Michael Kammes has been a long time supporter and friend to LAPPG and for those of you who may remember way back in 2016, he served as our terrific MC for LA Post Fest! Currently, Michael is the Senior Director of Innovations at EditShare where he shares his vast knowledge and expertise, helping to shape their suite of solutions in the marketplace. If you’ve been in this industry for almost any amount of time, you’ve probably seen him serving as a keynote speaker, presenting at various industry organizations and trade shows, sharing his insights on various podcasts, or on his hit series, “5 Things,” where he does a brilliant job demystifying and simplifying film, TV, and media technology.
Los Angeles Post Production Group: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Michael. I know with IBC and the brand new merger between Shift Media and Editshare you are one busy guy, so I’ll make this quick! What are you most looking forward to seeing at IBC 2023 and what will Editshare be showing?
Michael Kammes: I’m interested to see how real the implementations with AI technology are with the existing products in our industry. While I have no doubt there will be more AI tools than we can count, I’m interested to see just how useful implementations are. More steak, less sizzle.
MediaSilo’s integration with Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Studio is now shipping – no need to leave the application to use the MediaSilo goodness! Our integration with MASV and Telestream’s Content Agent is also available today!
On the new side of the house, EditShare One gives a single, streamlined user experience across our high-performance production asset management and media storage solutions. Plus, Editshare’s EFS Swift Link (bridges the gap between remote editing and centralized EditShare EFS storage systems in the cloud or on-premises) – now adapts to the network conditions of individual workstations allowing users to maintain a strong connection to the storage network.
LAPPG: Over your long career you’ve designed and built thousands of production and post-production systems, workflows, and facility integrations. So were you always on the technology side of post figuring out how everything works and goes together?
MK: I had collegiate aspirations of directing, and then picture editing, but these roles didn’t fulfill me creatively. Sound editing fit like a glove, and I did this for many years. However, it became apparent to me that I was often “painting by numbers”, that is, triaging more than creating. Subsequent jobs that leaned on technical know-how resonated with me. The logical flow of the technical processes- the cause and effect – just made sense. I parlayed this interest into live A/V, and ultimately the hardware and software that are used to create media. Having been on the creative side, I had a great balance of what was needed by creatives, and now how technology could provide that.
I had to take the long way to get here, however. But without perusing what I believed was the right path at the time – creative roles in the film industry – I think I would have always wondered “what if…?” Discovering where the creative spark started with me allowed me to know when to look elsewhere for additional professional fulfillment.
LAPPG: It seems that all the AI buzz has really been keeping you busy! (LAPPG members should be sure to check out “AI in Post Production – Your Questions Answered” on Michael’s 5 Things series and “Is Artificial Intelligence Coming for Your Job? Maybe…and Here’s How to Prepare” on Zack Arnold’s Optimize Yourself.) So we’re wondering if there is one particular AI advancement that you think will have the most impact on the post production workflow or the industry as a whole?
MK: AI will be your co-pilot. The tedious tasks that are cumbersome – that’s where AI will fit perfectly. Object, logo, and facial recognition, speech to text. Natural language processing – meaning, interacting with AI conversationally like you would like ChatGPT – will enable less technical users to “build” smaller applications for more post production specific tasks. We’re going to be flooded with applications and tools with varying degrees of reliability and accuracy, unfortunately.
LAPPG: Many years ago you were very vocal about the importance mental health and the industry and at a time the subject wasn’t talked about very much. Recently mental health has taken the spotlight and is finally being addressed more openly. So, first, thank you for being open and working to end the stigma surrounding mental health, and secondly, how do you think the post production industry and even the entertainment industry is doing with this subject? Have you personally seen a shift in the way mental health is being addressed and what else would you like to see?
MK: Thank you very much! Over the years I’ve had many folks reach out and share their struggles. It legitimizes the fact that every single one of us is built a bit differently, and we all react to our life’s experiences in our unique way. And sometimes that unique way means getting help. The Media and Entertainment industry, more so than most fields, has traditionally encouraged longer and more grueling work schedules – not to mention most of your work is reacting to notes from folks who want changes to what you’ve done!
In terms of addressing the topic of mental health, our industry is being dragged along kicking and screaming. M&E is risk averse. Change is bad. However, the staggering amount of content that’s being made outside the M&E realm means there are more jobs outside of M&E. This helps to introduce a more normalized work/life balance for creatives. I’m hopeful that the recognition of the importance of mental health in other verticals will influence how our industry addresses the issue. But it’s going to be slow.