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Your Invited to the SkyTech 2013 Holiday Event At Video Symphony – Sponsored by Adobe

SkyTech Media Holiday Party
ABOUT US:
SkyTech Media Solutions is a Value Added Reseller and Systems Integrator of Professional Audio / Video Hardware & Software. Whether you’re looking for independent solutions, or complete workflow configurations. SkyTech will optimize your workflow to manage projects and media more efficiently by providing you with the right tools and knowledge to get the job done. And perhaps more importantly, we will support it!

ABOUT THE EVENT:
Enjoy the holiday spirit, treats, and beverages with Future Editors / Engineers, Faculty, Local Media & Entertainment Companies, and the Reseller / Systems Integrator that Supports them all!

  • When: December 3rd, 2013 from 6:30 to 9:30pm
  • Where: Video Symphony 266 E Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502

See Adobe’s Keynote Speaker Sebastian Distefano talk about the Past, Present, & Future of Creative Cloud & Adobe’s Van Bedient Demo the latest features, tips & tricks, and workflow of Creative Cloud 7pm – 8pm and 8pm – 9pm

Register and get a chance to win one of three Holidays Gifts, a 1yr Subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – Drawings at 7pm, 8pm, & 9pm

SkyTech Media Holiday Party
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Your Invited to the SkyTech 2013 Holiday Event At Video Symphony – Sponsored by Adobe

SkyTech Media Holiday Party
ABOUT US:
SkyTech Media Solutions is a Value Added Reseller and Systems Integrator of Professional Audio / Video Hardware & Software. Whether you’re looking for independent solutions, or complete workflow configurations. SkyTech will optimize your workflow to manage projects and media more efficiently by providing you with the right tools and knowledge to get the job done. And perhaps more importantly, we will support it!

ABOUT THE EVENT:
Enjoy the holiday spirit, treats, and beverages with Future Editors / Engineers, Faculty, Local Media & Entertainment Companies, and the Reseller / Systems Integrator that Supports them all!

  • When: December 3rd, 2013 from 6:30 to 9:30pm
  • Where: Video Symphony 266 E Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502

See Adobe’s Keynote Speaker Sebastian Distefano talk about the Past, Present, & Future of Creative Cloud & Adobe’s Van Bedient Demo the latest features, tips & tricks, and workflow of Creative Cloud 7pm – 8pm and 8pm – 9pm

Register and get a chance to win one of three Holidays Gifts, a 1yr Subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – Drawings at 7pm, 8pm, & 9pm

SkyTech Media Holiday Party

Your Invited to the SkyTech 2013 Holiday Event At Video Symphony – Sponsored by Adobe

SkyTech Media Holiday Party
ABOUT US:
SkyTech Media Solutions is a Value Added Reseller and Systems Integrator of Professional Audio / Video Hardware & Software. Whether you’re looking for independent solutions, or complete workflow configurations. SkyTech will optimize your workflow to manage projects and media more efficiently by providing you with the right tools and knowledge to get the job done. And perhaps more importantly, we will support it!

ABOUT THE EVENT:
Enjoy the holiday spirit, treats, and beverages with Future Editors / Engineers, Faculty, Local Media & Entertainment Companies, and the Reseller / Systems Integrator that Supports them all!

  • When: December 3rd, 2013 from 6:30 to 9:30pm
  • Where: Video Symphony 266 E Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502

See Adobe’s Keynote Speaker Sebastian Distefano talk about the Past, Present, & Future of Creative Cloud & Adobe’s Van Bedient Demo the latest features, tips & tricks, and workflow of Creative Cloud 7pm – 8pm and 8pm – 9pm

Register and get a chance to win one of three Holidays Gifts, a 1yr Subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – Drawings at 7pm, 8pm, & 9pm

SkyTech Media Holiday Party

Chance to Win Adobe Creative Cloud 7.1 Subscription FREE

Adobe Creative Cloud Webinar
ABOUT US:
SkyTech Media Solutions is a Value Added Reseller and Systems Integrator of Professional Audio / Video Hardware & Software. Whether you’re looking for independent solutions, or complete workflow configurations. SkyTech will optimize your workflow to manage projects and media more efficiently by providing you with the right tools and knowledge to get the job done. And perhaps more importantly, we will support it!

ABOUT THE WEBINAR:
Currently an Avid, Final Cut, or Adobe Creative Suite user and looking for more information about Adobe’s Creative Cloud? Ask Adobe… Be the first to see the new 7.1 release and let Product Evangelist Colin Smith take you thru a closer look at all the tools you love, totally re-imagined. Register for a chance to win a free 90 day subscription courtesy of SkyTech Media Solutions, your Adobe Certified Pro Video Reseller and Systems Integrator.

