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An Interview With DV Expo’s Scott Gentry

An Interview With DV Expo’s Scott Gentry

Articles - Festival Beat

Scott Gentry

Scott Gentry

Setting goals and taking on challenges is nothing
new for Scott Gentry. At the age of five he began acting in commercials,
and by the time he reached 15 he had appeared in more than 70
television commercials. After college, he returned briefly to
acting with somewhat regular walk-ons on All My Children.
From there, Gentry launched his own company producing automotive
videos-and used DV Magazine as his main guide to buying
tools. He enjoyed the magazine so much, in fact, that he decided
to send a resume to them without even seeing a job posting. Starting
out in the sales department, Gentry worked his way up to publisher,
and now Group Director, where he oversees the magazine, the DV
Expo tradeshow and their Website, DV.com. On December 3 – 7, 2001,
Gentry will oversee the fifth annual DV Expo in at the Los Angeles
Convention Center. It’s an event he expects to be the biggest
and most exciting yet.

Jennifer Wood (MM): This is DV Expo’s
fifth year. Today, more than ever, our world is embracing digital
technology-and the number of people who shoot motion pictures, or
otherwise work with DV is increasing exponentially. In the five
years since DV Expo came to be, what are some of the biggest changes
you’ve seen in the industry and the medium?

Scott Gentry (SG): We’ve seen many changes
in products and in the players. Last year there were a tremendous
amount of dot-coms exhibiting and touting streaming abilities.
I think that’s subsided a great deal this year. In 1997, to get
a really good professional camera, computer, software, etc. you
probably had to spend upwards of $50,000. Today, a Sony PD150
or Canon XL1 with a new computer and software will set you back
roughly $10,000-and you’ll be far more productive and have much
greater capabilities in your tools. When I first started at DV
back in 1994, the basic system I purchased was $70,000 and it
crashed all the time. Today, programs like Premiere or Final Cut
can run circles around my old system. Back in 1997, believe it
or not, our sales team still had to educate the market on what
DV was and what the future held.

MM: In terms of the DV Expo event itself,
what are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen?

SG: The first DV Expo was in a hotel and
I believe we had approximately 40 booths of exhibitors. For 2001,
DV Expo moved to the LA Convention Center and will have over 250
booths. Already for 2001, despite the economy and the recent tragic
events, Expo registration is approximately 90 percent higher than
it was this same time last year.

MM: Who are some of the major players
we can expect to see at this year’s event?

SG: On the company side, Apple is making
their DV Expo debut in a big way. You’ll see big booths from Sony,
Panasonic, Pinnacle, Matrox and many others. What’s really great
about the show floor is that every aspect of the market is covered.
From workstations to cameras to software, lighting, tripods, stock
media and, of course, many resellers. Some of the resellers even
have training available at their booths. It’s also great fun to
see the major new product announcements. We’re expecting some
from a few of the companies I mentioned.

As far as keynotes, we have two this year. Allen
Daviau, the Director of Photography for such films as Empire
of the Sun
, E.T. and The Color Purple will be
discussing filmmaking in today’s world relative to all of the
new technological advances. We’re also very excited about having
Philip Schiller, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide marketing,
make a keynote presentation this year.

MM: The event is comprised of both a Conference
and an Expo. How are these two facets different?

SG: The conference is what sets DV Expo apart
from all other video events. In fact, people think of NAB as being
“the big industry trade show.” Well, as far as the Expo is concerned,
it is larger than DV Expo, but DV is focused exclusively on tools
and techniques of digital content developers. This year we have
over 80 different conference sessions, covering the entire range
of the creative process from production, post-production to delivery
and in-depth tutorials on the best software and hardware products.
The Expo is more of hands-on place to meet and greet vendors and
peers, check out new products, new ideas and network.

MM: What are some of the classes or seminar
that you are most excited about?

SG: There are really too many. Personally,
I’m excited about the DV Intensives on Monday, December 3rd,
that cover Motion Graphics, 3D and Lighting. It’s hard not to
sound too much like a marketing vehicle, but the staff here has
a lot of passion for what they do. If you’re working in digital
video, 3D or content development in general, there’s really a
lot to be gained because we’ve got the best and the brightest
teachers available. That’s why the show has grown so fast, and
why every other show has gotten smaller.

MM: Your events really run the gamut as
far as subject matter, experience level and professional experience
go. Who is your target audience? As far as experience goes, is
the event geared more toward those already familiar with digital
mediums, or are newcomers looking to learn a bit more about DV
encouraged to come?

SG: We do try to touch all levels, and to
do that, it’s really critical to segment the classes so experts
don’t get bogged down with newbie questions. However, everyone
starts somewhere, and there are also many beginner-level classes
on every topic. There are also a lot of business classes and forums
that will allow attendees to learn from the mistakes of others,
offer advice on formats, hosting solutions, etc.

MM: Your advisory board is comprised of
so many individuals on the ‘cutting edge’ of digital technology.
How is it that you all came together to create such an enormous
and important event?

SG: I think everyone on the advisory panel
is a DV reader-most are contributors to the magazine, and
they’re really the leaders in their field. Many, literally, wrote
the book about their segment. In fact Trish and Chris Meyer are
the gurus of After Effects. Their book had consistently been on
the top 100 of Amazon best sellers. Luckily, all are fans of DV magazine, so the transition to the show is easy.

MM: Part of the event includes a two-day
film festival, which is comprised of animations, shorts, documentaries,
and more. Who is encouraged to submit their work?

SG: Last year we also did a film festival
and it was a great success. Dave Kapoor, our community manager,
has really put together a great event. For information about the
festival, the simplest way to get information is simply to go
to DVExpo.com.

MM: Who are some of the major sponsors
of DV Expo 2001, and in what capacity are they contributing to
the event?

SG: DV Expo had more media partners this
year than ever before. I think that in the past there was concern
from competitive media that DV Expo was a DV magazine event.
Everyone understands that DV Expo is really an industry event,
of which Post, MacWorld, The Hollywood Reporter, MovieMaker and many others are all helping to promote.
On the vendor side, folks like Sony, Pinnacle and Apple are the
largest sponsors. But there are many, many more.

For
more information on DV Expo 2001, log onto www.DVExpo.com.

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