#52 Creativity Driving Innovation, a talk with Michael Cioni

August 13, 2020 00:41:36
#52 Creativity Driving Innovation, a talk with Michael Cioni
The Workflow Show
#52 Creativity Driving Innovation, a talk with Michael Cioni
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Show Notes

In the second half of our interview with Michael Cioni of Frame.io, Ben and Jason ask Michael about his background and the sights he saw in filmmaking along the way. They discuss Michael’s trip to be featured at Cannes, despite his college’s wishes. Michael details the lessons he’s learned from mentors about adapting to changing tech and looking for innovation in an industry that can be slow to change its tools. Finally, Jason and Ben explore with Michael what the creative contributes to the building and designing of production and post production workflows and digital film production, in order to make editors and filmmakers excited about their process.   Highlights:   If you love The Workflow Show and want to reach out, email us at [email protected] or check us out on Twitter @chesapro
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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hi, and welcome to the workflow show, but we provide some workflow therapy and discuss the development, the deployment, and the maintenance of secure media asset management solutions. I'm Jason Whetstone, senior workflow, engineer and developer at Chesapeake systems. And I'm Ben Kilburg senior solutions architect today. You'll be hearing part two about our interview with Michael chia. If you haven't listened to part one, go ahead and go back and check out that episode before this one. For part two, we asked Michael about his journey from college Cannes to light iron, to Panavision, to frame my out here it is. So let's shift to your personal experience. What did you go to school for? What did you study when you were, when you were a youngster youngster than you are now? You know, it's been, and I have music backgrounds, so, and, and now we're doing this workflow solutions, architecting building engineering development. It's kind of an interesting story. Speaker 1 00:00:58 My journey is very similar to yours. I grew up the son of artists and musicians and the listeners can't see it. But in this call, you can see I'm in my music room and this is where I do all my work. And so I, I play something like nine or 10 instruments, and I spent my childhood, uh, learning music and, and trying to play different instruments. And I think for a time I thought I was going to be a musician because it was just so enjoyable. And, um, I think it may be everybody thinks they want to be an astronaut and a rock star. And everybody goes through those phases, right? Some people stick to it. Not many. You and music became so important in part of how I do things, because it taught me a lot about software interaction. It taught me a lot about composition and creation and it teaches you a lot about starting. Speaker 1 00:01:46 I think one of the things that's important is to point out, we all know as creative people, it's so hard to begin. That's the hardest thing, because you're looking at an empty timeline. You're looking at a white canvas, you're looking at a plot of land and you can see it. You can hear it, you can visualize it, you can touch it, right. It's in your, in your, and you, the goal is to try to get these other jokers around you. Like, can't you see it? Can't you feel it and you hear it. And they're like, what are they talking about? Right, man, you just don't get it right. It's there trust. And so it's learned in music. It's like, it's a, it's a way to just, it's every new song it's empty. And it's like, wow, I'm going to start this new thing. And I think sometimes of music like fire, fire is this interesting liquid actually. Speaker 1 00:02:39 And it's this interesting thing because it requires fuel. It requires heat and it requires a source of ignition and it requires oxygen. And it's this triangle to make fire. Right? And if you have too much oxygen, it won't work. If you have too much fuel, it won't work. Right. If you have too much heat, these things blow themselves out, right? It's this triangle that makes combustion function. And if you've ever like made a campfire and watched it, the fire tells you what it needs. If you pay attention to fire, it'll talk to you and say, I need more of this. Any more air, I need more wood. I need more heat. I need less heat. It'll tell you these things, music. And I think editing is so much like that. If you listen to what you're doing and watch what you're doing, it tells you what it wants, but you gotta listen to it. Speaker 1 00:03:29 You know, you gotta back up. That's my favorite part about music, even though I've made my profession in visuals, music is where I get all my practice. It teaches me to listen and pivot and change and listen for the negative. Like, what am I missing? What's the hole, you know? And in my head, when I compose a song, I can hear the holes and I know what has to go there because I listened, but I didn't know until I listened to it. And then there it is, right. It's right there. I'll be driving, listening to a rough cut of a song and I'll be like, Oh, I need that. That's in my head now. I won't forget all day. I'll be thinking about it all day and I'll go home and I'll put it in. Right. And that's part of the process of how music inspires me. Speaker 1 00:04:11 It teaches me discipline. You know, I think, I think anyone that's a parent, I would strongly encourage you to have a kid. Your kid will want to quit. That's normal. That's fine. Don't listen to them because they're wrong. Because