Posted: January 14th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: PGA | Tags: , | Comments Off on BLU-RAY: MORE THAN A SHINY NEW DISC

Producers Guild of America – New Media Council East

Presents the 2008-2009 Panel and Salon Series

Thursday, January 29, 2009 – 7pm – 9pm


How to Leverage the Latest High-Definition Video Platform

The Blu-ray Disc (BD) format achieved the status of next-generation DVD platform in early 2008, besting the Toshiba-led HD-DVD format. In addition to offering a high-definition video experience, the BD format includes online extensions, through its BD Live, that create a new interactive environment for producers and consumers alike. The benefits of Blu-ray, which is resident in the Sony PlayStation 3 game system, are inherently multi-platform: this is more than another optical disc format, it is an experience that brings us closer to truly immersive home entertainment.

The Producers Guild of America New Media Council East invites you to join an introduction to Blu-ray, demonstrating the unique features of the format, and detailing the techniques that producers need to know in working with this emerging format. The session will feature some of the leading companies and producers behind this exciting new format.

Brian Mackewich, VP/Audio & Video Post Supervisor, Gizmo Enterprises

Brian has been involved in the television, film and professional audio industries for more than twenty years. He is an accomplished post-production mixer, an accredited film sound designer and post-supervisor, and one of the founding partner sand vice president of Gizmo Enterprises, Inc. Brian began his career working in video post-production facilities in New York City as an assistant editor. He became a highly quested editor through such clients as VH1, MTV, HBO, PBS, and ESPN, among others, many of which are still clients today.   In the early 1990s, Brian began working on projects as editor, sound designer and mixer – a combination he still enjoys. He partnered with Gary Moscato in 1994 to form Gizmo Enterprises, Inc. TNT, Miramax, Panasonic, U2 (complete Super Bowl package), IFC, New Wave Entertainment, The Weinstein Company, The Sigma Group, Food Network, Comedy Central, BBC, and Loki Films have all recently taken advantage of the creative and technical services available at Gizmo.

Christopher Ticknor, Manager, Business Development, Sony DADC

Christopher works with a wide variety of clients on behalf of Sony DADC, including Criterion Collection, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Sony, MGM, HBO, CBS, MTV, A&E, PBS, and Universal Studios. He was a producer at Giant Interactive, and a freelance digital media producer after having served as production manager at Zoetrope Aubry Productions. He was previously an interactive audio developer with Beatnik, a digital licensing technician with Dolby Laboratories, and worked as a recording engineer with San Francisco Production Group and Outpost Film Center.

Brian V. Murphy, Regional Manager North America, Professional Products Group, Sonic Solutions

Brian has helped lead Sonic’s northeast U.S. sales, helping to increase the company’s presence in the pro audio and video industries. He was previously with Sonic Software. Sonic Solutions enables the creation, management, and enjoyment of digital media content through its Hollywood to Home™ products, services, and technologies. Sonic’s products range from the advanced authoring systems used to produce Hollywood DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles to the award-winning Roxio-branded photo, video, music, and digital-media management applications. Sonic’s patented technologies and AuthorScript® media engine are relied upon by leading technology firms to define rich media experiences on a wide array of consumer electronics, mobile devices, set-top players, retail kiosks, and PCs. Always an innovator, Sonic has taken a leading role in helping professional and consumer markets make the successful transition to the new high-definition media formats and, through the Qflix™ platform, Sonic is defining new models for the digital distribution of Hollywood entertainment.


Moderator: Brian Brodeur, PGA New Media Council Board of Delegates; Founder of NewYorkDVD

Brian Brodeur is founder and CEO of NewYorkDVD, an award-winning interactive production and design firm. He has been working in the DVD authoring industry since the format’s inception in 1997. While at DigiRom, he worked with early DVD technology and established one of New York City’s first DVD authoring suites, working closely with major record labels, while also working with music-industry veteran Harry Hirsch (Media Sound, NARAS, IAR).

In 1999, he joined the staff of USA Studios in Manhattan as Director of Multimedia, overseeing USA’s DVD and Internet operations including installation of their state-of-the-art Sonic Solutions 5.1 authoring suite. At this time, Brodeur established his successful relationship with Sonic Solutions, eventually leading to his becoming New York’s leading DVD Authoring trainer.

Brodeur has produced several critically acclaimed indie-label recordings, and later developed audio for Educational CD-ROM games including Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft franchise and Davidson Software’s Magic Tales series.

