by John Merli ~ April 26, 2006
NAB DAILY NEWS
Speakers and panelists at Monday evening's MultiMedia World Keynote Session on "The Digital Media Supply Chain: Hollywood Meets Silicon Valley," agreed with panelist Darcy Antonellis that when it comes to adopting - and adapting to - today's media rapidly changing landscape, nothing begins in a vacuum.
"No one has the luxury of starting to work from a clean sheet of paper," she said in a panel discussion. "We have a legacy business we're trying to transform very quickly."
Antonellis is an executive VP of Distribution & Content at Warner Brothers.
"There is a demand now for anything... anytime," she added.
Featured speaker Willem deZoete, VP/GM of Digital Entertainment Services at HP, which sponsored the keynote session, said on a simple level what's happening in multimedia today is what occurred with small independent bookstores 30 years ago. By adapting to consumer needs, and adopting to a changing media environment, the Borders and Barnes & Nobles of the world "completely restructured the way books are sold," he said, and changed the fundamental approach to filling the consumer's needs.
Adapting to such evolving needs, which can alter and switch without much warning, requires flexibility and the need, said deZoete, "to better invest in a platform that is scalable, rather than having to go back and start all over again" if a trend in the marketplace is missed. One of the company's key tools, he said, is the HD Digital Media Platform 3.0.
"We lived in a very stable industry for a long time and now that has quickly changed," said panelist Jose Royo, senior VP of the Digital Services Group at Ascent Media Group. "Change is so rapid now that there's this 'constant' of how do we look ahead?"
Other panelists included Tony Beswick, VP at Sony Pictures; Brian Levy, GTO in the CTO office at BT Group; Tim Bridges, VP at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young; and moderator Janet Gardner of The Perspective Media Group.
"How will that last 10 feet of digital [content] get to the home," Bridges asked, in a discussion of how to keep the "multi" in multimedia for the long term.
Beswick offered one clear sign of responding to content delivery demands: The interval between getting "Memoirs of a Geisha" (and other feature films) from its recent theater run to DVD disc was barely a couple of months. Even a year ago it would have been noticeably longer. Panelists also touched on the growing problem of scalability, in response to an audience question. For example, how do we produce content that may be shown on a giant IMAX screen as well as on a tiny iPod screen?
And what exactly is "content" these days, they asked. Doesn't content planning these days also have to include during principal production what may eventually be used for those special features on the eventual DVD version? As one of deZoete's opening slides declared: "It's all starting to happen. Really fast."
© 2006 NAB