even if they don't become a professional musician, which I am not, it's, it's exercised parts of my brain that I know friends that have never excited those parts of their brains. Right. And when I'm in that space, if you resonated with anything, it's that moment where you can see something or you can hear something and the persons around you don't get it. I think that's because they don't have the training to have the, the imagination on how to visualize or, uh, make audio in their head of like, what's this going to sound like, they don't know how to do it. And you know, when you're doing it great at people, we are the worst because we end up using words to describe things that make no sense. Speaker 1 00:05:02 Like, can you make that more velvet? Like they have more of like a chocolate scrap, but if you're talking from one person that can think that way to another, like, I think I know what you mean, actually like, let's go more chocolate. Okay. Right. You know, let's do that. And that's how we communicate in the creative space. But if you say that to the wrong person, they look at you, like you have two heads, right. So you have to kind of be in the same camp. And I think music has a lot to do with that. I grew up in the West side of Chicago in the suburbs of Chicago. My father was an animator. He used to draw like the Ninja turtles and stuff like that. And I have like a Ninja turtle cell painting on my wall. Speaker 2 00:05:42 You mean professionally? Yo. Yeah. Yeah. It was his job. Yeah. Oh, that's awesome. Speaker 1 00:05:48 At 24 frames per second. Right. Drawing all those frames. And when I was a little kid, he owned an animation stand. So if you ever go to, like, if you go to Disney's, um, HG Wells lobby, they have like the original animation stand from snow white, like in glass. And you can see it. And these are cameras that are on these big cranes because to do it's a Dolly, you had to like vertically lift this camera up into the sky. Right. And you had to move it on. These motors are pretty high tech stuff. And if you watch like Bambi or those movies back then you can see how advanced this three-dimension was. Even though these are all 2d elements, right. It's pretty incredible stuff for a hundred years old. And the fact of the matter is my father would do that with animation. And that became a real big inspiration for me because I learned a little bit about the post production process just by a sync cameras. Speaker 1 00:06:33 And he would let me push the record button to just shoot one frame. He's like push it once, do not push it twice. And it would just roll one frame and then he would change the sellout just once Michael. Right. And that, that's how I started to see. Wow. And then my mom, who was a musician and a pianist, we would drop the Kodak film off at Kodak lab. And Kodak had a laboratory in West Chicago, big laboratory. I remember the smell and the look and the feel, and, uh, we would drop the film off and then we'd pick it up. And that's where we'd get the commercials and the animations, you know, uh, developed. And then they would get Telus. He needed Speaker 3 00:07:10 Tell us any is the process of transferring motion, picture film to a medium like videotape, which allows the film to be transmitted via broadcast television or viewed with standard video equipment. Speaker 1 00:07:21 Sometimes I'd get to go on days off from school, I'd go to the post houses. There was supposed to us called sky view and edit tellin they're all defunct now. But back in the eighties and nineties, they were these powerhouses of postproduction. And I remember the engineers would take me in the back as a kid showed up. And it was interesting. So they'd show me how scopes work. And, um, you know, I got an early introduction to this technology and art as a child, right. And when I decided to go to, when I was in high school, I just started seeing a lot of technology start to get invented and cameras and switchers and editing became possible. And so my, my friend, Ian and I were on the track team and the cross country team, and we would just bring our video cameras and shoot and edit them to like grunge music, because it was music we liked. Speaker 1 00:08:13 And it was us doing our track meets and stuff. And that became how I learned to edit is to edit based on music that I knew and loved and a process of what are you going to shoot? What we're just going to shoot us doing? What do we do? What do we do? We run, all right, let's make that interesting. Let's figure that out. And so we started learning and kind of connecting together these two worlds and Ian and I ended up going to college together and started a company called plaster city together and then started light iron together. So Ian and I have been together since third grade and he's one of the top colors in the world. And I would argue among the most intelligent and most experienced with the technology and artists benefit, which I call being technically that creative and technical, you know, balance that's Ian in a nutshell. Speaker 1 00:09:02 And, uh, that's, that's what we essentially did. Um, growing up, it was really exciting. Now what's interesting is we went to school at Southern Illinois university and we ended up sort of taking over a show. There was like a show that was part of the news program there. And we took it over and turned it into its own show. And that show ended up winning like the student Emmys multiple years in a row. And they sent us to the Cannes film festival. When I was like 19, I got sent to the Cannes film festival on codex dime as like emerging filmmaker of the year. And here I am at the camp film festival. And I saw the very