SKYTECH & ADOBE PROMOTIONS:

  • Creative Cloud for teams $39.99 Promotion Is Back! Last Chance ends November 29th…learn more.
  • Purchase any Start Editing Now Turnkey Edit Solution, and receive a FREE 90
    day subscription to Adobe CCT
    (Offer Valid on Turnkey Configured Solutions Valued at $5,000 or more)
  • Purchase any Professional Turnkey Edit Solution and receive a FREE 1YR
    Subscription to Adobe CCT”
    (Offer Valid on Turnkey Configured Solutions Valued at $10,000 or more)
TURNKEY VIDEO EDITING SOLUTIONS
Mac Video Editing
MAC VIDEO EDITING

Configured for your workflow.

LEARN MORE
Windows Video Editing
WINDOWS VIDEO EDITING

Configured for your workflow.

LEARN MORE
See your special offers.
Ensure delivery by adding info@skytech.tv to your Address Book.
Consultation  |  Integration  |  Support  |  Contact Us
This e-mail is not and cannot, by its nature, be confidential. If you have received this message

by mistake, it would be ridiculous for us to tell you not to read it or forward to anyone else.

Copyright ®2013 SkyTech Media Solutions

Watch Colin Smith Present Adobe Creative Cloud’s 7.1 Release!

Adobe Creative Cloud Webinar
ABOUT US:
SkyTech Media Solutions is a Value Added Reseller and Systems Integrator of Professional Audio / Video Hardware & Software. Whether you’re looking for independent solutions, or complete workflow configurations. SkyTech will optimize your workflow to manage projects and media more efficiently by providing you with the right tools and knowledge to get the job done. And perhaps more importantly, we will support it!

ABOUT THE WEBINAR:
Currently an Avid, Final Cut, or Adobe Creative Suite user and looking for more information about Adobe’s Creative Cloud? Ask Adobe… Be the first to see the new 7.1 release and let Product Evangelist Colin Smith take you thru a closer look at all the tools you love, totally re-imagined. Register for a chance to win a free 90 day subscription courtesy of SkyTech Media Solutions, your Adobe Certified Pro Video Reseller and Systems Integrator.

SKYTECH & ADOBE PROMOTIONS:

  • Creative Cloud for teams $39.99 Promotion Is Back! Last Chance ends November 29th…learn more.
  • Purchase any Start Editing Now Turnkey Edit Solution, and receive a FREE 90
    day subscription to Adobe CCT
    (Offer Valid on Turnkey Configured Solutions Valued at $5,000 or more)
  • Purchase any Professional Turnkey Edit Solution and receive a FREE 1YR
    Subscription to Adobe CCT”
    (Offer Valid on Turnkey Configured Solutions Valued at $10,000 or more)
TURNKEY VIDEO EDITING SOLUTIONS
Mac Video Editing
MAC VIDEO EDITING

Configured for your workflow.

LEARN MORE
Windows Video Editing
WINDOWS VIDEO EDITING

Configured for your workflow.

LEARN MORE
See your special offers.
Ensure delivery by adding info@skytech.tv to your Address Book.
Consultation  |  Integration  |  Support  |  Contact Us
This e-mail is not and cannot, by its nature, be confidential. If you have received this message

by mistake, it would be ridiculous for us to tell you not to read it or forward to anyone else.

Copyright ®2013 SkyTech Media Solutions

Webinar- Be the First to see the Adobe Creative Cloud 7.1 Release

Adobe Creative Cloud Webinar
ABOUT US:
SkyTech Media Solutions is a Value Added Reseller and Systems Integrator of Professional Audio / Video Hardware & Software. Whether you’re looking for independent solutions, or complete workflow configurations. SkyTech will optimize your workflow to manage projects and media more efficiently by providing you with the right tools and knowledge to get the job done. And perhaps more importantly, we will support it!

ABOUT THE WEBINAR:
Currently an Avid, Final Cut, or Adobe Creative Suite user and looking for more information about Adobe’s Creative Cloud? Ask Adobe… Be the first to see the new 7.1 release and let Product Evangelist Colin Smith take you thru a closer look at all the tools you love, totally re-imagined. Register for a chance to win a free 90 day subscription courtesy of SkyTech Media Solutions, your Adobe Certified Pro Video Reseller and Systems Integrator.

