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January 2017

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Page 37 of 43 36 POST JANUARY 2017 OUTLOOK DELIVERABLES O OUTLOOK O OUTLOOK A MORE STREAMLINED DELIVERY PROCESS FOR POST M TI Film is a Hollywood CA- based post technology compa- ny that offers digital film restoration, dailies workflow and transcoding software to top studios, productions, post houses and film archives around the world. The full-ser- vice facility has both the experience and tools to handle many of today's production requirements and also features premier film restoration services that have been used on some of the most cherished classic and modern titles. In this SWOT piece, the company looks at industry Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. STRENGTHS: The delivery process for post production is becoming more streamlined and unified. One of our strengths at MTI Film is that we are both a post production ser- vice provider and a post production software developer. As a result, we've been able to develop software tools that have helped us become a leader in IMF delivery. We believe that IMF is well positioned to become the industry standard for delivery. Its strength is in its "interoperability," which means that deliverables can be played, amend- ed, modified and transported to any device that complies with IMF specs. Another strength of IMF is that is em- ploys JPG 2000 image compression, which preserves the original image resolution while facilitating the rapid generation of lower-resolution media. That makes IMF useful for both current and future needs. WEAKNESSES: Although delivery is becoming streamlined, it's not yet where we hope it will be in a few years. Deliverables are still required in multiple formats, including smaller files, due to bandwidth limitations. Also, IMF is a relatively complex format with a basket of media and metadata bundled together. And, the way things are bundled together is not rock solid, but is still evolving. As a result, service providers need to continually update or replace hardware and software. OPPORTUNITIES: Because many stu- dios use our software, we have an op- portunity to work with them and stay up to date with what they are doing in terms of automation. We can conduct an open conversation with good teams on both sides in order to solve prob- lems and streamline processes. We also see opportunities to help studios and other content owners realize the value in their libraries. There is a lot of library content that is currently not available for streaming because it's sitting on a shelf in a format incompat- ible with Netflix and other automated systems. As a service provider, we can generate the IMF or ASO-2 delivera- bles studios need to get that content out to consumers. THREATS: Changing technology can be a threat to people and their jobs. As technology evolves, the required skillsets change. A tape operator has to become a file manager. People need to adapt. To meet this challenge, we provide ongoing on-the-job training to keep our people conversant with current technology. Senior staff mentor younger people. We want our people to keep up with the times. BY RANDY RECK DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MTI FILM HOLLYWOOD, CA MTIFILM.COM BY BARBARA MARSHALL EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AUDIO I f one can imagine a constantly shifting landscape, where competing demands on time, budget and needs fluctuate to the point of madness, then you understand the state of the audio post industry. What's encouraging is that this industry is growing. Almost all content requires audio regardless of the platform; and understanding the specs and sound quality requirements for each device are skills that make us valuable to our clients. The biggest issues with running a post business are tightening budgets, projects going in-house rather than to outside pros, and services we formerly charged that we are now unable to bill. Taken together one could paint a dreary picture, but keep in mind if you were still making cash registers today rather than 100 years ago the market would look sad as well. The only option for a company's sustainability and growth is in being adaptable. We already know that large ad agen- cies, in an effort to contain costs, have built their own in-house post production facilities, and they're doing that now more than ever. While it makes sense from a business perspective, the new result is a general reduction in quality of their product. Despite the quality issue, the net result is downward pressure on budgets and that will likely continue. One upside to that has been a refocus on efficiency. The essentials still remain: If you're not solving your client's problems then you're not doing your job — and that adds stress to schedules, budgets and ultimately creativity. There is also the continuing rise of the bedroom mixer. This can be useful in some circumstanc- es with small projects, but our clients depend on a company like ours for rock solid audio post across the board. The big focus for us is finding the right opportunities for growth. We've hit a few dead-ends but what's useful in that experience is it tells us where not to spend our time. Too many businesses don't read the writing on the wall and keep trying to plow through to the pot of gold that isn't there. The biggest opportunity for the audio post in general lies in 360/VR and aug- mented reality. These are areas where object-based mixing is vital. HOBO is investing heavily in this area and intends to launch a division of the company devoted to developing mixing solutions for this emerging platform. Positive results happen when you work hard, don't waste time lamenting loss and learn from mistakes. BY HOWARD BOWLER PRESIDENT HOBO NEW YORK CITY HOBOAUDIO.COM THE CONSTANTLY SHIFTING LANDSCAPE OF AUDIO POST

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