first F 900 camera that had been Arnold after episode two was shot or something like that. And they had it on the French Croisette in the, in the Riviera and there's this camera hooked up to an HD monitor, which I'd never seen before. Speaker 1 00:09:53 Oh. And it looked like film being TeleSign I'd seen Telus any many times. It looked like Telus Dinny happening in real time. That's kind of what it looked like. And I was like, well, that's what I want to do. That's it. Right. And here on understand film festival, and they're celebrating all this stuff about film and I'm like, none of this seems interesting to me. That is interesting. How do I get my hands on that? How do I learn how that works? How can we make that better? And that became, that actually encouraged us to drop out of school and moved to California kind of on a one way ticket. We got a speeding ticket in Colorado and we just went for it. And that was how this whole thing really started for us. Speaker 2 00:10:36 Wow. Yeah. That's freaking amazing. Yeah, it is right. What you won Emmys went to Cannes and then of course, who wants to finish school after that? No, Speaker 1 00:10:45 Right. Yeah. We tried, we tried to finish school. I ended up getting in, in, in SAS defense. They ended up giving me a degree several years later. Uh, so I ended up earning a degree somehow, but, um, didn't take my finals. I guess I did. I didn't finish because the Cannes film festival, uh, this is actually a good lesson for everybody. The Cannes film festival falls in may and final exams falling me. And because Ian and I had a reputation for being somewhat of renegades because we just did things our way, when we earned our way through these awards to the cam film festival, our, our film teachers said these were not excused absences. So me being full boated to the camp home festival was not an excused absence for missing finals. So we were failed in all of our classes by our university, our film school, nonetheless. Speaker 1 00:11:38 And to make that worse, we won that award two years in a row and we failed twice and you can't fail all your exams twice and graduated doesn't, it's not possible, uh, does not compute does not compute. And we, we were, we had a livers leadership at that time at that university that was a strongly misguided and misunderstood what, um, an innovator's mindset and what talent looked like when digital technologies came in. Cause we were fighting the mission because we believed in XL ones and <inaudible> and DV cam and final cut and FireWire, and these were all heretic words to a film, right. And we said, but aren't we here to learn? And this is what's inspiring us. And I want to learn yesterday's news. I want to learn tomorrow's news. Right. And, uh, they didn't necessarily agree with that cause it wasn't part of the curriculum. Speaker 1 00:12:28 And they, I remember being told if I, Oh, I, my family bought me a PD one-fifty for like a birthday one summer. Um, and when they bought us that we took it to school and we had better cameras than any of the Bolex cameras and the three quarter cameras. Right. And I had teachers say, if you shoot on your PD, when 50 off failure, so what do you think I did? Of course you did say that to a kid. Are you dumb? Are you crazy? Of course, that's what we did. And I said, I dare you go for, I don't care. I'm not here for the grade. Don't you get it? Like we're inspired. This is what inspiration looks like. Your grade has no effect on my psyche. You know it. And so we just did it anyway. And we ended up winning. I think we had a couple advocates at that school, Jan Thompson, who now runs the department, a really wonderful woman. Speaker 1 00:13:17 She actually submitted us to the regional Emmy's. We ended up actually winning five regional Emmys for PBS, as our show was picked up by PBS. And so I have like full Emmy statues for work that I hit college. And that really gave us confidence. And what that comes down to is you're going to have people doubt you. They're going to tell you what you're doing is wrong. Everybody knows those stories. My stories are my story. Is there a little weird? Cause you think at a film school they'd support you. But a lot of film students will have similar testimony that if you are pushing new tech, the film students, the film schools didn't want you to, to deploy those things are very, very, very traditional. And the same goes to Hollywood. So when Ian and I came to California, we thought, I really mean this. Speaker 1 00:14:02 I thought that I was walking into the most progressive forward thinking state and industry of all this art and technology coming together. I thought I was walking into this amazing Mecca of final cut and Apple and FireWire and HD. And I was so wrong. People hated this. It was taboo. I had, I had some of the most famous, you know, they say, don't meet your heroes cause they'll disappoint you. I mean, my heroes would say, you'll never get a reputable cinematographer to ever shoot on a digital camera. I was told that so many times that I believed it because who was, I don't know any, I have no idea. I still making up what I'm doing. I have no idea what I'm doing. And those people in fact, you know, impact you and they infect your mind. And all of a sudden you're like, maybe this is wrong. Speaker 1 00:14:48 This HD thing's never gonna take off an Apple is a, and FireWire is just a ridiculous. And it's going to all be film and maybe some videotape here and there, but then you have other people come along and we talked about luck, favors the prepared. We talk about clues and triangulation, right? And it's like, Jim <inaudible> comes along and says, I'm going to build a