SKYTECH & ADOBE PROMOTIONS:

  • Creative Cloud for teams $39.99 Promotion Is Back! Last Chance ends November 29th…learn more.
  • Purchase any Start Editing Now Turnkey Edit Solution, and receive a FREE 90
    day subscription to Adobe CCT
    (Offer Valid on Turnkey Configured Solutions Valued at $5,000 or more)
  • Purchase any Professional Turnkey Edit Solution and receive a FREE 1YR
    Subscription to Adobe CCT”
    (Offer Valid on Turnkey Configured Solutions Valued at $10,000 or more)
TURNKEY VIDEO EDITING SOLUTIONS
Mac Video Editing
MAC VIDEO EDITING

Configured for your workflow.

LEARN MORE
Windows Video Editing
WINDOWS VIDEO EDITING

Configured for your workflow.

LEARN MORE
See your special offers.
Ensure delivery by adding info@skytech.tv to your Address Book.
Consultation  |  Integration  |  Support  |  Contact Us
This e-mail is not and cannot, by its nature, be confidential. If you have received this message

by mistake, it would be ridiculous for us to tell you not to read it or forward to anyone else.

Copyright ®2013 SkyTech Media Solutions

What tax credits are available for productions in your state?

State Film Commissions Guide: California

 

What are some of the greatest financial perks of filming in your state? In addition to our tax credit program, we offer 315 days of sunshine, the most diverse locations, the most skilled crews, the best and largest selection of local on-screen talent, access to the finest equipment and the world’s best production infrastructure. Shooting in California affords any production the resources and tools needed to save both time and money.

What tax credits are available for productions in your state? California’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program provides $100 million in tax credits annually. A minimum of $10 million of the annual funding is available for independent films. The following is a brief description of the program parameters.

Qualified taxpayers are allowed a credit against income and/or sales and use taxes, based on qualified expenditures. Credits applied to income tax liability are not refundable. Only tax credits issued to an “independent film” may be transferred or sold to an unrelated party. Other qualified taxpayers may carryover tax credits for 5 years and transfer tax credits to an affiliate.

To apply for the California Film and Television Incentive Program, a “qualified motion picture” must be one of the following:

Eligible for a 20% Tax Credit:

       – Feature Films ($1 million minimum – $75 million maximum production budget)

       – Movies-of-the-Week or Miniseries ($500,000 minimum production budget)

– New television series licensed for original distribution on basic cable ($1 million minimum budget; one-half hour shows and other exclusions apply)

Eligible for 25% Tax Credit:

       – A television series, without regard to episode length, that filmed all of its prior seasons outside of California.

       – An “independent film” ($1 million total production budget – $10 million qualified expenditure budget that is produced by a company that is not publicly traded and that publicly traded companies do not own more than 25% of the producing company.)

A “qualified motion picture” must also meet the following conditions:

       – 75% test (production days or total production budget) in California

– Application must be submitted at least 30 days prior to commencement of principal photography

– Once an application is approved, principal photography must begin within 180 days

In addition, San Francisco offers qualified productions a refund of all payroll tax and city fees up to $600,000 per production. And the San Francisco Vendor Discount Program provides an opportunity for production companies and their crew members to receive discounts while shopping locally at participating businesses. Santa Clarita offers refunds of basic film permit fees and portions of hotel occupancy taxes to qualifying productions (subsidies capped at $50,000 per fiscal year). They also provide savings to productions assigned LA County Sheriff Deputies for traffic control and safety during filming within City limits.

What are some of the locations in your state that filmmakers should know about? California offers the world in one place: 800 miles of dramatic coastline, the Golden Gate Bridge, urban city centers, farmland, mountains, deserts, redwood forests, rolling hills, waterfalls, ski resorts, vineyards, Victorian villages, gold mines and historic downtown centers. Our locations have doubled for the Himalayas, Iraqi villages, quaint Pennsylvania towns, New York City and the terrain of other planets.

Are there studios and soundstages that the state hosts that filmmakers should know about? California offers over 500 stage facilities throughout the state.  A list can be found here. Abundant stage facilities can be found in Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Orange County, the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego.

What can you tell us about talented labor in your state?  Do you have robust union representation? California is home to the most talented cast and crew base in the world, both union and non-union. And our crew base is 100 deep.

Are there deals that you have with equipment, craft service or other suppliers to make these services more affordable? Having so many vendors to choose from, productions can negotiate great deals for everything they need.

What are some of the recent productions that produced films in your state? “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Argo,” “The Bling Ring,” “After Earth,” “The Artist,” “Horrible Bosses,” “Savages,” “Behind The Candelabra,” “NCIS” and “NCIS Los Angeles,” “Dexter,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Castle,” “Justified,” “Rizzoli and Isles,” and many more.

