Bringing an inside look at Oppenheimer, an underwater cinematography special, a sustainability spotlight and everything you need to know about this year’s IBC – plus plenty more, our September issue is out now.
MAKING WAVES DIVE INTO UNDERWATER CINEMATOGRAPHY
IN THE FAST LANE RACING REALISM IN GRAN TURISMO
HOLLYWOOD ON STRIKE ASSESSING THE IMPACT ON THE INDUSTRY
The content & companies not to miss at this year’s show!
Meet the VFX maestros behind Oppenheimer’s explosive brilliance
Studio Sustainability Special Game-Changing Gear Industry News & Events Top Tips for Film Festival Success Cybersecurity Survival Guide
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EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley firstname.lastname@example.org Staff writer Katie Kasperson Chief sub editor Matthew Winney Sub editor Ben Gawne Junior sub editor Lori Hodson Editorial director Roger Payne email@example.com Contributors Tomasz Krupka, Will Lawrence, Neal Romanek, Robert Shepherd, Steve Smith ADVERTISING Sales director Sam Scott-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org 01223 499457 Sales manager Emma Stevens email@example.com 01223 499462 | +447376665779 DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Senior designer and ad production Lucy Woolcomb
NEW LOOK ISSUE!
G reetings and welcome to my first issue as editor in chief of Definition ! Firstly, I want to thank my predecessor Robert Shepherd for his great work – and to say that it’s a huge privilege to take the reins on a magazine which has been the go-to source of insight and inspiration in the world of professional video production for two decades now. With the industry in the midst of a whirlwind of transformation, marked by both exhilarating progress and new challenges, it’s a truly exciting time to be stepping into the hot seat. I’m looking forward to exploring the evolving landscape in the issues to come. This month, of course, all eyes will be on IBC as the behemoth trade expo returns to Amsterdam for a look at the tech, trends and topics that will shape the industry in the months and years ahead – we’ve got the low-down on page 20. Myself and the rest of Team Definition will be at the show, so I hope to meet some of you there! For my debut issue in the driving seat, we’re turning the spotlight on Oppenheimer – a blockbuster so big it rewrote box office history this summer (alongside a certain pink-loving doll…). Presented with Christopher Nolan’s insistence that no CG be used in the film, VFX supervisor Andrew Jackson had his work cut out recreating an atomic explosion for the big screen; find out how he and his team did it on page 12. We also get the inside track on Gran Turismo ’s visceral racing sequences from DOP Jacques Jouffret (page 44), deep dive into the mesmerising world of ocean cinematography (from page 55), get programmers’ tips for film festival success (page 51) and plenty more. Enjoy the issue – and see you next month!
Designer Alan Gray PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck ON THE COVER
© Universal Pictures All Rights Reserved
Nicola Foley Editor in chief
Definition is published monthly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Definition is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Definition that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Prices quoted in sterling, euros and US dollars are street prices, without tax, where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press. Bright Publishing LTD Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire, CB22 3HJ, UK
MEDIA PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS OF
38 HOLLYWOOD ON STRIKE As the SAG-AFTRA strike rumbles on, Will Lawrence considers the global impact 32 PL AYL AND The low-down on a boundary-pushing portrayal of an iconic Boston gay club 44 GRAN TURISMO DOP Jacques Jouffret gives the scoop on bringing the game to the big screen 51 THE DEF GUIDE TO... Programmers reveal the dos and don’ts of submitting to film festivals 55 MAKING WAVES Cinematographers share the secrets behind their amazing ocean footage 66 TRAILBLAZERS A spotlight on changemakers shaping the industry. Up first: Angela Ferreira
OPPENHEIMER DNEG reveals the VFX magic that went into making this extraordinary success 16 SUSTAINABILITY Albert tells Definition about its Studio Sustainability Standard initiative 18 STUD I O SPOTLIGHTS Two top studios take us through their environmental practices 12 20 IBC PREVIEW We look at what’s in store for this year’s industry summit in Amsterdam 06 I NDUSTRY BR I E F I NGS News of a major studio opening, CVP expansion in Belgium and more 10 DIARY DATES The film festivals and industry expos to get in your calendar
72 BEYOND BELIEF How Superama reimagined a TV classic with the help of Blackmagic Cloud 75 CV STORIES Industry movers and shakers share their wisdom, kicking off with Christina Nowak 7 7 CYBERSECURITY Experts advise on how to safeguard your assets against cyberattacks 85 TOOLK I T The latest and greatest gear to get on your radar 95 CAMERA L I ST I NGS A whistle-stop tour of the best cameras out there right now 7 1 HARNESSING AI The team from Scan AI highlight some key tools for creatives to consider
NEW VIRTUAL PRODUCTION STAGE AT PIER59 P ier59 Studios has installed a state- of-the-art virtual production stage at its studios in Chelsea Piers, New York.
provides the advantage of in-camera visual effects, which cuts the time and costs for post-production.” Steve Baum, Pier59 Studios CIO, said: “By combining 3D virtual environments with the agility of the virtual production stage, we can conjure nearly any place, at any time of day, during any season, precisely controlling the environmental conditions. We can even adjust them on the fly to get the perfect shot. And then, of course, the virtual stage can deliver cost savings by eliminating the time and expense of travelling with cast and crew to far-flung locations.”
