The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(R) (SMPTE(R)), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced that the SMPTE 2014 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2014) concluded successfully with record-setting paid attendance. Through presentations, debates, panel discussions, and technology exhibitions, the three-day event brought attendees an array of expert perspectives on the technologies, formats, and standards on which the industry's future is being built.
"SMPTE 2014 demonstrated why the Society's technical conference and exhibition has become the premier annual event for motion-imaging and media technology, production, operations, and the allied arts and sciences," said Pat Griffis, SMPTE education vice president. "New display and acquisition standards, distribution formats, business models, virtualization models, and ways of moving content over IP are coming to the forefront and having a real impact on the industry. By offering insight into these and related advances, SMPTE 2014 empowers businesses and individuals to take entertainment media to the next level."
From Oct. 21-23, SMPTE 2014 hosted world-renowned technology thought leaders from motion picture studios, broadcast and distribution networks, production and postproduction communities, software companies, systems integrators, manufacturers, distribution providers, over-the-top providers, and others leading the evolving motion-imaging industry. SMPTE 2014 attracted approximately 2,000 attendees representing 31 countries: the U.K., Japan, Germany, Belgium, China, South Korea, Hungary, and France, as well as the U.S. and Canada. Paid registrations were up 11 percent over 2013.
For the first time, the pre-conference SMPTE Symposium was hosted by the Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA). Held at the historic El Capitan Theatre, "Making Do With More" was a day-long event that included creative sessions with renowned filmmakers, cinematographers, visual effects artists, sound specialists, and colorists providing an in-depth discussion on the challenges they face and the expansive opportunities now open to them with new tools to support their vision. The Symposium also included a demonstration area supported by Canon, where Sony Electronics, FilmLight, Dolby Laboratories, Technology Made Simple, and Sundog Media Toolkit conducted demonstrations.
"The Symposium is an example of how HPA and SMPTE can add value to each other," said Leon Silverman, HPA president. "The Symposium's focus on creativity as it relates to technology complements SMPTE's focus on technology and standards."
The Women in the Technology Workspace Luncheon, produced by SMPTE and HPA Women in Post , featured Michelle Munson, CEO and co-founder of tech firm Aspera; Ron Bailey, vice president, human resources at Warner Bros. Entertainment; and Rob Kaufman, founder and CEO of Divorce Dialogue who specializes in the behavioral differences between men and women. The discussion centered on differences between women and men in the technology workplace and on how women can better position themselves for advancement.
In the SMTPE 2014 opening keynote, Chris Fetner, director of global content partners operations at Netflix, explained that the complicated task of empowering subscribers requires an increasingly higher quality of audio and video assets, more metadata, and localized artwork. In addition to reporting that Netflix was the first to market with the ultra-high-definition TV (UHDTV) streaming series "House of Cards," Fetner also noted the importance of SMPTE's Interoperable Master Format (IMF) standard, deeming it the cornerstone of Netflix expansion. The release of original miniseries "Marco Polo" in December 2014 will represent the first Netflix content delivered in the IMF 2+ extended format. Fetner's keynote presentation is available, on-demand, to SMPTE members at www.smpte.org/smpte2014-netflix-keynote.
Mark A. Aitkin, vice president of advanced technology at Sinclair Broadcasting Group, delivered the Industry Luncheon keynote. Aitkin suggested that broadcasters missed an opportunity by not putting better support behind ATSC mobile television and called for a reinvention of broadcasting as a conveyor of uniquely wireless, unconnected bits to billions of devices. He also noted that the mobile-connected tablet is the consumption device of the future, stating that mobile video consumption will increase to account for two-thirds of all mobile data traffic by 2017.
SMPTE Hollywood Regional Governor, Paul Chapman and SMPTE Fellow, Jim DeFilippis served as program chairs for SMPTE 2014. Over the course of the event, more than 80 presentations were made through technical conference sessions that covered hot-button topics ranging from networked media, file-based workflows, cloud security, asset management, UHDTV, higher frame rate (HFR), and audio technology. This year's technical papers were drawn from the U.K., Japan, Germany, India, Norway, China, and Canada, as well as the U.S. The sold-out exhibition hall featured displays and demonstrations from more than 80 leading technology and solution providers.
The inaugural SMPTE Student Film Showcase, hosted by Howard Lukk, a SMPTE standards director, was sponsored by Netflix and demonstrated how the technical and artistic talents of young filmmakers can result in meaningful content. The short films presented during the Showcase featured wide-ranging themes, from "Calibration Conundrum," which discussed display matching and the human visual system, to "Light," a beautifully photographed ballet sequence. All the movies were screened in the SMPTE-DCP (Digital Cinema Package) format, courtesy of Sundog Media Toolkit. SMPTE Program Committee member Corey Carbonara, professor of film and digital media in the Communication Studies Department at Baylor University, said that using the cloud platform to convert their films to SMPTE-DCP was a great learning experience for students.
At the Annual Membership Meeting, SMPTE 2014 celebrated the establishment of The Next Century Fund. SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange recognized the fund's three cornerstone sponsors, The Walt Disney Company, Panasonic, and Dolby Laboratories, which brought the fund to the $1 million benchmark.
On the final night of SMPTE 2014, award-winning broadcast journalist Frank Mottek served as master of ceremonies for the Honors & Awards Ceremony, bestowing Honorary Memberships on Leonardo Chiariglione and George Lucas, with John Logie Baird receiving the SMPTE Honor Roll Award (posthumously). Ioan Allen received the Progress Medal. The complete list of honorees is available at: https://www.smpte.org/smpte2014/award-winners. The evening concluded with the third-annual SMPTE Jam.
The SMPTE 2015 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition is scheduled for Oct. 26-29, 2015 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.
Further information about SMPTE is available at www.smpte.org.