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Blackmagic Design's Dan May Talks Collaborative Workflows & More at NAB 2017

Dan May, President, Blackmagic Design, answers a few questions regarding NAB 2017, including what to expect from Blackmagic, trends to look out for and where you can find them on the showroom floor.

Q What new products/services has your company introduced since last year's’ NAB?

A We’ve been very busy since NAB 2016. Not only did we announce several new products that were immediately available and shipping at the show, such as the Blackmagic Duplicator 4K, the public beta of our editing, grading and finishing solution DaVinci Resolve 12.5, which shipped shortly afterwards in June, the Video Assist 4K monitor/recorder, MultiView 4, Micro Converters and DeckLink Duo 2 capture and playback card, but since then, we’ve also provided numerous updates across product lines. We had updates for the Duplicator 4K, two ATEM live production switcher updates, two updates for our VFX software Fusion, five DaVinci Resolve updates and two Video Assist updates, among others.

Additionally in 2016, we introduced a new camera OS for the URSA Mini, the URSA Studio Viewfinder, 3G-SDI Arduino Shield, UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 capture and playback device, DeckLink Mini Monitor 4K and DeckLink Mini Recorder 4K PCIe capture cards, Teranex AV standards converter, and we announced two acquisitions: Fairlight, which creates professional digital audio products for live broadcast event production, film and television post production, as well as immersive 3D audio mixing and finishing, and Ultimatte, a leader in blue and green screen removal technology for the broadcast television, commercial and feature film industries.

We’ve also had several very exciting new product announcements in 2017. In February, we announced the immediate availably of the ATEM Television Studio HD live production switcher, HyperDeck Studio Mini recorder, Web Presenter streaming and encoding device, as well as the lighter Blackmagic Studio Camera at a lower price. In March, we announced the new URSA Mini Pro 4.6K camera and two new control panels for DaVinci Resolve: the DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel and the DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel.

It’s important to us to continue innovating for our customers and to keep providing them with new enhancements and products throughout the year, as their workflows never stop developing and growing.

Q Finish the sentence: 2017 will be the production industry’s year of _____

A Collaborative workflows. We are seeing a big push towards collaborative workflows as everyone is expected to do more in less time. There’s been a shift in how we consume content today, and as such, the demand for content has never been greater, as trends like streaming have become the new norm. Time is of the essence, and multiple professionals will often work simultaneously, regardless of location, on the same project in order to meet deadlines. To achieve this level of collaboration, the tools used must be flexible and able to interface with a variety of codecs, systems, specs, and standards. With collaboration comes the sharing of ideas and the increased understanding of different disciplines, for example, a colorist doing a bit of editing or VFX work, or a DP editing and grading. As professionals gain new skillsets, their tools need to support that knowledge being put into practice.

Q What motivating factor drives you to continue innovating year after year?

A Our customers motivate us the most. We look to them to provide feedback on existing products, so we can make adjustments and add new features, and it helps our product lines evolve and improve. For example, we were thrilled with the response to our URSA Mini cameras and loved hearing about how folks were using them, from TV shows and feature films to indie projects and with student filmmakers. We also spent time listening to customer feedback, and we in turn applied it to our new URSA Mini Pro camera, adding things like built-in ND filters, tactile control buttons and more. Our customers also give us ideas for new products, as they might voice a need in the market that needs filling. We are lucky to have a range of customers with a variety of backgrounds sharing their workflows and ideas with us.

Q How would you describe the energy at this years’ NAB show?

A The energy around NAB is always exciting. It’s great to be able to reconnect in person with friends, customers and colleagues year after year, as well as make new connections. This industry involves so many people from around the world, so to be able to have everyone gather in one location for a week is very valuable.

Q How do you expect NAB 2017 to differ from NAB 2016?

A NAB continues to grow every year, not only in the number of exhibitors and attendees but also in the number of technologies and trends, which highlights the growth of the industry itself. We are excited to see what NAB 2017 has in store.

Q Where can we find you on the show floor?

A We are in the south lower hall in booth SL216.