What cities have their own film commissions in your state? Access to California’s statewide network of more than 60 Regional Film Offices can be found here.

How many productions shot in your state last year? California hosts nearly 200 feature films each year and countless TV series, commercials and documentaries.

What should filmmakers do if they’re interested in shooting a film in your state?  Who should they contact if they have more questions? Go to: www.film.ca.gov for information on filming in California.

Interested in the incentives offered by other state film commissions? Check out Indiewire’s full guide to state film commissions HERE.

 

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Can the vfx industry make hollywood give up tax subsidies?

By Bryant Frazer   /   Jul 12, 2013

Can the VFX industry force Hollywood studios to give up foreign tax subsidies?

That’s the question posed by VFX Soldier, an anonymous blogger and VFX pro who commissioned a Washington, D.C., law firm to investigate the issue using crowdsourced funds. The resulting feasability study is available online as a Google doc.

VFX Soldier has long maintained that tax subsidies promote a “race to the bottom” in the industry. As tax incentives pop up in different regions around the world, studios move production and post to leverage the most attractive financial advantages on offer, which reduces stability and job security for VFX professionals. VFX Soldier has also argued that tax subsidies violate international trade agreements through the WTO and NAFTA, and four lawyers at Picard Kentz & Rowe (PK&R) determined that the best way forward for VFX workers would be invoking so-called countervailing duty laws in the U.S. that are meant to balance the effects of subsidies abroad.

What are countervailing duties, or CVDs? If the U.S. Department of Commerce determines that imported goods are being subsidized in their country of origin, causing injury to a competing industry in the U.S., U.S. Customs can levy duties on those goods to offset the subsidies they received. PK&R, VFX Soldier noted in his post yesterday, “specializes in CVD issues” in industries such as lumber and shrimping.

“A U.S. producer for a film who chooses Vancouver as the location to execute VFX work for a significant rebate could find itself at risk of having to pay the whole rebate back to the U.S. government a year later after an annual review by Commerce,” VFX Soldier wrote, summarizing the effects of a CVD order. “That alone could be a powerful deterrent for locating VFX production somewhere based simply off of a rebate.”

In order to apply the laws in the U.S., a petition must be filed indicating support from at least 25 percent of the U.S. industry, and 50 percent of all those in the industry who express an opinion. What’s more, the industry would also need to demonstrate injury due to the foreign subsidies. In order to facilitate that, the law firm’s feasability study recommends the establishment of a “formal organization,” such as a trade association, to make strategic decisions and collect confidential business information for presentation to government agencies.

Given the still-fragmented state of the VFX industry in the U.S. and a potential lack of consensus on strategy and tactics, that could be the toughest part of the plan. The Visual Effects Society, for instance, has been strategizing on its own, lobbying for increases to tax subsidies in California — and thus alienating U.S. VFX artists who work in other states. Calls for a national VFX trade association haven’t yet come together in a meaningful way, though perhaps VFX Soldier’s ongoing campaign will provide a strong enough incentive for workers and/or compaines to organize.

The lawyers did note that the Film and Television Action Committee has been attacking foreign tax subsidies for years, with a failed attempt to curb Canadian subsidies through the U.S. Trade Representative in 2007 and a CVD petition in 2001 that was withdrawn when the FTAC’s coalition was unable to demonstrate enough industry support. To avoid the 2001 error, the firm recommends basing support on the production level of filmmaking companies, rather than counting support from individual workers in the industry. And it acknowledged that such data can be difficult to obtain.

The document from PK&R acknowledges that, even if a CVD order was obtained, it might be difficult to enforce, since post-production services on a film are not a physical “good” that has to cross a country’s border. But the lawyers said that any success in this area on the part of the VFX industry would make it much easier to negotiate restrictions on subsidies with individual countries. “If a CVD petition was even marginally successful, that development would change the way that subsidy recipients approach the issue,” the lawyers wrote. “For example, groups that today would be completely opposed to any limitations on subsidies might become amenable to discussing an international agreement that would impose meaningful limits on subsidies in this sector, in return for lifting CVDs.”
– See more at: http://www.studiodaily.com/2013/07/can-the-vfx-industry-make-hollywood-give-up-tax-subsidies/?sthash.Bw8W2kHx.mjjo#sthash.Bw8W2kHx.9J9qcWZh.dpuf

