Diversity Will Be A Focus at SMPTE® 2015 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2015) and Related Events

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SMPTE 2015 Panel to Discuss Strategy for Boosting Diversity, Hollywood Post Alliance® (HPA®) Women's Luncheon to Address Rise of Inclusivity and Diversity

Wendy Aylsworth, SMPTE past president, former senior vice president of technology at Warner Bros. Technical Operations, and current chair of the USC Entertainment Technology Center

Though the industry today is more diverse than in past decades, there is much work yet to do to inspire people from all demographics to become involved in the art and science of motion imaging and related fields

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), a leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced that the SMPTE 2015 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2015), Oct. 27-29 in Hollywood, California, and related events will focus on fostering the presence and engagement of diversity in the industry, enriching it with colleagues representing a greater variety of experiences, perspectives, and voices.

"Though the industry today is more diverse than in past decades, there is much work yet to do to inspire people from all demographics to become involved in the art and science of motion imaging and related fields," said Wendy Aylsworth, SMPTE past president, former senior vice president of technology at Warner Bros. Technical Operations, and current chair of the USC Entertainment Technology Center. "By enriching the engineering ranks with a more diverse workforce, we strengthen the industry's ability to create and distribute entertainment that is widely accepted by all cultures. During SMPTE 2015, attendees will have valuable opportunities to engage in dialogue about how we can be more effective in achieving this goal."

The Society's annual conference is the world's premier forum for the exploration of media and entertainment technology. The signature SMPTE event will be preceded on Oct. 26 not only by the daylong SMPTE 2015 Symposium, but also by the annual Women in Technology Luncheon, hosted by the Hollywood Post Alliance® (HPA®) Women in Post and SMPTE. Held at the Loews Hollywood Hotel at the Hollywood and Highland Center, the noon luncheon will feature a conversation between Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS®), and Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter. Boone Isaacs and Giardina will touch on topics including the evolution of the Academy and the industry as a whole. Attendees will have the opportunity to join in the dialogue in an intimate setting.

Boone Isaacs is currently serving her third term as president of AMPAS and has been a respected motion picture marketing executive for more than 30 years. For the past nine years, she has headed CBI Enterprises Inc. and has consulted for companies such as MTV Films, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company, and Sony Entertainment. Boone Isaacs previously served as president of theatrical marketing for New Line Cinema, where she oversaw numerous box office successes. Prior to that she served as executive vice president of worldwide publicity for Paramount Pictures. She was inducted into the NAACP hall of fame in 2013 and received an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2015. Beginning this month, she will serve as an adjunct professor at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

On Oct. 29 at 2 p.m., the SMPTE 2015 session "Thought-Provoking Ideas for Increasing Diversity in Motion Picture and Television Engineering" will examine how broader outreach, more inclusive of women, minorities, and younger industry members, will better enable the industry to attract top engineers. During the session, a panel of industry professionals will provide brief presentations on their ideas for increasing and sustaining diversity. A Q&A period following these presentations will provide ample time for discussion on ways to pursue these objectives effectively.

Chaired by Kellie McKeown, a software engineering turnaround consultant for projects and organizations, the session will feature Aylsworth; Andrea Berry, media consultant for Fox Networks Engineering and Operations; Marilyn Pierce, director of engineering for master control and program distribution at FOX News Channel; Renu Thomas, senior vice president, technology and operations, at Disney ABC Television Group; and Jennifer Zeidan, media systems engineer at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).

SMPTE 2015 will offer three days of technical sessions, highlighting an array of perspectives from experts and thought leaders from motion picture studios, broadcast and distribution networks, the production and postproduction community, software companies, systems integrators, manufacturers, display technologies, distribution providers, over-the-top (OTT) providers, and the evolving motion-imaging industry, as well as the information technology (IT), Internet, gaming, and virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) space. The SMPTE 2015 Symposium prior to the conference and exhibition will focus on VR and AR.

Further information about SMPTE 2015 and the Symposium, including a continually updated program schedule, is available at http://www.smpte2015.org.

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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 a leader 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 Post 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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