camera. That's going to do something completely differently and come at it from a different angle or a Panasonic comes up with <inaudible> and they said, we're going to bet the farm on solid state and we're going to kill videotape. And they were so right to do it. And they got into that first. Right? And over time, all these groups sort of change. Apple said, let's make a suite for creatives. And they made the studio final cut studio completely took over for about eight years under bill Hudson at Apple who did incredible work. Speaker 1 00:15:37 Everyone that knows DVD studio pro and shake and final cut five, six, seven. These were incredible achievements that there was no precedent for something moving like that. That's all a hundred bill Hudson. And he did incredible work. And inspired me, gave me, I felt gave me the tools. I'm like these tools feel like they're made for me. Like, why is Apple making this for me? I'm too small, but that's how good they were in those years at making things that were right on time. Perfect for where we all were. Remember all those metronomes. We were all in sync in 2007 and eight, six, seven, eight, maybe into nine. We were so in sync, right? Those were such great. You're actually five, six, seven, eight, nine. I would say, I can say back to 2005, we were really getting in sync a great things happen during those years. Speaker 1 00:16:20 Um, and that really gave us confidence. What I recommend to people that understand when you talk about your history and your personal stories is when did you get confidence to take risks? Sometimes it comes when you're 20. Sometimes it comes from your 30 or 40 and sometimes it never comes. And I really encourage you to figure out when and how to get that confidence. And I'm sometimes the least competent person to be honest. I terrified probably 90% of my days, but I look back at my history and I know when I lacked confidence, I still push through and they ended up trusting my gut. I ended up capitalizing on it anyway. So it's not that I can remove my lack of confidence. It's I know how to overcome it. Right. And, and I have to have history. All of us have to have our own opinion history to know when we should still forge forward. Even when there's so many red lights standing in front of us, Speaker 4 00:17:14 This strikes me as kind of a know thyself sort of a thing, a lack in confidence is sort of an inherent. And I would say everyone to a certain degree, knowing when to push beyond that and, and knowing what your triggers are and got to cope with that and move beyond it is probably key there. Right? Speaker 1 00:17:31 Right. Yeah. And everybody's story is going to be a little different. There's no problem with that, but it is interesting. I took the stay. I thought California would be a, um, a ripe state for change and innovation. Uh, and it's still not right. It's a conservative industry, but now I understand why it's conservative. I understand. And I can empathize, even though I disagree with a lot of decisions that are made, I can empathize with the reason that they are made because the risks on, uh, on the risk on someone new versus an incumbent are so different that you have to, often you have to choose the incumbent because of the perceived risk of something new. I was told as an early entrepreneur, many times you sound great. Everything you're saying is correct. I love the pictures I'm seeing out of your business, but you're a risk because I don't know if you're going to go out of business tomorrow, cause you don't have the capital or the credit or the history. Speaker 1 00:18:26 And so even though your work seems better and you guys seem smarter than where we're going to go, we're going to go there. That hurts so bad. And that that's like, you know, it's like being rejected by someone. You have a crush on every day and you know, those long crushes that just constantly, they're still in your life. Like it's so painful, right? We all know what that feels like. And that's what these were like. But I had these people break up with me day after day after day. Cause we didn't have operating history. We didn't have credibility. And so what changed it for us is that some major forward thinking people took risks on us. They have to be willing to take a risk on us. And we got very fortunate that some people were willing to do that. And our operating history started to live with other people's operating history, right? Speaker 1 00:19:12 Their credibility was able to transfer into ours. We didn't change our process. We didn't get sick. You know, magically better overnight. Neither will you, if your listener and you're waiting for the next checkpoint to get you to the next date, it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong or your, you have to do something different to get there necessarily. It might mean that you just need the credibility to come from an external source to help give you that confidence from their perspective because the incumbents, whether they're good or bad are a safe bet and let's face it. We all like a safe bet. If you had to pick what's the safe bet, where do I put my money? Where do we invest? Where do we decide to live? Like people want to pick the conservative approach because it's perceived as a lower risk. Makes sense. I get it. Speaker 1 00:19:58 But there's no discovery in that. It's no fun. So it's like, I get it. But then I hate it because it's like, how do I discover about myself? If I, you know, if you just go to the same vacation home every year, you've never discovered some other part of the world. And it's like, well, I probably wouldn't like it anyway. It's like, that's sad. You know what if you're