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From Dance Fever to Digital Video

From Dance Fever to Digital Video

Articles - Festival Beat

Rick Friedman

Rick Friedman

Though currently enjoying enormous success as the
president and co-founder of Mindshare Ventures, don’t expect Rick
Friedman to bask in the glory for too long. The man who is helping
to bring the first of what he hopes will be many DV events to the
Big Apple has made a career of keeping up with the trends.

Riding the disco wave of the ’70s, Friedman created
(and was the original emcee of) the extremely popular syndicated
show Dance Fever. His work in music continued into the ’80s, where
he produced, directed and presented more than 80 events, including
concerts and musical theater events with a diverse slate of artists
including Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Harry James, Count Basie
and Buddy Rich. He then moved into the publishing industry, where
he was an executive at Parade Magazine, publisher at John
Wiley and Sons and founder of SIGS Publication, which was one of
the largest privately held computer magazine/book publishers in
the United States.

Today, with Mindshare Ventures, Friedman is working
to create a number of professional events around the country. His
company’s first effort was a "serious conference" for
Internet entrepreneurs, and he’s since created a concept called
"speedpitching," in which selected start-up and early
stage entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to pitch their company,
in five minutes, one-on-one, to 10 venture capitalists, in the hopes
of securing financing. In December 2001, the company produced the
Avid World East & Pro Tools Conference in New York City and
from February 10 – 14, 2002, they will bring the first ever DV Show
to New York.

Jennifer Wood (MM): This is really quite
an undertaking for a first-time event. When did the idea for the
NY DV Show originate?

Rick Friedman (RF): While co-creating and producing
AVID World East, we discovered a great need, interest and opportunity
for other DV-based products-Adobe, Apple FCP and others. People
constantly asked us when we’d cover these other non-Avid topics,
so we went for it. We decided to take the "chessboard down
the center" by producing the largest conference ever assembled-a
whopping 170 hand-picked sessions-under the direction of our partner,
co-producer and conference chair, Ben Kozuch, who’s president and
owner of Future Media Concepts, the largest training school in the
Northeast.

We feel that New York City is the hotbed of DV usage,
with Madison Avenue, Silicon Alley, Corporate 500 and film/post-production
industries, so we needed to produce a "New York-sized"
event.

MM: What’s the difference between the Expo
and Conference parts of the event?

RF: The intent of The New York DV Show is to
cover, in one five-day event, the capturing, editing, designing
and delivery of DV content. It all starts on February 10th, with
three intensive user conferences for very popular products: Apple
Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects and Avid Xpress DV.

That’s followed by two days of the DV core conference,
which focuses on capture, editing, effects, Web streaming and DVD
authoring. In total, there are 170 sessions over the five days,
including night school classes. We expect 500 attendees for the
conference sessions.

MM: Why choose to focus on three specific
products as opposed to topics, for instance? And how did you choose
which products to focus the event on?

RF: Our research showed that Apple FCP, Adobe
AE and Avid Xpress DV are key products in the digital video industry
with huge user bases; new product versions create an ongoing "need-to-know"
mindset as well as strong, loyal and highly interested followings.
These products have the ability to launch/advance careers.

MM: The last two days comprise the "Expo"
part of the event. What can we expect from this section?

RF: We expect 80-plus companies to demo on
the floor. Major vendors registered to date include Sharp Electronics,
Boris, Avid, Apple, Adobe, Canopus, Pinnacle Systems and others.
There will be several new products launched and many big announcements
since vendors don’t want to wait until NAB in April. I’m under non-disclosure
regarding several of these announcements, but stay tuned for updates
on DVNYC.com

MM: This event is the first of its kind
in New York City. Why do you think you are the first people to attempt
this and how ready is the city for such an event?

RF: It’s the first of its kind in New York
City, but there have been a few in Los Angeles. The largest city
in the United States has just been overlooked as most people think
all the action is in Los Angeles. Guess again. New York City loves
these events, and that’s why we are talking to the offices of the
Governor and Mayor about their participation. We already have 14
media sponsors, and we expect 2,500-plus DV professionals. We already
have 1,000 signed up and our advertising just hit right after the
New Year.

MM: Who is your audience? Should attendees
be experienced in DV, or are newcomers welcome as well?

RF: Our audiences comprise editors, animators,
communication managers, graphic designers, Web designers, producers,
directors and sound designers. These are digital video and digital
media professionals working in ad agencies, film/video postproductions,
special effects, broadcast/cable TV, corporate video production,
special-event videography, government/military and multimedia companies.

MM: Are there any components of the DV Show
in particular that you are most excited about?

RF: Yes, our keynotes: Thelma Schoonmaker,
legendary editor and frequent collaborator with Martin Scorsese,
will discuss the art of storytelling; Ethan Hawke and his crew will
discuss (hosted by InDigEnt founder, Gary Winick) the making of
his new film, Chelsea Walls, and how he delivered this world-class
story on a $150,000 budget via DV. Douglas Spotted Eagle, a pioneer
in the streaming media and audio field, will discuss why audio is
70 percent of what audiences see. And visual effects guru Randy
Balsmeyer will give us an inside look into how he creates memorable
effects in films and commercials.

There is so much more: sneak previews from the key
insiders at Apple, Adobe, Avid, Microsoft, and Sharp Electronics.
There are also many advanced sessions on FCP, AE, Xpress DV, and
Discreet products, that are designed for power users.

MM: Will there be any social events included
in the schedule? Will attendees get a chance to interact with other
attendees, company reps, industry people, etc.?

RF: There’s a Welcome Reception at the Manhattan
Center Theatre on Tuesday, February 12th from 5:45 to 7pm on the
Exposition floor. In addition to the 80-plus vendors that attendees
will meet on the show floor, we have also established a separate
Product Demo Theater in which products will be demonstrated in a
private classroom setting in 30-minute sessions.

MM: What is the registration process and
costs?

RF: Attendees can register online at DVNYC.com.
Prices range from $150 for a Sunday workshop to $1,395 for the Deluxe
VIP 5-day Pass. The 3-day user conference is $795. Attendees can
register both for the Expo/Keynote (free) and classes (a fee) by
going to www.DVNYC.com.

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