A panel of experts reveals the secrets behind the hugely popular social video app—and how media technologists need to know about the world of short-form video.

LOS ANGELES — At its March virtual meeting, SMPTE Hollywood will introduce media technologies to TikTok, the short-form social video app where memes (and stars) are born. A panel of experts will explain how TikTok became a worldwide phenomenon with more than a billion active monthly users, and how the 15- to 60-second videos it hosts reach audiences far greater than any cable or streaming service with much less investment in infrastructure and execution.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 18th at 5:30pm PST on Zoom.

Featuring a leading STEM influencer and the editors of Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, the panel will take a close look at the creative opportunities and technical challenges of short-form social video. “To inspire SMPTE members to dig deeper into these platforms, we’ve invited creators working for and with TikTok’ers to give us a deep dive into their projects,” says SMPTE Hollywood Section Managers Kylee Peña (Netflix), who’ll co-host the event with JoAnne Kim (Legendary). “We’ll learn directly from these creators about their ideation processes, the technical workflows, and what professional media toolmakers can learn from TikTok’s toolset.” The presentations will be followed by open Q&A.


Darrion Nguyen, founder of Lab Shenanigans, has created more than 100 videos and garnered over 14 million likes. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in biochemistry and theater, he combines popular memes and biochemistry, to make science accessible, propel STEM communication, and empower people to learn science. Named the “Bill Nye of millennials,” this research technician is breaking the mold from within the lab.

David Bengali is a projection and media designer in New York. He has designed theater, opera, and dance Off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally. He has a BSE in Computer Science from Princeton University and MFA in Design for Stage and Film from NYU.

Lacey Erb is a projection designer based in Brooklyn whose work spans theater, opera and dance, as well as event, space and installation design. Intrigued by how projections and technology can be used in storytelling, Erb is active in new works and devised pieces, and loves collaborating with music and movement based work. She has an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Kate Ducey is a projection designer based in Brooklyn who specializes in design for new work and movement-based performance. She holds a BA in Theater from Northwestern University and an MFA in Integrated Media from the University of Texas at Austin

Thanks to Seaview Productions for permission to share artwork and clips from Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.

What: SMPTE Hollywood March Virtual Meeting: TikTok for Technologists

When: March 18, 2021, 5:30 p.m. PDT

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/march-virtual-meeting-media-technologists-meet-tiktok-tickets-144717296329 

The event will also be live-streamed on the SMPTE Hollywood Facebook and YouTube pages.

About the SMPTE® Hollywood Section

The Hollywood Section of SMPTE® was initially organized as the West Coast Section in 1928. Today, as its own SMPTE Region, it encompasses more than 1,200 SMPTE Members with a common interest in motion-imaging technology in the Greater Los Angeles area. The Hollywood Section offers free meetings monthly that are open to SMPTE Members and non-members alike. Information about meetings is posted on the Section website at https://www.smpte.org/sections/hollywood.

About SMPTE®
SMPTE is the global society of media professionals, technologists, and engineers working in the digital entertainment industry. The Society fosters a diverse and engaged membership from both the technology and creative communities, delivering vast educational offerings, technical conferences and exhibitions, the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal, and access to a rich network of colleagues essential to their career success. As an internationally recognized standards organization, SMPTE also provides a vital technical framework of engineering standards and guidelines that allow the seamless creation, management, and delivery of media for art, entertainment, and education worldwide.

Information on joining SMPTE is available at smpte.org/join.

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