HPA Tech Retreat Comes To England: HDR, UHD and More
2016 HPA Tech Retreat UK runs 13-14 July at Heythrop Park Resort, Oxfordshire
The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA), formerly the Hollywood Post Alliance is perhaps best known outside its own membership for the annual Tech Retreat, which is held in Palm Springs.This year for the first time a Tech Retreat is to be held in the UK. With so many conferences held in the UK and Europe, why is this different, and why should you attend? The HPA Tech Retreat has always has a special cache that sets it apart from large conferences like NAB and IBC, along with smaller events like the SMPTE conferences. It has become the event to attend to learn about, and discuss the latest technologies in an informal setting.
Right now we are on the cusp of huge change from legacy dynamic range, gamma, and colour volumes that were defined around the defunct cathode ray tube. Looking forward we have newer, aspirational standards based more on sound science and the psychophysics of the human visual system. It may not be possible to achieve Rec. 2020 colour primaries in today's standards, but that is not reason to hobble the standard.
This move to high dynamic range (HDR), higher frame rates, and wide colour gamut (WGC) has been explored and discussed for many years at Tech Retreats. Some of the sharpest scientific minds in the media business have come together at these events to thrash out the issues of implementation.
Yes, you can follow this elsewhere, but an HPA retreat is a different, more intimate event, where 250 or so attendees meet in one room, with associated socialising. This is so different from the ten or so tracks of NAB, the breakout sessions of other events. This close association over the several days of an event are one of the factors that sets HPA apart, and why it has such a strong following. The Palm Springs events are sellouts, such is the popularity.
The new UK event is hoping that the same atmosphere can be replicated outside the desert resort. The UK section of SMPTE will be active in organising the Retreat (The HPA recently formed a partnership with the SMPTE to drive technical innovation). The HPA Tech Retreat UK is co-chaired by Jerry Pierce, HPA Vice President, and Richard Welsh, former SMPTE Governor for EMEA, Central and South America Regions.
No HPA would be the same without a Charles Poynton presentation, and the July UK Retreat has a special day where Poynton is joined by another great speaker, John Watkinson to explore HDR.
“Those familiar with HPA Tech Retreat in the US, will recognise its mainstays at Tech Retreat UK. The carefully curated main conference, including its ‘Supersession’ which focuses on the hot topics of the industry, the breakfast roundtables, the Innovation Zone, and, of course, the networking and camaraderie that mark this event – our venue lends itself quite nicely to that”. Richard Welsh, SMPTE
The Retreat is not just about imaging science, the first day kicks off with a behind the scenes look at the making of Game of Thrones season 6. The presenters will explore the on-set technology, VFX and sound used in the making of the HBO series.
This year sees a real revolution in media technology, and its not just better pixels, its also IP infrastructure. The move from SD to HD was a gentle evolution in comparison, so keeping up to date is important for all broadcast, post and production engineers. This event promises to bring the spirit of the Palms Springs event to the English countryside, and for many in Europe, an easier journey.
There will be plenty of discussions around UHD, and virtual & augmented reality get an airing. In two days, three if you attend the Ponyton/Watkinson seminar you can get up to speed on all the newest media technology.
The HPA is a trade association that serves professionals who provide expertise, support, tools and infrastructure for production, post production, distribution, and archiving of motion pictures, television, commercials, and other media content. The name Hollywood in the name should not indicate a geographical focus on Los Angeles, but is more to indicate the link to motion pictures.
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