wrong or you weren't. And most people don't miss this. Most people are willing to be unhappy if they feel that they're right, right. People will break off. People will trade off joy for being correct, because it feels better to be right than it does to be happy. Now that's something we got gotta, Speaker 4 00:20:39 You could dig into that for a while. Got to work on that as human beings, I think. Yeah, for sure. Right? No truer statement about sadomasochism, the human animal has ever been said, thank you, Ben. Uh Speaker 5 00:20:53 <inaudible>. Speaker 4 00:21:01 I actually have a similar experience to what you said earlier about, um, sort of arriving into an industry and saying, um, why are we still doing things this way? I don't get it. You know, I went to school and learned how to work with music in a digital space. You know, I learned pro tools and I learned Sonic studio and all of these great tools. And then I went to Nashville and I thought like, I'm going to see all of this great technology. And it was really something because I got down there and I noticed right away, this was back, um, in 99, 2000, a lot of people had cell phones and that was kind of a new thing. Like, you know, people were just, they seem to be really like embracing the technology and very cosmopolitan and everything. And then you go into the music studios and I'm like, Oh, there's a dinosaur over there in the corner. Speaker 4 00:21:47 Oh yeah, that's the Otari MTR 90 Mark two that we're going to record everything we do on, you know, 24 track analog. And, uh, your, you as a second engineer are going to learn how to align that tape deck. And that was a new skill. It was like, it was a completely new thing. But the interesting thing was I worked in several different studios as a second engineer. And, you know, I knew how to align an MTR 90, uh, Mark to, uh, with the best of them. But there was this one engineer, you know, a lot of the musicians and some of the engineers in Nashville have contracts with cartage companies, which means they have someone show up with their gear and set it up for them the way they want it set up. And then the, you know, the musician or the engineer, whoever it is just, they just walk into their gear and it's all set up for them ready to go. Speaker 4 00:22:32 So I worked with an engineer that had a pro tools, HD rig that he carted around to every studio that he worked at and he'd push the tape deck out of the way and roll his cause it was a double rack, you know, pro tools, HD rig. And I was just like, you know, but it was to speak to what you're saying, Michael is, is that, you know, you've got that, you know, that person or that there's, there's several people that, you know, are there to sort of disrupt things and you see them doing that. And it's just, it's really interesting to, you know, be a part of it. And it makes me think of, uh, some of the stuff you were working with in and around light iron with a Lily pad and a what's the other one starts with an Oh my brain outpost. Speaker 4 00:23:11 Yeah. Right. I'm curious, like, did that evolve organically into like, you know, shit, I'm going to put a raid in a couple of machines in some great monitors on a cart and bring it with me. How did that really cool? So the outpost is mobile post production. And my partner, Katie came up with the name while we were standing in the lobby and it was just like a perfect name. Cause it's self descriptive. It rolls off the tongue outpost, right? The question the actual inspiration came from a technology that actually red deployed, which was the red rocket car, which everyone might remember when that came out. It all of a sudden Speaker 1 00:23:46 Made real time D bearing process possible, which is crazy that that was impossible, impossible in 2008 to do real time D bearing. And it was only four K, which was not that many pixels actually overall. Right. But computers couldn't do it. You had to have extra processing to do it. Well, when that happened, all of a sudden this movie called avatar was being shot avatar, um, basically wanted to, uh, John Knoll was actually doing this landing sequence at the beginning. And a lot of what makes avatar look so good is it was practical. It wasn't fully, virtual was a lot more models in that than people may realize. And so what they did is they wanted to shoot in high speed and they wanted to shoot in three D these landing sequences and cause it's the beginning of the movie. So he wanted even something as simple as a landing sequence to be like, Whoa, this is what you're in for, for this whole movie. Speaker 1 00:24:40 So they were going to shoot in 3d, but because of the way they did this, they needed to watch it play back in 3d. And they had to shoot it at ultra high speed. Cause when you're doing models, you need high speed. Well, the red one was the only camera that could shoot high-speed because videotape back then didn't do high speed. There was really no other way to do it. And those cameras were readily available and they were 4k and they took PL mounts. So they of course were the right solution, but they needed to watch what was happening right there. They couldn't go to a post house and process it and then reset these things the next day. So they said, you guys are like the red guys. Can you guys make a real time D bearing on the set solution in three dimensions? And the answer was, yes, we actually can do that. Now. Speaker 6 00:25:25 Uh, of course we agreed to that had no idea. Speaker 1 00:25:27 Yeah. What we're doing. Remember I told you, I have no idea what I'm doing. That was a perfect example. I'd be like, I have no idea how to do this, but let's figure it out. Right? Let