Can the VFX industry force Hollywood studios to give up foreign tax subsidies?
That’s the question posed by VFX Soldier, an anonymous blogger and VFX pro who commissioned a Washington, D.C., law firm to investigate the issue using crowdsourced funds. The resulting feasability study is available online as a Google doc.
VFX Soldier has long maintained that tax subsidies promote a “race to the bottom” in the industry. As tax incentives pop up in different regions around the world, studios move production and post to leverage the most attractive financial advantages on offer, which reduces stability and job security for VFX professionals. VFX Soldier has also argued that tax subsidies violate international trade agreements through the WTO and NAFTA, and four lawyers at Picard Kentz & Rowe (PK&R) determined that the best way forward for VFX workers would be invoking so-called countervailing duty laws in the U.S. that are meant to balance the effects of subsidies abroad.
What are countervailing duties, or CVDs? If the U.S. Department of Commerce determines that imported goods are being subsidized in their country of origin, causing injury to a competing industry in the U.S., U.S. Customs can levy duties on those goods to offset the subsidies they received. PK&R, VFX Soldier noted in his post yesterday, “specializes in CVD issues” in industries such as lumber and shrimping.
“A U.S. producer for a film who chooses Vancouver as the location to execute VFX work for a significant rebate could find itself at risk of having to pay the whole rebate back to the U.S. government a year later after an annual review by Commerce,” VFX Soldier wrote, summarizing the effects of a CVD order. “That alone could be a powerful deterrent for locating VFX production somewhere based simply off of a rebate.”
In order to apply the laws in the U.S., a petition must be filed indicating support from at least 25 percent of the U.S. industry, and 50 percent of all those in the industry who express an opinion. What’s more, the industry would also need to demonstrate injury due to the foreign subsidies. In order to facilitate that, the law firm’s feasability study recommends the establishment of a “formal organization,” such as a trade association, to make strategic decisions and collect confidential business information for presentation to government agencies.
Given the still-fragmented state of the VFX industry in the U.S. and a potential lack of consensus on strategy and tactics, that could be the toughest part of the plan. The Visual Effects Society, for instance, has been strategizing on its own, lobbying for increases to tax subsidies in California — and thus alienating U.S. VFX artists who work in other states. Calls for a national VFX trade association haven’t yet come together in a meaningful way, though perhaps VFX Soldier’s ongoing campaign will provide a strong enough incentive for workers and/or compaines to organize.
The lawyers did note that the Film and Television Action Committee has been attacking foreign tax subsidies for years, with a failed attempt to curb Canadian subsidies through the U.S. Trade Representative in 2007 and a CVD petition in 2001 that was withdrawn when the FTAC’s coalition was unable to demonstrate enough industry support. To avoid the 2001 error, the firm recommends basing support on the production level of filmmaking companies, rather than counting support from individual workers in the industry. And it acknowledged that such data can be difficult to obtain.
The document from PK&R acknowledges that, even if a CVD order was obtained, it might be difficult to enforce, since post-production services on a film are not a physical “good” that has to cross a country’s border. But the lawyers said that any success in this area on the part of the VFX industry would make it much easier to negotiate restrictions on subsidies with individual countries. “If a CVD petition was even marginally successful, that development would change the way that subsidy recipients approach the issue,” the lawyers wrote. “For example, groups that today would be completely opposed to any limitations on subsidies might become amenable to discussing an international agreement that would impose meaningful limits on subsidies in this sector, in return for lifting CVDs.”

– See more at: http://www.studiodaily.com/2013/07/can-the-vfx-industry-make-hollywood-give-up-tax-subsidies/?sthash.Bw8W2kHx.mjjo#sthash.Bw8W2kHx.9J9qcWZh.dpuf

 

