The Hollywood Professional Association’s annual Tech Retreat has, over its many years, become a mecca for those seeking to understand the future of media and entertainment technology and the vision of its most important thought leaders. “See you at HPA” became a knowing New Year’s greeting among the industry’s technorati.
And at this year’s virtual Tech Retreat, MovieLabs intends to honor the spirit of the physical Tech Retreat. We’ll be sharing some of our latest thinking with three video case studies including our latest work on cloud security, software defined workflows and an introduction for a new common Visual Language. We also will be hosting five roundtables to provide opportunities for direct industry conversations.
MovieLabs will also be partnering with the HPA on the second day of the annual SuperSession – presenting “Live from the Cloud – Without a Net” – an ambitious, real-time demonstration of cloud centric, connected, collaborative production through delivery workflows against the backdrop of how our industry will evolve as we continue to implement our 2030 Vision.
The SuperSession will again be hosted by Jochen “JZ” Zell, where, on Day 1, he will take a look at seven filmmakers, who in the midst of the pandemic, shot films in London, Dubai, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Mexico City, Brisbane and Hollywood, not only testing themselves from a health and safety perspective, but absolutely pushing and redefining creative, remote, collaborative, cloud-based workflows.
And of course, this year’s SuperSession is an outsized follow up to last year’s event. In 2020, the SuperSession was all about how the cloud was changing production, culminating in a presentation where the conference hall somehow tuned into an ad hoc German Oktoberfest Biergarten. More than 500 attendees raised their beer filled steins to the making of a film called “The Lost Lederhosen,” some of which was shot on a virtual stage complete with LED wall, and edited, color corrected, and finished right in front of the audience.
And even though all of these techies were apparently making toasts to the recovery of lederhosen, this celebration and palatable, excited enthusiasm was really about vision. Specially, the “MovieLabs 2030 Vision”.
Six months earlier in August of 2019, MovieLabs had published its groundbreaking and thought-provoking white paper, “The Evolution of Media Creation – a 10 Year Vision for the Future of Media Production, Post and Creative Technologies.” The industry was inspired.
And the 2020 Tech Retreat would be just the place to discuss and apparently utilize some missing leather breeches to demonstrate the collaborative, cutting–edge, cloud based virtual production capabilities of an industry seeking to embrace and implement this “MovieLabs 2030 Vision.” The raised steins of those attending loudly signaled that this “vision” was shared.
Just a few short weeks after the 2020 Tech Retreat, the COVID–19 global pandemic locked down most of the world and with it, content creation. As the industry began to cope with the impact, it became clear that the 2020 SuperSession was a prescient dress rehearsal for the cloud–based collaborative workflows that would need to be implemented. In order for production to resume in a new, safer, and more restricted way – being remote, connected and cloud enabled was no longer visionary, it was necessary.
Now, a year into the pandemic, our dedicated, resilient and innovative technology community engineered and “Macgyvered” our way to resumption through sheer tenacity and efforts nothing short of heroic. We are creating content again – and we are increasingly doing it in the cloud.
At the end of the 2020 Tech Retreat, perhaps after a few too many steins and shouts of Prost!, some prematurely proclaimed 2020 the “new 2030”, thinking that much of our cloud journey had been accomplished. But it is now clear, especially as we begin to increasingly use cloud-based systems and tools, that there is still much to be done if we are to truly accomplish the ten principles outlined in the MovieLabs “vision.”
At this year’s 2021 Tech Retreat, MovieLabs will be leading much of the conversation around what we are learning, what we are thinking, and the work that lies ahead. While this year’s event will be decidedly virtual, the Tech Retreat’s new content platform, HPA ENGAGE, promises to deliver that same depth of thought leadership, information and human interaction – complete with breakfast roundtables – and lunch ones too. There will even be cocktails delivered to your door if you sign up to register “while supplies last.”
While we are going to miss seeing everyone in person, at MovieLabs, our goal is to provide the industry with a briefing on some of the topics we are focused on in this coming year, as well as to provide an opportunity to both join the discussion and to better understand the task and goals that will help realize the “vision” of our industry’s cloud future.
