly skilled asseries,” Higton says. Sigourney, you let her do her In the post production phase, other key stuff and if she has a question you just “The documentary challenge is that aspects of the final film also fell into place. answer it.”you’ve got this block of stone with 130 hours The connection with James Cameronof footage. In there is a documentary. It is a – perhaps unsurprisingly – proved verycase of chiselling it away to 78 minutes of a useful. Cameron’s first choice for a narratorstory arc that makes sense.” was actress Sigourney Weaver, a friend of DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 43

production / ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE The involvement of Sigourney Weaver - The film was shot by two crews, with DoP The projectwho narrated the film for free - and the fact Kev Robertson setting the style of shootthat James Cameron had close connec- Stuart Cameron was introduced to thetions to the film certainly helped it attract “When you’re a camera Good Morning School by a businessadditional attention during its premiere in operator in the film associate who also works for Suzy AmisHollywood last November. “The lucky thing business you need to be a Cameron, the wife of Avatar and Titanicwith the premier was that there were lots of focus puller. When you’re director, James people there including major Holly- handheld with a semi longwood producers and major people involved lens, to be static – to focus Amis Cameron co-founded a schoolin the chain,” Cameron says. pull yourself – is difficult to and educational initiative called Muse do. Most camera men with School CA with her sister, Rebecca in These important players included Cre- less than 15 years’ experience 2006, to encourage passion-based learn-ative Artist, which is the biggest agency in can’t do it properly.” ing and to teach students the importancethe world, and people such as John Landau, Stuart Cameron of respecting each other and the environ-producer of Titanic and Avatar. “The people ment. The initiative spread internation-that really mattered, perhaps 15 or 20 of ally through Global Muse, a network ofthem, were there and I got very positive schools that are modelled after the samefeedback from most of them.” principle. The Muse Global Outreach programme provides educational and In terms of distribution, Cameron is op- financial resources to Good Morningtimistic that the film will gain a wide audi- School in Mae Sot, Thailand.ence, although he concedes that the chancesof further theatrical releases is low “simply All You Need Is Love documents thebecause of the type of project it is”. collaboration between the Muse Global Outreach programme and Good Morn- “We will be on Netflix, but this will be on ing School. The film shows the communitypay-to-view. We’ll be looking at broadcast, work in Mae Sot collaborate to build abut we’ll also be looking at what we call new school complete with sustainableancillary. The best vehicle for exposing the farm and fishery. These projects givefilm is through education, high schools and the school an income and also offer theuniversities, and we are already speaking students a chance to learn about businesswith some experts on that.” and sustainability. Cameron also confirms that in the UK, But for Cameron, one of the most impor-Thailand and Dubai, Portfolio is planning tant merits of the film is its ability to maketo stage some charity premieres. During the viewer, particularly those in affluentthe premiere, Cameron also met a Chinese countries, see what really matters in life.friend of James Cameron, who expressedinterest in distributing the film in Chinese “There is inspiration in the powerfulschools. women who are changing the lives of these kids, changing them for the better. There is The Canon 5D also inspiration in seeing that the childrenMark II offered are happy even when they have so little - andmuch flexibility that is the reason for the title of the docu-during the shoot mentary – All You Need is Love. We hope to communicate that to a wider audience – that it is not all about materialistic things, it is about building relationships rather than building wealth. “It’s about connecting with people rather than things, and that’s what comes through in the film.”44 february 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

