M&E Daily

Paramount Execs: Filmmakers Catching up to Home Entertainment Tech

HOLLYWOOD — Ed Hoxsie, SVP of worldwide product production and fulfillment for Paramount Pictures offered up this assessment of home entertainment technology today: “We’ve gotten to the point where the technology in the home has exceeded the capabilities of what the [film] masters have.”

Hoxsie was speaking Feb. 10 during a media event for the studio’s latest Ultra High-Def (UHD) Blu-ray Disc release, “Arrival,” and he was making a point beyond just one film: high-dynamic range, wider color gamut and other advances in displays for the home have given consumers the best possible picture ever created … and given people like Hoxsie plenty of work to do, revisiting the original masters or films for UHD Blu-ray releases.

“We love to go back to these masters, keep working on them,” he laughed.

Mike Trainotti, SVP of technical services and worldwide technical operations for the studio, said the advent of 4K UHD TVs in the home and the content to match has given content creators new tech to work with, often seeing them spend more time in post-production massaging their work then they ever would have previously.

“It all comes back to the creator,” he said. “It’s up to them how far they want to push the technology.”

Hoxsie said that the eventual goal for the studios will be to have UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and 4K digital codes all packaged together, helping extend the life of physical media, while still keeping pace with today’s digital-first world. He also added that the change from DVD to Blu-ray wasn’t noticed much by less discerning home entertainment viewers. But the shift from standard Blu-ray to UHD Blu-ray with HDR is catching more attention. “It stands out,” he said.

The “Arrival” home entertainment release feature more than 80 minutes of bonus features, including a featurette that centers around the circle alien symbols known as “logograms,” created by Academy Award-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette and his wife Martine Bertrand. They too touted the benefits of UHD Blu-ray, specifically the HDR picture available.

“It’s the best technology to see the deepness of the darks in [the film],” Vermette said.