me just start drawing. We build our post output, our first outpost card in our lobby, uh, which we didn't even have a company yet. We were borrowing space from another company and we put it in a truck and drove it to San Francisco to Kerner 3d. And we were doing, they actually used Walnut shells all over a stage and they would just blast the Walnut shells with a huge can of air, big room. I mean the stage was 25 feet across. So this is a lot of walnuts, right? And those explode into the camera and three as little particles at 123 D and we could take those cards cause you can't play that back in video assist. Speaker 1 00:26:10 Right? You can take those cards, you download it. And then we could play back in real time in 3d the landing sequences. Once that happened, we're like, this is a business. People will need this. And it's not about landing sequences in avatar. It's about on premises, instant review of high fidelity quality. It's not a proxy, not a video assist, but the real thing. And then all of a sudden we realized what if we could just render the dailies that way John sportsman, who's an incredible cinematographer. ASC he's shot. All of your favorite giant movies. Schwartzman gets hired to do Spiderman about a year later. And this was the first three D movie for Sony. That's going to be their most important title. I mean, Spiderman's the most valuable property and they have to do it in 3d. And John wanted to shoot it on what that time was an alpha of the Epic camera. Speaker 1 00:27:01 And it was the very first epics. And he's like, I got a 3d rig. It's going to be 300 pounds, no matter what, I can't put a 50 pound camera on here. I need a five pound camera. Cause it's just so nasty. And we got to move this thing around and shoot a movie that's action. Right? And it's not on stages, it's on location. And it's, it's it's Spiderman takes place in the real world. So he wanted flexibility. John needed that. So he's like, I need to see what I'm doing in 3d. Cause I've never shot 3d. And I need to see it on the raw files. So we started inventing an iPad dailies program and we vented out postcards that rendered 3d on the set and delivered all the dailies to iPads. And 15 people would go home each night with an iPad and they could watch everything. Speaker 1 00:27:41 They shot that same day color corrected in sound sinked in window burnin watermark. And this was 10 years ago. We were able to do this technology and it became a business today, working in the field, pretty common file sizes have gotten smaller codecs have gotten more advanced and hard drives are bigger. All these things have become, I don't wanna say easy, but they're very, very light. They're very doable. Uh, but 10 years ago, this was on the edge of possible. Um, absolutely. That is the, that is where I love to live. You know, it's like, I want to live in the jungle. A lot of people Speaker 7 00:28:16 Want to live near a jungle and have this beautiful view, but they want to be outside the jungle so they can look into it. Cause it's pretty. But people that live in the jungle, that's a different person, right? That they're a little crazy, but you know, Speaker 1 00:28:30 Resourceful, you know that they're survivors, you know that they're not easily scared and you know that they're clever. Right? And that's where we wanted to build our house. Not on the edge, not nowhere near it. We want to live in the jungle. Right? And so light iron became a company that was founded on, um, living inside that space and everyone we hired, especially in those early years, you had to enjoy living in the jungle, which is, it wants to kill you every day. If you're trying to take a Spiderman or we did underworld, or we did pirates of the Caribbean for a company of just a couple of people, less than 10 of us doing these huge movies, 3d working on properties that were hundreds of millions of dollars. We had no business working on those films, but what we had was experienced in the jungle and that's what was required by those productions to be successful. Speaker 1 00:29:21 And so we were always the people to call for those productions until the rest of the community four or five, six years caught up to what we had. But by the time that community caught up to what we had in outpost, we had the next thing I started doing HDR in 2015, right. People today are still arguing. Should we do HDR? I'm like, this is old school for me. I'm onto the next thing now. Right? But I did the very, very first HDR show of all time for distribution, which was a show called transparent for Amazon. This is now an old show by today's standards. But that was the first HDR transmitted show in the world. And we knew the answers to that test. So early on, because we pivoted light iron to be an HDR expert and an episodic HDR expert before it was a trend before it was figured out before Dolby vision had come along before we knew how to manage the gamuts of HDR and do all this stuff before the TVs existed, you know, people might say, why build something when there's no consumer outlet to it? Speaker 1 00:30:19 Well, I really don't like those questions. I find those are, they're trying to trap you. Right? And I feel they're a little over simplifying things. Why build something that doesn't have a market for it yet? Well, the fact of the matter is if you think about cars, everyone wants to build the car, but it's not the car that holds back the penetration of the product. Let's say electric cars. It's the charging stations, right? You have to have infrastructure cause you can build the best electric cars to give it away. But people can't charge it. Give me my petrol. Whereas the cares in right. That's, that's