advertorial / GV STRATUSStratus QuoBroadcasters looking for flexible media agement is faced with a busy production Mr Andrew Thornton, VP of APAC Salesproduction tools are best served by a solu- schedule that drives reliance on produc-tion that is equally adept at serving large tion technology and systems that can be Newsrooms represent another ideal ap-and complex broadcast and production re- easily reconfigured. These systems must plication for the advantages provided byquirements as well as catering to the needs enable fast, collaborative workflows, with GV STRATRUS. A small newsroom, forof smaller scale production environments wide-ranging automation of routine tasks instance, can function on a system of serv-in a cost-efficient way. GV STRATUS, a so that users are able to more easily focus ers under GV STRATUS control. Addingnonlinear media production application on creative work. One of these typical stu- a Newsroom Computer System (NRCS)from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, offers dios may need to produce several pieces such as ENPS, iNews, Octopus or Annovaexceptional flexibility when scaling to the throughout the day, both live and as-live. OpenMedia will result in an end-to-endsize and complexity of a broad range of GV STRATUS, together with a couple of solution for news production that includesmedia production systems. standalone K2 Summit servers, can de- ingest, editing and playout, with live feed- liver a range of ingest capabilities, includ- back to the producers and reporters work- When deployed with the K2 series of ing multicam recordings. Within seconds ing on their scripts and servers and SAN storage systems, of the studio feed being recorded, all GVGV STRATUS can be configured to meet STRATUS users can access and view the It’s important to remember that thethe demands of very large broadcast and media, and start the editing process im- next generation of content producers andproduction facilities. In settings that do mediately. broadcasters needs to be trained on thenot require SAN storage, GV STRATUS use of the latest technology and becomecan be deployed in a variety of configura- Similarly, among today’s media con- fluent in digital production workflows. GVtions, offering economical, yet powerful tent producers are those companies that STRATUS is an ideal vehicle to provideand highly adaptable systems. focus solely on content production for low-cost, extremely efficient solutions to digital media distribution platforms. In universities and media schools, featuring In a small studio or produc- these applications, a small GV STRATUS industry-leading tools that help prepare tion facility, man- system can provide a high degree of flex- students for their careers in nonlinear me- dia production. Regardless of the size of GV Stratus screen shot ibility with extensive workflow your broadcast operation, GV STRATUS capabilities, so from Grass Valley offers a range of capa- that compelling bilities that provide enhanced automation content can be and efficiency. For smaller installations, produced and the solution can be scaled to provide the published more desired level of functionality while keep- easily. With ing costs down and providing a scalable a relatively platform for future growth. simple system made up of a GV STRATUS core server, a couple of standalone K2 Summits 3G servers and a few GV STRATUS clients for content management tasks, a diverse group of producers, editors and directors can collabora- tively and simultaneously work on the content. DIGITAL STUDIO | February 2015 45

WRAP UP / BES SHOW 2015SHOW Canon DP-V3010 4K display on showcaseBUSINESS IMAGE COURTESY: NAVEEN SHARMABroadcast and film solution providers fromacross the world flocked to the BES Showrecenty held last month in Delhi. Here’s apictorial wrap up of the event. Sony India showcases its latest camerasSennheiser presents the Esfera 5.1 surround microphone Scone Global exhibits its big broadcast winsMohan Kakde, Rohde & Schwarz India pvt. ltd. Chris Exelby, TSL Products46 FEBRUARY 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

Imagine Comm bags RGB Networks Comcon truly empowers radio and TVZPZrZaZsaZrZBZhZaZrZtiZtpoodpauylaotwionns five lakh hours of content A visitor testing GV’s LDX series of cameras Gaurav Sethi, Grass Valley The buzz at Huawei could not be missedMediaGuru bags a huge archiving deal from Prasar Bharati Netia’s Isabelle Sost strikes a huge deal with AIR DIGITAL STUDIO | FEBRUARY 2015 47 GAransds rVeawlleTyhornton & Somu Patil,

L-R: Manish Srivastava, Deepak Braganza, Lite Panels Sola 12 preps to be lit Ina Kamra, Sanjay Srivastava and Umender ShahTeam Gatesair Yutaka Sera & Raman Sharma, Canare L-R: Vikas Anand, Harmonic, CV Murali & Sukesh Narayanan, Primestream along with delegate Vinayak Deo from Cineom Broadcast attends to a delegate Visitors at the BES Expo 2015. Toshio Tsuzuku, Sony India pvt. ltd.48 FEBRUARY 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