Utilising a Disguise media server, the new facility features LED display technologies from Planar, including the 65ft-wide Planar CarbonLight CLI VX-B Series LED video wall, an almost 30x10ft articulating LED ceiling – comprised of an 18x6ft Planar CarbonLight CLI VX-B Series LED video wall, plus four LED display moveable carts, each with a 5x11.5ft Planar CarbonLight CLI VX-B Series LED video wall. All three assets have a 2.6mm pixel pitch (CLI VX 2.6). “The LED video walls look brilliant with the naked eye, but what’s most important for us is that they look great in-camera,” said Lorenzo Ferrante, virtual production manager at Pier59 Studios. “Production professionals that use our stage, such as DOPs, have the guarantee that any colour profile they want can be accomplished and the representation of colour is accurate. And, obviously, virtual production
SITE TO BEHOLD Twofour54 is set to expand on its purpose-built space for M&E, Yas Creative Hub
Emmy Awards postponed The Emmy Awards have been delayed for the first time in over 20 years due to the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. Originally scheduled for September, the Emmys – arguably the most prestigious awards in US TV – will now take place on 15 January 2024. Succession , The Last of Us and The White Lotus – all distributed by HBO and affected by the Warner/Discovery/CNN mega-merger – lead the nominees. Remembering William Friedkin William Friedkin, celebrated director of Academy Award- winning films The French Connection (1971) and The Exorcist (1973), recently passed away at age 87. A predecessor of modern greats like Spielberg and Scorsese, Friedkin is credited with revolutionising American cinema, largely in neo-noir and horror. box office, with Greta Gerwig’s Barbie surpassing $1 billion in global ticket sales; the only female-directed film ever to do so. Besides its star-studded cast, Barbie may have marketing to thank. Oppenheimer , which some consider Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus, falls behind at just over $500 million. But it has become the fourth-highest- grossing biopic and second-highest- grossing war film ever. Barbenheimer rocks box office The Barbie-Oppenheimer double-feature has rocked the Short takes Rescheduled Emmy Awards, plus double-feature success and respect for a legend 1 2 3
GARDEN STUDIOS CERTIFIED B CORP G arden Studios, the largest film studio (by sq ft) in central London, has achieved B Corp Certification. After just over three years of operation, the studio, which values sustainability, accessibility and inclusivity, is now officially decreed as being a socially responsible business. This status reflects its environmental stewardship, measured by energy efficiency and carbon footprint. Awarded by B Lab – a globally distinguished non-profit organisation – B Corp Certification recognises companies that benefit people and the planet. Garden Studios joins a community of over 7000.
BIG PLANS FOR ABU DHABI STUDIO W ith ambitions to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning reputation as an epicentre of film production, Twofour54 (part of ADNEC Group) has unveiled plans to build a major new studio. Spanning over 100 acres, Twofour54 Studios will be a virtual production-ready, metaverse- enabled and fully-fledged production destination, addressing high demand in the regional and global production landscape. Features are set to include 11 soundstages, a 32,000 sq ft exterior water tank and six versatile standing sets, plus office space and additional post-production facilities, permanent tenancies and screening rooms. Completion is anticipated by 2025.
CVP EXPANDS IN BELGIUM P rovider of production equipment and services, CVP, has furthered its expansion into Europe with the launch of a larger and more comprehensive facility in Belgium. Led by René van der Reiden, managing director at CVP Belgium, the new facility in Vilvoorde spans over 850 sq m, comprising sales offices, demo spaces and warehousing dedicated to stocking the latest and most sought-after kit. The new site also boasts an engineering department staffed by specialist technicians with deep expertise in production and testing – ensuring swift repairs and minimising downtime on customers’ equipment – with support for multiple languages. Additionally, CVP has established a dedicated Service Centre, expanding its renowned ProRepairs and service capabilities to the rest of Europe. The Service Centre is led by engineering EVOLUTION CVP’s Belgium facility will offer dedicated warehousing plus improved access to kit and repairs in Europe
manager Ismail Kalinbaldir, an authorised engineer with almost 20 years of experience in the industry. CVP is one of the world’s only approved Authorised Service Centres (ASCs) to many of the most prominent manufacturers in the industry, such
MILK OPENS VFX STUDIO IN BARCELONA A ward-winning studio Milk VFX, whose recent credits include Sally El Hosaini’s The Swimmers and Amazon’s Three Pines , has recently opened a hub in Barcelona’s 22@ district. Building upon the firm’s presence on the continent in London, Dublin and Bordeaux – and its recent acquisition of Lola Post Production – this outpost sees Milk expanding operations around Europe further still, and will be headed by Milk VFX 2D supervisor Jorge Oliva Ruiz de León. as Canon, Sony, RED, Core SWX, BeBob, Teradek, SmallHD, TV Logic, Angénieux, Cartoni, OConnor, Sachtler, Vinten and Litepanels, among others. Now European users will be able to take full advantage of this unique expertise, too.
UK GLOBAL SCREEN FUND LAUNCHES DATA HUB U nveiled in early August, the UK Global Screen Fund Data Hub aims to enhance UK content by providing creators with insights into international consumption patterns. The platform will provide monthly reports on international demand and viewership, powered by Parrot Analytics and Digital i, respectively. The Data Hub launch follows a successful pilot project, which investigated the different types of market data that would be most valuable to the UK’s independent screen industries. By interpreting audience behaviours and preferences, productions can make more informed business decisions, aiding the British economy and screen sectors specifically.
