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HPA-awards-postThe Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) trade association recently announced the nominees for craft categories and special winners for its 8th annual HPA Awards. Held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, Calif. on November 7, the HPA Awards will honor the excellence and achievements of individuals and companies that do significant and revolutionary work in postproduction. According to a statement released by the HPA, 2013 brought a record number of entries in all craft and special award categories. The 12 craft nominees were chosen from a field of talented and innovative entries in color grading, editing, sound and visual effects for feature films, commercials and television.

rampant smOK, I admit it. I am a plug-in freak. I have the advantage of having a really fast Mac Pro 12-core and a DataBrick NLE (which is twice as fast as the Mac) to render out the plug-ins, but I still really enjoy using the “drag, drop and go” video effects from Rampant Design Tools. The cool thing about Rampant Design Tools is that plug-ins aren’t required, so you can get great-looking VFX on just about any editing computer. The company’s products come in groups, so that you can just buy what you need, and there are samplers available with clips from more than one group.

DigtialDomainDigital Domain, the pioneering VFX house co-founded by James Cameron, Scott Ross and the late Stan Winston, is re-emerging with a new owner after bankruptcy, according to reports by Variety. Last year, the U.S. branch of China’s Galloping Horse media company purchased 70 percent of Digital Domain’s visual effects business while the India-based Reliance MediaWorks bought the remaining percentage. Galloping Horse U.S., whose main asset was its stake in Digital Domain, was recently acquired by the publicly traded Hong Kong company Sun Innovation for $50.5 million. With its acquisition of Digital Domain 3.0, Sun Innovation intends to expand its reach, playing a significant role in the growing international film markets and developing new digital media experiences for consumers in entertainment, advertising, cultural and media environments worldwide. 

KeanuAs digital technology has established itself with a new generation of filmmakers, moviemaking has gotten both easier and more complicated. Will new digital formats reduce old-fashioned film production as a footnote for cinema students? That and many other issues are explored in the documentary Side by Side: The Science, Art and Impact of Digital Cinema. Airing on August 30 on PBS as part of its PBS Arts slate of programs, the doc is directed by Chris Kenneally and hosted by its co-producer Keanu Reeves, who investigates the history and process of both digital and photochemical filmmaking. And, even if you aren’t a filmmaker, the special is fascinating to watch. 

bad-robotWhen J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company got a green light for the second season of the NBC sci-fi series “Revolution,” two things were clear: the series would shoot in Austin, Texas and the production would use a single source for its camera gear. Since Radiant Images was already one of the suppliers for the series’ first season, Bad Robot turned to the Los Angeles-based rental house to provide all the cameras, gear and support, which includes the new award-winning, palm-sized Novo action camera. “Revolution” tells the story of a group of revolutionaries who confront an authoritarian regime 15 years after an event known as the Blackout, an instantaneous shutdown of all electrical devices across the globe. The science-fiction drama is also about family, both the family you’re born into and the family you choose.