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SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange announced the launch of the SMPTE Centennial Celebration Campaign's Next Century Fund. The Walt Disney Company, Panasonic and Dolby Laboratories are the Fund's first donors, having made contributions totaling $1 million, the the largest financial commitments in the Society’s history. “Without question, SMPTE’s next hundred years will be very different from the first," said Lange. "As our industry evolves, new developments are challenging every aspect of the media workflow — from technology tools to business models. With their generous gifts, The Walt Disney Company, Panasonic, and Dolby Laboratories are providing a tremendous boost to the Society’s ongoing expansion and evolution across our three pillars of activity: standards development, membership development, and education programs.”
The Next Century Fund will support the development, adoption, use, and understanding of new industry standards, as well as creating tools such as a repository for test materials to certify new IP-based workflows. In the area of membership development, SMPTE’s goals include international Section expansion as well as improving programming and networking for students. In education, the Society will focus on creating educational programs that support rapidly changing industry needs; establishing regular conference events throughout the world; and developing and deploying educational programs that serve all levels of membership.
Disney/ABC Television Group EVP of global operations/CTO Vince Roberts noted his company's pleasure in becoming one of the first donors to the Fund. "For almost 100 years, SMPTE has played a critical role in advancing the art, science, and craft of the moving image and its sound," he said. "We are proud to partner with SMPTE as it continues its groundbreaking work in moving-imagery education, engineering, and research.”
"The three pillars of the Walt Disney Company are great content, globalization and technology," he added. "We believe that the same tenets that we hold true, SMPTE holds true. SMPTE is the gold standard."
Although Kunihiko Miyagi, director of Panasonic Corporation's Professional AV Business Unit, Imaging Network Business Division, was unfortunately unable to attend the celebration, he did send a message. “We can’t think of any organization more worthy of our support than SMPTE,” he said. “The ongoing role the Society plays in advancing standards and technical education for our industry is absolutely critical to our success, and to that of all SMPTE members. Panasonic salutes SMPTE as it enters its second century of advocacy and advancement for the field of moving imagery.” Ron Martin, VP of Panasonic's Hollywood Laboratory spoke on behalf of Panasonic, which has been a SMPTE member for 30 years.
Finally, Pat Griffis, executive director of technology strategy, Office of the CTO at Dolby Laboratories, noted SMPTE's "remarkable and long-standing commitment to education and to the development of standards that support ever-greater creative and technical achievements in the field of motion imaging and sound.” “The Society’s centennial celebration is an ideal opportunity to recognize this work and its enormous influence on our industry," he said.
"It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of SMPTE's 100th year anniversary.," Griffis added. "SMPTE is an organization that creates the tools for the creatives to tell their stories, and we should be really proud of what we do. This is our opportunity to set the stage for the next century and Dolby is pleased to be part of it."
The SMPTE Centennial Campaign has been established in recognition of the Society’s 100-year anniversary in 2016. The campaign is led by an advisory committee consisting of Wendy Aylsworth and Chuck Dages (retired) of Warner Bros.; Peter Fannon of Panasonic; Richard Friedel of Fox; Charles Jablonski of SMPTE; Peter Ludé of RealD; William Miller of Miltag Media Technology; Chuck Pagano of ESPN; Bob Ross of CBS; and Larry Thorpe of Canon.
Further information about the SMPTE Centennial Campaign is available at www.smpte100.org.