Post Magazine

December 2011

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OUTLOOK STILL Beyond the struggling economy, post produc- tion executives are faced with challenges and threats from ever- changing technology, new workflows, runaway production and even perception issues. Here, they discuss trends, opportunities and what they see for the year ahead. MOSHE BARKAT President Modern VideoFilm Los Angeles Modern VideoFilm offers content creation and con- tent management services for television and film clients. The studio is currently providing post services for Desperate Housewives, Sons of Anarchy and How I Met Your Mother, among others. Film credits include DI work for Avatar, and more recently, post services for Real Steel. STRENGTHS: "The strength is really that we — Los Angeles — are still the hub of where everything happens. The content owners are here. Most production originates here, even if it takes place elsewhere. It's our proximity to the hub of everything in the entertainment industry. That leads to access to quality people that are abundant in Los Angeles, that you don't find as you get further away. 'Hollywood' created a huge pool of very, very trained people in all those unique areas — areas that are difficult to learn in college: colorists, special effects artists, editors. Those are things you need to learn [first hand]." WEAKNESSES: "A geographical weakness is runaway production. A lot of projects that would have been done around Los Angeles are now moving around the world in search of financial incentives. That puts the burden on compa- nies here in the LA area to be creative and technically sophis- ticated to be able to stay with our clients, wherever they decide to shoot. We are strictly in Los Angeles. The only location Modern has outside of LA is a data center in Scottsdale, AZ." OPPORTUNITIES: "File-based activities, which present them- selves in two ways: content creation and content management. Con- tent creation impacts infrastructure and workflow because new workflows need to be devised, like cameras that capture images directly to file, and then need to be processed and incorporated into the post production process. It becomes the tool of the trade. "On the content management side, there are new business oppor- tunities because of the rapid growth of file-based activity, whether it be managing a physical vault or archive. You need to create a digital 28 Post • December 2011 EVOLVING archive. Repurposing high-level files into files that can be used by vari- ous end users, [meaning] cable stations or television studios." THREATS: "One of the things happening now that is affecting all post facilities is there is a strong conceptual change that we are going through — a transition to file-based and issues associated with it. It definitely puts a burden on the post house. What becomes a greater challenge is the infrastructure. In a tapeless environment you have huge files that need to be maintained and moved from one step of the process to another. Those are new challenges that didn't exist two years ago. It's challenging on many levels — operational, financial… "Our response [to that threat here at Modern] was fairly dramatic. We redesigned our whole operation over the past 12 months to reflect that. We designed, built and started operating a new facility in Santa Monica — on the feature film and television content creation side — that is completely file based. In Burbank, we are in the process of consolidating our local facilities into a new facility designed around Modern Family is just one of the many TV shows being posted at Modern VideoFilm. a massive IT infrastructure to deal with the file-based world." OUTLOOK FOR 2012: "Two companies can be functioning in the exact same industry and one can be having a great year and another can be having a terrible year. With a strike, we all suffer the same way. It all depends on how business is managed and the mix of services they do, or more importantly, don't do. I don't see a drop in level of activity other than what we've seen for past several years. TV is still done locally. The various portals — iTunes, Amazon, Netflicks POST BUSINESS BY MARC LOFTUS

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