2015 NAB Show's Technology Summit on Cinema, Produced in Partnership With SMPTE®, Takes Fresh Look at Past and Future

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'Moving Images' Documentary Sneak Peek Examines Evolution of Motion-Imaging Technology, Sessions Explore Impact of Next-Generation Technology on Storytelling

SMPTE Fellow Bill Hogan, the 2015 program chair for the TSC (Photo Credit: Robb Cohen Photography/Courtesy of NAB)

The various panels, presentations, and productions showcased during this year's summit reflected the rapidly changing nature of cinema technology — revealing how far we've come, and how far we might yet go

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), one of the worldwide leaders in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced that the 2015 NAB Show's Technology Summit on Cinema (TSC), produced in partnership with SMPTE, concluded successfully on April 12, having provided attendees with a fresh perspective on the past and future of storytelling. More than 600 people attended the two-day summit, "Building the Future of Storytelling," which offered a roadmap for future success and also explored potentially disruptive innovations that could ultimately redefine the cinema experience of tomorrow.

"The audience for this year's program was fantastic, as were the technical sessions, which featured intriguing discussions by renowned industry executives, experts, and creatives," said SMPTE Fellow Bill Hogan, the 2015 program chair for the TSC. "The various panels, presentations, and productions showcased during this year's summit reflected the rapidly changing nature of cinema technology — revealing how far we've come, and how far we might yet go."

In a keynote titled "Leveraging New Technology to Preserve Creative Intent," David Keighley, chief quality officer and executive vice president at IMAX Corporation, and Jan Yarbrough, senior colorist at Warner Bros., discussed the relationship between enhanced technical capabilities and the filmmaker's creative vision. The conversation covered topics ranging from creative opportunity to standards for screen brightness and bit depth to effective storage media. Keighley stressed the importance of raising the bar with respect to the quality of the image projected on screen, and Yarbrough explained the balance he must strike in maintaining creative intent and making the most of new technology when restoring library titles.

The TSC featured an exclusive "first look" at SMPTE's "Moving Images" documentary, which is being produced by Randall Dark and directed by Howard Lukk, with cinematographer Travis LaBella. The feature-length documentary is slated for release in conjunction with SMPTE's centennial celebration in 2016, and it focuses on the evolution of motion-imaging technology, as well as the people behind it. The four-minute preview, edited by Bobby Hewitt and featuring music from Life In Film, highlighted some of the first moving images from the early 1890s along with clips and interviews extending up to the present. During the TSC, SMPTE also generated buzz — on the show floor and on Twitter — with the screening of the first video in its #LIFEWITHOUTSMPTE public awareness campaign (available at http://www.lifewithoutsmpte.org), a multichannel initiative showcasing the Society's contributions to media and entertainment.

Speaking to a specific SMPTE contribution to the industry, the session titled "DCP Update and Future Delivery Options: Satellite, Fiber, and Internet" examined SMPTE Digital Cinema Packaging (SMPTE-DCP) and featured a discussion of SMPTE-DCP's unparalleled support for higher bit rates, dynamic 3D subtitles, Material eXchange Format (MXF), fully encrypted subtitles, and auxiliary data.

The summit's second keynote, "Virtual Reality: Coming to a Display Near You," engaged Arthur van Hoff, co-founder and chief technology officer at Jaunt VR, in a conversation about cinematic virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). "What we are all aiming for is not VR; it's really the 'holodeck' experience," van Hoff said. He discussed AR technologies, including the Microsoft® HoloLens, explained why AR is significantly more difficult than VR, and described the many applications — live concerts, sports, travel, film, news, advertising, and education — in which VR offers a lower-cost alternative with tremendous potential.

The session titled "Cinema and Virtual Reality: Perfect Together?" extended that conversation, delving into the state of the art in immersive cinema experiences and exploring ways the technology might develop in the future. Richard Welsh, SMPTE governor for EMEA and the Central and South America region and CEO of Sundog Media Toolkit, moderated the panel, which featured experts including van Hoff and Ted Schilowitz of 20th Century Fox, Barco, as well as Jaunt VR. The panel further explored future applications of VR and AR within the theatrical environment.

"At this year's TSC, we talked about how disruptive technology such as VR and AR are poised to transform the experience of moving images, and we plan to take the discussion to the next level in 2016, the year of the SMPTE centennial celebration," said Welsh, who has been appointed TSC program chair for 2016. "Given all the new developments taking place in cinema technology today, we're confident that the program will feature some very exciting innovations in cinema technology."

The 2016 Technology Summit on Cinema will take place in Las Vegas on April 16-17.

Further information about SMPTE is available at http://www.smpte.org. Keynotes, additional pictures, interviews, and more are now available at: http://www.smpte.org/tsc. A full wrap-up article will appear in the May/June issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. A full wrap-up article will appear in the May/June issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal at http://journal.smpte.org

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About NAB Show
NAB Show, held April 11-16, 2015 in Las Vegas, is the world's largest electronic media show covering the creation, management and delivery of content across all platforms. With more than 102,000 attendees, 164 countries, and 1,789 exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. For complete details, visit http://www.nabshow.com.

About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®)
The Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), a professional membership association, is one of the leaders in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 800 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines.

More than 6,000 members — motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students — who meet in Sections throughout the world sustain the Society. Through the Society's partnership with the Hollywood Professional Alliance® (HPA®), this membership is complemented by the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide the expertise, support, tools, and infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television programs, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at http://www.smpte.org/join.

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