Can the VFX industry force Hollywood studios to give up foreign tax subsidies?
That’s the question posed by VFX Soldier, an anonymous blogger and VFX pro who commissioned a Washington, D.C., law firm to investigate the issue using crowdsourced funds. The resulting feasability study is available online as a Google doc.
VFX Soldier has long maintained that tax subsidies promote a “race to the bottom” in the industry. As tax incentives pop up in different regions around the world, studios move production and post to leverage the most attractive financial advantages on offer, which reduces stability and job security for VFX professionals. VFX Soldier has also argued that tax subsidies violate international trade agreements through the WTO and NAFTA, and four lawyers at Picard Kentz & Rowe (PK&R) determined that the best way forward for VFX workers would be invoking so-called countervailing duty laws in the U.S. that are meant to balance the effects of subsidies abroad.
What are countervailing duties, or CVDs? If the U.S. Department of Commerce determines that imported goods are being subsidized in their country of origin, causing injury to a competing industry in the U.S., U.S. Customs can levy duties on those goods to offset the subsidies they received. PK&R, VFX Soldier noted in his post yesterday, “specializes in CVD issues” in industries such as lumber and shrimping.
“A U.S. producer for a film who chooses Vancouver as the location to execute VFX work for a significant rebate could find itself at risk of having to pay the whole rebate back to the U.S. government a year later after an annual review by Commerce,” VFX Soldier wrote, summarizing the effects of a CVD order. “That alone could be a powerful deterrent for locating VFX production somewhere based simply off of a rebate.”
In order to apply the laws in the U.S., a petition must be filed indicating support from at least 25 percent of the U.S. industry, and 50 percent of all those in the industry who express an opinion. What’s more, the industry would also need to demonstrate injury due to the foreign subsidies. In order to facilitate that, the law firm’s feasability study recommends the establishment of a “formal organization,” such as a trade association, to make strategic decisions and collect confidential business information for presentation to government agencies.
Given the still-fragmented state of the VFX industry in the U.S. and a potential lack of consensus on strategy and tactics, that could be the toughest part of the plan. The Visual Effects Society, for instance, has been strategizing on its own, lobbying for increases to tax subsidies in California — and thus alienating U.S. VFX artists who work in other states. Calls for a national VFX trade association haven’t yet come together in a meaningful way, though perhaps VFX Soldier’s ongoing campaign will provide a strong enough incentive for workers and/or compaines to organize.
The lawyers did note that the Film and Television Action Committee has been attacking foreign tax subsidies for years, with a failed attempt to curb Canadian subsidies through the U.S. Trade Representative in 2007 and a CVD petition in 2001 that was withdrawn when the FTAC’s coalition was unable to demonstrate enough industry support. To avoid the 2001 error, the firm recommends basing support on the production level of filmmaking companies, rather than counting support from individual workers in the industry. And it acknowledged that such data can be difficult to obtain.
The document from PK&R acknowledges that, even if a CVD order was obtained, it might be difficult to enforce, since post-production services on a film are not a physical “good” that has to cross a country’s border. But the lawyers said that any success in this area on the part of the VFX industry would make it much easier to negotiate restrictions on subsidies with individual countries. “If a CVD petition was even marginally successful, that development would change the way that subsidy recipients approach the issue,” the lawyers wrote. “For example, groups that today would be completely opposed to any limitations on subsidies might become amenable to discussing an international agreement that would impose meaningful limits on subsidies in this sector, in return for lifting CVDs.”

– See more at: http://www.studiodaily.com/2013/07/can-the-vfx-industry-make-hollywood-give-up-tax-subsidies/?sthash.Bw8W2kHx.mjjo#sthash.Bw8W2kHx.9J9qcWZh.dpuf

4K: Ready or Not

By TOM BUTTS, TVTECHNOLOGY on July 11, 2013 10:42 am

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With much less fanfare than when HDTV was introduced in the market 15 years ago, the first UHDTVs started appearing in major consumer electronics retail showrooms this spring. Looking for a modest 55-inch set to replace your current one? You can drop a cool $5,000 on the Sony XBR55X900, which it announced at the NAB Show. For even less than that, you can purchase a Seiki Digital 50-inch screen for $1,400. A digital cinema enthusiast can splurge for a $17,000 LG 84-inch UHDTV.

Apart from a lighter wallet and neighborhood tech bragging rights, what are you really getting for all that? If you’re expecting what the marketers tell you, you’re getting state-of-the- art display technology but you’re also in for some frustration if expectations don’t meet reality.

What is the reality of UHDTV/4KTV today? A lot like it was in the early days of HDTV; that is, beautiful displays that looked nice on the wall but very little to no content. But unlike 15 years ago, expectations weren’t as high as they are today either. Back then, showing an analog picture side-by-side with HD was an eye opening experience for many consumers who were just beginning to enjoy digital quality imaging via DVDs (one could argue that it was DVDs that influenced consumers’ attitude about picture resolution more than HDTV). Today, with a TV life cycle replacement of 6-8 years, many viewers are just beginning to replace their first HDTV sets and many of them became disillusioned with the rapid rise and fall of 3DTV and are understandably skeptical about the next generation of TV technology.

A few of the major consumer electronics companies are aware of this and are trying to dampen enthusiasm. Several months ago, a Samsung executive told a gathering in Europe that when it comes to content, the current crop of UHDTVs are not market-ready. “No UHD TV today will be compatible with UHD standards to come,” said Michael Zoeller, Samsung’s senior director of sales and marketing for the company’s Europe market, according to TV Technology sister publication TWICE. Zoeller added that although Samsung’s line of UHDTVs offers an “Evolution kit” that keeps its S9 85-inch UHD backlit TV updated, even that will not last beyond four or five years.