INDUSTRY DIARY DATES
DI ARY DATES
16-19 October Media Technology Summit, Hollywood SMPTE presents the 2023 Media Technology Summit in Hollywood, California, taking place at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in the Ovation Hollywood. The event will bring together leading figures in the film technology industry in order to discuss solutions to pressing issues, give presentations on new technologies and offer an opportunity to network with peers. Expect solution-based exhibitions, emerging tech sessions, lunches and more. After a successful debut event last year, Cine Gear returns to Atlanta with equipment exhibitors from all around the world, panel discussions, workshops and more. Bringing together thousands of professionals, the ATL Expo gives artists and technicians the chance to discover new technology and techniques, training and peer networking. 6-7 October Cine Gear ATL Expo back next month, with offerings including an AI Creative Summit, conferences dedicated to visual storytelling, remote production and more. This prestigious event is a chance to interact with and learn from prominent broadcast networks, film and TV studios, plus production and post-production houses all in one place. 24–26 October NAB New York The NYC offshoot of NAB is
7-17 September TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Returning for its 48th edition, TIFF is back with another blistering line-up for 2023. Always one to watch with its track record for generating Oscar buzz, this year’s offerings include Craig Gillespie’s hotly tipped Dumb Money ; director Ellen Kuras’ feature debut Lee and Mahalia Belo’s thriller The End We Start From .
Much to Watch – bringing together high-profile executives and thought leaders to debate the opportunities and impacts of changing consumption habits that are reshaping TV. Sponsored by Channel 4, speakers include Grace Boswood, technology director for Channel 4; Priya Dogra, president and MD, EMEA at Warner Bros Discovery; and Charlie Collier, Roku Media president. 21 September INTERNATIONAL MOTOR FILM AWARDS The world’s premier automotive film event hits Alexandra Palace, London, for a glittering presentation and trade expo. These awards will celebrate the craft behind the film industry’s biggest stunts, television’s best car commercials and the leading international automotive documentaries and short films, while the affiliated expo offers a chance to network and see the industry’s latest products and services.
20-21 September RTS CAMBRIDGE CONVENTION 2023
In the grand setting of King’s College, Cambridge, this biennial convention returns with a programme titled Too
29 September - 15 October NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL
Showcasing exceptional new films from around the world, NYFF returns with a blend of art-house flicks, fresh discoveries and big studio releases targeting awards season. On the bill are Todd Haynes’ Cannes smash May December , plus Sofia Coppola’s hugely hyped Priscilla Presley biopic.
FESTIVAL EXCLUSIVE God Is a Woman has its North American premiere at TIFF (above); the International Motor Film Awards (top)
SHOCK & AWE DNEG – sole VFX WORDS Will Lawrence
partner on the dazzling Oppenheimer – shares the inside story of creating history for Christopher Nolan’s atomic-age epic
I t was while shooting in New Mexico that DNEG’s Andrew Jackson got stuck – quite literally. Working as the visual effects supervisor on Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster epic Oppenheimer , Jackson was moving ahead of the main unit, which was filming in Albuquerque with the cast. He set out into the desert south of the city, driving to the spot where Nolan was to film his version of the Trinity atomic test, executed by J Robert Oppenheimer as part of the Manhattan Project on 16 July 1945. “I thought I’d go early and get ahead,” begins Jackson. “But on the first
day it rained heavily and all the roads were clogged with mud. We had to give up. When we did eventually get there, it was just a sea of mud and we couldn’t set up. We spent two days stuck.” When they were not mired down and soaking wet, Jackson and the VFX crew spent much of their time on set working inside one of the props: a wooden shed that was originally constructed as part of Los Alamos, the desert town that sprung up to house the Manhattan Project. “We didn’t have quite the same level of stress involved with success or failure as they did,” remarks Jackson,
“but it was like our own little science project, for sure.” It was vital that the VFX team stay close to the main production. Nolan was shooting on film with IMAX cameras, screening dailies – all the material Jackson captured during the day would go straight to Nolan for review. “We were almost tacked on to the main unit,” adds Jackson. “We worked closely with Chris all the way through.” Indeed, their professional relationship is so close, Jackson was the first person to read the Oppenheimer script after Emma Thomas – Nolan’s wife and
WATCH THE TRAILER
SPARKS FLYING Christopher Nolan’s decision not to use CG in the film meant all detonations were produced through a combination of practical effects and compositing
producer. The film marks his and Nolan’s third collaboration, following Dunkirk and Tenet ; with Jackson’s work on the latter earning a BAFTA and the Oscar for best visual effects. “I didn’t know what this project was until I read the script,” Jackson reveals, “but Chris already said he wanted to avoid computer-generated effects. He thought if we could shoot it practically, it would fit better with the language and feel of the film. We have tried to capture as much as we can in-camera increasingly on each film, so it was no surprise he said no CG whatsoever.”
