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Technology Changes, DV Expo Remains

Technology Changes, DV Expo Remains

Articles - Cinematography

Technology is changing and careers are shifting in the entertainment business, but one thing that has remained constant for 14 years is the Digital Video Expo. It changed its location and date this year, but the 2009 DV Expo promises to provide the same quality education and networking opportunities it has been offering for more than a decade.

From September 22 to 24, videographers, cinematographers, editors, Web video producers and more will join together at California’s Pasadena Convention Center to see more than 100 industry exhibitors and attend more than 40 conference sessions.

David E. Williams, the editor of DV magazine and DV.com and the Digital Video Expo conference chair, talks to MM about the advantages of going digital.

Katie Garton (MM): Which elements of this year’s event are you hoping will most entice people to register?

David E. Williams (DW): I’m often asked if it’s imperative to attend regional shows such as Digital Video Expo, which is now in its 14th year of operation. For anyone who knows how to work an event such as this, the answer is a resounding “yes,” because the Expo puts you in direct contact with not only the latest technology and respective company reps, but with your professional peers. These are the people who may become your next business partner, instructor or employer.

The Web is great at delivering gear specs and other raw data, but digital content creation is about collaboration—human interaction, the sharing of ideas and mutual creativity—and that’s what you’ll find at Digital Video Expo. We also have a strong educational program set for this year’s event. Given the strong competition in the marketplace and the state of the economy, I think everyone should understand and take advantage of every possible opportunity to network and educate themselves.

MM: The Digital Video Expo is known for providing information and education on new technologies, projects, business opportunities, etc. What is one of the most important things attendees with learn from this year’s Expo?

DW: Given the way digital production and post-production technology continues to become less expensive and yet far more capable, a new paradigm for doing business has developed. There’s more competition from every direction, so while your dollar investment in gear might be lower, it might also be more difficult to make a profit. I think attendees will learn about the capabilities of new gear at the show, but also about hardware and software that can add life, capability or profitability to the gear they already own. In this economy, I think that will be key to the survival of any indie filmmaker or videographer, small production company or post house.

MM: Why and how did you decide on having a keynote speaker, Jessica Sitomer, talk about secrets of developing your career and not more about the changing technologies?

DW: There will be plenty of discussion at the Expo about changing technology— from new HD cameras to tapeless workflows to storage solutions and more—both on the show floor and in the conference sessions. That said, I think many people may focus too much on the just the latest gear and memorizing all the specs involved. That’s important, of course, but they may not spend enough time developing themselves and their approach to making a business of what they love to do.

Nobody is going to hand you a career; it’s up to you to develop one yourself. With her experience as a career counselor with the International Cinematographers Guild, Jessica understands this audience, and I believe she can give attendees some solid advice on how to take combine their creativity, passion and knowledge to the best effect.

MM: One of the other key presentations is “Going Green in Video Production.” How has the wave of “going green” affected the Expo?

DW: Lauren Selman, who founded Reel Green Media and is managing our “Going Green” conference content, has really made us consider the environmental impact of the production industry at the show. At her sessions, she’ll offer guidance on how to minimize our personal and organizational impact on the planet. But while her session focuses on the environmental impacts of production—from concept to cinema screening—we’ve also discussed environmental business strategies for the show itself, from limiting the amount of promotional materials we print to setting up recycling on the show floor.

MM: What product are you most excited to see in the exhibit hall and why?

DW: Last year, we had an incredible range of products on the floor, from a Todocast satellite-based live Webcasting rig that costs about $25,000 to a great all-natural lens-cleaning solution called Pursol from International Supplies that retails for $9.95. This year, Panasonic, Sony and JVC will have some great new HD cameras that have just started to ship, Redrock Microsystems and Zacuto will both have great accessories for the new HD-capable DSLRs, Kino Flo and Litepanels will bring their latest lighting gear and everybody else will bring something cool as well. It’s impossible to pick just one item. The exciting thing for me is to see how hard all of our exhibitors are working to deliver creative new solutions while making them far more capable and less expensive than previous generations.

MM: What sets the Digital Video Expo apart from similar digital events?

DW: All shows have their strengths, but we have a number of features that make ours unique. First off, we host a number of the most important professional organizations in this field, including the American Society of Cinematographers, the International Cinematographers Guild, the L.A. Final Cut Pro User Group, the Digital Cinema Society and the Digital Video Professionals Association (DVPA). Some will have their regular monthly meeting at Digital Video Expo—which are open and free to all attendees—while others will offer free seminars and sessions. This helps put our people directly in touch with working professionals at the top of their craft, giving them an opportunity to interact with and learn from them.

Secondly, we offer a lot of education opportunities, including a series of three-day Apple certification training programs for Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Motion and Color. And, finally, we have our conference program, which is geared for digital content creators of all kinds, with sessions on new cameras, lighting, documentary production, editing plug-ins, workflows, Web video and, again, career development, among many other subjects. I really think we have a great show this year and can help our attendees reach their career 2.0 goals.

Visit http://www.dvexpo.com for more information.

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