Post Magazine

APRIL 2010

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Speed and efficiency spur creativity EDITOR’S NOTE I By RANDI ALTMAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF n March, HP held a press event in Los Angeles introducing some new workstations, including a mighty computer in a little package — the Z200 Small Form Factor. (See page 4 for details on this one.) But this two-day event was about more than just new gear; it was about partnerships and how com- panies are using HP technology to speed up work- flow, while improving their quality and efficiency. Studios like Raleigh are using HP’s technology in cool ways. For example, Raleigh’s Best Practices Lab, led by chairman and executive director David B. Haines, runs on HP computers, and just one of the things powered by this technology is the new Impulse optical motion capture system from Phas- eSpace.The demo we saw featured an animated genie and a robot being directed (by us!) in real- time using a lightweight touchscreen HP.There were two Z200s processing MotionBuilder files in the background. Impulse, which is small and light enough to make it portable, allows realtime track- ing of up to 256 unique active markers. Another studio taking advantage of HP’s gear is DreamWorks, which made use of this technol- ogy while making the 3D stereo film How To Train Your Dragon. HP and Dreamworks have a long history of collaboration, as chief technology offi- POST SCRIPT The packaged deal T By MARC LOFTUS SENIOR EDITOR his month, Post looks at the advantages offered by studios that can handle every- thing “under one roof.” Director Kim Bass, who’s a partner in Hollywood’s Bass Entertainment Pictures (www.bassentertain-, completed work on two fea- ture films in just the past year, and credits Digital Jungle with making it happen. Bass and his team write, direct and shoot their own original features, with funding from Take2 Equity Group. Junkyard Dog, starring Vivica A. Fox, was the featured film at the Women’s International Film Festival in Miami earlier this month, and was selected because of its high quality and empowering subject matter: a strong woman helps rescue a younger woman from an abusive captor. Kill Speed is a different kind of action film, focusing on young pilots that oper- ate above the law, shuttling drugs across the border in high-speed planes. In both cases, Digital Jungle handled complete post services. “I think of [Digital Jungle] as an extension of Bass Entertainment Pictures,” says Bass.“I let each department take ownership of that portion 2 Post • April 2010 of the film.All I need to do is go there with footage and I come out with a finished film that can go straight to distribution.” Bass also takes advantage of the studio’s con- sulting services.“I’ve spoken to [them] before I’ve written the screenplays,” he notes.They will suggest a workflow, and “based on their input, I can start writing the script. I can re-write some- thing [that might] be too expensive to do. If you are trying to shoot a modestly-budgeted film, you can really get yourself in trouble in post, because it is very expensive,” he continues.“They have magic boxes in Hollywood that can fix almost anything — but at what cost? You don’t want to go out into the field and shoot something that they can’t handle in the workflow.” Keeping things at one shop also gave Bass more for his money.“It would have been very restrictive and the quality would have suffered greatly,” he says of having to work with multiple studios.“People were blown away by the pro- duction value,” he says of the two films’ screen- ings.“And I think that’s only possible if you can get your post in one place.” cer Ed Leonard pointed out during the event. Thanks to not having to worry about what’s going on in the background, he said, artists can focus on “taking imagination and bringing it to the screen without compromise.” He added, “DreamWorks is a blend of art and science,” and HP is a big part of that. Some of the technology they used on Dragon includes HP Z800 workstations, HP ProLiant blade servers, HP Halo Telepresence solutions, HP DreamColor displays, storage solutions and HP Designjet printers. HP’s new Z800, Z600 and Z400 workstations feature six-core, 32nm Intel Xeon 5600 series processors, which are blazingly fast. According to Intel’s GM for workstations,Anthony Neal-Graves, “The new Intel Xeon processor 5600 series runs multithreaded workstation applications up to 45 percent faster than its predecessor, the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series.Workstations powered by the new Intel Xeon processor 5600 series give application developers the reliability, capacity and performance to help them bring innovative ideas to life faster than ever before.” For creatives, it’s all about speed, efficiency and imagination, and not having to worry if their sys- tem is strong and fast enough. EDIT ORIAL RANDI ALTMAN Editor-in-Chief (516) 797-0884 MARC LOFTUS Senior Editor (516) 376-1087 KEN MCGORRY Consulting Editor CHRISTINE BUNISH Film& Video RON DICESARE Audio BOB PANK European Correspondent DAN RESTUCCIO West Coast Bureau IAIN BLAIR Film MICHAEL VIGGIANO Art Director AD VER TISING MARI KOHN National Sales Manager (818) 291-1153 cell: (818) 472-1491 LISA BLACK Sales Manager 877-249-7678 KEITH KNOPF Production Director (818) 291-1158 CHRIS SALCIDO Account Manager (818) 291-1144 CUSTOMER SERVICE 620 West Elk Ave, Glendale, CA 91204 (800) 280 6446 opt 2 (publishing), opt 1 (subscriptions) REPRINTS Reprints (781) 255-0625 • (818) 291-1153 LA SALES office: 620 West Elk Avenue, Glendale, California 91204 (800) 280-6446 WILLIAM R. RITTWAGE President / CEO See us on Post Magazine is published by Post, LLC,a COP communications company. 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