FEATURED SOCIAL MEDIA: ‘ Star Wars started at the Beginning & went to the End ‘ Now a New Chapter of Entertainment’s long Tail finally Emerges – So is this the Beginning or the End ?

#AceNewsDesk – Social Post:July.04: Well we started with Star Wars and went to the end and now with the

‘ The next chapter of Star Wars New Chapter of Entertainment’s Long Tail Finally Emerges ‘


“Good is a point of view, Anakin. The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power.” – Supreme Counsellor,”Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” Lucasfilms, 2005

It’s plain to see that NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) doesn’t mean the sole focus is on big TV nets or huge studios.

It hasn’t been for a number of years.

It’s a bunch of small/really small studios, government/business in-house studios and tens of thousands of independent filmmakers who want to create/distribute content – documentaries, educational films, entertainment – that they believe in … and make a decent living while they’re at it.

It’s possible because the world moved to 4K UHD faster than even the most optimistic analyst projected and there’s a rush to find 4K content to show on the super crisp screens – TV sets, computers, tablets and smartphones.

It’s even more possible because all of the tools – cameras, camera mounts, switchers, displays, power workstations, digital editing/workflow and Petabytes of storage devices – are economic, easy to integrate and easy to use.


Functionality – Ned Soltz, president of Mopictive (motion picture collective of NYC) snapped this shot of one of his creative workstations to show production and post production don’t require a million-dollar facility. It does, however, require lots of talent, good hardware/software and lots of storage.

The production facility may not look like one you’d see at Disney, Fox, NBC or Lionsgate but the creative output can be as spectacular (and saleable).

Every major 4K streaming content provider – Netflix, Amazon, M-Go, Dish, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, you-name-it – is relying on 4K content from independent companies. Not just for blockbusters but also for niche market content or as Chris Anderson put it back in 2004 – Long Tail content that satisfies smaller groups of devoted viewers.

All the Indies have to do is shoot and produce solid content (without it getting hijacked or hacked along the way) and negotiate the right distribution agreement.

But that isn’t always easy!

Small houses like Millennium had The Expendables 3 released on the Web a number of weeks before its official release costing them millions.

They got together with several other small studios to form an anti piracy coalition called the Internet Security Task Force to mobilise small businesses in the television, music, game and software industries against online theft.

It seems like only a few years ago another organisation – RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) – took up a similar campaign and it got real ugly.

Indies at NAB shared similar tales where weeks and even months of content went missing and the loss was devastating because it was … personal.

We agree with the goals of the Internet Security Task Force.

But after-the-fact pursuit is expensive and usually only encourages the “fringe” community to launch more attacks.

Some of the IP/OTT (Internet Protocol/Over The Top) streaming services such as Netflix have taken a pro-active step in protecting content by encrypting the content so even if it is pirated, the content is meaningless so the VOD (video on demand) and content owner are protected.

As Anakin Skywalker noted, “We can make things the way we want them to be!’

Proactive, Not Reactive

It’s just makes more sense to protect the content more aggressively from ingest to distribution.


Creative Process – Producing an award-winning film requires individuals to follow through on a number of vital steps from capture to production, post production and distribution.

We didn’t meet an Indie filmmaker at NAB that wasn’t already knee deep in 4K production to meet the shift in demand/expectations.

The new cameras like Blackmagic’s low-cost, high-performance cameras were capturing 4k resolution, wide colour gamut and High Dynamic Range (HDR) at the rate of 10GB per minute.

Most (62 percent, according to Coughlin Associates) are shooting 2-10 hours of content for every hour of completed work they produce.

It’s little wonder that a small project can suck up 27TB, a large project 133.5TB and an intensive multi-camera project can consume 398TB of storage. And you’ve just approached the first big decision you have to make – cloud or local storage.

Cloud folks make an almost irresistible offer – hundreds of TB of storage for virtually nothing.

Oh sure, there may be some issues; but OMG, the price is ridiculously good.

What are the possible problems? Security – hackers/thieves love big cloud opportunities/challenges. And if you read the fine print of the agreement, the cloud folks aren’t responsible for much.


