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    RIS OSVP Year-end Overview

    January 13, 2022

    While the entry of new technologies into our industry can enable fresh, exciting forms of storytelling, they also bring new complexities to professional media workflows. To address resulting workflow challenges at an accelerated pace aligned with the rapid rate of technological change, SMPTE this past year developed a new initiative — the Rapid Industry Solutions, or SMPTE RIS.

    Leveraging SMPTE’s history of providing tools, standards, and education on emerging media technologies, each RIS program unites experts from across the industry to focus on a specific industry issue, quickly deliver educational resources, and help to increase interoperability. Although volunteers are the heart and soul of SMPTE, the SMPTE RIS initiative is built on a sponsorship model that allows work to be put directly to the resources and tools needed to reach specific program goals. While participants and sponsors guide this work, the overarching goal is to make the output of the work available to the larger industry at no charge.

    We launched the first RIS program this past summer to take on the challenges of on-set virtual production, where traditional production tools are used along with virtual and augmented reality, CGI, and game-engine technologies in real time. In addition to providing a clear, readily accessible framework for on-set virtual production, the program will offer creatives, technologists, and executives much-needed resources for education and professional development.

    Nearly 50 companies and individual contributors from across the industry are collaborating as part of the RIS OSVP community to achieve this goal. Honestly, we felt we had developed a strong model when we first introduced the RIS concept, but we’re continually surprised by the number of companies reaching out to participate in this first program, as recently as this week.

    We’re seeing interest from long-time SMPTE members and from brand-new members, many from the creative side of the business. They want to be involved in this program because they see on-set virtual production as the future — and participation in the RIS program as a way to help shape that future. Because SMPTE has focused on giving these companies a voice and listening to feedback, they’re finding it to be an inclusive, open opportunity. The RIS model provides room for participation in many ways, and on many levels; it truly is a worldwide initiative.

    One of the early RIS OSVP deliverables is a wall chart (https://www.smpte.org/rapid-industry-solutions) that defines the on-set virtual production workflow, breaking it down with taxonomies and ontologies, identifying the key components as a group, and digging deeper into the fundamental aspects of each of those key components. Ultimately, this wall chart will be an interactive, evolving foundation through which users can access a wealth of curated technical and educational resources.

    Students from Whistling Woods International helped build graphics for the wall chart video walkthrough (https://www.smpte.org/rapid-industry-solutions) , and a broader group of students and industry members around the world are contributing translations to help make both the wall chart and video more accessible for all industry members. The wall chart also has the distinction of being the first use case for the Visual Language for Media Creation developed by MovieLabs. Just as SMPTE RIS programs are committed to using open-source industry innovations and tools, and the Visual Language for Media Creation provides a common language that helps people to communicate clearly and in a consistent way.

    Going forward, the RIS OSVP community also will use the wall chart as a pathway for discovery of educational and interoperability information from sources including standards bodies, technology suppliers, educational and training institutions, and others. Rather than reinvent work, we’re focused on identifying the good work and research being done in these specialty organizations and on aggregating it so that it is available to a broader audience and can be used in tandem with other tool sets.

    The RIS OSVP got off to a strong start with work on the wall chart and with its efforts to identify and prioritize further projects. The program got a fantastic boost in November when it received a $150,000 Epic MegaGrant. In addition to validating the larger RIS model, this grant empowers SMPTE to deliver even more quickly on the promise of its first RIS initiative. The advisory group is in the process of finalizing goals for 2022 on the education and interoperability front.

    So far in its early life, the RIS initiative is proving to be the proactive, inclusive, agile solution we’d hoped it would be. While there will always be a place for SMPTE standards, the RIS initiative augments our ability to identify the resources needed by the industry, and the best vehicle for meeting that need. Where and when standards development is appropriate, SMPTE can move findings and work from the RIS community into that rigorous process for documentation and validation. Perhaps there is a need for recommendations and best practices. We have space for that too.

    Like standards, and all of its engineering documents, the RIS initiative gives SMPTE a valuable tool for bringing order to chaos, addressing interoperability issues, and helping industry professionals use media technologies effectively to achieve their technical goals and creative vision. SMPTE has been doing this work for more than 100 years, and with the RIS initiative and other forward-looking projects, we will continue to play this vital role for the global media and entertainment industry.

    Learn more about the RIS initiative.

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    Kari Grubin

    Kari Grubin is a multi-talented executive who has spent the past 20 years leading and managing studio divisions, global post production facilities, corporate departments and groups within trade organizations. Kari currently leverages her expertise through her partnership with companies and professional organizations as a business consultant, specializing in the media and entertainment vertical. Previously, Kari demonstrated her strong record of technical operations supervision and confident, insightful leadership of creative teams as Vice President of Mastering for Studio Operations at The Walt Disney Studios, where she developed a long-term strategic vision for mastering across the title lifecycle. In that role, Kari served technical lead and key contributor for content specification development and master asset delivery for all distribution windows, resolving planning conflicts, version control and general performance in the area of mastering. Kari serves on the board of the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA), where she is also the chair of Women in Post Committee. In 2016, she co-created the Young Entertainment Professionals Program (YEP) at the HPA, which has provided outreach and mentoring to over 100 young leaders in the entertainment industry. Kari is now the Co-Chair of HPA ALL, the HPA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative to continue the expansion of HPA’s commitment to create an inclusive environment for all members of the M&E industry, especially those from under-represented groups. She is an active member of SMPTE, which is partnering with HPA on DEI efforts. After spending her early years in staff positions at Universal Studios and as an assistant film editor, Kari joined Paramount Pictures’ digital mastering operations, rising to head of technical operations. In 2002, she formed Global Entertainment Partners (GEP) and served as general manager, growing the company’s services to include 2K/HD digital intermediates and mastering, dailies services, library restoration and re-mastering, and editorial services. In 2006, Grubin and her partner sold GEP to Deluxe Entertainment Services Group and Kari transitioned to Deluxe subsidiary Deluxe Digital Media, where she was Vice President of Post and Restoration. She was responsible for business lines that included library restoration and re-mastering (4K, 2K, HD), reality TV finishing services, editorial, digital archive migration, digital intermediates and dailies services. As a member of the Deluxe executive team, she collaborated on end-to-end services for Disney and Fox. Kari then joined NSS Labs, the leading information security research and advisory company that is both an analyst firm and testing laboratory, as sales director focusing on the entertainment sector, specializing in cyber security. Kari is in demand as a speaker on a variety of topics. Recent presentations include the HPA ALL IN, SMPTE Annual Technology Conference, NAB Cinemerge, HPA Women in Post, HPA Tech Retreat, the Academy Gold Internship Program and Careers in Film Summit (AMPAS). She holds three US patents in media and entertainment technology as a co-inventor.

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