Digital Day 2019

Digital Day 2019 - Innovators: Breaking New Ground

October 12, 2019 A Special Projects Committee Event

Digital Day 2019On Saturday, October 12, DGA members joined other industry professionals for a day of learning and networking during the 17th annual Digital Day at the DGA. Held at the Guild’s Los Angeles Theater Complex, the annual symposium of cutting-edge technologies was back with a new streamlined format that featured presentations, exhibits, and much more. This year's event “Innovators: Breaking New Ground” 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 kicked off with the traditional welcome from the DGA Special Projects Committee Chair Jeremy Kagan (SHOT). Then Special Projects Digital Day Subcommittee Chair Randal Kleiser (Defrost: The Virtual Series) gave the audience a quick overview of the presentations and urged attendees to take advantage of the hands-on demos in the lobby.

Following each presentation, there was a short Q&A led by either Kleiser, Kagan or Digital Day Subcommittee member Susan Zwerman.

Watch it in Filmmaker Mode™

Digital Day 2019In the day’s first presentation in Theater One, UHD Alliance Chairman Michael Zink revealed how Filmmaker Mode™ ― a new viewing mode for future television sets ― gives viewers a consistent, cinematic representation of images as the filmmakers intended. The system was designed with the input of directors including: Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, Jonathan Mostow, Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese.

In addition to serving as the Chairman of the Board for the UHD Alliance, Zink is the Vice President of Technology at Warner Bros. where he is responsible for exploring emerging technologies to enhance WB’s capabilities for production, post-production and distribution.

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

What’s next in VFX: Creative Choices for Directors Using Performance Capture

Digital Day 2019In this informative session, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) supervisors Pablo Helman and Maia Kayser discussed how content creators can successfully employ performance capture on their projects and explained various capture methodologies, best practices from pre- to post-production, as well as current trends and where the technology is going in the future.

A DGA member since 2007, Helman is a veteran VFX Supervisor for ILM and also served as Second Unit Director on Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Dave Green's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, where he employed the first use of ILM’s innovative on-set markerless facial performance capture technology.

Kayser has worked on nearly 30 films at ILM, including Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Gore Verbinski’s Rango. Her work on Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest earned Kayser a VES Award for Davy Jones as Best Animated Character in a Motion Picture.

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

A Practical Guide to Virtual Production

Digital Day 2019DGA members went on a virtual scout with THE THIRD FLOOR’s CEO and Founder Chris Edwards, where he demonstrated how virtual production tools are used to streamline pre-production and help directors make more informed decisions on set and into post.

Edwards has been promoting the evolution and use of visualization for leading entertainment content and experiences including HBO’s Game of Thrones, movies in the Marvel and Lucasfilm cinematic franchises and themed attractions worldwide. THE THIRD FLOOR’s visualization work continues to make an impact on the current and future production of feature film, television and immersive media.

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

Digital Pride Lands: Behind the Scenes of The Lion King

Digital Day 2019In a highlight event of the day, Director Jon Favreau, Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel and 2nd Unit Director/VFX Supervisor Rob Legato revealed the pioneering VFX used to bring the classic animated Disney musical to stunning life in the photorealistic world of Favreau’s recent fantasy feature, The Lion King.

In addition to The Lion King, Favreau’s directorial credits include the feature films Made, Elf, Iron Man, Chef and The Jungle Book; the movies for television Smog and Bad Cop, Bad Cop; the pilots for the series Young Sheldon, In Case of Emergency, Revolution and About a Boy; and episodes of The Orville, The Office and The Chef Show. A DGA member since 1997, Favreau currently serves as the Third Vice President of the Guild.

Deschanel has earned six Academy Award nominations for his cinematography on films including Philip Kaufman’s The Right Stuff and Barry Levinson’s The Natural and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASC. A DGA member since 1976, his directorial filmography includes the feature films The Escape Artist and Crusoe and episodes of Twin Peaks, Law & Order: Trial by Jury and Conviction.

