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Embracing Innovation, Nurturing Talent, and Fostering Diversity

April 29, 2024

As we enter spring, I’d like to take a moment to reach out to the members of this great Society regarding my presidential platform. At the beginning of 2023, I introduced key components for my presidential platform that would set the stage for the work to be accomplished over the next two years. After ten months, I was able to provide a state of the state for the Society during the SMPTE Media Technology Summit last October. As part of my remark, I acknowledged that while we were still feeling the effects of the strikes in Hollywood, the Society made significant progress regarding member growth and visibility at various educational levels while still focusing on hard science. If you attended the MTS in person, I hope you witnessed the results of the member’s hard work.

Now that we are entering the second quarter of 2024 and productions are ramping up again, I would like to review the platform as the components play a role in keeping the Society relevant for years to come.

One of the platform’s primary components was ensuring that the Society focused on production sciences, new workflows, technology, and innovation. The wide array and depth of the subjects presented at the 2023 MTS were examples of how we can bring this initiative to the forefront. Another example of this effort is the release of the SMPTE AI report, the first report that thoroughly examines the technology and its potential impact across our industry.

Another platform component was to reinforce SMPTE’s participation in tool and standards development for animation, gaming, VFX, and sound. As a result of the member survey, we identified those verticals as growth areas for the organization. To be more engaged with those industry professionals, SMPTE has begun a campaign to engage and better collaborate with the organizations and guilds that represent those groups across the entire media landscape. In the near future, SMPTE will be involved in events that we have not participated in before. I will share more information on those activities with the executive committee and board and solidify those relationships.

We also desire to engage potential members at an earlier age as part of this platform. To move in that direction, we have increased our presence on college campuses and engaged globally with high school and middle school educators. We want to use our influence to engage and support educators as they develop curriculums that will prepare the next generation of engineers, production technologists, and technicians for the industry as it operates today and will in the future. This means that we must be ahead of the trends and informed about the direction of our industry. I am happy to announce that we are forming a working group that will have the singular goal of making this component a reality.

Some of you may remember that I stated early on in my presidency that I wanted to ensure that we as a Society serve our members at all levels in their careers. To do this, we need to make sure that we understand the needs of our early-career, mid-career, and late-career members. We have thousands of years of television and film experience across our organization of more than 6,000 members. This allows us to develop programming that improves how our members navigate their careers. We plan to use that wisdom and experience to develop webinars focused on career development and growth for our members. We hope you will participate in this initiative as a contributor and attendee.

This leads me to the next component of my platform: I want to identify and nurture new talent and leaders globally within the Society. We have access to some of the greatest minds in media and entertainment. We also have a global reach that rivals organizations much larger than ours. I want to highlight those members at the local level who are doing incredible work to keep our Society active and visible through engaging events and conferences that bring our community together to discuss and explore transformative technologies that are better changing our industry daily.

In addition, we are actively working on expanding our award slate to include recognition of innovation and up-and-coming talent in the media and entertainment technology career path. Furthermore, SMPTE is connecting with standards organizations in the world of extended reality (XR), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) to ensure we remain at the forefront of technological advancements and standardization efforts.

Finally, SMPTE is committed to ensuring inclusivity and diversity in all aspects of our operations to better serve our members, volunteers, and potential members worldwide. This is a key component for an organization’s survival. Media production is growing the fastest in Nigeria, while the largest volume of production is in India. This means there are opportunities for SMPTE to impact developing standards, tools, processes, and guidelines in spaces other than just North America. We are a global organization and as president, I want us to seize this opportunity to act and be seen as such. I want to thank every one of you for all you do for the Society, and I look forward to what we accomplish together in 2024.

Tag(s): Featured , News

Renard Jenkins

SMPTE Governor for Eastern Region, Chair of SMPTE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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