L-R: Mario Querner, Srinivasa Rao and Kerstin Roost from Newtec Imagine Communications showcases transition to the IP future A demo on the benefits of Octopus Newsroom Team AJA Video SystemsSukesh Narayanan, Primestream L-R: Rajendra Shingte, Chani Shah, Srinivasa Rao Newtec, and John Jensen from IHSE USA.Vipin Pungalia, Sennheiser Electronics India pvt. ltd. Sushil Khanna, MediaGuru Consultants DIGITAL STUDIO | FEBRUARY 2015 49

ADVERTORIAL / ArgosyArgosyTell us about the latest trends in Chris Smeeton, sales director, Argosy important trading territories – like Indiacables and connector business. – whereas for some of our brands we areHow is Argosy poised to capitalise manufacturer ATEN, to offer their products limited in the geographies we can sell.on the emerging business? to the broadcast industry. That range in-Argosy is an international distributor of cludes a suite of KVM (keyboard, video and India has always been an important mar-broadcast infrastructure products, and mouse) extension and switching devices to ket for us, and we have many long-standingparticularly those that feature in equipment simplify control room layouts. ATEN also customers here, who rely on our products.rooms, including cables and connectors. makes intelligent switched power distribu- It is important for us to be able to bring aThat means we have had to develop new tion units for racks and installations. broad range of products, particularly inranges of products to support the changes emerging areas, to our the technical side of our industry, like the Tell us about the products youmove to IP connectivity. showcased at the BES Show. How did you fare at the BES Show? We had our own stand at BES, with our Trade shows are a great opportunity for While we continue to see high demand long-term agent Perlink India. We were us to meet multiple customers in a marketfor traditional co-axial cables and connec- showing the breadth of our offering, includ- in a single visit. The Argosy way of doingtors, there has been a shift towards struc- ing power distribution, patch panels, audio business is to get to know our custom-tured cable and fibre optic installations. jack-fields and terminations. ers and ensure that we supply what theyWe have reacted by making substantial really need, and spending time with theminvestments in our own fibre termination We were also showing some of the at events like BES is really important. Itequipment, allowing us to offer SMPTE SMPTE fibre camera cables assemblies I also gives us the chance to showcase newcamera cables and tactical fibre assemblies mentioned, terminated with Fischer and products launched since IBC. Many Indianas well as standard multi-core solutions. Lemo connectors. We also had the optical- systems integrators are now extending their CON connector system manufactured by reach into other territories, so BES is also a For structured cabling we have sourced Neutrik, which is great for linking two, four great opportunity to talk to them about hownew products and invested in additional or 12 fibres. we can support them by delivering direct toinventory to cope with this increase in their sites. We have offices and warehousesdemand. We have also developed a vast How do you see India as a growth in the Middle East and Asia, for example, soresource of knowledge in-house so we can market? we can reassure them we will have stock toprovide authoritative advice and support to At Argosy we strive to get the right products support them wherever they are working.our customers. for our customers, and we will commission our own products if there is nothing on the Any strategic developments that We also see a need to broaden our market that does what broadcasters need. you announce at the show?product range, while staying within our tra- So our own-brand Image co-axial cables, We have recently extended our very longditional infrastructure remit. That means and their matching connectors, have been and successful partnership with TE Con-continuing to support our range of passive really big sellers for us. nectivity to become their EMEA master dis-products, but adding active equipment tributor for their ADC broadcast products.which will build the networks broadcast- Having our own branded products gives These include video and audio connectors,ers need. That includes converting and us the freedom to supply into all of our patch panels, and fibre optic and cameraextending the signals carried over modern connectors. Over the last 15 years we believestructured and fibre cables. that Argosy has contributed significantly to TE’s ability to create a solid platform on We have recently signed, for example, a which to build continuing growth.distribution agreement with the Taiwanese More recently, as I mentioned, we have Neutrik OpticalCON advanced signed a distribution agreement with ATENtactical fibre assemblies for KVM and distribution products. Again that covers EMEA. These agreements sup- port the position that Argosy has created by making investments in India, as well as more broadcast across Asia and the Middle East, and in UK and Europe.50 February 2015 | DIGITAL STUDIO

Like this book? You can publish your book online for free in a few minutes!
Create your own flipbook