Last week HPA (Hollywood Post Alliance) and SMPTE (the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) brought us the debut of the HPA Tech Retreat UK and everybody involved should be congratulated. The conference definitely delivered a winning combination of, as Jerry Pierce, HPA Vice President put it ‘intense knowledge and dynamic personal interaction’.
Though adapted for a UK audience, the show featured all the elements that have made the annual HPA Tech Retreat in the US such a can’t-miss event: Insightful yet informal breakfast roundtables, extremely valuable networking opportunities and Super Sessions from the likes of HBO, MPC, Pixar & Netflix, giving us a rare chance to look behind the scenes of major motion picture and television productions including Game of Thrones, The Jungle Book and Finding Dory.
As well as hosting a stand in The Innovation Zone to demo our latest product ClearView Flex, a tool which enables secure, fast review and approval, Sohonet’s CEO Chuck Parker moderated an energetic panel on cloud rendering in VFX and was joined by Dave Goodbourn, Head of Systems at Milk VFX, Gus Maskowitz, GC Platform Solutions Engineer at Google and Matt Provost, Senior Systems Engineer at Avere. A big thank you to all for participating.
What sets this event apart from others is that everybody is based in the main conference hall. There are no spin-off sessions or workshops so when it comes to discussing the hot-topics of the day you have genuine, exciting feedback making the networking process far more fluid. It really is apparent that a lot of thought has gone into ensuring that event facilitates lively networking – the attendee figure is kept low so the event feels more intimate, and again the choice of location, an English countryside estate, well-removed from London creates a welcome solidarity amongst the attendees.
Sohonet had the pleasure of hosting a post-dinner cocktail party on the Wednesday evening, and with the promise of ‘drinks on us’ for the remainder of the evening, we managed to persuade everyone to wear a ‘Sohonet networking shirt’ for the rest of the night. We were pleased that so many willing volunteers were found to model our shirts – so thank you all. (Fashion shots below)