On November 19th & 20th 2014, the second annual technology conference CHANGING THE PICTURE took place in Babelsberg, Potsdam.
Following the spirited conference opening by Ernst Feiler, Head of Technology at UFA Serial Drama, CHANGING THE PICTURE presented twelve interactive workspaces showing state of the art technology for film production, post-production and film distribution. The spaces were organized by film companies and institutes from Babelsberg, such as Studio Babelsberg, Exozet, Stargate Germany, the Film University at Potsdam and the Hasso Plattner Institute. All twelve workspaces were open all day, but had presentations at different times over the day. Each presentation was repeated three times, so that participants had the chance to take part at least three different workspaces.
On the second day, interviews, panel discussions and lectures from leading international experts from different fields of film production and distribution were moderated by American journalists Kate Bulkley and Scott Roxborough.
At the start of the day, Kate Rowland, director and founder of the BBC’s Writer’s Room introduced innovative and successful BBC-series storytellers. Additionally, she inspired the tech-affine audience with the trailer for “Who Killed Laura Kitchen”, a 24-hour drama, for which the narration unfolds interactively over websites and social media.
Following, a world-class experts’ discussion on the topic of collaborative software tools for each development stage of film production. Mark Kennedy, CEO Celtx, Canada, Gabor Kertai, CEO Production Minds, Hungary, Yannic Hieber, CMO Easy Scott, Munich, and Eddie Weinwurm, CEO FlavourSys, Berlin unanimously expressed the desire for more standardized tools. So far there are tools for preproduction – albeit few – “on set tools” for production and several excellent programs for post-production. What is missing is a comprehensive digital tool which can be used in all phases of film production and enables collaboration and communication between all departments.
Michael Cioni, Light Iron, Los Angeles, has over 200 credits as a digital intermediate supervisor in Hollywood and is one of the most sought-after experts in his field, then presented in his newest cases and challenged the filmmakers present to make better films, namely by finding better and more efficient ways of producing films while meeting the challenge of utilizing creative complex workflows in film production and post-production.
Alexander Mazzara, CEO Joiz Group, Zürich and Jeroen Doucet, business director of Coming Next TV, Amsterdam reinforced the demand for integrating second screens and social media. Interactivity, with regard to the dialog with the audience in order to mobilize and engage them, is less a question of the future, but already essential in many program areas.
Building on this, Rhodes Mason, SVP Internet Video Archive, New Jersey, USA, Ingke Weimert, business director of Moviepilot, Berlin, Claudia Linder, sales manager of Tweek TV, Berlin, as well as Dr. Harald Sack, senior researcher at Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, all experts in the the search and discovery of content presented which methods of finding content have been developed, especially for recommended content matching the consumers’ tastes.
Rodolphe Buet, CEO Studiocanal Germany, illustrated how to reach and engage audience members and the community with the development of marketing campaigns and materials and also live events in a 360-degree strategy, as was the case with the Hunger Games series.
Mitch Singer, US entertainment industry veteran, and President of Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, Los Angeles, advocated for the creation of open standards and the transmission of digital rights for online distribution and use of entertainment content. In his Closing Keynote speech he summarized which current problems the film branch faces regarding the use of metadata and modern workflows.