SMPTE Engages the Next Generation of Storytellers

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Feb. 19, 2019 — SMPTE®, the organization that is defining the future of storytelling, has completed a two-day meeting concentrated on bringing the next generation of technology talent into leadership roles within the Society. During the SMPTE annual strategic planning meeting, held on Feb. 10 in Palm Desert, California, SMPTE hosted seven rising industry members that served as advisors to the SMPTE Board of Governors.

“With the approval of SMPTE‘s three-year strategic plan at our October 2018 Board meeting, SMPTE committed to a strategy that would attract, engage, and delight the next generation of motion picture, television, and professional media storytellers,” said SMPTE President Patrick Griffis, vice president of technology at Dolby Laboratories, who began his two-year term as president on Jan. 1.

Sharing insights and suggestions with the SMPTE Board were independent producer and animator Alyce Tzou, Jack Gravina of Gravina Films (commercial and narrative content production) and Nimble Music (music library for TV and film), Brian Cabral of Facebook, Monica Escalante of EFILM, Josh Berkowitz of Technicolor, Kyle Tedeschi of Cisco, and Jackson Miller of Epic Games.

SMPTE has provided so much to so many over the past five generations,” said SMPTE Executive Vice President Hans Hoffmann, senior manager and head of media production technology at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). “SMPTE has always been an innovator and leader for large-scale technology transitions in the media industry. These transitions naturally included attracting new technical and creative talent to the Society. We recognize that the media industry at large is undergoing another significant transformation. Our strategic approach ensures that the Society is a welcoming home for new talent and continues supporting a technical community dedicated to solving challenges, and creating new opportunities, for our wonderful and expanding medium.”

SMPTE video excerpts from this unique strategic planning session will be posted over the next few weeks so that the whole industry can leverage critical insights to attract, engage, and delight new and future industry professionals — the next generation of storytellers. The videos will be available on SMPTE‘s YouTube channel.

SMPTE has some 7,000 members worldwide and 250 corporate sustaining members,” said SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange. “In fact, 2018 was SMPTE‘s strongest year in terms of event participation, educational courses offered, and standards downloaded, but we know we can do so much more. We need to be rigorous in demonstrating to the next generation of industry professionals the value SMPTE offers individuals throughout their careers and the benefits of gaining access to the Society’s rich network of mentors and colleagues.”

The seven industry representatives invited to the SMPTE strategy session discussed topics including their reasons for entering the media and entertainment industry, the tools and resources they use to learn, the face-to-face and connected social interactions they prefer, and the organizations they belong to and why. The SMPTE Board and guest representatives also collaborated to create specific plans for broadening SMPTE‘s next-generation membership and, in turn, strengthening the overall community of the Society.

“The perspectives we gained during this strategic planning session will be of enormous value in shaping further membership initiatives, networking events, and educational opportunities — and even the way we approach standards development,” said SMPTE Membership Vice President Peter Wharton. “If these new SMPTE members are representative of our industry’s next generation of professionals, the Society has a bright and exciting future ahead of it.”

In recognition of their contribution to SMPTE‘s strategic planning work, each participant received a SMPTE membership and a copy of SMPTE‘s “Magic and Miracles: 100 Years of Moving Image Science and Technology.”

Further information about SMPTE is available at

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About SMPTE®
For more than a century, the people of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, or SMPTE (pronounced “simp-tee”), have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has received an Oscar® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. SMPTE has developed thousands of standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines, more than 800 of which are currently in force today. SMPTE Time Code™ and the ubiquitous SMPTE Color Bars™ are just two examples of SMPTE‘s notable work. Now in its second century, SMPTE is shaping the next generation of standards and providing education for the industry to ensure interoperability as the industry evolves further into IT- and IP-based workflows.

SMPTE is a global professional association of technologists and creatives who drive the quality and evolution of motion imaging. Its membership today includes more than 7,000 individuals: motion-imaging executives, creatives, technologists, researchers, and students who volunteer their time and expertise to SMPTE‘s standards development and educational initiatives. A partnership with the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) connects SMPTE and its membership with the businesses and individuals who support the creation and finishing of media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at

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Photo Description: Group photo at SMPTE annual strategic planning meeting

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