how it's going to be. And so when it comes down to it, the infrastructure is the post production house and the cutting rooms. They have to embrace this technology. But for the consumer, the consumers, the car, not the fueling tank, right. And sometimes we get that upside down and we think, well, we've got to wait for a consumer demand to justify this effort. Then you know, never happen. That's not how it works. That's an inconvenient truth, right? And so it's like you have to develop and build the infrastructure first. And the infrastructure often is not sexy. It's not as pretty. It's not as well paid. It is a lot of experimentation. It's not certainly clear Speaker 8 00:31:25 And it's hard to sell it. Speaker 1 00:31:26 I need to sell a shiny car. When you have the attractive person pull the curtain array, that's easy. Well, how do you do that to a charging station or a hundred years ago, a gas station. Not very pretty, but if you don't have that infrastructure, you don't get to sell the car. Right? And so if we don't have innovators that build the infrastructure for whatever it is, HDR, outposts, cloud technologies. If you don't have the innovators for that, you can't sell it to consumers. You can't get it in the hands of a consumer or a creative, a director of DP, right? The early forms of digital cinema were not very good. I admit that I'm not trying to hide that. It wasn't that good, but we needed to innovate there and build that infrastructure because we started to say, okay, digital, doesn't look that good. Speaker 1 00:32:12 Well, why, what does it look good? Why does it not look good? And it's the people that ignored the critics that just went back and said, you know what, that's fine. I can take your rejection. I'm just going to keep shortening this list down of what's wrong with digital cinema until that list is empty until the bin is empty. And the last posted note is pulled off the wall and be like, well, I'm done, that's it? You know? And when you get there, then all of a sudden the biggest skeptics join on and they say, Oh, well, no, it's okay. It's, it's a, it's pretty good looking. I think I'm going to shoot with it. Well, thanks for not then, but thanks for your support. You're welcome to use it now. And that's fine. We're happy to have them utilize it and become fans, but some people are going to be the pragmatists or the skeptics. Speaker 1 00:33:03 And they're going to be the last to get on that chain. And that's okay. Everybody's a little bit different. I used to be a lot more frustrated with the Luddites and the slow adoption over time. And with more experience, I started to gain more empathy. And I think that's really helped me understand the psyche of these people because I don't think that they're necessarily wrong. It's not binary, right? A lot of gray area to why people believe certain things or share certain beliefs. And it's, I, it would be easy to qualify it as binary. That's easy. Unfortunately it's not realistic. There are a lot of good reasons why people are technological skeptics or their studios believe certain things or they don't green light things. That's okay. I think a lot of people, I consider them to be superstitious. I'm like, you're just being superstitious. There's so little logic and superstition. Speaker 1 00:33:55 But if you peel that onion back a little bit, you go, well, where did you become superstitious? What contributed to your superstition? Oh, that's interesting. Oh, that really did happen. Okay. So now I'm understanding why you feel that because it's based on a grain of truth that sort of snowballs into creating somebody's calloused approach to new technology or new talent, right? These are all lessons that you learn over time. But once you learn to build that empathy, you start to try to speak their language. And I try to pivot and be like, well, how can I deliver this message to a superstitious person? And the first thing you got to do is establish that common ground and hat find out what that thing was that made them superstitious and figure out, I agree with you, you know what that happened. And that was bad. You were a victim of that situation, but here's why that's not going to be the same repeating itself with me. Let me explain.dot dot. Speaker 2 00:34:43 Right. That's awesome. What do you think it is about innovators in situations like that? Who can pivot really easy versus people who life is kind of dealt a raw hand? You know, what is it about adapting to change for people who can innovate that makes it really easy for them, right? Speaker 1 00:35:03 To say, it's gotta be it's those triangles it's formulas. There's no one thing that does that. It's the combination for me. It was a little bit of music. It was a little bit of Midwest upbringing. Uh, you know, being B being between having no ocean, right? It has a little bit of being middle class. It has a little bit to do with being into art and music, you know, and, and being rejected. A lot of it is the year you're born. The year you're born by the time you're 17, 18, 19, 20, what's happening in the world, infects your brain in such a significant way. As you become, you go from adolescent to adult what's happening in the world, kind of shapes you somewhat permanently in that period where it's all luck, whatever you would just end up turning 20 years old, wherever you are in the world is different. You know? Um, so that's, that's a factor. These are all factors. You know, I'll tell you this. This is, this is a good way to say it. Ben, the best Pixar movie, the best. Now this is I'm telling you fact again, I'm giving you facts here, Speaker 9 00:36:03 Big star film. Speaker 1 00:36:04 And if