Capturing the Trinity test was ‘one of the most important things to figure out’, according to Nolan. He’d created a nuclear explosion using computer graphics in The Dark Knight Rises , “which worked for that film,” he says, “but it also showed me, with a real-life event like Trinity, computer graphics would never give you the sense of threat you see in real-life footage.” The real Trinity test was filmed at the time on a range of cameras with a variety of lenses, positioned at various distances and shot at different frame rates. “There’s a visceral feeling
CAPTURING THE TRINITY TEST WAS one of the most important to figure out ”
to that footage,” continues Nolan. The challenge, he says, “was to find analogue methods to produce effects that evoke the requisite threat, awe and horrible beauty of the Trinity test.” Jackson began his own analogue testing a whole two months before pre- production, working in special effects supervisor Scott Fisher’s LA workshop, embracing the randomness and the photographic errors that add to the feel of in-camera effects. “Simulating the way light flares, or things that are out of focus, all those layers of complexity,” he explains, “we can do them in a CG world – but in the real world they happen for free and give unexpected results you’d never dream up.” During these early days, Jackson experimented with explosions, thermite and chain reactions; he smashed ping- pong balls together, threw paint at a wall, concocted luminous magnesium solutions and filmed them on small digital cameras close-up at various frame rates, building a library of images – many of which matched beats in the script. After Nolan made his decisions, they were then shot with IMAX cameras. “It was not always easy to find elements for some of the lines in the script. And we also filmed stuff we didn’t
know how to use,” he explains, citing as an example his work with thermite, a pyrotechnic composition of aluminium and iron oxide, which when lit burns at 2200°C/4000°F before liquefying into molten iron. “While it’s burning, it puts off this incredible, whirling, swirling smoke – and is incredibly bright. Sparks fly out, and if you set it off high and let it fall, it explodes in bombs of red-hot metal.” They shot the thermite in a variety of ways, Jackson notes. “And that ended up being part of at least half a dozen shots, probably more.” When working on set creating the Trinity test, Jackson was safely positioned behind the camera; it fell to special effects supervisor Scott Fisher to oversee the real-life explosions. Jackson remembers eight: “And they were pretty big, with four 45-gallon drums of fuel with high explosives underneath, which lifts them into the air and ignites them. Once that fuel is alight, it naturally forms a mushroom shape.” Nolan shot each explosion with a series of cameras placed at different distances and frame rates, “so that we could slow them down; and we used different lenses to have that close-up detail of the roiling fire. As well as some
full wides to capture the whole thing in one go.” Many of the shots produced to create the spectacle of nuclear fission were also used to portray Oppenheimer’s inner world, giving a glimpse into the mind of a genius. Jackson notes that there were around 200 effects shots on-screen, half of which were worked on in post, the other half cut straight in by Nolan and editor Jennifer Lame. One example unfolds during a scene in which Oppenheimer is particularly troubled and the background starts vibrating and distorting behind him. To create the effect, Jackson and his team took photographs of the background and distorted them in 2D software before then projecting the image back on set, manifesting a sense of his world deforming. “That effect was absolutely in-camera,” says Jackson, “shot with the actors at the same time.” When layering the shots in post, Jackson worked closely with DNEG’s Giacomo Mineo, a 20-year veteran whose work as the on-set VFX supervisor for Alex Garland’s series Devs earned an Emmy nomination. “This was very different from our usual way of working. For me, it was so nice to have this huge gift of beautiful material Andrew collected,” enthuses Mineo. “We had so much freedom. Chris let us go and experiment.” Jackson echoes that sentiment. “It’s been so collaborative,” he adds. “And it’s been great to be involved in one of the two films that have really encouraged people to come back into the cinema. It doesn’t matter how big your television is, it doesn’t compare to cinema as a collective experience.”
NUCLEAR OPTIONS Occasionally, shots were taken without a solid plan for their use in the film, creating a bank of material for the team to experiment with and work from later
GREEN ON SCREEN
UNLOCKING Sustainable SUCCESS BAFTA albert project manager Steve Smith weighs in on the game-changing Studio Sustainability Standard initiative
Participating studios: 3 Mills Studios, BBC Studioworks, BT Studios (delivered by Timeline Television), Elstree Studios, Garden Studios, IMG Studios, Maidstone Studios, Sony Pictures Studios LA, TBY2 (a Bottle Yard facility), Wolf Studios Wales, Warner Bros Studios Leavesden and Wardpark Film and Television Studios
I n an era defined by the urgency of climate change, the film and TV industries face a crucial challenge: how to align production practices with sustainability goals. Studio facilities, as integral components of the value chain, have a substantial role to play in driving the transition to a greener future. The Studio Sustainability Standard was established in 2022 as a game-changing initiative offering studio owners and operators the opportunity to make a positive environmental impact and gain a competitive edge in the industry. In this article, we delve into what the Studio Sustainability Standard entails and why joining the scheme brings enormous benefits to studio facilities. As the global community acknowledges the importance of combatting climate change, audiences and industry stakeholders increasingly demand sustainable practices. Studio
values. It provides a comprehensive framework to guide studios towards achieving ambitious targets, covering six essential categories: climate, nature, circularity, people, management and data. By addressing these areas, studios can create a holistic approach encompassing both operational and environmental considerations. In a rapidly evolving industry, standing out from the competition is crucial. Through celebrating and showcasing green practices in the Studio Sustainability Standard, facilities can differentiate themselves. This not only attracts environmentally conscious producers, but also positions the facility as a preferred choice for stakeholders seeking equally committed partners. Sustainability and profitability go hand in hand. The Studio Sustainability
facilities which provide the physical infrastructure for film and TV production have a unique opportunity to lead the charge in transforming the industry. By aligning with the Studio Sustainability Standard, studio owners and operators demonstrate steadfast commitment to environmental stewardship and position themselves as pioneers in production. WHAT EXACTLY IS THE STUDIO SUSTAINABILITY STANDARD? Developed by BAFTA albert, the leading screen organisation for environmental sustainability, the Studio Sustainability Standard sets a voluntary global standard for studio facilities to reduce their carbon footprints and embrace sustainable
HOT TIN ROOF The Bottle Yard’s second facility (TBY2) houses a 1MWp solar array with over 2300 photovoltaic panels, producing enough solar energy to power 250 households annually
Standard empowers studio facilities to optimise their operations, leading to potentially significant cost savings and increased operational efficiency. By implementing energy-saving measures, improving waste management systems and streamlining resource usage, studios can reduce overhead expenses while enhancing productivity. Studios could then invest these savings into other areas of growth, creating a cycle of sustainability and financial success. Participating studios receive performance reports and grades, providing objective evaluations of their efforts. These assessments will enable studio facilities to track progress, identify areas for improvement and set realistic goals. The transparent reporting system facilitates benchmarking against global standards, allowing studios to compare their performance with peers. This not only provides a roadmap for improvement, but also demonstrates commitment to investors.