Legato is a Visual Effects Supervisor, 2nd Unit Director and Director of Photography. His VFX work garnered him his first Academy Award nomination on Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 and he would go on to win VFX Oscars for his contributions to James Cameron’s Titanic, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and Favreau’s The Jungle Book. A DGA member since 1987, some of his other credits include work on Cameron’s Avatar, Scorsese’s The Aviator and The Departed, Robert Zemeckis’ Cast Away, and the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

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

An Early Conversation on Star Wars - The Mandalorian

Following his revelations about the cutting-edge technologies employed on The Lion King, Jon Favreau remained on the stage to briefly discuss the highly anticipated upcoming Disney+ series set in the Star Wars universe, The Mandalorian. Favreau serves as an Executive Producer of the series.

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

Real-Time VFX: Taking the Post out of Post-Production

Digital Day 2019In the final onstage presentation of the day, Epic Games’ Miles Perkins showcased the cutting-edge virtual production technology, Unreal Engine, and showed how it can bring a director's vision to life directly on set through live, in-camera visual effects.

Perkins is a key member of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine team. He is informed by his extensive experience in film, television and emerging technologies after 23 years at Lucasfilm where he served as a member of the senior staff and oversaw marketing and PR campaigns for blockbusters including the Star Wars prequels, the Jurassic Park series and is credited on films such as J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 and Star Trek and Jon Favreau’s Iron Man.

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

Wrap Party
The 2019 Digital Day festivities concluded with a luncheon and wrap party at Occidental Studios in Hollywood where the attendees were able to mingle with the participants and speakers and absorb more of the technological wizardry they had experienced that day.


Hands-On Demos and Exhibits

Digital Day 2019

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

  • A demonstration of how Adobe Premiere Pro uses time-saving and game-changing AI technology for audio, VFX and animation solutions.
  • A demonstration by Allfx, Inc. showcasing anthropomorphic robots and animatronics created for live-action special effects in feature films and TV.
  • A demonstration on the latest features in Avid’s Media Composer, featuring a new intuitive user interface, enhanced HDR color spaces and improved delivery workflow.
  • A demonstration by ARRI that showcased on a 4K HDR monitor some of the many looks achieved with its suite of acquisition products.
  • A demonstration by Entertainment Partners of how budgets are securely created, managed and shared in an increasingly fast and complex content creation world through Movie Magic Budgeting.
  • A demonstration by Inflight VR on virtual reality experiences adapted for environments in travel and mobility industries, such as aircraft, buses and lounges.
  • A demonstration by Intel Studios that allows users to immerse themselves in a multi-user augmented reality experience showcasing the hit "You're the One That I Want" from Director Randal Kleiser’s Grease.
  • A demonstration by Looking Glass Factory of a holographic display that allows users to interact with 3D content without the use of AR/VR headgear.
  • A demonstration by Mo-Sys of virtual production hardware enabling real-time VFX workflows for photo-realistic 3D environments used in broadcast and film productions.
  • A demonstration by Panavision of DXL2 8K capture with a wide variety of large format optics viewed on a 4K HDR display.
  • A demonstration by Scriptation of how the script annotating app lets you instantly transfer notes — including shot lists, diagrams, photos and facing pages — into new drafts in seconds.
  • A demonstration by Sony of its new FX9 camera, as well as their flagship VENICE camera — and how full-frame sensors and versatile mobility help tell unique stories.
  • A demonstration by Springbok Entertainment on how cinematography, volumetric capture, VFX and real-time CGI were combined with skills and creativity to capture realistic performances in the VR project, The 100%.
  • A demonstration by StudioBinder on how to manage productions in the cloud and write scripts, create breakdowns, schedules, shot lists, storyboards, call sheets and more—all in one central hub.
  • A demonstration by Think Crew on how to schedule a show with cutting-edge tools that help filmmakers create, collaborate and share a shooting schedule wherever they are.
  • A demonstration by THE THIRD FLOOR on how to accelerate pre-production and make more informed decisions live on set through leading-edge, user-friendly virtual production tools currently being used by directors and their teams.
  • A demonstration by Unreal Engine on how real-time technology is changing the creative landscape for film, broadcast and VFX studios.
  • And a demonstration by the Digital Day Programming Committee on how to be tech savvy with tools to take on set and improve work productivity.
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