With major manufacturers bleeding red ink over declining profits from TV set sales, the early decisions will go to those who also own the content. Sony, for example, is offering three 4K mastered 4K Blu-ray discs with the purchase of a new Sony 4K Ultra HDTV. For others though, the road to 4K content will be a long hard slog.

Some primetime television programming is being shot in 4K and that’s only expected to increase as production costs decline. Such future-proofing includes the ability to distribute that content to consumers, but simply put, the lack of infrastructure and evolving standards are standing in the way.

There are intermediate solutions, however. Upconverting 1080P content sounds promising except when you consider that very little of it is being broadcast to consumers already due to bandwidth constraints. Sharp’s new Ultra HD set offers advanced upscaling technology but early reviews have been mixed. Broadcasters are still years away from sending 4K pictures over the air, although the pressure of spectrum auctions and market demand could put pending standards such as ATSC 3.0 on the “fast track.” Ericsson recently demonstrated the first successful end-to-end transmission of true 4K UHD via satellite to Turner Broadcasting’s facilities in Atlanta. Netflix’s anticipated launch of 4K programming will present an interesting look at how such files are handled in an increasingly crowded broadband environment. And new standards such as 6G-SDI and HEVC and the increasing use of fiber in the facility make the future 4K facility inevitable.

As recently as a year ago, there was a high degree of skepticism in the broadcast engineering community about the future validity of 4K for the consumer market. That has subsided somewhat with the introduction of 4K-ready production gear introduced at this year’s NAB Show and the even more rapid market introduction of UHDTV. But as we report in this issue’s cover story on the format, putting all the pieces together for a true end-to-end 4K production/distribution workflow will take a bit longer. If content is the lifeblood of the media facility today, we’re going to need larger, more efficient arteries.
– See more at: http://www.c2meworld.com/creation/4k-ready-or-not/#sthash.mz2CJR1L.dpuf

Kappa Studios switches to Adobe workflow to create Cartoon Network’s Annoying Orange series

By Meagan Keane | July 12, 2013

In November 2011, Cartoon Network announced it was bringing the web series, Annoying Orange, to its programming lineup. The show, which debuted a year ago, is a television adaptation of the amazingly popular web series. Produced by 14th Hour Productions, Annoying Orange is a very offbeat, quirky animated comedy series. Kappa Studios, located in Burbank CA, switched from Avid to an Adobe workflow, including Adobe Premiere Pro, to tackle all the visual effects, compositing, off-line, initial on-line pre builds, and audio for this show. Kappa President Paul Long sat down with us to talk about working on this technically complicated, multi-dimensional, and fast-paced show.

Adobe: Can you tell us a little more about the TV series?
Long: Annoying Orange stars a playful yet mouthy orange that pesters an apple and other fruit characters with puns and jokes. Its offbeat humor and style has drawn more than one billion hits on YouTube at last count. Dane Boedigheimer, creator of the web series, co-created the television series with Tom Sheppard (Emmy Award-winning writer for Pinky and the Brain). Conrad Vernon (director of Madagascar 3 and Monsters vs. Aliens) serves as executive producer for the series along with Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein. Boedigheimer is the voice of Orange as well as several other characters. Joining him are seasoned talents Felicia Day (Clash of the Titans), Harland Williams (Dumb and Dumber), Phil LaMarr (Family Guy), and cameo appearances by William Shatner, James Caan, and others. Leading the Kappa digital compositing team is Patrick Murphy (Harry Potter, Clash of the Titans, Avatar, Superman Returns).

Adobe: Why was Kappa chosen to cover all the diverse roles on the project?
Long: The producers chose Kappa because we could give them more value and control by being a full-service, post-production facility featuring complete picture and sound packages, VFX, Dolby-certified dubbing stage, digital file management, close-caption transcription, RED camera department, and a CGI graphics department. In addition to being able to deliver a high-quality finished product, doing everything under one roof helps us create the show inexpensively. We’re even doing all of the foreign language translations.

Adobe: Can you describe your workflow for our readers?
Long: We start with a combination of live-action RED camera footage, graphics, and animation. The scenes are edited, composited, and color-corrected at Kappa. We also handle voice talent recording and mixing.

The post pipeline for this unique show started getting complex almost right away. The number of assets mounted quickly, because there are several fruit characters besides Orange, and they appear in offices, fields, spaceships—you name it. What’s also unique is that the actors don’t just perform their lines to match up with the animation like in other animated series. Instead, we have a “mouthcam” that shoots the actors’ performances—capturing their poses, the way they move their mouths, and their facial expressions, in addition to their voice performance. The mouths are cut out and added to part of the extensive base of assets. Then the offline editors have to create a rough animatic of all the layouts, voice and actor performances, camera blocking, motion effects, and so on to see how things are coming together.