But the standard is much more than a rating, it’s about sharing best practices for others in the industry to learn from and facilitating a commitment to reducing environmental impact. The Studio Sustainability Standard 2022/23 industry report aggregated the data collected from the first year, and found participating studios are already taking meaningful measures to reduce effects in high-impact areas. For example, eight of the 12 studios are powered by a 100% renewable energy mix, ten of 12 have clear and achievable sustainability targets in place and ten of 12 invest in their local community. The Studio Sustainability Standard empowers facilities to take a proactive stance, embracing environmentally responsible practices that drive positive change. By joining this transformative initiative, studio owners and operators gain a competitive edge, differentiate themselves and unlock opportunities for cost savings, operational efficiency and stakeholder engagement. As the film and TV sector evolves, this standard serves as a compass, guiding studios to a greener, more prosperous future.
BAFTA-owned albert is the leading screen industry What is albert?
organisation for environmental sustainability, supporting the TV and film industry to reduce the environmental impacts of production and create content that inspires a sustainable future. It provides tools and training to help industry professionals act on opportunities for climate action.
WHAT WE LEARNT IN YEAR ONE
2022 marked the first year of the Studio Sustainability Standard, with 12 studios committing to measuring their impact and starting their journey to building a more resilient and green entertainment industry. In this inaugural year, five studios were awarded ratings of ‘very good’ – the highest score in the cohort.
Find out more and access resources at wearealbert.org
Find out more about the Studio
Sustainability Standard at wearealbert.org or scan the QR code to register interest
WORDS Katie Kasperson
STUD I O Sustainability STANDARD SPOTLIGHTS We sit down with two of the studios proving their green credentials to find out more
3 MILLS STUDIOS London’s 3 Mills Studios stands tall on Three Mills Island, the city’s oldest surviving industrial centre. Situated among green spaces, 3 Mills wants to be at the forefront of sustainability, says William Taylor-Gammon, client services coordinator. “We want to deliver meaningful change for our planet and people – albert is a fantastic way to share in that responsibility.” Operating out of a converted gin distillery, the studio itself is recycled, breathing new life into former factory buildings. Minutes from the Tube and served by bus routes, “we’re a dream destination for productions looking to cut their carbon footprint and rely more on public transport,” he adds. Beyond this, the studio has taken steps towards environmental friendliness. “We have a zero waste to landfill policy and a 100% renewable energy provider, ensuring any generator brought on-site uses HVO fuel,” explains Taylor-Gammon. 3 Mills has also increased its biodiversity by planting wildflowers, installing bird houses and introducing its very own ‘Buggingham Palace’. 3 Mills plans to install external distribution boards, change its house lights to LED, replace old meters and remove remaining gas boilers – making it 100% electric. The studio also partners with organisations like CAMA and Sustainable Film to reduce waste between productions. The company is taking care of its employees’ mental health and accessibility needs too, by offering staff training and wheelchair-friendly washrooms.
GARDEN STUDIOS Founded in 2020, Garden Studios is ‘London’s home for creative talent’, being the city’s largest studio. But bigger doesn’t mean badder, as the certified B Corp was one of 12 to participate in albert’s first Studio Sustainability Standard. “From inception, our founder’s vision was a business that treads lightly on our planet and takes care of its employees,” says Garden Studios head of sustainability, Julie Hoegh. “So, when the albert Studio Sustainability Standard came along, it was an easy decision.” Garden Studios focuses its efforts in three areas: environment, people and community. “We’ve sourced 100% renewable electricity since the start, our lighting is close to 90% LED, we have an extensive recycling programme and implement no idling, zero single use plastic and zero waste to landfill policies,” explains Hoegh. The studio is committed to gender equality, with 59% of its employees and 37% of its board being female. It also aspires to be ‘a positive force in the local community’, according to Hoegh. “We achieve that through educational programmes, internships, a local artist- in-residence initiative, free use of studio space for young talent, and a shared workspace for artists and makers.” Garden Studios is not only committed
to climate action, but also encourages its clients to reduce their environmental impacts. “It quickly became apparent waste was a problem,” recalls Hoegh. In response, the studio launched an upcycling programme called Re-Set, which ‘aims to upcycle as much props, wood material, textiles, furniture and any other items as possible’. These are then donated to local schools, charities and other organisations. But this isn’t enough for Garden Studios. “We’re just at the beginning of a long journey to becoming truly sustainable,” says Hoegh. Future plans include further reducing its carbon footprint, installing solar panels on-site, expanding its list of upcycling donors and improving its supply chain, among other goals. “Being able to demonstrate that we engage seriously with these issues will be a competitive advantage,” states Hoegh. Sounds like a win-win.
As the industry prepares to descend on Amsterdam, Nicola Foley takes a look at what this year’s IBC show has in store
Stands not to miss! Amaran Stand 11.B22 Explore Amaran’s LED innovations and get clued up on Sidus Link – cutting-edge technologies designed to take your content creation to the next level. You can also get stuck into activities like going live with Twitch streamers and an exclusive creator meet- up in collaboration with the ‘INDIE Filmmaker’ platform. Aputure Stand 11.B22 Step into a realm of LED innovation and engage with Aputure specialists, discovering the future of lighting technology. As well as seeing the latest products, you can quench your thirst at the Aputure ‘INFINIBAR’, ARRI Stands 12.F28 & 12.F21 Discover how ARRI’s camera systems, lenses and accessories in combination with IP-based LED lights from the ARRI Group can deliver truly cinematic images to virtual production, sports and live events, plus boost workflow efficiency. Expect product presentations, case studies and panel discussions. Highlights this year include the SkyPanel family of soft lights and Orbiter, plus the brand’s flagship large-format cinematography cameras, the ALEXA 35, and the ALEXA Mini LF. Aspectra Stand 12.C35 Offering a broad range of equipment from major brands such as TVLogic, camRade, Camgear and PAG, Aspectra will showcase products including with refreshing drinks and networking opportunities.
