Sony Promotes Toshihiko Ohnishi, Alec Shapiro in Key Professional Services Roles

Shapiro tells The Hollywood Reporter that Sony F65 4Kcamera co-inventor Kaz Endo will relocate from Japan to L.A. to seek feedback from filmmakers to aid in further development.

Toshihiko Ohnishi—who is currently president of Sony Electronics Professional Solutions of America—has been promoted to deputy president of Sony's Professional Services Group in Japan, and Alec Shapiro will step up into the role of president of PSA.

Ohnishi will continue at PSA president until Shapiro assumes the role on July 1.

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Sony’s Professional Solutions Group in Japan and Professional Solutions of America manufacture technologies in areas including HDTV and motion picture production, digital cinematography, digital cinema, visual imaging and digital signage.

In his new role, Ohnishi will be responsible for Sony’s professional business globally.

Shapiro—who has spent the past 13 years at Sony and currently leads sales and marketing as a senior vp—will oversee U.S. operations, and also join Sony Electronics’ executive management committee. Currently, Shapiro additionally manages Sony’s new Digital Motion Picture Center (DMPC) on the Sony lot.

As his new role was announced, Shapiro was attending Cine Gear Expo on the Paramount lot, where Sony’s F65 4K digital cinematography camera continues to generate interest.

Talking with The Hollywood Reporter, he reported that features that are now in production with the F65 include After Earth, Oblivion, Evil Dead, No Good Deed (director Sam Miller), and Smurfs 2. TV and commercial clients have also used the camera system since it began shipping in January.

“Since we introduced the F65 we got a lot of input from rental companies, resellers, and cinematographers giving us ideas on how to improve it,” Shapiro said.

He told THR that Kaz Endo—one of the key developers of the F65—will relocate from Japan to Los Angeles, where he will work out of the DMPC for the next two years to meet customers and gather additional feedback aimed at improving the 4K camera technology.

Shapiro said he is also hearing interest in 4K from broadcasters. “There is a lot of interest in 4K for sports, however the reason for the interest is to get a higher quality 2K slow motion replay. All key sports broadcaster are experimenting with that.”

Sony has been bullish about 4K for the home and already offers a 4K home theater projector. Said Shapiro: “I think we’ll see the emergence of 4K in display products for the home, I hope from Sony but I think from several manufacturers. I would bet by CES there will be quite a few exciting consumer display developments.”

Sony has also been working on glasses-free 3D technology for a number of years (and filed for a patent on such technology last month). But Shapiro predicted that it would take “probably another 2-3 years before you can have a 50-inch or larger glasses free experience that can be shared.

“The issue comes when you have groups of people watching it together,” he added, explaining that both distance and angle of view are technical hurdles.

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