The LAPPG – Los Angeles Post Production Group is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the organization at NewFilmmakers LA’s popular film festival on June 23rd, a chance to connect with other filmmakers.
The Los Angeles Post Production Group (LAPPG) is an organization for those with an interest in digital filmmaking and the post-production process. The group hosts monthly meetings with the industry’s leading experts, professionals and companies. It is a thriving, creative and supportive networking community for members in Los Angeles and around the world and is expanding their reach with educational, networking and career- enhancing opportunities through the event platform “LAPPG Presents”.
The group was founded in 2008, when Wendy and Woody Woodhall invited clients and associates to attend a weeknight meeting in the lobby of their Santa Monica- based audio facility, Allied Post. In a recent interview published by Voyage LA, Wendy Woodhall, LAPPG Executive Director, reminds those initial steps, and says: “One of the things I began to notice was how many filmmakers came through our door with tons of questions about the post-production process. Post in general and audio post, in particular, was often seen as a “dark art” that no one really understands completely and so my husband and I started a group, Los Angeles Post Production Group, in our studio’s lobby one Wednesday night a month for people to come and learn about all different aspects of this “dark art.” As a bonus, it brought new people into the studio who were able to tour the facility, meet us and see what we had to offer.”
That’s how it all started. The monthly meeting provides a place for post production professionals on the Westside of Los Angeles to come together, exchange information, network, and explore new technologies in the evolving filmmaking arena. The community has grown to over 4500 members across Los Angeles and beyond, and that’s the people Wendy and Woody Woodhall are looking forward to see during the celebration of LAPPG’s 10th anniversary at NewFilmmakers LA’s popular film festival on Saturday, June 23rd at South Park Center in Downtown Los Angeles.
We couldn’t resist asking Wendy Woodhall a few questions about the event and the project her and Woody Woodhall, a name familiar to ProVideo Coalition readers, have nurtured for so long. Here are some enthusiastic and revealing answers we believe ProVideo Coalition readers will enjoy reading.
PVC – What have the last 10 years meant for LAPPG as a whole?
Wendy Woodhall – This is a huge milestone for us. We’ve created events almost every single month in that 10 year period and the membership has expanded exponentially. I think what’s most significant is that as more and more of our lives go online, the need for face to face contact has increased. Sure we can order what we need, or view tutorials from the comfort of our couch, but the actual human need for connection is still there. People want to be a part of a community and as important as online communities are, and PVC is one of the best, we still see how important it is shaking a hand, looking someone in the eye, and being able to ask questions and to feel supported and a valued member of something greater. We help provide that for our members, as well as giving a home to our partners who have amazing technology to share with our members.
PVC -Any event or events that you can cite as your favorite or most memorable?
Wendy Woodhall – One of my favorite meetings was one we had with Tony Orcena, at that time an editor of the ABC hit show, “Modern Family.” I had seen an episode called “Connection Lost” and was blown away about how the entire episode took place on one of the character’s laptop through Facetime. They created an entire Mac-centric universe using laptops, iPads and iPhones and the episode just blew me away. It was not just the written and acting content which were both brilliant, but it was the cleverness of way they created and presented this digital world we are now living in. I was fascinated to learn how they devised this since it was not really possible in the “real world”. Tony’s presentation was detailed in the workflow that he created with the post team, and it was wonderfully satisfying learning about the process and all the considerations that were taken to construct this episode.
PVC – Can you talk about what it’s meant to you to see speakers connect with your audience, and what it’s meant for that audience to gather insights that are only available at your meetings?
Wendy Woodhall – I think the biggest thrill for me is when a presenter finishes and comes up to me at the end of the night and says, “what an engaged and positive community! This is a knowledgeable group and you know, your members ask the best questions.” To me that not only speaks volumes about our members but also about the value and important role the group has in the filmmaking community at large. It’s an important place for people to get answers and to understand things at a deeper level. And this is not lost on our incredibly supportive partners like Adobe, Blackmagic Design, Glyph Production Technologies, iZotope, LaCie, OWC, Shutterstock, Vimeo, ZEISS.
Of course these industry leaders are key fixtures on the trade show circuit, but what they also realize and understand is the value of creating face to face, more intimate relationships, and along with that comes a better understanding of their customers. For example, next month, OWC will be sharing some exciting new products and asking members what they like, what they don’t like and what they’d like to see in the market to make their work more efficient and effective. When we’ve done this in the past we had an amazing dialogue open up and our members were really able to explain, from a users’ perspective, about what they needed and wanted, and what would ultimately make OWC products more useful for them. We are incredibly grateful to have companies like this as part of the LAPPG family, who value the end user and who work to create products that allow us all to be more creative storytellers.
There is something inherently different when you are physically in the same room with someone presenting that you just don’t get in a webinar or a tutorial in the same way. It’s similar to the experience you get going to a movie theater vs. watching a movie at home. They are both fine experiences. They both get you what you want – the content, the information, the entertainment. But seeing a movie at the theater is a communal experience and that is the same thing for our meetings. I think for people who spend much for their day alone in a room editing, or coloring, or sound designing with their computer, this communal LAPPG experience is vital. Plus, it’s fun to be around people who do what you do and who know what you go through and who enjoy what you enjoy. The fact is that human beings are social creatures and while that’s not always easy, Woody and I do whatever we can to try to ensure that the group is as warm and welcoming as possible. In fact, next month we are having The Greenlight Coach, Jessica Sitomer, return to the group on July 11th where she will be sharing “How to Make the Most of Networking to Get More Work.” This is an area where most of us can use more work, so we feel that it is important to bring this type of programming to the group as well.
This June, though, the monthly meeting is different, at a different location, although the spirit is the same: spend an evening with filmmakers from across the city and beyond, watch films, enjoy drinks, explore the latest in filmmaking technology, and connect with other passionate storytellers. It’s LAPPG celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their vibrant and knowledgeable community with a special event in DTLA.
Wendy Woodhall explains, “we’ve had the honor of working with NFMLA and Executive Director Larry Laboe on events in the past and it’s always been a great time for all who attended. We thought the best way to mark this milestone for our members was to give them what we all love…the chance to watch great films and connect with other filmmakers.”
In preparation for the June 23rd event, NFMLA’s programming director Bojana Sandic says, “We’re very excited to be celebrating with LAPPG, and have an exceptional group of films that represent various post-production disciplines to showcase for the occasion.”
The evening activities will include screenings, open bar receptions, networking opportunities, a chance to connect with some of the leading technology companies in the filmmaking space including Adobe, Blackmagic Design, LaCie, OWC, and ZEISS. This event is open to the filmmaking community at large. Follow the link ticketing information.
There was one last question to ask Wendy Woodhall: What does the future of the LAPPG look like?
The Executive Director of the Los Angeles Post Production Group said this: “The future is very exciting. Certainly we will be continuing our monthly meetings as that is the foundation of the group, but I think our event arm “LAPPG Presents” will be playing a bigger role in the years ahead. This is where we can offer more intensive learning opportunities to our members and the content creating community in general.”