Cloud Faith – While the promises and low-cost of cloud storage and unsecured distribution are irresistible for thousands of organisations, many IT (information technology) folks and independent filmmakers still have major concerns about security and reliability.

With news of another attack or theft (let’s call it what it is) in the news every day, there are good reasons most filmmakers want their content where they can see it, touch it.

Saving Every Frame, Pixel

There are a lot of different external storage solutions available – including both hardware and software RAID systems.

Hardware RAID has been around for years, but unlike your production workstation that is flexible as to what it lets you do; hardware RAID has a lot of limitations/restrictions.

Today’s workstations have all the power you need to manage newer software RAID that lets you set RAID levels – zero, 4,5 or any combination – to meet your project’s needs and provide peace of mind. Want to pull a RAID 5 drive out of the case and work on the content somewhere else? No problem.

If you’d like to know when you’re overworking one particular drive, smart technology will tell you; but it’s usually just about the time the drive fails. Newer predictive software RAID monitors the health of the drives and uses predictive analysis to give you a heads up weeks or more ahead of time so you can get a spare drive and can do the replacement at your leisure, instead of at the worst possible moment.

Obi-Won Kenobi said, “I will do what I must."

Because of the growing concern filmmakers have in keeping RAW, work-in-progress and final cut content unavailable to outsiders, local RAID storage also ensures your content is reliably protected from damage or loss when you move content from specialist to specialists – editors, FX (special effects), colourist’s, audio, etc.


SneakerNet – Rather than send working files over the Internet to specialist to do their work and return the project to the filmmaker, most still rely on delivery services like FedEx and UPS to keep film work away from hackers and hijackers.

The Internet is becoming more robust and reliable – hence the rapid growth of anywhere, anytime, any device viewing. But still, moving 10-20TB of content from Point A to Point B (especially when it’s your creative best) requires more faith in machines and nature than most of us have.

Reliable Content Transfer

That’s why the most commonly used network delivery of worker copies is the SneakeNet – HD copies sent to the various specialists so he/she can turn it into really good, compelling content.

As Tom Coughlin (Coughlin Assoc) said recently, “There are two classes of filmmakers: those who have lost some of their work at one time or another and as a result back up everything and those who haven’t lost anything … yet! and only makes the requisite insurance copy. The latter is walking too close to the cliff’s edge.”

For an end-to-end solution, almost every filmmaker’s 4K project requires at least 10X the amount of storage capacity compared to the final film that is “in the can.”


Safer at Home – Filmmakers large and small continue to rely on local storage of their projects, even though it requires an expanding library of storage solutions with software RAID to ensure private materials stay private.

It’s little wonder that most filmmakers will continue to rely on lots of local storage.

Finding Audience

New, over-the-top direct content distribution is enabling consumers to access full UHD content today and new hardware/software content creation tools are delivering a new viewing experience to people worldwide.

Despite the fact that every major 4K streaming content provider is relying on 4K material from independents, they aren’t exactly beating a path to your door, are they?

And as we know, broadcast and cable providers are notoriously slow to change.

Anakin Skywalker commented, “We lost something.”

In their defence though, the incentives are totally different for over-the-top distributors than yesterday’s entertainment delivery solutions.

The new streaming service can efficiently and effectively serve even a small population of early adopters by delivering long tail content to them profitably on a one-to-one basis.


As a result, they can offer premium-quality content to customers who want to pay for it without having to make costly or complex changes to a legacy broadcasting backbone.

Marketing your 4K content and reaching broad or niche markets is still very much the wild, wild West. There are the major network/studio, streaming services and there are a growing number of OTT channel opportunities focused on delivering long-tail niche market segments.

It goes without saying that if you’re not a multi-million dollar company, it’s difficult to be a game changer. But today, we’ve reached the point where anyone can make a broadcast length, award- (and viewer) winning movie on a reasonable budget.

It can be done without a mainstream distribution system in place.