Adobe: What led you to weave Adobe video production software into the process?
Long: Pretty much everyone in the industry knows that we offer an end to end solution for post and edit on all platforms, but we’re known as a big Avid DS/Avid shop, so our widespread incorporation of Adobe software may come as a surprise to some. At first, our plan was to use a combination of Avid for editing and eyeon Fusion for compositing. Then, we realized we had to start delivering shows right away, and the post workflow is so complex that each episode takes us about 31 days, and we’re talking long days, plus weekends. We needed an easier, more interoperable way to manage tons of assets and help the whole team make creative decisions earlier in the production process and Adobe provides a comprehensive video toolset and end-to-end workflow to help us accomplish these goals.

Adobe: Which Adobe solutions are you using on the show?
Long: We’re using almost the entire Adobe video workflow. Adobe Bridge is where we keep all our assets—fruits, backgrounds, chunks of dialog, cuts from the mouthcam—it handles them all and lets us keep track of them and find them easily. We also use the tagging and scheduling capabilities in Adobe Story Plus to help organize our VFX workflow. We’re using Adobe After Effects and Photoshop for retouching, VFX, and animation. Then, the beauty is that we can create the offline creative edit in Adobe Premiere Pro by building a layered animation that shows the timing and template. The Premiere Pro timeline is actually pretty amazing, because we can pull all the things we need together to assemble the final clips and render them out—just by throwing them on the timeline. Everything is rendered in Premiere Pro on the spot in real time and ready for team review so we can make quick, last minute changes. Once the extended crew is happy with the offline in Premiere Pro, we do the final renders in After Effects, and then do the final conform and color correction on the Avid DS.

Adobe: What are the advantages of working with Premiere Pro over Avid?
Long: Looking back, realistically, I don’t see how we could have done it the way we were first considering with Avid. There were so many assets, no time to transcode, and the need to quickly integrate with other programs. Premiere Pro gives us the ability to work natively and integrate seamlessly with other tools in the suite. If we had tried to do this with Avid there would have been 19 other steps. We recognized that you have to have the right tool for the job, and in this case Premiere Pro was just the right answer.

Adobe: What about overall performance?
Long: At one point, we ran 17,000 frames at a time when we were monitoring and doing the tape layoff to HD SDI for final editing. Due to our AJA Kona cards and Mercury Transmit in Premiere Pro, we didn’t drop a frame. And everything worked quickly (and we’re talking about handling north of 100 layers in Photoshop, for example). We used powerful NVIDIA Quadro cards across our workflow and even used the Tesla Compute GPU to create a superior post-production editing environment. NVIDIA GPUs made a significant difference for us in terms of speeding performance across all of the Adobe video-production tools so we could get more done in less time. It’s an incredibly fluid workflow that makes a very time- and quality-sensitive project possible.

Adobe: It sounds like you adopted Adobe video tools at a time when you were in a bit of a crunch—what was that like?
Long: We were in a pretty pressurized situation, with the need to get a lot of episodes done quickly. First, we were able to utilize the keyboard shortcuts feature in Premiere Pro to automatically set editors’ keyboards to Final Cut or Avid mapping, whichever program the editor was most accustomed to. This alone was a huge help. The integration of After Effects and Photoshop—products we know well—with Premiere Pro also made the workflow seamless. After Effects handles the complex visual effects beautifully and the ability to work natively in Premiere Pro is critical; if we had to wait to transcode everything it would be ridiculously time consuming.

Adobe: Is there anything else that has helped you make this show a success?
Long: Another tool in our arsenal is Sapphire from GenArts. We’ve been longtime users of this special effects software, and it’s used on just about every show we work on. It was natural that we would find uses for it on this show even though it is not what you would call an effects intensive show, despite the fact that every shot is a composite. Sapphire has so many features it’s literally like a Swiss army knife. We are used to seeing its very dynamic and flashy transitions but it functions as a valuable aid as a repair tool, if there isn’t time to re-composite because of a looming deadline.

Adobe: All in all, how many episodes have you completed in how many months?
Long: We finished 30 episodes in six months. It has genuinely been an epic project with tremendous results and we are picked up for season two! Rest assured, even though an all-Adobe workflow was a new endeavor for Kappa Studios, Adobe software is in our future now. And, the people at Adobe really went the extra mile to make sure we had the resources and expertise to make the project a success.