film, tech

Things I learned as CTO at Sony Pictures

For the past few years I’ve been the CTO of a division of Sony Pictures heading up Imageworks, Animation, and more recently Colorworks and Post Production. Before this time, I’d had opportunities to lead large teams on movies, but had never served in an executive position. These notes are mostly for myself, but hopefully someone else will benefit as well.

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ed-catmull
film, tech

Creativity Inc.

A few great quotes from the excellent book by Ed Catmull, Creativity Inc.

“There is nothing quite like ignorance combined with a driving need to succeed to force rapid learning.”
“Believe me, you don’t want to be at a company where there is more candor in the hallways than in the rooms where fundamental ideas or matters of policy are being hashed out.”

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academy-sci-tech-opencolorio
film, tech

Academy Award for OpenColorIO

At this year’s Academy Scientific And Technical Achievement Awards show, OpenColorIO was among 19 other winners. If you haven’t heard of OpenColorIO, it’s a color management framework that makes managing color for cinema and video much more straightforward for engineers and artists alike. It’s been adopted by most of the major 2d and 3d applications for our business and has been a bit of a game-changer in terms of simplifying color workflows around the world.

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stereo-rig.jpg
film, tech

Stereo Workshop

Last week a number of the supervisors from Imageworks took a few hours to get hands-on with the latest stereo rigs and equipment. Stereo Supervisor Rob Engle led the group through some prepared material and facilitated a discussion that continued through the morning.

Many of the supervisors at Sony Pictures Imageworks have already worked on one or more stereo films. This made the discussion and the experimenting with the rigs all the more interesting.

Academy Award winning VFX supervisor Scott Stokdyk at the stereo controls. Even if you know exactly how you want to dial the inter-axial and convergence, it takes a bit of rehearsal to get used to the controls.

After a few hours on stage, the team returned to the screening room to review the results and talk about the merits of the various experiments.

It’s rare to be able to get that kind of group together in a room for a few hours to discuss and experiment with the latest in an evolving technology. Certainly one of the perks of my job.

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