If you want a distribution relationship, begin by signing up and getting showings According to USA Today’s recent film festival survey, here are the top events for your film:

– Cinequests Film Festival – San Jose, CA

– Cleveland International Film Festival

– Pan African Film Festival – Atlanta, LA

– Santa Barbara International Film Festival

– Full Frame Documentary Film Festival – Durham, NC

– True/False Film Fest – Columbia, Mo

– Napa Valley Film Festival – Napa Valley, CA

– Palm Springs International ShortFest

– Seattle International Film Festival

– Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Mestival

Contenders also included the DC Shorts Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival, Breckenridge Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, AFI DOCS, Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest Film, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Chicago International Childrens Festival and, of course, those near you

Whether your new film, show, series ends up on YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, Amazon or any other streaming channel, network-controlled entertainment will close after a very profitable and long run.

Your biggest challenge will continue to be to get your content “found” by people interested in the specific content – entertainment, education, documentary, but this will be the same challenge studios everywhere will have because there won’t be anything like a “captive audience” in the new democratised viewing arena.

Everyone will be competing to get mind and eyeball share of the global viewing audience opening new opportunities for independent filmmakers with new, different, refreshing content.


Just remember what Obi-Wan Kenobi said, “Let’s move on. We have a battle to win here.”

The original source of this article is anonymous Indie Films.


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SOCIAL FEATURE: ‘ Your Data is more Important to other People than You but you Give it is so Freely ‘

#AceNewsDesk – Social Report:July.04: A great day for Americans and Independence Day – But how independent are you really as your data is harvested for information on your life, by NSA all in the name of government taking care of you and also socially with social media companies harvesting every titbit about how you spend your money.

Because really in the end that is what it is about

How You Spend Your Money and can they Get a Chunk under the pretext of caring and sharing, the fact is you share and they do not – adding insult to injury by guiding you to like, tweet and share your innermost thoughts.


Firms Struggle to Gather, Manage, Secure All Your Data


“Food for five years, a thousand gallons of gas, air filtration, water filtration, Geiger counter. Bomb shelter! Underground…” – Burt Gummer, “Tremors,” Universal Pictures, 1990

Today, companies (and others) swim in a sea of data. And the sea level is rising … rapidly.

Tens of millions of people are connected with computers, tablets, smartphones.

There are billions of sensors.

Trillions of transactions now work to create unfathomable amounts of data, content, information and other stuff.

It’s all a byproduct of things and your activities as you go happily, haplessly about your life doing your thing.

It’s what McKinsey has dubbed digital exhaust.

Or, as a really smart scientist/engineer friend down in Texas explained it, “Reams of data are all that mathematicians can deal with. But data is not information, and it’s not intelligence. It’s just data. The inferences you make from it are tainted by assumptions of the algorithms that grind on it, at best.”

In more polite circles, it’s called “Big Data” and it’s rapidly becoming the nirvana of retailers, manufacturers and others to uncover meaningful patterns in the data that is gathered.

Valentine McKee saw how it could be used and exclaimed, “These things are damn smart! They’re getting smarter by the minute!”


Digital Universe – The new devices and apps enable people to keep piling on digital content/data every day, sharing personal and connections. The information is proving to be invaluable to retailers and manufacturers because it helps them tailor information and offers in a very focused fashion. And they’ll continue to get better at it as more Big Data is gathered and mined.

It’s all produced by what Cisco calls the Internet of Everything and the volume is doubling every two years.

According to IBM, people create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day and 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the last two years.

Coming from many sources as well as in various structures, formats; Big Data is usually identified by three V’s – variety, velocity and volume.

For those gathering the data, the challenge is determining the difference between quality and quantity.

As Burt Gummer said, “If that’s how we’re doing it, we’re going prepared!”

Competitive Edge

According to Cisco’s Connected World report, most executives feel that Big Data can give them a competitive edge if they can take advantage of it in new and more creative ways.


Leveraging Data – Online sources (including social media) enable companies to monitor and capture information in near real time to track competitors, consumers and, well, just about anyone/anything they’re interested in following and evaluating.

