SMPTE Hollywood Tackles TikTok at March Digital Assembly

At its virtual get-together in March, 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 hosted reach far larger audiences than any cable or streaming service with much less Investments in infrastructure and infrastructure execution.

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

With a leading STEM influencer and the editors of Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, the panel will examine the creative possibilities and technical challenges of social video in more detail. “To inspire SMPTE members to dig deeper into these platforms, we invited developers who work for and with TikTok’ers to give us an in-depth look at their projects,” said Kylee Peña (Netflix), SMPTE Hollywood Section Manager -Host the event with JoAnne Kim (Legendary). “We will learn directly from these developers about their brainstorming processes, technical workflows and what professional media tool makers can learn from the TikTok toolset.” The presentations are followed by open questions and answers.


  • 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 bring science to life, advance STEM communication, and empower people to learn science. This research technician, known as the “Bill Nye of Millennials,” breaks the mold out of the lab.
  • David Bengali is a projection and media designer based in New York. He has designed theater, opera and dance off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. He holds a BSE in Computer Science from Princeton University and an MFA in Stage and Film Design from NYU.
  • Lacey Erb is a Brooklyn-based projection designer whose work includes theater, opera and dance, as well as event, space and installation design. Erb is fascinated by how projection and technology can be used in storytelling. He is active in new works and pieces and loves working 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 at Boulder.
  • Kate Ducey is a Brooklyn-based projection designer specializing in new work design and motion-based performance. She has 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 allowing me to share artwork and clips from Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.

The event will also be broadcast live on SMPTE Hollywood’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Via the SMPTE® Hollywood Section
The Hollywood section of SMPTE® was originally organized as the West Coast section in 1928. Today, as a separate SMPTE region, it comprises 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 monthly meetings that are open to both SMPTE members and non-members. For information on meetings, see the section’s website at

About SMPTE®
SMPTE is the global society of media professionals, technologists and engineers working in the digital entertainment industry. The society encourages diverse and engaged membership from both the technology and creative communities and offers a wide range of educational opportunities, technical conferences and exhibitions, the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal, and access to a rich network of peers who are essential to their professional success . As an internationally recognized standards organization, SMPTE also provides an important technical framework for technical standards and guidelines that enable seamless creation, management and delivery of media for art, entertainment and education worldwide.

For information on joining SMPTE, visit

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