Change is inevitable in any industry, but the pace of technological change is accelerating and shows no sign of slowing, say Richard Welsh and Barbara Lange.

Hpa tech retreat

The media industry is being impacted by trends in consumer behaviours and technologies more than ever before.

In this time of unprecedented disruption it is essential that decision makers can find a place to cut through the noise and focus on the essential subjects that will shape the industry to come.

HPA Tech Retreat is unique in our industry.

An uninterrupted opportunity to hear about real-world work happening at the cutting edge from the pioneers leading innovation, it is also an unrivalled networking environment where you can mix with creatives and technologists, true industry influencers, to discuss and debate the topics that matter.

Held in the heart of Oxfordshire at beautiful Heythrop Park, the Tech Retreat is not only a perfect environment for an intense hit of knowledge, but even more it encourages attendees to spark their own creativity and ideas.

This year we kick off with the all new “Tech Retreat Extra” (TR-X), a half-day session dedicated to a topic of particular interest to our industry.

This year’s focus will be the technology and art of VR/AR/MR, led by the practitioners who are taking this format mainstream.

With numerous case studies and real world examples, the TR-X is an absolute must-attend for anyone who wants to see how mainstream media is making use of this important format, and how it will impact the existing and emerging content creation marketplaces.

The TR-X programme will be exploring news reporting, live broadcast, festival experience, the intersection of gaming and narrative media, and so many more topics – all direct from the people who were hands on with the creative process and technology.

Day two sees the HPA Supersession – a curated selection of important topics and speakers around a core theme. This year’s Supersession will examine the “Format Explosion” – following on from the TR-X view of the emerging virtual content platform, we will look at the latest work to create, version, repurpose and deliver content across the myriad formats now available from cinema, to home and to the individual consumer.

With almost two decades of work on international versioning for features, Pixar’s language versioning process remains mind-blowing.

Pixar post 02 inside out spanish promo poster

Pixar’s Inside Out Spanish promotional poster

Their incredible creative attention to detail for versioning extends beyond language to local cultural subtleties and results in an awesomely complex process which generates hundreds of highly complex unique versions of the movie – all for the big screen.

Imagine the further complexity when it comes to all the downstream deliverables.

Well, you won’t have to, because Erik Pearson, Post Supervisor for Home Entertainment at Pixar Animation Studios will lift the lid on their incredible (pun intended) work in the Supersession, opening a day of intense scrutiny of the constantly expanding universe of media formats we all deal with day to day.

Last year’s HPA Tech Retreat UK was special not only because of the content, but also our incredible Atmos sound and full cinema projection system install.

This year we’re stepping it up a notch with a High Dynamic Range cinema projection system from Sony and the latest Ultimate Screen technology from RealD.

And not to waste the opportunity we’ll be exploring the BBC’s ground breaking Planet Earth II series which took not only wildlife documentary but the television experience itself to a completely new level.

With both the creative and technology teams behind this world class series, we’ll hear how it was possible to bring a step change in image quality to audiences despite the complexities of capture and delivery.

Not just looking forward without understanding where we’ve come from, we will also spend time looking at the latest work in preserving, restoring and enhancing the world’s massive archive of film footage – much of which stands to be lost if we don’t act now.

Asking important questions about preservation over enhancement and how we get the most from the most prolific format for a century, a panel of experts will take a fresh look and open our eyes to the possibilities.

The Supersession is always a highlight of any Tech Retreat, but we’re very excited by the line-up for day three, which is built of selected topics from our open call for proposals.

We had an overwhelming response this year, but clear themes stood out as timely to the industry. We will be looking at the latest in connectivity, cloud, workflows, HDR, live IP, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

We genuinely can’t wait to hear from some of the industry’s leading lights whose cutting-edge work will shape the future of the industry, including:

  • Tom Burns Dell EMC, SVP, Networking
  • Paul Charleston BT Media & Broadcast, Technical Consultant
  • Matt George Equinix, Subject Matter Specialist: Broadcast, Digital Media, Cloud Technology & Interconnection
  • Mark Harrison and Andy Wilson Digital Production Partnership (DPP)
  • Neil Hatton UK Screen Alliance, CEO
  • Chuck Parker Sohonet, CEO
  • Emma Perry BAFTA, Head of BAFTA Media Technology
  • Richard Reid Discovery Communications, Vice President, Platform Services
  • Gurpy Saini Avid Technology, Solution Integration Architect at Avid
  • Matt Stagg EE, Head of Mobile Video
  • Richard Welsh Sundog Media Toolkit Ltd, CEO
  • Gareth Williams YellowDog, Founder
  • Darren Woolfson Pinewood Group, Group Director of Technology

The full lineup is on the HPA Tech Retreat website.

If you’ve been to a HPA Tech Retreat you’ll know it’s essential to staying abreast of where the industry is headed.

If you’ve never been to a Tech Retreat, don’t ask yourself if you can afford the time to go – ask if you can afford not to!

Barbara Lange

SMPTE Executive Director

Barbara lange

Richard Welsh

SMPTE Education Vice President, Co-Chair HPA Tech Retreat UK

Richard welsh square