O ffering a packed programme of inspiring content, a first look at game-changing innovations and a chance to connect with key players in the global media community, IBC is an essential calendar fixture. Around 40,000 attendees are expected at this year’s gathering, which will once again be held at the RAI in Amsterdam, bringing together members of the broadcast, entertainment and technology sectors for an energising, enlightening look at the tech, trends and topics which will shape our industry in the year to come. Bursting to life in the ‘summer of love’, 1967 – when the hot topic was the arrival of colour TV – IBC has consistently led the conversation at the cutting edge of media entertainment technology. Over a half a century on, we’ve come a long way since the dawn of colour TV, but IBC remains a pivotal forum for the exchange of ideas and information, continually evolving to reflect the changing landscape around it.
the prototype armored cover – a high-end camera storage suit made of nylon and anti-theft protective mesh. You can also find out more about the Mini PAGlink Cinergy battery – which enables Mini PAGlink batteries to be linked in series to power high-voltage cameras such as the ARRI ALEXA 35 – plus check out Camgear’s newest tripod systems. innovative light solutions for film/ event markets will showcase its full, integrated range of lighting solutions, including the newly launched PlutoFresnel and LeoFresnel – two powerful lights delivering the creative potential of fresnel lighting with the practical benefits of LEDs. Gain an insight into the versatility of Astera’s products, discovering how they’ve been used on some of the year’s biggest broadcast productions. Astera Stand 12.G44 This leading developer of Atomos will show the latest in its range of cloud-enabled monitor- recorders, such as the Ninja series and the world premiere of RemoteView – a new technology that lets you share what’s on your Atomos screen monitor and look through any connected camera taking the shot, from anywhere in the world. There will also be live presentations on topics such as advanced camera-to- cloud workflows and remote live production, an overview of the new AtomOS 11 and speakers from Adobe and Assimilate. Atomos Stand: 11.D25
CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY The biggest names in the industry will be showcasing their latest offerings at this year’s IBC, with experts on hand to help you get to grips with new products
Broadly speaking, this year’s content will coalesce around three key pillars: ‘transformative tech’, ‘shifting business models’ and ‘people and purpose’ – themes that will be explored across the show through presentations, discussions and demos. Once again, you can expect a large exhibition; a conference filled with keynotes, talks, technical papers and structured networking opportunities; as well as the Accelerator Media Innovation Programme, IBC Innovation Awards and Social Impact Awards. Also look out for the Changemaker programme, geared towards shining a light on issues such as sustainability and inclusive tech. “We are actively listening to our community on what they want out of a modern trade show”, comments Michael Crimp, IBC’s CEO. “Among the things they tell us they want are new topics and new ways of learning – and our content pillars give us the scope to provide these. They form a compelling thread that runs through the talks, presentations and panels going on at the conference and at show-floor venues across the RAI. They create a focus for an exciting slate of visionary speakers to address pressing trends, issues, opportunities and challenges in media and entertainment today.”
CAPTIVATING CONTENT Taking place in RAI Amsterdam’s Forum between 15 and 16 September, the paid- for IBC Conference will bring together some of the industry’s leading voices to present a series of talks, discussions – and the IBC Technical Papers. Exploring the themes set to shape the future of media and entertainment, the event kicks off with an address from Evan Shapiro – Emmy Award- winning producer, NYU professor and cartographer of ‘the media universe map’, which has been adopted by businesses and analysts across the industry. He’ll be charting the new media ecosystem in his talk on plotting the effects of disruption.
Core SWX Stand 11.A26 A team with a passion for
empowering creators in the ever- changing landscape of media production, Core SWX believes that a project should not be
A PLACE TO LEARN With four days of talks, seminars and conferences, IBC2023 is set to be a meeting place for the brightest ideas in the M&E sphere
Other headliners include Anthony Guarino, executive vice president, global production & studio technology at Paramount; Michael Wise, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Universal Pictures; Richard Berger, chief executive officer at MovieLabs; and Ralph Lee, chief executive officer at BBC Studios Productions. Beyond the conference, there’s plenty more content to seek out: in the show-floor venues – which include the Showcase Theatre in Hall 12, the Innovation Stage in Hall 3 and two theatres in the Content Everywhere area in Hall 5, there will be an array
of exhibitor and sponsored content that will include speeches, panels and demos, with many relating to the first two content pillars. The Innovation Stage will also announce the results of the IBC Accelerator Media Innovation Programme, which brings together pioneering media companies and leading-edge technology partners as they collaborate to solve real-world challenges and drive advances across a range of areas. HIT THE STANDS With over 1000 exhibitors spread across 13 halls, you’ll want to get your comfiest shoes ready for exploring IBC. The sheer volume of booths can feel a little overwhelming, but there are a few unmissables in the cine sector we think are worth making a beeline for. A great place to start is in Hall 12, which will house companies showcasing cameras, lighting, lenses, cinema robotics and more. Check out Viltrox, which will bring its EPIC series of full-frame anamorphic prime lenses, new Pixel RGB light stick and more. Then, mosey by the Grip
Hollyland Stand 11.B34
limited by the availability of power and charging solutions. Pop along to the stand to get to know the range of innovative and reliable power solutions available to the broadcast, digital cinema, professional video, lighting and grip industries.
