Giving Thanks to 2018

A Look Back

It’s been a little while since you’ve heard from me.  I am delighted to have so many of our community helping to fill this column with their perspectives on our industry – where it is going and how HPA can make a meaningful impact.

As we near the Thanksgiving holiday, there are plenty of things for which to be grateful.  It starts with the biggest Tech Retreat earlier this year in February.  With the largest number of attendees and a full and busy Innovation Zone and nearly five full days of conference content, the Tech Retreat really does kick off our industry’s calendar of must-attend events.  The new venue at the JW Marriott, Palm Desert, does change the feel of the Tech Retreat, but we know the tried and true formula of SuperSession and Mark Schubin are hard to beat.  And in its second appearance, the TR-X (as in Tech Reteat eXtra) was an added bonus.  The Tech Retreat remains the place to get off the grid, immerse yourself in all that is creative tech in media, and meet some really amazing people.  As we speak the 2019 HPA Tech Retreat registration site is open and ready for you to sign up.  Join us at the JW Marriott for another fantastic event!

Our Women in Post Committee was active in its activities, including many lunches throughout the year.  From February’s Tech Retreat to the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference in October, this group organized wonderful events to talk about the issues that all of us face in our industry.  Technicolor hosted an evening discussion of women in production and Rachel Payne, CEO of FEM, Inc., delivered a brilliant conversation with Kari Grubin at the Women in Technology lunch at the SMPTE Conference.  Rachel’s amazing story inspired us all.  Her papers are available on the Women in Post Committee webpage.

The Women in Post Committee has also been the driving force behind the Young Entertainment Professionals program, helping to foster the community of next generation professionals in our industry.  Just last month, at the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference, we inaugurated our third class of YEPs.  Once again, we are amazed and impressed with the level of background these young people possess.  They are excited to be a part of this program, to gain confidence, to be mentored, and to develop lasting relationships that will carry them throughout their budding careers.

And speaking of our YEPs, the committee has been busy producing popular and engaging webcasts on topical topics like HDR and better pixels, proving that while they may be young, they are already actively contributing to the community.

The NET (Networking Education Technology) Committee produced some fantastic events this past year.  In addition to its popular “speed dating”-style lunches where delegates get a taste of different topics over the course of a couple of hours, the committee hosted a panel discussion on blockchain that helped answer the basic question – should I be worried about blockchain in my business today?   The panel discussed the many issues surrounding this hot topic, including seeing past the hype.

Finally, last but definitely not least, we have the amazing HPA Awards program.  Now in its 13th year, the awards program has grown and grown.  Each year, we are impressed with the number and quality and breadth of submissions for both the creative (color, editing, sound, and VFX) and engineering excellence categories.  The awards were bestowed last night at the Skirball Culture Center in Los Angeles.  This year’s special award honoree was the amazing Victoria Alonso, executive producer behind the Marvel hits, who is receiving the Charles S. Swartz award.

That’s a lot of work in just one year!  I am grateful to the HPA Board, our very many dedicated volunteers and committee leaders, plus the amazing staff in both Burbank and White Plains.  The HPA is an amazing entity, here to enable community, knowledge exchange, and recognition.  If you are not already a member, please consider joining us to support this amazing work.  And if you are a member already and have some extra time on your hands, consider joining any one of our various planning committees.  You can find out more about how to join and get involved at the (new!) HPA website at www.hpaonline.com

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Barbara Lange,
Executive Director

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