First Quarterly Meeting of Center of Excellence Was Hosted by HDi RAWworks CEO Neil Smith and Canon USA on May 1, 2010 at The Lot in West Hollywood, CA
Dawna Lee Heising, David McNeil, John Cox and Gordon Michael of Eye on Entertainment on Time Warner Cable covered the premiere meeting of the HD SLR Center of Excellence at The Lot in West Hollywood, CA. The exhibition was presented by Hdi RAWworks together with Canon USA, Birns & Sawyer, Redrock Microsystems, LitePanels, Carl Zeiss USA and Porta-Jib. The HD SLR Center of Excellence was created in 2010 by Neil Smith, CEO of Hdi RAWworks with the goal of aiding professional filmmakers and photographers to create compelling content using HD enabled DSLR cameras.
EOE interviewed Neil Smith, the CEO of Hdi RAWworks, about his extensive and multi-faceted career. He is a former business executive with technology companies, including Digital Equipment Corporation and Microsoft. After a successful career in the computer industry, Neil returned to school to study neuroscience and psychology at the University of Southern California. While at USC, he also took film classes at the famed film school and developed documentaries on neuroscience and how the brain works. Through his documentary work he discovered the untapped possibilities of digital workflows and the importance of integrating pre-production and post-production functions. After graduating with honors from USC, he founded HDi RAWworks to continue his work in file-based digital filmmaking. Hdi RAWworks is headquartered at The Lot in West Hollywood. See the interview at:
The premier Center of Excellence workshop covered key aspects of camera use, production and post-production. The debut meeting took place on the old Warner Hollywood Studio Lot on Formosa Avenue in West Hollywood, California. Attendees were able to sign-up for membership in the HD SLR Center of Excellence for only ten dollars; obtain discounts from the vendors and network with other enthusiasts.
Tim Smith, manager of professional services marketing support from Canon USA, along with Bob Primes, ASC presented workshops on lenses, lighting and shooting with the Canon range of HD enabled DSLRs. Rodney Charters, ASC, director of photography on the hit Fox television show,”24’” showed how HD SLR technology is making television production easier and showed the tricks he is using with the new technology. Shane Hurlbut, ASC, director of photography on the film,” Terminator: Salvation,” showed a clip from his yet to be released film, “Act of Valor,’ which uses a combination of HD SLR, Red Camera and film. According to Hurlbut, “Being able to use the HD SLR cameras, not only allowed us to shoot more freely in crowded areas, it also allowed us to keep our crews to a minimum, which allowed us to travel to places like Cambodia to do our shooting.” Jared Abrams, HD SLR guru and reporter on Cinema5D, showed his new music video that was filmed solely using HD SLR technology, handled questions on practical production and shooting. Canon’s Smith and Bob Primes finished up the event by fielding questions from attendees.
Also in attendance were many filmmakers, directors and cinematographers. Filmmaker/director Ford Austin, whose latest film, “Dahmer Vs. Gacey,” was shot only with Canon HD SLR cameras, commented, “I keep telling everyone that this technology is revolutionizing the way independent filmmakers are going to be filming.” He continued, “The resolution is nearly as good as the Red Camera and savings on equipment, and accessories is so great, it allows us to really be more competitive with the large studios.”
Redrock Micros Systems demonstrated their range of HD SLR rigs along with new gear previewed at NAB 2010; Zeiss USA presented their new range of Compact Primes CP.2 lenses designed especially for HD SLR filmmakers and LitePanels featured their extensive range of eco-friendly LED lighting systems designed for digital projects. LitePanels won a 2009 Primetime EMMY Engineering Award for their LED lighting products. Porta-Jib demonstrated their Explorer JIB/Trolley System that is aimed squarely at the HD SLR market.
As well as the workshops, lighting stage and vendor booths, attendees were invited into the spectacular Hdi RAWworks color correction Fairbanks Theater where HD SLR content was projected from the Barco 2k DLP cinema projector onto a 20 foot screen. Examples of HD SLR projects were screened. Shane Hurlbut, ASC, Rodney Charters, ASC and Bob Primes, ASC, presented examples of their extraordinary professional work and gave presentations in the studio demonstrating their on-set usage of HD SLR cameras.
Hdi RAWworks is the first post-production company dedicated to this technology. Neil Smith and his crew are committed to helping filmmakers realize their dreams, and are experts in production and postproduction using file-based, digital formats. Hdi RAWworks also was the main sponsor of the CAN-DO International Film Festival and Competition, a virtual film festival featuring short films shot using HD SLR cameras. “The wonderful thing about this technology,” according to Neil Smith, “is that it is so inexpensive, anyone with a story to tell can be a filmmaker.” The films were shown online and with the state of the art projection in the Fairbanks Theatre as part of the event.
The next meeting of the HD Center of Excellence will be in August 2010. For more information, see the Hdi RAWworks website at www.hdirawworks.com or call 323 850 3550. To schedule interviews with Neil Smith, CEO of Hdi RAWworks, contact info@Mattsmarketing.com
See also the websites of the vendors for more information on HD SLR technology and digital filmmaking:
Canon USA – www.usa.canon.com
Birns and Sawyer - www.birnsandsawyer.com
Redrock Micro Systems - www.redrockmicro.com
Litepanels - www.litepanels.com
Carl Zeiss USA - www.zeiss.com
Porta-jib - www.porta-jib.com
Cinema5D - www.cinema5d.com/news
Can-Do International Film Festival and Competition - www.can-dofilmfest.com
About Eye on Entertainment
"Eye on Entertainment", a division of Eye on Excellence™ Productions, is aired twice weekly on Time Warner Cable in Southern California. The EOE team covers entertainment and music events, film festivals, red carpets and award shows, and features interviews with successful people in all walks of life, exploring the traits they have in common. Dawna Lee Heising, EOE executive producer and host, is a member of SAG & AFTRA, has an MBA and PhD and is Ms. Universe 2010. The EOE team includes Linda Maxwell of Time Warner Cable, producer/photographer David J. McNeil, former United Artists executive who was one of the developers of Pay-per-View, director/editor John Cox, director/editor Larry Cota, editor Gordon Michael, music director Dino Maddalone, Canadian reporter Keith Harris, Steve Van Wormer, business director Paul Heising and photographer Kevin Le. For more information, please visit http://www.eyeonentertainment.tv/, http://www.dawnaleeheising.tv/ and www.youtube.com/eyeonentertainment