Digital Day 2018

Digital Day 2018 - Advanced Innovations

September 29, 2018 A Special Projects Committee Event

Digital Day 2018On Saturday, September 29, DGA members joined other industry professionals for a day of learning and networking during the 16th Annual Digital Day at the DGA. Held at the Guild’s Los Angeles Theater complex, the annual symposium of cutting-edge technologies featured presentations, exhibits, and much more. This year's event “Advanced Innovations” focused on the creative, technical and business issues surrounding new technologies and provided the opportunity for DGA members and guests to hear from experts in the field.

Digital Day commenced with the traditional welcome from the DGA Special Projects Committee Chair Jeremy Kagan (SHOT). Then Special Projects Digital Day Subcommittee Chair Randal Kleiser (Defrost) gave the audience a quick overview of the panel discussions and presentations that would be taking place in the theaters and urged attendees to take advantage of the hands-on demos in the lobby.

The day was broken into three sections that began with presentations about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, then information about the applications of Digital Effects vs Practical Effects and ended with a panel discussion that explored the magic behind horror and sci-fi features in DGA Theater One. In addition to the exhibits and demos in the lobby, attendees were also able to learn more about new production tool apps designed to make tasks easier via a presentation in DGA Theater Two.

Digital Day 2018Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: Creating with New Tools Part One: Machine Learning: How It’s Changing Character Creation & Animation

In the day’s first presentation in Theater One, Computer Graphics Software Contraptioneer Doug Roble from Digital Domain dove into the world of how AI is making the once impossible now possible in the arena of character creation and animation.

A veteran of Digital Domain for 25 years, Roble currently serves as their Director of Software R&D. He has won Sci-Tech Academy Awards for his computer vision toolkit in 1998 and a motion capture editing suite and fluid simulation packages in 2007. He has also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Graphics Tools and is a member of the Academy’s Sci-Tech Council.

(See video from this presentation in the gallery below.)

Digital Day 2018Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: Creating with New Tools Part Two: Enhance Production Workflows for Live Sports Broadcasts

IBM Watson Media Senior Director, Product & Strategy David Clevinger continued the exploration of the practical uses of AI in his look at how the technology is revolutionizing production work-flows in live sports broadcasts.

A digital media executive who specializes in digital content strategy, content management and metadata and strategic partnerships, Clevinger leads a team developing cognitive-enhanced work-flows, metadata augmentation and management, and digital solutions in media and entertainment that focus on eSports and sports via IBM’s Watson AI. He formerly served as vice president at NeuLion where he oversaw product launches for UFC, NBA, NFL and NHL; and previously ran digital products and programming for Universal Sports, NBC Universal’s original Olympic Sports-oriented property.

(See video from this presentation in the gallery below.)

Digital Day 2018Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: Creating with New Tools Part Three: From the Lab to the Screen: A.I. in Post-Production

In the final exploration of Artificial Intelligence, Adobe Premiere Pro Principal Product Manager Patrick J. Palmer and Adobe Audio Solutions Product Manager Durin Gleaves covered the area of how the technology is changing post-production.

As the Principal Product Manager for Video Editing at Adobe, Palmer is responsible for the overall strategy of Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Media Encoder CC. Previously, he was the COO of IRIDAS where he helped lead development of products for film and broadcast professionals.

As the Product Manager of Audio for Adobe, Gleaves helps video, podcasts and other media creators sound their best. When he’s not designing next-generation sound workflows and strategies, he has mixed sound for award-winning documentaries such as Director Dave O'Leske's Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey.

(See video from this presentation in the gallery below.)

Digital Day 2018Production Tools: Apps at Your Fingertips

Digital Day attendees continued their learning with a presentation in Theater 2 where DGA AD/UPM VFX/Digital Technology Committee Chair Susan Zwerman gave an overview of creative and production apps for Directors and Director’s team members.

With visual effects credits on more than 50 major films, Zwerman has recently worked on J.A. Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Russo Brothers’ Avengers: Infinity War. She is also the co-author, with Charles Finance, of the manual, The Visual Effects Producer: Understanding the Art and Business of VFX. A member of the Guild since 1979, Zwerman received the 2013 Frank Capra Achievement Award in recognition of career achievement and service to the industry and to the DGA.

 

Digital Day 2018Let’s Get Real: Digital vs. Practical

Following the lunch break, Directors Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb) and Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper), and VFX Supervisors Joe Letteri (War for the Planet of the Apes) and Erik Nash (The Mummy) engaged in a lively exploration of the use of digital FX versus practical FX in a panel discussion moderated by UPM/Head of Production, New Deal Studios David Sanger (Marshall).

A DGA member since 1996, Levy’s directorial credits include the features The Internship, This Is Where I Leave You, Real Steel and the Night at the Museum franchise; the pilots for the series Imaginary Mary and Pepper Dennis; and episodes of Stranger Things and The Famous Jett Jackson.  He was also nominated for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs in 1998 for his "Lies and Secrets" episode of The Secret World of Alex Mack.

