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At HPA’s Iconic Tech Retreat, President Seth Hallen Entreats Media Professionals to Lead During Era of Transformative Change and Technological Advancement

HPA Tech Retreat leans into new technologies, the understanding of AI, powerful community building and engagement with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead

PALM SPRINGS — February 21, 2024 — Kicking off day three of HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Springs, HPA President Seth Hallen delivered a passionate appeal to the conclave of technology leaders gathered, entreating them to seize the moment to connect with each other and grapple with new technologies.

The post production and technology sectors serving the media creation industry play a critical role in the delivery of virtually every piece of the entertainment content ecosystem. Hard hit over the past three years from pandemic to strikes to the fundamental realignment of the industry, Hallen noted “a new playbook” is required for the industry.

Hallen said, “We are starting a new chapter, actually a whole new playbook, for our industry. We are experiencing the most fundamentally challenging and changing environment most of us have ever seen. While our industry has experienced economic downturns and even weathered a global pandemic, this is different. What we are experiencing now is truly, fundamental transformative change.”

He notes that while the recent strikes were a central turning point, it is the deeper foment in the industry and around the world that has pushed the envelope: rapidly changing content consumption patterns, increasingly powerful technologies, and global economic instability. The impact on jobs, which run the gamut from runner to engineer to artist to CEO, is universal as the industry changes. The power of connection is more important now than ever during revolutionary times.

As Hallen notes, “The past few years have highlighted the strength of this community. In the COVID shutdown, projects halted, incomes dried up, and the very fabric of many lives unraveled. But amid this adversity, our industry re-discovered its unshakeable commitment. The HPA community is built on an unbreakable bond of mutual respect and compassion. The value of our work is undeniable.

HPA offers access to experts, platforms, and events where connection and education are encouraged. In the coming weeks, the organization will launch its AI Working Group, which was announced today at the Retreat. The HPA AI Working Group will strive to empower the community with the knowledge, tools, and ethical guidelines for AI integration into industry workflows. More details of the working group will be announced shortly.

While AI brings a mix of anxiety, curiosity and excitement to the industry, Hallen notes “it holds the promise of transforming the creative, technical, and operational process, making us more efficient and opening new avenues for storytelling. Yet, it does pose questions about the future of our roles within this evolving landscape. I believe that fear is always a part of the unknown and our role in offering education and information is as important as ever.”

In addition to HPA AI Working Group, the HPA Industry Task Force, with a presence at the Retreat, continues its mission to connect with its constituents in our industry along with government and industry partners.

He concludes, “Looking ahead, I see a horizon brimming with possibilities. Together, we can usher in an era where post and production professionals are not mere survivors but continue the long tradition of being the pioneers of change. I urge you to seize this opportunity. Engage with your peers, share your insights, and collaborate on solutions that will propel our industry forward.”

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