you think now I'm not saying it's my favorite saying it's the best. And I'm half joking here, but here's why it's the best. The movie is Ratatouille. And the reason Ratatouille is so important, especially for creatives. You need to watch it again because you need to understand what's happening underneath this story. This story is actually about, I don't think this is published anywhere, but the story is actually about Disney and Pixar, hating each other, fighting each other. It's the story of Disney and Pixar. And the rat is the mouse. And this ghost of Gusto is the ghost of Disney, right? And he's trying to tell them, you got to go back to your roots and the new people. The little mean guy, the bad guy is basically saying no, let's just make everything materialize and commercialize everything and put everything in a freezer. Speaker 1 00:36:52 And there's this dichotomy between what old Disney and new Disney and Pixar was trying to negotiate with each other in this period. And then at the end of the day, the entire theme of this movie is this book title. It says anyone can cook. And they argue about this title. Anyone can cook the whole movie because they're trying to say anyone can cook, but this kid in the movie is a terrible cook. So how can the book be correct? Anyone can cook. If we have a character who can't clearly right, and they solve it at the end because they say what Gusto the ghost of Disney is actually saying is not that anyone can cook it's that a good cook can come from anyone. And this is why it is the best Pixar film, especially for creative people, because it means that who is talented and good can come from anywhere in the world. Speaker 1 00:37:46 It doesn't matter what they're, whether they had a tough childhood or a great childhood. None of that really comes into play. They can come from anywhere. They really do talented people find their way to the top, whether it's the violin or wa I don't know, space exploration, whatever it is that inspires you, you could come from anywhere, which is why when we watch even the astronauts that went to space recently, or even if you watch like the Olympics and stuff, they always show where they're from. Right? That's always the thing. This is so and so, and they're from this town. And a lot of times they go back to those towns and show a little story of that. Why? Because a hero can come from every town, right? It doesn't mean everyone in that town is a hero, right? That is why this is the best Pixar theme, because it's saying that heroes can come of anyone, but it's just that not everyone's going to become that hero, but it doesn't matter where you're coming from. Speaker 1 00:38:41 And that's, that's an important thing that I learned later in life. And I try to find these heroes. And when I hire people, I'm really bad at job descriptions. Uh, I'm terrible at job descriptions. In fact, I secretly hate job descriptions because I wish, and you can't always do this. So what I'm saying here, when I'm about to say is not, you can apply it to everything. So I know that. Um, but the fact is I wish that I could always hire the person and not the resume because I find every time I'm assembling teams, I feel like I have to look at the resume because it's an obligation, but I just want to look into the heart. I want to look into their eyes. I want to see who they are as a person. And I want to hire the person. I don't want to hire the paper. Speaker 1 00:39:28 And we feel like, well, you're supposed to hire the paper. And this person worked this many years here and they have this much experience. And these references were better than this. That's hiring the paper. And that to me, feels like I would never get hired. If people use the paper to hire me, I'm not really that good on paper. I don't really, what I do is hard to articulate and how I've done it. It's hard to explain, and there's not really a lot of examples that really fit on a resume. And that would make it hard for me to be hired by someone. And I say, no, I can do this job. It's like, really? I don't know about that. Your resume. Doesn't really suggest that. And it's like, well, looking inside, but I didn't want to be treated that way. So I don't want to treat people. I hire like that. I want to find the person now again, you can't always do that. It doesn't always work. There are probably more examples where you got to hire the paper. But when you're talking about the creative arts and we've talked about innovators, throw the paper away, don't read the resume. When that comes attached in an email or it's on, you know, a web server or something, just use it for their name, learn their name, you know, and maybe look at where they're from because a hero can come from anywhere Speaker 0 00:40:34 Rightly said. Yep. Yeah. Very well said. Michael Choni global senior VP of innovation for frame IO. Thanks for joining our workflow therapy session today, Michael, thanks for having me. It was really a great time. And also thanks to my cohost chest as senior solutions architect, Ben Kilburg. Thanks, Jason. And thank you, Michael. And I'm Jason Whetstone, Chester senior workflow engineer. The workflow show is a production of Chesapeake systems and more banana productions. The show is recorded and edited by Ben Kilburn. And here are the CTA. Again, folks, if you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe to the work flow show, tell a friend, a coworker, or a client or a vendor partner about us and let us know what you send a carrier pigeon to workflow [email protected] We're at Chestnut, bro. Thanks for listening to the workflow show. I'm Jason Watson.

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