Our MovieLabs Tech Retreat participation kicks off with the release of our first video presentation – “Software-Defined Workflows” which will be presented by our MovieLabs CTO, Jim Helman. A key aspect of the “2030 Vision” is how our industry’s cloud-based workflows will be powered by software-mediated collaboration and automation, as articulated in our whitepaper – “The Evolution of Production Workflows.” Underpinning these workflows are a number of concepts around common ways to express aspects of workflow that will be core to a completely interoperable cloud-based future. In addition to this whitepaper, our recent blog on Software–Defined Workflows is a good way to prepare to join the conversation. Jim will open this topic up for discussion in a Lunch Roundtable that we will be hosting on “Multi-Cloud Challenges & Opportunities” on March 16 at Noon PT.
Continuing the theme around the need to express workflows in common and deliberate ways, MovieLabs will be showing at the 2021 HPA Tech Retreat a preview of a common visual language to express workflows, which will help to drive automation and interoperability. MovieLabs’ Production Technology Specialist Chris Vienneau will present “A Visual Language Primer” as the first look and public discussion around how creating a common way to describe and draw workflows is an important step for our industry to literally get on the same page.
MovieLabs just published the first three parts of a reference security architecture for securing the assets and processes in cloud workflows. It is a collaboration-oriented zero-trust security architecture designed to not interfere with creative work. It is concerned with securing and protecting the integrity of assets, processes, and workflows in the collaborative environment of media production. It is not concerned with protecting the underlying infrastructure. In fact, it is designed to protect production on an infrastructure that is not trusted.
Spencer Stephens, MovieLabs’ Senior VP, Production Technology and Security’s recent blog post on How to Secure the Cloud as a Universal Production Resource speaks to why our perimeter–based security approach of the past will not be practical for our cloud future where security should be intrinsic within media workflows and for media assets and their creative participants themselves. Watch for Spencer’s Tech Retreat presentation on “Why Do We Need a Common Security Architecture” and join our Lunch Roundtable on “The Need for a Common Security Model” that Spencer will be moderating on Tuesday, March 23 at 1:00 PM PT.
Another new MovieLabs concept for the industry to consider will also be discussed at the Tech Retreat. “What is a Production User ID and Why do we Need It”, a Breakfast Roundtable hosted by Mark Turner, MovieLabs’ Program Director, Production Technology on March 16 at 9:00 AM PT, will begin a discussion on the role identity plays in not just security authentication but also how the ability to identify individual participants and their roles can unlock numerous automation and efficiency initiatives as we begin to work across projects, companies, and clouds.
Raymond Drewry, MovieLabs’ Principal Scientist, will host a Breakfast Roundtable on March 23 at 9:00 AM PT entitled “DAM MAM, WHATS A PAM?” which will provide a look at how we need to think about and very likely rethink our approach to assets, their metadata and how the two are linked as we discuss the future of asset management.
On March 24 at 9:00 AM PT, Leon Silverman, who is an advisor to MovieLabs 2030 Vision on Strategy and Industry Relations will host a Breakfast Roundtable on “Realizing the 2030 Vision – Aligning the Industry.” This session will explore a number of themes of interest to the HPA community including: How cloud ready are we as an industry? What challenges does the industry need to overcome in order for the MovieLabs 2030 vision to be realized? What additional industry education do we need to “get on the same page?” and “How can I help?”
And in the true meaning of the SuperSession, MovieLabs will be participating in a super final session of the 2021 HPA Tech Retreat – an ambitious demonstration that will be a worthy follow up to last years “Lost Lederhosen” demo. On March 24 at 10:00 AM PT, entitled, “Live from the Cloud – Without a Net,” HPA’s Jochen “JZ” Zell and MovieLabs’ Mark Turner will host a live demonstration of production through editorial, VFX, conform, color, sound and delivery using 5G, public and private hybrid cloud and a variety of tools, infrastructure and workflows. All with an eye as to where we are on our path to MovieLabs “2030 Vision.” This will be one of those demonstrations that will be talked about for years to come. And hopefully, someone will find those lederhosen.
This past year, MovieLabs has been hard at work with our Studio partners, laying the groundwork for our cloud future, but at the HPA Tech Retreat, the industry has an important opportunity to contribute to and to join the conversation. Read our whitepapers and blogs. View our HPA Presentations. Join the conversation at our Roundtables, and help our industry make this most important journey to the cloud.
“See you at HPA.”