HP Bridging The Borders Award, presented by Cinema Without Borders and sponsored by HP Workstation Department is now a well-known and prestigious award in international film community.
To learn more about HP’s reasons of supporting this award we had an interview with Rick Champagne is Worldwide Media & Entertainment Segment Manager for HP Z Workstations division.
Cinema Without Borders: HP Bridging The Borders Award that goes to a film that helps bringing people of our world closer together, is a timely award and well received among filmmaking community. Please tell us about HP decision to support this Award at the Palm Springs International and Palm Springs ShortFest film festivals.
Rick Champagne: HP has been working with the Palm Springs film festivals and Cinema Without Borders for years now, and we share a similar passion for supporting independent filmmakers in their creative pursuits. We do this through innovative, ultra-fast and highly reliable technology that stays out of the way of creative flow. When you pair that with the mission of the HP Bridging The Borders Award, it’s very natural for us to be a part of something so important.
CWB: Are there other art and cultural events that HP supports and had supported in recent years?
RC: HP has a long history of supporting events in the Media & Entertainment industry, including other local and international film festivals, industry-focused events such as NAB and SIGGRAPH, as well as training events focused on filmmaking tools and techniques. Most interestingly, HP’s POWER UP and Zed events are weeklong celebrations of creativity which have been hosted in New York, London, Paris, and Berlin. At these events, we bring together creative people from the film, television, games, architecture, and design industries to learn from masters of their craft. We also host events that pair random artists with each other to collaborate on creative challenges. There is nothing more satisfying than contributing to the artistic community in ways that nourish the creative spirit.
CWB: Please tell us about close relationship of HP and major Hollywood Studios, providing them the best production and post-production tools.
RC: Many of the world’s major award-winning film, VFX, and post-production studios rely on HP Z Workstations and DreamColor displays to get their projects delivered on time and on budget. With the massive datasets found in the industry, particularly with 4K film productions, animated features, or VFX-heavy films, HP Z Workstations provide the kind of horsepower necessary to drive more iterations and allow our customers to make critical creative decisions earlier in the process.
HP also hosts a Film Advisory Council in Los Angeles and in London where we confidentially disclose our product roadmaps with the mission of gathering and implementing feedback from our Council Members. All of our products from our flagship HP Z840 through to our new ZBook Studio have all benefitted from the Council’s feedback. When you think about innovations like the HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro – storage that is 16x faster than standard SSD – they really can only be born out of close communication with our customers working in production. We value these relationships beyond belief and we are very grateful to be able to give back through our laser-sharp focus on customer-focused innovation.
CWB: Independent filmmakers and small post houses enjoy the performance and price that HP Workstations offer, is there a communication between HP development team and independent filmmakers?
RC: Yes. While our Film Advisory Council hosts many of the majors, there is also representation from independent filmmakers and smaller post houses. We value the feedback of all of our customers and I am honestly extremely impressed with our Product Management team’s unrelenting drive to bring our customers the best in class in both performance and quality. I have seen first-hand how our product roadmaps were refined as a direct result from customer feedback. One of the most well-known examples is for the feature we refer to as the “love handle” on the Z640. Our engineers had gotten rid of the rear handle feature on the Z640 in order to keep the footprint small and increase capacity, but one of our studio council members came back and said they couldn’t survive without the handle, so engineering came up with a solution that kept the small footprint, larger capacity and rear handle. It goes much beyond that however, including the ability to rackmount our workstations, the new dust filter option in our Z240, an inventive new cooling solution that is better in every way (cooler, quieter, cheaper), and the introduction of our thinnest, lightest mobile workstation ever – the no-compromise ZBook Studio.
CWB: How do you see the future of HP’s involvement in film industry?
RC: The HP Z Workstation team has strong ties to the film industry, dating back over 75 years. In fact, HP DreamColor technology was honored to receive an Academy Award in Scientific and Engineering just last year. We are tightly connected to this industry and we will continue to commit to it and work alongside it. Whether it’s 4K, 6K, or 8K film resolutions, super-high frame rates, VR and AR (Virtual and Augmented Reality), or HDR (High Dynamic Range) content, HP is committed to providing the reliability, performance and innovation our customers demand to meet these new challenges. We will also continue to certify our HP Z Workstations with the latest industry-standard software from companies such as Adobe, Autodesk, Avid, and The Foundry.
CWB: What are the latest systems and tools introduced by HP for filmmakers?
RC: Resolution and frame rates have been on the incline, and HP already has a complete solution to serve our customers including our Intel Xeon powered HP Z640 and Z840 Workstations, our 4K DreamColor display, and our 5K HP Z Display. For ultra-fast storage, we introduced the HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro which can read and write data at 5-8GB per second. We are also VR-ready and we have a whole new lineup of Mobile Workstations that were recently announced, including our thinnest mobile, the HP ZBook Studio featuring Intel Xeon processors, Intel Thunderbolt 3 technology, and NVIDIA Quadro Graphics.