Executives reported:

– 60 percent believe Big Data can help improve decision making and global competitiveness

– Over two-thirds feel Big Data will be a strategic priority in their organisation’s

– More than a third said that while they have a Big Data solution in place, they need a strategic plan to take advantage of Big Data

To do it, they are gathering information from all of the sources possible:

– 74 percent are gathering current data

– 55 percent have collected historical data

– 48 percent bring in data from monitors, sensors

– 40 percent take advantage of real-time data that is used, discarded

– 32 percent collect unstructured data, such as video

Retailers and CPGs (consumer products goods) manufacturers gather transaction and shopper data, in-store video monitoring, geo-tracking, real-time social media feeds, Internet browsing history, local conditions and a host of structured/unstructured data.


Focused Efforts – With all of the data and information people post in public places, manufacturers and retailers are able to reach consumers in local areas and establish their brand (and their offers) in the local community. Spray and pray is no longer required.

In other words, they’re looking at just about anything that can reasonably predict what individual consumers will do, need and buy.

The challenge is that the new digital forms of communication — Web sites, blog posts, tweets — are often very different from the traditional sources. The data points exist but the organisation needs to "connect the dots," so that patterns, pictures and actionable items emerge.

Working Examples

For example, the Library of Congress said its archive of public Twitter messages has reached nearly 300 billion tweets and increases at about 500 million tweets a day. The Library of Congress Twitter archive isn’t open to anyone you’d know yet but it promises to be a rich resource that provides “a fuller picture of today’s cultural norms, dialogue, trends and events.”

Retailers this holiday season have been working their Big Data as hard as possible to pinpoint and entice consumers. Two that have gained a lot of experience include Amazon and Target.

Amazon probably has the richest database of consumer information in the world because they have been collecting – and using –your information for years. They know the addresses you send to, payment information, everything you’ve looked at/purchased and they use that data to build a relationship with customers.

If it’s a customer service issue, all of your information is available to the service person – on phone or online. If its items for yourself or gifts, they send you tailored recommendations not blind emails.

It works!

Target found that their data and analytic efforts don’t always produce the best results. Based on past purchases, they did a social media outreach to women the data said were expecting a baby.

Unfortunately, the tools proved that even sophisticated machine learning technology can’t determine things like the pregnant person’s age – in one instance, a teen.

Today, the company learns from all of its social media activities and Big Data. But they also draw heavily on professional thinking and how the program’s activities will be viewed by the customer.


Company executives say the biggest barrier in efficiently and effectively using Big Data is getting the data out of silos and into a form that can be used.


Make it Usable – While organisation’s accumulate more and more Big Data, the challenge is to free it from silos so it can be used across the firm to reach customers in new, more effective ways.

It isn’t as simple as getting departments to share information because no one company has all the data that it needs. That means retailers – and their suppliers – need to collaborate to deliver optimum results; and sharing rich customer information isn’t easy because your information is always more valuable, more useful than theirs.

As Earl Bassett said, “There’s no way Walter Chang’s getting his slick mitts on this for no 15 bucks.”

When it comes to obstacles in adopting Big Data solutions, security tops the list:

– More than one in four firms surveyed by Cisco said data security and risk management are major concerns

– The sheer volume of data, the number of ways to access data, and lack of a budget for security are stumbling blocks

– The lack of budget (16 percent) and lack of time to study Big Data (14 percent) are obstacles

– Nearly one in four (23 percent) said the lack of IT staff (13 percent) or Big Data staff expertise (10 percent) are challenges

Despite the obstacles and missteps, the value of a Big Data strategy is a siren call to companies – B2B, B2C.

Common Goal

They see the potential of all the data they are storing to move consumers from unknown to fully identifiable along with all of his/her network of social media friends.

They’ve only just scratched the surface.

This year, they’re working very hard to develop, refine and track the solid link between your online and offline persona’s.

The major challenge for firms is to improve the analysis and integration of Big Data … they know more needs to be done, and they want to do it better. Then they’ll be able to deliver what you want/need … before you know you want/need it, so you won’t have to stand around waiting for it to appear.


While you’re waiting for things to change, remember what Earl Bassett said, “Running’s not a plan! Running’s what you do, once a plan fails!”


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