AI Takes Center Stage at HPA Tech Retreat

March 14th, 2024

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I had the pleasure of attending the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) 29th annual Tech Retreat, held in California. The event was sold out, packed with technical leaders from studios, the post-production community, and vendors all focused on trends in content creation and novel ways to meet industry technology needs.

The event superstar was artificial intelligence (AI), dominating the agenda, with more than half of the discussions dedicated to AI technologies, applicable use cases, tooling, and best practices.

Avid was in full force with our expert team, leading discussions on AI integration in production workflows, cloud-based post-production solutions, and more.

  • Avid CEO Jeff Rosica gave a thought-provoking keynote presentation, “Unbreaking an Industry.”
  • Rob Gonsalves, Fellow, Architecture and Advanced Development, and Dave Colantuoni, VP Product Management, demonstrated Avid’s views on AI in production workflows.
  • Richard Duke, Chief Solutions Architect, discussed cloud-based post production.
  • Our demo pod in the Innovation Zone showcased Media Composer and recent powerful AI capabilities already available to our customers.
  • We hosted breakfast roundtable sessions on AI use cases, shared our progress on getting Avid solutions running in the Amazon cloud, and met with customers and partners.


Avid CEO Jeff Rosica gives keynote presentation at HPA Tech Retreat 2024

Key Takeaways

AI takes center stage at HPA Tech Retreat
During the past year, we have seen multiple game-changing advances in AI. Just before the event, OpenAI announced Sora, cited by multiple HPA speakers as further evidence of the accelerating pace of AI advancement for motion image generation. HPA panelists explored a wide range of use cases for AI in media production and post production, including content indexing for discoverability, upscaling, stock footage generation, storyboard ideation, compositing, color grading, content personalization, and many others. 

Presenters from the creative community were clearly enthralled by the creative possibilities that AI is beginning to offer, touting the potential democratization of high-quality storytelling. Some panelists and audience members expressed concern about the ethicality of generative AI, but this more cautious perspective was largely overshadowed by the enthusiasm of AI proponents.

Seeing live demonstrations of generative AI was fascinating. AI models quickly generated almost-usable images most of the time but, despite significant progress, there remained a lack of consistency and coherency. Focus going forward will center on harnessing the power of AI by making results more consistent and tunable by humans.

The pervasive influence of AI underscores the need for continued innovation and investment in AI capabilities. HPA underscored to me that Avid's commitment to pushing the envelope and delivering on customer expectations is paramount in this rapidly evolving landscape.

Embracing Standards 
Besides the expansive exploration of AI, what stood out as the second most prevalent theme was software-defined workflows and emerging technology standards. The importance of standardization and interoperability in an increasingly digital landscape were emphasized. 

Much presentation time centered on making the MovieLabs 2030 vision a reality. This initiative is paving the way for streamlined workflows and enhanced collaboration across the industry. 

The Hollywood tech community is actively crowd-sourcing a number of technology standards aimed at enabling smooth interchange of compositional metadata, driving toward common data models and ontologies to enable easier exchange of production data and, ultimately, more efficient workflows. 

As the pace of innovation accelerates, it's imperative for companies like Avid to prioritize strategic engagement with emerging standards while maintaining a focus on innovation. 


Dave Colantuoni, Avid V.P., Product Management, speaking at the HPA Tech Retreat

Customer and Partner Collaboration is Key

The HPA Tech Retreat is always a showcase for innovation, and this year was no different. If anything, the pace of innovation seems to be accelerating. Avid will continue to collaborate with our luminary customers and the emerging partner ecosystem to deliver new innovation to our customers. It’s a very exciting time in our industry.


Avid Product Evangelist Michael Krulik connects with customers in the HPA Innovation Zone

Navigating Industry Rebound
Amidst discussions of technological innovation, conversation also centered on the industry's recovery from the Hollywood strikes. While signs of rebound are evident, the journey ahead remains fraught with challenges. Concern about potential future strikes looms large, underscoring the need for proactive measures to safeguard the industry.

The HPA Tech Retreat 2024 serves as a testament to the industry's resilience, innovation, and collective vision for the future. As we navigate the road ahead, Avid remains steadfast in its commitment to driving positive change and empowering storytellers worldwide. Together, we embark on a journey fueled by creativity, collaboration, and a shared passion for pushing the boundaries of what's possible in media production.

Learn more about how Avid is helping to foster creativity through the power of AI. 

Through the power of AI, Avid Ada empowers content creators and media companies with the ability to improve efficiency, engage audiences more effectively, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape.


Find out more about the HPA Tech Retreat, Avid, and AI.


  • Tim Claman

    Avid Technology
    Tim Claman is the Chief Product Officer at Avid Technology and a long-time contributor and veteran to the media technology industry.

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