Thurber’s credits include the feature films Skyscraper, Central Intelligence, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and We're the Millers; the pilot episode of the series Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television; and episodes of the series The Loop and Marry Me. He has been a DGA member since 2003 and currently serves as a member of the Theatrical Creative Rights Committee.

Letteri’s pioneering work on digital visual effects has earned him four Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects for Director James Cameron’s Avatar and Director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and King Kong. His recent credits include Matt Reeves' War for the Planet of the Apes, Steven Spielberg's The BFG and Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book.

Nash is a veteran VFX Supervisor with a career that has spanned three decades and dozens of films. He earned Emmy Awards for his work as part of the VFX team on the series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His recent credits include Joss Whedon's The Avengers, Shawn Levy’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy.

Sanger is a UPM and Head of Production at New Deal Studios where he has served as the in-house visual effects producer for countless commercials, special projects and sequences on more than 100 different feature films including Director Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. Sanger joined the DGA in 2008.

(See video from this presentation in the gallery below.)

Digital Day 2018The Magic of Horror & Sci-Fi

The final panel discussion of the day took an inside look at how directors thrill us and chill us in horror and sci-fi projects and examined what takes to bring the director’s vision to life, keep costs down and find distribution. The panel featured Directors Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe), Roxanne Benjamin (Body at Brighton Rock) and David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) in a conversation moderated by Director Michael Goi (American Horror Story).

Alvarez broke into the industry directing commercials in his home of Montevideo, Uruguay before becoming a viral sensation with his short film Ataque de Pánico (Panic Attack!). In 2013, he made his feature directorial debut with the horror fantasy, Evil Dead, and followed up in 2016 with the cat-and-mouse thriller, Don’t Breathe. Alvarez joined the DGA in 2014 and is currently in the middle of post-production on his latest feature, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, due in theaters this November.

Benjamin made her directorial debut with Southbound, five interlocking tales of terror from herself and fellow directors David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath and Radio Silence. She followed with the “Don’t Fall” segment of XX, an all female-helmed horror anthology. A DGA member since 2016, Benjamin is currently finishing the feature thriller Body at Brighton Rock, which she wrote, directed and produced.

Originally known for his no-budget horror short films such as See You Soon, Attic Panic and Closet Space, Sandberg’s feature directorial debut, Lights Out, was based on his 2013 acclaimed horror short of the same name. His other credits include the horror film, Annabelle: Creation and the upcoming superhero film Shazam!. Sandberg joined the DGA in 2015.

Goi’s directing credits include the feature films Voyeur and Megan is Missing; and episodes of Sexy Urban Legends, Pretty Little Liars, and American Horror Story. A DGA member since 2014, Goi currently serves a co-chair of the DGA’s Asian American Committee.

(See video from this presentation in the gallery below.)

Digital Day 2018Hands-On Demos and Exhibits

In the DGA lobby, attendees were able to engage in hands-on demonstrations and exhibits that included:

  • A demonstration of how Adobe Premiere Pro can transform 2D characters into live animations using Character Animator.
  • A demonstration of Anthem One’s Light Cards, swappable solid-state micro LEDs can illuminate your set with a lifespan 2000% longer and 1/4th the cost of a metal halide system.
  • A demonstration by ARwall utilizing interactive augmented reality displays as an alternative to green screen for in-camera capture and VFX.
  • A demonstration on the latest features in Avid’s Media Composer, including ScriptSync, PhraseFind, Live Timeline and 16K project presets.
  • A demonstration of how Chemical Wedding’s Artemis Prime viewfinder can streamline blocking, framing, lighting and logistics to enhance creativity and save time in pre-production and shooting.
  • A demonstration by Cinema Devices on the AntigravityCam’s new range of stabilized floor to ceiling camera movements, now featuring a heavy camera set up for highly reactive stabilized handheld moves.
  • A demonstration by Evercast on how to connect with your teams around the world in real-time, securely streaming HD content with no latency on a platform designed for spontaneous creative collaboration.
  • A presentation by Exceptional Minds Studio, demonstrating the VFX and Animation skills of young artists on the autism spectrum.
  • A demonstration of the latest features of Final Draft 11, from tracking and reporting on customizable story elements to breaking down scripts for scheduling and budgeting.
  • A demonstration curated by the International Cinematography Guild on cutting-edge camera tech for both big and modestly budgeted projects.
  • Digital Day 2018A demonstration by Pixelworks of exceptional video experiences that address the full spectrum of creative intent—motion, color, tone and detail—to every TV and mobile device.
  • A demonstration of how to run a better set with RABS, an app designed to organize, check-in, wrap, and communicate with background actors with unprecedented speed and ease.
  • A demonstration by SyncOnSet on how users can track all physical assets across projects and warehouses with Asset Hub, the first physical asset system designed specifically for studio workflows.
  • A demonstration by Welcome to Light Fields showcasing an emerging technology used to power a new generation of VR content with real-world reflections, depth, and translucence.
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