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Media in the Cloud: Ontology Guide

Live in living color: SMPTE Technology Committees Hold Face-to-Face Meetings at Whistling Woods International Film School in Mumbai, India.

March 18, 2020


SMPTE President Patrick Griffis and the standards community welcome visionaries, students, and teachers in the Mumbai area to SMPTE

By Patrick Griffis, president of SMPTE and technology vice president in the CTO office at Dolby

SMPTE's Technology Committees (TC's) work on a myriad of technical topics to create, approve, and revise standards for the professional media industry. Quarterly, the standards community meets face-to-face; this time we were in Mumbai, India - underscoring our guiding principle to be global in scope. It is also an important milestone, as it’s the first visit by a SMPTE President to India in our 104-year history!

We have just concluded our standards meetings this week, which were graciously hosted by the SMPTE India Section at Whistling Woods International (WWI) film school. We express deep appreciation to Chaitanya Chinchlikar, vice president and CTO at WWI, SMPTE India Section chairman and technical advisor at KPMG Ujwal N. Nirgudkar along with Section managers R. M. Rao, S. S. Nair, Shailesh Parab, Vikram Joglekar and Rahul Purav for organizing our visit.

We met to report on progress and to move forward with standards work that is more effectively facilitated via in-person meetings. In addition, we had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the heritage of Indian cinema, as well as, share the cutting-edge techniques that technologists and creators alike use to make content in the vibrant Indian media community.

“These historic standards meetings in India showed that the local technologists and media companies are both interested in SMPTE’s activities and keen to take advantage of the training and education facilities that SMPTE offers to advance their business interests,” said Bruce Devlin, SMPTE standards vice president and CEO of Mr. MXF. Our Director of standards development, Thomas Bause Mason, added, “face-to-face meetings of the Standards Community are the most effective way to work through technical details and build our community via breakout discussions.”

In addition to the TC meetings, we’ve been busy with events built into our schedule to make the most of our visit. Upon entering the WWI theatre for a presentation on SMPTE and the “PERK‘s” of SMPTE membership, we had the chance to interact with nearly 100 students and faculty from various film schools in India.



We also heard from Anita Parihar, researcher, academician, script writer, lecturer who joined Barbara Lange, SMPTE executive director, for a discussion on Women in the Media Industry.  Ms.Parihar shared the importance of empowering women in the field of creative arts in media.  Ms. Lange added that it is also essential to encourage girls to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Per request, I was quite happy to provide an impromptu presentation on HDR to faculty from WWI and Pune Film and Television Institute who were very appreciative.

We concluded the week’s meetings over a formal dinner. After a presentation on the future of media innovation and SMPTE to over 100 industry and government dignitaries, it was my pleasure to announce that Whistling Woods will start the FIRST SMPTE student chapter in India! After cheers and applause, we all enjoyed sentiments from Subhash Ghai, director, producer, screenwriter, and founder and chairman of Whistling Woods.

“We have students from all kinds of schools of thought. We have engineers, we have technicians; and we have thinkers, writers, musicians, actors and so on,” said Subhash Ghai, director, producer, screenwriter, and founder and chairman of Whistling Woods International. “It’s a combination of many talents within a common environment, and that’s because every technician needs to be an artist, and every artist needs to be a technician. We feel blessed to be associated with SMPTE, and initiate the new student chapter in India. I’m sure this will enlighten the younger generation of India with a new perspective”, he continued.

The next day we set out for a Mumbai city tour, including Film City and the National Film Archive of India’s museum of cinema, which provides an excellent overview of Indian cinema and its underlying technology. I am grateful to have learned about India’s deep heritage in cinema, in sync with SMPTE’s own history.

A reminder that anyone interested in the standards process is welcome to join the SMPTE Standards Community. SMPTE Technology Committees are open to professionals interested in SMPTE Standards. Join SMPTE and see the standards meeting outcome reports to learn more about our work.


Frank Kunkle

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