HPA Tech Retreat 2017 Recap: Creative Collaboration in the Desert

Hats off to HPA (Hollywood Professional Association) for last week’s lively and engaging HPA Tech Retreat — held at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Indian Wells, CA (just outside Palm Springs). Another year brought another great gathering of our Media & Entertainment peers together for some illumination and hydration out in the deserts of Southern California. We were excited to showcase our remote collaboration service — ClearView Flex — with the greater M&E tech community.

The Show & Highlights

Bringing together top M&E leaders, technologists and artists under one roof, the show’s tried and true format hit many notes:  compelling thought leadership in the big ballroom sessions, informal yet insightful breakfast roundtable discussions, opportunities for networking and catch-up, and the Innovation Zone — where vendors showcased their latest and greatest triumphs, tools and toys.

The show’s sessions discussed a wide variety of topics for different audiences, whether it be focused on content (i.e. the evolution of “binge-watching”), operations and workflow (i.e. what it actually takes to live stream the Super Bowl over the web), or changing technology standards (i.e. the implications broadcast’s upcoming transition to HDR & UHD formats via ATSC 3.0).

Monday’s VR Seminar had both some great real-world stories about VR and AR production, but also really helped to bring the VR/AR and MR community into the larger tent of entertainment workflow and technology.

The CES Review fromPete Putman (Kramer Electronics USA) is always a lot of fun and makes you wonder why anyone would go to CES when Pete will go there for you. Likewise, his deep-dive on HDR and 4K monitor specs and technology helps strip back marketing labels in favor of the key elements of interest for the studio technologists.

It was also great to see the HPA’s mentorship program in action. The YEPs (Young Entertainment Professionals) were out in force, with numerous opportunities for the well-established professionals at the conference to interact with the incoming generation.

Our own Chuck Parker (Chairman & CEO) was on a panel for a session on “The Content Explosion: New Content Sources and New Content”, discussing distribution and technology issues for emerging content models — along with Seth Hallen (Sony DADC, President of HPA), Renard Jenkins (PBS), Albert Lai (Brightcove), and Curt Marvis (QYOU).

Sohonet’s Patrick Sumby (VP of Engineering) and Ken Rudman (CMO) both led roundtable breakfast discussions on Wednesday and Thursday morning respectively. Patrick led on “Moving Your Workflow to the Cloud” over bacon and eggs, while Ken discussed the benefits of remote collaboration through ClearView Flex in the presence of some really fantastic breakfast sandwiches.

Getting Creative with ClearView Flex in the Innovation Zone

We focused our showcase this year on demoing ClearView Flex, our collaboration tool for facilitating real-time remote review through encrypted video streams to any device anywhere. Big shout out to Sohonet team members Drew Law, Thomas Menari, and David Cole, who showed off Flex in action, streaming footage for showgoers straight to a tablet.

Year after year, the beauty of HPA Tech Retreat’s Innovation Zone has been simple:  vendors with cool technologies showcase their wares together in close proximity — which can lead to sparks of creativity flying when people come together. This year, our booth happened to be right across from Bluescape, who builds cloud-based visual collaboration software accessible from mobile devices, computers, and large-scale touch displays. Our people got together with them on the show floor…and in the matter of a few minutes, we figured out how to integrate ClearView Flex with their solution — and show it all off to attendees. 

 Bluescape Logo


Fashion & Fun, Sohonet Style

Given our commitment to keep pushing the fashion envelope with our “swag couture”, we gave out our dashing new Sohonet caps to show goers who visited us at our booth.

Fashionable hat-wearers enjoyed “drinks on us” at our cocktail party Wednesday at the resort’s Agave Sunset lounge. The Sohonet party roared late into the night — as new acquaintances connected and old friends caught up.