Hollyland specialises in video solutions, intercom systems, wireless microphones, cameras and accessories. This year at IBC, the company will showcase many of its regular products as well as its new live-streaming camera, the VenusLiv. The Hollyland team will provide a demonstration of its streaming solution, combining the VenusLiv with the new Lark Max microphone. batteries, including the new B-Mount and the updated Imicro Range. The B-Mount range of batteries includes the HV-160B and HV-320B – both featuring iUSB-PD for connecting compatible accessories, including charging and D-Tap outputs. The BL-4SX four-way charger will also be on display. And the updated Imicro range includes an even smaller model – the Imicro-50P – perfect for operators who need a very lightweight, compact battery. IDX Stand 12.C25 IDX will show its full range of Motion Impossible Stand 12.G48 Visitors can check out the ground- breaking AGITO and M-Series Remote Dolly systems, offering the perfect solutions for moving and stabilising cameras in broadcast, film, VR and virtual production. A ‘Swiss-army knife for filmmakers’, the AGITO offers multiple configurations to suit your filming needs. A leading name in cutting-edge LED technology, ROE Visual will showcase its latest products and technologies, providing a glimpse into the future of visual storytelling and media production. The Ruby LED series will take centre stage, featuring the Ruby RB1.2, RB1.5, and RB1.9BV2-C panels alongside the Black Marble LED floor, the BM2. ROE Visual Stand 7.C26
Creamsource Stand 12.F33
The Creamsource team will be on hand to demonstrate its latest technologies. Creamsource’s top- spec LED fixtures have high-speed capabilities, IP65 weather proofing and can be counted on for creative use across a range of applications. As well as the flagship Vortex8, visitors can get hands-on with the Vortex4, SpaceX, Micro Range and the recently released LNX Mounting system for the Vortex series. The new foldable yet robust Vortex8 yokes will also be on show. Step into a world of sound recording innovation at the Deity stand, where you can expect demos, discussions and a first look at products still in the making, but poised to redefine the workflow of sound mixers in the near future. A highlight this year is the Deity Theos – a state-of-the-art system designed to make audio recording seamless and stress-free. Grip Factory Munich (GFM) Stand: 12.D31 GFM is set to make waves with their cutting-edge camera support products at this year’s IBC. Get ready to check out some of their latest innovations, such as the GF-Primo Ultra, representing a leap forward from the renowned GF-Primo Dolly, seamlessly combining conventional and crab steering. The team will also be showcasing exciting Deity Stand 8.C78 products such as the GF-Mod Jib – a modular but solid jib that elevates your shooting experience with its versatility – plus the GF-Turtle Base, GF-Slider and many more.
Factory Munich stand for a look at pioneering camera-support products including the GF-Primo Ultra, GF-Mod Jib and the GF-Slider. Next door in Hall 11, Atomos will be unveiling the latest additions to its expanding range of cloud-enabled monitor-recorders. It’s a first chance to see the impressive new Ninja series, plus the world premiere of RemoteView: a new technology that lets you share what’s on your Atomos screen monitor and look through any connected camera taking the shot, from anywhere in the world. Over in Hall 7, pay a visit to LED screen and display solution specialists ROE Visual, which will be debuting new products and offering live demonstrations. The team will also host daily panel discussions with industry- leading specialists in XR, VP and live broadcast, covering topics including ‘the challenges of XR in live broadcast studio workflows’. “Our stand will be an immersive experience offering an up-close look at our newest products, solutions and technologies that redefine visual experiences,” comments Olaf Sperwer,
Rohde & Schwarz Stand 7.B21 Visit Rohde & Schwarz, whose media solutions deliver excellent performance, reliability and security. The SpycerNode2, the high-capacity storage network that launched at NAB this year, has a new version, providing rapid-access cache through NVMe solid-state storage, as well as scaling from a few terabytes to exabyte capacities in multiple locations plus the cloud. CLIPSTER, meanwhile, is recognised as the gold standard in mastering and deliverables. The CLIPSTER 6 Mark 2 sees a 100% speed increase, creating the most complex package of deliverables, including Ultra HD, DCP and IMF, to the tightest timescales. Designing innovative LED lighting products for the motion picture and photographic industries, Rotolight products have pioneered numerous industry-first, patented technologies with over 50 granted patents, designs and trademarks around the world such as the first suite of cinematic lighting effects (CineSFX) and the world’s first electronic diffusion technology (SmartSoft). SHOTOVER Systems designs and manufactures high-performance gyro-stabilised camera systems coupled with the most advanced augmented-reality mapping and mission-management software. Discover the company’s range, which offers an end-to-end solution while delivering an unprecedented level of control, versatility and ease-of-use in a compact package, backed by world-class support. SHOTOVER Systems Stand 12.A20 Rotolight Stand 12.A14
media content flow easier and more efficient. Visit the stand to learn how Signiant helps media companies of all sizes and view the many new innovations on the platform, including support for cloud-to-cloud operations where both the source and destination are cloud storage endpoints, growing files functionality for both on-premises and cloud storage endpoints, and the Media Engine platform service, which makes it easy to search, preview and interact with media assets. Specialising in designing and engineering storage solutions that cater to the needs of content creators, Symply’s products are not only efficient and reliable but also cost effective. From the initial stages of data ingest and acquisition in production to post-production and VFX, then also to delivery, archiving and future monetisation strategies, Symply offers a comprehensive range of storage options including Symply Stand 7.C21 RAID, LTO, Cloud, on-premise S3 Object Storage as well as shared- storage appliances. True Lens Services Stand 12.A48 One of the UK’s largest lens rehousing and service providers, True Lens Services is now recognised worldwide for their lens innovation, with an unbeatable reputation in the design, manufacture and servicing of filming lenses. The company has been very busy this year, working on their most recent project – the Zeiss Super Speeds. Visit the stand to see what the team has been up to and what they’re working on next! Viltrox Stand: 12.B54 Viltrox will bring its EPIC series of full-frame Anamorphic prime lenses: with 35mm/50mm/75mm T2.0 1.33X, in PL/E/L-mounts, plus PL-mount adapters – including PL-RF, PL-M43,
A LOT OF WHAT YOU DISCOVER AT IBC WILL BE serendipitous ”
responsible for business development virtual production.