In 2001, Brodeur established NewYorkDVD, focusing on music DVD productions, including titles with leading music educational publishers such as Hudson Music/Hal Leaonard, Music Sales Int’l and Carl Fischer Inc. featuring artists ranging from Steve Gadd to Sheila E. NewYorkDVD has developed hundreds of interactive projects, including the worldwide DVD release of Rod Stewart’s “One Night Only- Live from Royal Albert Hall”. Other recent projects have included DVD development for Mike Keneally, KINO International, Empire Pictures, UBS, Columbia/TriStar, USA Television, Phish, ABC/Disney, Barnes & Noble, J-Records, Ciao Italia (PBS) and Frank Zappa’s “DubRoom Special” & “Classic Albums” titles.

In 2006, NewYorkDVD was awarded the DVD Association’s Excellence Award for Music DVD development of Neil Peart’s “Anatomy of a Drum Solo” educational title. The double-disc set featured over 6 hours of widescreen footage, animated menus, and multi-angle video. NewYorkDVD releases have received dozens of industry awards and magazine readers’ polls including #1 sales ratings at Amazon, DVDUniverse and Billboard Magazine.

Wine and light refreshments will be served during a networking mixer prior to the programming.

Media Distributors

645 W. 27th Street

New York City

Space is limited so a confirmed RSVP for this event is required.   Please email: to request a seat. All RSVPs are for one person only. All RSVPs must be re-confirmed to be considered valid.

Event hosted by The Producers Guild of America, New Media Council, New York Chapter.

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is the premier industry association for entertainment producing professionals.

For more up-to-date information on the PGA New Media Council East, visit the blog at

For more information about the PGA New Media Council and to access a membership application, please visit:

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Previous events from our 2005-2008 event series can be accessed in both webcast and podcast format at:

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HP Mini 1035NR

Posted: December 12th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Reviews, Technology | Tags: , , | Comments Off on HP Mini 1035NR

The HP Mini 1035NR netbook has the same basic features as just about every other netbook that exists on the market today. The 1.6 GHz Atom and 1024 x 600 display are all standard. There isn’t much to distinguish one netbook from another, but HP really did a fine job in some of the most important areas.

Before I purchased the 1035NR I had an opportunity to check out the offerings from Asus, Acer, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung and Sylvania. I was down to a choice between the HP 1035 and a Lenovo S10 (which is $50 less and comes with an express card slot).
HP has everyone beat in the most important area — the keyboard. There is simply no other netbook on the market that has a real keyboard with good tactile feedback. As a touch typist, I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Most of the other netbooks fail because they have placed the up arrow key between the “/” and the right shift key, which often results in the insertion point moving up one line when you hit the right shift key. Those that are an exception, such as the MSI or the Samsung do not have the same tactile feeling. The Lenovo keyboard is decent, but that up arrow key took it out of contention.

With the 1035NR you get somewhat less then you do with most every other netbook in the same or even lower price range. The HP comes with a small 60 GB hard drive spinning at 4200 rpm. Most others have a 160 GB at 5400 rpm. Some netbooks have more then 2 USB ports but that should be enough for almost anyone.

But this netbook is the best currently on the market. The slim design is extremely compact, with several nice touches, like the Caps Lock LED. The construction is solid, feels good when you carry it and is very light.

The glass screen is excellent, very bright and clear, similar to the unibody MacBook, though it is glossy and not so great outdoors.

The trackpad is very responsive, with a good amount of surface area. The placement of the buttons on the side, rather then below, is awkward. I had originally dismissed the HP and Acer models because of this. However, the keyboard more then makes up for the button placement and it also shaves about an inch of the netbook width. I can fit the HP in a large coat pocket, which I can’t do with most of the others. The trackpad configuration software can be configured for tap and hold, which is somewhat similar to pressing the mouse and dragging. It would have been better if the HP had Mac like button-less trackpad with two finger click for right click.

The speakers are pretty impressive for such a small computer. Streaming a Netflix movie didn’t suffer from rendering problems, was crisp and easy to share with another person watching.

The built in webcam works very well when it has enough light and the microphone is adequate. There is a single “hybrid” headphone/microphone port.

A VGA port is also included that uses a special connector, however the cable needs to be purchased separately. The SD slot is spring loaded and flush to the body.

I was a bit surprised that there was no printed manual included, or at least a basic printed reference of the various ports, buttons, lights, etc and that one must go to the “Help” section to get this info.

The included battery is a 3-cell unit, which is OK and seems to last about 2 to 2.5 hours depending on what you are doing. HP does have bigger batteries coming, but they are not yet available for purchase.

In a nod to Apple’s packaging designers, the HP box bears some similarities to Apple’s packaging.

While I ended up paying a bit of a premium for a machine with a smaller and slower hard drive then the competition, it was worth it for the keyboard, screen, compact and slim design and excellent build quality.
—— update ——
Any iPhone headset works perfectly with the HP Mini’s and their single headphone/microphone jack.