ProductionHUB: So we’ve heard it’s your birthday, LAPPG has turned 10 - congrats! Can you tell us how it all started?
LAPPG: Well, thank you for the congrats! We’re super excited to be celebrating our 10th year this June. Los Angeles Post Production Group began in 2008 when my husband and partner, Woody Woodhall, and I noticed a lot of our clients at Allied Post, our company, had many questions about the post audio process. They were bringing their films to us to finish but they were having problems outputting them, their video was at the wrong speed, or they didn’t know how to export an OMF. We had a beautiful lobby space and decided that it’d be worthwhile to invite some of our clients and others in the community to come by one Wednesday evening each month to discuss various aspects of post-production.
After the first couple meetings, it was clear that people were really jazzed about having a place for monthly discussions. As a bonus, they could check out our facility, meet us and learn more about the services we offered. That part of it was short-lived as we outgrew our lobby before the end of the first year! However, we felt that the information being shared was so valuable and the opportunity for these industry pros to emerge from their dark, isolated edit bays to come together was something they really needed.
After we grew out of the lobby of Allied Post we held our meetings in a series of spaces over the next few years — from a gymnasium donated to us from the City of LA’s Parks & Recreation, to an office space practically on the 405 Freeway, to an eco-friendly theater space in Venice, to our home now at a private school in Santa Monica, Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences.
PH: What kinds of things do you focus on at your meetings - and who tends to come speak to share knowledge?
LAPPG: When we started, we really were a group of post-production pros. We primarily had editors, audio mixers, sound designers, colorists, post supervisors and studio owners. As time went on we noticed an interesting shift in the digital landscape bringing the world of production and post closer. Currently, we still have tons of editors, colorists and audio folks, but now, we also have producers, directors and cinematographers.
In addition, we have a number of DIT’s, who help bridge the gap between production and post. Filmmaking is such a collaborative experience — it has become essential for people in production to know what’s happening in post, and vice versa. So, it’s fair to say, if someone has a passion or interest in digital content creation, LAPPG has a seat open for you!
PH: Looking back over the years, what have been some of the highlights for you and your members?
LAPPG: I’d say one of our favorites was bringing David Fincher’s post team in to discuss the first 6K workflow created and executed on a feature film for “Gone Girl.” We also loved some of our LAPPG Presents events that we held with our friends from NewFilmmakers Los Angeles. One was a deep discussion with a panel of film festival directors on how to successfully negotiate the festival circuit. We also did a great event with NFMLA where we discussed the importance of keeping filmmaking in LA - and had Film LA join us with some extremely talented filmmakers to share their experiences filmmaking locally. We presented Blumhouse Productions with a special recognition award for their dedication and commitment to keeping a majority of their productions local.
We also loved having Tony Orcena from “Modern Family” come and explore the amazing episode he edited called “Connection Lost” which was completely shot with and utilized iPhones, iPads and FaceTime. It all integrated on one of the character’s laptop screen for the entire episode. And another one of our favorite meetings was with Dan Lebental, ACE, who shared his work on Marvel’s ANT-MAN, which he co-edited.
PH: What are some of the changes you've seen over the last decade, being on the front lines of technology & workflow?
LAPPG: As mentioned, I think the digital landscape that has developed has brought production and post closer and closer and we’ve found that instead of people being specialized, there has been a strong call for people to be able to wear many hats. It’s not uncommon to see productions wanting an editor who can color as well, or wanting all their post services under one roof.
This isn’t always the case, but equipment even ten years ago was so much more expensive. For example, when LAPPG began, DaVinci Resolve was an expensive hardware-based color correction solution. Now Resolve software is offered for free! And for only $299 you can get the full studio version, with all its bells and whistles.
So with less expensive equipment I think there is greater opportunity for access. Our partner, Blackmagic Design, which owns DaVinci Resolve, always pushes the envelope and now has integrated editing into this powerful color correction software, a real bonus for many people. Or take our partner Adobe, when LAPPG started up, Premiere Pro was fighting its way in the world through giants like Avid and even Final Cut Pro. Look at Adobe now — they are the platform of choice for many and have turned to a subscription model to allow users greater access to their collection of leading desktop and mobile apps.
PH: What are some of the challenges in running a professional industry group on a monthly basis, and especially as the community keeps growing?
LAPPG: Keeping the content timely and fresh is key as well as bringing new points of view into the equation and getting the best speakers possible. We try to include as many areas of production and post as possible have to be creative to get them all “screen time.” We also put a lot of effort into attending to our members’ needs, as well as working to ensure our partners are getting the absolute most value possible.
It’s gratifying to see long-time members and new members showing up each and every month. It means that we continue to grow but we also have a loyal membership. We are always focused on delivering content that satisfies the fresh out of film school student as well as the Emmy-Award winning editor. That’s our goal. To create a welcoming community where people find value in the things they learn and the people they meet.
PH: What do you have planned for this year & beyond — in terms of meetings and focus?
LAPPG: This year has been filled with lots of great meetings so far! We’re exploring beyond film and TV, launching into Immersive Media (VR & 360). We also recently had an extremely entertaining meeting focused on creating a successful YouTube Channel.
Our big event this year will be our 10th Anniversary Celebration on June 23rd in downtown L.A., hosted by our friends at NewFilmmakers LA. They’re curating a screening block of short films called INFocus: Post Production. We’ll also have many of our partners there celebrating with us and with all NFMLA monthly screenings, there will be an open bar and great crowd of creative folks!
Last but not least, one of the exciting things we launched over the last year is LAPPG’s YouTube Channel. Even if you’re not in LA and want to check out highlights and learn/
PH: Can you tell us more about your partners that have helped support and grow your group?
LAPPG: We are grateful for the continued support of so many incredible companies. From their cutting-edge tools, to their industry contributions, and their support and loyalty to our group, we feel extremely privileged to have the chance to share their tools and technologies with our members. It's through their generosity supporting organizations like ours that allow us to keep our admission incredibly low, so that anyone with a passion and desire to learn, network and make a place for themselves in this industry can do so.
Our partners understand the importance of community and the value of bringing people together, out from behind their computers to meet face-to-face, and to exchange ideas through in-person conversations.
It’s companies like Vimeo, Shutterstock, Adobe, Blackmagic Design, LaCie, iZotope, Zeiss, OWC, Glyph Production Technologies, and the amazing people at ProductionHUB that allow us to create and facilitate this community. We’ve also had so many friends and volunteers that have helped us over the years that I can’t name them all. We are so lucky to have had all their support over the past decade.
PH: How can people join LAPPG and hear about your upcoming meetings?
LAPPG: Head to our website and fill out the membership form on the right-hand side where it says, “Free Membership Sign Up Now.” Even if you don’t live in LA you can still take advantage of news, discounts and offers to national and international events.
PH: Lastly, since you’re long-time West Side L.A. residents, where’s the best place to see a movie?
LAPPG: Santa Monica has a true gem with the Aero Theater. As part of the American Cinematheque, they provide an awesome and broad range of programming. Every Thanksgiving our family loves to go see “Singing in the Rain” — and just recently they had an “Indiana Jones” triple feature! There’s nothing like seeing classics on the big screen.
The Los Angeles Post Production Group is an organization for digital content creators which offers free membership. The LAPPG provides a forum to share knowledge, build community, explore technologies and techniques and encourage production and post-production professionals to connect and expand their networks. For more information, visit: www.lappg.com