Michael Gallo

Michael Gallo

For many years New York moviemakers have had to travel
to L.A. or Las Vegas to check out the latest in technology, but
this October, the East Coast’s largest production conference is
happening right in their own backyard.

Announced at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, ProductionEAST
will debut October 30 – 31st at New York City’s Jabob Javits Center.
The event will include a host of informational sessions for production
professionals in the Northeast region, and will feature an additional
tradeshow where attendees can “test drive” some of the newest toys
to hit the market. Event Director Michael Gallo spoke with MM about
his first year event and the current state of production in New

MM: What is the goal of ProductionEAST?
What do you hope to achieve?

Michael Gallo (MG): I worked on the ShowBiz
events while at Reed Exhibition Companies… Not long after Reed
sold the events, three partners and I began Link Exhibitions to
develop strategic business events in industries that we cared about.
The vision for ProductionEAST is for it to be the annual East Coast
home of the people, products and services that produce movies, commercials,
episodic/series programming and music videos.

MM: Has the event always been planned for
New York?

MG: ProductionEAST has always been planned
for the New York and the East Coast communities. It’s Link’s home,
and it’s where we know the industry. Being here enables us to be
members of the local associations, attend the industry meetings
and functions, stop by location shoots and ingrain ourselves in
the community. And although not be design, ProductionEAST staff
members have worked and continue to work in the production industry
as everything from make-up artists to technical directors. Our technical
consultant is an officer of the local SMPTE chapter (that was by design).

MM: Will the event stay in New York, or
do you have plans to travel with it to LA, like other similar events

MG: There are a number of LA-based events including
ShowBiz, Cinegear and the ubiquitous DV events that provide a great
medium for the West Coast production marketplace. We’re focusing
on growing a comprehensive event here at home in the East.

MM: Who are some of the planned speakers?
What are some of the scheduled topics to be discussed?

MG: We are very excited about content and caliber
of the ProductionEAST sessions. For example, one of the sessions
focuses on how to treat audio in production for successful posting.
The panel is comprised of Howard Schwartz of Howard Schwartz Recording,
Bill Marino of Sync Sound and Rocco Tortorella of Sound One and
is moderated by Ken McGorry of Post Magazine. These guys
are simply the best of the best in audio.

In the larger scale, ProductionEAST conference topics
include everything from technical discussions like Mastering in
24P: What’s Real, What’s Hype?, Lighting and Set Design for HD and
Super16 to Digital Post to strategic sessions on how to pitch ad
agencies or finance an independent film. Our What’s Next sessions
feature high-ranking personalities from HBO and MTV networks.

MM: What about the exhibition part of the
event: will it affect the topics being discussed in the conference
(i.e. companies offering instruction on their newest products)?
Who are some of the planned companies and what are some of the products
you’re expecting to see?

MG: The mix of companies and products is amazing-and
growing. Panasonic will have working models of the incredible new
AG-DVX 100. We’re still waiting to hear about whether Thomson is
bringing the Viper. K5600 will have the new BlackJack 400W and discreet
will have new announcements. In addition to the major equipment
manufacturers, regional companies including bonding and insurance,
rental houses, stages, location trucks and other below-the-line
resources will be providing show-only specials.

We need to keep in perspective that ProductionEAST
is what the events industry would call a super-regional event. With
the issues surrounding travel late last year, a lot of production
professionals did not attend the national Las Vegas equipment events
or the LA events. Production professionals on the East Coast have
not seen many of the products and services launched in the last
six to eight months. ProductionEAST is the opportunity for them
to see and touch these products and services.

MM: Who is your intended audience? Who are
the people that you want to attend or think could benefit from attending?

MG: ProductionEAST is a comprehensive production
industry event. Everyone from studio and network executives involved
in producing original content, to financiers, directors, DPs and
camera operators, location managers, grips, gaffers, best boys and
PAs will find ProductionEAST to be an exceptionally valuable experience.

This is truly an unmatched opportunity for production
professionals who reside in New York and the East, as well as those
looking to produce here. New York City, New York State and the surrounding
areas just have so much to offer the movie, commercial, episodic/series
and music video producer.

MM: ProductionEAST is a very large undertaking,
but certainly a worthwhile one. Who are some of the sponsors who’ve
come on board to show their support? What do you think it is about
the event that makes them do that?

MG: The fundamental difference between ProductionEAST
and other events is that ProductionEAST is an East Coast market-focused
event. That means access to 16mm and 35mm as well as 24P and mini-DV.
It means cameras and lenses, location services and trucks, grips
and expendables, studios and stages, post software and post houses.
It means conference content that meets the specific needs of the
New York and East Coast community.

Thank you for agreeing that ProductionEAST is a worthwhile
endeavor. You’ve proven your dedication to the marketplace through
the continued support of MovieMaker and MovieMaker.com. Panasonic
is ProductionEAST’s Platinum sponsor and was the first major player
to realize the potential of the event. Gold Sponsors include discreet
and Liman Video Rental (LVR). The mix of sponsors is indicative
of the product mix available at ProductionEAST.

Including MovieMaker and Moviemaker.com, more than 15 major association and media sponsors support ProductionEAST.
And a special thanks [goes] to Jennifer Freed at Trevanna.com for
her continued support.

MM: Obviously, large events like this are
a great place for individuals to network. What steps are you taking
to facilitate the interaction between attendees and participants?

MG: The inherent nature of a good trade event
is networking and relationship-building. To facilitate that, ProductionEAST
will have a viewing area, lounge areas, message boards and structured
elements including “birds-of-feather” sessions. These are free conference
sessions where a topic is cast out to small groups of participants
(tables of 10 or 12) and discussed with the guidance of a moderator.
This is a great medium for interaction. It typically yields good
ideas to challenges that individuals and/or the industry are facing.

MM: How can people learn more about the

MG: Free exhibits and networking registration
is available at www.ProductionEAST.com.
Companies interested in exhibiting should contact me directly at
973/709-9449 or [email protected].