BEST IN SHOW With so much to discover, it pays to do a bit of planning to maximise your time at IBC. Acquaint yourself with the floorplan. Figure out which companies you’d like to connect with and where they’re located. Look after your feet (did we mention comfy shoes?), and as blindingly obvious as it sounds, keep fuelled and hydrated. It’s also worth taking a look at the schedule to figure out which talks you’re most keen to see. What you don’t need to do, stresses head of content Jaisica Lapsiwala, is plan every second of every day. “I recommend planning a few things – choose the sessions that you really want to go to and put those in your diary,” she says. “But don’t cram it, because a lot of things that you discover you love, a lot of the people you meet at IBC, will be serendipitous. Plan a bit, but then be really open to meeting people and leaving the door open to conversations. Because you never know where that next meeting can take you.”
Signiant Stand: 5.C74
More than just fast file transfers – the Signiant platform is an integrated set of SaaS products that make
PL-E, PL-L, and more. There will also be a chance to get a first look at the new Pixel RGB light stick, plus lots more on the stills photography gear line-up, including new lens arrivals like the Pro Series 75mm f/1.2 E/Z/X-mount lenses plus a digital full-frame 16mm f/1.8 FE. Vocas Stand 12.D25 Vocas will showcase its collection of top-of-the-line camera accessories, with a range catering to models including Sony’s FX6, FX9 and VENICE; RED DSMC3 line and the ARRI ALEXA 35. Additionally, it will unveil an array of Prosup sliders and a dolly, guaranteeing smooth and dynamic camera movements. Visitors can also check out the CaseCart, a cutting-edge solution equipped with a wide range of accessories and innovative features. One standout addition is the Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) kit, designed to facilitate secure transportation and easy set-up of essential equipment such as monitors and laptops during production. Western Digital Stands 8.MS24 & 8.MS25 Learn more about the high- performance portfolio of Western Digital and its SanDisk Professional line, including the latest embedded flash solutions and large platforms. With its broad portfolio, Western Digital helps production industry pros address data challenges caused by the increased use of AI, special effects, and the transition from 4K to 8K and 12K. This affects not only the storage capacity during the filming/production process but has implications for end devices like TVs and mobile phones that must keep up with the capacity and speed of downloaded data.
MEET THE CHANGEMAKERS
Jaisica Lapsiwala tells us what’s in store for the Changemakers programme – and what makes this part of IBC so vitally important
F ollowing a successful pilot in 2022, the Changemaker Programme returns this year to shine a spotlight on those driving meaningful change and shaping the culture of our industry for the better. Addressing topics like diversity, inclusivity, sustainability and accessibility, this strand of IBC is free to attend, taking place at The Forum on 17 and 18 September. “It’s about people and purpose”, sums up Jaisica Lapsiwala, who oversees IBC’s content programme. “Rather than looking at technical topics, it focuses on media culture. We’re covering a broad range of topics, but also bringing together communities who have a vested interest in creating a better media and entertainment culture.” Having enjoyed a warm reception last year, organisers have bolstered the Changemaker Programme: collaborating with a diverse range of organisations to gain insights into the subjects that most need a platform. “A lot of research went into this programme – we’re working behind the scenes with organisations like RISE, Soho Media Club and Women in Immersive Tech to understand what the issues are,” explains Lapsiwala. “This year, it’s a lot more editorially robust,” she continues. “There’s more of a narrative, and we’re ensuring that we cover a broad range of topics under that banner of ‘changemakers’. It’s not just gender equality – which you hear about quite often at these conferences – we’re looking at ethics, sustainability and the LGBTQ+ community.” The programme kicks off with a session on inclusive tech from Sasha Scott, head of transformation services for the European Broadcasting Union, and Soumya Sriraman, president of streaming at Qurate Retail Group. Taking a frank look at where we are
now and where we need to be, this big-picture, strategic conversation will consider what needs to change and what lies ahead. Meanwhile, Jabbar Sardar, HR director at BBC Studios, will lead a fireside chat on ‘putting people first’: bringing his experiences to the fore to help others create a culture of empowering employees. There will also be a keynote from Akwasi Ansah, creative director of Netherlands- based inclusive broadcasting station Omroep ZWART, where he’ll lay out his vision for a digital landscape that’s equitable and accessible. You can then hear from Alexandra Hussenot, CEO at Immersionn and UK lead at Women in Immersive Technologies, in a panel on the matter of ethics in AI. As it grows in prominence in our industry, this discussion will consider the opportunities and limitations of AI. In addition to the in-person events at the show, the team has launched a Changemakers podcast, sharing stories from people making a difference. Hosted by broadcaster Nadira Tudor, this seven-part series will invite M&E trailblazers to discuss everything from embedding DEI policies to dealing with climate anxiety. For Lapsiwala, one of the most important aspects of Changemakers is offering the industry a blueprint for enacting change. “It’s good to go and understand how others are building stuff into their strategy; it’s good to see things through a different lens,” she concludes. “There’s no right answer to culture and inclusion and sustainability. But the more people we can get together, talking to each other, the more we can change things. For people to go and listen, be inspired and see things from another perspective – and then come out and be able to network with that community will just be invaluable.”
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